Saturday, 6 June 2009

Great Art: Medals - Artist: Paul Huybrechts

Great Art: Medals - Artist: Paul Huybrechts
You can see more medals here:

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Peggy's Paper Dolls

Brian scanned the walls of the same corridor that had become so familiar to him over the past few years. As he entered through door number thirty-two, a tremendous wave of emotion swept over him, and he had to fight not to drown in it. His sister's face lit up with a vibrant smile and that special twinkle in her eyes, as it always did whenever she saw him.
Peggy was seven years old. She charmed everyone that knew her with her undying enthusiasm. She would talk non-stop to a listening ear, and she seldom cried. Peggy was dying of cancer.
Brian was at the hospital constantly, knowing that his little sister had only a short time to live. His average life as a sixteen-year old had taken a traumatic turn for the worst upon the diagnosis. He loved his sister more than anything, and found himself becoming enraged that she, such a sweet and innocent girl, should be inflicted with such a horrible disease.
Brimming with creativity, Peggy amazed Brian. She had a collection of paper dolls that she had made. All sixty-two were tacked behind her bed. Brian would ask her about the dolls, but she would always just smile, and say happily that they were her friends. He would be saddened by the fact that Peggy could not have the normal life of a seven-year-old, and make her own friends. It would only dishearten him more to watch her play with the other sick children.
Each day that passed was like a ticking time bomb for Brian. Peggy grew physically weaker by the day, but her spirit remained strong. Each one of her smiles pierced his heart. She would ask him why he looked so sad, for he found it difficult to smile, though he pretended that everything was all right. When he wasn't at the hospital, he would spend most of his time at home, alone in his room. There were times when he would bang his head uncontrollably against the wall until it hurt. He would cry, shamelessly, and throw mad fits for no reason. His life was falling apart, almost as if it was him that was dying.
It was two weeks after Peggy's eighth birthday that she passed away. Though expected, it broke Brian's heart. No amount of anticipation could have prepared him for the silence that was Peggy's passing.
As Brian forced himself to walk through door number thirty-two in the cancer ward one last time, he almost expected to see Peggy sitting on her bed. He prayed that he would see her face light up, just like it always had. It was only the emptiness and coldness of the bed that greeted him, though. He wanted to scream and smash the table lamp on the floor. He wanted to do anything to escape from the silence. Silence was a foreign entity with Peggy around, but she was gone, and its presence was so thick that it suffocated him
Then he saw the tiny paper dolls smiling back at him from the wall. Brian found a shoe box to put them in, unable to throw them away. One by one he removed them from the wall, seeing for the first time the inscriptions on the back of each: Terrah, Ivy, Nicole, Amy, Justin, Chris...and on and on. There was one name that stuck in his mind: Jesse. Jesse had been Peggy's first and best friend at the hospital. Jesse had died about one year ago. Then Brian began to recognize more names, and he realized why they seemed so familiar.
Peggy's paper dolls were all the children that had died since she had arrived. When Brian finally pulled the sixty-second doll off the wall with a quivering hand, he realized that there was one that had not been there before. It was purple, Peggy's favourite colour, with a wide crayon smile. As Brian turned the doll over and read the back, he was snapped out of his state of denial, realizing for the first time that his sister was not coming back. Tears flooded his eyes as the name, scrawled in crayon, "Peggy", screamed at him.
She had known.
In his head he could hear the sweet voice that he had known for so long, but for the first time, he understood her. All the time he had been inconspicuous, pretending that everything would turn out all right, for her benefit. (Or maybe it was for his own sake?). All along, she knew that she was going to die, yet not once did she say that it wasn't fair.
As the memories of Peggy reeled through Brian's head, he realized that he could not remember a time when she had been truly unhappy. Peggy, only a child, had accepted her disease and death as a part of her life. She faced most people's worst fear with courage, and the determination to make each day that she lived worthwhile. The dolls were a means of remembrance and symbols of life. Instead of mourning the ones that she had loved, she remembered all the joy that they had brought her. Viewing life through Peggy's eyes, Brian saw that she didn't want to be known as the girl that died of cancer, but as the girl that shone like the sun. From his perspective, each day had escorted his sister one step closer to death. Through Peggy's eyes, each day of her life gave her one more day to shine.
Wrapped up in his own sense of loss, Brian had let her illness eat away at his own mentality. Instead of being a big brother, he had given up, and now it was too late. He could have shared her life with her, if he'd only realized.
Brian looked down at the small paper doll in his hand through salty tears, and he realized that it was not too late. He could still follow in her footsteps, and learn how to seek out the best in any situation. Suddenly he felt the odd sensation of a smile. Though choked with sobs and heartache, it paved the path for more smiles in his life, that he may never have had the courage to find had it not been for Peggy's attitude. He had never realized that he knew so little about his sister, but most importantly, that he would learn so much from her, the bravest girl on earth.
From that day on, Brian learned not to dwell upon life's downsides, but to search for the positives that were sometimes hidden in the shadows of his fears.
So often do people live for the future and for what "will be", that they forget and take for granted "what is". Peggy understood that the present was a gift. Every day, she would open her gift to discover all of the splendor and happiness that it had to offer. To realize the value of the present is only half of the battle. It is having the courage and the determination to live within it that wins it.
Peggy was gone, but her memory, her heart, and all that was expressed through one child's paper dolls remained.

