The "Something" Series

Something I Don’t Wanna Think About: A Monologue.

Why I'm Over the Club and Bar Scene

A glass is put in front of me and I quickly pick it up and take a sip. I look around the crowded bar & grill, paying no mind to the people who are screaming over a game and are hanging out with their friends. I honestly don’t even know how I got here; I guess I just needed to get out of my apartment and not stare at those four walls anymore.

A guy comes up to the bar area and orders a drink. I can tell he’s looking at me by the way his breath is hitting the back of my neck. I turned around as he smiled at me. Ugh. He reeked of alcohol.

“Hey, sweetheart,” the guy finally said. “I haven’t seen you here before. You’re new in town?” I couldn’t help but giggle; he was old enough to possibly be my fucking father.

“No, I’ve been here for years,” I responded. This guy made himself comfortable in the seat next to me.

“I would’ve remembered a pretty face like yours,” he slyly responded. I smiled and took a sip of my drink. Can’t lie, it’s been a long time since I had any attention like this.

“Well, you must not be looking hard enough,” I toyed. I suddenly felt this feeling in my stomach, and it wasn’t pleasant. This guy is looking at me like he knows he’s about to get lucky tonight. If I’m lucky enough, maybe I’ll just puke on his clothes. “Excuse me for a moment, I just have to freshen up,” I flirtatiously said.

He didn’t get lucky with me, that’s for damn sure.

I flushed the toilet once I was done and closed the lid. I looked at the mirror and tied my hair back. Is this how my life was suppose to pan out? Me, puking my brains out every 5 hours, alone, with my child that lives 2 hours away up north? Oh, and pregnant?

The night Ari came over was when I found out. She knew something was up; she didn’t even give me the privacy to pee on the damn stick. When I finally did, I wanted nothing more to just hide under a rock. How did I allow myself to get in this situation? How did an already failed mother manage to get herself pregnant? Even more so, by a man that lives across the fucking world? Jamie still doesn’t know, and I don’t know how to tell him or if I even should tell him. Again, ruining another man’s life.

I walk into the kitchen and grab a ginger ale from the fridge; my nights have been just me doing to the local bar to drink water for the night, then to come home and wonder when did my life get this fucked. Of course, running the dance academy has been harder these days. I wanted to dance to teach, not have to dictate steps to the dancers. I wanted to be on the floor with them, not in the bathroom puking every half an hour in my office bathroom.

The screen on my phone lights up on the kitchen counter; it reads “Jamie”. I haven’t spoken to Jamie since I found out. I’ve avoided almost all of his calls, to then text him and say I’m either busy, or with Willow, or too tired. I don’t know how long I’m going to play this game with him, but it fucking hurts.

It hurts because I love that man. In the year and a half I’ve known him, I’ve fell in love with him. I want nothing more to be the prefect girlfriend for him. I want nothing more for him to come home to me again after work and cuddle on the sofa watching reruns of his favorite American TV shows. I want nothing more to be in a normal relationship with him, but there’s nothing normal about me to make it a normal relationship.

The phone screen goes black until it lights up again; this time, it’s Ari. In annoyance, I picked it up.

“Don’t tell me, Jamie called you and now you’re calling me?” I answered.

“What?” Ari questioned. “Girl, are you still not talking to Jamie?” Fuck. Busted.

“I’m talking to him,” I attempted to lie. I heard Ari suck her teeth at the other end of the phone.

“Bitch, I don’t mean by text message. Have you answered his phone calls yet?” Ari asked. She always could see through my bullshit.

“Why should I?” I said.

“Uhm,” Ari loudly responded. “Maybe because you’re carrying his baby and he has the right to know!”

“And what is he gonna do about it, huh?” I argued back. It was the truth. What is Jamie going to do when I tell him? He’s back in Korea, and here I am in NYC.

“He still has the right to know, Grace, and you know it,” Ari said. I squeezed my eyes shut as she continued to talk. “You love Jamie, and you not answering his calls is just going to hurt you both in the end.”

“I got to go,” I abruptly said and hung up the phone. I held my head with my hands, stressed and unsure what I should do. He deserves to know, I would love for him to know, but this relationship thing we got going on is just not going to work.

Maybe I should break up with him.

I looked at the clock on the stove and saw that it was about 11pm. It’s 1pm in Korea, if I do it now, he’ll pick up. I placed my phone in one of the drawers of the kitchen counter and walked away. I just want to disappear.

The Teenage Tell-Tale.

The Teenage High-School Decisions: A Scene.

5 Cool Back-to-School Supplies From Grade School to High School | Quicken  Loans

Class is in session and this particular 8th grade class is reviewing some work for an upcoming test. Milo rests his head on his hand; he is clearly bored as he doodles in his notebook. Once the teacher stops talking, she faces the class and makes an announcement.

Teacher: Now that we were able to do some reviewing for your midterm, I wanted to end the class period handing these out.

She walks to her desk and picks up a pile of envelopes. Milo’s eyes widen.

Teacher: These came in earlier today and I know many of you are curious and anxiously waiting decisions for high-school…

The crowd uproars in chatter, they are all interested and anticipating the decisions.

Teacher: Now, I expect you guys to stay in your seats, and no yelling or screaming. I understand your excitement, but please keep it to yourself until your lunch period.

The teacher begins to hand out the envelopes to students. Milo stares at the teacher as she does; Mollie notices it and rolls her eyes.

The teacher is now at Milo’s desk; she shuffles through the envelopes.

Teacher: Milo Kamalani… *takes the envelope out of the pile* Here you go.

Milo takes the envelope and opens the envelope quickly. He unfolds the paper and reads what the paper says:

Waverly High-School of the Performing Arts - Vocal/Band Duo Major

Milo’s eyes widen in shock. He smiles and tries his hardest to keep his composure. He looks around to see everyone looking at their letters and see their reactions.

During the lunch period, Sophie walks to get her food from the lunch counter. She picks up a tray and walks towards her usual table.

She sits down and sees Laurie in a bad mood. Simon looks nervous trying to comfort her, but doesn’t say anything when Laurie begins to wipe off tears from her eyes.

Sophie: Hey, what’s going on?

Laurie: *annoyed* Yeah, Simon – tell her what’s going on?

