Unexpected Consequences

The ball bounced over the wall and the boy ran after it cursing his luck. With every step he took, he came closer to what every teen feared the most – embarrassing themselves in front of their crush. The situation was especially bad for Erin because he was a geek and everybody knows what the popular people think of geeks. Loser. Crazy. Nerd.

He shivered as his brain supplied him with all the ways the encounter could go horribly wrong. Standing in the front of the gate, he cleared away the scenarios running through his mind and forced himself to stay positive. He paused for a minute assuring himself that nothing bad would happen and was feeling almost confident, before he looked down and realized that he was wearing the nerdiest t-shirt he owned, which was saying something because he owned a lot of nerdy t-shirts.

Any confidence that he had managed to capture flew out of his grasp. The anxiety flooded his bloodstream again and he decided that his ball was not worth the clammy palms and racing heart, even though it was limited edition and featured a beautiful rendition of the throne room of Dragonstone.

Just as he was turning to leave, however, the gates opened and standing in front of him in all his crush-worthy glory was Arden.

“Oh hello! This is your ball right? I was just coming to return it,” he said, as if he did not just give Erin a heart attack.

“Meep,” Erin squeaked, internally screaming at himself for being so awkward.

“Sorry, I didn’t quite catch that,” Arden replied with a confused smile and an utterly adorable tilt of his head.

“I, erm, yes. It’s mine. Sorry for bothering you. Thank you for bring it to me. Or. Well. You know, wanting to, seeing as I’m on your doorstep. Oh. But, it’s not a door. So gate-step? Anyways I’m sorry for rambling. You’re probably busy. I’ll get out of your way. I’m sorry and thank you. Again.”

He started to walk away, blushing furiously but stopped when he felt a hand on his elbow. He turned to see Arden smiling at him hesitantly.

“Do you have to go just yet? I was just about to start watching the season finale of Game Of Thrones. If you’re free, we could maybe watch it together?” Arden questioned, lightly scratching the back of his neck.

Erin’s brain short-circuited.

“You want to what!? I mean, why would you want to do anything with me? Wait, is this a pity thing? I don’t want your pity. Or is it a dare? I refuse to be entertainment for yo–”

“Hey, slow down! This is not a dare or a joke or a pity thing! I promise you that asking you o– uh, that is, wanting to watch the greatest show ever with you is a purely selfish motive as, unfortunately, my friend circle would rather not deal with me screeching at a TV. However, that leaves me to watch it with you, so maybe I’m not so unfortunate after all.” He winks and gestures to his house invitingly.

“Well? What do you say?”

Erin hesitated. His self-esteem would never recover if this turned out to be a ploy to capture his shame. But Arden just asked him to watch a show together! His favorite show at that. He couldn’t not do this.

Which is how he came to the conclusion that he would. Purely out of loyalty to the Starks, of course. Not because he had a crush or because said crush winked at him. No, that would be stupid.

Eh. What was the worst thing that could happen.

Lots. Of. Things. So. Many. Embarrassing. Possibilities.

But-

“Sure.”

-Icarus

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Ostriches And Loose Change.

“Jasey Rae” by All Time Low.

I press play.

Music was my release. Always has been, always will be. After such a pressing day in school (which I say to myself every day), I can’t do without it.

It’s not a coping mechanism, I try to convince myself.

Inner me knows better. I shake myself out of my thoughts and concentrate on the task at hand. Which happens to be finding a bus so I can get home.

Easier said than done, as always.

I sigh and switch the song playing.

Lights out
I still hear the rain
These images that fill my head
Now keep my fingers from making mistakes
Ironic how tiny droplets of drizzle cover the pavement in front of me. I look around as is expected, and see a friend of mine coming towards me enthusiastically.
Play it cool, my anxiety whispers.
Stand up straighter, my self esteem ushers.
I do both as nonchalantly as possible, taking out one of my earphones.
We exchange the usual hellos, and talk for a bit while she waits for her Dad.
Then the expected question. She asks how I’m going back home.
“By bus,” I say, motioning to the road in front of me.
The traffic drowns out my voice.
“I couldn’t hear you, what did you say?
My demons smirked and flashbacks of when I was younger clouded my head.
Tell my voice what it takes
To speak up
Speak up
And keep my conscience clean when I wake
My teacher telling me to be a little louder in class as I told a story, as my ten year old self looked at her shoes wanting to disappear.
My parents telling me that there was no point saying anything worthwhile if I wasn’t loud enough.
My friends hesitantly telling me that me singing well didn’t matter, because they just couldn’t hear me.
Or maybe no one wanted to, whispered my mind.
I blocked that out too.
Maybe that’s why I turned to writing, I contemplated.
This took all of about five seconds before I realized I’d zoned out, so I cleared my throat and repeated myself with a smile.
I’m used to that too, but what the heck.
Don’t make this easy
I want you to mean it
Jasey. (say you’ll mean it)
We said goodbye, and I gladly put my earphones back in.
I wish I’d stop thinking about so much while talking to anyone. It’s just simple conversation, but in my head I’ve dissected every single word and what it may have meant, could have meant.
You have a bus to catch Iris. Get it together.
You’re dressed to kill
I’m calling you out (don’t waste your time on me)
I finally see a bus that takes the right route and hop into it.
…is what I wish happened.
Instead I probably resembled an ostrich running across the road, wisps of hair flying across my face, and my clumsy self clambering into the bus.

