Black Sheep in Society.

Romantically Inclined Black Sheep: A Scene.

The bell to the front door of the college bookstore is heard when it swings open. Micah walks in there and immediately looks within the aisles. Rosie, who is working at the register today, watches Micah walk around the store in a hurry. When he can’t find what he is looking for, he walks up to the counter where Rosie is.

Micah: Hey Roe, do you guys sell like flowers or cute shit?

Rosie raises an eyebrow.

Rosie: At a college bookstore?

Micah sighs loudly. Rosie leans on the counter to talk to Micah.

Rosie: What’s going on?

Micah: I haven’t had the time to go shopping for a gift for Kalia and our date is, well… later tonight.

Rosie: *shakes her head* Very typical for a man.

Micah: Look, I don’t have time to stop by a store after class to get something; I was going to do it this weekend but–

Rosie: You forgot?

Micah doesn’t say anything, he just nods his head.

Micah: I can’t fuck this up.

Rosie sighs and looks around the store with Micah.

Rosie: Okay, let’s see what we can do…

Rosie looks on the shelves and sees the gifts section of the bookstore. She pulls a latte plushie off from the shelf.

Rosie: She would like this? I mean, models drink lattes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; right?

Micah rolls his eyes and takes the plushie from Rosie.

Micah: I mean, it has a cute face…

Rosie continues to walk down the aisle to the trade book wall. She looks through the selections and pulls out a poetry book.

Rosie: It’s no Dickinson, but girls like poetry, I guess?

Micah: *confused* Do you not identify as one?

Rosie rolls her eyes and continues to walk towards where the snacks are.

Rosie: What kind of candy does she like?

Micah doesn’t say anything. Rosie looks up back at Micah when he stays silent.

Rosie: Do you not know what she likes?

Micah: She’s an aspiring actress; unless you guys sell vegetable-like candy, I don’t think she’s gonna want candy.

Rosie shakes her head in disbelief and puts the candy back.

Rosie: Well, college students like to snack on junk, so Kalia might like the water we sell here… I mean it’s pH-balanced…

Micah goes to the counter to place the plushie and poetry book. Rosie walks behind the counter to check him out.

Micah: This should be enough…

Rosie: Why are you so jittery about this date with your girlfriend?

Micah: *sighs* It would be our first date in over a month…

Rosie widens her eyes as she scans the items.

Rosie: Everything’s good?

Micah: She’s busier than ever, so we haven’t gotten the chance to actually spend time with each other.

Rosie: That sounds concerning…

Micah: *brushes it off* We’re fine, she’s just working towards her career. I can’t be mad at her for doing so.

Rosie: Okay, if you feel that way, who am I to tell you anything…

Micah looks at Rosie, raising an eyebrow at her. He takes the bagged goods and puts his card back in his wallet.

Micah: I should get going; can I get your notes for class today tomorrow?

Rosie: You’re skipping class today?

Micah: I have to, Kalia’s only available this afternoon.

Rosie rolls her eyes and sighs.

Rosie: Yeah, I got you.

Micah nods in appreciation and leaves the bookstore in a hurry. Rosie shakes her head.

Rosie: That boy is whipped.

Micah gets off the bus with a gift bag and flowers. He’s in his best business casual attire: a button-down shirt, black jeans, and black converse with a black blazer on. He takes in a deep breath and walks towards the restaurant he’s meeting Kalia at.

Once he walks in, he sees that the restaurant has been reserved for just them two. Micah’s eyebrows shoot up in surprise.

Waiter: Right this way, Mr. Kamalani.

Micah is taken back by the hospitality of the waiter. He follows the waiter towards the balcony section of the fancy restaurant, where there is a table set up for two. Micah sits down in one of the seats and patiently waits for Kalia to arrive.

He waits for Kalia for an hour before she finally arrives.

When Kalia arrives, she’s dressed in a very fancy dress; it’s much fancier than the outfit Micah has on. He gets up from his seat to greet his girlfriend. He kisses her on the cheek.

Micah: I thought you were ditching me today.

Kalia: No, no! I had to get something extra special on my way here.

Micah looks confused when Kalia grabs his arm and leads him towards the back. When entering the back valley of the restaurant, Kalia runs towards the surprise. Micah looks at Kalia in shock, not really believing what’s happening in front of him.

Kalia: Surprise!

Micah slowly walks towards the motorcycle that he used to go and visit back at the motorcycle shop.

Micah: W-what? What’s going on?

Kalia: *points to motorcycle* This beauty is yours!

Micah’s face lights up and walks toward the motorcycle. He still looks completely in awe.

Micah: How did you know this was the one I’ve been looking for?

Kalia: I had some help from Tanner. He told me the motorcycle has been on your mind for quite some time and, well, I wanted to get it for you.

Micah: Kal, this is–

Kalia: It’s the least I can do for you, Micah.

Kalia looks uneasy when saying it, but Micah doesn’t notice it. He finally accepts the fact that the motorcycle he has been eyeballing is finally is. He turns around and hugs Kalia tightly, lifting her off of the ground.

Micah: You are absolutely amazing; thank you so much, babe!

As he hugs her, Kalia fakes a smile, trying to hide the worry on her face when the two disembark from their hug. Micah grabs Kalia’s hand and heads back into the restaurant.

Micah: Let’s have an amazing date together.

Kalia: Yep.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

When Something Really is Nothing: A Monologue.

39,850 Apartment Building Hallway Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free  Images - iStock

“Jaemin-ah,” Seohyun’s voice whispered. I snap back to reality; I look up at the ceiling and then to my side, where Seohyun lays next to me, in her pajamas. I look at her, who then smiles at me. “What should we do on our weekend off?” I wrapped my arm around her, bringing her closer to me.

“Seohyun-ah…” I started, then sighed. I didn’t need to say anymore; she knew what was coming. Her smile faded away.

“You have to go in today? It’s Saturday, though,” Seohyun protested. I kissed her on the forehead, trying to reassure her.

“I have to, it’s my trial case,” I explained to her. She shifts in the bed and puts the covers over her. SHe’s clearly upset at me. This wouldn’t be the first time I had to leave this bed to go into work. I turned over to Seohyun, trying to unravel her from the covers.

