Fan Fiction

Afraid of Darkness

DISCLAIMER: The following is of fictional work and should not be taken seriously or be accounted for actual facts in any way. It is not aimed to confuse or mislead anyone for that matter. It is not meant to offend or disrespect any of the artists mentioned in the work either. Its purpose only serves to entertain and share with other fans who also like those artists. Thank you for reading.

*****

Bianca cradled the picture frame in her hands gingerly while the night wind swept into the luxurious office. An office renovated by her own hands many months ago. And the memories of their many conversations held there, planning for their upcoming wedding came flooding back as she picked up yet another item from the desk. Lingering on that item briefly, she soon let it join in with the rest of his belongings inside a box. She then reached for the engraved pen residing so securely on its own fancy stand. The paralleled empty spot belonged to a second pen. That pen was supposed to be Bianca’s. Yet they usually mixed the two up. Whether that constant mix up was accidental or on purpose, they no longer questioned it. Bianca’s pen was currently by Johnny’s side. She planned to keep it that way. As for his, she would always keep it by her side. Upon those stirring memories, her tears made its presence known once more, flowing freely down her face as she pressed the pen to her cheek. It took more than several minutes before she was able to pull herself together, unlike the last few times of lingering on some items just for the sake of reminiscence. Instead of tossing the pen inside the box like the other items, she pocketed it. She only tossed the pen stand into the box.

It was also then that Wallace entered the room. He stopped by the door, watching the crystallized tears making its way down Bianca’s face. Her once rosy cheeks were now covered with an ashen forlorn. But it wasn’t Wallace’s place to chide her. Because he had no right to. His grief-stricken state wasn’t any better than her current devastation. And grief-stricken wasn’t the only mood living inside him at the moment. There was also guilt rooting itself since the day it happened. The others did not blame him. But he blamed himself. If only he could just turn back the clock and undo the damage. If only he was given several more seconds to react then he would have chosen differently. If only he had been faster. If only…so many “if only” drumming themselves into Wallace’s head, chanting over and over again. Haunting his waking hours, and possibly dreams as well. Just if only.

“Bianca,” Wallace called out, his voice low as not to startle her.

Yet it didn’t make a difference. Bianca’s guard slipped back on with her rapid movement of wiping away her tears with her hands. Followed by the loud clearing of her throat as she turned to close the window behind her. Her desolated look was no longer on. No, it was still there, but it just subsided briefly to make way for her anger. “What are you doing here?”

Her interrogative tone didn’t discourage Wallace. He maintained his calmness and eyed the box Bianca was now holding. “I’ll help you carry it.”

Bianca’s expression didn’t soften. In fact, her irritation had heightened itself to another level. “It doesn’t matter what you do, I will never forgive you.”

With that, Bianca was gone, leaving Wallace behind with only the small fluorescent lamp by Johnny’s old desk to accompany him. She was done packing. She had been done since pocketing Johnny’s pen. It was that she wasn’t ready to part with the place just yet. Not until Wallace arrived and disrupted the atmosphere, spoiling her mood completely.

Wallace’s only reaction was turning around and staring after Bianca’s disappearing back. And blaming himself for the incident all over again. Even though the others didn’t blame him. Except for Bianca that was. But it wasn’t because she blamed him that he blamed himself. He knew it was his fault the moment his comprehension kicked in. After the initial shock had worn off.

Several days later, Bianca was standing in front of a shrine covered with flowers. However, she only stayed briefly. She had another stop to make. Johnny’s current resident. Also Angela’s current resident. Bianca lingered the usual half an hour since that day. Then the usual group of friends arrived to comfort her and drag her back to reality. She didn’t resist as strongly like the very first day. She had resisted less and less as the days passed by. Was time itself the healing catalyst? If so, then why was she still feeling like someone had ripped her heart out completely? That spot was now like a black hole. Absorbing in everything yet was never truly full.

Before Bianca could ponder anymore of her current mood, she spotted Wallace as she made her way back to her car. The others had stopped walking. It was like they wanted to give Bianca and Wallace a chance to talk, to sort out their past conflicts. However slim that chance might be. Indeed, this encounter was as hopeless as all past encounters. Because Bianca sent Wallace one of her usual disapproving glares before increasing her pace to her car. Not looking back even once. He was alone with his silent demons. Until the others joined him by the side of the road.

“She’ll understand one day,” Sylvie reassured Wallace–like many times before.

Wallace nodded, his routine response–just like all the past times.

But that “one day” did not come. Because Bianca left them two days later without words. They didn’t see it coming because she had kept it under wraps really good. She had left everything up to her agent, Janet, to finalize all the details about the house put up for sale and the office that was to be leased. Janet had one other job, and that was to keep her lips sealed about Bianca’s whereabouts.

The others never expected Bianca to just drop everything and disappear. Bianca was always in constant fear of changes. At least the major changes like moving to another place out of the blues like this one. Angela, Bianca, Johnny, and Wallace grew up in this town together. Almost, because Johnny and Wallace were two years older than Angela and Bianca. Yet that didn’t make a difference. They were almost inseparable until that day. Until Johnny left with Angela. And if Johnny and Angela hadn’t left and if their group of four were still together, the ones most likely to leave were Wallace and Angela. Those two were similar in their adventurous and daring natures respectively. It wasn’t like Johnny was the type who couldn’t accept challenges, but because he knew Bianca’s fear so he had opted to stay by her side to accompany her–and protect her. In the end, the promise was broken and it had caused their dispersing. Still, they would expect Wallace to take leave first, not Bianca. Or was it because of Johnny’s departure that it had given Bianca the courage to walk away herself?

6 months ago

It was a breezy day in May. Breezy but not cold. The sun was shining over their heads. They were standing by the threshold. Bianca was shooing them out the door, but her beaming smile had suggested she was joking. Angela and Wallace had arrived to help Johnny and Bianca move. The plan was to transport all of Johnny and Bianca’s stuff into the new house so they were ready and settled in after their honeymoon. The reason Bianca was acting so ungrateful toward her two friends was because the two hadn’t wiped their shoes before entering the house. Though Angela and Wallace were being shooed out, Johnny soon joined them by the door, claiming that they might as well make the last trip to Johnny’s house to retrieve the several last boxes. Sylvie and the others had arrived earlier to cover the first few rounds of transferring stuff. Angela and Wallace were taking over for them since the last two trips.

