The Past

I Fell In Love Once Part I

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I fell in love with a boy once. I did not remember how it began. All I remember it was sunrise and I was wide awake in front of the computer screen talking with him for hours.

I know him through my mum. He was the son of one of our family friends. When I was seven and he was eleven, he used to babysit me when the adults were having a conversation downstairs. I remember him as a fairly quiet boy. I didn't think we ever talked. He would just turn on the TV and we would watch whatever the daytime program that was aired. Other than that, I did not remember much but I knew I had a crush on him. I held his hand once on a family dinner at this outdoor seafood restaurant in the Central. And I remember he held my hand back.

Little did I know, it was a farewell dinner before his family moved to the Middle East. With that, he sunk to the bottom of my childhood memories. I didn't remember whether or not I noticed his departure. I probably did, and asked my mum where did he go, but I was certain I did not fret nor ever long for his presence soon after he left. I assumed as a child I was too busy minding the colour of my lunchbox and fighting with my baby brother. Perhaps, I would have forgotten him entirely if Mark Zuckerberg had not created Facebook five years ago where I stumbled upon his profile.

It was one simple click that changed the course of our paths that might not need to intersect again. I was seventeen, and he was twenty one. He still lived in the Middle East while I was stuck in the South East. Afterwards, ten years worth of conversation tightly packed in a short messages with the assumption we wanted to fill in the gaps of each other background that were lost and seemed unnecessary when we were children. Short messages turned into long, extensive and intensive conversations. And for the first time in my life, I could feel the connection at heart with someone that was far apart.

Maybe it was because our relationship grew based on the very one thing I treasure the most — words. He was so good with words I could have made it into a book. He crafted most of the sentences like art which weaken my heart, all wrapped with his vulnerability, arrogance and selfishness. We exchanged stories daily along with hopes and dreams, also sometimes faux-promises. We promised to eat Roti Bakar together by the street when he visit home. He also introduced me to films about that giant blue species that speaks Na'vi and conversation-rich American drama set in Vienna, which then became my favourite motion picture. 

Everything developed gradually until we stranded in a conversation when he just got out of a relationship with this girl. I questioned whether or not he was okay, he then replied, "It takes love to kill love, Fiya." There, he had me by the end of the sentence. He was not okay, but he would. Soon. Most of his words were glitters I mistakenly thought as gold, but nonetheless, it felt perfect. We could talk for hours, even days without a tint of boredom. He soon resurfaced from childhood memory to the present.

We would blame the distance, the time difference as if they were the ones responsible with the brutal fact that we were not in the same city and we couldn't be together. I remember he said, if only we met sooner, we might have worked perfectly. I hated this sentence since. The context was useless yet it blossomed the fleeting hope that, we could have been together. And years ago, that could have been for me was more than enough. He won me without notice, and there I fell hypothetically into the idea that if we could have been years ago, maybe, days from then, someday we could be together. 

We did meet eleven years ago but none of us knew yet how to twinkle the words sweetly to sweep one another's feet. Our mutual interest in films had not yet exist to base his imaginary invitation to Pandora as if it was an island that we could visit one day. I suppose, just like our relationship, it was not real, none of us were real, nor build to last. Soon, I became secondary, not that I ever been the priority, but nevertheless what was immediate always win. The intensity of our conversations deteriorate and just like eleven years ago, he disappear. Only this time I long his presence dearly. Sometimes in between empty moments his words would still echo in my head, "I think it's not about how long we have been with someone that counts, it's about how deep we fall for them."

I fell in love with a boy once. I did not remember how it ended. All I remember was it was sunset and he was not there anymore. 

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A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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Never The Right Time

I'd always imagined how I would run into you one day. Our meeting would not be coincidental. We would probably going to meet at one of your, or our mutual friends, gig. It would be somewhere in the South, maybe at a pub. An Irish pub with open garden at the back, but inside the lightings are bitter, perfectly match with the damp scent of spilled ale on the wooden bar. I'd arrive half an hour late than scheduled, so I know you would be there already. I would find you next to the stage with a group of people. I might know some of them through brief introduction years ago. I imagine you would be surprised to see me, though our mutual friend may or may not have told you I would come around. I could see the mild shock as your lips mumbled my name as you were standing facing the direction where I come from. I could not help to smile. A simple hi would feel light, almost I have been waiting, wanting to say this to you for a very long while.

