What if Saturday: The Woman

“Miss Mendoza? Dr. Gonzales will see you now. He’ll be giving out your test results.”

“Alright, nurse. Thank you very much.”

She saunters into my office, head held high, hips swinging cockily from side to side. She exudes confidence, arrogance even. But as she takes her place in the seat in front of me, my trained eye catches a brief, faltering gaze. I sift through her records. “Hello, Miss Mendoza.”

“Dr. Gonzales. The nurse tells me my results are ready.”

I observe her more for a moment or two. Cream coloured skin covered by layers of makeup. Hair in tight ringlets, pulled back to reveal her large hoop earrings. Cherry red lips. I can only shoot a guess at her profession but I decide to let go of any preconceived notion.

My lips tighten, yet I try to give her a warm, assuring smile. This news might break her heart. I had hoped to give a less dramatic report, but I seem to be on the roll, breaking hearts this pain-filled Saturday.

“Miss Mendoza, I’m afraid I have bad news. Your tests show that you are positive. HIV positive.”

Tension makes its way into the girl’s face. Her eyes darken, her lips set into a pencil-thin line. She leans forward, clasping a frantic grip around my wrist. “Are you sure, Doctor? There must be a mistake. You’ve switched my papers with someone else. You’ve — “

“Calm down, Miss Mendoza. Yes, I am certain. I’m sorry. There’s nothing we can do.”

She blinks rapidly, fighting back bitter tears. But in a few seconds they start to pour over.

“This can’t be happening. What will happen to Toto and Ineng? They need food. They need tuition. They — I should have known this was going to happen though. They warned me. They did.”

“Miss Mendoza?”

She continues, apparently forgetting that I am there. “It was HIM,” she says, her eyes suddenly blazing in anger. “I told him to use protection. All the others did. But no. He insisted.”

She lets out a bitter laugh. “He should get tested, too. Well. There goes my career. There goes my life. There goes my brother and my sister’s lives.”

“Miss Mendoza…”

She shakes her head, becoming aware of my existence once again. “Forgive me, Doctor. I know you are only doing your job. And I was only doing mine. I had no choice. I guess it’s all just going to come to this then.”

She gets up. She wipes the remainder of her tears before she shakes my hand. “Well. I must say goodbye then. Have a good life, Doctor.”

She walks away, hips still swinging from side to side.

“You too, Miss Mendoza. You too.”

via https://mariscribbles.com/2013/01/25/new-project-10-what-ifs/

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Post a Week: 180

Tell us about a time you did a 180 — changed your views on something, reversed a decision, or acted in a way you ordinarily don’t.

July 31, 2004. Aqua Altria, San Antonio. Los Baños, Laguna.

Me. In my navy blue tee, cream-coloured khakis, large rubber shoes, and onion cut hair.

Him. With His patient forgiveness, unfathomable lovingkindness, and overwhelming faithfulness.

An encounter. One that changed my life forever.

One that opened up my eyes to a whole new world. One that brought me out from darkness into light. One that mended my brokenness and replaced it with sweet, sweet wholeness. One that enabled me to live a life filled with grace and freedom.

180. Thankfully not a 360.

The road is straight and narrow. I shall joyfully continue to press on.

via http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/daily-prompt-180/

You might also like: Binary Numbers | Call me Melancholic

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Thoughts on Pride and Prejudice

Source: http://www.kobobooks.com
Source: http://www.kobobooks.com

Pride and Prejudice
Author:
Jane Austen
Genre: Classic Literature
Purchase: Download for free (Project Gutenberg and Kobo)

Summary: Prejudice meets pride when middle-class Elizabeth Bennet encounters well-to-do Mr. Darcy, a dashing young man who has come into town accompanying Meryton newcomer Mr. Bingly. He (Mr. Darcy, not Mr. Bingly) is stiff and haughty but eventually falls in love with sassy Lizzie. She hates him passionately but soon realizes that she might be having feelings (other than disgust) for him, too. But will Mr. Darcy get over his pride and humble himself enough to really woo her? Will Miss Bennet overcome her prejudice and just let Mr. Darcy love her? Yes. No. Maybe.

***

After countless attempts of reading and of only being able make it through to Chapter 2, I was finally able to finish this book through and through. It was the pacing and the prose that made me want to surrender. I felt that the story moved too slowly. And there was too much conversing. Sometimes I didn’t know who was speaking; sometimes I didn’t know who were the people actually present in the scene.

But because I wanted to know why this book made so many women sigh and swoon, I trudged on diligently until I got to the 61st chapter — until I got to the very end.

I must say, despite having to “trudge through”, I liked the book. Very much.

Favourite lines (some spoilers are up ahead):

The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news. (Chapter 1, on Mrs. Bennet)

He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and everybody hoped that he would never come there again. (Chapter 3, on Mr. Darcy)

“That is exactly the question which I expected you to ask. A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment. I knew you would be wishing me joy.” (Chapter 6)

“But if a woman is partial to a man, and does not endeavour to conceal it, he must find it out.” (Chapter 6)

He began to feel the danger of paying Elizabeth too much attention. (Chapter 11, Mr. Darcy falls in love)

Mr. Darcy corroborated it with a bow, and was beginning to determine not to fix his eyes on Elizabeth, when they were suddenly arrested by the sight of the stranger. (Chapter 15, Haha! I am Team Darcy!)

He had ruined for a while every hope of happiness for the most affectionate, generous heart in the world; and no one could say how lasting an evil he might inflicted. (Chapter 33, one of Elizabeth’s prejudices against Mr. Darcy)

“In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” (Chapter 34, Mr. Darcy makes his confession. And all the women swoon.)

