What Must Be Done

¿¡IUSEDTOFEEL◊HAPPY¿¡

From a young age, I was taught that dreams do not matter. Whatever your passion is, whatever your ambitions are, whatever your heart desires – none of this matters if it doesn’t bring you enough to survive. ‘What you like may not necessary earn you enough to live. Don’t be a romantic fool,” my father would tell me. He had poured the truth over me brutally, stinging me with the bitter coldness of ice.

I remembered telling him that I wanted to be an author.

“I’d like to be a writer daddy!” I had said. I was pretty sure my eyes had sparkled. I vividly remembered my dad’s disapproving look.

“Come again, dear?” he had questioned.

“I like to write stories! I like to write!” I had shouted at him. I had been so mesmerized by the storyteller who had come to our school that day. He had told the most amazing stories, of how the unicorns would cure the sick, of how princesses would be saved by the prince, of dragons breathing fire, ice and water! I wanted to be like that man. I wanted to bring magic to other kids as well. I wanted to cast my own spells.

“Yes dear, I’m happy for you but, doing what you simply like will not always bring you enough money to live” my dad had said curtly.

“I don’t get it.”

Of course, what would a six-year-old understand about the relationship between money and living?

“Look at this way dear. I like to sleep. Do you like to sleep?”

“Yes, of course! I like to dream. Dreams are nice.”

“Hm of course. Then dear, if daddy likes to sleep too much, and daddy doesn’t go to work and earn money, daddy won’t be able to buy you food and pay the bills for you to shower.”

“Bills?”

He had paused and thought for a moment. How would he try to explain the concept of bills to a six-year-old? But, my dad was creative. He was a smart man.

“What happens when you don’t shower?

“I feel icky and gross.”

“Do you want to feel icky and gross every day?”

“No…”

“See dear? If daddy does what daddy likes to do most, which is sleep, you will feel icky and gross every day, because daddy won’t be able to pay the water-man”

“Oh…” I had said as my six-year-old brain registered the logic.

“Does your tummy hurt when you don’t eat?” he had continued.

“Yes! It would hurt, like a bad angry monster is eating my insides!”

“If daddy does what daddy likes to do most, the bad angry monster will eat your insides every day, because daddy won’t be able to buy you milk and cereal.”

“Oh…”

I’m amazed at how absorbent the minds of six-year-olds can be.

“Remember that old man we saw on the street the other day?” he had implored.

“The one who was smelly and was sitting on a cardboard box?”

“Yes dear.”

“Uh-hunh.”

I remembered that old man. He had been very lonely. Poor, poor old man. I had wondered why no one was taking care of him like how my daddy was taking care of me.

“Did he look happy to you?”

“No…he was icky…”

“Exactly dear. If you only do what you like, you will be like that icky, unhappy man,” my father had concluded.

“Oh no!”

“Understand now dear?” he had smiled warmly. In hindsight, he must’ve felt very victorious indeed.

“I understand daddy. I will not be a writer.”

“Smart girl. We must do what must be done, even it means sacrificing ourselves…” he had mumbled.

“What?”

“It’s ok, you’ll understand when you’re older, ok? Study hard.”

“Ok.”

With brief, simple and cruel analogies, my brain was trained to believe that painful reality – pursuing what you like will not necessarily gain you enough to live.

♥WHAT♣◊YOULIKE◊DOESNOTMATTER¿¡¿¡CRUSHED◊¿¡

**

I discovered what I truly liked to do most in high school. I loved art. Apparently, I was talented too. My art teacher would constantly praise me and tell me how I could go further. I would receive numerous awards, and my pieces would be displayed at various exhibitions.

I wanted to join the art industry and create wonderful, beautiful images that would strike awe and inspiration in the hearts of many. I wanted to convey all the wondrous feelings and emotions that would sometimes shoot through me like lightning, and I wanted everybody to see the stories and scenes that I could paint. Ah, the possibilities were endless!

Alas, again, my father deemed my passion childish.

“Dear, I thought we have gone through this.” he said disapprovingly one day, when I told him about what I wanted to do after high school.

“We did?”

“Yes, remember how you said you wanted to become a poet or something of the sort-“

“A writer.”

