Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Three steps forward, two steps back.

Author's note: Story discontinued; will try again next time for a better romantic interest for Rhiannon.

Rhiannon sighed with happiness, reliving the moment when

Rhiannon sunk her head into her knees, bitterly regretting

Devon grabbed Rhiannon's hand as she rose to leave the park bench they had been sitting on. Once again, he had attempted to force masked emotions out into the open, and once again, she chose to leave the scene rather than answer his burning questions. But Devon wanted answers this time, and Rhiannon could not just leave him hanging yet again.

"WHY ARE YOU SO AFRAID OF LETTING ME BE CLOSER TO YOU?", Devon angrily blurted, unaware that his grip had painfully tightened on Rhiannon's wrist in his rage.

Rhiannon glanced back, and Devon was shocked to see the tears in her eyes. Concern for her washed over him and instantly wiped out every trace of other emotions, and he gently moved her back to sitting on the bench. He had upset her, which was not the reaction he had initially been aiming for when he asked for them to spend more time together alone.


I can't write about this shit, because I can't even finish writing before the whole landscape changes, and anything I previously wrote has no bearing on the current scene anymore. I feel like I'm in some bloody Twilight Zone (which is unrelated to any form of glittery vampires), and have no idea what is going on anymore.

One minute its a happy romantic story, the next it's sad, but now it's a warzone. We already started out treading on eggshells today, but now he's dropped another nuclear bomb which sent me scuttling to the confines of my emergency underground shelter. I don't know if I can deal with this emotional rollercoaster for much longer.

But the thing is, I'm not sure I want to walk away from him, at least not just yet.

And this makes zero sense, because he is literally the opposite of what I look for in a guy. I don't mean this in the whole "opposites attract" way in romantic comedies where Katherine Heigl falls in love with some drop dead gorgeous man (I have a huge weakness for James Marsden and Gerard Butler), after realising she's not suited for the less hot guy she'd been pining for throughout the first half of the movie.

I mean the type where we both literally have nothing in common. I'm not attracted to his looks, or conversational skills, and that's basically all I know about him thus far. I do like how I genuinely believe he cares for me in every possible way, but would that make me someone that only likes the attention he's giving?

I have a mental list of attributes I find attractive in the opposite sex, and perhaps he scores points for being focused/determined, and generally good-natured/even-tempered. However, he has dangerously douchéy tendencies that set off the warning bells in my head.

But then again, if I was only attracted to something as ancillary as his attentiveness, he wouldn't have the power to hurt me. He doesn't have the ability to break my heart yet, but as of now he is capable of causing unpleasant fractures.

Because despite myself, I know I am attracted to him. I just don't know why, because he's not tall or sexy or has good English. What I do know is that in the past few days all I've been looking forward to is the time we spend chatting. He doesn't make me giddy or giggly or any of those gawky, goofy words that start with a G, but my mood does noticeably lift whenever his incoming text lights up my phone screen.

But he wants far more than what I am willing to give, and I'm not sure I'm willing to give him anything at all just yet. After all, what more can he expect from a previously casual acquaintance he's only started being close to a few weeks ago?


Rhiannon dried her eyes and peeked sideways at Devon, who was frustratedly pinching his glabella (which means the area between your eyebrows, for any uneducated pervs out there). She had always known that she couldn't avoid answering him forever, but she knew she couldn't give him the answer he wanted to hear.

"I like you, Devon. I like talking to you, even though most of the time we misunderstand what the other is saying. I like knowing that you care about me. I like that I can be my silly self with you, and you still laugh at all my horrible jokes and compliment me afterwards. But right now, all I want for us is to get to know each other better, and to continue being great friends."

Rhiannon finally straightened and looked meekly across at Devon, wary of his reaction to her voiced decision to remain platonic. She just could not be sure if he would be calm and accepting, or if the angry monster within him would be unleashed yet again.

But even then, her fingers snaked across the short distance to Devon's hand, and intertwined with his. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

What I think about making porn.


After a whole week of having every newspaper providing extensive daily coverage on "porn stars" Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee, which never fails to infuriate me over my morning toasted oats, I've decided it's time for me to speak out.

Note: The following post is purely my own personal opinion, unless when quoting news articles as cited. 

Let me give you some background details, if you live under a rock and have not picked up a newspaper in the past 7 days. The "porn stars" are a couple that met through Facebook, and had been uploading nude pics and sex videos on Facebook itself until continuous flagging led to their content being removed. Unperturbed, they set up a blog to continue uploading their sexploits.

More background info: Alvin is a 24 year old ASEAN scholar studying in NUS, and is in his final year to complete his law degree. Vivian is 23, and recently graduated her business degree from Universiti Malaya. As far as I can tell, both are mentally sane, and are consenting adults.

These two people clearly crave attention, and would do anything to get more and more of it, with complete disregard for any morals, decency, or self-worth. They've even spoken out against their critics, telling us to back off, and claimed they were unapologetic, and would still continue uploading their pictures and videos in the future.

It truly baffles me about how short-sighted some people can be. We hear so many cases regarding angry males using an ex-girlfriend's naked photos or sex videos to threaten the poor unsuspecting girl for money or sex. The girl is always fearful for her reputation, and always regrets having taken those pictures or videos in the first place, unless of course they were taken against her will.

However, in this case, it was reportedly Vivian who initiated the risqué activities in the first place. She has no regrets in making her sex life an open book, but I say that she will come to regret her actions very soon. Sex videos may always work in the favour of our glamorous Hollywood stars, but sad to say the world regards non-starlets who attempt such feats in a much different light.

After all, she's already been given an ultimatum to either move out of the family home or marry Alvin; and since she has stated she will not marry Alvin as they are not monogamous (shall refrain from slanderous comments, but I wonder if she has other porn blogs with other boyfriends), I suppose she has decided to choose taking naked pictures over the person that gave birth to her. Although I am certain that a mother's love lasts forever, I do question the rationale behind leaving her family to move in with her six-month casual boyfriend.

And then of course, there is the sexist factor.

We've all questioned why when a guy brags about his conquests, he's hailed as a hero; but if a girl does the same, she is immediately labelled a slut. Yes, gender bias is not fair; but neither are genetic diseases or poverty, and the big unfair world will not change overnight.

As a business graduate, Vivian will face much difficulty in securing any form of permanent employment, because noone wants the "slut" to poison their company's image. I also question the ability of their relationship to endure all the negativity directed their way if they resolutely continue along this path; and if they break up, Vivian will be left both homeless and penniless. I hope that your 15 minutes of fame was worth it dearie, because they are fast running out.

While Alvin should not be spared as he also suffers from the same lack of morals as his casual girlfriend, I hate to admit that his future has not been completely tarnished. Even if he gets expelled from NUS for inappropriate conduct, he is still very bright, rich enough to support himself and Vivian, and regrettably males will not be ostracised for making their sex life public.

This couple has thrown all moral codes, family values, and the Asian conservative culture out the window, which is a steep price to pay for all the infamy they've gained. Be careful what you wish for when you claim you want "Alvin and Vivian to be a household name as an openly sexual duo".

My advice is to pull up your pants, turn off your camera; and have a serious conversation about where this road will take you in 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years. Because when the world turns its attention towards the next big scandal and you become fish and chip paper (or to be more Malaysian-appropriate, pet poop paper), and the world as you know it crumble down around your ears, you will have noone to blame but your attention-seeking selves.

The story on the couple alone would already have made every hair on my body stand on end, but there was one particular issue that the newspaper repeatedly chose to highlight which greatly annoyed me, that is the generational gap between the "parent" generation that is outraged over the whole incident, and the "pro choice" youth that are completely blasé and accepting of the couple's personal decision to run a sex blog.

I am a youth of today, and I have chosen to lambast their actions. As a Christian, I also have a personal stance against pre-marital sex, but I will not impose my personal beliefs on others; abstinence is an uphill battle in today's sex-charged world, and it is my cross that I choose to carry.

However, I (try to) keep an open mind with others who do not share my beliefs. I am accepting of others choosing to get laid. I am even accepting of those that take pornographic pictures and videos of themselves for personal titillation, even if I think they are playing with fire.

But I cannot and refuse to accept a couple that takes pornographic material and then chooses to distribute it; to intentionally invite the whole world into their bedroom, all simply in the name of fun. And if they are willingly alienating themselves from their families in pursuit of such illicit fun, it adds more to my distaste. It is not as if they are leaving abusive families, or typical old-fashioned families that who refuse to allow them to be anything but doctors, but they are crossing their frustrated parents who are obviously now doubting their capability to educate their own children.

Most of my friends also readily agree that what Alvin and Vivian did was not by any means "ok". And to be fair, this pool of friends also include those that admit to regularly watching porn. Perhaps the youth of today may be more accepting of couples being sexual, but we do draw the line at being completely open about it, be it by reason of family values, Asian roots, or good ol' common sense.

The youth of today are not stupid, you know.

Religion and morals have admittedly have taken a backseat to the "I want, I get" mentality of the fast food generation, but we are nothing if not arrogant bastards. We hold our reputation near and dear, because we know its value in a world that keeps getting smaller and smaller. Most of us will never, ever choose to smugly distribute pornographic material that feature ourselves to the world at large, because we are too smart to do so.

They are called private parts for a reason, you know. And I think this couple should start keeping their private affairs to themselves.

*breathe in, breathe out.

I apologise for being so uncharacteristically scathing. It has been awhile since something has angered me this much. But these thoughts have been zipping about in my head every single time I read about the couple in the newspaper, so I decided to have a good long rant about it.

If anything, hats off to Alvin and Vivian for never wavering in their enthusiasm for carrying out their activities in the face of harsh criticism, but only if they aren't simply too proud to face a tirade of "I told you so"s. I do hope for an eventual change of heart for them though, hopefully before any more damage is done. A public apology made within the next few days may well be their only shot at salvaging the remains of their tattered reputations.

But of course whether that happens or not, the spotlight on them is still fast fading. Good luck to you both (you'll need it), and good riddance to the unwelcome extensive coverage.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Miss Not-So-Independent

Recently, I made an appointment to remove my braces on the 23rd of November, which is slightly over a month away. I'm still a little rattled at how quickly the past one and a half year has gone by, although I can't say I'll miss having braces on.

What is bugging me the most - and this may seem incredibly shallow - is this: I have not kissed a guy since I've had my braces on. And the odds of me kissing one before I get them off are slim to none.

I remember being mortified at the prospect of having to lock lips with someone with a mouth full of metal gear. I felt self-conscious and unattractive, and honestly felt that I would be rated a lousy kisser by my next beau. Obviously, I hadn't at all foreseen that I would still be single at the end of 2012, and it seems that I needn't have worried myself at all.

I hate to admit it, but I feel lonely. And as I've written not too long ago about being happily single, this realisation was both painful and embarrassing to come to. Part of it may be having to do with my closest friends being too busy these past few weeks to hang out with me, which has led to me feeling somewhat deprived of meaningful social interaction.

But for the most part, I guess I just miss being intimate. And for all perverts out there, this to me means having a shoulder to lean on and arms to hold me, and having someone to talk to all the time and be completely comfortable with. I miss being somebody's special someone, and being showered with love and attention.

I miss the giddy sensation of being in love. Of tumbling head-over-heels, of having butterflies in my tummy, of being swept off my feet, and of being every cliche imaginable of an unsuspecting wanderer struck by Cupid's arrow.

Instead, all I've had the past one and a half years are fruitless crushes, that start out as a mad, consuming obsession and within days fizzle out to nary a spark. I haven't been writing lately, because these thoughts that have been floating around in my head clamouring to be heard, make me sound like a crazy desperate person. Which I'm not, because I still refuse to compromise my standards just because I'm feeling a tad sick of having being single for so, so long.

One of those crazy crushes over a virtual stranger actually led to me beginning to write a love story, hoping to turn it into a novel. After the crush inevitably fizzled out days later however, I found no interest in continuing this story, period.

But the draft, which has only been read by two other people, still remains with me. And despite everything, I am still very proud of my rashly written, poorly planned first attempt at becoming a novelist.

The reason I haven't published this earlier is because the story is embarrassingly transparent, as I was at the peak of my crush, and as such lacked the foresight to disguise more facts and make things more fictional. However, it also shows the type of relationship I'm dying to be in: love at first sight, with constant happy surprises, with someone tall, smart and sexy.

And so, without further ado because I have been rambling on so much already, I present my discontinued love story between Rhiannon and Damien.


Chapter One: Struck by Lightning

Rhiannon was dumbstruck by Damien the second she saw him. Tall, well built, and undeniably good looking, he would indeed have caught any girl's fancy. But it was something more that drew Rhiannon's attention, and that was the aura of compassion and kindness that surrounded him.

She could tell that this was not a guy who would smoke, or do drugs, or enjoy getting drunk. He would not deliberately hurt her or mess with her feelings. In short, he just seemed like a Good Guy; and lately, he was the only specimen she had seen where the Good Guy and the Good Looking Guy characteristics coincided.

She wondered if he felt something too when their eyes met for that one precious second, now forever etched in her memories. That sudden jolt of want and familiarity, coming together to make all her pheromones stand to attention and made her heartpace quicken. "Please," she silently prayed, "Please let him be straight."

Indeed, it was not the ideal situation to be distracted by an attractive member of the opposite sex. You see, Rhiannon and Damien were not two random people passing each other in a crowded street, but were both in an exam hall. She was taking her all-important finals, and he was one of the invigilators.

Although she was unprepared for her exams, Rhiannon could not take her mind off Damien, and couldn't wait for her next few papers. She spent hours imagining a world where they were together in a happy relationship, even though at this point she didn't know anything about him, not even his name. All her romantic soul could think about was The Connection that she had felt, and that was all the information she needed to know.

Perhaps she was out of her mind in actually hoping for a future with him, but what did she have to lose? She'd never been in a serious relationship, having just got out of her last toxic one over a year ago.

All she wanted was a fantasy. A fairytale; a Cinderella story if you pardon the cliche, where for once the handsome prince would fall in love with the plain peasant girl and they would ride off into the sunset in each others arms on a noble steed. Having not being attracted to anyone on campus thus far, she was genuinely surprised about the intensity of her feelings for Damien upon first sight.

Rhiannon managed to snoop around (not that it was too difficult, given the wonderful stalking tool of Facebook), and managed to find out Damien was a sophomore, one year above her, and although the limited evidence pointed to him being very much single and available, there remained one sour pickle in Rhiannon's fairytale fantasy: Damien was leaving to the UK to study within the next month.

She was distraught. Scrunching her face in frustration, she cursed her bad luck in her love life, and resolved to get over him, and focus all her energies on her ongoing exam, instead of wasting hours daydreaming and doodling Damien's name in flowery cursive writing.

Things didn't go to plan though. Rhiannon couldn't stop thinking about Damien no matter how she tried. It was as if he had burrowed into her skin the first time they locked gazes, and he had happily nestled himself right beneath her surface, so that she regularly caught herself still thinking and dreaming about being with him.

"This is ridiculous!" Rhiannon lamented in exasperation, after the wall clock chimes told her that she had spent twenty minutes fantasising about a relationship with Damien, instead of studying for her final paper in two days, which was likely the last she would ever see of him. "He's leaving in a matter of weeks Riri," she mumbled to herself, using the nickname that everyone else called her. "Get over him, and get back to work."

And get back to work she did. She still caught herself dreaming about Damien, but through the sheer force of steely will managed to push herself to finish preparations for her final paper.

In the exam hall though, she could not help but feel his presence whenever he was near her, even though she kept her head down to focus on her paper. At the end of the paper, she gathered the courage to finally stare directly at Damien; being of shy character, Rhiannon usually only ever allowed herself sideway glances of someone she fancied, too worried about any embarrassment about being caught out.

But this boy seemed special. Rhiannon couldn't believe that until this point, she still had hopes about being with him, despite knowing that he would be gone very soon.

Suddenly, as if he became aware of her stare, Damien momentarily stiffened and turned towards her. Their eyes met, and Rhiannon's heart caught in her throat. "He literally makes me lose my breath," Rhiannon realised, as she noticed that she was holding her breath in anticipation.

And then, in a surreal moment that Rhiannon thought she had dreamed, Damien smiled and winked at her, all the while holding her gaze.

She dropped her head immediately to hide her furious blushing. Alarm bells clamoured loudly in her mind and fought for attention with her wildly beating heart. "What," she thought unbelievingly, "was THAT?"

Like a flick of a light switch, suddenly Rhiannon felt ridiculous. "I can't believe I fell for yet another playboy," she angrily thought as she gritted her teeth, "He's just another heartless flirt."

Settled in her state of self-righteous, maligned annoyance, Rhiannon made her way to the exit, mentally planning to meet up with her friends Faye and Collin to tell them all about this adorable guy she met, and how looks were oh so deceiving. She was looking forward to a long happy session of catching up and shooting the breeze, having alienated herself from them in preparation for her finals, which were now over.

Not looking where she was going, Rhiannon came to a sudden instinctive stop when she realised there was someone in front of her blocking her way. Refocusing her sight, she realised she was staring at a pair of hands, holding out a slip of folded paper towards her.

Lifting her gaze, she saw Damien's shy, somewhat apologetic smile. He looked down towards the slip of paper, and moved it closer to her. In a dazed, puzzled state, Rhiannon took it and left the exam hall, as there was already a small crowd behind her eager to exit to celebrate the end of exam season.

As she turned back, Damien had already disappeared from the spot he was standing in mere seconds ago. Finally, her attention was drawn to the piece of paper. A million questions racing in her mind, she gently unfolded the slightly crumpled slip.

It was a small piece of paper hastily torn off a notepad, judging from the uneven jagged edges. But Rhiannon did not notice anything but the words written in black ink that jumped out at her the instant she stretched the piece of paper flat.

Call me maybe? ;)"

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