The New Beginning

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
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What if the Seeing Eye People ( prank from Improv Everywhere, a New York City-based group pranksters, cooperated with Buzzfeed ) is real and is not only based in New York but all over the US? What if you can get a service there? Ace Eggleton is one of the people who thinks that she needs this help, this remedy. However, she has no idea that this leads to her new beginning, the new beginning that she's never thought of getting after being harshly dumped. Happy White Day!

Submitted: March 14, 2017

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Content

Submitted: March 14, 2017

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“We’re over.”

Those were certainly not the words one would expect to hear on Valentine’s Day. I don’t remember what year it was, though. I just freaking know that it was Valentine’s Day because… well, it was Valentines Day. How can a girl ever forget that?

And the reason? My boyfriend simply said that we were too different! Wasn’t that cliché or what?

I dropped the box of chocolate and the card that held the past four years of relationship we’d had. I tried to open my mouth but no words came…

All I could do? Was to run away in shame. I had been expecting the best Valentine’s Day, but this? I had enough. But more than that? I knew he’d lied.

It was not because ‘we’re different’, whatsoever. I mean, opposites attract and all that, but that was just plain crazy of an excuse.

He had a new girlfriend— wait, not new. Old, because he just technically happened to get back together with his ex-girlfriend.

How cruel was that?

And, I just had to inadvertently walk in on them in his house as he was saying those exact words. For one thing, how could he just freaking say those words to me over a phone conversation when I was already at his door and going to push at the bell. Was I wrong to just wanted to surprise him with “I’m at your door. Open up!”

I guess I don’t have to explain the condition they were in; just know that they were in a pretty compromising position.

I wanted to cry. I really wanted to, but I just felt so, so numb.

I didn’t know why. I was crestfallen and disheveled, but I just couldn’t seem to bring myself to completely break.

Ha, take that fate!

I once saw a person on the curb, shouting gibberish and shaking terribly, tears streaming down her face. I thought it was a bit pathetic, so I promised myself to never scream and cry, or make a fool out of myself in front of everyone in any way like that.

Getting rejected doesn’t mean that I can’t get on with my life.

Normally, with people, when they don’t have something, such as a cellphone, they don’t know how much they’d need it until they have it then lose it later.

So, how did I get rid of these troubled and hellish feelings? I decided to find another addiction to erase—or you can say replace—the last one.

A new place stops us from being stuck in the labyrinth of old memories. Moreover, a new addiction can stop us from returning to the old one.

Moving to Michigan was probably the best thing that had ever occur in my life. It’s only a few hours from my home, Ohio, too; a new change of scenery was just what mattered. I had to thank that horrid ex-boyfriend of mine for the decisions to be made easier.

You see, earlier that year, a teacher offered me a flyer for a scholarship to a university in Michigan. I worried a lot but the breakup just made me crave for a new change.

Oh, and about my new addiction? Such a bad courtesy of me for the lack of mentioning. It’s called social media.

I may appear outdated to you because I have never really enjoyed it or surfed the internet that much for that matter; before coming here, I had never known what’s so wonderful about it.

Now…? I’ve found it irresistible, incredible, and intelligent.

Anyways, I started chatting with everyone in my friend’s list who I’d never contacted before (I now have tons of online friends). Also, I tried to enter every group that’s ever been created; even the ones I wasn’t really interested in.

You see, except for online friends, I didn’t have any real friends. At all.

I am an introvert in reality, when I’m an extrovert online; I like to keep to myself as much as possible. I avoid going on public transportation merely because of the noise people always bring with them.

Instead, I chose to bike wherever I could. It also helps with making the world greener and lessening the CO2 in the air or whatever. So, that was a plus. A little laborious to type while riding but I managed.

Nevertheless, on that day, my bike broke down because I had felt like overexerting myself the day before. It was probably stress from schoolwork, but who knew?

I don’t really keep notes of why or how things work in a human’s body or particularly my body. Otherwise, I would already have been a psychologist or a psychiatrist, who’s always being anxious about others’ problems.

Anyhow, I surmised it was a brilliant idea to take a stroll on that brightly lit day. I was texting and commenting and posting stuff on Facebook when a car nearly clipped me. I jumped in time and scratched myself on the tarmac.

