The Bridge

There was a bridge stretched between us. You were alone across the bridge, I waved my hand so you could see there was someone on the opposite. You smiled, the smile of our hello, the smile that brought us in the middle of the bridge, the smile I would not forget.

The bridge was the only witness of the joy we shared, stories uttered, laughter bursted, also admiration and the love I hid.

One day, I waited you in the middle of the bridge and I saw you ran to me. “I found my angel!” You yelled from distance. Your eyes shone by admiration. I blushed and smiled wide. Were you that stupid and took so long to realized that your angel has been waiting here, in the middle of the bridge?

You finally reached me, held my hand and said, “You have to meet her. You have to meet my angel!” You pulled my hand and ran to the end of the bridge. I saw someone with a pair of beautiful white wings waiting at the end of the bridge. She was your angel. Your angel wasn’t me, and it has never been me.

The next day, I brought a torch to the bridge. I walked across to your place and I found you with your angel. I called your name, waved, and walked back to the bridge. That would be my last wave for you before I burn the bridge. I would not see you again.

I lit the fire in the middle of the bridge. The fire started to spread when I heard your voice calling my name, you ran to stop the fire. But it was too late. It collapsed right before you reach the middle. I drowned, but you were safe.

Ages has passed. I survived and walked my path nowhere near you. Until one day, I did not know how, my feet brought me to a place I knew, to the bridge I burned. I narrowed my eyes across the collapsed bridge. You were still there, you were alone. The memories rushed back, and I realized something. I could burn the bridge, but I could not burn the memories. I could close my eyes to things I do not want to see, but I could not close my heart to things I do not want to feel.

I turned about and started to walk against the bridge. This time not to flee. I would come back here with a lot of woods, to build a new bridge, to start a new hello, to feel once again the love for you.

I Would Love…

“Masih The Corrs?” Kamu berkomentar begitu memasuki kamarku. Hampir satu bulan ini aku terus-terusan memutar lagu-lagu The Corrs dimulai dari album pertama mereka hingga album terakhir mereka, tidak lupa video konser mereka yang aku download dari internet.

“Masih protes?” jawabku balik bertanya. Kamu tersenyum lalu melemparkan diri di atas kasurku kemudian telungkup dan menatap ke arahku.

“Ada apa dengan kamu dan The Corrs selama sebulan ini sih?” Kamu kembali bertanya. Aku mengerenyitkan dahi. Ini pertama kalinya kamu menanyakan hal ini setelah hampir satu bulan lagu-lagu The Corrs menjadi playlist wajibku. Biasanya kamu akan menanyakan pertanyaan tidak penting atau berkomentar asal seperti, “Apa sih bagusnya The Corrs?” atau “Please, hidup di masa kini dong, Ka.” atau “Vokalisnya cantik ya. Nggak kaya kamu.” dan komentar menyebalkan lainnya.

Aku terdiam sejenak memikirkan jawaban dari pertanyaanmu karena aku sendiri tidak tahu jawaban yang tepat akan kegilaanku akan The Corrs yang muncul kembali tiba-tiba. “Kangen.” Jawabku pendek. Mungkin memang itu jawaban yang paling tepat. Mungkin aku memang bosan mendengarkan lagu-lagu jaman sekarang yang menurutku tidak se-easy-listening dan tidak se-dalam lagu-lagu sewaktu aku masih remaja dulu. Kamu masih melihat ke arahku, tidak berkedip menunggu kelanjutan dari jawabanku. “Udah itu aja.” aku melanjutkan.

“Nggak ada alasan lain?” Kamu berharap aku memberikan jawaban yang lebih panjang. Aku menatapmu lama dan mengangguk yakin. Kamu merubah posisi tidurmu menjadi telentang dan memperhatikan langit-langit kamarku.

“Aku juga.” Kamu tiba-tiba bicara. Aku bingung dengan maksud pernyataanmu. Kemudian kepalamu menengok dan menatapku lagi. “Aku juga kangen.” seolah-olah kamu mengerti bahwa aku tidak dapat menangkap maksud pernyataanmu.

