Smart Stars | Quick Piece

He never looked up at me. They remained scanning the endless pages and black lettering. From time to time, I would glance at him, hoping that our gazes would meet. When that happens, the stars will align and something will settle in the bottom of my chest. It’s only a feeling though. It hasn’t happened yet. He turned the page and stretched. I quickly looked up with a chance that he would glimpse around the room and find himself captured by my gaze. He drew back to the book and I sighed. When is he ever going to learn? I think he should realize that I’d be here for him.
An hour passed by and I got nothing done while he finished a chapter. It was only then did I realize that I was wasting my time. What was I even doing? I know for sure that I was sitting in a cold library trying to get some general science in my head. All I could think about was how nice it would be to feel his warmth. I wouldn’t have to be cold anymore. I looked down at my notes and shuffled them around. Maybe he would be captured by my rustling papers and look up to investigate. That never did work.
Soon, night fell and I felt myself growing tired. Nothing exciting was happening and I was even betting on a stray asteroid crashing down only on the library. I saw myself being carried through the fire in his arms; his glistening eyes finally meeting mine. I would reward him with a kiss and he would save the entire city. Instead a girl sat next to him and it was evident that she was much closer to him than I was. She knew his name and even had the audacity to touch his shoulder a couple times. I bent my head over my notes and started memorizing everything about plants. I had to have all this information. What would I do if I were caught unprepared? A couple minutes of their obnoxious stifled laughter, she left and the library fell silent again. My mind remained restless and everything about the plants disappeared through my right ear. Underneath my mad scribbles, I wrote clearly without hesitation, I hate smart people. As I started packing my notebooks away, he looked up. Instead of just seeing his profile and his messy hair flopping over and obstructing his eyes, I saw his warm brown eyes. I turned around expecting to find her standing and waving, but all I saw was emptiness. He opened his mouth and spoke. “Is the library closing soon?” I paused in the middle of putting everything away and tried to respond, but all I could do was shrug. He chuckled lightly and stretched. “Well, I think the both of us deserve a break. I think you’ve been studying here longer than I have!” he said with a smile. My right hand with my notebook still hovered over my open backpack and I could feel heat rising quickly onto my face. He started putting away his books and I unfroze and stuffed everything into my backpack as quickly as possible. I stood up and pushed my chair in. I felt so embarrassed for some reason I couldn’t deal with it at the moment. “Wait! Don’t go yet! I haven’t even introduced myself to you and I literally been with you for a couple hours.” he called out. I stopped again and turned around. I guess I’ll have to get over my embarrassment right now. I pulled out a chair and plopped myself down not bothering to unbutton my jacket. He smiled and sat at the same table I was situated. My entire body trembled, but my mind was clear. “I’m Ben and you are?” he stuck out his hand and I took it. “I’m Rosie.” I whispered. Our hands were clasped together, our gazes unmoving and my heart racing. What was happening? Is this what happens when stars align? We let go and my hand awkwardly dropped by my side. It throbbed and I could still feel where his fingers wrapped around mine. “I couldn’t help but notice you. I was surprised that you stuck around for so long and you were just so focused! What are you studying?” I stammered and pushed away, but he insisted. I couldn’t believe it! He was also watching me and I guess he did it when I feigned my intelligence. He thought I was smart and it was clear that he admired me for it. I pulled out my notebook and showed him my blank pages. “I’m not as you seem, but you weren’t as you seemed either.” I smiled at him and we looked down. I fiddled with my hair and he checked his phone. It was getting late. Without warning, half of the lights in the library went out and we bounded out of our chairs. Between the fast paced walking and shuffling, he suggested that we go get some coffee since he was tired and he noticed that I looked tired as well. Without any hesitation, I agreed. We hustled and bustled through empty desks and chairs where stressed out students stood. To us, the library was now a haven to when the stars aligned. I trust that the stars know what they’re doing.


Twenty | January 19, 2016

As of today, I’m no longer a teenager. I’m entering into my third decade and in all honesty, I still feel like I’m 16 years old, excited about being able to drive soon. I still feel like I should be memorizing all the times tables until they were part of each step I took, echoing down the long hall ways and giving me light where to go. I still feel like I’m bumbling around with no direction in where I’m going. To be honest, I still feel like a kid. Yet, my age no longer says “teen”, an awkward adjusting human who is still figuring out things.

