Category Archives: Cerpen

Indonesian term for a short story

Blank

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00.00

It goes blank. Oh, such a catastrophe! I have a deadline, this isn’t supposed to happen!

I try to restart my silly notebook, hoping it will go just fine, at least temporarily working. It’s enough, I don’t ask for more!

It still goes blank. My vein starts to pop out any minute now, but I don’t even have time for it. I need to work out the solution immediately. Only 5 hours until morning and I should go to work, to give some presentations to a bald man, a man with wig, a woman with heavy make up and the vein which is even bigger than what I have now.

And they hold the biggest fate of me in their smooth palm of hand. If I don’t come up with a magnificent work tomorrow, or any lousy one at all, they will fire me!

It’s not a joke, and my notebook has the worst timing of all!

“Come on, Honey, I need you, I need you right now,” oh, deep down in my soul I just believe that he can hear me. Or else, he will not act this way in this moment. He must arrange this just to mess me up.

1 a.m.

And the minute’s hand keep slowly scrolling to his left. Leave me hanging all miserable here.

Call someone! The waiting tone rings. Puh! It rings again. Many times now.

And the waiting results at voicemail. The voice over the speaker sounds timid yet friendly. It gives me such a guilt to yell at her nice voice, but what do you expect, really?

I release the biggest sigh in my life, try to calm myself down. Usually, it always works to clear up my mind.

Browse for solution mostly works well for me, so I open google in my smartphone. Lists of sites and blogs come up, offering various solutions.

I’m not an expert, so meeting my inner organ of my notebook, even if I would be so pleased, definitely not a choice.

I try to reset BIOS or whatever you call them. Well, it’s almost impossible as the notebook won’t even turn on. Not even a slight chance of ray of light shines from the light indicator.

I should come up with plan B. Rewriting everything manually and retyping it in another notebook. Or PC, I can’t really be picky in this kind of situation. How can I do it?

Simple, bang some doors at the very early morning and ignore their constant curse they throw at me.

Why, I’m used to it already. My bosses and colleagues are already experts at cursing me. And I mean, every single day.

2 a.m.

I screamed.

“It’s done!” I see the imperfect presentation scheme, but it’s still quite good. Pretty well done, me!

Not a minute I will waste anymore. My step is bigger than ever, faster than any other. The online cab is few minutes left, but there it is!

2.15 a.m.

“You can sleep, I’ll just use your laptop! Oh, such a friend! My job is in jeopardy!”

I tell so once. Then I tell it again. Again for the third. No one feels even a bit of sympathy. I’m alone.

Yet, I’m wandering around the city so dark. She blinks by flares of the jewel shines of every house and skyscraper building rather far away.

The city never sleeps. But, she is still sleepy, wraps each people in the lazy mood. One and two cars pass by through my cab. Sometimes, I can see one or two guys, whether they haven’t slept or just awake to sip a bit of freshness of the night sky.

I lay down my head, absorbing the peaceful of night, the calmness of sleepy city. I see the scheme, so dull on the piece of paper, so beautiful with colorful diagrams and few figures, the only few I can extract out of my forgetful mind.

And the colorful light outside. Glancing as they shyly greet me. The calm I almost lost. I miss them so. Yet, I…

“Oh thanks Heaven! You are the hundredth person I called, thank you. It’s okay if it’s a bit far. With this really empty traffic, I’ll get there by half an hour or so. Yes, Jakarta is quite small actually.”

Yet, I…

8 a.m.

“I’ll touch up a bit more and I’ll be perfect for the presentation! Thank you a thousand times! I’ll pay you! I promise!”

I ran. I might be a little late, but it’s not the time to be perfect. It’s always easy, I’ll just make up the perfect reason, lying but perfect.

That’s all what they want, to hear something perfect, even if it’s a perfect lie.

“Where have you been? Five minutes late, you better have a perfect lie, uhm, I mean reason,” the secretary winks. I just smile, because I literally am out of breathe.

I calm myself for a little minute more, yet the secretary tap impatiently at her watch. I nod a little, then walk confidently to the door.

I open the door and give all the board of directors and my boss the sweetest smile I have. It always works. Yet…

It goes blank. Oh, such an irony!

