Tuesday, October 19, 2010

3: Meteor

You shot across my sky like a meteor.

Blindingly bright, burning up in the atmosphere. How could I look anywhere else?

Will you burn up, or will you crash to Earth so I can meet you?

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I've decided.

I wasn't going to chase Buck anymore. I've tried again and again to make him mine, only to be rejected at every turn. I don't know how much more I could take of that. Maybe, if I ignored him long enough, it would stop hurting.

So I figured I would start anew. I still wanted to make at least ten friends in Twinbrook - half of my lifetime goal - but only had about five friends to my name. It was time to go out and meet someone new.

I figured the Red Rendezvous was a good a place as any to start making friends. Trying to keep a cheerful demeanor, I headed over to the Foosball table and started chatting with the stranger there.

"Mind if I play?" I asked, keeping my tone light.

"Sure! Kinda hard to play by myself. My brother over there was playing, but he's a sore loser." he replied, gesturing to another red head across the bar.

"Ha ha, I'll try to be more graceful than him then!"

I found out that his name was Hayden, and that he was in the musical career. And, perhaps for the best, he was married. That meant I could be normal friends with him without all of the messy complications of a romantic relationship.

Hayden and I were fast friends. I found out that he was just as charismatic as I was, and that we could charm the club goers into the palms of our hands. It was great talking to another 'people person'.

"Thanks Hayden." I said to him after a couple of hours, straining to be heard over the noise. "I really needed someone to talk to. I was pretty bummed out when I came in, you know."

He grinned childishly. "Glad to help. You're not so bad company yourself."

I started to smile. "Good to know I'm tolerable."

Then, without warning, Hayden pulled me into a friendly hug.

"Hey, whatever made you upset, forget about it, okay? You're a bright, pretty girl that any of the blokes in this bar would love to talk to. Whoever upset you is just a jerk."

I don't know how Hayden was able to glean that much from our conversation, but I was glad he did. Those were the exact words I needed to hear.

"Thank you Hayden. So much."

Eventually Hayden had to leave, but he made sure I had his phone number if I ever wanted to hang out sometime. I told him that he could be certain I would call - I wanted Hayden and I to become best friends at this point!

Not long after he left, I started to feel queasy. Cursing that bartender and his mysterious mango cocktails, I dashed for the basement bathrooms.

The floor was dirty and my phone was ringing and my head was pounding and all I wanted to do was go home. The fun, it seemed, was over for me.

But then a week passed and I was still sick.

This wasn't normal. First of all, I never get sick - I never missed a day of school as a kid. Secondly, this wasn't a normal illness - I would puke when I got up, scarf down a huge breakfast, and then be totally fine for the rest of the day. It just didn't add up.

Well, until I started counting the days.

I went over the weeks over and over again, frantically trying to convince myself that I was just late and that there was no way I was...I was...

I had to call Jupiter. She was the only friend I had that had ever had a baby.

Jupiter dragged me to the convenience store and waited patiently outside while I took a pregnancy test. Moments later, I came storming out.

"It's got to be wrong."

She raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"

"I...I can't be pregnant."

"That's more of a 'That'll ruin everything!' can't than a 'No way is this physically possible.' can't, isn't it?"

My hands dropped to my belly defensively. "It wouldn't ruin everything. I...I like babies. And it's definitely possible. But Jupiter, I made up my mind not to talk to Buck anymore."

"You have to tell him about this, Yume."

But I merely shook my head and backed away, hands still protectively over my stomach. Then, I turned and ran. What was I running from...?

I don't think I was paying attention to where I was going, because when I stopped to catch my breath I found myself on the far south side of town.

Then a familiar voice rang out. "Yume! Hey!"

"Hayden!" I gasped. "I...uh...hey."

"Why didn't you call me? I thought we were going to hang out. Or are you avoiding me?" he chuckled.

I gaped at him, and his cheerful expression fell in the face of my panicked countenance. "Yume? Are you...?"

"I'm pregnant."

The words blurted out of my mouth before I could even think of a proper response.

"Ah...oh." was Hayden's response.

Soon I was backing away from him too, still panicking. I didn't know what I was going to do, but I didn't want Hayden to see me completely melt down. I still wanted to be able to be friends with him when I could finally show my face in public again.

I ran home without another word.

I was grateful that I got time off of work, because I wasn't sure I could show my face in public after that embarrassing debacle.

Strange how something I thought was so shocking a few months ago seemed so obvious now. And heck, I was excited! Being a single mother didn't worry me - I was more worried about what would happen if Buck ever found out.

But I'd be fine...right?

One morning there was a knock at the door. This was pretty strange, because I told my handful of friends that I wasn't really in the visiting mood. Curious, I opened the door.

"H-Hayden!" I squeaked as he made his way into my living room. "I, uh...um."

"You said that last time too." he chuckled.

"S-sorry. Hi." I managed. Of course he would come over now, when I was all obviously pregnant. "Um, what's the occasion?"

"I wanted to apologize, actually." he chuckled.

"You? For what? I'm the one who blurted out all my problems and ran off." I responded, dumbstruck.

"And I let you run. Honestly, I thought you were trouble and decided to leave it at that. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that you were just in trouble. So I thought, as an apology, I could offer to keep being your friend, if you'll let me."

I must have had the biggest, most idiotic grin on my face then.

"You're a brave man to befriend a crazy pregnant woman." I said.

Hayden laughed. "And there's the Yume I met at the bar! I should've guessed that you'd be the same, pregnant or not."

He glanced down at my pregnant belly, so I stuck out as far as I could. "This kid's gonna be a monster like me. Already kicking up a storm! Go ahead, feel."

