You've Got Male Models

A 20-year old prodigy heart surgeon, Chris Cahill, did not expect to share her apartment (or her life) with two aspiring male models when she finally gains her independence. A story in the process of their interesting (and equally hilarious!) adventures of three different individuals living in the present.


I write on a whim, and somewhere along the line, I have collected journals full of phrases and ideas that I use to spark a story. Got any ideas, feel free to share them. How would you interpret a JournalWord?


Gladiators, Bad-ass priests, Robots, Demons, Cowboys, Demon-Cowboys, Fast-food cashiers, Ninjas, Butlers, Pirates, Sailors... The list goes on and they all make me swoon! (We are instant best buddies if you feel the same, just saying)


Albeit reluctantly, Sarah finds herself with the responsibility of raising an angel after he crashes from the sky. Sci-fi, supernatural, and a little silly.


I'm a fiend. *cheeky smile*

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Out There

Words for Outer Space:

Milky Way.
Dark Matter.
Dwarf Planets.
Dwarf Stars.
Super Novas.
Black Holes.
Big Bang.
Light Years.
Dark Energy.
Subatomic Particles.
Stephan Hawking.
Hubble Telescope.
Solar System.


I am a definite fan of physics! The sciences have a permanent home in my soul.
I'm a tad bit busy (total understatement, but I like to think I'm humble ;P), so 

Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments :)

Mera <3

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Womanly Bits

JournalWord: "What's so good about being a girl?"


Sherry stomps over to the table and slams her lunch down before sliding into the booth. 

Aaron lowers his spoon and raises an eyebrow at the three KitKats. "Is that all you're having?"

She snarls and rips the wrapper off of one viciously, tossing it behind her into the next booth without a care. After chewing a stick, she slams down her head, groaning at the pain and vocally regretting the action.

Aaron pushes his soup aside, seeing as every time he tries to eat, she slams the table. Brett joins them in that second, opting to slide into the seat beside Aaron instead, at the sight of Sherry's head of hair. 

"What's her problem?" he asks, grabbing the water bottle on his tray to twist open the cap. Aaron opens his mouth, but Sherry decides to wake up.

"What's so good about being a girl?" she asks, turning her head so her cheek rests on the table and she can see them through her overturned hair. She stares at them, challenging, as she shoves another stick of chocolate into her mouth.

"Um, is this supposed to be rhetorical?" Aaron supplies, suspicious.

Brett smirks and shakes his head at Aaron. "This is a trick question." He points at Sherry with his water bottle. "You are absolutely gorgeous, my dear."

"Bzzt! Wrong!" She lifts her head up but slouches onto her arms. "Both of you. I want to know what is so good about being a girl. The truth!"

Without hesitation, they simply reply with "Sex".

"You've got to be kidding," she says, rolling her eyes.

Brett lifts his plastic fork and aims it so it dangles in front of her eyes. "Sweetheart, sex is always the answer and from a guy's point of view, you ladies make it amazing by just being there. I mean, you've got the easy end of the deal; you don't have to work for it, you've always got a willing partner, and you always end up feeling good. Although whether it's emotionally or physically, I'm still working on that," he adds, stabbing his pasta matter-of-factly.

Aaron blinks and swivels to meet Sherry's attention. "Okay, there must be a reason why you'd bring this up so I'm going to hit all the bases. Women have every guy wrapped around their tiny fingers. They have the ability to be both impossibly beautiful and crazy smart. They have their own empowered rights. You get free drinks at the bar, for heaven's sake! And children like your half of the species! What more can you ask? Women are the epitome of amazing."

"Dude, you forgot lingerie." At that they both sink into their seats and drift into a dreamland only expressed in a distant smile. 

Sherry coughs to snap them back to reality. "You're forgetting that we have to sacrifice a lot for those free drinks, like expensive makeup and clothes, and diets with extreme workout sessions," she retorts back, and Aaron and Brett briefly regard each other before leaning towards her.

"You just want to bicker," Aaron concludes with a smirk and Brett nods, picking up his sandwich. Aaron reaches for his tray, dunking his crackers into the cold soup.

Sherry sputters. "What? No. I just think that there's nothing good about being a women, is all." Her voice trails off to a whisper as she gnaws on her chocolate. Brett leans forward to pat her head comfortingly.

"Hey Sherry," Tia greets, passing the table. One glance at Sherry's drooped stature is enough for her to reach into her bag. "Period?" she asks, and much to the guys' horror, Sherry pouts and nods. 

Tia nods understandably and hands her another chocolate bar. "Just think, one day you'll snag yourself a hottie with your womanly bits and have the cutest little baby ever," she says, smiling before she leaves. 

Brett and Aaron scoff when she disappears but shut their mouths when Sherry finally smiles, giggling distantly as she unwraps the next KitKat bar.


Yesterday, I realized something extraordinary.

In the space of a few months, I had unknowingly forgotten myself.

Forgot my motivation. Forgot who I aim to be. Forgot my sense of passion. 

A shiver ran down my spine and I realized that without the essentials of my mind, my being, I had lost myself and forgotten why I am here. I mean, what is there if you don't know yourself? 

I didn't think my memory was that bad. I know that I have to write everything down to remember things, like lists, things I need done, my ideas... But it never came to mind that I would need some sort of reminder to bring me back from the blankness creeping in the corners of my internal vision. 

