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The Fuel

Blinded by Love

The Blind Dog Cafe bustled with customers on Black Friday, because Pearl Street in Boulder was a scene for the holidays each year. The cafe was just a block away from the main strip, as it drew customers from the local neighborhoods. John and Edith* were no stranger to the cafe with this being their tenth year as a blind couple, living in a small apartment on Spruce Street. They walked to the cafe this cold crisp Black Friday evening, holding hands with their white canes in opposite hands.


"Do you remember when we first met?" asked Edith, searching with her cane for a safe passage.


"Of course I remembered, your voice was tender and I couldn't stop the tingles on my spines," said John.


"You sounded like Morgan Freeman. Then you told me your last name was Hesselbeck, so I had to talk to you some more," said Edith. "It was a voice of experience and comfort. It soothed me."


"A woman's voice carries her heart, and I can hear a bitch from a mile away," said John, his white cane bumped onto a tree on planted Earth.


"Bitches be bitchin. They're in a sound proof room in heaven, that's the truth, so Jesus won't have to put up with them**," said Edith. "If I wasn't blind I would still marry you."


"That's the sweetest thing you said today, Edith," said John. "You'd rather marry me than that Beast of a Prince in Beauty and the Beast? The man looked good in Braille."


"Of course, honey. He's fantasy, and you know he'd leave me if there was a Belle in the horizon," said Edith. "The fact is, I'm blind, and we are both soulmates."


"I wondered why we're the handicapped, when a lot of people are born without a heart. They're missing the most common gene in the world. Kindness," said John.


They approached the street light, and Edith's cane hit the light pole. She pressed the button and heard the beeps as John held her free hand tight as they were about to cross the street.


"You know how people helped us when we were little?" asked Edith. "I bet they never stopped helping."


"I think you're right," said John. "I think the more kindness there are inside a human being, the more love lives inside this world."


The crossing signal beeped as John and Edith walked together towards The Blind Dog. There was a barista at the counter as expected, and as usual, John and Edith ordered their favorite cups of treats.


"Ron, is that you?" asked John. Ron was always there on Friday nights, and The Blind Dog was his usual gig.


"Yes, sir," said Ron. "Edith, you want your tumeric ginger latte?"


"Now that's the sound of a man who paid attention," said Edith. "Yes, Ron, let me have a cup, please."


"John, what are you having?" asked Ron, punching the item on his cash register.


"Half calf Americano, please," said John. "Can you pour a two percent at three inches from the top?"


"Will do, sir," said Ron.


"Let's go to France tonight," said John.


"By the Eiffel Tower, and you proposed to me?" asked Edith.


"Then we hold hands in the corner and eat something sugary," said John, in a bit of a giggle.


"Peppermint, plenty of them. I can smell it. Christmas is a few weeks away," said Edith.


"We can cuddle and pretend no one is watching," said John.


"We won't care because we're blind," giggled Edith.


"We can sip on our treats and think of London," said John. "And talk about that time when the Braille nubs misspelled port into portly."


Edith laughed, and said, "I can pretend I'm a blonde. With blue eyes."


John laughed, and replied, "Then we can dress up. Me, in a chaplin hat, and you in a red chiffon dress."


"Our lives are more glamourous blind than with our eyes," said Edith.


"I think that's the miracle of being us," said John. "There is no handicap with imagination."


Edith took his hand and kissed it, as they waited in line for their treats at the cafe. Christmas was just a few weeks away, but John and Edith lived in a world where Christmas as well as romance was an everyday tradition. They lived in reality with the light of their hearts and minds, and through them they were never in the dark. 


Just write.


* - J.R.R. Tolkien and Edith Tolkien

** - Derived from God Help the Child by Toni Morrison.

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Christmas promise

It was a time of youth that I claimed love for literature in all of its forms, to hold true my heart of its ode to time and languages. I shall never discriminate any form of writings from all spaces and out of all mediums in this planet to educate myself of the true love of literature. 


All genres and all styles I shall forever learn, because I was already in love since I was young. And this Christmas, I won't neglect the classics.


I knew I was in love and this Christmas, I made a vow to own it to seep all of my juice from literature forever. I covered myself in stories and books since I was a child, and I won't be able to stop. It will forever be my creative habit. As I enjoyed the Christmas season with its lights and sweet flavors, I will return to my one true love, books and words. It might be lonely at first, but the payoff was always more rewarding than heartbreaks. I desired true love in human form, that I won't argue with, but since I found myself without a soulmate, I will keep loving, but in a literary form. 


For one thing, I won't have the funds to do otherwise, and with the Christmas season coming, utility bills will be my priority. However, my primary affection will remain literature and the art of it. Creative writings and what I blog will center my soul with grounding efforts to become more than I ever imagined, a good writer.


Not just for Christmas, but this true love was always inside me. Believe in me or not, I won't count on others to affirm. 


I shall do so myself, and I already started.


Just write.


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A short folktale - The Prince of Tears

As beautiful as a pair of doves, were two lovebirds in the woods, near the Kingdom of Locksford. The young maiden's wavy hair was as dark as onyx with eyes as green as leaves and her skin was as tawny as the Earth. The Prince's shoulder length hair was brown as oak with large eyes as dark as coals and his skin as beautiful as ivory. They kissed and sang the most of beautiful love songs professing their love for each other. She lived not far yonder inside a commoner's cottage, but he was the Prince of Locksford and the king and queen awaited him home inside their castle.


"What must we do, my love?" she asked him. "I am just a poor villager."


"Not to worry. I will travel home and you shall fetch me in a fortnight to the gates of my castle. I will meet you there, and we will tell my parents about our plans. Then we will be joined in marriage by our priest, thereafter," he said. "No one will harm us, because I am the Prince and I can plead to my parents for their blessings."


"I shall meet you at the gates, my love," she said. "I will follow you shortly after you leave."


"Keep this handkerchief and this heirloom coin. For both will be your ticket into our city gates to meet me," he said. He bid her farewell only for short while, or so he thought, as he rode off on his black stallion to ask for his parent's permission and prepare for the imminent matrimony.


The young maiden walked to her cottage and took what was left of her belonging from her humble home, to prepare for travels to meet her prince charming. She slept the night away in dreams of love and a happily ever after.


The next day, on her journey to the city gates, a pack of wolves brutally attacked her. Her body was bloody and wounded and her belongings were destroyed. She had nothing but her tattered clothes and the two tokens of love from her prince.


Two sisters were walking in the woods and saw the remnants of the beautiful maiden on the ground.


"Is she dead?" Nahla, the older sister asked.

"She is but a carcass of dog meat. Let us leave her," said Mahla, the younger sister.


"I am alive, please help me," pleaded the wounded maiden.


Nahla and Mahla took the maiden and carried her back to their cottage by her arms and legs.  The maiden was heaving and the two sisters realized that the young maiden was near her last breath.


"I am to meet my love, the Prince of Locksford," said the maiden, as blood spurted out of her gut. "Can you help me?"


"The Prince of Locksford?" said Nahla, aghast, as her eyes became fierce with fires. Mahla was suddenly filled with jealousies and asked, "I deserve to meet the Prince of Locksford. How about did you meet such a man of prominence? You are nothing but dog meat!" said Mahla.


"But, I must tell him what happened. I have his handkerchief. Could you give this to him? And tell him I was savaged, but I will always love him?" said the maiden, heaving in tears of sorrow and suffering.


"I will do it, and I will see if the Prince will take me as his friend," said Nahla. Nahla smirked, because she was in joy for the beautiful maiden was dying in pain.


Nahla left her home and left Mahla with the maiden, and as the maiden cried in grief, Mahla asked her, "How would you know if he received the message if Nahla will not return? If I was in her shoes, I would take the Prince and tell him you were no longer his bride. Then perhaps, he would take me instead."


"Oh dear sister, please help me. It is my last wish, to tell him that I am forever in love with him," said the dying maiden.


Mahla asked her, "Then you will die alone?"


