It’s a short filler like chapter. But there’s reason to it. Next one? Jiyong meets Dr Kim where they find out things about the fetus. Oooooh. Are you as excited as my characters are?
Chapter 1: [SS: Writer’s Block]
Chapter 27: [SS: The Public Knows]
I post my instagram pictures for each one of my books. I’m refusing to do anything more for my brand. I’m just letting it go. The comments have my friends back in New Jersey finally talking to me. I was missing for over a month and it took this showing up for them to even text me.
There’s something calming to have the conversations with them. The surprise and shock of hearing where I am and what happened. The worry that I just jumped. The same worry my mother offered me although with a lot less guilt.
Still… There’s nothing about the conversation that has me want to give them tickets to see me. There’s nothing that really makes me miss home.
How did I end up having a circle of friends that was more ‘at least I’m socializing’? Am I making friends here? It doesn’t feel as if I’m a burden every time I see someone. Am I?
Am I the one who gains everything because they don’t want to hurt Jiyong? Because I get his support even when he’s not around? Do I really have any friends? Have I failed at this basic skill?
There was no one in my previous circle I wanted to tell about this. No one I trusted enough to say anything. No one I… No one knew where I was. No one knew who was in my life. No one knew about Jiyong.
Do I regret not telling anyone? Do I regret not making myself more open? But… When I let myself be open… It only left me hurt. I’m the weird one. I’m the one who seems capable of everything. I’m the one who…
Who gained nothing for all my skills. Who was treated as if I would just be always there struggling to survive. Who would never amount to anything.
I cry as another ding goes off. I stare at the message.
John. The friendly grandpa from Barnes and Noble. ‘Hey. Have you been feeling alright? I’ve been busy lately, but seems strange I haven’t seen you at Barnes and Noble. I could take Kevin out for bowling if you need a break.’
A break. I scan the news on the phone. I’m there. My picture, my name. Next to Jiyong’s. I’m big news. Or has it… Not reached Brick, NJ? Or maybe it’s not so big that John hasn’t noticed it. I take my time writing the text. And linking a good article. About me and Jiyong in English.
John’s excessive use of emojis has me grinning. ‘When did this happen?’
I explain a little bit more. The truth. Everything. A friend. Someone who supported me. Who tried. I wasn’t alone. I was never truly alone. Even if I had a ton of false friends, there were some good people in the mix. Busy and unaware. I never made efforts. So a few months not chatting wasn’t abnormal.
I need to make an effort.
I send a message to those I felt closest to. I’m taking a chance. Hopeful it’s the right one. We’re out. The public knows. Holding back the pregnancy announcement is all I need to do. For now.
And maybe I’ll want to visit New Jersey soon. Or want them to visit me. I shake my head. For now, it’s safer to just text. Friendships can survive with casual chatter even from the other side of the world.
Chapter 29: [SS: The Picture]