A For Ambivalent
It was Monday morning, and everyone knows what Monday feels like for a guy who lives alone in his apartment, passed the alarm, cold coffee brewer, bacon, and eggs waiting to get marry and a lazy guy on his messy bed. I can feel the hot sun rays peeking on my window as it reached my neck. I’m still in a long argument with myself if I should get up and make money or not since I need some break. I slowly opened my eyes and saw the clock hanging on the wall. It was 7:30 am.
“Oh, it’s still early.”
I rolled on the other side of my bed, and sudden thoughts came to my mind, office hours start at 8 am. I checked my clock one more time, and my eyes went bigger.
“Oh, what the f*ck! It’s seven-thirty!”
I jumped out of my bed and ran to take a quick shower.
I didn’t mean to give you some bad impression about myself, but my laziness can lead me to some serious issues. I should start by giving you my name. I’m Jarren Chou, 26 years old, an office worker at a Financial Technology Company. Yes, I’m well paid since I’ve been working here for 5 years now and got promoted twice. Yes, I do have my own apartment, but I’m planning to build my own house. And yes, I’m single. Is that an issue?
I’m on my way to our department, and sadly I’m 20 minutes late. That would be a lot if deducted from my salary. I should really have myself properly disciplined.
“Ugh! You never learned,” I told myself as soon as I sat on my chair.
“You’re late.” Christie, one of my co-workers, remarked.
“Nothing new.” Max, another co-worker, laughed.
I sighed and moved on. I saw many piled up paper works on my desk that’s been waving at me for quite a few days now. Although I’m a lazy guy, I’m quite detail-oriented when it comes to my job since it relates to numbers. Of course, no one wants to have their balance sheets unbalanced.
I saw my phone lighted up. It was my mother calling. What reason does she have to call me at this time in the morning? I answered her call thru a Bluetooth earpiece I bought online. It’s handy at times like this when I’m working or driving.
“Yes, mom?” I asked her while segregating some papers.
“My baby boy, mama really misses you,” she said.
I stopped and checked my phone if my earpiece is connected to it since I don’t want anyone to hear that. It would be embarrassing.
“Mom, you know you’re not supposed to call your 26-year old son with that,” I whispered.
“I read no rules about that. I can call you whatever I want since you’re my baby.” I know she’s going hysterical if this goes on.
“What do you want?” I asked her.
I hear her giggled a bit before she started speaking. Oh no! I know what this call is all about.
“I have an old friend I met yesterday on the street when I went to your sister. She was in that neighborhood and had a bit of conversation.” She started.
I sighed because I know where this conversation will lead. I continued my work and told her to go on with her story.
“She said she has a daughter working in a law firm around your area.”
I knew it.
“So, if you want, you could have lunch with her.”
“Mom, this happened a lot of times now. When are you going to stop setting me up with lunch and dinner dates?” Again, I whispered. I don’t want my co-workers to think I suck at dating since I have my mom setting it for me.
“When I see you settle with a woman, you could spend the rest of your life with, Jarren.” Her voice went soft. That stopped me again from what I’m doing, and took a glimpse of my mom’s name flashed on my phone screen.
“Maybe I could rest when I see the future I want you to have,” she added.
“What’s her name?” I asked.
I don’t know if she’s been playing with me or she’s really serious about this. She really got my heart when she spoke that soft on the other line.
“Her name is Kitchie Soo,” she answered.
“Okay. I’ll meet her.”
“Good! 12nn at Greenville Street, meet her at a restaurant across an old coffee shop. Good luck, my baby.”
“What?!” This woman is unbelievable. Is she really my mom?
“And oh, don’t have any thoughts about ditching this girl, she’s a lawyer, and she’s the daughter of my old friend. I don’t want to embarrass my face when I meet that friend at your sister’s neighborhood,” She warned me before she ended the call. I even hear her laughed.
I sighed again. How could she do this to her son?