She began now to comprehend that he was exactly the man who, in disposition and talents, would most suit her. His understanding and temper, though unlike her own, would have answered all her wishes. (Chapter 50, Ayii!)

There was too much to be thought, and felt, and said, for attention to any other objects. (Chapter 58)

Elizabeth’s spirits soon rising to playfulness again, she wanted Mr. Darcy to account for his having ever fallen in love with her. “How could you begin?” said she. “I can comprehend your going on charmingly, when you had once made a beginning but what could set you off in the first place?” “I cannot fix the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It was too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” (Chapter 60)

“I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” There you go. Sigh. Swoon.

If you have the patience for classics, read it and fall in love all over again.

Unending Fellowship

God, I want to be constantly aware of Your presence. I want to live everyday with You inside my heart and with me inside Yours. But I am unsure how.

Walk blamelessly, You tell me. Do what is right. Speak from your heart and don’t say anything malicious about other people. Live peacefully with others, do only the things that you would like to be also done unto you. Hate evil. Honour those who honour Me. Use cash wisely. Be generous; make sure you only own honest money. Do these and you won’t be shaken.

But Lord, that doesn’t really answer my question.

It does, You say. For in doing so, you include Me in every part of your life. I’ll take part in chiselling out your integrity and character. I’ll take part in moulding you and your relationship with others. I’ll take part in forming your heart. I’ll take part in managing your wallet and earthly bank account. I’ll take part in creating the very stability of your life.

I see.

So be it, Lord. Let me live with me in You and You inside of me.

END
Based on Psalm 15

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What if Saturday: Halfway Through

Woohoo! We’re halfway through with our 10 What If’s! If you’ve missed the first five, you can click here to read about all the recent happenings in “Wonderland”.

Unfortunately, we shall be taking a short break today from our regular Saturday program. Tune in next week, however, for more nerve-wracking, heart-pounding What If tales!

Adios! Ta-tah for now!

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Post A Week: Seven Days Vacay

You wake up tomorrow morning to find all your plans have been cancelled for the next seven days and $10,000 on your dresser. Tell us about your week.

Dearest Mari,

It has come to our attention that you are in dire need of a vacation. This being so, we have scrapped all your plans for the next seven days. Yes, the guests you are expecting this weekend will be coming on the sixteenth and seventeenth instead. Yes, we have already submitted your leave form. It has already been approved but it will not be deducted from your current number of annual leaves. And yes, you can fetch the laundered blankets and sheets next Saturday instead.

Attached herewith is $10,000 (yes, that’s US Dollars, not Singaporean Dollars) to be used at your disposal.

Sincerely,

The Powers That Be

Oh Most Esteemed Powers That Be,

I would like to sincerely thank you for granting me respite for seven days and for even providing the necessary money. I would like to inform you that I have tithed 10% and kept 30% in my savings account. The other 10% I have given to a worthy cause. The remaining 50% I have used for the vacation you have made great pains to acquire for me.

I have opted not to go back to my home country since the political threads between her and my country of employment are currently in a very fragile state. Thus, I have decided to venture into a more peaceful territory. I spent five days in Hanoi. The two days I had to use for travel (thank you, AirAsia).

I shall be sending you a postcard, a key chain, and a T-Shirt soon as tokens of my appreciation.

Again, thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Mari

via http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/daily-prompt-seven-days/

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Thoughts on Elenowen

It’s called ‘chemistry’, an elusive quality that can be part history, part mystery and all intangible until the moment that you feel it. It’s a meant-to-be melding of the emotional and creative that can happen between songwriters, performers, best friends or life partners. For Josh and Nicole Johnson – the duo Elenowen – that connection is all of the above and much more. And on their self-titled EP, the chemistry they share is as rare – and real – as it gets.

via http://noisetrade.com/elenowen/elenowen

And we are back with our weekly “Thoughts on…” segment. This week, we shall be featuring Elenowena husband-and-wife musical duo from Nashville, Tennessee.

Image from http://noisetrade.com/elenowen/elenowen
Source: http://noisetrade.com/elenowen/elenowen

Listening to the couple’s self-titled EP is like soaring high above mountaintops. It’s like flying through lush green forests; like going on an enchanting journey filled with ethereal harmonies. Though composed of just five songs (five songs do not seem enough!) the Elenowen EP something that I can listen to over and over and over again.

Some snippets:

  1. Flying for the First Time – “I’m driftin’ / Closer toward the skyline / Lookin’ down on my life / Tryin’ to get just one thing right / The second I start second guessing / Let go like a confession / Seeing what I was born to find / Flying for the first time”
  2. Blood & Bones – “My heart, was hiding in a cage / Keep it far away from anything that would shake it / Oh fear, it was my closest friend / It would paralyze me everytime that I started tryin’ / That’s where you came in”
  3. Head to My Heart – “Bring me back / Strong and sweet / Make the dream my reality / Lead me to my heart / Lead me to the beauty that will never fade / I will long to feel its true embrace”
  4. We Were Better Off – “We were better off when we were little children / When our faith came as easy as breathing / When we dreamed we could fly / Hope was shining in our eyes / We were better off when we were little children”
  5. Bittersweet – “Your lips taste like honey / Your kiss burns like salt / Your touch feels so foreign / Your love is like home”

Blood & Bones and Head to My Heart are my personal favourites. I tried doing a cover of the former, but it just wouldn’t do without a second half of a duo. So I’ll just leave with you the couple’s official YT video (oh, the rhymes).

Oh to find, be with, and even sing with that person you can call your blood and bones. :)

You can read more information about Elenowen here.