In response to Word High July the snippet below is inspired by the Filipino word ‘muni-muni’ or ‘to ponder’. It’s part of a series charting the impact of the discovery of intelligent life in space on five ordinary people over the course of a month. Enjoy!

Image taken from Buzzfeed: “36 Of The Most Beautiful Words In The Philippine Language”. All credits goes to them.


The office was quiet in the evening, Yuna’s colleagues liked to drink but some would return later with their shirts half buttoned, followed by the reek of watered down whiskey and cheap sake. She never joined them, the time alone was precious to Yuna, and alcohol loosened her tongue dangerously. She’d put the solitude to good use, her fingers stroking across the profiles of two potential partners for so long she was afraid the ink would rub away.

Irie-san was more attractive and earned very good money, he was by every objective measurement more suited to Yuna in both background and prospects. But she couldn’t help returning to Kikamoto-san where his job description caught her eye over and over; astrophysicist. The world had already started to go wild for people who specialised in space and the media steadily filled with interviews, opinion pieces and profiles from anyone with a doctorate who deigned to speak. Yuna could feel the draw too, the fascination and she knew she needed to at least meet the man.

She dialled her contact at the dating agency from memory, and felt a thrill of pleasure when the telephone was answered on the first ring.

“Kanagawa-san, it is Yuna Sato. I have reviewed the profiles and would like to meet Kikamoto-san,” she said.

There was a pause and the click of a keyboard in the background at the other end of the line.

“Sato-san, please accept my apologies. Kikamoto-san is no longer available,” Kanagawa-san advised and cleared her throat a little. “I must inform you that our candidates with scientific backgrounds are currently experiencing high demand as suitors and I have no others currently available.”

Yuna’s throat felt like she hadn’t drunk water for days and she ended the call as graciously as she could manage. She had spent so long thinking, determining and deciding that a prize might well have slipped through her fingers. Suddenly Irie-san looked a great deal less handsome and she pushed the two profiles into her shredder, the faint lines of a frown creeping across her forehead. It was a message, a lesson about when to take action and when to stop and think that Yuna would not forget.


8 thoughts on “Muni-muni

  1. This might be my new favourite 🙂 I love how Yunas character has developed over just two short pieces, she’s definitely become a character of her own. She’s perhaps the most vivid, so far, of the characters you’ve described. I also love how the world is developing, there’s a lot of subtleties to the post-contact world that you show in this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

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