February 22, 2011

The Part of the Freeway that Always Wakes Me Up


The part of the freeway where the weather dropped cold around the mountains with the lushful meadows on their peak waked me up. With my eyes half closed, I tried to find a blanket or a jacket or anything to keep my body warm but my hand found nothing I can put on.

I was going to mumble, asking for your hug like a spoiled kid asking for his mum to lullaby him to sleep before I realized I was on a shuttle car going away from you and the town you can't run from.

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December 28, 2010

The Wind that Shook the Oak Tree


The breeze suddenly went colder, dropping fifteen degrees making him putting on another blanket just to keep his body warm.

A storm is coming, said the weatherman, and it's safer to stay at home.

He turned the TV off. There was not much that he could hear at that time. The wind blew strong, shaking the oak tree near the window, making loud swooshing sound while the leaves were being swept away.

He took a sip from a cup of hot earl gray tea he prepared before. He felt warm. But his heart was tired. For sacrificing too much he didn't know for what.

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April 25, 2010

Walking under the shade of the withering trees, our feet swept the dropping leaves on the ground. We should do this more often.

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April 15, 2010

The Lightning Strikes and the Flashing Sky


They both saw the lightning, the thunder that ripped the silence in the air, giving it a slight disturbance, a whole new meaning.

From their own window, they witnessed the lights flashing in the sky. They remembered one night when they were walking home. They were crossing a big field of grass, under the same flashing sky caused by roamed lightning before it rained.

They stopped walking and saw the lightning danced in the sky. So they danced. No one was around the neighborhood so they were not embarrassed of doing it. To dance underneath the flashing sky.

They pretended to dance actually, since none of them were a good dancer. So they did an awkward waltz, and swing, and she stepped on his feet and fell on him. They laughed. They laughed hard. They laughed until the lightning stroke somewhere near them so hard they jumped of the grasses and ran, ran and laughed and held hands and laughed more when the rain started pouring down near her apartment.

That night in her apartment, they sat by the window and watched the raindrops together. The cold weather frosted the window, leaving dews dripping down for them to watch in silence. The silence broke her heart, so he hugged her from the back and made her felt better.

He wrote their names on the dewy window while she drew a heart by the corner. Their fingers met and they held hands together.

“Never let me go,” she said. “I won’t.” He said. There was confidence in his word that secured her, made her smile while putting his right palm between her left cheek and shoulder. He smiled too, and closed his eyes and smelled her hair. He rubbed his nose on her hair and loved how her shampoo smelled.

Three years later, they watched the lightning strikes and the flashing sky from the back of their own window. She began to wonder, did he miss her the way she miss him now? He asked himself the same question to her while trying to remember what her shampoo smell but he failed.

They heard a roar of thunder. And none of them knew the answer.

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December 27, 2009

The Boat and the Water Ripples


Apparently, we’re on the same boat.

We don’t know for how long we've been stranded here, stuck in the middle of the ocean listening to the sound of the waves and the ripples for days and days pushing us farther to forget about the sound of the car-horns in traffics and the noises that come out from the keyboard when we’re typing words. We even fail to recall the sound of the barking dog echoing in the Abbey Road.

For how long we don’t know.

Apparently, we’re on the same boat.
We sit on the side of the boat facing each other without saying a word. The silence revolves into a comfortable situation which we finally get used to. We feel content as it slowly fills the empty space and sits together with us.
We look into each other’s eyes and found nothing but only the reflection of ourselves. Yours in mine and mine in yours. Like seeing ourselves in front of a mirror.
There are only two of us now.

Why did they leave? Or maybe we’re the one forcing them to leave?
I don’t care for the answer. I’m not hoping for any answer. I don’t even want you to answer.
I put up my left hand with my palms open, reaching you. But you hesitate. Your right hand never meets my left.
You take a sigh and look into the lake. Please bring me to the coast, you said, while my left hand is still hanging silently in the air.

Then I paddle. The boat moves and the water ripples.

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August 09, 2007

...oh my God, I can't write stories anymore!

