Black Sheep in Society.

Emergency Room Black Sheep: A Monologue.

I can’t keep my legs from fidgeting. They keep bouncing in place as I sit in the waiting room of the hospital, looking around for any sign of a doctor that is taking care of Rosie. I had no choice but to let my parents take control of what was happening. What the fuck was I suppose to tell them? My mother looked at me and at Rosie and instantly turned white in the face. My father told my sisters to go to their room before he told my mom to start the car. He tells me to take a robe from the bathroom and put on Rosie. I gave her mine. He carried Rosie down the stairs and into the car, and I followed behind. My mom called Dylan’s cellphone, telling her and Reagan to stay in the house and that we should be home in a couple of hours. I sat in the backseat with Rosie, holding her with a blanket over her to keep her warm.

My mind comes back to the present when my mom walks over to me. I look up at her, hoping the doctor at least told her something.

“Is she okay?!” I asked. My mom sighed. She didn’t answer my question.

“What the hell happened, Micah?” she asked me, concerned.

“I don’t know! She came over looking like that and I was trying to help,” I tried to explain, but my mom wasn’t hearing me. She just wanted answers. I wanted them too. “Ma, is Rosie okay?”

“Do you know her parents? They need to be here,” she asked. I didn’t know what to say; I was so confused about everything that was happening already.

“She’s not from New York, she lives by herself, I– is she okay?!” I was annoyed that my mom wouldn’t answer my question. She looked at me, annoyed.

“Did she look okay hunched over in our living room half-naked, Micah?” she blurted out.

“Well, we are in a hospital, Ma, the one fucking place she should be okay in!” I yelled out. My dad walked toward us, trying to keep the peace between my mom and me. We always didn’t see eye-to-eye much. My dad says it’s because my mom and I think so much alike, our personalities just tend to clash. I just think my mom is overprotective and very stubborn at times.

“Hey, hey! Let’s not make this about us now,” my dad scolded. My mom gets up from her seat, stressed and nearly in tears.

“That girl came over time and time again to help Micah with his work and to see her the way she is now, I just…” She starts to cry. My dad tries to calm her down by giving her a hug and rubbing small circles on her back. Rosie needed someone to protect her, and I couldn’t even do that. I get up from my seat, frustrated and angry. My dad watches me walk away.

I walk out the front of the hospital and go inside my pockets, hoping I had a loosie in there. Of course, I fucking don’t. I spiral in place, not knowing what to do or think.

“Fuck!” I yelled at the top of my lungs. I didn’t care who heard me. I wanted nothing more than to beat the shit out of the one person I know who would do this to her. It was obvious that it was him. I’ve had this hunch for weeks and I hate myself for not saying something about it sooner. Now, she’s in a fucking hospital; traumatized and so fucking broken. I fear that Rosie won’t come back from this, and that’s what makes me want to bash this motherfucker’s face on the sidewalk.

He didn’t deserve her. Rosie deserves the fucking world and he’s nothing but scum. I suddenly become sad. Yeah, and she doesn’t deserve you either, Micah. You didn’t even see that she was hurting. Before I allowed myself to spiral, my dad calls out my name. I turn around to see him walking toward me.

“Hey, bud,” he greets me. He puts a hand on my shoulder and squeezes it. “You know how your mother gets. She’s just worried about you.”

“I know,” I quickly answered. “I hope she doesn’t think I did that to Rosie,” I admitted. I didn’t think my mom would think I would harm a girl like that, but there’s literally no other explanation besides the truth.

“She doesn’t think that,” my dad reassured. “She’s just concerned for your and her’s safety.” I don’t say anything back. At this point, I just want to know if she’s okay.

A nurse came out from the doors that led to the hospital rooms in the back, but none to ever come out and speak to us about Rosie. I was getting mad at this point; we’ve been here for hours and we couldn’t get answers or any updates on Rosie.

“Yo, what the fuck is up with Rosie Delgado?” I yelled out, surprising my parents.

“Micah,” my mom whispered at me. I wasn’t hearing it.

“No! We’ve been here for hours and we haven’t gotten a single word about her, like what kind of fucking hospital are you running here?” I get up and work to the receptionist. My parents try to pull me back toward my seat as I tried to resist.

“Micah, calm down!” my mom warned me. I couldn’t help it anymore. I just needed to know if my fucking best friend was severely injured or not.

It wasn’t until I saw a man come in, racing towards the receptionist desk.

“I’m Detective Sam Hudson, Philadelphia Police Department,” the man said. I looked at him, scrunching my eyebrows as he spoke. Philadelphia? As in the city Rosie is from? “I’m here to see Rosie Delgado.”

What the fuck is the police department in Philly doing here? Fuck, is it that serious that the police from her hometown have to get involved? I couldn’t help but eavesdrop; I was already sitting so close to the desk and I needed to know more.

“And what is your relationship to her?” The receptionist asked.

“I’m her guardian,” the man answered. What? The recpetionist lead the man towards the back door towards the hospital rooms. Nothing was making sense to me at that point. I really did not know Rosie the way I thought I did. Maybe she really is a person that I don’t know anything about. Maybe there was a reason this happened to her tonight. Maybe I’m defending someone who really is the bad guy in all of this. I rolled my eyes, frustrated at what was happening.

At this time, my mom got off the phone and sighed. She grabs her bag and gets up from her seat.

“I’m going to the bathroom; I’ll meet you guys out in the car,” she said to my dad as she left the waiting room.

“Wait, what? We’re leaving?! We can’t leave Rosie here!” I argued with my dad. He tried to calm me down before we were going to be escorted out my security.

“There’s nothing more we can do, Micah,” he began. “Her legal guardian is here and he will take care of her.”

“What the fuck! I need to know if she’s okay!” I wasn’t leaving that fucking hospital without any answers. “I need to know what the fuck happened! She needs to tell me who did this shit to her!”

“Micah, please,” my dad was growing annoyed at my behavior, and I didn’t fucking care. “We need to go home. Now.”

Before I knew, I was trying my best to get to the back door as a ple of desperation. I just wanted to fucking know if she was okay, that she wasn’t going to fucking die in that hospital room due to her injuries, that she wasn’t in some sort of severe coma or some shit. I just fucking needed answers.

I didn’t get those answers tonight. Security was called, and I was forced out of the hospital.

We got home and I immediately stormed into my room. I slammed the door shut, frustrated and exhausted. I took a deep breath in and out. I shut my eyes and opened them up. I looked at the ground where Rosie’s dress laid. I slowly walk to it and pick it up from the ground. I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I sobbed, and couldn’t stop.

I’m so fucking sorry I failed you, Rosie.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

Out of your Mind or Something?!: A Scene.

It’s been a couple of hours since Jamie was awoken by the screams of Grace and Kevin. Since then, he’s been awake. He rubs his eyes in frustration and tosses around the uncomfortable sofa. He makes the decision to get up from the sofa and walks to the kitchen.

He stops in place when he sees Kevin sitting on the island, drinking a small carton of chocolate milk. He slowly walks to the island and toward the counter to make a pot of coffee. Kevin watches him.

Jamie: I know you’re watching me.

Kevin: Why are you making coffee at 4 in the morning?

Jamie: Why are you up at 4 in the morning?

