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When Lisa was 10, her mother woke her up in the morning and told her to go down as soon as she finished dressing herself up. She didn't know where they were going, so Lisa chose some denim shorts and a comfy T-shirt with a pair of old second-hand sneakers. Lalisa back then hadn't known makeups yet. Everything was simple and fast.

She walked down around the same time her brother was getting out of his room and they shared a look. Chai then shrugged, not knowing what was the meaning of all those either. They continued to walk down the stairs after Chai had wished her a happy birthday and they found their parents already waiting by the door.

"Where are we going?" Lisa asked.

"You'll see," her mother had answered with a secretive smile and an excited look she shared with her father.

They all got into their family's pick-up truck. The parents were inside the cab, and Lisa and Chai were on the open cargo on the back.

Lisa wondered why their parents had looked so excited over going on a drive. They had never had enough to take them to places. They only went on a trip twice a year, once on her birthday, and the other on her brother's birthday. And the only vacation their parents could take them to was a drive with no destination at all until their father had gone tired, or until they had run out of gas.

Lisa and Chai never complained. Whenever they went on the drive, they would bring a pair of old and dusty kapok mattresses from the warehouse and covered them with their blankets. They'd put it on the back, and Chai would bring along his guitar. They would sing, and laugh, and if the drive carried on into the night, they would lie on their backs and stargaze until they fell asleep.

They might have not gone anywhere. They might not have spent any money on any of their drives except for parking fees and gas. But they were happy. And maybe sometimes people really didn't need that much money to be happy.

And Lisa would be happy with only a drive on her birthday.

Except that they weren't only going on a drive.

They stopped in front of the local zoo and their parents stepped out of the cab with the biggest shit-eating grin they could ever muster.

"Ta-daah!" her father had showed off.

Lisa laughed and his brother helped her down. "Whaat?? Are we going inside?"

"Yes, of course!" her father answered as he nodded somewhat even more eager than her.

"But we don't have the money, right daddy?"

Her father had glanced at her mother nervously, and she took over answering for him. She told them that the last costumer their father had had paid surplus and they were using the extra money to take them both to the zoo.

Lisa now blamed her naivety on their parents never wanting them to know how bad the situation of their family economy was. But if she had paid more attention, maybe she would've realized then that her mother had taken one of the finery that occupied the small wooden box on her wardrobe, and pawned it just for that trip. The same box that her brother had been getting his hands on in exchange for drugs.

The zoo itself was a wasteland, and the animals were miserable. But all little Lalisa cared at that time was the wide variation of exotic animals that she had never seen before. And for a girl who had never had much to see in her life, that had been the greatest fucking thing for her.

But Jennie Kim.

God, she was in love with her.

This morning she checked her phone. There were many texts from the people from the club, and some school friends wishing her a happy birthday. No Jennie.

infinity. // jenlisa.Where stories live. Discover now