Short story continuation

Caleb couldn’t remember exactly why he cut himself with scissors that Monday night 2 weeks ago. 10 marks on his left arm that disappeared after 2 weeks. All he knew was that everyone had a sympathetic/worried reaction, with him promising he wouldn’t do it again.

All he could remember was him thinking about all the negative comments about him said by TJ that seemed to be on repeat every night. Mom got so worried. Maybe that was why she gave him The Science of Happiness. Why she made sure to ask how was he feeling. She wouldn’t like it if she found out what was happening in school.

It started with Caleb having to take Concerta again this week. TJ knew already, because Caleb’s mom texted him about his situation. Maybe he had hopes that his talking would be under control that weren’t met. That could explain why he said offhand, “Why doesn’t his Concerta seem to work?” Ouch. That hurt. It works. You just don’t see it, because I’m alone.  Then you’ve got Leo asking, “Why you’ve got to be so depressed and sh*t like that?” I’m sorry. It’s my medicine. And I’m not depressed, thank you very much..  Plus the fact that he couldn’t be with mom on her birthday. Ouch. All those things could explain why his feet rushed him inside the bathroom. Why he felt relief after hitting his head on the wall. Why, for some reason, the pain on his head calmed him down. That was during the morning. Leo found out that moment when Caleb confessed what he did. He really couldn’t keep anything a secret, could he? He appreciated Leo’s efforts in cheering him up. This was one of the only things in school that make him happy.

Lunchtime. He did the same thing, except he yelled to himself all his thoughts. Too loud, in fact, that TJ overheard what he said. He confronted Caleb later, telling him, “Stop being depressed!”

He wished he could easily; stop hitting yourself on the head and smile a lot. But he couldn’t. At least, not the easy way. Hitting his head on the bathroom walls was how he coped with the pain. Not physical pain, more of emotional. Like a safety valve.

On Wednesday, Caleb went through the bathroom ordeal again, except that:

  1. Leo caught him during the morning. Caleb’s reason was because he cursed himself for forgetting that the people who failed their long test in Math already had a failing tentative grade, and were lamenting about it.
  2. TJ and Callie caught him during lunchtime. Caleb felt lonely and couldn’t reason with his heart that at least 16 people cared about him.

Leo was totally convinced Caleb was depressed. He forced him to go to the guidance counsellor.

“You’re depressed!”

“I am not depressed, Leo!”

“Yeah right. Then what’s with the head-banging on the walls?”

“It’s how I cope with the pain of feeling lonely and isolated.”

“I’ve got more reasons on why I’m a social outcast.”

“Then why not you go to the guidance counsellor?”

“Mine’s just petty, yours is worse, depression and sh*t like that.”

“I’m not depressed. It’s the medicine. Although I did do the cutting before I took it.”

“So you mean that the medicine amplified your feelings of sadness?”

“I guess so.”

“Ok, you really need to go to the guidance counsellor.”

“Ugh, fine.”

And to the guidance counsellor they went, with the guidance counsellor listening to the whole story and trying to give alternatives to hitting his head on the wall, like writing, because what Caleb did is self-harm, and not only he will get hurt, his loved ones too will.

As he went back to the classroom, Caleb decided to write what happened, as suggested. He did need to update his blog, after all. While listening to Leo explain all the instances that serve as proof that people hate him, knowing that the truth was, not everyone hated him. He was living proof.

The best moments this day, though, was when he heard Leo sing. It was very rare, because he never sung in public. He didn’t interrupt, for fear of the song stopping mid-way.

On Thursday, what made him stop the habit was seeing Leo look depressed. He rushed to the bathroom after trying to get Ishi’s attention about their music practicals and failing to do so.  Caleb followed to be sure. He saw him inside the locked stall, just inside. He stayed for a while and asked, “Leo? Are you in there?” Leo opened the door, and Caleb saw his sad face for the first time. Let’s just say, it broke him.

It turns out he had enough of being ignored by friends. Caleb listened to him, ignoring TJ’s advice of talking to everyone. Besides, he didn’t talk to Leo. The whole day, he was always with Leo, making sure he didn’t feel ignored. Maybe that was why he told me he was a social outcast. He listened to all the things he said, ignoring the heaviness in his heart when he said, “I don’t think that I’m better out of the picture. I am already out of the picture.”

“But you always talk to other classmates.”

“Only about jokes and brain teasers. Other than that, I’m always ignored by everyone.”

“Really? What about me?”

“Except you, of course. I mean other people.”

“Leo, not everyone ignores you. You have people who care about you, even if you don’t see them.”

“Give me 20 people that care about me. Aside from you and my relatives.”

“…”

“See?”

Their conversation wasn’t always sad, though. Sometimes, they would talk about happy stuff, like their fandoms, jokes in school, and brain teasers. Leo even helped Caleb review for ValEd.