Well, now that I've realized this, I only hope I can manage to revive the spark that seemed to drift from my soul. I need this drive back. There is this passion that I have to catch.

And this explains why Fool's Paradise turned out to be a mess. No motivation, no inspiration. I'm fixing this. I swear.


Monday, 21 January 2013

Poison Prince

JournalWord: He is poison.


His first memory is war and starvation.

His next memory is of darkness and crying bodies.

He can hear the sobbing of other children beside him, quivering and howling in the pitch dark. He feels the walls behind him, pressing his hands against the rough stones of the cave. 
The howls and cries are so loud and don't stop for nights and days; time he can't decipher anymore.

 His tears of fear have dried from listening to the other children, and he can't find the heart to care about them. After fending for himself all his life on the merciless streets, scraping for days on rotten fruit and dried crumbs, this is an opportunity he must pull through with. 

They are feeding us, he reasons, and that is enough for him to ignore the cries and darkness. Just knowing that there is food to eat, albeit cold because he is squished far back by the walls, he can continue to bear with this hellish hole.

Slowly, his patience and perseverance prove worth when retching sounds start to intermingle with the screams and sobbing. The ground has become soft underneath him and he pushes away the thought of why. The bodies huddled and squished around him are losing their heat, so he pushes them away from him, without a care that they don't make a noise of protest.

The noises are silencing, and the sobbing cries are dwindling to whimpers that snuff out in due time. His food steadily becomes warmer by the time it gets to him until, finally, it comes served piping hot, straight from the oven to his waiting hands. 

He hasn't moved from his place from the back of the cave, eating whatever is given to him without a sound escaping his lips, even when the stomach pains ached for him to scream. The pain has long since passed, along with the cries, without any indication of it being present in the first place.  

He still eats, and the other children die beside him, spoons and bowls clattering around them, but he still eats until his spoon scrapes the bottom of his bowl.

When the first light peeks through the opening at the other end of the cave, a bellow hollers for any survivors to come get their meal. On shaky legs, he makes his first attempt to walk, ignoring the smell he has almost become accustomed to and the mounds of rustic clothes he has to walk over. 

He is met with surprised congratulations at the door and light, and when someone breaks through the crowd to rustle his long, dirty hair, their hand burns black. He passes by the scream and writhing body, walking through the silent path and heading for the table, towards the steaming pot. He sits on the bench, alone, and helps himself to the porridge, having not been fed in nearly two days. 

He has become the poison that he is fed.


Saturday, 19 January 2013


I. Hate. Monkeys. 

It has now become a conditioned response for me to point this out at any mention of the species, and sure, you can point out that we, humans, are monkeys (*shudder*), but I'll only retort that we have an intellect that surpasses them. And that we can, usually (I understand there are some exceptions...), abstain from flinging our own feces at any hint of wild emotion. 

I don't care. I just really detest them.

It's like a hatred for spiders (I really don't mind spiders though). You got me?

Well, anyways, my friends really like this silly little story I made up a while back, and although I'm not a huge fan of it (monkeys...), I'm posting it at their insistence. 

So enjoy!


(And I did have a goldfish that lived for only four hours in my care..)


The pet store was selling monkeys for five cents a piece. I thought that odd since they were normally a couple thousand. I like monkeys and decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth. I bought 200. I like monkeys.

I took my monkeys home. I have a big car. I let one drive. His name was Sigmund. He was retarded. In fact, none of them were really bright. They kept punching themselves in their genitals. I laughed. Then they punched my genitals. I stopped laughing.

I herded them into my room. They didn't adapt very well to their new environment. They would screech, hurl themselves off of the couch at high speeds and slam into the wall. Although humorous at first, the spectacle lost its novelty halfway into the third hour. Two hours later I found out why all the monkeys were so inexpensive. They all died. No apparent reason. They all sorta dropped dead. Kinda like when you buy a goldfish and it dies four hours later.

Retarded cheap monkeys. I didn't know what to do. There were 200 dead monkeys lying all over my room, on the bed, in the dresser, and hanging from my bookcase. It looked like I had 200 throw rugs. I tried to flush one down the toilet. It didn't work. It got stuck. Then I had one dead, wet monkey and 199 dead, dry monkeys.

I tried pretending that they were just stuffed animals. That worked for a while, that is until they began to decompose. It started to smell real bad. I had to pee but there was a dead monkey in the toilet and I didn't want to call the plumber. I was embarrassed. I tried to slow down the decomposition by freezing them.

Unfortunately, there was only enough room for two monkeys at a time so I had to change them every 30 seconds. I also had to eat all the food in the freezer so it didn't all go bad. I tried burning them. Little did I know my bed was flammable. I had to extinguish the fire. Then I had one, wet monkey, two frozen monkeys in my freezer, and 197 dead, charred monkeys in a pile on my bed.

The odor wasn't improving. I became agitated at my inability to dispose of my monkeys and to use the bathroom. I severely beat one of my monkeys. I felt better. I tried throwing them away but the garbage man said that the city was not allowed to dispose of charred primates. I told him that I had a wet one. He couldn't take that one either. I didn't bother asking about the frozen ones.

I finally arrived at a solution. I gave them out as Christmas gifts. My friends didn't know quite what to say. They pretended that they liked them, but I could tell they were lying. Ingrates. So I punched them in the genitals. I like monkeys.


Thursday, 17 January 2013


JournalWord: Raising an angel.


