LOG ENTRY #53 – New Places

I guess I met him two years ago.

I sound unsure when I say this because we never really exchanged any words. He was one of the four or five of us in that red-walled room, where guitars hung around and our music player was an amp.

It was a good time in my life. Things that seemed complicated were so easy to ignore or run away from, and other things were excessively do-able.

It was strange seeing him walk around non-chalantly, tapping away at his phone, with a blue backpack, closely cropped hair, school uniform.

Natural habitat.

So different from the couldn’t-care-less guy with wild, surfer-boy hair that I remembered.

He was different and he was cleaner, less hazy; as if these two years had tweaked some invisible dials and fine-tuned his personality. Ironed out the wrinkles and given him the confidence to flaunt his anomalies.

It was a hot Friday afternoon. The adhan would be heard any minute now. I was sitting on a lone marble bench, twirling my phone in my hands and staring at the dusty football field.

My mother was late.

Readjusting my dupatta for the tenth time, as a cool gust of wind blew, I tore my eyes away from the unending dusty brown of the field and cast around a quick glance. There were few of us left.

I sighed.

I missed my old school, where the man who ran the canteen always loaned me money for ill-timed snacks. No such luck here, I though, glaring at the canteen on the other side of campus. It would take me four minutes to walk there and cost me what little original shade my skin had retained.

It had always been tough for me to adapt. My constitution seemed to be in the habit of rebelling, and nearing the end of my teenage years I was naive enough to wonder if I would ever change. If i would ever be the first to initiate conversation, the first to smile. If I would ever stop thinking so much about everything and just take it as a simple and inevitable changing of environments.

But the truth was, I was not old enough yet and I did rebel, and I did wonder and I did not like taking first steps. And I never stopped thinking so much.

It was then that I saw him, kicking up dust lazily, looking around, walking past to confer with the school security guard and then returning.

I wondered for a minute how it was possible that someone who was so sure, could ever be left behind. Of course I was talking in my head, in rhetoric and referring mostly to his class of friends in school and the kind of vibe he gave off.

There had been a feeling of unexpected familiarity when I saw him at school on the first day, and the jarring and unsettling realisation that this boy had always stuck out in her past, a marking-stone, and now he was part of her present . A present that I had never seen coming.

And his suddenly tall stature and short hair and sarcastic mouth were all reminders of how much had happened for me in these two years.

It was a sickening realisation, to be honest. Looking at him brought back memories of long car-rides, and expensive sandy-colored guitar, eccentric music tastes and my first taste of center-stage fame. All of that was well-behind me, yet clung on to me like the smell of cigarette smoke to a dead man’s trench coat.

He was looking around, an impatient beat playing out from beneath his running shoes.

My face was cupped lightly in my left-hand, resigned to the fact that I couldn’t do much.

He recognised me in school and I, him. And yet conversation was unnecessary and unwanted. It always had been.

Leave things be, I had said to myself on the first day. I needed to concentrate on the present.

It was then that he turned around and came and sat down next to me.

I blinked and realised I had also calmly moved over to give him more room.

My backpack dug into my arm but I couldn’t move. Not now. The initial movement seemed to have been all I was good for. My first reaction was probably reflected by my slightly dumbfounded expression, which slowly transformed into a casual, blank look.

I tried to stare at the field again.

My mind was in overdrive.

I didn’t understand. I couldn’t make sense of the gesture. Why was he sitting here? Had he even looked up long enough from his phone to recognise me? Did he want me to talk to him? Should I talk to him? What should I say?

“Umm… go away.”

No, that would sound bitchy. I had never spoken to this boy ever in my life.

So why was I over-thinking this. Maybe he just desperately wanted to sit. That was probably the right answer. It was a hot day, after all.

I frowned a little, shooting a surreptitious glance behind me. Another bench sat there, longer than my bench. It was occupied by just one junior, a timid little girl, her white hijab loosened. The rest of the bench was empty.

I looked down at my hands and questions bombarded the windshield of my mind. like raindrops or hail in a freak storm.

Would it be rude if I said nothing?

Not ruder than him plopping himself down here uninvited.

It might be a bit rude.

I don’t care.

But what was the worst that could happen.

Yes, I should talk. I should initiate conversation, smile, not think so much; be old enough.

I opened my mouth.

The security guard’s voice called his name. His mother was waiting.

He got up and left.

I decided I’d always sound unsure, and be unsure, because I had never really exchanged any words.

LOG ENTRY #52 – Hold the f*** up..