“Seohyun-ah,” I playfully said her name. I begin to tickle her, which makes her giggle and surrender. She turns around and smiles at me, and I smiled back. Nothing was said for a moment until she took a deep breath.

“Come back quickly,” Seohyun said. I nodded my head.

“I will,” I answered.

I stood in the door way of Ari’s apartment, not knowing what to say next. Here I was, just missed my flight back to Korea to come and see Grace, and she’s not even in New York anymore. Where the hell would she be? Why would she leave? What was happening?

“Jamie?” Ari asked. I snapped out of my thoughts, immediately focusing in on Ari. She looked back at her partner, who nods his head. She turns around and leads me towards the hallway of her apartment. She closes the door behind her before saying anything to me.

“Did she not tell you she was going?” Ari asked. I was confused. Why would Grace tell me where she was going? I didn’t say anything back, but Ari immediately rolled her eyes. “Of course she didn’t.”

“We haven’t spoke to each other since–” I couldn’t say it. It was like every time I mentioned our last conversation, it reminded me that it was the last time I spoke to Grace, and most likely will be the last conversation I’ll ever have with her. Ari’s face begins to feel unsettling. I may not know Ari that well, but I know that no matter what, she keeps a strong and confident face on. She doesn’t look that way at this moment, and because of that, I’m now worried.

“Jamie,” Ari started. “You and I both know that Grace was in a much better place when things were… better…” She struggled to continue. I couldn’t understand where she was going with this. What was she implying? She sighed before continuing.

“You know Grace has been struggling with… a lot, and she left for… herself. She’s been through a lot these last couple of years–“

“–With me?” I spat out. Ari was taken back. Her hard exterior appeared once again.

“I think Grace has been the best version of herself when she met you,” Ari answered back. “But,” she continued, “She’s struggled with a lot since then and she left to figure some shit out.” I didn’t know what Ari was implying. She looked at me like I was foreign, like I had something to do with Grace’s departure.

“I don’t know what Grace has told you about me–” I began, but Ari immediately cut me off.

“Jamie, this really isn’t about you at this point,” Ari bluntly said. I was taken back at the remark. If this wans’t about me, then why would she just up and leave her life behind in the city? “Grace needed to do this for herself and… I don’t know, if you really cared about her, you’d be happy she made this choice.”

“If I cared about her?” I said more angry than concerned. I was upset that Ari, who is Grace’s best friend, would even question if I cared about Grace. Of course I did. I care about her more than anything else in this world, and I wanted to tell her that personally, to let her know that I do more than just care for her. I love her.

“Yeah, Jamie; if you cared about her you would let her go,” Ari coldly said. I couldn’t contain my anger anymore. It was like I had to prove myself over and over again, and it was tiring. “Maybe things are better off this way. I don’t know where she went, and quite frankly it’s better off that way. She needs to take space for herself or else she would’ve gotten herself hurt, Jamie. I wouldn’t– and I know you wouldn’t– want anything to happen to her.”

I didn’t say anything; I had nothing else left to say. At this point, nothing I would say to Ari would matter, and quite frankly, I was tired of talking with Ari. She wasn’t the person I wanted to talk to, and there’s just no reason for me to be here. I surrendered, nodding my head as I began to turn away from Ari’s door.

“Jamie,” Ari called out. I turned around slowly, not really interested in what she had to say; then again, she’s the only connection I have with Grace at this point. “Give her space.” I nodded back, and turned away and began to walk down the hallway towards the elevator.

I don’t know how I feel in this moment. Kevin was right; I didn’t want to leave New York before talking to Grace. It was a mistake to let her sit within everything she told me without even reaching out to her. I should’ve said something. I should’ve went to her sooner and told her everything I wanted to tell her. I needed her to understand that I couldn’t do this back and forth anymore. I couldn’t allow myself to keep coming back and leaving her behind. Maybe this is what I needed to feel; how she felt every time I had to leave.

But this time, I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to stay.

But that doesn’t matter anymore. I’m just amiing something out of nothing.

Black Sheep in Society.

Damper on the Black Sheep: A Scene.

Micah sits at his desk, playing with a couple of music softwares on his laptop. He doesn’t seem to be doing it to enjoy it; he looks annoyed as if he was trying to forget whatever was on his mind. He stops when he hears his phone ringing on his bed. He turns around and sees that it’s Tanner. He answers the phone.

Micah: Yo, what’s up?

Tanner: Hey man, I just wanted to know if you wanted to hang out today; Dani’s at her mom’s for the day and–

Micah: *teases* Don’t know what to do without Dani, huh?

Tanner: *defensive* It’s not like that! It’s just– well the warm weather is gonna go away soon and today’s been a nice day and–

Micah: Tanner, just say you need company since Dani isn’t home.

Micah laughs once he hears Tanner sigh on the other end of the line.

Micah: Where are you tryna go?

Tanner: Pizza from Chee-Z’s sounds really good right now.

Micah: Iight bet, I’ll meet you there in like 30.

The boys agree and hang up the phone. Micah grabs his light jacket and his bag and heads out of his bedroom.

Micah walks the long route towards the pizza parlor. He walks to a motorcycle dealership and looks around the place. He spots a motorcycle that immediately catches his eye. While walking up to it and observing it, his phone rings in his pocket. Without looking, Micah answers his phone.

Micah: Hey Tan-Man, I’m a couple of blocks away at the–

Kalia: *confused* Micah?

Micah: *widens eyes* Kalia?

Micah looks at the screen to see it’s, in fact, Kalia.

Micah: Everything’s alright?

Kalia: *sigh* Not really. I really want to apologize for what happened at your gig yesterday…

Micah doesn’t say anything back; he continues to look at the motorcycle.

Kalia: Hello? Micah?

Micah: Huh?

Kalia: *annoyed* Are you listening to what I’m saying?

Micah: *sighs* Look Kal, it’s fine. I’m a bit busy right now, so can we talk about this later?

Kalia: I’ll see; I’m meeting my father for dinner later…

Micah rolls his eyes at the response.

Micah: We’ll talk when we get the chance. I’m meeting up with Tanner, I’ll talk to you later…

Kalia: Okay. I love you.

Micah shuts his eyes for a moment before answering.

Micah: I love you too.

Micah: So the motorcycle I was telling you about from the shop? She’s still there! *swoons* I have to get her.