Nothing is said afterward. Jamie turns around toward the island after grabbing a mug from the cabinet. Jamie doesn’t look at Kevin as he pours the coffee into the mug.

Jamie: Just say it already.

Kevin: Why? I’m only going to waste my time telling you what I’ve been telling you these last couple of months…

Jamie: It’s really not what you think, Kevin.

Kevin: It’s exactly what I’m thinking, hyung! She’s here like nothing happened! And then you defend her after everything she’s put you through!

Jamie leans in close to Kevin on the island.

Jamie: Can you please keep your voice down? At least let her sleep through the night.

Kevin: Do you hear yourself? You literally don’t know who Grace is; she’s not the same person you knew back in New York! She left that life behind. Why are you holding onto something from the past?

Jamie can’t answer right away. He sighs.

Jamie: That night the three of us went to the bar on the pier, I took a walk on the boardwalk. There’s a cafe a couple of stores down from the bar, I walked in there and… she works there. I gave her my number. She didn’t call me, her cousin did, which is who Shawn is with right now–

Kevin shakes his head in confusion, holding his hands up for Jamie to stop.

Kevin: My point is that she put you through hell, yet you see her once and bam… none of that matters anymore.

Jamie: I appreciate that you are looking out for me, but I know what I’m doing. I wasn’t going to leave her at the bar without a place to stay for the ngiht–

Kevin: Why not? She left you in New York by yourself…

Jamie grows frustrated.

Jamie: We weren’t together when she did that–

Kevin: No, but it wasn’t long after she told you about–

Jamie: *stern* Don’t.

Kevin scoffs; his voice gets louder.

Kevin: Do you see what I mean? How do you have the woman who did that to you laying in your bed like nothing happened? She has the right to do whatever she wants to do with her body, but you have the right to protect your heart.

Jamie doesn’t say anything, he just takes his mug and begins to walk out of the kitchen.

Kevin: Hyung–

Jamie stops and turns back to look at Kevin.

Kevin: If you felt like you had to hide this from me, then you know this isn’t a good idea.

Jamie turns away and walks out of the kitchen.

The sun is up for the day and Grace and Jamie exit the house and walk to the car in the parking lot. Nothing is said between them. Before Jamie can open the passenger’s door, Grace opens it and enters the car. Jamie doesn’t take it personally; he proceeds to walk around the car to the driver’s side and enters.

Jamie looks at the GPS on his phone as he drives on the highway. Grace looks out of the window; she hasn’t said anything for the entire ride. Jamie keeps looking at her direction, anxious. He takes in a deep breath and quickly lets it out.

Jamie: Are you okay? Are you feeling hot?

Grace: No, I’m fine.

Silence.

Grace: Thank you again for allowing me to stay over your house for the night.

Jamie: It was nothing. Again, I feel responsible for Shawn going off like that. It’s not like him to do that…

Grace: Skylar can be very persuasive.

Grace finally looks at Jamie.

Grace: She persuaded you to go to The Voyage.

Jamie: She seemed to have persuade you to go as well.

Grace chuckles and looks forward towards the highway.

Grace: Touche.

Jamie smiles without even realizing he is. He clears his throat.

Jamie: I also apologize for Kevin’s behavior. That was very much uncalled for.

Grace: Hey, you can’t help your friends that are just trying to protect you… Ari would’ve killed you before killing me if it was the other way around.

Jamie: I’m… legitimately afraid of Ari.

This makes Grace genuinely laugh and smile. Jamie feels less tensed up.

Jamie: *looks at GPS* Do I keep going up this road?

Grace: *nods* Mhm.

Jamie continues to drive. Moments later, Grace turns on the radio to ease the silence between them. Jamie is relieved.

They eventually get to Grace’s place. Jamie stops the car in front of the condo where Grace lives. There’s a silence between the two for a moment.

Grace: Thanks for the ride home, I really appreciate it.

Jamie: It’s the least I can do.

Grace smile and begins to exit the car. Jamie walks her, never taking his eyes off of her. As she gets out of the car, she turns around to smile through the window; Jamie returns the smile back. Grace then proceeds to walk towards the condo. When she enters, Jamie lets out the breath is was keeping in.

Jamie walks into the front door of the vacation house. He hears laughter coming from the kitchen; he immediately knows who it is. He speed walks towards the kitchen. He’s not surprised to see Shawn standing over the island talking to Kevin.

Jamie: *stern* Ya~

Shawn and Kevin look at Jamie.

Shawn: Hyung! Where were you?

Jamie: *sarcastically* Oh nowhere important, just had to drop off Grace since she couldn’t go home last night.

Shawn: Did you spend some quality time with her?

Jamie: *yells* Does it look like I’m joking with you, Shawn?!

Shawn walks over to the fridge to take out a bottle of water; unbothered.

Shawn: What has you in such a bad mood today?

Jamie: You ditched me at the bar last night!

Shawn: You were with Grace though, it couldn’t have been that bad…

Jamie: Not only did you ditch me and leave me with Grace, you went and stayed over her cousin’s place that you had just meant hours before! Are you out of your mind or something?!

Shawn: Hyung, Skylar is… so amazing.

Jamie: *yells louder* I don’t care, Shawn! My point is you were irresponsible and wreckless and left me for a woman!

Shawn: You were the one that tagged me along so you can meet up with Grace! I just gave you two some alone time!

Jamie shakes his head and walks out of the kitchen. Shawn, now defensive and annoyed, follows Jamie. Kevin tries to stop Shawn, but is unsuccessful.

Shawn: I don’t know what’s your problem! You had a whole night with Grace! What happened? Did she break your heart some more?

Kevin: Hyung!

Jamie doesn’t even turn around, he just keeps walking towards the front door.

Shawn: If you had such a miserable night, then maybe that’s your sign that you should let her go! Forget her! Don’t be angry at me–

Jamie: *yells* Ya!

The house gets quiet; nobody makes a sound. Jamie grabs his keys and opens the front door.

Kevin: Hyung!

The door slams shut.

Black Sheep in Society.

Fight and Flight Black Sheep: A Monologue.

I wanted to do nothing more than run to the bathroom and vomit. My stomach churned. I couldn’t believe what was in front of me. I leaned down towards Rosie and begin to pick her up. She was so fragile, barely the girl I saw on campus at the bookstore with her snarky remarks and comebacks; the girl that knew the answer to every question in our Art History class; the one who enjoys the Peanut Butter cup swirl milkshake just like as much as I do.

I lift her up as best as I could into my house, closing the front door behind me.

“Rosie? Hey? Can you hear me?” she didn’t answer me back. I didn’t expect her to. She was fucked up; I didn’t even know if she was conscious at that point. I carried her up the stairs to the apartment on the second floor. Once we got up there, I immediately took her to the bathroom. I turned her on the toilet as I ran the bathwater in hopes to clean her up. She immediately kneeled toward the ground and puked into the toilet bowl. I quickly held her hair back. I was so confused about what happened to Rosie tonight. It broke my heart to see her in this condition. She was unrecognizable.

“Rosie?” I try to look at her, but she drops her head low. I lift her from the ground and help her get into the bathtub. She sits there, still in her dress and matted hair. I went under the sink cabinet to grab washcloths to clean Rosie up. Her nose was covered in dry blood. Her upper lip was cut. Her eye was swollen shut. I look at the rest of her body and notice the new bruises. I also notice the old ones I’ve noticed on her weeks before. My gut feeling was right and I felt so fucking stupid for not helping her when I had the chance.

