Creative Pieces, The "Something" Series

Something Sweet; Her Scent: A Monologue.

What to do in Seoul at night? — 19 best places in Seoul at night & top Seoul  things to do at night - Living + Nomads – Travel tips, Guides, News &  Information!

Straight to voicemail. Dammit, Grace.

I placed my phone on top of the side table in the living room and quickly took off my glasses to rub the bridge of my nose. I should be heading to bed; it’s nearly midnight and I have a long day ahead of me at the office. My head is pounding and I’m instantly regretting the drinks I had with the guys earlier tonight. Anything to get Grace off my mind for at least one night. Shawn and Kevin knew something was wrong. Our nights out are usually fun and enjoyable. Tonight there was just a lot of understandable silence.

Shawn and Kevin have been two of my closest friends for the last decade. I met them in law school; I’m still shocked that Shawn graduated to this day; Kevin was that one friend that stayed to himself and although he was the youngest, he only spoke when it was important and it was always something that needed to be said.

So when he told me tonight to try and call Grace after her best friend told me to do so, it was only right to at least try. Alas, she didn’t answer, as I assumed she wouldn’t, because I know her.

I know Grace Ashmore. She was spunky and feisty and confident; she knew what she was doing most of the time and she was not a person you messed with, but she also was really small. When life got to her and she was stressed and overwhelmed, she was just this immensely small person in my arms, while she cried herself until she would fall asleep in my lap. Those were the nights I hated the most; seeing Grace upset like that. I would have never thought that the person I met in the cafe during the summer was as small and fragile as she is, but I feel like that makes her so much more human. Grace tries to be perfect, and when she can’t, she becomes human. I appreciate that she trusted me enough to see that human side of her.

The morning I got to the airport, Shawn and Kevin were waiting at our gate, and they instantly knew. They knew I spent my last night with her, into the early morning, and that I had no real sleep before our 14-hour flight. My hair was unkempt, I threw on anything I could find and then threw everything else in my suitcases, and the bags under my eyes told them otherwise.

Just hours before my flight, I laid on Grace’s bed under her, kissing her lips and her body while watching her freckles pop out as she blushed. Just hours before, my hands were tangled in her auburn hair. Just hours before, Grace and I…

Get it together, Jamie. It probably didn’t mean anything anyway.

Once she drove me back to my apartment in the early hours of that morning, she handed me her gray scarf and told me that it was going to be really cold when i leave for the airport in a couple of hours. I didn’t protest, but I know she knew I had a scarf of my own in my apartment. I said nothing of it. I took it and thanked her. A part of me thinks she gave me her scarf as a reminder that she was real. She was in my life. She didn’t want to be forgotten. How could I ever forget a woman like Grace.

I got up from the couch and walked to the cabinet in the kitchen; I know I shouldn’t add on to the alcohol already in my system, but I know I won’t get any sleep if I don’t drink to the point where I pass out. I took the bottle of Makgeolli out of the fridge and twisted the bottle open. I waited to take the first sip of the wine.

Jamie, Makgeolli is disgusting; how do you even keep it down?”

Seohyun used to tease me about my liking of the off-white colored rice wine when we were in our early 20’s. Every Friday after my classes, we would go out for drinks in the city and enjoy the beginning of our weekends together. She was studying to be a nurse, so our schedules during the week always clashed. Our Fridays used to be my favorite part of the week. We’d go and get drinks, then go back to my apartment while she spent the night. Seohyun was my girlfriend, the woman I thought I would marry, the woman I thought I would come home to when we started a family. My family loved Seohyun and her values. Sometimes I wonder what went wrong for us. She just stopped coming over on Friday nights, stopped calling me, and eventually stopped seeing me. I want to believe it was something other than my job, but I knew better than anyone else we broke up because I loved my job more than her. Our break up messed with my head, and life just felt not worth waking up to every day.

So maybe that’s what Kevin meant that night back in America. Don’t fuck this up like you did with your past. Maybe he had a feeling Grace was just not some American girl keeping me company during my stay there. Grace was different. Grace was the woman I fell in love with. Grace was the woman that instantly can calm me down just by the scent on her gray scarf. It was her. It was something sweet; her scent.

Night like this make me wonder what am I even doing back here. Why am I back in my apartment in Seoul, 14 hours ahead from the person I love, who just so happens to live in New York City? What is keeping me here? My job? My family? My heritage? My life?

My mother always expected me to do better and be better. Growing up as the only boy in my family, my mother expected me to be nothing but the best. Be the best man, the most successful man, the most respected man. I remember crying endlessly to my mother, frustrated learning English in an after-school program wondering why my sisters were allowed to opt out. My sisters, being in their teenager years when I was still in grade school, knew the paths of life they wanted to be in. My mother wanted more for me. She was the one to tell me that I would be the one that would see the world outside of the country, outside from our hometown in Gyeongju. And I did. Numerous of times.

What if Seoul just isn’t home anymore? Would you even consider–

My phone rings and vibrates on the side table in the living room. I quickly walk over to it to see if maybe, just maybe, it was Grace. Nope.

“Mina?” I answered the phone. It’s never a good sign when your sister calls you this late into the night.

“Are you still coming down for mom’s birthday?” Fuck. That really is this weekend.

“Yeah, tell Mom to stop worrying. I’m coming to see you guys.” I rubbed my eyes together in exhaustion; the lack of sleep is catching up to me.

“Okay, just making sure because we haven’t heard from you since you’ve been back! See you then, little brother!”

Mina hangs up the phone before I can even let out a goodbye. That’s Mina for you.

I walk to my bedroom, finally getting ready for bed. I place my phone on my bedside table and go under the covers. I toss and turn in the bed, trying to get comfortable. This bed doesn’t even feel the same anymore. I close my eyes briefly before I shoot up open again.

I…

I sit up in bed and take a deep sigh. I take my phone from the table once more and click over to Grace’s text messages. The last thing she texted me was that she won her case. That was over three weeks ago. I don’t know what came over me that night, but I suddenly got extremely angry. What did I do to Grace that she just didn’t want to talk to me anymore? Did she regret our last night together? Did she just not feel the same way as I did? I just want to know if you and little bean are okay, Gracie.

I don’t know what came over me, but I’m now pressing the record button on our messages and the word-vomit comes pouring out.

Hey Gracie. I hope you’re doing okay and that you and the little bean are doing okay. I…

Just say it.

I miss you. It’s definitely been weird not having you by my side at every moment of the day. That was possibly the best thing about our time together; you being near me. I miss you.”

I stop talking and immediately delete the voice message. It was now or never.

I press the record button once again.

“I love you. Call me when you’re ready.”

Sent.

Creative Pieces, LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!, The "Something" Series

Some Things Never Change: A Monologue.

Lighting controls in hotels: things could be so much better... - Lux Review

My phone screen lit up and his name came up. Jamie. I sent it straight to voicemail.

Pulling the comforter off of my body, I dragged myself out of bed. The sky is gray and white; to the point where it’ll probably start snowing. It’s snowed a lot since he left. I hear nothing but the cars and the other loud, obnoxious shit that makes the city sometimes unbearable to be in. The thing about living in the city is that it never allows you to have time to just sit in your thoughts. Someone’s loud car alarm is always going off, some bus is always trying to make its way through a double-parked car, and there’s just always someone just yelling or talking way too fucking loud on the other side of these walls. Maybe it’s for the better that I just can’t sit in my thoughts for too long… the last time I did that, I woke up in Ari’s apartment with the craziest fucking hangover.

The last time I did something as stupid as that was just months after Willow was born. The stress of being a new mother and having my entire life put on hold after having Willow made me panicky, so I decided to disguise me wanting to go out and celebrate “my first drink post pregnancy” and just get fucking wasted. Ari was not impressed. I never heard the end of it from her, let alone Max when I got home that night…

The vibration from my phone in my hand jolted me out of my thoughts. I looked at the screen:

Ari: We got another case coming in later today, make sure to make it to the appointment this time, okay? See you soon!

I don’t respond; I haven’t answered to anyone’s messages for the past couple of weeks. I read them to let people know I’m up and breathing, but I just don’t have the energy to cough up a response like “oh-em-gee, life’s so fucking amazing! Let’s catch up with coffee soon!”

I finally get myself out of my bed and walk over to my closet. Another day, another dollar, a new fucking case. My father warned me about this when I told him I wanted to go to law school after my time in college. He swore I was going to stick to dancing, like my mother did, to pursue a career in dancing; just like my mother did. I guess a part of me–although I’ve grown to love her and appreciate her now–didn’t want to become like her. I didn’t want to grow up and leave my life behind for my career. Sure, dancing for the biggest names in the world sounds great on paper, but mom lost so much of her life trying to chase that high. I’ve seen her try to awkwardly get to know me when I first met her when I was 17. I felt sorry for her; that woman thought I hated her for leaving when really, at that age I understood why she did. Dancing was my whole life, and it was hers.

