Fiction · Life

Your ex-lovers marked a time in your life that you were a different person

Trước mắt là người trước mắt, trước mắt cũng là tháng năm.

(In front of my eyes was that person, in front of my eyes were also all those years)

– Bất Vấn Tam Cửu

Young loves failed. And most often first loves failed as well. But if we were lucky enough, we got over the pain of those failed loves and grew. We learnt about what we wanted and not wanted in a relationship. We learnt what we deserved and what we could achieve. All the things we learnt about ourselves being and getting out of a relationship were lessons we took with us for life. But not just that…

Years from then, when the wounds were all healed and we wouldn’t suffer from the intense aches anymore, we hope we would all be able to find peace and nostalgia. No more pain, no more heartaches, no more wondering why we let ourselves be treated that way, no more thinking we should have not gotten ourselves into those relationship. We would just think about those failed loves as fragments of our youth. Being able to love was a precious thing about being young, in age and in soul. Rarely any other times in our lives could we feel our hearts being so full like when we fell for our first loves. The warmth that your body felt simply by laying next to your ex-lovers. We were so young back then. We were so foolish, but so free. We were so unwise, but so brave.

Don’t think of our ex-lovers as the people who broke our hearts. Think about them as the pins that marked parts of our past, of who we were then. All those nights pulling allnighters studying with our ex-lovers right by our side doing the same thing. That was when our bodies had enough energy to stay up and our minds had enough purpose to keep going. All those times going to bars drinking with our ex-lovers. That was when we could wear anything we wanted because we felt confident, loved and beautiful. All those walks hand in hand with our ex-lovers when Spring came. That was when our lives were not overly busy yet and we loved life dearly then.

We were naive and unmarked by the tragedies of life. That was probably why we fell for the wrong people. But didn’t we love who we were then? Our young, hopeful, energetic selves? Didn’t you love you?

Next time, you saw an ex on the street or skim through their social media, think of yourself during that person’s time. You were marvelous. You loved and you gave with all you had. Didn’t you love you?

Fiction · Life

I remembered where I was

I always remember where I was when someone told me something bad had happened. In New York, people often said “You always remembered where you were on 9/11”. I do remember that, and I also remembered so many other things that were much personal. I remembered where my first heart break was. It was on a bench in the school yard. I remembered my second heartbreak and my third too. But I can’t remember where I had my first kiss.

I remembered where I was when mum told me great grandma passed away. I was lying on my twin air mattress in the tiny rental room. I was just lying there crying because I was too poor to get a ticket to go see her. Since then I kept a box on my desk, collecting every pennies and singles I had. I got in there exactly $1000 so I always had a ticket home.

I remembered where I was when my brother called me, telling me granddad passed away. I was in a brewery laughing with a friend a second before. I snapped at my brother telling him to not joke with me, that I just saw grandpa 2 days ago, that as soon as I got home the first thing I did was going to see him. I remembered my brother’s voice quiet on the other side “why would I joke about this?” and I flew out of the brewery.

The pains of all those news I still carry with me everyday. It’s like having a sharp pin in my purse. Though I carry it with me, I mostly forget about it. Until I try to reach in to grab something and it pokes me. Sometimes so hard that I bleed. But I carry them around still, and I remembered exactly where I picked up each of those pins.


Comfort and sadness

My friend used to be depressed. Her older brother used to be depressed. Her dad used to be depressed and he didn’t make it.

She said she was lucky. She was the latest person in her family to be depressed. She learned a lot from the ones before her, on how to be depressed and on how not to.

It’s not a fun thing to share but they did share the weights of depression. When she curled up in bed and couldn’t get out for days, she thought about this cursed family tradition that they all shared at some point in their lives, and it was sadly comforting.

They all went to therapy. Different ones. Her dad didn’t make it. Her brother, after her dad hung himself, tried. He made it. He made it out. When my friend was diagnosed with depression, her brother was the one who drove her to her therapist. She saw one man in her life made it and one didn’t. She had to make some choices for her own.

She also made it out. She took meds like her doctors told her to. She went to therapy like she should. She was diagnosed when she was 15. Her teenage years were spent taking medicine to “alter” her mind. During a time everyone else was trying to figure out who they were, she took meds to let go of a part of her. Ten years later she stopped going to therapy. She was no longer clinically depressed, but she no longer knew who she was now that she wasn’t that “depressed girl” anymore.