"Please take this coin for assurance that he will receive my message.  Please tell him, I am forever his, and his love is etched inside my soul, forever," said the maiden, with her last breath.


Mahla, still in disbelief of the maiden's death, took a knife and stabbed her through her heart to guarantee her death. She took the coin the maiden gave her and left to Locksford, to meet the Prince.


When the two sisters arrived at the gates, they were both angry at each other; because there were two tokens, not one, that might confuse the Prince of Locksford from choosing a replacement.


"What brings you here?" asked the Prince, in his full regalia, awaiting his bride.


"We are here to tell you, that your love had changed her mind," said Nahla.


"I was given this coin to tell you that I am to replace her," said Mahla.


"That is not true, my Prince. I was given this handkerchief. I am to replace her," said Nahla.


The Prince was devastated and his sadness overwhelmed him, as he dropped to his knees and wept that all of the angels in heaven felt his grief.


In heaven, the Lord of Lords saw the misfortune of the young maiden, whose spirit entered the pearly gates. He summoned his angels to bring the maiden's spirit into his court.


"Bring me the young woman. I have a plan for her. A plan to prosper her, not to harm her. A plan for a future and a hope. A plan for love," the Lord said.


The angels took the maiden's spirit and her soul was brought in judgment by the Lord's court.


"You were beaten and savaged. Was this true?" the Lord said.


"Yes, my Lord," said the young maiden, who faced death before her time.


"He loves you, The Prince of Locksford. You were meant to be together," said the Lord.


In the Kingdom of Locksford, the Prince spent all of his days and nights in his regalia on the seat of his throne, awaiting in tears for his beautiful bride. Each tear drop he cried became a million more and as he wept, the tears became gushing water that swept the villages and forests, as his castle flooded with tears. If his tears were made of gold, the Kingdom of Locksford would drown in treasures everlasting.


Nahla and Mahla were upset that they had to scale the castle walls and ceilings to find the highest points over ground to escape the waters.


"He loved her! What a weak soul he has," said Mahla.


"Only a fool would cry over lost love," said Nahla. "His bride will never come back to him. She was dog meat!"


Their lips spoke of the rotting hearts inside their souls, but the Prince cared not of their commentaries nor their beauty. They felt wrong, and he wept away, as he tried to heal through unleashing his emotion in prayers.


Each tear drop the Prince wept were collected in large glass jars by the angels and as millions of jars filled the heavenly sanctuaries, the Lord of all Lords sighed in affirmation to return true love to the Prince.


The Lord of Lords kissed the cheek of the young maiden, and instantly, she was brought to her prince. At that moment, her soul was given a second chance in true love. She was dressed in an iridescent gown, made of silk and diamonds, with a crown made of gold and rubies.


He saw her in front of his eyes as he fell to his knees out of sheer surprise and joy. The waters from his tears immersed into the ground and became the nutrients for the village and the forests. The trees and flowers around the castle bloomed and decorated the once flooded surrounding into blossoming springtime.


The Prince and the young maiden ran into each other's arms, and he asked her, "Did you send the two sisters to replace our love?"


"No, my love. It was my last dying wish to send them with a message that I loved you, till my dying days," said the maiden. "I was attacked by wolves in the midst of my travel."


"Who were the two sisters to you?" asked the Prince.


"I thought they would help me, so I gave them your tokens for me to send it to you. for our wedding day. But, they murdered me, instead," said the maiden.


The Prince of Locksford was angry and drew his sword out of its sheath and called his guards.


"Find me the two sisters with my handkerchief and coin. Bring them to me at once!" said the Prince.


The guards took the two sisters, and told them that the Prince had asked for their presence in the court.


"Is this the time of our marriage, sister?" said Nahla.


"I hope he will only take me, as his bride, and leave you inside your home, forever," said Mahla.


Nahla and Mahla fought and ripped each other's clothes, but the guards separated them and brought them to the Prince at once.


"Off with their heads. They have committed a grave crime. Fraud and blackmail! A crime amongst our people and an insult to the church!" commanded the Prince to the guards.  


And the two sisters were beheaded.


