Empty 

I am the kind of person who would 

stay up all night

to listen to you

talk about 

whatever’s on your mind

and to help you

confront your obstacles

and here you are

leaving me on hold

talking to other people

and making me feel

ignored

and it’s sad to see

that I am ready

to walk through the desert

for someone

who is not willing

to cross the backyard

on a hot summer day

for me. 

Moments 

“Nick, stop!” Jane screamed as she followed Nick, who was running madly in the streets.

Nick had avoided getting hit by a car several times, but there is nothing that showed he will certainly remain alive if he continues running.

Jane ran recklessly, avoiding buildings and road signs, and tripped. 

She shrieked. She tried to stand up, but her ankle was too swollen. She cried, screamed in pain, and tried finding a way to stand up again but it was useless. She cried a little more and when she lifted her head, she saw a hand extended towards her, there to help her get up. It was Nick. 

“I can’t stand up,” she said.

“Stand on one foot. I’ll carry you.” 

He carried her all the way to the nearest bench and they both sat there. 

“I called an ambulance. They’ll take care of you,” he said.

Jane was silent. 

“Jane, I…”

“I don’t want to hear it. I’m furious. Why in the fucking world would you run like this?” 

“Jane, I was running away because it was the only way.” 

“The only way for what?” she asked.

“This might sound illogical, but it’s the only way to avoid facing my problems. I thought of running as far as I can, running away from it all. I couldn’t stand it, I was going insane.”

Jane sat there silent. 

She said, a little calm now, “Nick, you have no idea what it’s like to have to deal with something that kills you inside.”

“I think I do. All of what I’m facing right now proves that I do,” he said.

“There’s something I need to tell you…” 

“Nick,” she continued, “I…I am jealous and selfish.” 

“You? Selfish? Jealous? How does that even make sense?”
He looked surprised.

“I am fucking jealous of Rosie. I can’t handle the way she gets everyone to like her, nor the way her hair has volume in all the right places, nor the way she aces all her courses, nor the way she’s so good at everything she does, nor the way she took you away from me.”

Jane paused. Nick seemed to be puzzled.

“Woah, woah, woah,” he said, “Take me away from you? Where’s that coming from? You were always okay with me sometimes hanging out with other people.” 

“I thought I was but, Nick, I can’t stand seeing you so happy with her. What happened to Nick and Jane? The incredible duo? Our laughs? Our memories? Our late-night conversations?”

“Nothing has changed,” he continued.

“Oh, it has changed a lot. Nick, I apologized the first time for trying to pull you and Rosie apart but it is killing me inside. I can’t do anything but smile, but in reality, my heart is being torn into a million pieces.”

“I’m selfish because I want you all to myself, Nick Dawson. I don’t like it when Rosie interrupts our chats, when you talk about how much fun you two are having together. In fact, that breaks my heart.” 

“…It breaks my heart to see you so happy with someone else.” 

Nick remained silent, looked Jane in the eyes, and grabbed her hands.

“Jane, you are the most important person in my life. I would never want to make you feel unwanted or left out or replaced.”

“Well, you did.” 

“Would you let me finish? I have to remind you how special you are to me. And there’s only one way to do it…”

Nick was interrupted by the sound of thunder. The lightning blinded them for a second, and the rain started pouring heavily. 

“Looks like the universe wants to make things special,” Nick said with a smile.

“What’s happening?” 

“Grab my hand. I’m going to sweep you off your feet.” 

“You want to dance?” said Jane, “I can’t stand up.” 

“You don’t have to,” he said.

Nick immediately carried her in his arms and twirled her around about five times, and enjoyed every second her scared laugh.

He put her back on the bench, and she said, “I can’t believe you would spin me like that! Why would you do that?” 

“I want to hear you laugh. I want to hear you scream and hold me tightly because you’re afraid you’d fall. I want to hear you yell at me to put you down. I want to hear your breath as you try to calm down from all the spinning. I want you to love me again.” 

“I love you, Nick, you know that.” 

“The feeling is mutual. Now, anything else I could do for you before the ambulance gets here? It’s about time it arrives.” 

“Well, there is one thing…”

“Name it.”

“Hold me tightly, and protect me from the pouring rain. Hold my hand, and say you won’t let go, even during our darkest times. A promise for our friendship.” 

