Misc., The "Something" Series: Season 2

Something Like What We Used to Be: A Monologue.

When I first moved in with my mother my freshman year of college, I didn’t know how well we would get along. My dad was still in Virginia, and he had no idea that I wasn’t actually living in the dorms. I lied to both my parents just so I could get the opportunity to live with my mother after not knowing her for the first 17 years of my life.

It was a hot afternoon in New York, and my mom came back from the pizzeria to get us some Italian Ices. I was convinced maybe we just shared the same taste in foods, but her coming back with a Rainbow-flavored Ice shocked me. It was my absolute favorite flavor of Ice.

We sat across the small table in the living room/kitchen area of my mother’s apartment. I looked at her as she scraped the surface of her Ice, scrolling through her cell phone.

“Mollie?” I called out for my mom. I was still uncomfortable calling her mom; I was thankful she didn’t force me to call her mom right away. She looked up from her Ice at me. I didn’t know how to phrase this right, but it was something I’ve wanted to know ever since I met my mom for the first time, back in her dance class at Waverly High.

“When did you know that you were in love with dad?” I asked. It took her a while to answer. She was deep in thought like she was going through all the years over in her head that she knew my dad. My mom, no doubt was my dad’s soulmate. He never had a girlfriend while I was growing up; it’s like he couldn’t love anyone else besides her, and from the looks of my mom’s apartment, it seems like the same goes for her.

“The moment I knew I was in love with your father was the night we slept together, back in high school,” she recalled. “Not because of, you know,” She was getting flustered and even though I felt some vomit rise up behind my throat, I knew what she meant by that. “The moment I knew I loved your father was seeing how happy he was when I told him I was pregnant with you.”

“You have some nerve coming here,” I said as I watched Jamie walk towards the cafe.

“Can we talk? It’s important that I talk to you,” Jamie stated. I look at the time on my phone and sighed.

“Well, it’s bad timing. My break is ending and I get out in about an hour,” I said. Jamie nodded his head and looked at me. I felt uneasy whenever he looked directly at me; he was the only person that ever looked at me like that.

“I can wait,” he said. Jamie was always a patient man, and I never understood how or why he was with me. He has no reason to sit around and wait to talk to me, yet he does. Throughout the rest of my shift, he sits on the boardwalk bench looking out towards the water. It wasn’t long until I clocked out for the day and left the cafe.

I slowly walk towards him at the end of the pier, sitting next to him. He looks up at me and scoots over to give me some room on the bench to sit next to him.

“Well, you sure stick to your word,” I say to break the silence. I don’t look at him, but I can feel him looking at me. I always knew when he was even when I wasn’t looking at him. It’s like my body can sense it, because every time he did, my body got warm.

“I’m assuming you know about what happened between Shawn and Skylar,” he began.

“You think? You know, that was really shitty of him to just break up with her without a real reason,” I began to vent. I wasn’t angry at anyone else besides myself. I feel solely responsible for Skylar falling in love with Shawn and getting her heart broken in the process. I shouldn’t have left Jamie’s number on my nightstand; I should’ve known better and threw it out as soon as I got it that day. Maybe then she wouldn’t have called Jamie. Maybe Jamie wouldn’t have felt like he needed to bring Shawn along with him to the Voyage that night. Maybe Skylar wouldn’t have met Shawn. Maybe Skylar wouldn’t be absolutely crushed if I never moved into her condo when I got to California.

“That’s why I came here to talk to you,” he simply said. “Shawn… has his reasons in why he did that,” I couldn’t help but scoff.

“Why am I not surprised that you were taking his side? I mean, I get it; you’re his best friend. You have to,” I shook my head and looked out towards the ocean.

“Shawn is on a group visa,” Jamie said.

“What the fuck does that have to do with Shawn being an asshole to Skylar?” I kept interrupting Jamie. I just didn’t want to hear the excuses.

“Aigoo, Grace can you just let me talk?” Jamie demanded. I looked at Jamie, not saying a word. “Kevin’s girlfriend in Korea, JooAh; she’s pregnant. He has to go back to Korea to be with her. Shawn, Kevin, and I are on a group visa. If one of us leaves, we all have to go too.”

My stomach knots itself up when I hear Jamie speak. All I can remember is Skylar asking me how was I able to go through this with Jamie throughout the years I’ve known him. “Love him, and then watch him leave over and over again.” I’ve watched Jamie leave more times than anyone else in my life. The first time it nearly destroyed me; it was like I was experiencing what it must’ve felt like for my dad when my mom left him when I was a baby. It was like I was experiencing how it must’ve felt for Max when I left him with our baby. I thought I deserved it, like this was life’s way of telling me that I needed to know what it was like to have someone you love just up and leave your life out of the blue. Needless to say, the first time was the toughest. The second time stung a little. The third, time I became numb to it. The fourth time I left, hoping it was the last time I saw him.

I scrunched my eyebrows, getting angry as Jamie spoke, excusing Shawn and what he did to Skylar. She didn’t deserve that. She didn’t know the consequences that came with dating and falling in love with a man that literally could leave at any given moment. I should have warned her. I should have told her soulmates, or whatever the fuck Skylar called Shawn, weren’t real.

“Funny how it’s not the first time hearing you say this,” I spat back. Jamie looked at me, annoyed with my response.

“That was really uncalled for, Grace,” Jamie responded. “I just wanted to tell you that I was leaving to go back to Korea, and why Shawn had to do what he did.”

“Why even tell me you were leaving? You’ve done it in the past,” I began to talk just to talk. I felt like I never explained to Jamie why it was always so hard to trust him after the first time he left. He would come back, and I would fall into him deeper and deeper each time we saw each other, and then he would leave again. It was our tradition; for him to make my life feel like rainbows and butterflies, until he took that shit back with him on a 14-hour flight to South Korea.

“I can’t say the same for you,” Jamie snapped back.

“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” I asked viciously. This was the first time Jamie was facing me, but not looking at me. He was angry, and he had some shit to vent out before he left again for good. What the fuck was the point of him even ever agreeing to hang out with me whenever I called him? Was he just trying to see if he still had that hold on me, wrapped around his finger, just living his American dream until he left it behind to go back home for months on end? What the fuck did Jamie want from me?

“You literally left New York without telling me, Grace!” Jamie finally admitted. I still remember the day I left New York almost 7 months ago. Ari told me to tell Jamie I was leaving and to have one last conversation to end this chapter of our lives for good.

“You need to have this conversation with him, girl,” Ari said as she poured hot water into the kettle and threw a couple of tea bags into the hot water. “He deserves to know why you went and did what you did.”

“What is the point?” I said, watching Ari set the coffee table up in the living room. “He’s gonna leave New York anyway.”

“Yeah, but that was his child too,” Ari said, annoyed. “Just because you don’t live with Willow, you still are allowed to know about her whereabouts and shit because she is your child. How would you feel if Max made decisions about WIllow without consulting with you just because you don’t live with her?”

“Max and I live in the same fucking state, Ari; it’s different,” I spat back.

“Yeah well, you’re both here in New York and are eventually leaving it so, how much of a difference is it really?” Ari questioned.

“I didn’t have to tell you anything! We weren’t together!” I emphasized to Jamie.

“You had admitted just weeks prior to you leaving that you had an abortion, Grace! How the fuck was I suppose to feel not ever having that conversation with you?” Jamie raised his voice. His voice always echoed when he was angry; probably because it didn’t happen that often. But when it did, it was more than just anger. It’s bottled-up shit that he hasn’t expressed or spoken to anyone about because he always tried to deal with it on his own. I didn’t say anything back, not because I didn’t have anything to say but because I wasn’t expecting Jamie to bring this situation up. Not now, not ever.

“You left me in your apartment and had Ari get me the next morning like I was some fucking garbage that needed to be gone!” I was angry. I remember being so fucking angry and heartbroken not seeing him in his apartment the morning after I told him about the abortion. “Jamie, you are so fucking good at leaving; did it ever occur to you that maybe every single time you did that shit, it affected me?”

“So you go ahead and get rid of our baby without ever fucking telling me it existed?!” Jamie screamed as the veins on his neck began to pop out. “Why didn’t you tell me?!”

I began to feel the tears run down my face. I wasn’t sad but frustrated. Defeated. Exhausted. There’s simply no more fight left in my voice, and no expression left to express on my face.

“Would it have really mattered if I did?” I said softly as my voice became hoarse from yelling before. “You were in Korea at that point. I didn’t know when you were going to be back or if you were ever coming back…”

“I would’ve come back, Grace,” Jamie said, more regretful than confident.

“Yeah, and then what? Watch you be the man I always hoped you’ll be for me and then see you leave me alone in New York again; this time with a child?” At this point, this was the most honest I’ve been with Jamie since being in New York. Maybe I should’ve reached out to have this conversation sooner; maybe then all the time we spent together here wouldn’t have felt the way that it did. Maybe our motives would’ve felt more pure and real.

“People like us are not meant to stay together. We are not meant to carry lifelong commitments and bring them into this world just because one of us wanted to. I always thought I could change that and make people want to stay with me. But in the end, I was always left fucking alone; my mom left me alone, Max left me alone, and you left me here alone. And I refuse to let a child come into this world feeling alone, Jamie. I refuse to lie to myself and say this time would be different; that I would be the mother I always wanted to be for a child. But I’m not. I left my child the same way my mom left me, and I’m still trying to make it up to Willow before she learns to resent me for not being there for her. I refuse to be like my mother. I refuse to bring a child into this world just because the person I am in love with wants me to have the baby.” At that point, I couldn’t look at Jamie, and I couldn’t feel if he was looking at me back. It’s like I pulled all the power out of us and it’s not a blackout. We are both just searching for some light in the darkness, not realizing that everything around us is also surrounded by darkness.

Jamie didn’t say anything and I didn’t expect him to. So I sighed, and shifted my body on the ground of the pier; closing off Jamie for good.

“Not that it matters but I’m also leaving California. I’m going back to New York to see my daughter,” I admitted. “Because I owe her that at least, as her biological mother.” I began to get up from the ground of the pier; Jamie still sat there. It was like he was frozen in place. I know it took a lot to take it, but I know Jamie Kim. Jamie always deserved to know the truth, because he strived in knowing the truth in everything in his life.

“Have a safe flight back to Korea, Jamie,” I said half-heartedly, not wanting to continue this conversation. I felt naked, and I felt exposed. I felt like I just confessed my biggest secret out into the world, but I still don’t feel free. I begin to walk away from the pier, fro Jamie, and from this life that I so desperately wish I could have, but know I won’t ever get.

Because people like Jamie and I don’t stay together. Soulmates aren’t fucking real because they are so impossible to obtain or grasp. It’s like a piece of fiction.

The love I have for Jamie just feels like fiction; not real.

Misc., The Teenage Monologues.

One in the Same: A Milo Monologue.

I reached into my bookbag to get out my notebook for band class, as well as my drumsticks. Huge drums surround me every 6th period, and I swear it makes me happier as the days pass. More of my bandmates come into the classroom, sitting in their assigned seats and taking out their instruments. As I tune the drums next to me, I hear a girl’s voice and immediately look up. It’s Sophie.

“Hey, Milo,” she greets me. I smile at her and give her a hug.

“Hey, Scout. Ready for class today?”

“Of course! I’m interested to finally see the piece we’ll be learning for the showcase,” Sophie answered excitedly. I smiled at her, but couldn’t help the other bandmates all look at Sophie as they passed by her. It annoys me that even a couple of days into school, they still can’t get over the fact that she’s one of the only girls in band class. Sophie looks at me and her smile fades; I guess she already knows what’s going on.

“Hey, don’t be down,” I reassured her. “Don’t let these boys make you feel like you don’t belong here. They don’t know your mad skills yet. She finally smiled again, which makes me happy.

“Thanks, Milo. You always know what to say,” Sophie said. Our faces were pretty close, and she didn’t move away from where she was standing. It was weird with Sophie; I never knew if she wanted to be more than friends, but I was always worried to scare her off if I told her I wanted to be more than friends. We haven’t spoken about any of the kisses we shared when we were in middle school. Sometimes I feel like she just wants to forget they even never happened. Me, I can’t stop thinking about them.

“Alright, alright; excuse me,” another voice is heard. I turn around and see Aaron standing there, trying to make his way towards the percussion area to his seat. Sophie steps back and walks back to her seat. I rolled my eyes at Aaron. Always ruining my mood somehow.

Our teacher, Mr. Harrison, comes in and quiets down the class.

“Hello, everyone,” Mr. Harrison greeted us and placed his briefcase on top of his desk. “Today we are going to talk about the assignment that is due on Monday. It is simply just a one-minute piece of what instrument you play and one of your favorite pieces to play. As these will be your bandmates for the next four years, it is important that we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses in order to become one ensemble.”

I look at Sophie from the strings section. She takes notes in her notebook while everyone around her just sits there and looks at Mr. Harrison. I guess that’s what makes Sophie the smartest girl in her classes; she’s always writing notes.

I look to my left and see Aaron taking notes in his notebook as well. Might as well take notes too.

