Blogust 2020: The Series

Day 27: One-Year Anniversary of X1.

X1 broke the record of the fastest 1st win on a music show. – KPOP World  Radio Shop

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

So, a year ago on this day, my first ever ult group debuted. They were called X1.

X1, for those who may not know, was a project group for the PDX101 season where the top 11 contestants would get the chance to debut in a group. In age order, the members were Seungwoo, Seungyoun, Wooseok, Yohan, Hangyul, Junho, Dongpyo, Minhee, Eunsang, Hyeongjun, and Dohyon. Their first mini album, Quantum Leap, was one of the most successful rookie debuts within 4th generation Kpop.

I very much followed their debut because I followed the survival show since the beginning; I knew some of these boys would be in the group since the very beginning; they just had the certain look and energy of a kpop idol. Others were a complete surprise but so deserving of their rankings! I instantly fell in love with them because I really liked every member that debuted in this group! They had amazing chemistry together even before they debuted, and I’m a sucker for a group with amazing chemistry.

When they came out with their debut mini album, there was already this dark cloud over them; people were speculating that the voting system was rigged. But nevertheless, X1 debuted, they sold out their debut showcase concert, and they sold I believe 500,000 copies within the first week? It was something along those lines.

For two months, they promoted and went to several events and even when we thought things were getting better for X1, the media was not giving them a break. After being silent for most of the last month of 2019, it was then announced that they are disbanding in January 2020. It was definitely a sad day for X1, One-Its, and everyone that worked on and with this project group. I know that I was heartbroken that this happened.

A couple of months later, and the members of X1 are now doing things within their companies: Seungwoo returned to VICTON and made his solo debut, Seungyoun made his solo debut (comeback?) as WOODZ, Wooseok also made his solo debut, Yohan has been in the public eye and just released a solo single, Hangyul and Dohyon made their debut as a unit called H&D, Minhee and Hyeongjun debuted in CRAVITY, Eunsang is making his solo debut, and the other members are still trainees in hopes to make their debuts soon. Nevertheless, they are all doing their own things in this industry and I couldn’t be more proud of them.

I will always have a special place in my heart for X1. Their album was my first ever Kpop album that I bought, they were the first group I ulted, and during the short time of their activities, their music and their presence helped me get through some of the toughest parts of my life at the end of 2019. They were amazing, they were precious, and I know that if they were still promoting, they would’ve been possibly one of the biggest boy groups right now because– I MEAN THEY BROKE INSANE RECORDS Y’ALL AS ROOKIES– but, they all seem to be extremely happy being where they are now and I’m glad most of them are present and active in the community. Plus, I mean if X1’s disbandment didn’t break my heart, I don’t think I would’ve gotten into VICTON and become such fucking trash for them!

Happy 1-Year Anniversary, X1. We will always love & support you, even if you are not together as one anymore.

Yours Truly, A One-It. ❤

Blogust 2020: The Series

Day 26: Liz, Your Demi, *Asexual* Pixie Cut Friend.

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

Today’s post has a very Overexposed vibe to it. I wanted to talk about something that’s been on my mind for awhile now. I never came to terms with this just because I was still defining who was and what it was that I really wanted out of life. Well, in November I shared that I’m demiromantic, and it’s been a very important part of my identity and I’ve made it very apparent what my intentions were in new friendships. Because of this blurred line of friendships and romantic relationships, I learned how to set boundaries with anyone new that enters my life. I can romantically love my friends, but because of the boundaries I’ve set for myself and for the people in these newfound friendships, I’m able to be open about my romantic attraction but know to keep things healthy and friendly. Like I’ve mentioned a million times before, I will not have sex with you.

I say that, and yeah, perhaps it comes off as a joke because like, haha love your friends but don’t have sex with them, but I actually mean it. Actually, I mean it as an indefinite thing.

It’s been a year since I had sex, but even before becoming celibate, I used to get really panicky whenever sexual intimacy was suggested in my last relationship, I started to get really insecure and repulsive to the thought of me having sex, and it was something I just didn’t want to have anymore. Let me disclosed that I don’t have sexual abuse trauma, it was simply something that changed in me.

When my relationship ended, I didn’t miss being sexually intimate with someone I loved. I didn’t miss the act of having it, I feeling behind it; literally sex rarely came to mind. Sure, there were qualities in people that turned me on, but it never went anywhere and I realized a lot of my turn-ons weren’t sexually driven, they were… energy driven? In the most explicit ways, yeah: the same sex can have an amazing energy and it will have me intrigued.

Within the last year, I’ve met a couple of people of the same sex that I really vibe with well. It was confusing at first because I started to get– in a sense– a liking to them in the same way most people find in potential partners for romantic relationships. I loved them to pieces and I love them just as much as I would do a romantic partner because of the deep connections I have with them, but I’m not sexually attracted to girls. I also found myself gaining that same type of love for those who were not straight and whose who don’t romantically or sexually like women, but I still felt them. TLDR, I really can experience a deep love for someone no matter who they are or how they identify themselves. I just love them for them. That’s when I figured that I was possibly demi. I was still sexually attracted to guys and found guys sexy, but it still didn’t feel right to me. It wasn’t a “I’d have sex with him” thought, it was more so “you’re attractive, but I’m feeling your vibe, so can I get to know you and hopefully whatever this becomes doesn’t lead to sex because I can’t imagine myself having sex for awhile.” I just wanted some good friendships that felt mutually about me as I do them while keeping boundaries to respect each other in the friendship.

But even in the friendships I’ve made with people within the last year has made me realize I am at my happiest when I’m talking to people I care about, that care about me, and allow me to be my complete myself without any judgment. I am at my happiest when I remind my friends that I love them and that I’m immensely grateful for their presence in my life. I am at my happiest when I can just express myself without any seek of approval from friends; they take me in as much as I take them in. Simplicity, after most of my life making things complicated.

I don’t know if my future relationships will change this; perhaps my asexuality is something that bests defines me in this moment, whereas my demiromanticism is something I’ve felt almost in every friendship I had in my life… even if demiromantic/sexual falls under the asexual umbrella. At the end of the day, I live my life in the gray, because nothing defines me and I don’t define any label. I’m just… me.

Asexuality is different for everyone, and my asexuality also does not mean that I look down on sex completely. Listen, have all the sex you want, like go ahead and get your freak on, but it’s just not for me. I repulse myself having sex, not the idea of sex.

So, here I am, coming to terms that for awhile I’ve fallen under the asexual umbrella, and even coming to this realization, nothing has really changed. I’m just valuing the friendships I have in my life and the simplicity of just experiencing love on a platonic level.

Blogust 2020: The Series, Music From Liz

Day 25: Music From Liz: Ep. 12 – August Comebacks & Discoveries!

