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Girl Code: Midnight Memories

Sam, Charlie, Rae, and Lissa can't seem to get some rest.
ART Trixie Ison

SAM

It's a random Wednesday night and I'm exhausted from work, but somehow KC managed to drag me out to one of her favorite clubs. "One drink!" She said, but it's almost midnight and I'm considering calling in sick at work tomorrow so I don't have to worry about my alarm. Mom hasn't even texted me to come home yet; she probably thinks this is normal post-breakup behavior and wants me to stay happy. As happy as one can get in a club, anyway. I close my eyes, sip my drink, and enjoy the music. There's this cute guy that keeps catching my eye. Tall, athletic build, and a sense of style. Just my type. It's been a few weeks since Ben and I broke up, and I haven't heard anything from him since. I wonder how he is... No, stop thinking about Ben right now, Sam. Focus on the music, and that cute guy. Who apparently dances really well. And has a really adorable smile. He's practically staring at me now, with that sly "oh she noticed me now I'm going to look away" move. Oh my gosh, he's flirting with me! Should I flirt back? What am I saying, of course I should.

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"Hey, it's time to go!" KC shouts into my ear.

"What!" I protest. "Why now? That cute guy is making eye contact with me and I haven't even been able to return it!"

KC scans the room to check him out, "Wow, he is cute! You're right. He hasn't stopped staring at you."

I blush. Thank god nobody can see my crimson cheeks in this dark club.

"Come on, it's midnight and we have work tomorrow!" KC practically yells at me. "We have to go." She starts to walk out of the club, but I pull her back, closer to the light of the bar.

"Five more minutes," I plead, reaching into my bag and pulling out a piece of paper and a pen.

To the cute guy who hasn’t stopped staring at me,  You’re cute and you know it, but why do you keep staring at me? Is that something cute guys do now—let their looks do the talking instead of coming up and making genuine conversation? I’m not the type of girl who will be impressed by your height, your sneakers, or whatever it is that you’re wearing. I’m much more attracted to intelligence, humor, and passion. But like I said, you’re cute. I like your smile, and I want to get to know you. Maybe I’ll see you around sometime, and you’ll have the guts to approach me.  From the girl in the pink sweater, Sam

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CHARLIE

Charlie Reyes @charliereyyy • 23h #FlashbackFriday to the time I first played basketball aaaagghh, never thought the feeling would compare to playing football and volleyball   Charlie Reyes @charliereyyy • 23h I mean, I loved football and volleyball, and I still do. I loved being in the National Team. I love my teammates. Charlie Reyes @charliereyyy • 23h Being in the Football National Team was an accomplishment in itself, but the bond of the whole team is an accomplishment and blessing on a whole other level.   Charlie Reyes @charliereyyy • 23h Aghh, I miss you, my National Team U14 buddies! Charlie Reyes @charliereyyy • 23h & Palarong Pambansa memories representing NCR for the Volleyball Tournament! Oh man!  Charlie Reyes @charliereyyy • 22h All the free chocolate milk and sports drinks we got LOL I remember coach warning us not to take it before the game, but… oops hehe Charlie Reyes @charliereyyy • 22h I miss both teams. I miss all my teammates. I never meant to leave any of them. I seriously just went with the flow. #cheesy Charlie Reyes @charliereyyy • 22h & now, though we get to see each other occasionally, it isn’t the same, not training with them Charlie Reyes @charliereyyy • 21h Never take for granted the time you have with people—your friends, your family. Charlie Reyes @charliereyyy • 21h You never know when life will be too busy  Charlie Reyes @charliereyyy • 21h Grateful for all the memories tho. Ok enough senti-ness for the night, off to beeedddd #peaceout

RAE

James: Crap… Rae, about what I said that night. I’m sorry. I don’t want things to be weird between us. Can we just forget it?  James: Rae? James: Come on, Rae! Are you going to avoid me forever?? Rae: James? U still up? James: Waiting for your reply Rae: I haven’t been avoiding you. James: Really?  Rae: Okay. Maybe a little.

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James: You have. A lot. I don’t even know why, exactly, because you broke up with me. I’ve been consoling myself with the possibility that we could at least be friends. But even that seems too far out of reach. Rae: I don’t want to talk about this. At least not right now. Can’t you give me a little more time? James: I could… if I actually knew what was going on. Stop keeping me in the dark, Rae. At least tell me WHY. James: Don’t I deserve an explanation, at the very least? Coach won’t get off my back because I can’t concentrate during games. I can’t even sleep properly. Not knowing is driving me crazy. James: Please, Rae? For me? Rae: You wanna know why? Because I was starting to love you too damn much. You were off to that big university with your big dreams and big name, and I was scared I wouldn’t have a place in all that.  Rae: I was scared we’d fall apart and end up hating each other. Rae: I was freaking terrified that you’d be the first to say goodbye.

