[1.6] Grey, Grey Skies

Andre looked around him as he stood on the balcony. The cloudless sky was a vast canvas of toneless grey. The wind blew furiously and rain poured with assertion. Each drop plunged like daggers to the heart, like treacherous words intended to rupture even the purest of souls. Andre set his hands on the balcony rails, and lay his head peacefully on the back of his palms. For the first time in a long time, he felt alone.

He inhaled deeply. The moist, unfriendly air filled his lungs as he let out an abrupt cough. I guess tar and moisture aren’t the best of buddies, he thought.

That night Andre pulled out a little black leather book, which would serve as his diary in the years to come. He turned to the first fresh page, gave it a whiff and put his pen to paper. He wrote:

27th February 2010,
Time: 10.25pm

Dear diary,
I miss Delilah.

Andre Leech

[1.5] Oh my, how very rude!

Andre pulled off his beanie and violently scratched his scalp. ‘Not so hard you dufus!’ came Delilah’s sharp intervention, followed by a severe (and awkwardly loud) smack to the back of Andre’s head. Andre was overwhelmed by a piercing ring in his ear and a stark moment of blindness. Can’t you feel the love tonight?

They sat in a corner of Hargraves library, as usual, away from prying eyes and curious minds. As Delilah sat with such poise and grace, working away at her laptop like an attorney hard at work, Andre sat like a confused monkey without his banana, clueless. He had only one thing on his mind: the telephone conversation that had taken place several hours ago between him and his workplace manager.

Andre had been working at Coles for a good two years now (Editors note: Coles is the equivalent to Wal-Mart in America). In his whole two years of work experience, he had never had any contact with his store manager since the need for it never arose. That particular afternoon came his first encounter with the most feared man of any workplace.

‘Hi am I speaking to the store manager?’ Andre asked meekly. His voice trembled as he felt a sudden warmness in his underwear. Did I just…?

‘Yeah, who’s this?’ was the unfazed reply on the other end of the line. He sounded stern and cold, a voice which sounded exactly the way Andre had imagined it to be like.

Clearing his throat and doing a small bounce off the ground to shake off the initial shock, he answered almost too forcefully ‘Its Andre, I work as a service assistant in Coles’


‘Well I was wondering if I could get a store transfer to the Coles branch in Burwood. I have already informed the store manager there and he would be happy to have a talk with you about my internal transfer today. In fact, he could give you a call later this…’

The unforgiving voice came interrupting rudely before Andre could complete his sentence.

‘Call Catherine’ (who was Andre’s grocery manager)

‘But she isn’t in today’

‘Yeah, so?’

‘Couldn’t Burwood’s manager just talk to you? You are the store manager after all. It wouldn’t take more than a minute’

‘I’m leaving the store now alright? Bye’

There Andre stood with his mouth gaping open in bewilderment. For a good five minutes he remained stoned as a statue, oblivious to the puzzled looks passer-bys were giving him. A fly landed peacefully on his parted lips and twitched a little, only to fly off, probably from boredom. Still, Andre did not react. He just could not comprehend the work ethics of his store manager.

How could someone in his position not possess any sense of responsibility? I’ve heard of such treatment in the workplace before but I have definitely not encountered it until now. I wonder who else have had experiences like that. How rude some people can be! Gosh.

With that, Andre’s right hand shifted towards his buttocks for the third time that day and pinched at his underwear, attempting to pull the fabric out from between his butt crack. Summer can be an unforgiving season.

[1.4] Coffee and a Caramel Short Black?

The one thing that Andre found more annoying than getting slapped with a hefty fine from illegal parking (which was unfortunately a recurring circumstance in his life) was his utter lack of knowledge in the realm of coffee-latte-talk. Yes he drank Cappuccinos and Lattes almost once every couple of days, but the finer details never failed to baffle him.

What exactly is a Latte? Isn’t a Latte in the same family as tea? Cappuccinos hail from the same ancestors as coffee- that much I think I know. So what is an espresso then? Long Black and Flat White: they sound like political parties. My poor, poor brain.

Andre looked up and down the long McCafe drinks menu, instantly feeling a strain in his brain nerves (the exact name of the nerves are not known – but one would probably be the ‘logic’ nerve). The longer Andre stared at it, the more it resembled a periodic table. This was definitely designed for the mentally advanced, not for the common man, Andre thought to himself. He had once plucked up the courage to ask about the different names on the drinks menu, but his memory had failed him, as usual. Instantly feeling his IQ dip a few figures lower than the average man, Andre figured the only way to salvage his lost dignity was to order an ‘experienced-coffee drinker’s choice’. ‘Fake it til you make it’, that was the saying wasn’t it?

‘How can I help you sir?’ came the voice behind the counter.

Hey this might just be identical to Sub-way’s food menu! Piece of cake. Andre closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, to which an eyebrow was raised by the man behind the counter in confusion. ‘I know this might not be the time of the day, haha, but I think I’ll need a strong one to keep me going through the day. I will just go with a Caramel Short Black please,’ came Andre’s all too intelligent reply. The next few seconds were spent in silence. The two men (one who looked too confused and another who looked too smug) both stood leaning on the Café counter, with a handful of customers in line waiting to see what came next.


Realising it was the only smart thing to do, Andre changed his answer to a far more ordinary one. ‘A cup of hot tea I meant’, and gave a crooked, awkward smile.

[1.3] The Post - Exam World

Andre shuffled in his seat again, desperately looking for an area which hasn’t yet been warmed by his buttocks. The sensation of sweat-soaked underwear fabric sticking to his butt cheeks was certainly getting to him. It was getting a little too stuffy for comfort in this somewhat vacant Hargraves library. The air-conditioners in the entire building were under repair and with the 35 degree heatwaves dancing about outside like minute ballerinas, it was amazing no one else felt like a crispy muffin fresh out of the oven. Post-exam period wasn’t as bad as Andre had expected it to be due to two reasons.

Firstly, he finally had some time on his hands to spend with Delilah. For the longest time, nights out to town and short hour study periods were a package deal - one had to come before the other. It was almost similar (though nowhere near as immense) to the existence of the sun and the moon. Given Andre’s anxious and paranoid nature, a day out without a study block during school semesters would drive his mind amok. His books were practically the couple’s third wheel.

Secondly, he would be able to finish ‘Eleven Minutes’, a novel by Paulo Coelho which was quickly turning out to be one of his favourites. Paulo Coelho’s ability to capture Andre’s attention was nothing short of special. He was learning more about pain and love than he had ever learnt. This was exactly what made ‘Eleven Minutes’ all the more appealing: its ability to consolidate Andre’s straying thoughts, slowing his conflicting mind down just enough for him to reach a point of epiphany or realization at least once every few days. Ironically enough, this was a feat he previously perceived as impossible since the last Harry Potter book.

Andre unzipped his bag and pulled out this new favourite book of his. Adjusting his posture a final time, he spread its pages open carefully, like a gentleman does with his partner in bed for the first time. Yes, being dramatic was an essential way of life. Doesn’t that make life more interesting for all of us?

Andre was deep into the book when the librarian’s shrill voice rang through the air, almost shattering his fragile eardrums. “The library is closing in 5 minutes. Please pack up your things and prepare to leave!” she said, much to Andre’s despair.

Do all librarians sound like a cat with its tail caught underneath someone’s shoe or is it only all librarians I know of who are like that? I should pen my thoughts in my diary as soon as I get home. I think I’m getting smarter, so let’s not waste this opportunity shall we? And with that, Andre shoved ‘Eleven Minutes’ back into his bag, got up and headed towards the exit, making sure to ram his big toe straight into a concrete pillar in the process.

[1.2] Delilah Tequila enters Andre’s life

Now let’s take a trip down memory lane.

It was a warm summer’s day probably four and a half years ago. Andre sat with some-guy-called-Ken and another friend called Yvette in the computer labs. He was in his final year of high school. As usual, Yvette prowled through Myspace (Facebook was yet to make its mark on the virtual world) like a lioness desperate for meat in a famine while Andre and Ken slouched back in their chairs, waiting for the bell to ring.

As Andre turned to pick up his school bag, his eyes met another pair on the computer screen. It was the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen in his life, so full of life and energy, so commanding yet gentle, so experienced yet so young and intense.
‘Hey Yvette who was that?’ Andre asked abruptly, startling Ken, who was drifting in and out of sleep with a consistent supply of saliva hanging from the far most left corner of his mouth.


‘That girl who was wearing that bright blue dress with her hair tied back in a bun.’

‘Oh you mean her,’ as Yvette enlarged the photo which had Andre on the edge of his seat. ‘Her name is Delilah Tequila, a close high school friend of mine. She’s a Filipina (a girl from the Philippines), and currently studies in Singapore.’

The world went silent for a moment as Andre frantically tried to remember that particular name. It was beautiful, and it wouldn’t be too hard to keep in mind. Delilah Tequila, Delilah Tequila. She had tan, radiant skin, and stood at 5’4 thereabouts. Her smile spoke to his soul and Andre felt a warmth like never before flow through him. Her eyes, you already know. Maybe this was what people called ‘love at first sight’.


The minute school ended that day, Andre raced home without first claiming his books from his locker. What was education when something as significant as love hits you anyway? Andre had heard from the more mature figures in his life (namely, his parents) that your true love only comes by once in your life, and he was not about to miss this opportunity for the world. He got home, pulled out his laptop from his bag, placed it gently onto the study table, and turned it on. Just as stalkers do, Andre searched up ‘Delilah Tequila’ in Google search, hoping against hope that he would be to dig up some information on her. Don’t be mistaken, Andre wasn’t a stalker. He was, in his own true words (to another unknown source), ‘under the influence of love’. All mistakes should be pardoned in such a circumstance shouldn’t it?

Bingo. She had her very own website, composing songs and writing poems. At least she has the brains to go with her looks. Very impressive, Andre thought to himself. His eyes widened. There it was at the bottom right hand corner of her gorgeous little website in italic: her email address. Andre suddenly felt a sudden tang of appreciation for the technology human beings possess. Before he knew it, this mysterious girl who he only just laid eyes on that very morning was in his MSN messenger list.


Several months after of communication through virtual space came the hugely unexpected news: Delilah was moving to Melbourne. Andre’s heart skipped a beat. Two beats to be exact. She had been accepted into Monash College, a gateway to a prestigious Australian university (Monash University) located within the outer eastern regions of Melbourne.

What comes next was the usual story of boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl takes a while (2 years in this case) and eventually falls in love with boy (who could resist Andre- That bad memory, that ridiculous tardiness, those bad habits?). It became a daily routine to attend classes until 3 in the afternoon, maybe skip a couple of classes here and there, and then travel an hour and a half by train to get to Clayton just to have mid-day tea with Delilah.

‘I was in the vicinity’ was Andre’s most uttered phrase of the month.

It's been 4 years and til this very day, Delilah still holds Andre's heart.

[1.1] Andre's Examination

Andre paced around in front of 123 Bouverie Street, glancing occasionally at the clock, ticking away lazily on the common room wall- Half an hour to go before his last summer semester exam. Soon there would be no more early mornings, no more daily waits for an available city tram (trams in the morning were always jam-packed with preoccupied businessmen and burnt out university students), and lastly no more five hour study sessions in Borders. He would miss these study sessions in Borders though, to be honest. Throughout his academic life, Borders had served as an escape from the chaotic hustle and bustle that he was thrown into the moment he stepped foot out of his house. It was a perfect place for recollection of the body and mind, especially with a book in one hand and a Cappuccino in the other.

After what seemed like hours, the announcement was made: “Students with registration numbers 200000 to 500000 proceed to the left, others to the right. Place all bags in the holding room, first door on the right thanks.” “Why are invigilators always this strict? They of all people should know how nerve-wrecking an exam can be for students. Not even a please or good luck, what manners!Andre said out loud in his mind, which was of course inaudible outside of his head. As he passed the invigilator, he made sure to slow his step, giving himself ample time to shoot the invigilator a stern and dirty glare, which he immediately regretted on the realisation it could cost him his entire semester of hard work.

The exam paper was easy enough. Andre was a smart boy. Eleven questions in the span of two hours were easily manageable by his standards. It wasn’t easy however, for him to stay focused. The slightest movement startled him, never allowing him to connect a single train of thought. ADD was certainly not an advantage in this situation.

Is it just me, or does this room smell like mouldy socks? Why is that silly boy behind me sharpening his pencil right now instead of using a pen? What’s the use of a pencil when you wouldn’t have time to erase mistakes anyway? And what’s with that ridiculous itch on my leg?

Andre straightened his back and cracked his knuckles, his eyes straying ever so slightly to the right, careful still not to attract the attention of the patrolling invigilators. Three invigilators stood leaning against the wall, probably gossiping about someone’s child receiving a place in a prestigious university in another part of town. Some students tilted their heads just high enough to read the time, before once again waging war against the paper before them. Others stretched sluggishly, releasing occasional yawns which made them look slightly uncouth. Images of a hippo with its mouth wide open started materializing in his mind. A sudden gust of wind shook the window pane nearest to him, carrying Andre’s drifting imagination sharply back to the task at hand.


Andre was met with a nice mid-day breeze as he stepped out of the examination room, which ruffled his already extremely dry and unkempt hair. Pleased that it was finally over, he let out an uncontrollable smile. His heart was having a private party, and he looked like an idiot who was unsure whether he wanted to walk to the tram stop like a regular human being or dance over, concluding his delightful little journey to the tram stop with twelve pirouettes. He chose the former.

He felt a vibration somewhere near his buttocks and drove his hand down to yank his phone out of his back right trouser pocket, hearing a faint rip in the process. Delilah Tequila’s name flashed violently on screen. Ah that sweet name…

[1.0] The Beginning of an End

"I have these ideas in my head, these theories that always linger in my subconscious all the time. When they come up, I waste a day pondering, only to let them eventually pass me by, unphased and unchanged, due to both my laziness and atrociously bad memory. Therefore, I have decided to make a blog, not only as a notepad for these crazy thoughts or worthwhile ideas, but as a sanctuary for my restless mind, a temporary shelter for my soul as I reflect on my day," Andre wrote in his new blog, which he rightfully entitled Cocopoops.

Andre Leech was not your usual protagonist. He had short black hair with a few stray strands of white sticking out awkwardly, nose hair which extended way out of his nostril when he smiled, a bad case of hayfever, and never failed to over-exaggerate, which constantly provided Delilah with more stress and worries.

He was a man, a boy rather, frustrated with the monotony of life, the aimless routine of work, school and play. What is life? The question of the century. Now, sitting in his tight blue briefs and dirty green singlet, he has decided to record the daily happenings of his life in hope that someday, maybe, he would be able to discover something out of the ordinary. He was a man on a mission, and his story begins.

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