The Fear to Disappoint

The Fear to Disappoint

The Town I Miss

I miss home, that is, If I really have any. I grew up in a small town, too old-fashioned, a town condemning people who disappoint. If you get pregnant at such young age or out of wedlock, you’re the hottest gossip whilst getting disgusted looks. If you’re the child of an ex-convict, no one bothers to check you out or get serious with you. If you’re the ex-convict, the doors for employment close in a blink. If you’re the only child, don’t bother thinking it’s okay to fail. Everyone gets a reputation to save.

That’s why I learned to hate the place. I actually have a love-hate relationship with it. I get sentimental at this point, which sometimes do happen, feeling too homesick and nostalgic. Don’t judge. I’ve never stepped on its soil since March of 2013.

If you’d ask me why I haven’t gone home since graduating from college, the answer lies on my first point- I don’t like coming home as a disappointment. FYI, I am an only child. FYI, I was an achiever. FYI, my mother is one of the best teachers in town. FYI, my father is already a disappointment (refer above, see which fits). And so I have a sense of responsibility to show the world that I’m the only redemption left to my father’s sorry state and to my mother’s high expectations.

The Struggle to Not Disappoint

So I got a promising job in one of the country’s biggest conglomerates. I had myself dressed in black blazers, knee-high pencil skirts, tan or black pumps, and most of the time, a handful air of confidence. That’s my first job, where I have to look after 6 older, able, and more experienced real estate agents than me.

The hard part is, whatever they do, how much money coming in from their sales, or how poorly they perform- they always reflect at how good of a leader I was. It’s dumbfounding, nerve-racking, and stressful. Remember that it’s my first job. I was just a 21 year-old fresh graduate acting like the oldest, wisest member of the team.

I felt so fake. I thought, “I got to fake this feeling. I’ll just wear a smile and show to them that everything’s fine. I hope they believe me, this 21 year-old know-nothing achiever.” Yet, that feeling didn’t say much of how I can lead a team. I know I was born to lead, I’ve felt it since I started leading groups to greatness at school. The only problem was, that’s not the perfect time to lead one. I know deep inside that to effectively lead a team, you’ve got to be a member first to know the ins and outs of the job. You can’t lead a battalion to war without knowing the terrain first. Ask Sun Tzu about that.

Just as I thought I was on my way of showing the townsfolk that I was on the road to success, I stopped and examined how I really felt. “I am not happy. Not at all,” I said to myself. No matter how I tried to be optimistic, I knew I didn’t love what I was doing. And so I called my mother, sucked the corporate air into my lungs before dropping the bomb, and said “I quit.”

I tell you, it felt good. The corporate air I heavily breathed turned menthol cool as I breathed it out. Of course, my mother was disappointed, but understanding. “Do what makes you happy,” she said.

Three months after, I got a new job as a writer in an Australian-owned company- the job I’m having now. It’s my dream to become one, even though others take credit of what I so professionally do. I’m cool with that and happy to be of service to them, so far. Hey, the fact that I write as a job is already fulfilling on my part, let alone covering topics that I’m interested into- business and marketing. This makes me somewhat of an expert.

Again, I don’t think people from my place is proud of what I’m doing. They expect more from me. When I graduated from the university as a Magna Cum Laude, they put up a big banner in front of my high school Alma mater to let others know they’re proud of me. And so the people passed by it might have said, “Wow! She’s that good? Let’s wait until she gets a job. A job they can also be proud of.”

That’s unfair!

The Reality to Live or Leave By

I miss home though. I want to go back without ever being judged or asked about what I do. I’m proud of being a writer, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that, it’s not what they pictured out in their minds of me doing. They don’t care about writers, the world is already full of it. What they think they need is an engineer, a doctor, a politician, a teacher, or a manager. That’s just how a town, which is gloomy and desolate on normal days, think I think. It needs something or someone to be excited about to make it alive again.

I don’t also like them asking me why I’ve become this stick thin (a little exaggeration here) and have to tell them that I’m stressed at work or I lost my appetite or I experienced some kind of illness. I don’t like being prodded with questions which have obvious answers. In short, I don’t want to be talked about in a bad light. I already grew up in the shadows that I have to escape from them. And being in a bad light means I’m becoming a disappointment.

I only think of these things whenever I plan on going back home. Most of the time, I let go of my doubts, thinking I will never be truly happy if I keep on meeting other people’s expectations. It’s as if I’m not living my own life if I do that. I’ve got one life to live so I might as well live it as I want it to, and that excludes being the person I am not.

In reality, I’m not really sure what the people from the town think. I haven’t been in there for a year and a half, maybe they’ve changed. Anyway, not all people from there are like that. There are some with open minds, always accepting the changes as they come and go, and I’m happy that I know this kind of people.

Fact of the matter is, as I write this piece, I also think that maybe I’m the one who’s old-fashioned. I write this as if I represent what the townspeople do or think. Or maybe I’m the one who’s pushing myself too hard to please others, the one who really condemns myself. Maybe there’s really no bar of expectation for me to exceed. That I’m just making these things all up just to compensate for what I think are my failures.

The town is not at fault, there are some people in it who are. Including me.

Please do forgive me. I love you.

When Pranks Go Wrong

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The infamous killer clown from DM Pranks.

Funny good old pranks are dead. Today, pranks have become highly-elaborated and well-thought of. With YouTube being the leading go-to platform for professional pranksters, pranks have been recorded, shared to millions of viewers, and even generated thousands of cash for their producers.

The Dangers of a Daring Prank

But some people have a crooked understanding of performing these pranks, to the extent of setting up something more dangerous. Sure, we get great laughs watching people get shit scared to seeing devious fake assailants or to all powdered up, blood-soaked ghosts. But what if these pranksters we watch meet some people who don’t share their fun?

There are two possible scenarios which will eventually happen: one, the victim will succumb to his fears and get a heart attack or two, the same man will pull out the gun from his pocket and will no doubt shoot the poor prankster. Both scenarios produce the same outcome- death.

I have nothing against these scream-loving people upon imagining these things. I in fact enjoy the shows sometimes and get good laughs out of them. Yet, I also do think of the worst for the people involved. Let’s just say that I’m presenting a precautionary tale of an inevitable disaster waiting to be unfolded later in a prankster’s life.

I’m a solid believer of Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” This is a fact.

Killer Pranks that Sell

YouTube and 9gag have given me the chance to watch these famous prankster videos on the internet. I see and hear the conniving band behind the cameras giggle as people scream and run away from a ‘supposed to be crime scene’, with the fake killer emerging from nowhere and trying to chase these people with an axe or chainsaw in hand. I sometimes imagine how people’s fears have fed their popularity, or their YouTube hits, or even their bank accounts.

“C’mon, these pranksters have no job. They’d rather try to kill people with a heart attack than to scrape for a living,” a friend once said. I somehow find it true. With the elaborate pranks in their weekly agenda, it sure takes a few days staging up something as frightening as these jokers are capable of producing.

I’ve decided to write this commentary after watching the video of the now-famous Vitaly Zdorovetskiy on YouTube. His YT Channel Vitalyzdtv has a striking reputation of showing both safe and dangerous pranks, all are targeted to disturb other people’s peace. His most famous stunt yet was when he crashed into the 2014 World Cup during the Finals. I like the Russian guy though. I’m just concerned over his welfare.

As if his greatest prank to date wasn’t enough, Vitaly has recorded another semi-realistic chainsaw massacre prank that had spurred an enormous buzz over the internet in just 2 days. The video lasted over 2 minutes but has also garnered over 10 million YouTube hits in the said span of days.

The staged prank? A blood-draped chainsaw-wielding maniac suddenly emerges and drags a limbless man who’s screaming for help. The victim’s guts were hanging freely under what seemed to be a mutilated torso. It’s the most horrendous yet funniest prank of the year from Vitaly.

It wouldn’t have been that convincing if not for the hapless and limbless actor who starred in the show. His name was Nick Santonastasso who has a peculiar birth defect in which he suffers from missing limbs. The poor victims of the prank were beyond terrified seeing both Nick and his killer.

If you haven’t seen it yet, watch the video below:

Stupid Pranks You Shouldn’t Do

Vitaly is just one of the many modern day pranksters who have taken pranking into the next level. The guy is lucky he still walks on this planet up to this day. Others have had their own share of pranks gone horribly wrong, with some even in close range with death. A few are quite unlucky, resulting to their untimely deaths due to lack of preparation and stupidity. Well, most pranks nowadays are stupid, right?

The intention of most pranks has been all about trying to scare or kill other people. We know at the back of our minds how these pranksters should be doing prison time with all the crazy stuff going on. What they’re doing is a type of aggravated assault in some states. Pointing a deadly weapon, even if it’s a replica still counts. The act itself threatens to take away life which is something disturbingly serious into the emotional and mental state of the victim.

These pranksters may or may not be aware of concealed gun carriers. When, in some unfortunate instances, a joker in a clown suit threatens a concealed carrier with a gigantic hammer, there’s a big chance the supposed victim will draw his gun in defense. Although he’s licensed to carry a gun, he doesn’t have the right to kill. Unless he thinks his life is in grave danger, then he could do so to defend himself.

Of course, who won’t think his life is in danger when a psychopath chases him away? It’s our instinct to defend ourselves to unknown dangerous forces. We either fight or flee. But with the option to choose and use a defensive weapon, we sometimes get brave enough to stand our ground and fight.

There are just pranks that are not meant to be executed. Sure, if a prank turns out successful it’s fun to watch. But what if it’s the other way around? It will go all horribly wrong with consequences ranging from getting one’s ass whooped to an unfortunate death. I just hope the situation won’t go as far as that.

The Prettiest Thing

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Eloise

“I wish I hadn’t known you,” Rafe said, his glare foreboding me not to utter a single word.