The farther she walks into the park, the quieter the city bustle sounds. Automobiles disappear behind hedges and bushes, and buildings become obscured by the towering trees. The familiar pavement trampled by thousands scouring the city are momentarily replaced by a cobble stone path edged in grass, with stray leaves peeking through the spaces between the pale stones. 

Sarah inhales deeply as she strolls, replacing the scent of vehicle exhaust and fast-food grease with the leafy and clear air of her escape. She shrugs off the strap of her purse from her shoulder so it slides down her arm and into her palm. She swings her purse by the strap, a bounce in her step as she enjoys her minuet break. 

This is her time to not think about her job or her engagement. This is her time to forget that she's a secretary to an over-demanding boss and that her future mother-in-law is making all the decisions for the wedding. Sarah shakes her head, dispelling the thoughts from her mind as she locates her favorite bench.

She almost runs to the bench when she finds the elaborately carved, wooden seating, gracious for the relief off her heels. Settling in the shade, she tips her head back, allowing her blonde curls to slip from her shoulders and over the back of the bench. "This is relaxing," she whispers to the silence, and addressing the little park, "I hope you never leave me to this noisy, stressful world."

Her mind is completely clear, and she almost succumbs to the invitation to a quick cat nap when an angry squawking interrupts her silence. Pinching her lips and furrowing her brow at the noise, she pops open her eyelids and is startled by what she witnesses between the trees. 

A cluster of grey birds tumble from the sky, like a living asteroid cascading to the Earth. The flurry of feathers lands, in a flash, in the bushes meters in front of her, after tumbling through tree branches. Feathers and snapped leaves flutter from where the mass has landed in the hedges.

Sarah is back on her heels in an instant, her lip worrying between her teeth as she attempts to process what just happened. Her love of animals, however, decides to intervene and she heads for the direction of the birds escaping the collision. She pries open the bushes and hedges to slip through the foliage, scowling lightly when branches and twigs scratch at her arms and legs. As she gets closer, she recognizes the birds that are slowly trickling out of the bushes as simple, city pigeons.

Prying through a hedge, she is surprised to find that she isn't alone with the birds. A boy sits, surrounded by tufts of feathers and a bed of leaves, his legs splayed underneath him with pigeons preening around him. Two pigeons preen his light brown hair as they nestle like a crown on his head. He gently strokes the feathers of a pigeon on his lap, eyes downcast as another gray pigeon pecks at his foot. 

In her surprise, Sarah snaps a branch from the hedge she is holding away from her and effectively startles the pigeons, sending them fluttering off and into the sky with a series of discouraged coos. More feathers cascade down and as she stumbles through the bush, brushing off the leaves from her coat, she is caught in a gaze of the bluest eyes she has ever seen.

"Are you alright?" she ask and gasps when she intakes his appearance. She rushes to him, avoiding his captivating, beautiful gaze, and fingers the white bandages on his shoulders. The bandages cover up his body from his neck to his wrists and ankles. "Are you hurt?" 

She lifts her head and he lifts his as well to meet her concerned gaze. He shakes his head and she expels a breath, although she furrows her eyebrows as she suspects he is lying. She inspects his face and is momentarily stunned by his beauty. 

His cropped, light brown hair softly frames his heart-shaped face, curling at the ends against his jaw. His features are delicate and his skin is smooth and light. The blue irises of his eyes are azure pools that sparkle lightly like a newborns. He tilts his head slightly to the left and lifts his bud lips into a small smile at her stare.

She stutters, embarrassed for staring for too long. "W-where are your parents? I'm sure they're very worried about you," she says and his answer is a blank stare. His smile doesn't waver, but abruptly, he swings his arms around her neck and latches her into a hug. 

She doesn't know what to do. The last time she dealt with children was in high school when she babysat her neighbor's children on Saturdays, and they wanted everything but hugs. For a moment, she waves her arms so they hover around him in uncertainty. 

"Um," she says, lightly placing her hands on his shoulders to push him off, cautiously scanning for someone to help. Surely a hug doesn't last this long, she wonders when no one yells at her to leave the kid alone. "I should take you to the police so they can find your parents," she says, hopeful, but he doesn't respond or loosen his hold on her. "How about you tell me where you live so I can take you home," she persuades, yielding the same response. 

Sighing, she takes a second to think. He's covered in bandages and doesn't want to go home or to the police. And he doesn't want to let go of me, she adds, summing up the situation. Maybe he's being abused? Sarah frowns at the memory of her her own runaway experience in the past and decides he must have a reason, like she did, to leave home.

Feeling empathy for the kid, she softly whispers, defeated, "Do you want to come home with me? You can stay the night and tomorrow we'll deal with police and your parents."

He pulls away for a moment to smile at her and she is instantly enchanted; her heart warming at the thought of this kid smiling even when he has to deal with abuse. Her concern for his well being shoots higher when he shivers at a chilly autumn gust.

She whips her head around in search of his jacket and picks up the white coat laying on his lap. "You should put on your coat," she instructs, slipping his arms from around her neck through the sleeves. She discovers that he is nude for only the bandages and she briefly flares at the extent of his injuries from his abusers as she buttons the coat. 

Pulling him to his feet, she realizes that he is barefoot. She shuffles through her purse, pushing aside her wallet and bunches of loose receipts to find the pair of flats she keeps in her purse for days when her feet feel pained by her heels, slipping them on his feet. She stares at his feet a moment, a thought to his smooth soles. How can a runaway not have any sign of his trek through the city on his bare feet? She shrugs off the thought, relenting that it's only a small detail, and unties her green scarf, wrapping it around the boy's neck for extra warmth.