That night, when Mom called, Caleb told her everything. Mom said, “You should stick with Leo. You have lots in common, and plus, I think he needs you.”

The rest of the call was a blur. All Caleb could remember were two things:

  1. Mom said Leo needed him.
  2. The holiday was moved to Sept. 25, their Scholar’s Night.

That night too, Camelot told TJ and Caleb everything he researched about depression. Leo wasn’t the only one totally convinced about Caleb being depressed.

On Friday, Leo and Caleb talked about what happened yesterday. Caleb asked, “I’m not sure whether I need you, or you need me, and- “

“That’s true.”

“Do you still think I’m depressed?”

“Yeah.”

“Is it because I’m more quiet than usual?”

“Yeah.”

They were interrupted when they saw their teacher coming. They rushed to their classroom in time.

English was fun, ComSci was like the Oracle prophesizing the scariest news: the periodic examination. During their Integrated Science Period that turned into free time, Caleb typed what happened so far. He was pleasantly surprised when he learnt that Tiger wrote a fanfic before.

Lunch was a disaster. TJ made Tiger lose her appetite by making her focus on the earthworm under the bench. At first, Caleb was alone. Then, Tiger joined, then TJ, lastly Sonic. The four discussed about the irony of Caleb’s ADHD.

Math was ok. Students who didn’t recite that much were forced to discuss their answers in the quiz in front of the class. Narcissus replaced Porky, seeing that she was struggling with words.

The Filipino Long Test was not as hard as Caleb expected. The only hard part was the songs of the pre-colonial Filipinos.

The weekdays officially ended with Caleb and his parents sleeping in dad’s condominium for the visit to the psychologist the next day.

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Short story continuation

Caleb couldn’t remember exactly why he cut himself with scissors that Monday night 2 weeks ago. 10 marks on his left arm that disappeared after 2 weeks. All he knew was that everyone had a sympathetic/worried reaction, with him promising he wouldn’t do it again.

All he could remember was him thinking about all the negative comments about him said by TJ that seemed to be on repeat every night. Mom got so worried. Maybe that was why she gave him The Science of Happiness. Why she made sure to ask how was he feeling. She wouldn’t like it if she found out what was happening in school.

It started with Caleb having to take Concerta again this week. TJ knew already, because Caleb’s mom texted him about his situation. Maybe he had hopes that his talking would be under control that weren’t met. That could explain why he said offhand, “Why doesn’t his Concerta seem to work?” Ouch. That hurt. It works. You just don’t see it, because I’m alone.  Then you’ve got Leo asking, “Why you’ve got to be so depressed and sh*t like that?” I’m sorry. It’s my medicine. And I’m not depressed, thank you very much..  Plus the fact that he couldn’t be with mom on her birthday. Ouch. All those things could explain why his feet rushed him inside the bathroom. Why he felt relief after hitting his head on the wall. Why, for some reason, the pain on his head calmed him down. That was during the morning. Leo found out that moment when Caleb confessed what he did. He really couldn’t keep anything a secret, could he? He appreciated Leo’s efforts in cheering him up. This was one of the only things in school that make him happy.

Lunchtime. He did the same thing, except he yelled to himself all his thoughts. Too loud, in fact, that TJ overheard what he said. He confronted Caleb later, telling him, “Stop being depressed!”

He wished he could easily; stop hitting yourself on the head and smile a lot. But he couldn’t. At least, not the easy way. Hitting his head on the bathroom walls was how he coped with the pain. Not physical pain, more of emotional. Like a safety valve.

On Wednesday, Caleb went through the bathroom ordeal again, except that:

  1. Leo caught him during the morning. Caleb’s reason was because he cursed himself for forgetting that the people who failed their long test in Math already had a failing tentative grade, and were lamenting about it.
  2. TJ and Callie caught him during lunchtime. Caleb felt lonely and couldn’t reason with his heart that at least 16 people cared about him.

Leo was totally convinced Caleb was depressed. He forced him to go to the guidance counsellor.

“You’re depressed!”

“I am not depressed, Leo!”

“Yeah right. Then what’s with the head-banging on the walls?”

“It’s how I cope with the pain of feeling lonely and isolated.”

“I’ve got more reasons on why I’m a social outcast.”

“Then why not you go to the guidance counsellor?”

“Mine’s just petty, yours is worse, depression and sh*t like that.”

“I’m not depressed. It’s the medicine. Although I did do the cutting before I took it.”

“So you mean that the medicine amplified your feelings of sadness?”

“I guess so.”

“Ok, you really need to go to the guidance counsellor.”

“Ugh, fine.”

And to the guidance counsellor they went, with the guidance counsellor listening to the whole story and trying to give alternatives to hitting his head on the wall, like writing, because what Caleb did is self-harm, and not only he will get hurt, his loved ones too will.

