the final countdown started playing during the thing i was watching while i made this

Why I'm still afraid to hold my girlfriend's hand.

In 2017, we still can’t just be us. And things are only getting worse.

By Kirsten King

Mar 28, 2017


I sat in a small photo booth watching a smile spread across my face as my girlfriend, Jane, pressed her lips firmly onto my cheek. It was one month after the election and we were at Dave & Busters, distracting ourselves with arcade games and oversize beers. The countdown for the last photo came onto the screen in front of us, “5 … 4 … 3…”

Suddenly, a man stumbled into the booth and purposefully jumped in between us.

I tensed immediately. On the “fight or flight” scale of dealing with crisis, I usually fall somewhere in between “flight” and “melt into the ground and hide.” Jane usually chooses to fight. She pushed the stranger out, looked back at me, and then back at the screen. We both smiled in a way that didn’t reach our eyes as the camera flashed.

“What a fucking jerk,” Jane spat as she walked out, grabbing our photo absentmindedly. “If we were a man and a woman — he never would have walked in,” she said.

“I know,” I said, the depth of her anger just dawning on me.

“We should say something,” she said. “We should tell him he can’t just do that.”

I wanted to advise against it but it was too late. She spotted him.

“Hey. You’re a real piece of shit, you know that?” she said, pressing her index finger into his chest. My stomach flipped — I knew how these confrontations usually ended for LGBTQ people. He flashed an unaffected grin and laughed.

“Relax,” he said and walked away.

His response, though brief, turned inside me. “Relax.” I realized now why she was so mad. She was mad because we couldn’t relax. We couldn’t kiss and touch and be us, and not be watched by other people. That was a privilege that we had not yet been afforded as a same-sex couple. Not even in a photo booth. Not even behind a curtain. Especially not in 2017.

Maybe in the past, we would have brushed it off. We would have taken the photo and hung it up on the fridge, ignoring the context which it was taken in. But we were exhausted. We were tired of small moments being taken away from us; we wanted things to be easier. But under an administration with a hugely questionable LGBTQ track record, that end didn’t feel like it was in sight.

I remember the first time a man made me and another woman feel unsafe. It was at the Baseball Tavern in Boston, a bar known for heavy pours when the Red Sox lost. Her name was Angela, and she would end up with a good Boston boy a few years down the road, but not that night.

She touched my wrist softly, pulling at a bracelet an ex-boyfriend had given me. Electricity pulsed through me.

“Kiss her, already!” 

We turned to see a group of guys ogling us. Angela dropped her hand.

“Maybe buy us a drink first,” she said, smiling at them.

She wasn’t sick of it yet — the attention we got while out. She didn’t realize that accepting a Whiskey Sour from a guy hoping for some sort of group sex scenario meant that guys would keep asking. She didn’t realize the more we played into a game with rules we didn’t make, the more we’d never be allowed to make our own.

The guys smiled. Angela turned back to me.

“Don’t worry. I’m just kidding,” she said. “But hey, if the drinks are free,” she laughed.

Her words cut through me, despite the protective layer of cheap tequila. I was upset because their ogling and her acceptance made me feel like there wasn’t an “us.” It made me feel like our relationship, as minor as it may have been, only existed to the outside world as a performance, even if it was the most real thing to me.

Being a feminine bisexual woman, I have the privilege of passing as straight. I can walk down the street and any Tom, Sue, or Larry will assume I’m your average hetero gal. I’ll be read as “normal.”

But when I’m dating a woman or a person of color, that story changes. That makes Tom, Sue, and Larry all stop. 

During Barack Obama’s presidency, various legislation protecting the LGBTQ community was passed, including the legalization of same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Stationary goosebumps sat on my arms as our former president stood at a podium and declared the Supreme Court ruling a victory not just for the community, but for the country.

I felt like maybe people were starting to get it, like maybe the days of leering at two women in a bar or giggling as two men held hands were over.

The night it passed, I went to a bar with two male friends who were dating. I remember how they looked at each other like the whole world was laid out in front of them. As they exchanged whiskey-soaked kisses, I couldn’t help but feel like we were finally getting somewhere, like the community had been handed a little Monopoly card that said we could all pass Go.

Then Donald Trump came into office and things got even harder. Because even if we had the card to pass, it didn’t mean it would be easy.