With a raised eyebrow, the conductor looks at me, and then asks me where I’m headed to. I mutter the name of my stop and dig my hands into my pockets searching for change.

I feel the eyes of the other passengers in the bus bore holes into the back of my head.

They’re probably wondering why you take so long just to get a ticket. They’re judging you, as usual…

Constantly telling myself that I’m paranoid, I take out the required amount and hand it to him.

Dropping a coin in the process.

Now there’s an aching in my back
A stabbing pain that says I lack
The common sense and confidenceTo bring an end to promises

Cursing all over again, my anxiety laughs at me.

That I make in times of desperate conversation
Hoping my night could be better than theirs in the end
Just say when

“I’m sorry.”

Two words bordering on meaning too much and yet not enough.

I grab the coin and give it to him, and he didn’t seem too pleased as he handed my ticket.

Don’t make this easy
I want you to mean it
Jasey. (say you’ll mean it)
You’re dressed to kill
I’m calling you out, (don’t waste your time on me)

I grabbed a seat right before the next speed breaker, ignoring the pain that shot through my shoulder as I hit it against the bar.

Stuffing the ticket and the damned change back in my bag, I turned up the volume.

I’ve never told a lie
And that makes me a liar
I’ve never made a bet
But we gamble with desire

This is anxiety. Welcome to the world of 25% of people everywhere.

Sometimes I wonder what it’d be like to just do – you know? Act, not contemplate. Without thinking so much or let it get in the way of every single thing my body does or says.

It clings to me like a second skin, always there, subtle, but making its presence known, always.

I’ve never lit a match
With intent to start a fire

Take talking on the phone for example. To order a meal. Gosh, the irrational fear of the phone call, the person itself, them judging you- it all gets too too much. And I don’t know why.

Why is a question I’ll probably ask myself forever.
But recently the flames
Are getting out of control

It seems never ending…will I end up living my entire life scared? To ask for a napkin at a restaurant? To dial an unknown number? To just exist?

While everyone passes me by, talking animatedly, continuing with their lives because they don’t worry about every single thing that happens in their life.

Call me a name
Kill me with words
Forget about me
It’s what I deserve

Yeah, it’s exactly what you deserve. You totally deserve those stares and that constant pain of why you can never do things right.

But…I don’t. Do I?

No one deserves impatient receptions or waitresses, or to make phone calls they’re terrified of making.

But everyone deserves a chance to try and get it right.

I was your chance
To get out of this town
But I ditched the car
And left you to

Sometimes, I don’t know if I should feel sorry because so many people feel the way I do on a daily basis and like their feelings aren’t valid enough to even be spoken about.

Wait outside
I hope the air will serve to remind you
That my heart is as cold as the clouds of your breath
And my words are as timed as the beating in my chest

Meanwhile the practical part of me insists.

I’m not the only one who feels this way, and it’s totally okay. We’ll find a way. And some day we can buy ourselves a chocolate with confidence.

Until then, I got my music.

-Iris

The Picnic Diaries: Part 1

Welcome to the first ever edition of the picnic diaries. Laugh along as we give our pov’s on how we can look as idiotic as possible.

12th May, 2017

(This was a long time ago, I know.)

