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Parting (Part I)

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It had been almost half a year before he saw her again, sitting in the shade of a deep blue patio umbrella outside the cafe they used to visit together, absorbed in the book before her.

Her expression was serene and the gentle breeze caused a flutter in her hazel brown hair that flowed out from under the beanie she wore on her head; her long cream skirt swirled about her crossed legs.

The book must have been interesting-- she barely looked up when he sat down in the chair opposite her, dragging the chair back noisily to alert her to his presence. Then he waited, his drink in hand, for her to look up and see him.

After what seemed like a hundred heartbeats, she slowly looked up from the page she was engrossed in and their eyes met.

Cool grey into warm brown; in the reflection of her eyes, he seemed to see a shine in his own that he had not seen for so long. For a very brief moment, no one spoke; it seemed as if the silence between them was so precious and so fragile that speech could break it irreversibly.

"Oh!" She said at long last, her tone rather neutral for greeting someone that was once so dear to her.

She had spoken first, and she would always be the first to do things, be it the one to initiate their going out together or their breakup, she had always been the one to say things first.

"So..."he began, his voice unsure and wavering, "So...how have you been?"

The normality of the question struck him: he had wanted to see her so badly for the past few months since they broke up, there were so many things that he wanted to tell her, so many things he wanted to ask her, and yet when he finally saw her, the first question that left his lips was so incredibly...lame.

It seemed, to his general relief that she did not seem to find the question lame as he did, but pondered it at great length, as if he had asked her a very difficult question that required deep thought.

At last, she spoke.

"Well, you know, the usual. Exams, taking care of my brother, reading some of the books I like. Nothing out of the ordinary."

He nodded and sipped on his drink slowly, meditatively, savoring her words and her voice in his mind as he ran through what she had just said. She on the other hand, stared calmly past his head, as though there was something that was so interesting that she could not tear her eyes away from it.

The silence slowly turned awkward, and the ice coffee that he had turned from sipping into gulping for the sake of doing something was now chilling his stomach. Then she returned her gaze to him.

"So, how have you been?" she finally asked.

Missing you, his head screamed. Thinking about you in all of my waking moments and dreaming of you in my sleep. And wondering over and over again how we ended that way.

The voices in his head tuned out as he looked up from his coffee to reply, "The usual too. Nothing particularly interesting."

She nodded too, and for the tiniest fraction of a moment he thought he saw something that flickered across her face that could have been relief, but he blinked, and her expressionless mask was back in place.

"I haven't been seeing you around here much, " he decided to probe, "do you still come here for coffee often?"

At his question, she smiled. It didn't seem to be a happy smile, and there was something remotely sad about the way that the smile did not quite reach her eyes.

"Oh no," she said softly, "Today is the first time...in a very long time. I was...rather busy."

Her words brought a uncomfortable lump to his throat as the word "busy" rang resoundingly in his ahead, setting off several alarm bells. Who was she busy with? What was she busy with? Had she found...someone else?

"Have you found someone?" he blurted before he could stop himself.

She looked up in mild surprise at the undisguised anxiety in his voice before slipping back into her calm self. "Nope, not really." she answered.

He almost breathed a sigh of relief as his heart rate slowly returned to normal.

She had returned to her book and for a while, he sat there peacefully, watching her as she read. He realized then that she seemed to have lost some weight, and that she looked paler than before. Had their break up affected her as much as it affected him? If so, why then did she initiate it?

"You have lost quite some weight," he ventured to ask, "have you been sleeping and eating well?"

She looked up instantly, like his words had alarmed her. There seemed to be a trace of uncertainty in her eyes...and something else that he could not quite put a finger on.

"No," she chuckled, for some reason he did not know, "I couldn't sleep or eat well for a while."

At her words, his heart started to pump painfully fast again, and blood seemed to roar in his ears as his ribs expanded and contracted painfully with each strained breath he took.

"W-why did you break up with me then?"he could not help but blurt once more.

She barely flinched at the accusatory tone in his voice; it was as though she had somehow anticipated the question.

"I didn't see any future for us..."she returned steadily, holding his gaze with her warm brown eyes, "I didn't know where our relationship would be heading."