Micah and Tanner are sitting in a booth at the local pizza parlor. Tanner takes a sip from his cola.

Tanner: You’re really trying to get this motorcycle, huh?

Micah: Tan, she’s the perfect shade of gunmetal and black! Her purr is probably hypnotic!

Tanner: But don’t a motorcycle cost, like, an arm and a leg? I doubt your part-time job pays enough for you to afford it.

Micah rolls his eyes at Tanner, but he knows that he’s right.

Micah: *sighs* Why couldn’t I have just been born rich?

Tanner shrugs his shoulders and begins to eat the pizza pie that the waitress brings to their table. They both take a slice, to begin with.

Tanner: *while eating* Did you and Kalia work things out?

Micah: When are we not trying to figure things out? I feel like all Kal and I do is just apologize to each other.

Tanner: I mean, you said it yourself: you signed up for this.

Micah: Yeah, I did, but I feel like I’m getting punished for doing so more than anything…

Micah leans back in the booth.

Micah: What if she’s cheating?

Tanner laughs mid-sip. He places his glass of cola back down on the table.

Tanner: Not to be mean but, she barely has time to be with you; what makes you think she’s spending her time with someone else? If anything, she’s cheating on you with her career. Or her dad–

Micah: Eww?

Tanner: I’m just saying, bro; she seems like she has no interest in anything going on in your life, and that’s something that shouldn’t be in the agreement that you signed.

Micah doesn’t say anything back. He plays with the straw in his glass of cola.

Micah: Do you think she loves me, man?

Tanner: I wanna say yeah, like why wouldn’t she? You guys have been together for so long!

Micah: But… what if she loves her job more than me?

Tanner doesn’t say anything right away; he just looks at Micah uneasy.

Tanner: I mean, she’s passionate about what she does–

Micah: *annoyed* Tanner, just say it.

Tanner: Yeah, it seems like she does at times.

Micah sighs and takes another slice of pizza and plops it down on his plate.

Micah: I don’t know what to do with her, bro.

Tanner: If you want to stay with her, then I say you guys have to talk things out. I can see just how much you love her, man. Maybe she just needs to be reminded that she has a guy that cares about her… take her out on a date!

Micah: *defeated* What’s the point in trying?

Tanner throws his fist on the table, making a “thud” sound.

Tanner: Because you love her! And you want to work things out with her! You have to show her that you care about her and your relationship. Maybe if she sees that you’re willing to fohgt for it, she will too.

Micah takes in this information and begins to consider it.

Micah: Maybe you’re right. Maybe with dinner and stuff, we could easily talk about things instead of just brushing them off.

Tanner nods his head in agreement and continues to eat the pizza. Micah begins to gather his things.

Tanner: Bro, where are you going?

Micah puts in half of the money on the table for the pizza pie.

Micah: I gotta start planning and moving shit around in my schedule for this, I’ll talk to you later!

Micah walks out of the pizza parlor in a hurry, leaving Tanner there to finish the rest of the pizza on his own.


Thoughts on Yesterday’s NYC Subway Attack.

I moved to Sunset Park with my family 22 years ago. This neighborhood has been home to where both my mother and father grew up in, and one that my sibling and I have grown up in as well. I was 6-years-old. I traveled these streets with friends as a teenager. I visited these stores and parks as I was growing up. I went to elementary and middle school in the neighborhood and made friends with those who lived in the area as well.

Sunset Park is what we call “the melting pot” of South Brooklyn. In our neighborhood that expands 30 blocks and 4 avenues, we are surrounded by Hispanics, Asians, Jewish people, and a mixture of every other demographic in New York. It’s a neighborhood that you don’t hear much about in the news unless it’s about our annual Puerto Rican Day Parade on 5th Avenue or the Lunar New Year Festival on 8th Avenue.

So when the events of today’s horrible and tragic mass shooting happened within our neighborhood this morning, most of us– if not all– were left frozen in shock.

Around 8:30am on Tuesday morning, a gunman threw a gas canister in a Northbound N-train between the (presumably) 59th Street and 36th street stops. When the train pulled into the 36th street train station, the doors opened and smoke engulfed the train station. Dozens of people on that specific train cart fled the train, whether it was to run away from the scene or out of the train station, or to fall on the ground of the platform, bloody, waiting for help to come their way. In the end, 30 people were injured and/or hurt; 10 people were shot while on that train. As I am writing this, an investigation is still active and the suspect is still at-large.

I woke up this morning not really understanding the severity of it all. I was getting ready for work like I would normally do, and checked the bus that would take me at least halfway to my job. There was only one bus on-route, which was an hour away. Yeah, that particular bus takes a while to come to my stop, but it has never been to that extent. When I got on social media to read more about what was going on, I couldn’t help but feel sick to my stomach. A train station, which is literally 10 minutes away from me and that I frequently go on to travel myself, was now a crime scene. It was now surrounded by NYPD, FDNY, and even the Bomb Squad. It was crazy to think something like that would happen so close to home. I stayed home for my own safety and to ease my anxieties of traveling even though it wouldn’t be on the train itself.

It’s now a couple of hours later and the helicopters aren’t as audible as they were when it was daytime. There aren’t sirens going off every 5 minutes like they were earlier on in the day. For the most part, everything has calmed down for the night, but it doesn’t mean that waking up tomorrow for the morning commute are going to be easy. Any New Yorker is.

For the families and friends who directly were affected by this tragic event, my heart goes out for you. These people were mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, friends and so much more to those on that train this morning. I can’t help but think about my own family and what they would have had to go through if one of us were involved in such a tragic event.

It hits you harder when you see your own neighborhood on TV with dozens of medical assistance, news vans with reporters, and NYPD activity as heavy as it was earlier today. You walk out of your house and it immediately feels like a scene of a movie. It’s unfathomable. It’s something that normally doesn’t happen. It’s something that shouldn’t ever happen to any neighborhood in real life. But sadly, it does, and for a neighborhood as amazing as SUnset Park, I am saddened that this tragic event will forever taunt the beauty behind this neighborhood.

We have to be better and smarter about what goes on into our neighborhoods. We need to end this non-stop violence on the subway and make New Yorkers feel safe again. We travel the 5 boroughs on public transportation, and to take that away from us due to the fear that our morning commutes on a new day or to go home after work or school will turn for the absolute worst. We need to do something about all this violence in our communities and enforce rules to help protect ourselves.