I left the office at 11:30 am to prepare myself for this lunch date my mom set me up. Oh, God! I should really find a girl so she could stop. I am also tired of doing these things. I stopped by a flower shop and bought some flowers. My mom texted me the flowers she likes. It was a baby’s breath. I thought lawyers are strong in character, but judging from the flower she likes, I guess she’s a woman with a pure heart and a kind soul. My mom also told me she never likes chocolates. I like that. For me, the chocolates are too sweet and too expensive.
I ran across this sweet shop beside the flower shop, and colors can be overwhelming; you really want to get a look inside. Since she doesn’t like chocolates, I bought her jelly beans in a small clear jar instead. I hope she likes this. I put it inside a cute clear plastic bag with a red ribbon, though the small card saying “I love you” is a bit too much, so I took it off. This is the first time we will meet, so I don’t think that card is needed… for now.
I drove my car to where the restaurant is located. I checked the time, and I was 8 minutes early. I smiled at the thought I was early. I went inside the restaurant carrying the flowers I bought and the jar of jelly beans. I looked around and saw a table for two around the corner. I sat there and waited until its 12 noon.
Since this lunch is so sudden, my mom never gave me her number. Or maybe she forgot. Since today is Monday, I bet she’s wearing her uniform since employees from law firms around here wear a uniform.
If I were to date, lawyers never crossed my mind. I can feel this strong vibe around them, silently saying, “Don’t mess with me. It’s written in the law.” But after seeing this woman who showed up in front of me smiling so pretty, I think I’ve made a big mistake for judging them, and I should atone for my sin.
“Are you Jarren Chou?” she asked me as soon as she reached the table.
“Uhh… yes,” I answered and offered her to sit.
She said her thanks and smiled. “I’m Kitchie Soo. You can call me Kit, Kitch, or Kitchie,” she said.
I thought she was wearing a uniform, but she wore a white top with ruffles and a color taupe pencil skirt. She’s wearing a plain white headband letting her long silky hair flows on her back. I gave her the flowers I bought and the jelly beans.
“Oh! My mom told you these, didn’t she?” she asked me.
“Well, I guess your mom told my mom, and then my mom told me.” I chuckled.
“That’s a lot of communication going on,” she remarked.
“Anyway, thank you for this. I like candies except for chocolates, by the way,” she said while checking out the jelly beans.
“And you got this from a shop I’m visiting if I want to eat sweets,” she added.
“What a coincidence! I was told you don’t like chocolates, and then I was guessing about giving you some jelly beans instead,” I said.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence.”
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence.”
A voice echoed in my head when she said those words. I was lost for a couple of seconds. I think I’ve heard those exact words somewhere from before.
“Jarren, are you alright?”
I came back from reality when she asked me a question.
“Yes, sorry. I was lost for a bit. I’m thinking about something. Sudden thoughts, you know.” “Oh, don’t worry. I do that sometimes.” She smiled.
I think her smile never fades away. She’s so bubbly.
“I guess that’s normal,” I told her.
We decided to look for the menu since we still have to go to work at 1 pm and we need to eat as soon as we can.
“I think that’s it,” I told the waiter when our orders are settled.
She put the jelly beans in her bag, and I saw the keychain hanging around it.
“Where did you get that?” I asked her. A familiar face flashed on my head as soon as I saw that familiar figure.
“Oh, it’s cute, isn’t it? I won this from an arcade game last month. Would you like to go there? I mean, if we have some time.”
She’s asking me out for another meetup. I guess this could go a bit longer.
“Sure. I would love that.”
She played with it for a second then decided to put her bag behind her.
“You know its name?” she asked me. She’s referring to that keychain of hers.
“What is it?” I asked her back. I want to know if it was the same thing from a time before.
“It’s called Piece.”
“It’s a piece.”
I knew it. That figure that looks like a puzzle piece is Piece. I know it doesn’t make any sense at all calling that piece a Piece. It’s weird, but that girl I knew before is weird enough to call her dog Doug.