At her words, he felt the dam of his anger flood break, and before he knew it, he had stood up in such a fast movement that he had knocked over his chair.

"Didn't know where we were heading?!? Oh the brilliancy of it all!" he mocked, his voice laced with venom and hurt as he continued to lash out at the impassive figure before him, "Couldn't see our future together so you broke up with me? Why didn't I think of that?"

He breathed hard through his nose, his chest rising and falling as he drew in deep lungfuls of breath. When he had calmed down a little, he looked at her. She was still staring at him as if he had not just caused a commotion with his shouting, even though he felt there was much more under her facade of eerie calm.

"Do you know how much p-pain I was in? Do you even know what you have done to me? I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't listen to the songs we had listened to because it would hurt, so much. I turned whenever I heard my name called, hoping against hope that it was you...but it was not. It never was. How could you have been able to let go so easily when it nearly broke me to let go?" Only at the very end did his voice break.

For a while, there was silence, punctuated by the chirping of the nearby sparrows foraging for food.

He looked up at her, and saw that her brown eyes shone too brightly, and the surface seemed to ripple as she looked at him intently. She's crying, he thought, his heart twisting again, I made her cry.

But the tears didn't fall. She seemed to have been a changed person since they were last together, and she seemed to have mastered the arts of not letting her tears fall.

"I am sorry," she whispered, her voice rough with restrained emotions. "I really am."

"Can't we get back together?" he asked, his voice almost bordering on desperation, "Is there no chance at all? I miss you, come back to me."

At his words she turned away from him, her gaze sweeping till they rest on the sparrows by the sidewalk. The pair of birds chirruped happily as they pecked at the small piece of bread lying on the ground.

"We can't..." her voice seemed to tremble a little. "I can't...we can't. I am sorry."

His heart shattered a bit more, both at her tremulous voice and at her answering negative.

"D-don't you love me anymore?" he asked uncertainly, almost begging for her to hold onto him.

She turned to look at him, her face pale and her eyes still shining.

"I did..." she affirmed in past tense, "But no, I don't love you anymore."

With that, she stood up hastily and left, leaving her book behind with him and his weakly drumming heart.

He didn't see how her tears fall unbidden the moment she turned to walk away from him, he didn't hear her apologize to him over and over again under her breath as her figure shrank in the distance. He was too entrapped in his own pain.

He slowly reached for her book and turned to its cover page.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, the cover read.

---End of Part (I)---


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The Sky Beyond


They rose like giants
each a hundred feet tall
or more

They stretched on infinitely
like gloom solidified,
an impenetrable fortress.
Protecting or limiting?

These walls!
I could barely scale them to
glimpse at the frail blue sky.
I slipped, far too often.

A hand raised,
reaching for the heavens
that I could see but cannot reach.
My palm covers the beauty of the sky.

Someday I climbed,
and my trembling hand
caressed the blue silk.
It was cold.

Dealing with 21st Century Awkwardness

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Just the other day Denyse, Clarissa and I were talking about really awkward situations, and Denyse raised this darn awkward situation:

Imagine you are walking down this long corridor, let's say outside some classrooms. Then all of a sudden you see this person walking towards you from the other end of the corridor, and you sort of know the person but is not that close. What will you do?
  1. Look left, right, up and down until you are within 1 meter range of that person and go like, "Hey! I didn't see you!"
  2. Wave at the person and keep waving till you walk past each other, completed with goddamned awkward smiles.
  3. Wave at the person once, then look at the ground like it is suddenly made of diamonds and walk past the person with your head bowed.
  4. Fortunately you are with a friend so you turn to him or her eagerly and babble nonsense with double the usual enthusiasm just to avoid looking at the approaching person.
  5. Whip out your handphone and start looking at random pictures in your phone, like maybe your cat scratching its chin or something.
  6. OH NO, NO HANDPHONE! You pretend to forget something and turn around and walk in the other direction at twice the speed, cringing all the way.
We laughed so hard when we were discussing all these possible options to do in the face of real awkwardness, and I decided to double the awkwardness with...