She had a family of her own now: a nice husband and four kids. She had a good life and would carry on having a good life. She had dinners with her brother often. She fell in love and laughed a lot. But sometimes when that Nirvana’s song was on

I miss the comfort in being sad
I miss the comfort in being sad
I miss the comfort in being sad

She sat in her rocking chair by the window trying to not turn her melancholy into real sadness. She thought about how happiness is fleeting and maybe sadness, sadness is eternal in her.

Wrote this quick prose for a Go Dog Go Prompt. Always a pleasure to write their prompt.


and you would leave, right?

Photo by Kristin Vogt on

I was certain that one day when I woke up you would leave

Because I was so happy

I couldn’t believe anything this good would ever happen to me

It was all a fleeing dream


That good things always end

That the heartbreak would send me over the cliff

and in a jiff I will be alone all again



you are still here

curled up in your blanket right near my heart

holding a part of me that I never knew I had

and I’m glad



Photo by cottonbro on

The way your beard brush against my face

making me tickle

and your Adam apple moves when you talk

The way your nose buried

into the nape of my neck

and your hair feels like soft sand paper

The way your eyes smile

with sparkles from the stars

You smell like cigars and fresh grass and morning dew

You taste like tea and honey and warm milk

And I realized I’m so in love

I can’t wait till tomorrow to love you

I can’t wait “till death do us part”

You are my comfort and my glory

Cause this life, there’s no victory like having you.

This post is a little response for the Go Dog Go Cafe Weekly Prompt. What a great prompt this week!


The lady said

Photo by Adonyi Gu00e1bor on

“I see darkness. Really really dark darkness…”

“What does dark darkness even mean?” I protested quite loudly.

Mum immediately hit me on my shoulder which made my arm jerked back a little from the startle. The lady pulled my hand back towards her. She used both her hands to open my palm wide.

“There there there. Don’t be scared. Even though I saw darkness, I also saw a bright light. It comes from a strong, heated fire.” The lady closed her eyes. Her finger traced an invisible drawing on my palm. It made me tickled. I shuffled a little trying to fight the urge to withdraw my hand.

“Ah ah ahhhhh” she suddenly screamed. With her eyes still closed, she backed away. One of her hand blocked between us as if she was trying to not have to look at my palm. “The fire is so strong. It will chase away any darkness. No, not any fire. Your fire is so strong. Who? Who are you?” She screamed the questions out loud with her eyes still closed and her hands still holding on to mind tightly.

I just stared at the hysterical scene that just happened on her own for no particular reason. I wasn’t going to say anything. But I looked at my mum and she was looking back at me eagerly waiting for me to reply the lady. I rolled my eyes. “Uhm…I guess I work for the city…”

“No not that!” She shook my hand hard, “I want to know your true identity. Your true role assigned by God!”

“My what???” I truly didn’t understand what she was talking about.

“Mum,” after taking a quick breath, I turned to my mum whispering, “this fortune teller of yours doesn’t seem normal. Is she ok?” I grunted at the word “ok”.

“Hey hey hey,” the lady yanked my hand to get my attention, “I’m not just a fortune teller. I’m a mystic! I was chosen by God himself. I can communicate with him directly and he told me that you have a secret identity. That you can burn darkness with fire, that your mystical strength is…”

“Okayyyy. I’m gonna stop you there. I think we are done for today,” I pulled my hand back from hers. I stood up real quick from my chair while grabbing my mum’s arm. “Mum, we should leave. Else we’ll be late. I’ll bring the car over”

“Honey, don’t you want to hear what the lady has to say. She is very good,” mum still tried to convince me though she could already tell that I was more than ready to leave. She put a 100 dollar bill on the table while hurriedly packing her things. She mouthed sorry to the lady while chasing me outside.



Shit, I zipped up my jacket while taking a deep breath inside the car. That was close. I took out my purse to check on the business cards I had in the secret compartment. I wanted to make sure the lady didn’t say the things she said because she happened to see my cards. They were all still there. All the cards that said I was an exorcist.

This prose is a response to the wonderful prompt from Go Dog Go’s Cafe.