Such a Waste

He eats in peace, checking his phone every once in a while for a text or call from his employees about the new business deal they were given. Everything else is blocked out, as if nothing else in the world matters except for his job and his money.

This goes on for several minutes, with him answering calls, replying to text messages that bombard his phone every five seconds and in the midst of all this, he does not notice the child who approaches the table where he is seated at.

The child asks in a timid voice, “Um, sir?”

He finally notices the child and sighs in annoyance. “I will call you back,” he says into the phone, before disconnecting the call. He places his phone into the pocket of his suit jacket and asks the child, “What can I do for you?”

The child takes out a small brown envelope from the small bag around her waist and hands it to him. He takes it and looks at the child before reading what is written on the envelope.

Please give support to the family of Mrs. dela Cruz, who is in dire need of financial help to pay for her heart operation. Any amount of money will do. We appreciate and thank you for your kind help. May God bless you.

He looks up at the child who was waiting patiently for him to donate money and return the envelope. His eyebrows furrowed. Now, he thought, why in the world would I give this child money? For all I know, this could be a scam, a trick. No. I would not just hand out my money like that. That would be such a waste.

The child is still waiting, looking at him with innocent eyes. For a moment, he looks down at the envelope in his hands and considers placing a small amount of money in it, but then reconsiders.

What am I thinking?

He shakes his head. He hides the envelope under the table and pretends to put in some money in it, making the envelope look a little bulky. After, he gives the envelope to the child and the child takes it, smiles at him and says “Thank you,” before walking away.

He slouches in his seat, picks up his phone and answers another call.

Out of My Mind

I could not stop looking at him.

I do not blame myself for this. It’s just that I cannot help but admire the way his broad shoulders move when he laughs; the way his muscles tense under the black t-shirt he is wearing that does nothing but accentuate the muscles underneath; the way his hair stands up in a crazy, untamed mess. I imagine myself running my fingers through his hair, trying to smooth the soft strands down on his head.

And still, it does not matter what he wears, or how he looks. He is still so beautiful to me.

I know it sounds weird to call a guy ‘beautiful’, but I am simply stating the truth. He is so, so beautiful, it hurts.

Of course, he does not notice me. He is too busy talking and laughing with his friends—too busy to notice that I am longing for him, every second of every minute of every day, from afar.

It has always been like this. From the moment I saw him walk through the door of my homeroom class on the first day of freshman year, with his hands in the pockets of his jeans, a shy half-smile on his handsome face, and his lean—yet muscular—physique not even the least bit slouched, I was out of my mind.

And even then, he never noticed me.

It has been three years and countingthe seasons coming and goingand as I continue to look—stare—at him, I know that nothing has changed. I know that things will always be this way; me, the lonely, invisible girl longing for him, the boy who will never once take a glance at me no matter what I do.

With my hair falling like a curtain around my face, I touch the pendant hanging from the necklace on my neck.

And I stare on.

Fallen

Perfection was a must when it came to you. You were created by Him just as all the others were, but with a very different role. You had to be extraordinary to dwell in His almighty presence, to dwell in His throne room in the place where there is no sorrow, no suffering, no pain—where there is only joy, contentment, and all good things.

You, the Son of the Morning, were a step higher than all the other angels in Heaven. You were magnificent, truly amazing, not only in appearance, but also in intelligence. You, a mere angel, understood His ways.

You knew you were splendid, magnificent. You knew that you surpassed all the other angels in beauty and intellect.

Your wisdom, ability, beauty, and perfection were not enough for you.

You thought that it would be fair if you were given the praise that your master, the Almighty, was given day by day. You wanted to measure up to Him.

You wanted to be worshipped like Him. You wanted to be Him.

And He knew. He knew about your pride, your thirst for so much more than all that He had given you. The other angels must have wondered and thought: wasn’t what He gave you enough? All the intelligence, the beauty, the wisdom?

And the answer was crystal clear: No.

So you were cast out of heaven, stripped of all your beauty, intelligence, wisdom and privileges to that great place. You ended up in the pits of Hell, forever damned.