From that, I had two epiphanies: 1) Humans can’t really multi-task and 2) If that was a close one, I had no idea how I’d survive something like that again next time.

Thus, commenced my new journey.

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I browsed through the internet night and day, day and night over and over until one website caught my eyes:

“Seeing Eye People. A buck per service. Available around the US.”

The service was simple.

Basically, all I needed to do was text and walk, while the Seeing Eye Person would guide me— with this leash I had to hold to— through throngs of people, sometimes with light paddles. I knew at once that this was what I’d always wanted. Needed. Desperately. Therefore, without any unnecessary reluctance, I emailed the company my required request.

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The next day, I woke up with the biggest smile plastered on my face (I hadn’t given way to this muscle since the day that boorish oaf dumped me).

“Ms. Eggleton?” A voice rang meekly through the air as I left my flat.

I looked left and right when I spotted someone with a very bright orange vest with the words “I can help you walk and text” on the left side of his chest. I smiled slightly. This was the answer to all of my problems.

We shook hands. I being a little befuddled.

“Uh, nice to meet you, Mr...”

“Roy will do,” he replied with a smile.

No. Nonononononono!!! This guy, tall and tanned with dimples. He was absolutely an Asian, so how come Roy was his name?!

...Are you thinking I was being melodramatic or had completely lost my marbles? Well, you see, Roy’s my ex’s name. Do good-looking guys have to always be named Roy?!

Hooray!

My heart beat up slightly faster. It felt like within the depths of it, it was pricked with a very sharp needle. The air was knocked out of my lungs.

What do you think is the probability of anyone being in this situation? Probably a little less than infinity.

“Do you have any other names I could use perhaps?” I tried to accept this truth with equanimity while swallowing thickly.

“Well, you can call me Wa-Dae if you like... and if it’s not too hard for you,” he paused a second too long as if everyone he’d met thought that his name was hard to pronounce.

I didn’t and still don’t. Surely, any name would do if it meant not having to say that name ever again.

“And please,” Wa-Dae chortled happily, “no Mister in front. You’re giving me goose bumps!”

“But you—”

“That’s different,” Wa-Dae explained, feigning seriousness. “In a relationship between a service provider and a client—”

“Nonsense,” I said, looking him directly into the eye. “I tell you what. Call me Ace as well. That gives me the creep, too.”

“Sure”—he bestowed a meager bow—”...Ace.”

“Good.” Then, she burst out laughing with Wa-Dae joining a moment later.

“Now,” I said sternly, stifling an upcoming laugh, “hand me the leash. I don’t wanna be late for class.”

+0+0+0+0+0+0+

Seconds changed to minutes to hours to days. Soon, it’d already been two weeks since Wa-Dae and I first met.

Despite seeing him every day, we had never exchanged other words than “Hey” and “Hi”, “Bye” and “See ya”. In other words, there really was nothing spontaneous occurring in my life.

One day, I got the nerves to ask him if he wanna hang out sometimes since he was practically the only substantial person I could call a friend.

“Maybe later,” he said with a smile. “It feels wrong going all chill with a client while working.”

“Sure,” I muttered. I was a little disappointed because it was actually my first time asking someone to spend their time with me, and I had mustered up all my courage for something like that.

“See you later, then,” I said with a half-hearted smile and gave him a perfunctory wave.

That night, Wa-Dae surprised me with the sound of the buzzer going off.

“Told you I’d be here,” he greeted with his arms spread out and a smile that could’ve definitely lit up the whole place. “Just had an evening class.”

“You must be tired,” I commented, feeling a little bit happy that in spite of his tight schedule, he still had managed to include me in it. “Why don’t we just stay inside and have take-out?”

“Knew you would say that,” Wa-Dae said with a cunning grin and a pitch slightly too high. “Pizza?” He revealed the bags behind his back.

“Oh,” I moaned. “How can you be sooooo perfect! It’s like we’ve known each other for years!”

“C’mon,” Wa-Dae said, leading the way. Um, wasn’t I the tenant? “You’d better already put on a movie with the popcorn ready!”

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“Are you like this with other clients, Wa-Dae?” I asked one night with a heavy heart six months after our first gathering.

“Hmmm?” Wa-Dae looked away from the screen, eyes fluttering with a flat, matted hair on one side. “I have no other clients.”

