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I looked out the window. And I thought of my past. Again. These few days I just can't stop. My only living relatives. My supportive friends. The castle in the midst of the hills. I longed to be in my past life again. My "normal" life. How I wish. My mother's voice ringed in my head: "Life isn't always the way you want it to be. But life is fair. Everyone will get what they deserve when you pass away and go where you belong, eternal life or eternal punishment."
My mother believed in fairness. Heaven or hell. Notice that I used the word "believed" and not "believes". Yes. If you are smart, you have probably already figured out why. Why? Answer: My mother is dead. So is my dad. And pretty much every close family member of mine. Apart from my uncle and my great-grandaunt.
Bad luck isn't it? No. I believe in my mother. I believe what she said. I will live a good life. I will be kind and supportive of others. I will put myself in others' shoes easily because I will think of my life. So then life will be fair. Then I will be rewarded when I die. Eternal life.
Obviously my mother has an eternal life now. And also my dad. Well, actually I can't be sure. Really. But I guess so. Because they were good...
I am dead. Yes. I am Elspeth's mother, Eleanor. I am up in heaven living an eternal life. And I look down at my daughter Elspeth. I can read her thoughts. I can see what she is doing. My daughter. She loves me. She loved me. She will always love me.
I read her thoughts. She is thinking of what I told her about fairness in life. She believes in me. She trusts me. She wants to repay me by doing good things, just like me.
I am happy and rejoiced. I am also very glad. Very very glad.
My husband comes over and joins me. He also has an eternal life. He looks down. He sees everything. The same things as me.
I wonder if he is thinking what I am thinking. Our daughter. So obedient. And filial.
It is time for me to attend to my duties. I walk away with my husband behind me. I will look down again tonight.
I pull myself away from the window. Reluctantly. Actually, very reluctantly. I really have to catch up. With work. School. Class work. Homework. I haven't been to school for a month. Because of this. This tragedy. I will not go into details. At least not now. Maybe later. Or never. I don't know.
No details. Okay. So here's the story. Of my tragedy. Without any details. At all. None. Here it is. My parents are dead. I only have my uncle and my great-grandaunt. Done. End of story.
I know right! No details at all. I am awesome. Okay. I guess maybe not. Since I'm kind of an orphan...
Nah. Actually I'm not an orphan. No. Actually I kind of am. I don't know.
Wait... I'll look it up in the dictionary.
According to the dictionary this is the definition. Of "orphan". Oxford Dictionary.
Orphan: A child whose parents are dead
Okay. So I guess I am. An orphan, I mean. Well, well. No big deal!
Fine. I will calm down. Now. I'm calm. Done. The end. Got to go. Catch up with work. Ugh. Annoying work.
I'm done with cleaning. I'm exhausted. But I look down and instantly my worries go away. Not like I have many.
I see Elspeth working hard, doing her school work. No school for a month = loads of work. At least that seems to be the case for her... I hope she goes back to school soon. I would love to see her try to have a normal life. As normal as life could get for her.
She tries very hard. But I know it will be hard for her. Too bad. There is nothing I can do about my death. I cannot control her thoughts either. I wish I could though.
Actually, it is a good thing that I cannot. Because if I could, I might just drive her crazy. Knowing myself. I don't know. I have no idea.
Okay, I am absorbed in my thoughts. I look down again. Wow, Elspeth is already done with all her work. I'm so impressed. Good, good, good. Oh wait, she's not done with Olympiad Math.
I'm thinking about giving her a surprise this Christmas. It's now October. I will get a job promotion in November. It will be the second highest ranking. So I have a chance.
Yes, life is still life up here.
I can still contact people though. I think I had better contact Elspeth's uncle.
I hope something interesting happens. As long as it doesn't do harm. Turn my life upside down. Oh well. I should just quit thinking. No not permanently. Just about... this? I don't know. What?
I know. I know. I'm deeply absorbed. In what? My thoughts. Perplexed. Ugh.
Yay! I'm happy. So happy. I finished my work. Apart from Math. So ya. That's it. Only for now.
I just called Crystal. Yes. That's why I had to go. Now you know. My childhood best friend. Lives in a mansion. No, not really. But a big house which is kind of like one. A mansion, I mean.
Well, anyway. So why did I call her? Because...