You look up from your dwelling place now, and catch a glimpse of the place you once called your home.

You, once a magnificent being high up in the home of the Almighty Father, now isolated from everything you once knew and treasured; a being that will stop at nothing to get what you want—to get yourself back on top—to get your sweet revenge.

But as of now: fallen.

Edacious

I wake up from my afternoon nap to the wonderful intermingling smell of several aromas wafting from the kitchen. That, and my father’s voice calling my name. Emily. Emily. 

Each aroma calls out to me, tempting me, weakening my resolve.

I get up from bed, and put on a pair of jeans, a blue tank top and over that, a gray sweater that reaches mid-thigh. I comb my dark, unruly hair and slip on a hairband. On my way out the door, I slip on my flip-flops.

I walk toward the long table, my mouth watering and my eyes widening at all the edible goodness present before me. All the food set on the table is too much to even comprehend. And I suddenly thank whoever came up with Thanksgiving Day because all the food is so worth the thanksgiving.

My family members–aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers, cousins, nephews, nieces–are all in the living room, except for my mother, who is cooking in the kitchen. There are warm greetings, kisses and hugs exchanged while we wait for mother to signal that it is time for dinner. I cannot think of anything else but the food, though. It is always about the food.

Minutes later, my mother exits the kitchen with the very delicious-looking main course: the turkey.

I am the first person to be seated at the table. I regret nothing when I say that I will always be the first to be somewhere when there is food present. When everything is set and after we say a prayer to thank the Lord for this special occasion, I serve myself as much of the food possible. First come, first serve. (At least, that’s how I live my life. And it applies most especially when food is involved.)

I dig in and eat everything on my plate. I don’t even look up. All my attention is on the food and by the time I finish eating and look up, I finally notice that there is no more food left.

It saddens me.

I excuse myself and make my way to the kitchen, heading straight for the refrigerator. I find a slice of leftover cake from last night, and my eyes widen in glee at the sight of the sweet treat.

I make sure that no one notices the scrumptious cake in my hands as I make my way to my room.

 

Red

All you see is red.

It blinds your eyes, fills your vision, covers everything else from view.

It stays like that for several moments and when your vision clears, your ears are ringing, eyebrows are furrowed, lips in a scowl. You look at the reason for the boiling rage flowing through you. The sneers on their faces right there in front of you make the anger want to burst out of you like water out of a dam. The satisfying smirk that appears on the face of the one in the middle seems to be urging you to make a wrong move, to make a mistake that will cost you dearly.

You know you want to hurt them in the most horrible way possible. You just want someone to get rid of them. You want to unleash all of your rage—pure, blinding rage.

They raise their eyebrows at you, goading, tempting, daring you to make a move. They’re expecting you to do anything that would satisfy them even further. As if you haven’t had enough of their satisfaction already.

That’s right. Go ahead. Do it. Hurt us, they seem to be telling you with their eyes. We know you want to.

You stare at them, keeping yourself steady, careful not to commit a mistake. You clench your fists at your sides, your nails digging into your skin until you draw blood. You are seeing red again, but it isn’t as all-consuming as it was just moments before. It is calming down, like the waves of an ocean after a tumultuous storm.

They stare back at you, waiting patiently, knowing that you are about to burst. You do not want to give them any more reason to push your buttons and bring you to your boiling point again. You do not want to give them the satisfaction of saying that they won this battle.

You walk away.

Won’t Get Up

The paint on the ceiling was peeling off.

That was what Jake noticed as he lay on his bed, his arms splayed at his sides carelessly, a result of him crashing down on the bed earlier that morning when he got home from the party, completely wasted. He just woke up from sleep a few moments before and had no intention earlier whatsoever to get up from bed and make himself known to the world that exists outside of his bedroom.

The clock on the wall in front of his bed showed him what time it was: 6:30 AM. Jake narrowed his bloodshot eyes at the clock, his brows furrowed in confusion.

