“Everything was real. I wrote them all down.”

“He coins this pseudo-group of friends, this bunch of lonely-souls gathering, this chilling out day-and-night sessions as ‘a friendship summer fling’ and laughs out loud at the thought. I grinned and laughed too.”

— from The Summer Break Series: Summer Fling v2.0 (September 2012)


Sometimes… to comfort myself from the aftermath – I tell myself they’re just stories that I made up.

They’re not.

Everything was real. I wrote them all down.

So dearly loved to the point it’s painful to relive and recall. If this ain’t true love.

“Sometimes I close my eyes and let my thoughts flash back to this memory; always the car rides. I remember my laughing expressions, my heart full to the brim. Happy.

During this period, for the first time I had wished, over and over, that summer is forever.

I miss (all of) you today.”

from of summer, car rides & youth  (October 2012)

Why did I write them all, not just to memory, but with words too??! Talk about feelings.

“I spoke about Miri again tonight.

Where do I even begin?”

— from heart’s mind (May 2013)

I remember this write-up and the night that inspired – necessitated – this little piece. I remember them so vividly, even now.

“Meaning… I traveled 4000 miles to realize a dream, only to learn I have it all along and all the while. I don’t know to laugh or cry at the absurdity of this revelation.

What is it about small towns with big personalities?”

— from & yet again the clock rewinds to summer of 2012 (March 2014)

This – Miri – is such a special little place.

And… I’m still asking that question, two years on.

“It will sort of hurt, and somewhere in between
I will sort of pretend that it doesn’t.”

– Kharla M. Brillo | Confession XIV

— quoted in answer me, 2012: revisiting a summer of car rides & youth (August 2014)

I remember this, too. I remember it vividly. I remember what I wish I could have written.

Now, more than ever, I wish it turned out differently.

“Someone hold me. I think my heart is bursting with feelings revived and spilling over from one man’s words, written in 1988. Could he ever have guessed? In the summer of 2012, one girl echoed his sentiments about this same place – even if the Sarawak brought to life through his words and that in my memories are strikingly different.”

— from forecast: sunny with a chance of longing (January 2015)

This is such a special little write-up. The fact that it was a forecast too; how clever.

I’d forgotten I wrote this. Yet. A year later: sunny with a chance of longing. Indeed.

“Honestly,” I admitted aloud, “I think I’m afraid that my life would go from this” – I stretched both hands to form a wide circle – “to this.” I created a dot using my right thumb and forefinger, barely noticeable.

“I literally had the entire world,” I said, “but I gave it up for Miri, you know?”

“That’s what scares me the most.””

— from turning time forward and backwards, revisiting “But one wrong decision does not define an entire life yet lived.” (October 2015)

“That’s what scares me the most,” I wrote, ending with that sentence.

…and now I’m here. Nope. It’s like the whole world just came crashing here instead.

“Sometimes I recall tales from Miri, Sarawak – aka the small-town, whenever it appears here – in ’12, and remember a time when I used to…”

“These stories are a reminder that while it’s true one can take a girl out of the city only to realize the city stays within the girl… it’s an intriguing space, that period and gap between who the girl was and who she will become.”

— from “…it’s an intriguing space, that period and gap between who the girl was and who she will become.” (November 2015)

Gawd, again. I’m dying.

I was so in love -and didn’t even know it. I had no idea. I wrote about this place every year since 2012 – always more than once. These friends live ten lives, or something. I breathed them to life with my vice; over and over, year after year.

If this ain’t love.

“In secret and silence, every now and then, I retrieve that image of us four [together].

I miss you, sometimes. I miss us, all the time.”

— from summer of 2012, part I (February 2016)

I wrote this on V-day and didn’t even realize it, until now. Talk about timing and true love.

If this – you guessed it – ain’t love. The truest of love. So, so dearly beloved.

….and everything was – painfully, endearingly – real. They were real.

We were real.


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