He tilts his head down and buries his chin in the fabric, stroking the green scarf with a smile. His eyes lifts up to her and he beams an excited smile and she accepts his silent, but happy, gesture as a sign of appreciation. Offering her hand, he latches his own to her fingers, one hand still stroking the scarf. 

They crawl through the bushes back to the path, and the boy never releases her hand, almost floating as he slides through the opening she creates in the hedges. On the path, she starts out of the park, one hand digging through her purse again, this time in search of her cell phone. 

"Hello, Margaret," she greets her boss, "I'm going to be taking the rest of the day off. I'm not feeling well and Janine can take care of the rest of your appointments." Sarah almost breathes a sigh of relief when her boss doesn't ask beyond a thoughtful get well and apology for overworking her for the last couple of weeks, ending the conversation with a simple instruction to "have a restful weekend". As she hangs up, she realizes that the boy is very fidgety. He whips his head back and forth, and when she tucks her phone back into her purse, he turns to look up at her, wide eyed and awestruck.

He follows her lead easily and his childish awe of the city dispels her happiness at his excitement. He should be around nine years old, maybe ten, she wonders, but he doesn't talk, or won't talk. Maybe he's a mute? But why is he acting as if he has never been to the city? Does he live out of the city? Then how did he get here?

"My name is Sarah," she introduces, and casually asks, "What's your name?" She smiles, hopeful, but he only stares at her, so she sighs. "Well I need to call you something. Should I make up a nickname for you?" 

To her surprise he smiles and nods his head, and she laughs at his excitement. "Blue," she says unexpectedly. "I'll call you Blue, because of your eyes." 

They continue walking, dodging the bustle of the streets and as they stroll, she feels Blue tug at her hand. He points at a steaming hot dog stand with a crowd and, realizing that it is almost noon, she steers them to the stand, ordering two hot dogs. 

When she presents him the hot dog, he eyes it with fascination glittering in his eyes. She pretends not to notice when he watches her lift the hot dog to her lips for a bite. After chewing then swallowing her bite, she prompts him to eat it and squeezes the hand that hasn't left hers. Slowly, he lifts the hot dog to his mouth, biting it and chewing with a satisfied smile. She chuckles, wiping the splatter of mustard on the edges of his lips with a napkin. 

They enjoy their lunch by watching the crowd in solemn silence and sitting on the edge of a fountain. The fountain is still on, but the water doesn't splash and waver by the edge. Blue almost abandons his hot dog to dive into the water, but Sarah quickly catches him. "You can't go diving, not in this weather. Eat your hot dog," she reminds, and watches as he frowns slightly  while biting the hot dog. Dejected at his disappointment, Sarah dips her fingers into the water and smiles. Hesitantly, he dips his fingers in as well, flicking up water with a smile. 

He stops playing with the water, staring intently at the surface. Worried, Sarah peers in, but only  finds his reflection. "It's just your reflection," she says and his confusion peaks as he pokes the reflection in the face. The water flutters and blurs the image, but when the surface settles, his image is clear. Her concern vanishes when he brings his hot dog to his mouth, watching himself eat with an amused, silent laugh.

They finish off their lunch and start back on the route to her apartment. She finds that his reactions to the passersby is much more interesting as she decides this must be his first time in the city. He dares not to stray into the crowd or tug on her hand to point out anything else he wants. His facial expression of wide eyed and open mouthed awe swivel left and right as he desperately tries to take in all the people and activity as they walk.

When they arrive to her apartment, he takes a moment to stare up at the building, tilting his head back to see the top. She ushers him into the lobby and head for the elevator, and he obediently follows but clutches to her side when the elevator jerks and starts it's climb. 

Her flat is not far down the hall and when she opens the door, he instantly shoots out of her grasp and into the living room. Surprised by his excitement, she locks the door and takes off her coat and heels, depositing her purse on the counter of her kitchen to search for him. She catches the sight of his white coat laying, crumpled on the floor of her living room and decides to pick it up. She shakes out the coat so it doesn't wrinkle and recognizes that it's actually a lab coat. Confused at why a child would have only a lab coat on him, she follows the trail of her discarded flats in the hall leading to her room. 

She finds him tucked on her bed, curled up with only her green scarf still tied around his neck. Her heart warms and she wonders if this is what motherhood feels like. She dispels the thought from her mind and scoops him in her arms, surprised by how light he is for a kid his age. Pulling back the sheets and comforter, she tucks him in, and just as she finishes tucking him in, he tosses around so his back faces her. She smiles as he lightly snores, unaware that he has just messed up her careful tucking, so she lifts the blanket to tuck him in again.

At the sight of his back, she stops. From his shoulder blades to the bottom of his rib cage, two elongated bumps run down his back from under the bandages. Hesitantly, she lifts a finger to stroke down the length of one, startled when he sighs. The bumps flex and twitch under the bandages when she moves her finger away. Sarah tears up at the thought of what the abusers did to this poor kid, appalled at what happened to create the bumps on his back. Carefully, she tucks the blankets and sheets around him again, patting his hair lightly before leaving him to sleep.


Yeah, I know, there are a lot of questions being left unsaid (Welcome to my strange mind... hehe), but I promise they'll all be answered in the next segment of this story. Nevertheless, let me know what you think (just a few words is fine :D). 