In heaven, the Lord saw the souls of the two sisters and told them.


"It is with great joy, that you both shall serve the worlds' worst criminals by cleaning their wastes inside their dungeons. For all eternity," said the Lord.


In the Kingdom of Locksford, the Prince realized his maiden was unprotected and was left in the forest amongst wolves, tigers, bears and many more carnivorous animals. He realized he should not have left love without attention or a clear pathway to love's return. He should have pleaded to the king and queen for a just approval of their love and appealed to never be harmed for their unconventional marriage.


Nahla and Mahla were random strangers whom the maiden desperately asked for help, after a tragic accident, and it was still common for the cruel world to harm the vulnerable and destroy innocent lives to claim selfish glory.


Thankfully, the Lord of Lords gave the Princess a second chance in life, and the Prince wanted to reclaim love and faithful loyalty to his maiden. After the approval of the King and Queen of the Kingdom of Locksford, they resumed their plans to wed and formed a family. The Kingdom of Locksford bloomed and their harvest multiplied as the Royal Family grew in numbers with a princess in waiting.


Unconventional marriages became a tradition for the Kingdom of Locksford, as royalties and prominent families married commoners who took their breath away, and previously married men and women were given second chances in love.


The tears of the Prince of Locksford gave so much harvest to the sunflowers in the fields as new buds grew each day. Sunflowers became the symbol of the Kingdom of Locksford, and as tradition, a prince would bring a blossom of it to his maiden for their first engagement, ever after.


Just write. The End.

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Lifting myself up

My eyes hath seen a world anomaly

Of a love well deserved living inside me

My mind must be of magical sensory

With extraordinary nerves sending miracles

To ordinary beings in words carrying spirits


My bosom wishing for a clavicle of a ballerina

But, with profound confidence in between my chest

Wisdom of a life grinded by the mortars of fate

Found in anguish, sadness, but also triumphs

How grateful it was to have lived this life


With time as my best friend I walked this journey

Unafraid, bearing steadfast hope for an upside of love

Not wishful but trusting in His plan in all of its forms

Whether with or without, I walked and prayed

Petitioning for a destiny I desire met by His plans


It was always a working progress.


Just write.



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Dreams of Middle-Earth

The rain poured over as I treaded on mud with Treebeard beside me holding his branches protecting me from the rain. The silence of the morning with his breath atop my head gave me a shiver to my bones.


"He will come, sit down and pray," Treebeard uttered as his eyes squinted for a view down yonder.


"Dreams took me here and I feel lost, yearning for it," I said as I looked up to him.


"Patience," said Treebeard.


A yee-haw echoed half a mile away, brisking sounds of Tom Bombadil running on my path to journey as he chances. 


"Hah! Morning dew is a merry drink for an ill soul, what creature are ye?" He yelled with his eyes merry and his bright blue jacket as the sky.


"Tom Bombadil, be my friend, and teach me thy steadfast ways to withstand the pull of the ring," I said to him, shivering in the rain.


Over Tom Bombadil was a perpetual sunshine with a small cloud weaving in and out of vision.


"She is lesser than merry, Tom. A sole survivor with a mission to live a warrior's journey," Treebeard said. "Middle Earth is full of her sorts of beings."


"Warrior's journey? Why? Have you a sword to battle?" Tom Bombadil asked.


"No, just a pen," I placed my hand inside my jeans pocket and pulled out my blue pen.


"Looks dangerous," said Tom Bombadil. "But, write your tell-tale as your heart fancies!" Tom Bombadil jumped and merrily danced in a circle and stretched his hands towards me. "Blue!"


His big brown eyes at me and his long greying hair rumpled with a feather in his hat and bright yellow boots.


"Why haven't you been moved by the ring?" I asked. "What strength have you that I may have some in me?"


"I am simply the mightiest creature in all of Middle-Earth!" Tom Bombadil said. "Also, His love endureth, and joy reminds."


"She is a weary daugther, weak spirit, and mighty in need of comfort, Tom," said Treebeard. "She might need your hug."