I felt every muscle of my body tensed, and then loosen up as I hung my head low. It was my fault. He had every right to feel that way. His anger searing, turning the pale skin of his pretty face red. He must hadn’t gotten enough sleep lately, his eyes rested inside the grey circles surrounding them. I wished the case hadn’t been like that since I left. It must have been a torture he wasn’t able to cope.

It had been 3 and a half years since we had this kind of conversation. The last time ended abruptly as I spilled my real reason of breaking up with him. He was the first and the last victim of my inability to overcome a first love. Such pretty thing to lose though.

Rafe

It was far from being tortured. In fact, it never felt that way.

The last thing I wanted to hear from her became my worse nightmare. The kind of nightmare that never wakes you up, an inescapable dream of running in just one place- slow yet wearisome. It throws you into a state of oblivion wherein you forget everything there was to remember, yet you’re still there, unable to move, hoping that things would get better again.

“I wish I hadn’t known you,” I firmly said between clenched teeth. Little did this pretty thing in front of me know that I was internally screaming from within the rotten condition of my soul.

“No Eloise, it wasn’t a torture as your eyes suggest. It was a demolition- my world reduced to rubbles.” I wasn’t able to make those into words. I was scared I might push her farther away now that she’s here in front of me.

As I stared at her apologetic gesture, I realized our love was already doomed by the first time we had known each other. It was the perfect love that makes up all the wrongs of a  broken relationship- the right love at the wrong time.

Of Content Curating and Love for Widbook

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Bloggin’ and Rockin’

While I can now claim myself as a certified writer by profession (yes, I get paid to write and blog for a company), I found how writing is a hardcore skill that almost everyone thinks everybody can easily learn. No, it’s not programming. No, it’s not crunching numbers. No, it’s not simply stringing words together.

It’s beyond putting those fancy words you learn on a blank sheet. Writing entails an interminable desire to constantly learn and research new things. Then, piece those learning together to create a high-quality content or  rich plot to a story. And you’d be surprise how those learnt flowery vocabulary of yours become futile in delivering your message.

My love for telling stories won’t ever die, after all I pushed myself hard on learning the writing skill because of it. I’ve been writing since time immemorial, maybe between the days that most children my age prefer playing tags. I’ve been to various writing competitions since age 11, and every loss and win inspires me to improve more. It’s hard since the English language isn’t our primary tongue.

Now that I’m writing for others everyday of my life, I come to deviate myself now and then from writing fiction to blog/content writing. Trust me, while these genres differ a lot in style and structure, there are always points that they meet together. Content is boring without a story. Enough said.

Somehow, I only not call myself a curator but also a creator. I don’t curate anything when I do some creative writing stuff. Yes, I research certain things, but my work of fiction can survive with or without the research. After all, the human imagination expands way beyond the average limit. You just have to tap wherever that faculty is in your head. You see, that’s the thing about creative writing, it gives you a sense of freedom you don’t actually see live.

I am loving my job though sometimes I ask God what could be my next step on the career ladder in the future. Nevertheless, I enjoy living the now and embrace the life brought by my youth. I am turning 22 by the way and have somehow identified myself to be already a polymath.

Lovin’ Widbook

As I have said, I write everyday for the company that I work for. Finding the time to devote myself in creating fiction and art for myself and for my followers has become a struggle these days. I work from 7am to 4pm, and by the time I get home, my brain cells refuse to share the energy I need to write and create new things anymore. Simply put, I have become so busy and tired respectively.

But good news, I still find the time to write!

Had I not finished writing my latest e-book “I Hate My Boss” (this isn’t in any way relate to my relationship with my boss, please read to know) and published it to Widbook immediately, I wouldn’t have known that my other book “Miss Misfit’s Crush Chronicles” has become the featured e-book for the week. Farther down, I also discovered that I’m one of the Top Five Writers in Widbook. Gosh, have I been that busy lately to forget the things I love doing and visiting?

Along with my precious discovery in Widbook, I came to fully recognize and appreciate how the online writing platform has changed a lot. I can’t fully stress how more convenient and efficient it is now to use Widbook! It’s even more entertaining to use than it’s top competitor. You guess which.

The last time I did a review about it, I was still lamenting at how putting my write ups in the site was a bit difficult because it lacked the copy-paste method. Back then, Widbook was still relatively fresh in the market and still reaching to potential writers to market their works in the writing platform. I even remember how one book of mine failed to update for one week because they’re still revamping their publishing system or whatever programming stuff one might call it. I was really cool about it though since great startups actually come from humble beginnings.

Now, the copy-paste method that I have been waiting for has finally been realized. Widbook even exceeded my expectation. Adding chapters to my e-books is now also optimal and neat.

When I tried to read a book there, I found out how they’re really bringing the best reading experience to their users. I like reading the e-books through my android phone, and in there I’ve come to know that I can actually resize the texts on my screen, choose which ambient (e.g. night, day, sepia) I should be reading on, choose a font style from the available list, and even adjust the brightness of my screen. Also, if I forget to bookmark a page, I can easily tap on a button at the bottom left of the screen which gives me a list of chapters I would want to directly go. If you’re reading on a pc or laptop screen, the same book archetype will be shown.

Speaking of great customer service, the folks at Widbook will never let you down. They’re so accommodating, letting you feel that you’re always at home and that your work is duly appreciated, if not noticed. Your concerns are always addressed, and that they continually do their best to satisfy you right away. This is one invaluable thing that I love since I joined the Widbook community. It’s the experience of belonging into a family even though we’re miles apart.

And so I’m still incessantly inspired to write more, because I’ve got all the opportunities to practice the skill. Whether I’m blogging for my company or writing stories for Widbook, all I know is that, everything that’s happening to me now is shaping me to become the greatest that I hope I can ever be- an author.

Office Cat

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I hate my boss.

When he coyly smiles, his eyes flicker like fireworks. His skin is slightly tanned, like subtle bronze under a pale moonlight. His dark brown eyes bore deep on his face, emphasizing the thick eyelashes dangling from the tips of his eyelids. And God, when he ditches those slacks and boring polo for a pair of black jeans and tight fit black shirt, he’s sex appeal oozes inside and out. Did I already mention how his deep voice trembles my inner psyche when I hear it?

I hate my boss.

He rarely talks but when he does, you would want to submit to his authority. He’s just there at the back of everyone, overseeing the flow of our progress. But boy do we feel stripped naked by his stare, women in particular. He has this wholesomeness behind his overflowing sex appeal, the kind that you can only see but cannot touch.

I hate my boss.

He’s 34 and I’m 22.

By the way, I’m the new hire who has just figured out that I don’t have to shut my mouth around coworkers. I’m getting by real fine. I’m slowly shaking the shyness off my back, replacing it with a fiercer attitude day by day. I also happened to ditch my sneakers and jeans and went for skimpier business clothes. Just so he, the Boss, will take notice of me. I know, it sounds bitchy and desperate.

Speaking of the devil, he has just silently arrived, but we can smell the strong notes of his perfume from our office cubicles. So yeah, we know that he’s here. We all turn our heads toward the clacking sound of his shoes and see him throw glances at us, a black briefcase in one hand and the other in the pocket.

His eyes abruptly catch mine. For the record, it’s the third time he did that since I arrived in here. The first was when he extended a hand upon meeting me, the second was when he called a coworker and I quickly turned my head to look at him, and today was the third. Such rare and precious instances.

He’s giving us the calm smile again, lips pressed together and eyes telling us a warm good morning. I feel that I am surrounded by dandelions, wherever the wind blows, their heads sway along with it. Of course he’s the wind and we are the dandelions.

Now back to our work, I am having trouble finding the right words to punch on my keyboard. His smile spreads across my computer desktop. Such imagination hampers my work. I close my eyes and gently massage my temples with both hands. I did that for two minutes before picking up to where I last dropped things off.

“I don’t like your shoes,” Eula, a female coworker who is sitting beside me says.

“Really? Me too. I think I need to buy a new pair,” I reply innocently.

“No! I was just joking. Don’t take all things seriously. I actually like it.” I am sensing that she’s a little bit of an assertive person, but friendly in a way that you have to know how to filter her jokes when she talks. I like her though.

“Oh, this? Well, this is old, but thanks anyway.”

I was about to proceed typing my thoughts but the idea of my shoes being old steals my attention. I secretly raise my right foot a little and examine the shoe on it with my eyes. Its leather is a lighter shade of brown, almost as brown as a cafe latte and it has a pointed front, too. The tip of the heel has been rubbed off and I can now see a little hint of metal protruding from the inside. Farther up, a small part of the heel is chipped off, but one can hardly notice it. I put my right foot back on the floor, and then it lands in a restrained thud.

“Must be the metal,” I say to myself.

I am still not able to proceed to my work. My old shoes greatly distracted me somehow; it’s a minus from my overall get up. Deciding that I should polish my look again, after being partly disheveled from the morning ride to work, I stand up, grab a medium-sized purse, and excuse myself to the powder room outside our office.

The mirror is wide enough to fill the whole space of the wall in the powder room. I’m glad that I’m alone so I can freely sway my hips and turn around to see every angle of my body. I hope that this vanity won’t last that long. I feel I am going too far.

I uncap my newly-bought lipstick, twisting it meticulously with my long fingers, then stop as the red stick rises halfway from its black tube. With careful dabs, the red lipstick gives even blotches on my pouting lips. I don’t like sliding it on, it’s sticky and heavy to feel on my puckers, making me pout even more. I press and rub my lips together to make sure that I don’t miss some parts.

My purple cotton pencil skirt is already on my midriff, so I tug it down below my waist to add a little covering on my bony legs. It still looks short but I can’t drop it down anymore. It’s too tight on my narrow hipbone now.

