December 5, 2023



🎙️My Superstar 🎙️


★Two years later★

“One cappuccino, please.”

I jot down the order from the customer, then walk toward the counter to tell the barista.

I huff, leaning back against the counter and watching as people settle at their tables inside the restaurant. Especially on Sunday afternoon like this, the restaurant is always packed with people having lunch together with their family and friends. Located in the heart of New York, this restaurant has gotten more popular recently, thanks to the good reviews our customers shared on the internet.

I can’t be more grateful that I’ve been accepted to work part-time here as a waitress. They pay a good amount of money so that I can top up my loan to continue my study.

After the barista places the prepared Cappucino onto the tray, I bring it to the table. While I’m placing the drink, the sound from the TV startles me that I spill a drop of its content.

“What’s up, Torontooooo?” That familiar voice echoes in my ears, followed by the sound of some female customers’ gasps and giggles, their eyes glued to the TV.

I shift my gaze to it and find that it’s airing a concert in Canada that was held last month. I quickly return my attention to the customer whose drink I almost spilled a few seconds ago.

“I’m sorry. Here’s your drink,” I apologize, but she’s not paying any attention, still focusing on the TV.

“Oh my God, don’t you agree that Cal Jackson is the hottest man on earth? Look at that,” she mumbles to her friend sitting next to her. “And his voice is so sexy. Damn, I would kill to have him sing for me every night before bed.”

Her friend nods, slurping her iced tea as she watches Cal singing on the stage. His amazing voice echoes through the speaker, and I feel the pain in my heart. Again .

“Look. He’s going to take off his clothes,” the girl suddenly exclaims, her eyes sparkling with excitement.

Her friend, on the other hand, just squints at the TV, watching as Cal points the mic toward thousands of his fans in Toronto.

Laughter escapes from Cal’s mouth as they sing along, and again, I feel it. The sting in my heart.

“Nah, he’s not gonna do it.”

“He’s gonna do it this time,” the girl beside me insists, but then she knocks her fist onto the table because it doesn’t happen.

“See?” Her friend laughs.

“Crap. Why does he never take off his clothes on the stage? I want to see his abs.”

I realize that I’ve been standing at this table longer than I should, so I totter back toward the counter. A sigh leaves my lips when my gaze darts back on the TV.

Maybe it’s not that bad to stare at him a bit longer. It’s getting harder for me to tear my eyes away or pretend that I don’t hear, because he’s everywhere.

Cal Jackson is currently the world’s rising star. Signed to Astalis Records, Cal has blown up the world with his debut song, receiving praises and promotions from various media outlets including radio stations.

Following that success, he has released a few more singles — all of which land on the Billboard chart, and has embarked on a world tour. He has created a huge fanbase all over the world, and he’s the fastest-growing new artist in the history of the music industry right now.

My eyes zoom in on him as he performs on TV, standing on the stage with his guitar and singing with all his heart. Just like when I first saw him two years ago.
Maybe it’s really okay for today, Mia. Your heart can bear it, just for today.

Now that Cal is a superstar, it seems surreal that he’s the same guy who made my heart flutter and the Ɓụťťerflies inside my tummy go crazy every time he spoke to me. The guy who made my knees go weak every time our skin touched.

He still has those ocean eyes that make me feel like I can drown in them. Those very same eyes that softened every time he called me ‘pretty girl’.

A soft smile touches my lips while my eyes follow his every move on TV. I’ve cried myself to sleep for months after I left him in the park, but now, even though there’s a big hole in my chest, I’m glad that he’s doing great.

I’m so glad that you’re doing great now, Cal. I really am.

Maybe I’m selfish for thinking about this, but staring at him through the screen or hearing his song playing in public places helps when I miss him.

For the rest of my shift, I try my best to focus on my job — taking orders, delivering the foods, and cleaning the tables. It’s when the restaurant owner, Mrs. Garcia, calls me that I finally realize that I may have been working too hard.

“Isn’t your shift over already, Mia?” She’s a kind-hearted middle-aged woman, and I’m so thankful to have her as my boss.

“Come on, Mia. Today is your birthday, and I’m permitting you to leave early.” She plasters a warm smile. “Go celebrate with your family and friends. The others will take care of the rest.”

Little does she know that I don’t like my birthday being celebrated. It would only remind me of bittersweet memories.
However, there’s a place I want to visit today, so leaving early sounds good. And for that, I nod, accepting her offer.

“Today is great, Dad,” I say. “Mrs. Garcia told me that she was happy with my help in the restaurant.”

The wind blows softly against my hair and skin. I inhale a deep breath.

“College is good too,” I continue. “I’ve got an A for my last quiz. Isn’t that great?” I laugh softly. “No, I’m not sleeping in class, Dad. Don’t worry.” I chuckle, but then I remember something. “Wait, you told me that it was okay to skip class once in a while? Yeah, maybe I’ll do that if I oversleep in the morning. Morning class Ṣūçƙs.”

A soft smile forms on my lips as I bend over, putting the flowers on the ground.

On Dad’s grave.

Not long after we moved to New York, Dad’s diabetes disease worsened, and a few months after that, he passed away because of kidney failure.

I remember how I cried hard while holding his body lying on the hospital bed. But Mom’s state was even worse than mine. She was breaking apart, so I had to be strong for her.

“I miss you, Dad,” I whisper, feeling great pain in my chest.

All those memories from the past flash back in my mind. Our togetherness. Our laughter. Our fights.

Nothing hurts more than knowing that the person you want to apologize to is no longer in this world, and for that, I’m grateful that I still had the chance to apologize to him for all the wrongdoings I might have done since I was young, and that I was able to be by his side during the most difficult time of his life.

My eyes narrow to the sky, where the sun starts setting down. I blow a sigh and stare at Dad’s grave one more time, tears welling up in my eyes.

“I love you, Dad. I will come here again.”

And with that, I walk away, heading home.


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