But I didn’t want to become like her. Says the person who left her family to pursue her career in law.

Like I said, my dad warned me about going into this field. One case ends, and another one opens; it’s a vicious never-ending cycle of losing your dignity for a reputation in this field despite what your personal beliefs are.

Maybe I’m good at my job because I’m always lying to myself. Maybe I’m my best client; just constantly have to tell myself a fabricated story and I have to believe it and defend it.

I grabbed a blouse from a hanger and a pair of pants to put on. I look at myself in the mirror, wondering who the fuck I really am. My hair is knotted and dry, it looks like I haven’t slept in a week, and… is that yesterday’s makeup still under my eyes? Fuck it, now it’s today’s makeup.

I grabbed my purse from my kitchen table and head on over to the coat closet. Before reaching for my coat, I stopped and stared into the closet. I slowly pulled out the article of clothing that I’ve come across. Jamie’s hoodie.

I remember the first time I saw Jamie in very casual clothing. It was a different look for him; he’s usually all about business casual and, well, it was refreshing to finally see him in a pair of jeans, sneakers, and a hoodie. A navy blue hoodie. The hoodie he gave to me when my little dress was way too cold to wear in the transitioning nights from summer to fall. He had to have seen it hanged up for him? The amount of times he came over here.

That’s the thing. His hanger was still next to the navy blue hoodie. He was still probably the last person that touched that hanger. Am I really thinking about this man and the hanger he used to put his fucking jacket on? Yes, and I want to cry just thinking about it.

I unzipped the hoodie from the hanger and held it in my arms. The hoodie still smelled like him; fresh and earthy. Sandalwood. I hold it up to my face and inhale his smell on the hoodie. I close my eyes, imagining that he’s right here, hugging me, looking down on me with his intoxicating smile and eyes. His eyes… fuck, those eyes.

I cock my head back towards the ceiling, trying my best to stop the tears from falling from my eyes. I don’t get why my body is reacting this way. I’ve been through this same-old-cycle for years. Kelvin Hanes back in Virginia. Scott Campbell in high school. Spence Wilson in college. Max Harper from the law firm.

Jamie-motherfuckin’-Kim. From the cafe.

Jamie was just different. He felt more than just space in my life. He felt like a necessity, like your wallet or house keys; something that you always needed with you. Everyone else before him were special in their own ways. My first boyfriend, Kelvin Hanes, was just some dumb puppy love in middle school. He kissed me in front of his friends at lunch to prove that we were dating. I didn’t even know we were dating, but I guess we were. It’s funny, that relationship surprisingly lasted longer than I ever thought it was going to be. When I moved to New York with my dad briefly a few years after, we just… broke up. No hard feelings, no tears for him. I guess I just liked him. Maybe I never loved him.

Scott Campbell, in a nutshell, was probably my first real serious boyfriend. I met him when I was in NYC for the first time. I met him in the school I was going to and I don’t know, he was just incredibly sweet. Despite me and my heavy passion for dance, he was always around. He was my first time, my first real date, my first long-distance relationship once I moved back to Virginia shortly after. He was patient with me until he couldn’t be anymore. Sure, that breakup at first hurt like a bitch, but we stayed friends. He’s still the one friend I run to when everyone else in their lives have shut me out. I have a tendency of just tiring people out to the point where they want nothing to do with me.

Spence Wilson, the nerd from law school. He was incredibly smart yet so fucking handsome. He knew so much about everything and anything that sometimes I still wonder how the hell did we work out as a couple through our law school years. Spence should’ve been the indicator on why I shouldn’t date someone within my own field. Too much clashing, and too much work being involved in our relationship.

But then Max Harper came along. I swore he was the one. He once felt different. He made me feel like my voice in the case mattered, he was funny, and if anyone was ever patient with me, it was Max. Max and I had a lot in common; we both come from families that were unconventional; his father killed himself after going bankrupt and his mother lives in a residency to manage her mental illness back in England. I can understand why he wanted to leave the firm after our intern case. He had it hard and I think he just needed some peace in his life. He thought I was his peace. Settling down, having Willow and starting a family; eventually getting married… I sometimes wish I was able to fulfill his expectations of me. All he needed was someone to keep him happy, be a wife and a mother to his child. Even after being madly in love with Max, I still couldn’t be what he wanted. Instead, I just left. I will never regret having Willow; she’s my light, my purpose that I keep going, and my smile on my darkest of days. I only regret not being a good enough mom to her.

But Jamie Kim tells me otherwise. Being the youngest of two older sisters with their own children, he tells me that I’m such a great mom to Willow. He would sometimes smile and randomly take pictures on his phone of me and Willow together. Jamie, the man who held Willow on the nights when I would accidentally double-book our case meetings with the weekends I had with Willow; the thought still warms my heart. Willow, or “little bean” as he used to call her, was comfortable with Jamie to the point where it felt so natural for them to be together. Moments like that are when I felt most like a family. Jamie taking Willow in as much as he took me in was… something I never thought a man would do. Jamie, the man that was in the States working on his own case within his own company, was here one moment and gone another. It sometimes feels like he wasn’t even here to begin with, but I know that’s not true. The pain in my chest, the knot in my throat, and the tears in my eyes tell me otherwise.

Despite being me, the most fucked up and destructible person on this planet, he was here. He smiled at me. He kissed me, held me, made love with me… he fucking saw me better than anyone else in this goddamn life ever did.

Yet life is what took him away… some things never change.

My thought is at a hold once I look at my phone.

Incoming call: Jamie.

I send it straight to voicemail. I hang his hoodie back on the hanger once more, take my coat from my own hanger, and leave home for the day. It’s not even home anymore.

Creative Pieces, LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!, The "Something" Series

26-Something Memory: A Scene.

Man Looking Out of City Window at Night Free Stock Video Footage Download  Clips People

Traffic is at a halt on the busy streets in the city of Seoul. Jamie forgot just how busy living in the middle of it was like after being in New York City for the last couple of months. New York is just as busy as it is here, but somehow this busy city frustrates him for being too busy. Perhaps its not even about the city he’s in, but about the fact he’s not in the same city, let alone same country, as the person he wants to be with in this exact moment. The small apartment is dark, quiet; unfamiliar.

Jamie looks at his phone in his hand; swipes it open and goes to his text messages. No new messages from Grace; the girl from New York that he had completely fell in love with; the 5’3 petite curly auburn haired woman that was adventurous, quirky, short-tempered; beautiful. Grace Renee Ashmore was always beautiful to Jamie, even in the mornings where he would wake up next to her in his bed, hair spread out all over the pillow and hair stuck on her face, sometimes with the previous night’s makeup still on her face. She always looked so peaceful when she slept. He always felt like he was at home with Grace around.

He backs out to their messages and opens his photo gallery; a couple of food pictures and landscape pictures of NYC later, he comes across the photos of Grace. He smiles at the one photo of him and Grace throwing up peace signs wearing silly props, winking in the camera as Jamie took the photo.

October 7th, 2057:

The elevator doors open and Jamie is seen wearing a denim jacket, a black turtleneck, black jeans and Converse; he feels uncomfortable being casually dressed. For Grace, he’ll do it. He’s holding a cake in a box in his hands, and walks to Grace’s front door.

He knocks on the door with his elbow and waits for a moment before the door opens. Grace opens the door and Grace is in sweatpants and a hoodie. Jamie’s eyes widen, but the smile never leaves his face.

Jamie: Happy Birthday!

Grace stands there with no emotion in her face. Jamie awkwardly stands there.

Grace: Fuck my birthday.

Grace turns back into her apartment and Jamie walks in. He sets the cake on the kitchen counter and follows Grace.

Jamie: Whoa, what’s wrong?

Grace plops herself on her couch like a pouty child. Jamie walks to Grace and stands behind her and leans towards the back of the sofa.

Jamie: *cutely* Gracieeeeee…

Grace doesn’t say anything. Jamie gets closer to Grace and continues to act cute for her. He cutely leans in and play with her, hoping to cheer her up. She doesn’t budge until he cutely sings happy birthday to Grace and holds her arms up to dance. She smiles and immediately gets up from the couch.

Grace: Jamie!

Jamie laughs and opens his arms wide for Grace to come in and hug him.

Jamie: Now what seems to be the problem with your birthday?

Grace: It sucks! I just hate being reminded that every year I get older and that… I don’t know, I just wish I had Willow here to just make today… go by.

Jamie: I’m sorry you feel that way… *looks at the cake on the counter* Should I…?