Of course, I remembered that scene vividly.

⊗◊YOUDREAMS◊⊕DOESNOT◊MATTER¿¡⊗⊕

“Yes, that,” he rolled his eyes.

My heart broke a bit. Just a bit.

Is it so hard to support your child’s dreams and passions?

“This is different dad, I have my entire life planned out. I’ll go to so-and-so college, and –“

Again, I was cut short. My father wouldn’t hear any of it.

“Dear, that’s all very well. But you have to consider other factors. The art industry is very competitive. You either make the cut, or you don’t. There are many talents out there, much likely even more talented than you are, or ever will be.”

Ouch. Did you really have to put it that way, dad?

“…”

What was I supposed to say? My father was a smart man who had been working for 20 years and I was only a passionate 16-year-old. My arguments were invalid, spurred by excitement and the brashness of youth; and his were supported by wisdom that came with age and experience.

“Look at those online art websites. Some of those artists are even younger than you, and could draw so much better than you. But are they famous? Do you think they are earning much?”

But…at least they’re doing what they love.. Maybe they’re happy…

“…uhm..maybe…,” I said unconvincingly.

Then again, I wouldn’t know.

“See? You don’t know. Art is subjective. Art is not stable. Do you really want to put your life on the line for something as fluctuating as art?”

“…probably not,” I submitted.

“Exactly. Dear, I know you like art, but it’s better for you and your future to keep it as a hobby. Don’t depend on your watercolours to get you food on your plate.”

My head lowered, I stared at my reflection in the table. I could feel small drops of tears beginning to collect in the corners of my eyes.

Am I already crying? How weak. I can’t be weak like this.

“I see. Ok,” I understood what he meant. Yes. Deep down, I’ve always do. I just wanted to hope. And… for once, I just wanted to see him approve me of who I am and support what I wanted to do.

⊕◊YOUR⊕◊◊PASSIONDOES¿¡¿¡NOT¿¡¿¡MATTERIDIOT◊⊕◊◊

“Good girl. Now consider that business course, ok? I’m sacrificing a lot to get you into a good institution. Remember to repay your parents when you are older. You know what must be done?”

Study hard, score, get a good resume, get a good job, and earn lots.

“Yes, I do.”

“Good girl.”

***

“I can’t believe we are in this mess. Why aren’t you guys helping?? Aren’t we supposed to work together??”

The deadline for the economics assignment was in one week. We had four chapters that needed to be done, and I’d done three of them – the rest were supposed to work together for the fourth. But none of them has done anything!!

Everybody sat in silence. They exchanged glances, and I could feel them condemning me silently, simultaneously. What was I supposed to do?

My heart was beating rapidly, I could feel my voicebox tightening at my frustration, and my eyes were beginning to water from the intense heat that was boiling within me.

“Well?”

Please, can’t you at least think?

“You know, it’s your fault that you didn’t remind us…” one of them suddenly uttered.

What??

“I’ve already set the deadlines for you guys, and I constantly reminded in the group chat,” I said indignantly.

“Well, did you call us?” one of them retorted.

“You’re the group leader. You’re supposed to take responsibility,” another chimed.

“If you see us not doing work, you’re supposed to remind us, and take action. Why did you wait until today to tell us off like this?” the first one continued.

“You’re being very childish and unprofessional,” berated the second.

How could you…

I wanted to ignore their senseless accusations.

Control yourself.

“We’re supposed to update our combined progress today!” I compelled them to remember.

“You think you’re so good because you did three chapters? This is not what you call team work.”

I gave up. None of them were going to listen.

“But, guys, I tried, you can’t put all the blame on me”

“Well, you’re the group leader. It’s written on the paper.”

“This is wasting time, let’s just get this over with. I’ll send you whatever by tonight.”

“Thank you…” I said, as sincerely as I could.

After that, they all left me working alone at the table. I was struggling to compile my other assignments. I could feel the tense atmosphere between me, and them. Their disapproval, their contempt hung around me, choking me.

What was I supposed to do?

Before I knew it, my cheeks were wet again.

Ah, I’m crying already? I’m so weak.