I continue my self-musing in the mirror, combing the long frizzy locks of my hair with my hands. “I need to visit the salon one of these days,” I say in my mind. I flatten out the wild strands on my head. Well, they’re not really wild, just hays of newly grown hair.

So much engrossed with myself and bothered by the lack of nutrients on my hair, I nearly had a heart attack when the door of the powder room opened. I inhale deeply, pulling the remaining air from my gut up to the chest. My right hand stretches widely on the small cups of my breasts.

“Oh! I nearly died,” I jokingly say to the lady who entered.

She doesn’t respond and goes about her business. Well, that’s rude. She could have just smirked at me as if to say “Sorry, I’m not sorry.” I glance at her in the mirror and her reflection is telling me to get rid off her as quick as possible. I stop whatever I was doing and leave the powder room feeling unsure of how I really look now. I walk back toward our office.

“I hope my face isn’t too white or my lips aren’t too red, or else I would scare the shit out of my workmates,” I think loudly.

My working station is in the seventh cubicle to the right, second column from the left, and I could see that Basti is already waiting for me. His eyes are mocking me, grazing my form from head to toe. He’s leaning back on his swivel chair with a menacing smile on his face.

“So when are you going to go out with me Leigh?” he asks as he leans toward my seat.

“Never in a million years,” I answer as I sit on my swivel chair. I turn my back against him and proceed to my work. I can hear his manly breathing on one side of my ear. I admit it tickled the little hairs on my nape. I push his chair away though, its wheels screeching on the marble floor.

“God… when can I have you?” he calls back, now stretching his legs as far as they could extend.

“I don’t date with kids,” I flatly say without looking at him.

“Me? A kid? I’m six years older than you…kid!” his voice is ringing on our aisle.

I look at him with deadly eyes, my face a little tilted to the left and reply, “See? That’s the problem. You act like one.” My voice was cold. It sure hurts down at the bottom of his ego.

Surprisingly, he just shrugs my insult off and smiles like an actual child to me. “Someday, I’ll get into your funny bone,” he says, and then he turns to face his computer.

So that’s just a joke as he implied. But I am not buying it, I know guys like him. They’re exploiting your naivety to their own pleasure. He’s loud and rowdy, and all he wants is to date women in bed. As far as I know, my dignity is still intact under my bodily embellishments.

Now, back to where my fingers nearly landed a while ago. I absentmindedly press the heels of my palms on the keyboard, leaving the white page on the monitor with random letters. I’m distracted more than ever. It’s been nearly an hour and I haven’t started the introduction of my research work yet.

Suddenly, the orange icon of our instant messenger on my computer monitor lights up. It’s an indication that a new and unread message has arrived. I lazily hover the cursor over it and open the messenger window.

“Gosh, can you believe this? I’m supposed to pass a budget report this morning but the document is gone from my folder,” the message which is from Kelly says.

I push back my swivel chair, stand up, and look for the face that owned the message. Kelly must have caught a sight of me in her peripheral vision because she automatically waved her hand up at me. Her idiotic smile spreads like wildfire on her face; like it never occurred to her that an important document has just been lost from her files. Worse, why would she tell me such thing instead of telling it to our boss or to whomever she intended to pass the report.

“Kelly, what do you want me to do about it?” I reply in writing, cringing a bit for the slight stupidity she exhibited.

“You’re a close colleague and I figured, maybe you’d be interested to know my dilemma. Was it too much to ask?” she asks again, another folly she never intends to end. Kelly was a finance graduate and I just can’t understand how her education can be so futile with her level of thinking sometimes. Plus, I never expected to know that she treats me as a close colleague. Remember, I’m the new employee.

“Well, it’s a bit off to ask me such thing. Just simply tell the boss you’re going to make another report today and ask for an extension.”

“You know, sometimes, I feel like you don’t really care for me at all,” Kelly replies with a sad yellow-faced emoticon.

“Of course I do, and thank you for considering me as a close colleague.”

She stops sending me messages and I’m beyond relieved. Then, Eula, the one sitting next to me blurts out, “Here goes this psycho again!”

I quickly lean closer to Eula and peek at her computer screen. Kelly’s first message to me was now addressed to Eula. I shake my head off both in frustration and amusement. Indeed, the office is not only hiring sex maniacs, but also the sociopaths. And I wonder if where I could place myself in the two.

A loud bang whips my reverie and when I turn back, I see my boss emerging from his office. It’s only at this moment that I notice his growing beard. Seeing him in that manly appearance stirs whatever fluid I got in my stomach. I finally obtain the motivation to start what I’m doing, but never find the words to fill out the blank spaces on the screen. It’s hard to come up with brilliant ideas when your mind is already clouded with sinful desires.

Every female turns her head again and observes every detail of our boss’ face while walking toward the rear of the office. He’s wearing that playful smirk again, and then suddenly, he stops and throws his first glance of the many at me. Yes, at me! I seem to lose my grip of reality momentarily while catching my breath. I quickly bring my stare on the floor, pretending that I’m looking at my shoes again.

“Hi folks! To the newly-hired employees, please proceed to the boardroom. We’ll have an emergency meeting in a moment,” our boss announces.

“What are we going to discuss boss?” someone asked from a cubicle farthest from me.

“I just want to expound the ambit of our rules here in the office. Don’t worry, it won’t take long.” He walks back in his office to get something while we prepare ourselves for the meeting.

Instead of reaching for my beauty arsenals from my bag, I pull up the guts to ask Eula a question that might help me take a peek inside the life of the smoldering male exec.

“Hey, is he already married?” I ask Eula.

“Why are you interested to know? Do you like him?” Eula asks, pressing her lips together and giving me a mocking look.

“Hmm. Sort of, just an admiration. I like those rugged handsome types.”

“I agree. In fact, these girls around you have been painting their lusts with images of him, including me of course.”

“So… Is he?” I flinch a little, afraid my curiosity would get me into trouble.

“Gay?”

“No, married,” I excitedly quip.

Eula stops typing on her keyboard and slightly turns her seat to face me. There’s a hint of objection on her edgy face. “It’s a bit complicated. I heard he’s married and is already a proud father to a son, but recently got divorced. So now, I think he’s enjoying his single life with all sorts of women who belong to his league. And as you can see, we’re not qualified to run for that league,” she says, feeling dejected.

“You can never be so sure of that, but you also have a point,” I reply. I’m almost taken aback of what she just said, but I wonder why my curiosity about him hasn’t died down. In fact, it made for the wildest thoughts in my ever creative subcortex.

“Guys? Can you proceed to the boardroom now? Unless if you don’t want to come, then it’s okay,” our boss says after clearing his throat.

The discussion turned out to be really short, with our boss pacing from left to right in front and stopping for a moment to play some interesting slideshows on the white board. He talked about office policies which are hardly ever practiced as far as my observation is concerned. We don’t have tight regulations though, and that we’re actually saying goodbye to hierarchy and embracing a new work environment structure, which is called holacracy.

Holacracy- it’s the flattening out of the organizational structure with the aim of promoting teamwork in completing tasks. It’s where authority is distributed to each team without ever depending on the boss or whoever owns and runs the company with just a bat of an eye. Everyone is a leader in his own right, and that each opinion is valued and accounted. No wonder our office seems to turn into an idealistic haven for all types of personalities and work ethic. But I must admit that I’m enjoying this non-tensional existence.

Farther down the meeting, he solicited questions and clarifications from us which my other colleagues gamely participated in. And before he concluded the answer to the final question, his eyes suddenly met mine, locking them in as he went down on explaining something that never went inside my ears. I was stunned and just sat there, frozen and braving myself to not adjust my stare away from his. If I did, it would’ve been too obvious that I couldn’t stand the effect he had on me. I know that you know what I mean.

“No more questions?” he asks, still placing his deep inquiring eyes at me.

I start screaming inside, wanting to melt away from this madness, away from the explosion of my senses. I heave a surrendering sigh, giving up all the energy he has injected inside my system. I finally gather the guts to bow my head down and avoid his lingering gaze. Right there and then, he adjourns the meeting.

Right after lunch, as I went back to my working station, Basti was again waiting for me in there. He’s now smiling like he has just discovered something to be proud of. He waves his hand at me while I walk toward him, I mean toward my seat.

“I saw the boss intensely looking at you during the meeting. I’m sensing that I’d regret telling you this, but I just want you to know that whatever that was, it made me want you more,” he says with a menacing smile.

“Basti, do you want me to report you for harassment?” I ask, irked at his stubbornness and irritating resilience.

“Uh, okay. Just pretend I didn’t say that, will you?” he is then out of my sight just like that.

Then I wondered to myself why it happened, the thing back at the meeting. I thought I was only delusional. How dare he to look at me like that, like I’m some kind of an experiment waiting to be dissected? Basti noticed it, too. I won’t be sleeping tightly tonight, or I won’t entirely be able to.

Oh, I hate him more now.

It’s almost five o’clock in the afternoon. A few minutes more and I’d be out in the office to join my friends. We’d probably stop at Russo’s Bistro to fill my complaining stomach with a fancy steak and a glass of beer or two, maybe even more. I don’t want to feel sober before the day ends so I could sleep like the dead tonight. It’s also Friday, and we know what this day brings to thrill-seeking employees.

The thin hands of the orange clock on the wall seem to tick slowly. I am getting impatient by the minute. I want to get out of the office as fast as I can. I know my sudden behavior is odd. One time I’m giddy to see my boss every day in the office, and now I feel like evading his presence once and for all. His stare wasn’t the culprit of me propelling away from him; it was more than that, something I can’t comprehend or explain. It made me nervous for I felt that somehow he’s dangerous to be around me. Whatever that danger is, it’s something I would regret in the end.

“I’ll go ahead of you. I’m not feeling well,” I say to Eula who is on the verge of dozing off.

She jerks her head and slurps and swallows the thin liquid on one side of her lips. “Oh, is it time already?” she asks.

