The "Something" Series: Season 2

Something Promised Long Ago: A Scene.

New York City, New York: One Year Ago…

Jamie: Does New York even have beaches?

Grace closes the freezer after taking out the tub of ice cream and places it on the counter.

Grace: Yeah? *laughs* We live near the water, Jamie…

Jamie looks at Grace, genuinely surprised. Grace looks at Jamie and stops what she’s doing.

Grace: What?

Jamie: You’re telling me this city has a beach somewhere?

Grace: *laughs* Not here in the city, but in Brooklyn, we have Coney Island…

Jamie: *confused* Brooklyn? Coney? What?

Grace comes to a complete halt and stops making herself an ice cream cone.

Grace: Jamie, there are 5 boroughs of the city; Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, The Bronx, and Brooklyn. We went to Brooklyn for New Years Eve at Em and Cami’s place?

Jamie: That was Brooklyn? But there was no beach there.

Grace: They don’t live near the beach, but Brooklyn has a beach in a place called Coney Island. I’m surprised you never heard of it. It’s a big tourist attraction during the summer.

Jamie: Alicia Keys did not sing about a beach in her song…

Grace: Okay, first of all, that’s not her song; it’s Jay-Z’s. Secondly, have you never been to a beach before in Korea?

Jamie: Yes, that’s why I’m asking you if there are any beaches in New York, jagiya!

Grace walks toward Jamie and hands him her ice cream cone as she takes out her phone from her pocket. She looks back up to see Jamie eating her ice cream cone. Grace stares him down.

Jamie: Was this not for me?

Grace shakes her head and searches “Coney Island Beach”. Once she finds a picture of it, she shows her phone to Jamie.

Grace: This is the most famous beach in New York. There’s an amusement park, a concert place, a boardwalk, and a beach.

Jamie looks genuinely surprised scrolling through the pictures.

Jamie: This looks like a great place to visit!

Jamie continues to eat the ice cream cone until he looks back up at Grace. He hands it back to Grace, who laughs.

Grace: Maybe we can go to the beach together one of these days.

Santa Monica, California: Present…

Jamie is in the kitchen making coffee by himself. He has music playing on his phone while he prepares to brew the coffee. He turns around and sees Kevin walking toward the island with a bookbag. Jamie raises an eyebrow.

Jamie: Kevin?

Kevin looks at Jamie as he carries three bottles of water in his arms.

Kevin: Yeah?

Jamie: You have plans today?

Kevin: I’m going hiking; I invited you and Shawn a couple of weeks ago, in which you distastefully sucked your teeth and Shawn teased me for doing something *air quotes* I would never do back home.

Jamie doesn’t say anything, he just nods.

Jamie: Are you going to be alright going on your own?

Kevin: *annoyed* I’ll be fine.

Kevin packs his bag as Shawn walks into the kitchen as well. Shawn looks at the bag and then at Kevin.

Shawn: You’re hiking back to Korea or something?

Jamie holds back his laugh. The bookbag is abnormally large for a hike. Kevin deadpans Shawn.

Kevin: Bye, I’ll see you guys later.

Jamie: Call me if you need anything!

Kevin leaves the kitchen to walk toward the front door. the kitchen is now quiet. Jamie turns around to make his coffee. Shawn walks next to him to the sink to wash the mug he was using. Once he puts it in the dish rack, he looks at Jamie.

Shawn: I’m sorry for what happened, Hyung. I shouldn’t have done what I did.

Jamie doesn’t answer right away. He continues to prepare his cup of coffee to his liking.

Shawn: It was irresponsible for me to do what I did. I got carried away that night. I hope this doesn’t ruin the rest of the trip.

Jamie sighs and turns toward Shawn.

Jamie: I apologize for my behavior as well. I shouldn’t have reacted the way that I did and heard what you had to say.

The guys smile at each other and grab each other in for a tight hug. Jamie winces in pain when Shawn squeezes him too tight. Shawn laughs; Jamie quickly follows.

Jamie: So, do you have any plans for the day?

Shawn: I do… but if you want us to hang out today we can, I could cancel, I–

Jamie: *laughs* Something tells me I’m not the person you want to spend this beautiful day with.

Shawn’s face flashes red.

Jamie: You really like her, huh?

Shawn: Hyung, she’s shown me so much of California and introduced me to so much. She’s so fun and adventurous and–

Shawn’s smile is from ear to ear.

Shawn: She’s such a great person to be around. She doesn’t make me feel like a foreigner, you know?

Jamie nods his head. Shawn takes a deep breath.