Music Featured in This Episode:

Music Mentioned in This Episode:

Blogust 2020: The Series, Voiceless Rant: The Series

Day 24: A Voiceless Rant – August 2020 Edition.

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

I can’t believe that this summer is almost over. For us to be in a middle of a pandemic, you’d think that the summer would drag on just because a lot of the summer activities this year were out on hold! But nope: it is the end of August, about to enter September, and before you know it, it’ll be my favorite season of the year: Winter!

But speaking of August… it’s been a much different type of month for me than it was this time last year. Here’s this month’s installment of:

So, I remember anniversaries and milestones like it’s nobody’s business. It’s a blessing and a curse and in most cases, it’s the latter. When a certain time of year comes around, I am reminded of where I was years prior: every May I am reminded that 8 years ago, I put myself in a dumb situation where I could’ve been raped. Every November I am reminded that my sibling was scared I’d take my own life and having to speak to my therapist and psychologist about that low part of my life. Every August I am reminded that in 2018 we said our final goodbyes to my grandfather and in 2019, I said my final goodbyes to a person who been in my life for half of it. It’s that final one that I have to walk on getting better with.

Last week, it was a year since that night: that night where we fought and I blurred out what my soul had been wanting me to say for awhile: I needed to learn to love myself before I could love anyone else because I was struggling to balance my relationship, my mental health, and my undefined identity that so desperately wanted to strive. I sat in the chair in the kitchen, the same exact one a year ago when I was crying my eyes out, now doing the same thing, but for a different reason.

I was proud for coming from where I was to get to this exact moment: fulfilled, happy, and at peace.

To have worked at my very social job at the bookstore and to create friendships with my coworkers (mind you that pretty much got me through the heartbroken grieving phase of the healing process) meant that I got better. To attend my first ever Kpop concert back in January by myself and enjoyed the night with something I like and wanted to do meant that I got better. To go out for drinks with my coworkers after work one day and to casually attend a happy hour and just eat and laugh and connect some more meant that I got better. Traveling on a plane for the first time by myself to go to Florida and see Tori meant that I got better. To openly embrace the fact that Kpop is a major part of my everyday life and to express myself to the trading/collecting community meant that I got better. Meeting some of the greatest people in the community that understands my love for Kpop and make friendships from that meant that I got better.

I got better. Sure, I still have my moments where I’m sad and negative and angry and depressed; when I’m human, but most of my days I am happy and I’m content.

My mother even mentioned the other day something that I will forever hold close to my heart: “you’re happy and bubbly again.”

So, I’m nowhere near being done with my process, nor I doubt I’ll ever be completely done learning and growing. I know this time next year, things could be completely different; I could be completely different, but in this moment I am learning how to take care of myself and prepare myself for the future negative things that will happen; they happen to everyone. But, I will now know how to take better care of myself, and not instantly feel out of control to the point where self-harming comes to play. I will manage y emotions better and be better at prioritizing how I feel.

I guess the point of this rant is that no matter how minor or major a change in your life is, embrace it. Embrace the positives you have, embrace the negatives and learn how and why they are your negatives, embrace the qualities that you hide in the privacy of your own space and flaunt yourself to the world, embrace the fact that you are getting better and that you’re actively doing thing to make you better. The process, in this case, means much more than the final product.

I am not who I was, and August memories don’t define my being: I do, in this moment, typing this very last sentence.

Blogust 2020: The Series, Creative Pieces

Day 23: Officially Official – A Scene.

Backstage | Backgrounds list | Gallery | Girls Band Party ...

It’s a hot summer day in mid-August; a 20-year-old girl with cut denim shorts and a band t-shirt, Summer, is backstage of a concert hall with a VIP backstage pass around her neck. She looks around to the different people that are walking pass her to get work done; she stands there alone, looking for the one person she’s there to see.

Someone pats her on the shoulder and startles her. She turns around to see Dylan, her 22-year old cousin in blue braids and highlight glowing on her cheeks.

Dylan: Hey, Summer! Nate told me you were back here!

Dylan hugs Summer.

Summer: Did Nate see Seu- Evan anywhere?

Summer, who’s more Americanized than Korean, always hides the fact that the boy that she really likes, Evan, is an international student and originally is from Southeast Asia. She normally address him by his Korean name, but to everyone else around her, she calls him by his English name. It saves her the explanation of how to pronounce his name properly.

Dylan: He didn’t mention Evan, but he’ll come around!

Summer nervously plays with the rings on her fingers.

Dylan: Listen, my first time being backstage at a music festival I was just as nervous as you. You see all of the other fan girls drooling over the singers, All these hair and makeup and important people just walking around, you don’t feel like you belong…

Summer: *sarcastically* Thanks for the prep talk, Dyl.

Dylan: I’m just saying that you’ll be fine, Sum. Just go find Evan, maybe he’s in his dressing room or something.

Someone calls out for Dylan and she says goodbye to her cousin. Summer looks down at her phone to open the message chat with Evan. “나는 방 1에있다”, or “I am in Room 1” is written in the chat. Summer finds her way backstage to the dressing room. She finds the room and knocks on the door.

Evan: *from behind the door* 네? (Yes?)

Summer: It’s Summer.

Evan opens the door and sees Summer standing there. A huge smile suddenly appears on his face and it makes Summer blush. They’ve been close friends for awhile now; they study at the same college, he’s great company to be around, and she finds herself finally trusting another guy after being in a shitty relationship during her high-school years. Evan is a gentlemen, and crazy hot, which Summer is not complaining about.

Evan lets Summer walk into the dressing room and closes the door behind her. Summer looks around the unfamiliar atmosphere: a vanity, a couple of bags, and some takeout on the table near the couch.

Evan: Sorry about that, I thought Jimmy was coming back with coffee.

Summer: Hey, it’s understandable; gotta have that coffee before a big show!

She sits down on the couch as Evan sits on the coffee table across from her. He’s smiling from ear to ear looking at Summer. She feels her face getting hot from blushing.

Evan: You’re excited for the show?

Summer: Of course! I’ve only been an audience member for Nate’s band so to be backstage for someone I actually know is surreal.

Evan smiles and Summer melts at the sight.

Evan: Speaking of Nate, I must thank him later for getting me the gig, it was cool of him to do.

Summer: He has to be, or else Dylan would never hear the end of it.

Evan laughs and Summer is in a trance; even his laugh is perfect.

Evan: Well I’m glad to be here, and I’m glad you’re here as well.

Evan grabs Summer’s hand and kisses the top of it. Summer tries so hard not to jump Evan’s bones right in the dressing room. Summer takes her water bottle out of her back pack and gulps half of it down. It’s suddenly way too hot back here.

Evan gets up and walks to the vanity, he grabs a portable fan and gives it to Summer.

