The last post for 2020

2020. What a year. So much has happened…so much also …didn’t happen. So this is going to be a bit of reflection of what happened in 2020 to me. The good. The bad. The sad. The happy. The whatever.

  1. Feb 2020: I finally fulfilled my dream of travelling to New Zealand for a trip! It was an awesome trip in which I caught up with my good friend living in Brisbane…we did a lot of hiking, horse riding, running, and also went on a boat trip! New Zealand is such a beautiful place and I would highly recommend it. I am also extremely lucky that I was able to go overseas before the borders to Australia has closed.
  2. March 2020: I finally saw my ALL time favourite band, ONE OK ROCK. Having missed out on seeing them when I was in Japan for exchange, I can finally say I have been to my second J-Rock concert. However, this time I actually knew and could sing a long with their songs! I also paid for the VIP tickets and also got to meet them, exchange a few words, and get my photo with them. The night was surreal and it was a great memory I will treasure for many years to come.
  3. Later in March 2020: The lockdown of Australia began as the Coronavirus made it way uninvited into all of our lives. You couldn’t escape it. No matter how hard you try to close your eyes….everyone was talking about it, the supermarket shelves were bare with no toilet paper or hand sanitiser to be seen. Gyms, pools, indoor/outdoor sports, cinemas, schools, universities, and shops, restaurants were closed for dine in. Social distancing was the new norm, everyday we were wiping all the surfaces we touched…everyday I would follow religiously the numbers, the tallies, the hotspots…what rules were changing…The hardest part of all was not being able to see my family and friends…I wasn’t able to see my nephew for the longest time and I was so worried he would forget who I was… It was also during this time that I began spending a lot more time with my family that still lived at home. Yes, we got on each others nerves at some stage…but because there was no where to go and nothing to do, we were just at home. My mum began planting and gardening more and more flowers, fruits, and vegetables…I began learning how to work out at home…For my brother and dad, nothing changed much for them…They usually just stay at home anyways. Skype calls were the best, and I am so grateful for technology that keeps us together, but nothing beats the ability to spend time in person with people.
  4. June 2020. The rules has started to relax in South Austraila. We were finally allowed to have up to 10 visitors in our homes! That meant we were able to gather as a family again and to eat out in restaurants with friends! This was the 1st birthday of my nephew…unfortunately because of the restrictions, my sister only invited the immediate family to celebrate….then they broadcasted it live to their other friends via zoom. My little nephew was sooo spoilt with soo many gifts from family and friends! He got Gucci branded shoes, a small ride on Mercedes, and sooo many toys. June was also the month that I found out that my full-time contract job was not going to be renewed…It was not entirely unexpected, but still a shock to hear it. It meant I had to job hunt all over again…and during a pandemic, that was depressing and a very stressful time…there was not much up for grabs in Adelaide in terms of Hospital Pharmacist positions, so I widened my applications to interstate hospitals. I had 3 sets of interviews for a position in Melbourne and that how I ended up where I am now!
  5. July 2020: I found out that I got the job in Melbourne and I would have to start planning my move…Where was I going to stay? Can I even go there during the pandemic? My aunty and uncle helped me immensely in looking for suitable places that I would inspect when I got there. I also had friends help me plan the trip to Melbourne and what I needed to do to make sure my car was okay. Then there was catchup after catchup with all the people I would be seeing for who knows how long? It was more like a one way trip at this stage…once I went to Melbourne, Adelaide would close it’s borders to me…they would see me as an outsider…I wasn’t sure when I would be able to see my family again…This was a really sad realisation and something that made me so anxious and sad. I would be heading to the city which was undergoing the second wave of Coronavirus…and was in stage 4 lockdown, a curfew, and mandatory masks everywhere. I was going into a virus striken city and working in one of their hospitals that have Covid- positive patients…as someone who hates germs, it was a big risk. Saying good bye to my family was the hardest thing, especially my sister whom I am closest with…I hadn’t cried at all at any of my other farewells, but saying goodbye to my sister for the last time was so hard.
  6. August 2020: I made the long ass drive with my car full of lugguage, toilet paper, and stuff to Melbourne. I was not welcomed with any police or officers at the borders, but it wasn’t the same the other way round. South Australia was quite strict with who was able to enter their state…Melbourne however, didn’t give a hoot and still doesn’t. After staying with my aunt for a few days, I found a place pretty quick and moved in on the same week. Then began the journey of living solo and managing to not live in a pigsty. I had to figure out what I needed and what I wanted…money didn’t grow on trees unfortunately… Then I started working at my new job and that was incredibly tough at first because of all the competency standards that I had to meet to prove I was worthy as a pharmacist.
  7. August-October: So basically nothing happened. I may have took Gamsat…but other than that I rarely went out. I think the lockdown was still ongoing, so there was no house visitors allowed and everything was Click and Collect or buy online. I think I did a lot of cooking…and buying stuff for my house. The video calls with my family and friends in Adelaide continued…We did group chats, group games, and I played ‘Amongst Us’ Once… lol…. I also did a seminar entirely online at home for work…that was interesting, but also made me extremely sleepy.
  8. Nov 2020: Somehow we managed to have 60 days free from Community Transmitted Covid- Cases! The city slowly opened up and restrictions eased in a gradual step by step process. Restaurants were finally open for dine in, but for limited numbers…Retail shops were allowed to open again! Gyms, schools, universities…and most importantly BADMINTON RESTARTED!!!! This is what I missed most (Asides from family and friends in Adelaide)!! Was the desire to hit a shuttlecock! I write this as my whole body hurts from a great baddy session yesterday night….
  9. Dec 2020: My sister messaged me and told she was coming to Melbourne and that we should catchup !! I was so excited!! I wasn’t sure if I was able to go back to Adelaide as they have stricter border than Melbourne, but if my sister could come and go back, surely I would be able to? In the heat of the moment I quickly looked up how much flights would be to Adelaide and back…and it was pretty reasonable! Then I remembered I have a whole bunch of Frequent Flyer Points which I was hoping to use to go to England (dreams crushed this year) and I used those points to pay for the return fare in its entirety! It also included checked baggage both ways! BONUS! I was so happy that I was able to come back home to Adelaide and spend Christmas with my family and to see some of my friends! It was a rushed 4 days…as I hadn’t booked any extra leave I was only there over the public holiday and weekend. Adelaide itself hadn’t changed much, but the people had changed…a bit. Since I left, a friend had a baby, another friend told me she is moving to Brisbane for a new job, two friends had broken up with the long-term partners, and I think that is it?
  10. Dec 31st 2020: The last day of the year 2020, I slept in! Because…I can :)! I had a day off today! It was an accrued day off that just happened to land on the last day of the year. Lucky me! I met up with my sister and her family for lunch and did a bit of window shopping in Melbourne city. A friend told me about a special Free parking voucher that could be displayed to park for free in Melbourne city…Then I came home, cooked the last meal of 2020, and did my last round of laundry for 2020…had my last shower, called my mum for the lastst time, emptied the trash for the laste time, and now I am typing the blog entry for 2020 on here. So many last times for everything. Oh, did I mention that the annual firework display for NYE has been cancelled for both Mellbourne and Adelaide? The Sydney famous ones are still going ahead, however they will not allow people to watch it from the shore. Also, sadly in the last few days we got a few cases of local transmission and now we have some restrictions reinposed, i.e. maximum 15 people in a house at one time…so the Family New Years Lunch is cancelled for tomorrow sadly…