Jamie: Go and have fun. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

Shawn smiles and exits the kitchen, leaving Jamie alone. The music that was once playing on his phone stops, instead the phone rings. Jamie looks at the number, which he has saved on his phone as “Grace”. He looks confused; he picks up the phone.

Jamie: Hello?

Grace: Hey, it’s Grace…

Jamie: Oh, h-hey Grace. Is everything okay?

Grace: Yeah, everything is fine. *nervous* I, uhm… wanted to see if you possibly wanted to hang out together today? I surprisingly haven’t been to Santa Monica Beach despite working on the boardwalk, and uhh… I just wanted to see if you wanted to come along? It’s okay if you can’t, you’re probably busy doing other things and–

The line goes silent. Jamie hasn’t said anything yet.

Grace: Hello? Jamie?

Jamie: Yeah, I’m here; I, uhh… I would gladly accompany you to the beach. I actually haven’t been since being here as well, so…

Grace: Cool! So… uhm, I’ll meet you there, I guess?

Jamie bites his lower lip nervously and shuts his eyes. He opens them, as well as his mouth.

Jamie: I’ll come and pick you up in about an hour?

Grace: Oh! You don’t have to, I can just–

Jamie: It’s nothing. I will come and get you and then we can go to the beach together. Is that alright?

The line goes silent for a moment.

Grace: Yeah, that works for me. I’ll see you in an hour then, Jamie.

Jamie: See you soon, Grace.

The phone call ends and Jamie hangs up the phone. Jamie rubs his face, now stressed out.

Jamie: Aigoo…

Black Sheep in Society.

Lost Black Sheep, Hurt Black Sheep: A Scene.

Rosie: For fucks sake, Micah, I’m not contagious.

The remark makes Micah smile. Even with Rosie in the condition she is, she’s still able to be the Rosie Micah knows and loves. He walks over to Rosie and pulls a chair toward her bed.

Micah: Hey, Roe. How are you feeling?

Rosie: Doped up on painkillers, but I’m pulling through.

She looks at the flowers in Micah’s hands.

Rosie: You have a date after this or are those flowers for me?

Micah: *looks at the flowers* Oh! No, these are for you.

Micah hands them over to Rosie, who takes them from him. He notices the bandages wrapped around her wrists when she does.

Rosie: Thank you. You didn’t have to…

Micah: It’s the least I can do, plus my mom picked them out.

Rosie smiles and rests her head on the pillow behind him.

Rosie: How’s art history going?

Micah: It’s alright. We have a presentation next week on renaissance art.

Rosie: *scoffs* I’m gonna fail that fucking class…

Micah: You’re not gonna fail, Roe. You’re literally in a hospital bed; there’s nothing much you can do.

Rosie doesn’t answer back. Micah looks back towards the front door, then turns back around.

Micah: You got connections.

Rosie: *rolls eyes* That’s Hudson and his partner… Work partner; not romantic.

It makes Micah laugh out loud, and Rosie follows. She winces in pain when she laughs too hard. Micah puts his bed on the bed as a reflex.

Micah: You’re okay?

Rosie nods. There is a pause before she speaks again.

Rosie: Hudson’s my guardian. He works for the police department in Philly.

Micah nods, listening to Rosie as she speaks.

Micah: Does he know your parents or something?

Rosie: No.

Micah doesn’t push Rosie. He stays quiet.

Micah: He’s protective of you, huh?

Rosie: *scoffs* He has to be, he’s a cop.

Micah: No, I mean he really cares about you if he’s here guarding your room…

Rosie doesn’t answer back. She adjusts in her bed, making her arms more visible to Micah. He shuts his eyes for a moment. Rosie notices and becomes annoyed.

Rosie: I know you’re just dying to ask about them, so go ahead.

She lifts her arms as she speaks. She plops them back down when she finishes her sentence. Micah watches her.

Micah: I think the least I deserve is some answers about what happened.

Rosie: *sarcastically* Wow, that’s so entitled of you to say!

Micah: I’m serious, Roe. What am I supposed to think when you show up at my house the way you did?

Rosie: I was hoping a friend would just help another friend in need–

Micah: Yeah, if you had a flat bike tire or something, not when you’re badly beaten up!

Rosie: What do you want from me, dude?

Micah: The fucking truth, Rosie! Why are there police officers guarding your door like someone is still out to kill you? Was someone trying to kill you? Shut you up? Rosie, I went fucking bonkers when I couldn’t help you! Do you even remember what happened that night?

Rosie doesn’t answer back.