Evan: It can get pretty hot in dressing rooms. We’re already sweating enough of nerves, why let it be even hotter for us?

Summer giggles and Evan is taken back by the sound of it. She’s fucking adorable.

He sits next to Summer; his leg is crossed and facing towards Summer. She shifts her body to face him and eve though they’ve been friends for awhile, she’s never been this close to him. She didn’t realize just how fit he was, and the tattoos on his body fit him perfectly.

Summer: Are you nervous for tonight’s performance?

Evan: Not really. I’ve been to a lot of open gigs and late night karaoke with friends over the years, which you definitely have to come the next time I go…

Summer: *laughs* 안돼 (no way), I’m not a singer. It’s never going to happen.

Evan: It’s karaoke, Sum! You don’t have to sing well to enjoy your night at karaoke!

Summer: Uhm, have you heard yourself sing, dude? Like, you can hit notes that no man can hit!

Evan: *flirty* So you’re saying I’m a good singer and that you like my singing?

Summer: Would I be at the backstage of a venue with a backstage pass around my neck like a groupie?

Evan: Nah, you’re just the president of the fan club.

Summer takes the pillow from her side and throws it at Evan, he’s laughing once of the hardest laughs she’s ever head.

Evan: Of course I’m kidding, but I’m really glad you’re here.

Summer plays with the lanyard around her neck; she’s nervous. She hasn’t felt this way over a guy in years, and for someone like Evan do to this to her, it was surreal.

Summer: Evan, can I ask you a question?

Evan: *off-guard* Of course, what’s on your mind?

Summer takes in a deep breath and gathers her thoughts. She came to the concert to see her favorite boy perform on stage and see him do what he loves to do. She came to the concert like she always does, but she’s also here to do something she thought she’d never do.

She knows that Evan won’t ask her on a date or anything because of her past. She still struggles with her past and the abusive relationship she had, and Evan made it clear he would do nothing to make her uncomfortable or jeopardize the friendship they have. But Summer has been spending so much of her time with Evan and it just honestly feels right with him.

Summer: *takes a deep breath* Thank you for being an amazing person. Like, I haven’t been my complete self ever since Frankie and I broke up. I couldn’t get out of bed on the weekends, yet alone during the summer to go to concerts and be with friends. You’ve been such an amazing support system and–

Summer takes a breath; her voice is shaky and her voice is beginning to go out. Evan touches her knee with his hand and she instantly calms down. She looks at him and he smiles; the corner of his mouth curl up which instantly makes her smile. She just blurts out what’s on her mind, no filter.

Summer: I like you, so fucking much. Will you go out with me?

Evan: I like you too, Sum. We could always go out for lunch or karaoke like I said before, whatever you’d like to do–

Summer starts laughing and Evan immediately stops talking. He looks at Summer in a puzzled manner.

Summer: 좋아해. (I like you)

Evan’s eyes widen in shock, he nervously shifts in his seat and then smiles at Summer.

Evan: Ah, you mean it in like, a boyfriend/girlfriend type of way!

Summer’s face gets red. He notices.

Evan: No, don’t get embarrassed! *reaches out to hug Summer* Summer 누나! (noona)

Summer laughs at Evan calling him noona; he loves to tease Summer because she’s older than by a couple of months. She secretly loves it.

Summer: How can you make every awkward thing I say or do just be completely normal? You just take everything I do or say as if it’s not the most humiliating thing in the world.

Evan: *smiles* Well, I like you and you’re a really cool person to be around. I really enjoy your company, Sum.

Summer’s face gets hot again and she starts smiling. She tries to gain back her composure.

Summer: Just so you know, I’m usually not like this. I’m never the flustered girl that just smiles all day and acts cute and–

Evan: Yes.

Summer doesn’t catch Evan’s answer.

Summer: *continues* –girly like, I’m jut this weird, awkward girl that keeps to herself and doesn’t even take a good selfie, like who can master the art of looking good in photos like I rather take photos of nature and trees and–

Evan: *interrupts* 내 여름! (My Summer!)

Summer stops in mid-sentence. She looks up at Evan who is now looking at her back, with a smile on his face. When they first met earlier this year, Evan used to call her “Summer” in Korean since it fascinated him that she was named after a season. He always called her “My Summer” and I guess he knew it gets her attention, because she stops her traces every time she hears it.

Evan: I would love to be your boyfriend, Summer. Would you be my girlfriend?

Summer’s insides explode. She never had someone politely ask her out, let alone officially become official. Evan laughs and takes Summer’s hand.

Evan: 공주님. (Princess)

They both smile at each other, and this moment just feels right. They lean closer to each other, about to share their first kiss.

The door swings open, and it’s Jimmy with the coffee, and right behind him are Nate and Dylan. They both jump back in their seats, away from each other. Jimmy panics and closes the door quickly.

Jimmy: *awkwardly* Uhm, I think the girl he’s… with is… your cousin.

Dylan and Nate look at each other; eyebrows are raised.

Dylan: Summer’s having one hell of a Summer, huh?

— The End —

Blogust 2020: The Series, Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: My Year of Celibacy.

I sometimes forget how fast a year can go by, especially when you’re… happy.

Perhaps I spent this year finding myself and getting to know who I am as person that made it fly by, but here we are, in August, realizing that it’s been a year since… well…

Hi, my name is Liz, and I’ve been celibate for a year.

It didn’t really dwell on me until recently thought about… well… the last time I had sex. It wasn’t like a concentrated thought of “damn, when was the last time ya girl got laid?!”, it was more so a thought about my sexuality that made me think wow… I’ve been celibate for a year and my wants and needs for sexual intimacy are still pretty much the same.

I spoke about my decision on celibacy awhile back, but the TLDR version is that basically, my intimacy wants became less sexual and more platonic over the last year. I’ve been building a hell of a lot of friendships this past year, and to finally have people I talk to on a daily basis and connect with interest-wise; I now value those friendships more than romantic ones. I’m allowed to be un-apologetically myself without any strings attached or things being difficult with romantic feelings being involved; it’s just… a friendship.

I decided on celibacy when I lost the want and need to have sex, in all honesty. I started to repulse the idea of having sex with someone else; I mean like, I don’t think of sex and just be like, “eww” – it’s more so the fact at going “eww, having sex with someone is not my thing at the moment.” I can’t picture myself having sex with another person for a really long time, and that’s completely fine. I don’t desire it, I don’t find the importance of having sex, and it’s just something at this given time that I’m uncomfortable with.

It doesn’t mean I stopped seeing things as sexy. You throw me a picture of any of the Victon members being sexy, I will think they are sexy! I mean, Seungwoo on the cover of Men’s Health Korea…

VICTON's Han Seungwoo Confidently Shows off His Hot-Sizzling Toned ...

