Chapter 1: Airplaine
1,123 words | possible angst
I couldn’t believe I’ve made it.
It was a successful event. I did not think that people would love my book. I have always poured my heart and soul into poetry. It was a nice feeling that my verses resonate with people’s heartstrings. I have always dreamed of moving the world with my words. I know I’ve made a nudge. Small, but significant.
I remembered someone who once said that you couldn’t change the world, but you can make something to make a difference. Maybe, I’ve already left my mark.
I suddenly felt tears betraying my happy thoughts, each drop stealing every moment away like it always does. Ugh. Frustrating. I put my book back in my bag when the passenger beside me stood up and left the seat. I realized how I did not even take a glance of my surroundings. Was I floating again? I’ve always thought that I’ll be more in the present—here—now, when I’ve finally reached my dreams and doing the things I love the most. Guess not. It will always be a part of me.
Tears. I wanted to slap myself, but before the passengers think I am crazy, I got up and went to the loo. My eyes hurt. Was I crying for so long and I just did not notice? It was probably why the passenger on 7C left me on my devices. Did he, or she, think I am weird? Crying while staring out the window as if I was in some music video? I cringed at the imagery. The sky was really pretty, though. I wished I could touch the clouds. Then, I thought of bumping onto some editors and readers looking like this. I mean, it’s South Korea. I didn’t wake up like this. I needed to exert extra effort.
I walked down the aisle to the toilet. I had to stop and gave way to the guy who just got out. He squealed in fright. He sounded like my teenage self for a second. Huh. As if I was a ghost. Oh my, God. Do I really look that horrible?
He was wearing a ridiculously over-sized pink hoodie that covered most of his face. I heard him giggled when he noticed that I was as shocked as he was because of the sound effect he just made.
“Joesonghamnida,” he said as he put his hoodie down and bowed in 90 degrees angle. Korean. I smiled to myself and returned his bow. I couldn’t wait to see my friends, it has been awhile.
I was about to tell him it’s okay when I got a clear view of his face.
Four years ago, I stopped believing in alternate universes or sheer luck and whatnot. I told myself to stop with my make-believe and delusions. My brain couldn’t handle any more of that. Well, four years ago, I also stopped believing in my dreams, and here I am now living it. Life is a funny thing. Annoyingly funny.
I tried to put my head in the moment. I am here for a business trip. I am too old for this. I need to get myself together like how I always do it. I look at myself in the mirror and I almost laughed hysterically. Reflection. I swore to the sky outside. I couldn’t be having these thoughts now. They have been locked out somewhere at the far end of my brain. I must have forgotten to throw the key away.
I looked like a fish. I did not realize that my eyes are this puffy. Humiliating. What if I see him again? Not that he’d pay attention to me. Ugh. Stop, brain. I tried to gather myself. This is where I am good at, anyway. Breathe. Hold. Release. Cry some more. Wow. Melodramatic. Of all the days, self? Now? Seriously?
I was too conscious as I walked fast back to my seat. It was not like he was looking at me. Ha Ha Ha
Should I look for him when we land? Maybe I can look for him now? Make a conversation at the very least. Ask how he is doing or what did he do to Narita. How are they? It has been years and I lost track of their lives. I guess I am too busy living mine. Or maybe I should thank him? I am where I am now because of him—them—after all. Should I show him the Acknowledgement in my book? My thoughts are starting to get out of control again. The nausea was starting to get the best of me. Best of Me, I repeated before I could stop my head. It was about time reality slap me on the face.
I literally *face palm* myself in my mind when the passenger beside me handed something that looked like an eye cream. I looked at it in confusion and took a peek of the intruder who just saved me from self-loathing and self-pitying.
“It looks like you’ve been crying,” he said slowly. “Put some, it should help the puffiness.” His English is not perfect, but it sure got better since I remember it.
“Kamsahamnida,” I said, bowing slightly. He smiled at me and I felt my heart burst. Is this how blackholes collide? I didn’t know how my face looked like at this moment. I took the cream from him and pretended that he was just a kind citizen extending a hand to a normal girl. The cream was cool and it smelled good. It was heaven sent. Just what I needed. I gave it back to him carefully and he asked if I am Korean.
“No,” I beamed at him like a psycho. “I just know some words.” I still struggle listening to them say the words. Reading it is easier.
“Thought so. Hmm.. you look more like Chinese, though.” He said with utmost curiosity.
“Are you really being racist right now?” I joked and I swore, his eyes almost got out of its socket. It’s not like this was the first time I heard it. It’s the eyes, they always say.
“Ani. I mean, no.” he said, waving his two hands in surrender. “It’s just.. your eyes.” I accused him and he really looked genuinely sorry. I laughed at his reaction like I always did before. He said the words just like everyone else’s, but the way his tongue rolled on the word your. I think I was about to convulse.
“I was joking,” I assured him. I was not supposed to laugh but he really was funny without trying.
Four years ago, I would not think it is possible. Four years ago, I would not even dream of being in the same plane with Kim Seokjin. I would never.
Remember the mini “happy ending” I wrote recently? I realized that that ending can be a beginning of something. So, here you go. There are possibly grammar errors and lapses. I’m still trying to figure out the tone and style of the whole thing so please, please, please let me know what you think. I am really anxious to post a story because this is never my forte. I just want to explore writing even more. I’d appreciate any kind of feedback. Thank you ~
Korean words used:
Joesonghamnida (죄송합니다) – sorry
Kamsahamnida (감사합니다) – thank you
Ani (아니) – no
Eotteohke (어떻게) – what to do?
* Disclaimer: I am not Korean, just trying to learn their language.
Just in case you don’t know who Kim Seokjin is: