Act 6, Scene 2: Cosmos

Prompt fromĀ here.

‘I want to see the world,’ I heard you say.
With those twinkling eyes, you looked like a little boy telling me he wants to be an astronaut.
‘What is the world to you?’ I heard myself ask.
I looked up from my cup of tea, absentmindedly stirring it.

You looked surprised.
Probably wondering where the question came from.
I chuckled.

‘World is a place that is not home,’ you seemed to ponder aloud.
I leaned forward, curious. ‘Why would you want to leave home so badly?’

An embarrassed grin crept across your face, but no answer surfaced.
It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to know the message behind your expression.

It was not that you want to leave your home.
Someone was already out there calling you to follow her footsteps around the universe, inviting you further and further away from where you are right now – from where we are right now.

You once told me that I made you feel like home.
That was why you liked having me around.

That moment, I understood.

I might be your home.
But that special someone…
She was already your world.

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Act 6, Scene 1: Burden

Prompt from here.

‘How long has it been?’
‘Too long, even knowing not a single second would bear any fruit.’

‘Doesn’t that stop you?’
‘It doesn’t.’

‘You give, but you can never expect any return. It just doesn’t work that way.’
‘I know. Even that hasn’t stopped me either.’

‘Why?’
‘Because I can’t choose whom.’

‘Forget. Walk away. Look for someone else.’
‘I want to want it.’

‘You’re an idiot.’
‘Maybe.’

‘Definitely.’
I smiled sadly.

– a conversation with a friend.

Act 3, Scene 4: Writing Unwritten

Prompt from here.
Dedicated to someone dear to me, who passed away last month.

To you,
whom I’ve been doing my best for.

I want you to know that I’m still doing my best.

You’re good.
I’m not as good as you are.
All I could do is to try to be half as good.

I want to make you proud.
And I know it’s not enough just being what I am now –
one of the many things that keeps me going.

I will continue doing my best,
with what I have,
with what I can do.

So please,
be at peace.

Because despite where I am now,
I will move on,
I will strive,
and I will live.

For being such an inspiration,
Thank you.

I will miss you.
But thank you.

– yours.

Act 3, Scene 3: Reading Unread

Prompt from here.

A few times the thought had occurred to me, yet no reason had ever risen for it to happen. It had always been a thought, a wishful thinking: a scene in which a simple thing happened and no consequences followed – as if it was just another sunrise and another sunset hovering above the polluted skyline.

I blinked, the last copy of National Geographic lying still on the shelf right under my nose. To buy or not to buy – that is the question. There wasn’t any obvious motive to get it other than the conversation I had with him two weeks ago, again revealing how he never ceased to amaze me with his ignorance towards the New World.

How does one not know about National Geographic?
Or is it just me being too geeky to grew up reading it instead of Disneyfied Grimm’s fairytales?
…anyway.

Precious minutes wasted, I gave up and grab the copy, then brought it to the cashier. Within seconds I’ve walked out the bookstore with the infamous yellow-framed magazine in my hand with unclear intention of what to do with it. Was it my old self trying to be nostalgic or my newer self seeking a justification for spending unnecessary money on something I’d give away in the end, I had no idea.

That was last week.

Until this day, the outdated copy is still lying on the table in my room, its perfectly smooth pages mocking my coward act the day I bought it. The circumstances had risen along with the will. Problem was, the courage ran away with its tail between its legs. I let the sun set once more without the magazine changing hands. Then another sunset. And about five more sunsets.

I blinked, the same copy of National Geographic in my hands while I sat on the edge of the bed – once again hearing the imaginary mockery coming from the same unread pages.

Act 2, Scene 1: Learning

The sound of the biscuit wrapping being ripped open travelled in the room where I was sitting.

I shifted.
The floor was cold, but it wasn’t like my friends and I had a choice. There were no seats. Who the hell designed a backstage room without seats and with so little light? Lucky there wasn’t any curtains blocking the natural lighting. The view to the heart of the city wasn’t so bad either.

More plastic wrapper sounds danced their way throughout the small space as the sweet scent of sugar started to spread, making me sigh in relief. After what seemed like ages, lunch break and glucose were exactly what we needed.

I fished out a biscuit and bit it, savouring the lemony taste on my tongue. For a while there were only crackling sounds of crackers being bitten off and the sound of spoons battling against food containers. Everything was serene and everyone was thinking about their own issues in today’s tasks. It was, and they were – until I noticed the others glancing at the top of my head. A hand reached over my shoulder and took another biscuit before I knew it. I looked up and saw a glimpse of mischievous grin on that familiar face.

A cheerful gratitude replied my surprised look before he bit it.
I waited, speechless until he told me it’s “pretty”.
I told him that in my language he was supposed to say “delicious”.
He repeated the local word with an undeniable accent.
A small laugh escaped my lips as I gave him the usual approving nod.

He looked proud.

Act 1, Scene 2: Mutual

I tidied my documents, sighing as I stood up against the afternoon light. The others let the sunscreen up to allow the warmth to alleviate the air-con chill, but it didn’t seem to work.

Interviewing people is no fun job.
It’s like playing God upon others’ lives.
And I’ve been playing God for the last three days.
Sickening, isn’t it?

Hugging the pile of forms and papers, I turned on my heels and was about to head to the door before it suddenly opened. Revealed behind it the same awkward smile I saw earlier.

Once again I nodded – this time to acknowledge his presence. In broken English, he asked me how is the session going. In simple words, I tried to explain why I decided not to hire the last youngster. He shot me with what looked like an approving look and said, ‘I agree.’

That was the first thing we agreed on.

Act 1, Scene 1: Introduction

We were strangers.

I was the newbie.
He was that transferred guy from Country Origin.

He smiled and told me his name.
He wouldn’t be able to understand me even if I spoke of anything else, so I did the same.

He repeated my name.
I nodded to assure him it’s the right way to pronounce it.

We continued to walk.
No words.
Only occasional, curious glances at each other.

We were strangers.
Then we were not so strangers.

And that was how it began.