First of all, the setting of this is in MALAYSIA. Words you have never seen before (e.g. lah or meh that are usually found at the end of the sentences are just slang words. If you OMIT them the sentence will actually make sense once you do MINOR RE-CONSTRUCTIONS. I've put them in italics so that they'll be easier to distinguish.

If you're wondering "Why the hell does she have to make everything so complicated?" it's because despite the fact that it's lousy, uncouth, completely and utterly broken English doesn't change the fact that I'm proud of it, and I like it. It's also set in Malaysia and you'll hardly come across somebody who doesn't say it.

I've also put it in a few words that you'll come across that's not used in normal English language...

Jie Jie – big sister

Mei Mei – younger sister

mat salleh – white people/western people

a not – it's actually 'or not', but it sounds like 'a' instead of 'or' because of the way it's spoken. Even if you replace it with 'or not' it is still not correct English, so just cut that out to understand your sentence.

pai tee - a type of food, like little snack things in a crisp, small edible cup (I don't really know how to explain...), filled with vegetables, fish/chicken/prawn?

rojak – a type of food, where you basically mix cut up fruits/vegetables and mix it with a thick, sticky black/brown sauce.

Enjoy reading!

White Ceiling Walls

Spin like Swirls in a Strawberry Shake

"I'm warning you Raine – stay away from him."

That was the first thing I heard from my sister the day I realised I was in love with Terry Lee. I have absolutely no idea how she found out – sometimes I could just swear that Cayden was psychic, but it would have just breached all logic in the world and so there was absolutely no possibility of it being true. She had just walked into our room after work, seen me staring up at the ceiling, got this funny look on her face and just said those words.

"I don't know what you're talking about, Jie Jie." I had - naturally - replied. She had just given me that smirk of hers which – somehow, quite annoyingly – always gave the feeling that she did know what was going through my head. I had not turned to look at her when she had said it, preferring to remain inconspicuously ignorant, so I didn't notice her doing that giant leap thingy of hers which –somehow, quite annoyingly – always landed where she wanted to. In this case, my bed.

Naturally, I shrieked.

"Shut up lah Raine. I know you're crushing on my best friend." She said, grinning as she caught my head between her two hands.

"I am not crushing." I replied indignantly. Which was true. I wasn't crushing – I was in love.

"Suit yourself, Mei Mei." She replied, getting off the bed and into the shower. That was how the whole situation started – and was resolved. For the day, at least. That was the thing about Cayden – she liked to keep things nice and simple. Most of the time, it was kept that way since she literally beat out any complications, but there was no way she would do that to her little sister – namely, me.

It wasn't that he suddenly did something dramatic or life-changing that suddenly made me decide that I loved him – God no. It was just as I was staring at the ceiling, where my mind drifted like daffodils... when I thought about daffodils. They were yellow - or at least they were supposed to be according to my picture-less textbook. We don't get daffodils at this part of the world, see.

So... Yellow. Yellow reminded me somehow about sticky notes. It probably had something to do with the fact that sticky notes covered every available inch and more of the wall above Cay's table that never got taken down from the moment she was in Form 3, all the way up to her A levels – even when she left overseas for her University, they were just never removed. She comes back, and then the numbers just add up – except that this time most of them were yellow, since she got a whole free stack from some unknown source.

Which brings me to the topic of coming home. He left when she left, but didn't come back when she did... with his four years compared to her three, I think that one year was the longest time they were ever apart.

Anyway, when he finally did return, I felt... as if nothing had changed. He was still my sister's best friend who lived in the house opposite to ours as it had been for the last eighteen years of my life.

Okay, so maybe he did look a little hotter than I remembered but this is irrelevant as I am in love and would still continue to love him even if he had gained immeasurable weight in his time overseas(all I seem to hear lately is that all mat salleh are in danger of dying of obesity) and his hair became greasy so it wouldn't... flop the way it usually did (although I'd tell him to go on a diet and wash his hair three times).

Back to the point where I actually do fall in love... it just... well – happened. I was just watching him eating pai tee in front of the television with my brother when he invited me over and... it just felt so... perfect? Comfortable? Right? There was just something...

So I stared at the ceiling. That white, white ceiling with the slow turning KDK fan. Compared that ceiling to him, compared Cal's post-it's to him, compared the shelf in my room to him...

What was it?

That feeling...


Of being unable to replace that person, voice, smile, expression, words... with any other in the entire world?

At the same time where I suddenly felt all clarity, it seems as if my world would break at the same time. That if it were all to change, my world would just crack and shatter into a million irreparable pieces.

Was that love?


What a bizarre, impeding emotion.

Then Cay bangs into the picture.

Anyway, I decide not to tell Terry. Why? Because I am shy young maiden, of course.

"You okay a not?" Aiden asks, popping his head in. "I heard you yell." Ah, yes, my dear brother Aiden. Cay's left-hand man (Terry was her right), partner in crime and first-class apprentice. How he still didn't turn out to become like her (evil, cruel, sadistic, etc.) after spending so much time together is sometimes beyond my wildest imaginations. But it suited my purposes so I let it slide.

I rolled on my bed and nodded my head in answer. I had to roll because my thoughts were whirling, and if I turned in tandem with my whirling thoughts, I should be able to make it not spin my head around that much. The English language once more fails me with its mathematically incorrect use of words as my head just ended up feeling worse than before – either that or I was spinning in the opposite direction, which would have created friction causing bubbles of gas to form and result in only a 10% transfer of energy into the next trophic level...

My head was so mixed up everything I learned was fusing together. Like the white, foamy swirls in a strawberry milkshake – or like rojak. But I should choose the former as it sounds more suitable for the romance in a young girl's heart.

"What are you doing?"

Everything stopped. My body stopped rolling, my head stopped thinking, my heart stopped beating...

Or was it beating faster? Maybe that means I have to think and roll faster as well...



Or, at least, that's what I should be thinking. Instead, all I could think of was how sweet the sound of his voice was; that lovely, fuzzy feeling that gently spread through me...

Ah, love...

Moving on.

"I am perfectly fine, thank you very much." I replied, sitting up proudly. If I was lucky, he would think I look sexy and attractive with bed hair, using my eldest brother's t-shirt and pyjama pants I've had since I was ten. Of course, seeing as this was real life, his eyes just glanced over my concealed (self-proclaimed) sexy figure and just stuck to my bed hair.

It was at that moment Cay walks out from the shower, using her tank top and shorts with a towel over her head. Now, Cayden is undeniably hot and sexy. Incredibly toned from flinging people all over the place in and out of her martial arts classes more than made up for her lack of boobs and ass. There was also the fact that she still had those freaking long legs and those curves and an even distribution of fat all over her body. As in, it won't just concentrate on her hips. And thighs. And Cheeks. And as all little sisters with inferiority complexes do, I suddenly felt like a blob of mud next to her.

"Need something?" she asks in a perfectly casual manner.

It was only then with those words that I wondered – did Terry like Cay? Did Cay like Terry? Were Cay and Terry secretly going out?

That was something else to ponder on with a white ceiling wall...