I will forever be a New Yorker, a Brooklynnite, and Sunset Park Resident (whether I move elsewhere in the future or not). We are strong, resident, and able to come together to fight what is right for our community.

Black Sheep in Society.

Just As A Black Sheep Expected: A Scene.

It’s the day of Micah’s big gig, and Micah sits backstage waiting for his time to perform. He peaks into the audience, where he sees people of all ages hanging out and enjoying the various performances of the night. He spots Dani and Tanner sitting together in the audience; he’s thankful that they always show up. He continues to look around to see if Kalia is in the audience; no luck.

The last act before intermission finishes, which means he’s the next act when intermission finishes. He takes in a deep breath to let out all the nerves in his body. He continues to look at his phone for any messages from Kalia; nothing.

Before he puts his phone back into his pocket, it vibrates in his hand. He reads the notification and sees that it’s Rosie.

Roe: They got you performing in a fancy-ass place! Okay, rockstar! 

Micah peaks out of the curtain and searches the audience one last time. He sees Rosie sitting in the back row, looking around the venue. He looks down at his phone and sends her a text message back.

Micah: Thanks for coming out, Roe. See you after the show~

Micah puts his phone away when the intermission is over and the backstage crew call for him to get ready.

Announcer: Alright, alright! Welcome back to the Oxygen Lounge’s Amateur Night! We’re hope you’re having a great time tonight. Next in our lineup is Brooklyn native, Micah Kamalani! He’s an aspiring DJ and producer under the name Salem, so watch him mix your beats and create his own! Give it up for Salem, y’all!

The audience cheers and claps their hands as Micah walks out towards the stage.

Micah: How’s everyone doing tonight!

The audience cheers in response.

Micah: That’s what I like to hear! Tonight, I’m gonna give you guys something unreleased, y’know, a little something I’ve been working on. This song right here is called “Knock Me Out”. Enjoy!

The music begins to play and Micah immediately gets lost in the music. He dances and vibes to the beat before singing a song about a woman that he wants to get to know better romantically. The song is sexy, and Micah sways to the beat as he sings the lyrics. Dani and Tanner are bumping their heads to the beat, as well as everyone else in the audience. Rosie watches Micah in surprise; she’s never seen him in his element like this before. She also begins to vibe to the song.

Towards the climax of the song, a woman walks in with sunglasses and her hair tied up in a clean-looking bun. She sits towards the back of the venue, in which Rosie notices. She looks towards the girl as she takes off her sunglasses. Rosie’s eyes widen as she knows exactly who that is: Micah’s girlfriend. She shakes her head, dumbfounded that his girlfriend would literally get to the show moments before Micah’s set is over.

Micah looks into the audience and finally sees Kalia sitting there. Inside he’s disappointed she arrived so late, but he tries his best to hide it from the audience, and hide it within his performance.

Rosie begins to feel uncomfortable sitting so close to Micah’s girlfriend. Once Micah finshies his song and the crowd applauds Micah’s performance, Rosie gets up from her chair and walks out of the venue.

The night’s performances come to an end, and the venue now opens up to its regular hangout spot. Micah comes from the backstage area and meets up with his friends.

Tanner: That was so fire, bro!

Tanner greets Micah with a handshake into a hug; Micah smiles.

Micah: Thanks, man.

Dani: This was so much better than the last performance. Like, your last performance was great, but this was just different!

Dani pounds Micah with her fist, in which he returns it to her. Moments later, he looks around the venue for Rosie. He doesn’t see her anywhere. He stops searching once he sees Kalia walking towards him.

Kalia: Hey, babe!

Kalia kisses Micah and gives him a hug. Micah smiles at his girlfriend. His friends stand there, watching the couple.

Kalia: You were so good.

Tanner: Good?! That song was amazing, like that needs to be on Spotify like right now!

Micah laughs and Kalia doesn’t say anything back. Dani takes Tanner and gives Micah and Kalia some alone time.

Micah: Glad you were able to make it.

Kalia kisses Micah on the cheek.

Kalia: I wouldn’t have been anywhere else.

Micah smiles at Kalia. Her phone begins to ring, and picks up the phone. It’s her agent. Micah’s smile fades away. Kalia ends the phone conversation and looks at Micah.

Kalia: I have a table reading in a few for a movie, so I can’t stay for long.

Micah: *confused* Movie?

Kalia: Oh, yeah! My father got me a table reading for this movie with a director he’s close with. If everything goes well, I might actually get the role!

Micah doesn’t react right away, in which Kalia’s excitement fades away as well.

Kalia: Are you not happy for me, babe? You know I’ve been working hard for this—

Micah: No, no, I’m… happy for you. I just wish I knew about this sooner.

Kalia: I’ve been meaning to tell you, but I’ve just been so busy with auditions and preparations…

Micah: *annoyed* Yeah, but I’m your boyfriend, Kal. You didn’t think to tell me when you first got the movie deal?

Kalia: I didn’t get it, Micah.

Micah: You know what I mean. I just feel like I’m one of the last people to know what’s going on with my own girlfriend.

Kalia: You’re making a big deal out of nothing…

Micah: Am I? Kal, I’m just saying: I feel like I’m never in the loop about your career and auditions and stuff.

Kalia sighs loudly. She anxiously keeps looking at her phone. Micah rolls his eyes.

Micah: Just go, Kal. I’ll talk to you later. Again, thanks for coming…

Micah kisses Kalia on the forehead half-assed, he simply just walks away from Kalia, towards the exit of the venue.

He takes out his phone and checks it to see if there are any notifications. Nothing. He opens his messages with Rosie and begins to text her.

Micah: Hey, everything’s okay? Didn’t see you after the show.

He puts his phone back into his bag and begins to walk away from the venue. What a day to end his important night.

Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: PMDD after WLS.

People have this belief that when you lose weight, you miraculously also lose the depression and anxiety (or any poor mental health) you have. Maybe it’s the people’s fault for believing in such a superficial thing. Maybe it’s my fault for allowing people to believe I was doing a lot better mentally since having surgery.

Hi, my name is Liz and I am currently going through PMDD and have been even before having weight-loss surgery.