What was scarier than any of his potential legislation were the people who marched proudly for him. Suddenly, people felt safe in theirhate again. Suddenly, holding my girlfriend’s hand brought first glances that led to second glances, and second glances that led to stares. Even in Los Angeles, a city bursting with people from all walks of life, people were watching us again. My relationship wasn’t just my relationship anymore; it was a political statement.

At least it sure as hell felt like it.

The news cycle brought rumors of anti-adoption LGBTQ bills, but outside, the news was scarier. A friend was spit on walking down the street with her girlfriend. Hateful graffiti was painted on the Los Angeles LGBTQ center. Trolls starting finding me on YouTube and Twitter.

“Two girls kissing? Nice.” one comment read. “Why is everyone turning gay?” said another. “You’re going to hell,” said another. “Die,” said countless others.

It was clear the floodgates that had been struggling to hold back hate for so long had been perforated in a big way. Jane and I were whistled at walking down the street more and jeers flew more easily from car windows. And it wasn’t just happening to LGBTQ people. A Muslim friend rode the train five stops past her apartment to avoid a group of leering white men. A Mexican-American friend pretended not to see graffiti that read, “Go back home,” as we walked to our favorite lunch spot.

And none of us feel home, not really. Because people who maybe hated us all along aren’t just silently steaming anymore: They’re knocking at our doors.

I realize that the love that exists between me and the person I’m with won’t be understood by everyone; not completely, and not right now. Men will continue to leer and mothers will continue to avert their children’s gazes. The highest form of government may even say someday that I don’t deserve the same inalienable rights unless the future I choose is with a man.

And knowing that does make it hard to “relax.”

But I must remind myself to enjoy the small moments that are just for us; the moments that no other person, group, or legal system could ever call into question.

I’ll enjoy the way the nerves in my stomach bubble over with a mixture of excitement and terror every time I realize how much I care for the person I’m with. I’ll enjoy the way electricity moves through me when we touch and the way our laughs sound when we know we’re laughing for no other reason than feeling completely understood.

And most of all, I’ll enjoy the way my girlfriend’s hand is the only thing that can make me feel safe, even when I know I am not.

Source: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/a9195838/afraid-to-hold-hands-lgbtq-couples-essay/

LOCATION : LUCKY FOOT THEATER.

TIME : 12 PM.

     PROLOGUE ENDING : THE EXPERIMENT BEGINS.


Looks like this is the designated meeting spot, even though you still have no clue what lies beyond the curtain on stage, save perhaps the man in charge of all this, ready to deliver whatever it is he’d promised all of you – incentive to murder? It still reeks of blood and there are piece of gore along the theater’s walkway, as if the victim’s body was dragged after all of you left last time, but there are no doubt a number of you eager to not put too much thought into what happened with Orion’s body. On stage, the same Sentinels stand guard, watching over all of you with unblinking eyes. If you look close enough, you can see blood on their clothes.

It doesn’t take as long for Kuma to make his appearance this time, nor does he seem to have any firearms in his hands when he steps out. He simply slips the curtain open and takes the stage – no announcement, no fanfare. Just him, his lighter, and the casual lighting of a cigarette. He stands on the stage quietly as opposed to trying to get anyone’s attention, although there are already a number of you turned towards the stage, waiting to see what he has to say. Noticeably, a few of you have opted to avoid the front rows… it’s not a decision anyone can blame you for, is it?

HEEEEEEEEEEEEEY HARE!!” Ultimately, it’s Zero’s voice that suddenly bursts over the speakers as his image pops up on the screens above the stage without warning – he’s loud, obnoxious, and as energetic as ever. It takes barely half a second for him to begin bouncing around on stage, arms waving. “OOOOOOOOOOOOOH BOY!! Finally, we’re HARE! You all know what this is, right? The beginning of the experiment!! You didn’t think it was already underway, didya? Of COURSE you didn’t! Hahhahahahahaha, don’t worry, we’ll HOP to the point – you all are probably juuuuust as eager as we HARE, so not point wasting time, right, Kuma Kuma? Why don’t we just tell ‘em straight up –

                          THE FIRST MURD-HARE INCENTIVE!!
                                     EHEHEHAHAHAHAH!!”

Keep reading

New Year’s Eve (Yuri x Otabek)

Type: One shot

Genre: Fluff and Romance

Word count: 2,667

Pairing: Yurabek also known as Otayuri (Yuri/Otabek)

Summary: Every New Year’s party Yuuri and Viktor hold Yuri and Otabek attend and for the last two years Yuri has been trying to get his midnight kiss with Otabek, he’s failed for two years but he won’t give up that easily.

