Sunday, January 21, 2018

Short Story | Absolutely


Hey everyone,

So, I wrote a short story for uni last year that I haven’t yet shared with you. I got a fairly good grade on it (I can’t remember the number, but it was better than the previous one) so I thought I’d jazz it up a bit and put it out there for all to read (and hopefully enjoy).

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I moved into Hudson’s house over the course of a month. I didn’t have to take many things with me, because he had furniture already.

We sat down on his grey leather couch in his – our – living room once we finished unpacking and putting my stuff throughout the house, each with a plate of leftover strawberry and cream surprise birthday cake sat on our laps. I could almost hear Mum’s laughter as we found the surprise: chocolates in the centre, tumbling out all over the plate. I really miss her sometimes. I wish I could go home. I miss my bed. I miss seeing Mum and Dad every day. I miss home. But I have this new home with Hudson, I should be happy. I trust the system; they’ve never been wrong before, so I should have nothing to worry about.

While finishing off our cake, we sat in silence, the spoons scraping our plates the only sound. Occasionally, one of us tried to start a conversation, but trailed off back into silence. I kept my eyes on my plate, not daring to look at him and make this situation more awkward than it already was. How did we end up as a Perfect Pairing? This isn’t going well at all.

He finished his cake and put his empty plate on the coffee table, leaned back on the couch, resting his feet on the coffee table and his hands behind his head. He let out a sigh and I looked at him, and immediately wished I hadn’t. Even with the discomfort of the situation, his eyes were still as green and alluring as they were when I met him a month ago. I found myself getting lost in them, but shook myself out of it.

“I’m not very good at this. I’ve never been in a relationship before,” I said to him, breaking the silence. I looked back into my lap in shame.

“Hey,” he said, placing a hand on my shoulder. “It’s okay. We can learn together.”

 I felt the corners of my mouth quirk upwards slightly, “You think so?”

“Yeah.”

He looked into my eyes and I felt like he was staring into my soul. He leaned closer to me and rested his hand on the small of my back. I’d never noticed how freckles dotted his nose and cheeks, or how he began to close his eyes, or how I closed mine, too.

The sound of my phone ringing made me pull back from him and open my eyes. Hudson looked at my still ringing phone with disgust, as did I. I picked it up, feeling slightly frustrated as I pressed the speaker to my ear.

“Hello?” I asked.

“Yes, hello, is this Ebony Wolfe?” a calm female voice asked.

“Yeah, that’s me.”

“There has been a mistake with your file. We paired you with the wrong person,” she explained. My mouth fell open. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

“B-but you always get it right,” I replied, my voice shaking. “Always.”

“Not this time. You must come to the Pairing Centre immediately, so we can issue you your correct file.”

“And if I don’t?”

“You will be arrested.”

“Oh-okay, I’ll be there as soon as I can,” I said before immediately hanging up. I ran to my bedside table and yanked open the drawer that I kept Hudson’s file in. All his details were printed at the top of the page, his picture attached below it.

Name: Hudson James Wolfe
Date of birth: 25th April 2074
Gender: M
Height: 177 cm
Hair colour: Brown
Eye colour: Green
Skin tone: Fair
ID No: 742811


How could the Pairing Centre be wrong? They’re never wrong. No one in living memory had ever been re-paired before. Mum and Dad’s was correct. I don’t know much about Hudson’s parents, but I assume theirs was correct as well. We were the first mistake. The first mistake since the Pairing Centre was set up. Since the war. 75 years ago.

“You’re not actually going, are you?” Hudson asked after I filled him in on what was happening. I was sitting on my side of the bed, staring at Hudson’s file clutched in my hands.

“Of course, I am. The Pairing Centre works,” I said, not taking my eyes off the file. If I looked at him, I’d change my mind. I couldn’t let that happen.

“No, it doesn’t. They made a mistake with us. Do you know what they do with mistakes?” he said, sitting down next to me on the bed, his voice raised in fear and desperation.

“No, but I have to go. I don’t wanna get arrested, or worse,” I replied, beginning to stand up. I needed to leave.

He grabbed both of my arms, forcing me to sit back down and look at him, “W-what about us? What about learning together?” he asked, his words catching in his throat.

“I care about you, okay? But I can’t get arrested,” I said, resting my head on his shoulder and taking a deep breath, then I lifted myself back up and looked him in the eyes. “It won’t work out. The woman said so.”

“Fine,” he huffed, almost in tears, releasing my arms. “Go.”

The drive to the Pairing Centre was agonising. I found myself trying to rationalise it all. He can’t be the one. The Centre said so. Then why was this hurting so much?

