The lonely
Ibanese for 'eagle’.
family of three was here just last Christmas. It might well be a figment of our imaginations. My mother rushed to buy me clothes at Uniqlo and Nike, hating that I kept wearing the same black clothes. By two in the afternoon, my father needed another jolt of caffeine, so we settled at the swanky Starbucks Reserve for an hour or two. The three of us marvelled at the performers during the evening show around the vortex, as bubbles like snow floating among the trees.

In that afternoon the Lang family was, finally, together. It felt like we’ve been living here all our lives, or at least half of it. That illusion would cease whenever they asked which train to board at the
Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit, a subway train system.
. I’d always feel like they’re asking someone other than their son for directions. Then I become a stranger, every time I’m with them, and even when I’m back at
a coastal city in northeastern Sarawak, Malaysia.

After that, I remembered I had lunch with you. I grappled if I should tell you, especially at Delifrance, your favourite café. But you knew something was up the moment you saw me. I could never hide anything from you. Worry was already burrowing in your eyes, your brows tensing into a knot. You set the menu you were holding on the table, and I heard you take a big breath. Your shoulders rose in slow motion.

That’s when I told you.

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