Dear Andrew

I see so many posts about best friends. They all seemed cheesy to me, honestly. Like, yes, we get it, your best friend brings you food everyday, and he/she makes you smile, we get it. It’s not that I don’t believe in best friends. In fact, I do have one. It’s just that, well, I can’t seem to write a post about my best friend and express all I want to say about him without sounding cheesy. Oh well. That doesn’t qualify as an excuse for not trying, so I’ll give it my best shot.

 

Dear Joel Andrew Mallari,

 

First of all, thank you for being my best friend. Well, damn, it’s cheesy, what should I say? I need help telling you how much you mean to me, and how great you’ve impacted my life for the better, because to me, it’s like a mass noun. Well, what am I saying, of course it’s a mass noun, I can’t measure your kindness, your selflessness, and all your good qualities that you sadly fail to see. Thanks a lot.

 

What do I want to say to you? I’m not repeating all the things I’ve said on Messenger when you opened up to me about your feelings of self-hatred. Even if I keep on thanking you for being there when I had depression, it just doesn’t feel enough. What should I do, Andrew? What can I say to you here that will express all I’ve wanted to say to you?

 

Embarrassingly, I keep on having fantasies where either you or I am about to die, and that’s where I get to tell you all I’ve been meaning to tell you. We don’t need to go there, do we? What is it with the knowledge that death is coming soon that encourages people to tell all they’ve felt about a certain person to that person? Is it that when they die, that person will doubt forever about how much they meant to that dying person?

 

I’ve always wondered if it was possible to love someone not related to you without romantic feelings, just deep-seated love, admiration, and caring for that person. After being with you for a whole school year, I can definitely say yes. It was confusing at first, because I first thought that if you loved someone, you had to be interested in them and have romantic feelings for them. Maybe that’s why I’ve simply dismissed my feelings for you as something that will pass. But as time passed, I realized that maybe I actually loved you. More time passed before I realized that this love has been present ever since opening day. It has just developed over time. Of course, I’ve always let you tease me about my crush. Maybe those were only feelings of lust. You know our hormones. Always raging at the speed of light, but that doesn’t mean it’s gotta be tonight.

 

I like to think of myself as realistic. So when I had those realizations, I knew I couldn’t say it to you without sounding like I want to do the nasty to you. Yes, I’ve confessed it to you as well that I thought of doing the nasty to you, but that was me simply exploring whether it would work or not. Now that I’m sitting here, typing this, I am laughing at myself for entertaining those thoughts. So, don’t worry, I’m not interested in doing the nasty with you.

 

Now that I’m reading my thoughts, I realize what type of love I have for you. You’re like the brother I’ve never had. So, I guess it’s brotherly love. Bromance? Hmmm, will think about that later.

 

Oh well. That’s all I have to say to you (for now).

 

Thank you for being the eldest brother I’ve never had (I know, I’m older than you, but TBH, IDC.)

 

Love,

A. Garrett Lubag

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Before I go to sleep, Depression talks to me

This story is basically my take at depressed self-loathing Caleb. I wrote it to try and show how it feels like when depression hits me. Take note that this is only one way depression affects people. Sometimes, it can also mean feeling empty. Here it goes. Trigger warning: implied self-harm, suicidal thoughts, depressing thoughts. Explicit.

Caleb just wanted to sleep and escape into nothingness.

Right now, it’s 12:20 a.m. He couldn’t sleep, and voices kept popping up in his head, which are quite abusive to him. He knows it was just one voice, since it always yells bad things about him. it just has the ability to morph into voices of other people. Mostly, it’s his voice, but it changes to others as well.

“Worthless. Liar. Skinny, as they all say, or fat, as you see? Hahaha, you can’t seem to agree with yourself of who you are, can you?”, whispers the voice in his head. He shudders.

“Such a piece of shit. I still wonder how on Earth Leo is still friends with you. After all, isn’t he right about the fact that you are, let’s list it down, rude, anorexic, depressed, suicidal, and, well, it’s too long to mention.”, the voice continued, snickering.