MY POINT BEING: I can still think things are sexy but not find it sexually attracting, or it doesn’t mean I see an attractive person and instantly want to know what it’s like to kiss them or have sex with them or have an instant sexual attraction to them. It just means that within my personal relationships in life, I’m not looking for sexual intimacy because I don’t want them, hence my decision for being celibate.

Although we are sexual beings and it’s just a part (and want) for most human beings, I found myself not thinking about sex or wanting it this past year. I feel like my focuses and energy are on much more important things that it’s just something I don’t dwell on. I honestly forget that I’m celibate and I only remember when I’m asked for the reasons why I stopped taking birth control.

So, in a nutshell: this year has been a breeze, but it does worry me for my future romantic relationships. Although in this given moment, I pretty much deem myself as asexual, I know that when the right one comes into my life, I’m going to want to share that intimacy with them. But how open would I be to having sex again? Will it just be something natural and pick back up again in a romantic relationship? Will I get anxiety attacks in the process of engaging in sex like I did prior to my celibacy? In other words, will I ever see sex has a fun, enjoyable thing you do with someone you are in love with and that loves you back?

I don’t know, and I guess I’m really ready to take those next steps into thinking what intimacy will look like in my future romantic relationships.

Intimacy, to me at this moment, is sharing hugs. It’s checking in on the people who you really care about. It’s reminding those who you love how much you love them and are grateful to have them in your life. It’s developing a connection that is timeless; one where even throughout the chances in each other’s lives that you still manage to be a part of it; no matter how far, or how long it’s been you got to see them (or even if you never them), the foundation of these friendships with people is strong enough and comfortable enough for you to be yourself in.

So, happy one year of my celibacy. I never thought I’d ever come to this place where I would be completely fine without that level of intimacy in my life. I mean, let’s be real, the longest time I ever been without sex was… possibly before I even started having it. So, this journey has been an interesting one to got through, considering this has been the longest I’ve been without sex and out of a relationship. Like, sis is out here doing her thang on her own!

But, I digress.

I’m curious to one day hear about other’s peoples reasoning for celibacy; possibly they found God or they just have a personal and unique experience behind their story. I simply became celibate because of my sexual orientation simply changing and morphing into the person I am now. I was straight & in a relationship, then demiromantic and started to see every gender & orientation romantically attractive, and now I’m feeling more at place being asexual & just connecting with good energies, no matter what they are.

And that’s just my story.

Blogust 2020: The Series

Day 21: Life as a Collector.

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

So, in this process of my self-discovery, I’ve deemed the fact that I am a Kpop collector. I like to collect albums of groups that I’m really into, I like collecting photocards (PCs) for my favorite members in those groups, and I’m a part of the collection/trading community; something I never imagined being in. It’s taken me awhile to fully accept the fact that this is something that makes me happy and I’ve met some amazing friends along the process, so yeah – I’m a kpop collector.

It’s definitely been an experience learning about this community in the past couple of months. There’s things I never knew could happen in this community and things that I absolutely adore, but there’s also been things that I wish I could avoid being in this community, but I mean not everything in a community will be positive. But before I start talking about my thoughts on being a collector, let me tell you guys how I got to this place…

Back in February, I started to become an album collector of Victon’s. They were raising on my ultimate bias group list and I really just wanted to collect their albums. In a sense, I’ve always been an album collector; when I was younger collected most of Kelly Clarkson’s albums and, well, I guess that quality in me carried over in Kpop. My collecting was small, but I definitely looked into the kpop community as an outsider and felt like one too; I didn’t have mutual friends that were interested in kpop, and I always had some interest in collecting photocards… just not as intensely as I do now, but that’s a different story for a different post!

What got me collecting was my growing love for Victon’s Seungsik and also the lack of Seungwoo cards I had in my little collection. After their 6th mini album release, I had one card of each member throughout their discography besides Seungwoo. So, I went on eBay, saw that they were selling two photocards I really wanted to own and, well, the rest is history.

I then stared to silently collect photocards on my own time; I mostly bought them until I started to trade within the trading community. My moot, Ella, was the one that inspired me to make the trading/selling account to help finish with my collection and, I mean… my Seungsik album PC collection is complete because of the help of the trading community! Besides the trading and the selling aspect of the community, I’ve made some amazing friends a lot the way that are honestly some of the closest people in my life and I talk to everyday even if it’s not Kpop related.

Collecting, in general, should be something fun. Trading and making friendships with the community should be the best part of the collecting process, and for the most part, it is. But within the last couple of months of doing this, I’ve realized just how stressful keeping up a collection can be, especially if it’s for a popular member that everyone also is collecting. Sometimes, the hype and excitement around starting or maintaining a collection is based off of pure adrenaline and you just don’t think about how you’re going to collect all album photocards. I know that within in some of my collections, they weren’t fun to collect after a while; they became more of a race to see who can collect the fastest. I know I was also in that mentality for awhile when I first started to collect, but now it just seems so unnecessary and i just felt like I was contributing to the toxicity that comes with the community.

My collection, although it means so much to me and I’m grateful to have it, sometimes stresses me out. To upkeep a collection, it costs a ton of money; money that you feel guilty in spending because you feel like you should spend it towards other things that aren’t Kpop collecting related. It sometimes makes you think your life choices, what you should be doing instead of collecting, and makes you question why you got into this collecting in the first place.

I’m reminded every time I feel bad about my collection is that this is something that genuinely makes me happy. Having a collection of things that you worked hard for is extremely rewarding, and to have a hobby in collecting is what makes it fun. Once a collection doesn’t become fun anymore, then it’s time to let it go or stop collecting for that certain member or group. I know withn the last couple of weeks, I dropped some of my collection due to the stress of the upkeep and to let them go literally feels refreshing and light.

I don’t know how long ‘ll be a collector. I am one of the older collectors in the community and sometimes I feel myself not want to be so heavily involved in it but like, again, it makes me so happy when I make a trade for a card I really wanted or find a card for sale that I’ve been looking for; again it’s just the excitement of getting far into a collection as possible and looking at it and being proud of it! I know that as long as Victon is a group, I’ll be collecting their stuff, even if they ever decided to do some solo stuff like Seungwoo recently did with his solo debut album, “Fame”.

Collecting is not just obsessing over kpop and getting stupid little cards, it’s a hobby and it’s taken me a while to realize that fact. People genuinely collect as a way of coping with whatever they are dealing with; it’s their happy place and their favorite groups and idols are just some of the reasons they smile everyday. I’d be lying if I didn’t say Victon does the same for me. It’s something so fascinating to explain to other people because of course, not many will understand, but I think they would appreciate that everyone collects something in their lives and yours just happens to be Kpop stuff. It’s okay if it is!