This is my third post since I stopped hobo-tunneling, and if you hadn’t already noticed, I’ve been very worried for the past couple of weeks. 

Just yesterday, things started calming down. I can finally see the storm losing momentum and dying down around me. 

And so I was driving home, looking out the window – can’t seem to remember what song it was, it was either New York by Frank Sinatra, Sweet Dreams by Marilyn Manson or Stairway to Heaven ((Oh joy! what sort of a bipolar playlist is that Z?!)) – and I went “Hold the eff up..

I know what you’re thinking. This can go so many ways, judging by how diverse the song choices are. 

But I felt empowered after so long. Not because of the music at all, but more because it just hit me that I’m not even 18, I’m not even starting college until September 1st, and I do have some of summer left.

I’m still on holiday from life, its just that I won’t let myself rest in peace ((not in the dead-way..))

I am a compulsive worry-wart, and yesterday my brain slapped me ((and in effect, itself)) , like “Shut the hell up, and look at how beautiful the sky is, look how smiley your little brother is for some reason, look at how Mr. Sinatra started singing out of nowhere talking about the one city you want to go to so bad that you freak out over colleges.”

My brain should slap me more often. 

And so today I wake up, and I see that I look like shit and I feel urges to make an effort on my face. I make the effort to cook breakfast and eat it while watching Troye Sivan’s “Happy Little Pill” video ((check it out btw, the owl is hella cool.)) I breathe easy, I offer my morning prayers and then I check my Facebook.

There’s nothing at all special about all the things I listed above. In fact you might think they are all such mundane activities. But see – I haven’t done those things for more than a week. I haven’t properly had breakfast for a month. I just suffer from morning sickness a lot and am too worried about something or the other to sit down and f****ing breathe.

I know everyone’s going nuts nowadays, and everyone has an opinion and everyone wants to talk and everyone wants to motivate you but you really don’t need to avail every single minute of your life, and do something meaningful.

Yes, don’t spend eleventeen hours on Tumblr, but also don’t deprive yourself of Tumblr and greasy foods completely, because you haven’t done that one assignment or you’ve been lazy all day so going out to dinner is out of the question, and something productive needs to be ticked off a list. Nothing needs to be done so badly that you need to start losing hair over it. ((this point could be worked on, I know. Maybe taxes are that important?)) I know some people who – in their need to get something done – deprive themselves of television, movies, chocolate. Yes, do that! Please, discipline yourself and prioritize and if you are a grade-A procrastinator employ punishing tactics. 

But see, what I did to myself was wrong. I don’t need to overwhelm myself with it all, I don’t need to stop being happy because I haven’t met all my deadlines. 

Most important statement being: I don’t need to stop being happy. 

Never ever ever do that to yourself. Find your balance, know yourself, and don’t blow things out of perspective. 

On a lighter note – did you guys check out Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” video? Wow.. I mean. I guess the song’s okay, but maybe that’s my bias talking. If I’m completely honest, it was a run-of-the-mill pop track, and the video just caught me off guard. ((Twerking?? Excuse me, but wtf..?)) I know everyone’s been loving the slew of Swift’s fashiony pictures, and if you haven’t loved them, you’re definitely jealous and/or lying. This is why I was expecting a classy song with a classier video, and all I got was messed up stereotypes in that video.

I’ll probably still listen to the song because its fun. (ish)

This post however I strongly recommend. I couldn’t have summed the video up better ((trust me, I really couldn’t have.))

And yeah – that’s it for this post. I hope the rant was mildly cohesive and you’re going away with at least the gist of it intact in your brains.. or wherever else you store this kind of information. 

… um

Live Life To the Fullest :)))))

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LOG ENTRY #51 – I am not smart.

I don’t mean to sound pretentious. I really don’t.

But I do expect a lot from myself because I’ve always believed I can deliver. 

I also don’t mean to sound like a sob-story-wanting-to-happen, but unfortunately I do like listening to Coldplay and staring out my car window with the occasional tear weaseling its way out. ((I am a liar, I cry a lot))

My point is – the past week has been difficult. 

The past week consisted of a 20-hour train ride, my O level results, an emotional roller coaster, a true realization of just how fickle faith can be, an unplanned sleepover and a chance meeting (it was also very awkward) with a boy who gets on my nerves but is annoyingly good looking.

Going back to why I was scared of sounding pretentious – I was very surprised when I got my results. Its not me being narcy narcissistic when I say I am a straight-A kinda kid. I am used to being top of my class, or at least in the top five. However over the past few months I have also come to terms with the fact that everyone cannot excel at everything. There will always be a few things that will bite you in the ass. And that’s okay.