*after 30 minutes
trying-to-think-about-something-to-write but just staring-at-the-blank-monitor-screen

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July 24, 2007

The Tear that Falls on the White Rose


He sat there at the playground. No, it supposed to be a playground, with the swingers and the merry-go-round. They told him so. But it was never built that way. Now it was just a parking area with all the colorful pavements. They removed the grasses and the shrubs, leaving just an oak tree behind. Instead of swingers and a merry-go-round, they just built the rounded bench around the tree for people to sit.

And there he sat, waiting for her.

The wind that night was never that cold, the shimmering lights that night was never that odd. Somehow it gave him the dim shade colors of blue and purple. Despite of all the people surrounding him or just passing by, he felt lonely and deserted, and thought that he just the only person there. Even the negative hollows, the spirits that take the enthusiastic and optimism from people when they flies through people’s body, couldn’t make him more pessimistic: he was negative already.

That night, he wanted to end it. The love he found but could never be hold, he wanted to it. He couldn’t stand the feeling of being neglected and being fooled around. Did she neglect him? Did she fool him around? She left him with doubted and wandered thoughts, and he tired with that kind of uncertainty.

He prepared a romantic goodbye; he brought a white rose because he couldn’t find a pink carnation that she loves very much. He intended to propose her, and he knew somehow the answer was going to be a big ‘NO’. He believed the ‘NO’ answer will end the uncertainty, and it would be a sign for him to leave her and move on. Maybe he would find another girl or maybe he would cry and regret the things he had done. But it was the only way, at least he thought it was.

He closed his eyes. All the vague memories he had with her just came, and gushing out like water stream in a river. Her touch, her scent, her kiss, everything he had with her. In his mind he saw a goodbye, and it made him wanted to cry. He opened his eyes to stop him thinking. He tried to drive the thoughts away, so he counted the stars like the way he used to do.

And there he sat, waiting for her.

* * *

She had enough. They argued again the night before, and he messed up again. She tired herself with the drama she had with him and the guy she had been with at the moment.

But she knew she never wanted to end it, she knew she never wanted to have enough with him. They were a perfect match. They talked together, they laughed together, they dreamt about the time when they would live together in a cheap apartment he would buy in Paris. The awful thing was, she knew she loved him much much more than anything. If he appeared just for a second, she found it enough just to make her rest of the day brighter.

But she had enough. She wanted to end up with him.

No, if I love him, why I should stop this love-train we ride? Oh, God, why can’t I be with him, or should I just be with him, the unconvinced question once again came to her mind.

She prayed to God, should I stop this? I wanted to be with him, just please give me one sign so I’m sure that he’s the one, he’s the one I’m looking for.

It was the only best she could do, hoping that God would be kind and showed her a sign, an indication so she could be with him. Maybe forever. So she waited and waited for a long time, but God wasn’t that good-hearted enough; she didn’t see a thing that could prevent her from saying goodbye. Still, she wasn’t willing to let him go, but she didn’t have any choices. She gathered all the courage she had and stood up. She had to go, she would meet him there, at the supposed-to-be playground place. He told her so. She walked. Her steps were heavy carrying the sadness of letting him go.

Before she came there and meet him, she cried.

She cried that night.

* * *

Finally she came up. He felt the love they have, but he forced the feeling to disappear.

She sat beside him and said nothing. He noticed how cold she was, and he began to think about the option of she hate her enough now and wanted to stop the love they both had, especially after the arguing last night.

‘I’m sorry for last night, I messed up, once again I’m letting you down,’ he said it with his very apologies. He turned around and tried to look her in the eye, but she didn’t. She just stared at a spot in front of her and trying to be tough. Every goodbye wasn’t meant to be easy, she knew that and she was prepared for another one now.

‘It’s okay. I’m okay now,’ another cold answer slipped from her mouth. And his heart broke. Yes, it was the goodbye he wanted, but it seemed that he didn’t have to run his scenario to leave: she was ready to leave him.