Micah: I know you don’t because every time I tried to help you out, you kept blacking out. I’m not trying to make you relive the experience, but not knowing what happened to you pisses me off because–

Rosie: Why do you care so much anyway?

Micah: *annoyed* Just in case you didn’t hear me the first 500 times, I care about you because you are my friend. I tend to care about my friends.

Rosie: Well stop caring.

Rosie adjusts in her bed, exposing your bandaged wrists. Micah looks at Rosie.

Micah: You know, when I was 16, I had this self-belief that my family would’ve been better off without me. I was nothing but a problem child that kept getting expelled for petty little shit. I felt this energy from my friends and family that I was a nobody. Plus, on top of that, I was getting bullied in school, blah blah blah…

Micah holds up his arms. Rosie looks at them. She notices the raised skin in thin lines on his wrists. She looks up at him.

Micah: My sister, Dylan, found me in the bathroom. She still knocks on the bathroom door to this day whenever I use it.

Rosie doesn’t say anything.

Micah: You don’t deserve to have people in your life that don’t care about you.

Rosie’s face softens. She doesn’t say anything to Micah.

Micah: I may not understand completely, but I still care about you, a lot. Like, deadass Roe you’re, like, my best-fucking-friend. I hope you allow me to be at least a friend to you… if best friends aren’t your type of thing.

This makes Rosie smile, which puts Micah at ease. Rosie takes a deep breath. Her face is now worried. Micah waits whenever Rosie’s ready. He’s taken back when she sees Rosie sticking her pinky out towards him. He looks at it, knowing whatever is said between them stays in this room. He wraps his pinky finger around Rosie’s. Micah’s body numbs in a feeling he hasn’t felt since–

Rosie: I’m sorry for lying to you. It’s something I just can’t tell anyone.

Micah tilts his head, trying to comprehend where she was going with this.

Rosie: I met Prescott on some rich boy’s dating site. He was sweet. Ambitious. Caring. He spoiled me in ways I had never been spoiled before by a guy. He took me to important events, fancy dinners… I was living a life I wanted to be a part of, but things always have a price behind them…

Micah doesn’t move or say anything. He just listens.

Rosie: After a while, we had… this agreement. I needed money to get by here and the bookstore wasn’t cutting it anymore, and before you say some shit like “Rosie, you don’t gotta do that for money if you aren’t comfortable”; I was. I did this shit back in Philly to get by. I agreed to do this, like, it was my fucking dream to get what I wanted without strings attached, but…

She sighs.

Rosie: He started to see other girls, and I got wildly jealous. I tried to hit him where it hurt and see some other guy– not like another celebrity– just, some regular guy. That’s when it first started. But, he always was sorry and took care of me. I forgave him because it was just part of the agreement, even if his jealousy lead him to do it more…

Micah was growing furious. He didn’t want to show Rosie, but he was only able to hide so much.

Rosie: Hudson called me on my cellphone that night. Prescott smashed my phone. I got angry, then he got angry, and that’s when things got bad… *sigh* and now we are here.

Micah: Did he… you know…?

Rosie: No. That was a part of the agreement.

Micah is in awe. He gets up from his seat, holding his hands on his head.

Micah: Rosie, what the actual fuck! Why would you put yourself through something like that?!

Rosie: *defensive* So you’re saying it’s my fault that a man nearly-beaten me half to death, is that it?

Micah: This wasn’t the first time he put his hands on you, Roe! What would’ve happened if he deadass killed you that night?! Just fucking tossed you in his garbage like you were fucking leftover caviar or some shit?! *realizes* You had bruises for weeks prior to this incident. You were out of school or weeks! He told you to not go to class anymore, huh?

Rosie: You don’t even know what the fuck you’re talking about, so just shut the fuck up!

Micah: Why would you cover up for some asshole like him?

Rosie: Get out of my room!

Micah’s eyes widen.

Micah: You’re still in love with Prescott Jones, aren’t you? *angry* Even after all he’s done to you, *puts at Rosie’s wrists* make you do, you still fucking love that son-of-a-bitch. *scoffs* I swear when I see his dumb car on campus again, I–

Rosie: Don’t!

Micah: Why not? He fucking thinks he’s the man for beating up women, let’s see if he can keep that same energy with a man!

Rosie: *pleas* Micah, please don’t! I’m begging you just–

Rosie starts to cry, which throws Micah off at first. Micah is dumbfounded. He grabs his things from the chair he was sitting in.

Micah: Take care of yourself, Roe. Not some asshole that clearly doesn’t care about you. The Rosie I know told me that.

