Spirit of Sparta

I was sitting in the university classroom, pondering over what I should come up with for my Communications assignment.  Lots of things happened quite recently, and so my dear mind was in a mesh.  Rather unknowingly, I found myself bringing up a topic I had long forgotten, one that I had written countless number of times as I applied to pre-med university.  There I was standing in front of the class shamelessly tearing away at the very flesh of my own mind for words for the soul.  I was glad I could find my voice again.

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Spirit of Sparta by Alicia Ai Leng is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

     The sound of gunshot crackled through the crisp cold morning air.  The bullet penetrated through the misty dewy darkness of twilight, escaping into the cast emptiness, beyond auditory threshold.  It signaled the fresh start of a long 21-kilometer run.  Tens of thousands wobbled at their feet, their toes still slightly cramped from the morning cold.

The senses orchestrated themselves to lots of things happening around.  The ears captured all that was there to hear: the endless chatter of the overly-excited crowd, the rapid pattering of thousands of feet, the resounding siren of the police, and yes, the gunshot.  The eyes looked ahead… and about.  They saw people in orange vests in front, beside, and behind.  All running on their feet, their faces twitched by the lack of oxygen.  The sweet, small mouth – it gasped for air.  The lung expanded and contracted at normal pace in intervals.  The Chambers of Life pumped slightly faster than usual.  Little drops of sweat trickled down the tiny pores of the skin, dripping onto the ground.

There she was, a young woman not over 20, running on her two feet, not too fast, not too slow, a speckled dot among the entire lot.  It was *Sabrina’s first half-marathon in her life, and she was determined to make it.  Not that it was impossible; she had exerted a bit more than an hour on the training grounds running ten kilometers.  She mentally repeated to herself that she just had to go slow and take it easy.

It was only 4AM.  In the blank state of her mind, Sabrina felt extremely refreshed.  Nothing crossed her thoughts.  She was so relaxed.  There was no sign of pain as she swayed left and right (that was the way to run, right?) and her heels hit the ground.  It seemed so utterly effortless.

But no one knew.  No one knew what Sabrina had gone through, that only seven years back, her very life had hung on a thread.  That thread was about to snap if it were not for her seven lifesavers, all crowded around her in the surgery room with their green overalls on.

It had come from the back.  This big vehicle, a lorry probably, was speeding down the empty road with hellish swiftness.  A young, fat Chinese man was behind the steering wheel.  He had a companion at the back, open-air end; was he Malay, Chinese, or Indian no one could remember.

The companion was sitting at the back, but he was not sitting still.  He was frantic – but, good Lord, why?  The two appeared to be rushing from someone, something.  In all the hullabaloo, the driver did not even notice the young girl walking in front of him.

In a matter of seconds, everything happened.  The girl was knocked down.  Her right shoe slipped out of her foot and flew off, landing distances away.  The impact forced the young woman out of her gait too,  and she landed on the ground with a thud approximately a hundred meters away.

Nonetheless the lorry did not halt its brakes.  It just went on as if nothing had happened.  It would have sped off if not for the traffic lights – and her younger brother as well.

The small thin boy ran as fast as his skinny legs could carry.  He wanted to stop the driver, and he did.  Stupefied by the horror that had occurred right before her very eyes, the boy’s mother stood watching.  The little boy made the driver’s companion hoist his motionless sister into the vehicle.  He vehemently directed the driver to the nearest hospital.

That night was a night of desperation.  As the heart monitor gave out its timely beep, doctors worked on the body, half hoping, half dreading; Sabrina’s mother sobbed uncontrollably in devastation, and her brother did his best to look calm, although signs of overwhelming distraught showed in his eyes.  Friends and neighbors came to console the mother, but it seemed hopeless. At last the main surgeon walked out of the OT. “She has only 25% chance of survival.”  That was the last thing anyone wanted to hear.

Her spleen was removed – at least a huge portion of it – and her lung too, for it was completely lacerated.  Her blood capacity was below 50%, and her ankle and rib cage were fractured.  Sabrina was now very pale and thin.  Her eyes were shut close as her spirit breathed on and on, considering whether it should hold itself together or simply give up.

