My thoughts won’t let me sleep.

121.

Rewriting an old piece that holds a portion of myself.

Best friends, pursuers of the world hidden within words. She speaks often, but he remains imprisoned in the mind despite superior comprehension. In the quiet reads, there is a feeling to strive for.

There he is, leaning against the large tree trunk, balanced on a branch with a burgundy tome in his possession. The consumption of knowledge undeterred until sight is obscured by pesky hands.

Articulate her name with a notable scowl, earning a laugh from the brunette, bearer of a diminutive smile that he adored best. Hello, she utters, and while he has every intention to shake his head at the impertinence, it does not come to pass as a gentle notion flutters across his complex mind.

She acquired a fear of scaling trees after an incident involving the death of a featherless baby bird. It tumbled out of its twig nest. Accusing herself a murderer, the pain and guilt that beset the heart. This fear he prayed against, that its tendrils would no longer need to tangle with her conscience, that he would be one quelling these possibilities. That they would have to creep past him to get to her.

The silly idea that hums at the back of his mind.

The fact that the brunette scales the tree would mean two things: that she is prepared to overcome her fears, and that she is in want of his company despite adversity. Incredibly heartwarming. Congratulations, he says tersely, before returning to his read. Dissatisfied by his choice, she pesters him with childish methods before imbalance overtakes.

Eyes wide, arm outstretched to catch the falling, astonishment flitting past chocolate eyes, the strange lightness of being before crashing. The throbbing that slowly receded, even she notes the magnificent cerulean sky. Turn to the side, lips that curl.

Best friend, she mildly teased. Didn’t you promise me that you’ll catch me when I fall?

Auburn eyes that crinkle. The voice that stirs wizened leaves.

I already have, are the words he softly whisper as he raises their interlocked fingers before her very own eyes.

And had she not known any better, it is surely in that moment that her heart would have swayed.

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120.

Ways introverts display affection:

  • Watching the glimmer in your eyes
  • Listening endlessly
  • Mouthing words across the crowded room
  • The phone call
  • Initiating touch
  • Tracing letters into your palm
  • Lengthy messages
  • Going to that party with you
  • Shadows walking side by side
  • Interacting on low social battery
  • Sharing incredibly personal thoughts
  • Remembering you

(and how many more shall introverts count in their unchanging ways)

115.

I’m fascinated by a ghost.

Real as real can be. Even so, sometimes I catch myself wondering if he exists. Poetic musings and untimely vanishings, ethereal like the place he once dwelt.

Why do I think of him, despite unreliable appearances?

Perhaps it’s the utterance of I love you on the first meet, when we were hardly acquainted. Even he found himself taken aback, as though it was something strange and uncalled for. In the context of a card game, a deck shifted over and yours truly took the leave for the night.

Remember even more the impromptu lunch together, when I ran up to him to say hey. Mildly shy, with a smile almost and not quite, partake a meal together we did. The crumbs of a cake that fell.

While our intentions to meet again never materialised, I know the best gift bestowed. My ghost, he writes a birthday wish detailed and sweet. As one who became synonymous to air, his hand reaching out through this digital space is nothing to dismiss.

Ghostly friend of mine. Where you go, be the thoughtful being you are.

93.

This is a love letter, and it was written for you.

Do not scoff or find it a gimmick, for love is indisputably one of the strongest forces in the universe, if not the most.

Just because there are no names and no descriptions of your face or physique, it does not mean that it is not relevant at all.

If the idea and existence of love in your life is a void now, then take heart.

This piece transcends both space and time, a traveller from the future.

It comes from a place of love deeper than the entire ocean.

Builder, healer, selfless, patiently enduring and gracious.

So many loves, all with their quiet power.

This is a love letter, and it was written for you.

89.

I continue to look at the road after things are long gone, and this is how I meet you.

A child, that’s what I should have been, but I was one attending secondary school. People see you in places alone but in my case, dreams led me to you.

Did we say hello at first glance? This I cannot recall, but I knew from the very start that you were different. Your manner and the way you speak, you cannot be from this place.

We might have met at other places, but the park is the venue I remember best. We would sit on the bench and talk. You had a way of loosening my tongue, despite my reticent nature. Your voice, it was a low hum, calm and strange. It follows me even after I wake.

And then, you vanished.

Or maybe, I did the vanishing after all.

I am angry, incredibly angry, at my failing memory. Desperate for a clue, often trying to understand how our communication broke. When did I lose my way? They say that people of your kind disappear with age and time, when the need for a companion no longer exists but how dare you, how dare you share so many moments and carelessly disappear afterwards?

You were a phantom and I thought of you everyday.

Are you still waiting at the park? Because I no longer know how to get there.

In the darkness, I still see you.

Though your soothing voice is slowly leaving and your wise smile fading, you remain undeniably special to me.

84.

Play hide and seek with me, the favourite game of every child.

Teach me how to find not with the eyes but the heart.

There is a warmth lingering in this stillness that I am in want for.

Stay, please stay in gentle patience until my fingertips align themselves with yours.

Lean in, whisper goodnight to the flecks of light outside.

Know that home lies in the crook of my collarbone.

83.

Don’t forget how angry injustice makes you feel. It’s terrible how crimes need to be judged by severity, when wrongs against humanity are the scum of the earth.

A woman’s sense of pride is scorned, when one speaks of indecent glances. Women are pages in the catalogue, perused and felt up to the corners. Eyes are made to travel, don’t go feeling special or personally targeted.

We are bodies made of stardust, and some take more in the name of entitlement. A skirt too short, a figure too svelte, it must be her fault that hands desire to lean in for an impolite touch.

Girls are indecisive, they say, girls know not what they want. Others take their voices and speak in false mellifluous promises. It’s easy to know what they need, turn their loud no-s into secret yes-s. Catch one alone, in a crowd if there is a sense of daring.

In this world, the voice of a female falls on deaf ears. The wrongness committed has become a norm and there is no need to raise a fuss, unless the case strikes as strange or unexpected. Late nights and teenager years are too ordinary to be given a second thought.

Yet it remains unjust, that in an era of spaceships and underwater kingdoms half the population have to be afraid simply for being a woman. Things shift in time, be it gold dust or night constellations, and so I will continue to hope for better tomorrows for the sake of the future generation.

66.

This one, this I write for the one who’ll never find this.

This one, it’s for you, for the senior who held the door wide open and smiled for me.

Almost three years ago, around this time, you expressed the said deed. I’m not sure why, but I think of you as of late. What makes it remarkable is the fact that I no longer remember anything of your physical self.

It must be, that your smile made me feel warm in my heart, touched at the genuine kindness of a stranger. Even as I slipped past the glass doors, a part of me had been left behind. I wondered what you were doing back then, to linger close when you had no business to attend in the same area. Were you waiting for someone? Perhaps.

And all I know is this: that I said only a pity exchange of thanks. How would I have known that months down the road, I would have yearned to say more? What words should I have offered?

I see you, two or three more times. Close enough to hear your laugh, a melody that transforms the air, carefree and explicit, according to that of my ghostly memory. A ghost that is deader than memory, silly as it is. Yet I never catch your name. Timid child that I am, I have not the ability to gravitate into your sphere of influence.

The last time, surely, is that by the examination hall. While we differed in our education level, the hall was sufficiently spacious to occupy differing papers. You walked in, jacket dark and shoes white, or so I’ve chosen to believe. My memory, it has waned and I’m forced to make up something to hold on to.

While you eventually turned out to be someone I didn’t expect you to be, in the midst of my ambivalence I knew that you were always someone I searched for in the bustling crowd.

Where are you now?

It’s an incredible shame, that you could walk into my life by chance one day and I would not recognise who you are. I will hold on to the you I knew, of whom I’ve spun a story more than one in my attempt to wrap loose ends.

(In this timeline of bytes and hex codes, I have made you immortal.)