“You’re kidding,” I said, looking at Wa-Dae knowingly because I knew that he liked to joke around.

"The Seeing Eye People service was only implemented here in Michigan earlier this year," Wa-Dae elucidated as he sat up straighter and looked at me directly into the eyes.

I couldn’t say that I hadn’t blushed a bit.

"This means that there’s not a lot of customers yet.” He yawned. Man, was it already two A.M.? “I’m also closest to you. Michael, my ex and now my best friend, is one of the shareholders…and I did owe her a favor."

“You’re friends with you ex?” Was this a strange question? At least, I’d not been in touch with Roy. “Aren’t you afraid that the romance’ll be rekindled?”

“What’s wrong with that?” Wa-Dae shrugged. “We parted on good terms. If you’re wondering, I was the one who broke things off with her, but sometimes it’s good to have a girl giving me some advice…”

He scooted closer to me. Something was not quite right with the way his eyes were glinting.

From all the time we’d been spending together, I knew that we were compatible, Wa-Dae and I. I could talk to him about everything and anything: we’d talked about places we’d been, foods we’d eaten, and our dreams…And whenever I saw him or was near him…my skin started to have this jingled feeling and there was this fuzzy, warmth like a small fire blooming in my chest. Sometimes, I just fake played my phone just to watch him all the way to the college. With him, I could almost forget Roy. Almost.

Our knees touched and my pulse suddenly quickened. My breathing followed suit. One of his hands was reaching for my face.

We’d only touched intimately once when I’d had a nightmare about Roy. It had felt like there was a stab through my heart when I’d dreamed of our breakup. I didn’t know why but I’d woken up crying with choked sobs. I could think of nobody, so I’d called Wa-Dae. He had been there for me after an hour and a half ride on the bus, all the while, soothing me.

“Ace,” he’d said when he’d arrived. “I’m here, I’m here. This is now, and Roy can never come near you again even if he wants to. I won’t let him. Ever.” He’d just held me all through the night with those comforting words and touches.

I had been grateful and still was. That was the memory I held dearly when things went awry now and then.

“…Okay,” I now said softly, looking into his glassy eyes. I turned away at the last minute as he leaned in closer. I was still not ready.  “I wouldn’t understand something like that, though.”

 

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I never knew how fast time moves until I was already a junior. It’d been three years since I’d been here.

I kept working with diligence and perseverance and even though I didn’t know why I couldn’t loosen up myself because I still hadn’t the slightest idea whether to stay here or return home after graduating, I just had to forget and get on with my life!

There were moments my heart kept reminding me about Roy. Sometimes, I would think about some memories we’d had like our first date, but those were soon suppressed by how he’d torn my heart to pieces. Through time, what I had with him was slowly fading away but my heart could never forget. Having Wa-Dae here also alleviated things…still—

I shook my head and sighed, clutching my head with frustration.

“Hey.”

“W-Wa-Dae…”, I gasped in relief. Thank you for interrupting my mediocre thoughts. Well… not really.

“You’re not playing with your phone!” Wa-Dae grinned mischievously.

“Sometimes a girl needs a break from all the blue light she’s absorbed,” I said with that sassy tone he encountered on day one, and smiled jadedly.

“Ace…”

I could see his eyebrows tied into a question mark. I believed that that expression was reflected on my face as well.

I knew that he could catch the bitterness in my tone and maybe that was the exact moment when I wished that he couldn’t.

“You can go home,” I ordered (he did kinda hint that I was superior to him). “I don’t need you today, but I’ll pay you for wasting your time.”

I grabbed his wrist and roughly pressed one buck into his resisting hand.

I walked away from the school gate.

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“You should leave me alone,” I spoke directly at Lake Erie, refusing to turn my back. It almost felt like I was back in Ohio.

“You know, the water can read a person’s emotions.” Without facing the figure, I could feel the warmth of his presence next to me. “Like people, it could react differently with how they are being treated.”

I chanced a glance at Wa-Dae through my lashes. He had this cogitative mien. I didn’t know what he expected of me. Should I answer or wait on him?

“Dr. Masaru Emoto discovered that while saying good things, the water would rearrange itself into beautiful crystalline structure, while the one being scolded—”

“There’s no scientific proof, is there?” I made a why-are-you-telling-me-this face. “Even when I’m in the Creative Writing and Literature major, I don’t buy that story.”