“Be careful on that road,” Bianca yelled after them as they descended the stone steps leading out to the teal green gate.

“Yes, Lady Boss!” Wallace shouted, turning back to salute Bianca.

Bianca gave him a warning look but soon turned her frown into a smile. She was used to his teasing nature. She even followed them outside and witnessed all three getting into the car. Wallace took the driver seat. That also meant Angela was sitting next to him while Johnny played the considerate person, taking the backseat.

“Drive safely!” Bianca commanded, her voice serious yet her face still smiling to show them she was only concerned for their well-being.

“Last two trips had been fine,” Wallace reminded her. “I don’t think the last one would make a difference.”

“Still, be careful out there,” Bianca repeated, her voice firm.

Wallace saluted once again before buckling up. Bianca also stepped back toward the green gate. But she didn’t go back inside to wait for them. She watched as Wallace turned the car around and waved to them one last time as the car made its way down the dirt road.

Wallace had kept his promise to be extra careful on the way to Johnny’s house. He knew why Bianca was worried. She had every right to. The roads in the countryside were still being expanded so many places were tricky to maneuver around. The trickier part was the merge into the main roads leading back to the rest of the civilization–or what was known as the city.

On the way back, Johnny wanted to drive. He had insisted because it represented the last time. He was leaving this house for the last time. Understanding how much it would mean to Johnny, Wallace agreed. He handed Johnny the keys before getting into the backseat. Angela still stayed in front. She and Wallace were both responsible for holding a box in place on the drive, except Angela’s box was much smaller. Like the last few times, they checked to make sure everyone had buckled up before leaving.

The incident occurred during the turn back to the countryside. Wallace saw it first. He yelled too late. Johnny tried to swerve. He did with all his might. But it was useless. Then they collided. Everything was in slow motion at that point. It was like time had slowed down. Johnny had slid his hand across the seat to shield Angela seconds before the thunderous collision happened. But Johnny was too late because Angela had banged her head on the dashboard. What about Wallace? He had crashed against the box he was still cradling in his hands. The box had slid forward as part of the impact of the crash. He couldn’t do anything. He couldn’t stop his friends from glass shards flying their way. It was too confusing. Adding on to the confusion was the box blocking Wallace’s vision. He tried to push it aside as he was still able to hear Angela’s cries for help. But her voice was becoming quite distant. He was sure he wasn’t hurt. He couldn’t feel any pain. He had to focus. He had to get his friends out of there.

Soon, sirens were heard everywhere. Or was that a long time later? Wallace was no longer sure. But the world around him was swaying. The shining cop lights were morphing together. Then he was able to hear laughter everywhere. Johnny’s laughter. Angela’s laughter. Bianca’s laughter. His own laughter. The scenes from several hours back flashed into his mind rapidly. Their faces all glowing in the sun. Angela’s small face smiling and her hand hitting him for cracking such lame jokes. Johnny and Bianca were laughing at him for bringing trouble onto himself. Then those images dissolved as well. No, it didn’t just dissolve. It popped and crackled, taking one person by one from his view. He was alone in the darkness.

Wallace woke up in the hospital. At least that was his guess after blinking several times and was still getting white lights, white ceilings, and white everywhere. It took him several more seconds to recollect the events of the accident. It was then that he reacted and tried to get out of bed. But he wasn’t able to. He was restrained by strings and strings of ropes. No, they weren’t ropes. He shrugged and took another careful look at them to find those to be tubes to help him breathe, tubes to monitor his heart, and whatever else the other tubes were needed for. Still, he wasn’t giving up. He yanked his hardest. However, it didn’t work. He was finally able to feel the pain that was absent during the collision. The rapid beeping of the machines surrounding his bed finally alerted the nurses into checking in on him.

“I have to get out of here!” Wallace bellowed, attempting to step down–but failed once again.

“Sir, you have to stay still,” One of the nurses warned, her strength surprised him as she pushed him back into bed.

Then he could see Bianca among the sea of faces stepping into the room. “Bianca! Where’s Johnny? And Angela! Are they in the other rooms? How are they?”

Bianca didn’t answer Wallace. She stepped closer to his bed. He had stopped struggling so the nurse had already let go of him and had stepped aside. It was also then that he was able to detect Bianca’s haunting look.

“Bianca…” Wallace called out again.

“How could you let it happen?” Bianca shouted, despite her grief-stricken face. She soon reached for his shoulders. “I warned you to be careful! I trusted you!”

Then Sylvie and the others were rushing forward to pull Bianca away from Wallace. It took some of the nurses to restrain Bianca and try to calm Wallace down after some of the guys managed to blurt out the details of the story to Wallace.

“The police said that the seatbelts were loose as it already was so it couldn’t hold you guys in to reduce impact,” Brent provided the answer for the current consequences.

“I told you to get it all checked!” Bianca wailed from across the room. “How could you risk it like that?”

If it was any other circumstances, Wallace would have argued right back and said he planned to get all seatbelts checked the day after the move. But at the moment? It was his fault regardless. Yet he couldn’t bring himself to say those words either. After that lashing out episode, Bianca stormed off, declaring that she never wanted to see Wallace ever again in this entire lifetime. That was the day Bianca’s hatred for Wallace began. And it was also the day Wallace started hating himself.

The Present + 2 More Years

It had been two years since Bianca left. Wallace and the others still visited Johnny and Angela’s graves from time to time. It had become part of their daily routines. And even if the others visited less and less, Wallace still managed to come by at least once a week. It was also during one of those visits that Wallace received the call. He arrived at the police station to find all of his friends waiting outside and a distance away from the facility. They didn’t dare to enter or let on that they were intruding. Wallace was about to speak up, inviting Brent and Sylvie to join him inside for the news. However, he spotted Bianca. She was with Janet. Janet must have picked her up. Bianca still wore that intense look for Wallace. Her attires suggested she’d moved on. In a way, Wallace was glad. But he didn’t dare speak up. Not this time. He let Brent do the talking.