Warnings: None.

A/N:  Prompt me if you have any, I hope you enjoy this one shot and thanks to the person who sent me this prompt :3 I edited this in like 10 minutes so sorry if it sucks major ass 

_

The first New Year’s Party

 11:00 p.m.

Yuri sat in the corner of the crowded living room of Viktor’s flashy roof top apartment, people were sitting and standing talking excitedly to each other as the time moved closer to midnight, Yuri sighed to himself as he looked around the room everyone seemed happy for the year to be over all except Yuri Plisetsky, he always hated the start of a new year with everyone making plans to be a better them with all their resolutions that they end up failing within the first week of the new year, Yuri thought it was pathetic and stupid and he wanted to stay in the year that he finally one Gold, his angry thoughts were interrupted by the feeling of someone sitting next to him, as he looked to see who it was he saw Otabek’s handsome face

“What are you moping about over here?” He asked with a smirk

Yuri crosses his arms over his small chest “I am not moping” he replies stubbornly

“Sure” Otabek says taking a sip of the beer in his hand “Got any resolutions?”

“No”

“Not one?”

“No” Yuri looks over at Otabek ‘He looks really handsome tonight’ Yuri thinks to himself as he looks Otabek up and down, he had on a fitting black shirt with the first three buttons undone he also had on nicely fitting dark blue jeans, he looked up to see Otabek watching him which caused his pale cheeks to heat up a bright red

Keep reading

Surprise (Request)

Could you maybe do a daddy!harry blurb where he has two or three children and he is away on tour and they surprise him and go and watch one of his shows/ or he surprised them coming back from being on tour x

Okay, I realize that by calling them D1 and D2 it sounds like something out of Dr. Seuss, but I didn’t want to give the girls actual names and it got really confusing trying to do (Y/D/N/1) and (Y/D/N/2)…

ALSO: Check out thehoranandi; another writer. :)

———————————————————————————————-

There were still way too many days on the countdown calendar. Ever since the kids had been old enough to understand why their daddy was away so much, you had started a countdown calendar in the kitchen so they would know exactly how many more days it would be until he got home. It also gave them something fun to do each morning when they came down for breakfast, often arguing about whose turn it was to take down the numbered piece of paper from the wall.

But there were still way too many days left.

This particular stretch of time had been a lot longer than they normally were. Typically, the countdown calendar fit nicely on the side of the kitchen counter, but this time you had needed to get creative. The initial number of days had actually been more than your youngest was able to count and she had needed to get her older sister to explain just how many it was. The numbered pages had spread past the kitchen counter and on to the wall beside it. Each day you came down, you let out a little sigh when you saw just how many pages were left. As much as the girls enjoyed the countdown game, both of them were starting to get a little anxious.

“When’s daddy coming home?” Your oldest daughter, (D1), asked.

“Still a while yet, my love.” You replied, pointing to the wall. “How many more days?”

Your daughter looked at the countdown and pouted a bit. “27 days.”

She sat down at the table with a bit of a huff and started picking at the cereal you had placed in front of her. You could tell that something was off by the way that she pouted into her bowl.

“What’s wrong, bugaboo?” You asked, ruffling her hair.

“I miss daddy.” She mumbled.

“I know you do, baby. Mummy misses him too.”

“Why does he have to be gone so long?”

“Because that’s daddy’s job, sweetheart. He needs to go away because people want to hear him sing.”

“He should stay here and sing to us. We would listen.” She said, earnestly.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

what was the significance behind 'not anymore, simon'? what was the context? also, what on earth, harry styles??? - becks

Ah, I’ll try to put “Not anymore, Simon!” into a broader context but there was a lot going on then so I forgive me if I don’t get it quite right. Basically, it kicked off a really contentious period of time on the tour. The American leg had closed a couple weeks beforehand with the blatant attack that was the Attitude article and then the response at the Boston show (Harry’s rainbow run/speech and a fan project to create a rainbow with lights around the stadium). 

London 1 was… wild. First of all, Simon was in attendance for this show. Briana was flown in there (when she hadn’t gone to any of the American shows at all even though she lives there) and purposefully walked past all the fans to sit in the VIP section. It really was not subtle, it felt like this blatant display of power to put her there.  