As he went back to the classroom, Caleb decided to write what happened, as suggested. He did need to update his blog, after all. While listening to Leo explain all the instances that serve as proof that people hate him, knowing that the truth was, not everyone hated him. He was living proof.

The best moments this day, though, was when he heard Leo sing. It was very rare, because he never sung in public. He didn’t interrupt, for fear of the song stopping mid-way.

On Thursday, what made him stop the habit was seeing Leo look depressed. He rushed to the bathroom after trying to get Ishi’s attention about their music practicals and failing to do so.  Caleb followed to be sure. He saw him inside the locked stall, just inside. He stayed for a while and asked, “Leo? Are you in there?” Leo opened the door, and Caleb saw his sad face for the first time. Let’s just say, it broke him.

It turns out he had enough of being ignored by friends. Caleb listened to him, ignoring TJ’s advice of talking to everyone. Besides, he didn’t talk to Leo. The whole day, he was always with Leo, making sure he didn’t feel ignored. Maybe that was why he told me he was a social outcast. He listened to all the things he said, ignoring the heaviness in his heart when he said, “I don’t think that I’m better out of the picture. I am already out of the picture.”

“But you always talk to other classmates.”

“Only about jokes and brain teasers. Other than that, I’m always ignored by everyone.”

“Really? What about me?”

“Except you, of course. I mean other people.”

“Leo, not everyone ignores you. You have people who care about you, even if you don’t see them.”

“Give me 20 people that care about me. Aside from you and my relatives.”

“…”

“See?”

Their conversation wasn’t always sad, though. Sometimes, they would talk about happy stuff, like their fandoms, jokes in school, and brain teasers. Leo even helped Caleb review for ValEd.

That night, when Mom called, Caleb told her everything. Mom said, “You should stick with Leo. You have lots in common, and plus, I think he needs you.”

The rest of the call was a blur. All Caleb could remember were two things:

  1. Mom said Leo needed him.
  2. The holiday was moved to Sept. 25, their Scholar’s Night.

That night too, Camelot told TJ and Caleb everything he researched about depression. Leo wasn’t the only one totally convinced about Caleb being depressed.

On Friday, Leo and Caleb talked about what happened yesterday. Caleb asked, “I’m not sure whether I need you, or you need me, and- “

“That’s true.”

“Do you still think I’m depressed?”

“Yeah.”

“Is it because I’m more quiet than usual?”

“Yeah.”

They were interrupted when they saw their teacher coming. They rushed to their classroom in time.

English was fun, ComSci was like the Oracle prophesizing the scariest news: the periodic examination. During their Integrated Science Period that turned into free time, Caleb typed what happened so far. He was pleasantly surprised when he learnt that Tiger wrote a fanfic before.

Lunch was a disaster. TJ made Tiger lose her appetite by making her focus on the earthworm under the bench. At first, Caleb was alone. Then, Tiger joined, then TJ, lastly Sonic. The four discussed about the irony of Caleb’s ADHD.

Math was ok. Students who didn’t recite that much were forced to discuss their answers in the quiz in front of the class. Narcissus replaced Porky, seeing that she was struggling with words.

The Filipino Long Test was not as hard as Caleb expected. The only hard part was the songs of the pre-colonial Filipinos.

The weekdays officially ended with Caleb and his parents sleeping in dad’s condominium for the visit to the psychologist the next day.

Short story for fun (my friends know what this really means)

Caleb was pissed. He was so excited for the club’s next meeting, and yet it was postponed. He was at least with his best friend, Leo. They were both obsessed over Percy Jackson, and his laptop was full of PJO fan art and head canons from Instagram, so they had fun staring at them and laughing. Caleb had enough.

“Come on! The guidance counsellor said this meeting was important!” whined Caleb.

“Well, his business is more ‘important’ than this important meeting.”, replied Leo.

“We’ve seen all the fan art and head canons, right?”

“Yeah. Oh god, my stomach hurts.”

“Well, let’s go outside.”

And out they went. The cafeteria was there, and it was often their class’s favourite hangout, so there were his classmates playing truth or dare. Maris was the most active player in the game. As the two passed by, Maris yelled “Hey Caleb!”

Caleb asked “Why?” You never knew with Maris. Maris was the best in Math, but today, Caleb and Leo were the Top 1 in the class’s superlong seat work; 45 out of 53. Other than that, she was the Math guidance counsellor. 

Maris said, “This is just a dare, ok? Mae, tell him already.” What is she going to say?     Mae said three numbers, “1-4-3”. She seemed embarrassed about it. Caleb didn’t get why, but Leo did. He pulled Caleb. “Ok, we gotta go now. Bye!”

When the duo was far away, Leo explained the three numbers. “Caleb, she said I love you.”

“How?”