After a few minutes of exchanging the usual greetings, it was agreed that Bianca, Wallace, Brent, and Sylvie entered the station to meet with the officers. They were taken to a small investigation room. Several officers were present while the main detective talked to them. Wallace felt the same as the last few times they were in there, same old speech with “not the one but we were so sure it was the one”. Yet not this time. They caught the driver of that humongous monster truck. Wallace didn’t care to pay attention or remember what kind of vehicle it was anymore. He called it a monster truck because it had taken two of his friends.

“We also found something else,” The main detective spoke up after letting them take turns to see “the suspect”–if they wanted to–and seek some sort of closure at last.

Wallace couldn’t help but exchanged a look with the other three, not caring if Bianca was still indifferent toward him. But they didn’t have to wait long. The main detective gestured for the other officers to bring in some sort of television set with an old looking VCR. Wallace realized it was so different from those TV shows yet he thought it made sense that their local small police station hadn’t gotten the most hi-tech resources to show off.

“The new owner of the store at that corner found it while cleaning the place up and getting it ready for renovation,” The main detective explained as he popped the tape in.

They remained silent and still as they waited for the clip to play. Soon, the screen flashed on with some pictures after some static. It was the day of the accident–according to the date at a corner of the screen. The main detective fast-forwarded the tape some more before letting it play. Sylvie reached over to grab a hold of Bianca’s hand as she watched the images of the collision unfolding onscreen. Wallace was trying to stay calm, but he couldn’t after several more minutes of watching. It wasn’t because of the devastation sinking in all over again. It was only part of it. What made Wallace’s face turned pale was how his past self was reacting to the collision years back. He had remembered correctly about Johnny reaching over with one hand to shield Angela. But what he had a distorted memory of was after Angela’s head made contact with the dashboard. He was desperately freeing himself from the box that had served as his cushion and was struggling to pull himself out of the car. Because he was in the backseat, he had to smash the window. From where his strength came from, he wasn’t sure, but his effort was paid off and he had managed to drag Johnny a distance from the car before trying to go back for Angela. Though his strength was really failing him. Crawling and grasping at the asphalt didn’t help. He had passed out by the driver’s window.

“You let me blame you these past two years just like that?” Bianca asked in her usual demanding tone after the main detective had shut off the television set. “How could you let me believe you were the one driving?”

Wallace didn’t know what to say. He still didn’t react. He was able to see Bianca’s tearful face. Yet what was he supposed to say? It took him several more seconds to regain himself. “I was the one who didn’t get the car to the shop to check the seatbelts in time, remember?”

Bianca shook her head, her demeanor less threatening. “Only the driver’s seatbelt was having trouble, remember?”

Wallace did remember. And he knew too well who was driving on the way back. Yet how could he say it during the time of the aftermath? After he realized they had assumed he was the driver on the way back as well. It was his car. It was his responsibility after all. He couldn’t put the blame on Johnny–and condemn his friend like that. If anything, Johnny did try to save Angela during the last few seconds.

Before Wallace could say anything else though, Bianca leaped forward to hug him. It was also then that the spell was broken. He no longer hated himself. Because Bianca was finally willing to let go. And although he felt it was surreal that a couple of police officers were willing to show them an important piece of evidence, he accepted it and thanked them before leaving with his three friends shortly after. Perhaps they pitied him all these years?

Bianca moved back to town after that. She was done with her adventure. It was what Wallace needed at the moment. A true friend returning to his side again. He’d lost all three of his closest friends after that accident. One of whom was also his girlfriend. Now?  He still couldn’t undo the past tragedy to bring Angela and Johnny back. But Bianca had returned. He was given another chance.

Indeed, Bianca and Wallace reopened their shop, and continued on with their lives. The day they reopened the shop was also the day Wallace made a promise to take over Johnny’s duty of protecting Bianca. But like an older brother figure that was. Until she was able to move on and find her own happiness.

© Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

*****

*NOTES*:
*This was actually for a class assignment but couldn’t help sharing it here anyway.
*The song that inspired this story was “Afraid of Darkness” by Bianca Bai
*The reason for the usage of characters could be considered as an alternate story to “The Dating Game” saga

Fan Fiction

Misty Morning

DISCLAIMER: The following is of fictional work and should not be taken seriously or be accounted for actual facts in any way. It is not aimed to confuse or mislead anyone for that matter. It is not meant to offend or disrespect any of the artists mentioned in the work either. Its purpose only serves to entertain and share with other fans who also like those artists. Thank you for reading.

*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*

Chun stepped past the black gate and made his way along the path with flowers oozing out on both sides. His hand contained a white envelope. He held it gingerly as he walked. Possibly afraid that it would blow away into the wind if he was not careful. Although the wind was playing nice today and only shown its presence by the swaying of gentle breezes from time to time. A light smile on his face, Chun ascended the steps and entered the main hall. The door was left ajar like always. He knew they were all in the den at the end of the hall. He walked slowly to the den. His mind anxious from his smile but his footsteps still maintained its placid pace.

“Hey!” Kate called out upon seeing his presence.

He returned her smile by raising the white envelope up.

“What is it?” Kate asked, getting up from her place on the lavender cushion set next to the bamboo lounge chair.

The cushion actually belonged to the chair but it was her habit of yanking the cushion out of its place and used it to her advantage by placing it on the floor. She claimed the bamboo chair to be a hassle. She liked sitting on the cool smooth crème tile better. While he was at it, he stared at the light brown brick steps leading to the backyard garden. The sunlight dancing back and forth between the rows of lavishing lavender mesmerized him into wonderment.

“What is it?” Grandma Xu asked, turning her attention away from her needlepoint task temporarily.