Simon: I didn’t get into Waverly High.

Sophie doesn’t look as surprised, but plays along when Laurie starts crying.

Laurie: We were supposed to go to Waverly together, babe!

Simon: I know, but maybe they just didn’t want me to go there…

Sophie walks the interaction between the two. Her eyebrows rise up when she hears Laurie got accepted to Waverly.

Simon: Did you get accepted to Waverly, Soph?

Sophie: *coldly* I did.

Simon: *to Laurie* See, babe! Sophie’s gonna be there with you!

Laurie: *bratty* I don’t care about Sophie being there! I care about you being there!

Simon continues to try to calm down Laurie. Sophie’s appetite disappears, so she gets up and picks up her tray.

Simon: Where are you going?

Sophie: I’m going to go to one of the music rooms and do some work for this project…

She walks away from the table and throws her tray of good away. Before she can turn around and leave, Simon is right behind her.

Sophie: *startled* Bloody hell, Simon.

Simon: Please can you stay with Laurie? She’s driving me mad.

Sophie: I think as her boyfriend, that’s typically your job to stay with her when she’s sad.

She cross her amrs around her chest.

Sophie: From my memory of audition day, I don’t remember seeing you auditioning there.

Simon: I didn’t want to.

Sophie: So you lied to Laurie and told her you didn’t get in?

Simon: *annoyed* I didn’t want her to be mad at me. You know I never wanted to go to that school.

Sophie: I know.

Sophie walks away from Simon without saying anything else. She walks out of the lunchroom.

Sophie walks down the hallway of the music rooms, clearly looking for someone. She stops at one of the doors and sees Milo practicing something on his guitar. She smiles and knocks on the door. Milo looks up and sees Sophie standing by the window. Milo unlocks the door and lets Sophie in.

Milo: What brings you here, Scout?

Sophie: I didn’t feel like eating with Laurie and them today.

Sophie places her bookbag on the ground and sits in a chair across from Milo.

Sophie: Apparently, Laurie is sad because Simon didn’t make it into Waverly.

Milo: She’s going to Waverly?

Sophie nods her head and Milo sucks his teeth. Sophie raises an eyebrow as she looks at Milo.

Sophie: You made it into Waverly?

Milo doesn’t say anything; he just smiles. Sophie gasps and stands up from her seat, giving a hug to Milo.

Sophie: I’m so happy for you! I know how much work you put into that audition.

Milo: Thanks, Scout. I got in as a duo major; vocal and band.

Sophie: *eyes widen* That’s amazing… as long as you don’t take a spot on violins, we can still be friends…

Milo smirks; he knows what Sophie meant by that.

Milo: No violins, just percussion.

Sophie smiles and gets excited in her seat.

Sophie: I’m so happy that we’re going to Waverly!

Milo: *smiles* Me too.

After school, Milo is seen carrying his guitar case on his back with his books in his hands. He looks around, looking for somebody. When he sees the person he’s looking for, he waves his hand.

Milo: Mol!

Mollie stops and looks at Milo. She looks in the other direction and walks away with Ronnie. Milo takes in a deep breath and walks away from the school.

The "Something" Series

Something’s Up With My Best Friend: A Scene.

Apartment Entrance & Lobby - JORG

The busy streets of New York City keeps the night going. Taxis and buses pass by the streets while people walk in and out of various stores and buildings.

One Taxi stops in front of an apartment building. The door opens and out walks a tall, skinny woman with a pea-coat and high-heeled boots. It’s Ari, Grace’s best friend. Once the taxi drives off, she takes out her phone and dials up a number. Moments later, she begins to talk.

Ari: Hey, I’m here, are you nearby?

Ari looks up and down the city block.

Ari: *annoyed* Boy if you don’t get here faster, I’m gonna go upstairs by myself and handle this shit out!

Ari hangs up the phone and looks at the building in front of her. She slowly walks towards the entrance of it.

A few moments later, a man with tied-up dreadlocks and a bomber jacket comes into the building. He looks around and spots Ari. Ari gets up from her seat and walks towards the man.

Ari: It took you long enough!

Emerson: Hey, traffic was crazy in Brooklyn!

The two start to bicker until they notice they are now being loud inside the lobby. They stop, look around and lower their voices.

Ari: Let’s just go upstairs so I can kill a bitch.

Ari walks towards the elevators as Emerson follows.

Emerson: So she hasn’t spoke to you in three days?

Ari: She won’t answer my calls, text me back, call me back; nothing. It’s like she doesn’t even exist and I’m not gonna let that shit slide.

Emerson: She hasn’t answered my calls or texts either.

Once they enter the elevator and press the floor number button, the doors close.

Ari: I get she’s all sad with Jamie going back to Korea, but she can’t just tune out the world because of that.

Emerson doesn’t say anything. The doors open and Ari walks ahead down the hall. Emerson follows her. Once they reach the door, Emerson insists he knock first.

Emerson: *knocks* Grace? *knocks harder* Grace? You there?

Ari: Where else would she be?

Emerson puts a finger to his mouth, gesturing for Ari to quiet down. Ari rolls her eyes and reaches for something under the welcome mat. Emerson is dumbfounded.

Emerson: How’d you–

Ari: Oh please, the amount of times this bitch got drunk and couldn’t find her keys; this was basically my idea.

Ari takes the key and opens the front door to Grace’s apartment. Both Ari and Emerson look into the apartment.

Ari: Grace! Get your ass out here!

Ari walks towards the bedroom.

Emerson: Ari!

He follows Ari as she swings the bedroom door open. While Emerson stand at the doorway, Ari walks towards the bed and pulls the blanket off of the bed.

Ari: Grace!

Grace takes her head off of the pillows and looks up.

Grace: Ari? Em? The fuck…?

Ari: Don’t change the subject! What the fuck, Grace?

Grace: *annoyed* How the hell did you guys even get in here?

Ari: I’m your best friend! I know where your spare key is!

Grace: That’s for emergencies only!

Ari: Bitch this is an emergency! I haven’t heard from you for days! Neither as Emerson!

Emerson doesn’t say anything, he just stands at the doorway, nervous.

Grace: Well I’m fine, so both of you can leave.

Grace grabs the blanket to try to cover herself back up, but Ari is not having it. They both fight for the blanket, and Emerson tries to break it up.