I gently placed the washcloth on the cuts that were on her face. She winced in pain and panicked once she realized I was sitting there.

“Hey, hey. It’s me, Micah. You’re safe, I promise,” I tell Rosie, trying to calm her down. Fuck, man; what really happened to you? She takes deep breaths and looks around. She holds her head in her hands, which I immediately prevent from happening. “Let’s keep your head up, Roe.” God forbid she passes out from a concussion or something. I run the faucet and take the empty glass from the sink to fill it up with water so she can drink something.

“Here, drink some water.” I hand the glass of water to Rosie, which she begins to drink. I can see the trace of blood on the glass when she stops. She looks at me and begins to shiver. I yank the towel from the shower rod and place it on the sink as I help Rosie up from the tub. I wrap the towel around her and walk her to my room where she could change into something warmer. I sit her down on my desk chair as I go through my dresser for some clothes. I take out a sweatshirt and sweatpants and turn around towards Rosie.

“Here, you can wear these and get out of those clothes,” I said as I hand her the clothes. She doesn’t take them. “Rosie?” I call out for her. She slowly lifts her head up. She’s not gonna be able to get dressed by herself.

“Hey, Rosie… Is it okay if I help you put these clothes on you?” I asked politely. She doesn’t answer even if she’s shivering intensely now. “Come on,” I slowly stand her up to unzip her dress from the back. “I’m going to take off your wet dress, okay?” She doesn’t answer. I unzip her dress slowly and gently slide the straps down her arms. The dress drops to the floor and I look back up towards Rosie. My eyes widen. What the actual fuck happened to you? She was covered in various colors of bruises. Her hips were bruised the worst; I squeezed my eyes shut at the sight. They open when she screams. I panic at the noise.

“Stay away! Stay away, please!” Rosie cries out, backing away from me.

“Shh, Rosie; it’s okay, you’re safe–“

It was too late. She was panicking and I tried to calm her down. When I tried to cover her body with the towel at least, she scratched my face with her nails. I immediately reacted to the pain, holding my face.

“Fuck! Roe, please calm down, you need to put some clothes on,” I pleaded. She grabbed her wet dress from the floor and ran out of my room. I was afraid she was going to hurt herself; she was barely able to move on her own in the first place. I ran after her, trying to calm her down until I heard her scream in the living room. I ran toward the living room and stop as soon as I see Rosie. She’s on the floor, hands over her head, sobbing.

My mom and dad stand near the front door, shocked to see her there, and me holding my face.

Fuck.

Misc., Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: I have a problem.

For those who know me and have been on the blog for years, you would know that I have no issue talking about the negative things about myself and about my life. Sure, I don’t really write about myself on the blog these days; but when I do, it’s because I need a space to vent and talk about things out loud. Also, I do it for the sole reason that maybe someone out there is like me and finally feels like they are being seen or they finally don’t feel alone and can fight their battles on their own.

Hi, my name is Liz, and I have a problem; an obsessive/controlling problem that affects my mental health.

I wish I could slap a label on it and call it a day. Is this just a more extreme side of my anxiety, or is this OCD at its finest? It would make my mind feel so much more at ease if I could determine what it is, yet I feel like I’ve been having this reoccurring problem for most of the year. Some months I’m completely fine and I’m chill, and then there are other months where I fuck things up so bad because I need control, I get obsessive with the control I need, and then get impulsive because I just want my mind to be at-fucking-ease. It’s gotten to the point where my impulsive behavior has become its own form of self-harm without me even noticing it.

For those who are newer to the blog, I deal with anxiety disorder and chronic major depression. I began to seek out therapy back in 2018 after my graduate studies, have been put on medication for my anxiety, and have had many ups and downs with my mental health. Therapy has always been helpful; it gives me half an hour to try and talk things out with myself and understand why I’m doing what I’m doing. I don’t remember when therapy began to not feel as helpful anymore in the long run, but I am aware enough to know that this problem I’ve been having truly stemmed from when I had weight loss surgery.

I kid you not, I fully understand why it was so crucial to get evaluated by a psychologist before you can get cleared for having surgery because this shit fucks you up mentally.

I felt the need to control everything in my life when I started to lose a lot of weight really quickly. It felt amazing and this was the first time ever in my life that I was able to lose weight with the help of this surgery. My body at the time had to follow a strict diet plan in order for my stomach to heal so that I didn’t get sick. When I began to learn about my body and accept it for its changes, my body changes once again, leaving me worried and anxious that I was doing something wrong in my process. Even now, I feel my body changing and I’m back to now worrying or being anxious about something that even though I know is completely out of my control, I go ahead and try anyway. Hey, I did it once, why not do it again?

When I couldn’t control over the things I wanted to control, I began to control the things I do have control over. I’ve become obsessive about my appearance; I’ve dyed my hair and cut it and fucked it up for months on end because I had control over that. I impulsively bought clothing for the sake of “looking” and feeling better whenever my body hit a plateau. I’ve gotten so many piercings and then taken them out right after in the past year because I had control over what was going on on my body. Do I sound stupid yet? Because I feel stupid explaining it.

But, this is something I’ve been struggling with for months. I feel like I can’t describe it right to my therapist because even I don’t know why I do what I do. It wholeheartedly feels like no one else is fucking me up more than myself, which is so odd considering all I’m trying to do is take care of myself. Am I not capable of even doing that without becoming obsessive about it?

So here I am, feeling anxious and sick to my stomach because I’ve tried to fix and take control over something that I had no business in doing on my own, considering my record shows that I fuck it up every single time I do: my hair. Again, me being obsessed with my appearance because now I feel like I always have to be on top of it now that I’ve lost a shit ton of weight.

I know this post is coming off aggressive, and I apologize in advance for it. It’s just that I am so sick and tired of my brain telling me to do something out of impulse when really it’s just not worth doing. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken! It’s been extremely hard to not second guess my every move when all I’m trying to do is let shit flow. It’s been extremely frustrating and tiring to have self-control over certain things in my life, like my diet and exercise, but not for other things. Sometimes, I do even have control over the things I normally have control over!

I guess what I’m trying to say is that this has been a problem of mine since the start of 2022 and maybe it’s time I address it in therapy. Maybe, the control I want is in knowing I have the control to speak this out loud to someone who can truly help and make me understand why I am acting the way I am. How do I even address it without always feeling completely psychotic and irrational? How do I explain that I am aware enough to know that my control issues are getting bad, but I don’t have the control needed to actually deal with it? How do I not feel like I’m being overly dramatic about something so stupid?

Maybe it’s something underlying that I’m not seeing right now. Maybe I’m trying too hard to figure it out, which then just makes me more anxious. All I know is that I’m trying to keep everything together while still trying to figure out how to do so.

i know it’s a problem, and it’s about time I address it.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

Something To Explain: A Scene.

Jamie and Grace pull up to a house in a Santa Monica neighborhood. Jamie turns the car off and unbuckles his seatbelt. He quickly gets out of the car to open up Grace’s car door. She unbuckles her seat belt and holds Jamie’s hand as she exits the car. Jamie closes the door behind her and they begin to walk toward the house.

