6th Serving: The Girl Who Asked For Nothing. A Poem

You asked me

If

There was anything I wanted

If

There was anything you could give

If

I wanted anything at all.

Nothing

Is my answer

I want nothing

in this

silence

I wish to cherish

forever

With you.

 

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5th Serving: The Ghost of A Scar

Sweat was gathering on Amy’s forehead. The sun’s rays were unforgiving today. After an hour of passing flyers for the newly opened diner she was currently working at, she felt exhausted. She sat on a bench and sighed. Her eyes watched the coming and going of crowds. Working men and women, mothers holding on to hyperactive children,smiling and laughing along despite their clear fatigue, happy couples taking a stroll through the city garden. She was lost in her quiet observation of  this small world.And for a moment, Amy seemed to have forgotten herself. But when she realized it, it was already to late. Her sleeves were already rolled up, an absent minded reaction to the sun’s scorching heat. The scars she tried so hard to hide, laid bare for the world to see. A large slash on both her wrists, pink, raw and newly healed.

There were days when Amy felt fine. The world was alright. Nothing wrong here, just a girl with the ghost of small slashes on her wrists. In time, it’ll fade away. Things will be better.One day, it will.

And then, there were days like this, when life was unbearable. She felt all eyes were drawn to her. There were those who stared unashamedly, eyes filled with disgust at a girl who willingly tried to throw her life away. There were also sympathetic smiles, filled with mock  understanding. It repulsed her. These eyes, however they looked at her, were  scrutinizing her. Judging her every move. As if those newly healed  pink scars were a signal. A large signboard, broadcasting in large capital letters.

 WARNING. DAMAGED GOODS. ATTEMPTED SUICIDE. MENTALLY UNSTABLE. APPROACH WITH CAUTION.

  Those were the days she dreaded the most. The days when she would wake up and suddenly think,”Why am I still alive? I wanted escape. Freedom. Death.”

   Amy would remember the past. Of a crying mother begging for mercy from a drunken father. Of black and blue bruises across pale white skin. Of lost hope and crushing despair. The nights of hiding in the small kitchen with her eyes on the glistening white of the kitchen knife. How it called seductively to her, how she resisted the urge to stain it with the crimson of her blood and how her mother’s cold and immobile body on a Sunday morning finally pushed her to the edge.

   In a cramped bathroom, while she was drowning in the tub filled with a pool of red swirls on the surface of  warm water, they found her.

   Now, here she was. After months of counselling sessions, support group meetings and fighting off the urge to end everything once again.Trying to rebuild her broken future. Future. Amy smiled bitterly at that thought. If her present was a mixture of pity and apprehension, of a lifetime exclusion from society for being a damaged good, what would the future hold? It would have been so easy to escape once again. A small pill, the slash of a knife. So very easy.

“Mummy, what’s wrong with that lady?” a small voice caught Amy by surprise. A curious little girl was looking at her, her small hands holding her mother’s skirt. Amy prepared herself for the typical response.

Nothing, dear. Hurry up, don’t stare.

” Nothing’s wrong, honey. She’s just like me.”

“Just like mummy?”

“Yes, just like me. A survivor.”

   That was when Amy realized the faded pink scars on the mother’s wrists, unashamedly laid bare. There was no attempt to hide them, her dress sleeveless and brightly coloured. Those scars were honest, unafraid. As if they were saying, Look at me. I survived. I found the  future I once threw away.

   That little girl was a proof of that future.  As the woman held her little girl’s hand, she threw a  sincere smile at Amy before walking away. Amy found her long-lost  hope. She had a future. She was a survivor.

4th Serving: Wants and Needs

   When she was a child, Ana rarely asked for anything from her mom. Maybe she had everything she wanted. Maybe she didn’t want anything. Maybe she didn’t know how to ask. Ana was just the way she was. 

   One day, her teacher told her to take good care of her text books.

” Wrap the covers with plastic sheets. That way, they won’t get dirty. Ask your parents to buy you some. Make sure you get it done by next week, or you’ll have to pay a fine.”

   So, Anna asked her mom, who she always thought was less busy than her dad.

“Okay, dear, I’ll buy some tomorrow,” her mom replied, though at that time she was busy marking her students’ papers. Anna was happy. Now, her text books won’t get dirty. But the days went by, and soon, next week became tomorrow. Her text books already had smudges on their covers and Anna became worried.