What I had not been expecting was to be taught a lesson on a seemingly-crucial result transcript. I had not been expecting to practically experience ‘not excelling’.

But the way I have been brought up, whenever I feel bad about something, I have been taught to look at those below me, those who are worse off, and always be grateful and thank God. 

Sometimes, though, finding the resolve and strength to move on from the shock and accept it and be thankful for it. It doesn’t really happen.

I study (studied now, because voila! I have graduated from school and am heading to college) in a Convent, and Sister expected a lot from my result. She had been wanting a world distinction. ((!!!?)) And she didn’t give me a moment to gather myself and pulled out my result from that big brown envelope and recited it to me.

I really did not need that.

It was a really sad day. But maybe I needed it. Maybe I needed to see endless Facebook statuses from the most unexpected people about straight A*s and whatnot. Maybe I had overestimated myself.

And that was what sucked the most. The potential overestimation and how threatened my self-confidence felt by it. 

Can you imagine how horrible it feels when the first big exams you take, don’t turn out amazingly well like you thought they would, like everyone had said your’s were bound to turn out. 

Because “you’re so smart, just shut up about how ‘bad’ your Addmath exam went” and “You’ll tou get your grades, na! What’s your masla? (problem)”

I didn’t tell my Dad or my grandmother my results. At least for a few (many) hours. This was huge, in my head, because telling my Dad my results is obligatory, and telling my grandmother is traditional. I’ve always done it! Always, and just the fact that I wasn’t in the least bit ready to disclose the information was jarring. 

I had never been this bothered by my result!

The bigger problem, the “This is going to blow up in my face”-problem, was colleges. 

To make this simple for everyone, let me just say there are three A-Level colleges in this city that are the top names for the job. And I had never applied to College 1. I had applied to College 2 way back in January (pre-exams, pre-‘all that jazz’) and aced the interview and was made an unconditional acceptance offer and then turned it down – because I wanted to try my luck with College 3. 

The turning-down was a very big deal in my house. I had just turned down an amazing deal. They had given me the subjects that I wanted, I was dead sure that I would get a shot at whichever extra-curricular I wanted to try for in the variety that they offer, I was dead sure I’d make friends because so many of my friends were going with me anyway. College 2 was such a safe choice. And now that I had turned it down – I was in need of grades. I needed to get a certain number of A*s to qualify for College 3. If I got unlucky and ended up with bad grades, I was doomed. (ish)

I turned down College 2 for the elitist, known-to-be-snobby College 3. The college every kid in my city aspires to get into. The college that is arguably the country’s most-recognized institution on an international level. The college that doesn’t even hand you an application form unless you have shown them a copy of your results, and proved that you fulfill their requirements. The college that starts its admission process after results have been announced, all the way in August, when all other colleges are closing their doors. The college that has students who laugh at A’s (no grade below an A* exists for them) and receive VIP-treatment at all after-school tuition centers. The college that will accept barely twenty or thirty students.

I am so badass, am I not?

So yes. I took the leap. I gave my exams with practically no back-up plan, hoping and praying that I would do well enough.

And now here I stand. 

Acceptances from College 1, College 2 and in the midst of heated discussions with the head of College 3. 

(( !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ))

Because I applied to College 1 the night I got my results, with the hope that spots were still open. And I submitted my result to College 2 and showed them my unconditional letter, praying they would not hold my earlier decision to not pay them and go on the waiting list, against me. And I managed to get my hands on an application form for College 3, despite not fulfilling the requirements, because sibling-preference worked in my favor (my brother is in the eighth grade at their middle school branch.)

Its pretty….. wow. 

Believe it or not, even with barely any chance of getting in anywhere, me showing my results at all three places got me responses I had only ever imagined. 

Everyone knows that colleges have very limited seats this late into the game. And yet – look where my faith led me. 

Can you begin to imagine how blessed I feel? I know I sound like a forty-year old when I talked about being blessed and shiz, but.. It does not get more obvious than this for me. 

At the end of it all, I guess what I’m trying to say is.. It was horrible. It was horrible not knowing where I was heading, if anyone would take me, how high my chances were now, of getting anywhere. Its beyond horrible – its sickening. I am a worrier on the best of days, so this past week I’m surprised I wasn’t throwing up every hour. 

My mother kept telling me, “Have faith in God, pray for the best. Things will turn out okay.”

And I prayed. And then I saw my results and my faith faltered. 