“Didn’t it feel so good when you dragged something sharp across your forearm and see the scratch? Why couldn’t you do it again? Oh wait, you’ll hurt everyone with what you do to yourself. , it seems as if it’s the only thing you can do: hurt everyone, hmm?”

Caleb was crying silently. He was thankful all his other roommates were asleep. The voice’s right, how could he still keep on living? Why was he still eating the food other poor hungry people need more than him? He tried to read a Johnlock fanfic where John comforts Sherlock during one of Sherlock’s depressive episodes. To him, reading fanfics about characters being helped mentally and emotionally by other characters comforts him. He gets the feeling of comfort that he isn’t alone. That others have the same problem as him.

“Oh how sweet. Sherlock at least has John to remind him he’s worthy of life. Don’t you wish Leo would be able to do the same to you?” the voice mocks. “To be the one who you could cry on his shoulder and be the one to hug you? Oh, in your dreams kid. You know he hates to touch an evil, twisted anomaly like you. Plus, why would he even remind you that?”

Caleb decided to have a conversation with the voice.

“Hello depression.”

“Hello Caleb.”

“Why are you still here?”

“I don’t know, you ask me, bitch.”

“Fine. I wish you were gone.”

“Well duh. Everyone’s asking you to do your best to make me go away. They don’t understand, though.”

“I know. It’s so hard for people to understand how I feel.”

“That’s why I’m here. I’m the one who understands you a lot. I can sympathise with all the pain you have inside.”

“Funny, how you say it like you are not the one who causes it.”

“Ever heard of the term ‘the ugly truth’, bitch?”, the voice asked sarcastically. “When you let it all out, I make sure you do what you think you deserve.”

“Why do you convince me that killing myself is the only way out?”

“Caleb, when you die, this pain you feel inside you will go away. You will never make anyone mad at you for doing bad stuff. Plus, you deserve this.”

“But, I’ll end up hurting people I love.”

“They’ll understand as they move on with their lives. They can sell your stuff for money. Your parents save money in the long term. Right? You can give your iPhone to Leo. He’ll have more fun with you phone than with you. Plus, why would they need you anyway?”

“I don’t know. Honestly, there are people who love me a lot, even if I don’t deserve it, so I should probably do them a favour and stay alive.”

“Fine, be that way. Just so you know, I’m always ready to help you achieve death if you think otherwise.”

“Should I even believe you? All those times I tried your suggestions, I failed, and you laughed at me told me I was too weak to do what had to be done.”

“Well, they are good ones. You’re just too weak to follow through.”

“Oh well. Good night.”

“Good night, Caleb. Enjoy your dreams of suicide.”

Short story: Caleb’s OTPs(?)

Caleb thought about school in his bed. Wait, scratch that, he thought about his OTPs (One True Pairing). Before you dismiss him as irresponsible, take note that he has pulled an all-nighter for the sake of studying for exams. Let’s continue.

Caleb sighed. As much as he wanted the ship to happen, Leo/Rita just wasn’t going to be a thing. Yes, Leo liked Rita, but there was absolutely no sign from Rita saying that she liked Leo. All Caleb saw was a sermon given by Rita to Leo for not being cooperative with the play. In fangirl terms, this was canon. Leo/Rose had more hope, but for some reason, Leo still denied the possibility of being friends with Rose. Plus, when they weren’t on good terms, they cursed at each other in Spanish and Italian, respectively. Humph, next!

Jerry/Cam? Oh hell no! Just by appearance and by behaviour, it was obvious it would never work out! Cam was petite, but very bitchy sometimes (especially during rehearsals for the play, but he understood), and Jerry was like the perverted version of the BFG. This was obviously not his OTP. Next!

Caleb/Mae? Nah, he already got over Mae because he found out she was “pabebe”, and anyway, his eyes seemed to be more attracted to Fianza (who is a boy, but he was ok with that). Caleb/Fianza? He wasn’t sure. He kept on telling Fianza he was handsome, cute, and other positive adjectives, but Fianza didn’t seem to listen. Plus, Fianza denied Caleb’s brownie (which was so good because Jerry’s mom baked it). As much as it hurt, he knew it wouldn’t work. Next!