“A few more minutes to go, but I have to go now. Like I said, I’m not feeling well,” I reply.

“Me too, but you go ahead,” Eula says with eyes half open.

I hastily gather my things inside my pink bag and briefly pause to think about leaving my coffee mug or not. Anyway, it’s better off left on my table for the weekend. I have to go or else I would meet his pinning eyes again.

I dash off outside the office and proceed to the elevator without looking back. Once inside the elevator, I dig my hands in my bag and feel the cold casing of my phone. I want to call my friends and urge them to immediately pick me up.

The elevator is about to close, and I can feel the sign of relief in my breathing as the doors slowly slide to each other. And then, just out of thin air, a man’s limb crossed in between the doors, halting the closure of my sanctuary. It was him, the man I dread to like. He effortlessly gets himself inside the metallic carrier and smiles at me for a split second. Fourteen floors down still, and I pray that he’d get off sooner than I would. Well, he is not pressing any button and the remaining lit button was the letter G. “Good grief!”

“So, how’s your first week?” he starts, glancing at me for a moment. Those are the few words that meant to solicit an informal conversation from me for the first time. My cheeks sting, red from the blush I have put and from the blood that seeped its way through my facial veins.

“Actually, it’s my second,” I answer, my palms are starting to sweat cold.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Sometimes I tend to misplace things in my head.”

“It’s great, really… at least for now.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll make sure you’ll be fine at work. Just tell me if things get rough.”

Though I believe he said that in good faith, I still feel that he meant something out of the work context. “Thank you, but I think I can handle the pressure,” I ironically say, actually referring to the pressure that I’m feeling right now.

He turns his head to face me and leans close to me as if to whisper something. “Well sometimes, there are things that go beyond your control. That’s when you need someone’s help. Don’t ever deprive yourself of that.”

Suddenly, I want him to lean even closer, to actually whisper in my ear, to feel his warm breath from the layers of my ears down to the base of my neck. I want that moment to stop, to seize the elevator from descending or even moving, and to make it last forever.

He doesn’t lean closer to my ear; instead, he steps closer beside me. I can feel the hair on my left arm tingle as the static of his touch sent hints of electricity all throughout my body. Then, he does the unthinkable thinking that I am in deep awe of what he just told me.

“If you’re wondering why I said that, it’s because I believe women are sometimes so irrational and emotional. You think you’re really strong to handle things on your own, being the modern women that you all are. Then, the next thing we know, you’re actually crying in one corner, frustrated at how things turned out,” he nonchalantly says, “That’s why we men are here for you in the first place.”

“Isn’t it the other way around?” I automatically utter in disgust. I don’t know whether to say that he’s partially right or totally wrong. All I know is that he’s one big shitty sexist and that made my view of him absolutely upside down. The nerve of him to call women needy! As if this misogynistic bastard’s mother isn’t a woman who bore him into this world.

The elevator then shudders a little and the doors slide open at the 6th floor. Two people come in; men in grey polo shirts and black pants. We fall silent. I am fuming and drastically disappointed. On the other hand, it’s as if nothing he said was insulting. I doubt if he’s aware of that. I want to punch him in the face, grab his balls and squeeze them tight until they dry out like raisins, then he’ll be calling mommy for help.

The elevator then reaches the ground floor. It was like a descent to hell with Lucifer and his minions. He excuses himself and gets out first. As he makes his way to the parking lot, I stare at his back for a long time while standing outside the building. Before he could open the car door, I raise my right fist upside down in front of me and hoist one long middle finger, waving it at him like a baby’s rattle.

I hate him now… a lot and for real.

Miss Misfit’s Crush Chronicles (Chapter 1-5)

 

missmisfits

Miss Misfit’s Crush Chronicles (Episode 1)

Jonah was whom every girl thought they would marry past the age of twenty-five. Little school girls giggled each time they saw him threw that unpretentious smile. His big brown eyes glimmered like shimmering dusts in the sunlight. His fine brown hair easily bounced and flew as he ran playing tags in the field along with his closest buddies. And I’d like to add how his long thick eyelashes and fair complexion almost made him unmistakably a Caucasian in a throng of brown skinned Asian kids. They said he was our class prince, the heartthrob every girl would be excited to see about everyday to school.

Looks could kill they said, yeah, like little Alice and Winona almost choke one another for the attention of this said boy. And in every school year, as a new cute girl would introduce herself in the class, the entire female specie in the room would try to kill her in their minds. They always found the fresh cute transferees threats to this boy’s secret affection. In other words, the term crush to this boy in our grade school meant facing a fierce death-defying competition. But wait! There’s a little bit of fabrication in the last sentence and besides, I was never part of that hopeless romantic crowd. Yes, you heard me right. I already had my eyes set on Kyle, one of Jonah’s best friends. For almost six years since kindergarten, Kyle was what I called the apple of my eyes. I’m throwing clichés in here so that you would notice that puppy love was among them. Unfortunately, I was a nobody back then and my existence meant nothing to my teachers and classmates.

 

1998

I never got the point why Kyle, who was the tallest in our kindergarten class, had to sit in front of the room. I just heard from somebody that he was the teacher’s favorite. We had rows of long low white tables and small wooden chairs that we would spend half of our day in, scribbling and listening to the old grumpy teacher’s discussions and most if not half was not understood by me.

I was at the back most table, together with the other outcasts, sour losers and kids with no parents or nannies waiting outside the classroom. I never blamed my parents for they thought I could already send myself to and from school by walking with Oliver. I remembered I was sitting opposite my cousin Oliver and a happy-go-lucky fat kid named Jason. I was not beautiful when I was a kid, or maybe it was because of the fact that I was always sporting the unkempt hair of a homeless kid. Like combs and colorful elastic hair bands were never in my vocabulary.

I never listened to our teacher simply because I didn’t understand a word she was teaching. I just spent my half day either chatting with Oliver and the fat kid or staring at Kyle. School days were about him and just simply being in there, in the classroom with the dorks from my table. Kyle didn’t even know that my stare would probably melt him if he ever had dared to look back at me. But he just didn’t, and sometimes it made me feel more desperate.

Mission # 1: Have an interaction with Kyle.

My first attempt was as stupid as I never thought it would be. I had my chance when our teacher asked us to contribute a peso coin for our monthly sinking fund and we had to give it to her personally at her table which was also the nearest place to Kyle’s seat. The mission was to drop the coin before I could give it to our teacher and wait for Kyle to get it for me.

“Nikki Lerma,” the teacher called my name and signaled me to come forward to her table.

“Yes ma’am!” I replied with excitement heating up as I prepared my peso coin.

I stood up and smiled piously to my classmates as I passed by them. Each step was a step that would later on escalate to shame that I only knew myself. I felt my sweat sticking out from my hands and ankles and my heart started to beat as wild as a raging horse. The smile on my lips stiffened and it made me looked like I just had shit in my pants. I hesitated for a while but the teacher’s table was getting closer that I could actually pass the coin at an arm’s length.

“What’s the matter Nikki?” the grumpy teacher asked.

“No…nothing?” I said in a little bit trembling voice.

She raised her eyebrows and evidently doubted my answer. Seeing the impatience pressed on her wrinkled face, I dropped the coin near Kyle’s feet and it was so obvious that I did that on purpose. I just hoped they didn’t get the point of why I did that.

As the coin bounced on the floor, everything was like in slow motion. There was an abrupt eerie silence and all we could hear was the ringing of the coin on the concrete floor. It rolled shortly just a few inches from Kyle’s feet and the moment of truth came near to its end.

Kyle looked at the coin for a moment and then bounced his stare at me. Like all the kids in the room, he fell silent and confused of what just happened. I waited for him to get the coin and hand it to me but he too was waiting for me to get it.

“Nikki, just get the coin and come right here,” the teacher called and everyone just laughed to their hearts’ content. I didn’t even see what was funny about that. Was it I looked like I just shit in my pants or was it because they thought I was some kind of weird? Whatever they were laughing at, I bet it was something to my disadvantage and a plus point to my loser brag board.

Mission # 2: Get Kyle’s attention anyway.

Miss Misfit’s Crush Chronicles (Episode 2)

 

Mission # 2: Get Kyle’s attention anyway

Funny how cute girls at my kindergarten class were classified as those having the freakishly excessive colorful hair ornaments.  That was the era when Britney Spears started to unintentionally influence mothers to dress up their little girls like her. A handful of little braids and tiny flower clips kept a girl’s hair together. And their faces and backs were as white as paper due to over showering of hypoallergenic baby powder, which at that time I was allergic to.

Funny how those cute Britney Spears replicas caught Kyle’s admiration most of the time. Funny that most of the time also, I didn’t make the cut. He kept on talking to them and to those equally cool guys who chickened out when the school dentist came to pull our rotten teeth. I sometimes blamed them for making me feel not cool and invisible, but realization sank in that the inability to adapt to the trends was really the culprit.

When I initiated my Plan B, I had a belief that if I won’t be able to pull off the Britney Spears look then I must make myself popular in another way. Little did I know that it was in the stupidity category.

 

One day, when things got dismal and lame inside the classroom, I took my chance and commenced my mission to stardom. I started it by luring Oliver and Jason into a small conversation.

 

“Hey you two, did you know that I was the one who bought the last bundle of Power Ranger cards in the store yesterday?”, I started.

 

“You’re a liar. I was with you the whole day. How come I didn’t get to see you buy it?” Oliver said.

 

“I had it first in class. Congratulations for making it to the last one,” Jason said, having no idea that it was really a lie.

 

“Well, my dad bought it for me,” I answered Oliver.

 

“Your dad was so drunk yesterday,” Oliver replied.

 

I was a little embarrassed of what he divulged for surely, other kids at our table had also heard it. But it was a good conversation start up for others were starting to pay attention to us. That was what I really wanted. A little fame won’t hurt anyway.