There was a HUGE pushback from the band that night: The Bears amped things up to a level beyond anything else they’ve ever done, appearing both dressed as brides with a picture of Larry Grayson (a long closeted gay entertainer) signed “Love, Larry” with a spotlight shining on them. We’d been saying before that, “the only way the bears could be more obvious is if they put their names on them” and they did (also, the “Love, Larry” picture was removed midshow, making people wonder if they took things a little too far). The stage was lit up with rainbow lights during Girl Almighty which some people took as a nod to the rainbow light project the fans did for Boston. There was a “Louis is Harry’s Infinity” sign shown on the big screen (kind of a funny coincidence considering how Infinity got used this show!). The set list got changed around to end with Drag Me Down, quite a charged message to end on.

“Not anymore, Simon!” happened when they went to play Night Changes and had “technical difficulties”. It’s been discussed whether the technical difficulties were staged to give them a chance to break out of the usual run of the concert and create a different space where they were got to be themselves, just hanging out with the audience (I remember someone mentioning that Simon hates that sort of time wasting but idk where that rumor came from). After a few false starts, Niall is noodling around playing Infinity on his guitar (which had just been released as a free download two days earlier) and they start singing along. You can watch the video to see for yourself (interestingly, the video with the best view of Louis’ face was promptly removed from YouTube) but Louis leans over to Niall and whispers “No more!”, they laugh, and then after the line “When everybody wants you…” Niall says very clearly: “Not anymore, Simon!”. Then Louis raises his hand and kind of faux apologetically takes credit for that. There was rumor that Simon got up and left after this part of the show. No matter what, it was a shockingly direct Fuck You to him. With everything that happened that night, it really, really felt like it was game on

After this, Briana was consistently brought and made to walk past the fans night after night (who didn’t even take pictures of her at first since no one knew wtf she looked like) during the London shows while the band ignored her existence, except for an unhappy Louis sticker from the Bears. And then he went clubbing and got in a van full of only brunettes (because again, every blonde could be Briana no one could tell and he was not taking that chance) while sick (he was literally papped holding a tissue) to show that she wasn’t here with him and there was no “rekindling” of anything happening like they were trying to sell by her being there. And then a couple weeks later, the Bears came to twitter and started a countdown and the Belfast show was cancelled and… basically London 1 was the start of a much more openly hostile period and “Not anymore, Simon!” is used as the biggest symbol of that.

(x)

Roadtrip!

So this is for @carryon-countdown Day 8: Front seats for people who haven’t been kidnapped by f**king numpties. So ye I thought that I could use that for an amazing roadtrip thingy ma boober. So ye here ya go! 

Baz

“ROADTRIP!” Simon calls, waking up the whole frickin house. About a week ago Bunce promised him that we’d take advantage of her and Micah being here by going on a road trip all around England. I don’t know why Bunce wanted to do it, but my idiot of a boyfriend sure is excited. 

It is that exact idiot that wakes me up at precisely 5:32 in the morning. And he doesn’t do it kindly either. I’m pulled out of my muddled dream when Simon Snow jumps on top of me, startling me.

“What the–” I say as I shoot up, knocking my forehead with Simon’s. I lay back down, covering my eyes with my arm.

“Baaaazzzzz,” he says, shaking my shoulders. I feel his tail whipping around excitedly smacking against my legs in a way that is really painful. His wings rustle around him and I practically feel the excitement radiating off of him. 

I groan and roll over, which causes him to fall off of me onto the ground. I cringe a little at the thump, but Simon just gets back up and shakes my shoulder. 

“Baz we’re going on a road trip today,” he says excitedly. 

“Uggghhhhhh,” I groan again, putting my head underneath the pillow. He pulls on my arm.

“C’mon Baaaazzz. Can you please make breakfast?”

“Why can’t we just buy food,” I whine, wanting to fall asleep without this imbecile picking at me. He throws himself on top of me again, wrapping his arms around me in the way he knows I can’t resist. 

“Pwease Baz?” he says again. I can almost see him making puppy-dog eye. I turn over so I’m facing him, our faces inches apart. I squint at the bright sunlight and look into his blue eyes, knowing that he’s going to get what he wants because I’m weak and Simon is just too cute. 