I walk into vocal early and see my dad sitting at his desk. He looks up to see who’s walking into his classroom.

“Milo?” my dad said. I went to sit at my set and placed my bag on the ground.

“Hey,” I responded back. My dad leaned on the back of his chair and crossed his arms.

“What do you need from me, Milo?” he asked. My dad always knew that whenever I needed something from him, I would be extra good or actually be in my dad’s presence like I wanted to. I sighed, letting go of the persona.

“Do you think Jennifer can let me use the studio on Saturday?” I asked.

“What’s wrong with the one downstairs?”

“It’s at the house,” I answered, looking at my dad like he wasn’t understanding.

“Milo, it’s still a studio place where you can practice,” my dad tried to convince me, but I didn’t want to change my mind.

“Please, dad? Sophie and I have an assignment due next week and–” Before I could finish my sentence, my dad smiles and laughs to himself before looking at me.

“Is this more about impressing Sophie than the assignment?” my dad asked as he crossed his arms. To be quite honest, it was totally about impressing Sophie, but my dad didn’t need to know that.

“No! It’s just,” I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to say. “It’s just… that at home, everyone’s gonna be home! Jennifer, Micah, and the twins; I just want to have quiet space to work on this music assignment.” I don’t know if my dad bought it, and I guess I’ll find out since the bell for last period rings and the first person in class besides me is Aaron.

“Good Afternoon, Mr. Serrano,” my dad greets Aaron as he takes his seat. My dad looks at me before continuing. “You can take a seat, Mr. Kamalani.” I rolled my eyes and went back to my seat. More and more students come into the class and then my dad clears his throat to start today’s class.

“Alright, guys; I would like for you all to prepare a song for next week’s class. You will be performing it in front of the class! Please choose a song that you believe best fits your vocal range as this assignment will determine your specific section in this choir,” my dad walked to the blackboard and wrote a couple of words down before turning around towards us again. “This choir will have 8 sections: first and second for sopranos, altos, and tenors while finishing it off with baritone and bass. Please do not come into this class on Monday singing Mariah Carey notes if you know your voice can only go as high as a first alto or second soprano.” My dad stopped talking and pointed to someone at the other end of the classroom, I look in the direction he is pointing at.

“Question, Mr. Serrano?” My dad asked.

“Can it be an original song that we wrote?” Aaron asks. I feel Mollie nudge my right arm.

“Look at Mr. Over-Achiever,” Mollie teases. I don’t answer back, I just watch my dad and Aaron talk back and forth with each other.

“Of course! I’m not sure how many of you are dual majors,” my dad started. I roll my eyes at even the sound of my dad mentioning the dual majors. Yes, I am one myself, but I would never flaunt it to the other students who were lucky enough to get into one program. Aaron seems to find the opportunity to share his status no matter where he is.

“But if you are one,” my dad continued. “We would love to see any other talents you may have in this assignment. The more we know about you, the better the teamwork will become once we start learning music.”

“Might as well just share that you’re a dual major,” I whispered to Mollie, who laughs in her seat. I couldn’t help but mimic how fucking bratty that guy sounds. It makes Mollie laugh even more.

“Excuse me, Ms. Castro and Mr. Kamalani,” my dad looked over at us. “Please stop disrupting the class. This is your first warning.” When he looks away from us, I roll my eyes. It’s bad enough I get scolded by my dad whenever I get into trouble at home; it sucks I gotta get it from him as my goddamn vocal teacher. My dad kept teaching and I did nothing but hide my face with my hair, waiting for the class to be finally over.

Misc., The Teenage Monologues.

That’s High-School, Sweetheart: A Mollie Monologue.

“Well, that’s fucking lame.”

I lay on my bed, talking to Ronnie on the phone. It sucks that I only get to see Ronnie in a couple of my classes, but even on the first day, we had so much to talk about.

“I know, right? Like I wish I was able to be in a class where there isn’t anyone from Beverly,” Ronnie said. Ronnie is like the girl version of my best friend. She’s really cool, and we got to meet when we were paired up for a project back in junior high school. She’s a band major at Waverly now, blowing the saxophone like she’s some Jazz musician. I’m forever making fun of the fact that she could probably serenade a boy with some smooth Jazz of his favorite rap song.

“Oh my God, seriously! Like Laurie is in my vocal class and I have no idea when or how she even passed the Waverly audition. Do you believe that bitch laughed at me during my introduction?” I vented out.

“Dude, she’s still caught up in the past. Like, let that bad energy go, sis,” Ronnie responded. I look towards my bedroom door, which opens slowly. I get annoyed when it does.

“I’m on the phone, Mom,” I quickly said before she could say anything to me. My mom smiled and looked down at my phone on the bed.

“Tell Veronica that you have to eat dinner and you can talk to her later,” my mom responded. I rolled my eyes explaining the situation.

“I’ll text you, Ronnie,” I said before hanging up the phone. I got out of bed and walked out of my bedroom in the attic. My mom followed me downstairs.

“Mom, why do you always have to ruin my conversations with Ronnie?” I complained.

“You know dinner is at the same time every single day, Mol,” my mom answered. “You just saw Ronnie at school a couple of hours ago; what is there to possibly talk about?”

“Everything, mom,” I honestly answered.

We both sit in the kitchen where my step-dad, Alex, is serving food on dinner plates.

“I hope my favorite girls are hungry,” Alex said while putting a plate of food in front of me. I look at it. It has a strange smell to it.

“What the hell is it?” I asked while looking at the bubbling plate.

“Chicken cacciatore,” he answered.

“Chicken catch-a-who?” I looked up and looked at Alex. My mom and Alex met each other when my mom was in culinary classes for her catering business. They got married not long after that and have been together ever since. Alex was cool, chill; not demanding like how most step-parents are in those old TV movies. He’s always cooking something either really delicious or really questioning.

“It’s chicken in red sauce,” my mom explained. “You love chicken.”

“Yeah, when it’s either fried or covered in barbecue sauce,” I said, eating around the chicken. My mom looked annoyed at me, but I can’t help it; I’m a picky eater. Alex sat down next to my mom as we all began to eat dinner.

“So, how was your first day of high school?” my mom asked.

“It was cool, nothing special,” I said before I remembered what happened in vocal. “Our vocal teacher is Milo’s dad. Milo was trying to run for his life in that class,” I explained.

“Well, Milo knew that his dad was going to be the teacher for that class,” my mom responded. “I hope no one gives him a hard time in that class.”

“Milo just needs to stick up for himself, not let anyone give him any shit–“

“Language, Mollie.” my mom corrected me. I hated when she did that. Like I’m about to be 15 in a couple of months, yet my mom treats me like I’m 5.