"Is that so?" Tom Bombadil said. He jumped and rushed towards me, and ran into my chest as he was but as tall as my belly button. I fell and he cuddled me inside his worn robes and bright blue jacket. His tall hat fell on the mud.


"Oh, my feathers! Might suit your heart to be tickled at your nose." He took his feathers and whisped the yellow feather on my nose and face.


"Too much," I said, my sounds muffled inside his arm pits. A red robin perched on Treebeard's branch and sang a melodious song for us. I listened and closed my eyes. As the song finished, Tom Bombadil kicked my shin and I fell on the ground once more. 


"What? Why?!" I said, a bit angry.


"Stop moseying around Middle-Earth as if it was a deathly journey. Join the pilgrimage of the Elves, Hobbitons,  and fight the Orcs! Be attuned to your calling! Stop this!" Tom Bombadil yelled at me. "And might I say, merriest is she who awakens with a purposeful spirit."


Tom Bombadil was never moved by the pull of "The Ring," a symbol in my mind of a divine relationship of man, woman, and God. 


"Otherwise, it will lead to Necromancy!" said Tom Bombadil, snickering his nose, this time with his fingers, as he shook his bum from side to side. 


"I promise myself never to lead down that path, Uncle Tom," I said. I promised the Lord of the Rings, to stand with the divine and to retain control of my subconscious and surrender to the Almighty to not fret about the journey. It was to my benefit to still be kept on guard to work my destiny and place my effort to please Him, than to follow the path of sorrow inside Middle-Earth.


"Then, wake up, wake up, O daugther, and solemn no more! Sing into the daylight and nay to tears of worry!" said Tom Bombadil. "And help those who are in need."


"My, Uncle Tom, I have a lot to work on," I said, as the crevices of my eyes opened and my alarm beeped.


"Until tomorrow, O Daughter! Derry-dol, merry-dol, my darling and welcome the sunny weather and glittering snows!" sang Tom Bombadil.


Treebeard and Tom Bombadil disappeared into my dreams and I knew I would dream another dream of a story longing to be told from my journey not long ago.


Just write.


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Daily Missions

Accounting could be so cruel some days, with extracts of numbers on the Excel spreadsheets and Sharepoint glitches nauseating his brain. Garrett took one last breath before he closed his briefcase, breathed in and out, and closed his eyes. He took the last scraps of paper from today's balancing budget and tossed them into the recycling bin under his desk.


He closed the door to his small accounting firm that he kept up after 20 years. With some clients he made a stabile relationship with, to pay off his rent for the office every month on time. This firm was his bread and butter since he married Cindy in 1992, with just a small business loan they signed up together. He was the boss, the accountant, the clerk and janitor for New Horizons, LLC. Who needed anyone else, when you've got two arms and two legs to do everything yourself? Cindy never understood why he was never home, so she left in 2000, because Jenna, their daughter, wasn't there anymore either. Long story.


He got out of the building five minutes since he turned off the computer. He held his briefcase under his armpits and his lunch bag in his right hand. He searched his pants pocket for his keys with his left, opened the car door, tossed his lunch bag and briefcase to the passenger seat, and started the car. His stomach fit snug underneath the driver's wheel and his weight sunk the car an inch down to the Earth.


Forty-five wasn't bad, he thought. I looked 60 but younger in reality.


With greying hair, Garrett's older features gave respect out on the streets, because since he last saw Jenna, he has been searching for her all around the streets in Los Angeles, daily, sometimes taking trips on weekends to find her at the outskirts towards Las Vegas.


I gotta be there by six, or there will be no parking anywhere, his mind kept working.


Monterey Park was close to Los Angeles that he took the side streets on Valley Boulevard and hopped on the 10 West Freeway to get to 101 North towards Cahuenga Boulevard and got off Hollywood. The trip took the usual hour and some twenty minutes, but there was no heavy bumper to bumper, just the overflow and hold ups at the lights. The sky was lavender with pink rays on sunset, but the smog stunk on the street level.