After all that praying – I still didn’t get what I wanted. Maybe I had gotten what I had to get, what was best for me, but I sure as heck did not have it in me to deal with it. And so I had a very difficult few days, barely eating anything, crying in different corners of the house, re-thinking who I was. 

But then the acceptances happened. Wheels began to turn. 

I saw things happening for me and I swear to God – I was speechless. 

Going to make a decision between College 2 and College 3 soon!

Wish me luck and share your school/college/university stories with me! I’d love to hear about stressful experiences that you look back on and cringe even now, or that you think you freaked out about unecessarily. 

LOG ENTRY #50 – A Fresh Start..

I started this blog two years ago.

WordPress just reminded me that six days ago it was our two-year anniversary.

I missed our anniversary.

Its 5.53 am where I am, and this blog post is long overdue.

I’ve been meaning to get back to writing for fun for a long time. A lot of other things have been constantly prioritized over this. though. And regrettably so.

Its August, its nearly the end of my summer, and today is the day I get my O Level result.

I’ve been up since 3 am (ugh) and then saw that it had rained a little and then I thought “Oh hey, that’s a good sign,” and then I heard about Robin Williams.

The rain wasn’t a very good omen, now was it? And it sucks, because rain has always been my good luck charm. Or at least my ‘Don’t Worry No Turbulence Ahead’ charm.

But I was thinking yesterday – I started this blog two years ago, when I was just getting into my O Levels and picking subjects and stressing out over whether Additional Mathematics was a better option for me than Sociology, and worrying over how I would attempt a Math O level exam which would be the culmination of six years of math.

Its been a long time.

And so, I decided to stop hobo-tunneling (which is a term my friend came up for me and my infamous hiatuses) ((trust me, I take social hiatuses very frequently)) and finally get back to writing here, because there wouldn’t be a cooler date to do it.

Its the day I get my O Level result – for better or for worse – and it only seems fitting to come back here, where it all started two years ago.

I also think I owe a certain YouTuber a big thank you, for succeeding in making me MOVE. I know most YouTubers aim to do that and really get tumblr hipsters/YouTube-lovers off of their asses, but most of these guys have only temporarily affected me. Zoella, however, has me up at 5 am, redoing my entire blog and writing a blog post!

So yes, thank you for that video on anxiety and not letting it get in the way of life Zoe!

Moving on, I want to just. Write down here that I will be a lot less uptight about what I post on here. In the past, I think what got in the way of this blog going anywhere, was that I was always very touchy about what was good enough or acceptable enough or “looked cool enough” to go on here. And frankly – that is just not how I am any more. I know it sounds like a whole load of crap when people say motivational stuff, but this shit’s real. There is no point in caring what others think, especially since you are all avatars on my screen.

So, YAY FOR ME. I will write whatever I want, and sometimes it could also be just one word. (tumblr influences in the past two years, you see)

I feel like a different person for some reason when I’m writing this, and I feel really excited to share who I am, and who I’ve become and who I aspire to be.

I’ll be starting with my A-Levels in September, God willing. So far I’ve decided I want to study Economics, Literature in English, Math and World History. Although still a bit shifty about whether I want Physics more or World History.

((Father dear is frustrated because:

“DAUGHTER YOU WANT TO BE A JOURNALIST, WHY IN GOD’S NAME DO YOU WANT PHYSICS?”

“BECAUSE FATHER DEAR, QUANTUM!”

Idek.))

I think that should do it for this blog post.

I really really really really really hope I can keep up this drive and post regularly from here on out.

WISH ME LUCK FOR MY RESULT IN LESS THAN SIX HOURS ohmygod!!!!!

Zoella’s links:

youtube.com/zoella

 

twitter.com/Zozeebo

zoella.tumblr.com

 

 

 

LOG ENTRY #49 – Am I Too Young To Be So Bitter?

Gallifrey:

This was a great read. And I agree with it, even though I’ve just completed my O’Levels. (A’Levels in September, God help!)
So many people are under the delusion of the stereotypes connected with teenagers these days. I agree with this post, because I see this coming for me in the future.

Originally posted on Am I Thirty Yet:

the internship owen wilson

A few weeks ago I went to my friend’s graduation. I’m one of those people who tends to cry at everything. I can’t even watch 95% of the commercials they air these days without a box of tissues on hand. So I warned my friend that I’m probably going to tear up at some point during the ceremony. Graduations can be an emotional thing and I just knew one of those speeches was going to get to me.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. Sadness was the last thing on my mind. If I was going to tear up, it would have been from laughing so hard. I laughed at most of the speeches. It was either I laugh or scream with rage. Anger. That’s the emotion I felt the most during the graduation ceremony.