I didn't realize just how busy I would be and how much sleep I'll be missing :(. The missing sleep is probably the worst part though, and after some careful consideration,  I think I may have to postpone my BCIT plans for next year. I don't think I'll be able to complete all the requirements (especially the volunteer hours at the hospital) in time, which is a definite bummer. Maybe I'll work and save up money and take a year off school to get myself together. Who knows, really. So yeah, I'm a mess (lol, just a tid bit more than I usually am), but hopefully everything gets sorted out in the end. 

I just pray that "the end" isn't when I'm 30, or something. I've got other things to do then (like raise, a hopefully real, son named Hexane!).

Thanks for reading, and be good!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Mistaken for a God

Now this is a short story.

JournalWord: Obsessive-Compulsive cashier.


“Dust,” I mutter softly, cautious of breathing in any floating particles. I dig my hand into the front pocket of my green apron, my fingers lightly skimming the synthetic, soft and rubbery material of latex. I pull out a pair of latex gloves and nimbly snap the porcelain white barrier over the pale, exposed skin of my hands, left hand first then right, with a familiar twist of my fingers. The security and comfort of a shield against harmful bacteria almost releases a momentary sigh of relief. 

I carefully watch the dust floating precariously over the empty cereal box shelf, my eyes shifting over the expanse of the 2 mm thick layer of neglected dust packed on the surface of the shelf. “Disgusting,” I hiss, reaching for the bottle and rag, “Dirty and diseased.” 

To anyone else, it’s a job, however, to me, it’s a mission. I scrub with a vigor a determined maid could only muster. My actions are robotic and precise with every stroke of the rag scraping and dissolving the layer of grey dust. I sweep away the dripping and foaming cleaner, my tall, thin body hunched over so my spindly arms can reach the farthest corners of the shelf. A final spray of multi-surface cleaner is wiped along with the evidence of green solvent and shiny streaks. 

I straighten my posture, a smile bubbling on my face at my victory. I feel almost all-powerful and god-like in my extermination of viral infections and disease. I scan my work for any traces of smudges or spots left behind on the gleaming white shelf, satisfied that, yet again, there isn’t anything to redo. I squeeze the rag in my palm, a substitute congratulating pat on the back, and cradle the solvent bottle in my palm by it’s plastic neck. 

“Oliver,” Mr. Anthony calls, ten meters down the dry cereal aisle. His jolly prance around the corner of the aisle and shout startles a shopper into dropping a box of dry oatmeal. I wince as my employer’s short, round, jovial body almost kicks the box from the lady’s reaching fingers. The oatmeal is undoubtedly contaminated and inedible, I chastise, itching to just throw out the dirtied box and its germ infested contents. 

“Oliver,” he calls again, the high pitch of his voice surging an uncontrollable twitch to my right eyebrow. I nod in acknowledgement and wait for him to cross the ten meters between us . He doesn’t stop his progress, however, and instead, leans into me as he scans the shining, clean shelf. 

Mr. Anthony whistles a sharp note and tosses his arm in my direction. I quickly dodge the incriminating arm, wary of the sweat stain climbing down the underside of his shirt sleeve from his armpit to his elbow. His short trek from his office to aisle five couldn’t possibly be the culprit for this man’s excretion of bodily fluids, but I note that not everyone is as conscious of their wellbeing as I am. Mr. Anthony stares at the space I had momentarily stood in but otherwise ignores the rejection of his gesture, instead smiling. “Nice job, Ollie,” he chirps, “Never thought I’d see the plastic under all that grime.”

The rag in my hand is squeezed at the mention of the nickname, and when I attempt to relax the hand, my other hand clenches. Ollie, I wish to spit, is not my name. Mr. Anthony, oblivious of my irritation, animatedly chatters about his son’s basketball game, I believe, but I wouldn't be sure however because my focus in the space of two minutes and ten seconds is focused solely to the fresh yellow blob, that smells sharply  like mustard, creeping down the heart of Mr. Anthony’s over-washed, brown shirt. There are so many ways to clean his shirt, I imagine, starting first with a couple sprits of detergent directly on the incriminating stain. The latex glove on my left hand squeaks as it tightens and relaxes around the trigger of the multi-surface solvent bottle in four second intervals, matching synchronization with my slow, shallow breaths. 

I can almost see the dried mustard dissolving in a heavy dose of foaming soap and hot water when the stomping of impatient soles stamp rhythmically on the vinyl tile flooring of the grocery store. After three years of working in a grocery store, I have recognized this sound to only be the result of one cause, and as soon as I lift my head and lock eyes with a flustered cashier with a very distinct red name tag, I know today’s her first day on the job. 
“Mr. Anthony,” I sternly start, instantly cracking through Mr. Anthony’s intense discussion of his son’s stubborn eating habits, “Cashier one.” I don’t wait for his response and march towards cashier four. Cashier three may have been closer, actually right across the dry cereal aisle, but odd numbers aren't as safe as even numbers. And anyways, four is my favorite number. 

At the cashier booth, I fold the rag and tuck it alongside the solvent bottle underneath the register. The latex gloves are off and my hands are wiped clean with hygienic wipes I always carry in my pockets before a fresh pair of latex gloves are produced and placed on. My routine begins with a quick but thorough disinfection of the buttons and surface area that I will most definitely come in contact with. With both myself and the area safe and void of impurities, I flick on the light for the cashier and wait for half the line on the express booth to merge into mine. 

