• Nations Voice

Literature Club Winners: "Love" theme

From early February to mid-March, the Nations Literature club hosted another writing competition. This time, the theme of the competition was "love". The group encouraged submissions in both the format of a poem or short story. The theme was not necessarily about romantic love, indeed multiple submissions were about friendship or family. The Literature club would like to thank all the participants for sharing their talent and creativity. All the submissions were special in their own way, but two in particular really stood out.

Without further ado, we present to you the winners of the "Love" theme;


Overall Winner: Amélie May Fyfe year 12, with her poem "Oyster"


Honourable Mention: Lulwa Naman, year 11, with her short story "We End Up Together In the End"


Oyster

Amélie May Fyfe


Somewhere, under the same roof of the sky as myself,

is you.

Encased in the same oyster.

We come together, and we come apart like the tide and the bay.

And you’ll know that as the sea crashes over the shore, waves of overwhelming strength are created. Water and sand are lost in one another.

Such glory could only be borne of a god.

And the mother is none other than Hecate.

Hecate of the moon, and Hecate of magic.

The moon creates the force which pulls the sea to shore, and ‘tis magic which makes such forces so awesome to man.

This phenomena, and what I feel, is not something a mortal soul is worthy of.

The tide and desire are sisters, but not twins.

The tide is unattainable by man. Yet desire is not.

Desire seems to be the closest the gods will allow man to reach. Desire is like a ship in a bottle, a taste of paradise, a postcard from the Elysian beach.

It is a power that does not elude the gods themselves.

Yet the control of such a power eludes both man and deity.

The hook is in the sensation. When your body is on fire, when your hands and feet start to dance of their own accord, when your stomach becomes an aviary for butterflies, and the wholesome longing overwhelms, you’ve felt it.

When it kisses you, touches you, nay, simply brushes against you, Line and sinker.

Mortals claim desire is the opposite of death.

And even gods by it are lead astray.

It’s unstoppable, much like the tide.

And you’ll know that the most powerful water, like desire, can create wreckages.

Ship turns to splinter like man turns to tear.

Yet you draw me in towards you and tear me apart like shore does to wave.

We’re both victims to the same forces.

Somewhere, under the same roof of the sky as us, sea and sand meet,

And embrace.


We End Up Together In the End

Lulwa Naman

I never understood why every guy’s jaw dropped at the sight of Miranda. Sure, she was pretty. Experienced. Not that I care, I was never the type to care about romance (except for my romance novels, of course). I suppose I am not conventionally pretty. I don’t really look like all the other girls, and don’t fit with society’s idealistic female-figure. Nonetheless, some guys have liked me, not that I

ever reciprocated.

I can honestly say that I have never liked anyone, and I consider myself lucky for it after seeing my friends, like Miranda, heartbroken every couple of months. Holding her in my arms, as her perfect mascara runs from her eyes to her toes. It’s odd to see something so typically impeccable in shackles.

Miranda Jones has a new boyfriend this week. Tom. I think she’s dated a Tom before. He was so photogenic; it blew our minds. This Tom is not as flawless. Scruffy, undeniably mysterious (making him more attractive, since that’s what girls seem to be into nowadays) and… intelligent. That is new for Miranda. Tom cares about his grades, he studies. All the others just posed for the camera.

‘Hi,’ I mumble as I sit at our table in the cafeteria. Tom has his arm around Miranda. ‘You’re in a bad mood,’ he said with a smirk on his face, I wish I could slap off. ‘Thank you for clarifying that for the world, Tom. I’m sure Captain Obvious is looking down at us, proud of the mark he has left on this nation.’

‘Lay off, Caroline,’ Miranda threatens.

‘Whatever,’ I sigh and lock eyes with Tom whose smirk just became half of his face. Flaw identified – obnoxious.

I am making my way to fourth period math, stopping at my locker to find my protractor which I haven’t used since the fifth grade. As I shut the door of my locker, I feel a tug on my backpack. Suddenly, I am spun around and pressed against the locker-wall faced with Tom.

‘You don’t like me,’ he states.

‘Glad you caught on.’

‘Why? Did you like the old Tom better? He was hot, even I can admit that.’

‘I never liked any of you,’ I commented as I pushed past him to make it to class before the bell. ‘Oh, so now we are a people? Good to know. Could you elaborate?’

‘You’re all the same. You’ll break her heart and I’ll be there for her. Do me a favour and make it easy for her. Sound good, Mr. Smart?’

‘Wow, I’m Mr Smart? I’m honoured. What makes you so sure I’ll hurt her anyways?’ ‘Well, Tom. What makes you different?’

I left him with a good thought there, feeling inspirational. I sat through a torturous calculus class with Mr Kent going on about SAT strategy. I already passed the SAT early with a 1590, school feels quite useless to me at the moment.

I’m on my way to my car when I see Miranda and Tom coming my way.

‘Caroline, please talk some sense into this guy. He doesn’t want to go to the winter dance,’ Miranda complains.

‘Not exactly my style,’ Tom says while taking a cigarette out of his leather jacket pocket. Of course, he smokes. The biggest turn-off. How is Miranda into this trash?

He takes the cigarette and drops it in the bin.

‘Isn’t it gross that people just leave these lying around? Why can’t they think about the environment?’ Redeemed himself a little there.

‘Shut up, you’re such a nerd,’ Miranda snarled.

‘You already went last year and only juniors will go this year. It’s not worth it,’ I say. Miranda scoffs and storms off to her car.

Tom paces towards me, forcing me to walk backwards and my body to press up against my car. ‘Thanks for that back there. Dances are lame, I’d rather do Mr Kent’s strategy review exercises, or hang out with you,’ he says arrogantly.

‘Excuse me? You would be lucky to spend time with a cool person such as myself.’ ‘You’re such a nerd, Caroline,’ he winks at me, placing his face right in front of mine. I can feel his hot breath on my nose. I look into his eyes and stare at his lips. It feels like twenty minutes have passed. ‘Well, I should be getting home. Lots of work to catch up on,’ I claim, pushing him to get to my car door.

‘Yeah, as if Caroline Milan ever needs to catch up on work.’

He’s not wrong.

‘That sounded like a kind-of compliment! I’m surprised you had it in you, kiddo. I’m glad we’ve established my superiority.’

I sit in my car, and he shuts my door for me. He ducks to the window, so I roll it down. ‘Stay safe on the road, honey.’

‘I don’t think I’m the one you should be calling that.’

‘You know you like it.’

‘No. No, I don’t.’

‘Whatever you say, honey.’

I drive off, glaring at him. The nerve. He’s not as bad as I thought, though. At least he has a personality.

Attempting to find a book on medical artificial intelligence, I scan the library for a copy of Topol’s Deep Medicine. Reading his words, I think of what happened with Tom yesterday. His face was so close to mine, it was revolting. I felt a tingling sensation in my stomach from disgust. He wasn’t terrible to look at, though. He has really pretty, brown eyes.

As I picture him, I observe as he enters the finance aisle of the library and reaches for Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. Unfortunately, I do not look away fast enough before he catches me examining him. He smirks. Again. I feel a little tremble in my heart that I haven’t felt before when I see him.

‘Hi, honey.’

‘I thought I told you not to call me that.’

‘And I am your obedient servant. Here to obey all of your orders, ma’am,’ he shoots his hand to his forehead in a solute position. Another flaw identified – sarcastic.

‘What do you want?’

‘You were the one looking at me! Probably fawning over my beauty.’

‘As if.’

‘Do you want to go to the winter dance with me?’

I drop my book and shoot him the most confused look. ‘What?!’ Why would he ask me that? I have to mask the small smile that his words just triggered.

‘Calm down. We’re in a library. You could just say no.’

‘Dude, you’re dating my best friend. Who do you think you are? Besides, you don’t even like me.’ ‘What makes you so sure of that?’

‘Well, to start with, you’re dating someone else. Who, AGAIN, is my best friend who you will not be dating for much longer, by the way, since I’m telling her everything.’

‘What’s your deal, Caroline?’

‘Huh?’

‘Heartbroken? Did your last boyfriend leave you stuck in the mud? It happens.’ ‘No. Not that it’s any of your business, but I’ve never liked someone like that before.’ ‘What do you mean you’ve never liked someone before?’

I cleared my throat and started to look him in the eye. We sat down together. ‘It’s just never happened for me.’

‘I find that very hard to believe.’

‘And why is that?’

‘You’re always sitting around with your romance novels. Outside of your insane work schedule, romance is your entire life.’

‘I love that you think you know everything about me.’

‘I’m breaking up with Miranda, you know?’

‘Inevitable. They all do.’

‘You’re still classifying me with them? Come on. I must be a little different.’

‘You’re right. You are different. I’ve made a brand-new category for guys like you. Try-hards.’ ‘Only a try-hard for you, honey.’

There’s that guilty smile of mine again.

I decide to leave it to Tom to break up with Miranda. If someone is to make her cry, I’d rather it not be me. I’ll have to do the dirty work afterwards anyway. I stop by the corner store to collect some caramel ice cream, Miranda’s favorite, to prepare for ‘the cleanse’.

After hearing a knock on the door, I take a deep breath, expecting Miranda. She stood there with a smile and gave me a big hug.

‘Hey babes,’ she whispers.

‘Hi! How are you?’

‘I’m alright. Ready for our girls’ night! Brought my mum’s cookies – your favorite!’ Miranda comes in and puts her coat on the couch. It’s like she lives here, my parents’ third child. ‘Are you sure you’re okay? Anything you want to tell me?’

‘Actually, yeah. Tom broke up with me a couple of hours ago.’

‘What? That’s terrible. Come here,’ I give her a hug, expecting the waterworks to start flooding. ‘Thanks. It’s not bad, though. I never liked him that much anyways. Not really my type.’ No. Really? I never noticed.

‘He’s so much more made for someone like you.’

My heart skips a beat. What is wrong with me?

I’m not sure what the protocol is with friends’ exes who you actually get along with, even if it is in our own unconventional way. I can see him in the library in the same place we talked last time. I go in and decide to approach him.

‘Hi,’ I say.

‘Hi.’

‘Do you like me like that?’

Tom smirks, takes my right hand in his and caresses my hair with his left. He gazes so deep into my eyes I think he may fall into them. He leans in and kisses me. Silence. Awkward. What do I say? ‘Does that answer your question?’

I smile, unembarrassed. Then, I did something I never thought I would do. Something one of my romance novel characters would have. I kiss him.

Later, we leave the library with his arm around my shoulder. Something I could get used to.

We spend the next few days together all of the time. Inseparable. I cringe a little at myself but ignore the fact that it’s cheesy because it’s too cute and feels too good to criticize. Miranda still doesn’t know, though. I’ve never been in this situation before, so I still don’t know if it’s wrong. I love Miranda too much to risk it. I definitely should have confirmed this with her beforehand, but that would have been so not-spontaneous, and I’ve never done anything spontaneous like this before in my life. Hopefully she can see that.

It’s Thursday. Girls’ night. I go over to Miranda’s. She has season 6 of Friends ready on her TV, knowing it’s my favorite.

‘Aww, we can watch season 5. I don’t mind.’ I thought I might be flexible with her today, since I plan to break other news to her which may cause way worse of a mood.

We watch the show and laugh at Ross with his Unagi idea. We’ve always pinpointed our friendship as a Phoebe-Rachel one.

I press pause.

‘Miranda, I need to tell you something.’

‘Okay…’

‘So, you know how I’ve never really liked a guy before,’ I say while fiddling with the remote, avoiding eye contact.

‘Yeah.’

‘Well, I guess that’s changed.’

‘No way! Finally! Who is it? Tell me everything. It’s Greg, isn’t it? I knew it. It’s so Greg.’ ‘No, not Greg.’

‘Then, who? Go go go.’

‘I’ve been dating Tom.’

‘My Tom?’

‘Well, actually, my Tom.’

There’s silence for a bit. I can’t quite tell what she’s thinking. Her face brightens up. ‘Caroline, I’m so happy for you. You really deserve this.’

‘Really? It’s okay if it’s not okay.’

‘No babe, as I said you guys are so much more made for each other than we ever were.’ We hug.

‘I love you, Miranda Jones.’

‘I love you more, Caroline Milan.’