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Another Hundred Years

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He can still feel the warmth, so it cannot be it. The sigh, so deep and heavy, but it’s there. So, it can’t be it.

He just caresses her slowly, make sure she feels comfortable. It might be his last time, but he never wants to believe. Their time hasn’t enough yet, has it? Why can’t he count every minute they used to have now?

Her eyes closed, but whenever he whispers, she opens up again. Smiling, as if she wants to ensure him that the world hasn’t ended for both of them.

They just sit around in the backyard, the place where the laughter used to fill the air surrounds them. It’s all quiet now, accompanied by heavy breathe belongs to her. And the silent sigh that heavied his heart.

“I used to grow lily there,” her skinny finger points at one spot.

“And I always thought you fool because flowers don’t grow in our kind of soil.” Soil so dense without airholes for the vulnerable root to spread her gentle arms. Yet, she tried, while he’s just all grumbled.

“Yes, but I succeded with bougenville. Such a strong flower, indisposable and always refuse to surrender.”

Just like you, he adds it deep inside his heart, as his mouth is tightly shut. He doesn’t want to imagine what will happen if the lips of his even slightly shiver. He might cry.

The summer breeze caresses their cheeks, their hair, whisper the spirit alive in his thinnest body.

“We will live. For another hundred years. For another decades of fights. For another months of grumbling. For another minutes of laughing.”

She smiles.

Smile that always ends to a laughter. It’s summer, when one’s allowed to laugh. The time when the goddes of happiness shares the blithe.

In the clear blue sky, the bird rips apart the clouds, force them to make way to him. Only one small bird.

“Yes,” the lips of his shivers a bit, “we will live for another millenia. We’re always gonna refuse to surrender and tear down to another pitch of those dark valleys.”

He grits his teeth, “we will survive this game and let our spirit crashes them.”

“Crashes their darkness.”

He looks, surprised and amazes. If one smile can lead into another laughter, will the dimmed light of a candle turns into bright shimmering sun?

He smiles. Whispering to her, “yes, all you have to do is close your eyes, now.”

Thus, he cries. As he always knew he would.

Merdeka di atas Kertas

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Tujuhbelas Agustus tahun 1945

Itulah tahun kemerdekaan kita (1)

Lagu itu berkumandang hingga langit pagi yang memucat. Dimana-mana, riang gembira semua menyanyikan. Mereka berangkat pagi, biar libur, untuk merayakan kebesaran bangsa, yang pada tahun 1945, tepat 72 tahun yang lalu, berhasil melepaskan diri dari kolonialisme yang menguruskan anak-anak bangsa itu.

Aku, sebaliknya, terlelap nyenyak di tempat tidur. Bukan, bukan karena tidak merasa kebahagiaan atas keberhasilan luar biasa itu, hanya tidak bisa larut dalam euforianya. Adzan Dzuhur berkumandang, baru aku bisa membebaskan diri dari pengaruh kuat rasa nyaman di tengah gumpalan lembut kapas-kapas yang sudah bertransformasi menjadi barang laknat peruntuh adrenalin itu.

Gontai, aku menatap rumah. Rumah itu sudah kokoh berdiri, mungkin beberapa bagian masih kusut masai, tapi ia berdiri tegap. Tanpa bendera. Apakah itu akan melanggar ketentuan negara? Yang jelas, sudah melanggar kode etik bangsa.

Aku pikir, seharusnya aku merasa bersalah. Tapi, tidak.

Merdeka itu apa, ya? Sekelebat kemudian, aku sudah masuk lagi. Belum, aku belum merasa begitu. Muram aku melihat seonggok kertas-kertas bisu. Kertas-kertas simbol birokrasi. Digerogoti oleh tikus-tikus pengerat yang haus materi. Sudah lapuk maknanya, bangkrut oleh ketiadasetiaan manusia antar manusia.

“Bayar segini dulu, baru bisa diurus,” kata-kata itu selalu kudengar, dari kiri, dari kanan, depan-belakang. Tidak habis-habis.

Suara sumbang itu mulai jarang terdengar. Tapi, kemalasan dan kelunglaian birokrasi masih nyata. Materi sudah tidak lagi dikuras, sekarang batin jadi sasaran. Katanya, zaman sudah berubah dan birokrasi sudah bebas korupsi. Nyatanya, tikus-tikus masih bersarang, sulit sekali untuk diusir karena sudah membangun liang-liang yang berparalel rumit.