“But yeah,” I continued. “Laurie Warren is also in my vocal class and she laughed at me after my introduction. I was ready to slap her so hard–“

“Mollie,” my mom interrupted. “You can’t be fighting in high school, especially not at a place like Waverly. You’ll get kicked out and expelled.”

“So what am I supposed to do? Just let a bully keep bullying me?” I asked, annoyed that my mother would even give me this talk after telling her what happened.

“You tell a teacher and they would handle it,” Alex chimed in. I looked at him like he had about 500 heads. What does he think this is? The old high school days?

“I do that, and the whole school laughs at me! Seriously is that what you want me to do?

“That’s high school, sweetheart,” my mom said, passing me the salad bowl. “You’re going to have to learn to handle situations in a mature, young lady-like manner.”

“Fuck that noise,” I said. My mother looked at me, angry at my response. “I’m sorry,” I sighed. I got up from my seat and left the dinner table.

“Mollie, you barely touched your dinner,” my mom called out. I didn’t even turn around to answer her.

“I’m not hungry,” I said while walking back upstairs to my room.

I slam my door shut and sit at my desk. I was so annoyed and angry that no matter what I shared, my mom always had to make it this big thing where I felt like I was always being scolded for something I said. That’s high school, sweetheart. No, it’s not! It’s the time of your life when you identify yourself as a person, and it can either make you or break you. I’m not going to let someone like Laurie Warren break me and my identity in high school. I will be remembered as one of the toughest and coolest kids in Waverly! I’m going to be the popular kid with the hot talented boyfriend and no one is going to bully me or tease me or laugh at me ever again!

“So, what’s the one thing you want to accomplish in high school that you didn’t in middle school?” I asked Milo. We sat on his front steps, eating ice cream cones on this hot, summer day.

“Passing my classes,” Milo began. I couldn’t help but laugh at his answer. “What?”

“Milo, I mean… don’t you want to do anything fun while you’re in high school? Go to a pep rally, perform somewhere awesome and famous, be popular or something?!” I asked.

“Popularity is a social construct,” Milo answered. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes.

“Only losers would answer a popularity question like that,” I stated, which made Milo suck his teeth.

“Whatever,” Milo replied. “I just want to go through the next four years without no major drama or bad memories. Beverly gave me enough to last me a lifetime.”

“Drama will always be around you,” I said. It’s true; even if he tries to stay out of the drama, he’s friends with the drama. I tolerate his new friend, Sophie, but I don’t trust her motives. Who’s to say she’s not secretly going back to Laurie and laughing about all the weird things he did or said to her? “Plus, Beverly’s drama is past us. That was immature drama. Waverly isn’t a place where drama like that would happen.”

“You say that now, but watch something happen where you feel the need to be the biggest and toughest girl in our grade,” Milo admitted to me. “You always have to prove yourself at a new school.”

“So what?” I responded back quickly. “No one is going to fuck with me in Waverly. I’m not scared of anyone that’s more popular, older; whatever than me! I’m going to make Waverly the years where everyone knows the name, Mollie Castro!”

“Okay, Mol,” Milo dismissed the conversation. I was annoyed he still didn’t have faith in me and didn’t support my goals. He’s too caught up being around Sophie Lee’s finger.

I look outside my window, annoyed at this day as a whole, and want nothing more than to sleep and start a new day. I look at the calendar on my desk and realized I have therapy tomorrow after school. I rolled my eyes, so tired of doing the same things that middle school Mollie was doing. I just want to become a whole new me. And I will because high school isn’t just high school! It’s where I’ll finally shine.

And like I said before: Fuck. That. Noise.

Misc., Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: I have a problem.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misc., Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: Control.

Control is a weird thing, isn’t it? People will tell you that it’s always good to have some self-control over your life because it can help you make the right decisions for them. Some people will say otherwise and tell you that needing control is a toxic trait that makes anyone who has it manipulative, and, well— controlling.

But, what do you say to the people who’s mental illnesses stem from being in control or having control over things? What if their need for control is what gets them through life & gets them through the parts of it where it’s so easy to lose your control? What if their need for control stems from a place of trauma; that they experienced parts of their life where they didn’t have control and self-harmed because of that?

Hi, my name is Liz and a major part of my mental health requires me to feel in control or else I become destructive.

I never realized that control was a huge challenge for me until I started my job in college admissions. From working in an environment where I had complete control in my work and what I did, I now was in a place where I was new and learning a million and one things in a way I wasn’t use to. For a lack of better words, the training was disorganized and spontaneous, which are two things that throw off my balance and routine and inevitably my anxiety disorder. Of course, an entire department can’t work around my mental health, so I try my best to work through it and take it one day at a time.

But I realized not saying anything or “riding” things out started to put a toll on me. There were days I felt incompetent because I didn’t know a certain thing, I grew frustrated because I felt like I never knew the complete right answer to the questions I asked. I think this is the first time actually saying this out loud, but there are days when I hate my job more than enjoy it.

I realized that control contributed to a lot of these feelings whenever I spoke about them to my therapist. She constantly reminds me that I can only control the things that I say and do, and the things out of my control, like other people’s actions and thoughts, are not mine to worry about.

But it’s easier said than done.

Today, I chose to come outside for a walk to get my head on straight. After three days (and really just an entire month) of up and down disruptive thinking and behavior, I needed to come outside and take in some sunlight and empty my mind of all negativity. I wanted to come out here and write this without any distraction and external factors that would take me out of this thought process. I chose to do that for myself because I am in control of my own actions.

I want nothing more than to feel okay that I don’t have control over everything that involves me. I want nothing more than to feel confident enough to not let these things out of my control interfere with the things that are in my control.

Most importantly, I want to stop harming myself to have some sort of control when I feel out of control. I want to stop plucking my eyebrows excessively. I want to not rip off my acrylic nails one by one and leave all ten of my fingers bruised and cut up. I want to stop thinking I have to discipline myself when I don’t have everything under control. I want my mind to stop telling me I’m this and that when really I’m doing just fine with what I’m giving.

I am not toxic for wanting control over my life, and I’m not a “control freak” when I say that I need to be in control over certain things. I need it because I know how bad things can get. I need it because there are days when I feel like hurting myself is the only way to have control over the emotions I am feeling land mask them with physical pain instead. I am not ashamed of saying I am a person that needs control, but I wish I was able to manage what is in my control and what’s not in my control better.

Because of my control, I will figure it out.


Overexposed: Newfound Attention.