LISSA

01/02/2015 12:01 AM  If I were handed a pen, and a gun to my head, asked, “Are you done living?” I wouldn’t know the answer, I wouldn’t know. Every day is a series of going through the motions, and even through the motions I am emotionless.   My parents are in New Zealand, the picture-perfect green plastered on the sides of milk cartons— is that really what it looks like out there? My brothers are right here, but cities away; only a piece of string holds us together, continent from continent, road from road.   When every moment already feels like a memory, when life moves too fast for me to stop and relish, when people drift apart before you can make them feel just, just, just how much you love them— how do you ever get done living?   I want to fall asleep in a room with no windows, falling deeper and deeper into a slumber so that when I wake my skin craves sunrise again.   But today the sun is too bright. Today the world is too happy; it appears to have left me behind.

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About the author
Gaby Flores
Girl Code author
When she's not taking three-hour naps, watching makeup vlogs, or drowning in microscope slides of 48-hour chick embryos, Gaby spends her downtime with her jammies on and her nose in a book. As a self-confessed bibliophile, reading has always been her first love, and it's been that way for as long as she can remember. It started as an addiction to Dr. Seuss' Bartholomew and the Oobleck when she was barely three years old, and it has grown into a fervent love for the written word. In fact, it's from her favorite book, The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, that she gets the inspiration to write about someone so radically different from her: Rae. Writing each chapter as the soft-spoken, sensitive Rae is a challenge for someone as effervescent as Gaby, but she takes it the way she does an impossible Embryology exam: with a prayer, a lot of verve, and the excitement of venturing into the unknown.
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About the author
Chandra Pepino
Girl Code author
Chandra is 20 years old, a graduate of Ateneo de Manila University, and a writer for Candy Magazine and Real Living online. She writes to heal herself, not from pain, but from curiosity—the world is mad and cold, but writing warms her soul. You will find her nose buried in the works of Chuck Palahniuk and Haruki Murakami, but in real life, her loved ones are her muses. Lissa is, in a lot of ways, Chandra’s twin, and yet her polar opposite: she is impulsive, introverted, and very, very hard on herself. But Lissa is also loyal to her friends, and when she finally falls in love, you’ll find that she falls hard and fast. If you ever see Chandra in person, say hello. She'd love to have coffee with you. Conversations are her favorite.
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About the author
Joanna Kennedy
Girl Code author
As a former member of the Candy Council of Cool, Joanna is no stranger to writing for Candy Magazine. Inspired by fleeting expressions, old photographs, song lyrics, and illustrations, she started writing on a private blog at the age of 14. While it started off as a hobby, the daily practice of writing short fiction turned into a full-blown passion. Aside from writing, she owns a bar named Walrus, works in events, and is a travel junkie! Frequently found soaking up the Philippines' beaches, her next travel dream is to hike in the Himalayas and backpack across Mongolia on horseback.
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About the author
Niña Alvia
Girl Code author
Eighteen-year-old Niña was never a Team Captain, nor was she a part of any National Team (spoiler alert!), but her world revolves around sports. Now she lives vicariously through the character of Charlie, tackling issues such as teenage angst and struggling with change. Niña is a Sport Studies major in UP Diliman, and may look familiar to UAAP fans as this season's Courtside Reporter for UP. Aside from writing quick reports about the UAAP games, she blogs about her personal musings along with her sartorial attempts on ninaalvia.blogspot.com. Her favorite writers are Margaret Zhang, a blogger, and J.K. Rowling.
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I was, but I am not. Desperately, I am trying to reach you – my hope. I am in this particular space in my own constructed world where doubts and frustrations recur. Emphasizing how scared I am being here, I never explored this area before. I was always in those places filled with benevolence, hope shining like the light the sun and the moon possess. And I didn’t have any plans to visit a ‘dark’ place, as how I described it then. But, as funny as how my world suddenly flipped, I am now here, completely lost with monsters persuading me to go insane.

How did I end up here? I can’t logically tell you the answer for that, but I guess, I know when. It started when I had to consider what college course do I want to pursue. Well, if you want to ask what ambition had occurred in my mind when I was young – which is usually the case in terms of life when you were like 7-year-old young - it was definitely being a doctor. I’d thought about wearing a medical coat with a stethoscope around my neck, ready to cure people from their illnesses. It was actually stuck in my mind for so long I almost thought that I was sure of it, yet, as a particular song yields, almost was never really enough and still, it is and will never be.

When I realized that such a perspective was slowly draining me, I tried my best to stand tough. I convinced myself that this was just temporary, that I could think of a way out of this. “There’s still plenty of time,” I once convinced myself. However, my environment demonstrated the contrary: I felt like I was completely out of time.

I was there when my classmates were happily talking about that ‘dream course’ they wish to take in their ‘dream university.’ I was there when my family was suggesting the thought of using my ‘suitable’ speaking voice for broadcasting and voice acting purposes. I was there when my teacher was convincing me that Education suited me the best. That ‘Stand tough!’ aura I used to own back then, suddenly transformed into ‘I give up!’ state, slowly destroying my being. And now, I am here in this space where doubts and frustrations are filling my former enthusiastic self. I need help.

I know, at this point, some of you may never consider me ‘fatal’ because, as you’re reading this, you may judge that I still have the ability to transform my thoughts into words that can be read, so that ‘automatically’ falls into the aspect of complete sanity. No, because I will never tell everything to you in the first place if I still have the urge to stand like I used to, relative to my belief that speaking up through writing is the best way to attract help.