I methodically scan and punch in weights and prices of goods, systematically nodding as some customers attempt to chat. I, however, keep my breathing low and mouth shut, in the case of flying bacteria and saliva from those who chatter, and only speak to briefly state total price amounts before moving on to the next customer. Mr. Anthony won’t let me wear a face mask when I work cashier, explaining the discomfort of customers if I were to handle their groceries looking like a character from Saw. I move in a mechanical and familiar motion of scanning, punching, stacking, and stating, focusing on the task at hand and disregard the appraisal of my bagging skills.

The mid afternoon rush is swiftly dealt with, and as I wait for the last customer to dash off with his bags of bread and black beans, I grab an antiseptic wipe from my pocket and clear off anything of hazard from the surface of the cash register and food scale. I am clearing flecks of saliva and spilled milk from the counter when someone blows and pops a sticky bubble beside my ear. 

I freeze, shocked by the cold splatter of a substance I always care to never touch, much less on my ear. I straighten slowly, turning accusingly at the person who just squirted her foreign, possibly diseased saliva into my right ear canal. 

“Hey,” she says, chomping angrily. Her apron is askew, my analytic mind notes, and her untucked layers of colorful tank tops and tie-dye shirt is definitely too casual for work. Her jeans are ripped and there are grass stains on her knees. Her hair is a mess of approximate shoulder length blonde, asymmetrical, chopped locks. She looks like a hippy demon that came crawling out of the woods. She pauses her chewing to smile devilishly, the bright purple wad of bubblegum lodged between her left incisors. Definitely a hippy demon.

I desperately want to even out her hair and send her shopping for a suit, but instead I start a list of all the possible diseases that would breed in the cavern and crevices of my ear. My mind reels at the thought of an infection that would slowly terrorize my brain. Needless to say, my hand instantly reached into my right pocket for another antiseptic sheet. 

I am scrubbing my ear with the sheet when I realize she hasn't left. She has leaned over my cleansed counter, her head tilted up to stare at my face, mechanically chewing her wad of saliva slathered gum between her teeth. The close proximity of her face to mine is unnerving. In a move that defies any sense of logic, my feet slip on a plastic bag I had accidentally ripped off the rack in my scrambled attempt to find purchase on something so I don‘t fall over. I don’t hit the floor. My fear of the unknown hazardous bacteria harvesting on the vinyl tiles send a boost of adrenaline that I need to scramble, albeit not as smooth as I would've liked, into cashier five’s register. 

I slam into the steel box and press my back into the edges, ignoring the pain to stare at the bowed head bobbing with laughter. I have nothing to say and slowly retract my body from the uncomfortable, splatter-like position. Humiliation is nothing to me, I repeat in my mind, adjusting my apron from between my legs. I politely excuse myself from her presence, turning around just as her wad of purple bubblegum falls off her gaping and guffawing lips to the rubber mat behind the counter.

I spend the next fourteen minutes scrubbing my ear and face of any traces of residue deposited from her and checking and recheck my neck glands for any swelling. When I finally feel sanitized and clean again and not at risk of any sort of hepatitis, although a scalding shower would be much appreciated to burn off any bacterium I've missed, I soak my hands in hand dispenser suds and wash them four times before dressing them in matching latex outfits. I’m calm and relaxed after I’m done, and I exit the male employee bathroom intent on avoiding the new cashier. My plans, however, are foiled when I open the door and step out into the fluorescent lights and aisles. 

“Wow,” she says, snapping her wad of gum again, and I swallow back the bile that rises at the thought of her plucking the sticky blob from the mat and plopping it back into the hot slimy confines of her mouth. 

“Fifteen minutes sure is a long time. You should probably get yourself looked at.” I’m about to turn around and lock myself back into the bathroom when she grabs my arm. At this point, all the rational I've prided myself on for keeping my emotions at bay, and before today, I could safely say that I never allowed anyone the satisfaction of seeing me blow a gasket over something trivial. Today demolished any pride I had initially built up. So here I am, dignity thrown to the wind and an unstable disarray of emotions, and I rip my arm from her grasp, pushing her forcefully away. I don’t stop to see her expression at my actions and briskly walk to the back store room so I can replace the cereal boxes on the shelf I had initially cleaned. 

I make it to the store room without stopping and by the time I close the door behind me, the shaking in my legs have resided. I head straight to the stack of boxes to my right, finding the large brown package that contains an assortment of cereal boxes on the top of the pile. My actions are a blur as I scavenge for a box cutter. 

“Why do you wear latex gloves?” she asks. I can see her shadow on the wall in front of me, leaning on the door frame  I refuse to face and acknowledge her presence so instead I swiftly slice the tape on a box with a box cutter, drowning out the second half of her inquiry with the scrape of blade on tape. 

“Are you, like, afraid of germs or something?” she asks, “Are you OCD? Is that why you tap things all the time?”

I accidentally slice through the latex on my right hand, slicing into my thumb, a slash right under my knuckle. I can’t remember the last time I've ever become injured. I’m usually cautious and I never stray too far from my comfort zone to ever encounter something dangerous. And anyways, I tend to stay away from blood because I’m hemophobic, so when I look down at my gushing thumb and hear her yell, “Hey, you need to put some pressure- Damn, don’t you faint!”, I faint.

