in transit


Photo credits: Tien | Incheon, South Korea (2020)

“Fabian, you have to accept the fact. This marriage is not going to work.”

His wife was beside him in the cafe, quiet all the while when he suddenly heard her say that.

If Fabian was surprised, he did not show it.

It was probably fatigue. After long hours of travelling, he was finally reunited with his wife in Kazakhstan. That had been a better part of one whole day, even with the time difference in mind. And now, they were on their way back to America, back home to that city where their romance first started. That was another half day gone.

Travelling was not the problem; the problem was Fabian did not sleep well whenever he travelled. He was lucky if he even got two hours of sleep. He must be hearing things.

He had to be.

Because it was a last-minute decision for him to travel to Kazakhstan, he could only do a transfer flight and he had six hours of layover in South Korea. It was too long for him, as well as his active mind, to rest but it was too short to take one of the free transit tours which Incheon Airport had to offer to revisit the city.

So instead, he chose to sit quietly and people-watched. He had ordered a dark chocolate cheesecake and a hazelnut latte - both her favourite - but they remained untouched.
And she suddenly dropped that bombshell on him.

Fabian did not look at her.


Again, her voice. He could not deny it anymore. He let a few moments passed before he cleared his throat and started speaking.

“Angela, did you remember our first honeymoon? It’s right here, in South Korea. Isn’t it ironic? We were so happy back then. But the airport has certainly changed a lot, hasn’t it? Remember this dark chocolate cheesecake and the hazelnut latte? They are from that same cafe you loved. Angela. Angel-in-us. Angel-in-us. Angela. The cafe that sounds almost like your name if we say it fast enough.”

Pausing in his soliloquy, he finally used the plastic fork to cut a small piece from the tip of the cheesecake that his wife loved so much and put it in his mouth. Most cheesecakes were sweet and creamy so he was pleasantly surprised by the slight savoury and toasted taste of the cheese. The bittersweet taste of the dark chocolate also complemented the cheese well.

It was easier to understand why his wife was so fond of it after he had tasted it himself.
“Since we’re here, shall we take our second honeymoon? And you have always wanted to visit Japan and her famous torii gates, as well as China and the Great Wall, don’t you?” he turned to look at Angela.

She still had that kind and understanding look on her face. Just the way he remembered.
“Let me go, Fabian.”

His vision started to mist and he blinked a few times as he licked his lips. There was still a slight aftertaste of the cheesecake. Instead of replying, he reached for the hazelnut latte and took a sip. The sharp nutty fragrance was not lost on him. Now he really understood why all these years, Angela had a special fondness of the dark chocolate cheesecake and hazelnut latte from Angel-in-us.

“We are already in transit, Angela. Just humour me and I’ll try my best to let you go,” Fabian said.

Then he turned to look at Angela’s ash urn again.

“I promise.”

Originally written for Weeds & Wildflowers on Medium.

I never had any intention of writing this flash fiction, especially the ending. This is originally a photo with the caption I came up with

even the most uncomfortable wait becomes bearable with simply joys

It sparked an interest in a fellow Medium writer, Dennett, and through her series of questions, this story was born. I must say, this is the most organic piece of writing I have ever come up with, starting from just some idle conversation into a snippet of life. Even the ending was surprising for me by the time I finished it, and the entire writing process took me about two hours, editing included.

It has certainly been a long time since I have done such a piece of creative writing.


The Simple Things #2


Starbucks (Singapore): Blueberry Swirl Wafer Cheesecake and of course, coffee

  2. dark chocolates
  3. cakes

Wow, looking at this list, I’m an absolute glutton!

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Every Saturday, I will share three things that I believe to be the simple things in life, yet things that make me extremely happy. I invite you to do the same.

Now, it’s your turn! Share with me three simple things in life that make you happy. Please reblog, share this post, and give others a smile and a little bit of love. If you reblog the post, please ping or tag my blog and use the words Simple Things” and “Happy as your blog entry tags.

Are you ready, folks? Can we keep the love flowing by sharing the simple things that make us happy? This is our The Simple Things Share Post #2. Have fun and let the happiness begin!

Prompt: The Simple Things #2

Weekend Writing Prompt #103 – Vulnerable


Photo credits: Tien

Title: Blossoming

I abandon my defences and open my heart up to you; do not trample on my heart, for it is vulnerable.

(21 words)

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

The challenge is simple: each week you will be given an exact number of words you can use to write a poem or piece of prose.  You can use any format or style you like; go wherever your inspiration takes you.  The only rules are these:

  • your poem / prose must contain this week’s word.  The word does not have to count towards the exact word count total – it can be in the title, or the first letters of the lines of a poem can spell it out – you can be as creative as you want as long as it’s there somewhere.
  • the length of your poem / prose must match the number of words stated in this week’s challenge.  No more.  No less.

Prompt: Weekend Writing Prompt #103 – Vulnerable

Suspending Rain

Photo credits: Tien | Varazdin, Croatia (2018)

notes of heaven’s horn died
and sparkling spears ceased
i explored the vestiges
of a recurring war

searching for heaven’s tears
i found them amongst flowers
suspended upon silky threads
by earth’s natural architect

i marveled at these remnants
threaded tiny diamonds resting
restlessly defiant
defying their demise

beautiful resilience
after this disaster
paradise is not lost
only suspended

Wedding Jitters

Photo Credits: Tien | Bridegroom: Not Tien

He did not realize he had been unconsciously holding in his breath. Standing in front of the heavy wooden doors, he let his breath out. It was a wedding, not a battle!

Why was he feeling nervous? The invitation was sent out months ago and he had rehearsed for this moment many times. He had made all the necessary preparations. There was no reason to be nervous at all!

He took a couple of deep breaths to calm himself down but the inane chattering behind the door leading to the ballroom unnerved him again. The ballroom in which the wedding would unfold.

How he wished the wedding was over already.

“I told you not to have that KFC last night!” he berated himself softly.One bite of the wing and you turned into a complete chicken!”

Out of habit, he glanced at his watch and shuddered. He could no longer put off the inevitable — it was time. The wedding was going to start soon. He pushed open the doors and went in.

“There you are!” Not even two seconds and his eagle-eyed aunts spotted him. “Come here, come here!”

Ah, so it began!

“I can’t believe how much you have grown!”
“Oh my, yes! Have you finished your studies?”
“Why haven’t you got married yet? You are not getting any younger, you know!”
“Don’t you have a girlfriend?”
“Tell you what, I know a few nice girls. Let me introduce them to you!”
“No matter how important your career is, starting a family and having a home is still a must!”

The stress he went through at every wedding.

Originally published on Medium.

A Visitor on Earth

Krka National Park, Dalmatia (Croatia — 2018)

I stand in the shade
hiding, hypnotized — 
the rushing sound
of healing waters

Babbling brook, crashing creek or thundering waterfall, the sound of water puts me at ease. I enjoy watching and listening to the flow of water as it carves its way inexorably toward its destination. My negativity that rudely worms to the surface of my mind is drowned by this flow of water. I relax and breathe out slowly.

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (2018)

Summer wrecks
a merciless fire — 
its light paints
vibrant green
poetic blue

The view of little townhouses littered across the expanse connects with the romantic in me. With minimal roads tattooed onto this side of the earth, I rejoice, revel even, at the lack of human contact. Summer sun’s heat pales in comparison to the fiery fury of metropolis population. I pause and breathe in deeply.

Originally published on Medium.