“Fine you idiot. Just get off of me,” I grumble. Simon makes a noise of delight and then presses a quick kiss to my lips, scrambling off of me. I sit up, my head swimming and my eyes stinging from the sunlight. I yawn and open my eyes fully to see Simon Snow looking at me with wide eyes. He looks like a puppy whose owner just came home. Simon Snow is the literal definition of a puppy, period. He has the excitement of one where he could run around for hours on end and he has his moments where he’ll just curl up on the couch and fall asleep, no matter what time of day it is. Me and Bunce usually throw a blanket on him and I’ll sit beside him, playing with his curls. He has a tail that constantly thumps against my legs when he’s happy and will stop when he’s sad. Sometimes he’ll curl it around my leg as he sleeps on my chest, and it makes me clutch him tighter. 

He might be annoying, but I love this idiot. So I just drag myself into the kitchen, make some coffee (black. Like my soul), and start making waffles while Simon runs around, waking everyone up. Then, all of us, Penny, Micah, Simon, Agatha (who came all the way from California to visit), and I eat breakfast around a cramped table that was meant for two (what can I say? We don’t get guests often. It’s always just me and Snow).

After breakfast, I see Micah pull Simon into an empty room in the corner of my eye. Simon looks surprised, but follows, and when he comes out, his excited energy has shifted to nervousness. I only wonder what happened…


Simon

“Uh, Simon?” Micah says as I’m putting the orange juice in the fridge. His dark curls are a mess, as if he’s been ruffling them and his hands fiddle nervously with the helm of his sweatshirt. 

“Yeah?” I say. 

“Can I talk to you for a sec?” I tilt my head in question, but he takes my arm and pulls me into an empty room. The guest bedroom where him and Penny are staying. He closes the door and takes a deep breath. 

“I want to propose to Penny,” he says in a rush. Now I understand why he’s nervous. 

Keep reading

Soulmate!5SOS // Part 2

If you’re new to the series: Soulmate!5SOS // Part 1

Side note: These are the soulmate au idea things so that you don’t get confused while reading :)

Luke: Feeling the same kind of pain your soulmate feels at the moment and the tattoo on your wrist turning into red or blue when you meet your soulmate depending on your gender.

Calum: You get the tattoo your soulmate gets and you can feel the pain they feel while getting it and when you meet, you have the ability to take away their pain but, you’ll feel twice the pain they’re feeling.

Michael: When your soulmate dyes their hair into a certain color, your hair turns into the very same color but when you meet, you only get the highlights of the color of their dyed hair in your original hair.

Ashton: Whenever your soulmate is feeling a strong feeling, the tattoo would turn into that color instead. And when you meet, the outline will be filled with color.

Keep reading

New Year, Same Feelings

“Julie!”

I looked around to see my bestfriend, Maqui, come up to me from a table near the small platform that seems to be serving as a stage for those of us who want to perform. Of course, it’s empty right now. Being in the show business, you always have to pay attention to your actions. And going up there without anyone asking you to is like saying ‘I’m hella talented and it would be your honor to hear me sing’. Nope. Not a good image you’d want to project.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Julie. I am a singer. I also dance, host, act. But my main thing is singing—has been since I was God-knows-how-young. That’s basically all you really need to know about me in this story.

“Maq! How are you?”

“I’m good! I didn’t know a lot of people were still in the country, I thought most of them went out-of-town for the holidays.”

Oh, did I mention it’s already the New Year’s Eve and I’m at the countdown party thrown by my mother network? I didn’t. Well, yes, I am here right now.

“I know. I wasn’t going to show up but I figured I should at least just pass by, or something. I’ll probably stay for an hour or so.”

“What? You’ll be leaving before the countdown?”, she asked me incredulously. As if it was a matter of life and death. Sheesh. She can be very dramatic sometimes.

I chuckled.

“Yes, babe. I do have my own countdown at home with my family. You know how Mom and Dad get about these things”, I said.

She nodded with an all-knowing smile.

“Tell me about it. My parents didn’t want me to come so I just told them they should come with me”, she told me.

I raised my eyebrows.

“Oh, they’re here?”

She nodded.

“Dad’s somewhere, probably talking to some of the news anchors. Last time I saw my mom, she was starstruck by the sight of Ate Marian”, she said with a laugh, referring to Marian Rivera.

I laughed with her and looked around, in time to see my former tandem partner walking up towards us.