Micah walks towards the exit of the room, not looking back at Rosie.

A couple of weeks pass by, and Micah is seen sitting in the library writing in his lyrics book. He is preparing for the New Year’s Eve event at the Oxygen Lounge; the same one Tanner told him about before the holiday season. His phone vibrates on the table; he quickly picks it up.

Micah: Yo, I’m in the library, I’ll call you back… Yes Tanner, tell Dani I’ll bring the equipment over tonight after class… tell her to chill, sheesh…

Micah looks out the library window while he’s on the phone. His eyebrows scrunch together when he sees a familiar white Porsche parked outside.

Micah: Yeah, yeah… no I hear you bro…

He walks Prescott get out from the driver’s side as the passenger’s door opens. Micah is at a loss for words.

Rosie exits Prescott’s car.

— End of Season 1 —

The "Something" Series: Season 2

Something of a Stretch: A Monologue.

15…16…17…

It feels like it’s been decades since I’ve been to the gym. I guess it’s because I never had the time if I was working on a case; whether it was in New York or Korea. Something told me to come here and just plug in my headphones to my phone and relieve some stress. Ya, how are you stressed while being on vacation, Jaemin-ah?

18…19… 20.

I placed the weights back on the bench, catching my breath afterward. Yeah, you definitely are out of shape. I sit up and grab my bag for my water bottle. I look around the gym as I take a break.

“Just forget her! Let her go already!” Shawn yelled out. My face boiled in anger; I wanted nothing more to rip Shawn’s throat out of his mouth.

“Hyung!” Kevin tried to stop Shawn from talking by backing him away from me, but I saw it in Shawn’s eyes. He honestly didn’t think he was in the wrong. Maybe he wasn’t. I was the one that dragged him out with me because I was too much of a punk to face Grace alone.

As I exited the door, Shawn yelled some more. “She does nothing but gets your head all fucked up anyway!” I had no energy to fight anymore; I had just fought Kevin hours before about Grace and I didn’t want to do it again.

I can’t help but get mad at what Shawn said because I replayed my time with Grace repeatedly in my head. I don’t think I’ve laughed and enjoyed my time like that in a long time. It felt good to be around company–simple company–even if Grace and I are nowhere near being simple people. California is treating her well; her skin is covered in freckles from the sun, her body looks healthy, and she genuinely looks happy. Maybe me coming back into her life unexpectedly was a bad idea. What if she spirals? What if she’s reminded of all the bad memories after seeing me? I would hate to be the reason that she–

Ya, she’s not yours to care for anymore.

I get up from the bench and grabbed my bag and headed to the bathroom to wash up. The gym wasn’t helping me relax the way I hoped it would.

“Hi mom,” I greeted my mother over the phone in Korean as I walk towards the parking lot of the gym.

“Jaemin-ah,” she started. “How are you doing? Are you safe in America?”

“Yes, mom, I’m doing okay. How’s Mina and Minju noona?” I asked, placing my bag in the passenger seat of the car before walking to the driver’s side.

“Mina is about to have the baby any day now,” she began to say. “Lia is helping around the house while Mina is resting.”

“How about you? Are you okay? Do you need anything?” I asked. My mom laughs over the phone before responding.

“Honey, you won’t be able to help me with anything being so far away,” mom answered. I hated when she did that. She makes me feel guilty every time I leave the family home to go back to Seoul, let alone leave Korea for a country across the world.

“Mom, don’t say things like that,” I tell her. “You could always tell me if you need anything.”

“I’m okay,” she coldly stated. “Minju will help me.”

As I got into the car, I shut my eyes, not answering my mother.

“Jaemin-ah?” Mom called for me.

“Yes?” I answered back.

“You are coming back before Chuseok, right?”

“Of course, I am,” I answered. “I’m just on vacation here. I’ll be back home at the end of the summer.”

“Okay,” she simply said. Nothing else was said. It was like I was talking o a stranger at this point.

I opened the front door of the house and placed my keys on the table next to the door. I didn’t want to check and see if anyone was still downstairs; I immediately went straight upstairs toward my room. As I got to the top of the stairs, I see Kevin on the balcony looking out. I sighed and walked towards the balcony; I can’t stay mad at the two people that I’m on vacation with for another month and a half.

I walked outside and Kevin turned around. He was on the phone. I raised my hand, letting him finish his call.

“Okay babe, I will talk to you later. Have a good day; love you,” he said over the phone. Hearing Kevin talk to JooAh always makes me smile; he’s so in love with her. He hangs up the phone and faces me.