 

“No, he was not!” I defended.

 

“Yes, he was!”

 

“No, you’re the liar!”

 

“Hey! Who was that?” the teacher stood up with eyes ready to pierce the suspects.

 

One classmate pointed at the three of us and the old teacher told us to stop fighting and keep our mouth shut. Everyone was now looking at us, including Kyle who was a bit of nervous of what would happen next. We fell silent for a while. I knew how short our teacher’s patience was, so by the minute she sat back down, I began to open my mouth again.

 

“She’s like a witch, isn’t she?” I whispered to Oliver.

 

“Stop it, will you?” he answered.

 

The next thing I knew after that, the teacher was right beside us and ordered the three of us to lay our hands on the table. She raised her long wooden stick and pounded it on my hands a couple of times. We were so shocked of what just happened that I could feel hot tears trailing down my face. I couldn’t even draw Oliver and Jason’s face when the beating stopped and the teacher turned toward them. Fear was evident as large clumps of tears glinted on the side of their eyes. And the very moment that the stick landed on Oliver’s hands, I realized how very stupid I was. Even a little fame hurts… a lot.

The day after that, no one wanted to be near me. I was like that kid who had a viral disease that could kill anyone one or two meters away. Even Oliver didn’t want to walk  and talk with me. Good thing he didn’t tell his mom about it. I too kept the embarrassment to myself.

I graduated from kindergarten with no medal or whatsoever award heralded for those who have behaved well. But for the most part, I had no friends and probably Kyle considered me a sore to his eyes.

 

1999

 

I didn’t know what they saw in me that by the time I reached first grade, I found myself in the top class section of the school. One would think that I was lucky to be in it for I have to sit side by side with the town’s prodigies. I would be brushing shoulders with the most talented, the geniuses, and the kids of money. To note that we were not rich and I was a loser in kindergarten really made things awkward. I supposed I performed well in kindergarten but that my grades were not yet enough to get myself a medal. Well, I really had that going in me which was nice. Even though it would be another year of suffering  due to my reputation, the fact that I would be sitting in Kyle’s class for the whole year made me think I still have hope.

 

By the second day of class, it seemed like everybody left Kyle’s favor when a new cute boy transferred and joined the top section in the person of Jonah Villaruiz. By now you probably know Jonah, the one I told you about in the first part of this chronicle. Yahoo! I had Kyle for myself! Or so I thought.

 

First impressions don’t really last for when I met Maybelle Beltran in first grade, I thought she’s just one pretty girl who would be aiming for Jonah’s attention. I had it all wrong in my mind when Mrs. Amparo, our teacher, announced the honors for the first grading period of our class.

 

It was a sight and a big shock to know that I ranked sixth in the honor roll in a class of thirty to forty students for the top class section. I prided myself for that, I thought a ribbon or medal at the end of the school year would pay off my loser reputation. But Maybelle’s existence as the first honor before Kyle who ran second made things a horror for me. The girl with the long jet black hair, deep set of brown eyes with thick curly lashes, and a mind so powerful she could memorize a whole page of speech in such age threatened me. My classmates, who saw the potential of Maybelle and Kyle to be young lovebirds, paired them up and teased them frequently. Two geniuses in one affair made me want the sky to fall on top of me.

 

My classmates would often say to Maybelle and Kyle:

 

“Oi, you’re so cute together!”

 

“Maybelle is pretty, Kyle is handsome. And they’re both smart!”

 

“I’d like them to end up with one another.”

 

“Boom! Here goes our newest love team!”

 

I would have liked to tell them what’s new in my mind, “You know what should be new? Kyle and me!”

 

But then I just shut myself up and join them chanting the word “Ooy” to the both of them. That feeling you get when you and your classmates tease your crush with another girl, it hurts badly. You wish to yourself it should have been you but then you pretend that you like the idea of them together. You just go along with what the mass wants, and let the feeling tear you apart inside that you pray it will make you feel numb in the end. But it doesn’t. It continues to grow and beat you.

 

I drowned myself with wishful thinking and delusions hoping that Kyle didn’t really want to tie himself with Maybelle and actually liked somebody else. Somebody like me perhaps.

 

One fateful day, a discovery at the back of our classroom gave me a chance to hold Kyle’s hand. A touch that lasted for a minute but that I would treasure for years to come.

 

Miss Misfit’s Crush Chronicles (Episode 3)

 

I bet every child that comes from a public school in the Philippines would say that their school was once a cemetery. I kept on hearing stories like that in the news whenever children from a certain public school were possessed by, you know, spirits and demons. Our town’s central public school was not an exception to that as most older students would scare the shit out of us by telling that the school was haunted because World War II soldiers and victims were buried in there. As first grade students, we believed what we wanted to believe.

One afternoon, as we were waiting for our teacher to come from lunch, Jonah declared he discovered an abandoned house at the other side of the backyard fence. Up until now, I am not sure if it was really abandoned or that the owner just went out for an errand. Anyway, it looked abandoned when we got there. I, Kyle, Jonah, Gale, Albert, Merry, and five others went out to investigate.

Before we got around the house, we passed a small hill probably by some ants. Superstition  ruled over and we concluded that it was a nuno sa punso (dwarf dwelling). They were all so scared as they came to hypothesize that the house was also a witch’s lair. I, for my part wasn’t really feeling the same. I just enjoyed taking on adventures such as that and if the worst would come, I knew I had strong and fast legs to take me away.

The house was a small one with unfurnished brick walls and red corrugated roof. Oblong-shaped holes in the wall served as tiny windows where we hardly peeped what was inside. It was dark inside but I was able to see one oval wooden table with small objects on it. There were a lot of wild plants around the house and they stretched so vast they could cover an entire football field.

“If a witch lives in there, then she must be watching us every noontime. They say evil elements come alive in the middle of the day,” Jonah said.

 

“Hush or she’ll hear us!” Gale cautioned.

 

“Didn’t you say it’s abandoned?” I asked.

 

“You’re killing the moment, you know that?” Albert said to me with a face of sarcasm.

 

“Let’s get out of here. Mrs. Amparo will be coming soon,” I said.

 

“You go yourself. You’re not even invited in here,” a classmate called.

 

“Guys, I guess she’s right. I can feel the spooks now,” Merry said as she held her right arm up, showing us her goose bumps.

 

“Look what you’ve done! Now Merry is scared, too!” Jonah said to me.

 

“We are all scared!” I answered back.

 

I felt my cheeks turned hot with anger toward Jonah. It had been known that he had a crush on Merry, the girl who was still sporting the ultimate Britney Spears look and the queen bee of the first graders. The fact that he was blaming me for the fear that I had caused to his dearly beloved crush really infuriated me.

 

“Fine! I’ll go!” I said. I turned around and stomped my foot on the ground before leaving.

 

“Wait! Let me go with you!” Merry called after me.

 

“I think I should also go,” Kyle said while waving a stick he found.

 

“What? There’s still more to know in here Kyle. Don’t listen to that loser,” Albert said.

 

“Whoever wants to come with us, meet us by the small hill upon the entrance of the backyard fence,” Kyle said.

 

“Why?” a classmate asked.

 

“We will ask for forgiveness to the dwarf for trespassing. I don’t want to be cursed after this day,” Kyle answered.

 

Upon arriving at what we thought was a dwarf’s dwelling, Kyle told us in a careful and hush tone that we must all gather around the small hill and hold our hands together. In this way, we could form a powerful summon to the otherworldly being and ask for forgiveness. I didn’t know where he got that rather unscientific reasoning, but hey, it’s Kyle who’s on my side.

We started to gather around the small hill and hold our hands together. I was hesitant at first, half-minding the fact that our teacher would be arriving anytime soon in the classroom. I thought I had to get back before them or else I would face terrible punishment from the well-known terror Mrs. Amparo.

 

“What are you waiting for? Join the circle now,” Kyle suddenly said as he extended his left arm to me.

 

His slender fingers seemed to send the kind of invitation that I couldn’t resist. Or maybe it was because of the fact that he was my crush. I felt the blood rushed in my chubby cheeks and they stung like I just ate a dozen of tamarinds. Good thing my shiny brown skin covered the natural blush on my face.

I smiled secretly in my head and slowly took his hand. He told us to close our eyes and murmur some prayers which I didn’t take seriously. All I could inject into my system was how his hand felt warm against the coldness of my hand, how his lips moved so fast in a beat that I could make out the words ‘I love you’ in between his murmurs, and how his confidence and reassurance almost shadowed my fears. Almost, for after a minute, I sensed that something terrible was going to happen if I won’t move myself away from the circle. I just let go, my fingers pushing his hand away from mine. I didn’t know what had gotten into me. I believed it was my ability to sense when an imminent danger is coming. So, I stepped back and ran like mad across the backyard.

 

“Stupid, stupid, stupid,” I said in between gasps of air as I  ran.

 

“Forget her,” Kyle said, loud enough for me to hear.

 

Just when I thought I was safe, Mrs. Amparo met me by the doorway of our classroom. The expression on her face terrified me. Her eyebrows almost crossed if I was not mistaken or drowned by the illusion that hell was upon me.

 

“Why were you running and where did you come from?” Mrs. Amparo said, putting both hands on her waist.

 

I turned speechless, not knowing what to say or how to answer her question. The situation became inescapable and the realization to tell the truth occurred to me. Though, I wasn’t aware that my honesty would cost me another rounds of hatred from my classmates.

 

“I was with them,” I answered in a shaking voice.

 

“Them who?”

 

“The half of your class?”

 

“What? Where are they?”

 

“They’re beyond the backyard fence around the small dwarf hill!” I answered rapidly.

 

“What are they doing in there? Who’s behind this?” her face flushed red.