When I was younger (like, in my teenage years), most people couldn’t tell whenever I was on my period. It came and went without any true mood swings or noticeable behaviors that would indicate it was my time of the month. “You’re always just so bubbly and happy” is what I would hear others say whenever I spoke about having my period.

As I got older, things changed. Once I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I also felt my cycles becoming more intense and difficult to handle. For one, I would overanalyze and overthink everything that was going on in my life, and when I couldn’t control everything that I was being anxious about, I would make impulse decisions that I tend to regret once I feel like my head is in a better place. A couple of years later, I was diagnosed with PMDD, or Premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

For those who may not know what PMDD Is, it’s a much more severe form of PMS. In a nutshell, it’s when the PMS stage is so severe, the person’s mental health deeply declines and their daily functioning declines as well. For me, PMDD feels like a battle of survival; that’s not even a joke. I am constantly fighting myself to be okay and keep calm during that time of month; sometimes I succeed while other times I find myself failing miserably. Plus, if I’m already juggling stress and anxiety prior to starting this cycle, the PMDD is a lot more extreme…

even if I am losing weight after having surgery.

At the end of the day, just because I am at a place in my life where I am making progress in bettering my physical health, it doesn’t automatically mean my mental health is now “cured”. I am going to continue to be affected by things that occur within my body; it’s just how my anatomy works.

I am not saying to walk on eggshells around me. I am not saying that I should be avoided and isolated at all costs when this time of the month comes. Yes, I will admit that I become the complete opposite of who I truly am, but I am still trying and learning to be okay as possible during this time.

All I ask is to be mindful and gentle with me. I am a hell of a lot more sensitive during this time, and quite honestly, I am a ticking time bomb on this particular week of the month. But, I am learning to have control over the things I can have control over, whether that means having to do what it takes for me to even be better for a small amount of time. But please, don’t assume this part of my life doesn’t exist because I should be happy for all the progress I’ve made in the past 9 months. I am grateful, but that doesn’t mean I can’t feel emotions like I once did and deal with issues in the same way I did before. I will always have the same mind, the same depressive episodes and anxiety attacks that don’t have anything to do with my weight loss; and I also have to remind myself that even with this new body I am learning to love and get used to on a day-to-day basis, I am in control of the things I put in my body during this time of the month and I am in control in how I take care for this body.

PMDD will tell my brain to throw out all of the progress I’ve made and eat things I shouldn’t. It will tell me that I should just eat/drink whatever it is it may be to just feel better for a quick moment or take a breather for once. But, even that causes me so much anxiety to the point where I feel like I have no control. Temporary happiness is not worth it.

As I go through the rest of my week and I hit the 9-month mark since having surgery, I remind myself that I still have such a long journey ahead of me. I still have so much of this process to live and get used to; one of them being the way I am able to control my food intake when I get into these really serious depressive episodes. I will find a way to handle my PMDD better, especially during the times when I’m entering that week already stressed out.

Weight loss doesn’t always equal happiness, and it certainly doesn’t mean my mind is now cured from the mental health illnesses I experience. It just means I am learning to adapt to this new lifestyle with some of the old lifestyle that I can’t easily get rid of.

And that’s okay if that’s the case.

Black Sheep in Society.

A Black Sheep Invite: A Scene.

Micah walks into the college library, looking around to see if there are any available seats left. He spots a table near the corner of the first floor in which he rushes towards. He grabs the seat from the table and sits down, seeing that a group of students were going to take the spot first. Micah laughs to himself as he takes out his lyrics notebook. He focuses hard on what he wants to write, but his phone is constantly vibrating in his bag.

He takes out his phone and sees that Kalia is messaging him back-to-back. He opts to call her back.

Micah: Babe?

Kalia: I didn’t mean to disturb you! I know you’re in class right now.

Micah: Nah, I’m in the library waiting for my last class at 2.

Kalia: Ugh, my days are all mixed up. What are you up to?

Micah: I’m writing up some lyrics for the gig I have this weekend.

Kalia: Ooo! Are you excited?

While Micah is on the phone, he looks out the window, which is facing a parking lot closest to the library. He notices a Porsche sports car, which is extremely rare to see in a public college parking lot. He looks at the person coming out of the car; to his surprise, it’s Prescott Jones, the heir millionaire.

Kalia: Babe? Hello?

Micah: Huh? What?

Kalia: I asked if you’re excited about your gig.

Micah: Oh! Yeah! I am, and I hope that my number one supporter is there cheering me on…

He continues to look out the window at the fancy car and celebrity. The passenger door opens and someone comes out; a girl. The girl walks towards Prescott and crosses her arms as he looks at the girl. Micah widens his eyes.

Micah: *to himself* Rosie?!

Kalia: *confused* What?

Micah: *snaps back to reality* I mean, “my baby”! You’re going to be there Saturday, right?

Kalia: I wouldn’t miss it for anything.

Micah isn’t paying attention to Kalia on the phone. He continues to look out the window where Rosie and Prescott are in the parking lot. Prescott goes back into the car as Rosie walks away from the car.

Micah: I’ll talk to you later, I got some work I gotta finish before my class. Love you.

Kalia: Love you too.

Micah hangs up the phone and focuses on the window. He doesn’t see Rosie there anymore. He looks back down at his notebook, trying to put together lyrics for this gig. He draws a blank; his mind wanders to Rosie and Prescott. Micah’s thoughts run in circles, trying to figure out what the hell he just saw. Moments later, someone slams their hand onto the table. Micah looks up to see Dani. Behind her is her boyfriend, Tanner.

Dani: Ew, what are you doing hanging out in the library?

Micah: I was trying to write this damn chorus for my gig…

Micah slams the notebook shut, which catches the couple off-guard.

Dani: You okay? That was pretty aggressive.

Micah: *dismissive* I’m fine, just– *sighs* I gotta get this done before class.

Micah gathers his things from the table.

Dani: Damn! We just got here.

Micah: Sorry guys, I- I really need to get this done. I see you guys after my class!

Micah rushes out of the library, leaving his two friends behind.

Micah rushes out of the library and goes to work in the performing arts building, prior to where his next class is held. He hits on the floor on the balcony, trying to concentrate on his work. It’s no use. He slams the notebook shut and places it on the floor.

Rosie: You’re okay?

Micah looks up and sees Rosie standing there. She proceeds to sit next to him on the ground.

