[DIARY] True Stories of Lucid Dreaming and Sleep Paralysis

Lately I’ve been experiencing lucid dreaming, in which I find myself in total control of when or where I get to cease a dream. It’s been contended that this period of dreaming is not a state of sleep but a period of wakefulness. I beg to differ. How could a wakeful phase occupy such an extensive period of restfulness?

Just last night in Melbourne, I fell asleep from 2am to 10am. In between, I never woke up nor felt the need to. Throughout the whole time I was lucid dreaming. I mean, I knew I was dreaming. I knew I could control when to wake up. I knew nothing was real. My family and I were going through this vivid life-threatening adventure of trying to survive many trials and tribulations in a game-like setting. Almost like those books in which you choose your ending! The scenes were constantly changing to put us in a series of threatening environments. First there was a flood and earthquake, so we were forced to climb out from our second apartment on the 30th floor and enter this arena. I let everybody else step on me in order to climb the hell out. We had to waddles across mud, swim across crocodile and bird-infested swamps. And we fought gigantic purple dinosaur-like creatures to move on to the next level! Is this some kind of 3D animation game? Then we had to eliminate another family with our bare hands, and I did, knowing that it was just a dream. Don’t ask me how I did it. And when it was all over, we returned to our 30th floor apartment like it all never happened, and I (very calmly) opened my delivery package which was a whole box full of Pierre Hermes macarons from Paris (yay!)

Not the first time I’ve had this kind of dreams. Does everyone else get that a lot too?


SLEEP PARALYSIS
DISCLAIMER: Do not read on if you’re afraid of the supernatural, or just afraid.

Close to 2 years ago I started this flying job which involved sleeping alone in multiple unfamiliar hotels and rooms. Very quickly I overcame issues of sleeping on foreign beds, and learnt to ignore ambiguous late-night noises. It doesn’t help that I love watching horror shows, and occasionally those horrific scenes do come back to haunt me. I remember being very freaked out once, alone in a hotel room in Osaka, when I was fully aware of descending into a state of total sleep paralysis. It was my first time feeling a total sleep paralysis.

Hotels in Japan are typically reputed to rank high on international Haunted Hotel lists. So there I was, one evening, tired out from having shopped the day away at Shinsaibashi, lying in bed for a short nap in order to gear up for an overnight flight, when I started hearing heavy footsteps in the room directly above me. Nothing scary right? Walls of Japanese rooms are built hollow and earthquake-proof, to prevent collapse. The footsteps got louder, then faster, then impossibly fast – it started to sound like somebody was actually running with heavy boots on. I was wearing my fluffy eyeshades, as usual, since I hardly turn off all the lights whenever I go to bed overseas.

Too tired to feel scared, I decided to just ignore and try harder to go to sleep. Then it happened. Physically, I’d experienced a sudden electrical shock to my brains, before feeling my entire body shut down. Instead of darkness, my eyes were seeing blinding white light behind my shut eyelids. My limbs were dead weight and completely immoveable. I couldn’t even flutter an eyelid because they felt dead heavy. The footsteps I was hearing continued to pick up speed until it reached a point where loud noise blended into a hollowed out total silence. In my head I was mustering strength to move and trying to scream for help, which will not come since I stayed alone.

The pounding footsteps could be heard periodically, now it seemed only in my head and not from the floor above me. Throughout this whole time, I was convincing myself that if I threw aside my eyeshades and saw anything/anybody, I would face it calmly. Though my eyes were closed, I was seeing shadows, moving lights and trails of blazing white, as if the lights were like white hot currents running across my line of vision. There’s a Chinese saying that this kind of paralysis was akin to 鬼壓身 (literally ghost pressing onto your body). It is exactly what this felt like. An unknown source of weight or power pressing you down. Strangely, when I tried to scream, I could feel air gushing through, but just no sound whatsoever. Perhaps I was screaming, just unable to hear myself. Whatever it is, my limbs were useless at this point in time, so might as well tide it through.

I knew physical control was returning to me when the footsteps slash pounding noises in my head were getting slower and softer. Perhaps due to fear the episode seemed to last forever though it might have only been minutes. It was gradual – this ascend back from sleep paralysis. I could feel strength returning, and attempted to flutter my eyelids once more. When strength finally returned to my limbs, I threw aside my eyeshades with vengeance, only to discover the room as it was, and that 2 hours had passed since I last checked the time before plopping onto bed.

