I don't know what to say to any of them. I'm sorry. If you need anything let me know. How are you?
You will be missed Dawn, by everyone. Goodbye.
When I saw Bill today, that was it; the last of any walls came down and I began to cry. It was horrible. Only last week we were told the news and it didn't hit, it didn't feel real. But seeing Bill and the impact that it would have on those who were closest... the tears started and as I tried to comfort, they saw the sadness and then the family who had lost so much was comforting me.
I don't know what to say to any of them. I'm sorry. If you need anything let me know. How are you?
You will be missed Dawn, by everyone. Goodbye.
“What the fuck?”
“Cecelia?” Ash was suddenly by her side. “Cecelia? Are you alright?”
“What the fuck?” I lifted the phone and shoved it at Ash. “I just can’t. I just can’t deal with this bullshit. How the fuck can he think he can get away with not talking to me for a full week, especially after our date and that amazing kiss in his car, and then suddenly boom he asks me out for tomorrow night?”
Ash took the phone from my clawed hand. She blinked her masscared eyelashes. “Hmm, looks like you still have a fighting chance.”
“Excuse me?” I recoiled back. “I have a fighting chance? Again he stopped talking to me. He was ghosting me. What the fuck?”
Silence. Or as close as you can get out at the pub. Other patrons had stopped their talking and smoking to stare at me, the crazy woman yelling about some guy who hadn’t called but suddenly did decide to message in the end.
My face felt on fire. “Sorry Ash.”
“It’s all cool. We’ve all been there with one douche or another. What are you going to do about Jai?” She held out my phone.
I took it and weighed the little technological beast in my hand. “I’m not sure. I want to demand an answer as to why he hasn’t spoken to me and why he wants to know what I’m doing tomorrow and then why the hell he has taken so long to do something.” I gritted my teeth. “But I know he will just get his back up and be defensive and I’ll find out nothing useful...”
“So play him.”
The corners of my lips twitched. “I’ve never been very good at that. Hence why I try to be straight forward.”
“Act surprised to hear from him and ask who it is. Play dumb.”
I cringed. “But that’s dumb.”
“Then ask him straight up, be angry at him and what he’s done and see what happens.” She rolled her eyes. “Playing dumb doesn’t mean that you are dumb.”
Huh? Who’s this? Sorry I have a new phone and lost all of my contacts.
“It’s alright... A little too vague.”
“But I did what you said.” Now my anger was being re-routed. “I’m deleting this and sending something not so dumb.”
Hey, didn’t think I was ever going to hear from you again.
“Now that is... not too bad. Still blunt,” Ash pouted as she considered. “But it definitely sounds like you. Send it.”
Suddenly I was nervous. “Are you sure?”
“Do you want to talk to him?”
“Yes,” I answered softly. “I like him and I want to be me around him rather than the polite, must strangle my sarcasm so I don’t push him away girl that I was last time I spoke to him... but I’m afraid that if I relax around him then he will leave me, not run away because of the facade, he will not like me for me. Hell, I’m not exciting or hot or anything like that. I like to be quiet sometimes. What if he thinks I’m dumb if I run out of things to say and I just sit there in silence?”
“Then he doesn’t deserve you.”
“That’s fine and dandy to say, but it still hurts like hell and its still embarrassing when you’re the one trying to chase a guy...”
Ash gripped me in a hug. “Think how the guys feel; we place so much pressure on them to be the assertive ones and chase us women, we expect them to know that we’re interested just based on a look or a touch that was strategically placed to be on accident. And we get all worked up when that doesn’t happen, when they miss the hints.”
“So woman up and take control?” I asked with a laugh, yet I knew she knew there was fear and uncertainty behind it.
“Yep. If you want him, go after him. If he leaves, then forget him and love the next man who wants to be with you.” Ash pulled back. “Now are you alright? Do you want me to go get you some water? What about vodka?”
I giggled. “Nah. All cool. I was a little rattled when I had a guy from school trying to proposition me and then I turned him down in the most confusing way, a way that I knew Jai would’ve either laughed at or joined in on and then I panicked. That’s when his message came through.”
I could read the hints. She couldn’t keep still and her eyes were darting everywhere. “Go back inside and dance.”
“Are you coming with me?”
“No. I think I need to call Jai and have a little chat with him and his lack of communication... and maybe if he isn’t scared off by that, I need to go home for some sleep.”
“Well, I need to be able to function tomorrow night if we do organise a date.”
“So you’re heading home?” Ash looked disappointed.
I shook my head. “I told you phone call first. If he gets defensive and acts like a dick then I’ll come dance.”
“Okay, let me know what you do decide. I’ll be inside.” Off she bounced back to the thumping music and sweaty bodies that would worship her for the night.
I took a shaky breath and brought up his number. Don’t over think it, just do it and see what happens. Simple. He might not even answer. Or... I don’t know, if he thinks I’m acting crazy I can blame it on alcohol... or to hell with it I just let him know that I am crazy and I really want to know for sure what the hell is going on between us.
I lifted the phone to my ear and listened to it ring. Quickly, it was answered.
“Hey Cecelia.” Jai sounded bright and cheerful. “What are you up to?”
Ten thousand and nineteen words! I need sleep... and tea. Hell, hook me up to an IV and drip feed me the tea so I can go back to sleep, the best of both worlds. So, I am getting closer to the half way mark, or at least I was before I decided that after last night's chapter I had to add another to explain things a bit more. That means another two thousand words to write taking me from twenty-four thousand to twenty-six thousand and thirteen chapters. Oh man. Inhale, I can do this. I can finish writing this, write a special blog post (shh, it's only a possibility at the moment), juggle the rest of my life and not think of any particular boy who has gone silent (another one). I can do this! With more tea of course.
P.S. Frisky Friday is written and ready to go for tomorrow so that is one thing I don't have to write tonight.
Chapter Four: The Offer
“Oh. My. God!” Cassidy clutched at her chest and leaped about the room, bumping into the bed so hard she was knocked down. She bounced once and rolled off the edge. But she couldn’t stop her twitching or her repeated ‘Oh my God’.
This is unbelievable. A sign from the universe that my entire life, my entire reason for existence was meant to be heading in that direction. You can’t argue with this!
Suddenly she stopped and sat bolt upright. “I have to get ready.”
“Whoa there Cass.” Zoe was gripping her stomach as she laughed. “It is only an invite to talk about the possibility of you going over and working for this, what are they calling themselves?” she frowned at the screen. “K-pow-pop... what is that?”
“A really famous music label.”
“In Korea, apparently.”
Cassidy leapt to her feet and reached around Zoe, her fingers started to dance over the keys.
“What are you doing?!” Zoe slapped her hands away and deleted the responding email. “No.”
“But they are expecting an answer. If I don’t say yes then I can’t go to Korea and work and I can’t see Isac on a regular basis.” Already she could imagine the dates to little cafes and shopping at markets, maybe she could go and watch him perform with his group...
“Earth to Cassidy. Stop reacting.”
“Then what am I meant to do? Book a ticket, fly over and have a face-to face meeting?” Her eyes lit up. “That is a brilliant idea. Then they can’t refuse me.”
“God, give me strength. Cass shut up and sit down.” Zoe used her adult voice.
It had the same effect on Cassidy as it did on her work mates, small children and animals. Cassidy sat down and tried not to feel like she had just disappointed her friend. “Sorry.”
“I know you’re excited.” She said gently. “But you can’t just go jumping about impulsively; that’s unprofessional.”
“But if I don’t say yes –“
“Stop it. Let me respond for you,” Zoe spun back around to the computer screen. “You did the exact same thing when the radio station messaged you and asked if you would like to come in for a segment.”
“I know, and you rescued me then too. So thank you.”
“Any time. I’m always here for you.”
With a grin, Cassidy wrapped her arms around Zoe’s shoulders and hugged her from behind. Over the top of Zoe’s head she read what she had written. “Wow, that sounds so professional.”
“Thank you. Two years of working as a very bored admin person has paid off.” She cleared her throat. “Okay. Dear Sir, thank you for the offer to come work for K-pow-pop. Before I agree I would really appreciate a contract clearly stating what job role I am to perform and the payments I will receive. I will also need to speak with a person about visas and living arrangements while over in Korea. If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to working together, Cassidy.”
“Now hit send?” Cassi asked her excitement heading back up through the roof.
Sighing and yet nodding still, Zoe hit send.
Releasing Cassidy did her happy dance around the room again, this time not falling to the floor. “Oh my God, oh my God. A label in Korea really wants me to come and create music videos for them! Oh my God!”
“Is that the same one that Isac works for?” Zoe had a teasing note in her tone.
Cassidy deflated slightly. “Well no. He works for a rival label. Is this a bad thing?”
“Maybe. I don’t know what it means for two people working at two different labels. Jeez, I’m not the Pop Asia obsessed girl in this house.” She stood up and moved to the door.
The Heroine’s Bookshelf: life lessons from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder by Erin Blackmore. This is an ode of love to the amazing authors and the heroines that reflected their sense of self, faith, happiness, dignity, family ties, indulgence, fight, compassion, simplicity, steadfastness, ambition and magic. An encouragement to re-read the classics and learn from the best on how to overcome pain, grief and strife. In a way it is an eerie song of death allowing these stories to echo through time even after the end of their creators.
Blackmore has gone through all of her favourites; Jane Austen, Betty Smith, Harper Lee and more, selecting the story that spoke most to her and then compared it to the real life of the author, exploring how each heroine inherited a super-power.
I like this encouragement to read and re-read at different times of your life and seek the wisdom of those from before. It wasn’t an Earth shattering book; just sweet. A sort of “please consider for your next escape of real life”. Hey I may go and find a couple of the books mentioned. They sound interesting... though Gone With the Wind is really loooooooong, hmm.
To be read by the curious or the connoisseur.
So I have started writing a new novella and even though the name may suggest it, this is not a sequel to Pure Pop Asia. It does occur in the same world and Abi and Ryang do make an appearance; this is not their continuing love story. New Characters, new situation and new complications. This is a sample of what I write on Friday (don't worry, Frisky Friday will still be happening, I'm a female and can multi-task... as long as there is nothing shiny near me). Six thousand words down, eighteen thousand to go.
Chapter One: The Studio
Isac had been infected. He could feel it as his cheeks bunched under his eyes and his laugh joined Cassidy’s uncontrolled giggle. All he could focus on was the amazing woman in front of him so at ease in herself and making him, a complete stranger, feel that same ease in a spontaneous laugh. Their eyes held each other’s gaze. Isac shivered unexpectedly.
Both of them shut up and the studio was suddenly silent. His eyes snapped to the partitioning window to see his producer scowling.
“You’re on!” she hissed into his earphones.
Shit. No music + no dj talk = dead air and pissed producer.
“Sorry to have kept you waiting.” Isac leaned over and directed his voice into the microphone. “Welcome to the k-pop kave show with your host, me, Isac. And for this week’s show I’m not recording it in Seoul, Korea... I’m home for the week and am luck to be in our HQ studio in Australia,” he sing-song the final word. “Yes k-pop lovers, I am hanging out in Sydney for another five days and stocking up on vegemite and hugs from my mother.”
Cassidy made a mistake. “Awwe,” she said into the microphone.
Isac cringed and looked at her to see the panic. “And today,” he importuned. “I’m not alone in the studio. I have met... an interesting... person this afternoon.”
“Interesting?” Cassidy tilted her head to the side and cocked an eye brow. “Is that what you’re calling me?”
His face felt to be on fire and he had to look away. “Yes. Cassidy123 the youtube animator sensation, aspiring film maker and artist, grabbing our attention with her amazing videos featuring some of our favourite k-pop songs, is here with me, live in the studio.”
Taking a breath he looked back at her. “Hey Cassidy123.” See, you are fine. She isn’t affecting you.
“Stop calling me that.”
“Why? It’s you name.”
Cassidy laughed and shook her head. “My youtube username, yes. Not my Christian name.”
“Why the 123?”
“You need to answer. This is radio, people can’t see you shrug your shoulders.”
“Fine. You will think I’m really silly for this and not ever take me seriously ever again.”
He looked at her wearily. “Why do I have a bad feeling about this?”
“Don’t worry, no swearing or inappropriate over sharing in this. It’s a count in that I use when creating a video. ‘We start recording in 1, 2, 3,” she added in a hand gesture pointing her finger right at Isac.
“I thought it was one hundred and twenty-three.”
“Why would it be that?”
“I don’t know. It’s your name.”
“But that’s your interpretation. I just want to know what one hundred and twenty-three means to you? Did you think that’s how many cats I have?”
“Or the amount of times I have changed my identity?”
“Are you on the run?”
Her eyes shifted from side to side very suspiciously like, before she whispered, “Don’t tell my mum where I am. She’s chasing me.”
“Did you forget to feed the one hundred and twenty-three cats?” For Isac everything was narrowing down in his attention, complete focus was on this woman and he forgot where they were and what they were meant to be doing.