I’m currently banished to Icarus’s room cos she said I was talking too much when the both of us were trying to write.
Moving on.
I’d love to say it was a beautiful day and we couldn’t wait to get out of the house, but the sweltering heat made it hard to look at the joys of mother nature. We dragged our sorry selves out of bed at 9 am or so, and decided to meet up to *coughs violently* cook something to eat for lunch.
Now that I think about it I’ve never heard of anyone calling lunch a picnic or having a picnic in the afternoon.
ANYWAYS.
It is of our viewpoint that dessert must constitute half of said picnic, so we made up our minds on chocolate mousse(so fancy.) and raspberry jelly.
For the actual meal? Instant noodles.
Note that we are very health conscious individuals.
We walked into the kitchen all gangster with a Labrador by our side armed with…nothing actually. I don’t know what I was getting at. Meh.
First up was chopping up the chocolate. I stared at the block(straight out of the fridge mind you) with a knife in my hand, quite puzzled.
Icarus offered to go get a pestle from her house so we could (Not kidding.)chisel the chocolate. By the time she got back, she found me banging away at a knife wedged in cooking chocolate with a mortar. Not my greatest moment.
It did the job though.
Don’t try this at home kids.
After spilling more sugar than we put into the saucepan, stirring the jelly mixture more vigorously than I thought was possible for my chicken arms, and packing no tissues(who needs those right?), we set off.
Icarus led the way with a flask full of hot water for the noodles, and I followed carrying a bag with the rest of the stuff.
We made our way to our usual spot and sat down Indian style to enjoy our meal.
We forgot to remember that noodles don’t cook themselves so we poured the water in after five minutes of acknowledging how there were no ants like last time, and waited.
Three minutes later we were shoveling half-cooked noodles into our mouths.
We were a real sight.
For some amazing reason, our luck has always held up regarding making cakes or desserts in general. We mess up something or the other in the process but somehow the divine force we don’t believe in pulls through and we end up making something which results in way too much self-appreciation.
All I can really say about the dessert part of it in this case at least is that raspberry jelly and chocolate DO NOT mix.
Separately, they were delightful.
(So British. I know, I know, Icarus thinks I have a terrible British accent. She’s so right.)
When we started eating the mousse we raved bout how we could inhale about two cups each.
By the end of one we were so full that we were flopped on the ground staring at the vines creeping around the wooden shack above and around us.
Of course the tumblr side of us took over and we starting clicking photos of the view which you can see down there. Pretty calming. Icarus said she felt like if we just kept looking up and ignored the empty swimming pool in front of us we could imagine that we were in a much prettier place.

IMAG1496

Touché Icarus. Touché.
We trudged back home with Icarus holding the flask like a Chanel handbag and me walking backwards because we’re just that cool. As usual we laughed about how the so-called bi-monthly picnic took place thrice a year and how we spent way more time cooking than actually eating.
Good times.

– Iris

Looks like I’m cookie cutter framing you.

When a guy told me,
“You’re not like most girls,”
I found myself saying thank you
And not asking what most girls are like because I’m too scared to know the answer
I’m too scared to remember that everyone’s different and by saying what he did he didn’t mean it as a compliment
He just meant
That I was doing what I’d been taught to do since the age of five
When I was made aware that being a girl isn’t quite the same as being a boy
What they taught me but didn’t tell me was that I would spend my entire life pleasing others and adjusting and making do with what I have because I’ve already been given too much.
I’ve been given a voice.
The next time my voice dies down in my throat
Like hands around my neck begging me to stop
Stop talking, stop thinking, stop existing
I can’t listen.
Because I’m not like most girls am I.
I don’t listen.
I don’t listen because I don’t want to have to look good to be taken seriously
I don’t want to have to think about being selfish all the time
I’m sick of feeling like yet another cookie cutter frame
This monotonous batch one after the other, no more than an object and being thrown into the fire if
I’m just a little too brown or god forbid, not perfect.
I’m sick of realizing that I’m not enough to change the world and probably will never be.
I’m sick of myself because my voice isn’t as loud as my conscience and the sirens in my brain shake my balance but do little to shake someone’s faith in their unrighteousness.
But I want to have faith too.
I want to have enough faith in the universe to not feel like a burden as I give my opinion with a spoonful of sugar, as important as ones morning coffee, but as ignored as stains on a coffee cup,
gathering dust because my heated argument did little to remove it.
I want to have faith in myself.
To speak up.
And start over.
And try again.
How can I.
‘When breakfast tastes like disappointment,’ I ask myself.

But for the record.

When another guy reminds that “I’m not like most girls.”
I hope I’ll have the strength to say, “but you’re exactly like most guys.”

-Iris

Normalcy.

Sometimes when the chemicals in her bloodstream took over and she found herself feeling sad, she wished she was normal. Someone who looked around and saw cars, motorbikes and retail stores, not the greed and gluttony of humanity. Someone who looked up to the stars and saw twinkling dots of beauty, not burning spheres of flame that would incinerate her in minutes. Someone who could make conversation without a side dish of stutters and awkward silences. Someone who was accepted by society and comfortable in their world. Someone, who was the opposite of her.

During these periods of less-than-happy emotions, she hated herself. She hated her figure and her baby features. She hated her chapped lips  and her ugly nail-bitten fingers. She hated her inability to concentrate on her studies and that she had no motivation or will power to take the time to practise her hobbies. But most of all, she hated her conscious mind for allowing this hatred because she knew that others had it worse. While others struggled to earn money and went hungry, she had all she needed to survive and yet she didn’t make use of her resources. And yet, she sat wallowing in self despair wishing she wasn’t born.

