Redeemable Voucher

"I should've get used to it by now." I whisper to the wind. My fingers wrap tightly around a cup of rooibos tea. The weather is not particularly cold, but the dreadful sigh of each breeze that passes through the branches remind me how secluded this place is. Although, I can't be sure myself whether or not seclusion is what I need right now. I pull the cashmere afghan tighter around my body, needing more warmth. Warmth that could only be provided with human contact. This afghan is something close, but never enough. Nothing has ever been warm enough like the touch of someone who loves you.

Truly, I should have get used to it by now. This feeling is not so foreign anymore, and the coldness comes afterwards. To tell you the truth, I even half-expected it. I know it would fail, even before it could ever start, but I always had hope. The Universe has always known about this, I'm sure. Of how it has happened to me in the past, but fate is repeating itself, over and over again. It is playing its favourite activity to torture me. I have always thought that there is a game that they are betting on. Or perhaps one of those redeemable cards/vouchers that you tick or stamp every time you purchase something, and there will be a prize for being able to hurt me for more than couple times. Fate has been playing with me, and I have always been their constant victim.

I turn my back from the scenery, pondering why after all these years the taste of rejection is still bitter on my tongue. A kind of bitterness that no sweets could ever cure; the type that leaves a mark on your tongue, a resentful reminder that stings you whenever anything sweet sweeps by. There are emotional scars that a cup of tea can never fix. I glance down, my tea is no longer hot, my hands have greedily absorbed the heat, until all that's left is regretful layers of murky water. Since it no longer has any value, I reach the nearest stool and put the cup down.

All my friends are still sitting there at the table, talking about stuff that can only be talked about post-dinner. It is supposed to be a celebration, of course. But the leftover course of every single unwanted flavour made me sway. I quickly excused myself from the hurrah, claiming that I had trouble breathing, while in fact I have a trouble in processing whatever it is that causes me to be unlike them. This reminds me of my school days, all over again.

Maybe this is my character trope, as it is described by one of my literary-fluent friends, to be swayed and then irrevocably rejected.

How profound.

How humane.

I walk back to the party. My close female friend pushes herself aside to give me space. It's almost midnight, and everything that should have ended is repeating itself over, and over, and over again.

Update: I should have known better. His familiarity should have rang few little bells in my head, not only the ones that reminded me of certain people from a different life. Instead, his familiarity only brought forth the same insecurity that I have always felt—the same outcast sense that I have always experienced. I should have understood deeply that his recognisable traits could only mean that he would unknowingly and irrevocably choose the same options (and inevitably view me in the same regard) as the people whom preceded him.