Emerson: Okay! Okay! That’s enough, stop!

Grace immediately stops, which causes Ari to fall to the ground with the blanket. Grace races out of bed and runs out of the room.

Emerson: Grace!

He sees her slamming the door to the bathroom. Ari gets up and tries to go after Grace, but Emerson blocks the doorway.

Emerson: She went to the bathroom! Relax, Ari!

Ari stops fighting until Emerson puts down his guard and Ari walks out of the room.

Emerson: Ari!

Ari: Let me handle this.

Ari calmly walks to the bathroom and knocks on it.

Ari: Grace, you can’t just hide in the bathroom all day.

Grace: *yells from inside the bathroom* Just leave! Please!

Ari: You must be dumb if you think I’m leaving without talking about this shit.

Grace: *yells* Just go!

Grace is heard coughing, followed by something falling into water. Ari looks at Emerson.

Emerson: *to Ari* I have to go and meet with Cami and her parents. Please keep me posted about Grace. Let me know how she’s doing.

Ari nods and Emerson leaves the apartment, loudly shutting the door shut. Ari doesn’t say anything or move. She instantly hears the bathroom door unlock. Ari quietly takes a deep breath and then walks into the bathroom.

Ari: Grace–

Grace screams, surprised to see Ari there.

Grace: I thought you left!

Ari: That was Emerson’s whipped ass…

Ari closes the bathroom door and looks towards the toilet bowl. She gags.

Grace: Goddamn, Grace! Did you throw up all of your meals from today?

Grace sighs and weakly flushes the toilet. Ari crosses her arms and looks down at Grace.

Ari: Is this what you’re doing now? Eating but still puking everything out?

Grace: *annoyed* What, are you here to see if I’m actually eating?

Ari: I can clearly see you are with all that shit you just puked up.

Grace: *defeated* Why are you here, Ari?

Ari: *annoyed* Because my best friend hasn’t spoken to me in three days.

Grace: Look, I’m sorry; I haven’t been feeling good and just wanted to be left alone.

Ari: And you couldn’t text me that? It would’ve saved me the cab fare coming here…

Nothing is said between them for a moment. Ari unfolds her arms and attempts to grab Grace by the hands to lift her up off of the bathroom floor.

Ari and Grace are sitting on he couch. Ari is drinking coffee while Grace is eating saltine crackers with ginger ale. Ari looks at Grace.

Ari: So how are you really holding up with everything happening?

Grace chews her saltine crackers and takes a sip from her bottle.

Grace: I’m alright. It hurts less when it happens a second time…

Ari: Hey. You know Jamie loves you.

Grace shrugs her shoulders and continues to eat her saltine crackers.

Grace: You know dipping these crackers in ranch dressing is everything?

Ari makes a disgusted face and continues to drink her coffee.

Ari: That doesn’t sound pleasing.

Grace: *shakes her head* Ranch dressing on top of pudding is even better.

Ari chokes on her coffee.

Ari: Bitch, are you high?

Grace rolls her eyes and continues to eat. When the crackers are finished, Grace gets up and gets something else from the pantry. Ari watches her.

Ari: You sure have been eating a lot more these days.

Grace: *sarcastically* Jeez, thanks bitch.

Ari: Listen, it’s better than you starving yourself and shit! I’m glad Jamie got your ass straightened out and got you eating again!

Grace: Yeah, well he keeps pestering me about eating even it being a 13 hour timezone difference and being across the damn world.

Grace closes the pantry and comes back with some dip and potato chips… and ranch dressing.

Ari: Mhm, so he doesn’t know you’re purging and then puking it out when you feel full?

Grace doesn’t say anything, but the silence speaks volumes for Ari.

Ari: You know if you don’t tell him, I will.

Grace: Ari, that’s not your business to tell.

Ari: Bitch please! You know Jamie and I only communicate is for the sole purpose of making sure you’re not falling off the wagon, which… I mean…

Grace: *annoyed* Look, I’m not making myself vomit. Maybe I’m just eating too much and my stomach can’t handle it.

Ari: I mean, who the hell can stand eating ice cream with ranch dressing? That’s some pregnant woman stomach shit.

Grace laughs and continues to eat her snacks. Ari quickly spits her coffee back in her cup and her eyes widen.

Ari: Girl, you’re not pregnant, right?!

Grace: *rolls her eyes* Bitch, you know that’s not a possibility.

Ari: Not the way you and Jamie used to fuck.

Grace’s widens her eyes in shock. She shakes her head in protest.

Grace: Ari, stop. I’m not pregnant. I know I’m not pregnant.

Ari: You took a test?

Grace: Why would I take a test?

Ari: So you don’t know for sure?

Grace: *annoyed* Ari.

Ari: Grace, take a damn test.

Grace: For what?

Ari: *stern* Grace.

Grace sucks her teeth and gets up from the couch. She walks to the bathroom.

Ari: *shocked* Bitch you got a test?!

Ari hops off from the sofa and runs towards the bathroom.

The Teenage Tell-Tale.

The Teenage Screw Up: A Scene.

Kristin Peake Interiors, LLC. | Amenagement petite cuisine, Cuisine  appartement, Décoration de cuisine

Milo stands in the kitchen, looking at his father and Jennifer, who sit at the kitchen table. He doesn’t say anything or move, he just stands there in hopes one of his parents says something first. They don’t.

Milo: *nervously laughs* Home before midnight! Parents in those movies where the teenager breaks their curfew would… love…that…

Milo Sr and Jennifer don’t respond. They sit there, not amused with Milo.

Jennifer: *to Milo Sr* So, do we ground him now, or yell at him for lying to us about tonight?

Milo Sr: Why not both?

Jennifer: Works for me.

Milo panics and drops the act, he drops his bag onto the floor.

Milo: I’m sorry, I had to finish the project, I swear I wasn’t gone for that long I–

Milo Sr: You still lied to us, Milo! You also ditched Mollie’s party to *air quotes* finish the project.

Jennifer: There has to be more to this story than you’re telling us.

Milo: No! I swear!

Milo kneels to the floor to open his bookbag and pulls out his notebook. He flips through the pages to show his dad and Jennifer. After some time, Milo Sr and Jennifer believe him, but still is skeptical about Milo’s motive.