“Are we going ring shopping anytime soon? Or,” I teased. Kevin rolls his eyes and sits on one of the balcony seats. I do the same.

“Some day. She is the one,” Kevin smiles as he speaks about her. I can’t help but squeal to tease him some more.

“Daebak,” I said in Korean. “I’m excited for your future with her.” Kevin nodded his head and took a deep breath. There was an awkward silence. We seem to know what is causing such a dead silence all of a sudden.

“Where’s Shawn?” I asked.

“He went out,” Kevin nervously answered.

“By himself?” I was genuinely curious. “He doesn’t even know that much English to be getting around by himself.” Kevin nervously picks at his fingers, which I don’t understand why he is.

“He went out with Skylar,” Kevin admitted. I rolled my eyes at his answer.

“Aigoo, didn’t he just see her last night, you know, when he ditched me?” I sarcastically answered.

“Hyung,” Kevin started. “Shawn hyung has never said those things to you before. He’s never been that angry,” Kevin continued to explain.

“Shawn is just on a high because an actual woman is giving him attention,” I said, and I can tell it bothered Kevin.

“You mean how Grace gave you attention when you first got to New York?” Kevin spat back.

“Grace was different. She was my friend and was good company while we first were in New York–“

“Maybe that’s how he feels? Maybe he likes Skylar’s company,” Kevin debated.

“Yeah, he likes being in her pants,” I said, annoyed at the conversation.

“Hyung, I think you should go easy on him. I think you would be understanding about how he feels since… well, since you’ve been there before.

I began to get up from the balcony chair, regretting even coming back here in the first place.

“Hyung,” Kevin called out.

“Yeah?” I said, wanting to just go to my room.

“Talk to Shawn when he gets home, please,” Kevin pleaded. I sighed, not really in the mood to make up with Shawn after hearing he’s back out with Grace’s cousin.

“Okay,” I said, tired.

I turned back around and went towards my room. Is Kevin right? Is Shawn spending this time with Grace’s cousin because he feels the same way I first met Grace? I shake my head and scoff, walking towards the closet to change for the night.

“You’re just gonna get hurt, buddy,” I tell myself.

Black Sheep in Society.

A Black Sheep’s Temper: A Scene.

Micah, Dani, and Tanner hang out in the Student Center building during their break. Tanner is eating a bag of chips while Dani studies. She repeatedly looks at Tanner, annoyed at the noise he is making.

Dani: Babe?

Tanner stops to look at Dani. Dani smiles.

Dani: I love you, but you and that bag of chips need to chill.

Tanner closes the bag and places it in his bag. Across the couple sits Micah, who hasn’t said a word since being there. Dani looks at Micah.

Dani: Dude, are you okay? I would’ve heard some wack clap-back from you by now.

Micah doesn’t say anything back. He keeps looking at his phone mindlessly. Dani looks at Tanner for assistance.

Tanner: Bro?

Micah finally looks up.

Micah: What?

Tanner: Are you okay? You haven’t been yourself lately.

Dani wears a worried look on her face, which isn’t like the spunky, loud-mouth girl she is. Micah looks at Dani, and Tanner looks in her direction.

Tanner: *to Dani* You know?

Micah: *intervenes* Yeah, Dani; do you know?

Dani sighs and puts her book down on the table in front of her.

Dani: Your mom told my mom what happened over the weekend.

Micah: Of course she did.

Dani: Our moms are best friends, dude; don’t blame your mom–

Micah: *annoyed* Whatever, Dani, might as well just blurt it out.

Dani looks uneasy; Tanner keeps looking at Dani and Micah, confused in what’s happening.

Dani: Look, I’m sorry that happened to you.

Tanner: Is someone gonna tell me what happened?

Dani: Micah?

Micah huffs, putting his phone in his pocket and sitting up straight in his chair.

Micah: A good friend of mine was beaten up by their partner and they showed up at my house. We took them to the hospital; end of the story.

Dani: Dude, her eye was swollen shut! What kind of monster would–

Micah: *annoyed* Shut the fuck up, Dani! I don’t need you talking about the details when clearly, it’s none of your business in the front place!

Dani: Well you’re just sitting here acting like nothing happened when really, she needs to go to the fucking police about that!

Micah: You don’t think I know that? She won’t, so what’s the fucking point?!

Tanner: Wait, wait, wait…

Tanner tries to keep the peace between the two friends. He takes in a deep breath before saying anything else.

Tanner: Micah, if it was as serious as it was, why didn’t you call the police?

Micah: Because I know her. She didn’t want any attention on her about this–

Dani: Fuck that noise; only people in power shut their victims up.