“Mom, when are you gonna buy me some plastic sheets?” she asked.

“Oh, I forgot! Sorry dear, I had so many things to do,” her mom replied with a worried smile.” I’ll buy them tomorrow, before you go to school, okay?”

“Okay.”

   The next day, when her mom returned home with Anna’s big brother and little sister, Anna ran towards her and asked for  her plastic sheets. School started at a quarter to twelve. She only had half an hour left.

“Why didn’t you remind me about that before i went to fetch the others from school?! I completely forgot!” her mother cried in exhaustion before continuing. “Tell your teacher that you’ll get it done by next week, okay?”

   And at that, Anna felt tears forming and threatening to fall. Being the child that she was, Anna gathered up all her text books and took the morning newspaper to her room. She began to work on them herself, letting her tears running freely down her cheeks and onto her already dirty text books.She hated her mom for forgetting her simple request. Really, all she wanted was some plastic sheets. It wasn’t that hard. Maybe her mom didn’t try enough. Maybe her mom didn’t love her enough.

   When it was time for school, she sulked. It was a childish thing to do, but Anna was a child. It was expected of her. Her mom drove her quietly. Not a word was spoken in their small car.  Anna pretended to sleep, covering her eyes with her small hands. When the car came to a stop, Anna heard a small click as the doors were unlocked and the soft patter of her mom’s heels as she got out of the car. Anna uncovered her eyes, expecting to see her dreaded school, where she’ll surely be punished for her dirtied text books.

   It wasn’t. They were at a supermarket. What were they doing here? School was at the far end of the block. Anna took a peek at the market’s entrance. Her mom was already coming out with a plastic bag of the things she asked for in her hand. As fast as she could, Anna pretended sleeping again. She heard the crash as her mom slammed the driver’s door shut and the rustling of a plastic bag being placed next to her.

   There was a long silence that scared Anna. But the sound that broke the silence was a small sob that broke her small heart into a million tiny pieces. 

” I was busy, Anna. I didn’t mean to forget about them. It’s just that everything’s so hectic and I didn’t know what to do first,”her mom said. “I can’t do everything for everyone. But I can’t ever say no. And your father-“

   Anna felt her mom’s soft hand on her head. They were wet with tears. Anna stiffled a sob. She didn’t hate her mom. She never will. Her mom was selfless, kind, and so, so hardworking. She was just so very tired of helping everyone, but still, she tried and tried again.

   Slowly, Anna took her mom’s hand and placed it onto her cheeks. 

   “I’m sorry, mom. It’s okay. We can fix my books later. And I…”

I’ll never ask for anything ever again.I’ll never ask for anything I don’t need.

   Anna remembered that promise. The one she made with herself. It was a very long time ago, but she remembered it all too well. She was a child when she made that promise, but it was etched so deeply onto her mind. That was why she never asked for a new phone, or a better laptop, or a pair of contact lenses to replace her glasses. Those were her wants, not her needs.

   “Anna, are you listening to me?” her mom asked, pulling her back from her trip down memory lane.

   “Yeah, mom. I’ll be good. I won’t burn down the house while you’re away,” she answered jokingly.

  “Anna!!”

“Kidding, mom.”

“Well,here.” She thrust four fifty ringgit notes onto Anna’s hand and said,” Your brother’s asking for some cash again, For text books. Gosh, college sure costs some heavy bucks.” Her mother smiled helplessly at her. A sharp pain seared across her chest.

   “Yeah, I’ll make sure this gets to him. You’ll be back next week, right mom?” she asked, tucking the notes inside her pockets.

   “Uh-huh,” she answered distractedly as she started the car.” Just some business in . The shop needs restocking after all. I managed to scrap up just enough money for some stuff. It’s not easy with all the cars and bills to pay. I just wish that people understand. Since your father left, everything’s left in my hands. Both the good and the bad. He may have left some money, but he also left bills to pay and debts to settle. “

   ” I know, mom. Sometimes, you’re just too nice.” Anna couldn’t help sounding resentful. Not of her selfless mom, but the people who continued relying on her, even when she was at her limit. Maybe they didn’t understand. Or in some cases, they chose not to understand.

   “Well, I’m off, dear. Are you sure you don’t need anything?” her mother asked for the umpteenth time.

A new pair of earphones. 

   “No, mom. I’m good.” They were wants, not needs.

