In response of this prompt.

‘Aren’t you proud of what you’ve done?’

I looked down to the iced Americano on the table, not being able to answer. From my point of view nothing seemed to go well by that time. Chaos, mess, and disorder – much like the traffic outside the coffeeshop we were in – he had done an excellent job pointing them out in every single thing I have conducted so far. No reason to say yes here.

He waited.
I swallowed.

An honest reply almost rolled out of my tongue when he continued. ‘For me, I’m proud of you.’

I looked up instantly.
‘Really,’ he quickly added.

…well that’s a first.

True story.

A rather surprising moment if I thought about it, but it wasn’t really something you hear often from anyone (excluding family members who will probably say that even when you pour H2SO4 over their flowerbed in the name of science).

Have you had it?
The time when someone set aside your flaws for a second, recap all the efforts and changes you have made throughout the times, and take a moment to say it out loud?

For me, luckily enough, I have.
He was my mentor, so I’ve been telling myself it’s probably just for the sake of keeping me from quitting.

Never had the guts to ask whether he meant what he said.
Nope. Not ready for it.
Later, maybe, if I reached a day when I don’t have to see him regularly anymore. Or if I got drunk enough. But not now. Definitely not now.

For now, I’m just going to bask in this assumption and do what I can do with what I have.

PS. if you had said that to someone else before, bless you
PPS. if by any chance you’re my mentor who stumbled upon this page and somehow found out this is me, let’s pretend this post doesn’t exist


Photo challenge: Reward

In response to The Daily Post’s photo challenge: “Reward.”

Resta qui con me ©mk17design

Resta qui con me ©mk17design

How do you know you’re in love?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fireside Chat.” The title of this post and the first answer in this story is taken from a conversation in “Castle” season something. Stuck in my head for ages. And for a good reason, too.

Like a bolt out of the blue, the question startled me. Especially when it came from someone whom I expect to boast about the topic.

I beg your pardon?

I turned to see the young woman looking at me from the couch by the fireplace. She didn’t seem to be drunk (which is good), but on the other hand didn’t seem to be fully awake either (which is… I dunno how to react to this). Early 20s on a whim, I presumed, from the fact that she’s cradling a cup of coffee with rather hazy eyes. In a cheap bed-and-breakfast in the town. At 11 pm. That, and a closed thick novel on the table. She raised her eyebrows and repeated the question.

How do you know you’re in love?

There was a moment of confusion in my head. So I didn’t hear wrong.
For reasons unknown I brushed of the first question a normal person should’ve asked to a stranger with an even stranger question (f*ck it, I’m on holiday). Instead, I took a deep breath and thought for a good five seconds. My jaw dropped a bit but no words got out.

I blinked.
She smiled.

You look lost.

Yes. And what caused that, I wonder? I cleared my throat and walked across the room to sit on the recliner next to her. The smell of good old long black soothed me immediately. Good job on crumbling down my guard. Kind of hard trying to avoid sounding like a total idiot – or worse, a sceptic – to someone who reminded me of that dreamy blonde girl in Harry Potter.

There’s no right answer to it, don’t you think?
She shrugged. I’m not looking for a right answer. I’m looking for any answer.

All songs make sense.
Like… being sappy?

You… think about them all the time?
That’s… obsessive.

You have butterflies when you see them.
But my boss has that kind of effect too. Pretty sure it’s not love.

Logic doesn’t work.
What do you mean?

Because you’ll do anything in order to be with them.
…like what?

Like buying a plane ticket at 4 in the morning just to surprise them with a coffee and toast.
Is that what you did today? How did it turn out?

As expected, not worth it. What about you?
I don’t know.

I don’t know whether I’ve been in love or not.

If I knew, I wouldn’t ask any random people in any random lodging, would I?

How old are you?
You know it’s kind of like a taboo asking it to a girl.

I don’t know you, you don’t know me… Most people would ask for a name.
So you’re not most people.

I’m saying that it’s impossible for someone your age to not boast like you know about the topic more than Shakespeare. That’s what most people do. I grinned as she burst out laughing. Well, at least she’s not mad.
I still think Romeo and Juliet is a screwed-up thing.

Because both of them committed suicide.

Because they can’t live without each other, right? Isn’t that what love is all about?
You don’t think they’re being selfish?

I rolled my eyes. And here I thought you don’t know how it feels to be in love.
It’s technical. Bear with me.

I watched her sip the coffee, still wondering why anyone would have caffeine in the middle of the night when they have nothing to do. Maybe she still had things to do afterward. Maybe she’s just crazy like that. Maybe I was just being judgmental.

Love is… illogical. I stopped for a bit. You’d do things that you normally won’t do. You’d be happier seeing them happy even if you aren’t. You’d hate to see them cry. You’d make decisions so bad you’ll question them later. You’d realise that the overrated song lyrics do make sense. You’d probably suffer, but you’d be happy most of the time.
She chuckled. Being in love brings out the masochism in people, does it?

Kind of.

Why, are you suffering because of someone right now?
Kind of.

He’s dense. I’m proud. That’s the end of it.

Then you’re not in love.

Because logic is still there.
Are you saying being in love makes people stupid?

So you’re being stupid right now.

…you know it’s a taboo saying that to any person you just met.
I don’t know you, you don’t know me. Most people think so, but we’re not most people now, aren’t we?

Good point.
I know.

Well, I’ll be off.

It is kinda late.

See you around?
See you around.

She shot me a smile and stood up, picked up her book and left the common room. I gave a small nod in courtesy. That wasn’t the last time I set eyes on her. That was, however, the last time I set eyes on her without thinking that getting on a plane at 4 am that morning did have its merit – coming to an answer for her very question in the first place.

Ready, Set, Done: Thin Line

Prompt from here.
Based on true story.

There’s a thin line between love and hate, they keep telling me.
I wonder.

It was not uncommon to have my old iPhone 4 ringing in the middle of the day with a certain someone’s name glaring on the screen. I never put up the so-called profile pictures in any of my contacts. It’s too Facebook-ish. There are also names in that contact list that I hope to never show up on my screen, but there they go.


One of those was this particular person.
I ended up putting “You-Know-Who” instead because I’ve had enough of seeing his name everywhere and hearing it non-stop (actually I wanted to input “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” but it’s just too long).

Ever since I met him the second time, it seems like my phone exists just to receive his calls. (This, however, is not what you may think this is. This is not a sappy story of any boyfriend in this whole wide world, in case you assume I have one.)

My phone log has only one name; be it messages or calls.


I take a deep breath.
And pick up the phone.

There’s a thin line between love and hate, they keep telling me.
The moment I hear that voice again, though, I always wonder.

Cover Art: Paper Wings

My 150th post!
Prompt from here.

PAPER WINGS ©mk17design

PAPER WINGS ©mk17design

I took the photo in KIX airport (kudos to Renzo Piano here) and added stuff on PS.
If you saw this in a bookstore later, it might be me self-printing, sticking random barcode stickers, and putting it in random bookstores just to troll people. Ever since I published that one book I’ve always thought of redeeming myself in the next one but then life happened. Who knows though. This thing might exist somewhere in this world later. And when you do see this… well, it’s probably me trying to tell the world I survived.

Wake up and smell the –

Prompt from here.
A recycled fic just because it’s almost 4 in the morning and I miss watching Suits, so here’s something that I’d like to imagine happen in what looked like Harvey Specter’s office.

yes, I shamelessly stole a name from BBC Sherlock.




Knock, knock.

‘Come in.’

The infamous probie huffed and clicked the door open, a heavy folder tucked in her arms. ‘Good evening,’ she said to the man sitting in his desk, ‘you requested for a report regarding th-‘

‘The Anderson case?’ he cut in, looking up immediately. She cleared her throat to keep herself from laughing at his loose tie and tousled hair. Despite the fact that she worked for him, there were times when she couldn’t think of him as other than a co-worker due to his age. Perks of being a prodigy, everyone’s golden rookie – probably.

‘Exactly.’ She dropped the folder on his desk and smiled. ‘I’m done for the day. If you don’t need anything else, I’ll be going. And with all due respect, Sir, I think so should you.’

He blinked and stopped whatever it is he was doing. The table on the other side of the room had a pot of coffee that looked suspiciously untouched, seeing how it was full yet no longer hot. He sighed. She noticed the city lights flickered behind him beyond the glass-walled office, another feeble reminder of how late it had been.

‘It’s 11 PM. And with all due respect, you look even more tired than me.’ He snickered. She rolled her eyes and tugged at her shirt just for the heck of it  He stood up, strolled across the room and poured two cups of the cold dose of caffeine. ‘Here, have some. I’ve had too much these days. At least stay awake until you got home safe, yeah? Can’t have my associate collapse in the middle of this hellish period.’

She rolled her eyes, but took the offer anyway. After a horrible cup of cold coffee, she got home safe that night as he wished.

The next morning, out of curiosity, she tried to assure herself the coffee was bad due to being forgotten for hours. How wrong she was.

‘I just realised how horrible our coffee is,’ she chuckled, glancing at the coffee machine in the pantry. The freckled office boy laughed as he continued making what looked like someone else’s cup of… tea?

‘When did you start drinking them “cheap office caffeine”?’ he laughed. ‘I failed to give you any for weeks.’
She bit a cookie and replied lightly, ‘Nah. My boss offered me some when I dropped my report last night. It would be impolite to refuse, but truth be told it was… eugh.’

‘He gave you… coffee?’
‘Nearly poisoned me with it last night.’

‘From his office.’
‘…the fact that you’re bothered by him having coffee is amusing me.’

He looked at her with a sudden interest. ‘Well, because that’s weird.’ The disbelieved tone sounded almost sarcastic in her ears.
She looked up from the half-filled mug. ‘What’s weird?’

‘I’ve spent two years here making everyone’s coffee. He doesn’t drink any.’

Daily Prompt: Long Exposure

Prompt from here.
Here’s something I wrote long ago due to excessive marathon of Fullmetal Alchemist.




‘I will never marry anyone shorter than me.’

That instant reply made the six-year-old boy froze on the spot.
His stare went from the little girl – who rejected his simple, innocent proposal with an even simpler answer – to the glass of milk on the table. Quickly he turned on his heels and climbed on the chair to reach for the latter, gulping it down as fast as he could.
The scene repeated itself for quite some times until he had to leave somewhere else.

The next time she met him, it was almost two decades later.
He grew up. So did she.

So when she first saw him, she mischievously said, ‘You’re taller!’
For which he replied with a grin,

‘So you’ll marry me now?’