It’s Not Fine

Somehow, I have been awfully melancholic with my life for the past few days. I don’t know the exact reason why. Maybe my period will start soon—that’s what I try to convince myself to sound reasonable as to not consider myself a completely sadistic idiot. But then again, maybe it started when Christelle asked me to learn two songs for her so that we could jam. I really did not want to do it, but for the sake of our friendship I was willing to labor for it so I said okay. And she just replied with “thanks” without emojis or exclamation points or anything else. I don’t know why that “thanks” upset me in some way (especially because it was just text. How should I know if she was really enthusiastic or not), but I guess overthinking it got me in a dark place. I kept thinking about the past few weeks I’ve been riding with her home and how we don’t seem to start conversations like how we did just a few months ago. It was just getting awfully quiet like she was holding back from me. So somehow I thought I was doing wrong. Maybe she doesn’t find me entertaining or interesting anymore. Maybe she just thinks I am friends with her so that I could I get a free ride home. Maybe those are not true at all, but I can’t help but think of that 5% possibility that she could be thinking about those things. And so, all week, I convinced myself that I will not ride home with her for a while. Even if I was okay with silence, I just felt like it was getting too dragged out for these past few weeks. And although her mom is somewhat nice, she intimidates me so I knew I had to distance myself for a while. I just couldn’t take riding home with them again for some reason. I guess my problematic heart needed a bit of a break.

So after band practice, Christelle left and I was thinking about how I will get home. It surely wasn’t a problem for me to get a taxi but I’ve awfully gotten used to riding home with someone. Fortunately enough, our band leader Jordan suggested we could ride the same taxi together and I was more than happy to go along with it. What happened during the taxi ride was very interesting….

A few weeks back, my parents and I went to a small restaurant near church to get some breakfast. As it was like a small business, it was so crowded that they forced another customer to sit with us. The guy was right across me and I found it pretty cool, yet awkward, that he was seated at our table. However, for some reason, I just hated how the three of us completely ignored him, like he didn’t exist. I know we’re a bunch of introverted idiots, but I just kept wondering: what if we talked to him for a moment? The guy was alone and he surely he must be lonely in some way, but if we talk to him and get a conversation going for a while, it could lift his spirits up. He didn’t seem harmful in any way either—who knows, he could be interesting? Since I was just a child and my parents were there with me, I couldn’t do anything. My heart was absolutely aching for some reason because I couldn’t speak to the man. I really hoped my parents would at least do something but who am I to keep my hopes up? They never bother with people they don’t know. They’re never the kind of Christians to get friendly with strangers—in fact, they are even somewhat hostile towards them.

Meanwhile, here I am every Wednesday hearing about Jordan’s stories with taxi drivers. There was once a time when he said that when he was about to go to the airport, he started a conversation with the taxi driver and somehow it ended up with the driver scolding him about but a Christian. Instead of talking back in a higher tone, he just prayed and was calm about it, and he asked the guy if he knew some of the words that Jesus said. The taxi driver got curious so Jordan started reading to him the Bible. I don’t remember it well anymore, but in the end, when they were parked on the airport for a while already, he ended up praying for the taxi driver and the guy’s family. The taxi driver was very thankful because of that. Jordan didn’t know what happened next to the man’s life but it was up to God in the end after all. Since I have a soft spot for taxi drivers, that story really inspired me. Jordan had a few more stories similar to those and I’ve realized that a few little things can really cheer someone up and bring glory to God.

And during the ride home this Wednesday, I never thought it would happen right before my very eyes. Jordan and I were talking about my sister for a little while because I can’t help it every time I mention I might be going to Korea… and when that conversation was done, the taxi driver started complaining about the traffic. That’s when Jordan’s conversation started with the taxi driver. Since we were in the area full of churches, the guy complained that so many always jam the area we were in because there were so many churches and Jordan laughed along with him. At some point, they started talking about religion. The guy was Muslim, but he was quite open minded. It was very interesting because he knew his religion and ours were similar but quite different in many ways, and Jordan wasn’t like “no you’re wrong” or anything like that. Since the guy knew about Jesus as a prophet in his own religion and that he was a healer and miracle worker, he was also okay with Jordan praying for him for some health problems going on with his knee. Even if they believed in different things, I found the harmony in their conversation so interesting. But more than that, the most amazing part was when Jordan didn’t agree on something, he would always say something along the lines of “With what we believe, Jesus is/did…” at every beginning of his sentence, and the driver would listen intently. There was even a point when he mentioned the Passover and ended up explaining that the blood of the lamb that saved us was Jesus.