I couldn’t control the sobs that began to shake my body.

What did I do wrong? I tried to be nice. I tried to make it work.

What can I do to make it up to all of you?

*

I went to my senior later on that day. Being my senior, I knew that she must have experience dealing with these sort of things. Perhaps she could listen. Perhaps she could understand.

♦¡¡WORTHLESS♦¡¡SCUMBAGS¡¡¡♦⊗⊕⊗⊕⊗⊕

“They aren’t doing anything! We’re supposed to work together! We’re a team!” I complained to her.

I began choking on my tears again. I needed to let it out. I needed to talk to someone.

Please, just tell me that I tried my best!

I could feel my senior looking at me nonchalantly.

“Yes, and?” she implored.

“I – I’m disappointed in them!” I wailed.

I couldn’t take it anymore. I could feel tears overflowing like a river that has just burst through a dam. I trusted them. I wanted to trust them.

♦¿¡♦STUI◊DIDO◊♦TSUSELESS¿¿FUTILE♦TRUSTISSTU♦PID♦◊♦◊¿¡

I wanted to believe in others. I wanted to know that I could rely on other people, instead of myself. Finally breaking down, I wept shamelessly in front of her. She only remained silent throughout the entire emotional display of my grievous plight. It went on for about until five minutes, and it could have gone on longer, if she didn’t so coldly stop me from my continuous weeping.

“There. Stop it. Control yourself. Are you going to let your emotions control you, or you control your emotions?” she snapped.

Hunh?

That came out of the blue. That wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Please, just understand me for a moment.

“Control yourself. Crying won’t solve the problem,” she commanded.

“I- I know but – It’s unfair! I wanted to trust them – how are we supposed to get this thing to work if we’re not gonna work together??” I whimpered.

“You have to understand – not everybody thinks and do things the same way.”

“But – “

“You have to learn to tolerate others.”

“Tolerate doesn’t mean that I have to do all the work!” I ranted.

None of this made sense.

“I can’t do everything!!” I finally screamed and confessed to her.

¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡♦♦♦¡IMSICK¿¡¿¡OFTHI¿¡¿¡SEVERYBODY¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡DESERVESTOFEELTHESAME¡¡¡¡PAINASI♦DOWHYCANTHEYRELAXANDICANT⊗♦♦⊕⊗⊕⊗¿¡¿¡⊕⊗♦♦♦⊕⊗⊕¿¡¿¡¿¡⊗⊕⊗⊕

I can’t do everything.

I can’t do everything.

I –

“Stop moping! So you’re in a slump now – so what?? Do you think you’re the only one in a slump right now?” she challenged.

That was a cold hard slap across my face.

Is there…

“…”

“You talk as if you have the biggest problem in the world! Have you ever thought of other people’s problems? Or what they are facing?”

No one….

“…”

“You’ve no idea if I’m going through a problem, or if XXX is going through a problem, and yet you’re screaming to the world that you are – why should the world care about you and your petty problems?”

Who would listen….

“…”

“Only the strong will survive. You have a problem. You also have a brain. You also have you. Work those muscles. Think of the solution. Solve the problem. That’s why you are given a brain,”

♦♦IMAL♦SOGIVENAHEARTIST♦HISW♦HATITSL♦IKETOBEHUM♦AN¿¡¿¡¿♦♦¡¿¡¿¡♦DISTRESSED¿¡¿¡¿¡¿¡♦

I couldn’t say no more. This was pointless. I knew what she was going say next. I’ve always known.

“Ok,” I simply said.

That was the only response she has ever accepted. And ever will.

“Go back. Reflect. Think of what needs to be done. I trust you and your judgment. You know that, right?”

¿¡⊗⊕ISITA⊗♦⊕CRIME♦♦TOFEEL⊗⊕¿¡⊗⊕♦⊗⊕♦♦

She must have seen the disappointment written all over my face. She continued to babble, with the hopes of consoling my pain.

“Be sad, yes be sad, but don’t be sad for long! Once you’ve fallen, pick yourself back up, and solve the problem.”

I was in distress, and it was as if I am expected to do nothing of this, but to set it aside and do whatever it takes to get things done. But yes, perhaps I was being silly…

 I’m being such a child.