However, this mood passed, like it always did, unravelling the shadows strangling her. She could think again. She could have hope again. As she made her way into the sunlight, one slow step at a time, she built a wall  around herself, separating her from her negative thoughts. Pretending they were never there. As the sun rose higher and the wall grew thicker, she began to function again. Her heart beat steadily, her eyes remained dry. She could remind herself that she wasn’t alone; that she had family and friends who would help her. She could look at the cars, motorbikes and retail stores and see a species that was trying its best to keep its little corner habitable. She could laugh and smile and have conversations about the stars, the milky way, the universe, without feeling like she was drowning. She could make conversation with a stranger without feeling bad about her awkward personality. She felt better.

Even though she knew that the day, where the wall would collapse and plunge her back into the deep recesses of her mind, was coming, she was happy. With her no longer clouded mind, she realised that nobody was normal. Not her, not her family, not her friends, not the newborn baby, on the opposite side of the planet, named Javier.

And for the first time since her last breakdown, she knew that this was okay.

-Icarus

Standing alone.

The issue of bullying has plagued school systems for a long time. And in recent years has increased to alarming levels. Many cases leave the students with emotional scars that run deep and never fully heal, and some even have young children thinking that they have no other option but to end their lives.

This needs to stop. How can we just watch as these children get abused in every possible? How can we be idle spectators to their pain, as they distance themselves from the world for fear of running into their tormentors. Or maybe worse, plastering fake smiles and easy grins on their faces and pretending nothing is wrong. How can we ignore the bruises peeking from behind shirt collars and the colorful personalities huddled behind terrified souls? They are fellow human beings, just like us, and yet we let them fend for themselves, making them grow to hate their appearance, gender, sexuality and heritage. Making them grow to hate their very being. All just because they aren’t the definition of “cool”.  Oh, do excuse us for expressing ourselves the way we want to.

It isn’t enough to feel sympathetic and watch. There’s strength in numbers. If you’re worried about yourself getting hurt then it just shows your character more than anything else really. Stand up for what you believe in, even if you stand alone.

-Icarus

Edit by Iris.

Dang those smart Greeks.

If I said the word catharsis out loud to a person who didn’t know what it meant, they’d probably think its cannibalism or something.

I was one of those people, not gonna lie. I was convinced it had something to do with the devil or something really morbid, which awakened my curiosity even more, and led me to find out its exact meaning.

Thank goodness for the internet. That brief moment of ignorance was pretty embarrassing now that I think about it.

Anyways.

Catharsis is, to put it in a simpler way, releasing pent-up emotions inside you through some form, in an attempt to get rid of them in a purifying way. These emotions usually consist of fear, anger and pain. An example could be watching a hilarious movie or reading a particularly melancholic book, even though you know you’re gonna be bawling by the end of it. It’s an attempt to cleanse yourself and it makes you feel like you can start over, in a way. Most of do this rather unconsciously, and it genuinely is a great way to make yourself feel better.

Music. An amazing(and the most common way) to free those salty drops of H2O. Nothing like a bunch of  thirty-something dudes wearing black eyeliner screaming angst to get the mood going. Maybe Beethoven gets those tear ducts working. I wouldn’t know. Whatever your taste, music is the best therapy(in my opinion). Not only for us, but also for those who write these lyrics. Everyone has their own way of letting those feelings break through, be it writing, music, writing music. We all gotta find what works best for the mess that we are.

Now let’s talk about plays. Theater. Acting.

What exactly is the point of these plays? 

(I find myself asking this question a lot. For almost everything. To the despair of my mother. Who just wants me to peel the damn potatoes without getting too deep.)

A distraction? Totally. Entertainment? Mostly yes. Who doesn’t like a bit of drama every now and then right?

What about tragedies someone may ask. They definitely not entertaining in the same way as the theatrics of dear old Lancelot. But they could be so, if you get your kicks from seeing actors play dead, a morbid curiosity as to how exactly Romeo and Juliet killed themselves, or if you just wanna poke some fun at how silly people were and how funny they talked. In all those ways these tragic plays are just as humorous as their comical counterparts.

All those aside, our smart Greek ancestors had their objective of such plays clear in their heads, even if they didn’t have a difficult-to-pronounce word to go with it. And we made fun of the ‘thee’s’ and ‘thou’s’ like there was no tomorrow.

Their aim, their ‘point’ as I called it, was catharsis. These plays were made to be cried for. They were created with the sole purpose of getting people’s emotions out of them. All those manuscripts and clean-shaven boys to play women were all part of a healing process that very few understood.

Mind. Blown.

Call me a word nerd all you like.

Catharsis is pretty dang cool.

And the Greeks were pretty dang smart.

Dang those smart Greeks.

-Iris

(P.S – There are 555 words in this and I’m very unnecessarily proud .)