Throughout these last ten years of ultimate growth and questioning, I’ve found that the last four years have made a definite impact. I found myself asking who I was many times and afraid of the answer I would get. I found myself constantly angry and not knowing what to do about it, wanting time to go faster but it just dragged behind. I found myself staring at the sky and feeling so small. I found myself being enveloped in hugs and feeling their warmth seeping to me. I found very valuable friends whom I will hold tight to my heart and cherish. I found myself drowning, but coming up into the surface again.

I’m so grateful for each year, each month, each second that I’ve lived. Without each trying moment and tear, I wouldn’t be who I am now. Who knows who I would be when I’m 30? But I know for sure, I’ll be Alice Chen.


Eleanor | Quick Piece Breakdown


This piece was a lot of fun to write since it was in a genre that was more comfortable for me. It’s full of adventure and self-discovery, a chapter of my life I’m currently going through so I constantly want to write about it.

This story starts off with transportation again. Last week was at the bus stop and this week was at the train station. We meet an important and interesting character immediately and I picture people who have no fear in life constantly wearing the color red. Maybe playing Carmen Sandiego really have a prominent influence on me. The two characters, the older lady and “you” ride the train together, sitting next to each other and learning more about yourself while simultaneously learning about each other. I threw in a lot of surprises that typical older women wouldn’t have such as the abnormal strength. I wanted her to be as abnormal as possible, to be just so full of color that it becomes kind of contagious. The “you” character went from being doubtful and uncertain to embracing herself. There was a glimpse of Eleanor’s past when I wrote about how she took the compliment of being a fearless woman. It indicates that she rose up from a place full of fear before coming to who she is today.

I picked Eleanor as the older woman’s name because when she takes hold of “your” arm, she says something that it close to one of Eleanor Roosevelt’s most famous quotes. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I had her say, “Don’t let anyone tell you less.” I didn’t do this intentionally, but I knew that the older woman was a strong woman, risen out of a difficult past to become who she was today. Eleanor fit her perfectly and the entire story as well.

Basically, the moral of this story is that everyone has had their fair share of difficulties whether it was current or past. Just don’t make it any more difficult for them. Help them out by either talking to them and encouraging them like Eleanor or with a simple smile to bring more color and warmth into this world. Also, take the time to find a soft spot in your heart, just something that will automatically make your laugh and cry. The world should be appreciated because after all, we’re living here. Go out and have some adventures like Eleanor or make home seem a little brighter than before. Don’t be afraid!


Eleanor | Quick Piece

The train pulled up to the station and a wave of air hit me. My hair blew around wildly and I quickly brushed it away. “Where are you headed off to?” this older lady said. She was carrying a bright red suitcase and a floral handbag. Her lipstick shone on her lips and she looked like an older version of Carmen Sandiego. “I’m just heading home. It’s break for me.” I said. The conductor started directing where to sit based on the stops. “Where’s home?” She asked, walking along with me. Her suitcase bumped along the ridges, threatening to fall into the space. “Oh, it’s just the fifth stop. It’s the town by the river.” I said, hoping that she got off before me. “Hey! I get off there too! That’s great! She noted. “Maybe we can sit together!” We hauled our suitcase over the gap and into the car, looking for a suitable location in the train. “How about this one? Do you want the window seat?” She said. I nodded and struggled to stow away my suitcase. In one swoop, she chucked the suitcase into the overhead compartment without difficulties. I shuffled to the window seat and got ready to doze off when she suddenly blurted out “I’m not actually going home! I’m actually going on an adventure! You can keep that secret between the two of us.” To be honest, I wasn’t even surprised. She just looked like someone who never settled down. I muttered, “I’m not surprised. You just looked like someone who isn’t afraid of anything.” She turned and leaned towards me. “What? You really think so?” I nodded and closed my eyes. Hopefully she got the idea that I was pretty tired and wanted to rest. She turned away and faced the window, muttering only so I could hear. “That’s the first time someone said that.”