Grace: No, the cake can stay. Thank you, Jamie.

Jamie and Grace share a moment in that hug until Grace pulls away from Jamie.

Jamie: Let me take you out tonight. I mean–

He steps back and shows off his very casual looking outfit to Grace. She giggles.

Jamie: I’m even in clothing you wanted to see me in!

Grace: You’re right, and you look amazing, might I add.

Jamie winks and puts his hands in his jacket pockets.

Jamie: Thank you, but I bet you’ll look even more amazing in the outfit you choose to go out to karaoke tonight.

Grace’s eyes widen with excitement. She happily jumps to her room to get dressed. Jamie laughs at the sight; “gosh, she’s so cute.”

Grace comes out of the room in a denim jacket and a green floral skater dress with ankle boots. Jamie looks at Grace.

Grace: I’m ready to sing to my heart’s content!

Grace grabs her purse from the table and grabs Jamie hand, dragging him towards the front door to go out.

At the karaoke bar, Jamie and Grace are singing loudly to some top 40 songs; Grace keeps up while Jamie struggles around with some of the words in the Americanized songs. He absolutely murders the Kpop songs that are popular in the States. They occasionally sip on their drinks, continuously sing loudly and horribly in the room, laughing out loud, enjoying each other’s company.

Grace takes her phone out of her pocket and turns the camera on to take a picture of Jamie singing to a song. He notices and waves his hand away.

Grace: *laughs* Come on Jamie, let me take a picture of you!

Jamie playfully rolls his eyes and acts as if he’s singing the highest of notes. Flash. Grace looks at it and smiles. Jamie walks over to the table of props and puts on ridiculously big sunglasses on. Grace laughs and continues to snap photos of Jamie.

Jamie: Grab a prop, Gracie! Let us take a photo together!

Grace skips to the prop table and picks up a featherly boa and a princess crown. She comes back next to Jamie and begins to take silly pictures.

Jamie: Peace signs now!

Both Grace and Jamie throw up peace signs and wink in the camera.

Flash.

Jamie closes his phone and places it on the table beside the window. He turns back around and walks away from the window and turns on the lights. The apartment looks like it’s barely been lived in, even though it’s been a couple of weeks since he’s been back home. He sighs; this isn’t home.

He takes a seat on the small sofa in the living room. He takes his glasses off his face to rub his tired eyes until he sees a light flash on his phone screen. He looks up and checks the notification.

Kevin: Just checking in to see how you’re doing.

Jamie closes his phone and places it face down on the coffee table. He lays down on the sofa, exhausted.

A couple of hours later in the middle of the night, he wakes up with an aching back from sleeping on the sofa. He sits up, and goes to look at the time on his phone. He doesn’t see the time.. He sees a notification.

Grace: Won the case. Thank you again.

As Jamie is about to text back, he votes against it, suddenly becoming sad, and closes his phones and puts it on the coffee table. Fuck. He misses Grace, and he doesn’t know when he’ll see her next. He looks around his apartment one more time before he shuts the lights off and enters his bedroom.

This place is not his home.

Creative Pieces, The "Something" Series, Twelve Letters of Lizmas: 2020

Something to Look Forward To: A Scene.

Why Do We Drop the Ball on New Year's Eve? | Sporcle Blog

The apartment is dark with only the lights from the city shining through the window. The front door suddenly opens and the light from the hallway shines through into the apartment. Two silhouettes are shown walking in; the smaller one putting the lights on into the apartment.

Grace turns around and waits for Jamie to walk in. When he does, he wraps his arms around Grace and looks down at her. He smiles.

Jamie: Did you enjoy your night out?

Grace: I always do when I’m with you.

Jamie smiles and leans in to kiss Grace. The kiss lasts longer than the ones they usually share. Without breaking their kiss, Jamie lifts up Grace into his arms; Grace wraps her arms around his neck. They break their kiss and stare intently in each other’s eyes.

Jamie: You’re just saying that.

Grace: Maybe, but it doesn’t take away from it being the truth.

Grace laughs and Jamie puts her down. She walks to the coat closet to put her coat on a hanger. Jamie does the same thing.

Jamie: The night is still young.

Grace: Yeah… I wish it didn’t have to come to an end though.

Jamie ponders in thought while Grace walks away from Jamie without looking at him. They both know what’s being spoken about.

Before Grace can go too far, Jamie calls out for Grace. She immediately turns around. She hates how quick she responded to him. Jamie wraps his arms around Grace and looks down at her. Se slowly lifts her head to look up at him.

Jamie: I know. Let’s make the most of the time we have left.

Jamie kisses Grace’s forehead and she instantly smiles. She takes his hand and guides him into her bedroom. He doesn’t protest, but his face instantly flushes red.

Once they are both in the bedroom, she lets go of his hand and instantly flops on the bed. Jamie chuckles to himself, sitting in the chair across from the bed, looking at Grace.

Grace: I have to find something to wear for this dumb party tomorrow, which I honestly wish I didn’t have to go.

Jamie: Hey, you deserve to have some fun after a stressful couple of months. You deserve to have something to look forward to.

“Yeah, without you” is what Grace wants to say, but she doesn’t. She just lays there looking at the ceiling knowing that this is the only position she can stay in to prevent the tears coming down from her face. Before she knows it, she feels gentle hands hold hers and lifts her up from the bed. She’s now eye-to-eye with Jamie, that looks at her with his sweet and soft eyes. He smiles before he speaks.

Jamie: Red. Wear something red.

Grace faintly smiles and looks at Jamie.

Grace: Last year, I was in my apartment by myself.

Jamie: You didn’t spend it with friends and family?

Grace: I was very pregnant with Willow this time last year. *laughs* I was a hormonal mess and pretty much told everyone to fuck off that day.

Jamie faintly smiles and listens.

Grace: *deep sighs* I don’t even remember if I stayed up to see the ball dropped. All I know is that I woke up the next morning with my back aching from sleeping on the sofa. *laughs*

Jamie: Well then you deserve this even more than I thought. Go and have fun.

Jamie kisses Grace’s cheek gently. Grace blinks slowly and runs her fingers through Jamie’s hair. All she wants to remember how Jamie feels in her hands, remember how he looks like being in her bedroom like this. Remember what her life was like when he was here.

Grace: *whispers* I’m going to miss you.

Jamie and Grace just look at each other.

Jamie: Me too.

Without thinking, Grace crashes Jamie’s face into hers and passionately kisses him. She pulls him close to her; she leans back into the bed as he crawls on top of her, without ever breaking their kiss. They start making out on Grace’s bed, the only time they break their kiss is when she takes off her top to reveal her chest. At first, it catches Jamie off-guard; he’s never noticed just how many freckles were on her body. He stares at her in awe. He leans down to gently kiss her collarbone and her chest before moving his way back up to her lips.

Grace moans into Jamie’s mouth which drives him crazy in the moment. In the slight moment he breaks their kiss once again, the moan echos throughout the room. Jamie looks down at Grace, officially panting and staring back up at him. He unbuttons his shirt one-by-one until there’s one left; Grace stands up and unbuttons it herself. She immediately runs her hands on his abs and wraps her hands around his figure. Her nails dig deep into his back and pulls him closer to him. She gently pushes him back towards the bed and climbs on top of him. Jamie instantly gets turned on by the new angle he’s now seeing Grace in. He grips her at the hips and he lets out a little yet audible gasp of pleasure. Grace pulls him up to kiss him, straddling him in the process. Grace reaches down to the button of Jamie’s pants and undoes it. Jamie instantly freezes.

Jamie: *grunts* Grace.

Grace: *stops* Hmm?

Jamie: Are you…?

Jamie stops and tries to gather his thoughts. He can’t help but want to spend the rest of the night remembering how Grace feels in his arms, remember how it felt like to be in her bedroom in this moment. Remember what his life was like with Grace in it.

His thought is broken when he hears Grace’s voice.

Grace: neoneun neomu aleumdawo.

Jamie doesn’t say anything. He sits there just looking at Grace, amazed just how much she’s picked up since meeting him all those months ago. Her voice is small when speaking it; such a contrast to her normal voice and her normal demeanor.

The silence makes Grace worried.

Grace: Did I say it wrong?

Jamie: *laughs* No, no. You said it perfectly. You are perfect.

He immediately picks up Grace in his arms and gently puts her on the bed. He climbs on top of her and the rest… is history.

Later that night…

A car is parked outside of an apartment building complex in the busiest part of the city. After turning off the engine, a sigh is heard in the drivers seat. The person looks down once they feel a hand on their thigh. They look up to the person in the passenger seat. Jamie smiles at Grace.

Jamie: Thank you for driving me home. I could’ve got a cab since it’s really late.