 

“Kyle and Jonah?” I said, shaking again and rubbing my foot over the other. “Wait, I’m not really sure ma’am!”

 

“Too late little girl,” she said. Her eyes grew bigger and surprisingly, her lips curved in a menacing smile. A smile that reminded me of how dangerous it was to mess with that kind of teacher.

 

Before I knew it, Mrs. Amparo disappeared from my sight and the pointing stick for her chalkboard disappeared along with her.

 

Miss Misfit’s Crush Chronicles (Episode 4)

 

“Well, well, well. Look who’s here sitting in our spot,” Marthina announced to her two little minions in the canteen. Marthina, the girl who decided to terrorize me after what I did to Jonah and Kyle, was standing in front of me holding a plastic of chips and a tetra pack of orange juice. At her back was Alice and Winona, her loyal minions.

 

I forgot that was their spot in the canteen but it was the only table left when I arrived.

 

“You can all sit with me if you like,” I told them with a huge smile.

 

“More like, you may sit with us but we won’t allow you. So shoo! Go somewhere else,” Marthina said.

 

I used to fear Marthina, not only because of her domineering and bratty attitude but also because she looked like the meaner version of E.T. but with a short rich curly hair. She was what I considered a bully yet sometimes she went easy on me and miraculously would let me see her paper during math quizzes. Well, not only with me but also with the rest of the class hoping to impress Jonah with her intelligence.

To my relief, it was as if Jonah and Kyle didn’t hate me for telling our teacher that they were the culprit of our mischievousness the other day of that. I felt guilty about confessing the truth and wondered what actually happened to them when Mrs. Amparo reached them by the dwarf hill with her chalkboard stick. I was hoping they were not beaten as I was expecting.

I went somewhere else to eat my snacks. After all, I used to eat my food while standing. I just considered it a sure way of properly and directly digesting the food that I was eating.

As I was walking toward our classroom after eating, I passed by the group of Kyle and Jonah. They were all laughing and talking as I passed by them. As usual, even though I was their classmate, I felt I was still invisible to them. I still remembered the day we held hands together. I could still feel his touch burning unto mine. I just hold my hand close to my heart until I reached the classroom.

On a piece of yellow paper I found on the playground, I mindlessly scribbled the words ‘Kyle loves Nikki’. Actually, not really the word ‘loves’ but just a small chubby heart in between our names. I secretly smiled and proceeded to write the word F.L.A.M.E.S. It was a matchmaking game we used to play in order to know our compatibility with our crushes. You just write your complete name and the name of your crush and crash out the letters that exist in your name and in your crush’s name. Do some simple math and you’ll know whether what type of compatibility you will have with your crush.

 

I was about to crash out some letters when I felt that someone was looking behind me. When I looked back, I saw Jonah and he was about to laugh but I cautioned him to keep it a secret by pressing the side of my index finger on my lips.

 

“And what if I tell him?,” he whispered.

 

“No, it’s embarrassing! Don’t say a word please.”

 

“He’ll never like you anyway.”

 

“I know that. So will you just keep it a secret?” I looked at him with round eyes, pleading for him to keep the knowledge to himself.

 

“I don’t really care about you anyway, so…” Jonah was cut by a girl’s voice. It was so familiar, I could say it was Marthina from the edge of her seat.

 

“What are you talking about?” she butted in.

 

“Nothing!” I immediately answered Marthina.

 

“Go away now!” I said to Jonah and pushed him away from me.

 

“How dare you push him!” Winona said as she also saw what happened. It was just a gentle push, not even an ounce of my strength was let out when I pushed Jonah. Winona was just overreacting, hurt that I just easily drove the prince of the class away. Yeah, how dare me indeed.

 

Marthina stood up from her seat and quickly brought herself in front of me. Most of the class were looking at us, wondering what was happening. Whenever Marthina opened her mouth, the entire class would not hesitate to lend their ears.

 

“Did you just push Jonah? Wow! You are really that thick!” Marthina said.

 

“No, Marthina. It was just a pat,” I answered, but it had a lot of sarcasm into it.

 

“Don’t lie to me. I saw how you pushed him.”

 

“C’mon, it’s really not a big deal. And besides it’s really none of your business.”

 

“Ah! None of my business I see,” Marthina replied and then, she found the opportunity to grab the yellow paper from my hand and crumpled it without even looking at it first. Actually, she made it into a ball and passed the ball to the class who also took turns of passing it to just anyone. I tried to get back the paper and chased one classmate to another until finally, Merry threw the ball of paper at me but it missed. I chased it but it landed on the part where I expected the least, on the floor, in front of the newly arrived Mrs. Amparo.

 

“What’s this commotion all about?” she asked the class. And Marthina, who was sitting on her chair quickly pointed at me.

 

“You! You are really giving me headaches. This is your last warning. Go back to your seat!” Mrs. Amparo exclaimed.

 

The good thing was, she didn’t even twitch my ear which was what she always did to her pupils. As I went back to my seat at the back, Marthina, who was sitting at the second row, grabbed the yellow paper from me and tossed it toward the chalkboard. Mrs. Amparo only saw the part where the paper was already flying in the air and she thought it was me who tossed it. She stood up and went toward me, fuming with unexplainable anger.

 

“I just gave you a warning and you continue to be such a monster,” she told me and grabbed me by the arm. She led me outside the classroom and told me to stay in there until she says so. To be honest, it was better than having to visit the principal’s office. I’d just have to stand outside for a few hours and have a reason to skip a few lessons. Or so I thought.

 

The class suddenly grew loud and I heard the girls whispering Kyle and Maybelle’s name with a giggle. From where I was standing, I could see the teacher explaining to the class about the Christmas party dance by the railed window. I held the metal bars with both hands like a prisoner eager to get out.

 

“We will be practicing for the formal dance next week. I have here the list of the students who will pair up for the dance. It’s final since I have equally divided the class into pairs. Unfortunately, not all girls will be partnered with the boys because the number of girls in the class are more than the boys. Of course, we will have pair leads. Kyle and Maybelle for group 1 and Jonah and Merry for group 2.” Mrs. Amparo announced.

 

My jaw just dropped, not quite shocked but hurt. And you know the worse?

 

“Leah, your partner will be Nikki.”

 

Miss Misfit’s Crush Chronicles (Episode 5)

 

What could go wrong during a dance when you’re partnered with the same kind of specie as you. Imagine wearing your best dress for the dance. Imagine the person in front of you, holding your hand and waist gently while wearing the best dress that person could afford of having as you both glide your way into the dance floor. Instead of freaking out by the fact that the person has same long hair and bodily structure as you, you lose your mind knowing that her dress is more dashing than yours. No. Not in my case. I freaked out knowing that Kyle was the one leading a strong rival by the name of Maybelle Beltran to the dance floor.

She was smiling at me with her fragile and immaculate features. Her skin, almost white as snow… I’m actually now thinking of a polar bear.  But  she seemed kind enough to be mocked in my head. Leah knew pretty well how to dance with a lot of ease and grace and I felt ashamed I couldn’t make an inside turn work out for her. So I guessed it would be better if I was the girl in our situation.

“You can do it. Spin like a ballerina,” my mom said behind my back. She and Leah’s mother were talking while watching us struggle to match our footsteps together. I swore she had no idea how hard it was to do that routine, after all she’s a natural skilled dancer.

 

“Come on. Make Leah spin,” Leah’s mom said as she pressured me  a lot to make her daughter the girl in our pair.

 

“I can’t, it’s too hard to lead her. I don’t know how!” I screamed in my head. I showed them a tight grin but my brows which almost met at the center could tell my inner struggles.

 

I couldn’t see Kyle and Maybelle while we were dancing. They were at the front of the group and the huge Christmas tree blocked my view of them. I could still remember how I cursed that tree.

 

“Are you okay Nikki?” asked Leah as she saw me moving my head from left to right in search for the dreaded pair of the day.

 

“Okay? Er… it would be better if we move forward a little so that Mrs. Amparo can see how well you dance,” I lied.

 

“Really? But if we move in front, that would shock Maybelle and Kyle.”

 

“Isn’t it amazing?”

 

“Amazing?”

 

“Don’t you get it? When you’re in the front, you will be the star and you will have a higher chance to be noticed by Jonah. I know he’s your crush.”

 

Pause. I felt like one of the mean girls at that time. Having Leah as a bait to break the class’ beloved love team was wicked that you wish I was not the  main protagonist in this story. But hey, I’m just a human with either brilliant or stupid ways to solve my problems.

But a turn of events favored the good and karma slapped me like the much hated character in a primetime soap opera.

As we roughly glided and squeezed ourselves through the group’s formation while dancing, I felt ecstatic by the time I took a glimpse of Kyle’s head. I couldn’t wait to get in front.

 

“Where are you going?” my mom called from a far.

 

“You will see!”

 

Yes, she would see like the rest of the people present in the party how I would make or break their day.

 

“Just be carefu…” before my mom could finish saying the last word, I already saw Marthina’s evil smiling face. Before I knew it, I felt a strong foot blocking mine. As I went down on the floor like a hapless lizard from the ceiling, my hands got hold of the huge Christmas tree. The next thing I knew, the Christmas tree and I looked like the defeated tag team in a scripted wrestling show. Damn, that hurt!

 

“Were you trying to kill us?” Kyle yelled even before I could recover myself from sprawling on the floor.

 

I felt two strong hands picked me up and they belonged to a classmate’s dad. My father was not even there to do that for me.

 

“What were you trying to do?” my mom asked as soon as she came to me.

 

Good thing Leah was alright. I was able to free my hands off her as soon as I felt that I was blocked by Marthina. I should have grabbed Marthina down with me to make the situation a win-win. But I thought that karma would find its way into her someday. Wait, the karma came soon enough than I expected.