“Anything you want, milady.” 

He hugged her tightly and kissed the back of her hand. She blushed and they both admired the rain and looked at how wet their clothes got until the ambulance finally showed up. 

The Wiseman

“What is happiness?” 

I replied with a grin, “Happiness is when you make other people smile. Actually, it’s when you see them smiling and enjoy it, even if you’re not the reason behind it. 

Happiness is helping someone, directly or indirectly, and seeing that person’s mood change to the better after you’ve helped. 

Happiness is knowing your hard work paid off, knowing that you have people in your life who’ll always have your back, knowing that God is with you, always.”

– “What is love?”

To that I replied, “Love is a powerful thing. Love stretches over any distance. Love is when you put other people’s happiness before yours, when you’re ready to sacrifice something without hesitating, when you feel the need to give your all to someone. 

Love is that little fire that ignited inside the hearts of a man and a woman when they first met, and when they saw their baby child for the first time. 

Love is when you feel like you have to check up on a friend or a family member who is sick, when you feel like calling someone because you miss that person and you need to hear his/her voice.”

– “What is passion?” 

“Passion is when you’re ready to do something you love and give it your ultimate best. You love that thing so much you feel like you always have to improve to be the best. And the greatest thing about passion is that, even if the path to excellence is long and bumpy, you’re always happy while taking that path because you’ve got passion.” 

– “What is sadness?”

I lowered my eyes, took a deep breath, and said, “Sadness, my boy, is that bitter feeling you get when you lose something you love. You remember when grandpa passed away? Remember how much I cried?”

– Yes, Baba. 

“Do you know why I cried? I cried because I was filled with sadness. But sadness comes in different kinds. There’s that little sadness you feel when you get a bad grade, or when your favorite football team loses an important game. There’s the sadness that lasts a little longer and that tries to inhabit your heart, but fortunately fails to do so. This kind of sadness mostly comes to you when you lose a loved one. And lastly, there’s agony. Agony is that ultimate level of sadness that inhabits your heart and somehow refuses to go away. It stays there, fighting for refuge in your heart.”

– “How to avoid agony, Baba?” 

“Well, son, agony settles in your heart once you let it in. But I think the only way to keep agony away is by trying to be a good person. Don’t get me wrong. Some of the nicest people secretly live in agony.  But, son, take my advice and choose something that makes you happy and pursue it. Find people who bring out the best in you, and who push you to try new -safe- things. Find your passion in life. Love more, smile more, help more, accept remarks, challenge yourself to improve…and if you fail – once, twice, or even 10 times – you keep trying. Never tell yourself that you’re a failure. You are incredible. You know what they say…” 

My son looked at me, smiled, and screamed, “When there is a will, there is a way!” 

My little man was growing up. 

– “Thank you, Baba. I can kick agony’s behind now, I’m going to be a happy boy!” 

“I sure hope all the best for you, son. Give your old pops a hug.” 

He hugged me and went to play with his friends.

My wife came in the room, patted my shoulder, and said to me, “I heard everything. I love you and that beautiful mind of yours. You’re teaching him well.” 

Quick Reminder

It’s been a while since I last posted anything, but I’ve been really busy lately. Between school activities, extracurriculars, my studies, and family commitments, it’s hard to find the correct time to blog and to actually think and write. 

I won’t blabber much. I’m just here to tell you a thing or two. First of all, the most essential thing in life is to always be there for the people who need you. When someone needs a shoulder to cry on, be there for that person. When a friend needs to take a load off his/her chest, be the one who listens. The feeling of serenity you’ll feel afterwards is beyond satisfying. Not only have you helped someone out, directly or indirectly, but you’ve also been able to achieve inner peace. 

Also, be thankful for what you have. Lately, I made a decision to stop complaining and learn to accept and be happy with what I have. It worked fine the first week, so I’m trying to make it a lifestyle. Be thankful for your friends. At least I know I am. My friends are incredible, and I don’t know what I’d do without them. Be thankful for your family. No bond is stronger than the one that connects a man and a woman to their children. Family is irreplaceable. And lastly, instead of focusing on the negatives, learn to embrace the positives. 

That’s all I have to say. Put a smile on your face, be good to others, and be kind. You’re awesome, remember that. 