Garrett turned left on Hollywood Blvd and drove into a semi-residential street, just before Sunset. He parked a block away from the strip and took out his handicap sticker and his usual note that said, "Out of gas, please don't tow. BRB in 30 minutes." Garrett's thrifty, not stupid. Parking was costly and he'd never stay more than 30 minutes per day. Besides, this area was on the way home to the Valley, so this daily mission was not allowed to cost him more than the pamphlets he was about to give out.


Women of the night, was Garrett's main mission since Jenna left home. To look for her and to give out as much pamphlet about the Restitution Program nearby his work in Monterey Park. The program transformed women who went through sex trafficking or prostitution, to change their behavior, lifestyle and perhaps, instilled education for the long run.


Word had it, there were more women in the congregation who enrolled in the program last year than ever before, at 25 women. This was his third year doing these daily missions and his 10th year anniversary working for them as their main accountant. Salvation was of the Lord's, or as Garrett liked to say, "Payback."


He walked to the strip with his messy hair from sweat and heat. It was 90 degrees again in November, but who's complaining. He had about 10 pamphlets, just in case it was a good night. There were some girls in front of him, standing in their heels and tight leather pants. One woman had long finger nails, holding a cigarette, with silky black hair to her butt and wearing an ankle bracelet. Her ankle bracelet made twinkling sounds like a row of charm bells.


"You handsome man. What's your name, mister?" she said. There was a younger girl beside her.


"Garrett, and yours?"  He smiled and ready to pass out the goods. He turned the pamphlets over and she noticed.


"Ah, man! You a priest or somethin'?" she said as she rolled her eyes.


"Do I have a robe on?" Garrett said.


"Oh, so you a customer then? Let's go then. What you want, mister?" said the woman, smiling with one leg in front of the other, posing with her hand on her waist. "I'm cuter. She's younger. You pick." The younger girl snatched her cigarette and walked off as Garrett hurried after her.


"No, No, don't leave. I want you, too," said Garrett. "You're both gorgeous girls. I'm sorry. I'm not a customer. I just want to talk for a minute."


"You are a priest. Damn!" said the girl with silky hair. "I thought I was gonna get lucky."


"You need help or something, mister?" asked the younger girl.


"Yes, but not what you think. Here, I want to give you both this. I'm helping young women like you," said Garrett. "Take one, just read it, please. You can read, right?"


"Yeah! What you think? We dumb?" said the younger girl. "I finished high school. GED, but still finished. Stupid, pamphlet. What is this?"


"It's not stupid. Read it. Please," said Garrett, with his eyes pleading.


"Magdalena Res-prostution Program," said the woman with long silky hair.


"It's restitution. It's a program for young girls and adults. To get off the street," said Garrett. His eyes widened. "They take care of you there, and you can stop working on the street, and get a good job in the future."


"Yeah? Then get married, with someone handsome like you?" said the woman with long silky black hair. "You single or married, or in an open relationship, or what?"


"Divorced, but I'm in love with someone," said Garrett.


"Who she?" said the younger girl, "She cuter than my girl here?"


"No, not cuter, but sweeter. Very sweet. She is the one who turned me around," said Garrett. He laughed and felt like Harrison Ford for a second, because two beautiful girls just took an interest, even if it was just in a simple hook-up sort of way.


"So you work with her? She work with you?" said the girl with the ankle bracelet.


"I work for her. Yes. Come to the program. Can you get there, to this address?" Garrett asked eagerly, pointing to the address on the pamphlet.


"Yeah, I know where it's at. I got a iPhone," said the younger girl with the cigarette in her mouth, lighting it, smoking it, and puffing it.


"Come there, and you can get better. So you won't have to turn tricks anymore," Garrett said.


"You got a girl? A daughter? Because you sound like a father," said the girl with the cigarette.


"Jenna, that's who I'm in love with," said Garrett. "We haven't found her since she was fifteen. She was mad at me because my wife and I divorced. So, she never came home from school."


"What happened?" the girl with the long black hair asked. Her eyes grew concerned with her hands on her hips, with angry eyes at Garrett.


"I don't know," said Garrett. "I hope I'll see her again one day."


"You do this to find her probably, huh?" asked the younger girl.


