Posed


Here is the proud wall of our family portraits.

As a young adult, I would often sneer at our portraits. How phony, I would murmur to myself.

A few years wiser now, I merely sigh. Finally, I have realized that these portraits truly show what our family is — uncomfortably posed.

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Hurts to Hurt


“Ma’am, tell me if it hurts.” I smirked.

She started right then, pricking and pinching my face. Instantly, I regretted my nonchalance.

“Ma’am, does it hurt?”

Eyelashes moist, I murmured, “It’s fine, go ahead.”

Are we, women, really programmed to endure unnecessary pain, in fear of being seen as weak?

A Blue Rose


All I asked was a blue rose.

That blue rose never came.

For years I watched you search far and wide for that single blue rose. It took all those before you finally realize that a blue rose is impossible.

I am sorry, my love. I am that blue rose.

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I saw you…


For a moment, I thought it’s you.

He walked just like you — hips steady but shoulders slightly swaying. He ate just like you —- cutting the meat into tiny pieces and taking time to chew each morsel.

I never realized I miss you until I can see you in random strangers.

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.