Milo Sr: Milo, it’s the fact that you missed Mollie’s birthday party. Mollie’s your best friend, she was asking about you all night.

Milo: She’ll be fine, she’s always over here anyway and I can make it up to her–

Jennifer: Milo, that’s not the point! You lied to us. We had no idea where you were tonight!

Milo: *annoyed* Well I went out to finish my project! Is that so bad to do?

Jennifer: When you’re coming home at 10 at night without us knowing!

Milo Sr: Pep.

Jennifer gets up from her chair and walks out of the kitchen once she hears Micah come out of his room. Milo and hid dad are the only ones left in the kitchen. There’s a long pause before anything else is said.

Milo Sr: Is there more to this project than you’re telling us?

Milo: *off-guard* What?

Milo Sr: Is this more about the person you’re doing the project with?

Milo doesn’t know how to answer the question. Milo Sr takes a deep breath.

Milo Sr: Milo…

Milo: *defensive* It’s just a stupid project that has to get done! That’s it!

Milo Sr: To me, it sounds like you have a crush on this girl you’re working on this project with.

Milo: *angry* No! You’re wrong! Just–

Milo grabs his bookbag and tries to walk past his father.

Milo Sr: *shouts* You;re still ground, Milo.

The door slams shut. Milo Sr takes off his glasses to rub his eyes. Jennifer enters the kitchen after Milo leaves to go into his room. Jennifer sits down next to Milo, brushing his dreadlocks away from his face.

Milo: We’re in trouble, Pep.

Jennifer doesn’t say anything, she just listens to Milo talk.

The following Monday, Milo walks in the hallway in school, towards his locker. He looks up to see Mollie at her locker, getting her things together before class.

Milo: Yo, Mol! You wanna go get pizza after school? I do have to be home before 3:30 so maybe we can just–

Mollie slams her locker shut, and looks at Milo.

Mollie: I’m busy.

Milo: … Okay, how about tomorrow?

Mollie: *annoyed* No.

Mollie zips up her backpack and tries to walk in the other direction.

Milo: What’s wrong with you today?

Mollie: Hmm, I don’t know, maybe it’s the fact that my own best friend missed my birthday to go out with one of the plastics and *air quotes* finish your project.

Milo: Who told you that?

Mollie: It doesn’t matter how I found out! You really ditched me to hang out with one of Laurie’s dumb friends! Like, are you stupid, Milo?!

Milo: Look, I promised her we would finish up the project on Friday!

Mollie: And it couldn’t have been another day? It had to be on my fucking 14th birthday?!

Milo doesn’t say anything. Mollie turns around in disgust.

Milo: Wait, Mol!

Mollie: No, Milo. Clearly you don’t care about me, so why should I care about you? Go hang out with that bitch–

Milo: *defensive* Sophie isn’t a bitch!

Mollie scoffs in disbelief.

Mollie: You’re really sticking up for a girl who you only met like three months ago on this stupid project? Whatever. See you when I see you, traitor.

Mollie walks off and leaves Milo standing near the lockers. In the other direction, Sophie looks at Milo and the argument that he had with Mollie. She turns around towards the other direction, sad.

The "Something" Series

Something That Wasn’t Planned: A Scene.

Wallpaper Girl, Night, The City, Window, Bed, Sleep • Wallpaper For You HD  Wallpaper For Desktop & Mobile

The lights from the city skyscrapers illuminate into Grace and Jamie’s bedroom. Grace holds a bowl of popcorn in her lap while Jamie comes back to the bed in his pajamas, with snacks.

Grace: Do you think we have enough snacks?

Jamie: *looks around the bed* Is the three different types of chips not a good variety?

Grace laughs and grabs a handful of popcorn. Jamie smiles at the sight.

Jamie: How have you’ve been feeling? Are you okay?

Grace: If you’re asking me if I’m eating the way I’m supposed to be eating, then there’s nothing to worry about.

Jamie smiles and kisses Grace on the head.

Jamie: I’m glad to see you eating.

Grace shoves more snacks into her mouth as she looks at Jamie. He does the same.

Grace: I’m happy that we could do this. You know a fancy dinner isn’t my thing.

Jamie: I wish I could still take you out one last time.

Grace’s smiles faintly goes away. She looks out of the window; Jamie places his hand on her shoulder.

Jamie: Jagiya~

Grace quickly turns around towards Jamie. His name for her has become natural for her to hear Jamie call her by jagiya than her own name.

Jamie: I will take you out when I come visit.

Grace: Do you really think a long distance relationship is going to work?

Jamie was taken back by Grace’s response. He grabs Grace’s hand and rubs it with his thumb.

Jamie: We will make it work.

Grace has a hard time believing Jamie. She wants to believe that nothing will change when Jamie goes back to Korea, but she has gotten so used to coming home to Jamie, having dinner with Jamie, falling asleep next to Jamie; spending most of her days with Jamie. She hopes this is able to work, but she’s not confident.

Jamie: saranghae.

Grace faintly smiles and goes back to eating her snacks. Jamie does the same.

The bathroom door swings open and Grace is running towards the toilet. She quickly pukes into the toilet bowl and flushes once she’s done. She leans against the sink and looks into the mirror; she looks like absolute shit. She brushes her hair back and washes her face before leaving the bathroom. It’s 11pm in NYC, Grace’s apartment is emptier than it previously was. She takes a seat at her couch as her phone rings. Grace smiles at the number on her screen.

Grace: *picks up* Miss me already?

Jamie: *laughs* You know that’s not even a question. How are you feeling? Are you eating?

Grace: *rolls eyes* I’m fine. Are you calling just to check on me?

Jamie: Of course, I’m supposed to check on you.

Grace smiles and looks at the time.

Grace: Are you still traveling to your mother’s house?

Jamie: Yeah, I have about 2 more hours on the train before Mina picks me up.

Grace doesn’t say anything, she just sits there.

Jamie: Get some sleep, jagiya. It’s late in America.

Grace: I hope I can get some sleep…

Grace looks up to prevent tears to come down her face.

Jamie: Ya~

Grace: Yeah?

There’s a pause on the phone until Jamie speaks in a low tone.

Jamie: I love you. I will be back.