Blue sky

Tim looked up and gave the sky a nod.
'Clear... Blue... Good day to fly,' he thought.
He crunched through the pine needles towards the tree's wide trunk - a serious face and a thumping heart. Tim sat heavily and leaned against rough bark to retie a shoelace. He paused to breathe in the warm mushroom scents rising from the ground. A shy smile crept to his eyes.
'Updraft - perfect flying conditions,' he told himself.
No one looked around to see Tim tug the bulging backpack higher onto his narrow shoulders. They didn't watch him take a deep breath and shut his eyes for a moment before starting up the rusty nail stairs hammered into the old pine's trunk.
Tim climbed. He didn't notice the still afternoon start to move as a breeze took hold and his pine tree swayed in soft time with the park's other trees. Tim didn't hear the startled sobbing of a small boy who fell off the monkey bars just a few hundred metres away. He concentrated on each hand and each foot as he made his way up the tree. Tim watched, in his mind's eye, the graceful ducking and weaving of the pack on his back. He knew that his precious wings protruded slightly through the zip but his careful path meant they would not be marked or damaged as they brushed against wayward branches.
Tim had spent four solid days making the wings. The school holidays had been long and lonely. Making the wings was the best, and most difficult, idea he had ever had. Making the wings gave him a real purpose. Making the wings and flying.
He was just nine years old but Tim knew a thing or two about building things. He was a good learner and he'd picked up some tips from his brother... and his uncle Tony.
Actually, it was Tony who'd given him the idea of making his own wings. "Why don't you just fly away then, little bird?" he'd said. It was Tony who'd told him to fly and it was Tony who'd made him want to fly.
Tony wasn't his real uncle, Tim didn't think. He probably wasn't his dad's brother. And Tony couldn't be his mum's brother AND her boyfriend. Tony was just Mum's boyfriend. He wasn't very nice to Mum. When Tony came over, Mum was always sad or angry, mostly angry. Tony hurt Tim too.
Tim looked up. It was so far away, the top. But he wasn't tired, so that was fine. He had all day. Tim looked down, and quickly looked forwards as he held tighter to the tree trunk. Down was too far. He had climbed really far off the ground. It was probably as far as the roof of his house. Anyway, he wasn't scared. He was a good climber and he wouldn't fall.
Tim stopped thinking and stopped looking and started climbing again. One thing he was always good at, his teacher said, was concentrating. When he set his mind to it, Tim got things done.
Tim stopped near the top. He stopped when it was pretty thin and he could see out sideways but the branches were still strong enough to sit on while he got ready. He balanced himself with legs tucked around the tree and took off his pack.
Tim rested and had a mouthful of juice. He looked around him and almost fell.
'Wooaahhhhhh,' he thought. 'I never knew it was this high.'
He could see down all the streets around the park. He could even see his own house two full blocks away! This was going to be some story to tell at school. They probably wouldn't believe him.
Tim pulled out the wings and admired how they glistened and shone. They looked to him to be quivering, full of magic and ready to fly.
'I can't believe I made them so great myself.' Tim glowed, a huge smile overtaking his pale face. 'This is amazing.'
He concentrated again - it wasn't easy taping and tying the wings to his arms. Each arm had the extra security of a borrowed buckle-belt, which was frustratingly difficult to do up one-handed.
If anyone had looked through the branches to the top of the tree, they would have seen a small, thin boy perched awkwardly, his arms tangled in wood and card - his white painted wings. Inside his head, Tim was more magnificent than any bird. He was perfect, almost blinding. Tim imagined his face on the body of one of those painted angels. He looked like God's best angel - the main one.
Tim thought about which direction he would fly. He noticed the growing breeze and the sway of the tree.
'I'll fly with the wind,' he thought, relieved that the direction was away from his house. He didn't want Mum to look up and catch him. Flying with the wind would be like a kite - easier. He'd probably be at the beach by the time he landed.
Tim felt a bit afraid, just for a moment. He breathed the fear out and breathed in a new top-of-the-trees air.
But he didn't do it. A rolling gust of wind put him off. Wait till the tree is still.
He took off, flapping hard - harder than he'd ever done anything before. Everything that was Tim was flapping his wings. It felt great to be winning against gravity, to be rising into the blue sky.
A child on a swing looked up at the scream and saw something like a small boy rolling and holding and falling fast through the branches of the pine tree. The swinging child held a sob and looked beyond the tree. She watched a jet stream grow wider and blur as its thin end rose higher into the blue sky.

A Dozen Christmas Roses

Walter was getting cold sitting out in his back yard in the snow.
Walter didn't wear boots; he didn't like them and anyway he didn't own any. The thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they did a poor job of keeping out the cold. Walter had been in his backyard for about an hour already. And, try as he might, he could not come up with an idea for his mother's Christmas gift.
He shook his head as he thought, "This is useless, even if I do come up with an idea, I don't have any money to spend" .
Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of five had struggled. It wasn't because his mother didn't care, or try, there just never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the small wage that she was earning could only be stretched so far. What the family lacked in money and material things, they more than made up for in love and family unity. Walter had two older and one younger sister, who ran the house hold in their mother's absence. All three of his sisters had already made beautiful gifts for their mother.
Somehow it just wasn't fair.
Here it was Christmas Eve already, and he had nothing. Wiping a tear from his eye, Walter kicked the snow and started to walk down to the street where the shops and stores were. It wasn't easy being six without a father, especially when he needed a man to talk to.
Walter walked from shop to shop, looking into each decorated window. Everything seemed so beautiful and so out of reach. It was starting to get dark and Bobby reluctantly turned to walk home when suddenly his eyes caught the glimmer of the setting sun's rays reflecting off of something along the curb. He reached down and discovered a shiny dime. Never before has anyone felt so wealthy as Walter felt at that moment.
As he held his new found treasure, a warmth spread throughout his entire body and he walked into the first store he saw. His excitement quickly turned cold when the salesperson told him that he couldn't buy anything with only a dime.
He saw a flower shop and went inside to wait in line. When the shop owner asked if he could help him, Bobby presented the dime and asked if he could buy one flower for his mother's Christmas gift.
The shop owner looked at Walter and his ten cent offering.
Then he put his hand on Walter's shoulder and said to him, "You just wait here and I'll see what I can do for you."
As Walter waited he looked at the beautiful flowers and even though he was a boy, he could see why mothers and girls liked flowers.
The sound of the door closing as the last customer left jolted Walter back to reality.
All alone in the shop, Walter began to feel alone and afraid. Suddenly the shop owner came out and moved to the counter. There, before Walter's eyes, lay twelve long stem, red roses, with leaves of green and tiny white flowers all tied together with a big silver bow. Walter's heart sank as the owner picked them up and placed them gently into a long white box.
"That will be ten cents young man", the shop owner said reaching out his hand for the dime.
Slowly, Walter moved his hand to give the man his dime. Could this be true? No one else would give him a thing for his dime!
Sensing the boy's reluctance, the shop owner added, "I just happened to have some roses on sale for ten cents a dozen. Would you like them?"
This time Walter did not hesitate, and when the man placed the long box into his hands, he knew it was true. Walking out the door that the owner was holding for Walter, he heard the shop keeper say, "Merry Christmas, son".
As he returned inside, the shop keeper's wife walked out. "Who were you talking to back there and where are the roses you were fixing?"
Staring out the window, and blinking the tears from his own eyes, he replied, "A strange thing happened to me this morning. While I was setting up things to open the shop, I thought I heard a voice telling me to set aside a dozen of my best roses for a special gift. I wasn't sure at the time whether I had lost my mind or what, but I set them aside anyway. Then just a few minutes ago, a little boy came into the shop and wanted to buy a flower for his mother with one small dime.
"When I looked at him, I saw myself, many years ago. I too, was a poor boy with nothing to buy my mother a Christmas gift. A bearded man, whom I never knew, stopped me on the street and told me that he wanted to give me ten dollars".
"When I saw that little boy tonight, I knew who that voice was, and I put together a dozen of my very best roses." The shop owner and his wife hugged each other tightly, and as they stepped out into the bitter cold air, they somehow didn't feel cold at all.