So yeah, I’m Liz: writer by day, kpop collector by night.

Blogust 2020: The Series, Creative Pieces

Day 20: Too *Quickly*, Too Late – A Scene.

Finally satisfied with my bedroom set up. : malelivingspace ...

Someone’s vibrating phone on the night stand wakes up the person closest to it. The man reaches out to it, picks it up, and tiredly turns off the alarm. The man rubs his eyes and stares at the ceiling. Micah’s dreadlocks bun is knotted on the top of his head, and when he sits up on the bed, he notices someone is sleeping next to him.

A girl with brown curly hair, flushed skin, and a pregnant belly sleeps besides him. It’s Rosie. Flashbacks of the previous night play in his head; he’s making out with Rosie, she moans to Micah mouth whenever the kisses deepened, which drove him crazy. He began undressing Rosie and–

Micah’s thoughts vanish once he sees Rosie turn around in her sleep. He smiles and looks at Rosie; he never seen Rosie this calm and soft before. Her cheeks are blushed pink, her freckles are even more visible, and her lips are red from the kissing last night. He attempts to quietly get out of his bed to let Rosie sleep for a little while. He grabs his robe from behind the door and quietly walks out and closes the door.

He goes to the kitchen and grabs the coffee pot from the counter. He sees the time on his phone that says it’s nearly noon, but he’s addicted to coffee, and he needs it no matter what time he gets up. He sets everything up and once the coffee is brewing, his phone rings. It’s one of his best friends, Daniella.

Micah: *picks up and puts the phone on speaker* What’s up, Campbell?

Daniella: Did you just wake up, Micah?

Micah: It’s Saturday, what do you expect?

Daniella: Man, you literally have the worst memory. We agreed on lunch the other day; you, Rosie, Tanner and me? Remember?

Micah mouthes “fuck”; he totally forgot.

Micah: Can we postpone it or something? I had a long night & clearly I just woke up…

Daniella: You couldn’t text us last night or something?!

Micah: Dani, I forgot, what do you want me to do?!

The doorbell rings.

Micah: Listen I’ll call you back later, someone is at the door…

Micah quickly hangs up the phone and walks to the door to answer it. He opens it up and to his surprise, it’s Daniella and Tanner.

Daniella: Someone has horrible phone etiquette.

She walks into the apartment, while Tanner greets Micah.

Tanner: Hey, man, sorry about Dani.

Daniella: *turns around* Don’t apologize for me! This asshole always forgets that we have plans whenever he had “a long night”.

Micah: *facepalms in frustration* Cut the shit, Dani.

Daniella: *to Tanner* You know when I stayed with Micah for a week when I was in between apartments after graduating college, the amount of new girls I’ve seen coming out of his bedroom with him wearing that same grey bathrobe was literally in dozens.]

Micah: Look I said I was sorry! You’re here anyway so lemme just get dressed.

Daniella: Is Rosie here?

Fuck. Rosie. The girl laying completely naked in his bed.

Micah: I think so, I haven’t seen her all morning…

Daniella rolls her eyes and sits on the sofa. Tanner calmly sits down next to her, a bit uncomfortable in Daniella’s annoyed behavior.

Daniella: I hope she isn’t here, I mean she already almost beat the shit out of you for bringing Kalia back here like a month ago, imagine a whole new skank…

Micah can’t help himself but laugh; if only she knew.

Micah: There’s coffee in the pot, I just made it if you guys want some.

To avoid going into his room and waking Rosie, he takes a turn into the bathroom and walks near the laundry area. He opens the dryer and takes out a shirt and a pair of cargo pants to put on. Wrinkled, but at least they’re clean.

He returns back to the living room around to find Tanner and Daniella talking amongst themselves. When they realize Micah standing there, they put their attention on him.

Daniella: You don’t own an iron or something?

Micah: *to Tanner* Control your woman, man.

Daniella gets up from the sofa and begins to argue with Micah. Micah and Daniella have known each other since they were babies and even though it seems like they hate each other’s guts, they will always have each other’s support when needed. They are more brother and sister than friends.

Tanner stands between them playing the role of peacemaker, but his introvert personality can not stop the strong personalities that’s Daniella and Micah. The only thing that can stop the fight is the person who is standing in the doorway of the living room with nothing but a t-shirt on; Micah’s t-shirt to be exact.

Rosie: Babe, everything okay, I–

She screams when she sees Tanner and Daniella in the living room with Micah. Micah looks at Rosie like their biggest secret has just come out of the bag. His guest look at Rosie with shock in their eyes. Rosie feels exposed, and just stands there trying to cover up her body. Daniella even notices a bruise-like hickey on Rosie’s thigh, which makes her rub her eyes in shock.

Rosie runs in the direction of the bathroom, her nervousness and morning sickness coming in play.

Micah: Roe!

It’s too late; the door slams shut. Micah squeezes his eyes shut until he turns around to face Tanner and Daniella. They are still visibly shocked.

Micah: So I guess Roe got home last night, huh?

Tanner & Daniella: Oh my god!

Micah tries to shut both of them up; he knows Rosie is probably feeling a wave of embarrassment, and he feels horrible for letting her be sick alone in the bathroom.

He runs to the bathroom to take care of Rosie first before anything.

A little later…

Micah is standing outside of the deck smoking a cigarette. He takes in the sunny view of the nature, getting his head back on straight.

Tanner walks out on the deck and stands next to Micah. He looks at him while Micah keeps looking forward.

Tanner: I’m sorry about Dani’s behavior today. You know how she is with you.

Micah: Listen, me & Dani wouldn’t have been friends if we weren’t constantly wanting to kill each other. Plus, she hates when I forget or cancel plans. I should’ve known she was going to spazz out.

Tanner: Listen, Dani just cares about you, bro, and she just wants the best for you. You know she is willing to slap a bitch that plays you or something, like an older sis.

Micah: She’s literally only 6 months older than me.

Tanner: But she was born in 2017, you were born in 2018 so technically she’ll always be a year older than you.

Micah side-eyes Tanner and then laughs. He puts out his cigarette and takes a deep breath.

Tanner: So, when are you quitting?

Micah: Quitting what?

Tanner: *points to ashtray* That. You can’t be smoking around a baby, y’know…

Micah looks at Tanner in thought. Tanner has always been the type of friend to subliminally say things to get a conversation going. Micah knows Tanner is dying to talk about what happened not too long ago.

Micah: If this is your way of getting some details on Roe and I, then I suggest you try again.

Tanner: *lets it out* Bro, Rosie Delgado?! You slept with Rosie “she’s-my-best-friend-and-nothing-else” Delgado?

Micah lets out a sigh. Tanner will never let him live this down.