The Pairing Centre was as dreary and mind-numbing as I remembered it. The line of people stretched back to the door and was moving at a snail’s pace. When I finally got to the front of the line, I told the woman my name and handed her my ID card.

“Ah, yes, Mrs Wolfe, right this way,” the woman said, ushering me down the hall to a door marked Error Correction Office.

“Now sit and wait here, miss, I must retrieve the file,” she said, seating me in the wooden, blue cushioned chair facing the plain, white desk laden with files and a computer in the centre. I sat with a hopeful smile on my face. It will work this time. It will. A couple of minutes passed, and the woman returned with a new file and a syringe filled with a clear liquid.

“This might hurt a bit,” she said, placing the file on the desk and picking up the syringe. I squinted to read the label on the syringe. Memory Modification Serum. I jerked my arm away from her and stood up from my chair.

“Why would you have a whole office devoted to errors if I was your first one? That’s how you have a perfect record. No one remembers your mistakes,” I accused, crossing my arms. The woman opened her mouth to reply, but no words came.

No one’s marriage was correct. No one knew of the Centre’s corruption. Of the government’s corruption. No one except me. I have to get out of here. They’ll be after me. What will they do to my family? To Hudson? To me? People have to learn the truth. Things have to change.

I sprinted for the door, pulled it open and let it slam against the wall on my way out. The woman slammed a red button on the wall. They’re coming for me. I flew out the front doors to the car, running as fast as my legs would carry me. I wrenched the door open and shoved the keys into the ignition. I sped all the way home, paying no mind to the speed limits. I wrenched opened the front door of our house.

“Hudson!” I yelled as I got inside. “They’re after me. Come quick!”

“Where are we going?” he asked, breathless, as he sat down in the car.

“I don’t know. Away from here. Where no one can find us. Somewhere safe,” I answered as I sped down the road. The sirens rang in my ears and the blue and red lights danced around the car with a blistering fury. My hands gripped the wheel tighter than I had ever gripped it before, my foot pressed the accelerator pedal into the floor and tears threatened to stream down my face.

“But they’re everywhere. They can always see us. Always.”

“We’ll just have to keep running then.”

We drove and drove until the car whined and trembled with exhaustion, completely out of fuel. I pulled the car over to the side of the road, next to a sprawling wheat farm. We lost the police a while ago and the stars dotted the sky with a glistening light. Even out here, in the middle of nowhere, I still had the unnerving feeling of being watched.

“What now?” I asked. We were leaning on the side of the car, staring out into the night, into the wheat farm we’d been stranded next to. The only light came from the stars in the sky and one flickering lamppost on the other side of the road.

“I don’t know. We could walk, but we don’t have food so…”

“What’s going to happen to my family? How do we save them?” I thought out loud. Those questions rocketed around my mind like a swarm of angry bees.

“That’s something we’ll have to work out later. We have to focus on us right now.”

“You mean that?” I replied, turning to face him, his eyes sparkling in the starlight.

“Yeah, I do,” he said, leaning towards me and closing his eyes. He’s going to kiss me. Oh my God. Am I ready?

Too late. His lips were on mine before I could make up my mind. I felt my heart race inside my chest and I kissed back, which surprised me. I rested my hands on his chest and stood on my tippy toes to reach him better. Then he pulled back – all too soon in my opinion – and rested his forehead against mine, looking deeply into my eyes, and I into his.

“So, you’ll stay with me?” he said in a hushed tone.

“Absolutely.”
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Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed it.

Love, Nicky x

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Summer Morning Routine


Hey everyone!

As I am currently sweltering through a hot and humid Queensland day (I’m used to it but still), I thought I would share with you how I get ready in the morning. I haven’t really done anything important with my days for the past few months really, but getting ready for the day is somewhat important to me, so let’s get on with this!


During summer holidays, there are no alarms in sight, so I wake up anywhere from 8am to midday depending on what time I fall asleep. From there, I pick up my phone and scroll through Instagram for around fifteen minutes at the very least, then send my friends a ‘Good Morning’ snapchat no matter how bleary-eyed I am. I then waste time on my phone for at least another fifteen minutes, at most another two or three hours (no joke, this morning I spent about three hours on my phone before even thinking about breakfast – I told you it was bad).

When I eventually do drag myself out of bed (which takes a lot more effort because of the heat), it is time for a breakfast of Coco Pops. There is never a healthy breakfast in the house when we’re on school/uni holiday, so Coco Pops it is. Yes, I know that practically no cereals are truly “healthy”, but shh. I also take my phone to the breakfast table and scroll through Instagram some more, which is also unhealthy, but I just can’t help myself. Once I’ve finished breakfast, I return my phone to the charge since it’s usually down to 50 or 60% by this point, and I have to use my phone later in the day as well.