Grace: This is a nice place you’re staying in.

Jamie: Thanks; the guys were the ones that booked it for the summer.

Jamie opens the front door of the house and lets Grace walk in first. She looks around before Jamie closes the door behind them. She follows Jamie toward a staircase.

A door opens and the lights are turned on; it’s Jamie’s bedroom. Grace looks around, a bit nervous to be in here. Jamie awkwardly stands at the door before Grace sits down on a chair in the room.

Jamie: So, uhm, I figured you could sleep in here for the night and I can sleep on the couch.

Grace: You don’t gotta be kicked out of your own room; I can sleep on the sofa–

Jamie shakes his head no.

Jamie: It’s completely okay.

He walks over to his dresser and looks through the drawers. He pulls out a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. He walks over to Grace to hand them to her.

Jamie: You can freshen up in the bathroom if you’d like.

Grace: Thanks, Jamie.

Jamie nods his head and closes the bedroom door. When he does, he lets out a deep breath.

In the middle of the night, Kevin walks down the hallway and opens the door to Shawn’s room. He tits his head when he doesn’t see Shawn in his bed. He closes the door and proceeds to walk toward Jamie’s room.

Kevin: *knocks on door* Hyung?

No answer. Kevin puts his ear to the door before knocking on it again.

Kevin: Hyung?

When he doesn’t get an answer, he rolls his eyes and slowly opens the door of Jamie’s bedroom. He calls for Jamie before entering it.

Kevin: Hyung, Shawn didn’t come home tonight, do you know where he went?

No answer. Kevin grows frustrated and sighs, walking towards the bed.

Kevin: Hyung! Wake up!

He pulls the covers away from the bed and immediately notices that the person in Jamie’s bed wasn’t Jamie. He yells in shock, waking up Grace and startling her. She screams in horror.

The scream echoes throughout the house, which wakes up Jamie in the living room. He jumps up, waking from his sleep.

Jamie: Grace?!

Jamie runs up the stairs towards his room. He opens his bedroom door and stops when he sees Kevin standing there. Grace is wrapped up in a blanket on the opposite side of the room. Kevin looks at Jamie, confused.

Kevin: Hyung?

Jamie swallows hard. He doesn’t answer back, he just looks at Grace.

Jamie: *to Grace* Are you okay?

Grace nods her head. Jamie proceeds to look at Kevin.

Jamie: Kevin–

Kevin scoffs and walks out of Jamie’s room. Jamie looks back at Grace.

Jamie: I’m sorry.

Grace: It’s… fine.

Jamie doesn’t say anything back. He just closes the bedroom door as he exits. Grace wears an unsettled look on her face.

Jamie runs down the staircase towards Kevin’s room. He catches the door before it is slammed shut by Kevin. He walks in, closing it behind him.

Jamie: Kevin, let me explain–

Kevin: Explain what? How the woman that broke your heart is in your bed all of a sudden? She must really have you wrapped around her finger…

Jamie: It’s not like that–

Kevin: I thought Shawn was incompetent when it came to women but my god, you must be the most stupid man I’ve ever met!

Jamie: *stern* Ya~

Kevin: No! Don’t tell me I should show you respect as my senior! I am talking to you as a friend, Jamie. How the hell did you even know she was in Santa Monica?

Jamie: I-I didn’t. I mean, I did, but I didn’t–

Kevin laughs and shakes his head.

Kevin: I’m not going to sit here and watch you destroy yourself again over a woman with issues like Grace–

Jamie: *snaps* Ya! Don’t talk about her like that!

Kevin: Whatever, Jamie. You can see your way out of my room.

Kevin turns his back toward Jamie.

Jamie: Maybe when Shawn comes home from her cousin’s house, you can ask him why Grace is here in the first place.

Kevin doesn’t respond. Jamie leaves Kevin’s room.

When Jamie enters the living room, he stops in place when he sees Grace sitting there, still in his t-shirt and shorts. Jamie takes a deep breath and walks slowly toward the couch. He sits on the opposite side of where Grace is. Nothing is said.

Grace: Maybe coming here was a bad idea.

Jamie: You did nothing wrong. I apologize for how tonight went.

Grace: No, no. I should just go while I can–

Before Grace can leave the couch, Jamie grabs her by the arm. She’s startled at the touch, which Jamie notices right away. He immediately takes his hand back.

Jamie: Just… stay for the night. I will drive you home in the morning.

Grace doesn’t say anything right away. She sighs loudly.

Grace: Okay.

Jamie nods as Grace walks back up the staircase, towards Jamie’s room.

Grace: Goodnight, Jamie.

Jamie looks up towards the staircase.

Jamie: Goodnight.

The door to Jamie’s room closes. Jamie cups his face with his hands; exhausted from the night.

Black Sheep in Society.

Black Sheep Brings Bad Luck: A Monologue.

Prescott texted me on this particular night. It was weird; I am usually the one that texts him first. I didn’t think much about it. He must want to talk about what happened a couple of weeks ago. I haven’t seen him since and, I can’t lie, money was becoming extremely tight. I didn’t realize how much I depended on Prescott’s money until I realized picking up “dates” was the only way I could get extra money. He hated when I did it, but I needed the money. I needed to survive.

It was cold on this particular night; the Fall was turning into the winter and the cocktail dress I wore to Prescott’s place wasn’t helping. I walked up to the front door of Prescott’s building, expecting to be greeted by his very rude housekeeper. This night, Prescott personally opened the door. He smiled at me. It was a relief that he was smiling. I smiled back.

“Hey Rosie,” Prescott softly said. He closed the door behind us and then kissed me on the cheek. I immediately smelled the alcohol on his breath. I turned around, facing him.

“Hey. You’ve been drinking?” I asked, curious at what could possibly be the reason he was drinking alone on a Friday night.

“Yep,” Prescott happily answered. I didn’t question it afterward. He simply took my hand and guided me towards the bifurcated staircase. I didn’t question his intentions. I needed the money and if we’re being honest here; I really missed his company.

He opened the door to his study. Books surround the walls of the room, a grand piano sits in the corner of the room. His blackwood-made desk is full of paperwork at the moment. I was curious on why we were in here today. I didn’t question him about it though.

Prescott went towards the mini bar area of the study, pulling out two glasses. He pours scotch in them; I know this because it’s his favorite to drink. He walks over to me and hands me one of the glasses. He lifts his glass, ready to cheer for something.

“What are we celebrating?” I asked. His million dollar flashes and my legs start feeling weak. Fuck, you’re attractive.

“You are now looking at the proud owner of one of the most prestigious companies within the Joneson firm,” he proudly said. I gasp, happy to hear that his hard work has finally paid off. I place my drink on the table, wrapping my arms around Prescott to congratulate him.

“That’s amazing! I’m so happy for you!” I said and tended to kiss him quickly. When I kissed him, he deepened the kiss; his tongue slid into my mouth. It was hot of him to do. I didn’t question him. I attempted the kiss, wrapping my arms around his neck and running my fingers through his hair. He broke up the kiss and walked over towards his desk and looked at all the paperwork on it. He brushed off all the paperwork, which scattered around the study. I smiled as he smiled. I walked over to him and began to kiss him again. He lifted me up into his arms and placed me on the desk. It was any girl’s dream to be fucking a multi-millionaire in his place of work. I felt on top of the world when I was on top of him that night.