Grace: Nonsense. Besides…

Silence.

Grace: I just want to spend as most time as I can with you.

Jamie leans in to kiss Grace. It’s a sad, gentle kiss.

Jamie: Get home quickly, Gracie. Let me know when you get home. I’ll be up anyway.

Grace: *sadly* Okay.

Before Jamie leaves the passenger’s seat of the car, he gives Grace the tightest hug. Grace takes in Jamie’s scent one final time; a scent she has grown fond of within these last couple of months. Her eyes begin to water, blinking enough times to try to fight them back. Once he lets her go, he stares at her. She smiles.

Grace: Go. I’ll talk to you later.

Jamie faintly smiles. He nods and gets out of the car. He turns around and waves at Grace. She waves back. Once he’s out of sight, Grace immediately breaks down in tears.

A knock on a door is heard. It continues for a moment until a door in an apartment opens and turns on the lamp in the living room area. A guy with brown curly hair and a clean shaved face is shown; he’s sleepily walks to the front door in his pajamas and hoodie and opens the door.

Grace stands there, face wet from tears and eyes red and puffy. The man instantly wakes up from his sleepish state.

Man: Grace?

Grace immediately throws herself on the man and cries into his hoodie. The man is completely thrown off, not knowing what Grace is doing at his doorstep at 3 in the morning in tears.

— To be Continued —

Creative Pieces, The "Something" Series, Twelve Letters of Lizmas: 2020

“Something’s Not Right, Grace.” : A Scene.

Decorated Living Room On Christmas Stock Footage Video (100% Royalty-free)  24439892 | Shutterstock

Christmas music is lightly heard in the background of the Ashmore living room. Max is sitting on the couch opening gifts as Weston sits adjacent to him, holding his granddaughter, Willow. Mollie sits next to him, and Grace sits on the floor next to the tree, handing out the gifts from underneath the tree to everyone around her.

Grace looks around the room; all she sees is smiles. Smiles are on her parents’ faces, Max flashes a smile and shares a laugh with Grace’s parents when Willow does something cute. Grace feels like she’s surrounded in a world of lies’ fake smiles, fake laughs, and fake relationships just to keep the pace within the dynamic. She loves that they are all doing this for Willow; the fact that Willow doesn’t have to go to two different homes for the holiday season is the reason why she’s here on this day, with her ex-fiance, with her parents, celebrating a holiday typically around family and those you love.

There’s no doubt she loves her family, and she’s immensely grateful after years of being a separate one, they are finally together, as a family, even though her own little family is never going to be the same, which makes her sad. Angry. Confused. She thinks she’s the problem; she always has been.

Her train of thought breaks when she hears someone calling out for her name. She blinks a couple of times before her attention is now on her surroundings. Everyone is looking at her.

Grace: Huh?

Mollie: Can you pass that bag to me?

Grace turns around and grabs the bag from under the tree. She hands it to her mother and the family continues to talk among themselves without Grace. She continues to look around the room, mindlessly not present, in a different world where she wants to be. She fakes her smile and her laughs foe the rest of the morning.

A little later into the day, Grace is loading the dishwasher while her parents sit in the living room taking care of Willow. As she loads the dishwasher, Max comes into the kitchen with the rest of the dishes and loads them behind Grace. She looks back and gets startles from Max’s closeness.

Grace: Max–

Max: *nervously* Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.

Grace turns around and leans against the counter away from Max.

Grace: It’s fine.

Max puts the rest of the dishes in the dishwasher as Grace watches. Dead silence. He starts the dishwasher and steps back and looks at Grace.

Max: Are you okay? You’ve been quiet since we got here.

Grace: Yeah. Just tired. That’s all.

Max crosses his arms and leans towards the fridge.

Max: Don’t lie. You know I can always sense when you’re lying about how you’re feeling.

Grace: *irritated* Yeah, well it’s none of your business, so–

Max: *softly* Grace.

Grace stops her sentence. Her face softens and she stares at Max. He looks concerned, but in a very comforting way. She remembers the nights where she would show up to Max’s apartment crying her eyes out, stressed about the case, her family life, and everything else that stresses her out in this time period. Max would hug her, reassure her that everything will be alright, and then cover her in a sea of blankets when she fell asleep on his couch out of pure exhaustion. She somewhat misses those nights when she felt like she had someone to go to when things got tough; a place she thought would always be there and never go away.

Max walks over to her and stands next to her. She looks up at Max.

Max: You know you can always come to me if something’s bothering you. You know no matter what, I’m here.

Grace: You don’t have to worry about me though. I’ll be fine.

Max’s eyes never leave Grace while she talks. Grace, in some sort of way, feels like max still knows when she’s lying or hiding how she really feels. She doesn’t even know what she feels in this moment herself. How is she supposed to tell Max that she feels absolutely unloved and forgotten and that no one ever wants to keep her in their lives? Max is one of them that ultimately left when things got too difficult; when she got too difficult for him.

Grace opens her mouth to speak, but Max quickly says something ahead of her.

Max: That’s the thing though. I’ll always worry about you and care about your well-being. Something’s not right, Grace.

“Something’s not right, Grace”. The same words he said when Grace didn’t want to tell him that she was pregnant with Willow and that she was close to getting fired from the firm if she didn’t try to end things with Max. The boss had warned Grace about relationships within the firm and told her that if she didn’t end things with the “British pretty boy”, she would let them both go. She remembers walking to Max’s apartment in the rain, not even caring that she didn’t have an umbrella on her, completely devastated at what her life has become. She was there to break up with him and to tell him to never speak to her again. But she knew something wasn’t right. She knew something didn’t feel right and when she found out, she knew that there was no easy way of getting out of this. It’s the reason why Max left the firm in the first place; to start a family with the woman he was falling in love with, without the repercussions, realizing she was worth more than the job. Apparently, Grace didn’t feel the same way.

When Grace does say anything, Max puts his arms around Grace and hugs her. She’s shocked, surprised even, that Max would show some level of affection like this to her. It’s definitely been awhile, especially something as gentle and reassuring as this hug. Grace’s eyes get watery; she missed this.

Max: Whatever is getting to you, it will all be okay in the end. I’m sure of that.

Max releases her and Grace tries to hold back the forming tears in her eyes. Se does not want to cry in this moment; she doesn’t want to show Max any form of weakness in this moment. She looks up at him; the last year and a half just flashes before her eyes. She remembers the first time she saw max back at the firm; he was mostly clean shaven and bright. Youthful. These days, he’s grown; his hair is a little longer, his beard is scruffy-looking, and these days he’s definitely tired from being a full-time dad to Willow. This is the closest she’s been to Max since she left a almost a year ago. She missed being this close to them; feeling this close to him.

Without thinking, she immediately gets on her tip-toes and places her hand on the nape of his neck, leaning him down just enough for her to kiss him. She kisses him without no warning. His first reaction is to kiss her back, but he immediately pulls back and takes a step away from Grace. Grace immediately looks horrified; she’s completely speechless.

Max: Grace…

Grace tries to flee the kitchen, but Max unintentionally blocks most of the exit from her.

Max: Hey, Grace?

Grace: We should get back to Wil–

Max: *interrupts* Are you okay?

The question makes Grace mad. She scrunches her eyebrows and crosses her arms across her chest.

Grace: Can you stop asking me that? It was nothing. Don’t worry about it.

Max: Grace–

Grace: *annoyed* What?!

Max stands there, looking concerned, a little defensive, and slightly annoyed. He feels far away and disconnected; just how Grace knows Max these days.

Max: What was that about? *sighs* Grace, I–

Grace: No, it’s fine. I already know what you’re going to say. You want to complicate things, complicate things for Willow, blah-blah-blah. You don’t want me anymore, which I mean I should’ve just assumed from the start.

Max: *confused* What is going on with you?

Grace doesn’t say anything. She’s embarrassed, she feels dirty, and she feels desperate. She doesn’t want to be here anymore. She wants to go home, hide under her blankets, and never come back out. She wants nothing more to just hide away from the world, and have Jamie come over and just hold her. She wants nothing more than to her Jamie’s soothing voice talking to her when she doesn’t want to. She wants nothing more than for Jamie to bring her a coffee and her favorite dessert from their cafe and just sit with her. Say nothing even, like he would do with her on her worst possible days. She wants Jamie. She wants Jamie to stay. SHe wants Jamie to comfort her, hold her, kiss her, and be the one reassuring her that everything is going to be alright.

