Rachel Green as an FBI Agent (Fashionable Bureau of Investigation, Probably)

“Agent Green, I don’t care if you’re scared to hold the gun. Grab it and just wait behind the pillar, now.” I commanded her and shoved the gun into her hand.

What sin had I committed in my past life to deserve being assigned with this absolute ditz?

“But Agent J, what if I shoot myself?” she cried.

“It’s on safety mode, Agent Green.”

We were in an empty parking lot, waiting for our target; Walden Emory. He has been embezzling money into a secret account for nearly three months now. But he was untraceable until recently. Our job was to finally catch this guy, arrest him and get back all the money.

She was a constant chatterbox and whiner, this Rachel Green. It’s as if she swallowed an engine that just wouldn’t die out. I tried to shut her up as much as I can, for the sake of our lives. “Agent Green, keep quiet! Otherwise you’ll give our positions away! Do you want Emory to start running again?” I asked, eyeing and hinting at her poor choice of shoes.

In a (fake) melodramatic gesture, she squealed in a whisper, “I can’t run in my new Miu Miu pumps! They’ll break in an instant. They’re not meant for running, you know!”

It was stunning that she couldn’t see the irony of it.

“Yet, you wore them. What a brilliant choice.” I said with an undertone of sarcasm. Funnily, that shut her up. But not without an ‘hmph!’ of annoyance.

“I didn’t know we would be running today.” She mumbled, and I slapped my forehead in disbelief.

Rule #1 of the FBI: 50% of our job is running.

As I refreshed her memory of this, she looked at me in shock, “I don’t remember being taught that!”

I then reminded her that they mentioned it quite a few times in the seminars. “Well,” she smiled sheepishly, “Some of us became bored, so we went to get something to eat! We were probably on a break when they spoke about it, then.”

How did Rachel Karen Green ever get accepted into the FBI? The question keeps me up day and night.

 

By then, we were already waiting for Emory for an hour. Agent Green, unsurprisingly, was falling asleep on the job. She was getting on my nerves, and I hit my gun against the pillar to wake her up. Emory was here.

“Alright, Green. Wait for my signal. We’ll follow him to the elevator and book him in there. He’ll be cornered, he won’t escape. Got it?”

She nodded, and for a split second I believed that after ‘working together’ for a few disastrous months, with all our fights and side comments, we could actually work together.

How wrong I was, when I saw her sprinting after Emory in those awful heels of hers.

“Walden Emory, stop! You’re under arrest!” she shrieked. As suspected, he put a step on it and started running for his life. I began to run for the elevator, and I ordered, “Green, go for the stairs!”

For a 50-something year old businessman, Emory sure was fast. Luckily, I was faster and caught him at the elevator. Green followed in hot pursuit, crying, “My heel broke! My heel broke!”

Dismissing her cry, I whipped out my handcuffs and restrained him. He tried to squirm his way out and repeatedly yelled out that we have no proof of what he’s done.

As if his statements roused the confidence within her, Green stepped up and looked at Emory straight into his eyes. “As a matter of fact, we do have evidence of your embedazzling money.”

“Agent Green, that’s not even a word.” I rolled my eyes.

I corrected her with a patience I didn’t know existed within me, “Walden Emory, you’re under arrest for embezzling thirty-five million worth of cash into an unknown account, for what we suspect is use in the black market.” and progressed to recite the usual Miranda rights. Mid-way, however, she interrupted me and waved her broken shoe in one hand, “You owe me a new pair of Miu Miu’s, Emory!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Daenerys Targaryen in a High School Drama

Out of all the islands, kingdoms, deserts and seas, Daenerys Targaryen (nickname: Dany) felt the most out of place in your typical high school.

We were in front of our lockers, among the hundreds of kids pushing and shoving each other.

“Again, why are you here?” I asked her.

“My adviser back home deems it fit that I get a regular education,” she replied, scrunching her nose at the word ‘regular’, “I’m a Queen! I’ve won battles! What do you all do? Rejoice when you’ve won a match of ball and foot.”

Before I could correct her, a member of our Student Council, Jerry, approached us with too much enthusiasm, waving a pamphlet in front of us. “Hi, girls! Are any of you planning to become President of the Student Council? Registrations are open and we’re always looking for fresh blood to lead us!”

Daenerys seemed to have heard only the word ‘blood’- “Another battle, excellent! I shall send for my army of the Unsullied.”

Jerry froze. I decided to interject and explained that there will be no bloodshed whatsoever, just an election.