The approaching person is your crush/ someone you are just super awkward to be around.

Like maybe an old classmate of yours which you have really acknowledge for almost 3 to 4 years, and vice versa.  Or maybe someone you just had a disagreement with.

Ugh. I just feel awkward even to think of such a situation.

I realise that there is another awkward situation that I am most often put in, and that is at the bus stop, waiting for the bus to take me home.

Imagine you recently have this quarrel with your close friend, and you two are like cold shouldering each other, then you arrive at the bus stop and you see that friend waiting for bus. Are you going to approach and say hi or stand far away behind her and pretend to be supremely interested in your phone? Jesus, that just happened to me recently, and even worst I was the innocent person in front. So I didn't even know that there was this awkward presence behind me till I happened to turn around and see Sluggy scrutinizing her Sony Xperia so hard that you would think she could be willing it to turn into something else.

Oh yeah, Sluggy and I have sort of drifted apart lately, and it is a long story, and I swear I won't bore you guys with my life's unpleasant dramas. Only funny and ridiculous ones shall be shared.

That realization that she was there made me awkward too so I turned back to the front and determinedly not look back. And the worst thing is that her bus came before mine, and she had to stride forward determinedly and not look back at all, boarding the bus, chattering to her new classmate (and looking rather awkward I might say) and smiling a bit too brightly.

The same thing goes when we pass each other in school. I would turn to Denyse and Clarissa and start smiling awkwardly and chattering about something totally random, and those two would immediately cotton on and give me this look:

"I see what you did there."

 And since Denyse and Clarissa have a mix of hilarity and evilness in them, they would start nudging each other and giggling and waggling their eyebrows at each other and then beam at me innocently, all the while sending me into waves of panic by saying things like,

"We should go over and say hi!"

"HEYYYYYY ________!!!" (in a hushed tone)

Gosh, I swear my heart stops each time such a thing happens.

Personally, I have always find bus stops at school a pit of awkwardness. Especially for the one that we are currently using. To give you all a better idea, I drew a sketch of it:

The bus stop that I use after school
It isn't the most brilliant sketch ever, but well it will do. Some explanation before we begin our awkward lecture:

  • Blue Arrow: the direction in which people are walking to the bus stop from school
  • Red Arrow: direction of the traffic flow
  • Orange Circles 1, 2 and 3 are possible places to stand while waiting for a bus

 Anyway, I decided that the thing that makes standing at the bus stop really awkward is the fact that the direction of the people flow and the traffic flow with respect to the bus stop is the same, and when you are waiting for the bus, staring intently in the horizon, sometimes it looks like you are staring at the people walking in.

I shall now explain why all 3 options of standing are awkward:

Position 1
Position 1 is like the forefront of the crowd waiting at the bus stop, and the direction where everyone will be staring at while they look for their buses to come. So it is like you are under the scrutiny of every person there and if you do something terribly embarrassing like scratching your head continuously or have some stains on your skirt/pants, damn that is sort of awkward.

Besides, you are nearest to where the incoming people are coming from, and imagine someone whom you are awkward with comes in and the first person she/he is going to see is going to be you and you two will have to reenact the Awkward Corridor Scene all over again.

Position 2
You are in the middle of the crowd. You are like staring in the direction of  half the people in front of you and have half the people staring into your back. So no matter where you turn, there is a chance of making eye contact with other people. Which is like awkward.

But the good thing is that you are most likely concealed amidst the crowd so approaching awkwardities can't see you that well. Cheers.

Position 3
So far my favourite position, because you are not under the scrutiny of any one, and you are well conceal from potential awkward corridor situations, not to mention that we just have to stare hard at the road and avoid any potential eye contact with anyone happening to turn around. Cheers for spot 3.

Okay, all the awkwardness aside, I have more things to share with all of you. Just recently I had a really bad bout of bad luck, and while queueing up at the Italian food store, something horrendously disastrous occurred. 

There was this guy that just bought this plate of tomato spaghetti, and he had this fork balanced on the plate. I think he was trying to keep his wallet or something, and while doing so, the fork started to slip. He tried to reach out and grab the slipping fork by doing this odd jerking movement and that was when all the alarm bells started to go off in my head.