“The acceptance letter from the company Kate and I applied for,” Chun explained, directing his eyes onto the old lady.

“Hmm…” Kate mumbled, handing the letter back to him.

“Don’t tell me you didn’t get accepted,” He said, turning his full attention to her again.

“The mail hasn’t arrived yet,” Kate confessed.

“Let’s go outside and wait for it then,” Chun urged.

Kate tugged a piece of loose hair behind her ears and looked at Grandma Xu.

“Go ahead,” Grandma Xu said, gesturing her hands toward the screen door.

Kate turned to Chun and grabbed his hand, hauling him back into the house and toward the front door. He managed to wave a friendly goodbye to Grandma Xu before the screen door slammed shut.

“What department were you assigned to?” Kate continued, her attention returning to the envelope in his hand, regretting she had not scanned the letter properly.

“Designing,” Chun replied, waving his envelope for effect.

Kate’s smile lit up. “That’s great. You got what you wanted.”

He was able to detect the worrisome she was experiencing inside from her eyes. “Maybe they still have an empty spot.”

“I have to make it first, right?”

“It’s not like you to be such a pessimist.”

Kate resumed her smile as they settled down on the front steps. “You’re right. If I get it, I get it. If I don’t, then there are still other opportunities around.”

He placed a hand on her shoulder. “I think you will get it.”

Kate turned to him with a grateful smile.

They waited in silence after that.

Chun watched the sun rays dancing back and forth the garden of various flowers while Kate occupied her head with her own thoughts.

It was until the sun was above their heads that the mailman finally arrived. Without speaking, both got up at the same time and walked to the gate. Kate unlocked the gate and greeted the familiar mailman like many times before. Yet this time, she was more anxious than ever. She was waiting for a letter that would decide her future.

“A package for Grandma Xu,” The mailman informed them, handing Kate a heavy bundle wrapped in light brown paper and a tan string to keep it together.

“Thank you,” Kate rattled out her usual courtesy.

“Anything else, Mr. Lin?” Chun asked, knowing Kate was heading toward hysterical soon if she didn’t get any words from that company.

“Let me check,” Mr. Lin said, fishing through his mail sack.

Chun placed a supportive hand on Kate’s shoulder once again. He took the package from her with his other hand. All she needed was more distraction.

“Ah…” Mr. Lin said at last after a full minute.

They watched in silence as Mr. Lin handed Kate an envelope. It was the same coloring and size as Chun’s. Or at least Kate hoped that the sunlight had not altered her vision.

“Bye, Mr. Lin,” Chun said with a smile as Mr. Lin left them to continue on his route. Then he turned to Kate, tugging on her shoulder. “Come on.”

They returned to the front steps after Chun locked the gate like before.

“I’ll go deliver this to Grandma first,” Chun volunteered, seeing Kate eyeing the envelope unmoved.

Five minutes later, Chun returned to find Kate still sitting where he left her. She was still staring at the envelope. How hard was it to open the envelope? He knew the answer to that. He also knew that it was not about the envelope but the news carried through the letter. Was it a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’?

“Come on,” Chun urged, snapping the letter out of Kate’s hand.

Kate followed his every move as he craftily undid the seal. He made sure not to rip the contents inside. Then came the letter. The familiar anxious feeling crept up from within for some reason. It could have been the same feeling he was experiencing when he received his own letter.

“Miss Hsu,” Chun read aloud, clearing his throat once–though unnecessary. “We are happy to learn that you are interested in joining our company. However…”

Kate’s hand shook with much nervousness. Chun had to pause again. He knew Kate needed the time to sink it all in, especially where the words were directing toward. Kate grabbed a hold of Chun’s arm, urging him to read on.

“However,” Chun resumed once again. “We apologize that we could not fulfill your wish in joining the company in the position you applied. But we assure you that you will find the position we appointed to you will help you in paving your path in our company.” Chun turned to Kate with a hopeful look. “It’s not a rejection letter. They just didn’t place you in the position you wanted.”

“Really?” Kate asked, turning to Chun for reassurance.

“Look,” Chun said, handing Kate the letter and pointing out the lines at the middle of the page. “We will still be under the same department.”

Kate’s smile lit up once again. Her grip on his arm tightened. He felt almost suffocating with her grasp but silently told himself that she was just overly excited. He craftily undid her hand on his.

“As long as I get in, it wouldn’t matter, right?” Kate asked, taking her letter back from him.

“That’s right,” Chun said. “You’ll still get to use your creativity.”

Before he knew it, Kate had grabbed a hold of him once again and embraced him. He returned the hug, knowing that she was finally relieved from the long wait.

“I think we should go inside and tell the others,” Chun said after a minute.

Kate finally released him and turned around to the door leading into the house again.

Chun smiled, knowing that their new lives were about to begin.

© Friday, February 5th, 2010

*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*

NOTES:
*This was never meant to be a one-shot. BUT now that I’m stuck to the point of ridiculous, I just want to fix it around a little and publish it as a one-shot as not to waste it.
*This was inspired by the whole Chun and Kate collaboration in 14 Blades. I actually started it only when news came out about the collaboration AND finished the one chapter before watching the movie itself SO of course, it didn’t have that feeling of anywhere near the vibe of the movie, lol. But I’m glad since it’s more fun that way than leaning on copying the movie’s style. PHEW. (Dodged that one, right?)
*Just for fun, the song that inspired this chapter was Nicholas Teo’s “A Wound In The Heart” (痛彻心扉). I cheated on the scene with the gate thing YET only that part.

Fan Fiction

Haunting Past

DISCLAIMER: The following is of fictional work and should not be taken seriously or be accounted for actual facts in any way. It is not aimed to confuse or mislead anyone for that matter. It is not meant to offend or disrespect any of the artists mentioned in the work either. Its purpose only serves to entertain and share with other fans who also like those artists. Thank you for reading.