Grace doesn’t say anything, she wipes her eyes and shakes her up.

Grace: Okay.

Jamie: I’ll talk to you later.

Grace hangs up the phone and looks up at her ceiling. She takes in a deep breath and closes her eyes.

The Teenage Tell-Tale.

The Teenage Tightrope: A Scene.

How far would you go for a birthday celebration? - Parents - The Jakarta  Post

Milo is seen in his room, getting ready to go out for the night. He stares at himself in the mirror, fixing up his hair and glasses. A knock is heard on the door; it’s his dad checking up on him.

Milo Sr: You ready, bud?

Milo: I guess.

Milo Sr: You’ll be fine, Milo. It’s only Mollie’s house.

Milo: Yeah, with everyone she knows… *sigh* Dad–

Milo looks at his father, not completely himself.

Milo: I really don’t feel good to go out tonight.

Milo Sr: It’s Mollie’s birthday party though.

Milo: I’ll text her or something; she’s probably gonna be with all of her friends anyway to notice me not there.

Milo Sr takes a deep breath in.

Milo Sr: Are you sure you want to do this?

Milo: Please. I just don’t feel good.

Milo Sr: *sighs* Alright. Jennifer and I should be back from the party around 10 to put Micah to bed. Behave yourself. Get some rest. We’ll call you to check to see how you’re doing.

Milo: Thanks, dad.

Milo Sr smiles at his son and walks towards the front door and out of the house. Once the door is shut, Milo runs to his phone and dials up a number.

Milo: Hey, you wanted to work on the project tonight? *pause* Mollie wasn’t bothered, she knows we gotta graduate. *pause* I’ll meet you there.

Milo hangs up the phone and gathers his bookbag to go out.

Milo and Sophie sit on a ledge near the pier in Brooklyn Heights. Their breath is visible in the cold, winter air.

Milo: You picked the coldest place to be, Scout.

Sophie: *laughs* Hey, you told me to pick the next place.

Both teens look out into the water; across the waters is the sight of all of the lights brightly lit in Manhattan.

Sophie: I don’t think I got into Waverly.

Milo: *looks at Sophie* Why do you say that?

Sophie: *hesitant* I just feel like everyone is better than me. Like I don’t deserve a spot in their school or something.

Milo: Just because you don’t dance ballet or sing in a choir? So what? You play an instrument.

Sophie: Yeah, and how many girls actually make it into the bad at that school? I mean, you’ve seen their performances!

Milo: And?

Sophie: I just don’t see myself being one of the few girls in their ensemble. *sigh* Maybe he was right.

Milo: Who?

Sophie doesn’t say anything at first.

Milo: *puts two-and-two together* Simon.

Sophie: He was always the better player. I always took his advice seriously because no matter what he would tell me, I always got better because of it…

Milo wants to say something, but he sees Sophie’s head already in a different place. He knows to now just listen.

Sophie: I came here the night I find out he was dating Laurie. I was so upset. We fought over the phone and told me that Laurie was prettier. More talented. Better than I would ever be.

Milo: Sophie–

Sophie: –And I believed everything that he said. Why wouldn’t I? Everything he’s told me before always was right. So I came here right before the summer started. I jumped and swam deeper and deeper to the bottom. I felt truly alone. I don’t remember how I got out of the water; I just remember coughing and trying to catch my breath on the pier.

Milo is at a loss for words. He takes his legs away from the edge and folds them. He moves Sophie’s legs out of the edge as well.

Milo: Did you ever tell anyone?

Sophie shakes her head.

Sophie: If my mom ever found out I did that, she would send me back to the UK to live with my nan. Something like this in Korean culture is extremely looked down upon.

Milo: Did you ever tell Simon though?

Sophie: No.

Milo: Sophie… why are you still friends with Laurie after everything she’s caused you?

Sophie: *annoyed* What other choice do I got? It’s either be friends with her and get saved the bullying, or go against her and have my life be a living hell.

Milo: I’m your friend!

Sophie: And you best friend hates my guts, so really; are we friends? Or do you just tolerate me for the project nowadays?

Milo: *mad* I’m here with you when I could be with my best friend at her birthday party, Sophie. Don’t act like I don’t care about you. If you didn’t think I did, you wouldn’t have told me your story.

Sophie’s eyes water up, she looks out into the ocean and doesn’t say anything. Milo just looks at her.

Milo: I… really fucking care about you, Sophie.

Sophie wipes her eyes and begins to get up. Milo follows her gestures.

Sophie: I- I should get going, my mom will–

Milo grabs Sophie by the arm and hugs her tight. Sophie is hesitant at first, but then slowly puts her arms around Milo. They share a moment together. After the hug, he looks down at her.

Milo: You’re… so pretty. So talented, and funny and a great friend.

Sophie smiles and kisses Milo’s cheek.

Sophie: Thank you.

Milo smiles and walks away from the pier with Sophie.

Milo is shown running down a block towards a house. He runs up the steps of the house and begins to unlock the door with his keys. He walks through the studio towards the back way of the apartment, and quietly walks the stairs. He reaches the door where the kitchen is located and tries to sneak his way into the apartment. He turns around and screeches.

His dad and Jennifer stand in the kitchen, looking at their son.

Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: To my 311 lbs Self.

To the person I was before surgery,

As I watch my family being able to eat all of their food off of their plate, I wonder how you used to do that. How were you able to finish all of your food that was on your plate? How would you be able to even go for seconds after a full plate of food? Did you enjoy the food that you ate? Is that why you would go back for more? I don’t remember how that feels. I don’t remember what it felt like to eat something and enjoy it. I don’t remember how it felt to take in a flavor of food and eat until you couldn’t eat anymore. There’s a lot about you I don’t remember.

I don’t want to forget the person you were. I don’t want to forget the person that really dealt with the self-image issues and the constant battle with your weight being a physical issue but also wanting to love your body for how she comes. I don’t want to forget the scares you had at night; the ones where you would feel absolutely sick and warm because your blood pressure was dangerously high. I don’t want to forget the fact that at 25 years old, you went to your doctor and told her that you are experiencing all the symptoms pre-diabetics experience. I don’t want to forget that you were pre-diabetic.