“I don’t know, it’s just like that.” Caleb felt a bit sad and wistful about what she said. You see, she was Caleb’s crush. Not a severe case, ok maybe, but she was who Caleb thought of as the prettiest girl in class. She was just, well, simple and natural. Her simple and graceful manners, and her face, which was just so pretty, and attractive, and her long flowing hair bouncing about while she walks. The best part? He’s the only one fawning over her. Which meant no enemies. The bad part? Some of his friends knew already about it. (Darn you truth or dare.)

Caleb was smart. He knew she was forced to say that. That made him sad. What made him wistful was what if she really meant it. He still wishes he could ask her out to Starbucks. 

Leo knew already. He was also in that truth or dare game that revealed it all. (Again, darn you truth or dare.) Caleb decided to tell his thoughts to Leo. Leo simply nodded in agreement, while trying not to think about Caleb and Mae kissing in the rain. Just like the scene in The Notebook. 

Caleb, on the other hand, was on a fangirling outbreak after telling his thoughts. He wasn’t always obsessed about her. Sometimes he was obsessed over his favourite book series. And, yes, he was also obsessed with his favourite characters doing mushy gushy stuff. (Thank you Fanfiction.net).    

Dismissal time came and Caleb and Leo went their own separate ways. Leo goes home daily; Caleb stays in the dorm. Time flitted by while he did the usual routine; give his ID, dump his bag on the floor beside his bunk bed, get his clothes from his luggage, change into clean clothes, and rest on the bed. Then, he talked to his friends, TJ and Einstein, about major events in school, homework and quizzes, and etc.

TJ told Caleb, “You know, I really think you should try to lower your volume when you talk to Leo.”

Caleb winced. He knew this was coming. It had been going on for weeks. Caleb liked to talk to Leo (a lot) about PJO, school stuff, fanfics, and etc. 

“Oh. Is it too loud again?”

“Yeah. So many of our classmates are starting to complain about you.”

“Oh no. Maybe I should take Concerta again.” My ADHD’s getting worse! It can’t be like in Grade 4! 

“What’s Concerta?”

“Well, Concerta is a stimulant I used to take before. That one made me more focused, and quiet, but it had side effects; I couldn’t sleep well, I start to lose weight, I get depressed, and I stopped after three years.”

“Maybe you should take it again.”

“I don’t know, whenever I tell mom, she’s like, Oh you shouldn’t say that, I thought you can control your ADHD.”

“Have you noticed Ron is getting stressed lately?”

“Kind of. Last time, in ComSci, he sounded really stressed about the reporting.”

“He failed the long test in Math. You know, Caleb, he’s the guy who can’t stand losing.”

“Oh, so he tries to show that he contributed to the winners?”

“Yep. Remember during English during the skits when you and Einstein got the Best Actor Award?”

“Yes.”

“He tried to day, ‘Oh, I was the one who helped him act, with the emotions.’”

“Oh.”

“Oh, um, TJ, why were you so sad when you failed the math long test?”

“It was the first time I failed in Math!”

“Oh. Nah, I’m used to it.”

“My Math Tentative Grade is going to go down.”

“Maybe mine, too.”

 “Let’s eat dinner.”

 “Sure.”

They got their wallets and water bottles and went down to the mess hall. Dinner was meh. The only good part in dinner was when Ewell came over. She’s a friend of Caleb and everyone. They chatted for a long time, then went back to their dorm room to get ready for Study Period, aka “Give your phones to us, you need to study”, usually starting and ending w/ a bell. TJ, Caleb, Albert, and Chris talked to each other before Study Period.

Study Period started. First, dormers surrendered their phones. Second, they submitted their request forms to use the laptop signed by teachers to the Dorm Manager or Assistant (if they have any. It’s for those who have to use their laptops.) Then, those who need to use their laptops should go to the mess hall to study, while those who don’t have a choice to go down or stay up.

Caleb went down with his laptop bag into the mess hall. He took out his Macbook Air and got so many comments about him being RK (Rich Kid), much to his dismay. He inserted his USB, clicked on the PowerPoints, and rad them. One by one. He didn’t really take notes; he already wrote them down during class. He does this for some time, then decides to close his laptop, and go up to finish his written assignments., together with his dorm mates. He really doesn’t like crowds that much. They’re too noisy. That narcissistic classmate who tries to flirt with girls with his corny pickup lines, study groups that are not the same section as him, guys and gals drawing anime, nope. Yep, his introvert side is popping up. He’s too talkative to be an introvert, though.

Study time was over. People rushed to get their phones back and get called by their parents. Caleb gets his phone, goes up to his dorm room, prepares his stuff for tomorrow, then crashes on his bed. The end of another day, he thought, making a mental note to wake up to his alarm tomorrow.

Disneyland, A Dream Come True and More in HK

On Gabee’s birthday, which is on June 24, we went to Hong Kong. We flew on Cathay Pacific Airlines, which is like Singapore Airlines at 5:20 a.m. 