    Happy New Year everyone! Let’s hope fingers crossed that 2021 will be a better one!! Stay Safe, Wash your hands, stay 1.5 metres a part, and wear your mask!

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Returning Home to Adelaide

Coming back to Adelaide for the first time since I left was weird… at times it felt like nothing had changed… but underneath the surface, when you looked a little closer, things has definitely changed.

Since I made the move to Melbourne in August, my friend had a baby, 2 of my friends separated from their partners, my sister finally moved into their new home, my dad was diagnosed with diabetes….my brother bought an ipad for $13!! Houses have been built, buildings have been knocked down, many shops have been forced to close, the covid-19 situation leaves its sting on each business. There are QR codes at each business so that people can check in.

My home hasn’t changed … it’s still as messy and full of hoarded stuff.. everytime I see it, I feel sad.. I feel like I want to clean it up, but it’s not really up to me to tell my parents they need to start throwing away…. for example, I tried washing my clothes this morning and the Washing Machine started shaking, vibrating, and stopped working completely… I had to HANDWASH every item and I know I did a shit job. Lol. Haven’t handwashed anything in forever. I dont even have a bucket to do that in Melbourne.. and of course we don’t have a dryer so some of my clothes are still wet 😅😅😅….

My pet turtle is hugeeee now!! Maybeeeee coz I haven’t seen her for so long!! But she looks hugeee! I am so sure my dad is feeeding her wayyy too much.

My little nephew is as cute as ever!! He has been growing taller and since he has started walkingc he has been losing his baby fat! No longer the chubby baby I once knew! He can saw random words on demand..i.e. the colour BLUE, the name EMMA (the yellow wiggle), and the numbers 8 and 9.