 

“Are you alright?” the very kind words that Jonah’s mom uttered to me as she inspected the sides of my head and arms. Jonah’s mom was the newly assigned nurse in our town’s hospital.

 

I saw Marthina’s jaw dropped as she saw Jonah’s mom attending to me. I wanted to laugh but I savored the moment of seeing her face pressed with pure disbelief.

 

“You are fine, there’s nothing to worry. I know who did this. I saw the whole thing,” Jonah’s mom calmly said, loud enough for Marthina to hear.

 

Jonah’s mom went to talk with Mrs. Amparo and she whispered something into our teacher’s ear. Mrs. Amparo looked at Marthina after hearing what Jonah’s mom told her. And I could tell that by the look of Marthina’s face, she wished she could disappear before Mrs. Amparo could take a second look at her.

 

“Is Kyle and Maybelle alright?” those were the very first words I said after the minor incident. Wow! I was this one who made an epic touchdown with the huge Christmas tree on the floor and the first line I said was about how concerned I was to the person who accused me of trying to kill them. I hoped my martyrdom would get me somewhere in the end.

 

“They are fine. They were able to run in time before the Christmas tree could hit them. Kyle, that tall kid was like a hero when he was able to grab Maybelle and save her from the falling tree. If only you were not the victim, I could have applauded for the kid’s agility,” my mom said

 

My knees hurt after I fell down and the pain was bearable. But as my mom recounted the story to me, I felt my heart bleeding inside. It hurt more than the pain throbbing in my knees.

 

“Gosh, mom. You always have a way of making me feel better,” I replied in a form of sarcasm. How I wished of saying the word ‘bitter’ rather than ‘better’.

 

I guessed at the young age of seven, tending wounds on the knees was much more appropriate than tending a bleeding heart. I believed I still have a lot of chances to form the Kyle and Nikki love team. The days seemed to pass fast. As the strong current of the wind blew the tree leaves, I hoped that the trees won’t wither and die like my love, which I hoped would last even if the future was uncertain.

Then I suddenly found myself waiting outside the classroom of my third grade class while our most terror teacher Ms. Lily was holding her lecture. Another classic punishment for violating something I forgot to recall.

 

“Nikki, you may come in now. Alienation is over,” Gale whispered to me by the doorway.

 

Welcome to the first section of my third grade class!

 

————————— to be continued ————————–

 

Filling My Bucket List Before Kicking It

bigpreview_The Lone Traveler

There is this belief of mine that propels my stars to gather in a big black void to form a great constellation- the belief of actually verbalizing my dreams.

It’s not always that I write something that speaks for myself, if you exclude the personality I put into most of my literary pieces. You see, I’m not that of a significant person to everybody, so I felt that giving a damn to my innermost desires is everyone’s feebleness. Why would I write something that people couldn’t care less about? Especially from me whose voice is yet to be heard by the many from far flung places. But today is the day I dare to say, “Well, not today my friend.”

Today, I am going to fill the space below with my bucket list. Everyone should have one, and I encourage you to do the same- to verbalize your dreams and keep a list of them. It’s great getting back at them, especially if you have accomplished one or two. It’s like ticking off a grocery list, but you get a priceless feeling.

 

  1. Collect Paperback Copies of my Favorite Novels

A real writer is also an avid reader and I consume words as much as I spit them back on my writing. But before I discovered e-books to be a convenient partner in my daily habit, I used to drown myself with the smell of paper from actual books. The library was my safe haven and the smell of paperbacks around me was addicting. I miss the feeling so much.

I got my e-books downloaded for free and it’s great that I got to bring all of them inside my pocket. But nothing beats the sound and smell of each paper as you turn from one page to another. The drawback is that paperback novels in my country are so expensive that I have suggested to buy one book each month until I make myself a mini library.

I want my future children to be interested in reading through the books that I have collected, of course if they want to. My mother unintentionally influenced me to love reading because of her mini library back then. When I was left alone at a very young age of 6, I decided to pluck one book from the shelf and started reading an adult romance novel. Yes, you read it right. Before she suggested Sweet Valley High, I read Under the Texas Moon.

 

  1. Travel to Europe/ Germany

Dear Markus Zusak, had not the creation of The Book Thief, I wouldn’t be this much interested to visit Germany. Though the book was filled with the atrocities of war, it didn’t stop me from discovering a whole lot about Germany, especially Frankfurt! Now, I want to visit that country before I die more than ever. Hello? Make-a-Wish Foundation, are you there?

Ridiculous as it may be but I’m actually learning the German language these past few months. It’s gripping hard but I love how it sounds from my mouth when I speak it. Even football legend Bastian’s last name sounds cool to say, Schweinsteiger!

 

  1. Learn at Least 5 Different Languages

I am studying the German language when others are studying Spanish or French before anything else. But I’m actually interested in learning other languages including Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Japanese. There are a lot of other tongues to learn but I don’t think my mind is capable of knowing them all.

 

  1. Publish a Critically-Acclaimed Novel

This is every writer’s dream, perhaps the summit of all ambitions there is to accomplish for one. I still don’t have the idea of how to get to this dream, but I know that even though it won’t be a bestseller, I can publish a real book. So when I die, I can leave something behind that may live forever. That’s what self-publishing companies are there for.

Of course, having a critically-acclaimed novel is different. You’re considered a celebrity, a stellar writer whom wanna-be published writers are looking up to.

 

  1. Lie Down on the Ground Filled with Real Snow

I’m obviously ignorant to this one. I haven’t stepped out of this tropical country yet, so I don’t have the slightest idea of feeling real snow beneath my feet. Imagine the smile on my face upon seeing me digging my hands into a mound of snow as I plot throwing a handful at you. I won’t even mind it melting and soaking into my boots.

 

  1. Get Myself Inked with this Icon

A long time ago, when the artistic soul in me was still hiding somewhere below my gut, I never thought of getting myself inked. Aside from the throbbing pain I would get upon installation, I don’t see a work of art hanging on my sagging skin as I get old.

Yet, I do want something, a tiny visible trademark perhaps, to adorn a part of my body permanently. I now define tattoos as symbols of identity, a legacy that not everybody can understand.

The subject would be this icon/logo I made for Fact Per Fiction. If you haven’t noticed yet, those are two calligraphic type of the letter “f” opposite one another to form a butterfly. The butterfly, of course, is a form of metaphor born out of its metamorphosis.

 

I once had a separate list wherein I listed my ambitions of owning a grand big house, cars, or even being the boss of my company. I know they’re the common ambitions everyone is aiming for, so I thought for a while and searched for the catalyst of real happiness deep within me. The kind of happiness that you don’t really get by possessing expensive material things. It’s the happiness that you get out of doing simple things- priceless yet meaningful.

 

What is SUCCESS?

follow-your-dreams-Wallpaper

The issue of how majority of people interpret success still compels me to speak up for what it truly is. They say you only see success when you’re at the top, looking down to the past that you have left behind. That is fairly true, but the core of the message is often left in numerous misinterpretations. Most believe that being at the top requires you a whole lot of fame and money, of material possessions that not everybody can get hold to. That is not how I perceive success. Certainly, not the shallow kind of it.

For me, success is how you make it. It really depends on how each person describes his own success, the success that gets you the feeling of contentment and happiness along with it. Well, if you perceive your own success as the first multimillionaire in your town, why not? If you’re happy to make the journey, cease it. But I tell you, what you see as your own success is not the same as the others. Some see success as accomplishing feats they thought were way impossible, of creating something that other people are happy to see about, of choosing the path their heart’s desire to tread on, and or changing the way people treat the world for the better.

Do things because you want to, not because you have to. Selfish as it may seem or disrespectful to the wishes of your benefactors as you may perceive it, but there is nothing more torturous than submitting yourself into a world you don’t want to immerse in. It’s the worse thing that you could do for yourself. It’s not surprising that failure to meet other people’s expectations from us often leads to depression, and that depression itself leads to suicidal thoughts. So as early as now, stop feeding them with promises of becoming something you are actually not.

We know well enough what makes each of us happy, and yet most of us sacrifice our own version of happiness to coincide with what others want us to become. If you want to truly live your life, take the lead and pursue your passions in order to catapult your dreams into realities. It won’t be that easy as it is exactly the opposite. But remember to seek your motivation deep within you and you will realize that everything is possible. It may not come today as you have hoped, but your burning zeal will put a deep mark that others will take notice of it. Thus, paving your way into finally actualizing your dreams.

Before I end this post, I will leave you with a song that literally speaks for what I meant. Enjoy!

The Benefits of Playing DOTA 2

dota-2-wallpaper-38-hd-desktop-wallpaper

DOTA (Defense of the Ancients), though an addictive online game, surprisingly presents some advantages that not too many know in a layman’s world.

Yes, it sometimes makes you forget that you have skipped a meal or deprived yourself a good night’s rest. Not to mention the explosion of your anger to an incompetent team-mate resulting to jabs of trash-talking and a series of bullying. But the list goes on and on that the disadvantages have somewhat become so overrated. Now is the time to highlight DOTA’s other side of the story.

1. You’re Playing an E-Sport

seriously

It’s an e-sport, but not the type that you can call yourself an athlete. It goes beyond that. DOTA is a sitting sport like chess or an immobile version of football. Give it any analogy you like, the point is that it’s an online sport that requires focused strategy. The concluded DOTA 2 International Tournament of 2014 held at Seattle Washington, USA had a prize pool of more than $10,000,000, making it the largest prize pool in e-gaming history. The 2014 team champion went home with a staggering $5,000,000. How we wished we could be that genius in playing the game to win such prize.

2. It Improves Your Critical and Strategic Thinking Abilities

 brainwrinkle

The creators of DOTA 2 didn’t design this online game for nothing. The core of the game is winning by your team’s ability to strategize an attack plan. It all starts from carefully selecting the team’s heroes to match or to even exceed the abilities of the opponents’ own hero selection. Of course, it all boils down as to how skilled you are in using a specific hero. The process continues as you customize your hero’s abilities, followed by who should be assigned in specific locations/lanes in the map.