   As the small car disappeared from her view, Anna smiled bitterly, her mother’s recent words playing inside her mind.

    I managed to scrap up just enough money for some stuff.

   Sometimes, her mom was just too nice. And it was not breaking just her, but also Anna herself.

3rd Serving: The Devil’s Colour is White

   There was once a town, where everything was white. The houses, the schools, the grass, the flowers, the clothes, everything. White was pure, clean, pristine. White was beautiful. White was Right. No one questioned this rule, as children grew up seeing white on their parents and the parents grew old seeing white on their parents. It was engraved, it was accepted and it was expected.

   And yet, the day came when a foreigner came. He was a traveler, looking for a place to settle down. He came in a red car, wearing a blue shirt and brown pants. He slung a bright orange backpack on his back and his slippers were neon green. 

   “Ugly!”

   “Hideous!”

   “Disgusting!”

   They whispered their confusion and disgust. The people were shocked, horrified and afraid. This man was nothing they had ever seen before, different.

  The traveler, unaware of how his vibrant colours were somehow defiling the beauty of white, walked into a nearby inn. He stood at the counter, a sharp contrast to the pure white surrounding and asked for a room. The innkeeper wrinkled her nose in dsigust and showed him the way out.

   “No coloured man will defile the whites of my inn. There is no place for tainted people here!”

   And he walked out, confused and deeply saddened. Was it so bad that he was different? Was his colours Wrong? Was it a sin to be different? Maybe he needed some white clothes, a white pair of slippers, a white backpack. He needed to blend in, To belong. To be one of them.

   Suddenly, a spark ignited. Maybe there were others like him? Or maybe someone who didn’t mind his colourful ensemble? Those who would accept him for what he was, an individual.

   So, he wandered the streets, knocking on white doors, asking for a family to accept him, in exchange for some different colours that he considered beautiful. His optimism  backfired. The nicer ones politely declined while some shut their doors to his face. And the ones so unwaveringly devoted to their pure and beautiful white threw  white paint, water and even acid on his face and clothes, screaming words filled with hatred and malice. He would run from them, his spark of hope slowly dying each time it happened.

   One day, as he was sitting under a tree,nursing his fingers, bleeding from scorching acid thrown at him a few seconds ago,a little boy came to the traveler, carrying a white puppy with him.

   “Would you like to touch it, Mister?”, the boy asked, flashing an innocent smile. The traveler smiled as brightly as he could, and stretched his bleeding fingers towards the beautiful, white pup. A drop of crimson blood fell on its ears and staining its fur. The boy gasped, not from horror, but from surprise, as the red on his puppy was something he had never seen before. It enthralled him. The traveler smiled sadly. At least a child could find wonder in his foreignness, he thought. Will acceptance come soon after? He played with the boy and his puppy, his spark of hope growing into a small fire. When he finally closed his eyes to sleep that day, the fire was burning slowly, but firmly. Orange flames dancing in his mind’s eye.

   When he opened his eyes later, the sight that greeted him was one of pure terror and heartbreak. A mangled lump of white smeared with red lay in front of him, remnants of what became of the little puppy. The white puppy he tainted red. Before his mind could even respond to the terror in front of him, he felt a sharp thud at the back of his head and hot liquid ran down his head and into his eyes giving him the visions of a bleeding red. As his knees, palms and finally his cheeks touched the ground, he heard them.

   “We knocked out the coloured man! He’s unconscious!”

   “Carry him to the town hall! We;ll burn him there for everyone to see. That’ll teach him for tainting my son and the dog with his ugly colour!”

    Ugly. Tainted. Sinned. That was what he was to them. And as his consciousness began to drift away, he wondered  about the pure, pristine and ever so beautiful white and how the white that everyone else idolized was the one he would forever deem the Devil’s colour.  

   

2nd Serving: Almost Alice

   As Alicia was walking home from school that day, she began thinking of interesting things that could, but did not happen to her that day. The list was endless, ranging from getting an A for the ridiculously mind boggling Chemistry test to the most impossible things like having her crush return her feelings or having an awesome fairy tale adventure.

   Right on cue, a fluffy white rabbit with a green watch strapped onto its hind leg ran past the bewildered Alicia.That, definitely stopped Alicia in her tracks. Her eyes followed the fluffy ball of white until it disappeared behind a cluster of bushes. Contemplating on the chances of an Alice in Wonderland adventure, she took a step towards the bushes which now looked oddly suspicious. Was there a chance of a dark rabbit hole? A passage to Wonderland?