The second Hayden laid a hand on me, my baby gave a furious kick that startled us both. I burst out laughing - this kid and I got along already!

"You've already influenced your child in the womb, huh." Hayden said with a sardonic grin.

"Ah, well, what can I say."

And then, as we stood there smiling and bonding over my baby, I got this crazy notion. Yeah, I barely knew him. Yeah, I knew that this is what got me in trouble in the first place. But suddenly, I wished that I had his kid in there.

Ah, I'm in trouble, aren't I?

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Meteor, meteor, please don't fade away.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

2: Big Bang

The Big Bang, the explosion that started it all.

Some say that the universe is just a circle, exploding, expanding, shrinking, exploding...

That might comfort some. But sometimes I wish my life wasn't so cyclical.

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For a while, life was, dare I say it, normal.

I went to work Monday through Friday, befriending coworkers and my boss alike. I had moved up from coffee carrying to file processing, but it didn't feel very different.

I still frequented the park to see if there was anyone around to be friends with. I met an interesting woman named Jupiter who had traveled the world before settling down in Twinbrook. We would occasionally play chess while she rattled off stories of fighting off mummies in Egypt.

On other days I would visit my coworkers at their homes after work. It wasn't long before I was good friends with all of them.

Sometimes their family members would give me weird looks, visiting their house at night...

...but they warmed up to me pretty quickly. I guess that charisma book helped, huh?

"You know Yume, I have a friend named Buck Green who's always saying that the people of Twinbrook aren't very friendly. He's been having a rough time fitting in ever since his girlfriend left him."

What could I do but befriend Buck? It was a great opportunity to make a new friend - something I never turned down.

I got right to the friend making the very next day, never one to hesitate.

Buck was charming, more so than I expected. When we were friends, I wanted to be good friends. Then best friends. And then I tried to pretend that I didn't notice the subtle flirting he sent my way every now and then.

Ah, but who am I kidding? I'm a hopeless romantic. I wanted to fall in love, and I was hoping that Buck would be the right choice.

I suppose I made the first move, but remember that he flirted with me first!

Moving too fast? Maybe. But you couldn't tell me that. When I wasn't at work, I was with him, flirting and laughing and falling for him.

Did he feel the same way about me?

It was hard to tell. He was attracted to me, sure. But Buck had what he called "commitment issues", and balked at calling me anything more than a "romantic interest".

Maybe I was stupid to try and change that. Maybe I should have seen the warning signs.

But I couldn't help but think that if I were only convincing enough, he would fall in love with me too.

And that's what started me...

...on a cycle I couldn't break.

Sometimes we spent the night peacefully at my house.

Sometimes I awoke in a panic at his house, confused by the strange room and the empty bed next to me.

Buck had a girlfriend while he was seeing me. Several girlfriends, if I recall correctly. But that never stopped him from dropping everything to have a rendezvous with me.

That meant I would win, right? He would always be with me regardless of the other girls.

But being with me didn't seem to be anything meaningful to him. Sure, we would talk sometimes about things...

...but before long the conversation always turned to the bedroom.

And me? I always indulged him. I craved his attention like some kind of addict. I wanted to look into someone's eyes and feel loved.

And if I couldn't have that, I went for the next best thing.

But I couldn't live that way forever. I was exhausted, tired of lying to myself. Even my performance at work was tanking.

This couldn't go on.

But how much was I willing to change?

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The Big Bang.

The explosion that started life.

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

1: Polaris

Polaris, the first star I ever knew.

I used to think that if you always followed it, it would bring you home. Turns out, it will only lead you north.

But the way I'm going, that's just fine.

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Twinbrook is my home.

It wasn't always that way, but the past doesn't matter. What matters now is that I'm going to do what I want from now on.

My name is Yume. I'd like to think with a name meaning 'dream', I should follow my dreams. Hence this little three room house next to the bridge and river. The stars are beautiful out here...when you can see them. It gets cloudy quite often in Twinbrook.

I prefer the word cozy to tiny. The green paneled walls of my house are pretty soothing.

Yes, this was perfect. Tomorrow I start life Yume-style.

I got a job!

I woke up this morning with the notion to get into business. Father always said that business was for men and entertaining for the women - ah, if he could see me now.

...actually, I rather not see him.

It felt weird to have an 8 - 2 job, but I love people, so I spent most of that time peering into other cubicles and meeting coworkers while I delivered coffee. They liked me so much that we spent out lunch break chatting at the water cooler!

Once work was over, I didn't feel like going home just yet. I decided to hang around the park to meet people, but it was oddly empty. There was a couple of nice chess tables though, so I amused myself playing for a bit. I don't think I'm logical enough for that, though.

Some people did wander in after sundown, so I chatted with a few of them to try and make friends. I didn't really make any there, which was disappointing - I kinda wanted to have over twenty friends here one day. Wouldn't it be fun to be super popular?

I stopped by the bookstore on the way home, hoping to find a book with some tips on being charismatic. Surely a few charisma points would not be lost on my future friends! But by the time I was done shopping I was too tired to read - guess I wasn't used to getting up at six yet.

I washed up before going to bed (it's important to be clean, you know)...

...and then played some computer games. Yeah, I probably should have been sleeping, but those things are addictive! I swear that every time I get a few seconds to myself I start wandering towards the computer.

Finally I was exhausted enough to stop fooling around and get to bed. For once I wasn't worrying about what I was wearing tomorrow, who I was meeting, what I was doing.

Tomorrow would go how I want.

And so would the rest of my life.

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Polaris will lead you home.

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