The spotlight of cliches would follow immediately, with us in the centre of the stage, as always. But this time, as I come closer, I'd notice the girl next to you; and your hands were interlocked with hers. This should not be a shock to me as one of your friends have told me about this. I honestly have anticipated this. Only I thought it'd be easier, I thought I would not feel this mere suffocation in the centre of my chest. You'd introduce me to your girlfriend, both in hesitation and genuine excitement. You haven't seen  me for years, I could tell you were torn in between to embrace me in your arms, like you always did, but there was no more space. A part of me would also still wish I could still drown myself in your chest cause boy, I have missed you. But in the edge of politeness, I would just smile. Both of you look good together, not anything extraordinary, but as modest as one can be; she seemed lovely in her pastel colored retro dress just under the knees. Her long black hair was tied in a pony tail and her short fringe comb to the side. But your look would own my attention the most, your hair had grown long to the shoulder, it seem darker and more sleek. Your eyes looked weary, the wrinkles next on the side of your eyes seem more apparent when you smile. Aging made you look older, and wiser, too and I loved that. It matched well with your thin beard. In the same time, you still look familiar as if I have never left this city. But what struck me the most, you look happy. 

Although I could tell from your eyes, for a moment, you were so close to let go of the hand you were holding just because the rush of the past caught your nerves so bright and fast like a camera flash. After the introduction, you'd carry on asking how I have been doing but without the usual compliments about the little details like my hair cut, my body or the blue contacts I'm wearing. To let this slip from my thoughts, I'd answer enthusiastically, saying glad to be back home. I'd make you think I'm doing great  I am truly, honestly, but maybe I would be better if it were my hand that you were holding. We don't hold grudge at each other but even worse, we hold imagination, assumptions and all the what ifs caged safely underneath our ribs; cause we were never been together, but we both know we would like to but there was never been the right time. I would like to ask you do you still make bagels and how the recording studio going and so much more. I'd steal you away from the crowd in a heartbeat and sit on that round table for two and talk till the river runs dry. But I couldn't, the crowd would not be just a crowd anymore, you would be part of them, not a piece that I could steal, or keep. And so I decided to make it brief and excuse myself to the bar. It would be all because I could not stay close to you without wanting to kiss you, so bad.

It's funny I always imagine how I would run into you one day but also imagine how I would run away from you soon after.


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A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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One Kiss Too Many

Beginning:

She grew up with a lot of love, maybe one kiss too many, that it build her up to a romantic being. She believed in one true love and the knight in shining armour. She imagined she would fall in love at the book store with the guy of her dream then she ought to have her happy ending right there. This soon changed as she entered her adulthood and moved to a big fast-paced city, and only to find out most of the things she believed in were a constructed illusion.

She met him at the pub, the one that looked like an old Victorian building that soon need an immense reconstruction. Inside, there was a pillar standing tall, marking the center of the room. The bar strayed in longitudinal arches next to the stairs that lead to the ladies bathroom. There was a stage at the rear, a table laid in the centre where the DJs show off their abilities to both spin the Vinyl and the room in the same time. He was there, standing behind the pillar, drinking a pint of beer. She felt his eyes on her, as if he was a ray of sunshine in the midst of winter transition to spring. In any other similar situation, she knew she would mind, but this time, she was not. A moment after, she was rolling a cigarette and that was when he decided to ask her for a spare. The next thing she knew, ten days later he was sitting in front of her while having a plate of sushi and a conversation about their favourite movie. His was Lord of the Rings, and hers was Before Sunrise.