Although people will see you as “the before” in every photo I have, just know that you were more than just that. You were an actual person that dealt with the hardships of weight. You were a person that didn’t have much control in how fast your body was changing, despite getting the help needed to do so. You were always pretty, worthy, and will always be more than just a “before” photo. You were the before version of who I was, still am, and will continue being.

You will always be with me because you never left.

Despite how quick my body might change within the next couple of months, I will forever remind you that your body wasn’t and will never be something disgusting or bad. I will remind you that despite how many people will praise the body I’ll have as the months pass, it doesn’t mean you weren’t worthy enough to be seen.

I wish I took care of you better when i had the time. I know I didn’t know how to, and I didn’t know how much different life would be after-surgery, but i wish I was able to take you and just take care of you better. I’m sorry if I neglected you, and I’m sorry it took surgery for me to realize just how brave and strong you truly are. Like, I don’t know how you were able to go through surgery, and within two weeks, you seemed like you didn’t just have surgery! It’s amazing just how strong and supportive you are of me, despite me not taking care of you properly before. I will make sure to take care of you now– you won’t take no for an answer since if we don’t care for you, you’ll make me instantly regret it.

I love you and will always love you for who you were, what you are, and what you will become.

The "Something" Series

Something We’ll Figure Out: A Monologue.

How to research a New York apartment building before you move in - Curbed NY

No one else came to pick me up from the hospital today. It was Jamie, waiting for me in the waiting room, taking my things and putting it in the backseat as he opened the passenger’s side for me to get in. He didn’t say a word to me, and I didn’t say anything top him back. What was supposed to say after yesterday? Thank you for picking me up today after I basically told you to get lost just a couple of hours ago!

Driving back into the city at night on the bridge with the cold air hitting my face felt refreshing. I closed my eyes and saw the last year just flashed through my mind. Meeting Jamie, quitting the firm, going after my dance career, getting Jamie back, being Jamie’s girlfriend, and here we are. I opened my eyes and looked back at him as he drove. How did he handle me? Why put himself through the torture of being with Grace Ashmore? Why be linked up with someone that doesn’t have their life all put together? Why be with someone as damaged as me?

“Stop torturing yourself, jagiya,” Jamie finally said without looking away from the road.

“What?” I asked suddenly.

“Whatever you’re thinking about, it’s not true.” I cocked my eyebrows up and crossed my arms across my chest.

“So if I was thinking that you’re the sexiest man alive, that’s not in the slightest but true?” I teased. Jamie smirked to the question. I couldn’t help but be happy that I was still able to smile to my snarky remarks.

“I doubt that’s what has that perplexed look on your face,” he responded. I took a deep breath and looked out of the window. The drive seemed to be longer than expected; New York City traffic was always bad around this time of night. I was not gonna lie, going back to the city into my apartment was getting me sad. It meant that we would have to come back to reality and talk about the one thing I’ve been dreading since we left the hospital.

“Don’t take me home,” I blurted out. I didn’t see if Jamie looked at me, but his silence spoke volumes. Maybe he knew what I was dreading already, but he kept driving.

“Okay,” he simply said.

The rest of the drive was somewhat silent. The radio kept the air a little less tense, but it didn’t mean that our minds weren’t racing. Jamie looked tired; did he get any sleep last night? Has he eaten anything today? I was sad; I remember he used to have so much more color on his face. Fuck, he seemed so much happier.

The car stopped in a familiar place. His favorite place to think. I was glad to be close to the cafe; it felt like home without it being home in this exact moment. He got out of the car and walked around to open the door and take my hand. I put mine in his and he pulled me out of the car. We sat on the ground and looked out to the city and the Hudson River. It was truly something beautiful.

“Thank you,” I started to say. Jamie looked at me and placed his hand on my knee.

“I figured you needed some thinking time,” He said. I chuckled to myself; this man knows me too fucking well and it scares the living shit out of me. He brushed his hair back and continued to look out towards the city. I placed my head on his shoulder; the softness of his coat made me comfortable.

“Are you ready?” Jamie softly said. I knew what he meant. I faintly said yes and took my head off of his shoulder. I could tell he was nervous; he does this thing when he fixes the glasses on his face and licks his bottom lip, slightly biting on it. Could he tell I was also nervous?

“So… when did this start?” Jamie asked softly. I crossed my arms over my chest. That’s what I did when I get really nervous. I looked down at the grass.

“I’ve always had this issue with my body, especially when I was a dancer,” I briefly explained. He still looked so concerned and confused; I knew he had questions.

“I was worried sick about you, Grace. I didn’t know what the hell happened.” I could tell Jamie was trying to be as gentle as possible, but he was growing frustration at me for not just telling him about this in the first place.

“I would’ve known what to do,” I quietly said.

“Before or after you passed out in Emerson’s bathroom?” Jamie said snarky. I was pissed now, he simply wasn’t going to let this thing past me, and I mean– I don’t blame him– but I just wanted to get passed this conversation and spend our time more productively, like being on good terms with him before he just ups and leaves my fucking life.

“It wouldn’t be the first time,” I spat back. Jamie sighed and looked at me.

“Why didn’t you tell me you weren’t eating?”

“I needed to lose a couple of pounds.”

“For what?” Jamie raised his voice.

“My job, Jamie!” I responded even louder.

“Why the fuck would you need to lose weight for your job?” Jamie was angry, and I was getting angry for him not understanding that this was just not the conversation I wanted to had in this moment. I didn’t want to go home for this exact reason.

“The same reason you would leave Korea and attend to a case here in America; you just fucking have to!” I get up from the ground and stumble; Jamie quickly gets up and holds me so I don’t fall. Nothing is said, he just holds me.

I wrapped my arms around him and begin to start crying. I don’t know why I did, and I hate that I did, but I couldn’t help myself.

“Please don’t go back! Please!” I sobbed in his arms. I looked back up and with tears running down my face, I kissed him hard on the lips. He was tense; he didn’t know what was coming, but he suddenly wrapped his arms around me and kissed me back. And we were there for God knows how long.

It wasn’t long after until my bedroom door slammed open with me in Jamie’s arms. He placed me on my back on the bed and began to undress me. He looked at me in a way I don’t think any man has ever looked at me, but it felt good. It felt good to be seen for once; it felt good to think that someone took my flaws and fuck-ups and still wanted to be with me in this moment. I knew I loved him, and I wanted nothing but to let him know that in the way he touched my body tonight.