“Me neither… and that’s not just because my major’s Environmental Geosciences.” Wa-Dae smirked challengingly, his arms across his chest. “I just wanted to suggest that you should just not storm off like that.”  Then, his voice lowered, “You’re never like this with me.”

“Maybe I just need to be in solitude once in a while.” I slowly stepped back, ready to run away if I had to. “Relying on somebody is never good.”

“I could’ve told you that tomorrow.” Wa-Dae turned around and smiled softly. He knew that pushing me wasn’t the way out. “And I could’ve just left you, but…”

I clenched my teeth, Let me. Go. I took a deep breath and tried to control my anger before saying, “You decided to be that generous to waste your time and money following me here.” I knew that with this work, they provided him with a special transporting service but I said that on impulse just to piss him off.

“Ace, we’ve known each other for three years,” he sighed and turned to me, “and yet, we’ve never really known each other.”

I mentally slapped myself. I should’ve been more prudent than to let someone followed me.

“What does it matter?” I shrugged. “You told me that you’ve just graduated. Soon—”

“I’m not leaving you,” he said like a trainer trying to calm down his dog. “Is that what you’ve been anxious about all day?”

"You don’t know that!!!" I yelled at him as loud as my voice would allow me. “I finally find something I can cling on to with this foreign city and you’re gonna—”

“Hey, cheer up!” He smiled at me.

I’m leaving. I’m leaving. I kept telling myself that but somehow, my legs refused to move.

I was suddenly in contact with that hard, strong body. He held me tightly and I dug my nails into his shirt, his flesh. I’m not letting you go. Never. This hug seemed to be saying.

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“Today’s my last day.”

I almost dropped my phone as we crossed the street. I didn’t feel like staring at the screen anymore.

“H-how come?” My voice came out dry and raspy. A lump caught in my throat. I almost bumped into him.

My right hand quickly touched the Cola Chupa Chup and a note I thought I was going to give him.

Yeah, it was Valentine’s Day again. And yeah, I got dumped. Again.

This time even before I could confess; I was at a loss for words. How could history have repeated itself again…?

“I got a job as a hydrogeologist.” He brushed his hair with his hand. “This was really just a part-time job I do for fun.”

“W-will you still be here?” Will you still be herewith me? Will you come see me? were what I really wanted to inquire, to force some answers from his lips.

“I’ve lived here since I was eight.” One of the corner of his mouth curved up. “Michigan’s gonna do better than that to get rid of me!”

We walked in silence after that until we reached my supposedly “home”.

“I don’t like goodbyes!” I suddenly piped up when he began opening his mouth again.

“I don’t like thinking about Roy, my ex, either!” I hung my head low to conceal my nascent tears. “But at one point, I started comparing him with you, Wa-Dae. I started having weird thoughts like ‘That Roy isn’t like this Roy’ a-and I just can’t stop!”

I laughed a tad at my silliness.

“You’re correct to have said that we’re patently acquaintances that come and go.” I rubbed at my cheeks, still staring at the ground, attempting to figure out where my faith was. “Of course, I sound crazy… but your presence in my life has been the only constant thing that I’ve attached myself to. Without realizing, I even stop being addicted to this gadget because of the work you do! I know that it’s better to help myself than to rely on others and you helped me with that.” I sobbed.

“Nonetheless, I want to rely on you. You’ve made me want to rely on you!” I tugged at the two items in my pocket, having a tough time pulling them out in my current state. "I know that this is not a feasible plan at all, but please accept these...as a commemoration."

As soon as I saw his circumspect outstretched hand, I shoved the candy and card at him.

Then, I ran. I ran when I reached the stairs. I ran when I reached my door. I ran when I slammed that hindered wooden object. I still felt like running when I flopped down on the floor of my bedroom.

All the while, tears obstructed my vision. They adhered to my eyelashes, my cheeks, my chin.

I screamed and I thrashed and I sobbed. I screamed some more.

Now, I understood clearly how that woman had felt.

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A month later. March 14, 20XX

 

Time never heals. The details will only get muddy and frayed around the edges, but the impression will still be there.

I’ve been telling myself to move on...but I don’t want to and I can’t because I never met anyone new that interests me.