This makes Micah even more angry. Dani notices the shift in behavior.

Dani: … Did she tell you who did that to her?

Micah gets up from his seat and exits the area. Tanner is heard calling for Micah, in which he ignores.

Micah is seen walking inside of the hospital front door with a small bouquet of flowers. He nervously walks to the front desk.

Micah: Uhm, hi… I’m here to visit Rosie Delgado…

The receptionist looks up from the desk.

Receptionist: What’s your name, sir?

Micah: Micah Kamalani.

The receptionist types something on the computer. A sticker prints out from a printer and is handed to Micah.

Receptionist: She’s in Room 703.

Micah: Thank you.

Micah walks towards the elevators, nervous to see Rosie for the first time.

Micah walks down the long hallway on the 7th floor. He stops when he sees a police officer in front of Rosie’s door. He immediately stands up in front of the door. Micah looks up at the officer.

Micah: I’m here to see Rosie.

Officer: No one is allowed inside Ms. Delgado’s room.

Micah: *annoyed* What are you, her bodyguard? If so, where the fuck were you when she was–

A door behind the officer opens; it was the man that showed up at the hospital the night Rosie was admitted. He looks at Micah. Micah reads the badge around the man’s neck, it reads “Detective Sam Hudson”. Micah looks back up at the tall, dirty-blonde haired man.

Hudson: Are you Micah?

Micah nods. Hudson excuses the officer to the side to let Micah go through. Micah walks into the room to see Rosie sleeping soundly in the bed. The color on Micah’s face vanishes.

Hudson: She’s just resting, son.

Hudson walks p to and gently wakes her up. Rosie opens her eyes and looks at Hudson.

Hudson: Hey, kid; you have company.

He helps Rosie adjust herself in the bed. Micah stands there with the flowers still in his hands. He looks at Rosie, whose eye looks a lot better than it did the night she came to his house. Her bruises are still visible, but she’s looking a lot more like the Rosie he knows.

Rosie looks at Micah. Micah freezes in place. Hudson looks at me and back at Rosie.

Hudson: Kelly and I will be outside near the door if anything.

Hudson walks away from Rosie, and nods towards Micah. He exits the room. Micah still stands in place.

Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: My Introduction to Confidence.

“Wow, Liz; did you lose your personality too when you lost the weight?”

No. She’s just got the confidence to change old habits.

I remember 311lbs. Liz on days like today. I remember how tired she would be. She envied her coworkers at the bookstore that were able to keep up with the fast pace environment and never looked like they were tired. She accepted that her clothes had to be bought in an online catalog years ago; one where their sizes would go up to 5x, and she wore a comfortable 4x and a fitted 3x. To come and think of it, this summer would’ve kicked her ass due to how hot it got. She couldn’t handle the summer heat well. She might’ve been going through her annual seasonal depression; she would hate the summer so much because she couldn’t enjoy it the way she wanted to.

So here comes 203lbs. Liz; sitting in the park 2 miles away from her home and writing for the blog. This isn’t the first time she’s done this; as a matter of fact, she’s done this more times than she can count. She’s also walked these streets with a Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee in her hand and wireless earbuds with kpop blasting, or some old-school that her closest friend has put her onto. She has energy like a teenager these days; she could have taken on 3 projects for the day and still feel bored enough to go for a walk or to take on another task, like help with the two kittens occupying her room, or go on Instagram Live and prep penpal envelopes with a good friend of hers. My favorite thing she does is work an entire afternoon and still has the energy to travel across boroughs and spend the night in Downtown Brooklyn. She feels good. She feels confidence.

And I know she will not let anyone or anything take that away from her, because it’s the first time in her life that she feels it.

Confidence, in a nutshell, is whatever you make of it. There are people who feel confident in their passions. There are people who feel confident in the clothes they wear. There are people who feel confident with themselves, and that doesn’t mean it can only happen when you begin to look like what society deems as “pretty” or “good looking”.

And my God, if you think I now look “good looking” in society, then think again.

I’m still overweight. I’m still out of shape. I am in no way even close to being “skinny”. I am just a person that lost over 100 pounds after having weight-loss surgery. I don’t think I am better than my friends or family, but who I am better than is the Liz I was before surgery.

Yes, I feel good because I lost all the weight; it’s natural to feel good about those things. I worked hard these last two years prepping for surgery and then learning what my life would be like after it happened. It hasn’t been easy, and I know those around me understand that completely, but please don’t link my confidence as being a negative thing.

March 2020.