Yes..I was letting my emotions take over rationality.

“Emotions cloud judgment. That’s why you have to control it. Don’t let it get in the way of your rationality. When you follow emotions, you do stupid things. Don’t do anything stupid. Understood?”

“Yes,” I said firmly.

Of course I do.

“Good. You know what must be done?”

“Yes. I do.”

Solve the problem. Solve the problem. Solve the problem. I felt a sharp sting blaze through my head. This discomfort had been nagging at my brain every time I felt out of sorts. I had noticed a small, growing pain deep within the recesses of my mind. It’s small, but it’s there. And it’s growing. How long had it been there? I couldn’t remember…

♦⊗⊕STUPID♦⊗⊕TEAM¡¡¡¡¡¡¡MATESSTUPID♦HUMANS⊗⊕USELESSWORTHLESS¡¡¡¡¡¡ISHOULDHAVEJUSTDONE⊗⊕ITALONEIDIOTS♦♦⊗⊕◊◊◊◊◊¿¡◊◊¿¡◊¿¡¡¡◊◊◊¿¡◊◊◊¿¡◊◊¿¡◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊⊗⊕

*

I went to the lecturer the next day in the hopes of explaining the situation. Perhaps I could redeem our group. Oh no. Not our group. Myself. Perhaps I could redeem myself. The lecturer nodded disinterestedly as I explained the problems we I encountered.

Wow. Are we really that worthless?

Finally, he said “Who is the team leader?”

We didn’t even set one. Yes, it was me on paper, but, that was..for the sake of documentation..

“Uhm.. me, I guess…”

What else was I supposed to say?

“Then you are responsible for your teammates.”

I could feel the little glint of hope in my conscience slowly sink into a sea of despair as I began to realize that this lecturer was as cold and non-understanding as everyone else that I went to.

“But, I’ve tried everything! Sir, please give us more time, I just – we need to just set a proper time to work.”

“I see – look, it’s not like I don’t understand your situation. I do. I’ve been a university student before. But look, you’re the only one that came to me with this problem. How is it that the rest of your friends don’t have the same?”

“…”

♦◊◊♦BEC¡¡AUSE♦⊗⊕♦MY◊SOCALL¡¡¡ED¡♦♦TEAM¡¡M¡¡ATES◊ARESH*TTY¡¡¡¡♦♦⊗⊕

I lowered my head in shame.

“See? This is all part of the learning process. You win some, you lose some. Sometimes you’re just unlucky. You’ll see a lot of this in the industry. This is life.”

¡♦¡¡¡¡♦♦THEY¡¡¡SH♦♦O♦vULD¡¡♦♦¡¡AL¡¡¡¡♦♦LJUS♦♦T¡¡G♦O¡¡¡⊗D⊗I⊗E⊗¡¡¡

“Understand?”

“Ok.”

Of course I do.

*

In the end, we got less than 40% for that project, and each of us got a C for that course. It wasn’t long before each of the group members started posting their anger online.

“If you don’t know what to do, then don’t do it!”

“Pick your team wisely next time…”

“I wish XXX could have been in our team, their group got an A!”

“Only if someone managed themselves properly, it would’ve been better.”

“Team projects suck so bad. My CGPA got hurt because of this – gonna complain to the management.”

I stared blankly at the computer screen. I felt like a dejected dummy, tattered by cruel bullets. What could I have done differently? What was I supposed to do?

I wanted to cry. I really wanted to cry.

Why won’t the tears flow? Please, just cry right now.

I needed something, anything to come out of my failing system.

Who do I go to? Who can I tell?

My heart was aching so much.

Is this what it’s like to be hated?

I tried my best. What did I do wrong?

♦⊕⊕♦♦¡¡THIS⊕¡¡WOR♦♦LDIS¡RO¡TTE¡⊕⊕NIDES♦♦PIS⊕¡¡EE♦VERY¡¡¡ONE♦⊕⊕♦

And that was when I subconsciously decided that I hate. All of you. Worthless. Pieces. Of. Scum.