She actually seemed sad about the circumstance, how morbid. I explained the election process, but she wasn’t interested due to the lack of… ‘bloody fighting’.

The first bell rang for class. Before parting ways with Dany, I warned her not to announce to her class that she can walk through fire and not get a single burn. It’s inhumanly possible.

“Exactly, I’m not human! My birth was the most miraculous amongst the Targaryen House I’m shielded from your mortal inabilities.” she scoffed.

“Whatever helps you sleep at night. See you at lunch!” I rolled my eyes at her strange proclamations.

 

At lunch, Dany ran into the cafeteria towards me with an unhealthy amount of excitement. “I have signed up to run for Queen of the school! It will be magnificent, we shall have a great campaign! I have already sent for my adviser and army to be shipped here as quick as they can!”

I didn’t even know where to begin. “There’s no royalty, you’ll simply be President of the Student Council. Like a representative of our school,” I explained slowly, “Please call off your army and adviser and whatnot.”

Once again, she became saddened at the reality of the situation. But then her face lit up as she asked, “Can we form allies to strengthen our chances?”

“Sure, Dany. You can ask some of the school clubs and groups to help you out.”

“Perfect! I must find the leader of the clubs whose help I seek, and we shall marry soon so that we can begin business.”

It took me a few seconds to realise that she was actually serious.  “Marry?” I asked, my panic evident in my high-pitched voice.

“Marriage is the strongest form of alliance.” She replied as-a-matter-of-factly.

“But not the only form of alliance! I seriously don’t know where you come from or your history, but here we don’t marry someone if we need their help!”

Interrupting her narrative of her history, Jerry bolted into the cafeteria and instantly grabbed everyone’s attention.

“To those who have signed up for President of the SC, please assemble to the field and give your speeches. Good luck, candidates!” And he was off like the Flash. I turned to Dany, who was grinning from ear-to-ear. She did mention once or twice (or 20 times) that she was a fascinating orator. “My words have abolished slavery in a city! Once the people hear me, they will pledge their loyalty to me, watch!”

I had a bad feeling about this.

 

A large population of the student body assembled at the field, waiting for each candidate to give their speech. Dany pushed her way to the front of the crowd and then climbed onto the makeshift stage, rudely interrupting another candidate.

“People of the high-school! My name is Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons! Pledge your loyalty to me, and bend the knee! Together, we shall take over the rest of the kingdoms and islands! We will strive for great victory!”

There was silence, which was definitely awkward. And then, an unknown voice from the back of the crowd yelled, “Who cares? Get off the stage!”

 

 

 

Danger of Some YA Books (and Their Adaptations)

A few months ago, I read a love story between two strangers. In short, a teenage boy is out in the city on his way to an important interview which apparently determines the rest of his life, sees a cute teenage (he assumes) girl, cancels all his plans and actually follows her around the city, like a stalker. Why? Because “there was just something about her that drew him in”- another way to say the overused term “love at first sight”. He could have walked up to her and said “Hey, I like you. What’s your name?” and not walk behind her for hours before something happened. What’s ironic, to me, is that this teenage girl does not call the cops on him or whip out her pepper spray can, but actually “falls for him back” because he wasn’t that bad-looking himself.

If I remember correctly, I was taught that if a stranger follows you, cute or not, you either run away from the area of danger, find safety or bring out your self-defense moves and weapons. Not agree to go to a café with them, and then make out with them in a karaoke bar five hours later (I’m not joking, this exactly happened). Point being, the moral of that story is that it’s okay to follow a stranger or to allow such stalker-like behaviour, as long as they look cute or hot or if there was that “unknowable magnetic attraction” felt.

I’ve also read two or more books of a love story among chronic illnesses, mental or medical. You’ve probably figured out at least one book which I’m referring to.

In (the movie version of) ‘TFIOS’, for a example, a traumatizing illness is romanticized, and the truth behind the agony of the last few hours of cancer and protagonist #2’s death is not mentioned, but the reaction of the family and of protagonist #1. Lauren Sczudlo from the Washington Post wrote, “Gus’s death depicted (was) with a wimpy montage focusing almost solely on Hazel’s reaction to the heart-breaking news”. 

After the popularity of the book and viral went viral, the internet was flooded with comments like “OMG I WISH I HAD CANCER AND MET A BOY WHO HAD CANCER SO THAT WE CAN FALL IN LOVE”. You don’t need to have a terminating illness to fall in love and have a significant other. Please don’t be so blatantly ignorant.

