Paradox

Six Sentence Story word prompt – Connection

It has always been easy for Sage to make connections with strangers. She feels they are all related somehow in the vast Cosmo. Her heart is an open door for sharing of stories.

There is no surprise to see Sage giving an inspiring speech in a high society fund raising ball, sharing a coffee and cigarette with a homeless sister on a street corner, or taking her elderly neighbour to her Aqua therapy every Monday afternoon.

But in her household, she was given the cold shoulder for her career success by the one should have supported her, criticised for her strict discipline by her children, and misunderstood her tireless giving for personal ambition.

Sage sheds tears in her prayer room for the unity she so striving for but doesn’t seem to be any closer in her own backyard.

The Effervescent Bunch

The Six Sentence Story word prompt – Effectvescent

We are the middle aged youth who are energetic and effervescent.
We take life’s crisis head-on without whinging or whining.
We have enough discernment to choose which battle to fight.
We see wisdom in both the young and the old.
We learned to count our blessings than troubles.
We taste the goodness of life in the most ordinary way.

Gaslighting

Hey, I want to talk with you about something.

Ok, am I in trouble?

No. Just something I am feeling and going through lately.

Alright. You want a hug or something?

I am ok for now. I feel you don’t show me you love me like you used to.

What do you mean? You are the most important person in my life.

I’ll give you some examples…(examples given)

What do you mean? You know I love you! That goes without saying.

It’s not what you said or not said. It’s your action, lack of action for a better word. I feel unloved. And I can’t work out why I know you love me but I don’t feel you love me. There’s this big descrepency.

What? You wanna be rid of me? It sounds like you are picking on me.

I want us to discuss and work through this because I love you and I want us to work out.

All I know is that you are finding fault with me. I love you. I just love you. I can’t believe that you question that.

I am not questioning. I am sharing with you how I feel. (It’s about me, not you.)

I am upset that you accused me of not acting like I love you. I think about you 24/7. Everything I do, I do for us, for our future. I can’t believe that you questioned me.

(sobbing inside)…I don’t know. That wasn’t my intention. I just wanted to talk with you like adults without damaging our relationship.

There is not much to talk about. You either love me or not. I love you and that’s a fact.

I know you love me. But that’s not what I was confused about.

What are you confusing about then? I am not rich enough to send you flowers? I am not a successful man whom you are proud of? I am not a weak man who is afraid to stand up to you?

(Tears rolling down cheeks)I don’t know. I don’t feel very well right now. I gotta go…

Near Miss Romance

Yesterday I took my son to ice-skating. I did a few rounds in the ice rink with great worry of falling and breaking my bones. This type of worries only comes with aging. Aging is also good for reminiscent. Here I post again one of my earlier writing pieces initially posted on 13 March 2019.

I was a misfit trying to blend in with my peers. I wasn’t alone, quite the opposite, I was somewhat popular with groups of friends throughout school years. I was really lonely though when I was surrounded by people. I have always been enjoying my own company, definitely way too much against the healthy alone time standard if there was such a measure.

Growing up, I have never experienced princess, fairy tale, wedding bride dreams. I just wanted a buddy to hang out with, preferable a quiet dude on the geeky nerdy side, wearing checkered shirt and glasses. So when it comes to first dates, my skull has gone prickly and itchy even now while I am tapping away on the screen.

Regarding principles for first dates, most that I know about girls or read about girls, they usually have some restrictions on first dates. For examples, only vanilla kiss is allowed, French kiss is of the limit, Aussie kiss is absolutely a ban; no sex on first dates; guys must pay, pick up and drop off; only showcasing the bright side both appearance and characters. I did have some first date principles, sadly none of the above. Now I suspect maybe that is why my first dates never went quite well.

My principles are quite straight forward in my view, and my view only of course.

I dressed as plain as I could on my first dates, casual with minimal to no makeup. I consider it a strategy rather. I could not stand the disappointment on his face when he saw my messy bed hair, rubbed off make up and runny mascara in the morning after a passionate night. So I figured if I was plain then no complaint really. And I must say it did work.

I was really poor at small talks, it made me wanting to carry a portable hole in the ground with me. For that reason, my other principle for first dates is choice of venues. Aquarium, zoo and amusement park are my top choices for their relaxed, fun and semi social elements. Art gallery, museum and library are the second tier for they are the places I go on my own a lot, so going with my date is still within my comfort zone. Unfortunately, none of these of my choices made it to my first dates venue list. I still blame my awkward first dates on the wrong choice of venues.