But the strangest thing about such a situation was that I sort of knew that the next thing that was going to happen was that he was going to spill his entire plate of spaghetti, possibly somewhere close to where I was standing, but I couldn't will myself to move away.

So it sort of happened in slow motion as he reached for his fork, missed, lost his hold on the plate of steaming spaghetti and the entire plate flopped to the ground with a resounding crash.


The horror of having pasta all over your favourite pair of shoes was indescribable, it was like this nightmare that you are trying to will yourself awake, but no you are stuck inside. It was not just me, Denyse had a little bit of it splattered onto her legs and her shoes/skirt, the dude in front of me (who let his friends cut the queue, hrrrmph!) had his pants stained, all because of that becursed pasta.

I suffered the most out of all the victims, because my entire pair of shoes was just caked in pasta sauce and disgustingness. The person who spilled the entire thing was pretty embarrassed (and there we go, awkward) and he barely managed to eke out a muttered apology before trying to get the pasta siphoned off the ground.

Personally, if it were me, I would have apologized more effusively to the unfortunate being upon whom my pasta landed upon, but no dude. This one just mumbled "sorry" and stared blankly at the pasta on the ground. Honestly, I was pretty mad with the person, and yes, while he did not do it intentionally (of course he didn't, he just lost his lunch!), the outcome of whether it was deliberate or unintentional was the same. I had to abandon my position in the queue to go wash my shoes instantly lest the smell stays, and thank god that this pair of shoes was synthetic leather with plastic covered tips, so when I ran it under water, most of the disgusting goo came out, and I had to use the hand soap to reduce the gross smell. That took close to 20 minutes of my break and I was still ranting when I was chomping on my mushroom pasta. Ugh. :/

Now I have this mini phobia of canteens and people with bowls of food in their hands.

Anyways, to end this off, I have to rant that minions are so freaking adorable. I mean, I have this huge craze over them, like right now. :3

Despicable Me 2 Minions

Isn't Dave so cute? (the 2 eyed minion! :D)

Look at the way they giggle!
Minion at the orientation day - wonderstruck expressions. :D
So long, bye guys!

Moroccan Argan Oil Skin Serum

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Sponsored Review
Hi guys for this review, I will be separating the review into two posts: this one and one more later on to update you all on the effects of using this oil on various areas. I always believe for natural products like this one, we have to give it long periods of time for it to best showcase its benefits! :D
"Argan oil is produced from an Argan nut coming from Argan tree, which only grows in Southwestern Morocco. Local Berber women work in fair-trade cooperatives where they hand-crack the argan nuts in between two stones, a technique they’ve used for centuries. Instead of being put through a machine, the raw argan kernels are hand-extracted from the hard shell, hand-ground in a stone grinder, hand-kneaded for hours and first cold-pressed into the oil. It takes one woman three days to make just one liter of oil. This is why argan oil is so valuable."
Origin of Argan Moroccan Oil, extracted from MindBodyGreen

Seven Wonders Argan Moroccan Oil Skin Serum
I am not sure if you guys have heard of this Moroccan Argan Oil before, but I have once watched a documentary I think, and it said something about these oil being extracted manually, and if I didn't remember wrongly, the seeds have to pass through the some goats or something to be roasted "naturally" in their tummies. 

Generally, such oils are really really expensive because of the efforts taken to just obtain a small amount of the oil, as well as for its properties. 

Properties of Moroccan Argan Oil
Some of the properties of the Argan Moroccan Oil are shown in the picture above, and I think it is just me, but I really love the fact that it is made in Australia instead of suspicious places like China and Taiwan, because Australia to me is more trustworthy, and we can be assured that we are getting 100% pure Argan Moroccan Oil, and not some other bogus replacement made from chemicals.

I am really fortunate to be sponsored this product for review, because it is so expensive and as a student I would usually use my money on assessment books and tuition fees rather than such luxuries. But if you have the money, I would definitely recommend this to you because it is a pretty amazing product, and if you use it sparingly (like I do), you can probably extend the period of time you can use it for!