   Suddenly, a young girl-probably in her mid teens- yanked Alicia’s sleeves. The girl was wearing a dress that looked like it came from the Victorian era. Her hair was a wave of blonde curls cascading down her back. With a blue ribbon holding back her bangs from obscuring her small face, she seemed to be Alice herself. No questions asked, she began a long, winding explanation involving a runaway pet rabbit and her brother’s green watch. Long story short, Her class was doing a play on Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland and she lost her pet rabbit along with the green watch she ‘borrowed’ from her brother. Alicia continued nodding and shaking her head despite her losing interest. Well, there goes my adventure in Wonderland, she thought. Hoping for the rabbit to finally show itself, she looked at the  bushes again. 

   And as if the rabbit’s thought were synchronized with hers, it dashed passed them, leaving a trail of green plastic pieces which Alicia suspected were the brother’s watch. Before a witty remark could be made,little  Alice was on the ball of fluff’s heel, screaming strings of profanities which Alicia felt was a little to advanced for a thirteen year old. Unless she knew the Internet.

   Alicia stood there, next to a clump of bushes that might or might not have been concealing the gateway to Wonderland but actually did not, With a sigh, Alicia turned around and continued her walk home, thinking of Alice and her runaway rabbit which she hoped hadn’t fallen down any holes to Wonderland.That was definitely an interesting encounter. Now, she needed a nap, preferably under a tree after reading a book and an afternoon tea in their English garden. Hopefully her sister would remember to wake her up.

   . 

   

First Serving: Waiting for the End

It was certainly exciting, I couldn’t deny it. My heart was certainly racing as my eyes followed the steady pace of my blue pen on the crisp white of exam paper. It was nearing the end, and every one of us, the Form Five students  was eagerly anticipating it.

The nerve wrecking  minutes before freedom.

All around me, pens danced on papers, each stroke much more urgent than the one before. And mine was the same. It was the last battle. One that would bring an end to three weeks of war. A war we spent two years preparing for. As my pen made the last inky dot, ending my personal battle, I felt it again, the anticipation, eagerness, the thumping of an excited heart threatening to jump out of my mouth.

Four minutes left.

Papers were being shoved aside to the furthest possible corner of the small fold-able desks, their writers ready to hand them over. The clunky trots of the female invigilator on her heels we dubbed the Kung Fu shoes reminded me of the passing seconds that felt agonizingly slow. My mind was adrift. Dwelling on the school days that was only a few minutes from ending.

Another two minutes.

The hall was a restless mix of rustling papers, shoes shuffling against dusty floor, nervous giggles and bored sighs. Invigilators began their hushed discussion. Students began their noisy packing. It was the tap of pens against pencils, the thud of erasers falling onto floors and into pencil cases and the zips and clicks of closing pencil cases.

Forty-five seconds.

Invigilators began trotting across the hall, the Kung Fu shoes’ being the most audible footsteps. Giggles escaped the girls, euphoria was in the air. The sudden screeching of the microphone took our breaths away. And we held the ones forming.

Ten.

“Attention, candidates,” the Head Invigilator began, ” Please put down your pens and paper.”

Five.

“The invigilators will be collecting your papers.”

Four.

A pin could have dropped and everyone would hear it.

Three.

“The time allocated for Biology Paper 3…”

Two.

“…is over.”

One.

The hall erupted in a sea of cheers and laughter, sighs of relief and exhaustion. I laughed and smiled and before I knew it, there were tears. Of relief, exhaustion and sadness. Our battles, our war, our school lives was over. Wiping my eyes, I picked up my pencil case and took a slow step towards the exit. Where many others were already running to.

Hello!!

Since this is my first post, the most appropriate thing to do would be to introduce myself!

You may know me as FarraFaye here. I love that name! I feel like a fairy just by saying it! No, I don’t actually adore fairies. I just love the name. I am 18 this year, and guess what? It’s my birthday today! I am a simple girl.I have my hopes, dreams, insecurities, faith and weaknesses. I’ve always wanted to be a writer since i picked up my first novel, Harry Potter. I was 9 at that time. Today, as a birthday present for myself, I decided to pursue my dreams as a writer!! So, I will be posting my stories here, though not as frequently as I would like. Please bear with me as I begin my journey. Thank you!!