Hearts and Minds

The soldier has a hangover. Too many Bundies the night before and no breakfast. Every time the ancient Toyota hits a rut his guts heave. The old lady with the Magpie beanie stares at him impassively. He could do with a snack from his ration pack but it might be rude to open it in front of these people.
The old man in the front turns around. 'You wan' eat goanna?' He chuckles. 'You white-fellas like bush tucker.'
Great. They're going to stop off and go hunting before they drop him off at camp. 'Don't worry about me,' he says, 'but I need to get back soon.' It isn't exactly true. It's Sunday, his one day off. No one would be missing him yet.
The Toyota lurches off the road into the spinifex. The soldier's teeth rattle as it bounces and swerves. 'Where are we going, bro?' He addresses the heavy-set young man behind the wheel.
The driver turns around. 'Jila on this track, mate. See this big mob of bullaman. They after water.' He thumps his hands on the wheel in time to Slim Dusty.
The soldier sits back. He has no idea what the guy is yabbering about. If only Steve hadn't taken the short cut to town and if only he'd stayed behind in the car with him when they'd hit the steer. But the sight of the writhing animal and all that blood had been too much and he'd taken off alone. Then these people had picked him up in their clapped out Toyota and decided to include him on their crazy family outing.
'You army mob make us new air field.' The old lady scratches her hair.
The soldier nods. He doesn't tell her how much he hates the work. Grinding, relentless in the bloody heat. Hearts and Minds mission. Some Armchair General with a great sense of humour had named it that.
All at once the driver brakes. The old man jumps out and runs through the spinifex, his bandy legs leaping over the spikes with astonishing agility. His son follows him and they disappear into the scrub.
'Goanna.' The old lady smiles. 'Good tucker.'
The soldier swats at flies as the sweat runs in small rivulets down his face. If he opened his ration pack now the old girl mightn't notice. But what if she did? Would he have to offer her something? Better wait.
And it's a long wait in the stinking heat with the red dust swirling around them. Then finally, when the hunters return, the old man is wearing a huge goanna like a bloody necklace.
'For you, soldier.' He chucks the carcass at the soldier's feet. 'Give you plenty muscle.' Blood dribbles from the goanna's mouth and the soldier retches.
The journey continues and, as he fixes his eyes on the shimmering horizon, he loses track of time. No point in referring to his watch any more. They're travelling in a different time zone. It could be minutes or hours before they finally arrive at the river.
The old lady is out of the back door in a flash. 'Plenty barra here,' she calls to the soldier.
He follows her down the track with mud squelching between his toes. She squats at the riverbank. 'You get wood and we make fire,' she orders. Father and son are already out of sight.
There's plenty of wood and, as he drags a huge branch, he feels the hunger pangs return. He drops the branch and pulls out his ration pack. The first thing his fingers find is vegemite. He rips open the plastic bag and stares at the khaki tube.
'Hey, soldier, what you got there?' The woman has seen it.
'Nothing.' He returns the tube to his pocket.
She builds a fire and soon it's roaring. She hurls the goanna on the flames, then opens a sack of flour. 'Make plenty damper. You hungry. Eh?'
The soldier squats in the mud and watches her carry water from the river in a billycan. Then she sets to, kneading and punching. For some strange reason he thinks of his mother. Smartly dressed, always in high heels and lipstick. He's never seen her bake a cake, let alone bread. She's probably the same age as this woman.
After she moulds the damper into rounds, she rakes the fire and sits the loaves among the ashes. Then she stands up. 'You watch fire.' She wanders off with her fishing reel.
Finally alone, the soldier opens his ration pack. He could dump one of his food pouches in the billy and wolf it down before they all return. There's beef Kai Si Ming or spaghetti and meatballs. But somehow they seem out of place here on the banks of this huge brown river with the smoke rising to the heavens and the goanna and dampers slowly baking in the glowing coals. Instead he throws a handful of tea leaves into the billycan and waits.
On the long drive home, the old man insists that the soldier sits in the front. Squeezed between the two men, he watches the father navigate. His hands flutter as he indicates ruts to avoid and new tracks to take. The spinifex is iridescent in the late afternoon light and the distant hills glow red gold. In the back the old lady sleeps.
When they drop him off at the camp, the old man asks his name.
He tells him and the old man repeats it solemnly as they shake hands. The soldier feels embarrassed. He wants to thank his new family for their hospitality. They'd picked him up and fed him damper and baked barramundi and smoky goanna. He'd been so ravenous it had all tasted wonderful.
Then he has an idea. He feels for his ration pack. 'For you.' He passes it to the old lady. 'Army tucker,' he says.
She screws up her face. 'No. You keep.' And she hands it back.

The Perfect Heart

One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley. A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen.
The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart.
Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said "Why your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine."
The crowd and the young man looked at the old man's heart. It was beating strongly, but full of scars, it had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn't fit quite right and there were several jagged edges. In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing.
The people stared - how can he say his heart is more beautiful, they thought? The young man looked at the old man's heart and saw its state and laughed.
"You must be joking," he said. "Compare your heart with mine, mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears."
"Yes," said the old man, "Yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love. I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them, and often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart. But, because the pieces aren't exact, I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared. Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away, and the other person hasn't returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges - giving love is taking a chance. Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for these people, I hope someday they may return and fill the space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?"
The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands. The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man's heart. It fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges. The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man's heart flowed into his. They embraced and walked away side by side. How sad it must be to go through life with a whole heart.

Love and Time

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others, including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all constructed boats and left. Except for Love.
Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to hold out until the last possible moment.
When the island had almost sunk, Love decided to ask for help.
Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said,
"Richness, can you take me with you?"
Richness answered, "No, I can't. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you."
Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel. "Vanity, please help me!"
"I can't help you, Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat," Vanity answered.
Sadness was close by so Love asked, "Sadness, let me go with you."
"Oh . . . Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!"
Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her.
Suddenly, there was a voice, "Come, Love, I will take you." It was an elder. So blessed and overjoyed, Love even forgot to ask the elder where they were going. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way. Realizing how much was owed the elder,
Love asked Knowledge, another elder, "Who Helped me?"
"It was Time," Knowledge answered.
"Time?" asked Love. "But why did Time help me?"
Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, "Because only Time is capable of understanding how valuable Love is."

The 4 wives

There was a rich merchant who had 4 wives. He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to delicacies. He took great care of her and gave her nothing but the best.
He also loved the 3rd wife very much. He's very proud of her and always wanted to show off her to his friends. However, the merchant is always in great fear that she might run away with some other men.
He too, loved his 2nd wife. She is a very considerate person, always patient and in fact is the merchant's confidante. Whenever the merchant faced some problems, he always turned to his 2nd wife and she would always help him out and tide him through difficult times.
Now, the merchant's 1st wife is a very loyal partner and has made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and business as well as taking care of the household. However, the merchant did not love the first wife and although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her.
One day, the merchant fell ill. Before long, he knew that he was going to die soon. He thought of his luxurious life and told himself, "Now I have 4 wives with me. But when I die, I'll be alone. How lonely I'll be!"
Thus, he asked the 4th wife, "I loved you most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?" "No way!" replied the 4th wife and she walked away without another word.
The answer cut like a sharp knife right into the merchant's heart. The sad merchant then asked the 3rd wife, "I have loved you so much for all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?" "No!" replied the 3rd wife. "Life is so good over here! I'm going to remarry when you die!" The merchant's heart sank and turned cold.
He then asked the 2nd wife, "I always turned to you for help and you've always helped me out. Now I need your help again. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?" "I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!" replied the 2nd wife. "At the very most, I can only send you to your grave." The answer came like a bolt of thunder and the merchant was devastated.
Then a voice called out : "I'll leave with you. I'll follow you no matter where you go." The merchant looked up and there was his first wife. She was so skinny, almost like she suffered from malnutrition. Greatly grieved, the merchant said, "I should have taken much better care of you while I could have !"
Actually, we all have 4 wives in our lives
a. The 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it'll leave us when we die.
b. Our 3rd wife ? Our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, they all go to others.
c. The 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how close they had been there for us when we're alive, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.
d. The 1st wife is in fact our soul, often neglected in our pursuit of material, wealth and sensual pleasure.
Guess what? It is actually the only thing that follows us wherever we go. Perhaps it's a good idea to cultivate and strengthen it now rather than to wait until we're on our deathbed to lament