Despair met his eyes. He took a peek on the white rose he brought to stir its glance away. His right hand got the flower, and he gave it to her. There was no conversation, and he knew he didn’t have to say a thing. When can people say goodbye to the one they love, because their hearts shattered, left the minds with questions and the answers they didn’t want to hear, and made them couldn’t think clear enough just to find a words to say.

* * *

She didn’t know what to say. Her heart filled her with thoughts of leaving, made her couldn’t look him in the eye because she knew she could have drowned once again in the love he had in his eyes.

‘I’m sorry for last night, I messed up, once again I’m letting you down,’ she heard that soft voice once again through her ears, the voice that used to wake her up in the morning.
‘It’s okay. I’m okay now,’ should I leave him? She looked down at the pavement, Oh, God, just give me one sign so I could be with him.

And there is the moment when he gave her the rose with his right hand, one of the hands that used to hold her close enough she could felt his heart beating for her. She picked the white rose, and it made her trembled. Could this be the sign she had been waiting for? Yes, it was the sign that she wanted, just a single excuse so she could be with him.

All the doubtful thoughts disappeared. At the exact moment, she only was sure of one thing: she loved him.

She looked him in the eye and saw that lovely eyes again, the eyes that made all the toughness she gathered for the goodbye suddenly gone. She loved him so much and now she had found the reason for him to stay. She just didn’t realize that he loved her more than she ever knew.

Her eyes couldn’t hold the gleaming tears they had inside. A tear dropped on her face, running through the surface of her cheeks, and fell on the white rose.

* * *

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July 18, 2007

The Love Ecstasy


{ just take the love ecstasy
because the moment you sober
is the moment you think }

- End -

PS: I'm okay, really.

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July 16, 2007

The Old Rusty Piano and The Pink Ballet Shoes (pt. 2)


We are a perfect lover. We don’t always be together. But the important thing is we know we love each other.

I marry you in a small chapel at the outskirts of the town. It has a small garden, and it’s perfect for our small garden party. We invite our friends, only the closest one, and our family. They smile happily, they can see the happily-ever-after in our eyes.

On the happiest day of our life, we’re dancing at the front. You look beautiful in your white wedding gown. You say that I’m gorgeous in that white tux. I hold your body close to mine, and we slowly dance, enjoying the elapsing moments, the seconds that move slowly when we are together. And suddenly you cry on my shoulder. I don’t say a thing, it’s an I-glad-I-found-you tears, and I don’t really need to say a thing. You can feel my heart beating the same thoughts, but I couldn’t cry in front of you or this people. I act to be tough, but still I shiver.

Then we go to travel agent, looking for some place to have a honeymoon on…

Where do you wanna spend our honeymoon? I ask you.
I don’t need a honeymoon, I just need to be with you, you reply.
I smile.

So, we don’t take the honeymoon trip, since we don’t really need one: everyday is a honeymoon day for us. Both of us take a week off from the work so we really could be together. We’ll open the wedding present, and surprised by it. There are black lingerie (why don’t you put it on?), a coffee maker (we already have one),

It’s just the time when we’re making love all day or just laying naked on the bed without thinking about what time is now and we have to go to work and else so we don’t really have to get up. We just lay there nakedly and hold each other’s body. But then it’s noon already and we’re hungry, so we decided to wake up and cook chicken cordon blue together.

You are happy. I am as pleased as you are. We are the happiest newly-wed couple for the entire history in the universe.

Few weeks later, you come to me with the brightest smile in your eyes and excitedly run to me and say,
We’re gonna have a girl!
And we spend the rest of the day clinging to each other, talking about the name of the baby, while I softly embrace your belly.

* * *

We have two kids, Nina and Ksatria. Nina was born two years earlier before Ksatria. She is an active and cheerful, and has a very attractive smile that makes everyone happy until the end of the day…

…she has wonderful smile like yours, I said it to you.
You smiled.
I watched your smile, Yeah, she really smiles just like you….

…while Ksatria is a calm, a little bit shy I think, but genius in the way he thinks. He loves reading and gets good grades academically.

…and he will have your beautiful eyes that I love, you interrupted.
I looked at you, and smiled.