I didn’t want to be nice anymore. Nor did I want to care about other’s feelings. It was apparent then – I had been a fool all along. I should have not tried to help the stragglers. I should have left them when I have deemed them useless. Yes. I’ve learnt my mistake.

What must be done, I will do, next time.

**

♦◊⊕◊THIS⊗⊗WOR⊕♦⊗◊LD⊗⊗ISA◊◊P⊗AINTO◊♦⊗⊗LIVE⊗⊗IN♦⊗

As I continued to contemplate the world and the pathetic miscreants that live in it, I let out a startled cry. A bird was lying upon the ground, its wings bent at a painfully awkward angle, blood seeping from its beak and nostrils. It looked as if it had crashed into the wall.

I stared at the bird. Ants were already crawling over its dying body. It was still barely alive; and it was being eaten alive.

Why did you fly into the wall in the first place? Stupid.

♦¿¡¿¡STU◊PIDNO♦⊗¿¡¿¡B◊◊RAIN◊C♦♦ANTTHIN♦♦KSOLVE⊗♦YOUR◊O♦WNP♦ROB◊LEM¿¡¿¡IDIOT¿◊¡¿¡♦⊗◊◊◊

I could feel my head jerk and tilt off to the side like a robot gone haywire for a moment.

Did someone see that? I looked around me. No one’s looking at me strangely. Good.

I mulled over whether or not I should do something about the dying bird. After a split-second’s thought, I decided that this incident was simply a course of nature, and proceeded to return to my room.

I have work, work that need to be done – helping a lost cause won’t help me achieve today’s target.

 

***

Over time, I’ve lost my sense of empathy. I was never understood, nor did I feel like others tried to understand me either. All I saw was what needed to be done. Feelings are a luxury. Sympathy is gold. Empathy is platinum. They are all expensive, and I wasn’t going to waste my time nor effort on them.

“Kick him from the team.” I said one day as I assessed my subordinates for an assignment.

“What? But why? Maybe he’s sick or ill,” countered another.

I disliked empathetic people like her. Always thinking of other’s feelings before taking action. What must be done, must be done. Obviously, it was foolish of me to expect more from the naïve.

“If he can’t deliver, he is useless. Kick him.”

“But, you know how much this affects our GPA!”

“I know. I know very well. That is why I am kicking him from the team.”

The team? Hah. The very word made my lips curl in utter disgust. I only used this abomination of a word to comfort the rest. They were nothing but pawns for me to move forward.

“But-“

I wasn’t going to tolerate any more of this childish behaviour.

“Look, if you want to join him and find another team, go ahead, I don’t care. I want to score in this subject. I’m going to the lecturer and officially kick him from the team. Tell me now if you want to join him.”

“….Ok, just do..whatever…” she submitted.

See how hypocritical everyone is? You may have principles, but in the face of the ultimate truth on which your fate lies upon, you will submit to whichever side will guarantee you survival. This is life.

“Alright then, goodbye. Have a nice day,” I ended this futile argument politely.

“You’re a horrible person, you know that?”

Of course I am.

“Ok,” I replied carelessly.

Whatever. You simply don’t have the guts to take the necessary actions to survive.

I just smiled at her and proceeded to do what needed to be done.

*

We scored 85% for that project, and I got an A. I didn’t know what happened to that guy, but it seemed that he would be repeating a semester, based on the online posts. Apparently, he had been going through a rough patch; a loved one of his had died.

..Well…when did that ever matter?

♦¡⊗¡¡⊕♦SE⊕◊⊕RVES⊕♦HI⊕♦M◊◊¡¡♦⊗¡RIG⊕⊕HT♦¡⊗¡♦¡⊕HAHA¡¡¡⊗¡¡♦¡⊗⊕◊◊◊

 

***

 

My energy and focus fully spent on my work and responsibilities, I delivered well. My superiors are pleased with my results, and my parents are pleased with me. I had hurt others in the process. The people around me described me as robotic, cold, manipulative, calculative, and lacking in emotion.

But I did not care. I did not feel anything. Let them say what they want to say. What’s important was what needed to be done.

I was content, even though I was disliked. As long as I achieved the goal, I would be fine. They say that the ends do not justify the means. But as long as you reach the end, does it matter?

