Heyy Uniquifiers and welcome back to my blog! ♥
Okay, okay I know I said I was back from my hiatus, but where I live, there’s still one more agonizing week left until I finish school, and frankly these last two weeks have been the craziest. I mean, don’t get me wrong, most teachers just put on a movie for the class to watch since they have no other plans (and they’re probably too lazy), but infuriatingly my Math teacher is adamant that we have no ‘fun lessons’ and that we do these horrible equations even in the last week of school. Thanks a lot, Mr R, because that’s exactly what I want to do when Summer is literally here and I have literally one brain cell left and that’s literally dying, too.
Annnyways, rant aside, I’m going to explain what I’m doing here. So, it’s Saturday morning. I just woke up a half hour ago and realised that I haven’t posted in a week or two. I dragged my butt to the computer and forced myself to actually write something, which is when I also realised that I’m completely out of ideas – yikes… which is why I’m just going to write a short story (at this very moment, since the only thing I can think of is writing and that’s the only thing I’m slightly good at) and hope for the best. If I had to put this story into a genre, I think it would probably be YA contemporary. I hope you enjoy today’s post, but I seriously need more inspiration, so if you have any ideas of posts you want to see from me, all comments are welcome! For now, though, let’s get straight into the post!
I slam open the heavy oak doors and stride through them, closing my eyes for a split second just to appreciate the feeling of freedom that rushes through me. Finally. Fina-freaking-ly. I slip on my headphones just as desperately as a sick hospital patient would slip on an oxygen mask. I fumble with my phone for my music app as I walk across the street, the cool, crisp Autumn breeze brushing my skin, tangling my hair. Just as the first few notes of ‘7 Days’ by Craig David play, they are immediately stopped by my ringtone – ‘Sunflower’ by Swae Lee and Post Malone. Startled, I check the Caller ID and groan: Sephy, aka Seraphina, aka my best friend who is probably tired of me being so socially introverted.
“Yo,” I say.
“Jazmin! Where are you, girl?” Her tone is demanding. Insistent. I cringe at her use of the word ‘girl.’ That word only works online.
“I just got out of school… where else would I be, apart from this absolute prison of a place? I genuinely don’t understand -”
“Never mind that. I need you at my house, ASAP. It’s an emergency.”
I sigh impatiently. “Sephy, I really don’t want to interact with any human beings right now, so if your ‘emergency’ is that you can’t decide between painting your nails coral blue or sky blue, then I will seriously hang up now, catch the subway home and never emerge again. I repeat – I will literally hibernate. Because, honestly, I’m really goddamn tired, okay? I’m fed up of everyone. Maybe, sometimes… maybe even you. So just leave me alone, please?” I inhale sharply as soon as the last word escapes my lips.
I knew I had gone too far, and I usually never complain to people – I don’t understand the point. I hate people complaining to me, and I hate complaining to people. Everyone always says that getting things off your chest makes you feel better, but it never does. It doesn’t change anything about the problem. All it means is that I share some of my negativity with another person and that they would now know about my feelings… That’s never good. But my body is aching, and my head is spinning, and I’m mentally, physically and spiritually exhausted. So exhausted.
When Sephy speaks again, it’s after a few beats of silence, but her voice is gentler now. Understanding. “Jaz, that’s nothing new. You never want to interact with human beings, and even though I might not feel that way, I get it. You feel freer when you’re alone. But sometimes, sometimes you need people to help you through life, you know? And I’ll always be here for you, whether you like it or not,” she pauses, and the corner of my mouth quirks up into a reluctant smile, even though she can’t see me. “Anyways, inspirational talk aside, it is an actual emergency. So, get your lazy butt over here before I come and get you myself.”
I deliberate over this for a few moments. I could ignore her and go home. I could take a shower to soothe my aching limbs from the long day at school and curl up in my bed with my duvet, a steaming mug filled to the brim with hot chocolate and my laptop. I could work on a story, or I could type up another blog post. Or, I could go to Sephy’s house and help her with her so-called emergency. Guiltily, but reluctantly, I say, “I guess I don’t have a choice either way.”
“You got that right,” she laughs, and I can hear the delight in her voice. I knew I would regret this later, but I owe her at least this much. Sighing, I end the call and press play, walking away from school and towards something that could be potentially worse. Maybe.