Rumah ini belum berpemilik. Baru suara-suara tanpa kekuatan hukum saja yang merdu membuai. Tapi, kertas-kertas, pengikat sesungguhnya, simbol perkawinan antar rakyat dan penguasanya untuk rumah itu, belum terjadi. Sama saja, kau tinggal, dengan menyiapkan koper. Sewaktu-waktu, kau bisa saja ditendang dengan alasan-alasan kertas.

Kertas-kertas busuk. Dengan itu saja, manusia mudah sekali dipermainkan. Atau mempermainkan.

“Udah, laporin ke polisi.”

“Percuma, bukti-bukti kamu nggak kuat.”

Suara-suara, nasehat, usulan, tidak ada yang memberi solusi. Polisi? Apa mau mengurus masalah yang tidak jelas macam begini? Tidak ada pidana, tidak ada kejahatan, hanya dua manusia yang tidak bisa saling percaya.

Asas kepercayaan. Mungkin masih sedikit sekali yang berhasil terikat dengan asas itu. Sebagian yang lebih besar, lantang terbuang. Tak berhasil mengikat. Tak berhasil diikat. Asas keikhlasan. Itu lebih rumit lagi. Saat stres bertambah-tambah, asas itu lenyap dalam cerutu gerutu yang mengepul.

Tujuh belas Agustus tahun 2017, manusia belum merdeka dari kertas-kertas. Pernikahan harus diikat kertas, sewa-menyewa perlu dibelenggu kertas, nurani tewas di bawah kertas.

Suara wanita itu kabur saja dalam benakku. Ia menjelaskan guna dari kertas-kertas laknat itu. Dua jam setelah adzan Dzuhur, baru aku sukses merdeka dari rasa engganku sendiri. Enggan berkutat dengan realita yang sama sekali jauh dari indah.

Wanita itu masih berkicau. Ia menjelaskan prosedur, ia menjelaskan tata tertib. Keteraturan, dibuat-buat atau tidak, dia perlu. Tapi, yang dibuat-buat, hanya menimbulkan kekacauan tak kasat mata.

Aku mengangguk. Setiap kali ia menetapkan titik dalam kalimatnya, aku mengangguk. Seperti burung perkutut membangun sarang. Memang, sarang itu penting, makanya manusia rela manggut-manggut. Mau saja bersikap seperti hewan. Mungkin hewan lebih bermartabat, karena ia siap melepas nyawa untuk apa yang menjadi haknya. Dengan bertarung. Dengan berjuang.

Atau mungkin hanya aku yang jadi kasus dimana manusia kalah dari kertas.

Hari kemerdekaan bangsa Indonesia, hari lahir konstitusi yang disepakati rakyat, tidak bisa membuatku gegap gempita. Merdeka itu belum kudapat. Merdeka itu masih jauh dalam pikiranku. Sekarang, urus tanah saja dulu. Tanah yang harusnya jadi anugerah dari Tuhan, tanah yang hadir tanpa syarat, tanah yang kemudian dipaksa manusia untuk mengikut mau mereka.

Dan itu saja yang bisa ditawarkan realita. Tapi, tak apalah. Indonesia masih begitu hebat dalam merasionalisasi dan meredakan stres dengan cara mengalah. Realita itu masih membuat kita menunduk-nunduk di tengah kepungan global. Tapi, ia realita.

Realita selalu jauh dari indah, tapi dia tinggal menemani. Dia setia, tanpa syarat, tanpa kertas-kertas pengikat. Mungkin jauh lebih baik dari angan-angan memabukkan, tapi tak pernah berkawan setia.

 

 

Dirgahaya Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia

Perjalananmu masih panjang untuk mencapai kesempurnaan

Tapi, yakinlah rakyatmu akan terus menemani

 

Catatan kaki :

(1) Lirik lagu “Hari Merdeka (17 Agustus 1945)” oleh H. Mutahar (lirik lengkapnya mari lihat di sini)

 

Madness

 

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Source Image : http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Run. Run.

Run!