Then I was thrown down when my phone rang in my purse. I was nervous; there was no reason someone should be calling me right now. Fuck, if it’s Micah I swear to God… I didn’t get to my phone when it rang for the third time. Prescott walked over to my purse, annoyed at the constant ring of the cellphone. I didn’t know who it was, but I was already scared to see Prescott’s mood immediately shift.

“Babe–” I called for him. I hoped he would come back to me. I hoped he would just want to be with me for the night, embrace me and love him the way I loved him. He didn’t.

Prescott turned my purse and dumped out everything from it. I was in shock.

“Prescott, what the fuck?” I was angry that he would invade my personal belongings like that. He grabbed my phone off the floor and looked at the missed calls. His laugh echoes the room.

“This is a new name,” he calmly says. I don’t know what he’s talking about. I panic, quickly getting up and walking toward Prescott. He doesn’t give me back my phone when I try to get it.

“Prescott, give me my phone back,” I demanded.

“Why? So you can text the next guy that you’ll be on your way when you collect your money for tonight?” Prescott mocked. I didn’t answer him back. Half of it was true; I needed his money, but I swear I was also here for him. I tried to reach for my phone again; it was no use. “So what does Hudson do? What services does he pay you for?” Prescott continued. I scrunched my eyebrows, confused. I felt the oxygen leave my head. Prescott doesn’t know Hudson.

“Hudson is my–” I started to say. I jumped up, startled when I see Prescott throw my phone across the study and shatter once it hits the wall. “What the fuck are you doing?!” I said, angry as fuck.

“I’m sick and tired of all these fucking phone calls you get from these guys! First some guy named Micah, now Hudson? Who else are you fucking for money?” Prescott spat.

“I’m not fucking anyone else, asshole!” I didn’t mean to call him an asshole. I was upset that I didn’t have my cellphone anymore and that I couldn’t afford to get another one. I was panicking; I needed the money from Prescott tonight. Maybe that’s why I didn’t leave after that happened.

Prescott grabbed me by my dress and backed me against the wall. I winced in pain as my back hit the bookshelf. He grabbed my face with one hand, never letting go of my dress with the other.

“Prescott, please! You’re hurting me!” I yelled out. He squeezed my face tighter, making it harder to breathe. “Prescott!”

“Let me tell you something, Rosie,” he began. Everytime I tried to get out of his grip, he slammed me back in place, disciplining me by slapping me on the face. “You are just a nobody. You will never mount to anything great in life, and you’re just an easy fuck.” I began to cry, not because of his words, but I was genuinely afraid of Prescott when he got this way. He grabbed my face when I wasn’t looking at him. “Do you understand, Rosie? Am I making myself loud and clear?”

“Prescott, I–“

I don’t remember what happened after that, all I remember was holding my face as my nose and mouth bled. I was on the floor at this time. Prescott stood in front of me. I couldn’t hear what he was asking me; my ears rang after he had punched me. I immediately felt the wind come out of me. I gasped for air. I held my stomach, choking on my own breath. I looked up at Prescott. He kneeled down at me, taking his hand and wiping the tears and blood off my face. He kissed me as I cried.

I ran over the Brooklyn bridge that night. I couldn’t feel the pain in my body at that point. I just needed to get far away as possible from the city. I didn’t know where to go. I had nowhere to go. My body was not mine that night, and it didn’t care how many fucking bridges I burnt. It was the only place I could think of for help.

I run up the stoop of a house and began knocking on the door. I began to bang on the door, crying as I felt completely hopeless in that moment.

“Micah! Please!” I called out. My voice was hoarse. I felt sick to my stomach. All I could do is continue banging on the front door, hoping he was home this particular night.

The door opened and sobbed once it did.

“Rosie?!”

The "Something" Series: Season 2

21-Something-Questions: A Scene.

Grace crosses her legs as she sits on a bench close to the railing of the boardwalk. Jamie is seen walking from a food cart after ordering food. He walks towards where Grace is sitting. He hands her food and a drink. She accepts it.

Grace: Thank you.

Jamie nods his head and looks out towards the beach.

Jamie: The beach looks so different at night.

Grace: It’s always the prettiest when the sun goes down. During the day it just looks all dirty and crowded with people.

Jamie: Once my family and I took a trip to Jeju Island and the beaches there were breathtaking. I’ve never seen a beach as pretty as that ever since.

Grace looks at Jamie as he speaks, mesmerized. She looks quickly towards the beach when he stops talking, eating french fries. He looks at her when she’s not looking, mesmerized as well.

Grace: Beaches are never that pretty here in America, so one day I will love to go someplace where the water is crystal clear and the sand is soft-looking.

Jamie doesn’t answer back; he hopes that Grace doesn’t stop talking. She does, and there’s a brief awkward silence between them. Jamie just wants to keep Grace talking after not hearing from her, or even knowing where she’s been since he left for Korea back in January.

Jamie: So what made you start working at the cafe on the boardwalk?

Grace: *scoffs* Well, I needed money. I used to work as a barista at a Starbucks near my college when I was a student. So I figured it would be the easiest way to make money while I’m here.

Jamie: *curious* Oh; do you still own the company back in New York?

Grace: *nods* My mother is helping me run the company while I’m here, but I’m still in charge of choreography.

Jamie: Do you still dance?

Grace: Yeah, I still make the dances up for my dancers and–

Jamie: No, no; do you still dance?

Grace looks at Jamie as he asks the question. They share a moment looking at one another.

Grace: I do. I dance with a team here.

Jamie: *smiles* I’m glad to hear that you’re still dancing.

Grace looks back at Jamie.

Grace: You’re still in law?

Jamie: *nods* I am. I’m under a different firm though. The cases are minor; nothing that requires too much traveling outside of the country.

Grace: That’s good. You can be with your family more these days.

Jamie nods. Grace turns her head to continue eating her food and drinking her soda. Jamie doesn’t take his eyes off of her.

Jamie: How’s Willow?

Grace freezes in place. She doesn’t answer right away; it’s like she has to think about what to answer with.

Grace: She’s doing well. She’s starting Kindergarten in September, which is crazy to think about.

This makes Jamie smile wide. Grace knows that hearing about Willow makes him the happiest. She knows he really cares about her.

Grace: But yeah. *smiles* She’s something else. She’s so fascinated with nature and is literally a flower child. She’s always helping Max’s wife plant new flowers, and always shows me her plants in her bedroom whenever I video chat with her. But she’s doing good though.

Jamie: I’m glad to hear that.

Grace looks down at her body before she looks back up to Jamie.

Grace: How’s your family doing?

Jamie: Everyone’s doing well. Mina and her husband are having their third child. Lia is getting married in the Fall. My mother is very excited about all these events coming up.

Grace: That’s great. I’m… glad you’re able to be with them, y’know?

Jamie nods. Silence.

Grace: So, you said that you and your friends are here for a vacation?

Jamie: *nods* Yeah. Shawn and Kevin wanted to do a guy’s trip before Kevin settles down… Shawn and I think that he’s thinking about proposing to his girlfriend.