My life was relatively uneventful. I could not say that I was happy, all I did was do what was necessary to keep my days rolling; what was there to feel? Everything had been playing along just fine, until I met someone unique. He was a strange person, and I never thought I would meet anyone that would pique my interest in this small, dull world.

For some reason, he had ambitions.

How could anyone still have ambitions?

He had dreams.

How could anyone still have dreams?

I was fascinated by his warm energy. He pulled people to him. Unlike me, I was like ice cream. I was cold; for some, I sting their teeth, and hurt their brain. People only went to me when they wanted me. But him, he was like Arabic rice cooking in a pot, his aroma tingled the senses, his very colours were a delight to the eyes, and he would give you the warmest of feelings. Then he would leave your stomach full for the next few hours. Then you would think: “When can I have my next meal?”

◊⊗⊗◊MY♥♥♥♥HEARTT⊗♥♥♥⊗HUMPSVERYOF<♥♥TEN¿¡WHYAMIL¿¡OOKING♥⊗♥◊◊♥FORWARDT♥⊗⊗♥♥OEATINGHIM¿¡◊◊ALLTHETIMEHAHA♥♥⊗♥¿¡

That was the type of person he was, Arabic rice. At least, he made me feel that way. And he made me feel so much more. It was as if my long forgotten, compartmentalized feelings were sparked back to life by his humanity. It felt like such a long time since anyone had asked me if I was OK. When was the last time anyone looked happy when they talked to me? It was nothing at first, casual meetings regarding work, but slowly, consequently, I grew to enjoy his company more and more.

¿¡¿¡IDONTLIKEH⊗⊗IMCONFUSIO⊗NI¿¡¿¡♦NTRUDIN◊GINTOMY⊗♦SPACEBUTATTHESAMETIMEILIKEH◊◊IMINTR¿¡¿¡UDING¿¡I◊NTOMYPERSONA⊗⊗L⊗SP⊗ACEW¿¡¿¡HTISTHIST♦♦HISI◊SCONFUSINGSTOP♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♥♥◊◊♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥◊◊♥♥♥♥♥♥⊗⊗♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥◊◊♥♥♥♥♥♥

Upset, anger, joy, frustration, excitement, laughter, jealousy, apprehension, trust – he revived all these feelings that I had forgotten. Most significant of all, he sparked within me a new passion; passion for him: love.

Oh no. I’ve fallen in love.

I would not deny this budding emotion. I admit that even I have learnt to lie to myself; most of the times, it would work; but not this time – this emotion would not go away, and, being the hopeless romantic that he had made of me, I would not let it go away. I could not deny its consequences either.

It wasn’t long until my superiors noticed my slack in productivity; that my focus has been averted. They found out the cause. I knew that they knew. I knew of their discontent. More importantly, I knew what they expected me to do.

“You must forget him. It is not your time yet, and you know it. We have not yet achieved our goal. You have not yet achieved your mission. You understand?” they reminded me.

♥◊◊◊♥♥WH♥♥A¿¡¿¡TM⊗♦USTIDOILI⊗E◊♥HIMA♦♦NNO¿¡¿¡YANCE♥◊◊♥

My world has gone bleak the moment I began to be a part of it.

“Yes…. I know what must be done.”

♥♥♥JOYB¿⊗¡¿¡♥♥◊UTID♦¿¡ONTWA♦⊗♥♥NT◊♦♦TO♥♥¿¡¿¡

There’s nothing left but what is to be done.

“Good.”

♥♦♦♥♥¿¡BUT♦I♥♥¿¡¿¡⊗MUST⊗⊗LOVE♥◊◊♦♥¿¡¿¡⊗

There was nothing more to me, but a machine with a brain. All I was to everyone around me was someone highly capable. A jack of all trades that was to be used to achieve some goal of sorts. Is it not obvious? We must use all the talented and skilled in this world to make it a better place.

A noble sacrifice.

Am I not allowed to feel?

How silly of me to even ask that question. It was not even worth answering.