When I come to, I’m still in the store room, lying on the floor to be exact, and a little dizzy. The floor, I remember in an instant, is covered in dirt and grime and germs and liver-killing bacteria, and I bolt up into a sitting position, only to be stopped by a hand pressed firmly on my chest. 

She scowls and glares at me with a feral growl set on her pink lips. “You don’t move until I finish bandaging you up, buster.” She pinches my collarbone when I attempt to fight back. I surrender and slowly lower myself to the ground, but not entirely laying on the floor, and painfully hover a couple centimeters by arching my back. I turn away from the blood clotted cotton pads and shredded latex glove beside my left shoulder and breath slowly and calmly so I don’t faint again. She works silently, wrapping my thumb excessively in bandages until finally she ties off the ends in a bow and smiles at her handiwork. 

I could have done it myself, I want to interject, but I’d be lying. I wouldn't have been able to deal with the blood, much less stay conscious to get myself to a hospital. She turns to me with a frown and sigh before she helps me stand up. She bends over the first aid kit and collects the bloodied cotton pads, placing them in a paper bag. I arch my back into place and stretch my right hand, slowly flexing the thumb.

“It’s just a cut, nothing that needs stitches,” she states.

It’s a relief, however, I really want to rip off the bandage to sanitize the wound myself, but I will my hands to my side and away from each other. 

Should I apologize or thank her? I hesitate as she snaps the kit closed and stands up. 
“I’m sorry for bothering you with all my questions,” she says, walking past me as she heads to the door, “I’m going to tell Mr. Anthony that the first aid kit has run out of cotton pads.”

I’m surprised by her apology. I should be the one apologizing for my rude behavior.  
“Ah,” I say, for lack of a better word, “I’m mysophobic.” 

She turns around to face me, a confused frown on her face. She stares at me for a moment before asking, “Is that why you wear latex gloves?” When I nod, she smiles again, and suddenly I’m wary. “So you’re OCD?”

I pause. Me, obsessive compulsive? “Definitely not. A perfectionist, I am.” 

My statement raises an eyebrow from under an askew lock that makes up for a fringe. 
“OCD and in denial. Makes sense.” She must have sensed my objection because she bursts into laughter and I notice that she’s gum-free. 

“Believe what you want,” I reply, a tad bit miffed. She stifles her laughter behind the hand that clutches the paper bag. “Um, thank you, for bandaging me up and I’m sorry for my behavior.”

She nods, her laughter suppressed but a smile still present on her face and lighting up her brown eyes. “I’ll only accept your apology if you tell me how you became OCD.” She pauses and stifles a giggle. “I mean, a perfectionist. That should be an interesting story.” She finds herself a box to sit on and dumps the first aid kit and paper bag beside her. She sweeps her hand over a box on her other side, patting it with a smile aimed at me. “Come on. It’s story time. Cough up the details.”

I shouldn't have taken her bait, much less let her play with my pride by refusing my apology. I should not have wiped the box thoroughly with an antiseptic wipe despite her eye roll, or sit beside her, or answer her questions about my childhood. But I did. I told her about the nights I spent, wide awake and waiting for mum to come home from work, or how I find comfort in cleaning my apartment. She inquired about my need to clean and control my life, especially after my mum died, but I didn't have an answer. She asked about the funeral, and I confessed that I couldn't break away from my routine to go. 

We are silent for a couple minutes before she speaks. “I’m actually studying to be a psychologist,” she confesses, “And I have been watching you tap and clean everything before you touch anything for a little over a week now. I only got this job because I wanted to figure you out.” She bows her head, her face flustered and red. “I’m kind of your stalker.”

I tap? I’m not sure what I’m supposed to say so I stay silent. Now what? Okay, so I was sort of her psychology experiment. Her head is still and I watch the shine of her blonde hair send tiny sparkles of gold shine around her, like an aura or something similarly unnatural. A tear slides down the tanned skin of her jaw and her delicate chin shakes and quivers. 

Brilliant, I made a girl cry. “It’s okay, I‘m not bothered,” I say, and wait for her to lift her head, but she doesn't. “At all,” I add, and when she still doesn't react, I start to panic. What should I be doing? 

“See, you’re tapping,” she says, and I stare at her, confused. She wipes at her face with the hem of her green apron and I try not to succumb to the slow drop of my heart when I see her eyes dangerously close to a dried blood stain. She raises her apron away from her face to inspect the object of my fright. She scoffs. “It’s dried. And it’s no where near my face. Just look at your hand, Oliver. You’re spazzing over something so trivial.”

I twist my face away and I’m sure I’m blushing. I am tapping on the box and I’m surprised that I've never noticed it before. Have I really been tapping without even knowing it? I watch my left hand, wrapped in protective latex, tap against the cardboard box in a fleeting flutter and I have to make myself physically stop with my other hand. 

“Don’t worry about it,” she says and I’m not sure what she is indicating because at the moment I’m worrying and flustered and embarrassed, and I’m usually calm, collected and sane. Or I believed I was. Am I such an anomaly that I’d entice a psychology stalker? 

The emotions are too much for me and I am suddenly embracing panic when she leans into my shoulder and places a hand on the pile of my own. Her cool hand is touching my cold, exposed hand. There is skin touching skin and I lose control. 

“Don’t touch me!” I retract away from her, lashing her hand from mine. I am out the door in strides fueled by fear and I’m scared I might scream again. 

My routine would never have allowed me to exit the doors of the grocery store before I was scheduled to clock out, however, today, in my scrambling system, is an exception. 

Mr. Anthony, obviously in a disarray from manning the cash register, shouts, “Ollie, cashier three needs someone. Hey, where are you running off to? Are you okay? Where’s Lo-” 

I pass Mr. Anthony in my haste for the exit and don’t wait to hear the rest of his sentence. I don’t want to think about his questions.  So instead, I curl my shoulder inwards so I can barrel through the door without stopping.

I run the four blocks to my apartment, weaving through confused bystanders and traffic. My familiar path home must be ingrained into my body because I follow the same streets and crosswalks home. However, despite the same surroundings, my vision, though blurred by my speed, doesn't stop to criticize and analyse the hazardous germs and microscopic invaders hidden in the shrubbery and strange spots on the sidewalk. For the first time, I notice the tall oak tree covered in carved names and symbols of affection two blocks from my apartment and a playground laden with children sliding down the expanse of a bright red, curved slide. 

I don’t stop to marvel at my discovery and finally slow down to the entrance of the apartment complex I have lived in for the past seven years. I enter the lobby and head straight up the stairs, taking them two at a time, another first, so I can get home faster. I’m instantly washed in relief when I reach for my key in my pocket and am welcomed home by the scent of lily detergent and lemon fresh cleaner. 

When I lock the door behind me, the run home finally takes a toll on me. My legs buzz in the after shock of adrenaline and I have to sit down to catch my breath. I close my eyes for a moment after I slowly tip into one of the two kitchen table chairs. The support is comforting and when I open my eyes, the familiarity of the open living room and kitchen slow my fluctuating heartbeat to a steady hum. 

The stack of puzzle boxes beside the door, uniform and organized by size remind me of the hour I spent hovering over them with a ruler to make sure they were perfectly aligned. I scan the couch in the living room, bought and placed in front of the window that overlooks the apartment manager’s back garden, but never sat in for fear of a lumpy and uneven cushion. I can’t bring myself to look at the room anymore. I lean my head back and close my eyes again, shutting them away from the truth. I am OCD. 

Why have I been denying it? It’s plainly obvious. Mum used to always rant about my cleaning habits and my need to organize. Mum was trying to help me realize what I was doing to myself. What have I ever done for you, Mum, in return? I never even went to your funeral, much less visit your grave.

I make myself stand up and walk to the bathroom, an itch to be rid of something dirty creeping suspiciously in the folds of my mind. I flick on the light and stare at the reflection in the mirror, a portrait of a disheveled young man, hair wild and apron coming undone. The squelch of my shoes on the tiles of the bathroom grab my attention. Sometime in my run, I had stepped in a puddle and the dark cuffs of my pant legs are drenched along with my work shoes. I've had these shoes for such a long time that with tedious attention they've never stepped a sole in anything or were in need of cleaning aside from a monthly polish. 

I bring myself to look up into the mirror again, taking in the sag of my gelled hair, only this morning perfectly aligned and stiff straight. Then I notice the tear stain on my left cheek, still fresh. I don’t remember crying. I don’t remember crying on the way home. I don’t remember crying in the storeroom. I don’t remember ever crying in my past. I’m not even sure I cried for mum?  

“Who are you?” I ask the reflection, watching him repeat the question back at me. The name tag on his apron, worn for years but still legible says “Oliver” so I address him as so. 

“Oliver,” I answer, “I’m not you.”


“Well,” Lola encourages, a hand on her hip. “Aren’t you going to apologize?”

I stare as the wind nips at her strange, chopped blonde hair and the sway of her bright orange dress. Ever since I apologized to her the day after I ran away from her, she has stuck to my side like glue, introducing me to her psychology professor and somehow signing me up for free therapy sessions. The sessions have helped and Lola, with her encouragement and vivacious personality, has cracked me out of my socially ignorant shell and become my first friend. 

I sigh, and turn my attention to the gravestone in front of me. “Can’t I at least wipe off her gravestone?” I whine. Over the last couple of weeks, I've found that when I whine, Lola is as malleable as microwaved butter. 

“No,” she says, but I can hear the waver in her voice that comes from the use of 'the whine'. “It’s part of your therapy.”

“Please?” I ask again in a childish beg. The autumn wind whips at my dark locks and a strange tingle of unfamiliarity shivers down my spine from my hair, devoid of hair gel, freely flipping around my temples.

“Fine,” she surrenders, “But only with your flesh and blood and spit because this is your mother and she gave you hers- Hey! I thought I got rid of all your antiseptic wipes!”

I disregard her attempt at humor and authority and wipe away the grime and dirt accumulated over years of neglect. “Hi, mum,” I whisper into the stone. “I’m sorry for forgetting about you. Your Ollie is back and this time, he’s going to stay.”


Something to keep ya'll entertained :D I hope I accomplished at least that!
Let me know what you think!
(Your words are my motivation, really)

I'm working on my requirements (taking it one step at a time!) and now with a week conquered of this semester, I've really got to hammer down and focus 
Surrounded by all this science (genetics, cell biology, chemistry...) it's surprising how easily my mind can wander to fictional settings, so in just a week, I've managed to plot out a handful of stories. -.-; Of course, just when I don't have the time to write them all up, uninterrupted..

Oh! And check out this song: Warrior by Kimbra, Mark Foster, and A-Trak. I love Kimbra and Foster The People! The music video is strange though, hahaha, but I love strange as ya'll can probably tell ;P

Be good,

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