"How old are you?" asked Garrett. "She might be your age." He took out his wallet and slides out a small photograph of Jenna, when she was in high school.


"Wow, she's a brunette," said the woman with the ankle bracelet. "She's my age, probably. How long has it been?"


"Since 2000," said Garrett. "She'd be in her thirties by now."


"Nope, don't know anyone like her that age. We don't talk to no one out of this strip. Territory business. Our man won't let us do that," said the woman with the ankle bracelet.


"What's your name?" asked Garrett.


"Yuki," she said. "She's Misha. We pretty, huh?"


"Yes, very pretty," said Garrett. "We have girls all ages, please come."


"Why you so nice?" asked Misha, the younger girl.


"I don't know. I guess a part of me wants to see if I'd find Jenna one day or if I can help someone at the same time," said Garrett.


"So, you come here all the time? Why not Las Vegas? Plenty there," said Yuki.


"Closer to home, and I can do it more often," said Garrett. "Please come, please. They can help you there. Promise. Leave your man. Just bolt."


"Misha and I can go this weekend. We have clients waiting, but we can go in the morning. I can go in the morning?" said Yuki to Misha.


"Please come anytime. The office is open from 8 to 6, everyday and on weekends too. There are free foods and gift certificates to Starbucks," said Garrett.


"Hell yeah! I can go for the Starbucks," said Misha, dropping the burnt cigarette on the sidewalk, twisting her left foot on the bud.


"We go, we like you," said Yuki, giggling.


Garrett smiled with teary eyes, immediately hugging Yuki as his pamphlets slipped out of his hands and fell on the sidewalk.


"Careful! Careful, old man. Gosh, it's just a date," said Misha. Yuki giggled.


Garrett stooped down to the ground and picked up his pamphlets, taking each one in a hurry. "I gotta go back to the car," he said. 


One more soul at least, with a hope for two at the same time, he thought. Yuki and Misha, those names were memorized in his mind.


"Okay, we promise to go. You better show up," said Yuki, poking Garrett on his stomach. He giggled and straightened out his hair. He felt his heart jumped for a minute.


"Okay. We'll talk about Maria Magdalena, my girlfriend," said Garrett. Handing another pamphlet to Yuki.


"I guess, mister," said Yuki, bitterly taking the pamphlet.


"Thank you," said Garrett. "You'll love her." He gave Misha a hug and walked back to the car. He turned around to give them a wave goodbye and saw the girls reading the pamphlet together.  He overheard Misha said, "Free Starbucks."


Garrett cried silently, because another day he didn't find Jenna, might meant she was alive somewhere. He found his car in one piece with the note still on it and not a parking ticket in sight. "Phew, risky business," he said.


Just write.

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Halfie Americano

Definitely wasn't the same as my love for sticky rice. The sweet glutinous rice with sprinkles of sugar and salted peanuts was something of a special occasions when my Mom and I would go to Denver's Little Vietnam. No. This wasn't the same as that. It started with a rush for a whole day at work, and as I got home, I collapsed on the sofa and wanted lunch. Truthfully, I gravitate towards savory, but the whole morning and even in the afternoon, I craved its bitter and cream, because it drove me to the computer to type out my blog and made me want to write for the rest of the evening. 


I would drive for it, search for it, Google Mapped it and each time I was overwhelmed, I craved it; and it drove me to write. At first I wasn't sure if it was the drink or my writing, but it was Starbuck's Half-calf Americano. But, it wasn't just the drink, it was the conversation. Yeah, I know...what a loser, but being honest, it was my mind's medicine. I stuck to the legal stuff, and aside from my own doses of mental health vitamins, I self-prescribed myself Starbucks, as necessary. 


The self-gratification gave me the energy, and the baristas were my bartender with greetings, daily conversations on virtually any subject we randomly thought of, and at times, healing wisdom. As my babies at a current particular Starbucks, India and Brandon, often did for me, their conversations were gestures of kindness. I have no idea how many times I divulged too much, but it was often at Starbucks. I drove to it, after a hard day at work or just to get away for a moment, and talked for a minute and ordered my halfie Americano. I came out with a sense of gratitude, beyond my own expectations. Joy, friendships, a crush or two, and a healthier mindset. 