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Middle:

He embodied all the physicality she wanted in a man. He was the man of her dream that she thought she would meet at the bookstore  not in a shining armour but better yet, a beautiful accent. However, their interest coexist in different side. Of course, she did not care. All she knew was she wanted him, and she thought the sense of wanting was enough, that they had to be together; she did not know that what was real differ with what she had in her dream.

Things fall apart gradually. He no longer kissed her on the lips, but the cheek. Good morning text was forgotten, they barely exchanged anything and eventually they stopped talking. It was the first week of June when she found him at her favourite bar. She remembered everyone was out drinking their sorrow after the final devastating episode of Game of Thrones. He looked dashing in his brown suit that he bought with her many Sundays ago. By the entrance door, they both smiled at each other like everything was alright. Even, they discussed briefly about the death of the King forgetting the slow death of their relationship, sinking to the bottom of the ocean. It was just about time one of them giving up and initiate to talk. She was the first to gave in, and went to back of the room. She offered to talk outside but he said here is fine. The conversation was short, she felt like she was the only one that was trying. He sounded like he had long gave up before that night.


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End:

She could have blamed the bedtime story, princesses and fairy tales. But by this time, she had given up all of her beliefs. It was all replaced with stacks of documents and deadlines, wine and expensive coat.

But tonight they are sitting next to each other in his double size bed, with the window half opened, smoking their last cigarette from the pub. The wall is cold, she thought as they both rested their backs on the pale-coloured wall. And her feeling was stretched in different continuum, heaving for air through its corrupted lungs. There were boxes lying on the floor, covering the spaces in front of his en-suite bathroom door. He just moved in to his new apartment in the centre that he seemed not fond of. His work had been occupying him busy, he did not have the time to sort everything out yet. Just like their relationship, it was never been sorted out. They should have said goodbye one season ago but most of the times after few drinks in or a seemingly cosmic joke accidental meeting at the pub one evening tangled them in the burning sensation to reunite. Reunite? She murmured in her thoughts. The more she lays next to him, the more she falls to the tendency of hopelessness they are not meant to be together. However, the familiarity in his four in the morning kisses pulls her closer, making her indecisive as ever.


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A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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The Best Friend

She was sitting on her bed, with her pajamas on and laptop wide open. On the other end of the screen, I was sitting in my room ocean apart, just had egg and cheese sandwich for lunch. 'What do you think?' waiting for her response that seems taking forever. I could tell she was still reading the link of my new piece that I have just sent her. She did not answer immediately, there was a time lapse before her eyes staring back to the camera where I can see her better. 'Jesus, Lizzy. I just don't get it why you're not on New York Times yet.' She sounded frustrated, 'This is amazing.' There probably more than a hundred reasons why I haven't made it to the NY Times yet but Cassandra doesn't care. As my oldest best friend slash the first reader, she always thought everything that I have written was amazing, even though it was just about a lousy attempt to move on from a failed relationship, in any way I should have had a column in one of the most prestigious printed media in the States. I giggled at her frustration. This is what I love about Cassandra, she could always managed to restore the faith I almost lost upon myself.

While I was busy blushing and growing feeble wings behind the table listening to her comments, a moment later, she then asked, 'Hey, can you write something about me?' She looked at me full of wishes. 'About you?' I repeated, trying to buy some time, while my mind wander. She is my best friend, but I don't think I could write her down. Look, I can write love stories not flawless but I am quite good at it because I have felt many forms of imperfections in relationships, both in the butterflies and hopelessness. In writing, I can shape them to be perfect, at least, almost perfect as I can take the beauty out of the ache. While Cassandra, and the rest of my best friends, are rarely being the subject of my writings not because they are insignificant, oh boy, they are my skeleton, my nerves and my organs but because they already are perfect. And writing something that is already perfect scares me; in a way that I would be haunted with the idea that I wouldn't do enough justice for them. What if they appear less perfect than they are?