Then I head off to the bathroom to shower off that sheen of sweat already on my body since it reaches 28 degrees by 9am, 30 degrees by 11am. Once the water has pushed the sweat off my body, I clear out my pores with one of two face washes, depending on how I’m feeling, either Simple Spotless Skin Triple Action face wash or Garnier Pure Active 3-in-1 face wash. Then I make myself smell sweet like lollies with Lush’s Snow Fairy body wash, which is my most favourite scent from Lush. Sometimes I’ll wash my hair with Head and Shoulders Anti Dandruff shampoo and conditioner, but that’s only if my hair is particularly bad. I’ll then take out most of the moisture from my hair and let it air dry (since it’s far too hot to even think about a hairdryer).


Once I’m out of the shower and the layer of sweat has regathered on my skin, I put on the least amount of clothes I possibly can (gotta get that breathability). Then I run a brush through my hair (no matter what state of wet or dryness it is at) and put it up in a ‘do that’s as far away from my neck as possible without looking like a unicorn (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Usually, it’s a messy bun kinda thing right on top of my head since it doesn’t matter what it looks like because it’s purely for its use value.

I then spend the rest of the day trying to find spots with a nice breeze where I can sit and read or scroll through my phone. Sometimes the air conditioner gets put on, but the rest of the days all the windows and doors are opened to allow as much airflow as physically possible.

What’s your current morning routine? Do you like mine?


Love, Nicky x

Saturday, January 6, 2018

New Year, New Start


Hey everyone!

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2018! I had a blast in 2017 and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store. Each New Year, I set a few resolutions, even if I don’t always stick to them. I try to keep them in mind throughout the year, but sometimes you just forget, you know? I have written some for this year, and while I don’t expect to stick to all of them, I do think I’ll get through some of them at least.

My first resolution is to drink more water. I got a new water bottle for Christmas that isn’t going to leak everywhere like my old ones did, so I think it’s time to start stepping up my hydration game. I will take the water bottle with me when I go to uni and out and about and refill it if necessary. I used to have an app on my phone that reminded me to drink water, which was really helpful, and I think at that point I was the healthiest I’ve ever been, so I’ll definitely give that a go.

The next resolution I have on my list is to get back into Parkrun. In case you don’t know, Parkrun is a free, timed 5k run done every Saturday morning that I used to do a couple of years ago. It brought me a lot of happiness, especially if I got a PB, so I want to try and get back into that again. Also, I need to work off the weight I’ve accidentally put on over Christmas. It isn’t much, but it’ll help me to be more confident in myself.

My next resolution is to read more books. I read fourteen books last year, half of which were Harry Potter books, and most of the rest of them were for uni. I have a ton of books that have been on my to-read shelf since Christmas 2016, so I want to get into those. At the moment, I have my Goodreads Reading Challenge set at 15 books, which is only one more than last year (and tiny in comparison to some people I know), but goals can be changed if need be.

The next resolution I’ve set for myself is to maintain my GPA. It currently sits at a 5, in which 7 is the best and 1 is the worst. It's not the best GPA out there, but I don’t want to have it drop since I worked so hard to get it where it is. I kind of found my groove in the second semester of uni last year and I hope to continue that into this year. Who knows, maybe I’ll even improve my GPA!

Another resolution I have is to go to sleep earlier, or just get more sleep in general. At the moment, and throughout last year, my bedtime has been around 10pm, but I never actually fell asleep until well after 11pm from staring at my phone in the dark. In theory, my plan should be to charge my phone outside of my room so I don’t get tempted, but I have to have an alarm for early uni days, so I think my real plan is to stop using my phone before I turn off my lights, which should be at around 10 or 10:30pm depending on how much uni work I have.

My next resolution kind of ties in with the previous one and it is to limit my phone usage as much as I possibly can and maybe even do a mini detox. Currently, I have to put my phone on charge at least twice a day every day because I go on social media for, wait for it, four and a half hours a day (and yes, I went to Battery in Settings to figure that out). No one should be on social media for that long. That’s around a third of my waking hours spent on my phone, and that’s not even including games and the like. My plan will be to use my phone as a kind of reward system after I’ve done all of my tasks on my to-do list, or else I’ll just delete all my social media and live like a caveman for a week.

My final resolution on my list is to enter my writing into some competitions and journals. If you’ve been here a while you’ll know that I’m taking a Creative Writing course at university to improve my creative writing skills, and since I’ve honed them a bit since this time last year, I want to see if I can get published in a journal or win a prize for my writing. I think that will be really cool. It means that I’ll have to write a lot more than I have been doing, though, since practice makes perfect and all that jazz.

Have you set any resolutions for the New Year? Do you like mine?


Love, Nicky x