When you look at the photo of mine above, you may say that I was okay. That I was successful. That I was never losing myself. Yes, I was. But, think about what happened days after that was taken and the message of this passage you started reading minutes before, do you think I am still the same girl smiling in the photo? I hope I will be or better yet, improve if the world will permit me. But, now I’m sure – I’m not the same.

LIFE ADVICE YOU NEED TO HEAR WHILE YOURE STILL YOUNG

This blog is dedicated to all teens out there struggling in determining what they really want in their life or if you simply want a glow up. And since were still facing a pandemic, I think this is also a season where everyone is re-thinking about their lives. So, I hope these advices might help you.

Tip #1. TAKE RISK - since most of you are still young, I advice you to take your biggest risk. Whether it may be taking the course you want, a skill you want to acquire or just simply taking the risk to throw away your emotional baggage from your childhood. While you're still young, you have very little to lose. You dont have that much commitments and responsibilities. Because the older you get, the more responsibilities and obligations came. So when they are still not piling up, take the risk! As for me, the biggest risk I took when I was still a teenager is to CUT OFF TOXIC FAMILY TIES.

I may sound rude here but, yeah. I decided to throw away my emotional baggage from my traumatic childhood and cut off some of my family ties and it is completely okay! You dont have to be bothered by whatever they will say. Because at your age, you are already investing on your growth as a person. If you really want to grow, THERE IS NO PERFECT TIME FOR YOU TO TAKE RISK BUT NOW. Because in taking risk you are actually giving yourself a reward of getting something amazing or beyond what you expect you can have. As they say, the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. Keep in mind that the bigger the risk, the bigger possibility of FAILURE. But that is completely OKAY. Because just like what I said earlier, you are still young. You dont have so much to lose so, dont be afraid to take the risk and then fail. But after failing, learn from it and the more courage you have to take risk the greater the learning, reward or happiness. Ito na nga, how to take risk nga ba? And what are the risk that would actually help me to grow? #

2: VOICE LESSON - dont get me wrong, hindi ito vocalization para sa pagkanta. What I mean is, learn to listen to that VOICE INSIDE YOU. Listen to your heart, to your intuition and to your visions because it will be your GUIDE. Because I realize that as you go along your journey of your life and if you really want to be YOURSELF and be successful in achieving your goals, the only GUIDE that you should follow is your OWN VOICE.

It is okay to take and consider other people's advices but at the end of the day,you should never forget to listen to your own voice. Because that voice is what tells you what you truly want. How would you know that if it is your 'own' voice? Your own voice always comes from your HEART. The voice where YOU and GOD'S voice are one. Because I firmly believe that God knows your heart and that is where he reside. I like journaling because whenever I journal my thought every night and every morning, I feel a dual voice inside my head. Like, it contradicts what the other voice is telling. For example: If we have dreams or goals that puts us so much weight and pressure to the point that it makes you exhausted, STOP. Because it might be a dream or goal of someone else. I believe that your own dreams and goals may be frustrating most of the time, but that frustration has fueling feeling that will always tell you that 'This is the hard way to better so keep going'. Frustration in your own dreams will not make you feel exhausted because achieving a dream itself is a fulfilling feeling.

#3. TAKE ACTION - if you really want something to happen, take action. Dont just sit there and wait things to come your way. Make action or decisions that will take you to where you want to go in your life. Just like what I said in one of my novels that I am writing in wattpad, "There is no such thing as destiny or fate. Because YOU make your OWN life choices." For example, I cannot expect to be a published author if I dont write any novels right? The bottomline here is, if you are not moving forward you are actually moving backward. And it is a sad thing. Life is full of situations where you will be put in the line whether you take courage or just stay where you are. Because GROWING needs consistency in moving forward. So if you dont have to enough courage to take action, your life will always stay the same or worse you will continuously shrink down.

#4. EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS - this means stretching your comfort zone. I watched an anime entitled "Black Clover" there is a captain there where he always tell his subordinates to surpass their limits right, here right now. Going out of our comfort zones are surely scary and uncomfortable. But you have to accept the fact that you cannot stay on the coast forever. You have to change, because the only thing that is constant in this world is change right? Go out of your comfort zones because LIMITS are just in the MIND. There are disabled people who are successful in their own careers. Because the lesson here is, if you hold back there will be no growth. Because GROWTH blooms in DISCOMFORT.

Last, #5. INVEST IN YOURSELF - especially now that you are still young, you should focus on investing on yourself more. Time is your bestfriend at this point of your life. You have so much time to discover things about yourself. I never regret buying and reading books that I never knew will help me later on in dealing life's challenges. You can use that time to read books, gain wisdom, or pick a new skill, improve your talent and learn from your experiences. Keep learning outside your home or your school. Because the real battlefield is OUTSIDE. What you learn in school will only help you in your career but your wisdom and experiences will help you in life or as a person. People who doesnt embrace growth will never succeed in their life. (This is a reflection blog from my 21st birthday last week. I hope you can feature this on your page and I hope it can help others as well. )

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