As ‘7 Days’ blasts at full volume in my headphones, I lope steadily down the pavement, enjoying the warmth of the sun on my back and the fresh air in my lungs. I get carried away in the music, in the lyrics, surrendering myself completely to it. I love music – I can’t imagine life without it. I still marvel at how a few notes strung together could create something so beautiful. I usually use it as an excuse to block out the world, to soothe myself after a particularly tough day. My music taste is extremely varied, however, and my playlist is an absolute mess. I listen to all sorts of genres: R&B and hip-hop the most, old 90’s music, lesser mainstream pop and even some Bollywood, due to my Asian background. I love music, but I’m admittedly terrible at playing instruments and singing. The furthest my musical talent goes is one compulsory guitar class I had to take in Grade 3 because the teachers thought it would ‘push us to do great things.’
Before I know it, I’ve reached the subway, and I walk right to the end of the platform, where fewer people are stood. Hiding in a deserted corner, I watch as people mill in and out of the building. Important looking men in business suits, women with crying babies in push strollers and girls in heels. I’m tired of people. So many people. Nervously, I chew my bottom lip and tug at my ponytail. I renew my Tumblr feed even though I know there would be nothing there because I had checked two minutes ago. I’m half-way through ‘Rihanna’ by Yxng Bane and really enjoying it when I’m suddenly poked in the shoulder. Startled, I take off my headphones and put them around my neck, ready to murder the person who dares interrupt my music marathon. I gaze up (I naturally expect the person to be taller since I’m pretty short) and into a pair of emerald green eyes. They’re twinkling with amusement as they regard me. It’s a boy – someone who is probably in one of my classes and needs help with homework.
“Yes?” I say, irritated.
“Now that’s no way to speak to your classmate, Jazmin.” I’m right, then. He is a kid from class. He also knows my name, which is slightly unnerving since I haven’t yet made an effort to know his, and it’s already Spring term.
“Why are you talking to me?” I ask. “I don’t talk to people,”
“Exactly my point. I sit across the room from you in -”
“Please don’t say Biology,” I interrupt. “That would be way too typical,”
He laughs, and it sounds… genuine. Like he actually finds me hilarious.
“Actually, no. I’m in your Math class. I noticed you because you never pay attention to anything. You just sit there with your earphones in and Mr Oakland literally doesn’t even say anything. So, I saw you standing here and I just kinda -”
“Cool. Yeah, I don’t pay attention to things that I think aren’t worth paying attention to. So, if you’ll excuse me…” I gesture to my headphones, and, before he can stop me, I slip them on again, desperately hoping he will walk away. Instead, he tugs them off my head and, infuriated, I glare at him. He just crossed the line.
Grinning, he dangles them above my head so I can’t reach. “Stop… taking… advantage of my height! This is a violation of my privacy!” I place my right hand on his chest and stand on my tiptoes to grab my headphones with my other hand. When I finally regain my posture, I realise my hand is still on his chest, and I blush furiously. “Sorry,” I mumble, fiddling with the cord of my headphones before turning away from him so he can’t see my flaming cheeks. I step onto the subway, headphones safely around my neck. Taking a shaky breath, I grab a seat that is the furthest from other people, inwardly chiding myself for being such an embarrassment. Just to give myself something to do, I text Sephy.
On the subway. B there in ten 😊
Before I can press ‘Send,’ however, I feel a weight as someone takes the seat next to me. I roll my eyes and studiously ignore them. Out of all the seats on the subway –
“Don’t apologize. I just wanted to know what you were listening to,” the person says, amusement thinly veiled in their voice. Slowly, I look up and sigh. Again.
“Um, okay. Listen… Kid from Class -”
“Do you seriously not know my name? We’ve been in the same class for a whole term!” The boy seems hurt, but I know he is just mocking me.
“No, as I said, I don’t pay attention -”
“’To things that you think aren’t worth paying attention to,’” he repeats, and I feel anger blooming in my chest. He keeps on interrupting me. “Yeah, I know. But you’ll see – I’m worth the attention.” He winks, and I stare at him, my face impassive.
“Please stop talking,” I say. “I do not care,”
He laughs again, and I notice how much he actually laughs. Surprised he finds my statement funny, I stare down at my phone, pressing ‘Send.’ I will Sephy to text back, summoning her with all the telepathic power I have.
“You really hate people, don’t you?” He observes.
“Yep. Humans are all idiots. But I don’t count as a human, so it’s okay. I count as a Jazmin.”
“So, if I suddenly became a Jazmin, would you think about talking to me?”
“I am talking to you,” I say, opening my music app. He lowers my phone from my face, and he peers at the screen.