*****

Wallace entered the room, switched the light on, and lifted the curtains by the window. The routine had become automatic to him since the day she left. He never blamed her. Because what she said was true. All he ever had for her was pity. Not love nor sympathy. It had become too much for her to bear and she chose to leave, knowing he was too soft-hearted to say anything at all. Yet, ironically, since the day she left, he never stopped thinking about her. Was that what she had intended to do? Stealing his heart away with her since the day she silently stepped out of his life–with only a letter to explain herself. Or was that guilt because of how he treated her–with so much dishonesty these past years? He did not know. But for sure, she had occupied his thoughts more than he’d imagined possible.

Sitting there at the edge of her bed, he let his mind drift, reminiscing about the old days. He didn’t remember lingering in her room longer than this. In fact, it had been less than that. She was somewhat a roommate in his house and less than a friend. It was like taking in a pet yet the pet was given more attention. Aside from the typical greetings from time to time and the casual exchanges between their free times, he never purposely sought her out to talk. It wasn’t after he broke up with his girlfriend that he’d given her more attention. Though that was a mistake. And also the reason why she left. A broken heart wasn’t a good reason for his shift in attention. No one wanted to be someone’s shadow. Including her. Especially her. But she never realized the reason his girlfriend broke up with him was because of her. Though she was not to be blamed. Since he never realized her importance in his heart until she left. And it was too late. How could he explain it to her what was going on in his mind or what had actually happened when he didn’t even know it himself?

Was the conflict of his heart causing his negligence? Was he suppressing himself so hard that he had acted the opposite of what he had wanted to when they encountered one another? Another irony reeking its way into his life when he realized he had fallen into the trap of the so-called cliché formula he once poked fun at. The typical story of two roommates falling for each other. The difference was they at least acknowledged it and solved their obstacles. He only knew how to hide–until it was too late. Would it have made any difference if he had put up a bulletin stating males only instead of making exceptions for female cohabitants as well? Or would he have ended up fallen for his roommate’s sister if the other person was of the same gender? He didn’t know. If he could have predicted his actions or reactions so accurately, he wouldn’t land in this obstacle in the first place.

© Friday, April 27th, 2012

Fan Fiction

A Fateful Bet

DISCLAIMER: The following is of fictional work and should not be taken seriously or be accounted for actual facts in any way. It is not aimed to confuse or mislead anyone for that matter. It is not meant to offend or disrespect any of the artists mentioned in the work either. Its purpose only serves to entertain and share with other fans who also like those artists. Thank you for reading.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Joanne wandered along the woods without any source of purpose in mind. She just wanted to take a walk to cool her mind. Along the path, she took into her hands to enjoy nature’s changing scenery. She hadn’t slowed down and actually looked at the many things around her recently. That was what happened when one indulged into the materialistic world along with the rest of the world. There ought to be some sacrifices. Yet she smiled because she could always pull out and take a break at times, just like now. She wasn’t going to wallow into misery and cried out injustice ever so dramatically like those daily TV shows. If people would just stop for a second and understand that every one of them had choices. As for whether they would exert themselves to bravely choose or not, it was up to them.

Hearing a rustling sound somewhere to her left, she turned and spotted a rabbit running away. She took chase after it, feeling like she could be silly for just this moment. She soon reached a creek and settled down at a nearby rock, looking at the early morning’s sunlight shining down her. It was indeed a breath-taking sight. She had always felt nature was at its best when it was in the early morning, when the sun was still in its process of making the routine daily appearance. And the dews that had made themselves comfortable on various objects were able to shine when the sun reached its place, creating a somewhat mystical effect.

And as if wanting to end her joyous moment, her cell phone rang. She was surprised that it had reception around the area yet picked up anyway. Though her smile hadn’t left her face yet. She was still staring at a tree nearby and its leaves that had been touched by the sun and sparkling as the ray passed the dew-line clinging onto the edges of the leaves.

“Hello?” She answered.

“Where are you now?” Her co-worker demanded from the other side.

Her mood wasn’t spoiled though. Not quite yet. “Just out the woods for a bit, what’s going on?”

“We have a meeting in half an hour, Miss,” Her co-worker mocked. “If we’re late, the deal’s off. I thought I told you how important it is since last month when we began working on the project.”

“I’ll be there,” Joanne reassured her co-worker, not minding the girl’s bossy attitude.

Her co-worker hung up after that, knowing there was nothing else she could do. She could have nagged even more, but Joanne would come up with some equally witty response anyway. Joanne slammed her cell phone shut and returned it to her pocket. She finally got up from her spot and glimpsed the area once more, feeling a lingering stir inside. She knew she could always return. Yet the feeling would never be the same the next time. Each experience was different from one another. But she didn’t dwell. She increased her pace and made her way back to civilization.

“Again?” She asked, looking around some unknown bushes, thinking it was another rabbit after hearing some more rustling.

“Maybe another day, Little Rabbit.”

“So I’m a rabbit now?” A familiar voice asked.

Joanne, alarmed and amused at the same time, turned to her right and spotted a familiar silhouette. He finally revealed himself and had a smile on his face as he made his way toward her.

“Ah Ru, what are you doing here?” She asked, her eyes cautious and scanning his face for signs of a conspiracy.

“I called into your workplace and they said you’re not there yet so I thought I stop by here and check,” Calvin answered.

They resumed their steps after the initial surprise.

“How do you know I’ll be here?” Joanne asked after a while.

“I don’t,” Calvin answered. “That’s why I’m checking.”

Joanne still had on her somewhat curious and somewhat of a teasing smile directed at Calvin. “That still doesn’t explain why you know I could be here.”

Calvin reached a hand up to scratch his hand, feeling nervous from her glare. “Luck?”

“You don’t believe in luck,” She reminded him, her teasing smile even wider by now. “Just like how I don’t believe in fate.”

It was Calvin’s turn to let out a set of teasing laughter. “That coming from a person who’s a wedding planner?”

Joanne shrugged, still not caring if he was teasing her. She had always been the one delivering any sort of teasing anyway. “The more I don’t believe in fate.”

“Giving up on love because you’ve too many fake get-togethers?”

Joanne wrinkled her face then, her pace slowing. She turned him with yet another curious look. “Who said anything about giving up on love? I just said I don’t believe in fate, not love.”