We arrived at Hong Kong at morning. We exchanged our Philippine pesos into Hong Kong dollars. We waited a bit for a taxi. The weather was humid. I knew that, because it felt too hot with my jacket on. We arrived at the majestic Disneyland Hotel in Hong Kong. The look was similar to a castle. Mom told the staff it was Gabee’s birthday, and one guided us to our room. It was very comfortable. What blew my mind was that there were different-sized bathrobes for each of us. The view showed us a French garden/maze. We ate snacks at the Kingdom Club Lounge where cookies in the shapes of Mickey, Figaro, Winnie, and Piglet, fruit, drinks and chocolate awaited us. They were very good, but that must have been because I was starving. We tested for a while, then we went to Disneyland at 12:30.

Disneyland’s entrance was so long. There were pictures of Disney characters everywhere. When we got to the entrance, it was crowded. There was a statue of Mickey surfing over the water shooting out of the whale’s spout. 

When we got inside, we took out our map. There were so many places to go to! We decided to go to Tommorowland, since it was the closest. There were futuristic and I decided to ride Space Mountain. I never thought my family would leave me alone at roller coasters. They had enough reason though. The description said that it was a turbulent roller coaster ride in the dark with sudden turns and drops. What it didn’t say that the dark was full of stars and galaxies. I was beside an adult. It starts off well, but then down down down you go with sudden turns everywhere and drops where you least expect it, I was bracing for impact all the time. When we stopped, I was relieved.
I don’t regret and regret my decision to ride Space Mountain. It was exciting, but it was terrifying. 
We ate lunch at the Comet Cafe. I had chicken breast with chunky tomato sauce. I ate all of it. Even the rice was shaped like Mickey Mouse. 
We then went to Fantasyland. I just wanted to ride in the Winnie the Pooh storybook ride, but Gabee also wanted to ride Cinderella carousel and Dumbo. It was her birthday, so she got her way. Besides, we were still able to go to the Winnie the Pooh storybook ride. There, I made my resolution: NEVER EVER ride in the first row. Even though it was just a slow ride, it was still a bit scary. 
We tried to get reservation passes fruitlessly at Frozen, stopping by at Toy Story Land to ride the Slinky Dog roller coaster. We went back to the hotels to eat a dinner of appetizers, watch the fireworks, and fool around with slo-mo before calling it a day.
The next day, we spent half the day swimming. The changing room was massive. There were lockers, a steam room, a sauna, a whirlpool, showers, blow dryers, combs, toothbrushes, and razors, I tried everything except the razors. We then checked out then checked in to the Royal Park Hotel, which was connected to a mall. We took the MTR (the Hong Kong version of MRT) to go to to every place. We went to the Ladies Market with Dad complaining while inside the Ladies Market, then to IFC mall to visit a big Apple Store (Mom and Dad both bought an Apple Watch there). We then took the MTR again to go back to the hotel. At dinner, we ate at the New Town Mall. I went shopping in Gap for a pair of pants at 68 HK dollars using the 100 HK bill Dad gave me
The day after that, we went back to Disneyland again. We went straight to Frozen, and we were barely able to get reservation passes. We got the last show at 8 pm. While we waited, Daddy bribed us 500 dollars to keep quiet. I went to Tommorowland and rode Buzz Lightyear’s Astronaut Blasters. It was an interactive ride with you shooting targets to earn points. I was on my own as usual. 
Then, we ate snacks, and then we went to Adventureland to watch the Festival of the Lion King. While waiting, I stumbled across a Filipino family. I knew they were Filipino because they were speaking in Filipino. I looked shocked and they asked me “Filipino?” I said yes, and they were smiling. 
We watched the Festival of the Lion King. The actors were very good singers, and there were even moving figures of Simba, Timon, and Pumba. The dancers danced to the beat, and the fire-dancers were awesome. 
I went to the Grizzly Gulch, and rode the Grizzly Gulch Runaway Mine Cars. FYI, it’s just as scary as Space Mountain, except that 1) you can see everything and 2) it even went backwards. 
We went to Fantasyland. We ate a real lunch, then we stayed at the restaurant while me and Mom went off to take a picture with Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Then, Mom and Gabee went off to take a picture with Winnie the Pooh. After that, we rode the Winnie the Pooh storybook ride. 
We went to the Philharmagic. It was in 3D. The show seemed to go out of the screen. Donald is sent to every Disney movie just to get back the magic hat. Impressive, but why on Earth wouldn’t Donald just leave the hat alone?
We went to Frozen to catch our show. I just wanted to experience snow. We saw the show. It was spectacular, but we didn’t understand anything because the hosts were speaking in Chinese. We did sing along to the songs, though. The characters were impressive, and they sang well. After that, we went to the place with snow. It felt like cold sand. I threw a snowball to Gabee. Then, we went out to catch the Fireworks. They were awesome, but my video of them was upside down. Songs were playing while fireworks were blazing through the sky. We took the MTR going back, of course.
The next day, we went to the Hong Kong Science Museum. We explored every floor. The exhibits were awesome, mind-blowing, and I even tried the Disco DNA. The workplace exhibit was creepy, though. The workers seemed real. And they even showed you the dangers of the workplace, and I swear I saw two workers dead. I was stuck in the store while the family explored the lowest floor, so I bought a Skip it. I played with it. It was fun! Mom saw me and we went to the lowest floor. I loved the World of Mirrors best. 
We then went to Citygate Outlets. We spent most of our time in Esprit. The lure of the 70% off sale and the fact that I needed a shirt drew us in. I got a shirt for 69$. That was all I bought because I wanted to buy at Gap too, and also that none of the clothes/jeans at the 70% off table fit me. I found two Filipinos there talking about Internet. Mom, on the other hand, got so many stuff at the 70% off table, spent a long time in the fitting room, and basically bought her pasalubong there. She even found bags for 38$. 
We went back to the hotel by MTR. I bought a polo shirt for 98$ at Gap. Before that, we ate dinner at McDonald’s. The McWings were delicious but spicy. 
Finally, we had to go back to the Philippines. We left Hong Kong at 9, but before that, we ate at McDonald’s. The breakfast was huge, but I ate it all. (I was starving). Then, we arrived to our plane, and played with the screen in front of us. The airplane food kept spilling on my jacket. When we arrived, we took a cab to Dad’s condo to rest a bit and to get our stuff. Then, we went back home, and I had to write this post.
 