When I was 18, I went blonde for the first time in my life. It wasn’t shortly after that I realized I was now getting attention from people who didn’t even know I existed. At the time, I really wanted people to notice me and pay attention to me because I was sad, lonely, and really depressed. I quickly learned that people didn’t really care about me as a person, and they didn’t want to get to know me as one either. The blonde hair went away 5 months later, my hair was cut shorter, and everyone stopped paying any attention to me.

Hi, my name is Liz, and one thing I am worried about down the line is getting unwanted attention from people because I’ll be thinner.

The fact of the matter is: I don’t know how much weight I will end up losing in total. Going into this process, I told myself that my goal was to at least lose 100 pounds; It was a number I never thought I’d be able to lose because it was such a large amount. But, It’s only been three months since my surgery and I’ve lost 50+ pounds in total already; who’s to say that by January, I’ll be up to 100 pounds lost in total? That’s only 6 months since surgery; and the effects of this surgery happen for the next two years of my life.

I’m worried because I don’t want the attention this transformation is going to give me. I don’t want strangers paying attention to me. I don’t want people that I knew in my past to just pop up out of nowhere and be like “OMG wow, you look great!” I also don’t want people, guys in particular, to now give me the time of day because I am thinner and “better looking” in society now. I just don’t want it.

But I know it’s going to come. It already is, in a way. Friends and family are telling me that I look thinner, and that I look “so much better”. In a way, my lifestyle and the way that I eat now or just having to tell new doctors my medical history puts the attention on me, and this idea that losing weight will make me feel happier about myself when it really isn’t why I did this in the first place.

If you’ve been here for awhile, you would know that I did this for my health. I was prediabetic early 2020, I had gained 20 pounds during the lock-down last year, and I was feeling 20 years older than I actually was. I was exceeding 300 pounds, and I knew that if I didn’t do what I needed to do, I would’ve gotten heavier than I already was. So, to already lost half of the weight I was expecting to lose, it’s pretty unpredictable to know where I’ll even be by the end of the year; this time next year even.

Although I won’t be comfortable with it, I know that the attention is going to come and I don’t know how I’m going to deal with it. I never truly gotten “positive attention” for my physical appearance, and to even get some of it now definitely feels refreshing and rewarding, but I know that when the weight loss becomes more apparent, I’m going to hear words like “pretty” and “beautiful” more than I ever heard in my life, and I just don’t know how to feel about the sudden compliments.

Maybe I won’t think anything about it. Maybe I won’t react as much as I think would. Maybe it won’t even bother me, or maybe I’m just overthinking things. Whatever comes my way, I just have to prepare myself; knowing that this journey is different than anything I’ve been through before and it’s completely okay to not know how to feel during it. I just know that I have to keep going, and keep doing it for the reasons that matter most to me.

Misc., The "Something" Series

Something For The New Year: A Scene.

Times Square Ball drop: Everything you need to know about the Times Square  New Year's Eve Ball - CBS News

The music is playing loudly in a small apartment in Brooklyn. People are dancing and drinking; it seems as if everyone is having a good time. On one side of the apartment, Grace and Jamie sit on the sofa; Jamie’s arm is around Grace as Grace is leaning against his chest.

Jamie: Are you feeling okay?

Grace: *nods* Yeah. It honestly had to be something that I ate.

Jamie: Maybe. Just let me know if you’re feeling sick, we can always go home early.

Grace smiles as Cami and Emerson come over towards the couple.

Cami: Yo! We’re glad you came!

Grace: Of course, we wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Emerson: *to Jamie* Do you guys celebrate New Year’s like this?

Grace: *annoyed* Em.

Jamie: *laughs* Uhm, sort of. We eat tons of food and celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Emerson: Lunar New Year at your place!

Jamie: It’s a date.

The couples continue to socialize and mingle with the rest of the party. Everything is going as planned and everyone seems to be joining their night as it progresses. Grace is seen sitting down for most of the night, which Jamie takes note of. Nevertheless, he stays by her side for most of the night.

Cami occasionally comes over with drinks for the couple. Jamie has had the first few, but began to feel tipsy. Grace declined all of the drinks.

Grace: Are you okay now, Jamie?

Jamie: Jagiya, I’m fine. I just… can’t keep drinking yours on top of mine. Are you sure you don’t want a drink?

Grace: I’m sure. *sigh* Honestly, I’m not just feeling great. My stomach as been bothering me all night and I just feel like I’m not someone anyone wants to be around right now.

Jamie: That’s not true, jagiya.

Grace: It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m not dancing, drinking, or dancing whille drinking. I’m a total buzzkill.

Jamie: *laughs* It doesn’t matter. As long as I’m ringing in the new year with you.

Jamie kisses the top of Grace’s forehead and puts his arm around her, she leans her head on his chest.

A couple of minutes later, Jamie gets a phone call. He looks at the number on his screen and sits up. Grace looks forward at Jamie.

Grace: Everything okay?

Jamie: Yeah, I just– give me a minute.

Jamie gets up from the couch and walks over to the front door. Grace sits on the sofa, examining the room. The aroma of alcohol is making Grace feel even worse. She begins to panic, and gets up from the sofa and walks in the other direction, away from everyone.

Jamie walks out the front door and picks up the phone.

Jamie: Hello?

Caller: Hi, Mr. Kim, we’re calling you about the extension request of your visa… unfortunately we weren’t able to approve the request. Your expiration date of January 21st still remains.

Jamie listens on the phone; disappointment and sadness immediately is written on his face. He hangs up the phone, and slowly goes back into the apartment. Everyone is still enjoying their night together, like the world keeps going despite his just completely crumbling.

Emerson walks over to Jamie and grabs his attention.

Emerson: Hey, the ball is gonna drop in a minute!

Jamie looks around the apartment, looking for Grace.

Jamie: Have you seen Grace?

Emerson: Grace?

Jamie: Yeah, she’s not where she was–

Cami finds Emerson and grabs him when people gather in the living room in front of the TV, counting the seconds down to midnight.

Jamie: *shouts* Grace?!

Someone is heard puking in the toilet. The person lifts their face up from the bowl and pushes their red hair back away from their face. Grace leans back on the tub and looks up towards the ceiling.

Grace: *whispers* Please, please, please…

She hears the people in the other room beginning to count down: 10!

Grace takes out her phone and notices missed messages from Jamie, asking her where she went. She doesn’t answer.

9! 8! 7!

Grace’s head is back in the toilet bowl; she flushes it and slumps down towards the floor.

6! 5! 4!

A knock is heard from the door, followed by a voice.

Jamie: Grace? Grace, are you in there?

Grace looks up at the door.

Grace: Jamie?

The bathroom door opens and Jamie sees Grace on the door. He rushes into the bathroom to attend to Grace.

Jamie: Aigoo, Grace–

3! 2! 1! Happy New Year!