We want them to follow our line of profession. You want Nina to be a lawyer just like you, while I hope Ksatria want to be an architect like I was. It’s okay though if they don’t want to, we won’t push them anyway. But we don’t really need to push them, they are the one who want to be like us. Nina admires the way you defend the innocent one, and Ksatria loves to sketch any view he sees. One day, he will sketches us sitting on the bench beneath the Eifell tower and gives it as a present for our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.

Every afternoon, we gather on the usual bench beneath the Eiffel. Both of us are from our office, while Nina from her ballet class, and Ksatria from his piano class. We eat the sandwiches I bought at the bakery not faraway from there, then walking home together. Sometimes we sing and laugh, don’t care whether the other pedestrian are looking at us or not. What a perfect family we have.

At night, all of us sit on the sofa with our white bathrobe, watching the drama on the soap opera, laughing at the jokes, tell the special incident we had today like the fat girl who fell in love with Ksatria, or the handsome brother Nina’s ballet-class friend has. Then we put our masker together, which surprised the pizza-delivery guy when Ksatria opened the door.

Sometimes we ask Nina’s boyfriend or Ksatria’s girl to come and have a dinner with us. But since they don’t have any, we just eat together as a family. Sometimes before we sleep, Nina and Ksatria put on a show for us. They turn off the lights, leaving one-two bulbs spot lights on the wall. Ksatria plays the old piano, it’s one of the romantic songs he made before. I bought the old piano on the second-handed store. It was rusty and had this dust and spider web all over it, but it still good though. I can’t afford something more expensive but I want Ksatria to have his own piano on his seventh birthday. But it turns out that he really loves it, no matter how cheap the cost is or how dreadful it looks. The only thing that matter is how his father loves him and the way he plays the piano.

After thirty seconds of minor 7th melodies he made himself, the music takes a pause for a moment, and continues as Nina comes in and does the ballet. She fall in love with ballet when we took her watching your old friend performance in the theater building near our apartment, and she shouted excitedly when she looked a pair of pink ballet shoes in her birthday-box present from you. And now just look how elegantly she moves, while she only twelve years girl.

We never thought the presents would turn them to be like this. We hold hands and cry…

I stopped. You cried. I watched closely, yes, it is the dripping tears from your eyes. I panicked for a while, held you near and wiped the tears away,
…why do you cry, dear? You don’t like the story?
You don’t answer, you just cried on my shoulder.
Come, come, there’s no such thing for you to cry about.
You sobbed, no, it’s the future that I want to have with you…
And there was a slight moment of pause in my breath, a moment of emptiness of air in my lung, the moment that made me realized how you really really love me.
Finally I got a grip of myself, said nothing but continued the story…

Yes, their performance is fantastic. We cry our happy tears, and they love to see us happy like that. But it’s night already so we take them on their rooms, and kiss them goodnights. We get into our room too, maybe we’ll make love before we sleep, or reading the books first then sleep. We don’t forget to kiss each other and saying ‘I love you’s.

That night and the same other nights, we sleep with that happy smile in our faces,
what a perfect family we have.

* * *

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July 09, 2007

The Cheap Apartment We Live In (pt.1)


We are a perfect match. You love me very much. I love you even more.

We live in a cheap apartment in the suburbs not faraway from Paris downtown. Its color is between brown and beige, but it has more yellow. I chose the place when we arrived there because I like the color. You even like it more because it has this golden shine when the setting sun hits the wall directly.

We do the same ritual in the morning. You wake up first and kiss me, then make two coffees for both of us. The smell of the coffees wakes me up. I get up and give you a good-morning kiss then put the strawberry jam on the breads. Sometimes it’s the peanut butter or just a slice of cheese in between the breads. We eat it and drink the coffee together while watching the morning news. We laugh on the silly gossip. You go to bath. We take turn, sometimes we bath together.

We already dress neatly with the office suits. I put beige cardigan outside my white shirts and have my black scarf on my neck. You have the black blazer suit and the beige scarf around your neck. Yes, we are a perfect match.

We take the elevator to the ground floor. We look at each other at the front door. I look at you on my right. You look at me on your left. We smile, we kiss. We luck each other then be apart. I go to the left. You go to the right. Our offices are on the different directions. Mine is a local newspaper office located near to the south while yours is an international law-firm on the north near the Eiffel. They’re not far away though.

I take my bicycle at the parking area on the garden beside the apartment. It’s old, classic, slim, and tall black bike that I love very much. I don’t drop you at the office; you ride on trams. We don’t have a lunch together. But it’s okay anyway, since we usually still busy with the works on the lunch hour.

I finish my work at four, and ride on my bike to your office. It almost takes twenty minutes to go there. You finish your work at five which means that I still have an hour to get to you. It doesn’t that tiresome riding that bicycle in Paris. The views are great, I can sight-seeing while riding, and it never bores me.

You wait for me at the usual bench in the park beneath the Eiffel. I park the bike and have hops on the pavements, trying not to step on the mat. You see me come, and smile happily.
Do I make you wait long, honey? I asked.
You answered, I don’t mind waiting forever for you.

The reply blushes me. We have a peck and a conversation or two while sitting on the bench beneath the Eiffel. I open the paper bag and take the sandwiches I bought for us. You love it. I love seeing your smiling eyes while eating it. And the pedestrians passing over have their eyes at us, some of them almost crying as if they see a romantic scene happens on the bench with the Eiffel on the background. Some envy on how we spend the time together with a smile on each other face.

When it’s almost dark, we go home walking. I walk alongside the bike, on the left, while you walk on its right. We grasp our pinkie together, my right and your left. You swing the grasp so it has the perfect rhythm with our walking.

We arrive on the apartment. I park the bike, you wait at the door. Then we steps on the entrance stairs and walked into the elevator. We’re home already.

What will we do in the night? You asked me.
Hmm… I don’t know, but let’s continue the story…

It’s seven already. I throw myself onto the sofa. You throw yourself onto me. I put the TV on with the remote. We watch our favorite soap opera. We laugh. We hug. We kiss. We just lay there on the sofa. You decide to take bath. Sometimes we bath together. But usually I wait for my turn and cleaning the mess first: our shoes, bags, papers, documents, put it on the right place.

After I took the shower, we’re back together again on the sofa, just sitting there still with our white bathrobe. Tonight you don’t do the take-home works. You just sit there with your masker on. You put the masker on my face too. Now we just like silly green aliens on their white robes who surprise the pizza-delivery guy when you open the door. I order it because you’re hungry again.

You eat quite lot but never get fat. I envy you somehow, I said.
I hear you chuckles, if you don’t want the pizza, I’ll eat it all.
Then I eat my slice, No, thanks, I’m hungry too.

After eating, you put the cucumber slices on your eyes. But I don’t; I want to watch the night news. You hear it too. We comment the news and laugh.

Hours later, we’re on the bedroom. It’s not that elegant, but still has the comfortable atmosphere. You’re lying on the bed. I walk to the corner and turn on the old gramophone I bought at the garage sale. The plates are the classic sixties-swing. Sometimes we dance together. Some other times, we just hear it while reading the novels or making love.

You stop reading and put the novel on the desk on your side of the bed. You turn off the reading lamp on the desk.
You kissed me, Do you want to sleep now? You asked.
I’ll have another chapter, dear. I’m still drowning in my reading, I don’t even turn around.

There’s a moment of upsetting on your face but you’re understand it already. I love reading and writing, that’s why I gave up the architect profession just to take the job I always wanted to have, works on local newspaper.

…I’ll have sleep first then. Goodnight dear, don’t stay up too long, you drive the upsetting thoughts from your mind.

I, get sober, stop reading. I look at your back. I place the page-marker on the page, close the book, and turn off my reading lamp. I put the book on the desk on my side of the bed and move towards your back,
Goodnight, dear.
I kiss your hair. You turn around and placed my hand underneath your neck so I can hug you.

We hug each other, and not long enough fall asleep at the same time as the city descends and rests its emotion into the shadow of the night.

* * *

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