Oops, I also forgot to mention: I used to be a part of a musical tandem dubbed JuliElmo. It’s a mash-up of our names, Julie and Elmo. Yup, my tandem partner was a guy. And no, I’m sad to say that we never made it past the professional relationship. Don’t get me wrong, Moe (that’s his nickname), is handsome. He’s also generous, caring, talented, thoughtful, hardworking…okay, let’s not get carried away here. Suffice to say, our relationship was strictly business.

I smiled at him as was about to wave when someone pulled my right arm, towards a group of people that I recognized were the cast of my recently-ended show, Kahit Nasaan Ka Man.

“I’ll talk to you later!”, Maqui called after me as she headed towards the other direction, towards her other friends.

I was dragged into the group of people by the actress who played my caregiver in the show. Everyone said their hello’s and I was immediately sucked into the conversation about what everyone did during Christmas. I politely answered their questions. When my loveteam partner on the show, Kris, started talking about slightly more political topics, I discreetly looked around, trying to see if I can find Elmo. I haven’t officially said ‘Hi’ to him yet. Not that it’s that big of a deal or anything but, hey, we worked together for 3 years so that’s got to count for something like friendship, right? Except, of course, after our musical tandem was “disbanded”, for lack of a better word, we kind of had a falling out.

Okay, honesty time.

Truth is, Elmo has been my crush since before we were even paired up. I would see him perform on stage and he would look so adorable, tumbling over his words, smiling sheepishly and trying again. I mean, can you really blame me? You’d have to see him and you’d know what I mean. So, anyway, I was extremely thrilled when we were chosen to do a duet. You can actually see my happiness on the performance—I was all smiles.

And then we got paired up for a duet again, and again, and again. Eventually, we gained a following and were given our own spot on the variety show we were in. This went on for more than two years. Then we had small roles in some sitcoms. Then, finally, we had our own movie. Although, admittedly, our movie didn’t work out so well in the sales department, it worked out well for our relationship/friendship…whatever you want to call it. Or at least, I felt that it did. We grew closer.

We texted and called each other more, sometimes just at random times when we’re bored. Then we also had an out-of-the-country trip together and let me tell you, it was so much fun. My parents weren’t there so I was pretty much free to do what I want…except break the law, of course. And when we got back, we were given even more duets, more romantic songs. And then we had our own Sunday afternoon show. Everything was pretty much working out that for a while, I actually thought it would develop into something more.

But then the variety show we were on had a reformatting and JuliElmo was no longer.

Up to this day, that thought still stings. I didn’t mind it that much at first because I figured it was just the show that was going away. The feelings would still be there, right? Wrong. We texted and called each other less. There were even times when I would hesitate if I should text him or not, and that wasn’t a normal feeling for me because I used to just text him the most random things and I didn’t make a big deal out of it.

Anyway, eventually, we were in total radio silence. No text, no call. Not even Facebook messages, Twitter direct messages…nothing.

So, naturally, I’m a bit curious right now as to why he was so eager to come over when he saw me earlier.

“Looking for someone?”

I turned to see Kris smirking at me.

“Uhm, no”, I lied.

“You know, I may not have been your partner for 3 years—who I know you are looking for, by the way—but I’ve been your partner long enough to know that you, miss, are lying”, he said with a chuckle.

I blushed. I knew I did. But let’s try to still salvage some pride, shall we?

“Maybe you think you know, but you really don’t.”

It was a lame statement, I know. But it was all I could do at the moment.

He simply laughed at me and pointed behind me.

“I think he’s also looking for you”, he said, then walked away.

I frowned and looked behind me. Sure enough, Elmo was there. There’s that smile again. He was still a few meters away. I waved and he waved back. God, why was this so awkward so suddenly?

“Julie! Come here!”

It was Ms. Rose Conde, one of our chaperones on that out-of-the-country I’d told you about. She walked towards me.

“Hi, Ms. Rose!”, I greeted. I looked back to where Elmo had been standing, but he was also being pulled away to his castmates in his current show, Villa Quintana.

I sighed and turned my attention back to Ms. Rose. She ushered me to a group of crew people, those I worked with on our movie, Just One Summer. As with my KNKM cast mates, they asked me how my Christmas was. I answered politely, of course. They all went on to describe theirs as well. I lingered there for a few minutes before Maqui caught up with me again and pulled me away. I bowed out of the group politely and followed her to the food table.

“Are you leaving?”

I frowned.

“Why?”, I asked.

“It’s already been more than an hour since you arrived.”