Micah: Yeah, just can’t focus for this damn gig…

Rosie nods her head, understanding Micah.

Rosie: You’ll get something down soon, don’t worry.

Micah looks at Rosie and smiles. He puts his notebook back into his bag and takes in a deep sigh.

Micah: So, how has your day been so far?

Rosie: Same ole shit. Worked at the bookstore.

Micah nods his head, knowing that’s not the truth. He lets it go.

Micah: Are you doing anything this weekend?

Rosie: *confused* Not that I know of; why?

Micah: Wanna come to my gig? It’s cool if you can’t.

Rosie cocks an eyebrow at Micah.

Micah: What?

Rosie: Nothing, I’m just surprised you want me to be at this important gig of yours.

Micah: Only the coolest of people get invited to the gigs.

Rosie: Well I’m honored to be *air quotes* the coolest of cool.

Micah nudges Rosie on her arm as Rosie laughs. The class before theirs finally is let out, which makes Micah and Rosie get up from the floor and get ready for their last class of the day: Art History.

Black Sheep in Society.

Black Sheep’s Sibling Therapy Session: A Scene.

Micah bumps to the music in his headphones as he presses various buttons on a device connected to his computer; he is making music for the first time in awhile. It takes awhile for him to hear someone knocking on his door; in fact, the banging on this bedroom door gets him out of his zone, and back to his surroundings. He gets up from his seat and swings open his door, frustrated. His younger sister, Dylan, stands in the doorway.

Micah: Can I help you?

Dylan: Can we talk?

Micah sighs in annoyance.

Micah: Dyl, I’m in the middle of preparing for this gig–

Dylan: Please?

Micah looks at Dylan and sees that she’s being serious. Micah opens his door for his sister to walk in. She sits at the edge of Micah’s bed as he closes the door behind him.

Micah: What’s up?

Dylan: *sighs* It’s about Nathan.

Micah: *protective* What did that son of bitch do?

Dylan: No, no! He didn’t do anything—

Micah: Are you lying? Because if I found out that small dick boy did anything to you—

Dylan: *louder* Micah!

Micah stops talking. He looks at Dylan, who takes in a deep breath before saying anything.

Dylan: I feel like he cares about his music more than me.

Micah: Why do you think that?

Dylan grabs one of Micah’s pillows from his bed and wraps her arms around it, placing her head on top of it.

Dylan: He’s always doing band stuff, which is cool, but…

Micah: You wish he spent more time with you?

Dylan: Exactly! It’s like he doesn’t know what’s right in his face!

Micah looks visibly confused.

Micah: Wait, aren’t you guys dating?

Dylan doesn’t say anything, but she doesn’t need to say anything for Micah to assume.

Micah: I’m not gonna rip his throat out if you guys are.

Dylan: No, it’s not that. It’s… well, we aren’t.

Micah: *understands* Ahh, you’re trying to get his attention. *protective* For what? Fuck that guy!

Dylan: C’mon, Micah! Can you actually talk to me like a person I can come to?

Micah crosses his legs and folds his hands in his lap.

Micah: Sorry. I’ll listen. So, you’re not dating, but you want to?

Dylan: He acts like he likes me back when we’re in school, but then his band members pull him away to practice and stuff and he just follows along and—

Micah: Hold on, lemme stop you there. Has he had this band for mad long?

Dylan: He’s the one that started it.

Micah: *understands* Now I get it. Dyl, as much as you want me to say that he’s just shy or some shit around you, I—

Dylan: No. I want to know what would you do if you were me.

The request takes Micah off-guard and is confused once again.

Micah: What?

Dylan: You’re in a relationship with someone that puts their career first.

Micah scrunches his eyebrows; he’s annoyed his sister phrased it out like that.

Micah: Kalia doesn’t do that.

Dylan: The number of times she’s missed important things in your life can’t be counted on your fingers anymore, Micah.

Micah: That’s different. Kalia has a career. She does this as her job. Your little crush is just a wannabe musician.

Dylan: *mad* Like you?

Micah: *angry* I’m nothing like him; set that straight.

Micah gets up from his seat and walks towards the door to open it.

Dylan: Wait! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that. But I’m serious about Kalia. Every time Nate ditches me to do his music thing, I can’t help but think if you feel this way whenever she cancels or ditches on you.

Micah stands there; he doesn’t say anything back. He closes his bedroom door and walks back to the seat he was sitting in. He sits down.

Micah: Kalia and I are in a relationship. Technically, I signed up to be with someone of her status. You don’t have to deal with Nate’s shit if you don’t want to.

Dylan: But doesn’t it bother you when she just decides that her job is more important than you?

Micah: *stoic* No.

Dylan: It should, considering you’re dating her.

Micah: Like I said, I signed up to be with her, and it sucks to say this, but you’ll have to sign up for all of Nate’s shit if you want to date him. You have to talk to him about it.

Before Micah turns his chair around to face his desk, Dylan speaks.

Dylan: If you two weren’t dating though, would you stay trying to get her attention?

Micah doesn’t say anything. He ponders in thought and doesn’t answer Dylan back. He changes the subject.

Micah: Like I said, you gotta talk to him.

Dylan: But–

Micah: I really have to get this shit together before my gig on Saturday.

Dylan rolls her eyes and gets up from Micah’s bed. She begins to walk towards his bedroom door to leave. Micah feels bad.

Micah: *sighs* Dyl.

She turns around and looks at her brother.

Micah: You just have to do what feels right. If you like him, talk to him. He might not even know you like him or what to go out with him. Sometimes, you have to be the one to make the effort.

Dylan doesn’t say anything, so Micah goes back to preparing for his gig.

Dylan: Is Kalia going to your gig?

Micah: She is. She knows how important this is to me.

Dylan: *doubtful* Hopefully she’ll actually go.

Micah turns and faces Dylan one more time.

Micah: Nice talk. Now get out.

Dylan rolls her eyes and walks out of Micah’s room. He turns back towards his computer, trying to focus. It’s no use, his mind is too distracted to work on anything. He sighs in frustration, turning away from his music equipment.

The "Something" Series

When Nothing is Something: A Scene.

History of New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport -

A couple of years ago…

Jamie stands with his luggage at Incheon International Airport; he bounces his leg in nervousness while waiting to board the plane. His two friends, Shawn and Kevin, roll their luggage to sit next to Jamie.

