the lost ones

1. Vodka decided to love the goldfish.

2. The dog saw that tiny, dazzling figure for the first time when his new owner bought it home from a camping trip in Tam Đảo one Sunday morning.

3. Those black round eyes staring into his brown ones reminded Vodka of a girl whose eyes smile and cry so silently.

4. He would lie down beside Linh on rainy days, his head on her stomach, listening to Vance Joy as she rambled about all the things in this world that she thought were underrated.

5. Her father was an alcoholic, so he named the dog Vodka as the only joke he made on himself because dogs are known to be a loyal species.

6. That man would smash Saigon beer bottles to watch pieces of green crystal claw at his daughter’s skin.

7. The knife Linh used to cut vegetables and cook dinner for her father was the knife that fell down as he yelled about why she cut so slowly.

8. Linh always wore socks.

9. Vodka fell in love watching Linh take care of her father year after year. She told him that everyone, everyone including her father deserves to be loved for once with patience.

10. One day her drunk father walked in on Linh kissing a girl. He started kicking her in the stomach.

11. The vase was within his reach.

12. Vodka had a heavy heart tied to his four skinny legs.

13. When Vodka decided to love the goldfish, he thought of what it felt like to love something that does not live for very long.

14. Linh would call his name three times: Vodka, Vodka, Vodka. The sound did not remind her of an alcoholic father but rather of a Beatles song called “Michelle” that she loved very much.