Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Starbucks Story

"Can I have a Starbucks coffee, please?"

I glared disapprovingly at him. "What? Are you mad?"

It was a lazy Thursday afternoon after lunch. We were walking back to office when he suddenly got this idea from goodness-knows-where.

"Well..." he gazed longingly at the glass entrance. "I was thinking that it's been a while since I had a Starbucks."

I marched in, took a good look at the price list and almost fainted.

"Fourteen bucks! Do you have any idea how much that is?!"

"Yeah...that's pretty expensive I guess."

"If you're really feeling thirsty, can't you get something cheaper instead? It's just liquid anyway. Maybe a soft drink from 7-11."

"Or we could, you know," I made the sarcasm in my voice apparent. "Walk up a flight of stairs to the office and drink some water FOR FREE."

He looked down. Trying to hide his disappointment. Badly.


"Argh," I slapped my forehead. "You're making me feel bad on purpose. I know you are."

"All I'm saying is that... I deserve a treat after having worked so hard lately."

"Worked hard? Excuse me? Did I miss something here? Didn't you leave office early yesterday?"

"Says who! I left at seven-thirty. And that was because I had somewhere to go."

"Excuses. You usually work much later than that."

"And I don't want that. Is it wrong to not work like mad for once?"

I kept silent and took a good look at him. There he stood before me, barely 24 of age, a proud young man with his own hidden frailties and insecurities. He had no problems giving his best, but lately I could tell it was eating into him. Cracks were beginning to show on his glossy surface.

Perhaps I had been pushing him too hard. Expecting him to always do the right thing. Know the right words. Carry out the right tasks. Go that one extra mile, exceed that one expectation.

He was only human, after all. As highly as I thought of him sometimes, he couldn't be perfect. He shouldn't.

"All right," I said to him. "We'll get your cup of coffee. My treat."


A strange feeling of lightness came over me as I handed the fourteen bucks for a chilled Java Chip with whipped cream on top. It made me happy to see him happy for once.

Taking the stairs back to office, cup in hand, I couldn't help smiling to myself.

Have you given yourself a treat lately?

Saturday, May 02, 2009

A Girl & A Wedding Dress

Oh no. I think I'm addicted to designing chic lit book covers. This story came to me during a drive by the renowned SS2 bridal street. Didn't turn out the way I expected it to, though. See what you guys make out of it. Credits to Wen Cheng for helping me touch-up the last part! =)

This story begins with a lovely girl who just turned 28 last month. She's attractive, smart, chic - and she's picking a wedding dress!

"How about satin white? You can't go wrong with that." Wanda the shop assistant beamed at her.

"Really? You think so?"

"Uh huh."

She stroked her cheek for a while, envisioning the ceremony in her mind. Weddings were always so hard to plan for. Sometimes people told her that she was too much of a perfectionist.

But it was a wedding! The sweetest day she had dreamed of since a little girl. It had to be perfect.

The adorable flower girl and ring boy stepping down the aisle.

Will they forget their steps? Will that boy just blank out?

Oh, don't be such a worry wart, you.

The rows of smiling guests, all rising to greet the soon-to-be Mrs. Taylor.

Mrs. Taylor. Oh gosh, what a name.

She couldn't help giggling a little. How inappropriate.

And of course, the blushing bride, gorgeous in her flowing dress, the radiance of every day of her life spent picturing this moment reflected in her eyes. This moment, so simple yet beautiful in execution, the purest of leaps of faith, the most perfect of beginnings and endings.

She would walk up beside the man she chose to belong to. They would recite their vows together, both willing this moment to both be done with and yet somehow last forever. They would then whisper their "I do"s, not sounding quite as articulate as they had always imagined themselves in front of so many. Finally, he would turn to her, lift up her veil, gaze knowingly into her eyes and share with her the first lover's kiss of many to come.

Not a single soul in the hall would be seated. This was, indeed, the story they had all been waiting to see. A story that was starting and finishing right before their eyes.

How lovely, she gushed in her heart.

"Hello? You've been thinking for a long time." Wanda snapped her fingers at her face, concerned.

"Huh? Oh, I..."

"Or perhaps lavender? That's very elegant too."

"No," she shook her head. "White. It has to be white."

"You sure?"


"Okay then. Miss Carrie!"

A timid bride-to-be, all 26 years of her, stepped in.

"We think this dress suits you best."

Miss Carrie clasped her hands in joy. "Oh, it's lovely! Thank you so much, Wanda. And thank you too, Ally. You're the best wedding planner ever."

"My pleasure, darling." Ally smiled in return. "Every girl deserves to look unforgettable on her wedding day."

Another happy girl. Wonder when my turn will come.

This story ends with a lovely girl who just turned 28 last month. She's attractive, smart, chic - and still single.