It’s weird feeling like a stranger in your own home, I feel like a guest, but then I also feel like I am not. Hard to explain.

Was this whirlwind last minute trip worth it? Definitely… I just hope there won’t be any last minute breakouts which mean I have to immediately self-isolate or quarantine when I head back to Melbourne… fingers and toes are crossed.

Now, let’s all enjoy that weird time between Christmas and New years.

Cheers to a better year in 2021 🥂

Covid- experience at the Adelaide Airport

I thought I would write about my unique experience flying on a plane during covid-19. So as expected, facemasks are mandatory inside the Melbourne Airport Terminal and on the flight. The airline I flew with provided free facemasks and single use hand sanitisers before boarding the plane. There was no food that was sold in the flight. They did however give us an individually wrapped slice of cake and a tiny bottle of water each.

We were encouraged to not move around the cabin .. if we needed to use the bathroom, they recommended no more than 2 people to be queuing for the bathroom. The flight was probably around 80% full, they tried to leave the middle seats free between passengers. Lucky for me I had the whole aisle to myself!

It was my first time flying on Christmas day…the staff donned Christmas hats and made jokes about remembering to take off the face masks if we needed the oxygen masks. The flight attendants were also making comments about the number of people who were writing last minute Christmas cards on the plane. I have a feeling many were travelling to visit their family and friends…-I highly doubt the travel was just for leisure…this was shown by the many gifts people carried for their loved ones. My entire suitcase and guitar case was full of stuff to bring back for my family and friends…

Once i touched down to Adelaide… I realises that there was not many people there and that there was a lot more security and police guards around. I do note that some security guards had colourful lights attached to their vests.. LOL… they had serious faces but the lights made them seem..”human”. We had a passage that mean we had to walk single file down to an area where we had to sure officials our permits to enter South Australia and to ensure them we haven’t traveled to NSW, Overseas, or been in contact with anyone with Covid-19…. I also showed them my passport as my photo ID…I do note that the staff were not 1.5 metres away from each other, which made me extremely uncomfortable because the passenger next to me was super close… I do also note not all airport staff were wearing facemasks… it feels surreal that we don’t need to wear masks indoors here… surreal!!!

Other than that complaint about the non-socially distancing staff, I was given a ticket which I was to show the staff and police man that I was okay to go. The police man just said “Merry Christmas” and I went on to find my luggage. I do much prefer SA police than Vic police.. all my encounters with Vic Police have been unpleasant so far…

I finally found my guitar case I had checked in as oversize baggage and headed out of the terminal. I noticed that flights from Sydney to Adelaide were still happening, however those passengers would need to complete mandatory quarantine for 14 days and get swabbed 3 times during those 14 days. I saw some people in full body PPE conducting swabs of return passengers… not sure if Sydney or overseas passengers ….

Merry Christmas

I am at Melbourne airport at time of posting this. It is a lot quieter here than I have experienced previously.

The effects of covid are both positive and negative..: negative because by travelling you are taking a major risk that you could be stuck somewhere in quarantine. I am reminded of this because I can see all flights to Sydney have been canceled. This is due to all the others states in Australia shutting the borders to Sydney in response to the recent outbreak that was discovered in the Northern beaches. In order to travel interstate for me , I’ve had to apply for a permit to enter South Australia and also a permit to re enter Victoria when I come back.

It’s been so long since I’ve been at the Melbourne airport.. the last time I was here was when I had to transit there after coming back from my New Zealand trip.

The airport in Melbourne is super far away for me! Around an hour drive.. that’s even longer than the flight from Melbourne to Adelaide. LOL.

Well, time to do pre-flight stuffs.. toilet.. fill up bottle.. chill.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone 😍

Short Story Series- You got Scammed – Chapter 10

Lilly couldn’t help staring across the table in nervous expectation at how the man she had been talking to all week looked like…

He was… chubbier than she had imagined…a mask really does change and hide the shape of the face. This reminded her of a Webtoon she once read, in which all of the characters had to wear masks to conceal their face. They were only allowed to take their masks off to their immediate family members and lovers. Who would have thought that this would become a reality for her as well.

But, he was not bad. Cute..maybe if you really squinted your eyes a little. Did he look like any of the blurred and pixelated photos on his dating profile? Nope. This was a completely different person sitting in front of her… She was such a fool. Who was this person? Was he going to try get something from her?

“Hey! You didn’t have to hide your face! You look alright!” She said, she felt nervous when she didn’t know what to say.

“I can see it in your eyes! You are disappointed that I don’t look like my photos right?”. He said, pointing out the obvious.