Him // September 3rd, 2000

It’s time to speak up. I don’t know what’s going on with me.

Usually I’m all for meeting new people and making new friends, but in his case, I refuse. I refuse, I refuse, I refuse. I can’t bear to see him drift away from me like that.

Recently, I found out he had a new friend he talked to all the time, and she seems like she’s better than me. No, wait. She is better than me. Prettier, smarter, funnier.

I can’t think of the number of times when he said that she has told him something last night, and broke my heart. Why is he talking to her so much?

What is this load on my chest?

I’m jealous. I admit it. I am goddamned jealous.

Everytime she says his name, and how much the both of them laughed the night before, I die a little inside. It hurts because I’m afraid. I’m scared that he’ll eventually love her more, that he’ll eventually forget me the way he forgets a lot of things he never thinks of again, that he’ll eventually stop talking to me and turn away from me forever.

I know I’m not perfect. I know that I probably even suck, and that I’m not as gorgeous, smart, or funny as she is, but if there’s one thing I can do that she can’t is loving him like no one has ever loved him before. I tried being his shoulder to cry on and his escape from the tragedies of life, all for one reason: to ensure he’ll never leave. Something went wrong, apparently, but I’ll find a way.

I don’t know how he makes me feel that way, and I certainly don’t know why he makes me feel that way, but he does. I’ll get him back, I have to.

Confessions

Nick and I were invited to a birthday party the other night, and we were the last two people to leave. Even the girl whose birthday it was had left. It was 1AM, can you blame her? After all, she did get surprised big time that night.

We held the birthday surprise at one of our hangouts, The Lonely Corner. If you saw how crowded it always is, you’d think the name was pretty ironic. Anyway, behind The Lonely Corner lied a swing set. Nick was like, “Hey! I haven’t sat on a swing in ages. Look, I’m 10 again.” I sat on the swing right next to his and acted a little childlike myself.

Nick stopped swinging. He saw me rubbing my hands together and blowing some hot air into my palms, trying to feel warm. Before I knew it, he took off his jacket and covered my shoulders.

“No, Nick, now you will feel cold and I don’t want you to get sic-” I said, a little aggressively.

He insisted I wear it, and that was when he looked straight into my eyes. He smiled.

“You know what’s funny?” I said. “I never noticed that little twinkle in your eyes.”

“Well, you have beautiful eyes too… and they talk to me.”

“And what are they saying?”

“That I looked absolutely hot tonight,” he said, and we both burst out laughing. He then continued saying, “I don’t always tell you this, but when I want to, I don’t get the chance to do so.”

I shrugged.

“You know how we’ll be off to college soon? Yeah, well, among all the people that I could possibly stop talking to in the future, or all the people that I might let go of, I pray you’ll never be one of them.”

A smile was drawn on my face. I couldn’t believe what I was just told. You probably are wondering why I was so stunned, considering Nick and I were best friends and all, but what you don’t know is that Nick and I had had a huge argument a month ago, and made up after tons of apology attempts. You didn’t know about this simply because we didn’t tell anyone.

“I feel the same way,” I finally uttered.

Nick started blowing hot air into his palms. “Told you you’d feel cold,” I said, “My hands are warm now, hand me yours.”

I grabbed his frozen fingers and I could see he felt better. I looked at him firmly, and said, “Tell me something. Anything.”

“I love you.”

“Tell me something I don’t know.”

“Okay. I’ve been having a great time lately. Everything’s been going great; my football team won the finals, my grades are outstanding, and I have healthy relationships with everyone. I’m happy.”

I looked down, and bit my lip. Then I contemplated Nick’s face attentively. “How do you do it?”

“Do what?”

“How are you so good at everything you do? How do you maintain strong connections with everyone at all times? How do you not stress out all the time? How do you do it?

“Alright, fine. I want to tell you something I don’t usually talk about. The truth is I don’t know if I’m ready to go to New York for college. I’m scared, Jane. I don’t know how I’ll handle a long-distance relationship with Rosie. I don’t know how I’ll keep in touch with my parents all the time. I don’t know how I’ll handle being in New York while you’re here in Chicago.”

I grinned again.