A for AmbiguousFlashback10 years agoI was walking in the hallway carrying a sandwich bag and a can of soda. I was looking for a perfect spot I want to eat my snack with. I found a line of the empty bench facing the baseball court. No one was watching the practice game aside from a girl staring into the abyss. I never saw her before. Is she a transferee? She’s not focusing on the game, and I guess since the player made a home run, she didn’t even flinch. I took a seat, one bench away from her. I don’t want to be a nuisance since I think we want some time alone.I opened my soda and took a mouthful bite of my sandwich. This is what my high school life looks like. It’s not boring. It’s just peaceful like I want it to be. I have friends, but they’re not like those frien
B for BafflingFlashbackIt was 4:30 pm, and I’m supposed to be at home. This girl who showed up from nowhere dragged me into one of the empty classrooms. We were on the third floor, and the hallway was already emptied. No one was there except us. She found her way on the windows. I followed her, just like what I’ve been doing ever since she talked with me in the locker room. I was curious about who she was looking into below. I saw the bench where I was taking my snacks, the first time I saw this girl. You can also see the baseball court more clearly, and there he was. Jim, the baseball boy I said I knew earlier.“Are you…”She didn’t let me finish my sentence. She cut me off like she knew what I was going to say.“He’s not my typ
C for ComplimentFlashbackI’m on my way to school when I saw a girl around my age wearing our girl’s school uniform. She’s outside a car talking to two big guys wearing suits.“Could you please stop following me around? It’s so embarrassing when you’re tailing me the whole day.” Her sweet voice didn’t have any hint of annoyance. It was calm, and it was melodic.“I’m sorry, Miss. We just want to follow your dad’s order,” said the guy in his suits.She sighed.“Then please change into something casual. Your looks got my friends intimidated,” she requested.Her two bodyguards looked at each other like they’re talking with their eyes.
C for CuriosityFlashbackThree days had passed since the last time that girl named Rev and I met on our school’s rooftop. My days were back to normal, and I can enjoy my own time during snacks and lunch breaks. Now I’m here at the back of our school’s academic building. It’s pretty cool here. The air breeze is cold. I want to thank the tall trees for that. I think it’s nice to take a nap here.I knew she’s one of them, like those people who come and go. Temporary as what they called them. That’s because I have those answer keys Audi stole that our lives crossed each other. A weird girl who met a boring boy is not going to happen.“It’s just a coincidence.” I closed my eyes.
D for DesiderataWe were in that position for five seconds, but it feels like it’s been five years.“They’re gone,” she said as she stood up while fixing her skirt.My arms felt numb, and my heart almost went out of my rib cage. I sweat like an athlete running for 10 laps in hot noon. I can’t feel my legs, and I tried to stretch them, but they felt so soft and wiggly. This was the first. The feeling is unfamiliar, and I'm not too fond of it that I overthink it this much.“I’m sorry,” she said.She sat on the grass again and started to clean up the board. She flipped it and put the pieces inside it one by one. Her wavy brunette hair covered almost her face making it impossible for me to see it. I felt weird. It feels like if I don’t see
E for an ExcuseI thought I couldn't spend my Fridays aside from the arcade. I mostly spent most of Friday’s free time there until I have no coins to drop. I’m not really a gamer addict. At least, I want to do something fun, and the arcade is my word to describe it.But now, why am I here at the burger shop near the city sitting across a girl who looks stronger than I am? This scenario looks like a boy being bullied by some badass girl who wants to eat a burger, and he has no other choices but to buy her one or else his life would end up pure tragic the next day.“Here’s your cheeseburger extreme, beefy nachos, soda, and a milkshake.” The waitress made sure she served our order right.“Really
E for ElatedSunday for us is where we should spend our time together. My mom always cooks food, but Sunday is her exception. My dad and I decided to have barbeque today. We were having trouble with who should cook and who will set up the backyard.
F for FearlessThe good news mom announced yesterday made our simple barbeque dinner became a celebration. We called Jurien through a video call since she’s out of town. That made her extra happy. I never thought we would have another member in our family.I’m looking forward to it. Now they won’t have to call me their baby.I smiled while I was walking my way to school without even realizing it. That’s why some people who passed by looked at me like I never smiled before.“You look so happy today,” that voice wouldn’t get me surprised anymore.“You don’t look surprised? You’re getting used to my presence now, or you’ve been waiting for me?”“Why are you still following me?” I asked her.&ldquo