Every nerve in my entire body scream. If they had lung, they would take a very good use to it. I kinda grateful, they don’t. My whole body shivers of the tickling sensation suddenly rush into my blood. The energy suddenly came uninvited overrule the logic of my brain. Sensation so ecstatic, yet horrifying.

This house is empty, but there seems every sound decided to make an assembly. Converged in the center of the room. The ticking sound of clock, the whirl of summer breeze wind, the leaves brushed each other, the faint of people’s voice from distance might be so far away.

Have you ever done yourself consecutively 48 hours sleepless? It felt like every pore of your skin wide open, accepting everything that crawls over it. Like a fanatics accepting each and every word from their heroes. No need to filtrate, they just believe.

And their brain became meaningless. Only instincts.

I close my eyes, absorb every sensation, every sensory, my brain has magnetized them all. Built them up inside my mind, create one big fuss of tornado. I want them to stop, I want them to stay. I love them, yet I’m afraid of them.

Water will calm them down. I feel like floating, walk thoughtlessly to the bathroom. I splash my face with the transparent crystal water. They are purifying the lost soul. Wash every dirt, every germs of life. “I gotta do this,” the sound of whisper so loud in my ear. “I am the chosen one.”

I am the chosen one.

They tell me that I am special. They tell me I am the chosen one. So, I gotta do this. I will be the hammer of the God. The messenger of the world that has been so corrupted. The bag pack is ready. It is only a simple bag pack. Just like me, we are sharing the resemblance. At one glance, no one will recognize us. They kept passing by, never care, took no notice. Don’t you think it will be the day that everyone understands us? That we are matter. That we are valuable.

“Come, my friend. We will be one.”

To Sarinah(1) we go. To consign the commandment of God people started to forget. More so, they started to forget God. How come I forgive such a sin?

It feels like floating, I can’t feel my leg. I can’t feel anything but big fuss of tornado attacking my mind. Blinding my vision as I come into the van that take me to the location. The sacred place we chose to execute the God’s will. They told me so, I will just believe them.

My eyes wide open. I found myself in the middle of open street. Big road of Sarinah. Everyone is finally looking at me, consider me, acknowledge me. They are running around frantically, policemen surrounded me and my only friend. Two persons, that’s all you need to bring out the ruckus.

I feel my pulse beating like crazy. My heart is thumping out. Under the big wide open sky, the sun shine upon me like the enormous endless spotlight. The policemen, they’re trying to stop me.

Don’t they understand? I don’t want to be stopped. Nor be forgiven. I will be forever in your mind, stuck like a parasite that invade your nightmares. I want you to be scared, I want you to remind me, forever.

God, make me yours. Make me matter. 

Footnote :

(1) At January 14th, 2016, two people attacked Sarinah, Central Jakarta, Indonesia, terrorizing people with suicidal bombs and gunfire.

Our Playground, My Friend

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Source Image : https://assets.entrepreuner.com/

 

Our playground is invisible. We will go across the virtual path that seems endless. Shaking hands with someone who doesn’t have any eye, or any mouth, or even any hand. But, we do shaking hands.

Night is getting older as we speak. We reluctant to go home, why should we? Living here forever, making out with oblivious mind who goes a long way to never land. Life can’t never be this sweet. As ignorant as we, as blissful we came to be.

Night is getting older, but our playground as bright as a pastel blue, painted beautifully across the sky. The clouds seems bashful, peeking as we speak to each other. She, however, crawls so soft and smoothly. Graceful, her face bright with vague smile. Looking at us, begging to be touched. She, the virgin mother nature.

We can stay here forever. Talking about almost anything. When we lost every word, we can silently walk through the path. Under the bright blue sky, accompanied by the green dewy bushes. Maybe some flowers will follow us, too. Because here, my friend, we are all free. It’s the land without limit or restriction.

No barriers, no constitution. No boundaries, no constriction.

The land belongs to us only. The land we created.  We became the king of everything. Somewhere near the beautiful yet unreal Eden. But, we found it here. Surely, we will find the happiness we so longed for.

We will talk about freedom. Let us free from the big plan game, constructed by the architect of imposture buildings. Silky invisible thread they hold dearly to control every movement we rouse. To create one big silly imagination we then worship. They play God, they play Crown. They make us believe only to crash the meant of being mankind. Those, the engineers of life.