I graduated from college over four years ago. I owe a ton of money from student loans…

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LOG ENTRY #48 – RL Quotes and Summer Projects

Recently, I’ve got very obsessed with real-life quotes. Things that people around me say, that affect me, move me. Maybe even just make me smile. It could be just a simple word like ‘OK’ or ‘Yes’. Or it might be a whole paragraph someone texted me. They could be lyrics, or poetry. They could very well be lines from a book I’m reading, or something I heard the weather man say. They could be dialogues from a movie. They could even be words, marking an event in my life, that had mattered a lot to me.

Most of the time they are absolute nonsense that I convince myself is awesome and stuff, and makes me seem, and feel deep.

Doesn’t change the fact that they are awesome! :D

A lot of my posts on my cupboard are complete with time, date and day noted.

I like making memories.

And I’ve started to collect all of them, and write them down.

One of my many summer project was redecorating my room. And I decided to make a collage on my cupboards. Its a work in progress, but the number of note-book paper and Post-Its that are up on them, with words and sentences neatly penned on them in my favorite sort of felt-tip pen, is increasing every day. The fun part for me, is when sometimes, these words are so vague to everyone but me. People who aren’t familiar with the situation I was in, or the person I was talking to, or what we were talking about – they tend to look at my cupboard, and then look at me funny.

Or at least I think they definitely would. If they had the curiosity to spare my cupboard a glance. That is the other fun bit.

Initially I was a little scared about putting up so many things that mean so much to me (and also because I was a tad nervous about what would happen if my mother saw the time and date on some of those posts, and what they were saying) in plain sight. Right up front, on my cupboard doors. Because if it means enough to me, for me to remember it and put it up, it definitely defines my thought processes.

Double bluff.

No one looks in the most obvious places; people who don’t read the books I do, watch the movies and shows I do, don’t think like I do.

That list includes my family, so yeah, I’m good.

Anyhoo – I decided to start doing the same on my blog.

There are so many things that people on this website write, that make me smile or tug on my heart-strings. Or simply make me wonder.

And I wanted to share these words with you all. Maybe, if I am not attacked but a Bout Of Laziness, I’ll continue with posts of this sort, reading up blogs and quoting you guys! :)

Not particularly extraordinary kids in a not particularly extraordinary school but in an extraordinarily cherished phase of life.

- The Phone Call; bottledworder

Letting one side of you flourish while repressing the other works out ok to begin with, but after a while you begin to feel it through your own writing, and for me, this has come in the form of I want to talk about something serious, feel as if I can’t, try and force myself to be entertaining even when I’m not feeling it, which then just ends with a temper tantrum

Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Batman!

- Mid-year resolutions….; Remain Insane

It should be fairly obvious by now what must be done.  Instead of filling that space with irrelevant content, fill it with (gasp!) relevant content!

- If Time Must Be Taken, Take Time; This Page Intentionally Left Blank

Like, you’re really awesome and I love you but you don’t love me, so I’ll settle for someone like you, but they won’t be as good as you.

(^This one is going on my cupboard.)

Granted, its cold outside and the water is freezing, but its kind of a great luxury to live by the ocean and stare out into it’s vastness. Yes, I’m gay.

On Tumblr; …like a virtual scrapbook of dreams.

Yes, I know. This person affected got three quotes from the SAME POST. o.O

- Fall Favo(u)rites; Lily In Canada

Cats are the world’s best secret-keepers.

- 5 Purrfectly Reasonable Habits; rarasaur

More to come soon! Slather the comments with a bunch of your favorite comments, maybe? :D

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOG ENTRY #47 – Making History.

I have never, ever, never felt more relieved in my life. 

I was due to sit for my Pakistan Studies and Islamiat O’Levels in May, and yes, I worked hard for my mocks in March, got m grades, was off from school all April for studying, sat for exams in May. And was off by May 15th.

And then.. three weeks of summery bliss and two (finally!) blog posts later, on the 4th of June, I wake up. I watch Perks of Being a Wallflower in my PJs, and then I get a phone-call from my mother at 1 a.m. telling me our exams got ‘leaked’. Integrity of the exams has been compromised, hence we’re supposed to give ALL THE EXAMS AGAIN.

In June.

In the scorching heat.

We have to study.

And we have only 10 days to prepare.

That sort of thing breaks you. Especially since you’ve been watching shows and staring at laptops for half a day, every day for three weeks. 

And you’ve also lost a lot of the knowledge you learnt along the way.

Have you ever felt the pain, of having to take out your books all over again, in the middle of summer. 