I remember the ecstasy of the night coming to an end when I realized the night was coming to an end. I looked over to Jamie, who then suddenly looked at me. He looked like he knew what was coming.

“When do you go back to Korea?” I finally asked. I dreaded the question all night. I know this wasn’t the right time to ask him this; us laying naked in my bed, but it was literally eating me up inside. I couldn’t wait to know the answer any longer. I needed to prepare myself for the heartbreak it will be.

“January 31st,” he simply answered. I didn’t say anything after that. I just laid there with his arm around me. I don’t know what this meant for us, but in this moment I was too exhausted to react.

I guess it’ll be something we’ll figure out.

The Teenage Tell-Tale.

The Teenage Pity Party: A Scene.

I can't wait' | Norfolk Public School teachers back in the classroom,  preparing for students | 13newsnow.com

Kids chatter in the classroom as they sit with their partners to discuss their projects with one another. While everyone is carrying on conversation with each other, Milo and Sophie sit silently at their table. Milo twirls around his pencil as Sophie plays with the eraser on the desk. Milo looks at Sophie when he finally hears her speak.

Sophie: So, how did your audition go?

Milo: It was cool… yours?

Sophie: It was… cool as well.

Milo: Cool.

Sophie drops the eraser and sighs.

Sophie: What are we doing? We’re supposed to be friends.

Milo: Are we not?

Sophie: By the way you’re acting towards me, it doesn’t feel like it. I wanna be able to talk to you about the audition. I wanna be able to do this project without feeling awkward. I wanna hear you call me Scout again!

Milo can’t help but smile at the last sentence Sophie said. Sophie faintly smiles back.

Sophie: I’m sorry.

Milo: I’m sorry too.

Sophie: Friends?

Sophie hold out her pinky finger towards Milo. He looks down at it, smiles, and then reaches out for it with his pinky finger.

Milo: Friends.

Sophie smiles as they make up by pinky swearing their friendship. They hold onto each other’s fingers just a little too long. They slowly release each other and get back to business.

Sophie: So, the project–

Milo: You pick the place.

Sophie: *confused* But, it’s your turn to document a place.

Milo: We’ll start this project again on your place… I also need to think of another place so I rather you go first.

Sophie: Friday?

Milo: Friday.

Sophie laughs and Milo feels giddy inside. The feeling goes away when someone calls out his name. He looks up and sees Mollie coming over with her partner, Ronnie. Milo looks up and sees the girls walking over to his table.

Mollie: Yo, are you free on Friday? Of course you’re free — anyway, you’re coming to my party, right?

Milo’s eyes widen. Mollie reads them.

Mollie: You totally forgot about my birthday; what kind of best friend forgets their best friend’s birthday?

Before Milo can say anything, he sees Laurie and the rest of the girls come towards Sophie’s table. Once Laurie reaches the table, she rolls her eyes at the sight of Mollie.

Laurie: Come on, Soph, I’m done with the project for today.

Mollie rolls her eyes and coughs an inaudible insult. Laurie looks at Mollie.

Laurie: Was I talking to you, Castro?

Mollie: Was I talking to you, Whoring Warren?

Sophie and Milo’s eyes widen at the comment. Laurie is furious.

Laurie: You know no one is going to show up to your self-pity party, right?

Mollie: *sarcastically* Man, to even think that I’ll be hanging out with my friends at my party instead of sticking my tongue down a nasty jock’s tongue for most of the party really must make my party uncool and boring. *to Simon* Did you enjoy her tongue touching your tonsils?

Simon: You better watch who you’re talking to, bitch.

Milo stands up from his seat. Sophie looks mortified.

Milo: Have some respect for a girl, dude.

Simon: *to Milo* Why don’t you go wear panties and skirts with your best friend, asswipe.

Milo: At least I don’t have to flaunt my masculinity to feel superior.

Sophie: *worried* Milo–

Milo: You know what type of guys do that? Guys that don’t feel manly enough.

Simon: At least I got a girlfriend. Who do you got? Some tomboy best friend that probably likes other girls *touches Sophie’s shoulder* You better be careful, she might just try to kiss you.

Sophie forcefully shoves her shoulders away from Simon’s hand.

Mollie: Whatever, meat head.

Simon: You wanna act like a guy, I’ll treat you like a guy–

The teacher calls out for the students and the chatter dies down. They all look at the teacher as she tells the students to take their seats. Laurie and Simon move away from Milo and Sophie, as well as Mollie and her project partner. Milo looks at Sophie, who is visibly angry.

Milo: I’m- I’m sorry, Scout.

Sophie: Why must you start with him? It’s better if you let him talk about of his bum. He shuts up faster.

Milo laughs at the response. Sophie smiles at it as well.

Sophie: So, no project Friday?

Milo stays silent. The bell rings and everyone gathers their things to head out of the classroom.

Sophie: *sullen* Have fun at Mollie’s party.

Milo tries to call out for Sophie, but she leaves with her friends. Milo rubs his eyes in frustration.

Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: The Lows No One Talks About.

If you’ve been considering having weight-loss surgery, you’ve probably been reading other people’s stories and looking at their progress photos, thinking “Wow, I want to be thinner/healthier/whatever reason you’re considering it”. People who post about their journey typically show their before and after photos; the before photo could typically be a full body photo of them before surgery or just shortly after surgery, while the other photo– the after photo– is them a couple of months later, even a year or two since having the surgery.

It’s great to see how life changing this surgery is for other people. People who couldn’t lose the weight on their own or just have a difficult time managing their weight finally feel in control with their weight. As a person going through the same progress as many WLS patients, all I can say is that you should feel proud for making it this far into your journey. The things we had to do to get to this point; the testing, the appointments, and just getting up to go to the hospital on your surgery day takes a lot of courage!

By all means, talk about the proud moments you have being in the position you’re in. Be proud of your progress and talk about your hard work to get where you’re currently at…

But do not pretend that there’s no lows in this journey.

Hi, my name is Liz, and the last two months have been the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows.

I feel like many people think that the low points are when you’re in recovery; they think the grace period of recovery is the worst to come and when you’re feeling better, that’s where those lows end. Absolutely not.

