natasha lim

"IN TWENTY YEARS,"

we'll be walking down the busiest avenue in the city, past and present conversations spilling out of us like warm coffee. Set the soundtrack of our lives to the golden age of kpop--nostalgia blasts through the speakers from the street-side stores and we'll stop to indulge. Pour warm milk and two sugars into the moment: you'll gasp excitedly and I'll feign ignorance as the muscle memory of this ingrained conversation takes over. You'll launch into songs buried deep in memories of easier times and we'll gleefully welcome the loving caresses of reminiscence. Spoon in just a touch of honey: we'll look back and wonder how the teenage innocence became nothing but a fever dream. I'll detect notes of despondency creeping into our little bubble and wonder if it's time to burst. You'll lean on me and flash me that toothy smile I've seen a thousand times but will never tire of. We'll stop at at traffic crossing and you'll inject the inevitable; I'll pretend I haven't been waiting for it. Sprinkle in a pinch of vanilla: you'll ask if I've been in touch with what's-her-face lately and I'll hope I can say no, I've stopped letting her in. You'll eye me suspiciously and it'll be a little uncalled for, though well-deserved. You'll find a segue and I'll say nothing more, taking off when the light turns green. I'll ask myself where this eagerness to run came from when this undying conversation hangs between us, an unspoken promise to let our future selves deal with this sobering reality. When the streetlights splash on the sidewalks and the afternoon heat starts to die down, we'll escape to a place all too familiar to brew more remembrances and drink copious amounts of sentimentality--we'll retreat to comfort like it's safe. We'll pause to catch the evening sun cast one last glow over the horizon and as we'll breathe in the last of our memories, those forgotten fragments of our new reality, I'll hold on tighter to this caffeinated connection and think: what a time to be alive.

Natasha Lim is a psychology student from Singapore with a strong passion for writing and helping others. She writes mostly prose and poetry. In her spare time, she enjoys drinking copious amounts of coffee and reading books that make her cry.