I try not to read too much into it, just take it that I was so physically tired my body fell asleep before my mind could shut down. Or perhaps my mind was still running on caffeine and could not go into sleep mode. But what’s with the footsteps? Friends in the medical faculty advised that perhaps I was hearing blood pumping through my arteries. I wouldn’t doubt that. I guess most of my colleagues would attest to having their own encounters, however small or insignificant it may seem. Since the episode, off and on, I’ve been reading up on sleep paralysis – accounts from people who believe in supernatural causes and also from people who prefer to believe in scientific reasons. I choose to leave all options open, in believing that in all dimensions the possibility of encountering something ‘out-of-this-world’ is not entirely impossible.

Believe what you may.

 

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

TOKYO DIARIES 東京旅日記 IV

Friends, you know who you are and this is for you.
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I’ve always read about Chiba Prefecture in Murakami’s works and although Narita isn’t my favourite Japanese tourist spot, there is so much to see and shopping to do! Whuddup – look at these fluffy kitties I found:

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Lunch was mediocre chashuu ramen and some light post-shopping dango snacks. The latter was immensely satisfying that it doubled up as part of my dinner. Will never cease to love mochis and anything the likes of it!

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After much gallivanting around town, here’s the sum total of my loot – snacks, cosmetics, beverages, and awesomeness from Fancl and Muji. Matcha chocolate Pockys will be the death of me.20140514-180456.jpg

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A gleaming handful of Sapporo at the end of long day is my pot of gold at the end of a very short rainbow.20140514-190820.jpg

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Dolce Tokyo, SG

Had the worst Matcha Latte in my entire life at Dolce Tokyo, 313 Somerset, this evening. Beautiful place, but terrible matcha latte – such a disappointment and shame to claim its affiliation to Tokyo! The drink was so diluted and watered down that the matcha powder wasn’t fully dissolved, so it tasted so much like grainy water that has been scattered match powder. The matcha gelato was not too bad though. Definitely far from the matcha lattes I’ve had in Japan. I’m officially so pampered by this lifestyle, I have to admit. Nonetheless the matcha was so unacceptable. Eurgh.

오늘 저녁에 내 인생 전체에서 최악의 녹차 라떼를 마셨다.  그렇게 끔찍한 맛. 세계를 여행에서 응 석 이야. 어떤 습관을 난 개발을 방지해야합니다. 하지만 돌체 도쿄의 끔찍 했어요.

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Sigh.

Reading a very beautiful book written by a Taiwanese travel journalist whose books I’ve come to love. I will talk more about this book when I’m in the mood to!
대만 여행 작가에 의해 쓰여진이 놀라운 책을 읽고 있어요. 그것을 읽은있을 때 나는 모든 사람에게이 책을 소개합니다. 다음에 보자!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

TOKYO DIARIES 東京旅日記 III

Momi & Toy’s Crêperie モミアンドトイズ

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ホテルに戻って行く前に、モミアンドトイズで夕食のためにクレープを食べる。私は驚いている!店舗売りバブルティー。良い!バブルティーは、香港で一般的な飲み物だったが、今では非常にまれである。 トレンドは終わった。モミアンドトイズは、日本の優れたクレープのレストランの一つです。
An early dinner at Momi & Toy’s Crêperie before heading back to the hotel for a nap. Surprised to see bubble tea being sold in Odaiba! A couple of years back it was such a common sight in Hong Kong but nowadays it’s rare to find bubble tea stalls on the streets. I guess the fad has passed.

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きんぴらチキンサラダクレープを食べた。
Had the sauteed teriyaki chicken salad crepe ^^

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多くの人が休憩のデザートを食べていた。甘いクレープも本当においしい見えた!
Loads of people were having tea-time desserts. The sweet crepes looked really yummy too!