I’m not going to sugarcoat anything; these last two months sucked to a certain degree. Not only am I learning how to eat differently to adjust to my new stomach, but there’s still so much psychological changes that come with the physical changes. I’ve always been real on this blog, so let me tell you what the lows truly are in this journey, since no one else has and/or I had to find out the hard way.

Anxiety Surrounding Food

When I first started the WLS Program, I was required to speak to their specialized psychologist in order to get cleared for surgery. AT first, I didn’t understand why this process would require a clearance from a mental health specialist, but boy I do now. Now living my life post-surgery has really made my anxiety come out a lot more when it comes to food. As many of you already know, I deal with major depression and an anxiety disorder, and as something drastic like weight loss surgery can be quite triggering for a person with one.

You’ll have anxiety over food because you will feel a couple of things:

  • You will feel like you’re under-eating since you don’t feel hungry most of the time and/or eat and feel fuller for longer.
  • Some days, you will feel hungrier than others. There will be some days where you barely eat.
  • If you feel too hungry and then immediately eat too fast, you will get sick.
  • Bad food for you (even if you don’t know) = puking.

For me, my anxiety really revolves around these points, especially when I’m experimenting with new foods I can add to my diet. Trust me, you think you’ll feel fine eating eggs, tuna, salad, and soup but man that meal plan gets tired real quick. So, the anxiety around the trial and error of trying new food always gives me great anxiety. I tend to try a lot of new foods while I’m at work and get extremely nervous when I do so. Most of the time I’m perfectly fine, but other times… well, you get the picture.

Stagnant Weight Loss

One of the misconceptions people have about WLS is that the weight will come off quick. While it does come off pretty quickly (i.e. me losing 30 pounds since the surgery) at the very beginning, it’s not always going to be that way. It’s different for every person who undergoes WLS, but it’s pretty normal for people to have moments where you’re at the same weight for a little bit longer. At first, it feels like failure. You think you’re doing something wrong, you start nitpicking the things you eat and obsessively weigh yourself to see if things change within the week or so. There’s this misconception that once you have the surgery, you’re supposed to just continuously lose weight (which is true), but it’s not supposed to be as quickly as people assume. In the two months since having surgery, I’ve lost about 30 pounds, which is about 9% of my body fat. While I didn’t think that was high enough considering it’s been two months, my doctor’s reassured me that’s typical for many WLS patients at this point in their journey.

Again, it’s different for every person, but the point of having WLS in the first place is to get some assistance and special help in losing weight. Just because it’s not happening as quickly as people assume or think how quickly it’s supposed to be, remember that this is your journey, and it’s going to be only unique to you.

Getting Sick Long After the “Recovery” Phase.

When I was first sent home from the hospital and was getting used to the new way to eat and stuff, I found myself getting sick a lot. At first, it felt like the “getting full” sensation, and while before surgery I was able to get full and be okay, I soon realized that the “full” sensation I felt wasn’t going to be the same feeling I had before surgery. I learned the hard way, and still do.

I feel like people think you only get sick when you’re in the recovery phase. Like, the recovery phase is the only phase you’re supposed to have trail and error moments and that once you’re officially out of recovery, you should know your body and prevent it from getting sick. That is not true. Recovery is just the beginning stages of getting to know your body better and knowing the different signals your body gives off when it does.

The fact of the matter is that there’s always going to be good days and bad days. The good days are days where you can perfectly detect when you are full before getting to the point where you’re too full and need to throw up. The bad days are days that I could barely keep down any food that I would normally like; I only can eat three bites and call it a meal, and still get sick. These days are not limited to the recovery phase; if anything, they last a lifetime. They will happen on days where you try new foods in hopes that they sit with you well, but slowly realizing you’re feeling sick and need to get it out of your body. They will happen on days where you think your body is able to handle that one extra bite of food until you find yourself sitting on the bathroom floor, hoping that this feeling will pass. They will happen on days where you’ve gotten to know your body so well, but then there’s that one day where you just eat something and it doesn’t settle well with you.

It sucks knowing that during any meal you have, you can get sick, but it;s just something you accept and allow your body to respond the way it does. I’m not saying “eat like shit and get used to puking”, I’m saying that if you eat a little too much, fast, or just eat something that doesn’t settle well in your stomach, it’s bound to come back up. Sadly, it’s just how your stomach is now made to work; it can’t keep everything in your stomach, so it has to come out one way or another.

Post-Surgery Depression.

Post-Surgery Depression is a real thing for a lot of WLS patients, and I am one of them that it affects. Since I am already phone to major depression, the post-surgery depression just hits harder. I cried in the shower the other night because I have moments where I miss my old lifestyle. I sometimes miss having to eat whatever I want and actually enjoy my meals. There are times where I am around friends and family and I can’t have what everyone else is having because I simply can’t. I think about my 28th birthday coming up in January, and I just wonder what’s even the point of having a birthday cake for the person who can’t have birthday cake? Do we just have the cake for others to enjoy it on my birthday? I understand how stupid and pathetic these scenarios sound, but these are just everyday thoughts I have being a WLS patient. How many times will I have to tell those around me that it’s okay to eat food around me? How many times will I have to sit at a gathering and have people feel bad that I can’t eat what they are having. In all honesty, I appreciate when people think of me in situations like that, but the fact of the matter is that people will forever think about me, and although most of the time I am okay and can be around people eating things I wish I could too, there are minor times when I miss the connection I had with people in a gathering where we are eating the same food.

On top of all the lows I’ve mentioned before, I understand how grateful I am to have this opportunity to even get the surgery and have a chance to change my life for the better. I know that in the long run, these lows would be worth it because I will feel better and more of my age as the weight continues to go down. To be at the weight that I was when I was 22 years old; I never thought I would able to see that weight again. So, I’m grateful. Thankful. Optimistic for the future, but I will not go on this journey without letting you guys know the ugly behind the beauty of this situation. It’s not just a before and after photo. It’s not a quick fix, and it’s not something you should take lightly if considering this surgery.

There are lows in this process. Maybe I’m just more comfortable expressing those lows in my process, but for anyone considering WLS, be aware that although its an amazing opportunity to better your life, it’s not as easy as everyone makes it out to be.

These are my lows, the WLS lows that no one told me.