yapyapxy

Singapore

Senior Peer Reviewer
the world is wide enough

Message to Readers

I hope this piece connects with you in some way. :') This is my final submission so fingers crossed...!

I've been snapping too many pencils

July 18, 2016

Dearest cousin Cassie:

It's only because she's finally asleep that I'm writing this by moonlight. How romantic, you must say. Well...

Take a second look at that title, won't you? I now lie among a river of scattered pencil fragments, lead shards, and wooden splints.

I lose control of my emotions sometimes, so I find control in the number of pencils I break. I've been snapping, breaking, tearing at, even, too many to count. I don't mean to cause others to worry, but it's the only way I know how to express myself.
 
I'm so glad that you got together with that boy despite your initial difficulties. Perhaps you could advise me on my own love life, too. Is love as exciting as it feels, is it truly borderless, and is the journey worth it?

Lately, my best friend met a boy. He makes her really, really happy. He simply has to smile at her, and she melts inside. She is the sweetest person I know; she is made out of cloud-spun dreams and warm caramel smiles. I truly mean to be happy for her.
 
However, these days he is all she can talk about: his smile, his eyes, their endless messages to each other, does her like her in return? Our talks about clothes, friends, and happy memories have slowly faded, replaced by boys, the girls he talks with, and the possibilities of her social life.
 
I snap a pencil every time I wish she hadn’t met him. I snap a pencil every time I wish he could meet an accident. I snap a pencil every time I wish I didn’t feel like crying. I have snapped so, so many pencils, Cass. I’m afraid I’m running out and I can’t afford to buy any more. Good news is: I don’t think I have time to break them anytime soon.
 
Just yesterday, she confessed to him, and he rejected her feelings. Her Instagram account, which had been patiently waiting for his follow request, was rejected. Her contact on his phone, a fact she couldn’t help smiling about, was suddenly blocked.
 
My best friend is enthusiastic, and sometimes her readiness to commit scares others, but that’s what I love about her. When we had an immigrant student joining us last year, she went out of her way to make him feel welcome, simply because she knew how it felt to be a stranger to everyone. Well, not only did she try her best to learn German to communicate, she even hunted the town for where one could buy German pastries, so he wouldn't feel homesick. It got to the point that he told her point-blank that he wasn't interested, thinking that she liked him. (As if I would let him!)
 
She’s been crying all night, and I stayed over to comfort her. Cleaned her vomit, wiped her tears, and waited until she was too tired to stay awake. We both missed school the next day. Seeing her so distressed tore my heart, Cass. Never have I ever felt so powerless, never have my presence felt so far away, and never have my words beat as uselessly as today upon her insistent, stubborn heart.
 
I believe in this quote, “We meet people for a reason; some a blessing, some a lesson.”
 
I want her to see again our love in the midnight blue of the sky, in the infinitesimal pinpricks of stars, and remember the love that still lasts. She told me that together, as long as we never forget our hopes, the sky will never be an empty piece of darkness. And it's a sea of pinpricks today, Cassie. It's truly amazing.
 
Her father drops in on us every few hours, smiling at me in that soft, quiet way like he knows what I’m not saying and hears it loud and clear. He hugs his daughter and me both, and every time I let go, I wish I had a dad like that: a dad who doesn’t need me to speak before he understands, a dad who communicates through love and presence.
 
I snap a pencil for every letter I remember sending that my own doesn’t reply to.
 
I guess we don’t meet people for a reason; some a blessing, some a lesson. Yet, I wonder if his absence is a blessing, and what lesson could his absence possibly teach.
 
There she goes, washing her face again so I can’t see her tear tracks. Why must we live with heartbreak and why do we willingly bare our hearts open for others to have a stake in it?
 
Maybe it's me who's not listening to the pulsations my heart thrums wildly with when it sees her, or maybe it's her who's looking, searching, for love in the wrong people. In any case, I don't think it's the right time yet. Not when her heart is trying to weave itself back to normalcy, and not when my heart is all but ready to tell her that all I want to do is to snap pencils for every hug I give that doesn't cure her, for every poem I read aloud that only reminds her of his face.
 
Maybe I should have done something else, but I don’t know what. 
 
Write soon, Cass. My newer pencils are looking to you forlornly.
 
Yours truly,
Amy A.

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