It was Calvin’s turn to shrug. “Wouldn’t it be the same?”

Her footsteps resumed its rapidity again. “Fate is a process, not a necessity.”

“But doesn’t fate have some sort of play in it regardless?”

“Believing in fate is just promoting laziness.”

Calvin wrinkled his face and turned to her. “What does laziness have to do with anything?”

“Doesn’t it though? Believing solely in fate means that people will just sit around and wait for something happen. Then blaming it on fate in the end if they do not meet whoever they want. Instead, they should be blaming themselves for their laziness.”

Calvin let out another laugh, shaking his head. “You should be a philosopher.”

Joanne knew he was joking so she played along. “Maybe I will.”

“I’ll send you a pair of glasses to complete your prop.”

She didn’t say anything else but just let out a wry smile. They finally reached the brink of the woods and stopped at the path leading to the main road.

“How about we make a bet then?” Calvin said when they reached his car.

Joanne’s challenging look made its appearance at that time. “Oh?”

“Repeat one of your disappearing acts again but not here. If I could find you again, then call it fate.”

Joanne displayed her amused look again. “What kind of bet is that? We’ve known each other since young. Of course, you know my habits. It’s not hard to find me.”

“Then prove to me that your abilities could excel fate.”

Joanne could see the determination in his eyes so she finally nodded. Yet her serious look didn’t stick. Her teasing expression was on again. “Loser will have to buy the winner a large scoop of ice cream.”

“Fine with me.”

They reached out their hands and shook on it. Then they got into Calvin’s car. Joanne had hauled a Taxi earlier to work because her car was in the shop. Yet she couldn’t resist the urge to take a look when the driver drove by. Now, she was glad Calvin had stopped by because she would really be late for the meeting, considering it was rare to find a Taxi around this area. But she wasn’t convinced about fate. Not yet. Not until she failed. If she failed.

*****

Joanne carried out their challenge the following Friday. Right after the planning for the royal wedding got approved. Well, it wasn’t actually some real royal wedding but it might as well be because of the nature of the clients’ preferences. And it wasn’t like she would be scared she would offend some parties involved because she had her own reputation within the industry already. Yet she had to be patient for the sake of her fellow co-workers this time.

As she walked along the familiar path, her cunning smile was present. Calvin would never guess it. He had said ‘not here’ but she couldn’t resist it. Tricking him at his own game was her intention. He said it but it did not mean she would obey. Sometimes, a challenge was all about craftiness. And she didn’t mind using it. At least for this harmless game anyway. The only hint that Calvin would know of her disappearance was she would always arrive early but had lingered last time hence causing others to worry. This time, she did it on purpose to send him a hint, knowing he would call into work to check on her.
Arriving at the little creek once again, she settled on the edge of a boulder like last time. And like she had expected, the feeling of waiting was different this time. It wasn’t about waiting for the sun to cast its rays onto the many dew-contained leaves anymore. It was now also about waiting for a result that would determine her belief since young. For some reason, she knew Calvin wouldn’t back up down regardless. He not only had something to prove, but he had to carry through this challenge as a friend. Besides, if he dared to run, she would make sure all their friends near and far hear about it. She wasn’t exactly gossip queen, but she had her connections to some major gossip queens out there. It was just a matter of a few tweaks here and here to get the story rolling.

Smiling at the thought, she almost lost track of time. Almost. She glimpsed toward her left hand to check the time. Twenty minutes more and she would be winning. Because they both knew she needed to get to work.

“Waiting long?” Calvin’s voice spoke up from somewhere, startling her for a moment.

She soon recovered and turned toward the left area where the trees were. She got up from her spot and approached him, her face all scrunched up from the almost victory. But instead of throwing out some phrases to celebrate his win, he reached into a small cooler and took out a container. It was sealed up but still visible through its transparent lid. It was also cold to the touch as he handed it to her.

“You’re right,” Calvin said, handing her a spoon. “I knew you would be here because I knew you too well, not because of fate.”
Somehow, she didn’t speak up to celebrate either. She shook her head. “No, I believe you now.”

He had on a puzzled look then, pondering why she was turning down a chance for victory. A practical giveaway that she would crave for in the past and would never let go of–even if just temporarily. Yet now, it was happening right before his eyes.

“Fate has let me open my eyes and see you at last,” Joanne finally spoke up to clarify her words. And she meant it because if it wasn’t fate, he would never realize how much he had spoiled her since whenever, always allowing her a happy victory instead of a scrunched up face with defeat.

Before he could react, she pulled him into a hug. And just like that, he knew what his response was.

“I believe in luck now,” Calvin said, smiling–and also tightening his grip around her. “If wasn’t for luck, then I wouldn’t be able to witness this day.”

She released him and let out a smile also. But they did not linger. Their smiles had said it all. They followed the familiar path leading back out to civilization, sharing the ice cream he brought her and chatting happily about all the random topics of the world. Yet this time, as a couple.

© Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Fan Fiction

Submerged

Happy Friday the 13th! Well, NOT so happy for some of you. AND the positive side is it’s probably over for some of you already. But anyway, what’s this post about? This is a gift I just drew up just for today. It doesn’t come in the form of cheering anyone up though because I’m using this day to present the last fanfiction that I would be writing in regard to Cyndi with Tony, Wallace, and Nic. What’s the second last one? It hasn’t come to light yet though will be posted in the future when I get that done. (Of course, it’s one of my usual long-winded ones.) What made me come to such a decision as to exterminate my fanfictions with Cyndi in connection with the three guys? Honestly, they’re probably my favorite Cyndi pairings ever. Sadly, through all my lame attempts to create some kind of sparks had failed miserably all these years. So I thought I finally hang my hat. That doesn’t mean I won’t write about those artists anymore. I just said that it’s just in relation to Cyndi, NOT excluding them all from fanfictions from now on. So yes, I would still be working on fanfictions that have the three guys in them. Some notes before I post the story: (1) this was of course written today, (2) it was inspired by Tony and Cyndi’s song “Tormented“, and (3) the story is random like my usual ones. The title itself already reflected my moods relating to Cyndi and the three guys. But NOT seeking for pity points. Just saying. Without further ado, here it is (including disclaimers–OF COURSE):

DISCLAIMER: The following is of fictional work and should not be taken seriously or be accounted for actual facts in any way. It is not aimed to confuse or mislead anyone for that matter. It is not meant to offend or disrespect any of the artists mentioned in the work either. Its purpose only serves to entertain and share with other fans who also like those artists. Thank you for reading.

