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They kept swimming. They don’t stop at all. Just swimming from one point to the other. And I thought, that’s ’cause they’re fishes. They were supposed to swim. Just like people are supposed to keep going. And then I thought, what’s the point of them swimming? Is it to get from one place to the other? But I stood there, looking at the pond, and I can see the edges of the pond. It’s small. It’s closed off with no way to escape. Like, they keep swimming but they really aren’t going anywhere. They’re still on the same damn pond. And just now, I thought “well, who knows if in one corner of that pond, they were somehow happy?” and that should make it worth it.

Since it’s your birthday, I thought I’d share this message you sent around this time last year.

It still gives me lots of thoughts. I don’t want to be stuck on the pond. I don’t want to not be able to go anywhere – I wanna go places. I can’t be happy there—here.

But with these words of yours, I also thought…

We will always have those kinds of stories we would love to tell the world until everyone else is tired of hearing it; and I’m glad that we have that to share.

In one corner of Twitter, you found my account among the sea of other tweets, and who would have thought that you would end up as one of the people who mean the most to me? Who would have thought that one reply would be followed with 3 a.m. direct messages – you wondering if I ever sleep? Who would have thought that those direct messages would start an awkward, careful, exchange of questions about each other’s personal lives? Who would have thought that we would open ourselves to each other gradually?  Who would have thought that “the KPOP-band Bangtan Sonyeondan” would bring us another soul that cares and heals? I realised then, in one corner of Twitter, we are happy.

In one corner of the city, I found another home—in you and with you. I hate the traffic; I hate the city; but I don’t mind as long as I know there is a Melanie who is waiting for me—with Junice, Gab, and Pompom. I don’t mind as long as I know we can walk down the streets at night going to McDonald’s, watching you having a crisis in choosing over McFlurry Oreo or Milo when it’s just always coffee most of the time in the end. I don’t mind as long as I know I can still do my work at your place while you prepare dinner. I don’t mind as long as I can wake up in the morning with you telling us it’s time for breakfast. I dread you cooking lunch because I know it’s time for me to go back home. I realised then, in one corner of the city, we are happy.

In one corner of creativity, I found an editor-nim; an English major who corrects my grammar, giving me chance to grow and learn; someone who is always there to entertain story prompts/ideas. Though how dare you share your own plot but not write it? Anyway, I will always be grateful that you proofread and edited the first ever full-length fan fiction that I wrote. I will always be grateful for all the stories you sent me that made me want to be a better writer—I wouldn’t have found AGW if not for you, that is truly a gem in the world of alternate universe. I will always be grateful for Letters (that damn story of yours still hurt me to the core). I will always be grateful for you always let me drag you to content writing; even I know it is freaking draining. I realised, in one corner of writing and reading, we are happy.

In one corner of every day, I have someone I can always come back to. I have a terrible mood swing and a bad case of isolation, but you always give me space when I need to and at the same time you never fail to reach out when the time is up, I need to come home. Your words, even if you say they are not really there, are always there when it’s needed. Your words, some that are funny, and some that are meaningful, always reach me. I realised in one corner of everyday, we are happy.

I realised that we can make all these corners for ourselves—each corner can be our own happy place. With each corner of the pond, perhaps, we can make it feel like a whole damn ocean somehow—not to drown, but to be able to breathe underwater at least. Or maybe, in one corner of the pond, we can make our way towards the sea and explore the vastness of it. It will sure be scary after getting used to the pond, but at least we have each other. I’m with you whichever you choose. There’s still a universe outside of it all, anyway.

Happy happy birthday, Mel! I hope that you get all the courage that you need to do whatever the fuck you want. You say your emotional quotient is broken; but broken things can still be fixed—not all the time, but if you want to, who knows? You’re human after all, it is okay to feel; it is okay to try until you see the change.

Please give all these things to yourself because no one else can. You may just be one bright star, but you still help make up the whole universe. I love you so much—tomorrow, on a spring day, on a good day, or even when there’s rain. I know you see what I did there. I know I’m witty.

Shine, dream, smile

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