There, we could not hold for the truth. We all live in one pseudo-reality we strongly, desperately wanted to believe. Just to ensure us that we truly alive. Then, we don’t, my friend.

The very least, deep inside of our mind, we knew we don’t. We are just too afraid to believe it. For what else can we believe unless something we possess? We want to believe we possess it. Yet, we didn’t. And we never do. Tell me, my friend? Do you?

Surely you understand that we are the pawn of the big field of chess. There was a black part under us. There was a white one, too. We color-blinded, yet it simplifies us. Yet, we were satisfied. Being the pawn of the game sure is easy, my friend. Being the fragment of the plans never render difficulties. Thus, we were forced to be satisfied.

How, my friend? Are you?

Our playground is invisible. Yet, there are so many colors as possible. We don’t have to choose, we can just absorb to every caress they offer. Destroy the plan and never look back to the game. The architect will never disturb our mind, nor be able decaying our heart and thoughts.

We can choose to be whatever. Never to shiver under the eye of the shadow. From the light used to be our guide. We are the children of whatever. Never to be blind by the darkness we used to fear.

Here, reality couldn’t touch us.

Sabhira

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Source image : expatfinancial.com

It seems the whole world, once again, in the uproar. She can clearly remember as it happened only yesterday, President of United States Bill Clinton attacked the training Camp of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan due to revenge on his attack towards the World Trade Center Tower in USA.

Many speculations. No proves. Muslims keep being blamed for everything happened. No matter whether they agreed or not on Osama’s famous terrible opinion.

Sabhira shrug into silence. Muslim society in New York make a very great effort lately to introduce Islam as peaceful religion. It falls apart. It may become useless. She can’t help to shed the tear. It’s only one small drop of the glistening crystal, but her heart was burst much more.

ISIS had beheaded one journalist from USA. Just one thing that Muslim society needs in New York, more hates. There are more demonstration by natives, tried to deport every Muslim immigrants, the society they most afraid of.

Who can blame them?

Her cell phone rings. “Did you hear the news?” asked her friend, her colleagues in their society. Yes, of course she heard the news. No one can avoid it, even if they wanted to. It’s all over the country, worse, all over the world.

Sabhira can’t help but whisper even though she’s not sure why, “we better reduce our program for a little while. To give people more time.”

“It’s only make our efforts seem useless.” Her friend got the point, but she is not sure of anything else right now.

“What can we do? Let’s not increase their fear, let’s not encourage their trauma. We need to calm down. Take a little time off. Well, it doesn’t mean we will stop thoroughly.”

It’s a shame. But, what can they do? Pushing their beliefs to people who’s being traumatized only aggravates the hates more. Let’s not. Sabhira doesn’t understand, where did radical Muslims organization, like ISIS, go wrong?

Beheaded innocent people. Declare war onto the people who didn’t do any harm. There’s not any ayah(1) stated it in Holy Koran(2). Of course, there is a statement of Allaah’s wrath in one of Surah(3). But, it’s only because the enemy of Islam break the ceasefire agreement.

Islam never to be the first to declare a war. That’s what Sabhira knows for sure. If anyone does good, Muslims must do good, too. No matter who, no matter what their belief is. In her prayer this dawn, she carefully invokes her intention to her God.

The scary thing is, whatever happened outside, we will only can go on. Grieve can’t stop anything.

So, Sabhira puts on her hijab. Broken white, the purity that’s been stained. That what she wants to wear. Funny. She sighs to her reflection in the mirror. She’s ready to go. To conquer another day. For the last time, she glances at the mirror. Her reflection becomes blurry as she moves.

Her feet feels heavy, but she’s ready to go. To every stares of hates. She feels humiliated by herself for being such a coward. She steps further, faster. This, someday will pass by, become a maybe black memory, but it will pass by. And everyone will live on.

She moves only forward.

New York are busy as always. People are moving to and fro at the pedestrian walk. Some achieving their dreams, some creating a life. Sabhira walks as always. But, it just seems different. He glances to her back. Once. Twice.

And she’s sure now. There’s some guy, a big bearded white guy, follows her step. Maybe it’s only her imagination. There are many people are walking toward the same direction of hers. But, why does it feel so different? A moment later, Sabhira knows why.