It just hit me that this is what it is like to evangelize sometimes. I’m sure not everybody can spike up a conversation with strangers all the time and start talking about the principles and religions of life. But the fact Jordan was proclaiming the name of Jesus was the most important part. It’s not our duty to save people or to force anyone to love Jesus—it’s to proclaim what Jesus did on the cross, and to love our enemies as we love ourselves. It’s only up to Jesus if that person will be saved, but since He did not give as a list of who will be saved it’s up to us to do things for the glory of God.

What blows my mind was that I was able to witness it all. I thought all week that I definitely do not want to ride home with Christelle this week to the extent that I started feeling strange about why I was so strongly against it. But after I stepped out of the taxi, I realize that maybe God had given up a heads up for me after all. Even the fact that there was so much traffic struck me that God wanted this conversation to go on for a while. Because no matter how I think about it, there are many other roads that aren’t as jammed during Wednesday nights, but the taxi driver ended up in the busy streets that the conversation was extended.

After Wildfire, while I was heading home, there was a strange feeling that overcame me too. Since I went home with the John brothers, Chris dropped us off at the same bus stop. The two John brothers were planning to cross the stoplight to get to their home and I was planning to walk with them, but then older John said I could go to the underpass and it would head closer to where I live. And so I decided to go and walk to the underpass instead and we parted ways. While I was walking, I was feeling somewhat downcast and melancholy again and I didn’t know why.

When I was finally climbing up the stairs of the underpass, I saw a guy at a corner, a beggar or something I assume. Since there was no one around me and my parents would never really know, without me even thinking twice, I took off my earphones and greeted the man and talked to him for a short while–asked him if everything was alright. Then I gave him ten dhs out of my pocket and he looked very thankful and shook my hand. Then as I left, I prayed a small prayer. When I got out of the overpass, I even asked myself “What just happened? What did I just do?” I didn’t even bother to ask what situation he was in. I didn’t know if he was really a beggar. Even now, I don’t know why I did that. I was surprised that I did it without much thought. Somehow, it just happened. My parents never pay attention to people like those because they think they are never to be trusted. So every time I pass by people like that when I’m with my parents, I always have to pretend like I’m not affected when I really want to help out in some way. Is it because my heart is too soft? Did the Holy Spirit move me at that moment? Because I truly believe I kind of helped the guy in some way, even if I just gave him a small amount. I don’t know what I did, but in some way, it felt right.

 

Anyway, a few hours before that at Wildfire, I felt absolutely hurt by the way my friends were acting (I guess that’s why I wasn’t the most cheery going home). In the morning, it was all good, but after rehearsals and everything, I started getting the feeling that I was slowly going back to the lonely person that I am. Sure, I have friends, and I can joke around with them every now and then, but it seems I can never have one person for myself, one person who I can share anything with, who would always choose to stick by my side. When Chris said that we were going to be divided in groups of two, my two most beloved friends told me to sit between them so that they can be paired in the same team. They probably meant no harm with that, but I was just offended.

Little things like that depress me. I want to be with them as much as they want to be with each other but I guess I’m never anyone’s best friend. I just have no idea what I’m doing wrong. Is there a problem with me? Am I not trying hard enough? Am I not giving them enough attention? I would like to think that they do care about me, but what is that at this point when neither of them has ever read the story I wanted them to read so badly? And they go to me just to jam songs, like I’m nothing beyond my talents. I want to know them and I want them to know me, but I guess this is my fate in high school after all… I’m never anyone’s best friend.

So the last one left who is truly close to me is my sister, but what happened just this morning was terrible.

Since I wanted TaeYeon’s Fine album, I asked her to buy it for me. I wanted the Fine version because I wanted to have TaeYeon’s casual look on the tip of my hands. The photo cards were so much better too so I wanted it so much. I didn’t want the I Got Love version even though it was quite exquisite and classy. I knew it wasn’t fully creepy from the get-go either. I just didn’t feel some of the looks on her. Also, it was I Got Love version for a reason since the photos only portrayed those that suited her song I Got Love. And I surely didn’t want a poster of TaeYeon with that dark aura on her. I’d just feel weird to put it up. The Fine version, on the other hand, suited the whole feel of the songs of the album. I wanted to have that and cherish it for a long time like I do the I and Holler album, especially because there are new memories already relating to the songs, and I’m sure more will come after. The Fine album was already becoming really special to me quickly even if it was just released a few days ago.