Shawn: You look nervous, Hyung.

Jamie: Why would I be nervous?

Kevin: Well for starters, you’re sweating like you ran a marathon before coming here.

Jamie: It is the middle of summer…

Kevin: But the Air-Con is on high in the airport. Weren’t you in America once before?

Jamie: Yeah, but not for business. This is the first time we’re handling a case overseas and… I don’t know, what if things go wrong there?

Shawn: You can’t win every case you get. Besides, it’s an all-expenses-paid trip to America; New York to be exact!

Shawn starts to poorly sing “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. Kevin places his hand on Shawn’s arm to stop him from singing.

Kevin: You should make the most of this trip; who knows what could happen while we’re there.

Shawn: *gasps* Imagine how beautiful and exotic the women are in America!

Jamie: *annoyed* We are going to do a job, Shawn; not to pick up any women.

Kevin: Forget about that… I think this would be good for you to get out of Korea for a couple of months. Y’know, to get your mind off of things.

Jamie doesn’t answer back, but the stewardess begins to call people to board the plane. When the class of the three men is announced to aboard, they grab their things and walk towards the entrance of the plane.

Jamie: *sigh* Might as well make the most of this trip…

Present day…

It’s roughly 7pm in New York City; the JFK airport is scattered with different travelers going to different parts of the world, strolling their suitcases around the terminal while walking to their gates. There stands Jamie with his suitcases, waiting at the gate that will take him back home. He paces back and forth, looking outside of the gate where the plane is. There’s some light rain hitting the glass of the window. Jamie turns around and sees Shawn and Kevin sitting near their luggage. Jamie walks over to the guys and sits back down. He begins to bounce his leg in place.

Shawn: Hyung, are you okay?

Jamie: *short* I’m fine.

Shawn: You don’t sound like you’re fine–

Jamie: Ya, I said I’m okay!

Shawn doesn’t say anything else, but now Kevin’s attention is drawn to the conversation.

Kevin: Jaemin hyung’s probably not happy to go back to Korea…

Jamie: No, I wish I stayed in Korea the last time and just moved on with my life.

Kevin: You don’t mean that.

Jamie: *to Kevin* You know, for someone who doesn’t live with me or spends their every second with me, you think you know how I’m feeling and what I’m going through.

Kevin: No, you’re just so predictable these days.

Jamie: No, you’re just intrusive.

Jamie gets up from his seat to move to another one, away from Kevin.

Kevin: If you wanted to stay in Korea all this time, you would’ve stayed for Seohyun.

Shawn: *shocked* Kevin!

Jamie turns around and grabs Kevin by the collar, immediately lifting him from the seat. Shawn is shouting at Jamie, trying to keep the peace.

Jamie: I’m tired of you bringing up irrelevant things, Kevin.

Kevin: You know I’m right, hyung; you wouldn’t be so distraught that I did.

Shawn: Hyung, please! We’re going to get kicked out and we need to get on this flight back home!

Jamie lets go of Kevin and walks away from the seated gate. Kevin straightens himself out before walking towards Jamie.

Shawn: Ya, give him some time.

Kevin: That’s the thing, we don’t have much time left.

Kevin proceeds to walk towards Jamie.

Jamie sits in a cafe, where he proceeds to buy an Iced Americano. Kevin walks into the cafe and spots Jamie. Jamie sees Kevin standing at the table and scoffs.

Jamie: You have some nerve coming here after what just happened.

Kevin: I’ve had worse. *sincere* Hyung, you haven’t been the same since Grace told you what happened. I know you probably haven’t tried speaking to her either.

Jamie: What’s the point? She’s just another woman in my past.

Kevin: But she’s more than just that. You love her.

Jamie: Well, I was stupid for loving her.

Kevin: No, you still do. Hyung, remember when we first went to America for that case? The first time you met Grace? You were dreading coming to America because you thought you were making the wrong choice. Seohyun told you that it was either her or your job, and you chose your job. You loved her, but something still made you leave Korea at that time.

Jamie: Seohyun and I weren’t even dating when that happened.

Kevin: Yet you chose to leave in spite of potentially working things out with her. You had a choice to pick the case overseas.

Jamie: Well, I’m going back now. For good.

Kevin: Hyung, if you leave now, you will probably never get to see Grace again. You’re going to go back home and regret losing her. You already know how it felt to lose her for a year, and I know you don’t want to feel that way forever when you get back to Korea.

Jamie holds his head with his hands. He’s tired, frustrated, and confused. He runs his fingers through his hair and sighs.

Jamie: I feel like I already lost her.

Kevin: How? You’re still in America.

Jamie looks at Kevin, deep in his own thoughts.

Jamie: I can’t go back, Kevin. I can’t just leave.

Kevin smiles as Jamie gets up from his seat and power-walks to the gate. Kevin follows right behind him.

Back at the gate, Shawn spots Jamie and Kevin walking back. He gets up from his seat.

Shawn: Is everything okay?

Jamie starts to gather his luggage; Shawn is confused.

Shawn: Hyung, what are you doing? The flight isn’t for another hour.

Jamie: I’m not going.

Shawn: *shokced* What?!

Jamie: I can’t go, not yet.

Shawn: But we have to make this flight! It’s what our company paid for!

Kevin: Jaemin hyung has got something he needs to do.

Shawn looks at Kevin, and then looks at Jamie.

Jamie: I have to go to Grace.

Jamie rushes out the gate area with his luggage, in which both Shawn and Kevin cheer for Jamie in his adventure.

Back in the city, Jamie rushes into an apartment building, the one that grace lives in. He knows where he’s going, and he immediately takes the elevator up to Grace’s floor. When the doors open, he rushes out and runs towards Grace’s front door. He proceeds to knock on the door.

Jamie: Grace? Grace, are you in there?

He bangs on the door louder.

Jamie: Grace? Please open up, I… I need to talk to you.

There’s no answer. Jamie puts his ear to the door and notices that no sound is coming from inside the apartment as well. He tries to think where else she would be. He runs towards the elevator to keep looking.

