I can hardly believe it. Thanksgiving has come and gone this year and Christmas is coming in a month and 2016 in less than 5 weeks! This year feels like it’s just breezed by. It was just 12 weeks ago that I began school and now, I’m two weeks away from finals. Continue reading “The Best Thanksgiving”→
One of the disadvantages of moving multiple times during childhood is just as you’re beginning to grow attached to a place, you have to pack your bags and move again. That’s why I don’t have a place from my past that I’m fond of. Continue reading “Reminiscence of a Childhood Place”→
Everybody have fears in them and sometimes it may be silly, serious, small, or large. Fear lives within everyone. However, if you try hard enough to conquer those fears, you can ultimately become fearless. Continue reading “To Overcome a Fear”→
I have been called stubborn by multiple individuals with my mom and her friends occupying about 85% of those individuals. Sometimes it’s a compliment while sometimes, it’s just plain mean because they are using the word out of context. Continue reading “The Difference Between…”→
When the assignment said to write about loss, I seriously couldn’t think of a thing. I was going to go full fiction but something came to me at the last second. I hope this is not too sad. Thanks for reading. Continue reading “Writing 101: Serially Lost”→
Daily Prompt: When was the last time you felt really, truly lonely?
Um, I can’t remember. I actually want to write this post for a while, thanks, wordpress, for giving me this push with a prompt.
If you’d asked me when was the last time I truly felt depressed or angry or annoyed, that I can tell you. Truthfully, I’ve rarely felt loneliness. I am always surrounded by things whether being computers, electronic devices or people. My mom made sure of that.
Even when she left me for six months for basic training, she made sure I’m interacting with people. Every evening, I was told to ride the bus plus walk two blocks to her friend’s house every night for dinner and then wait for her friend’s son to finish his dinner so her friend could take me home. This sometimes took forever because he was like six and he didn’t like to eat unless his mom made him cry.
Anyway, even during those six months of living alone, I didn’t feel alone. I’ve always found something to occupy myself, always busy. Now, my mom is preparing to go on another training next month, this time, for a month.
I am actually pretty excited because I’ve been surrounded with so many things and people lately that I feel a little overwhelmed and like a chance to be alone. Apparently, my mom doesn’t think so. She’s worried I’d get lonely and keeps asking me whether she should buy a plane ticket for my aunt to fly back here to keep me company. I am like “Hello, I’m almost 24, I don’t need a sitter.”
She’s afraid of something, I can tell, but she won’t say. The other night, I asked her, “Why do you not want me to be alone?”
She replied, “I just don’t want you to feel lonely.”
“Why, are you worried that something might happen to me?”
“Even if it happened, no one will know.” Because even though she’d only be 100 miles away, she’s not allowed to come home or use a phone.
At this point, I knew exactly what she was thinking and I said it. “Ah, you’re afraid I keel over and no one’s here to help me or discover my corpse.”
She laughed, “Maybe but if she’s here, she can call 911.”
“And I can’t?”
She laughed some more. “If you can call 911, then it’s not an emergency.”
I guess she’s got a point there. The thing is though, I’m perfectly healthy. I went to my doctor the other day and he said everything was normal. He didn’t even examine me. He’d sounded so relieved that for the first time after 4 years, I finally have some normal lab results. But I think my mom might be worrying about other things. I think she’s actually worrying about me suddenly dying like my dad. I’ve promised her a dozen times, “This won’t happen to me.” But she wouldn’t believe me. I’m still here, am I not?
“I’ll be fine. I think you should worry about yourself than worry about me.” I told her but she wasn’t listening anymore. She was already onto other tasks, searching for plane tickets for my aunt on expedia.
There he was, sitting in the back seat behind me. I could hear the pull of the seat belt. I hate that noise, it sounded like something was being pulled. What the heck is he doing?
It wasn’t the first time I heard that noise. I’ve heard it every time when I give him a lift the past three months. It felt like he was trying to lean forward but the seat belt wouldn’t give. It made me fear that the more he pulled, the larger the chance that it’d snag and break. That’s tension, I learned that in my second semester of engineering.