Micah: Tanner, I didn’t-

Tanner: *keeps going* Like don’t get me wrong, me and Dani were literally begging on when you and Rosie were going to finally hit it off but damn like you guys honestly just jumped the gun and did y’all motherfuckin’ thing, like-

Micah: Yo, Tanner, breathe!

Tanner takes a deep breath in and coughs at the lack of air he had when he was talking.

Micah: Look, I- I don’t want to make her feel embarrassed or exposed. It just, sort of happened.

Tanner: You guys have been living together for nearly six months now – what happened this time?

Micah: Tanner…

Tanner: Listen, I know you don’t wanna get into detail, but like, you guys were forcing this “we’re just friends” thing to all of us. Unless you guys are friends with benefits which honestly, I doubt you’ll be considering how much you love her–

Micah: She said she loved me back.

Tanner stops talking and hears what Micah just said. He’s in shock.

Tanner: Are you guys a couple now?

Micah: We never got to discuss any of it. We just… did the thing and here we are, both exhausted due to lack of sleep with you here and Dani probably trying to get some details out of Roe right now.

Tanner: *out of excitement* Was it good?

Micah: *taken back* Bro–

Tanner: I know she’s different and special, but it’s just guy talk! You know we both always gotta go to each other and talk about it!

Micah stares over the deck and starts smiling. He thinks back at the night he spent with Rosie. The thought is pleasant until he hears Tanner talking at the wrong moment.

Tanner: I heard that pregrant women are insanely good in bed…

Micah: Tanner, are we really talking about this?! Come on…

Tanner: What?! That’s what I heard! I mean, I never had sex with a pregnant woman but like, oof, whenever Dani and I decide to have kids and she’s pregnant…

Micah: *facepalms* Oh my god, if I answer your damn question will you drop this topic, please?

Tanner laughs as well as Micah; they’re honestly bros for life.

Micah: Man, I mean… when I say it was, like, *emphasizes* amazing…

Tanner shoves Micah in excitement, Micah laughs at his reaction.

Tanner: Was she the best?

Micah looks at Tanner as Tanner looks at him, waiting for the answer. Micah presses his lips together and then looks towards the door.

Micah: I wonder what the girls are doing…

Tanner shouts excitedly and jumps around: he knows the answer to Micah’s question. Micah shyfully covers his face and his smile. Tanner will be the death of him.

Meanwhile, the girls inside the apartment are rather quiet; Daniella is sitting across from Rosie, helping her put makeup on. Rosie doesn’t say anything at first until Daniella starts the conversation.

Daniella: So, the morning sickness still happens on regular?

Rosie: Yeah, she clearly likes to torture me…

Daniella stops what she’s doing and she excitedly looks at Rosie.

Daniella: You’re having a girl?

Rosie: I thought Micah would’ve told you guys by now–

Daniella grabs Rosie and hugs her; Rosie is taken back by it.

Daniella: Oh my god! I’m so excited for you, girl! You already know Aunt Dani will be here braiding her hair and painting her nails and dressing her up, and letting her know how to handle these fuckboys!

Rosie laughs at Daniella. Rosie and Daniella are only friends because of Micah and although Rosie learned the hard way that your friends’ friends aren’t your friends, Daniella is different. In some way, Daniella defends Rosie more than she does Micah and maybe that’s because she knows how much Rosie means to Micah. She appreciates the friendship she has with Daniella.

Daniella continues to apply makeup on Rosie.

Daniella: I mean, she’ll probably won’t be able to date until she’s in her 30’s anyway having a dad like Micah.

Rosie blushes at the thought of Micah being a father to her daughter. Daniella notices.

Daniella: Girl, I know I didn’t apply blush to your face yet. Look at you getting all flustered on the idea of Daddy Micah!

Rosie swallows hard and coughs when her saliva goes down the wrong pipe. Daniella laughs and coos at Rosie.

Rosie: Dani, you are the absolute worst.

Daniella: Girl you love me, but the next time you and Micah decide to have sex with each other, make sure he doesn’t have plans the next day, especially with us. This time I’ll let you guys pass, but now you guys know better.

Rosie: I totally forgot we even made those plans in the first place, really it’s my fault.

Daniella: *stops for a second* Are you telling me you made the first move on him?

Rosie: *nervously* I- I did.

Daniella dramatically drops the makeup brush on the coffee table.

Daniella: Rosie! Girl!

Rosie: It was just the heat of the moment, I asked him if he loved me like he said at the hospital and when he said yes, I- I guess it was just confirmation.

Daniella: Did you say it back?

Rosie: I-

Daniella: I’m not gonna hate you if you didn’t, but like Micah has been in love with you forever, so…

Rosie’s train of thought stops.

Rosie: Really? He’s said that to you?

Daniella: He always tried to play it off because the last time he told us he was in love with someone, it was with that Kalia bitch and I guess he didn’t want to put it out in the air that he was in love with you but honestly, me and Tanner always had a feeling. He then told us the night you were admitted in the hospital.

Rosie is taken back by all of this information. Her and Micah have always been close, but why was Micah so afraid to even tell her how he felt? Was he afraid of rejection? Did he have second thoughts every time she would pick up dates for money or date the asshole who knocked her up? Did he question if he really loved her?

Maybe it’s her time to put it out in the air as well.

Rosie: I did tell him. I was even the one that kissed him first.

Daniella looks at Rosie. She smiles like a proud mama. She continues to finish up Rosie’s makeup with mascara.

Daniella: Was it that mind-blowing “we just both said I love you to each other” all-nighter sex?

Rosie moves away in shock and the mascars brush pokes her in the eye; she yells in pain. Daniella drops the mascara brush on the floor and tries to help Rosie while also repeating “sorry”. The deck door swings open and Micah comes rushing in with Tanner behind him.

Micah: Is everything okay?!

He goes to Rosie to see if she if she’s okay. She removes her hand from her eye, it’s fine but just a little watery.

Rosie: I’m fine, I moved when Dani was putting on mascara; it’s totally okay.

Micah holds Rosie’s chin and examines her eye. He gets distracted by her beauty.

Daniella: *crosses her arms and addresses Tanner* Hey babe, remember when we swooned over each other like that when we first started dating?

Both Micah and Rosie break their stare and both turn their heads at Daniella.

Micah & Rosie: What?!

— The End —

Blogust 2020: The Series

Day 19: How My Bookstore Job Helped my SAD.

Screenshot 2018-08-06 at 9.56.47 PM - Edited

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

Y’all, it’s been one year since I started my job at the bookstore! It’s my job anniversary! I know many people will look at this and say, “uhm, okay, and?” but this is a really big deal for me! This is my first ever job and to have been at it for a whole year, the feeling is bittersweet. I still remember my first day really vividly; I walked into the college bookstore, literally it was like 95 degrees and humid, and I see two people behind the register and my manager. I just walked in and quietly said, “hi, i’m Liz and I’m here for the training?” and while I stood near the counter while my manager was taking care of one task, a guy comes in and stands next to me. I don’t know why I instantly was on this “make friends and talk to people” kick, but it just so happened that he was there for the training as well! As the day went on and we worked our official first day in the hot ass weather, I got to meet some other people who had started working there prior to me and the rest of the newcomers that day, but it was a good first day; tiring, but good!

As the months went on, I realize that the customer service position was testing my social anxiety and willingness to do my job well. I had to answer phone calls, I dealt with customers both nice and mean, and just dealing with any conflicts at hand I had to deal with them without allowing my anxiety shut me down. Of course, I had a good support system with my coworkers and my managers and if anything happened, we always had each other’s back. Working at the register for 7 hours a day with someone else downstairs with me, I got to know all of my coworkers as people rather than just coworkers. They instantly became my friends, and to even sit here and say “hi, yeah – a bitch has FRIENDS Y’ALL”, it’s definitely crazy that I did it.

My job also made me become more confident in talking to people, I mean I wouldn’t be able to do it well if I didn’t know how to talk to people. Over the course of a year, I’ve been able to comfortably to have conversations with customers that come in and out of the store to the point where I was able to make a friend from one of the regulars! It’s definitely been an experience from being terribly shy and anxious to talk to strangers to be confident enough to start a conversation of some sorts. In some way, it was the one thing that was missing in my life; having friends and confidence in myself to the point where I could be social with other people. In my sessions with my therapist, I realized that I actually like being social despite having SAD. I’m the happiest when I’m talking to other people, whether that be my coworkers or to customers in the store.

Lastly, my bookstore job helped me get through a lot of depressing shit I was going through this time last year. At the beginning, it was difficult balancing my work life and my personal life because they were on two polar opposites on the emotions spectrum. My work life I was meant to keep this happy and welcoming personality whereas when I came home, I was still grieving over my breakup. Being at work for most of the day created a great distraction, and in the process I made some really good friends that I say this all the time but truly saved my life during that difficult time. I couldn’t imagine going through the grieving process without them making me smile and laugh and without them knowing just being there for me.

Although the pandemic affected my normal routine of going into work and being productive, I still very much enjoy being at the bookstore. It’s a great first job to have, and I definitely lucked out. Although I don’t see myself being at the bookstore forever, I like being there for the time being & transitioning back into that life wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be.

So yeah, my first year at the bookstore treated me really well, and I’m glad to see what the next couple of months bring me! Happy workaversary to me!

Blogust 2020: The Series, Creative Pieces

Day 17: Trouble in Tribeca – A Scene.

College Library | Sacramento City College Library | City college ...

It’s a mild Spring day in NYC, and a girl in a floral dress and denim jacket on, long black hair in a ponytail, Summer, is in the study lounge. She has earbuds in her ears as she’s looking her a book on the bookshelf. She feels most at peace when she’s in the library of her college, looking through books she’s interested in reading, and sits at a table with her music playing in her ears, waiting for her next class to start.

She sees a book on the top shelf but just before she reaches for it, her phone in her pocket starts to vibrate. She presses the answer button on her earbuds and instantly smiles after hearing who’s voice is on the other end; it’s the boy she’s been secretly crushing on named Evan. Summer doesn’t know how loud she’s giving directions to Evan to meet her at the library, but apparently someone else does: the person on the other side of the bookshelf. Her ex named Frankie.

He overhears the conversation Summer is having on the phone, but he shuts his friends up next to him to eavesdrop.

Friend #1: Man Frankie, just forget about that bitch, she probably talkin’ to one of her side guys sounding all giddy like that.

Frankie starts fuming. He doesn’t like the lack of control he has on Summer ever since they broke up a couple of months ago. A part of him doesn’t want her, but a part of him also doesn’t want anyone else to have her. He feels Summer slipping away from his fingers, and he does not like it.

He notices Summer’s conversation is over and hears the blasting of music coming from her earbuds. He decides to walk to the next aisle, the same one Summer is on.

With Summer’s favorite Kpop group blasting in her ears, she attempts to reach up for the book that is on the top shelf. She gets on her tippy toes in hopes she could reach it. She sees another hand reach for the book and grabs it. She sees who it is and she is startled. Frankie looks down at her and smiles.

Frankie: No need to be scared, Angel-cakes, just helping an old friend out.

Summer takes the book from Frankie.

Summer: Th-Thank you.

As she’s about to turn the other way, Frankie attempts to stop her.

Frankie: Whoa, whoa, hey there – slow it down, I’m not going to bite. Can we talk?

Summer looks at Frankie; she doesn’t know what his true intentions are, but she feels too scared to tell him to fuck off. She just stands there.

Frankie: Look, I’m sorry for everything that was said and done. Our relationship had its ups and downs, but I really did love you. You’ve helped me a lot back in high-school and when we came to college together, it was suppose to be me and you against the world. I’m sorry we couldn’t be that.

Frankie puts his hand out to handshake hers as a sign of compromise and forgiveness. Summer looks around her environment and then back at Frankie.

Summer: Is someone watching you or something? Are your dumb friends betting on if you can swoon me like we’re in high-school? Is this your community-service-do-a-good-deed mission? Because if not, then there’s no reason for you to be doing this right now.

Summer nervously tries to walk past Frankie, but he doesn’t allow her to. He looks down at her, and she looks up at him.

Summer: Let me go, Frankie.

Frankie: I’m standing here apologizing for my actions, Summer. Can you be a little more considerate?

Summer: Not to the biggest asshole on the planet.

Summer tries to nudge her way past Frankie, but he stands as tall and wide like a tree. She fights for control, and he’s clearly fighting back as well. He backs her into a wall and stares her down.

Frankie: *aggressively* I don’t care how big and tough you think you are, Summer, but I know that’s not who you are. You’re this little, scared and naive girl that thinks everyone round you likes you and isn’t looking for anything other than *in mocking voice* “friendship”.

Summer: Go fuck yourself.

Frankie gets even closer and begins to wrap around his arm around Summer; she’s visibly uncomfortable.

Frankie: I rather you instead.

His hand slowly goes up the back of Summer’s thigh and she pushes him off of him. She’s panicking and causing a scene in the library.

Frankie: *laughs* Yo it was a fucking joke, my God you aren’t a fun person anymore, angel-cakes.

Summer: *angrily* I swear to God that if you don’t leave me alone, I–

Frankie: You’ll do what? Run home and cry and spread lies about me? I hear what you say about me, Summer. How could I, in any shape or form, rape my own girlfriend?

Summer is now fully panicking. He knows she’s been openly speaking out about her experience with other survivors in a college support group. She’s now scared for her own life.