“Well, as you said they were really old photos right? Before you somehow gained 15 kg?”. She said trying to recall their previous conversation.

“Yeah something like that. I used to practice Muay Thai and kick boxing in the United States before coming here…But I didn’t do any exercise since I moved here. I cam at the worst time”. He laughed.

“Say, are you living on your at the moment?” He asked suddenly.

Why did he suddenly want to know about this she wondered?…

“Well kind of, I am sharing a house with a few other people..but I guess I have my own kitchenette and bathroom, so its not too bad. I just share the laundry room with the others.” She said carefully, she didn’t want to make it sound she lived alone.

“Oh…how much is the rent there? I need to move out from the place in the city soon and moving to your suburb should be cheaper I think…” He said.

“Oh..ummmm its probably about $300 a week? Not including electricity or Wifi…” She said.

“Oh…that’s still more expensive than I thought! I guess I will have to keep looking for a place sharing with more people”. He said disappointingly..

“Oh…What’s your budget per week?” She asked.

“Hmmm…Maybe around $150 a week?”.. He said hopefully.

“Oh…haha that’s half my rent…are you offering to share my rent?” She said nervously. What was he trying to hint at?

“No…of course not~! I don’t think I can afford that…especially since it doesn’t cover all the bills..I mean…I can offer to cook and clean for you if you would like, in exchange for board!” He said hopefully.

I don’t even know you mate, and you are already offering to move in she thought.

“Haha! Yes, that would be great. I am incredibly lazy to cook sometimes!” She tried to laugh it off.

“Oh YUM. This is really delicious!” She said trying to change the topic and focusing on eating her ramen instead.

“Yeah it is great! Thank you for the meal. Let me treat you next time to something nice and even more delicious ..” He said while eating some ramen.

They ate in silence for a few minutes. The silence was then broken by the iconic facebook notification sound coming from his phone. She could see someone had sent him a emoji of someone blowing a kiss flashed across the screen.

“Oh sorry about that! I should really put my phone on silent my phone during our date!” He turned his phone over and pressed a few buttons on his phones, I am guessing to turn off his notifications.

Strange. She recalled him clearly saying he had no social media accounts. Does she call him out now? was that weird? Hmm…So suspicious.

“Sooo anyway Lilly. Tell me all about you! What are you doing for a living and how are you surviving during covid?” He asked.

How about you tell me about YOURSELF? Is what she thought in her head, but she held herself back in saying it out loud.

“WELL to be honest, I am actually doing it pretty hard myself at the moment. I have a huge credit card bill that I have to pay off soon but I don’t have any money in my bank! I know this is quite sudden and we just met, but is there any chance that you could lend me $500? I actually need $1000, but anything helps”. She lied. She had read somewhere online that if you wanted to avoid being asked to borrow money, you have to ask FIRST. She hated lying but she had a gut feeling he would be asking her for money.

“….What?” He said, looking flabbergasted.

“Yeah, I am really sorry to ask you. But I promise to pay you back as soon as I get my next paycheck!” She said. Wow she should win an Oscar with her hopefully convincing act.

“Oh…sorry…I don’t think I can. Why don’t you ask you family or friends to lend it to you?”. He said sounding a bit pissed off.

“Yeah..too bad that are being hit REAL bad due to Covid too..”She said sadly.

“OHHH…I am SOOO sorry. I think I have to attend to an emergency at work!” He said looking at his phone screen which was blank.

“I’ll definitely make it up to you next time? My shout”. He winked and was off.

Sure you will..And that was the last time she ever heard or saw from him again. His number suddenly stopped working and as he “did not have” any social media accounts, he really was gone.

Good riddance Mr too good to be true.

——-

End note

Thank you for reading my first short story series!

Please stay tuned for more in the future 😀 !

Short Story Series- You got Scammed – Chapter 9

They had just reached the food court and had put in their orders and were waiting for their food. She had offered to pay as it was a habit of hers to treat her friends, and plus she figured she had chosen this ramen place. He hadn’t even offered to pay… but ohwell.

“Soo…you said you worked as a chef she asked?”. Trying to break the awkward silence. Both of them had their masks on still.

“Yeah. Well, I am training to become a chef.. So I am just a kitchen-hand at the moment. But due to Covid-19 I think they will be reducing a lot of the staff, so I have a feeling I will lose my job soon”. He said sadly.

“Oh, sorry to hear that, do you have any ways of supporting yourself if you do lose your job?.” She asked.

“Well my mother has been sending money to me from Japan to support me. But I don’t want to rely on her so much….My lease for the apartment in the city will end at the end of this month as well, so I also need to look for a cheaper place to rent.”

“Oh..I. see… so no plans to go home? Do you like living in Australia?” She asked. She tried to sound as sympathetic as she could, but a part of her felt like he wasn’t telling the truth.

“Yeah, I want to stay here…but I can’t with no job and no money to pay rent.” He said somewhat sadly.

“Oh…is it hard to find another job at the moment?”. Lilly asked. She didn’t really know much about the hospitality industry, just that it had taken a huge hit because of Covid.

“Yeah it’s really hard right now. A lot of my friends have already lost their jobs and gone back to their home countries. I am really lucky to have had a job for so long. But I don’t think I will be able to stay when I lose my job too.”.

“Ahh that sucks”. She really did not know what to say or how to respond.

“I am also planning to go back to Japan for the death anniversary of my ex-girlfriend too, it might be hard to come back to Australia after that” He said.

“Oh, I see..yeah that’s true. There are limited overseas flights in and out of Australia at the moment and it’s so expensive!” She said.

Just then the food vendor shouted the number for their order and they went to get their food to eat outside as indoor dining was not allowed. They found a table and bench outside and sat down.

This was it, she was finally going to see his face.

“Well I guess we can finally see each other’s faces! Or we could eat with the masks on I guess..” She said jokingly.

They both went to remove their masks and put it on the table….

Short Story Series- You got Scammed – Chapter 8

Oh Shit. He had seen her already…well this was awkward. She slowly looked towards her right and saw the same masked man that she had seen in the video. Well, at least he was the same person in the video call. However, nothing like on his profile photos.

She quickly put her mask on and opened her door and went to greet him. She had to be polite at least. Scammer or not, he was still a person…right? Her strict upbringing meant she was always taught to be kind and polite to everyone she met. She took a deep breath and said..

“Hi! Are you Hiroshi?” she asked a bit nervously.

She couldn’t see his face, but she could feel him smiling through the mask.

“Hello Lilly! I am so glad to finally meet you! I have to say, you look better in person than in your photos!” He said delighted.

Ummm…how was she even supposed to respond to that? That he looked worse than his photos? Well, he looked nothing alike his photos?

“Uhh, thanks? I guess? I am pretty bad at taking photos of myself..haha, but I guess you are good at taking photos, because your photos looked cool?” … More like because you look nothing like your photos she thought to herself.

As if he had read her mind, he replied, “I do get that a lot! The photos on my profile are pretty old…I haven’t updated them in a while..haha…I gained a lot of weight since coming to Melbourne. I think I gained 15 kg since I got here in January…and the lockdown, you know..it changed how I looked haha…” His tone gave out the impression he was little nervous, but he seemed he had rehearsed this story multiple times.

“Oh… I see! Haha I think I gained weight too during this year…but I did some work outs at home…sooo I think it wasn’t that much”. Lilly said awkwardly.

“Are you disappointed? That I look worse in real life.” He asked suddenly in a somewhat sad tone with a hint of joking..

Wow. He was …So direct.

“Ohhh no I am not disappointed! Looks doesn’t matter that much anyway to me! Shall we go to the food court?” She stammered, trying to change the subject. Let’s get this over and done with.

“Yeah! Let’s go! I can’t wait to try this ramen store that you recommend!”

As they walked towards the food court, Lilly thought about how she would respond to seeing his face for the first time and getting to know him. It would confirm or reject the conclusion that she had that she smelled a catfish..

Short Story Series- You got Scammed – Chapter 7

Saturday rolled around faster than she expected and now she was getting ready for the date. She was tossing up between two different dresses, one was a low cut sexy black mini dress while the other one was a cute long green dress which didn’t show her body shape at all. In the end she chose the green dress, she didn’t know who this guy was and he could turn out to be a creepy stalker after all. She put on some make up and straightenedd her hair, smiled at herself in the mirror, grimaced at herself and then grabbed her keys and went out.

She had just parked her car at the station when the message alert rang out on her phone. It was Hiroshi….

“Hi Lilly. Sorry, I am running a few minutes late today because the train was delayed :(. Just to let you know I am wearing a maroon backpack and wearing a brown jacket. See you soon!” He then also sent a photo of him in his mask sitting in the train…

Damn, she had time to kill, time to do more investigating. If Hiroshi didn’t have social media accounts, he might still use things like LinkedIn or surely she would be able to find some information on him, Hiroshi didn’t seem like that common of a name. As she didn’t know his last name, she typed in his first name and changed the location to “Melbourne, Victoria”. She then tried with the keywords, “Chef, Japanese, Hiroshi, Melbourne”. There was absolutely nothing. It was like this guy really did not exist. Who was he? Was she safe? Should she back out now? Now she was somewhat afraid, this was a complete stranger that seemed like he had something to hide…She rubbed her temples and thought deeply, she could leave now, but then she would never get the answers she wanted to find out. Before she could come to a conclusion she heard her phone alert go off.

“Hi Lilly. Are you here already? I see a girl in a car that looks like you. Look out the window to the right.”

Short Story Series- You got Scammed – Chapter 6

“Oh…but what if we ever met up? Would you still be too shy to meet up then also?”. She asked curiously. This guy was acting sooo weird., what was he hiding under his mask? Why was he so relunctant to reveal how he looked like?

“I’ll only take my mask off when we meet up. So when are you free? Let’s meet up really soon,as I really want to see you in person”. Hiroshi said playfully.

Lilly didn’t know how to answer. Was it safe to meet someone who was so cautious about revealing their face? She had no way to confirm that the person on the other side of the screen was who they said they were. However, she felt drawn towards this mysterious person and she wanted to find out who they really were, so she guessed she would just play along for now.

“Ohhh sure. That’s fine! I Just had hoped to see your face online before we met, but anyways…are you free this Saturday? Do you want to meet at Central M-City Mall? Maybe we can have lunch at the food court there? I heard they have a really nice ramen store!”

“That sounds like a plan! What time should we meet?” he said enthusiastically.

“How about 12 pm at the M-City train station?” She suggested.

“Sounds great! I can’t wait to finally meet you! I am so excited!” he replied.

“Uhh.. me too”. His enthusiasm was somewhat contagious even though it seemed absurd that he would be so excited to meet a girl he had literally talked to for like …two days?

“Sorry, I am going to head to bed soon, I’ll see you on Saturday then?” She said.

“Sweet dreams beautiful girl! I am going to be so excited I won’t be able to sleep”. He laughed.

“..hhahha good night…” She hung up the phone. Semi creeped out, but also loving the attention that she was receiving. She hadn’t had any dates that had been so genuinely interested in her or had called her beautiful. It felt nice, but she still had that nagging doubt in her stomach that something did not seem right with this Hiroshi. Who was he and what was he hiding underneath that mask?

Short Story Series – You got Scammed. Chapter 5

Lilly waited and waited, but there was no reply from Hiroshi. Was she too forward with asking to see his face? Was it too obvious that she didn’t believe he was real? Whatever, she started to get ready for bed. As if the phone had heard she wanted to sleep, it started ringing…was it Hiroshi?

She picked up the phone and a mans voice said.

“Hi Lilly?”.

His voice was different to what she had expected, it was a heavily accented one, one similar to her friends that were from Phillipines? ..

“Umm Hi Hiroshi…?” She said a bit nervously as she hadn’t expected him to call as he had never replied her message…

“Are you nervous to talk to me?” He laughed over the phone.

“Oh, I just didn’t expect you to call so suddenly..because you hadn’t replied my text”… And Lilly thought to her self, I hate people who call out of the blue! I couu have been woken up from my precious sleep.

“Oh! Sorry were you sleeping already? I just wanted to call you for a short chat…I promise it won’t take long! But, I can call you back tomorrow…”

“Oh no it’s okay…” This could be her one chance of exposing him as the catfish she suspected him to be.

“Is it okay if we video chat?” she asked expectantly.

There was an awkward pause for a few moments.

“Oh..umm sure, but just give me a minute to get ready for bed and I’ll call you back”. he said.

A few minutes later passed and the phone rang again, this time on video call.

“Hi again!”
A man appeared on the screen in a badly lit room and he was wearing a black mask on and only revealing his eyes.

“Hi…but why are you wearing a mask while talking to me?”. She asked. She wasn’t able to confirm or trash her suspicions of him.

“I am a shy boy and also I don’t want to disappoint you haha.” He said.

Short Story Series – You got Scammed. Chapter 4

Hmmm. Well, what was the worst thing that could happen? It was just her phone number she was giving, not her bank account details or anything right? Should be alright? Right?

She typed back, “Fine here’s my number.. . The food you cook better look amazing”. She pressed send and put her phone away.

Lilly finally finished work at around 7 pm and was opening the door of her apartment when her phone started going vibrating and lighting up with notifications. What in the world??? It was an unknown number that popped up.

“Hi! This is Hiroshi here!”.. “Thanks for sending me your number.;). .. then next he sent a was a photo of a bowl of ramen that looked as it came from a top Japanese restaurant. “This is what I just cooked for my breakfast today”. Then there was several again blurry photos that he took of himself with a mask hiding his half of his face. The last message said,“Do you like what you see?”. I can cook for you and give you a massage on your feet, because I know you will be tired from work ;(.”. Also, let me know when you are on your period and i’ll make sure to look after you!”.

Lilly didn’t know how to reply…overwhelmingly he seemed too good to be true, but at the same time she wanted to believe that maybe there was a guy that could understand women, could cook, and was as good looking as the man in her dreams…there was one way she could find out from the safety of her phone.

She replied, “Hey Hiroshi! Thanks for sending me the photos! Wow! did you really make that? Looks like it came straight out of a Japanese restaurant!”. By the way, why are you sending me blurry photos of you with a mask on? Do you have something to hide? Jkjk. But seriously, want to video chat tonight if you are free?”.

Short Story Series- You Got Scammed- Chapter 3

*BEEP BEEP BEEP!!”. Lilly rolled over in the her bed to press the ‘Snooze’ button on her phone. A minute later the next alarm started ringing…she always set at least 5 alarms in the morning because she had a bad habit of wanting to sleep in. She groaned and grabbed the phone to turn off the alarm. She checked for any notifications. Still none from Hiroshi. She got up, slightly disappointed. Maybe he wasn’t going to reply because she hadn’t given him her phone number…Should she have given it? Whatever…his loss. She got up and started getting ready for work…It was going to hectic day, as the manager of her team she had a pile of things that she had to follow up. Unfortunately as the Team Leader, it meant that everyone else’s mistakes became her problem to fix. Can someone remind her why did she take up the position again? Work took up most of her time and unfortunately she also took work home to do. I mean, she didn’t have much of a life anyways. Might as well just absorb herself into her work…Her friends often joked she was married to her job…haha she literally was.

Lilly worked in a large tertiary hospital and was the Team Leader of the Dispensary Pharmacy Team at Prince Alfred Hospital. Throughout Covid-19 she wasn’t able to work from home and still had to make the 20 km commute to work. The lighter traffic in the road due to Covid-19 restrictions was a welcome blessing actually, there were hardly any cars on the road as other professions had to work from home. She drove into the staff carpark and swiped her card to open up the boom gates. There was actually parks available thanks to some staff working from home. ANOTHER unintended advantage of Covid-19.

3pm. It was lunch time finally. She was starving…but was unable to escape to lunch because it seemed like every time she tried to go, someone came up to her and asked her to help them do something. Lilly had a problem with saying NO, she didn’t want to seem unapproachable, mean, or lazy. She was so afraid of what other people thought of her, she wanted to be the perfect leader. But even perfect leaders still got hungry. She hadn’t had time to look at her phone all day and she was dying to know if Hiroshi had replied.

There was a reply! 3 messages from Hiroshi sent at 11 am..finally!!.. she opened it up eagerly.
“Morning Lilly! 🙂 Sorry I fell asleep and just woke up.” said the first message. The second one said, “Sorry, I don’t use social media apps at all :(. Ever since my last girlfriend died 5 years ago I stopped using all social media accounts because it reminds me of her :(.”. The third and final message said, “Please can I have your number? I want to send you photos of the food I cooked!”.

Lilly scratched her head, no social media accounts? That was a pretty rare thing these days…She didn’t know what to do. She normally would stalk someone’s Facebook or Instagram accounts to confirm how someone really looked like and if they were a scammer to not. Hmm, but it looked like this guy had something bad happened to him…should she believe him? Should she just give him her number and try to find out more about him?

Short Story Series- You Got Scammed- Chapter 2

Lilly looked at her phone in surprise, the tiredness slipping away momentarily. Another two “Ding! Ding!” sounds went off on her phone as Hiroshi send another two messages. She pressed the notifications, the first message read, “Hi Lilly! How are you? Thank you so much for matching with me!”. The second message said, “I am so happy you matched with me, I promise I will be loyal to you forever if you let me. Lmao”. The third and final message said, “Now that I have found you, I am going to delete Hinge. Can I have your mobile number please?”.

Lilly stared at the messages not knowing what to think. This guy was so…forward? She liked that in a guy and he promised loyalty too…She had bad experiences of exes who had cheated on her or were constantly flirting with other girls in front of her and she wanted to avoid any guy that was like that. Sure, maybe he was bullshitting. But to ask me for my number this early on? She wasn’t sure that was a safe thing to do this early in their encounter. Hmmm, she was not going to give her number straight away, but how should she respond to him…? She typed, “Hi Hiroshi! I should thank you for matching back with me. So can you tell me about yourself? Can we talk on Facebook or Instagram instead? I don’t like giving my number out to people who I don’t know that well yet.” She sent the message and waited for a few minutes. Not seeing a response, she decided to go to sleep….

That night she dreamt about her first love, the one who had promised to love her and only her for the rest of her life. They had plans of getting married, having kids, and the future of things that the planned to do. But, all of that burnt into the ground as ashes when she found out that he had been cheating on her. She couldn’t forgive him, she couldn’t imagine trusting him again…and from there on she was scarred, deformed, and hesitant to trust men again. Trust issues…SUCK… Why does trust take so long to build, yet can be so easily destroyed?

Would this new guy she just met be able to be the guy for her? I mean it was just words. Do words even really mean anything these days? But Lilly was lonely, if you never let your guard down and let anyone in, you will forever remain all alone. But, when you let your guard down, you can get hurt….I guess you just have to choose whether it’s worth taking the risk or not…

Short Story Series: You Got Scammed – Chapter 1

Lilly looked at the photo…contemplating whether she should request to match with him. He was so good looking…he could easily pass off as a celebrity, a rock star, or a model of some sort. There was no way he would be interested in a plain, boring, average looking girl like me. Heck, Lilly thought…What do I have to lose anyways? There was only a limited amount of match requests you could do each day, but more often than not she never used them up. She wanted a relationship, but at the same time she was too tired and lazy to put much effort into it. Lilly felt relationships were so hard to maintain. Her last relationship was probably over 4 years ago? That ended pretty badly and she still had dreams that haunted her showing alternate endings to her relationships. It was like an unhealed trauma that left her feeling hesitant to believe in love again.

As a teenager, Lilly believed love was something that she felt certain she would never experience…She was never one of those popular pretty girls back in high school and no guys had every asked her out…and if they did it was as a joke. Back in high school Lilly had crooked teeth, acne, glasses, and was super self-conscious about showing any skin at all. Her secondhand high-school skirt was almost down to her feet and she always wore long sleeved shirts no matter how hot it was outside. She didn’t think any guy would ever be interested in her….not until she was able to transform herself into who she was now. She had gotten braces during University, finally managed to be brave enough to get contact lenses, and she slowly outgrew her acne. She had grown more confident in her body as she started to work out at the gym, followed fashion bloggers, and learnt how to style her hair and do basic make up…she looked nothing like her old self, yet despite her appearance changing, her confidence in herself and finding true love was dim.

Lilly was afraid. Afraid that the other person would find out what kind of person she really was. Without all the make up, the facade that she tried to put up. She felt she was just an ugly duckling that was pretending to be a swan…Dating was about pretending to be a perfect swan to attract a mate. WOW. When was life so primal? She believed guys were shallow, they just went for pretty, slim, and cute girls. Then again, she felt she was shallow too…she also went for handsome, tall, and fit guys…She too was not attracted to guys who didn’t look after themselves. Too bad most of those handsome guys turned out to be pricks who only wanted one thing. Sex. But she wanted more than that, she wanted a connection, a relationship, and maybe a husband…dating in this time and age was really really HARD.

Well whatever, Lilly thought, it’s time to sleep. Lilly was about to head off to sleep when the a notification flashed across the screen of her phone…”Hiroshi has sent you a message”…

Short Story Series: You Got Scammed – Prologue

Lilly had no more hope in being able to find the Mr. Right. She was 99.9% sure he didn’t exist anyways. Who would be able to put up with her temper, the emotional rollercoasters she went through before her period, and that Type A personality. She wanted to give up and just accept that she would be single for the rest of her life. I mean it can’t be thaaat bad right? She could just get a cat to keep her company and also a dog. She might as well just bring up a small farm as her family. Why not.

However, before giving up she was going to try ONE LAST time with the dating apps. Due to Covid restrictions she had been unable to go to her normal social activities…I have to upload a photo? Oh gosh she had no new photos for the last six months….there was nothing to do! We haven’t been able to travel or to explore the world as usual. Lilly randomly chose some random photos of her at work and uploaded a picture of her shoes. Whatevs.

She hated deciding on who to talk to from a photo.. Gosh…. you don’t want to judge someone on the first photo that pops up on their profile/..but at the same time you do not have time to read each profile carefully…and there is only so many lame pickup lines that you can put up with in one day…sigh. She was about to give up when she saw a name on the top. “Hiroshi”. What a nice name..I am pretty sure that is the name of the lead singer from the Japanese band, “My First Story”. Nothing stood out from his profile…he had a few photos…very little text. It said, one of them said “Find out that I am real, video call me!” and another that said he could speak four languages, and another said, “I love and am good at cooking and cleaning!”…you would find out later that all of this was fake. It was all too good to be true…