“And who says I don’t stress out?” he continued. “I’m at the top level of stressing out right now. Oh, and one more thing: it’s important to keep in mind that the most essential thing is to be someone good, someone passionate, someone loyal, someone determined, and someone who loves. It’s hard, but I manage.”

“My best friend is so wise.” I said with a cheeky smile.

“I’m wise and am the way I am because my best friend always motivated me to be the best I can be. Because my best friend told me about a quadrillion times that life doesn’t stop at failure. Because my best friend was awesome to me, and I wanted to be like her to other people.”

“You wanted to be like me? But I’ve always wanted to be like you!”

“Yes, Jane. You’ve had a great impact on my life. You don’t know how many problems I had before we met. My parents were trying to help, but you made things right again.”

And at this moment, we stopped talking, started swinging again, looked at each other and laughed…and that was when we saw car lights. Our moms were here to pick us up.

“Bye, Nick.”

“Bye, Jane.”

“And…Nick? Promise me we’ll always push each other to do our best, and that no matter what happens, no matter where we end up in college, no matter in which country life puts us in, we’ll always talk.”

“I promise. I love you.” He turned around and headed towards the car.

“I love you way more,” I whispered as I watched him walk away.

Little Random Post

I have to be honest and say that I don’t really know where I’m going with this post. Let’s see…

My 15 years in school are practically over. I graduate this year. MOMMA, I’M GRADUATING HIGH SCHOOL IN A FEW MONTHS! 

Okay now that I let that out, I would like to confess that the idea of “the future” scares me. My dad says to live day-by-day and not to worry about the future but guess who finds that impossible

I can’t help but think of how I’m about to jump from one phase of life into another without going through a sort of try-living-on-your-own-for-a-few-months experience. I don’t know. I mean for the first 18-to-20 years of your life everything you want is taken care of by your parents and you’re still their little baby and suddenly woop! You’re off to college. You’re now an adult and you’re supposed to handle your life, stress, studies and problems all by yourself. Cool.

I’m applying for a major in biology. Many have asked if by “biology” I meant “pre-med biology” and one can clearly see that they lost interest the second I said no. I have repeatedly received comments such as “PURE BIOLOGY? Then what? Teaching career?”
In fact, yes. I’m aiming for a PhD. Soon, you’ll be calling me “professor”.

However, even if I know that I’m passionate about biology and that I find pleasure in studying it, I still have some doubts. Is it really what I want?

***

Another thing that I’d like to talk about is something regarding school in general. Listen, kids. High school is tough. You will  face competition, you will have emotional breakdowns because of grades, you will face a stress that will sometimes lead to failure, you will go through sleepless nights, you will get heartbroken, you will face disappointments, and you will meet new people and let go of the ones you thought will always stay by your side. But if there’s something I have learned from high school, it’s that grades will never define how smart you are. Perhaps in middle school you never fought for your grades, and maybe other people’s results didn’t mean to you when you were younger. Everything was fine. You did your best and that seemed enough. Now you realized that other people’s achievements do affect you, and that you are indeed fighting for your grades, but guess what? You’re not the only one going through this. In middle school, teachers and administration members push you to do your best so that you can make it to and through high school. However, ever since you start your sophomore year, every teacher starts following you, telling you that you have to excel in everything, enroll in extracurricular activities and all that bullshit because if you don’t, university X won’t accept you.

We all want to get into the best universities. I know that from myself. But I think that school shouldn’t push you to do this and that. The school’s job is to guide you in order for you to choose the university that is best for you and whatever major you want. I think that, in the end, it’s all a matter of reputation. You know, a way for administration members to brag and say “yeah well we have a student, X, who studies at Harvard” and “Yes, our students are going to the American University of Beirut”.

Well, I think I made a point. I’d like to wrap everything up by thanking my parents because they never made a big deal out of a certain bad grade since they know that I’m doing my best, my best friends with whom I grew up because they’ve always had my back, the people I’ve met recently (a few years back) because they have been wonderful, and finally, God, because He always listened to my prayers and eased my pain.

Let this be a lesson to you: do your absolute best, all the time. If you succeed, you’re on the right track. If you fail, try again. Don’t let one, two, or even eight bad grades get you down, because life is about much more than academic results. And finally, the stress you will face is only temporary. When you’re down, always try finding a reason to smile. Stay positive, stay determined, and keep blogging.