We all know the infamous ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’. Hannah Baker audio-records thirteen reasons why she killed herself, the tapes of which are found a few weeks after her death. Since its TV debut in 2017, there have been ‘inspired’ suicide cases. For instance, in June 2017, a 23 year-old man from Arequipa, Peru jumped from the window of his apartment, and had left 13 audiotapes, just like how Hannah Baker did.

This shows the influence of fiction over the public- whether young, old, male, female, popular, ostracized and so on.

In this article, I’m focusing on the Young Adult genre because its audience is more vulnerable than those of other genres. This does not mean that other genres are perfect and such. I’m just saying that YA books and shows or movies need to be more careful because its audience – majorly early teenagers – are more easily influenced and swayed than those in the 17-20 age range, with exception of course. This also does not mean that I’m 100% against these books and believe they should be burned and banned. I don’t mean anything extreme. In this case too, exceptions apply.

 

Self-portrait of an introvert

(Sometime last year, I took a standardised personality inventory, not an online test and did in fact get ‘introvert’ with a pretty high level of ‘neuroticism’. This got me thinking.)

Even if I’m with the people I love most, I can’t take than more than a few hours, I just start to feel exhausted and in need of solitude (because loneliness isn’t a nice word).

If you want to know the truth, I don’t actually get all nervous and sweaty and have my heart beating out of my ribs whenever I’m in a social event. I just get uncomfortable, either slightly or uncomfortable. It’s subjective. It’s possibly my feeling of my inability to relate. Which reminds me…

Maybe I really cannot relate. If we’re looking at the difference of emotion between my own twin and I, it’s more than just poles apart. My brain is almost hard-wired to rationality, while hers is to free expression. Meaning, I won’t shed a tear while she may cry buckets (I’m not saying it’s a bad thing). If we’re looking at Carl Jung’s theory of personality, it does make sense since the same test declared her as an extrovert.

My neuroticism levels shoot through the roof when I’m in the middle of a conversation- “Oh God, did I say something wrong?” “I bet I did because they’re looking at me awkwardly.” “Are they looking at me awkwardly or is it just me?” “It’s best if I shut up right about now”. “Now they’ll wonder why I’m suddenly silent. Or maybe they won’t notice.” and more thoughts. If you want any help visualising of my brain, think of a group of spirits whispering one sentence each repeatedly and collectively.

If I’ve ever told you why I prefer to listen than to talk, you now know why. Or maybe you did before. Whoops.

My silence is often mistaken as a sign of indifference or pride. I assure you, it’s not. Don’t even trust my resting bitch face, please!

Here’s a funny thing, I’ve been a ballet student at the very same institution for nine years, but I always get some form of anxiety when I go for class. I wish I knew why, then I’d work on it. Perhaps it’s because I know I’m not one of the best dancers there? Am I scared of my teachers? Sure, they can be a bit intimidating but I’m not afraid of them, per se.

As I’m writing this magnificently fragmented piece, I realize that I’m most at ease and at discomfort when I’m writing.

At ease because I like writing, even though I don’t do it often. I find it easier than to socialize. I actually have loads of writing ideas, but sadly I have crazy trouble executing them.

At discomfort because my skill isn’t worthy of reading. But on another note, I’m pretty grateful to those who do read it. Whether you like it or hate it, you took the time to read it, so thank you.

(Ughh, why did I turn it so sappy? My bad, hahaha.)

Let me answer a common question- “So if you’re an introvert, you hate people and talking, right?”

I wish I could give you a Yes or No. But at least when it comes to me, it’s a bit more complicated than that. As I said before, even if I absolutely adore the person I will find myself wanting to leave after some time. But during that time, I may have the best time and crack jokes and may even talk and talk and talk. It depends on my mood and the people I’m with. But then again, I may have the best time not talking and just being with them.

I only hate talking when I’m forced to. But doesn’t everyone hate doing something when they’re forced to

I absolutely do not hate people, as assumed. That would mean that I hate my family and friends, and I happen to love them, so..

I love meeting different people, even if you may not believe it. When I meet someone new, it’s almost like meeting a new perspective because no two people are the same. There’s always a difference, even if it is minute. So no, I don’t hate people.

I’m sorry if all this complexity has given you a headache. But again, thanks for reading!

~ The Grainy Loser

P.S. it’s pretty late and I’m pretty sleepy, so please don’t mind the grammatical errors. I’ll correct them soon. ♥️

Madame Maturity

If I were to imagine the embodiment of maturity, she’d be a tall, poised woman in her late 50s with white hair, wearing trousers, heels and a long overcoat.