In the dire circumstances, her spirit fought through a tough combat between Life and Death, between the real and the Void.  It battled to keep the girl alive, her dear heart beating and her lung breathing.  Her warring soul never stopped for weeks on end,

Yet just when everyone was almost losing hope on Sabrina, her beautiful brown eyes flickered open.  There were a few more battles, battles that were no as tough as the one before, but were still battles.  First she lost her voice – and then it came back.  Then she had to learn to stand up; she fell hard onto the ground so many, many times the searing pain shot through her feeble spine and left her semi-paralyzed for minutes.  On several occasions she fell headlong on her crutches as she hobbled through the corridors of the hospital.

Nonetheless, she conquered each and every fight.  She grabbed firm hold of the crutches – and no, she did not hobble along anymore.  Rather, she walked the crutches swiftly, as if she were carrying the crutches with her wherever she went.

Finally, she let it all go.  She left her crutches behind and started taking small steps.  Before she had even mastered the step, she went ahead and started running – or jogging, more like.  It was very hard at first, but Sabrina always believed in allowing herself time to grow.  She did not condone in pushing herself far too much.  And run she finally did.

Today, Sabrina runs, although not competitively.  She has completed 21 kilometers in three hours – her first half-marathon – and she swims 10 laps in her condominium pool regularly.  She is now a few months short to her bachelor’s degree, and is working on her first start-up, Braniac Media.  She aims to do her Masters too, with a focus on clinical psychology, and finally develop another startup concentrating on personality development.

Life is about firing one’s passions up to the maximum.  It is about winning battles all the way till the end of the tunnel.  It is about harboring a Spartan spirit, where the strength of the soul overcomes every war it faces with honor, dignity, and perseverance.

Red Scarlet

*not her real name

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Several years ago, in a galaxy far, far away….

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2015 in a Bottle

Gazing blankly into the ghostly sky with its morning star hidden right behind the thick, heavy clouds, I downed my cup of espresso.  I tried to shut my thoughts and listen to the sounds around me.  I sat still in my wooden chair trying to capture some form of hope for my trusty pen to thrust its wildest dreams on.

If I could, I would.  Definitely.  I would part this sheet of paper from the book, roll it up, and then put it in a bottle – and set it free.  Well, what if I actually did?

My thoughts would have the freedom to linger off through the water surface, forever encased in its protective covering.  Hopefully it would seek refuge from raging storms, and finally meet with amicable weather in the Atlantic, before sailing smoothly into the Indian Ocean.  Perhaps, thousands of years later someone would be lucky enough to stumble upon it when it gets itself stuck in the soggy sand.

Parts of the lines are quite cheesy, and I do have to apologize, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, for borrowing the words in your lyrics to vent my dissatisfaction.

Thank you for calling me a bitch.  Thank you for assumming that I am a slut.  Thank you for piercing through my heart all your sharp arrows, of setting my soul to flames.  Thank you for calling me stupid, and whatever other names you felt befitting.  I have never once been that, and I shall show you that I mean it.

The players are going to play, play, play.  The haters, on the other hand, they are just going to hate, hate, hate.  What can I possibly do about that anyway.  I sort of knew you were trouble when you walked in to my life, so maybe shame on me now?  Hmmm.  All too often I was just left in blank space, baby; because all boys only want love if it’s torture, if it’s pain, if it’s hurt, and if blood oozes out from their hearts.  What do you really, really mean?  You were, in the end, the reason for the teardrops on my guitar (well, ok; it was really your guitar, but I held it with my dainty fingers sometimes).  Finally, your friends talked to my friends talked to your friends talked to me, and so we are never ever getting back together.  Not like I actually cared even.  I only have to shake it all off my head.  Yeah.  Loving you was so red, in fact forgetting you was like trying to know someone I never met.