I was later able to ascertain that I’ve never been in love with Roy the First. Indeed, I was thrilled whenever I was with him, but whenever he complimented me, I could feel my skin crawl. Additionally, the good memories I shared with him never seemed to last like I heard others who’ve been infatuated described. Sure, my heart did skip a beat but that was countable with just one finger.

I went back to using my bike. To feel the wind whipping my face as the scenery goes by in a blur. The only difference is that my ears are blasting with pop-rock music from the mp4 player I’d luckily brought from home but never used.

I now have no heart to even pick up my phone.

I close my eyes and rub them while mulling over all the events that have happened over the small span of time before coming to Michigan up till now with fatigue. Stopping at the door, I do the dumbest thing: I pull out my phone, unlock it, and look up all the pictures I took with Wa-Dae. 1,588 to be exact.

Now, I’m barely able to stop enveloping myself in a cataract of tears.

I sigh and leave the door—

“I once heard that not risking is being cautious, and in a way, it is.” I blanch and drop my phone. Is he for real?! “On the contrary, not taking risks at all may also prevent us from finding new opportunities. New opportunities to new beginnings, for instance.”

My breath is knocked out of me. I tighten my grip on the handle behind me.

“So, with premeditation, I choose today to tell you about my feelings.” The voice paused. “Wa-Dae Mun, I love you.”

We stand in silence for what is probably the longest minute of my life.

“You should not be here,” I start.

“You don’t want me to be here?” Wa-Dae inquires. For the first time, his face and voice are callous.

“I-I.” This is too much to take in. “Unrequited love is not something I’ve never encountered before.”

“U-unrequited love?” Now, his face is in total shock. I wonder why. Did I say something wrong?

“Wait! Stop right there.” He stretches out his palm, almost touching my face. “I-If this is unrequited love — and I’m not saying that it is— Ace Eggleton, then why in the world do you think that I’m here?”

“Make fun of my little stunt I pulled a month ago?” I say, frowning.

Then, he is on me. His hands on my shoulders until they are squeezing and pulling me close. Our lips touch.

“Oh?” I am a little dazed.

“‘Oh?’” Wa-Dae gives me a sardonic smile. “That’s all you can say?”

“What could I possibly say after something like that?!” I lash out, face flaming.

“That what you wrote on the note was real, and that I’m not hallucinating?” Wa-Dae shrugged. "That—"

My eyes travel around when they spot a box of something.

“What’s that—?” I point at it.

"Is that...?" Wa-Dae points at something on the floor. "That’s your phone!"

"Um, yeah?" I pick it up but he takes it from my before I can even brush it on my lap.

  "Oooh, you’re missing me," he said with an overreacting sweet tone. "Me, me, me, me, me. All me! You’re looking at our photos!!!"

"Does it matter?" I purse my lips and quickly snatch my phone back. I clear my throat, trying to act cool. "So, what’s that?"

“Oh, this?”

I scoff. “Seems like we’ve got some similar reactions.”

He smirks. “Do we?” He pulls me in and kiss my cheek.

“Hey!”

“So, do you miss me? Hmmm?”

“I do…”, I admit soft. “Very much.”

“Good,” he says, backing off, “because this is a box of white chocolates, marshmallows, and other assorted candies.” He says, waving the box.

“Why?”

“You, Americans, don’t celebrate White Day, do you?”

I shake my head. I don’t even know what it means.

“Well, in South Korea, but more particularly in Japan, Valentine’s Day is like a day girls give boys stuff.” Wa-Dae smirked deviously. “Then, there’s this White Day we celebrate, which is a month later for boys to return their feelings.”

“I thought that Valentine’s Day can be about platonic relationships?” I quip. "And one month?! Geez, you’ve driven me crazy!"

"Isn’t that epic, or what?!" Wa-Dae grins sinisterly.

I contort my face into disgust to which he laughs maddeningly without disguise. Then, he became more serious as he held my two hands in one of his. “Ace, you’re my love at first sight.”

“Oh?” I said, earning a soft laugh from him.

“But...is that what we’re having?” He gestures between us. “A platonic relationship?”

“It is whatever you want it to be.” I smile.

?A/N: Thank you my friend, Meggie, for giving me great idea for the water crystals thingy by Dr. Masaru Emoto with an additional information from here:

 

http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/show/a_grain_of_truth_recreating_dr._emotos_rice_experiment

 

 


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