   

    

 

My Dad

Father’s Day is here! Everything comes up with a Father’s Day Special, whether a new episode on a TV show that focuses on fathers, sales in virtually every shop (yep, Uniqlo and Old Navy have sales already) and whatever promo in the name of Father’s Day that comes up. All these are made to make your dad feel special. But, what makes a father special?

I’ve been wondering about this question a lot. He wasn’t always present at every school event. His work is very demanding, leaving him tired and cranky, which, I’m afraid to say, leads to minor “discussions” with Mom. Yet, his work was the reason we were able to live with all our needs and wants along the way. His work was a lesson in itself that good things don’t come easy. He taught us to live a life with no frills, devoid of pretentiousness. That’s why Dad discourages Gabee to use nail polish, accessories, and up to now, he still judges Mom sometimes when it comes to make up, clothes, and others. He always emphasizes education. Most of all, he raised us to be decent people in the future, with a good job, a family, and have the time to come over to their house for Sunday lunch.
Daddy’s daddy must have taught dad well. He used to be just as kind, or more fun than Daddy. He was able to carry us on his shoulders. Now, I wish that old sweet version will come back, but no. He had a stroke, which explains why he gets more cranky, and his dialogue hard to understand. Now, his temper has improved, but his dialogue is hard to understand still.
Daddy is a teacher of life lessons, an occasional cheerleader, a male version of Miss Manners, the breadwinner, the techie, and Mom’s sweetheart. But, most of all, he’s our father. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!  

Independence Day Spent Independent of the City

Yesterday was Independence Day. We spent the day on our favorite beach, the La Luz beach resort. Today, we’re still here, taking a nap, using Facebook/Clash of Clans, because it is too hot to take a dip in the beach. 