“Work must be done. I need you to get this done. It is this work that will move us forward. It is this work that will develop you and your skills. Think of the bigger picture. You must not let your feelings get in the way. Yes. Feel. But don’t let it affect you nor your actions. You have work. Get it done. Get it done.” This is the song sung by the world to me.

My sole purpose in life was to get things done to achieve the goal. The goal must be achieved. That goal has always been above my individuality as a human. A higher, noble goal that I must sacrifice my soul, body and spirit for.

***

He told me he wanted to see me today. He said he has something important to say. I complied. I have something to say too. Tonight would be a special night, I decided. I would be very honest with my feelings. I wanted him to know. I wanted him to know just how much he meant to me, how he has revived my feelings, my sense of humanity, how he has sparked the life within me again. I’ve prepared a gift for him tonight.

I want you to know.

Ah, I felt like I could do anything!

I know what must be done.

Morning, afternoon, and evening passed by so slowly, but our fated time has come. I walked while gazing at the night sky to our promised spot. My heart thumped just knowing I would get to see his smiling face again. I acknowledged it! I acknowledged this beating heart of mine! Whoop-pee! It felt so good to not have to try to deny this wondrous feeling.

It must’ve been love right? Yes, it was love! What else could it be??

I skipped along the stone path to our promised spot.

There! He is there!

He looked so manly in his casuals. His back facing me, he was also gazing at the stars. I ran up to him in excitement – he must have heard, because he turned his head as soon as I started running.

I won’t control myself this time!

Usually, I would let there be a distance between us. A metre or so. Personal space.

But, I won’t control myself tonight!

He chuckled in amusement as I rammed my head into his chest. Ah, it’s warm. Just as warm as I expected. As warm as I imagined.

‘What’s gotten into you?” he laughed.

I could feel my heart triple, quadruple its rate.

“I’m just..so happy,” I breathed.

“Yeah?” his voice was tinged with emotion.

I liked that. I liked how he never tried to hide his feelings.

“Me too…” he buried his face into my hair.

Embracing each other awkwardly, I pulled away after what felt like three seconds – that brief moment was more than enough for me.

“Hey,” I said abruptly.

“What?” he murmured.

“Pat my head,” I instructed him.

He stepped back and looked at me, confusion and amusement littered all over his cute face.

I let out a giggle. Oh gosh how long has it been since I’ve last giggled that way?

I took his hand and brought it upon my head, showing him how to pat.

“Like this, see?”

“I see” he laughed, and ruffled my hair, just as I wanted him to. I liked that about him too. I liked how he always complied with my wishes.

If I could purr at that moment, I would.

But I have work, work to be done. I must not let my feelings get in my way…

After I’ve had enough of his ruffling, I stopped him gently and held his hand.

I could feel his pulse. They were racing as fast as mine.

Do I have to do this…?

Stupid question. Not even worth answering.

I stared at his hand and looked into his face. It looked so warm. So very warm. He was my sun, and I was the deep darkness that festers in the Mariana Trench. I craved for his light. I longed for his heat.

My heart was overwhelmed with joy, love, pain, grief, melancholy, and impending sadness.

What must be done…

Yet I must not let these cloud my judgement. Yes, at the heat of the moment, I nearly forgot about my gift.

I pulled it out from under my bag.

He let out a startle as it glinted in the moonlight. Why did he look so startled?

“Why are you shocked?” I asked.

“W-what is that” he stammered, half-jokingly, half-wearily.

“This? It’s my gift to you.”

I paused a while.

Oh, this is so uncomfortable. But, I must let him know.

“I want to pour out all my feelings for you. Just for you. You mean a lot to me. You are the only one who could understand, and you are the only one who will see it – my true self. You are the one who will ever see it,” I rattled swiftly.

I must get this done. Done and done.

He must have been overwhelmed by my sudden confession.

It’s ok, I understand why you would be surprised. After all, how can a girl be so direct?

Sharply, violently, passionately and quickly – before he could react, I thrust the physical embodiment of my emotions deep into his heart.

Can you feel me now? I hope you can. I’m doing this all for you. For us. You’re the only one who can. You started it. You started us. And you’re the only one who will ever…see this…see me…like this…only you.