Basically for this oil, I am using it on two areas: my heels and my eyelashes (hehe xD), and I plan to stop wasting it on my heels soon to use it on my hair. After my recent hair cut where I got my hairdresser to thin out my hair, my hair has been like unbearably frizzy and almost nightmarish. I strongly believe that Argan oil is the solution to revitalizing my hair!

I am sorry that I have to hurt your eyes with a rather unsightly picture of my heel, but it is there to show you all the extent of my cracked and dry heels from wearing slippers and flats throughout the entire June Holidays. It might not look it, but it is really darn painful especially when the skin start peeling and I am silly enough to yank them out....like ouch!

Cotton pads! :3
Anyway I googled the uses of argan oil, primarily because when I was given this product I was absolutely clueless on how to go about using it. Its uses are so broad and so extensive that I suspect its manufacturer just gave up trying to cram everything onto the tiny box and instead just list some of the most important properties (see picture earlier), but to me these don't really apply yet since I am not getting any wrinkles before I hit 20 years old. Thank god for that.

So I chanced upon MindBodyGreen that shares with us ten ways to use argan oil, and I picked those that I think are more pertinent to myself, like the cracked heels, the hair remedy as well as for my lashes (for this I heard it from my friend hehe xD).

So basically I squeezed a few drops onto a cotton pad and rub it into my heel till it is more or less absorbed according to my own feelings and left it there. I repeated the same thing for both heels at night and wore a pair of thin cotton socks (that cost only 40cents bahaha) to prevent oiling my bed.

To be perfectly honest, I am such a dunderhead nowadays that I forget to use the oil every night, so because of that, the results were not so obvious, and on the second morning after application, I was actually surprised that my heel feel softer, but the skin peeled even further. I suppose that it is part of the skin renewal, isn't it? If the older skin were to remain, my heel will never become soft again.

Anyways, I do see the potential of argan oil on redeeming my cracked heels after feeling my heels soften, but since the oil is really expensive, I thought it would be too grand of me to just waste it on my heels where people won't ever see. Hence I decided to replace that with...

Organix moroccan argan oil
with Organix's moroccan argan oil lotion instead. I suppose that the effect would be diluted, but then it is still moroccan argan oil and too bad for my heels, that is the most they are going to get. xD

Organix moroccan argan oil lotion
As for the Serum, I saved it to use it on my hair and on my eyelashes. I heard that using it on eyelashes will let us have longer and denser eyelashes, and hence I tried it for a period of time and even though the effect is not instantaneous, I am really amazed by something else.

I am not sure if you guys have oily eye lids, so when you wake up in the morning you feel this uncomfortable moisture on your eyes (basically your whole face, but boy, those are eyelids we are talking about!) I was partially worried that using the oil on my eye lashes, which would no doubt touch my eyelids and under-eye area will make them incredibly oily and it would give me a lot of trouble trying to wash the oil off, but it did not

In fact, what is amazing is that there was just the usual amount of oil on my lids, and if possible, marginally less. The sensitive area around my eyes did not feel so dry and taut but moisturized and softer, and when I washed my face, I actually did not feel much oil around my eyes. I was really surprised and  impressed by such a property of a oil: it does not cause your face to oil up (too much).

I would have loved to show you guys a photo of my eyelashes (alas, they have not grown much!), but I have no idea how I am supposed to take a photo of my eye with the lashes in clear view, not to mention that my mom isn't very helpful when it comes to photos. So, no photos for my dear readers, I am so sorry!

I have also used it once or twice on my skin, and despite the initial oiliness that it might cause your skin, it gets absorbed in a few minutes and the skin feels softer and not that oily, but more moist, I suppose? 

Currently, I am going to use this product on my hair, and yes there will be another post to update you guys on how it went, and hopefully I will get some good pictures to show you all, kay?

In the mean time, I strongly encourage you fans of argan oil to head over to https://www.facebook.com/BestArganOil and like their page because they are frequently carrying out giveaways, rewarding their fans with argan oil, and who knows, you might just be the lucky winner!

Thanks for reading and keep safe! :)