Yesterday, we spent most of the morning on the way to La Luz. We left at 7 and arrived at 11:33 am. I won’t bore you out with more details. Let’s continue.
When we checked in already, we found our cousins who just finished swimming/snorkeling at the beach. We got a temporary room at the top, while our cousins had a permanent room at the bottom. The rooms at the top have an attic which houses three beds. The attic is great for chitchat at the beds, where we spill out the latest gossip, experiences, and sometimes talk about the past, just like Throwback Thursday. 
We first ate lunch. I don’t remember what we ate, and I won’t elaborate. Let’s talk about our experiences at the beach. We had to get life vests for all of us, and we had to take turns with the snorkels. We kept on snorkeling to the white raft. The white raft, to us, was a milestone in swimming. It meant that if we could swim there, we were brave and experienced enough to swim there, since it is quite deep. The honor was better when you didn’t need a life vest to get there. Everyone was able to swim there, but only a few were brave enough to jump from the white raft into the ocean. I wasn’t included, I guess, because I can only do the cannonball. We sometimes fought over the snorkels. Adults eventually also took a dip in the beach. The men also went to the white rat, while the women stayed on the seashore. I almost drowned with Joshua while we were snorkeling and saw a sea anemone. The beach also has so many fish. Yannah went to the beach stark naked at first. Then, someone gave Yannah her swimming suit.
Dinner was the best. There were über-delicious chocolate chip cookies, hot pumpkin soup, fried chicken, baked potatoes, onion rings, fish fillet, and cupcakes. We stuffed till we dropped. The adults stayed on for chitchat about Baker King. 
After we ate, all the children went to the attic. We did spill out the latest gossip, experiences, and sometimes talk about the past, just like Throwback Thursday. We also played Truth or Dare. We weren’t able to suggest good dares, and our dares were cheesy (“Who would you rather take out on a date, James Reid or Daniel Padilla?”). We talked about the past, anime, horror (Charlie Charlie challenge, anyone?), until Dad said we needed to go out because Mom and Dad need silence for their massage. 
I was out on the beach to go star-gazing. The stars were like the candy we had as a kid-good and plenty. They reminded me of all those Astronomy classes where we had to stay up so late to study the constellations. They also taught me the pitfalls of staying up late. Far away, the bonfire was dying. The stars also reminded me of the Planetarium at the Mind Museum. You turn your head and your view of the video is 360 degrees. This time, the stars were real. Far far away, music was playing. 
The next day, which is today, I wake up in our room with very cold feet. I simply went to our cabanas and step on my cousins to shock them. We ate breakfast, which consisted of scrambled eggs and garlic rice, and swam in the beach. We fed the fish with bread. It was high tide. When me and Joshua were on the white raft, we felt like we were surfing. We were encouraging Caleb, who was having  a hard time swimming to the raft due to high tide, to swim to the raft. I got wounded at the foot. The beach was littered with seaweed, trash, and wood. Ew. I tried on this new snorkel design where you can breathe with your nose and mouth. It’s called the Tribord. Water kept on getting inside at the head. 
Lunch was basically chicken teriyaki, chicken soup, and pink lemonade. After that, I read fan fiction about Percy Jackson. I had nothing to do for some time until Mom told me to write a post on the iPad as a reward for being obedient.
And that post? You’re reading it right now.
As a bonus, I’ll include photos. That rarely happens, I guess. Enjoy!
   

     

  

Percy Jackson, ADHD, and the love of books

I think I’m becoming a fanboy of Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus. I search IG and Safari/Chrome for head canons, fan art, and photos of Percabeth, my favorite ship. I also read fanfiction. Is this normal? 

One possible explanation for my obsession with Percy Jackson is because he has ADHD, just like me. He understands the burden of having it. So do all demigods. Rick Riordan explained that he made all the demigods have ADHD and dyslexia as a way to respect all people with ADHD and dyslexia. So when Grover says that having ADHD is great because those are his battle reflexes, I said “Score one for ADHD!!”. 
I see a bit of myself in Leo Valdez. He’s annoying, has lots of energy, and his primary emotion is humor. He also feels single all the time. I see myself in Hazel sometimes because she has lots to learn and feels as if she was out of time, which she was. I think, in the real world, Piper, Annabeth, and Percy have an edge. Piper’s charmspeak can convince cashiers to give her a discount. Percy can control storms. Annabeth’s wisdom, well, might get her a good job. 
Books are not just books. They allow people to escape reality for a while and enter their world, if only briefly, to enjoy. This is something all fan girls, bookworms, authors, and fanboys know. They can inspire you, calm you, break you, make you laugh, bite your nails in suspense, and they will always hold a charm no gadget can ever replace. Sometimes, they can make you cry. Just like this line by Timmy Turner’s dad, “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will leave psychological wounds that will never heal.” But then, they can also make you laugh, fall in love with fictional characters, well, that’s a book for you. 

What are your favorite books? This question can be very hard to answer. 

For the Open-Minded People

I have an open mind. I thought this was a good thing, because my life wouldn’t be so narrow. I learned a lesson: People will try to stuff your mind with things, whether good or bad, and you’re forced to believe and act as if it’s normal, because you have an open mind. It isn’t. Don’t consider everything as normal. Especially when it comes to gender issues, because you never know which places tolerate or condemn gender issues.

See, here in the Philippines, being gay or lesbian is taboo. Parents teach their children like, boys shouldn’t cry because they’re supposed to be tough, and girls should never keep their legs open, because they’re supposed to be demure. If they are challenged, it’s disturbing. This is why same-sex marriages don’t exist here. I mean, should this be considered normal, or condemned? IDK. The Bible may say no, but it’s (I hate to say this, but) normal. Ellen Degeneres is lesbian. One Miss Universe winner is transgender. So many people out there are out and proud.
(Wow, this can be controversial. Seriously, if you are shocked, I assure you, I won’t write about this anymore.) 
 