Frankie: Chloe’s friend told me.

Chloe: the girl in the support group who’s now dating Frankie now has a friend in the group where she felt the safest in. Summer secrets are now out to the last person she ever wanted to know them.

Before Summer completely shuts down from her surroundings, she hears a familiar voice. She hears the voice speaking in a different language, but she understands it, thanks to her mother who taught it to her at a young age.

Evan: 누나 괜찮아? (are you okay?)

Summer looks at Evan, who is standing behind Frankie looking at what’s happening. Thank God he’s here.

Frankie turns around and sees Evan.

Frankie: Man, get outta here – this isn’t any of your business.

Evan nonchalantly looks at Frankie, and then back at Summer.

Evan: 도움이 필요하세요? (do you need help?)

Summer looks at Evan, not knowing what he’s doing until she realizes the best way to get out of this situation is to secretly let him know what is happening.

Frankie is now looking at Evan, annoyed at his presence.

Frankie: Hello? Foreign exchange student? Mind your fucking business and get out of here, will ya?

Summer: *in a panic* 나는 편안하지 않다. 제발 도와주세요! (I am not comfortable, please help me!)

Frankie: *turns to face Summer* You know this Chinese bullshit too?! You’re talking shit or something?

Evan begins to worry about Summer’s safety and tries to get the attention on himself.

Evan: 자신의 크기를 선택하십시오! (pick on someone your own size!)

Frankie turns around, visibly even more annoyed at Evan. He tries to get rid of Evan once and for all.

Frankie: Yo, we are in America, learn some fucking English or go back to whatever Chinese place you come from!

Frankie then makes more racially charged stereotype noises to Evan. He stands there; straight-faced and unbothered.

Evan: Or else what, dumbass?

Frankie is taken back at the sudden language change, but even more so he’s fuming at the name calling.

Frankie: The fuck you just called me?

Evan: Oh, you didn’t understand the English? Let me try it in a different language: 백치. Burro. Or, in actual Chinese: 笨.

Frankie pushes Evan back, which comes him to stumble a bit. He quickly gets in defensive mode.

Frankie: I suggest you getting out of my fucking face and mind your damn business. Do I have to translate that with my fists?

Summer nervously watches with her back still on the wall that Frankie backed her in. She’s worried for Evan; he clearly doesn’t know that Frankie is strong enough to knock him to the ground, but Evan visibly doesn’t look bothered. Is he not bothered?

Evan just stares at Frankie; Summer has never seen Evan look this angry, yet put together in the couple of months she got to know him. Evan doesn’t move – he just stares at the person in front of him like they are the only two people in this room.

Evan: 계속해. (go ahead)

Summer immediately runs to the two boys to try to stop Frankie for beating Evan up. She forcefully tugs the back of Frankie’s shirt, which causes him to turn around and swing at Summer. She falls to the ground. Evan snaps out of his anger and looks down at Summer; he immediately rushes to her side, not minding Frankie any business.

Frankie: *cowardly leaves* Fuck this man, she’s not even worth getting in trouble for.

Frankie gets his bookbag from the floor and leaves the scene. Evan is feeling a wave of emotions: anger for Frankie not caring for hitting Summer, and worry for Summer’s condition. She’s out cold and her upper lip is cut open. He calls out for help, and a moment later, the study lounge security guard is standing over Even, wondering what happened while people stand around, spectating.

Sometime later…

Blurry vision. Summer’s first initial thoughts are that her vision is blurry, and the florescent lights above her are annoying. She groans in pain and squints her eyes.

Evan’s immediately turns to Summer after seeing and hearing her wake up from the bed. He gives her a smile of reassurance.

Evan: Hey, Summer. How are you feeling?

Summer: *in pain* Like I’ve been steam rolled…

Evan smirks at Summer’s sudden comparison. The smile gets serious almost immediately after.

Evan: I’m sorry I let this happen. Like, *deep exhale* it should’ve been me.

Summer: It’s fine; nothing that I never had happen before.

Evan is suddenly sullen. Who would ever want to hurt someone as small and precious as Summer? The girl with such a soft but gut-hitting laugh. The girl who’s always there for her friends even when she sometimes doesn’t get that same love back. The girl who’s company is his favorite ever.

He snaps out of the thought when the nurse is walking towards Summer and the bed she’s laying down on.

Nurse: Okay, so it’s just deep cut on the top if the lip, nothing that won’t heal in a couple of weeks; and your head; how does it feel?

Summer: I’m okay, I just have pounding headache.

Nurse: *takes note* No dizziness, no confusion, out of balance feeling?

Summer: No.

Nurse: I must say, Summer, this is the first time I’m seeing you in a long time… I thought everything was now okay.

Evan is focused in the conversation, turning his head to the person who is speaking at each given moment. He doesn’t understand the dynamic between them but Summer and the nurse seem… acquainted.

She turns her head and looks at Evan.

Evan: What happened, sir?

Before Evan can even begin the conversation, Summer chimes in.

Summer: I was in the library trying to reach a book on the shelf. I told Evan not the worry that I’ll get it because he had his hands full. I slipped off the shelf and banged my head really hard on the shelves.

Evan is puzzled; he doesn’t understand why she’d lie about the incident. Is she covering him up? Is she still afraid of Frankie?

The nurse looks at Summer intently.

Nurse: *turns to Evan* You’d tell me if she’s lying, right?

Evan: *without thinking* Yeah, she’s telling the truth though. She sorta hates when I make her feel small, y’know? She wanted to prove that she can reach it which she didn’t need to.

The nurse smiles, she seems a little bit more at ease.

Nurse: Well, I’m glad it was an accident and not intentional this time. You can stay here as long as you like, you know the drill.

The nurse walks away with her notepad and goes into her office in the little room next to the bed. Evan looks at Summer in confusion.

Evan: *whispers* Why didn’t you tell her what really happened? What did she mean by intentional?

Summer: Nothing, it’s… nothing.

They both stay silent for a moment. Evan ponders the thought and then it suddenly hits him: this isn’t her first time being in this nurse’s office with bruises this bad. She’s been in here because of Frankie when they were dating. He’s suddenly angry, frustrated, but sad. Sad that Summer went through years of not feeling worthy enough for happiness, sad that she is so familiar being in this nurse’s office, sad that she has to lie about how she feels because she’s scared for anyone knowing the complete truth.

He gets up from his seat and hugs Summer.

Summer is taken back by the sudden hug. She instantly hugs him back; comfortable and safe. She doesn’t know how she’s gotten so comfortable with Evan, but he always felt like she could always hide in his presence whenever life gets too rough to handle in the moment.

This is that moment, and he knows it is, so he keeps her in his arms.

— The End —