Grace: *shocked* Oh, wow! That’s great. That’s exciting. Seems like everyone is getting married these days. Ari is getting married next year.

Jamie: That’s nice. Her fiance seems like a good man, I–

He stops in his tracks. Grace looks at him when he does. Jamie doesn’t even want to pretend or lie anymore.

Jamie: I briefly met him when I went to Ari to ask about you before I left New York.

The conversation ends there. In a way, Jamie regrets bringing that up since it caused the conversation to stop.

Grace: We should probably get back to the bar to check on our company.

Grace gets up and Jamie follows; regretful.

When Jamie notices that Grace is finished with her drink and food, he kindly gets up and takes her trash for her. He walks towards the trash can to toss it out. He turns around and is surprised Grace is still standing with him. They begin to walk back to the bar.

Jamie: So, you have family in California, I’m assuming?

Grace nods her head.

Grace: My uncle lives in San Diego; Skylar moved from there a couple of years ago, I believe? So I’m staying with her. Love her, but she can be a lot to handle.

Jamie: Really?

Grace: Oh yeah. She has no responsibility bone in her body, but I’m grateful she’s allowing me to stay with her.

Jamie: At least you just have her; I have Shawn and Kevin to look after.

Grace laughs and shakes her head. She doesn’t respond back through the rest of the walk back to the bar.

They both return to the Voyage Bar and try to look for Skylar and Shawn. They look around the crowded bar, not seeing them anywhere.

Grace: Skylar?

Jamie: Shawn?

No answer. Both Grace and Jamie walk out of the bar to get away from the loud music playing inside. Grace takes out her phone and calls Skylar; Jamie walks away and calls Shawn on his phone.

Jamie: Ya! Where are you?

Shawn: *slurs* Hyung! What’s up?

Jamie: Where are you? I can’t find you at the bar–

Shawn: Oh! About that…

A few feet away, Grace is talking to Skylar on the phone.

Grace: Skylar? Where the fuck are you?!

Skylar: The question is where were you with Mr. Jamie!

She laughs over the phone, but Grace is not having it.

Grace: I’m not playing with you. We have to get you home–

Skylar: No need, cuzzo! About going home…

A few moments later, both Grace and Jamie walk back to each other, getting off the phone with their rides home.

Jamie: Did you hear from Skylar?

Grace: I did, and if you didn’t hear from Shawn–

Jamie: Oh I did…

Jamie cocks his eyebrows up, and Grace gets the message. Grace rubs her eyes and lets out a deep sigh.

Grace: I’m not going home to listen to Skylar and Shawn *air quotes* have fun with each other.

Jamie’s face flashes red.

Jamie: You can stay at my place for the night if you aren’t comfortable going back home.

Grace looks at Jamie, which makes him even more nervous.

Jamie: I mean if you have another place you want to stay that’s completely fine, I can drive you there if you like–

Grace: Jamie.

Jamie stops talking and waits for Grace to speak.

Grace: Thanks, I’ll stay with you for the night…

Jamie tightly smiles and walks with Grace down the boardwalk. Jamie dabs the sweat falling down from his neck.

Black Sheep in Society.

Black Sheep Streets & Dreams: A Monologue.

“Ugh, fuck my life.”

I gathered my duffle bag from the train tracks and walked behind one of the pillars as the D train passed by, going towards the city. It’s literally about to be midnight and these trains are passing by like it’s rush hour. Once it speeds by, I get out from behind the pillar and place my duffle bag back on the tracks. I take out a couple of paints and begin to spray the wall. This was the best time to practice my art on a larger canvas, plus it seems like no one has found this spot beside me.

I needed to come out here and get my mind off of things. It’s been a while since I had a chance to come here and just do what I love doing. I look at the mural of all the drawings I’ve done since moving to Philly a little over a year ago. Some are faded from the cruel New York weather, and some are partially covered in dirt and debris from the passing trains. I don’t mind, though. It’s just nice to know I haven’t got caught and arrested for vandalism yet. Shit, imagine if you did? Hudson would flip out on you, bitch!

Hudson is the parent I never had; in a way, he’s been more of a parent-figure in my life more than my actual parents ever were. We met when he was working on a missing person’s case; his daughter’s case to be exact. He had a feeling she was roaming around the streets of Philly as a runaway. I was taken in after I tipped him off when really I was trying to escape my shitty boyfriend and his junkie ass friends. At that time, we needed each other. I really wish I was able to be a better person for at least him. He’s the reason I was able to come to New York and go to college. I wish I was able to come to him with things when I needed advice. But, I’m too ashamed. You’re just a fuck up, Rosie.

I get back to my place around 2 o’clock in the morning. The streets are fairly quiet besides that one screeching couple that always fights at this time of night a couple of buildings down from mine. I closed the door behind me and dropped my bag near the door. I wash my hands in the kitchen sink since the bathroom one still needs to get fixed. Fuck; Rosie, we need money to get that fixed. I dry my hands and walk toward the tiny couch in the open area and sit down.

I look around the place at what I call home. I got this place from the guy who owns this building; he was looking for someone to take the place when he found out he could rent it out to poor, desperate college students who can’t afford to live in a dorm on campus. I lived in worst places than this. This is the closest feeling to home for me.

So it bothered me when Micah looked at my place like it was a piece of shit. I roll my eyes at the thought of Micah; fucking asshole. I couldn’t understand what his motive was at times; it’s like he gets off on looking after me like I’m some troubled-ass girl. Something always threw me off about the way he just became friends with me. I hated feeling like I was some sort of project for people to feel good about the good deeds they do. I’m a grown-ass woman and I don’t need people looking after me.

I am always taking care of myself, even when I was younger. My parents were these two self-centered people who decided a child would solve all of their marriage problems. My father cheated on my mother more times than I can remember. My mother couldn’t keep her hands away from drugs. Then there was me, a kid that had to learn how to cross the streets on my own because I needed to go get milk and cereal to eat. I learned how to tie my own shoes. I learned what was right and wrong. I taught myself how to live this life, and that’s why it pisses me off when people waltz into my life and think they know what’s best for me, especially Micah Kamalani.

I look at my phone and my stomach immediately turns. There’s articles about Prescott getting taken in by the police after what happened the other night. I squeezed my eyes shut, and opened them as I let out a deep breath.

“Prescott,” I pulled him towards the bathroom to get some privacy. I saw him smiling, and he immediately begins to unbuckle his pants once I close the bathroom door behind us. “What are you doing?”

“What do you mean? You pulled me in here,” Prescott answered.

“Yeah, to tell you that I never agreed with this,” I admitted. Prescott scoffed and began to tighten his belt. “You had no right to bring your friend here thinking I was just this rag doll you throw around and share with other people–“

“Rosie baby,” Prescott interrupts me. “I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but I pay you to be whatever I want you to be. You agreed to that.” Prescott grabbed my face, squeezing it tight and hurting my jaw. I tried to wiggle out of his grip, but he’s too strong.

“Prescott, stop!” I screamed out. Before I could get out of the bathroom, he slams the door in front of me, in which part of my hair gets caught on the door. I yelp in pain. He doesn’t care.

“Tonight, I want you to be a good girl for me and our company today,” Prescott softly said as he kissed my cheek. I pushed him away, which gave me time to leave the bathroom in a hurry.