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お台場を残したくない! 私は日本人だったら、私はそんなにおいしい料理を毎日食べてから非常に太っ育つ。どのように幸運、私は世界中からのすべてのビットをサンプリングすることができるのは非常に恵まれてね。本当に私に与えられた機会を大切に。
Couldn’t bear to leave Odaiba! If I were Japanese or living in Japan, I cannot imagine not eating awesome food everyday, and hence becoming a complete glutton. How fortunate, I’m very blessed to be able to sample a little bit of everything from all over the world. Thankful for the opportunities to experience the world and all that it has to offer for the time being ^^

お読みいただき、ありがとうございました!次回お会いしましょう!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

TOKYO DIARIES 東京旅日記 II

HONOLULU COFFEE

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第2日目には私たちは昼食に寿司を持っていた後に、私はホノルルカフェでコーヒーを楽しんだ。
Afternoon coffee at Honolulu Café after a hearty sushi lunch. This pretty café from Hawaii is located at the food and restaurants level of Diver City, Odaiba. I had the Nutty Hawaiian Kona Frost (ナティハワイアン コナフロスト), a frosty blend of hazelnut and macadamia with a tinge of coconut juice and some espresso. Really good.

このナティハワイアン コナフロスト を飲んだ。それは外の寒さでしたが。とてもおいし!
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私はまだ東京にいたが、ソウルについての旅行ガイド本を読んで。ソウルのこのルイヴィトンの旅行ガイドでは、有益で偉大なカフェや訪問するレストランでいっぱいです。
Here I am, already reading about Seoul when I’m still in Tokyo. Thank you Melvin for loaning this travel guide to me! This LV guide is so gorgeous and beautifully written. Its content is complete with a great selection of attractions, cultural sites, cafés, restaurants to visit! Love it!

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3月のソウルを訪問に興奮!私は2週間の仁川になります。私は、新しい場所を訪れる新しい人に会うと、幻想的なカフェで食事をするのは非常に興奮しています。
So excited about escaping for a good 2 weeks to Seoul! Oh well, what can I do? I’m stuck with a voracious appetite for discovering new places to go, new sights to take in, new things to do, new people to meet, new foods to eat and new cafes to check in at.

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東京旅行日記の第2部が終了!私は東京にいた他に何を調べるために読んでください。またお会いしましょう!

Honolulu Coffee
〒135-0064
東京都江東区青海1-1-10
ダイバーシティ東京プラザ2F
9am – 10pm

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

TOKYO DIARIES 東京旅日記

How to tell tourists apart from locals in Tokyo: spot the ones with ginormous bags of コンビニ (konbini – convenience store) buys!

観光客が日本で食品に多くを費やす。私が重い袋でお台場から帰って来ました。
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 今回は、多くのスナック、菓子、チョコレート、大福や化粧品を買った。私は家族が幸せに食べていることを望んで食べ物を買いました。

If ever I were to stay in Japan for a long period of time, snacks and various knick-knacks would consume me. My luggage came home filled with crackers, Starbucks matcha lattes, daifuku (大福), instant soba, salad dressings, Odaiba’s Shiroi Koibito, skincare and cosmetics. My family table is never empty – it’s always filled with foodstuff from whichever part of the world I return home from!

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このチーズのビスケットはとても美味しいです。私は一人で2つのパケットを終えた!
This Cheeza is insane, I finished two bags on my own. If you love cheese crackers, this is crackers infused with 53% thick, fresh cheese. So technically, it is more cheese than crackers #conundrum.

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バウムクーヘンとどら焼き食べるのが大好き! Baumkuchen は人気のドイツのケーキ​​であり、日本でも非常に人気。日本にどら焼きを購入する必要があります。
Baumkuchen, the round layered cake, is a German snack and also a very popular Japanese sweet pastry. And when in Japan, you have to get dorayaki.

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In Chinese, Daifuku (大福) translates to big happiness/good fortune, which is exactly how I feel when eating these gigantic mochis!

20140306-015120.jpgなぜシンガポールはスターバックスの抹茶ラテを販売していない?日本のコンビニは、スターバックスコーヒーのすべての種類を販売
In Japan, convenience stores are loaded with prepacked matcha lattes and Starbucks coffees in various assorted flavours. Would give anything for them to be imported.

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二日目、私は家族のためのより多くの食料を買いました。私はいちご大福、お台場白井恋人、せんべい、抹茶、サラダドレッシング、カフェラテとブルーベリーのお菓子を買いました。
On the second day…after we had lunch, we went wild at the mall.