But I guess I never have any luck with any of TaeYeon’s albums. Back then, I wanted TaeYeon’s I album with a poster, but I got Kyuhyun’s poster instead. Now my sister tells me she bought the I Got Love version instead of the Fine version. Of course I got upset and she told me that it was not as creepy as a think. I was so upset that I did complain a whole lot, but while I was saying those, I still felt bad. I knew she hated so many things about traveling by herself. I really appreciate that she went out to buy it for me but I wasn’t happy because she couldn’t get the one I wanted. The Fine version was sold out too and I said that we could’ve just bought it online. Obviously it upset her because it sounded from the tone of her text that she went through hell to get it. I guess seeing me as a TaeYeon trash made her think that I would really want anything with TaeYeon in it—and I thought it would be like that too. But of all things TaeYeon, I really did not want to have the I Got Love version. So she asks me, what’s the difference anyway? It’s just the same album and same songs anyway. Of all reasons, I just said that I wanted the Fine album for the GF material photos. Not a good reason, I know but that’s what popped first in my head. So she told me I can get those on the internet—but it just isn’t the same because I can’t fully explain why I don’t feel comfortable with the I Got Love version… So out of carelessness, I say “Can’t I have nice things?” And she replied with the personal things I have that she doesn’t. I immediately regretted what I said because I’ve read before that she was feeling very miserable with her life these days. I said sorry lightheartedly hoping I wouldn’t upset her any longer. I knew very well I was feeling a little greedy after all. So I thought even if I’m upset now, it will pass because there will be more of TaeYeon’s albums in the future and I will learn from my mistakes… I won’t ask her for it anymore.

But then on the breakfast table, as my parents and I were eating and skyping with my sister, I couldn’t look at her. She looked awfully cranky from the tone of her voice and the look on her face and I couldn’t handle the conversation every time my parents wanted to squeeze out a story out of her. I also couldn’t handle how ungrateful and cranky she always was replying to our parents. They only want to talk to her because they love her and how should they know if she’s having a really crappy time when she’s not saying anything? Why decided to explode on them if you could just say it to them from the very first moments that you feel it? But also, since I knew she was obviously upset, they made jokes asking if she was on her period and I just don’t find humor in those types of jokes. I just hated every second of it all. I didn’t even want to eat because I knew my sister doesn’t even eat on a regular basis and would do almost anything for food. I wanted to tell her on the chat that I was sorry she has to always see us eating in front of her like this, but she beat me to it. She loudly complained to us not to eat in front of her anymore.

And then she reveals that she was upset because of how ungrateful I am for her efforts. But that’s not what I felt at all. I wasn’t ungrateful. I just couldn’t wrap my head at the thought of owning something I didn’t even want, but I knew that out of love she went out of her comfort to buy it for me. That thought stuck with me hard that’s why I didn’t want to argue with her any further. But now from the tone of her voice it’s like I’m never thankful of anything and that I don’t know how she was feeling. She proceeds to say that her life is more miserable than mine and yeah, I get it. I know it all. I’ve read it. That’s why I regretted saying “cant I have nice things?” so much. I really thought that she would just dismiss my dumb words because I said sorry and I thought she would understand that I didn’t know any better, but she instead slapped it on my face so harshly that I started crying. Even know as I’m writing it, I’m still drowning in my tears and I don’t think I’ve ever cried so hard for a long time. For her to say I’m ungrateful and that I don’t understand her situation is almost the same as saying I don’t care about her or anything else but TaeYeon. It hurt me so much because I always worry about her. I might just be awful at admitting or showing it, but I really do care about her and her well-being and hate seeing her always downcast. In my heart I know that getting along with my family is more important that having TaeYeon’s face on my hands.

I guess I know now what words I do not ever want to hear from a person I care so much about.

“You don’t care about me.”

Anyway, I know that she is jealous of many things and I honestly don’t want to flaunt too much of my things any further after this. But I also found there is something she has that I don’t. She has friends who care about her. She posts many photos on the chat room with them. Although I am happy for her, I do get jealous every time I see it.

I know I’m living a comfortable life. But the one thing that I really want, friends who care enough to reach out and hang out and joke with me, I can’t seem to have. That’s why I feel like I need to get all the nice things that I want, because I can at least get that. I guess that’s why I was so upset. I wanted to have TaeYeon’s Fine version more than anything else, but I guess I can’t even have that.

 

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