the goldfish

“I bet,” I paused for a bit to munch the fries in my mouth, “in your second life, you’ll be reincarnated as a goldfish.”

It had been quite… a long traffic jam. Things had been moving very slowly for a while. We had not really talked for some time, probably because you were busy driving, while I were busy eating, and occasionally, feeding you some fries.

“Oh, ya? Tell me why,” you replied, still with fries in your mouth.

“You’re a good swimmer. Just like… goldfish.”

You immediately rolled your eyes as you stared at me in disbelief, “Goldfish aren’t good swimmers. They just… happen to live underwater. Come on, I thought you’re smarter than this.”

“But they’re underwater 24/7, so they must be crazy good at it, no?”

“I breathe air 24/7, does it make me crazy good at it?” I couldn’t hold my laughter anymore because, well… I know you’re right.

You kept chuckling for a while as well before you continued, “See? Now, give me a better reason why I’ll be reincarnated as a goldfish.”

“Don’t worry. I have another one. Your memory is as bad as goldfish’s. You can’t even remember when my birthday is, even after I’ve been talking about it almost every day the week before.”

“Did I? Huh, I forgot your birthday again last year… ya?” you mumbled, with a puzzled look.

“When I asked you what date it is, you literally mentioned every possible number EXCEPT my exact birth date. And on the D-day, you didn’t even realize it’s my birthday until I brought it up.”

“I’m sorry, I guess I’m that bad at memorizing things. But I thought, birthdays are not important to you?”

“They aren’t, but it’s just funny. Because you’re so bad at memorizing it, that you can think of every possible date except my birth date.”

“Okay,” you breathed out loud, “I may not remember your birthday, but I do remember some things about you. And maybe, about us, too.”

“For example?”

“I remember how you always told me that it’s your childhood best friend’s house every time we passed her house, even when I don’t know who she is. Oh, remember when you made me visit several different bubble tea parlors with you just so you can get the limited edition plushies? You never ended up getting it,” you snickered. “And also how you said that it’s the worst fried rice you’ve ever tasted when I took you to a random cafe after we had our first big fight. You’re right, it was even worse than my cooking.”

“I also remember that junction on the way to your house where you kissed me for the first time. I almost hit my car because even when I knew it was coming—I mean, you asked me and I said okay—it was still a… pleasant surprise. And I still managed to drive safely, so we didn’t die in a stupid car crash.

Well, I guess do remember a lot of things, after all.”

I could see your faint smile, but of course you couldn’t smile at me because you’re too busy driving. I couldn’t help but to smile, too. You really are forgetful like a goldfish, but I guess, you do remember the things you want to remember.

“What if I’m reincarnated as your goldfish?” you said, after a brief silence between us.

“Noooo!” I shrieked. “I’d pray so I can be reincarnated as a goldfish too so I can be with you. No thoughts, just blub blub, the two of us.” You chuckled giddily.

“But being your goldfish doesn’t sound so bad. I know you’ll take a great care of me. Like always, right?

You’ll put on my favorite music and change the water in my bowl every week, you’ll give me my favorite pellets but also make sure they’re the healthy ones…”

“…yeah, I’ll make sure you won’t inherit diabetes…”

“But goldfish don’t catch diabetes?? But anyways, you’ll always look at me so lovingly, because you’re always like that. You spent several good minutes in front of the fish tank when we visited the fish market.

I guess, being a goldfish—or your goldfish—won’t be so bad, right?”


receipts from the future, pt. 10

“Sayang, which one do you want?”

“The OG glazed ones!” I squeaked. “What else do they have on the display?”

“Hmm…” you murmured. “Wait, let me get you on a video call. I don’t wanna mention all the flavors like I’m reading the Grammy’s nominations.”

The screen flickered for a bit before showing out your face, as big as the screen, with the goofiest smile ever. “So… you can see all the flavors here and choose some more, but I’ve picked some PB&Js for you because I remembered you love them.”

“Awww Sayang, you’re right. That’s so thoughtful.”

We ended up picking only one other flavor and filled the rest of the box with more of the OG glazed ones (“It’s the best ones. I can’t say no to them.”).

“Thank you for going for this quick errand after work.”

“No worries, the baby wants what he wants, no?” you bursted out in laughter, still on camera.

“Yeah… the baby… and I…” I added, puckering up my face.

“By the way, I think I’m pretty wasted from all the work today. So, no back massage for tonight, is that okay?”

“Totally OK, I think I’m pretty tired, too. Just snuggly-snuggly?”

“Snuggly-snuggly, of course. With all of the OG glazed we’ve bought. I’ll see you in a bit, Sayang.”

receipts from the future, pt. 9

You had been staring in disbelief for a while, so I finally turned my head, “What’s the problem?”

You surely were trying hard, but you couldn’t hold your laughter anymore. “Are we sure about this decision?”

“I’m sure,” I replied confidently. “How about you?”

“I’ve been sure since years ago. I’m just waiting for you to be sure of it.” I rolled my eyes dramatically, making sure you saw it well.

“I’m just waiting for you to find a tuxedo cat,” you continued.

“Not just a tuxedo cat. I want a tuxedo cat with a dick shape on its face.”

“Okay, well, a dick face,” you repeated, very slowly, while making a funny face. “Let’s take Dick Face home and bring him to the vet to get checked.”

“Hey! I’m not saying we can name him Dick Face.”

“Fine, how about Muka Titit?”

receipts from the future, pt. 7

“I swear,” you mumbled as you grabbed another pack of instant noodles, “this is the UMPTEENTH time I’ve heard Every Summertime being played in this building.”

We were strolling around the aisles, taking a look every once in a while for our favorite products (or surprisingly good deals, which often led to unplanned purchase lol), while Niki’s voice was blasting throughout the supermarket.

“Yeah, my friend said she’s been hearing it literally almost everywhere,” I chirped. “But you have to agree, it’s a wonderful song. I don’t take a no for this matter, mind you.”

“Yeah…” you snickered. “It’s got all the good vibes. I’m not bored of it, though, it’s just… amazing that the song is literally everywhere. The parking lot, the department store, the ramen bar, the beauty parlor where you went to get your nails done, the place where we stopped by to get bubble teas… and now, in the supermarket? Cool.”

“But it’s a nice song,” I exclaimed. “It somehow… radiates the comfort of being with someone you enjoy being with for a pretty long time. It feels like a nice feeling.”

“It is a nice feeling, indeed, Sayang.”

receipts from the future, pt. 5

I honestly can’t recount how many times you have cursed today, and all kind of profanities you’ve spat out over the course of our trip today.

“Yeah, life sucks sometimes, bad things do happen after all,” you said as you reached out for more fried cabbages in frustration, “but bebek madura is for the win. And I have you here. So, everything is good.”

You munched for a bit, then paused for a split second before screaming, but this time it’s because you accidentally swallowed a huge chunk of chili.

receipts from the future, pt. 3

You said, you’d like to see me.
I told you, maybe when the war’s over. Maybe it’d been better for both of us.

You said, it’s okay even when the chaos still ensues. “Because I believe you’ll make it here anyways, just like what you’ve been hoping for long.”

I’d like to believe that you’re right, honestly.

“Yeah,” you continued, “I mean, you may be right. It’ll be better when everything’s over. And we’re at peace. But even when it’s not over yet, I’d like you to know that I still want to see you. And I’ll make sure that there’s no need for you to go through those adversities alone.”

receipts from the future, pt. 2

You said, I think quite a lot. Well, most of the time. Over the important yet unimportant things (obviously, more over the important stuffs).

“Does it ever bother you?” I asked.

You paused for a split second, before shaking your head. I kept staring, are you sure?

Then, you bursted into laughter. “Well, sometimes it does,” you chuckled, “but honestly, it doesn’t bug me more than it amazes me.
Like, holy hell, you actually think about this? Probably that endless pit of thought of yours has saved me more times than what I could recount. So, thank you.”

“You’re not shaming me for it?”

“Why would I? It’s true that sometimes, it can get me frustrated too, but you know… the cute kind of frustration.
So, it’s fine. We can always figure them out one by one together.”