Her doe eyes waiting for me on the screen hundred thousand miles away, 'Yes! Will you? I want to know how you'd picture me.' I know if I say I couldn't, she wouldn't mind. She'd say it's okay and forget about it. I'd just need to tell her more stories about the new bartender in town and she would seem content. She would listen to everything I have got to say and sometimes, I have got more than a lot of things to say. Not to mention, I have the habit on repeating the same boring stories to her just because I would like to. Sometimes I thought, she is the very victim of my narcissistic obsession being a storyteller. For this, I may owe her everything. Yet, she would always be there to talk some sense when I am off the trail. Maybe it is because she is the opposite of me; she is logical, abide the rule, hates romance and organized. And what I admire the most is that she will always be the person who gives a shit when no one does. She won't give up on anybody that she holds dear no matter how broken they are. She's always putting everybody first before herself. You know, I think she'd probably go to heaven while I'd be stuck in London. After a long while travel through my brain, I agreed to write something about her. I saw her smiling from ear to ear, exposing her rabbit teeth. And I smiled, too. Thinking, it's the least thing I can do to put a smile on her face and thank her for being the best friend everybody would like to have.

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A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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I'm Sorry

Image and video hosting by TinyPicI am sorry that I cannot love you when you hate your job and most of your friends are one step ahead of you, leaving this small town to the big city in search of whatever you are looking for, too. I am sorry that I do not know when you always rambled about everything that you hate, is actually the way how you showed me that I may be the only thing that's left for you to, even in the least bit, love. That it is the way how you let me in, and maybe, the way you asked for help. I am sorry that I cannot push away these spineless thoughts of you and me, and stay; to see you as a human, not a knight in shining armour. Don't you know you have the potential of a thousand suns yet you only let the light shine less brighter than a single candle in a dark room? I am sorry that I cannot see beyond the three hours past midnight phone calls when you are few drinks in. I am sorry that I cannot save you because I am still finding myself, too. I am sorry that I chose not to love you  although I would like to love you; hell, maybe I should, but I'm afraid I couldn't. 

A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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Growing Apart

This what's on my mind: We are quiet now, a lot more quiet than we were. I don't think it is because we don't have anything to say, I think it is quite the opposite. It is because the weigh of our worlds are almost unbearable so we choose to stay silent. I don't think it is because of the distance. It is just a scale pin point different cities on a map, but nothing more. We have known each other for almost a decade now, when everything was light as feather, we have never running out of things to say. I thought I'd go along this time, being quiet, considering this world has enough scraps of darkness to hear, might as well caged it inside my ribs. I thought this is what you want, too. To stay silent. But won't you agree with me, if we keep everything within, it will slowly, maybe gradually almost unnoticed, destroying ourselves then the world eventually? Stretching us far apart as an individual and less as a team. I do not want that, if anything has to shackle me I do not mind being tied in a life-time relationship with you. You are my best friend.

If they say that love is just an illusion, then same it goes to fear, isn't it? I need you, out of anybody else, as my best friend to tell me so. The fear of tomorrow starting to get a hold of me. I'm trying to let go, but I cannot run away. I remember you jumped out of excitement when I told you our favorite band is coming to the city where I live while I stood still, did not seem to find the excitement; it may be because the love I had towards the band had lessen to the tipping point of nothing, or maybe because I know that I am near, I am starting to lose the interest. Tomorrow, on the other hand, scares me. The uncertainty, the risk, the chances are like shadows that even follows in the dark. I wish I can just hide it under my blanket, let it be forgotten and lost in the sheet.

I am not telling you this because maybe you have listened enough. Given the assumption, I do not want to pull you down. You seem you are doing alright, better than alright. You seem to have figured it out. As the days piled up, the longer we stop communicating, the greater the feeling of shyness that was very much absent when we used to spent weekends figuring out the chords of The Weezer songs. I'd phone you in an instant to spill every single details I just went for a coffee with the guy I had a crush on. Sometimes, I would repeat the story over and over again just because I could not handle the excitement. Now, I'd think twice before sending you a text to tell you the worse date I have ever been, afraid I might disturb you in between your busy schedule. There must be something going on. Or is it just a brutal truth that we are, apparently, growing apart?

I hope we are okay. I hope we'll be okay.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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