My nap consisted of my head bobbing up and down. Whenever I looked over at her, she remained either fixated on the scenery or her eyes scanning over a book. I watched her gold earrings bob up and down to the gentle swaying of the train. What was her story? I didn’t even know her name or why she decided to have an adventure at my hometown. There wasn’t even anything to do at home besides a famous restaurant that was featured on the Food Channel. Otherwise, it was a quiet town. It was as if she could hear my thoughts and she woke up. “Man, that was a great nap!” she turned towards me and smiled. I felt a wave of warmth flood through me and wondered if my own smile could do the same. I smiled back at her and said, “Yeah, I took a much deserved nap too!” She laughed and stretched, her earrings clinking around. A couple moments of silence drifted by us, but I paid no attention to it. Even if she was a stranger, I felt comfortable. I didn’t find it necessary to constantly have to fill in the gaps with senseless questions. We just sat side bye side admiring the view outside the window or the passengers passing by us. She broke the silence by asking for my name. “No, don’t be embarrassed! I’m Amelia.” I said while extending my hand. She shook my hand with a firm grip and told me that her name was Eleanor. I watched her every movement as she told me about how her mother picked that name for her and the name most certainly fit her very well. We sat in silence once again and listened to the gentle rumbling and rocking of the train.

When I woke up, she wasn’t in her seat, but I wasn’t too worried. I think I remember her mentioning that she wanted to grab something. “Hey, you’re awake! Our stop is in about an hour and you looked like you were high in the clouds. I was afraid that you might sleep too long and I would have to wake you up! Trust me, you don’t want me to wake you up!” she guffawed, her coffee threatening to leap out of the cup and I shook with laughter. I could see her hollering at me and startling me and plenty of passengers as well. She wiped the tears from her eyes and gently said to me, “You have a lovely smile, but I can tell you don’t use it enough.” I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was. This time, the silence that passed between us was awkward. “Thank you? Thank you, Eleanor.” I stammered. I felt terrible. She wouldn’t even think that I was taking her seriously. She clasped her hand on my arm, her nails streaked with red nail polish and said with such depth; tears almost welled up in my eyes. “Dearie, don’t underestimate yourself. You’re a mighty woman and don’t let anyone else tell you anything less.” She smiled a radiant smile at me and closed her eyes.

An hour later, we arrived at our stop. Wordlessly, she hauled my suitcase down along with her own in one smooth swoop. At the platform, I waved good-bye to her and she disappeared into the crowd just like how I met her. Where and why she was headed this way, it was beyond me. I’ll always be grateful for Eleanor, who I met on my train home since she taught me a lesson I never forgot in my years to come. As I separated from the group, I spotted my dad and I erupted into a smile. “Hey! I missed you! Did you do something different? You look even prettier than I remember when I dropped you off!” my dad noted while taking my suitcase from me. I shook my head and smiled again, “Nope, it’s just me.”

Time | Saturday Adventures

Compared with my previous adventures, these days aren’t as adventurous. Nevertheless, they’re still adventures! Since I’m on winter break right now; I haven’t been doing much. I’ve been from one house to another for holiday pot-lucks. There’s always a lot of great food going around during the holidays.

This week, we welcomed the new year. The day before the new years was my brother’s 16th birthday which is a big step from the 15th birthday. Turning 16 is a milestone because you’re able to start driving which is a big responsibility. I was looking through our photo albums for a good baby picture of him since I remembered that when he was little, he had the craziest hair. Even now, his hair remained untamed and curly. I found the picture, but I continued flipping through the glossy pages memories clicking into place again. I saw myself with long pigtails and a front tooth missing. I saw myself with a cheeky grin with my screaming brother in my arms. I saw round glasses and tucked in shirts. It seemed like a long time ago when I most certainly lived it. There are pictures to prove it! It’s just a little crazy to think that 16 years ago, my brother was born and nearly twenty years ago, I was born among the millions who entered the world.

Time feels so fleeting, but it’s so tangible. If we sit in awe of the amount of time we’ve been through, we would just lose time. If we forget to take note of how precious time can be, then things would start to lose meaning. Humans are the only species who have this concept of time. On another note, each individual born onto this world has a unique footprint that they’ll leave behind. Who knows what my brother and I will leave behind? We can strive for getting a large and deep footstep, but who will know what life leads us to doing? We’re all so precious and unique that it just doesn’t make sense to compare someone else’s feet with your own. We’ve all been through various things at different points in time, so don’t compare their beginning with your middle. Don’t compare their strength with your weaknesses. In fact, don’t compare yourself with other people because it will only bring you down. Take a step back and look at where you’re are right now and where you’ve come from.

Don’t beat yourself up. You’re still a work in progress!