I looked at my watch. She was right. I had to get back if I wanted to be there in time for my family’s countdown.

“I need to go. My mom’s—“

“Here”, she said.

“Huh?”

“Your mom’s here. I called her and begged her to allow you to stay. So, she agreed to come here with your family so you can spend your countdown here with us”, she explained with a smile. She made a move to look around the room then pointed to the corner beside the stage/platform.

“There they are”, she said.

I followed her gaze and sure enough, my parents and my sisters were there. I waved to them and they waved back. I turned to my bestfriend.

“You really can’t let me go, can you?”, I teased.

She laughed.

“Oh please. You’ll thank me later, for making you stay”, she said, then walked away.

I watched her go with curiousity. I will thank her later? Why?

Before I could even think of what she meant, I was being whisked away again to various groups of people. All night long, I had to repeat my story about how we spent Christmas day in Tagaytay. Throughout the night, I would also chance a glimpse at Elmo, see him smiling at me. We’d wave at each other but wouldn’t have the chance to actually go near each other. I actually felt a bit miffed when I saw him talking to my parents in a far corner of the room.

What were they talking about? My dad looked serious, my mom had a small smile on her face, and Elmo looked like he saw a ghost. What was that all about?

Before I knew it, the countdown was about to begin. With only a minute left till 2014, I found myself beside Maqui and my family. The music was blaring and I was feeling pretty good that I had stayed. I was with my biological family and the people I consider as part of my family, too, the way we’d all been working together for a long time now. Maybe this is what Maqui was talking about when she said I would thank her for making me stay.

“10…9…”, people started shouting.

I turned to Maqui.

“Thanks for making me stay. This was fun!”

She smiled at me and hugged me.

“You’re welcome. But this is not the only thing you’ll be thanking me for”, she said with a wink.

“4…3…2…1…HAPPY NEW YEAR!”

Warm lips touched my cheek at that moment. Everyone screamed. I smiled, knowing it’s my mother kissing me. I didn’t mind. I turned to her to kiss her back but then I froze.

Elmo was standing right beside me, a big smile on his face.

“Happy New Year, Julie”, he greeted. He didn’t shout it out, but I heard it.

He kissed me on my other cheek and everyone screamed again. So, that’s why everyone had screamed the first time. Because Elmo had kissed me. Wow.

I stood there, speechless for a minute.

Elmo stared at me curiously, his grin getting smaller, becoming uncertain.

“Julie?”

Still, I was speechless. It was Maqui’s elbow to my ribs that got me going.

“Ow!”

She smiled apologetically.

“Sorry. I had to wake you from your daydream, babe”, she teased.

I rolled my eyes at her, then turned to Elmo.

“What was that for?”, I asked.

“The kiss? It was for you”, he answered with a small smile.

“Why did you do that? We haven’t talked for a while then you come at me with a kiss? A friendly kiss?”, I asked, fishing for information on that last question.

He shook his head.

“There’s a saying that the person you kiss at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve is the person you will end up with…for the next year, anyway. And I’m hoping the saying’s true”, he said.

 

My eyes widened at this revelation. He wanted to end up…with me?

“But…what? Me? Why me? We haven’t talked in months. We have new partners, new projects…”

He shook his head at me again.

“New partners, new projects… they don’t mean new feelings.”

“So…you like me?”, I asked. I had to clarify, of course. I had to make sure I was understanding it correctly.

He chuckled before looking me in the eye. He grabbed my shoulders gently, and kissed me lightly on the cheek. Everyone screamed again. (Sheesh, people, calm down.) My breath caught in my throat as he pulled back just a bit so that our faces were only inches from each other.

His whispered words came towards me like a raging storm.

“I love you. Always have. I just needed time to think about my next move. Sorry it took me this long. But I love you.”

And that, folks, is how my 2014 began. No other New Year’s Eve will probably top that.

just got home and i am soaked and exhausted. after about 5-6h of sleep last night i left home at around 10am and just got back at 1am. there were no taxis at the train station so i had to walk home 20 mins in pouring rain. cooool

anyway, big weekend was loads of fun but i can barely see to type (just remembered i’m still wearing my contact lenses, def best purchase of the last week, it was so great being able TO SEE) so i’m just gonna make a list of the things i kinda remember. i’ve not watched any live footage or interviews yet so my memory is a bit hazy soz

Keep reading