Grace pukes in the toilet again. She comes back up and wipes off blood from her mouth. Jamie is concerned for Grace.

Jamie: Jagiya, you’re bleeding.

Grace looks at her hand and begins to panic.

Grace: Fuck–

Jamie: You’re going to be okay. You’re going to be okay…

Jamie gets up and lifts Grace off from the floor. He pushes the door open; Jamie and Grace sneak out of the apartment without anyone noticing them.

Misc., The Teenage Tell-Tale.

The Teenage Invisible Mirror: A Scene.

I Was So Angry | I Almost Punched My Best Friend In The Face - TruthLines

Milo sits at his desk, checking his phone every 5 minutes. He’s stressed; hoping he didn’t ruin his friendship with Sophie. He keeps checking his phone; there are no messages from Sophie.

He looks at the composition notebook he had earlier today doing his project. He opens the book to see the Polaroids he took of Sophie at the stage in the park. He takes in a deep breath and closes the book.

When straightening out his desk, his phone lights up. Milo’s attention immediately goes towards the phone. He picks it up and sees a message from Sophie.

leesophie: Hey.

Milo swipes the screen and immediately responds to Sophie.

milolani: hi, scout.
leesophie: I'm not going to be around this weekend to work on the project.

Milo sighs; he’s anxious and doesn’t know how to respond.

leesophie: Lunar new Year is on Saturday, so my family and I will be celebrating.

Milo instantly feels relief, he finally writes Sophie back.

milolani: no worries. thank you for letting me know.

Before Milo gets the courage to talk things out with Sophie, he gets a message from Sophie.

leesophie: Have a good night, Milo.

Sophie signs off and Milo is back to feeling anxious. He rubs his eyes; he’s mentally exhausted.

Another moment passes, and Milo hears doors opening and closing in the hallway, followed by speed walking footsteps. Milo doesn’t pay no mind to it until a knock is heard. He turns to the door as its being opened. Milo rolls his eyes.

Milo: Can I at least give you permission to come in here, dad?

Milo Sr: We have to get going.

Milo looks at his father standing there with his little brother, Micah, in his dad’s hands. He doesn’t understand what’s going on.

Milo: Can’t I just stay home?

Milo Sr: *stern* Milo.

Milo scrunches his eyebrows, confused.

Milo: What’s going on? Where’s Jennifer?

Micah begins to cry in his dad’s arms; Milo Sr doesn’t answer back.

Milo Sr: We have to go, come on.

Milo grabs his phone and coat and leaves his bedroom door. They all walk down the stairs to the front landing, and Milo is still asking questions.

Milo: Is Jennifer alright? Where are we going?

His father opens the back door of the car and places Micah in the car seat. Milo stands there, now getting frustrated.

Milo: Dad? Dad??

Before Milo Sr opens the drivers front door, he stands in front of it, looking ahead at Milo on the opposite side of the car.

Milo Sr: What?

Milo: *annoyed* Can you at least tell me what’s going on? Where are we going? Where’s Jennifer?

Milo Sr: We’re meeting her at the hospital.

Milo: *shocked* Whoa, whoa; what? What the hell is going on?! Why are we–

Milo Sr: *softly* Milo…

Milo Sr looks down before he speaks.

Milo Sr: Pep’s at the hospital because Mollie is there.

Milo widens his eyes, he’s now panicked and worried.

Milo: Wait, what?! Mollie?! What the hell happened?

At first, Milo Sr is hesitant to tell his son, but he exhales loudly before saying further.

Milo Sr: Mollie tried to commit suicide.

Milo begins to breathe heavy, he’s on the verge of tears.

Milo: What?! When?! I– What?!

Milo Sr: We gotta go to the hospital, come on.

Milo immediately opens up the passenger’s door and gets into the car. Milo Sr goes into the driver’s side and starts the car to drive.

The boys enter the hospital lobby; Milo runs in ahead of Micah and Milo Sr.

Milo Sr: Milo! Milo!

Milo runs to the front desk and sees a woman sitting there.

Milo: Where’s Mollie? Mollie Castro?

Receptionist: *confused* I’m sorry, are you with an adult?

Milo: Just tell me where she is!

Milo Sr rushes up to the desk, still calling out for Milo.

Receptionist: Are you with an adult, son?

Milo: *furious* Where is she?!

Milo Sr: Milo! *to the woman* I’m so sorry, can you please tell us what room Mollie Sue Castro is. We’re family.

Receptionist: She’s with her mother and sisters on the second floor.

Milo Sr: Thank you, ma’am. *to Milo, embarrassed* Let’s go.

Milo runs towards the elevators, and Milo Sr follows with Micah in his arms.

They reach the second floor lobby where they see Jennifer sitting with another woman; her sister, Maryette.

Milo Sr: Hey, we got here as fast as we could.

Milo: Where is she? What the fuck happened?

Milo Sr: *stern* Milo.

Milo: What you mean she tired to commit suicide?! I– I–

Jennifer: Hey, Milo…

Jennifer reaches out her arms and Milo walks into them. He begins to cry buried in her chest.

Jennifer: Shh, shh; I know, Milo, I know…

Everyone else watches the interaction. Maryette gets up from her seat and takes Micah out of Milo Sr’s hands.

Maryette: Ima take Micah to the cafeteria with Dennis.

Maryette walks out of the waiting area. Milo pulls away from the hug and sits in between Jennifer and Milo Sr.

Jennifer: Mollie is fine, she’s in a room and our mom is in there with her.

Milo: What happened? I was literally–

Milo takes in a deep breath after realizing something.

Milo: Our last conversation was an argument. What if that was my last ever conversation I had with Mollie? What did I do, I–

Jennifer: Hey. You didn’t do anything wrong, Milo. Friends fight all the time, especially at your age. Don’t think you’re responsible for Mollie’s actions; Mollie is responsible for her own actions.

Milo doesn’t say anything, he faintly asks one more time before giving up entirely.

Milo: What happened?

Jennifer and Milo Sr look at each other; worried. Jennifer looks back down at Milo as Milo Sr rubs Jennifer’s arm for comfort.

Jennifer: Mollie cut her wrists in the bathroom. Mom found her.

Milo places his hands over his eyes and takes in the newfound information.

Milo: Why the fuck would she be so stupid to do something like that?! *looks up* Like, she’s going to therapy! Isn’t that enough?!

Jennifer: *disciplined* Hey. Mollie might be getting help from her therapist, but we don’t know what was going on in Mollie’s head when she made that decision.

Milo looks down on the hospital floor, he has nothing else to say, but has so many roaming thoughts.