I don't really want to tell you but I guess I have to. Actually, I must. It'll help you. Understand more. Much much more. So...
I kind of rely on her. She is my childhood best friend. And my best friend ever. Currently. What did I tell her? Oh, you are very curious. And nosy. I'm negative about you. Oh well. Here it goes, it went like this:
Elspeth dials Crystal's number: *93015762 (*random number)
Elspeth: Hello? Christy, it's me.
Crystal: Ellie!! Hurray! You finally called. What's the problem?
Elspeth: Um... so basically...
*Elspeth tells her the story of her tragedy.
Crystal: Come over to my house now! We can chat together.
Elspeth: Okay. And you might have to help me with my Olympiad Maths homework.
Crystal: Sure. See you! Bye.
Woah. No. Why on earth is my daughter at Crystal's house? That bastard. That pest. That dope. Ugh. That girl named Crystal is just...
Just thinking about it makes me want to puke. So I'm not going to talk about it. Can't believe that Elspeth actually still treats Crystal as her FRIEND! (And also vice versa). She's really got to sort her relationships.
Actually, I really cannot stop talking about it. There's too much anger boiling inside me. Way too much. Unhealthy.
How can Elspeth actually be such a fool. In this aspect, she's got a brain like a ham sandwich. A total idiot. I'm so exhausted.
Crystal. That girl. Totally spoiled. Lives in a big mansion. Rich family. Blah blah blah. Elspeth's so-called "childhood best friend".
Well, actually, she was Elspeth's childhood best friend. But I certainly did DISapproved of it. Why would I approve?
Crystal was nice when she was young. So I let Elspeth befriend her. That worked out okay. But afterwards trouble began. So when I say that I disapprove of the two of them being childhood best friends, it's because they should no longer be thinking of each other!!!
It's okay if they were just two ordinary friends in preschool or whatever, but NOT afterwards. Somehow some people are just such a dope. Blur sotong. *(Blur octopus; sotong is Malay for octopus.)("Blur sotong" is one of the 50 icons of Singapore)
Seriously. I am responsible for my own physical and mental health so I forced myself away from the lookout for my own good. If not I might burst. I'm being serious. It matters a LOT.
Uh oh. My boss is coming.
I walk away to my room.
I pick up the phone and dial the familiar numbers.
Eleanor just called me, from heaven. It wasn't that shocking. Basically she's very stressed because of the big workload after her job promotion. She was asking me for help.
I am going to help her do something. It will be a nice surprise for Elspeth. Eleanor really has awesome ideas. The ideas are just perfect. I agree with her that Elspeth definitely needs something to cheer her up.
I also have to help her make sure that Elspeth stays well away from that girl Crystal. To be honest with you though, I fully support Elspeth and Crystal being friends. They should have the freedom of choosing friends. If their friendship works out... you never know. I have tried to explain that to Eleanor, but she just does not seem to understand it.
Some people are just that way. They keep holding on to their own ideas and persisting that they are correct. That is called being stubborn.
But Eleanor actually, is not one of those stubborn people. Eleanor has a reason for disliking Crystal and therefore disapproving of their friendship. It is not a very good reason but at least she has one. The reason the reason is not good is because a person's family most definitely does not represent them. Just because one's family acts a certain way, does not mean that one will act the same way as their family.
In this case though, it's not even the whole family, *it's only the______, who is a______.
*Note from Author: try filling in the blanks yourself, I'm not spoiling it. Answer will be revealed further into the story.
Anyway, I need to go out and buy materials for the surprise, in hope that Elspeth will return to her normal life. Eleanor will be able to revive to life, in a different form. She will still have memories of her past life. But she will only be alive for a month, long enough to help make things better and explain things to her daughter.
Obviously, that needs to be covered up in a disguise. We do not want to scare Elspeth by just bringing Eleanor to meet her right away. We're not that straight-forward.
We will cover it up by having a Christmas party. The Christmas party will be just for her. We are almost a hundred percent sure that she will like it and enjoy it very much. Hopefully, it will bring a smile to her face.
