100,000 Paper Cranes

“Did you know about the 100,000 paper cranes?”

“What?! That’s a ridiculous number. I’ve only heard that if you make 1,000 paper cranes, it supposedly grants you a wish.”

“Yeah, but they only grant small wishes. Making 100,000 paper cranes will grant impossible wishes.. like bringing the dead to life.”

“Now, I’m sure you’re just messing with me.”

Kate chuckled and she told me to stop spreading absurd stories. She’s been my friend for as long as I can remember and she always kept me by her side despite what others thought. You see, she was always kind to me, but the people around us weren’t. People found it odd that Kate would even befriend someone like me. I was always the serious and gloomy girl, while she was always the cheerful and lively one.

Until that one fateful night.

After attending a party, she and her boyfriend got themselves drunk. Her intoxicated boyfriend insisted that he drive and she let him.

Days after, Kate cooped herself up in her room, folding paper cranes.

“Stop it, Kate. It wasn’t your fault,” I tried to console her.

“It’s my fault,” she murmured.

“No, it wasn’t. And please stop making paper cranes. I thought you didn’t believe in those things.”

“It’s my fault.”

She wouldn’t listen to me. Weeks passed and she still remained in her room, folding more and more paper cranes. I visited Kate often, always asking her to stop and just let go. She still wouldn’t listen.

Months have passed and Kate’s room has now been filled with paper cranes. While she hastily folded the last paper crane with a hopeful gaze, I was standing inside her room, full of dread.

“I can finally bring her back,” she whispered.

Perhaps the story was right after all. I watch in horror as the hundred thousand paper cranes started flying towards me.

God, I don’t want to go back. I’d rather be dead.


 

I hope you enjoyed it or at least understood the last bit. I passed this story as a contest in a subreddit called schortscarystories. I revised it according to the suggestions in the comments. If you don’t quite understand it, you can check the interpretations in the original post here.

See you next story!

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[Granted] Ch. 1: Desire takes you to your dreams

When you try to grant someone else’s wish, you slowly grant yours.

This is the first chapter of a novel I’ve been writing entitled “Granted”. The story revolves around unfulfilled dreams and regrets. I will be updating this story at least once a week. I hope you will enjoy this piece.


 

Chapter 1

Desire takes you to your dreams

 

She started to breathe again. She started to feel again.

She slowly opened her eyes.

She started to live again.

She lied on the floor, her hands placed on her chest like a princess under a spell. She was wearing a long white dress with laces on it. She tried to adjust her eyes from the light and when everything became clear, she looked to see where she was. The place was unfamiliar to her and the room looked nothing like any place she was in before. There was a balcony in front of her and a desk with a shelf at the opposite side. The shelf was full of books with various thicknesses. On the desk was a computer, its lights still blinking indicating that it was not turned off. There was a cabinet on her left. Shirts, socks and shorts scattered around it.

Where am I..?

She thought as she sat herself up and looked around her. It was then that she noticed another body lying on her right; only that he was lying on a bed. She panicked and searched for the door. It was near the shelf. She hurriedly stood up yet cautiously to not awaken her companion. She paused to look at the person on the bed. His hair was pointing to every direction. His lips, slightly open, looked soft despite its paleness. His right hand was on his belly which was slowly rising and falling as he breathed. His left hand lied near his left ear. She felt that she knew the guy. She gazed at him when her thoughts were interrupted as the guy squinted his eyes and slowly opened them. It was too late for her to hide.

“W- What?” He rubbed his eyes and stared at the girl.

“WHAT THE-?! Who are you?!”

He scrambled to his feet and stood before her. She moved back, frightened of his reaction. She touched her chest trying to catch her breath. She was having difficulty breathing. What’s happening to me, she wondered. The door opened and she vanished before his sight.

“What’s wrong Albert? Did something happen?”

He faced his mom, unsure what to say. There’s a girl in my room. No. The girl disappeared to who-knows-where already.

He shook his head and apologized to his mom for shouting. His mom sighed and told him to prepare for school. He looked at the clock; it was already 7:48. Damn. I almost forgot it’s Monday. His mom left and he was alone there to ponder. Who was that, he thought. How did she get inside? How did she vanish just like that? He scratched his head and went outside the balcony. It was September and the air felt colder already. Maybe it was just a dream. He took a deep breath and went away.

A white dress fluttered with the wind as the girl hid under the curtains.


 

Not much has happened here but I hope you’ll wait for the second chapter 🙂

Lonely is a Sad Word; I Prefer to be Alone

Loneliness.

I have felt such despair many times in my life. Most of them spent with humans.

There is something quite peculiar about loneliness. It is not so much as the state of being alone. It is rather a thought. Perhaps more of a feeling.

I am now alone in the room as I am writing this piece and yet I don’t feel lonely.

Nobody wants to be lonely. I am of no exception. However, I prefer to be alone most of the time. I try to escape the chaos of socialization and hide within the corners of my comfort zone where I simply read, write or dream.

To me, loneliness comes to visit when I am surrounded with friends whose conversations are too distant from the topics I wish to share. Oftentimes, as to not offend or worry them, I force myself to engage in their socializing. I feel deeply guilty for having to fake a smile. I enjoy the people that they are. I just can’t bring myself to enjoy the things they enjoy.

So in my room, when I recall the moments I shared with friends, I often fall in the spiral of depression. This is when I am lonely and alone at the same time. I realize that the people who I truly wish to talk with are out of reach. I cannot tell them my honest feelings because I do not want them to feel at fault. It’s my fault. Yet I hate to admit it to end my friendship with them. I do not want to end any friendship. I just.. I simply don’t know how to interact with them.

Whenever I scroll through my social media feed, I see the smiles of my friends together with companions who are much better in interacting with them. Or so I assume. There’s sadness, yet there’s relief. I am still their friend and I know they consider me still as one. When they need my help, I will do my best to be of aid.

Loneliness.

There’s the choice to welcome it as a guest to realize the importance of such relationships.

But now, she barely comes knocking because she knows that there’s joy and peace in me at the moment.. even if I’m alone in my room.

Fixing It Out

Their voices were louder this time. Both were just shouting, not even listening to each other.

“Why can’t you do it this time?! I’m sick and tired of this! We keep arguing about this and that. This can never work out. Maybe.. It’s better.. It’s better if..”
“Maybe what? Divorce? You want to get divorced?” He chuckled. “Sure! It would be my pleasure!”
“See? See?! You even say those things! You want to have a separation! You bastard! I hate you!”

They continued fighting when the husband heard something amiss.

Thud!

“What was that?” He asked, trying to locate where the sound was coming from.

Thud!

“A thief?” She shuddered. Then, she remembered her 10-year old daughter.

“Kelly? Where’s Kelly?! Oh my.. Kelly!” She ran out of their bedroom door followed by her husband.

Thud!

They searched the house, but couldn’t find their only daughter. The husband took the nearest weapon, a golf club, and tried to look for what or who was making the sound. His wife was crying helplessly.

“She must have.. she must have heard us. This is all your fault!” She glared at her husband, blaming the kid’s disappearance to him.

“Why is it my fault?!” He shouted.

“If you just fixed the roof, we wouldn’t be fighting right now! Kelly won’t be missing! Oh my goodness. She must have heard about the divorce. She must have been so upset!” the wife exclaimed.

“You brought the topic up! And I was so damn tired! You think it’s easy fixing a friggin’ roof?!” They started shouting again until they noticed that the thudding stopped.

The door opened and when they saw who was at the door, the wife ran to hug her. The husband looked at his kid. She was sweating and covered with dirt.

“Where in the world did you go?! We were so worried!” The mother exclaimed. She noticed the kid’s hands, bruised and wounded, the right hand still clutching a hammer.

The kid just smiled and said, “I fixed the roof. Now, you don’t have to fight with dad.”

The wife’s eyes welled up and they turned to look at the husband. The adults were silenced by their daughter’s action.

The golf club fell from the husband’s hand together with his tears. He went to his wife and daughter and hugged them tightly. The three of them were silently crying.

The Steps the Lord Determines Lead to Your True Desires

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
Proverbs 16:9, NLT

There are many amongst us who are obsessed with goals and dreams. We look far-out in our future and then we create a step-by-step plan, arrange a timeline with deadlines and even appoint liability partners. I’m guilty of that, and I suck at it. I already have several planners, encoded a timeline for each month then per week, and asked my best friend to check on my progress. At first, I felt immensely motivated, but it wore off after a few minor setbacks.

I realized that we can make plans in our lives and oftentimes, things don’t go well. We either decide that our plans aren’t going to work at all or we move forward despite all the difficulties. Unfortunately, many fall to the former and they start losing faith in their dreams and sadly, in themselves.

But what if we take this bible verse by heart and live it? What if we make plans and we allow God to guide us through it? It doesn’t mean there’s no need to organize anymore. Read Exodus and you’ll see that when God was planning the tabernacle, He was absolutely detailed and organized. However, God is God and He knows everything. We don’t know anything. You can make plans to be a singer without knowing that in the future, you’ll be deaf. Or you plan to serve the Lord through celibacy without knowing that in the future, you’ll fall in love.

For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) However, we don’t know exactly what this plan is. We can guess and experiment, but we will never be sure. Perhaps right now, you claim to know for sure that this is the plan God has for you in your life. Then something happens, and you start to doubt.

Goals and dreams are exciting. They give meaning to everyday life. God intends for us to dream. We put our hopes in our dreams. To dream, to plan, to have goals are good. To allow God to intervene and direct is better. When you make plans, lift them up to the Lord. When misfortune happens, ask God to help you learn from it. When you progress, celebrate with praise. When God intervenes, trust Him. Your plans might need to change but don’t be discouraged. Remember Jeremiah 29:11.

When we make plans, the future looks so bright. So bright that sometimes, we don’t see the steps we should be taking to get there. Let the Lord determine your steps.

God’s Simplest Yet Most Difficult Command: To Love

I wish to live in a world where we actually do what our God wants us to do. I firmly believe that God’s calling sounds the same as the children’s cry for help, the begging of poor people, the shout for justice and pleading for mercy. Look at all the temples we’ve built and yet, the people God created to love sleep in the streets. Look at all the food we’ve offered to the altar and yet, the stomachs of God’s beloved children are empty. Hear all the the songs we sing to worship God and yet, we never speak a word to comfort the mourning ones or to offer forgiveness to the sinners. We can pray for them in secret but we can also show them abundantly the love of God through us.

Reading through my diaries when I was in high school, I realized that I was indeed suffering from depression. The pages were filled with hateful comments about myself by me. Words were blurred by what I can only remember as tears fallen due to my anxiety. Silent requests of death and harm can be found in a journal disguised as a cute notebook. As I scanned through the pages, I recalled the struggles I fought asking God the why’s even to the point of asking God if He even exists.

I thought that I simply wrote what I felt and the only audience I had was myself. I didn’t think of it as a prayer although I addressed most of my entries to God. Yet, He heard them and responded to them through the family and friends who carried me through my sufferings and even strangers who unconsciously lifted my spirits through their heart-warming stories.

These people responded to God’s call whether it was their intention or not. They showered me love and compassion when I needed it. Now, there are people all around me who need the same love and the same compassion to get through this life.

I have nothing against religious traditions. I have nothing against different beliefs. Each of us has a unique way of loving and the same goes for our unique way of worshiping our God. What I simply ask is for us to focus on what God is really calling us to do instead of judging each other’s religious background. Instead of condemning and thinking that it’s God’s will for them to suffer, isn’t it a divine calling to simply respond with love even if they are enemies? Instead of proving that one’s religion is the true religion, wouldn’t it be better to prove a loving God in an unbelieving world? Instead of a sermon and correcting mistakes, isn’t the sight of kindness more glorifying to our God?

I do not deserve the love of a God,” I wrote in my journal, “and yet I yearn for love all my life.” I believe this is the universal truth for all mankind.

A Poet’s Sanctuary

A poet makes a meaning out of words
And words out of her meaning
Express as to inspire
Inspire as to express
Till it makes sense to someone
Till it makes sense to the rest

Read not only between the lines
Learn to read her mind
The things written to tell a story
Are feelings she chose to hide
Who else would try to know them?
Who else but those who try

Fondle with her ignorance
Unless the little things she’s known
The curious mind she has right now
In poetry are shown
In ways she understood well
But only she understood alone

If words have life to speak for itself
Poetry would be of no use
Because a sanctuary is a place amidst the known
And the known she had to refuse
Irony of hiding something
To find it in gray scale hues