Nevertheless, from the ashes rose a phoenix with wings so large they carried it away from the consuming fire.  I started showing gratitude and showering my appreciation on people, sometimes even people I do not even know who helped me in doing something.  I allowed myself to be as genuine as possible in dealing with the different kinds of people I have to meet everyday.  These things cannot go wrong.  As a result, I am proud of myself for having grown emotionally stronger and bolder than before.  It could be that my feelings have been numbed from the constant hurt, but my chains have been broken, and my soul has been set free.  I hope.

A few more months – just one more semester – I will be graduating!!!!  (I do wish I could insert a love icon here.)  I shall be done with my degree after a long, long time.  I should be so excited right?  Yes I am, but no, I am also not.  Oh gosh, my mind is wandering to so many places!  Life is an exciting venture, a beautiful journey bestowed upon Man.  There is no other gift more amazing than the gift of life.

This year also I am chasing time to kick off my positive psychology start-up as well.  While I am working on one SBU (strategic business unit, that is) now, I will directly after I graduate, start-up the other SBU.  Currently I am looking for sponsors and venues for investors.  It has been a crazy six months running about to widen social networks and contact suppliers, and so on, whilst studying final year.  I still have not mentioned that I am also doing sales.  Haha.  Crazy times.

I have of course had my fair share of repeating heartbreaks, but yet I did all I could to keep pushing on and on.  Whether it has got to be love, wealth, fame, or self-fulfillment, I wanted it to work out this year.  I probably went a wee bit overboard, pushing myself dangerously over the edge.  But I had already decided from early this year that I am not going to let things happen to me just like that.  I am going to make things happen to me instead.

So I just want you to know: I am fiercely fighting for whatever that is meant to be mine – my degree, my start-up, and HIM!!!!!

Never say never.  All I need to do is be patient. Perseverant.  Positive!!!!  The 3Ps!!!  Oooh – how sweet.

Red Scarlet

Dirty Little Secret

Shush. Don’t tell your mother.  Kiss one another.  Die for each other.

In the midst of the gooey mass of grey matter in the prefrontal lobe stands a huge army of Spartan soldiers with their spears sticking upwards in the air.  They are prepared to fight, prepared to conquer malaise, to combat for Truth.  For the mind is a wondrously dangerous place, and white lies are in constant battle with black lies and dirty little secrets.  With a tweak of a passage of signals, the entire perception alters somewhat drastically.  It gives birth to a thought, an idea, and though in its embryonic form, it still has the capability of enveloping the entire physique, covering the subtle pores of the skin with its vulnerable coat like myelineated sheaths of axons.  It hydrates the thirsty soul; it instigates a certain craving for – a little cocaine, maybe?  Fervently spreading throughout the entire breathing creature, it begins to speak aloud in the creature’s own voice.  But how weak the mind is!  Yet it is capable of intelligent choice.

Secret Garden. (Photo courtesy of Twitter)

Secret Garden. (Photo courtesy of Twitter)

A long time has past since I last published my work on WordPress.

It is a superficially busy time for me because, after this semester, I have only two more to go.  Then I shall finally graduate.  It is critically important that I do well during these last few months because I plan to sit for masters. Not only that I am working towards developing my own organizational objectives with a music business unit.  It is not easy to do this single-handedly, but I am fortunate to be able to work with other entrepreneurs as well.

It truly is one last stage for me to get by.  I admit it is tough because I am now handling everything by myself, from tuition fees to organization structure to this little powerful drug – writing – that I do every now and then.  I am consummated by exams and university projects and meeting new people.  Every now and then I am hurled into Dreamland, where I am trapped in an extremely tall tower waiting for my knight in his white horse to come around and save me of course.  At the very same moment, Time is graciously ticking away.

It definitely is fun to form mutual friendships with people and organizations, especially those who would be able to help out in the event that it is necessary.  As part of entrepreneurship all that stress that comes along with it – hopefully it ends successfully.  I want it to be a success of course!  It meaning everything.  Which encompasses education, my job, my friends, my family, my life – everything, god damn it.  All these are the work of a lifetime.  These are all my Paradise.

Don’t tell anyone.  It’s my dirty little secret.  Can you keep it?  Because I am fine with it.

Red Scarlet

P.S.:  I am quite happy being a woman.