But she knows that’s not possible. In six days, Jamie leaves the country and will probably forget about her. He will go back to his country and live his normal life and do whatever he did before coming to the states, before meeting her and before his life became what is it now. She doesn’t even remember what her daily life was like before Jamie came into it. She doesn’t remember how she used to spend her days without going over to Jamie’s, working on her case and eating snacks and on their free time have him tell her stories and teach her some Korean vocabulary. She doesn’t remember who she used to talk to before Jamie became the one person she talks to about anything and everything happening in her life. She doesn’t remember much about how her life was before Jamie came into it, and now he’s living it.

Grace shakes her head, trying really hard to not cry in front of Max. She nudges Max hard enough to send her out of the room, and he looks back at Grace getting her coat from the spare bedroom.

Max: Where are you going? It’s Christmas, Grace. We’re here for Willow.

Grace: Don’t worry about it. Willow won’t even know I’m gone. She already knows how much I’m not in her life anyway.

Grace puts on her coat and walks past Max towards the front door. Weston and Mollie are in the living room, looking at Grace open the front door in a hurry.

Mollie: Grace?

Nothing. Grace walks out the front door and closes the door behind her. Max looks at Grace’s parents, not knowing what to tell them.

Creative Pieces, The "Something" Series, Twelve Letters of Lizmas: 2020

Something Good For Me: A Scene.

Midnight. It is Midnight on Christmas Eve in New York City. The city indeed never sleeps, but there are an exceptional amount of people strolling in the streets; Grace and Jamie are no different.

They walk by Rockefeller Plaza and stop to see the Christmas Tree standing there in the middle of it. Grace looks up in complete awe. Jamie looks up as well, he slips his hand into Grace’s hand. No words are exchanged, they are just both mesmerized by the lights.

Grace: This is literally the first time since being in NYC that I got to see the lights in person.

Jamie: *smiles* I’m glad that you got the chance to finally do so this year.

Grace looks at Jamie and smiles. She looks back at the lights. Jamie continues to look at Grace, pondering in thought.

Grace: I’m glad you were up for doing all of the cheesy holiday touristy stuff. It gave me a reason to live my holiday city dream.

Jamie: Thank you for showing me around this beautiful city. It was possibly one of my favorite things I’ve done in a really long time.

Grace: Really? That makes me so happy!

She squeezes Jamie’s hand in excitement. He laughs at her excitement. He lets go of her hand and puts his arm around her shoulder. They both look at the Christmas tree once more.

Later that night…

About an hour later, the lights turn on in an apartment. Jamie escorts Grace into the apartment. He kindly helps grace take off her coat and hangs it up on a hanger in the closet. Grace immediately walks into a room of the apartment.

Jamie sets the keys down and takes in a deep breath. As he takes off his coat to place it on a hanger, Grace walks out of the room in sweatpants and an over-sized hoodie. Jamie smiles at Grace. He loves the fact that Grace has made his apartment her second home. She started to stay over a lot more during the time she was working on her case. She crashed a couple of times at his place during the long nights of getting the paperwork done, and since then, she’s slowly made herself a space in her closet for those nights, to not worry about pausing her work to go home at the late hours of the night. Jamie enjoyed Grace’s company the most out of everyone who comes visit.

Jamie walks towards Grace and wraps his arms around her petite body.

Jamie: You look cozy, Gracie.

Grace: I am. I’ll get the hot chocolate ready for us.

Jamie: *laughs* We are literally children, you know that?

Grace pulls away and playfully slaps Jamie on the arm.

Grace: Oh my god, hajima!

Jamie’s eyebrows cock up in surprise. Grace… Korean… wow. He watches Grace walk towards the kitchen, breaking his thought.

Grace: Go get cozy, Jamie!

Jamie smiles back at her and walks to his bedroom. After closing the door, the smile instantly vanishes. He rubs his eyes, stressed out. He looks back up and walks further into the room.

He comes out of the bedroom in a t-shirt and sweatpants. He watches Grace walk carefully towards the living room with the two mugs. He takes one from her and they both sit on the couch together.

Grace: *takes a sip* The fact that the trial to this damn case is literally the day after Christmas is literally a crime within itself. Like, these people don’t give a shit about the holidays.

Jamie: You’re going to do great. You’re well prepared, and you have an amazing case to present on that day.

Grace: Yeah, I guess… *takes a deep breath* Thanks again for helping me with it this whole time. I can’t believe that it’s potentially going to be over soon.

Jamie: What are you going to do once it ends?

Grace leans back on the sofa, and sets the hot chocolate on the coffee table.

Grace: I honestly just want to spend some time with Willow. Possibly take her for a week and just… be with her.

Jamie listens to Grace speak her thoughts.

Grace: I miss Willow. It’s definitely been difficult these last couple of weeks to get her for the weekend. So, once this case ends, I’m definitely going to see if I can just…

Grace stops in the middle of her thought. She cocks her head back, trying to stop any tears from falling.

Jamie: You’re such an amazing mom, Grace. Don’t forget that. Circumstances are not what you’ll like them to be, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are an amazing mom to Willow. I mean, I see her bright smile every time you play with her. She’s a happy baby, and you contribute to her happiness. You’re her mom.

Grace smiles as a tear goes down her cheek.

Grace: You’ve only know me for 4 months. You’re the only one to have ever say that to me.

Jamie: You deserve to hear it. It’s the truth.

Jamie takes his thumb to wipe the tear off of Grace’s cheek.

Jamie: Thank you for coming into my life.

Grace: *scoffs* You’re the one that helped me gather my mess off of the floor in the cafe! I should be thanking you!

They both laugh and they stare at each other endearingly.

Grace: It’s insane how happy I’ve been these last couple of months. Sure, the case didn’t make things easier, but I felt… the lightest I’ve been in a really long time.

Jamie watches Grace speak.

Grace: So, thank you, if anything.

Jamie suddenly looks sad. Grace doesn’t notice it at first, but Jamie takes a deep breath in. Grace leans in and kisses Jamie softly on the lips. She holds the nape of his neck and pulls him close. Jamie kisses her back, gently wraps his arms around Grace; his hands travel up her body. They are now kissing passionately; Grace runs her hands in Jamie’s blonde hair, Jamie runs his hands down Grace’s back. In the heat of the moment, Grace wraps her legs around Jamie, now sitting on his lap; chest pressed against his. His hands are now holding Grace by the hips; he kisses her neck, down to the exposed skin of her chest in the hoodie. She moans softly, and it drives him crazy.

As he’s about to lift her up in his arms and take her to his bedroom, he immediately stops. He pulls back from the kiss and looks at Grace. Grace is now panting, catching her breath, staring at Jamie. He looks at her with sad eyes.

Grace: What’s wrong?

Jamie doesn’t say anything, he just continues to look at Grace, speechless; a thousand thoughts but no words to verbalize them.

Grace: *worried* Jamie?

Jamie: I… I’m…

Jamie starts to lift Grace off of him; she goes back to the spot where she was sitting prior and looks at Jamie. As Jamie starts to get up, Grace grabs him by the hand.

Grace: Jamie.

Jamie looks at Grace. He can’t lie to her.

Jamie: I’m leaving on the 31st.

Grace’s face instantly turns from worried to shock. She lets go of his hand.

Grace: That… That’s in a week.

Jamie: I know, I–

Grace: *gets up from the couch, upset* You tell me a week before that you’re leaving? You’re just up and leaving?

Jamie: Grace, I–

Grace: *interrupts* No! You had a chance to talk, now it’s my turn!

Jamie: Grace–

Jamie tries to hold Grace’s hand, and she instantly pulls away.

Grace: It’s not the fact that I didn’t know you were eventually going to leave the States, it’s the fact that you tell me, on this night, after our night out, after… everything, you didn’t bother to even tell me until now; now Jamie!

Jamie: What was I supposed to say? When I was supposed to tell you to not get this reaction from you? I didn’t want to hurt you, Grace.

Grace: Well it’s too fucking late for that!

Grace walks to the bedroom, Jamie rushes behind her to talk.

Jamie: Grace–

Grace: *turns around* Don’t you “Grace” me! After everything I told you tonight, everything that I said and admitted and just spoke out into the universe, your response to it was telling me you’re leaving in a week. How am I suppose to feel?

Jamie: How do you think I feel? Do you think I feel good just leaving you behind after spending all my days and nights to you? Do you think that I want to go back home without the one person that makes my sad, fucking life just a million times better? Do you think that saying this was any easier for me? Grace, you’ve made me so fucking happy these last couple of months that I don’t know how I’m going to go back to my normal life without you getting me through it!

Grace stands there, looking at Jamie, who just tiredly sits on the bed and holds his head in his hand. Grace doesn’t move, nor looks at Jamie. She stands there with tears coming down her face. She walks into the living room, Jamie doesn’t follow her.