Have a look at the list of things I need, it is way too much for me to handle:
1. 10 wooden boards
2. Suitable food and snacks
4. 5L of drinks
5. Blank banner
6. 5 sets of marker pens
7. Christmas bells
8. 2 Christmas trees
9. 4 bags of assorted Christmas ornaments
10. Suitable presents for all guests
Eleanor just left. Now it just leaves me thinking. What is "it"? Her tragedy. Her parents are dead. What am I thinking about? How I should feel. Then I think about my own mother.
Should I be filled with tears and pity for my friend or should I actually be filled with joy and happiness over the death of Eleanor, Elspeth's mother? I really don't know.
Should I be happy that Eleanor, the person who always intervened and disapproved of my friendship with Elspeth is gone? Should I be happy that now there is nobody to block me or stop me from being with my best friend ever? Should I be happy that I am free in a way since I am free to have the friends I like?
Or, should I be sad over the death of my best friend's mother? Should I be feeling sorrow and pity for my best friend? Should I be sad that my best friend is sad? Should I be sad that Elspeth's dad, the man who always supported my friendship with Elspeth is gone? Should I be sad that Elspeth's dad, who was always so kind to me is gone?
Or, maybe, should I be thinking about my own life, my own parents, my own mother and comparing it to Elspeth's? After that, should I be thinking that I am very fortunate or that Elspeth's situation is better than mine? Should I be thinking about what I will do: both to help Elspeth and to try and talk sense into my mother?
I do not call my mother "mother". Even though I love her. I really don't get why Elspeth loves her mother so much even though she hates me. Maybe things are just like this. Just like how I love my mother even though she's a...
I don't want to tell you who she is. Actually, it's more like what she is. No, I'm not telling you that my mother is a... crimin... I have to stop mid-word, but you probably already know.
Now you're probably guessing which type of a you-know-what she is. And who she is. Which one. Her name. You're probably going online to check a list of criminals. Or check through your records if you're a police officer. Don't. Stop thinking about that this instant. Because...
Enough talk about my mother. It'll be better telling you about my father. My father is the head of the ministry of education. He's a good man. Don't ask me how my mother and my father got married. Even I don't know.
No. Don't blame my father for all your exams or homework or whatsoever. It's no good. It's not his fault. And it is, after all, for our own good. To become useful people, people with good values, and care for one another. Unlike my mother... *Sorry!
This makes me happy. I am finally done with all the shopping and preparations. But I still need to send out invitations. I need Eleanor or Elspeth's help with that. I'm asking for Elspeth's help. I don't want to bother Eleanor.
There is no point in dealing with a person who is grumpy from stress. So I won't bother asking one for help. It would just be a waste of time. I am a very black-and-white person. I am very straight-forward. So you don't need to worry that I keep secrets from you. I swear that I won't.
I plan to tell Elspeth that I have prepared a Christmas party for her. Then, I will ask her to make a list of the friends that she wants to invite. Then I will make invitation cards and ask Elspeth to send them out.
I suppose I will have to cross the name "Crystal" off the list.
Wait. What? My uncle just asked me to create a list for people I want to invite to a Christmas party. I’m not sure who to invite. Actually, I do know. Only one person. You probably know who it is. You do. Answer: Crystal.
But I’m not sure if I should invite her or not. Like, I mean. Will my uncle approve? Probably not. My mum. My uncle. Related. Passed on the hate of Crystal? Very likely. But I think I’ll still put her on the list.
Oh, yeah. Right. I’ll also invite… Wait. Actually, I don’t know. No one else to invite anymore. Because right now I can’t think of my friends. I get too sad. I’m also glad that I have Crystal to support me: about my family and for my studies (Olympiad maths). Like seriously. Seriously. When you’re dealing with this kind of a crisis, who has time? Nobody. Nobody has time. Especially for maths. I hate math. Ugh.
Whoever invented maths must love being bored. I guess I have to go and make the list now. Bye!
What on earth! I got the list from Elspeth and the list is like this.
I know. What a bad list. I suppose I will have to cross off everyone o n that list. I’ll call Elspeth first.
Uncle: Elspeth, I just got your list and it is totally unacceptable. You cannot just invite only Crystal. Invite more people. Your other friends. Having just one person in a party will never be fun.
Elspeth: I should have guessed. Okay then. I’ll go make a list. Bye!
I hope she sticks to her word.