When I was 17 years old, I went on one of my first dates. We went to a cinema and selected a random movie which is ok because I did like spontaneity. I like watching movies so it started grand. He got us soft drinks (I didn’t like drinking soft drinks) and nuts (with shells). Maybe he was both nervous and trying to be attentive, he drank his soft drink quickly and slurped the last bit LOUD and kept passing me nuts and crunching on them himself LOUD. I was nervous too and trying to focus on the movie. But the scrunching, slurping and plastic bumping noises made me barely keeping myself still on the seat. I closed my eyes focusing on my breathing and trying to think of the positive things like he was not trying to have a conversation in the middle of the movie and he did all the right things (although I didn’t care) like picking me up and walking between me and the traffic. Half way through the movie, he quietly put his arm around my shoulder and leaning a little bit closer to me. While I was trying to make myself get comfortable with the fond gesture, the characters on the screen started to undress and make out. Oh how I wished I did have a portable hole in the ground. I half stood up and retreated myself from the seat quietly and walked out of the cinema with my cheeks burning and heart racing in massive embarrassment.

At 19 years old, I went to another of my first dates. I agreed to his invitation to an ice skating rink. I was quite warm to the idea because I had noticed him for a long time and it took him quite a while to ask me out. I also imagined ice skating in a pair is romantic and cute and if I fell hope he would catch me just like the movie scene. I could basic ice skate like going forward without aids and slowly turn around. I was in my comfortable jeans and jumper with plain face which I was at complete ease. We set off to the rink and gliding along the curve following the circle. Oh one thing I need to mention, he was super good looking with athletic build. The possibility of him not knowing how to ice skate was totally inconceivable. He fell hard on the ice and I didn’t try to hold him to stop him falling. I assessed the situation and judged that I wasn’t going to be strong enough to save him falling. So I just let him fall. In hind sight, I probably should have held him so at least both of us would fall together and fulfil the romantic movie scene with giggling and even kissing in the end. Not only I let him fall, I kept gliding further away from him without knowing how to brake. The worse was coming at this point. An athletic gorgeous looking girl with short skirt skating to his rescue. Who would wear short skirt to an ice skating rink? My eyes rolled around in a full circle while I was still attempting to resist the natural forward tendency to stop, in vain of course. Say no more, the date ended with us three sitting in the first aid room. Actually is me in the corner and they are drinking milkshakes at the bench sitting next to each other. Damn my lactose intolerance! Grrrrrr….

At age 24, you would think I should have had dated enough to avoid the awkward first date moment. But no, I have never leant. I said yes to this guy who I met in a local bar. We had been talking for quite a while over beers. I was trying to talk him out of asking me out. I even lied to him that I was an international student working in the local charcoal chicken shop. He would not barge. He persuaded me to have dinner with him at the pizzeria and a walk down the beach afterwards. I basically said yes to get rid off him. I didn’t give him my number and told him we would meet here at the bar before dinner. I was so going to ditch him. Then the first date night came, I didn’t have the heart to do a no show on anyone, let alone him. Both of us arrived at almost the same time. When we saw each other, we sighed and grinned with relief. The hunger struck us so ordering pizzas and polishing them off left us only about 20 minutes in between for small talks. I got to know he surfed and was studying an Art degree but mostly hanged out with mates and baked way too much cookies. He told me he had stutter when he was little and with speech therapy help he improved. I told him I was working 3 jobs and studying at TAFE evening classes. The conversation was light hearted and easy. I thought to myself it was going well. With full pizza bellies, a walk down the beach seemed to be perfect. To help with my nervousness, I slipped my hands in the pockets of my shorts, strolling along the wet sand by his side. The sound of the waves were lovely and soothing as always. There was silence between us. I quite enjoyed it and tried to take in the moment of romance I constructed in my head. To break off the silence, he started to whistle Yellow by Cold Play. It’s one of my favourites. I was thinking would he kiss me? ‘Do ya wanna swim?’ His question took me out of my dreamland. It took a while for my brain to recognise what he was asking me. He must have had seen the haze look on my face but mistaken it to be an affirmative non verbal response. The next thing I realised was he was carrying me into the water with my both hands still in the pockets of my shorts. I was hopelessly out of balance and all of me were in his arms and chest. And he started to run towards the waves. Fuckkkkkk!!! Fear rushed to my mind. A massive wave covered us and split us apart. I couldn’t get my hands out of my soaked shorts’ pockets. I swallowed mouths full of bitter gritty foamy saline. When the wave finally tossed and spit me out to the shore, I was crawling to stand straight. Fuckkkkkk!!! I was both shocked and furious. I couldn’t see him on the shore nor coming out of the water. I was swearing ‘Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fucking fuck!!!’ I breathed and straightened my shorts, singlets and hair. I finally composed myself as he emerging from the water and walking towards me. ‘I lost you’ he said. I said ‘ Yea it’s a massive wave. Let’s go! I didn’t bring dry clothes, don’t wanna catch a cold.’ I was trying to be reasonable and end the night. ‘Come to my pad and I’ll dry you off.’ he said casually. ‘It’s alright, I got an early shift tomorrow. I’d better head home now.’ By then I got the cold shivers. We walked silently to my car. I put my hand in my pocket for the car key while he was pulling me in closer. I looked up to meet his eyes while the realisation hit me that my car key was missing. His mouth was almost on mine, ‘Fuck! Fuck you!’ escaped my lips. There was no turning back. I might just let it out. ‘ Why the fuck did you throw me in the water? Now I lost my fucking car key in the fucking sea. Fuck me!’ …

These are the awkward first dates with near miss romance fantasy. It would never turned out that awkward if we had gone to the aquarium, zoo or the amusement park, or would it?

Hiking in Spring

He told her he was going hiking to catch a glimpse of September blooms. She knew the route like the back of her hand. Many times, they hiked to the vantage point where the Tatarian maple stood giving shades for resting and ground for play.

She remembered how he laughed at her impractical hiking dress code: sports cap, sundress and hiking boots. In her mischievous mind, she knew that was the perfect outfit. It was proven by all the passionate moments under that tree.

She couldn’t go hiking with him anymore for he was no longer her man, physically, anyway. But both of them knew, they always went hiking together. The moment he took a rest under the Tatarian maple, she was there just like many times before. It was hard to focus on the fresh spring flowers when his nostril was filled with her slightly moist scent from perspiration.

She was having a cup of earl grey on the daybed under the warm sun, taking a break from reading. Her mind wandered to him. She sensed that he was sitting with his back against the trunk of that maple, drinking mineral water. She could see the movement of his Adam’s apple. That’s usually the time she would agilely climb on his lap, lifting, then scattering her sundress for cover. He would never refused her, always gave her every ounce of himself in exchange of watching the satisfaction on her face while she parading over him like a peacock.

Sometimes, they wished their connection was broken when they parted ways. And some times, they secretly, earnestly gravitated towards each other, specially in Spring, a season of everything grows.

The Poet and One of His Readers

He escapes from the everyday reality to immerse himself in aged books. The fragrance between the crispy vintage pages infuses his nostril like April blooms. He imagines someone is reading one of his poems under a flaming Japanese maple bathed in Autumn glory.

She shies away from the crowded room and retreats into the oversized recliner in the studies, letting the scent of old poetry books calm her mind. Her delicate fingers dance with each stanza in rhythms only Braille can play so fluidly. She wonders how his hand moved when he composed all those crests and troughs so pleasing to her heart.

My Father Has Dementia at 61

Six Sentence Story word prompt – home

Photo by Cassa Bassa at Balmoral Beach, NSW, Australia

There was always safety in our father’s presence. The memory of him rafting with me and my younger brother out on the Balmoral water in early Autumn is still vivid in my mind today, the same as the cold winter day we buried our mother.

We have never felt neglected by our widow father. And he has never made us feel any guilt although we ran around like mad monkeys in our family home where our mother spent her last weeks.

Now I am sitting by his bed as a grown woman with my own family, listening to him telling incoherent stories of the past. Maybe to him, this is the way he is coping with the open floodgate of emotions which have been bottled up for so long.

Light in Abundance

In the spirit of Easter, I decide to write a post about the good things in life. Where there is darkness, there is the polar opposite light.

I am in awe of who God is. He is my heavenly Father, mighty and faithful. He gave me Jesus whom is my saviour and best friend. There is no better consellor and comforter than the Holy Spirit.

I have a family by blood not by choice. They are a living proof of forgiveness, patience and harmony.

Failed past relationships showed me who I am. These many cracked mirrors taught me the imperfection of my own reflection. And yet light still shines on me throught the shards of glass.

For the love ones who are no longer here, although I cannot argue with silence and reason with absence, I have abundance of memories to celebrate and have a jolly good laugh at.

For every living being surrounding me everyday, you are a light filled kaleidoscope. I am simply amazed by you and grateful for your light.

Con

Six Sentence Story word prompt – Gear

He shops around on dating sites. From the early banter, it progresses into a coffee date, a small token to test out the potential of such investment. He does it diligently every week like Sunday mass till he shorlists a few.

Commitment is not his plan. He hovers over a few lovers like watching the stock market. The only difference is he is doing it like negative gearing, so to speak.

Betrayal

Six Sentence Story word prompt – Service

You had told me ‘I love you’ for one thousand days. I really thought it meant something weighty.
The bouquets, the words, the hard working late nights were your acts of service. I had mistaken.
How dare you asked me to forgive and forget all your lies.
That night, I tore my robe in anger while you tore my heart apart.