The Next Morning…

Grace tosses around before she opens her eyes. She’s surrounded in a comforter and fluffy white pillows. The last thing she remembers was crashing on the couch in… Jamie’s apartment. She jolts up and scans the room; how did she get into Jamie’s bed? She gets up and changes out of the sweatpants and into the outfit she wore last night as quietly as possible so she wouldn’t wake Jamie in the next room.

She walks into the living room; there’s no one there. She walks towards the door to put her shoes on and sees a note hanging on the door. She takes the note off of the door to read it.

Gracie–

I stepped out to get a couple of things done at the office before everyone goes home for the weekend. I figured you would be gone by the time I would come back, so I’m leaving things on this note. I am sorry for waiting too long to tell you this. I knew this day would come and that it would hurt just as much, but I didn’t realize just how much of an impact you’ve made in my life in such a short period of time. Thank you for the amazing memories and the amazing times these last couple of months. I have never laughed and smiled and had as much fun as much as I have spending time with you. You are such an amazing person, and I’m so glad that all those months ago, in the cafe, we met.

Yours truly, Jamie.

Grace folds the note and places it in her purse. She opens to the front door, walks out, and shuts it behind her.

Creative Pieces, The "Something" Series, Twelve Letters of Lizmas: 2020

“Do Something About It!” : A Scene.

With sleeves rolled up and a loose tie around his neck, Jamie gathers a bunch of papers from his desk and files them into a box. Smooth piano playing is being played in the background and there is a glass of wine on the counter beside Jamie. Jamie pulls his blonde hair back and takes a deep sigh looking at the filing box in front of him. His attention is now towards the door once he hears the doorbell ring. He gets up from his chair to answer the door.

When he opens the door, two guys hold up bags of drinks and greet Jamie in noise. Jamie laughs and hurries them in to his apartment.

Jamie: Ahh, you guys are just making sure I get kicked out of this apartment, huh?

The guys with the bottles of drinks in his hand, Shawn, places the bags on the counter.

Shawn: It’s a Thursday night, half of the firm is probably out getting drinks anyway!

The other, shorter guy with glasses, Kevin, takes his coat off and places it on a hanger.

Kevin: It’s true, they asked Shawn and I if we wanted to tag along tonight, but we wanted to check on you since it’s been a while since you came out.

Jamie puts the last of the paperwork into the filing box and pushes the box under his desk.

Jamie: I’ve just been busier these days, trying to get this case together and just–

Shawn: *interrupts* Falling in love with an American girl?

Jamie deadpans Shawn while Kevin stands in between them, looking back and forth at the exchange. Shawn laughs as he opens one of the bottles.

Shawn: Am I wrong though? Is there not an American girl that’s taking up all your time these days? Like, Jamie Kim, falling for a woman in New York City. When’s the novel coming out?

Kevin: Hey, stop teasing him… you know he can’t help himself!

The guys laugh as Jamie holds the bridge of his nose.

Jamie: You guys are going to be the death of me.

Jamie walks to the cabinets and takes out glasses for the three of them. Shawn and Kevin walk to the bar chairs on the island as Jamie pours drinks for them.

Shawn: So, tell us about your American girl. Are they any different than–

Kevin: *interrupts* Aigoo, stay out of his business, man!

Shawn stares at Kevin; these are a dynamic duo that sometimes is too much for Jamie to handle. He laughs at the fact that the youngest of the bunch is bossing Shawn around, like he typically does.

Jamie: We just went on a couple of dates, I guess? We typically spend our time in the cafe most days; she’s also working on a case.

Kevin: She’s also a laywer?

Jamie: Defense, it’s her first case so I’ve been helping her around the details.

Shawn: *chimes in* I bet that’s not the only thing you’re helping her with…

Kevin can’t help but giggle to himself. Jamie rolls his eyes and takes in a deep breath.

Jamie: She’s not like that, man. She’s…

Jamie ponders on the thought of Grace. His face softens.

Jamie: Just… refreshing.

Shawn:Eh?

Kevin rolls his eyes and sips his drink. Jamie laughs to himself and explains.

Jamie: She’s simple. I feel like I can get my work done with her around. She’s such good company and, well–

Jamie takes a sip of his drink and lingers on the words he wants to say.

Jamie: I don’t know. I just find myself liking her company a lot.

Kevin: That’s it? You just like her company? Is she your friend?

Shawn chokes on his drink, Kevin never beats around the bush. Jamie rolls his eyes and sighs.

Jamie: She’s–

Shawn: *interrupts* So let me get this straight: you hang out with this girl, all the time, and you only like her company? *dumbfounded* Is she ugly?

Kevin: *deep sigh* Shawn!

Jamie: Let’s just talk about something else…

Both Shawn and Kevin turn their heads to Jamie.

Both: Ani!

Jamie looks at both of the guys; the guys look at him in hopes he will continue with the conversation. Jamie looks at the guys intently before saying anything.

Jamie: Her name is Grace. We met that day in the cafe when you two were running late. I just went to pick up a coffee before heading for orientation and, well, she was there. *smiles* She was having a hard time organizing her papers on the table, so they fell and I helped her. I realized she was working on a case and I offered to help her out.

Shawn and Kevin don’t say a word; their attention is on Jamie.

Jamie: I don’t know when it became this habit but we just met up at the cafe a lot. She was working on her case and I just… got my work done. I’m telling you, her company is just different. It’s calming. It’s…

The room gets silent and Jamie stands there, trying to find the right words in that moment.

Jamie: *deep sigh* Something I didn’t expect while being here.

Silence fills the room until the youngest speaks up.

Kevin: So do something about it.

Both Shawn and Jamie look at Kevin, confused.

Jamie: What?

Kevin: What’s holding you back from asking her out?

Jamie: It’s complicated.

Kevin: It’s a simple question; you either want to ask her out or not. Clearly, you like her. A lot.

Shawn sips his drink, head turning side to side in Kevin and Jamie’s direction.

Jamie: There’s no use in starting something while I’m here.

Kevin: Wae?

Jamie: Because I don’t need to get into anything knowing that in a couple of months, I’ll be back in Korea.

Shawn: So why not keep it casual? Maybe she’s not looking for a relationship?

Jamie ponders the thought, but quickly dismisses it.

Jamie: I wouldn’t do that to her.

Kevin: What makes you think what you’re doing now isn’t hurting her? Maybe she feels the same about you? Maybe she’s waiting for you to make that first move.

Jamie wiggles his drink around in thought. He sets it back down and sighs.

Jamie: I don’t want to complicate things for her. It’s fine. Things are fine the way they are.

Kevin: *sarcastically* Alright, just let another guy swoon her and make her happy, like you always do when things get too complicated for you to handle.

Shawn reacts to Kevin’s comment. Jamie looks at Kevin warily.

Jamie: Kevin, what am I suppose to do? Date her while I’m here, then tell her “sorry, I have to go back to Korea, guess this is it!” and break her heart?

Kevin: *annoyed* No, but at least talk to her! Tell her how you feel; something!

Jamie: I’m fine. There’s nothing to talk about. End of story.

Jamie walks away from the counter and heads to his desk where the box of papers are in. Kevin gets off from out of the chair and walks towards Jamie.

Kevin: Why do you keep lying to yourself? What’s wrong with you?

Jamie: There’s nothing to be spoken about this topic anymore. So, if you don’t mind, I have to finish getting these files together for our meeting tomorrow. You guys know your way out.

Shawn: *from the counter* Oh come on, Jamie–

Jamie: *sternly* I will see you guys at the office in the morning. Have a good night.

Shawn looks at Kevin and grabs his shoulder has he gets up. Shawn turns to walk towards the front door while Kevin stands there looking at Jamie.

Kevin: If you’re going to let your past fuck you up and not allow you some sort of happiness, then maybe the best thing for you is to leave her alone, Jamie.

Kevin turns around and walks towards the door with Shawn. Once the door closes, Jamie closes his eyes in frustration; he sits in that position until his phone vibrates in his pocket. He smiles as he reads the notification:

Grace: I hope your meeting goes well tomorrow! Keep me posted, Jamie! Drinks on me.

Creative Pieces, The "Something" Series, Twelve Letters of Lizmas: 2020

Thanks-Something-Giving : A Scene.

Tiny Turkeys Are Taking Over Thanksgiving Tables: Millennials Get The Blame

The different scents and aromas surround the small home while family gather around the small living room area. A baby in a yellow and orange dress, Willow, is seen crawling around the carpet in the living room, while Grace sits on the couch, supervising her, while Max sits in the spot next to her. An older woman, Mollie, loudly curses as she pulls something out of the oven.

Grace: Mom, you sure you don’t want any help?

Mollie: I’m fine, this damn Turkey is just so fucking heavy…

An older man walks in from a room, hearing the conversation.