Craving for summer, in the middle of summer.

And so, we studied. 

Amid bucket-loads of curses and swearing on Facebook, we studied. 

We studied our butts off.

Again.

And NOW. Today. This morning (noon, actually) I wake up. 

And it is the day after my CIE re-takes.

And it feels good.

I am the first batch, to ever give an O’Level retake.

Oh yes, made history on the 13th and 14th of June.

 

LOG ENTRY #46 – Love.

http://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/the-physics-of-phiction/#comment-4888

I love Physics. And I love every one of those pictorial references. Well – except that one for gravitational acceleration. I couldn’t place the characters. :-/

My favorite was Calvin-Hobbes-Convection and Drogo-And-Latent-Heat-Of-Fusion/Vaporization. :3

LOG ENTRY #45 – Eight Years Later..

Non-fiction writers: You’re stuck in an elevator with a person from your past. Write this scene. Daily Prompt: Elevator

Ziona:

It’s been a long day.

I don’t mind the two hour drive from the suburbs – where I live – to Midtown Manhattan, where one of the many offices I report to is located. Its quite relaxing usually. But everyone has their off days.

Today had been one of those days. The article I had worked on all weekend had been criticised to the point where even I was convinced that all of my sources were questionable and my opinions misleading. Extra conferences and meetings had been sprung on me in which matters of little importance had been discussed for an unnecessary length. To top it all off, I had received a fair few remarks on the way I worked, that were not sugar-coated enough for me to ignore the direct stab. ‘You are a Woman, hence shut up and listen to Mr. Boss’. It was shocking to see that even after the countless years I had spent working, proving time and again that gender is but of face-value. Nothing more, nothing less. Now – I was ready to start swearing at anyone and everyone who crossed my path.

Straightening my Marc Jacobs tweed skirt, as my black Dolce Vita sandals tapped against the marble-flooring, I stop before the elevator door and press the button. The air-conditioning is starting to get on my nerves. A group of men in suits walks past, all except one having Bluetooth devices embedded in their ears. Their hushed voices echo in the capacious hallway.

Thoughts chase each other in my mind; from workplace ethics, to gender discrimination at work despite the pretense that all were equal in this society, to the importance of women standing up for themselves. I know I will not rest until I have vented on my blog.

It was going to be a long night.

There was the subdued tring of the elevator bell, perfectly tuned so as not to disturb but only enhance the atmosphere. The faint tinkling of water from one of the mini-fountains erected in the middle of the open area drowns out of the subtle sound of the elevator doors opening.

Tucking a dark brown strand behind my ear, I look up from the paper filed inside a transparent folder that I was holding to see if I would be sharing my breathing space with someone on the ride down forty-nine floors.

There was just one other in the elevator. A young man, light brown hair, slight frown creasing his forehead as he looked at his phone. A silent swear word and then he looks up to check why his ride isn’t moving. He has piercing blue eyes, the curiosity, then the shock of recognition evident in them. He is wearing an expensive-looking suit, his tie slightly askew – as if it has been tugged on countless times.

My hands grip the folder a little tighter. He pulls himself together first. The doors start to close; he jumps forward, sticking his foot between them, causing them to open up again.

“Coming?” He smiles.

I step in, aware of his gaze following me. He has recognised me. And I, him.

Eight years. Eight years later, and I find him in an elevator. How coincidental. Much like a cheesy movie.

We reach the fortieth floor in silence. The air-conditioning in the confined metal box causes his scent to mingle with mine. I stare fixedly at the paper in my hand. The words have started to go out of focus. My thoughts are far-away.

Casey Jackman. When he was eighteen, and she was seventeen. The things they had done together, the way they had fallen for each other. How he had consistently got kicked out of her parents house because Dad hadn’t liked him one bit. He was the guy who wouldn’t be caught dead in a suit. They had ditched senior prom to go to a rock concert; him in jeans and her in a prom dress because both of them were strong-headed and adamant to do what they wanted. How they both knew each other’s quirks and faults and strengths like their own.

She had said it would last forever. He had laughed at her sappiness but she knew he agreed. They had both believed it.

Notions like that are absolute crap. High school doesn’t last. Reality always slaps you in the face. People change. Life happens.

Except maybe Casey. He had been laughing ever since she had walked in.

“What?!” I finally round on him. Thirty-fifth floor.

“I thought you were dead!” He manages, grinning at me.

I shoot him a dead-pan look. “Really, Casey?”