Having an open mind can be risky for a Christian. You can accept something and obsess over it so much you forget about God. There are many controversial things out there in the eyes of God. Violence, sorcery, polytheism, horror movies, they abound. Harry Potter has sorcery which God doesn’t like. Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the Heroes of Olympus include polytheism. Horror movies are shown to many audiences. Even some video games have violence. I’m not saying you should avoid them like the plague. My Sunday School teacher taught me this: Chew the meat, throw the bones. You should do this if you see something questionable in a book. I think it means to discern. By that we mean: to perceive something in the absence of judgement to learn. It can also be used to explore the trends safely.
Having an open mind can also be great. You get to explore more, and you can understand everyone’s point of view. You rarely feel judgmental, and people appreciate you for that. But sometimes, some people will cross the line and trash talk your preferences and expect you to let it go. That’s when you should stand up to them. Explain that you have boundaries too and you would like it if they stop trash talking your preferences. 

Love is in the (P)air

Back in school, me and my classmates used to create couples. Yes, we shipped them. No, I don’t remember mixing their names together. (To ship two people means to fantasize about them going out together, btw, but the Grade 6 did mix the names of their couples. You’ve got AirBag (Gab and Ria) and S&R (Sean and Ria), to name a few.) My otp (one true pairing, meaning your favorite ship) was Ketiara (Karl and Tiara, don’t kill me on social media).

I’m not an adult, but I’m guessing the shipping still continues. Not just with women, but also with men. Really, guys, I know you’re thinking of friends who you suspect will tie the knot with their significant other. With women, they love chatting with each other about the latest gossip about celebrities.

I’m about to enter my teenage years, and I’m guessing that the shipping is going to get more interesting and intense. I know friendship issues are going to get more serious, because I have experienced some, and at this point I can’t answer this question confidently: Who are you going to be when you grow up? People start out like that, but not everyone gets the job they want.

Face it, at some point in school you chanted this: (insert name) and (insert name) sitting on a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G! It drove the couple insane with embarrassment. What if adults did that to their attached friends? Would that be okay? Maybe not.

Love is in the air, not just for adults and teens, but for kids too. Everyone had a crush at some point. I won’t lie to you when I say that I tried to kiss a girl in Grade 1. In Grade 4, Eli proposed to Rose. (I’ve clipped their names for less embarrassment). However, if you’re too young to think about your special someone, then let your love show to your parents. Who says they can’t be your special someone?

The Report Card by Andrew Clements Book Review

Today, I’m starting to give Book Reviews. In that category, I will write my own opinions about any book I’ve read. Let’s start with: The Report Card by Andrew Clements.

The Report Card wasn’t the first Andrew Clements book I have read. The first one was Frindle, then The Landry News. Each story had similarities in their plots. The protagonist discovers something new, then makes a plan. Along the way, they meet people who either support or oppose their plan. Then, there’s a big debate that will decide whether the protagonist succeeds or fails. Usually, the protagonist succeeds. The, the rest is just filler written to fill in any gaping hole in the plot.
In the story, Nora Rose Rowley is a genius, but for the past years, she’s been keeping it a secret. She found out that the tests and grades are causing unhealthy competition amongst the kids, so she brings home a terrible report card to prove her point. Now, all the attention she successfully avoided is pointed at her as teachers try to find out the cause of her terrible grades. However, the librarian, Mrs. Byrne, finds out that her advanced computer searches are ironic to her grades. Then, the psychologist, Dr. Trindler, gives Nora an IQ test, which proves that Nora is a genius. Naturally, as all parents are, Mr. and Mrs. Rowley are excited and plans out her future to gifted schools.
Nora and Stephen make a plan. She acts obnoxious in lectures, but gives the tests a zero. Then, while she’s absent, Stephen arranges a rebellion and encourages all students but two to get a zero on their tests. This catches all the teachers’ and parents’ attention which causes a meeting. Mrs. Hackney, the principal, was all for giving Nora and Stephen suspensions, but Mrs. Bryne was opposed to it and supported Nora and Stephen. So did the other teachers. In the end, it worked out for Nora. 
Sometimes, as what Nora described, geniuses want to live a normal life without all the attention at them. Maybe even movie stars too. What gave me a school flashback was this quote: “One of the first things I learned at school was how to read a teacher’s face. It’s a survival skill  and all kids become experts at it.”. This reminded me of the times we were in front of our teachers, guessing how they feel just by looking at their faces.
They were, I guess, social cues that told us when to talk and when to keep silent. 
The story pointed out that too much competition in tests and grades is unhealthy, and schools are taking measures to avoid that. Some schools don’t rank students at all. Some don’t have gifted programs for gifted students. Whatever measures they take, it’s for the good of others. Because the unhealthy competition can make regular people feel dumb, even though they are not, and it can also make the gifted ones more stuck-up. 
The book also shows the bad side of bragging. Bragging about your test score, your promotion, your IG/FB/Twitter post that got tons of likes or whatever is fine,but when it gets to the point that everyone else’s achievements seem inferior compared to yours, it brings down everyone’s self-esteem.
There goes my first book review. So, how’s your report card?