Weston: Babe, language.

Mollie: Fuck, sorry– *realizing* Shit, ugh– *covers her mouth*

Weston walks over to Mollie and hugs her around the waist with one hand and gently kisses her head. Grace smiles at the affection between her parents. She turns around to see Max pick up Willow from the floor and onto his lap on the sofa. Grace and her parents gather around the living room area once more; the Thanksgiving Parade playing on the television in front of them.

Mollie: Willow looks so pretty in her dress today!

Max smiles while Willow loudly coos in his lap. Grace smiles from the side of the couch.

Max: It was fitting for the occasion; if it were up to Willow, she would live in her pajamas all day.

Mollie: Ahhh, like grandma like granddaughter.

Max laughs while Grace watches the encounter with her mother and Max. She knows how much Mollie likes Max; why wouldn’t she? He’s a good father to Willow, he’s respectful and since the very first time they met, Mollie and Max hit it off. At first, Grace was ecstatic that her mom, out of all the people in the world, would like her then ex-boyfriend/fiancee. Now, it seems like no matter what Grace does with her life, her mother will never approve, constantly hoping that Grace will work things out with Max for the sake of Willow.

Willow is playing with a stuffed animal while sitting on Max’s lap.

Weston: So, how’s the case coming along, kid?

Grace: It’s going alright. We have to get some last minute details here and there before we present it to the court in a couple of weeks. Hopefully we close it off before Christmas.

Mollie looks at Weston and Grace while they speak, and Max follows.

Weston: That would be a relief if it is wrapped up before the holidays; new year, new case.

Grace: Tell me about it.

Weston grabs two beers from the fridge and hands one to Grace. He asks Max if he would like one, to which he shakes his head and declines. Weston takes one for himself and sits on the armchair of Mollie’s seat.

Weston: How have you’ve been, Max? It’s been a while since we’ve last seen you.

Max: I know, I live outside of the city now; I teach at Fordham University.

Mollie: *chimes in* Really? That’s a good school to be teaching at.

Max: Yeah, it’s definitely been refreshing to be teaching law students instead of being one myself.

Grace chugs her beer down while listening to the conversation. Mollie warily looks at Grace.

Mollie: I remember when I first started teaching at the high-school. It was so nerve-wrecking to teach students dance positions than me having to do them myself and learn them.

Grace burps loudly. The attention is now on her.

Grace: Sorry.

The room is silent. Grace continues to drink out of a beer bottle. Mollie gets up from her seat when the timer goes off.

Mollie: Grace, can you come help me out in the kitchen?

Grace places the bottle on the side table, Max watches her.

Max: Take that with you, Grace; I don’t want Willow spilling it.

Grace rolls her eyes and takes the bottle with her. She walks towards the kitchen to her mother. She places the bottle on the counter; Mollie turns around and hands Grace a can opener and a couple of cans.

On the island, Grace is opening cans while Mollie is getting trays and casserole dishes together. Not much is said, but Grace periodically stops in her tracks to look at her phone.

Jamie: Hope your Thanksgiving is going well, Gracie.

She smiles at the message.

Grace: Thank you, Jamie. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

She puts her phone in her pocket once again and looks up. Her mother didn’t seem to notice.

Mollie: I’m glad that you and Max were able to put your differences aside and come together for the holidays.

Grace: Yeah, I guess.

Mollie finally looks up to Grace.

Mollie: Are you two working things out?

Grace stops what she’s doing. In the short period of time she’s known her mother, she realized just how blunt and honest she was. She never keeps what she’s thinking to herself, she will always find a way to bring her feelings about something up. Grace quickly realized that’s where she gets that quality from: her mom.

Grace: *continues her task* No Mom, we are not. Things are still the same.

Mollie: So you guys are still playing these childish games?

Grace: Mom…

Mollie: I’m just saying. You guys should at least talk about things for Willow’s sake.

Grace stops and closes her eyes. She looks back up to Mollie; annoyed. Before she says something , her Mollie stops her in her tracks.

Mollie: Do better than I did. Don’t follow into my footsteps.

Grace laughs to herself and continues to help prep side dishes. She wishes her mother didn’t know her as well as she actually did. They are literally the same person, but Grace already knows that about them.

Grace: I’m not. We’re co-parenting. I’m still here for Willow, and–

Mollie: And what happens if Max starts to bring around another woman around Willow? What if Willow grows up with a step-mom? How would you feel if Max was just playing house with another woman with your daughter?

Grace: *annoyed* Is that what you thought about me? You thought I was stupid enough to allow another woman in dad’s life to play “mommy”? You think Willow would just up and say, “huh, y’know, fuck mom! I’m gonna call this random woman my mom!”

Mollie: No, that’s not what I mean. Willow deserves a family.

Grace: She has a family! She has both her parents in her life, Mom! She has more than I ever did at her age!

Mollie stares at Grace. The room is quiet. Grace stares at her mother head-on. She shakes her head and continues preparing the food. Mollie stands there.

Mollie: What if Max moves away? Takes her back to England? Be close to his family? He technically has full custody over her and I just–

Mollie’s voice cracks. She stops her thought and turns around, away from Grace. She faces the stove and continues to prep the food. Grace continues to look down, doesn’t say a word.

Later that night…

Back in Grace’s apartment, Grace sits on the floor with a bottle of wine next to her. She lifts the glass to her lips, defeated. Her phone on the floor lights up, she reads the message on the screen.

Max: Remember that you take Willow next week; I’m going back home to visit my mum.

Grace doesn’t respond; she leaves the phone on the ground. More wine goes into her glass. Chug. Her eyes watered, tears fall down her face. She closes her eyes.

Grace sits on the bathroom floor, knees to her chest. A man’s hand is placed on top of her knees, reassuring her. She looks over to her left; Max smiles at her. He looks down and takes her hand, squeezes it and kisses the top of her hand.

Max: No matter what happens, we will be okay.

Grace: How can you be so sure?

Max takes Grace and lifts her in his lap. Max holds her while Grace is still in fetal position. He kisses her head gently and looks down at her.

Max: Because we’ll do this together. You won’t have to this alone, babe.

Grace looks up and smiles at Max. He returns the smile back. The phone on the counter rings; the timer is going off. Grace springs up, facing away from the counter. She takes deep breaths. Max follows her, hugs her from behind and rests his chin on her head.

Max: No matter what.

Grace takes in a deep breath.

Grace: No matter what.

Both Max and Grace count to 3; once they reach to 3, they turn around and face the counter. They both look down at it.

The door knocks and Grace opens her eyes. She slowly gets up from the floor, and walks to the door. Without looking, she opens the door.

Jamie stands there in a trench coat, black jeans, boots, a black button down with a black turtleneck underneath. He looks at Grace with a hint of worry, but instantly changes when he finds Grace immediately hugging him, crying. Jamie hugs her back, tightly in his arms.

Jamie: Shhh, it’s okay, Gracie.

Nothing. Grace just continues to sob in Jamie’s arms.

Creative Pieces, The "Something" Series, Twelve Letters of Lizmas: 2020

“You’re Something Else.” : A Scene.

The air is brisk in the city on this particular day. Jamie stands outside of a building, hands in his beige wool coat pockets trying to keep them warm. He looks towards the revolving doors every time a person walks out of them. He takes his phone out of his pocket to check any messages, and once he puts it back in his pocket, he looks up. He smiles at the sight walking towards him.

Grace is in a black pea coat, dress pants, and sneakers. She adjusts the strap on her shoulder bag while walking towards Jamie. She smiles once she sees him.

Grace: You could’ve waited at the cafe! It’s freezing out here!

Jamie: *laughs* I figured we could walk together to the cafe, through the park.

Grace smiles once she sees Jamie reaching out his hand for hers. She accepts his hand and he gently squeezes it, and they cross the street to the park.

The park is empty this time of year, but stragglers like dog walkers and athletes running alongside the lake are present. Jamie and Grace slowly walk through the path of the park, taking everything in, enjoying the winter scenery.

Jamie: It’s crazy how cold it gets here on some days, it honestly reminds me of the winter time in Korea.

Grace: Tell me about it. When I first came to New York in my teens, I was amazed to see snow a week after Thanksgiving. Back in Virginia, we didn’t see snow until the end of the season.

Jamie looks at Grace while she talks. She looks up at Jamie, then straight ahead, continuing her talk.

Grace: If there’s any place you want to be during the holiday season, it’s definitely New York City. i’m glad you’re here experiencing the holiday season while you’re here.

Jamie: Well, you’re going to have to show me all of the holiday things you can do in the city.

Jamie squeezes Grace’s hands for warmth. Grace takes in a deep breath; her breath is shown in the cold air.