He sobers up a little and shrugs, “Sure. I-“

“So, you’re trying to tell me you have had no idea of my whereabouts all these years?” Why am I talking to him? It feels wrong. It brings up uncomfortable memories. Regret. Guilt. The flashing image of him in my room late at night.

He is quiet for a while. “Not really.. I had myself convinced the person making the speeches on T.V. was a doppelganger.”

Another image of him trying to say something. My disbelief. Him pulling something out of the back pocket of his jeans.

I don’t reply. What can I say?

He bent down. He looked up at me, and takes my hand. I gasp loudly. My stomach is like butterflies caught in a net, struggling to escape. My palms are tingling. His words, they are muffled. My brain seems to register them a second too late. “Ziona Evans, will you marry me?” He didn’t wait for a reply. The ring had already slid half-way up my finger. I was too numb to say anything. He had expected to hear nothing but a yes. He knew the alternative answer was an impossibility. 

“How’ve you been?” His voice is quiet as he says the first serious thing since I have walked in.

“… Great.”

The door banged open. The lights came on, making the both of us squint as our eyes struggled to adjust. “Dad!” My eyes widened, horrified. My father was a tall, intimidating man on good days. Tonight was worse. “What the hell is going on here? Jackman! How many times have I told you to stay away from my daughter?!” His hands reach forward, his mouth set grimly, and grabs Casey by the back of his neck, pulling him up and starting to drag him out. “Zee!” Casey looked at me incredulously. Say something.. But how could I? What.. I felt my throat tighten. My father was looking at me curiously, waiting to see what it was that Casey was urging me to say. If there was anything to say at all. He didn’t believe Casey on the best of days. Tonight was the final nail in the coffin. Dad gave Casey a disgusted look and hauled him out. 

Twentieth floor.

“What about you?” It’s only polite to ask, right? He could never see through the nonchalance, never see the actual curiosity, the need for information.

He shrugs, “Finished law school. Then took some time off. Spot of traveling. Then started my formal practice, bought my own place.. Doing good.”

Fifteenth floor. Did it always take this long?

I nod slowly, “Good.. great.”

Hearing his quiet laughter, I looked up questioningly, tearing my gaze away from my hands. “What?”

“You want me to ask, Zee?”

“Don’t call me that Casey.”

“Fine. What have you been doing with your life this past decade, Ziona?”

“Eight years.” She blurted, then bit the inside of her mouth, “..not.. a decade.”

There was a silence for a while.

Ninth floor.

Finally, I ventured forth, “I’m a freelance journalist, slash a couple of weekly commitments to New York Times and Huffington. Because of the whole media-studies and political-aspect, I took up advising and being spokesperson for a couple of multinationals and international organizations. There was a lot of traveling involved in the first six to seven years, but then I had to take responsibility for um.. my brother’s daughters. Guardianship. So – I moved to the suburbs. Started taking up more local projects. I got my work-from-home dream, and I traveled.”

Fifth Floor. The end was nearing.

Casey raises his eyebrows and says, “Never knew you’d pursue your dreams, really. I mean, not doubting your ambition, but, this was always your dream job, huh?”

I raise my shoulders in a small shrug. “Yeah.. What about you? I mean – how did you ever get into Law?”

He laughs, “Once I figured I couldn’t be a real boxer, I had to go after something really worthwhile. I mean, I considered becoming a surgeon but that’s commitment. Major one,” he sighed and said, “Dad was always into politics. I just, thought I dunno, I’d do something real dry. Something dead. Take my mind off…stuff.”

The elevator pings and the atmosphere-enhancing bell rings, bringing me back to the now.

The doors open and there are people – in suits – waiting to get in.

I realise I am in what classifies as work clothes too. Casey is too.

Forty-nine floors.

“I’ll..” I start, stepping out with him, turning towards him. What? She would see him again? Would she? Would he want to? Should they?

Did she even want to?

He smiles at me. “Yeah?”

It’s amazing how some things never change.

A phone rings. Casey fumbles in his jacket pocket and holds up a finger, giving me an apologetic smile.

“It’s.. It’s okay.” I say hurriedly, “It was.. nice seeing you again.”

The phone is still ringing, as Casey looks at me, his smile gone. “Yeah –  yeah. Same here..” He replies.

Now, my phone rings.

I shake my head, pulling it out, see the caller ID and immediately pick it up. I turn around, starting walking away, talking hurriedly.

At the revolving doors, leading me out of the air-conditioned hall, out into the smoky city air, I turn around, still listening to the person babbling on the other end. Casey isn’t looking at me, and is engaged on the phone.

Turning away, I walk out.