Tree, Leaf and Wind

People call me "Tree".
I had dated 5 girls when I was in Pre-U. There is one girl who I love a lot but never dared to go after. She didn't have a pretty face, good figure or an outstanding charm. She was just a very ordinary girl. I liked her. I really liked her. I liked her innocence, her frankness, her intelligence and her fragility. Reason for not going after her was that I felt somebody so ordinary like her was not a good match for me. I was also afraid that after we were together all the feelings would vanish. I was also afraid that another gossip would hurt her.
I felt that if she were my girl, she'd be mine ultimately & I didn't have to give up everything just for her. The last reason, made her accompanying me for 3 years. She watched me chase other girls, and I have made her heart cry for 3 years. She was a good actor, and me a demanding director. When I kissed my second girlfriend, she bumped into us. She was embarrassed but smiled & said, "Go on!" before running off.The next day, her eyes were swollen like a walnut. I did not want to know what caused her to cry. Later that day, I returned from soccer training to get something & watched her cry in the classroom for an hour or so. My fourth girlfriend did not like her.There was once when both of them quarreled. I know that based on her character she is not the type that will start the quarrel. However, I still sided my girlfriend. I shouted at her & ignored her feelings and walked off with my girlfriend. The next day, she was laughing & joking with me like nothing happened. I know she was hurt but she did not know deep down inside I was hurt too.
When I broke up with my fifth girlfriend, I asked her out. Later that day, I told her I had something to tell her. I told her about my breakup.Coincidentally, she has something to tell me too, about her getting together. I knew who the person was. His pursuit for her had been the talk of the School. I did not show her my heartache, just smiles & best wishes.Once I reached home, I could not breathe. Tears rolled & I broke down. How many times have I seen her cry for the man who did not acknowledge her presence?
During graduation, I read a SMS in my hp. It said, "Leaf's departure is because of Wind's pursuit. Or because Tree didn't ask her to stay"

People call me Leaf.
During the 3 years of Pre-U, I was on very close terms with a guy as buddy kind. However, when he had his first girlfriend, I learnt a feeling I never should have learnt - Jealousy. Sourness to the extreme limit. They were only together for 2 months. When they broke up, I hid my happiness. But after a month, he got together with another girl.
I liked him & I know he liked me. But why won't he pursue me? Since he loves me why he didn't he make the first move? Whenever he had a new girlfriend, my heart would hurt. After some time, I began to suspect that this was one-sided love. If he didn't like me, why did he treat me so well? It's beyond what you will normally do for a friend. I know his likes, his habits.But his feelings towards me I can never figure out. You can't expect me a girl, to ask him. Despite that, I still wanted to be by his side. Care for him, accompany him, and love him. Hoping that one day, he will come to love me. Because of this, I waited for him. Sometimes, I wondered if I should continue waiting. The pain, the dilemma accompanied me for 3 years.
At the end of my 3rd year, a junior pursues me. Everyday he pursues me. He's like the cool & gentle wind, trying to blow off a leaf from a tree. In the end, I realized that I wanted to give this wind a small footing in my heart. I know the wind will bring the leaf to a better land. Finally, leaf left the tree, but the tree only smiled & didn't ask me to stay.
Leaf's departure is because of Wind's pursuit. Or cause Tree didn't ask her to stay.

Because I like a girl called leaf. Because she's so dependent on tree, so I have to be a gust wind. A wind that will blow her away. When I first met her, it was 1 month after I was transferred to this new school. I saw a petite person look ing at my seniors & me playing soccer. During ECA time, she will always be sitting there. Be it alone or with her friends, looking at him. When he talks with girls, there's jealousy in her eyes. When he looked at her, there's a smile in her eyes. Looking at her became my habit. Just like, she likes to look at him.
One day, she didn't appear. I felt something missing. I can't explain the feeling except it's a kind of uneasiness. The senior was also not there as well. I went to their classroom, hid outside and saw my senior scolding her. Tears were in her eyes while he left. The next day, I saw her at her usual place, looking at him. I walked over and smiled to her. Took out a note & gave to her. She was surprised. She looked at me, smiled & accepts the note. The next day, she appeared & passes me a note and left.
It read, "Leaf's heart is too heavy and wind couldn't blow her away."
"It's not that leaf heart is too heavy. It because leaf never want to leave tree." I replied her note with this statement and slowly she started to talk to me & accept my presents & phone calls. I know that the person she loves is not me. But I have this perseverance that one day I will make her like me. Within 4 months, I have declared my love for her no less than 20 times. Every time, she will divert away from the topic. But I never give up. If I decide I want her to be mine, I will definitely use all means to win her over. I can't remember how many times I have declared my love to her. Although I know, she will try to divert but I still bear a small ray of hope.
Hoping that she will agree to be my girlfriend. I didn't hear any reply from her over the phone. I asked, "What are you doing? How come you didn't want to reply?" She said, "I'm nodding my head". "Ah?" I couldn't believe my ears. "I'm nodding my head" She replied loudly. I hang up the phone, quickly changed and took a taxi and rush to her place & press her doorbell. During the moment when she opens the door, I hugged her tightly.

Leaf departure is because of Wind pursuit. Or because Tree didn't ask her to stay...


Salty Coffee

He met her on a party. She was so outstanding, many guys chasing after her, while he was so normal, nobody paid attention to him.
At the end of the party, he invited her to have coffee with him, she was surprised, but due to being polite, she promised.
They sat in a nice coffee shop, he was too nervous to say anything, she felt uncomfortable, she thought, please, let me go home... suddenly he asked the waiter: "would you please give me some salt? I'd like to put it in my coffee."
Everybody stared at him, so strange! His face turned red, but, still, he put the salt in his coffee and drank it.
She asked him curiously: why you have this hobby? He replied: "when I was a little boy, I was living near the sea, I liked playing in the sea, I could feel the taste of the sea , just like the taste of the salty coffee. Now every time I have the salty coffee, always think of my childhood, think of my hometown, I miss my hometown so much, I miss my parents who are still living there".
While saying that tears filled his eyes. She was deeply touched. That's his true feeling, from the bottom of his heart. A man who can tell out his homesickness, he must be a man who loves home, cares about home, has responsibility of home..
Then she also started to speak, spoke about her faraway hometown, her childhood, her family. That was a really nice talk, also a beautiful beginning of their story.
They continued to date. She found that actually he was a man who meets all her demands; he had tolerance, was kind hearted, warm, careful. He was such a good person but she almost missed him!
Thanks to his salty coffee! Then the story was just like every beautiful love story, the princess married to the prince, then they were living the happy life...And, every time she made coffee for him, she put some salt in the coffee, as she knew that's the way he liked it.
After 40 years, he passed away, left her a letter which said:
"My dearest, please forgive me, forgive my whole life lie. This was the only lie I said to you---the salty coffee. Remember the first time we dated? I was so nervous at that time, actually I wanted some sugar, but I said salt. It was hard for me to change so I just went ahead. I never thought that could be the start of our communication! I tried to tell you the truth many times in my life, but I was too afraid to do that, as I have promised not to lie to you for anything.. Now I'm dying, I'm afraid of nothing so I tell you the truth: I don't like the salty coffee, what a strange bad taste.. But I have had the salty coffee for my whole life! Since I knew you, I never feel sorry for anything I do for you. Having you with me is my biggest happiness for my whole life. If I can live for the second time, still want to know you and have you for my whole life, even though I have to drink the salty coffee again".
Her tears made the letter totally wet.
Someday, someone asked her: what's the taste of salty coffee? It's sweet. She replied.


Two Teardrops

Two little teardrops were floating down the river of life. One drop said to the other, "I am the teardrop of a girl who loved a man and lost him." Who are you? "Well, I am the teardrop of the girl who won him."
Love is very strange. Love is unconditional commitment to an imperfect individual. You need it but when you love, it's like destining yourself for pain. You become addicted and dependent on the person. You become strong and at the same time, you open yourself up to being hurt. Love can make you bear any kind of pain and any kind of sacrifice. It can also make you feel stupid and act stupidly. Sometimes when you love and end up giving so much of yourself, subconsciously you only discover how much you've given when the person you love hurts you or has to say goodbye.
Then you realize, an important part of yourself is already with that person. It goes away when he leaves and you are left with a sickening, empty feeling inside. Tears are bound to shed from your eyes no matter how you force yourself to keep them in. Most teardrops ever shed on this earth have been for love or lack of it. When tears dry, a silent loss sticks to your heart for a long, long time.
Well, that's what you get for caring so much about someone. But how can you regret it? To give yourself freely and lovingly is the most beautiful thing you can do. Loving makes you real. Loving also makes you cry. And that is why a teardrop is also BEAUTIFUL...