I smiled at him. Did he smile back? I couldn’t see. He seem to have stumbled down to the ground.

Too shocked at my gift, perhaps. He must have been very much moved by my heartfelt gift. I stared at him lovingly as he clutched his heart.

Do you love me that much?

I continued to stare as my emotions pour out of his various valves. The entire world seem to have gone silent. I could hardly hear his voice. What was he saying? What was he struggling to say? Ah, but..did it matter?

I’m so glad we feel the same way. Aren’t you?

Looking at him then, looking at me – we were basking in a beautiful sunset. A sunset made purely out of our feelings for each other.

Do you feel happy? I do too.

But it’s strange – why aren’t we talking?

But, it’s strange – why aren’t you smiling back?

This is strange – why are my cheeks wet?

Hey, comfort me for a bit. Looks like you’re crying too. Its ok, I’ll sit here, right next to you – let’s comfort each other – here, I’ll hold your hand. Let’s sit back and gaze at the stars tonight, together.

 

***

The sirens blared and stained the morning sky with faded blue and red. XXX came to the location as soon as she had received the call. It was such a disruptive event to her planned out morning, but the officer at the other end said it was urgent. It was concerning YYY.

She knew something was off the moment she had arrived. A police car and an ambulance stood to the side of the park. Several officers were pacing around the scene, walkie-talkies in hand.

‘Miss…XXX?’ asked an officer.

“Yes, that is me. What is this about? You mentioned YYY?” she inquired promptly.

“Yes..this way,” he said grievously, leading her to the edge of site, cut off from the rest of the world by a black and yellow line. She gasped as she noticed a ghostly pale, yet familiar figure within the site.

She felt the hairs of her skin crawl as she recognized her friend that now resembled a cursed doll. It was definitely YYY. Her face was dauntingly wistful; her eyes were fixed into the distance, as if struggling to capture the shadows of something that has long gone. She was sitting on the ground, her back leaning against the bench, with her head rested upon the boy. She gasped as her brain confirmed what her eyes were seeing – the boy was already dead. He was in the exact same posture as YYY, save for the end of a kitchen knife jutting out where his youthful beating heart had been – from afar, it would have looked as if he had been sleeping.

The front of his shirt was stained with dried blood, making it look like he was wearing a maroon shirt.  Aghast, she stared at the expression carved into the corpse’s face. It was a mixture of shock and…betrayal. Cold, bitter, betrayal. His face was twisted in pain and what looked like revulsion. As if someone had simply looked on as he breathed his last.

“It was a clean, direct stab to the heart. The boy died…almost instantly” said the coroner.

“Well, at least he didn’t die a painful death,” responded the officer.

“Hm, I wonder about that. Poor guy.”

He paused as he assessed the situation.

“We got a problem with that girl. She’s still holding onto the body, specifically, the hand – and it doesn’t look like she’s letting go anytime soon. See her blue fingers? Hypothermia’s setting in…. See those white knuckles? God. We might even have to saw off her hand”

The coroner nodded as he prepared his tools.

“And there’s no doubt she did that,” the officer continued as he gestured towards the knife impaled into the boy’s body.

“Yeah, don’t worry. We’ve got firearms and muscles here. They’d know what must be done when the time comes.”

“Psycho….,” another officer uttered.

What must be done? What are they going to do with her?

Of course, she couldn’t do anything. This was outright murder. But…

Why did you do this? Out of all the people, why? You are sound. You are normal! How could this – how could you – she could no longer think – all of this was simply overwhelming.

“What..did you..do…” was all she managed to whisper from across the black and yellow warning line.

She felt her whole body shiver as YYY slowly turned her head towards her. She had noticed.

No way that she could hear me…could she? She felt herself trembling. Such lifeless eyes… She might’ve been just as dead as the corpse next to her.

To her dread, YYY smiled a haunting smile. It’s so haunting, because it’s so familiar. She began to move her lips as she whispered something in return. She’s seen those lips utter those words so many times. For the past three years; she was proud of YYY because of this almost inhuman ability of hers. However, this time, it felt wrong.

So. Very. Wrong. She felt her whole heart sank as she grasped its meaning.

“I did what must be done.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: