Didn’t we almost have it all

We got to the party late, but many were still around, chilling. I headed straight to the water, felt the sand making its way into my shoes. He followed me there.

I love the sound of the waves,” I said. I could hear laughter and the soft music just a few metres away but where we were there was just the sound of lapping water onto sand.

I glanced sideways to him and then upwards to the star-filled sky. It was a beautiful evening and there was no other place I would rather be.

Moving towards an empty chair, I fixed my gazed onto his unreadable face as he sat next to me.

I’m sorry for the trouble I caused today.”

It wasn’t your fault,” he finally said. “Well, you could’ve watch more carefully where you were going but accidents do happen.” I knew it.

I’m just glad you weren’t hurt badly.”

I dropped my gaze then, afraid to show any emotion which he could easily read on my face.

The team and I had wanted to surprise you here, but I had to go to the hospital so that didn’t work out,” I confessed. He smiled then.

Thanks for the thought. But I’m not seventeen, you know.”

It’s still your birthday,” I countered, half laughing at the thought of him being a teenager. He wouldn’t be much different, surely, except for the few strands of grey in his hair.

He finally laughed, and I felt a rush of affection for this young man who made this happen for me. I turned to see one of the crew started walking towards us but then stopped when he saw me. He just smiled and turned to the opposite direction.

- – -

Mingling is something I am not very good at. Although I am better at it now, I would prefer to sit quietly at a corner and let the merry makers take the floor without me.

He was next to me at the table, and was in a chatty mood. It was the final evening and I again felt as if we were the only ones there, despite the throng of people around us.

A guy came up to us and upon seeing me, commented on the latest article written by the organiser.

You’re the female tactician, right?” the guy asked excitedly, much to my embarrassment and explained to his girlfriend about the article, aware that I was right in front of them.

He laughed at my predicament but was serious when he spoke.

People took notice, and there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. You should be proud.”

We were sitting so close that I could just reach for his hand and held it in mine. But I didn’t. Instead, I just stared at the table, still embarrassed. He gave me a pat on the back.

You did good. Just focus on improving.”

That made me feel better.  Just a little bit.

If you were a sailboat

Why sail?

Because it is humbling and at the same time empowering. Humbled by mother nature, her whims can cause the most seasoned of sailors to succumb to defeat, reminding me of my own limitations when confronted with the elements. Empowering because I’d learn and re-learn the skills needed to navigate the waters and, to a certain extent, life.

One of my biggest fears ( and I do have a few of those) is to be seen as ordinary.  You know how you meet a person and have that feeling that there is more to that person than who he or she says she is?  That is what I want to be.  More than what I appear to be.  I can be a shabbily dressed makcik in t-shirt and bermudas walking around in slippers but I kickass at something not many are able to do.  I’m still not there yet, apart from my dressing.  But at least I could handle a boat.  Haha.

Amid the roar

Barrock told me about this poem by Edgar Allan Poe, he called it a ‘break-up poem’.  It has been a while since I have read anything besides I Wrote This For You the book and website.

A Dream Within a Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.


I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

A good place

I have laid bare my feelings to strangers a number of times, mostly here and my column in the NST four years ago.  To my friends, sometimes.  I think Comot and I spoke quite a lot in the two weeks I was staying with her, about personal things we seldom touch.  About relationships, family issues, stuff.  It felt good, I saw it as another sign how we have matured.

It can be scary sometimes when I have people come up to me and say, “I like your writing.”  An old neighbour, the mother of an acquaintance, my Mum’s friends.  It means that they’ve actually read my stuff.  Some may judge, form opinion about me.  Or not.

Nowadays, I’m churning out words for work, rather than for myself.  I sometimes feel like writing, but in the end I just keep it to myself.  My offline journal is full of notes for articles, very few annotations on what’s on my mind at any given time.

It took an unexpected message a few days ago to get me to write this entry.  That and an interview with an artist who is having his first exhibition.  It doesn’t make much sense but at least the words are coming out.


I have been wanting to write but the words just wouldn’t come out and it is excruciating.  I couldn’t even write much in my offline journal.  It was that difficult.  So here goes…

What is different about this guy?  For one, I knew from the start that he was off limits.  I knew that I was not supposed to feel the way I had felt, the way I still feel, about him.  For another, the attraction was strong from the beginning, even when I tried to deny it by focusing more on how we connected through our interests, which was also a signifact pull factor.

His persistence made holes in the wall around me, weakened my resolve to stay away.  It felt good to be wanted.  It felt even better to have someone I could talk to about things who gets them.  He told me he felt comfortable enough to tell me anything, even things I didn’t want to know.

He has his flaws but I respected him in what he does, and I learned a lot from his experience.  He in turn acknowledged the skills that I have and encouraged me in my many pursuits.  He had invited me to join him on one excursion which I had initially accepted but later felt inappropriate when I made the decision to not see him again.

Because we didn’t get to spend a lot of time together, the memories of our meetings are much harder to forget.  I’d be on my way home from work and would suddenly remember his comments about how fast I drive.  Or a particular song would trigger a certain memory.  The nights are the worst, when my thoughts would turn to him and interrupt my efforts to let go.

It has been about six weeks now, yet it is still a struggle to keep my faculties intact.  Tears would just flow and I couldn’t stop them.  I don’t want to actually, because self pity is easy.

I don’t know if he now hates me or if he’s angry with me.  I hope he’s not.  If anyone who should be angry it’ll be me.  Because he didn’t give me a good reason to fight to have him.  That was why I had to make the decision that I made.  That was why I had to say goodbye.

My wish is for him to be happy with his life, with what he has.  I don’t know if I will feel the same way about another person or if I’ll meet someone better, but I know I’ll be okay.  I’ll just tear up whenever I read Iain S. Thomas, among other things.


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