The game exercises your reasoning, analytic, problem solving, and decision making skills as you push your way into destroying enemy towers. Another lesson this game teaches is similar to the Art of War by Sun Tzu; never go to war without having the knowledge of the terrain. Thus, it applies to real life situations like managing your business and subduing your competitors. In day to day activities, you will be surprised at how good you are in solving critical problems that involves your thinking skills.

3. It Promotes Teamwork

 helpq

Ironically, amidst the rampant trash-talking to fellow players, DOTA actually cultivates teamwork. In a team of five, each member is assigned to a particular task he is good at. This requires some sacrifices and even choosing a hero you didn’t plan on using for the sake of creating a dynamic team. Greed won’t make you win the game if you’d ask why. Of course, real teamwork emerges as you all agree upon pushing forward and helping team mates escape their own deaths.

What makes it applicable in real life? Distribution of tasks and team solidarity I say.

4. You Learn to be Competitive

 chill

It’s no wonder why majority of DOTA players are guys. Men are biologically competitive at their core, it predates back in the stone age where the fight for survival was in the hands of men. In a match where the idea of victory and glory uplifts your manly urges to compete without physical harm, the competitive spirit in you pumps up shots of adrenaline in your brain to thirst for the win. You get to carry that discovered aspect in your life whenever you’re subjected to situations that might test your level of competency.

5. You Get Social

 nikkiminaj

You won’t achieve teamwork if you don’t learn to interact with your co-players. Active communication in DOTA is so crucial to send allies forewarning and gaming tactics to win the game. It solidifies cooperation among your group as you discuss the probabilities and whatnot to avoid defeat. You even get to know other players from the other side of the globe and forge lasting relationships with them.

If you’re not a native English speaker, it’s time you improve the language if you want to know what I meant with teamwork. It’s not only in the game that you’d speak such.

6. You Create an Escape From Your Lame Life

 sheldon

I should be telling you that in order to improve your lame life, you must learn skills that make you awesome in real situations. Those skills that might help you survive in life, being a responsible adult that you are. But it’s inevitable not to feel tons of awesomeness when you play as a staff-wielding warrior in the online world, a fantasy that we don’t get outside the virtual realm.

Admit it, you seemingly found your purpose in DOTA or in other online games. Most players don’t know about your lame real-life story. What they do know and what you want them to know is how cool of a slayer you are which you desire to be if given the impossible chance.

Conclusion

Being addicted to online games mostly is bad in so many obvious ways. This article is not intended for you to be addicted to DOTA 2. What this aims to impart is the unnoticed advantages that we do actually learn from playing the game. It’s alright to be playing such online game while getting and harnessing its benefits, but we must also know that too much of everything is always not good. Play the game as if it’s one way of exercising your brain, not killing your body.

Top Must Watch Romantic Movies of 2014

shailene-trailer-29jan14

These movies will bring just about the same amount of tears and butterflies in your system. Most of them are adapted screenplays from bestselling novels, though I am hoping that they will live up to their book counterpart.

I am sure some of you would want to get a dose of sweetness and tone down from all the heavy action that the movies of 2014 will bring to you (from X-Men: Days of Future Past- The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies). These movies are sure fire avenues to release stress in the weekends, either you’re watching them alone or with your best buddies.

Here are the Top Must Watch Romantic Movies of 2014:

8. Endless Love (Feb. 14)

endlesslove

With the tagline “Say goodbye to innocence”, expect this movie to feature Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde kissing and making romantic love scenes in your screens most of the time. It’s about a story of a privileged and sheltered girl who had high dreams in life, until she meets a happy-go-lucky and charismatic guy whom she spends most of her summer with. With a whirlwind romance, they will defend their relationship from their parents who are against their relationship.

An adaptation of Scott Spencer’s novel and a remake of Franco Zeffirelli’s film in 1981, this rather predictable love story between two individuals with class differences and a protective father that will go to great lengths just to break the relationship apart will make you want to remember your first experience with love.

7. Winter’s Tale (Feb. 14)

winter's tale

This is another adaptation from a 1983 novel of the same name by Mark Helprin. Winter’s Tale is a supernatural romantic film that will tell the story of a lowly burglar (Colin Farrell) who meets and falls in love with the rich Beverly Penn(Jessica Brown Findlay), during an attempted robbery in Beverly’s mansion in 1916. Beverly, who knows of her impending death because of an incurable tuberculosis, promised Peter Lake (Farrell) that when she dies, she will become his miracle who will tip the balance between good and evil. This event threatens Peter’s burglar gang leader (Russell Crowe) who is also a demon and vows to kill both Beverly and Peter. The demon succeeds in doing this by poisoning Beverly and throwing Peter off the Brooklyn Bridge. A century later, in the year 2014, Peter comes back to life through reincarnation and sets out to find Beverly again.

With an A-list cast, director Akiva Goldsman made Winter’s Tale as his directorial debut while also writing its screenplay. The novel by Mark Helprin is a book worth reading as it captures the readers hearts and was written beautifully. With a critically acclaimed novel, the screenplay adaptation of Winter’s Tale is something we are hoping to live up to our expectations.

6. That Awkward Moment (Jan. 31)

thatawkward moment

Cliché as it may seem in the female BFF universe, pacts and pinky swears of remaining single are the stakes being put into the movie That Awkward Moment by new film director Tom Gormican. But this time, it’s the guys who will try to commit to that promise. Sounds ridiculous but through the performances of Zac Efron, Miles Teller, and Michael B. Jordan, we sure can’t resist watching this movie. This won’t even look gay at all as these guys will eventually find flings that could break their sacred promise.

Yes, this is a romantic comedy film and yes, it’s aimed at guys. It will show us how men these days (though you hate to admit it) succumb to silly dating norms while ironically fighting the urge to become unmanly. Dedicated fans of these hunks will dig this film for sure.

5. The Other Woman (April 25)

the other woman

What could go wrong as you would come to know that the man you intend to settle with is already married to someone else? This is definitely the movie that will put that case into action as Carly (Cameron Diaz) meets her boyfriend’s wife Kate (Leslie Mann) incidentally during an attempt to seduce him. Upon this revelation, the two women forms an unlikely friendship that ignites more when they discover that Kate’s husband (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) has another hot bombshell mistress named Amber (Kate Upton). The duo became a triad of vengeful women who are ready to take down the serial adulterer.

This may not be the ideal romantic film in our list, but this is one comedy chick flick that you would want to watch with your BFFs on a weekend.

4. Blended (May 23)

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After their love team up in The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates, Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler will once again put another dose of comedy and romance in Blended. This time, they are both playing the part of single parents who are ready to be in a relationship again. This attempt became a nightmare as the two shared a horrible and disastrous blind date that made them vow never to do it again. But fate has a lot of in store for them as the two eventually meet during their family’s safari vacation in Africa. Worse, they share the same suite at a resort. What could possibly be the outcome of this meeting? Will there be sparks flying the second time around? This is what we will soon come to know on May 23 in the big screens!

3. Belle (May 2)

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Belle is a magnificent and inspiring movie adapted from the real life story of Dido Elizabeth Belle and is played by Mbatha-Raw. The director of this film, though reportedly a new comer in the industry has made this film a promising one. The premise of the story revolves around Dido, an illegitimate daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral and an African woman named Maria Belle. When she was still young, Dido was brought to the Mansfield estate by her father and was introduced to her great-uncle Lord Mansfield to be raised in an aristocratic way. Though she becomes privileged enough to be raised with her cousin Elizabeth Murray, she suffers the kind of stigma that her race has brought to her. She becomes an exception to every social practices in the Mansfield household though she has an unclear reputation of being Elizabeth’s equal.

What will make this movie a heartfelt one is the romance that will grow between Dido and a vicar’s son who is also an idealistic lawyer that will help Dido become an iconic figure in British history. This will defy the racial stigma and social disputes that people with color had encountered decades ago.

2. If I Stay (Aug. 22)

if i stay

I’m a huge fan of Kick-Ass star Chloe Grace Moretz, so it goes to say that this film adaptation of Gayle Forman’s critically acclaimed novel of the same name is a really a must watch on my list.

Mia Hall (Moretz), a seventeen year-old music genius has her hopes up high as she dreams of becoming a prodigy at Juilliard School for the gifted. But she’s torn between that life long dream and her desire to be with her rebellious boyfriend Adam (Jamie Blackley). Though they both share the same passion for music, Mia tends to be the conservative one amid the environment that her carefree parents are showing in their household. What was once Mia thought to be the toughest decision she has to make, a fatal accident that took the life of her parents and younger brother changed everything in her life. Though Mia survived the car crash, the event puts her into a coma and an out of the body experience causes her to see the life that’s awaiting for her if she wakes up. Now, she has yet to make the hardest decision that will determine her ultimate destiny. Either she’s going to be with her deceased family in the other side of life or fight for her life to be with Adam if she stays.

1. The Fault in Our Stars (June 6)

the fault in our stars

Based from the New York Times bestseller novel by John Green published in 2012, this story will make you believe in miracles, the kind of miracle that is realistic and philosophical in nature.

Sixteen year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley), who assumes herself as the walking oxygen tank attends a cancer support group reluctantly and meets a charming teenage boy Augustus Waters (Sam Trammell). Augustus, takes interest in Hazel and the two form an unconventional bond that will take them on a journey of their lives. With both characters sharing the same anguish of having cancer, this will be a tough one to watch but of which you will truly appreciate in the end. Prepare yourself to laugh at their wits and shed tears as they face the kind of tragedy that will resonate and intensify their love for one another.