I walk into the living room to see Prescott’s friend sitting on the couch, man-spreading and his arm extended on the back of the couch. I stop when I see him.

“You need to leave,” I sternly said. the guys gets up from the couch and laughs in disbelief.

“What?” he said. Shortly after, I hear Prescott coming into the living room area.

“You need to leave my apartment,” I said once more. Prescott comes up to me and grabs my wrists, pretending to be affectionate towards me. He squeezes them tightly. I swear I can hear my bones crack in place.

“She’s just playing, man,” Prescott said. He pushes me to walk towards my bed, and I begin to panic. I begin to yell and scream, in which his friend backs away.

“Look, man I’m out of here. Your escort is so entitled,” the guys aid and began to walk out. Once he left, Prescott saw red.

I jump up when the wind knocks something over from my nightstand. I walk over to it and pick it up. I don’t know why I can’t sleep in my own bed tonight, but my body just slides down the side of the bed and I start to cry. I don’t even know what I’m doing anymore.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

Something About Grace & Jamie: A Scene.

Jamie stands in front of the bathroom mirror trying to put his contacts on. He keeps failing since he is shaky and nervous. Shawn walks toward the doorway of the bathroom, looking at Jamie getting ready.

Shawn: So, what are we going to tell Kevin when he gets back from the market?

Jamie: That we’re going out to the bar tonight.

Shawn: But wouldn’t he want to come with us?

Jamie: We’ll tell him we’re going out to talk to women– *poke his eye* Ouch!

Jamie rubs his eye with his hand before trying to put his contact lens back into his eye. Shawn shakes his head.

Shawn: *teases* She’s already getting to you, hyung?

Jamie: Ya~

Jamie tries to get Shawn out of the doorway until they hear the front door of the house open and close.

Kevin: *calls out* Jamie hyung? Shawn hyung?

Both men walk out of the hallway and see Kevin standing near the doorway with a couple of bags of groceries. Kevin puts them down on the floor and looks at the two men, clearly dressed up for an occasion.

Kevin: Why are you two so dressed up?

Shawn: *nervous* We, uhm–

Jamie: We’re going to the Voyage Bar tonight.

Kevin: Why?

Jamie: We’re going to try to put ourselves out there.

As Kevin places the groceries on the island in the kitchen, he turns around and questions his hyungs.

Kevin: But it didn’t go well the last time you guys did that.

Jamie: We know what we’re getting into now; before we didn’t.

Kevin rolls his eyes and starts putting food away.

Kevin: Well, count me out. The last time I went to the bar, Joo-Ah was upset.

Shawn: Are you sure? I mean we could–

Jamie intently stares at Shawn, not wanting him to say anything else. Shawn catches the hint.

Shawn: We, as in me and Jamie, can go out and you can call Joo-Ah and do like a distance dinner date!

Jamie’s surprised that Shawn would think of something so sweet and sentimental. Kevin considers the thought.

Kevin: You know, that doesn’t sound like a bad idea!

Kevin walks out of the kitchen to go grab his phone from the living room. Shawn is surprised at his own lie.

Shawn: I’m good!

Jamie rolls his eyes and gathers his things so that they can leave. Jamie nervously puts on his bracelet before heading out the door with Shawn.

Skylar: You’re seriously not wearing that out tonight, are you?

Skylar stands in the doorway of Grace’s bedroom, looking at Grace who is wearing a pair of ripped jean shorts and a t-shirt.

Grace: *looks at her outfit* What’s wrong with it?

Skylar: *disgusted* Everything.

Skylar walks into Grace’s room and looks through her closet. Grace sighs.

Grace: I don’t know why you’re making a night out to the Voyage such a big deal…

Skylar: Because it’s my birthday month and I want to celebrate it every weekend leading up to my birthday!

Grace shakes her head.

Grace: So what is “your vision” for tonight’s outfit?

Skylar pulls out a red dress and a pair of open-toe red heels. Grace’s eyebrows cock upon her face.

Grace: Seriously?

Skylar: Yeah, seriously! What if you meet a cute guy at the bar?

Grace: *annoyed* Only drunk tourists go to that bar; why would I want to pick up a guy from there?

Skylar throws the outfit on the bed, annoyed at Grace’s attitude.

Skylar: Grace, I just want to go out with you for a night. I feel like you never want to do anything with me and it’s like, shit we live in the same house and we barely hang out. So for my birthday, it would be nice if my only cousin would go out and celebrate with me without feeling like this is a chore for her.

Grace doesn’t say anything, she just walks towards the bed where the outfit is on and takes it. Skylar smiles.

Skylar: Thank you, Grace!

Grace: *from the other room* You should become an actress with all that drama you carry.

Shawn and Jamie walk towards the Voyage Bar on the pier. Jamie looks around, visibly nervous. Shawn notices and pats Jamie on the back to grab his attention.

Shawn: Are you okay?

Jamie: Yeah, I’m alright… I’m just going to take this night for whatever it becomes.

Shawn: Are you ready to see Grace though?

Jamie doesn’t answer. He takes a deep breath and walks toward the bar. Shawn follows Jamie.

Skylar and Grace walk up to the Voyage Bar. Skylar, excited to go inside, grabs Grace by the arm to help drag her toward the bar. Grace tries to fight her cousin.

Grace: For God’s sake, relax woman.

Skylar doesn’t listen to Grace and continues to pull her into the bar. Once they enter, Grace looks around and immediately is uncomfortable.

Skylar: Look at the people in here tonight!

Grace: Skylar!

Skylar begins to dance on the dance floor as Grace attempts to follow her.

At the bar, Shawn looks towards the dance floor and notices the women dancing. He gets excited and gets up from the bar.

Shawn: Looks like the dance floor is where it’s at for the night!

Jamie, still sitting at the bar, tries to go after Shawn.

Jamie: Shawn!

As he attempts to follow Shawn towards the floor, he bumps into someone who is also walking through the dance floor.

Jamie: I am so sorry, miss–

The woman turns around slowly and faces Jamie. She looks up, completely mortified to see Jamie.

Jamie micks the woman’s face, realizing it’s Grace.

Grace: Jamie?

Jamie doesn’t answer back quickly; he processes what he sees in front of him. He shakes his head, trying to come back to reality.

Jamie: H-hi, Grace.

They both don’t say or do anything else until Jamie hears Shawn call out from him.

Shawn: Hyung!

He walks towards Jamie with a woman. Grace widens her eyes to realize the woman is Skylar.

Grace: Skylar?

Shawn looks at Grace, who is shocked to hear that she knows the woman accompanying him.

Shawn: You know each other?

Grace: She’s my cousin…

Jamie stands there taking in the situation. His eyes go to Skylar, who is now looking at him.

Skylar: *shocked* Oh! You must be–

Shawn: That’s Jamie.

Jamie nervously waves at Skylar and then immediately looks at Grace. Grace looks upset.

Grace: I need some air–

Grace walks out of the bar and Jamie follows her. Skylar looks a little discouraged and Shawn notices.

Shawn: Jamie will see if she’s okay.

Jamie walks out of the bar and sees Grace sitting on the bench near the boardwalk. He walks over to Grace and sits down next to her. She looks at him, then quickly looks towards the beach.