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私の父は白い恋人ビスケットが大好き。
Honestly, my dad loves this biscuits more than I do!

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そしてもちろん、私は自分自身のために大福を購入しなければならなかった。
Chocolate-coated mochis with strawberries – my new love.

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私はまた、より多くのチーズビスケット、焼きチーズケーキのスライスを買った。
Day one wasn’t enough, clearly. The slice of baked cheese was sooo good!

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これらのすべての化粧品はもちろん、日本ではかなり安いです。
Stocking up because it’s way less pricey in Japan, obviously.

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私はホテルの外に出るのが面倒に感じたとき、私は旅行のためのインスタントそばを買った。ホテルのルームサービスメニューには、嫌なことができます。
TA-DA! Instant soba for days when I feel too lazy or tired to go out of the hotel, and nothing looks good from room service.

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これらは私が、ホテルからチェックアウトする前に食べたものです:カフェラテや穀物。
Before checking out: some comforting cafe latte and cereal to fill my tummy for the long night ahead.

これが私の短い東京旅行記の終わりです。次回お会いしましょう!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

oo2 ✦ Dangerous Mind ✦

Don’t you think you’ve had enough
Do their claws make sores
Take my hand and come away

“We have with us a fresh face from Seoul, where many of you were from. Make him feel welcome. Please come in, Max.”

Stoicly, Max stepped in. He scanned the classroom, his gaze never faltering when his eyes met several unwelcoming faces. There were hurried whispers amongst females of the cohort who wore admiring gazes.

Mr Joo cleared his throat to be heard. “Max is a year younger than most as he is a transfer student. But he’s deemed suitable for our level. In other words, he’s brilliant. Let’s welcome him with a round of applause shall we?”

Several girls erupted.

“Oh my god. That’s him! He’s in our class!”

“He is even more good-looking up close!”

“Sit next to me, Max!”

“No, me!” A plump arm waved excitedly.

Who the hell are these girls? He had overheard outside the gates of school and now seated right up front in the first row. A few stood up, flung their backpacks onto the floor, thus freeing the next seat.

“He can sit next to me.”

Max sighed at having to put up with more girly nonsense.

Behind this row of adoring girl, students in thick black glasses rolled their eyes, clicked their pens against note-filled binders. Class was due to start so could The Girls just shut up and sit down? Max felt more at ease looking into their indifferent faces.

Two distinct groups occupied the last rows of seats, as if a physical gulf separated them. In the left, punks in leather jackets had ditched the mandatory school blazer. A handful left bike helmets lying around while others simply had their feet on the table, or were sleeping in plain sight. Not a single book nor pen was spotted.

More tough looking guys occupied the other side of the divided classroom. Girls too, as Max observed further, though one of them had their hair cropped and shaven. Another had all her hair tucked into a cap. Amongst them, Max found familiar looking faces belonging to his roommates Sora and Thierry. Both grinned at him.

“Max, would you like to say something to everyone?” Mr. Joo asked.

Max raised his chin, hooked both thumbs into his pants, then shook his head coolly.

“Alright how about you introduce yourself to everyone?”

He shook his head again.

“Anything to say at all?”

Max turned to Mr Joo, and scowled.

“Oh alright then, welcome to 6A. I am your form teacher and you can call me Mr. Joo. We are a very … hardworking class. Now let’s get you a seat…”

Before he could even look around for empty seats, a commotion in the back caught everyone’s attention.

Suddenly, a girl stood up, her chair mercilessly scraping the floor with a sharp screech. With her left hand, she shoved someone next to her off his seat. His chair tumbled as well.

“Here, Max. Sit over here.” She gestured towards the now empty chair. A smile tugged at one corner of her mouth.

Mr Joo jumped at the sudden gesture, then patted his own chest as if in relief. Everyone glared in shock. The Ice Princess Devynn hardly ever welcomed any new students.

Wary of every breathing soul, she only trusted a handful. Something tells me he will be one of us, Devynn thought.

She treated her friends well, demonstrating her tough love at times by pushing them off their seats (she would tell Thierry that his butt will sting painfully for a couple of weeks but this only makes him stronger). Their friendships were hardened by adversities shared in junior high. Devynn was someone who never bailed on her friends.

Somehow, she just wanted to know Max.