[[Credit for Casey’s dialogues to my parabatai! :) ]]

LOG ENTRY #44 – Green Eyed Biatch.

My attempt at the Daily Prompt.

Dawn:

It hadn’t been that long since I had started dating Chase. A month and a half. It might sound unrealistic, but some times even the fraction of a second is enough to know when you really do care for another person, and that the feeling’s not going away any time soon.

And some times, your affection takes an obsessive-possessive turn.

Chase and I were in the same Public Speaking class, and the students were required to submit a project after the summer; we could use any form of self-expression – writing, talking, acting-out, poetry. Majority of the class opted to write. I chose to paint and sketch. It’s what I’m good at, it’s what I express myself through fully.

Chase decided to do a sort of video-diary. Except – it wasn’t even vaguely concerning him. Sure, he tossed in a couple of things from time to time, about how his mother thinks he’s a ‘late bloomer’ and then he presents a ton of his theories, all proving her wrong. But mostly, his video diary is centered on his pet turtle – Bernard.

Bernard is awesome. Enough said.

But the problem began when Chase started uploading his videos on YouTube, and people (read: girls) (read: desperadoes) started developing a lot of interest in them. I guess Chase must have talked about his videos on Facebook a couple of times, and before you knew it – he was being shared and re-shared on every WDC student’s wall. It wasn’t that hard to see that people didn’t care about Bernard and his so-slow-they-are-non existent-back flips.

One morning Chase is telling me about finally getting around to his crappy summer project. (“I’m doing it on Bernard. Like.. just filming him and stuff. His life, basically.”) The next morning he doesn’t even mention it at all. A few days pass and although he seems completely oblivious, I – being an avid Facebooker – had noticed the unbelievable stir his ‘turtle-videos’ had caused. People were out vacationing, since its summer and all, but they still found ample time to Wallpost Chase countless times, talking about how awesome his videos and his turtle was. And don’t even get me started on the number of adjectives Bernard got. I bet half of those girls just wanted an excuse to write ‘hot’ and ‘cute’ on Chase’s wall.

A bit of a back-story on this: Chase is that guy in movies girls slam into open locker-doors for. If he was in a movie, his every entrance and exit would be in slow-mo, accentuated with the sound of sighing girls. And that is NOT just my doe-eyed attitude towards him talking!

I was perfectly civil about it initially, because they were funny videos. I mean come on, who doesn’t like to watch a hot guy freak out like an overly-protective mother over his pet turtle’s lack of interest in moving? I guess the part that really pissed me off was that more than half his viewers… nearly all of them, actually, were girls. And not pre-pubescent, at that.

And okay fine – I did kind of go through all the profiles of the people (read: desperate girls) who were sharing his videos and commenting with their dumb “HART!”, “OHMYGOD HE’S SO CUTE!”, “Him and his Sammich. :3″-like words.

It could drive any girlfriend crazy.

I didn’t do anything for a week. Or maybe two. But then one morning, my Newsfeed showed me at least THREE girls putting up screenshots of his videos as their cover-photos. A few days later, I actually saw a meme about Chase. And then all these girls started walking up to us whenever he took me to the mall, and asking for his autographs and pictures and pretending to dote over Bernard. Pretending! I genuinely love that turtle! All those stalkers just used Bernard as bait.

God only knows how Bernard felt about all this. Poor guy; Chase stole his spotlight.

So, yes. It goes without saying I had been getting greener and greener day by day. I was tempted to update my status and tell the world about procuring my shot-gun license. But what good would that do? These weren’t wild animals who can be scared off easily. These were fangirls. And the worst part was these fangirls – unlike the usual kind – actually had a shot since they go to the same school as Chase. That, and Chase isn’t a celebrity.  He had become a web-sensation, true. But he was still a real person.

Bottom-line – I went and talked to Chase about it all. It’s easiest to do that, simpler and much less dirty work. My attitude would surprise most people. They would expect me to go all crazy-girlfriend on the swarming females. But if there is anything I’ve learnt from my sister, its that mentally hurting people is more productive and safe. And hugely satisfying. I mean you can murder one person again and again in your head, and then they just come back to life, ready for you to kill again! :D   Funny part is – Chase didn’t even believe the part that had threw me over the edge, i.e. the cover-photos and the memes. Figures, since he barely logs onto his Facebook. But he let me delete and unfollow all those posts and pictures. He found it all very funny, actually. He didn’t stop laughing for days. -__-  Apparently me being jealous is a very appealing thought to him.

The only part he was very depressed about was people’s lack of interest in Bernard.