Axel/Clarisse? Now this had a lot of hope. The two were the main characters in the play ran by the section itself, and they were supposed to act as lovers who tragically found out they were siblings. Plus, Axel posted pictures of his conversation with Clarisse. Fluff overload, he thought dreamily. Hmm, need to think about more later. Next!

Porkie/Narcissus? Ok, he was biased here, but he didn’t want this to happen. Narcissus was his annoying classmate that’s disruptive AF during class, and his personality screams “babaero”. Porkie was a cute sweet shy girl that likes Facebook and needs to control her laughter during recitation in Math. She certainly didn’t deserve Narcissus! Next!

Oh wait, that’s all. Oh well, I need to sleep anyway, Caleb sighed as he entered the world of dreams.

 

Depression and ADHD

Hey guys. Sorry if I haven’t updated my blog for some time, what with PSHS being so demanding with requirements. I’ve been diagnosed with depression, and it isn’t a walk in the park, but i think I’m getting a bit better. It’s been vicious, and my friends and my parents know that too well. Self-harm, purging, crying spells, and, well, you get the idea. I was (or maybe I still am?) self-destructive. I’ve gotten over the self-harm, and purging, but my crying spells and suicidal thoughts come often still.

Being a student diagnosed with ADHD and depression is twice as hard as being a normal student. It takes a lot of effort to start on requirements, and finish them, as you will not see the point in finishing it because you will still fail. You don’t really care about your personal appearance. Your friends may also be annoyed with your behaviour, and call you “emo”. (Yes, I’ve been called that by my best friend). You feel ashamed for all the negative thoughts in your mind because they’re like a painful truth, even if it doesn’t seem like it to others. (“Oh Garrett, why are you still entertaining these thoughts?”, said one dormer). You absolutely cannot stand noise and need to be in a quiet place, which will never be granted because that damn disruptive classmate of yours just won’t shut up. You listen to emotional music every time you need a pick-me-up, which means belting out “Bring Me To Life” in the bathroom. Negative criticism about you hurts more than it should.

There are nights where you feel the need to cry into your pillow. Every time you take your anti-depressants, you feel numb. You don’t get excited over stuff that you love to do. Your poker face becomes a mask; it hides your sadness. Your grades are slowly dropping, yet you can’t find the will to even care about them anymore. Sometimes, you wonder if you have bipolar disorder because sometimes, your ADHD makes you hyperactive and make you look like you’re bouncing off the walls, but then depression strikes, and you suddenly become lethargic and quiet.This is how it feels like to be depressed and have ADHD as a student.

I’ve been diagnosed with it in the late 2015, and so far, my coping method is sleeping. The first one was cutting, then crying. I’ve also had body image issues.

My best friend, Andrew Mallari, was my rock. He supported me during the good times, and the bad times. He also got mad at me sometimes, yes, but he always apologized because he felt the consequences (which was me having another crying spell in the bathroom, and suicidal thoughts for being a bad friend). During the times I didn’t eat lunch, he nagged me to eat lunch. Now, he keeps waking me up every time I sleep in school.

It isn’t anyone’s fault for my depression. I have to remind myself that over and over. Sometimes, though, I fantasize about everyone rejoicing over my death. I know it’s wrong, and that no one will ever be happy if I killed myself, but I get blinded by twisted fantasies of me jumping over the bridge, shooting myself with a revolver, drowning, then it all disappears and I’m back to normal. That was how it usually happened.

I always get reminded by people though how much they mean to me. One time, I chatted with Andrew a way to die without hurting anyone and he said that wouldn’t work. He also said he would demand Hades to let me go. Mom always reminds me of how much I mean to her.

Everyday, I’m one day closer to dying. Sometimes, I use that knowledge to wait for that day, other days, it’s an encouragement to get up and do something. I just hope I use it more often as the latter.

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 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!