Eheu fugaces labuntur anni

Alas, the fleet years are slipping by

8 September 2004

You were sitting at the dining table, still fully clothed in your uniform, your foods are left untouched. Mbak Ti checked on you several times, making sure you were eating your food, but you were too preoccupied with your new cellphone. N-gage QD. Papa bought it for you because he would never say no to his youngest daughter, Mama just grunted, thought you were too spoiled and shouldn’t be tolerated too much. You didn’t really care, you were just happy you got to have the trendiest gaming cellphone at that time.

You looked up from your phone to see that Papa just arrived. You were confused about why he was home during lunchtime. He usually arrived home after Mama, about 5 or 6 PM. He looked fine, asked you why you didn’t eat your food and said he was tired and feeling unwell that’s why he was home early. He went to his room and you continued to bury yourself in your cellphone.

You didn’t remember much of what happened during the lunchtime and Maghrib, all you remembered was that Mama was also home a bit earlier. She went to her room, and you were also in your room, still busy with your game. Did she go to check up on you in your room and told you to do your prayer? She wasn’t as concerned about it back then.

Half an hour after Maghrib, Mama went to your room, told you to stay put and take care of the house. She had to bring Papa to the hospital. You nodded in confusion, Mama looked terrified, you didn’t understand why. Was Papa gravely ill? He looked fine a few hours ago when he said he was tired and wanted to go to sleep.

You went out of your room and saw some of your neighbors, they were carrying your dad to the car. You looked at his unresponsive body. He looked like he was just asleep. They all seemed in a hurry and look gravely pale. But you didn’t care much, Papa must be fine, he said he was just tired.

You locked the door and stayed in the house, you were happy because Papa left his phone so you can play with it.

Less than an hour later, Tante Uniek called you from Balikpapan. She told you to be strong and patient. You were confused, it seemed like she just cried. Did something happen to Papa? You can’t really process anything, all you know was a few minutes later the neighbor came knocking at your door. She was completely a mess – crying and leaping herself into you and pulling you into a hug.

Your dad just passed away.

You froze up. You didn’t know was it because a stranger was hugging your or because you couldn’t comprehend what just happened. You didn’t cry.

You didn’t cry for a year.

You can’t even kiss him goodbye because you know you would not be able to get up and leave his body.

You thought he just went to sleep.

How could you go to sleep and never wake up?


24 May 2016

You didn’t plan to do it that day. But she was sitting there, right across from you, wearing all black, her hair was messy, the lights from her usually shining eyes seem to fade away.

She looked devastatingly tired. But she always looks tired, her eyes were always shrouded with black circles underneath it. You found out that was genetic. She still looked incredibly stunning.

You were maddeningly in love and you were frustratingly terrified.

You thought it was not possible to fall in love in a very short amount of time.

Maybe you fell a long time ago. When you spent time past sunset in Jasons smoking with her and grunting about works.

Maybe it was that time in Bandung when you took a photo with her for the first time.

Maybe it was at that time when you bought an umbrella at Grand Lucky because both of you didn’t think it would rain that night. You stood side by side, there was silence, deafening silence and your stomach was filled with butterflies.

But you were entering the 3,5 years of your relationship. The longest you’ve ever been in a relationship. Your current partner at that time was perfect, too perfect, even. How could you fall in love with someone else when you were in a perfectly okay relationship?

Maybe because it was just okay. It was always okay with your current partner.

With her though, it was electrifying. Something stirred inside you. The feeling of being alive and being burned ablaze with passion. It was after all a meeting of two fire elements.

You looked at her. Impulse took you off course.

You asked her out. Her eyes light up again. And you worry disappeared.

You have made the right choice.

It was right, years after, you didn’t regret asking her that day. Tumultuous as it may, you know you would never live in peace if you let her slip away.

But you’ll remember that day. Two Nescafe, Sampoerna A Mild and LA Ice, two fires and dreamers who thought they could always push against the currents, your star-crossed lover, the moment you found the love of your life.

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