Both 311lb Liz and 203lb Liz understand how important self-worth is. The Liz that grew up in this body as an adolescent and teenager both remember the moments where their self-worth was non-existent. They didn’t know how to speak up for themselves or defend themselves when people would mess with them. Adolescent Liz dealt with bullies calling her fat every single day in middle school until someone else had to step in and stop it. Teenager Liz was suicidal because her image was tarnished after letting her heart lead all of her decisions. Even young adult, 20-something year old Liz dealt with not knowing her identity or how to prioritize a mental illness when all she knew how to do was allow others to walk all over her.

Sure, maybe a lot of this stems from the fact that I was always the fat girl or the heaviest in a friend group. Maybe this stems from a place where every boy I had a crush on growing up did not see me in that way because I was the fat girl. Maybe this stems from a place where as I grew up, I learned that some guys will only talk to you because they want “the fat girl experience” and that some friends will only be your friend because they are smaller than you, which makes them think they are prettier or better than you. maybe this stems from a place where society told me at a young age that you were not worthy enough as you are, and without even realizing it, I allowed dozens of people to walk all over me and constantly tell me that I wasn’t ever worth it.

Developing self-worth came with therapy. Identifying what I was feeling and why I was feeling it helped me realize that I always knew I was worth being respected and treated fairly, even if it was hard for me to voice it out. I chose to leave what I had in 2019 because I needed to discover myself outside of being someone else’s girl. I chose to come back when I was ready and when I embraced parts of myself that I was ashamed of years prior. I chose to get this surgery because I knew my potential was much greater than what I was giving myself credit for. I decided to leave my job at the bookstore for a better opportunity because I knew I could grow and challenge myself in another environment. All the decisions I make, whether good or bad, have stemmed from a place where I didn’t regret it in that moment and at some point, I deserved it because I was worth it.

Back to my weight loss; I will not sit here and say that me losing over 100 pounds did not trigger something inside me. Of course I felt amazing seeing my clothing sizes get smaller, and it felt even more amazing when I was now doing so much more physical work and not feeling like I was gonna pass out. This is my hard work, and I am allowed to feel great because of it. But, maybe it took me feeling good on the outside to finally feel good on the inside as well. Maybe my confidence is shown more now that I’m confident in myself physically and mentally. I’ve taken care of my mental health for 4 years now, and I have been working on my physical health for 2. Maybe it also took me growing up, setting boundaries, and prioritizing myself in order to finally feel what confidence is for me.

So, yeah. I did change. I changed the way I saw myself and how other people treated me, and I guess it took some weight loss surgery to finally project that into the universe.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

Spicy Little Something: A Scene.

Grace: Skylar!

Grace yells toward the upstairs balcony. She continues to yell out for Skylar until Skylar is seen walking towards the balcony, looking down at Grace.

Skylar: What, what?!

Grace: What the fuck is wrong with you?

Skylar walks down the stairs; tired.

Skylar: I literally just woke up; I couldn’t have done anything wrong…

Grace: What happened last night?!

Skylar smiles and sits on the sofa.

Skylar: Shawn is so funny. I never met a man like him before…

Grace: That’s because he lives in Korea; I can’t believe you really left me for some guy, Sky!

Skylar: What? You were with Jamie, you were in a man’s hands for once…

Grace: That’s not my point! You really didn’t care where the fuck I was before you decided to come back here with Shawn.

Skylar rolls her eyes and flips through a magazine on the coffee table. Grace yanks it out of her hand.

Skylar: *annoyed* What the hell is your problem?

Grace: I don’t have a problem; I could care less what you do in your free time, but when you make dumb decisions that affect other people, then we have a problem! I’m sick and tired of having to look after you like a damn child and when I don’t, you continue to act like one!

Skylar: No one told you to look after me! I’m a grown woman; not your child!

Grace: *yells* Then stop acting like a damn child!

Skylar: *yells louder* If you want to look after a child, maybe go and look after your actual one!

Grace doesn’t say anything, but her face says it all. Skylar becomes apologetic, but Grace isn’t having it.

Skylar: I’m so sorry, Grace–

Grace grabs her purse from the sofa and walks upstairs, ignoring Skylar. Skylar tries to get Grace’s attention by grabbing her arm, but Grace turns around and yanks her arm away.

Grace: Don’t. Fucking. Touch. Me.

Skylar doesn’t say anything. Grace turns back around and walks toward her room.

When Grace enters her room, she drops her bag near the door. She looks up towards the ceiling; trying to keep her tears from falling down.

