Starbucks Stories: The Smell of Nicotine


14 November 2016

The last occupants of this table have left a stub of cigarette on an ash tray, along with two empty cups of iced coffee and a paper bag with a half-eaten donut inside (Yes, I’m such a snoop I actually opened the paper bag to look). Normally, cigarette smoke gets me all weird and maarte, covering my nose as if I am some very important person too sensitive to smoke. But this time, I take it all in, remembering the lingering smell of nicotine in my father’s clothes. For a moment I wanted to try it to understand my father who has long passed on, taking the smell of nicotine with him. It has been four years since I last lived with that smell. I still miss it.

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A perfect pair of jeans


Not pretty enough, I told myself as I put back a perfect pair of jeans. Seconds later, someone picked it up.

As the lady walked out of the store, I eyed her paper bag with much longing. Indeed, we don’t realize how much something is worth until we lose it.

Being wise and brave and right


I have loved him but I am no longer the love-drunk teenager he knew while five years has done nothing to him. I just knew — it’s time to go.

They applauded. They said I am wise and brave and right.

I didn’t know being wise and brave and right hurts.

Choosing curves


He gave me a one-arm hug and whispered, “Dear, you gained some weight.”

“Really? Thanks!” Finally, I’m finally getting back the curves I lost.

“Uh, honey, I don’t mean it in that way…”

I looked into him and realized he’s not kidding. It’s really probably time to let him go.

Sleep is for the strong!


A stack of books, several piles of newly printed reviewers, an unsorted pile of returned exams, and multi-colored highlighters cover the table. Mid-sentence through the second paragraph of the ten-page essay due tomorrow, she stops typing and goes to bed.

She tucks herself in, chuckling, “Sleep is for the strong!”

Evil Mirrors


“Ma’am, we’ll let your hair soak in the treatment. I’ll be back in an hour and a half.” Then off the stylist went, leaving me dangerously alone in front of this huge vanity mirror, forced to observe all my imperfections that she will need to fix.

Vanity mirrors are evil.

One Last Dance


Waltzing, he sweeps her across the ballroom as I watch in envy. She is perfect.

It is probably rude to ask a girl to dance on her wedding day but I will do so anyway. After all, he has a lifetime to dance with her. This is my last chance.

Coffee is the best company


Trying to be a grown-up is surely tough. There is a load of paperwork due soon and holiday party invites — deadlines versus temptations. I want to choose temptations.

The only consolation is, grown-ups drink coffee. I am going to get one myself right now.

Coffee warms. Coffee listens. Coffee understands.

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It’s December the 1st!


It’s December the 1st and I can’t believe how time can fly so fast! It seems like it was just yesterday that I was just moping, trying to figure out how I was going to graduate on time and now, I am doing the very thing that I had only wished for in the past. Still, there are quite a lot of 2016 goals that I failed to achieve (I really suck at New Year’s resolutions). For example:

  1. Avoid processed foods and soda. (But McDo float…)
  2. Read 50 books. (Current count is 39. There is no way I can finish 11 books in a month.)
  3. Blog at least once a week. (Got to explain this in a separate blog post.)

Recently, I have read several articles about bullet journals and I am thinking of jumping on the bandwagon. Do you think it might work? Your suggestions are very much welcome. 🙂

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Things I Like (in haikus)


Usually, I decide not to participate in Discover challenges because:

  1. I don’t think I am good enough to come up with a piece worthy of reading;
  2. I don’t have the luxury of time;
  3. and blogger’s block.

But this recent challenge, One, Two, Three!, mentioned one of the blogs that I absolutely love: Things We Like. In fact, I have my own list of things I like that was published more than a year ago. So in honor of this, I decided to make a series of haikus inspired by the entries in my list (which, by the way, still holds true even after more than a year has passed).

       1. The smell of rain

What is this strange scent,

Rain mingling with foliage?

Smells and feels like home.

2. Slow dances

We could have been more.

Your melody, I have loved

But you just don’t dance.

3. Having my hair combed

I nap as I feel

Mother’s fingers through my hair.

Life’s warm and lovely.

4. Handwritten letters and notes

Then, we wrote daily.

Now, we text and chat instead.

Really miss your script.

5. Books that keep me up all night

One last page became

One last chapter until it’s…

Oh, I’ve finished it.

6. Shopping in malls when it’s just a few hours from closing time

Go ahead and stand

On escalator’s left side.

No one’s seeing you.

7. Eating with bare hands

Rice is always best

With fish and Bicol express.

Now licking fingers.

8. Peanut butter cups and cupcakes

Bored but saved by some

Peanut butter fairy cakes.

Hello, calories!

9. Dresses with poofy skirts

It has been long since

I’ve been pretty and silly,

Twirling in a skirt.

10. Studying in the library when very few people are around

Empty library,

Says my short attention span,

Is heaven on earth.