Jennifer: The least we can do for her is support her and let her know that we love her. That’s all we can do as her family.

Jennifer gets up and walks out of the waiting room to get Micah from Maryette. Milo Sr looks at Milo, who still hasn’t said anything since.

Milo Sr: It’s not your fault.

Milo: I feel like it was my fault.

Milo Sr: And it’s going to feel that way until Mollie tells you that it isn’t. I know.

Milo: *looks up* You went through this before?

Milo Sr: *nods head* What Pep told you is true. You’re not responsible for Mollie actions, Mollie is.

Milo: *puts two-and-two together* Wait, was it…?

Milo Sr: I was about your age. Pep was in a really bad place and something bad happened to her and thought she didn’t want to be here anymore. Me and your Aunt Nicky and Uncle Danny were at the hospital, and I felt extremely guilty for not being there for Pep when she needed me. I was her best friend, and it felt like I let her down because I wasn’t there. But…

MIlo Sr takes a minute to ponder n the thought.

Milo Sr: The only thing I could do is let her know that I love her and care about her.

Milo: Is that why she seemed to be… kind calm?

Milo Sr: I think she was a lot more nervous when Mollie was first admitted into the hospital, but after hearing Mollie was okay, I think she just needed to be there for you and let you know before you allowed yourself to take the blame.

Milo’s phone vibrates in his pocket. He takes out his phone and looks at the screen.

leesophie: Can we please talk?

Milo puts his phone back in his pocket and takes a deep breath. He then looks at his father.

Milo: Are you sure Mollie is going to be okay?

Milo Sr: She’s getting all the help she can get. She made it, and that’s what matters.

Both father and son sit in the waiting room, waiting for the women to come back, or for a doctor to call them in so they can see Mollie. Nothing is said, and nobody moves, they just wait for something to happen.

Misc., The "Something" Series

A Whole Other Side of Something: A Scene.

Altech Electronics | Dark Sky Compliance

The two Korean women sit on the couch of Grace and Jamie’s apartment. Jamie comes out of the bedroom and closes it behind him. Grace stands behind the island watching Jamie get everyone situated.

Jamie: Bags are in the room, you both are more than welcome to get comfortable…

Mina: Thank you, sorry if we ruined your night out.

Jamie: Aniyo, I apologize for not being more prepared.

Mina smiles at Jamie and then at Grace. Grace anxiously stands behind the counter, watching the encounter.

Lia: May I use the restroom?

Jamie: Yeah, the bathroom is to your left.

Lia gets up from the sofa and walks towards the bathroom. Mina says something in Korean to her brother, in which he also responds in Korean. Grace turns around and starts to boil some hot water, bothered that the siblings are not talking in English anymore.

Suddenly, Lia comes back into the living room area, clearly confused.

Lia: Jaemin-ah, are we aunts?

Jamie: *surprised* Mwo? (What?)

Lia: There’s a baby room next to the bathroom.

Mina: Jaemin-ah, you had a baby and didn’t even tell your family?

Jamie: What?!

Grace finally steps up and speaks.

Grace: No, no; I have a daughter. That’s my daughter’s room.

Mina and Lia both exhale a sigh of relief. Grace is relieved that the tension in the room dies down. Grace comes over to the coffee table and places a kettle of water and teabags on a tray.

Lia: Thank you so much, Grace! You didn’t have to.

Grace: You’re our guests! I wish I had some type of pastry to have with the tea.

Mina: American snacks are known to be too sugary and sweet.

Jamie gives Mina the side-eyes as Grace nervously pours hot water into tea cups.

Lia: So, is it normal to be all dressed up at the airport to pick people up?

Grace: *laughs* No, no… we were at an event this evening.

Lia: The dress is really pretty, Grace.

Grace: *shyly* Thank you.

Mina gets up and walks to the bedroom and closes the door behind her. Grace looks at her while she does so.

Lia: She’s not a night person, don’t mind her.

Grace doesn’t say anything. Jamie walks to the room that Mina walked in. Grace watches.

In the room, Jamie closes the door behind him. Mina opens her suitcase.

Jamie: Ya…

Mina: Just because we’re in America, doesn’t mean you don’t respect me.

Jamie: Noona…

Mina: Is this what you came to live in America for? To be some American girl’s babysitter?

Jamie: *defensive* She has a name, noona, and quite frankly this is her apartment and her room you’re staying in for the time being.

Mina: Make it make sense, Jaemin-ah. How were you able to give up so much back home and be… here?

Jamie: Mina, you haven’t been here for more than an hour and you think you already have this idea on how my life is like here? Is that the only reason why you came here? To judge me?

Mina: I came to see my brother, since he so abruptly left home to come here.

Jamie: Be nice, noona. Grace is a good person.

Mina: You said the same thing about Seohyun.

Jamie: *angry* That was different, okay? Grace isn’t like that.

Mina: Hmm. Possibly worse? She is American…

Jamie rolls his eyes and stares at Mina. She’s not letting off about this topic.

Outside in the living room area, Lia and Grace silently sit on the sofa. Lia turns her head to start the conversation with Grace.

Lia: So have you lived in New York your whole life?

Grace: Most of it, not all of it.

Lia looks out of the window into the city lights.

Lia: It’s so beautiful. It definitely reminds me of Seoul; busy and full of lights.

Grace smiles. She takes a sip from her tea.

Lia: Are you and Jaemin a couple?

Grace nervously laughs.

Grace: We are. Jamie, uhh, Jaemin lives with me as well.

Lia: And you said you had a daughter, right?

Grace: Yeah! Her name is Willow.

Lia: Cute!

Grace smiles and the two women sit in the living room silent until Lia speaks again.

Lia: I’m sorry about my sister. She’s a hard person to adjust to things.

Grace: I see…

Lia: Do you have any siblings?

Grace: Uhm, no… it’s just me.

Lia: Lucky.

Grace laughs at the response.

Lia: Seriously though, Don’t read into Mina’s behavior.

Grace doesn’t say in return; she sits and ponders in thought until the door of the bedroom opens. Jamie looks okay; no signs of distress whatsoever. The two ladies in the living room look back at Jamie.

Jamie: Noona, the room is ready if you’ll like to rest for the night.

Lia gets up from the sofa.

Lia: Thank you for letting us stay here while we get our hotel situation sorted out.

Grace smiles and Lia walks into the room. She looks at Jamie, who is clearly exhausted.

Blankets and pillows are surrounded on the living room floor. Grace and Jamie lay in them together, staring up at the ceiling, clearly wide awake.

Grace: The last time I slept on the floor was at a sleepover when I was, like, 7.

Jamie: It’s pretty common for me to sleep on the floor whenever I visited my mom’s place. I told you that you could sleep on the sofa; I’m okay here on the floor.

Grace rolls her onto her stomach to face Jamie.

Grace: I can’t sleep if you’re not next to me though.

Jamie smiles the thought. He brings her closer to him.

Grace: I think your sister Mina hates me.

Jamie: Why’d you think that?

Grace: She just seemed very distant with me. I mean sure, we just met and all, but it seemed like sehe didn’t even want to be near me.

Jamie: *sigh* Mina is… traditional. She wasn’t on board with me coming here and leaving Korea. She has opinions, but she shouldn’t make you feel bad or anything of that sort.

Grace still looks worried.

Jamie: There’s nothing that you did wrong, Gracie.

Grace: I know, but those are your older sisters. I would want them to like me.

Jamie: Mina will come around.

The living room goes silent until Grace asks a question.

Grace: What were you guys talking about in the room?

Jamie: *dumbfounded* Nothing.

Grace: Jamie.

Jamie: We didn’t speak about anything important.

Grace: She hates me, doesn’t she?

Jamie doesn’t say anything, the silence makes Grace’s suspicions true.

Grace: Oh my god, your sister hates me!

Jamie: She doesn’t hate you! She’s just… an older sister.

Grace covers her face.

Grace: Your sister hates me, Jamie.

Jamie: Don’t say that! I’ll talk to her later this week. In the meantime, let’s just make the best of their time here.

Jamie kisses Grace on the forehead and puts his arm around her. Grace tries to sleep away the worry.

Misc., The Teenage Tell-Tale.

The Teenage Fuck-Up: A Scene.

365 journal entries. One rollercoaster year as a high school senior | Post  Bulletin

It starts to rain heavily in the streets of Brooklyn. The streets begin to puddle around, and no one is in sight. Mollie sits on the stoop of Milo’s house, soaked and wet, and extremely mad. She was meant to meet up with Milo to rehearse for their auditions, but Milo has yet to show up and Mollie’s phone is dead. Her hair drips from being soaked and wet.

She looks ahead and sees someone running in the streets. When she gets a closer look at who it is. She gets mad to see that it’s Milo.

When Milo gets closer, he stops in his tracks when he sees Mollie. She stands up from sitting on the stoop.

Milo: Mol? Whatcha doing–

Mollie: *interrupts* Are you fucking kidding me, Milo?!

Milo: I told you I was working on the project with my partner!

Mollie: So was I! But at least I still did my part and kept with our plans for rehearsing for these damn auditions!

Milo: Why didn’t you text me?

Mollie: Because my phone died, ass wipe! And your dad and Jennifer aren’t home! Auditions are in two weeks and we have yet rehearsed for this stupid thing!

Milo doesn’t say anything, he just stands there, feeling guilty.

Milo: I’m… I’m sorry. I was just busy working on the project. I totally forgot.

Mollie: Yeah, you keep forgetting a lot of shit these days.

Milo: *defensive* No I don’t, stop exaggerating, Mol.

Mollie: You never hang out with me anymore! You’re always busy with Sophie doing this dumb project! What the hell is even going on between you two?

Milo begins to nervously stand in place. He doesn’t say anything immediately, and Mollie doesn’t wait for his answer.

Mollie: I’m suppose to be your best friend, Milo. I understand you got other shit to do, but it’s like you don’t even want to hang out with me anymore!

Milo: I don’t know why you care all of a sudden! You go and do your own thing all the time and I never complain about it!

Mollie: Because my shit involves dancing, therapy, and going to my dad’s house! You purposely are always busy whenever I want to hang out! You do nothing but work on that dumb project. *laughs* You think that plastic is actually your friend?

Milo stays silent, but he gets mad when Sophie is mentioned.

Mollie: You don’t think that bitch is going back to her friends and talking shit about you? That’s what girls like her do, Milo! Are you that fucking blind?

Milo: *yells* Just shut the fuck up, Mollie! You have no idea what you’re talking about! Instead of bashing others and shit, maybe you should try to be a nice and decent person and stop being like those mean girls you swear you’re nothing like!

Milo walks past Mollie and goes to the front door. He opens it and walks in. Mollie turns around.

Mollie: Fuck you, Milo! You’re such a lousy best friend!

The door slams behind him. Mollie’s eyes begin to water up, and she quickly runs away from the house.

Mollie tiredly walks into the front door of her house, still soaked from the rain. She immediately hears her mother’s voice in the kitchen.

Mom: Mollie Sue Castro! Where the hell were you?

Her mom looks at her and sees her wet clothes.

Mom: Do you know what time it is?!

Mollie: My phone died.

Mollie walks past her mom to walk upstairs, but her mom turns her around by placing her hand on her shoulder.

Mom: Mollie–

Mollie: What?! I told you my phone died! I was at Milo’s anyway!

Mom: Jennifer wasn’t home today. Where were you?

Mollie: *defensive* I swear I was at Milo’s! I was supposed to hang out with him and–

Mom: So you didn’t hang out with him?

Mollie begins to get frustrated.

Mollie: I was supposed to!

Mom: Mollie, this isn’t the first time you went out and I didn’t have no idea where you were! You’re about to graduate middle school, you have to learn how to take responsibility for your actions!

Mollie: I’m telling the truth! Why don’t you believe me?!

Mom: Because you lost that privilege when you kept making excuses for your poor behavior. I’m disappointed in you, Mollie.

Mollie: *upset* Mom!

Mom: Get changed out of those wet clothes before you catch a cold. Hand me your phone and laptop; you’re grounded.

Mollie: Are you serious?!

Mom: *angry* What else am I suppose to do? You will not listen to me and I can’t keep you letting things like this slide! You’re grounded, and you will not go to dance for two weeks.

Mollie: *furious* Are you fucking kidding me?!

Mom: Language, Mollie!

Mollie: No! I didn’t even do anything wrong and you’re grounding me? I have Waverly auditions in two weeks, I need to practice!

Mom: Well you should’ve thought about that when you were out and not checking in with me.

Mollie stomps her feet and walks towards the staircase.

She reaches her bedroom door and slams it shut when entering. She flops on her bed and screams into her pillow. She turns around starts to cry in bed. Her face is puffy and hot; she gets up and grabs clothes from her dresser and walks to her bathroom.

Emotionless, she enters the bathroom and closes the door behind her. She places her clothes on the floor and runs her shower. She looks at herself in the bathroom mirror; she’s tired, puffy, and mentally exhausted. Her family hates her, her bets friend hates her, and anyone else that tolerates her just secretly hates her. She opens up the medicine cabinet and reaches for something.

Mollie: Fuck everyone.