Grace: *to herself* For fuck’s sake, Grace, keep it together…

She takes in a deep breath and slowly walks to her bed, then plops herself onto it. She looks up at the ceiling, heavy in thought. She slowly closes her eyes, tired from the night she had.

Grace is seen wearing a emerald green dress with nude, strappy high-heels. Her hair is down and her natural auburn red curls frame her face. She looks around the venue, not knowing anyone there besides the people that invited her. She follows a crowd of people towards a ballroom hall, in which is decorated with an assortment of flowers, lights, and flowy curtains. She walks to the greeting table and gets her number for her seat in the venue.

As she walks towards her table, she sees an elderly woman holding the hand of someone she knows. She smiles and walks towards the elderly woman.

Grace: Hi, Eleanor–

Grace’s crouches down to look at the little girl with Eleanor.

Grace: Hi, Willow!

The little girl hides behind her great-great grandmother. Grace’s face turns red and quickly gets back up.

Grace: It’s okay, it’s mommy!

Willow: No you’re not!

Grace is dumbfounded. She looks towards the man and woman walking in their direction. The little girl turns around and runs up to the woman and hugs her. The woman bends down to pick her up, in which she continues to walk with their man.

Eleanor: Max, Mariam; the ceremony was beautiful…

Max: Thank you, nan.

Max looks at the woman and kisses her. The couple looks at Grace; the woman still holding Grace’s daughter. Grace is confused as there is now a loud noise going off in the venue.

Grace opens her eyes to the sound of an alarm going off. She rubs her eyes and looks at her bag that is near her bedroom door.

Grace: Fuck–

Grace quickly gets out of her bed and rushes to her bag. She takes out her cell phone and shuts off the alarm. She then quickly walks to her vanity where her laptop is and flips it open. As soon as she sits down, she gets an incoming video call. When she answers, Max appears on her screen.

Grace: Hey!

Max: Hey Grace, just give her a moment; she wants to show you something.

A little girl’s voice is heard in the distance on Max’s screen. It gets louder as the little girl approaches Max. He picks up the little girl and puts her on his lap. She faces the screen and waves at it.

Willow: Hi Mommy!

Grace’s face lights up when she hears her daughter’s voice.

Grace: Hi, little bean!

Willow: Look what I made for you at camp!

Willow holds up a decorated macaroni necklace with different colored beads and tri-colored dry pasta.

Grace: It’s beautiful! I love it!

Willow: Daddy said I can give it to you when you come to see me.

Grace keeps her smile on her face, despite feeling immensely guilty for being so far from her daughter.

Grace: I can’t wait. I will always wear it when I do.

Willow smiles. Max looks down at his daughter.

Max: Tell mommy more about summer camp, sweetie.

Willow begins to talk about her day at summer day camp, and Grace does nothing but listens to Willow speak.

Black Sheep in Society.

Emergency Room Black Sheep: A Monologue.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The "Something" Series: Season 2

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

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

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

Jamie: I know you’re watching me.

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

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

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

Jamie: Just say it already.

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

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

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

Jamie leans in close to Kevin on the island.

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

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

Jamie can’t answer right away. He sighs.

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

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

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

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

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

Jamie grows frustrated.

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

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

Jamie: *stern* Don’t.

Kevin scoffs; his voice gets louder.

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

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

Kevin: Hyung–

Jamie stops and turns back to look at Kevin.

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

Jamie turns away and walks out of the kitchen.

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

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

Jamie: Are you okay? Are you feeling hot?

Grace: No, I’m fine.

Silence.

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

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

Grace: Skylar can be very persuasive.

Grace finally looks at Jamie.

Grace: She persuaded you to go to The Voyage.

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

Grace chuckles and looks forward towards the highway.

Grace: Touche.

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

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

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

Jamie: I’m… legitimately afraid of Ari.

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

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

Grace: *nods* Mhm.

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

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

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

Jamie: It’s the least I can do.

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

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

Jamie: *stern* Ya~

Shawn and Kevin look at Jamie.

Shawn: Hyung! Where were you?

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

Shawn: Did you spend some quality time with her?

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

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

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

Jamie: You ditched me at the bar last night!

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

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

Shawn: Hyung, Skylar is… so amazing.

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

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

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

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

Kevin: Hyung!

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

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

Jamie: *yells* Ya!

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

Kevin: Hyung!

The door slams shut.

Black Sheep in Society.

Fight and Flight Black Sheep: A Monologue.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Shh, Rosie; it’s okay, you’re safe–“

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

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

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

Fuck.

Misc., Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: I have a problem.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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