She sat back down and looked around her friends. “Get a grip, guys. I like his face, alright?” Devynn’s gang hooted with laughter, and a couple of guys stood to arrange the fallen chair and table. Though puzzled and surprised, they trusted Devynn’s judgement enough, and were fiercely loyal.

“Well, that is very…nice of you Devynn. Thierry, get up and find another chair,” Mr. Joo patted Max’s back and nudged him towards the seat, “Go ahead. Take a seat and we’ll begin with calculus.”

There was a general groan of protest. Thierry stood up, rubbing his ass and moaned with displeasure. Sora disappeared to the next classroom and dragged a chair for Thierry.

Max hesitated, gazing at Devynn.

What a gorgeous girl, all fair white skin and black silky hair. But why, if her friends looked ready to stab a fork in my face, did she do this for me? 

Devynn kept her gaze fixed on Max.

He is hesitant.

All eyes were on Max as he walked towards his new seat. As he sat down, Devynn lifted a side of her lips, breaking her image of aloofness.

What made Devynn instantly warm up towards the younger boy?

Class went on, and halfway, Max felt a sharp glare bore into his face like a dagger. He found the source, and was instantly eye to eye with a pair of dark, piercing eyes.

They held their stares, each unwilling to look away in defeat. Max was confused by the obvious hatred in his eyes. Could it be possible that he knew that guy?

Finally, Max looked away, convinced it was impossible that they knew each other.

He felt a breath of warm air beside his ear. “That’s Justin Jung, bad boy number one in the streets. He has back up, all of them in that corner and even more out there. Don’t mess.” Devynn whispered in his ear, before she sat back to pay attention to class.

Max turned to inspect Justin, who now had a deck of playing cards in front of him. They were gambling right out in the open.

It was none of his business anyway. Max settled back down in his seat and was grateful for a few minutes of uninterrupted peace.

***

Lunchtime soon came. The class broke into their various cliques. The Girls whipped out bentos wrapped in colourful cloths and presented them to the guys and girls they admired. Many bento boxes were thrust in Devynn’s direction. She accepted them all out of courtesy. A few were given to Max.

They headed out into the courtyard to enjoy their meals. The rowdy boys pushed and shoved at one another, competing for attention from the neighbouring all-girls’ college.

Thierry jostled Max. “One day, I’m bringing you into Koizumi. It’s the college dormitory next to our campus. You’re gonna get an eye-feast.”

Sora overheard the conversation, whipped her head around and linked arms with a blonde boy with big eyes.

“Bomi gave bentos to Max today, and not me!” Sora complained.

“Figured.” The blonde, known as Sungmin, chuckled, and shrugged. They arrived at an open courtyard that Kikokushijo shared with nearby colleges, and they sat down on concrete steps leading up to the dean’s offices.

“Dig in.” Devynn said as she passed round the gifted bentos. As she picked up a set of cutlery, she removed her trucker cap, revealing a rough tumble of jet-black locks that fell in pretty waves around her shoulders. The cap had masculinized her, giving her a boyish look accentuated by an oversized school blazer and boy trousers instead of the school skirt. Her entire look softened. There was a gentler aura of femininity around her, accompanied by the scent of jasmine that caught the breeze as it weaved into her hair.

The rest of the boys ate in silence for a while, sneaking looks at the untouchable goddess. Thierry and Sora was inhaling the array of food that the girls had prepared, digging in most happily.

“I think we should all introduce ourselves to Max now that he is one of us,” one of them said. “I am Jjong. And as you already know, she is Devynn.”

Jjong had milky chocolate dark skin, as if he had spent all of his free time working up a sweat at an outdoor gym, or a pool, or basically any form of sports, for he had the built of an athlete.

Max nodded, glancing over at Devynn who was watching all of them, while eating in silence.

“I am Sora! Remember me? Your roomie! So is Thierry, whose chair you took. But he isn’t unhappy, aren’t you Thierry?”

Thierry mocked a sulk, then laughed. “Of course not. Anything for Devynn. She welcomed you and so we welcome you as well.”

One by one they introduced themselves. Devynn, Sora, Thierry, Jjong, Sungmin.