“Sejak kapan Rendra Hendraatmaja bisa kangen sama The Corrs?” Aku semakin bingung.

“Sama kamu.” Jawabmu. Aku langsung tertawa mendengar jawabanmu yang menurutku tidak berkesinambungan dengan topik obrolan kita. Tapi kamu tidak tertawa sedikitpun, dan aku pun salah tingkah. “Maksud kamu? Kan kita tiap hari ketemu.” Jawabku enteng.

“Ya tapi, kamu kangennya sama The Corrs. Nggak sama aku.” Kamu menjawab seperti anak kecil dengan mata bulatmu yang kau bikin seakan mengiba. Aku tidak dapat menahan tawa melihatmu seperti itu. Aku bangkit dari lantai kamarku dan beranjak ke tempat tidur, kemudian ikut berbaring di sebelahmu. “Dasar aneh.” ucapku sambil menyentil hidungmu. “Iya, aneh kaya The Corrs dan lagu-lagu mereka.” Jawabmu menyebalkan. Aku siap membuka mulut untuk protes. Tetapi belum sempat aku melancarkan protesku, kamu melanjutkan kalimatmu, “Saking anehnya nggak bisa ditiru sama band lain. Buktinya, tahun 2013 gini, kamu masih dengerin mereka.” Aku tidak jadi protes. Untuk orang sepertimu, kalimat tadi sudah termasuk standar pujian. Dasar, cowok aneh. Kita terdiam sejenak, sehingga hanya lagu The Corrs yang terdengar dari kamarku.

“I would love to love you like you do me.
Love to love you like you do me.
There’s a pillar in my way you see.
I’d love to love you like you do me.”

Aku melihat ke arahmu dan mendapatimu sedang melihat ke arahku. Kita berdua tersenyum. “I would love to love you like you do me, Riska Hendraatmaja. I love you, Kak.” Aku tertawa mendengar gombalanmu sekaligus getir mendengarnya.

“So I prayed to God that I could give the love you gave to me,
But something’s lying in my way, preventing it to be.”

If only… We’re not siblings…

Luka

Seorang perempuan dan laki-laki muda di dalam sebuah ruang berdinding kuning muda, berdesain minimalis dihiasi sebuah meja dengan beberapa tumpukan kertas, satu sofa panjang dan satu kursi kayu jati. Si perempuan berusia dua puluhan, sementara si lelaki berusia beberapa tahun lebih tua.

“Bagaimana kabarmu hari ini?” Si lelaki membuka obrolan dengan menambahkan senyum ramah di wajahnya. Si perempuan hanya tersenyum kecut dan mengangkat bahu tanda tak yakin. Lelaki tadi sekali lagi tersenyum dan melanjutkan, “Well, silakan dimulai kapanpun kamu siap. Kamu masih punya waktu 90 menit lagi.”

Perempuan itu bernama Kala. Ia menatap lelaki di depannya, seorang psikolog muda yang ia temui sejak minggu kemarin. Bukan psikolog handal memang, namun tarifnya cukup terjangkau bagi Kala yang belum lama bekerja. Kala menilai lelaki ini cukup kaku jika dilihat dari penampilannya. Bukan potongan rambutnya ataupun celana kain yang ia kenakan, tetapi kemeja lengan panjang yang tidak pernah dilipat, bahkan kancing di pergelangan tangannya pun dikancingkan. Rasanya kurang cocok untuk menjadi seorang psikolog. Kala menghela nafas panjang, membuka mulutnya bersiap untuk mengatakan sesuatu namun ia menutupnya lagi. Kali ini lebih rapat dari sebelumnya. Hal itu terus berulang selama hampir lima menit.

Sementara Kala berusaha berbicara, Sion, psikolog muda ini berusaha membaca Kala, perempuan ini terlihat manis walaupun tidak terlalu feminin. Ia tidak memperhatikan penampilannya. Rambutnya diikat asal, mengenakan kaos lengan panjang, celana jeans dan sepatu keds. Apakah ia tidak gerah mengenakan baju lengan panjang di ibu kota? Ataukah dia setertutup itu?

“Am I who I am?” Tiba-tiba Kala bersuara.

“Aku nggak merasa hidup. Ada yang hilang. Bukan, banyak yang hilang. Aku sering bingung. Aku sering marah. Aku… Nggak tau…”

Kala terdiam sejenak lalu melanjutkan, “Aku nggak suka.”

“Nggak suka?” Sion bertanya.

“Iya nggak suka. Nggak suka sama kerjaanku, nggak suka sama personality aku, nggak suka sama teman-temanku. Ya nggak suka.” Kala mengepalkan tangannya erat-erat tanda ia marah. Berbeda dari beberapa menit yang lalu ketika ia terlihat sendu.

“Terlalu banyak perubahan.” Kala bicara lagi. Kali ini suaranya lirih.

“Dan kamu nggak suka perubahan?” Sion bertanya.

“Bukan itu!” Intonasi suara Kala meninggi. “Cuma, terlalu banyak perubahan. Aku nggak siap.” Kali ini suaranya lirih kembali.

“Lalu, kapan kamu siap?” Sion bertanya, suaranya tetap tenang.

Kala menggeleng pelan. “Ntah… Nggak akan pernah siap mungkin. I left so many things behind. Dan parahnya, yang aku tinggalin adalah hal-hal yang bikin aku hidup, sementara yang aku kejar adalah hal-hal yang bikin aku sesak nafas tiap hari.”

Kala terus bercerita. Tentang bagaimana kehidupannya yang sekarang terlihat jauh lebih baik dibanding dua tahun yang lalu justru menyiksanya. Ia bercerita bagaimana ia menangis setiap pagi berharap semuanya adalah mimpi, dan ketika ia bangun ia masih Kala dua tahun yang lalu. Sion mendengarkan kisah Kala sambil menuliskan beberapa catatan pada kertas kosong.

Tidak terasa 90 menit berlalu. “Ada lagi yang mau kamu ceritakan, Kala?”

Kala mengangkat bahu. Matanya menerawang pada sudut-sudut ruangan, berusaha berpikir, kemudian menggeleng pelan. “Ntah, hari ini segitu saja sepertinya.”

Sion masih tersenyum, “Oke, next week jam 10 kita lanjutkan ya.” Kala tersenyum kecut lagi. Mereka bersalaman kemudian Sion mengantar Kala keluar ruangan.

Kala langsung masuk ke dalam mobilnya, sementara Sion kembali ke dalam. Di dalam mobil, kala menarik lengan bajunya dan memperhatikan goresan-goresan bekas luka di pergelangan tangannya. Ada beberapa yang hampir hilang sementara yang lainnya masih baru. Ia menghela nafas lagi dan bergumam, “Yang ini belum bisa diceritakan. Tidak pada siapapun.”

Sementara Sion tidak lagi tersenyum di dalam ruangannya. Ia meremas kertas kosong di atas mejanya dan membuangnya jauh-jauh. Ia bersandar di kursi dan bergumam, “Psikolog. Yayaya. Psikolog. Sok-sok membantu orang seakan tidak punya masalah.” Ia kemudian membuka kancing di pergelangan tangannya dan melipat kemejanya. Terlihat banyak luka sayat di lengannya. “Ya, ya, ya. Lalu pada siapa aku harus bercerita?”

04/30: A Pair of Eyeglasses

A pair of glasses sprawled on a dusty desk in the corner of the class. No one had ever touched it, not even the teachers. They said years ago, the smartest student in school sat in that desk. No wonder why he wore glasses, smart student and glasses are such inseparable things. He was so smart and usually made the teachers questioning themselves every time he raised a question. Some people thought he was a nerd, a smart nerd; while most people in school thought he was weird. He was not a weirdo; the problem was his thoughts were hard to be accepted by most students and teachers in high school, or perhaps by most people.

So how did the glasses end up on the desk even after years? Reputedly, on an ordinary sunny day, this nerd went to school as usual; with his ordinary uniform, ordinary bag, ordinary shoes, ordinary glasses, but unordinary thoughts. Something always bothered his mind along his way to school. That day, he thought about weirdos. He completely did not understand why people kept calling him ‘weirdo’ or ‘kook’. He did not feel he was weird, he did not think he was a kook, he completely disagreed. From his glasses, it was them who were weird by not understanding simple thoughts he asked, it was them who was bizarre that they easily put things into black and white category while most of them are grey. Everyone is weird but him.

He arrived at school thirty minutes before the first class was started, walked to his class and went to his desk in the corner, right away. Only two or three people were already in the class when he came, and he did not even bother to greet them. They were too weird for him, as weird as any other classmates he had. He sat on his chair, took out a book titled “Beyond Good and Evil” by Nietzsche and started to read. He still had thirty minutes to read the book. He was concentrating on his book when suddenly a typical smug handsome guy and his two fellows bragged his desk. He was shocked and almost jumped off of his chair, the gang leader laughed, followed by his fellows. It was fifteen minutes before the class started. He observed the class from his glasses, class were already full of people. Those weirdos already came including these three kooks who just happened to brag his desk. He stared at the gang leader ferociously; he hated those kinds of kooks who could not understand how important reading is rather than fooling around bragging people’s desks. It was not the first time the gang leader bragged his table but it was getting unbearable and the nerd had lost his patience. The gang leader looked at him with disgust, “And why are you looking at me with anger, kook? Uh-oh, I’m so afraid. Hahahahaha.” The gang leader insulted him. He pushed his anger away and successfully calmed himself down, but he did not stop staring at the gang leader. Unexpectedly, he smiled and calmly said, “Who’s the kook? Me? But excuse me, from the glasses I am wearing right now, you’re the one, kook.” His words slapped the gang leader’s face, it hurt his pride. A kook called him a kook. That was the most insulting thing ever happened to him, he clenched his fist tried his best not to hit the nerd right on his face.

“Don’t you think it’s a matter of perception?” The nerd continued. The rest of the class started to surround them. It was such a rare moment; the nerd brought the gang leader into the imaginary fighting arena. The nerd showed his weapon for the first time: his words, his thoughts. “You always think I am the kook, the weird one, the unusual, the abnormal, or whatever it is, you name it. That, my friend, only comes from your own perspective, from your point of view, from your eyes.” He stopped for a while, noticing that he was now surrounded by his classmates. “All of you might think that I am the weirdo because we think about too many different things. Maybe you wake up in the morning, thinking about what will you have for breakfast, what are you going to buy for lunch, and where will you go after school. While I think about questions that lead me to another question. Have you ever questioned about why do the religions exist? Why there is no such a thing called world peace on earth? Why do we have to study math while we are sure we want to be an artist? And this morning, I have this question in my mind, ‘why do you think I am bizarre?’ while I think you are the bizarre ones.” His classmates narrowed their eyebrows as if they could unify them. They did not agree.

“You do not agree.” He read every single face of his classmates and continued, “Neither do I. I do not agree if you think I am bizarre. Why don’t we try to accept this simple and not weird idea: ‘we are just different’? That’s it, period. No one is weird, no one is kook.” He learned all of the face around. Most of them seemed agree with what just he said. The other still thought about the simple ide he gave. And he stopped on that face, the gang leader. His face was different with others, his face showed the mix of disagreement and anger. He whispered furiously, “Shut your mouth, up.”

“Why should I?” The nerd bravely answered. He heard his classmates started to whisper to each other, worried about him. This time they were on his side.

“Because you’re a kook, and your weird idea is sicken me!” He talked in a normal voice with an unordinary low tone. He held his anger. The calm nerd was insulted again. This stupid gang leader even cannot understand the simplest idea he offered. He chose to insult him more than before.

“Oh, I am sorry. I still wear my glasses so I still can see it crystal clear that you are, my friend, is the weird one. Or maybe, I have to put my glasses down so I can see from your perspective?” The nerd put his glasses off and put it on his desk. The stupidest thing he had ever done. His sight was very bad that after he put his glasses on the desk, he could only see abstract things. But he had this overloaded confidence. He continued his words to the gang leader, “Oh, I see it now! You’re normal! You’re not a kook!” the next thing he heard was the gang leader yelled at him and he felt something hit his head, he heard a crack in his head, and the last thing he heard was the girls in his class screamed.

The story ended there. No one never really knows what exactly happen to that nerd after that. The only thing they know is the gang leader beat up the nerd with the nearest chair he could reach. And that day was the last day people saw that nerd in school. The nerd never came back to school, not even tried to get his glasses back. And his classmates who got enlightenment on that day, those who believe in what he said before the gang leader smashed him with a chair kept his glasses on that desk to remind that every one of us is different. It has been years and the glasses is still there, reminding everyone about the story, about the lesson. But for me, the lesson is as simple as ‘do not put your glasses off if you have a bad sight, especially when a powerful person is insulted’. I do not want to end up like that nerd. I do not want to spend the rest of my life sit on a wheelchair and easily forget about things, even the name of family members. I do not want to marry a stupid spoiled girl that was ‘bought’ by my parents so they could have grandchildren. I do not want to end up like my father.

03/30: My Favorite Food

“What is your favorite food?” he asked me. That was not an easy question for me. It’s not that I don’t have any favorite food. Like most people, I have my favorite food for sure. But I don’t like answering it.

“What is my favorite food? Haha, a lot!” I answered.

Seemed like he was not satisfied with my answer. He just gave me a weird stare and gave another question.

“Oh, come on! Not that kind of answer, please.”

I kept smiling and asked whether he would give me my favorite food if I told him, no matter how hard it is to find it. He smiled and told me that he’d do anything just to get me the food as long as that would make me happy.

“Come to my place, then. Tonight. At eight.” I gave him my sweetest smile.

Five to eight. A car stopped in front of my little house. He came. I opened the door right before he knocked it.

“So where will we go to have our dinner?” He asked.

I giggled and said, “Oh, come on. Ours? I thought it’d be mine.”

“OK. It’s yours. Anything for you.”

I pulled him in and locked the door immediately. I held his hand to the dining room, started kissing him, and opened his t-shirt. He laughed.

“Hahaha! OK! I get it! Am I your dinner tonight?”

I didn’t answer, kept kissing him and opened his clothes one by one until he completely naked. I pushed his body until he laid on my table.

“Wait here.” I told him. I opened my drawer, took ropes, and back to him.

“I don’t want my dinner to run away from me.” I seduced him while I tied him on the table.

“No way, darling. Only stupid guys who don’t want to be your dinner.” He gave me a very wide smile.

After he tightly tied, I opened my clothes so both of us were completely naked.

“Are you ready?” I asked him. “If you’re ready, close your eyes…”

He closed his eyes. I took another thing from the drawer, then started kissing and licking his neck.

“Do I taste good?” He teased me.

“Super.” I answered and continued licking his chest. I rubbed his left chest. And stabbed it with a knife I took from the drawer. Once, twice, three times. So fast that he couldn’t even scream. He died.

Now, I can have my favorite food for dinner. He was right, he was my dinner.

02/30 A Couple

A girl and a boy sat together on a bench in the park while the sun was shifted to the west. They just sat there, smiling and staring at the twilight without talking to each other.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” The girl broke the silence.

The boy didn’t give a word. He just nodded.

“I always love this. The twilight, the silence, and you. I don’t feel that I live in silence every time I have this quality time.” She smiled.

Then, the boy took a notebook and a pen from his bag, wrote something and gave it to the girl: “You’re right. No word’s needed to feel this moment, isn’t it? I feel so intact.”

“Yes. I feel so intact. I don’t care that I can’t hear a thing.” The girl replied.

The boy wrote again in his notebook. “I don’t care that I can’t say a word.”

Both of them smile.

The boy moved his lips, trying to say something. But the silence remains. The girl read the boy’s lips, smiled and replied: “I love you too.”