Ari and Dean share a nice movie date sitting on their sofa under some blankets. Suddenly, the door begins to knock. The couple look at each other, clearly confused on who it could be. Dean gets up from the sofa to answer the door. When he does, he sees Jamie standing there, practically drenched in rain water. Jamie notices that it’s Dean, whom he’s never met before. He bows politely to greet him.

Jamie: Hi, I’m sorry for showing up unannounced, I-I was just wondering if Ari was here?

Dean sternly looks at Jamie, not amused that another man is here to see Ari.

Dean: Look man, it’s pretty late…

Jamie: I know, and I’m so sorry for doing this but, I really need to talk to Ari–

Ari: Jamie?

Ari notices Jamie when she walks towards the front door. Dean looks at Ari.

Ari: *looks at Dean* He knows Grace.

Dean’s face softens and nods.

Ari: What are you doing here?

Jamie: Sorry, I’l be on my way, but I tried to go to Grace’s apartment, but it seems like she wasn’t there and I just wanted to know if you knew where I could find her?

Ari doesn’t say anything at first, but Jamie continues to talk.

Jamie: I thought maybe she was staying with you or another friend, and I just really need to talk to her. I was suppose to go back to Korea tonight but, I couldn’t go without talking to her first so, is Grace here?

Ari’s face grows concern, and then sudden sadness. Jamie picks up on it.

Jamie: What? Where’s Grace? Did something happen to her?!

Ari tries to form her sentences correctly. She looks up at Jamie, and begins to speak softly.

Ari: Grace left New York. She’s not here anymore.

Jamie’s face drops down, and tears begin to form in his eyes from not blinking in a couple of seconds. He doesn’t know what to think at this point. He’s in a state of shock, regret, and for once; he doesn’t know what he’s going to do next.

-End of Season 1-

Black Sheep in Society.

Black Sheep in the Dark: A Scene.

The day turns into the night in Brooklyn and Micah and Rosie are walking the streets after hanging out at the music spot. Cars pass by and people are walking home for the night. Micah looks over at Rosie, who is taking in the atmosphere.

Rosie: This is a cool little neightborhood.

Micah: *smiles* Yeah, I spend most of my free time hanging out here *to Rosie* where do you usually hang out at?

Rosie: *hesitates* Oh, I’m more of a Manhattan type of person.

Micah: Really? I wouldn’t take you to be one of those girls that hangs out in the city. It’s just so expensive and, ehh.

Rosie: *teases* You have to have a certain taste to like being in the city.

Micah: *plays along* Is that right, Ms. “I’ve only been here for a couple of months”.

Rosie playfully nudges Micah as he laughs at his own jokes. Nothing is said between them for a moment, until Micah looks at Rosie, thinking about what he should say next.

Micah: Do you want me to drop you off at campus?

Rosie: *confused* Campus?

Micah: Yeah, don’t you live in the dorms?

A lightbulb turns on Rosie’s head, and she quickly nods her head.

Rosie: Oh yeah! Dorms. The college, yeah. But you don’t have to, I should be fine.

Micah: Are you sure? It’s really not a hassle for me to–

Rosie: *stern* I’m fine.

Micah drops the conversation right there and continues to walk down the street with Rosie. Nothing is said for a moment until Micah begins the conversation again.

Micah: Thanks for hanging out after class, by the way. You know you didn’t need to but–

Rosie: It’s nothing. Really.

Micah: *teasingly* I’m just saying that this deems us as friends now.

Rosie: *amused* Oh really?

Micah: Only the coolest, most chill people come to the lounge with me and that’s all you really need to be in order to be my friend.

Rosie laughs out loud; Micah doesn’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Rosie: I still don’t get why you’d want to be friends with someone like me? No one ever talks to me.

Micah: Because you’re cool, and other people are just afraid of… people like you.

Rosie raises her eyebrows.

Rosie: People like me?

Micah: Yeah. People who just go on their day doing their own thing, and people are afraid to approach people who don’t want to be bothered.

Rosie: But not you.

Micah: *confidently* I’m not afraid, and I’m glad I’m not because I didn’t realize how cool you were, Roe.

Rosie: We’re going back to the whole Roe thing, huh?

Micah: Only the coolest of my friends get a nickname.

Rosie rolls her eyes and shakes her head. She doesn’t protest to the nickname, which Micah smiles about. The two reach the train station, in which Rosie begins to head on downstairs. Micah is confused.

Micah: Wait, aren’t you going back to campus? Why are you getting on the train?

Rosie: Oh, uhm… my roommate has a guy over tonight, so I was just going to stay with a friend…

Micah: Oh, alright. I’m getting on the uptown side–

Rosie: Oh bummer! I’m getting on the downtown side!

Micah nods his head as Rosie smiles through the interaction.

Micah: Well, I hope you get to your friend’s house safe.

Rosie: Thanks… I’ll see you on campus.

Rosie runs down the stairs to catch the train that is coming into the station. Micah watches on, realizing Rosie went down the uptown side of the train as well.

Micah walks into his house and walks towards his room. His mother, Jennifer, is in the kitchen washing dishes.

Jennifer: Micah! Where were you tonight?

Micah: I was at the lounge with my friends; why?

Jennifer: Your girlfriend stopped by earlier and asked where you were. She said you guys had plans.

Micah: *confused* What? She told me she had some audition stuff to do today.

Jennifer: *shrugs* She came here looking for you.

Micah is confused and walks to his room. He drops his bag on the floor and looks at his phone, in which he sees missed calls and messages from Kalia.

Micah: Fuck my life…

A door is opened and the nightlife is heard from the outside. Someone walks into the room and closes the door behind them. The lights turn on and Rosie is seen standing in a torn-down apartment in the busiest part of Brooklyn. She drops her bag near the front door and walks straight to the twin-size bed in the corner of the very empty room. She looks up at the ceiling and then immediately looks at the nightstand next to her bed. She pulls out an envelope with money in it, noticing there’s not much in the envelope, to begin with. She reaches into the drawer a little more until she pulls out a cellphone. She leans back into bed and dials a number on the phone. Rosie smiles when she hears the line pick up.

Rosie: Hey, you busy tonight?

Rosie rolls on her stomach in bed, kicking her legs up.

Rosie: Yeah, I’ll be ready by 10.

Rosie hangs up the phone and places it back into the nightstand. She gets up from her bed; her smile fades away as she walks towards her dresser, looking for something to wear.