“Max. From now on we are friends alright? You can be comfortable around us and no matter what we will always stand by you. That’s what buddies are for.” The one called Jjong with the amiable smile said, clapping a hand on Max’s biceps. The latter merely smiled, nodded and ate a forkful of mooshu pork.

“Yup, come on Max! You’ve been so quiet all day since you’ve stepped into our class. We are your friends now. Tell us about yourself!” Sungmin probed.

“If you are not comfortable then it’s alright…” Jjong said.

“Of course he is comfortable, right Max? Come on tell us about yourself! Why are you here in Japan? Where are your family members? Why do you live in the hostel like Sora and Thierry?” Sungmin probed further.

Sensing Max’s discomfort, Devynn looked up at Sungmin. “Shut your trap. Why do you always have so much to say?”

“I’ll help.” Sora pushed a huge roll of sushi into Sungmin’s open mouth and laughed at his surprised expression. Half the length still dangled out from his lips. A tiny drip of sauce trickled past his chin, and Sora dabbed at it with a napkin.

The rest laughed, except for Thierry, who was a little sullen at the attention Sora was paying to Sungmin.

Max looked to Devynn with gratitude.

In that instant, she felt protective of him.

Poor kid acts so tough but he has that wall around him, even he himself can no longer get past. But this isn’t an insurmountable wall.

They resumed lunch, dwelling into light-hearted topics like class, girls, booze and after-school hangouts.

***

A bell signaled the end of the school day. Max turned down their invitation for karaoke at a nearby lounge.

“You sure you don’t want to come, Max?” Sora asked, putting a hand on Max’s arm.

“He doesn’t. Now come on Sora, catch up with the rest.” Thierry grabbed Sora’s hands and led her away. “See you later, Max! Call us if you have any problems, remember.”

“Goodbye!” Sora shouted over her shoulders as she was being led away.

Devynn glanced in his direction before she too turned to leave with the rest.

Max held up a hand to signal goodbye. He watched his new friends leave before turning to walk in the other direction. And then there he was, Justin Jung, alone and leaning against a pillar ahead. With folded arms, he was watching the younger boy. Undeterred, Max proceeded in Justin’s direction.

Before Max could past, Justin shot out an arm, blocking his path.

“You’ve got guts.”

Max was forced to stop in his tracks.

“You’ve got guts.” Justin repeated. “Do you have any idea who I am?”

Sensing trouble, several students picked up their pace as they walked past, and made no attempt to acknowledge that the pair were now standing eye to eye, fists clenched, locked in battle stances.

“Nobody warned you about me?”

“It was so insignificant a conversation, I must have forgotten.” Those were the first words Max had spoken all day.

“And I thought you were mute. Nice force, but don’t force me to take it away. Listen up, I have my eyes on you. I don’t know what you’re up to coming into this school and befriending Devynn.”

“I don’t know what you mean.”

Justin laughed. “Jeju Island in Korea is a lovely place isn’t it? Beautiful, beautiful Jeju. We both have lovely hometowns don’t we?”

Max’s eyes widened, and Justin followed with maniacal laughter.

“Just watch out, Max Shim”

With that, Justin lowered his arm and walked away. Max stood rooted to the ground, confused by Justin’s words.

There’s something I did not notice in his words, something I should have noticed but did not. What is it? What does he mean by ‘I have my eyes on you’?

It struck him then, that unless Justin had known him before, there was no way he could have known Max’s family name.

“Just watch out, Max Shim.”
***

“Devynn, what do you want to sing today?” Sungmin asked, thrusting a microphone in her direction.

“I am not in the mood.”

“Aww come on! You have the best voice!” Sungmin whined. “Of course Sora has a great voice too. But yours is that of an angel!”

“You guys go ahead, I’ll head home.” Devynn got up from her chair. Sungmin stood up, surprised, and was about to stop Devynn when Thierry pulled him back.

“Alright, take care. Call us if you need us.” Thierry said.

Devynn trudged out silently.

“What’s the matter with her today? She is especially icy.” Sungmin complained.

“She was alright when Max was around.” Thierry lifted an eyebrow conspiratorially.

“She must have her own reasons. She is entitled to privacy alright? Let’s not let that interrupt our session. Take it away, Sungmin!” The mike was given to the next singer.

Sungmin happily accepted and proceeded to choose the song he wanted to sing. Everyone cheered when the tunes of “No Pain No Gain” filled the room.
***

Devynn wanted to be alone so that she could organise her thoughts.

It was on impulse and instinct that made her want to know Max, but no doubt there was something more.

The image of Max as he first entered the room occupied her thoughts. Instinctively, Devynn identified with the kid with an exceptionally tough exterior. Devynn desired to understand all of him, under his wall of aloofness. Despite being spoken to all day, with much attention showered upon him, Max had done nothing but planted sharper spikes on his invisible armour, and withheld his speech. All Devynn wanted to do was hug and ease away the pain that was killing him inside.

Without realising so, Devynn had walked into the student hostel where Max now lived. Recalling that he was Sora and Thierry’s roommate, she swiftly climbed the stairs to their room. Seeing that their room was unlocked, she walked in.

Max was on his bed with a stack of photographs scattered before him.

“Hi.”

Startled, he slammed a pillow on his photos and hopped off the bed.

“Devynn.”

Devynn smiled. “You have a lovely voice. I’m sorry for not knocking, I didn’t know anyone would be here. When I visit Sora and Thierry, I don’t knock either. I hope you didn’t mind.”

“It’s okay.”

Devynn sat on Sora’s bed and looked across the room at Max.

“No one’s giving you trouble, I hope?”

Max looked into her eyes, and almost wanted to ask about Justin but stopped himself before he could speak.

Devynn frowned. “Is that a yes?”

Max shook his head.

“No, really, just tell me anything. I am your friend Max.”

“Were you always so nice to people?”

“Do you always reject kindness out of suspicion?”

“Why are you so good to me? You don’t know me at all yet you’re like an old friend. It’s a feeling I get though we’ve only just met. You gave me rights to a tight knit group of friends who clearly will take a longer while to warm up to me. Why?” Max asked.

Devynn was silent for a moment.

“Everyone looked at you when you walked in, and thought ‘he’s freaking sexy’. But when I looked at you, I saw despair. Deep inside you are so, so afraid and I wanted to know why. How can I help?”

Max was speechless. Someone was offering him security and friendship with no strings attached. Someone trusted him, not knowing who he was. Someone found his heart lying cold in the winter night, and draped a warm blanket over it.

He felt hot suddenly. Heat was coursing through his veins.

Perhaps for the first time, he was genuinely touched.

Max smiled, a glint of tears showed in his eyes.

Devynn felt a pang in her heart.

“Don’t cry.” She moved to gather the younger boy in her arms. Max’s hands were cold. Devynn had her arms around Max in a strong embrace, as if protecting him from all the elements of harm and danger.

***

He knew he could have made a wrong choice trusting Devynn and baring his weakness.

But it did not matter anymore.

For Devynn, he was willing.

max2

✦ Dangerous Mind ✦
The blackholes in the deep recesses of your mind, secrets you never wished to hide.
The lovers you never want to remember and the history you can never leave behind.
You can’t run further if you’ve only been escaping your own mind.

plugged into my iPod under my umbrella in the rain

Nobody knows we were meant to arrive in somebody else’s life
for reasons so obscure we speculate,
and plunge into the same mistakes,
putting a name, a cause, a title, a status allowing them to stay.
I’m listening
to your favourite overrated songs;
button sunken from the days you’d hit replay.

Plugged into my iPod under my umbrella in the rain,
I’m mistaken for a trespasser –
“ma’am I’m sorry to say
we’re closed for the day”.
Apologies to the most important people
are hardest to articulate.

We overlook –
Miscommunication, misunderstanding,
misinterpretation, mistakes
mis-en-scene
mishaps.
Drafted apologies.
I have my music,
I am okay.

Micro-managed music libraries, neatly filed, documented, genred,
starred biases;
playlists with names we (only) appreciate.

Useless music loops through my headphones,
caught in spirals
unable to escape,
muffled by the downpour
outside my

Splintered spokes of useless shelter
then carelessly discarded by the sidewalk
as I watched you
Ice-cold raindrops.
Your halo bruised from standing too long in the rain.

Can’t I simply like your smile,
the way you toss your head as you turn to walk away.

XOXO
silhouettekiss

umbrella

P.S. It is so cold in Tokyo my lips are blue
Why on earth didn’t I bring an extra coat…