Cyndi descended the familiar rough stone path leading into the garden. She did not stop there because she spotted Tony on the other side, admiring the view. He looked like he had been there for a while now. In fact, he had probably stood there all morning waiting for the moment when the sun rose. Each step taking her closer to him caused her heart to increase its skipping. Just when she was about to speak up, calling out his name to declare her arrival, he dissolved into smoke. And just like that, she panicked and turned abruptly, searching for him everywhere and anywhere she could think of. Yet her feet fail her since it was her mind zooming faster than her motor nerves would allow. The next thing she knew, she had awakened in cold sweat. Like many nights before. Since the day she learned he was engaged to someone and was getting married soon.

*****

You don’t love me, do you? The words echoed repetitively in Wallace’s mind. He knew the day would come when she would break up with him. It was a matter of time. But he just didn’t want to let go. They’d been together for so long. How could he accept the fact that he was not the most important person in her life? And the most ironic thing was having them both at the same wedding in the coming days. He needed to get creative with the upcoming meeting. Tony was not going to like it. But he knew he had to sever the ties. It wasn’t about saving face but more about his heart that was still feeling the tormenting.

*****

Nic never liked being a replacement but if Wallace asked, then he had no choice except to agree. Tony didn’t like the last-minute change. But Tony had to go along with it anyway. Because Tony’s bride-to-be wasn’t going to let go of Wallace’s supposed partner. When push came to shove, they had two choices: called off the wedding–or give in. And Tony had chosen the latter. Yet Nic pondered what had happened to cause the breakup at such a time. But it wasn’t like he wanted the third degree from Wallace. At least not when it was rapidly approaching Tony’s wedding day.

*****

Tony returned his glass to the table and waved the others off. He had enough. He didn’t want to be drunk. Not tonight. What he wanted to do was reminisce about the past with them. For just one last time. Tomorrow, after the wedding, he was off to start a new life with his wife. Also, at the wedding, Wallace was leaving for an unknown trip–to mend his heart. Nic? Nic volunteered to wrap up everything while he, himself, could enjoy the rest of the time with his wife without worrying. What about Cyndi? Tony didn’t know. She seemed strange since the day he returned to announce his upcoming marriage. It was like their group of four had a silent, mutual agreement to move forward without wanting to care about what the future would bring them. And without telling one another what that future would include.

“One more,” Wallace said, slamming his glass down on the table for emphasis. He was not letting the others go easily tonight.

“You know it’s his big day tomorrow, right?” Nic reminded Wallace.

Wallace turned and gave Nic a sharp glare. He didn’t care. At least Tony’s life was going to turn toward the better direction. As for the rest of them? As far as Wallace was concerned, Nic was going to be cleanup crew, he–himself–was going to disappear to a far place and become a chameleon, and Cyndi? He didn’t know. In fact, none of them knew. And he quit caring about her well-being since the day of the breakup. In fact, he was done caring for anyone after that day.

“No big deal,” Tony interfered. “I’ll just watch you guys drink.”

“The hell you are!” Wallace objected, shoving a full glass of beer toward Tony. “You’re not leaving until we’re all drunk. And that includes you.”

“I thought we’re out tonight to celebrate for Tony and not watch you soak in your misery,” Nic sabotaged Wallace again.

Wallace was about to confront Nic but that was when Cyndi appeared. She was still in her work uniforms. Wallace’s eyes barely raked past her before raising his hand to call the waiter.

“No more,” Tony said before Wallace could order some more beers.

“What are you doing, man?” Wallace demanded, turning to Tony.

“I know it’s not the best of time for you. But we have to stay alert for tomorrow. Wouldn’t it be too much if I show up late for my own wedding?”

Wallace scoffed. “So you’re acting all mighty now?”

Tony didn’t want to penalize Wallace for Wallace’s current attitude. He understood too well. It was too big of a blow for Wallace. It was also the reason why he had turned down the others’ ideas of a bachelor’s party. And had opted for a casual gathering with just the four of them. Because he knew that it was the three of them who had been with him throughout these years, growing up and changing their lives together. Not some outsiders who just wanted to throw some wild party as an excuse for a gathering.

“What’s with him?” Cyndi asked as she settled down at the seat between Tony and Wallace. She was staring at Nic–who was facing her at the moment–for an answer.

“Haven’t you heard?” Nic asked back.

Cyndi shook her head, confused.

“His girl just broke up with him.”

Cyndi gasped but recovered quickly.

“Yeah, laugh all you want,” Wallace muttered bitterly.

Cyndi ignored him, gesturing for the waiter to take her order. She, too, ordered some beer instead of the usual regular light drinks. In fact, while she was at it, she told the waiter to bring another glass for Wallace.

“Are you crazy?” Tony exclaimed, looking at Cyndi in bewilderment.

Cyndi turned to him with her icy cold glare. “Not everyone is as lucky as you to have found your happiness.”

“Speak for yourself, Miss Wang.”

Cyndi didn’t care to look at Tony anymore. She directed her eyes toward Wallace. “I just broke up with my boyfriend as well.”

It was then that Wallace sobered up to listen in. He exchanged a look with Nic like they were best friends again.

“It’s for the best,” Cyndi said. “Rather than dragging it out and hurting him even more.”

“You girls and your reasoning,” Wallace mumbled–his bitterness returning.

Cyndi still had her eyes on him, not backing down to his threatening tone–or his terrible attitude at the moment. “Would you rather be lied to?”

Wallace scoffed, diverting his eyes away from Cyndi on purpose. “Perhaps you shouldn’t give us hope at the beginning then. If you knew you couldn’t do it.”

“Let’s not talk about it tonight,” Tony interjected.

“That’s right,” Nic agreed.

Cyndi placed her handbag loosely behind her then and picked up the glass that the waiter just put down in front of her. “How about congratulating Tony tonight?”

Wallace smiled then. It was strange that he was, considering his dark moods previously. “That’s right.”

Nic didn’t wait for Wallace to change his mind again. He picked up his glass and placed it alongside the others. “To Tony’s new future.”

Tony knew he couldn’t turn them down so he risked another glass. Or at least another sip.

“We’ll always be friends, right?” Tony asked after he drank a sip–and the others a little more than that, especially Wallace.

Wallace’s amused smile turned on then. “What do you think?”

And Wallace wasn’t kidding. They were all heading toward a new destination tomorrow night. Who was to say they would meet again? It wasn’t like it was impossible. But not too probable.

*****

And Wallace was right because, over the next few years, the course of their lives steered themselves way clear of one another. Whether it was intentional or unintentional, they had no idea. Yet they knew for sure that one day. Perhaps one day, they would reunite–regardless of how they vouched to never meet up again.

That little reunion happened on an autumn day when the leaves had already turned to various colors of the spectrum. And Tony was still married and happy. Even looking forward to being a father. Wallace, the bitter Wallace, was still bitter. Because he was never the happy-go-lucky among the four of them anyway. But he was no longer bitter because of lost love. Instead, it was because of a familiarity they could all relate to since they came to know one another. Nic, on the other hand, was ever so unchanging, welcoming their return and had been waiting for them all these years. His life had taken toward the path he had wanted, not dwelling on whether he would meet them or not once again. Because deep down in his heart, he knew they would return one day. Their curiosity would never allow them to stay away for such an extended amount of time. Not to mention this was what people called a lifetime. Cyndi? They couldn’t find Cyndi. Not at first. But all three knew where she would be.

Cyndi was in the garden. All three guys smiled upon seeing her there. Like they had expected. She still carried that dark, forlorn aura they seen her since the day she heard of Tony’s engagement. It wasn’t like they didn’t know. Or perhaps Nic and Wallace had known. If Tony had known, he wouldn’t expect her to attend the wedding so forcibly like that. Though they only saw her back by the fountain, it was enough. It was her trademark pose. And the crème scarf. And the light tan dress with the white hat. It was like she hadn’t changed since she left them that night. In fact, since they all left Nic behind that night.

“It’s good to know some things are still as predictable,” Wallace spoke up in his usual teasing tone.

It was rare that Wallace was the one offering any source of peace toward any one of them. Though deep down, they always knew he was grateful to have them as his friends.

Cyndi turned then upon hearing Wallace’s voice. She turned with an actual smile on her face. A smile that surprised them into speechlessness. What was more, there on her hand was a ring sparkling in the afternoon’s hazy sunlight. And Wallace’s smile made its appearance next. The rare sincere one, not the one reeking of mockery.

“Your Singles’ Club Card,” Wallace said, extending his hand toward her. And he meant it with sincerity.

“I’m sorry,” Cyndi said, still smiling and playing along with Wallace. “But I fed it to the shredder a long time ago.”

“Then you need to compensate us for the damaged property,” Wallace replied. He had meant himself and Nic.

“What are you talking about?” Nic asked, turning to Wallace. “You’re the one who should be compensating us for breaking the contract.”

Wallace smiled, knowing Nic had found him out. He stepped forward and made his way closer to Cyndi. He wasn’t demanding her share of the compensation fees though. He grabbed hold of her right hand with his left. Cyndi didn’t resist or make a move to undo his hand from hers. Instead, she returned his smile. They finally turned toward the other two.

“I bet you never would have thought of this outcome, huh?” Wallace asked. He was looking at Tony. Because Nic already knew through the similar designs of both rings.

Tony smiled then, admitting defeat. “Leave it up to you to upstage me on every single occasion, good or bad.”

Wallace still had on his proud smile. “Who would have thought that the two unlucky beings of your wedding would end up getting together when you want to announce another good news?” And the biggest irony of it all was being dumped by someone who loved Tony dearly and then ending up with another who once felt exactly the same about Tony as well. Though Wallace had more confidence with this one, and he had made the right choice that day when they both stumbled into each other two years back. If that wasn’t fate, he didn’t know what the hell it was.

Tony nodded. “One day…”

Wallace pointed at Tony. “No, there won’t be one day. Because we’re not leaving anymore. We have a new mission now.”

Tony had on his puzzled expression. “What mission?”

“Find that special someone for our buddy here.”

Then Tony understood. They all turned to Nic. But Nic just smiled, not making a big fuss like the last few times that they had teased him about his sad soul status. He pulled out his wallet and showed them a picture of a girl. In fact, it was a couple picture–with both smiling happily. Or so it seemed.

“Sometimes, you have to admit that you two aren’t the only ones with the surprises, right?” Nic asked. He meant Tony and Wallace.

“What’s her name?” Wallace asked, wanting to go the long way–instead of snapping at Nic upfront.

Nic still had on that placid, unscheming smile. “Amber.”

“All we need is more sunshine in our lives,” Wallace teased.

“At least we don’t have to worry that he’ll turn into some lonely old man anymore,” Cyndi reminded them all.

“Who knows?” Wallace said. “Maybe one day….”

“There won’t be one day,” Nic repeated of the phrase Wallace said earlier. “Because I know what I’m doing.”

“Unlike the rest of us?” Tony asked, his voice challenging.

“No.”

They continued to wait without interruptions.

“Because I’m an old man.”

Wallace reached over and clapped Nic’s shoulder then. “You bet you are.”

It was just a joke. An inside joke. Because they all knew it actually meant that Nic was a careful person, once he decided something, he would never back down. And regardless of his passive exterior, he had more determination in him than all of them combined.

© Friday, January 13th, 2012