“No, you are not,” he says, grinning up at me. Grinning, always grinning.
“And you are really beginning to annoy me,” I shoot back.
“Okay, okay, sorry. I guess I just find you really… cool,”
I look up, horrified. “Me? Cool? You’ve got to be kidding me,”
“Well, yeah. I’ve been wanting to talk to you for ages, but you always race out of Math and I never got the chance,”
That’s when I seem to see him for the first time – really see him. He has dark rumpled hair, locks of it tumbling over his forehead. His emerald eyes are smiling, as usual.
“What do you want from me?” I ask, closing my eyes and leaning back against my seat.
“I want,” he answers, unplugging my headphones from my phone and inserting his earphones instead. “To talk to you. I want to know what kind of music you listen to. I want to see you get lost in it like you always do. I want to get to know you.”
“But why?” I demand, utterly confused.
“Jazmin, I like you, okay? I want to be your friend,”
“What are we, in preschool?” My eyes flutter open as the subway begins to move.
Exasperated, he takes my phone from my hands and I yelp, but he ignores me. ‘Rihanna’ had long since stopped playing, and a few songs had skipped since then. Now, ‘Why’ by Sabrina Carpenter is playing, and he puts his right earphone in his ear and hands me the left one. Acknowledging that I probably don’t have a choice, I put the earphone in my ear and automatically close my eyes, my head nodding along to the song, my mouth subtly shaping the lyrics – I know them by heart. This song is one that I’ve been listening to for more than a year and I still haven’t gotten tired of it. It’s about differences, and how people still work together, no matter how stark their differences may be.
“Tell me how we’re not alike
But we work so well and we don’t even know why
Funny how the stars crossed right
‘Cause we work so well and we don’t even -”
Suddenly, the lyrics really hit me or something, because I open my eyes to find the boy staring at me, something in his eyes that I couldn’t put a finger on.
“You can call it fire and ice
But we work so well, and we don’t even know why…”
He gazes at me, so intensely that I begin to worry that I have something on my face, but I find that I can’t look away, either. “That was a really beautiful song,” he says, staring right at me, and I can see my reflection in his eyes: dark hair streaked with purple highlights, dark eyes.
”I don’t think you’re talking about the song anymore,” I whisper, looking down at my hands and my pulse is racing and my head is light and the eye contact is too much, too much, for me, and I look away immediately, pressing ‘Skip.’ I’m thankful that the next song is one of my favourite rap songs, changing the mood completely – “Mimi” by AJ Tracey.
“Huh,” he says after he hears the first verse. “I wouldn’t have pegged you for the rap type,”
“Why? Because you always assume and judge people?”
His eyes widen. “No, no it’s nothing like that, I swear,” he reassures me. “You just… surprise me, that’s all.”
The subway stops with a screeching halt and I shake my head. Stupid, I’m so stupid. I should have known he was no different from other people. He only talked to me because he found me interesting, that’s all. Tomorrow he’ll probably go and talk to his friends and talk about how strange I am, that I listen to rap and that I have a weird attachment to music. “Just don’t – don’t talk to me, okay?” Yanking his earphones out of my phone, I throw them at him and snatch my phone out of his hands, running out of the subway train and away, away from him and everyone and stupid, stupid people. I know, I know I’m being irrational, but I can’t help it and I can’t, I can’t breathe.
Eyes stinging with tears, I walk to Sephy’s house; I could walk there with my eyes closed. That’s when I remembered that I had left my headphones on the subway. With that idiotic Kid from Class, whose name I didn’t even know. The door flings open before I can even knock, and Sephy’s face is full of concern and guilt (guilt?) as she pulls me inside. As soon as I’m inside, deafening screams of “Happy Birthday, Jazmin” reverberate around the house, and my knees buckle underneath me as I collapse onto the floor, sobbing, fed up of everything and everyone. Why can’t I just be normal? Why do I have to hate the world so much? The noise is blaring in my ears, my palms sweaty as black spots dot my vision. All I can think about was the way the boy had looked at me. About how naive I am. About what my parents will say if they find out I’ve been talking to a random boy on the subway. My life is such a mess. And then, crap, I think. I forgot it was my birthday. Again.
Andd that’s it for today’s post, guys! I hope you enjoyed my totally-not-amazing writing skills and don’t completely regret your decision to read this 😂 As I said at the start of the post, all constructive criticism and post ideas are welcome in the comments below, so let me know what you want to see from me next (:
Have an amazing day, and Stay UniquelyYou! ❄️