Jamie: *nervously* Are… are you okay?

Grace doesn’t answer back right away. Jamie looks down at his hands and then back at Grace when she takes a deep breath.

Grace: You didn’t have to do what my cousin says, y’know…

Jamie: I didn’t.

Grace looks uneasy and looks away from Jamie.

Jamie: But your cousin did call me with the number I gave you.

Grace rolls her eyes and scoffs.

Grace: She’s… a handful.

Jamie: No wonder Shawn’s hanging out with her; they are basically the same person.

This makes Grace laugh; Jamie feels accomplished and smiles at Grace.

Grace: Sorry if she dragged you into this. This is kinda what she does.

Jamie: No need to apologize… I did agree to come tonight, so–

Grace finally looks at Jamie, and Jamie looks at her back.

Grace: I just wish Skylar picked a place that wasn’t the Voyage Bar…

Jamie: *laughs* I don’t know what is about this place anyway… the drinks aren’t that great.

Grace: The food isn’t either.

Jamie gets up from the bench and gives a hand to Grace.

Jamie: Let’s go someplace with good drinks and food.

Grace smiles and grabs Jamie’s hand. They both let go when they stand next to each other and walk along the boardwalk.

Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: One Year.

It was exceptionally hot on this Monday, or maybe it was just the heat of my suntan coming off of my skin. I looked in the mirror and took off yesterday’s eyebrows before hopping in the shower. My “kpop boy” hair dried up curly, which I remember being happy about since I didn’t want to keep my hair in its “Apple stem” style for two or three days in a row (newsflash; it eventually did later that night). I had my bag ready: a change of clothes, pajamas, and Pugsly; the stuffed animal that I’ve slept with since 2000 as a 6-year-old. Another news flash: I did not bring that bag; I actually forgot it at home due to the nerves.

When it was time to go, my family and I called a cab and headed to the hospital. Because it was just a little after a year since the pandemic started, only one person was allowed to come into the hospital with me. Annoying, but my mom ultimately was the one that came up with me. She couldn’t stay after I got undressed and into my hospital gown. My phone by then was taken away from me with the rest of my outside clothes. I had nothing to do but wait until my surgeon came in to talk to me about the surgery. I was nervous as the surgery time was getting closer and closer. It wasn’t until 4pm that one of the doctors came to escort me to the operation room. I was asked if I wanted a wheelchair to take to the room; I declined. I wanted to walk towards the room on my own feet; towards the room that I walked for the last year and a half getting into.

I entered the operation room and Doja Cat’s “Kiss Me More” was playing on a radio. The room was surrounded with doctors and my surgeon. I was placed on the operating table; arms stretched out and legs strapped down. I was asked how I was doing, in which I was fine. I kept telling myself that this was it. The stomach I knew was going to completely change. My life was slowly going to change. I was about to have gastric bypass surgery.

The anesthesia was placed over my nose and everything went black.

I woke up with a nurse calling out my name. It was blurry and I felt groggy. I don’t remember exactly what I said to my nurse, but I remember her laughing and serving me crushed ice. My throat was dry and my body was now in a cloth hospital gown. My legs had on compression sleeves so that blood clots wouldn’t develop on them. I didn’t feel any pain (yet), and my nurse had told me it was about 10pm at night. I was put into the recovery room about 8pm, so needless to say; I was passed the fuck out!

The nurse dialed my mom’s cell number to let her know that I was out of surgery and everything went well. I don’t remember talking to my mom, but from the stories I get about this day, I was definitely still on cloud 9 from the anesthesia. I believe it; I remember literally cracking jokes with my nurse and she told me, “you’ve been my favorite patient of the night.” I asked if I could call Obie, in which I couldn’t even remember his number until I randomly yelled out “oh! It’s *this number*; he has had this number for almost a decade, I could I not remember his damn number!” I called him to tell him everything went well and that I was in the recovery room. He also laughed at how loopy I was. It was then when I got my belongings and was able to be on my own phone.

I answered all the messages that wished me the best of luck during the surgery. My friend, Lae, had texted me to let her know when I was out of surgery. I sent her a voice note, which to this day she still tells me how her and her mom listened to the voice note and was like “oh yeah, she was hiiiiiigh off of that anesthesia”.

Eventually it wore out, and that’s when the pain began to occur. I slept in the recovery room— well, tried to; with the nurses and other patients coming into the recovery room at all hours of night and the pain I was experiencing, it was nearly impossible. One patient came into the recovery room around 3am; he was an older man that had emergency surgery for something that I don’t remember. He constantly tried to remove the breathing tube out of his mouth, in which his nurse would scold him to not do so. His bed was across from mine.

Also, it was hard to breathe at times, so I was advised to do take deep breaths with this breathing-tube toy thing to catch my breath every now and then. When my curtain was closed for the night and the sound of the breathing toy was being heard, I heard my night nurse say, “good job, Elizabeth”. It was definitely a rough night due to the pain, and every time I was advised to take medication for the pain, it would make me nauseous.

I eventually got some sleep, but all patients were woken up around 7am for breakfast. The nurses advised me to walk around and try to use the bathroom whenever I could. I successfully did; I was able to get out from bed by myself and use the restroom, watch TV in the sitting area, and when I was served breakfast, I sat at the edge of my bed on my own and ate. The other patients around me had a more difficult morning; there was a nurse for every patient and then there was me, looking around and enjoying my liquid breakfast. My nurse looked at me in shock, telling me, “I have never been a gastric bypass patient that bounced back so quickly.” I always did; even when I had gallbladder surgery in 2013 I was walking around like it was nothing just hours after having the damn surgery. Because of the progress I made within the last night, I was cleared for discharge. Roughly around 3pm, my sibling came to the hospital to pick me up and my father picked up my medication when he came home from work later that Tuesday night.

This all happened on July 12th, 2021; making it a year since I had surgery.

Since surgery, I’ve lost 106 pounds. These days, it’s getting harder to lose more & keep the weight off since my stomach is able to handle much more than it did at the beginning, but it’s about discipline. It’s about knowing what to cut back and exercise and what to stay away from. I refuse to be a failing case of gastric bypass. I refuse to gain that weight back. I refuse to not look back at this last year and see it was a waste.

This last year my whole life changed. I simply don’t remember the woman I was prior to surgery. Yes, she has the same interests as me, the same friends, the same hobbies and passions. I remember how she used to feel when taking long walks and how she would turn back home before even walking 10 blocks. I remember how she couldn’t shop locally for clothes because her comfortable clothing size was a 4X. I remember how she insecure she felt in her skin because even though she loved her body, she felt like her body couldn’t keep up with her. I remember how much older she felt; not because she was only 26/27, but because her weight slowed her down, especially after the quarantine period.

But, I don’t remember her that well. I don’t remember how she dealt with those things and everything else happening in her life. I don’t remember her mentality; it’s drastically different than mine now. I’m a little more serious about things than she was.

She very much gave up on a lot of things that she couldn’t control anymore. I make it my mission to never lose that control I gained back.

That’s what the last year has been like for me, and here’s to the rest of my life hopefully reminding myself that this year happened so I can strive in my life. To explore and have energy again. To feel like a 28-year-old woman. To finally have some confidence in myself that I never really had before.

Happy one-year to possibly the most important day of my life to date.