I knew it. I should have guessed. Of course it wouldn’t work. Of course. But seriously. I have an idea. Tell my uncle that the party should be held at 320 Mansion Street. Then he would have no choice. Crystal would have to come. Must. Because.
I’m not telling you why. But it would be quite some work for me. I would have to help do all the setups and not let him come to 320 Mansion Street until the day of the party. That would be a must. Must happen. He will have to be forbidden. No going to 320 Mansion Street at all causes. But there’s not much I can do to ensure that. Unless I have a sleepover with Crystal every night until the party. Live with Crystal every night. But with her family…
I’m not so sure anymore. Oh well. I guess this idea won’t work. I’ll have to think of something else. Or just call off the party, I guess. Meh. Whatever. Who cares. *shrug. Not like it matters that much. I never cared much for the party.
I know I’m very self-defensive. But. It’s necessary. The party was NOT my idea. It was my uncle’s. So don’t blame me.
Okay. I know, I know. I’m am VERY VERY SUPER self-defensive. Who cares. That’s what’s special about me. My characteristics: over-thinking, self-defensive, over-reacting.
I am also very self-concious. This is a good thing when you want to change. But it’s probably not a good things when you’re someone like Crystal’s mother who has a daughter persuading you to do against what you do. Because here’s the truth: Crystal’s mother is a…
Haha, fooled you didn’t I. You’re not finding out. Fine, fine, fine. Ain’t I annoying? Haha. Too bad for you. Crystal is the daughter of the head of education and the daughter of a forger. Not telling you which one. So too bad. But at least now you know that…
“Who? What do you mean who? Yes, for the ten-thousandth time, the question is how did John F. Kennedy die?” I shouted at him. I was teaching as a substitute to a class of (dead) P6 students. History was the subject. Yes, the students are NOT allowed to ask John Kennedy. At least not in the test…
You forgot, didn’t you? You forgot, readers. I am very sure. You forgot that I’m in heaven, where John Kennedy is. Now you get it…
I really don’t have much going on these days. I work as a part-time substitute at the school and I also have a job at the publishing company. All I have going on is my work. Work. Work. Work. Loads of work.
I don’t even really have to look down at Elspeth anymore. I trust her after observing her for about 3 days. So I don’t worry.
But I just can’t find time to call someone. Someone important. Someone who will make an impact, on Elspeth and perhaps me too.
Seriously, though, don’t ask me what or why. I don’t know. I don’t even know what I’m doing. What is wrong with me?!
Ugh…ugh…ugh… I’m getting annoyed. This is stupid. Annoying. And of course, as usual, pointless. Very very very very POINTLESS!
It’s no use. I suppose I’ll just quit my jobs and try to make a living out of helping my alive daughter.
You’re probably hating my attitude. Then you’re a very typical person. I know I tend to to have a cynical attitude when I’m stressed. Which I am. I’m very stressed indeed.
Okay. I have no idea. I’ve searched it online, in a tourists guide, in the map. Nothing. Why? I think maybe its just a party room. But then why would it be on Mansion Street? You should know that Mansion Street is a street with many ancient castles and expensive residential buildings. Oh well. 320 Mansion Street it is. The address for the party. Elspeth is going to help me book and organise and do all the setup for the party. That is very helpful. So the party is her’s.
And I’ve finally gotten the guest list from Elspeth. Good. So she does have other friends and Crystal isn’t on the list!!!!! Yay. That is good. Good. Good. Good. Very good. So I suppose she’s finally got it sorted. She finally has her common sense. She knows now that Crystal is not someone to be with. As some people say, common sense is the least common. That is true. At least it used to be true for Elspeth. Because she didn’t have her common sense when choosing Crystal as a friend.
Elspeth’s plan is awesome! It’s better than ever. How smart of her. That’s why she’s my best best best best best best best best friend ever! The party at my house! Yay!
And even though I’m not on the guest list, I have to go to the party. Of course! It’s my house. Come on! And I’m going to help her do the setup for the party. We just finished our designs and they are amazing. I promise the party will be a miracolous one! Obviously decorations and lights and amazingly attractive stuff.
I’m hoping Elspeth invited some boys, I bet I can steal a few using my décor skills. Dating. I wish. Except that right now my status is single, and I’ve lost 9 boys already. So sad. I might just be hopeless…