I was never sure if this was true love, but every Christmas I prayed for each experience at my local Starbucks to be a joyful one. I believe this was true love as I could have it now, because it beats being alone. It will always be unconditional, and I will always treat Starbucks with deep love. This Christmas, even alone, I will still be in love, just not with a significant other, but with a franchise and all of its peoples. Why not?


Just write. 

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Born of grace

All of my life, I saw the devil's hands of injustice played upon the fragile lives of the poor and also in the lives of my family. Everyone thought I was born into privilege by the color of my skin and from the historical lineage of my ancestors, but not a lot of people knew how hard we worked. 


At face value, others saw my face and defined me by the generalization of my features. The serious oval, boring black hair, indifferent eye brows, and round nose of a glutton. There was so much criticism of me, that prejudice was ingrained inside my life. I was seldom told I was beautiful or loving, so growing up, I tried to become something I desired, a woman with a gorgeous face and heart. Some days, I felt I failed, and thought I haven't done enough.


Grace never told me that I deserved to work for beauty or kindness. It told me that I was as I am, of grace and beauty. This gave me profound comfort and healing. Knowing I was loved and accepted, although the world said I was nothing special. Grace sought me during my ugly crying and lifted me as if I was a pure dove, letting me fly to perch on a rose. The thoughts of the injustices, unfairness in life, flaws of my self-criticisms, and just being plainly harsh on myself felt so yesterday. It wasn't something I wanted to keep. Grace threw it away, into the netherworld where those things belonged.


Some days I found it hard to think upon grace and not upon judgements. Some days, I fell into the well of self-pity, but there I found the grace I needed, unexpectedly and let it comforted me. Letting grace entered my soul was so right that all the wrongs disappeared, even when I was alone. I felt beautiful inside the arms of grace.


Grace was so beautiful, and I was born out of it.


Just write.

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Strange beginnings

There was a vision of me holding on to a teddy bear so closely, gripping it to my heart, but a forceful wind took it away as it flew over a cliff. I felt lost without it and held on to it as if dear life. To witness a woman in her forties lost her bear felt odd, yet I kept clenching to the desire to find it again, pursuing it as if it was a goal in life. It felt the same with writing. I lost the chance to pursue creative writing, and now I clenched on the future to find it again. It felt as if I was in crisis, as the world told me so.


The truth was, I won't know until I did so. It was a dream and I was allowed, forever. It felt as if it was in crisis because I overcame violence, although it moved towards healing. I learned to surrender because I knew God needed His own working space and that was the only way miracles could come. The miracles of learning to write again. The time it took was still going on and I learned new ways each day. It was the most difficult but rewarding experience so far, aside from overcoming. 


I held on so tight to the bear that it flew out of my own hands, and it wasn't my intention. Sometimes moments of love and fulfillment came to me even without the bear, but I needed to let go. It was difficult to say, even as I typed these words onto my blogging space. It felt gray and formless, but I was molding into something new.


Just write.

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I won’t stop

Supposedly, our natural mindset leaned to the negative, but for a while it set off on fire overdrive going uphill. It was my life and I deserved to care and devote my utmost for its highest potential. This drive was for myself and my fullfilling prophecy of faith in times of CoVid19.


I pushed forward, one step in front of the other, ignoring the cycles of doubts. The thoughts became ignorable as I glossed over them and they were nothing at all. 


Nothing could stop me, even the rude blames of indecent women or men shifting their hatred towards me. Nothing. I was destined for greatness, given from God and professed by me under heaven. I was the strong tower and won't ever be shot down. 

My will was always designed with an unbeatable compassion and hope unfailing,even in the darkest of times while under pressure. I was the diamond, beautified by trauma and a well-oiled machine, Dei Gratia. I was never meant to fail and even when my hair grew long beneath my back and buttocks, it will flow with grace and passion. 

I persevered, and I won't stop!


Just write.

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