Grace: How do you spend the holidays back home?

Jamie: It’s definitely different there than it is here. We celebrate Chuseok typically at the beginning of the Autumn season.

Grace: Chuseok?

Jamie: “Autumn Eve”, it’s when families come together for feasts and festivals. I typically go back to my hometown to visit my mother and sisters.

Grace: Ahhh, so it’s like Thanksgiving?

Jamie scrunches his eyebrow, visibly confused.

Grace: Thanksgiving, the holiday where Americans eat plates and plates of food and worship a turkey for the day.

Jamie laughs loudly; the breath indicating the hardness of the laugh. Grace smiles and giggles along.

Jamie: That’s… interesting.

Grace: Ehh, if you ever get the chance to learn some American history, you’ll know how fucked the holiday is.

Jamie: Do you celebrate it?

Grace nods her head.

Grace: Yeah. When I was younger, my dad and I would go to my grandma’s place for Thanksgiving. It would be a small gathering; just me and my dad, my uncle, and his whatever girlfriend he was dating at the time. But, for the last couple of years, once my parents got back together, I’ve been in New York with my parents.

Jamie: That’s nice that you get to see both of your parents for the holiday season.

Grace shrugs her shoulders, she ponders in thought.

Grace: I guess.

Jamie looks down at Grace, trying to read her body language as they slowly walk through the park.

Jamie: It’s Willow’s first holiday season.

Grace instantly smiles at the thought of her daughter. Jamie exhales in relief.

Grace: It is, and man: my parents are going to spoil her.

Jamie: As a person that completely spoiled my firstborn niece, I can understand why they would.

Grace: *smiles in thought* Do you miss your family?

Jamie gently swings his arm with Grace’s hand in it, he tightens his mouth before he finally speaks.

Jamie: It’s definitely the first holiday where I’m not going to be home with them for Christmas. But I’ll be okay. They’ll be okay.

Grace looks on the ground while they walk, this time squeezing his hand. He looks at her, she doesn’t look back, but he smiles at the gesture.

Jamie: Besides, I have you to show me all the amazing things New York City has to offer for the holidays.

Grace finally looks up at Jamie, smiling. He smiles at her back and process to look forward while they walk. Grace is in deep thought until her eyes widen and lets go of Jamie’s hand and stops in her tracks.

Grace: Let’s start now.

Jamie: *confused* What?

Grace: Let’s start the NYC holiday tour!

Jamie: Grace, I–

Grace: It’s a Friday night and we’re already out! What better time to start it off?

Grace is bouncing in place, getting excited. Jamie stands there and can’t help but smile and chuckle to himself.

Jamie: You’re something else, I swear.

Grace smiles and stares at him like an excited puppy.

Jamie: Where to first, tour guide?

Grace squeals and grabs Jamie by the hand. He pulls him forward in her direction, now power walking down the path in the park. Jamie doesn’t protest, he follows Grace and locks his fingers into hers, going towards whatever direction she takes him.

Creative Pieces, Twelve Letters of Lizmas: 2020

The Story I’m Working On! (Something…)

Dear, guys – Welcome back to Letters From Liz!

So, if you’ve been on the blog for the past couple of months, you would see that a lot of my posts have been… scenes of some sort. I’ve been in a really creative place as of lately! My best friend, Ro, finished writing their first book (which took 2 and half months, like wow) and being in their writing universe during the process has made me inspired to get back and explore my own universe! So, I just wanted to talk about some of the stories that have been living in my head, rent-free, for months on end.

The “Something” Series:

These days, my baby is something called “The Something Series”, which is what’s being published on the blog these days! At first, it was just me throwing ideas on paper about some characters that I loosely played with. The more I wrote in this universe, the more I was captivated by these characters and the more I wanted to explore them out. It’s no 300-page book like Ro’s (haha) but it’s just something that keeps me writing and motivated during the times when I’m in major writer’s block. Anyway, let’s start off by talking about the main characters of this series; the something series.

So, Grace Ashmore is a 25-year-old woman that we were first introduced to in “What Do You Have to hide, Grace?” a scene about Grace working on her very first case with her partner, Max Harper. We left them off in a very… difficult situation, and well fast forward a little over a year! Grace is living in the city as a defensive lawyer at the same law firm she was interning in, and now she’s officially working on her first case! The difference this time around is that, well… she’s not with Max. Max actually left the firm once the trial case was over due to personal reasons and decided to move to the outskirts of the busy city. What made him quit his job, you ask? His daughter. Max had a daughter? Oh yeah, Willow; Grace’s daughter as well! Too long didn’t read, Max and Grace were extremely close to getting married, with their daughter, beginning their lives together. But, Grace is the daughter of Mollie Sue Castro, and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

But she’s trying. She’s trying to balance the responsibilities of motherhood by co-parenting Willow while still making a name for herself in the law firm. But, things are not always the way she wants them to be. Falling into her mother’s footsteps, she feels like she’s only capable of hurting the people she has in her life and ends up running away, to her safe space; which is her work.

While going through the craziness that is her first official case as a defense lawyer, she meets a man one day at the cafe near Central Park. This man, Jamie Kim, is a lawyer working a case overseas with his own firm for the next couple of months. Grace instantly captivates Jamie, who ends up helping Grace with her disorganized paper work that falls onto the ground in the cafe. After noticing her papers are case files, he instantly offers to help her, and Grace being Grace, she naturally allows Jamie to sit at her table, and well the rest is history.

They both most of their time together these days; Grace working on her case while Jamie chimes in and helps her out while he does his own work. Two lawyers, one apartment (it begins with hers, then gradually goes to his) and a ton of paper work. Grace appreciates the company that Jamie gives her, even on the weekends that she has to take care of Willow.

While things seem to be going great for them, they are both avoiding talking about things to one another; Jamie is avoiding the fact that in a couple of months, he’ll be leaving the United States and will have to leave Grace behind, while Grace is afraid to allow another man into her life, in the state that she’s in, terrified to break another man’s heart and soul. Max Harper, one prime example of how broken a man’s heart is.

Speaking of Max, he’s now teaching Law in a university instead of being a lawyer. He decided this decision when Willow was born, possibly one of the only things in his life he feels like he has to be great for. Coming from a small family of untreated mental illness back in England, his only mission in his life is to be as present and supportive and as great of a father he can be for his daughter; because of that, he sacrificed a lot of his life for her.

Max was immensely in love with Grace. He wanted her to be his wife and to be a family with her and their child. He cared for Grace, was there for her in her lows and highs and everything in between; he been though the toughest days when Grace was incapable of taking care of herself when she was pregnant. He still has so much love for Grace; he wishes that he could work things out with her, to have faith in her for one more chance to get it right, but deep down he knows that no matter how hard he tries to make grace into the person he things she can be, Grace will never conform into that. He’s accepted the fact that Grace will always be Grace, and she’s going to do whatever she needs to do for her.

Jamie, being the youngest and the only boy in his family, feels the need to exceed and be the best he can be in the field that he’s in. In a lot of ways, Grace and Jamie are similar; Jamie feels like the harder he works, the better he will be at his job. He’s come to terms that because of his job, a life outside of it doesn’t exist, hence why even for the holidays, he’s not back home, with his family, celebrating like he would. It’s like he has to prove himself in a way. But man, Grace is just different. He may not completely understand Grace’s mindset, and he wishes that she was able to see that despite everything, she’s still radiates light, and it’s the type of light he didn’t realize he needed in his daily life.

So, they’re definitely digging each other… but extremely avoiding it. Not really well, but they are just… vibing.

I really enjoy writing these characters because it’s one of the first stories in a really long time that hasn’t been rushed. To explain things further, I find myself wanting my characters and their love interests to immediately get in their feelings and just do the deed, but I’ve been really wanting to play around with this idea that characters need to fall in love with each other and still feel scared of ruining things through sex; especially these two. Grace and Jamie are characters that although they like each other, their interactions come off as platonic. They hang out, talk to each other like friends, yeah they’ve kissed after going out on a first date, but for the most part they don’t talk about that day and they act as if nothing happened. They are characters that feel like the people they are somewhat involved with are better off with someone else, even though they know deep down they don’t want to be a reality. They are… definitely interesting characters to play around with and the circumstances are definitely much different than what I imagined in other characters I’ve created. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to go through these scenarios and see how these characters behave.

So, yeah! It’s been something I’ve been working on in my spare time within the last couple of weeks! I’ve taken a page out of my best friend’s book of writing inspiration and actually made a playlist of music that reminds me of my universe or music that helps me write in it! We’re definitely going to have more of The “Something” Series later this week and month, so if you’d like to catch up on the story thus far, here’s how to read them:

The “Something” Series: