Friday, May 31, 2013


I'm going to keep this post short. Somehow, my dad accidentally threw away my AP Biology textbook. I don't know how this happened but I was crying yesterday at how ridiculous this all was. We now have to pay $138 to the school. I had my second to last day today... the last paper of the school year was published! School is winding down, fast. The wonderful thing about finals week is that I only have 2 real finals-- math and spanish. I have my last bout of SAT testing tomorrow until summer so I'm almost free! 

I wrote a story about the SAT and here it is... I have a new label just for stories lols. This is just the first chapter. I know the layout is so weird...

I also started watching the Korean drama Coffee Prince again... here's a short synopsis of the first 3 episodes:

  • There's this crazy hard working girl who has an irresponsible mother and an airhead sister. They barely make enough to stay afloat and eat food. This girl is a super tomboy and wears guy clothing (comfort? idk) and everybody thinks she's a guy. She delivers jjajangmyun (black noodle dish) to this guy's house and he's weird (but super super attractive. I love goong yoo). He was a nice bod and he's sitting on the couch with nothing but a towel on wiping his legs. I dunno but it was appreciated, teeehee. 
  • Her sister is in a relationship with this weird guy, he's sort of an ahole actually. She calls up the main character to help her get rid of him. They have an eating competition, this scene was crazy. Her sister is b----- though and complains all the time about how they're so poor and whatever. 
  • She rides her motorcycle for work to deliver food. The same guy is walking around the street at night with this girl he's sort of interested in. They have a weird on-off relationship. The ahole (with sister) steals her bag in order to pay for his girlfriend's college bills. The main character sees him and tells him to run away after giving him the low down. 
  • The guy (legs..) tells her he saw everything and how it was a set-up. It really wasn't . . .but it did look like it. He doesn't want to pay reparation fees (her motorcycle got busted and she was fired). 
  • His grandma and mom are mad at him for being such a lazy playboy. He agrees to blind date. The main character bothers him on every day for the money. He has a crazy idea. He's going to pretend that he's gay in order to scare all the girls away. This is main character's new job. 
  • His grandma and mom hears of this and forces him to take care of a struggling coffee shop. 

I prayed that she hadn’t seen me. I turned my head the other way as soon as I saw her eyes peep up from her cheap paperback novel. She always carried a different novel but they all blended together in my memory. I was annoyed that I hadn’t gotten a glimpse of today’s title. It was obvious that I stared in her direction, but it was the best I could do. She was sitting in the best seat of the house, like usual.  That used to be my seat but she never said a single word to me. Why should she? I was just another guy seemingly infatuated with her. She sat on the very edge of her chair, always with her ankles crossed.  Today she was wearing an oversized blue shirt over a short striped skirt. Nothing ever looked purposeful or well thought out but there was something elegant and refined about her. Her light brown hair would always catch the rays of the afternoon sun. She was skilled at turning around at all the precisely wrong moments. After an awkward encounter, I had learned that she had piercing blue eyes. I flicked the 2x2 picture of her before slipping it into my pocket. Realistically speaking, I still didn’t know even her name. 
The café was a little treasure tucked in an alleyway. What she was even doing here and how had she managed to find this place escaped me. A girl like her clearly didn’t belong among the five slightly broken tables and disorganized mess of rickety chairs.  The dusty floorboards always squeaked and the windows never shut entirely. From the outside, to any bystander, it seemed like a run of the mill type café that only bums and drunks went to. They wouldn’t understand the airy atmosphere or the lingering scent of coffee grounds that the café provided. 
“Arthur, what do you want today?” I felt my shoulders jut outwards in shock as Sarah’s whiny voice managed to surprise me yet again. I shot her a nasty glare. “Serves you right,” she said, barely whispering. She was a friend’s little sister and unfortunately a barista in training. She would always be wearing something close to a burlap sack around her waist and a haughty look. She was defiant and determined, two traits I had always found admirable about her. I took a deep breath under the guise that I was reading the menu. 
“Just the usual,” I said after some thought. After all the years of being here, I had never tried anything except the dollar special of regular black coffee with exactly one creamer.  I hung around here almost every day and anything else would have burned a hole in my pocket. “Hey, you wouldn’t happen to know her name, right?” I gave a quick, little nod at her direction. Sarah shut her eyes as if I was too annoying to deal with. Moments later a “pfft” sound rolled off her tongue. 
“Oh you’ve got to be kidding me. Don’t tell me you’re obsessed with her too. Who is she anyway?” I knew I probably shouldn’t have but it was amusing to see Sarah get so worked up about nothing at all. 
“Just tell me, please?” I smiled at her, inadvertently shifting my Ray-Bans up higher on the bridge of my nose. Sarah giggled after rolling her eyes again. 
“You’ve got to be at least the tenth person today to ask that. Veronica,” Sarah grudgingly divulged before leaving. 
“No last name?” Sarah glared at me thoroughly before swinging the door into the kitchen.
“Don’t push it,” she said turning around briefly. I must have been reeking of desperation but at that moment I couldn’t be bothered to particularly care. Fitting in was always a foolproof disguise and now I had someplace to start. 
I absentmindedly sat there wondering why exactly I was here. I always started wondering these kinds of things as the test dwindled down. The last ten minutes were always the hardest. Even staring at a wall became a difficult activity. The proctor’s gaze was fixed upon the clock and I didn’t blame him. What kind of self respecting person would want to spend a Saturday in a classroom with a bunch of sleep deprived and caffeine addicted high schoolers? Even in my conscience, I wasn’t a self-respecting person. I swiveled a pencil around my fingers and smiled at him. He was taken aback by my calm demeanor, almost everyone was. I was the paradigm of indifference. People like me were hard to find, especially in a SAT test room. 
“Two minutes,” he said, almost taking pleasure from the exasperated expressions and gasps for breath. Maybe that’s why he was here on a perfectly sunny Saturday. My mind leapt back to ponder why I was here. I smiled exactly once before flicking through the last fourteen questions again. 
“We’re done!” Someone yelled out, beating the proctor by ten seconds. I slid my neat Ziploc bag of pencils and an ID card into my bag.  My calculator was already snuggly place in between some chocolate wrappers and the newspaper I picked up at Starbucks in the morning.  The bag smelled odd and fishy for some reason I couldn’t wrap my head around. Chocolate definitely didn’t smell like that. I stopped sniffing my bag when the proctor gave me yet another weird glance. He wore a grimace on his face while collecting the test books. I was sitting on the far right this time. It wasn’t always a privilege I enjoyed. I slung my red tote bag over my shoulder and scrambled to make a quick and easy escape. This was my favorite part.  I had maybe stridden two steps towards the door before the proctor asked me to sit down. He snatched the test book from the solace of my desk and placed a sweaty hand on my shoulder. I was already sitting down and it was unnecessary for him to have done that. 
“Clarisse,” he said reading off the little slip of paper with a few pieces of information that no one really needed. “Wait a second, okay?” I nodded. This had never happened before. Maybe it was because I had stood up before he had even collected my test booklet. This was the same proctor that turned a girl away because she had forgotten her ID card. A spine tingling, numbing pain came over me. I tried to rationalize but my brain wasn’t capable of accepting logic. The fellow test takers gave me pitied looks as they left without anyone stopping them. They were probably going to eat lunch or ice cream while I sat here in agony. In a single moment, I found myself hating complete strangers who didn’t have rotten luck. I was soon the last person in the room and actual beads of sweat were forming on my forehead. 
“Clarisse,” he repeated again. It was just me, the proctor, and a room full of empty desks. The proctor was a middle-aged man with dark eyebrows and a terrible taste in shoes.  “I’ve seen you before.” I swallowed, trying to keep my demeanor unfazed. Had I seen him before? I couldn’t remember. How had I let this happen? 
“I have a nondescript face,” I said automatically. “I’m sorry, but is there a problem? My mother is waiting for me.” 
“Is this your first time?” 
“Yes, sir.” 
“It must have been someone else then,” he murmured, shaking his head. I nodded without saying anything. I ran out before he could say anything else. That was way too close. 
I stared at the flimsy wristwatch that I had bought from the convenience store on campus. It was never on time but neither was the train. I checked one last time to see that the ticket and spare change were tucked in the cross-body bag I had also found in the convenience store. I stood back, behind the yellow line, and wondered where the train was. 
“Where are you going?” I blinked a couple times before I realized that the girl with the maroon cardigan was talking to me. She had long brown hair with a slight honey tint to it. She was wearing platform boots and a white hi-low skirt. It was barely May and there was no way she was from around here. It seemed like she had stepped out of a magazine spread. She was pulling a red suitcase with one busted wheel behind her. 
“Oh, uh just New York City,” I said with a smile. The train station was a surprising breeding ground for new and interesting stories. Just the past week, I had heard about a man traveling all the way to California to propose to his long distance girlfriend. I didn’t know why he wasn’t taking an airplane. Somehow in that moment I had forgotten there even existed faster and more efficient ways to travel. Romantic stories were fun to listen to and swoon over but seldom made any sense. 
“I’m going to Pennsylvania,” the girl said. We were about the same age and yet there was nothing more to say. There was a slight anguish to the girl’s tone but it wasn’t something a random stranger should’ve picked up on. 
“Are you from around here?” 
“Oh no, I’m actually from California. I’m visiting my brother.” I nodded with a polite smile. It would explain how her skin was that perfect shade of tan. Never in sixteen years had I ever met anyone whose skin actually looked like the “sun kissed” advertised on TV or in magazines. 
“Does your brother go to college in Penn?” 
“Yeah, he goes to University of Pennsylvania,” she said with pride. I would’ve been proud too if my imaginary brother went to University of Pennsylvania. I was an only child living with an eccentric father. I still had no idea of what exactly happened to my mother. They were divorced ever since I could remember and she had never called once. According to Dad, she had moved to some far away country no one could pronounce. 
The Amtrak was finally within a sight. It carried a strong whoosh of wind with it. This time I had been smart enough to tie my hair up. A slew of radio broadcasts announced its arrival and a frenzy of passengers exited the cool air-conditioned waiting rooms.  
“Oh cool,” I said realizing that I was having a conversation. I turned around to ask another question. She was gone and I was talking to the breeze. I scoured the crowd for such a distinct face but like the wind, she was not anywhere to be seen. I hopped onto the greenish colored steps and was disappointed to see that almost all the seats had been taken. Sometimes I was lucky enough to have an extra seat to stretch my legs or take a nap. I stared at my ticket, 16D. Here was 12A and 13B. I walked down the aisle wondering where exactly row 16 was. 
“Excuse me,” someone said pushing me to the side. I sighed but realized that I was now in the right place. 16A, 16B, 16C, 16D! Someone was already sitting in 16C but the train was starting to move at full speed. 
“Willa?” A swarm of butterflies thrashed about my stomach. How could I not remember that voice? Even after two whole years none of the memories had faded away. I tried to breathe but realized I had forgotten how. I rummaged my bag as quietly and innocuously as one could in a situation of terrifying panic. How had I forgotten to pack Advil? I never left the house without Advil! I gave him a dumb stare and tried to act like I had no idea who he was. An expression of hurt and regret gave everything away. 
“Finn,” I said with a taut smile. He had moved all the way to the other side of the country. Our sole connection was one year of high school. What were the odds of meeting him on a train ride to New York? I quickly scanned the rest of the train compartment but there were no other empty seats. The conductor was explaining all the safety procedures. It was too late to do anything. Somehow this was very different from anything I had dreamed of. 
I was sitting in the hot staff room without any air conditioning. A box of melted donuts sat at the center of the table. It was my first ever staff meeting. I smiled at Logan. He was the only other junior intern that was picked to sit in. It was a huge moment for both of us. He returned a crooked, half smile. I suppose it was better than nothing. He wasn’t exactly the nicest person at Bio Life. I had worked too hard to first get in to Bio Life and to sit in this meeting to have him ruin everything.
“Well we have a pleasant surprise,” Mr. Plath said in his deep, broadcaster voice.  Everyone leaned a little bit. I saw someone give me a dirty glance. Mr. Plath hadn’t even bothered to introduce everybody. Strangely enough no one was glaring or glowering in Logan’s direction. “James Higgins, the James Higgins, is coming to Bio Life to give a talk.” Excited squeals came from every direction. 
“Sylvia, would you mind getting the coffee?” Mr. Hines asked just as Mr. Plath was giving the specifics of Mr. Higgins’s visit. I was one of the only girls here and Mr. Hines had just asked me to get coffee. Everyone expected me to get the coffee. Ms. Louis Hampton even started to tap her pencil in impatience. I scowled at Logan but slunk up from my seat.
“I prefer decaf and two creamers,” Logan said, being the jackass that he always was. The staff room was a wonderful place. It was airy and spacious and I didn’t see how everyone didn’t spend all day here. It was equipped with microwaves, a refrigerator, and a high tech coffee machine. The chairs were all plushy and the tables always sparkled and smelled of lemon. I pressed the button to turn on the coffee machine and waited for it to gently purr. I returned with three coffees, a regular for Mr. Hines, decaf with a huge shot of espresso for Logan, and an Italian roast for me. Neither of them said thank you. 
“He will be visiting in two months,” Mr. Plath was saying. “We’ve got to prepare the new lab for him to see. All right everybody, meeting dismissed.” I got up holding my cup of coffee and almost made it out the door before Mr. Plath started to cough discreetly into his sleeve. I waited by the door until all the other staffers had left. Logan didn’t even make eye contact with me. 
Mr. Plath was a middle-aged man who was unfortunately going through a balding stage. He was wearing an obnoxious bowtie that didn’t match his brownish pants. He was one of the nicer people around Bio Life. 
“Sylvia, I was really disappointed with you today.” I set my Italian roast down. 
“I’m sorry,” I said with a questioning look.
“You are a strong female. That’s why I hired you. I don’t want you ever leaving in the middle of a meeting to go get coffee for some male chauvinists.” 
“Thanks Mr. Plath,” I said with a smile. Perhaps working here wouldn’t be so bad.  


  1. THAT much for a lost textbook?! 0-0

    Great story by the way! ^.^

  2. I know!!! It's quite ridiculous :(
    Thanks Aimee! I really appreciate feedback ^^