Sit back, won’t ya. I wanted to scold him for moving around but couldn’t. I was having enough trouble maneuvering through the pedestrian-filled downtown to shout at anyone. Beside, if I scold him, I’d sound like my mother. I decided to focus on the music blaring from the radio. It distracted me slightly. I almost ran into the back of the car before me.
Ugh, I thought, and that’s why I prefer to go see my orthodontist alone. Downtown is such a complex area of the city with the new mall and Temple Square and the hills.
Once I made it out of downtown and toward the freeway entrance, my grip on the steering wheel loosened and I asked. “So what did you think of the school?”
More than an hour ago, I had dropped my aunt and cousin off at the university so they could tour the campus while I got my braces examined. “It’s okay.” He answered.
I arched my brow. Okay? That’s it? “What do you like about the school?” I inquired further, sounding like a journalist. My chest was pounding because I didn’t want to come off as invasive even if I had thought of asking as a concerned relative.
I watched him shrug in the rear-view mirror. Then he sighed. “It doesn’t really matter. I’m going to this school.”
What? Why? I almost wanted to shriek. Instead, another question escaped my lips. “Then what are you going to study?”
He sighed again. “Engineering?” It came out like a question. Perhaps he wasn’t sure, I thought hopefully.
“Are you sure? It’s going to be hard.” I said but I also meant to implied that after all, I just went through the same thing. I watched him shrug again.
“But why this school though?” I knew the reasons why but I just wanted to hear it coming from him.
My aunt had actually implied several weeks ago when he was registering for his TOEFL exams but I read between the line. He wanted to go to this school so he could be near us. That’s what she said. Yeah right.
He wasn’t planning to live in the dorms, he was planning to live here and use our water, eat our food, and occupy the basement. Another part of his clever plan was to have one of us chauffeur him back and forth between the train station. I secretly raised my brow at her at the time. She can be a scary woman but my point, NO WAY. You’ve already lived in my home in China for all these years, I’m not having you take over my current home either.
“I’m still deciding. I need to see my TOEFL score first. Even then, it won’t be too late for me to decide.”
I quietly scoffed. Not too late? I beg the differ. I focused on my driving and the car ride grew silent for a few minutes while I waited for the commercial to be over and return to the music. My mom and I have always disliked this quality about these people we called family. Whenever they are asked to plan something, they’d say, “Whatever, we’ll decide when the time comes.” Whenever they’re asked what they’d like to eat, they’d say, “Whatever is good.”
Well, how should we know? We aren’t mind-readers. And if you don’t plan ahead, you’ll miss out on the tiny details and you might even have to delay your plans.
I sighed. “You need to be ready as soon as possible.” I felt like I was sounding more and more like my mother. “Here in the U.S., everything is about planning ahead.” You need to tone it down, now. I told myself. “When you go see your adviser in the first semester, he or she will ask you to map out your entire path at the university. I did that in my very first class. It’s all about long-term and short-term planning.”
“Mmm,” that was his response. That was all I get? For telling him my experience? Mmm? No how do I get admitted? No what do you recommend I do? Not even a thank you?
The car ride is silent afterward. Neither he nor I asked another question and I’ve decide you know what? You don’t deserve my expertise.
If you’re so clever to ignore my suggestions, I’ll watch you hit road block after another. You can get yourself admitted into the school, register for your first semester of classes, and get yourself into a dorm room. I already know those would be his first challenges because he’ll think the deadlines are still a long ways away for him to be worry and he still has to try again on his TOEFL. I have a feeling he’ll stay here for as long as my aunt lets him because heck, my aunt’s on his side. So he’s enjoying playing that card.
Don’t come crying for help because you didn’t read and understand the dates of when to submit the admission forms and when each tasks need to get done.
Don’t come crying for help when you go to the bookstore and saw all those ridiculous prices on books and wonder how some people can afford them.
Don’t come crying for help when you don’t know what courses to take for your first semester because this is all you’ll get from us. “Uh, I don’t know.”
Figure it out yourself because you didn’t listen when I told you to plan ahead.