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4, 5, 6 Words

The lunch box lay empty on the green campus bench with nothing but birds trying to feed off its plastic chips and paper clips. Kids swayed and turned all day long, played hide-and-seek, caught balls with their arms and noses, but the lunch box stood still. The girl with a pink ribbon, all dressed in yellow, covered in snow, had the swing to her possession for half of the year and she, too, laid claim to the odd lunch box. Spring went by, the green paints faded and the sight of the box remained unchanged.

“Oh, the principal!” said she.
***
A drop of blood was all it took, but the leaf covered all of its glory. It was biology class. The room became too humid for the 40 sophomores gathered around the little table. Bottles replaced test tubes, test tubes became the new ink. Half of the class were too busy modifying their work, with the teacher too busy as well with the new student’s indifference. A foreign student’s class card turned out missing, but where was he?

“There, the blood sample,” pointed out the teacher.
***
The clerk stationed himself behind the filing cabinet not to be out of view, but to be beside a rusty typewriter that kept the office up and running. People came and went, this is a Tuesday; no, not too busy as it was yesterday. Some parents brought their children along and this held the clerk at its fingertips. Instead of a puncher he came to a conclusion that a carbon paper was more useful for this very day. People came and left, said thank you, and said good bye. The very Tuesday it was.

“Who are you?” asks the janitor.

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Piles

You keep the most of it, and free up as much and as little as you can. You wave in, wave out, depending on the tide, depending on the site. The dust– no, windows– made all Italian meatballs lingering in the sea. The floors are built with carpets and pine, but the air is damp and the water dry.

And so off I go.

The view was bright, yes, I saw it coming. There was no headache, no tears, no nothing; except for this strong lever that kept me at bay. I waited, kept the numbers intact, I hoped, and kept the numbers again. My fingers walked way quicker than my eyes, and knew I was alive. I realized the fluff-and-puff was real, and the sunshine was not outside, but within me. It was easier to look away than to look in. And so I stayed.

I knew it was coming, but I assured myself it was nothing. The fluff-and-puff, and my sunshine: these were all that I needed. I blocked my hand, the palm tingled, and said my final respects. Sorry.

Tell me, we are all humans but why do we treat others as if we weren’t human too? We fly and thrive, and keep others adrift. Why do we keep this so? We reach for our dreams, get what we need, but why at the cost of others? This I cannot understand.

And in the midst of this crazy world, I cannot understand why it’s difficult for people to understand that love is real, compassion is given, and respect is earned. I cannot understand why it’s difficult to be truly human in this world when you choose not to be blinded to work for things that we just end up leaving on Earth.

The view was bright, yes, I saw it coming. I knew the windows were dusty, the floor icky, the air damp and the water dry.

But anyway, these were nothing. And so off I go.

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Illustration: My Winter in Summer

Chinese’s head, like a ball of snow at the height of winter, gives the impression of a newborn from a princely class. His ears, pinkish with a penchant for birthmarks, lies steadily as he releases his legs for a noontime nap. His paws, juicy, sweet and soft to touch, support his relaxed and carefree profile from the rummages of the dust-filled district. His jet black nose, runny yet delicate, itches at every land of a mosquito and at every laugh from his admirers, giving an impression of the Princess from ‘The Pea’ literally stuck in his sensitive nose.

What strike me most, though, are these black freckles finding concentration on his upper nose. Standing in unison on the left, uneven on the right, they match perfectly with his white whiskers flanking on both sides of his head, and his deep set eyes surrendered in slumber.

On this hot and humid afternoon along the edges of this mountainous arena, the high-ceilinged bamboo-built hut, Chinese, with his head titled and his left paw a reminder of his innocence, the winds calm down as if to frisk with the gaily atmosphere of his youth today—and the indifference of his future.

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Illustration: The Dull Brown Door

It was November. I barely knew anyone in the brightly-lit, high-ceilinged, spacious room, so I tried to hide myself in my blue-carpeted cubicle, seemingly indifferent to all the noise around me. I engrossed myself with reading as much as I could for my first assignment, all the while drowning myself with a random playlist which I tried to spice up with every song’s music video. Now how I was able to work with music and some interesting videos, I do not know.

I kept glancing on the leftmost brown door, newly-painted, shiny, with a big window on its upper quarter. It bore the initials of someone I am so eager to meet—W.T.
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My boring brightly-colored cubicle, and the dull brown door that’s been keeping up with my carefree spirits. Image Credit: Dreamstime.

Yet, like me, he is new. I saw him a couple of times, always, only for split seconds, since I do not want people to assume I’ve been interested with him too much for this short time.

Heck, it’s my first week.

So I searched, typing in “Most Popular J.K. Songs” just because I never gave even a little thought on how his world’s pop culture goes. All I know is that, whatever part of the world he belongs to, She has driven to suffering our people across generations, which gives justice as to why I never wanted to know anything about his world.

Impulsively, though, I played the first song on the Search. I was feeling like it would be yet another pop song, which, to tell you honestly, I cannot truly appreciate. But I was struck. I sat there, motionless, staring on my monitor. I didn’t realize I was knocking my head from left to right, nodding at beat with the melody. I was so surprised with myself for being glued to a full song with only happy feelings in my head.

Then as I lifted my head, I saw him, for a split second yet again, curl up his lips, smiling at how I seem to truly enjoy the vibe of my music.

Embarrassed, I stared at my keyboard, wondering what that means. Those cheery eyes and the uninhibited smile—was I too naïve to feel myself like a rock star, banging my head during working hour? Or, is the song but an extension of happy and peaceful feelings, not in my head but from somewhere else?