It’s so early, he thought, his eyes gazing around the room as he tried to make sense of his surroundings.

And with that thought in mind, he exhaled through his nose, closed his eyes and let himself become trapped once again in the waiting arms of slumber.

The sound of a door slamming on the wall was what woke him up half an hour later.

“Crap,” he croaked out, his voice hoarse from sleep and from too much alcohol. He squinted at Dakota who was standing with her hands on her hips at the doorway of his room.

“Jake, would you get your ass out of bed and do something useful? Like maybe help Riley move the rest of the stuff up to the attic.” Her shrill voice was not helping his sleep-muddled mind.

He faced the wall, away from her. “Later,” he grunted, closing his eyes again.

He heard Dakota sigh in frustration. “So useless,” she mumbled. “What the hell are we going to do with you?” She proceeded to slam the door shut.

Maybe she’s right, stated the more sensible and sober part of himself that was already making a reappearance. Maybe I should just get my ass out of bed and stop being my useless and sorry self. Maybe then everyone wouldn’t think I’m good for nothing.

Yeah. Maybe later.

All That She Is

She laughs along with her friends, her laugh a beautiful melody spreading all over the room. As usual, every boy turned to look at her, not in irritation, but in awe. It was the same response she received every time she did something so ordinary, like when she sang softly when she thought no one was listening; when she was seen dancing in the music room; when she looked at you, her face full of a subtle beauty; and even when she was simply sitting down during class, writing in the small notebook she always brought with her.

With her long brown hair, wide and innocent-looking eyes, cute nose, thin pink lips, flawless face, slim—yet curvy—physique, and angelic personality, she was the epitome of beauty.

Everyone loves her. She is friends with everybody, almost every guy in school likes her, and all the girls admire her and want to be her.

And of course, I am not an exception.

It’s unfair that she has everything—the smarts, the looks, the perfect personality, the perfect family—while I can’t compare to her even in the slightest bit.

Frustration and irritation bubble up in me like lava about to burst from an active volcano.

Every time I would look at her, I would just be reminded of all the reasons why I’m not content with myself and what I have. She is the living, breathing embodiment of all that I want to be and all that I want to have.

I sigh and glance at Miss Perfect again. She has a smile on her face—a shy and lovely smile that brightens the room—and I have no idea if ears are just messing with me or if the guys really sigh when they see her smile.

I roll my eyes and shake my head. I look away and fumble with the bracelet on my wrist.

My ears are messing with me.

The Last Two Months: 2012

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.

November came by just like all the other months that passed this year. And it came to my attention that it was only about two months left before the end of 2012. Okay, so I thought: 2012, why you pass by so fast? Every year it’s like this. Every year. One second, I’m just a small town girl, living in a lonely world–oh, wait. Sorry, wrong line.  One second, I’m just a freshman in high school, and the next thing I know is that I’m here, now a high school junior. Time flies so fast…

So on the first day of November, I was still working my butt off doing my project for chemistry. I had been doing that for a week already, and I still had not finished it by then (A week! I might as well have been sleeping the whole time, trying to make up for my lack of sleep). Really… a comic book focusing on any of the topics we’ve learned so far–I could only do so much, considering I’m not really good at imagining my own characters. My parents were even asking me how I was doing, and every time I told them that I was still not finished, they would roll their eyes and say that what I’d done was enough already. Yep. The stress was eating me up. But then again, it’s always been like this…

Two days after, I finally finished my project. Success! (Believe me, sweet relief.) And then I find out that the due date was extended (At that point, I was ready to punch someone–but then I thought, Never mind. At least I’m done with that.) The next day, I was able to have some rest (This, I knew, was a temporary reprieve). That seemed fitting because it was a Sunday–rest day. Thank you, Lord, for giving me rest. 

That was how November started for me.

And it all goes downhill from there.

Well, no, not really. The rest of the month, as much as I can remember, was full of requirements that needed to be completed–quizzes, projects, long tests, etc. I even have proof. Just take a look at my monthly planner.

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I cannot really remember the things I did when I was not busy with requirements, but I know that I had fun with my friends as usual. Sure, we had occasional fights and problems, but at the end of the day, we would always end in good terms with one another (That’s just how good friends we are, and I really appreciate their friendship. The people I am talking about–you know who you are.). November ended with a day free of classes–but not free of requirements, as usual. After almost three years of this, I cannot believe I’m still not used to all this. Continue reading

Me, The Devil, and Hell

An interview with the Devil himself . . .

(Note: I don’t really want to interview the Devil anytime soon. Just saying. Scares the living daylights out of me.)

Me: So…Mr. Satan, how are you today?

Satan: I’m doing well. Not that it’s any of your business, really.

Me: Okay. So would you mind answering a few questions?

Satan: It depends on what questions.

Me: Alright, then. Let’s start. You were once an angel of God, am I correct?

Satan: Yes. One of his favorites, actually. I was once named Lucifer, the angel of light.

Me: Yes. Okay. So… Why is it that He banished you from heaven?

Satan: I wanted to be Him. I wanted to be greater then Him. And He is a jealous God. Of course that could not be. There is only one God and that is He. I was punished for wanting to be Him and my punishment was to be cast out of heaven and into hell.

Me: Okay. Do you think this was justified?

Satan: He is God. There is always justice in what He does. Or so it seems. What? I could not speak out for wanting something?

Me: I didn’t say such things. So why is it that you like going against God all the time?

Satan: Were you even listening? He cast me out of heaven and into the pits of hell. It is nowhere near pleasant down there. And I’m considered a fallen angel. A fallen angel. That does not explain enough?

Me: All right. I think that’s enough for today. Uhm… Thank you for your time, Mr. Satan.

Satan: [Goes away]

***

Me: Thank you, Lord, for your guidance through all troubled times.

How to Get Through a Bad Day

© dstephanievaliente.tumblr.com

© dstephanievaliente.tumblr.com

On some days, you wake up in the morning feeling utterly happy and know that it’s going to be a good day. And then something happens that brings you into a bad mood and this goes on throughout the day. Or you wake up in the morning already in a bad mood and your day just goes on from there. Sometimes, even, it feels like the world would never be the same again (But that’s just exaggerating your feelings when you’re in a bad mood—don’t do that). It’s not the end of the world (And here is the part where I say that the Mayans were wrong. Because I’m still alive and breathing—I’m still here and so are you. Or maybe I’m not. Maybe this is someone else writing, not me. ->I’m just kidding about those last parts. But I’m not joking about how the Mayans were wrong.)

Anyway, never mind my rambling. We were talking about how to get through a bad day, right? Right—back to that. Everyone has their own way of dealing with a bad day—whether it’s standing outside and staring into space, taking a nap, or even curling up in a corner and reading a book—and the events surrounding it. Here are some ways:

  • Eat your comfort food. Really, this helps a lot. Whether it is pizza, chocolate, pie, donuts, or anything edible, go ahead and eat it! That’s why it’s called comfort food—it should give you some comfort when you need it.
  • Have fun with and seek comfort from your friends. Your friends are the people who could help lift your mood when you’re having a bad day. Have fun with them; play games, write stuff together, do whatever will help you forget—temporarily—the reasons why you’re in a bad mood. Seek comfort from them; talk to them about what’s bothering you. It will relieve you of your bad mood when you tell them the truth.
  • Find comfort from your family. Your family is always there for you, whether you realize it or not. Don’t think otherwise. Talk to them about why you’re having a bad day. Apply the rule in bullet#1 while doing so. If a family member is the reason why you’re not the happiest person right now, talk to them, still.
  • Do what you love to do. Dance, sing, write in your journal, read a book, go online, do whatever hobbies you enjoy. This will brighten your mood—maybe not completely—but it will help; do the things you love. Enough said.
  • Face whatever is bringing you down. When you have a problem, it’s better to face it head on instead of skirting around it. Skirting around it will not solve the problem. Approach the problem and try to figure out how to solve it. :)