She’d accompany you all the time and you won’t mind, really. Until you get into a situation, that is.

Let’s say you’re in a fight and you really want to punch that jerk-face in front of you and as you swing your clenched up fist high in the air and ready to bring it to their stomach, you feel her fingers gently wrapped around your arm. She’d click her tongue and say, “Are you sure you want to do that?”.

I would probably look at her, stick my tongue out and whisper, “oh, thou art a bitch”.

Her height gives her the power and so you’d listen to her. With great hesitance, but you would. Her mannerism is almost like the Meryl Streep portrayal of Miranda Priestly- she’d never have to raise her voice. She may even whisper but you would comply. In your heart of hearts, you knew her intentions were right.

Perhaps you were (or weren’t, actually) to defy her and you threw a punch or a tantrum, or you didn’t take the high road like you should have, she won’t smack you upside on the head or yell at you. She’ll instead sigh loud enough for you to hear, shake her head and say in a cringing tone of disapproval, “I thought you knew better”. It won’t really affect you until a few hours later.

You’ll never get rid of Madame Maturity though, because she’s the reason some people respect you. She’s sometimes the reason you respect yourself as well. She allows you to handle and overcome all the obstacles in life a little easier than before.

Suddenly I’m thinking of Helen Mirren. She’d the perfect resemblance.

(My god, what am I doing? I’m supposed to be studying for English 😂. Ladies and gentlemen, you now officially know the weird thoughts that run around my brain.)

I’m trying

I’m trying.

I’m trying to be happy for those around me when they talk about their love life, or when they get an extremely thoughtful anniversary gift, or when they’re taken on cute dates. Being in a relationship isn’t everything, but can you blame a teenage girl for dreaming?

I’m trying not to think about how different things could have been, or if I would have been happier or not. I will not let the past warp me into a spiral of numbness and self-pity.

I’m trying to tell myself that I’m better off than I was a month ago. I am, I know it. But there are always times of cognitive distortion.

I’m trying to read more, to broaden my horizons.  I want to begin to challenge my mind and know more than I have to.

I’m trying to be more sociable, and talk to more people. Everyone has something valuable to be learnt.

I’m trying to stay more focused, hard-working and determined, because I’m adamant these qualities will take me places.

I’m trying to wear the clothes I won’t usually wear. Confidence comes from within and the different clothes will test that.

As I write this, it’s the 12th of February. In five days, I will turn 18. This is what I owe myself for the new year. This will help me move forward, into what they call adulthood.

This is important for me, that I  try to try.

 

This Single-pringle is Truly Free

She sometimes thought about him. And when she did, she would rather punch a pillow or a wall. (not literally, of course. But you get the drift, right?)

Oh, she couldn’t believe she could hate this much. Her mind goes back to the day everything came crashing down. That inconsiderate little piece of-

No. He’s not worth her anger. She tells herself that repeatedly as she clenches her fist until her nails leave crescent shapes on her palms. Soon, she would begin to hate herself for letting him affect her so much like this.

And now the unending cycle of hate commences. Or more like a pendulum- swings to the side of hate and then all the way to the other side of self-loathe. Never mind, she wasn’t ever so skilled in creating analogies.

A few weeks ago, in a burst of irate inspiration, she composed a hate letter addressed to him. She knew better to actually send it to him, of course. As ironic as it sounds, she found solace in her raging words. She had sent it to a friend to read instead. She was only glad that this friend was as animated and supportive as she hoped with the refrain, “boys as the worst”,

No, not all boys. Just him. She can’t believe that someone will be so heartless as to lead you on for months and then stomp on your feelings and relationship and spit on it with nothing but a half-assed text “I’m sorry”.

That’s right, he didn’t even have the guts to call or do it in person.

Now that she thinks about all this, why is she wasting her time and mental energy? This is unlike her. She’s so level-headed. She doesn’t need this.

She doesn’t need this.

She. doesn’t. need. this.

Thank God she remembered that. Can you imagine if she allowed herself to fall into the downward spiral of something as trivial as boy drama? She gently slaps herself for even thinking about…that thing in the first place. She was worried if she’d be fine, but she will be.

She didn’t shed a tear then, so she sure as hell won’t shed one now. Not when she’s got her whole life ahead of her. She loves herself and that’s all that matters.

She still sometimes thinks about him. But now, she thinks about punching him instead. It sounds sadistic I understand, but hey, she actually means no harm.