“Hey, you terrorist!” yelled the big guy. Not only Sabhira, almost everyone takes a trouble to look at him. Sabhira can see he’s grinning. And she’s sure now. The grinning is for her only.

The guy moves fast toward her. Closer, and closer. Sabhira doesn’t have an opportunity to run away. Not even to think. He gets closer, and closer.

She can see a blaze of beautiful reddish orange color flashes into her face. And everything becomes dark.

Footnote :

(1) Arabic term for verse

(2) Holy book of Islam

(3) Arabic term for chapters

 

 

Writer’s note :

Let’s create a world of peace, no matter what belief we hold on to

Just Another Dawn

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Source image : thewellnessfountain.com.au

“Hi, granny!”

It’s a beautiful dawn, the sky hasn’t woken up yet. But she’s already there. What am I doing? I always wake up around dawn. For Shalat Shubuh, the duty of every Muslim.

And yes, I’ve done it. And I’m sure, she’s done it, too.

But she’s always managed to do something more. With her wrinkled hands, she will hold the broomstick. Her thin slippers will sweep through the rough concrete path. Sometimes, just sometimes, she wouldn’t wear it at all. I wonder the scratchy path will hurt her feet. I never trouble myself to ask.

Her act, as simple as it is, make the path is easier to come through. No crumbly stones, no slippery wet leaves, no sharp nails that surely will harm the tire of the motorcycle that often passes by. She is one of those kinds of people. Who is willingly to do something for someone else. Doesn’t really care about the reward or the recognition, doesn’t really seek for the payback or attention, too.

And sometimes, I can almost see her figure turned into a translucent color of the dawn.

That’s why I called on to her. There’s a very strange feeling that she would just go and disappear into the unknown dawn. But, she will always wave back, “good morning, Rina. How are you doing? Come and take a sip of tea in my house! I made some cookies, too!”

Now, that’s what I called a tempting invitation. The sky has not broken down yet, but she never minded me going over to her house. What a sweet, gentle granny.

Stepping into the empty little house always gives some sort of weird feeling. You may not care about the emptiness, but the sadness would strike you more. And here the funny house. The empty little house that will never be sad. The emptiness she didn’t mind, and will never be.

“What happened to your family?” I’m surprised of my thoughtlessness, but I can’t hold it any longer. Many years passed by, I never saw one coming into her house. Almost seem like, she was just appear from nowhere land. No past behind her, nor the future awaits. I’m curious. I’m so curious.

She welcomes my rudeness as she welcomes me to her house. She gently smiled, “I have no family. Not anymore.”

Would you be shock, of something so obviously seen?

“Everyone had their time. The beautiful, joy time. Where the sadness was forgotten and the misery seemed so far. I had the time. Now, it’s over.”

“Oh, don’t worry,” she claimed, she might see my wrinkles of misery, “I don’t feel sad, but the joyous had gone away, you see. All the glory and glamorous feeling such a blinding happiness. It’s all comfort now. The feeling become so much calm now.”

Everyone had the glamorous time. The passion of running towards the future. Until the future no longer can be seen. Or simply became suddenly blurry. She had a merry house, she told me, once. Where there were little children running around. And the adults chatted every single important things, that made them feel important.

There was no longer a husband beside her, but she was okay, for he left her something amazing. The family she can hold in her heart. And the cold would be pushed away just out of the window. She had the time.

Time, might be fate, destroy them all. The people in weird uniform, few of them are not in the uniform at all, snatch them away. Would one to be so blind of blood? She felt all, once. Without any mercy. Nor tears, nor pray could change the scenery so atrocious in her pain eyes.

They were massacred. In 1965, they were all gone. The blood was almost everywhere. If you didn’t kill your neighbor, then you and your family would be killed. How’s that for another cup of tea? It was the most terrible time, only to banish one ideology for good. It was cold and cruel.

But, the cruelest punishment awaited for her. She had been let to live. To another day without another tenderness beside her. And thus, she lived.

Nor tears, nor pray can change silent scenery of her long life. But thus, she lived.

How can I stop myself crying, I don’t know exactly. Just another day, life struck her again, and thus, she must live. She would sweep the concrete path with the broomstick, another dawn. The melody, so sweet and calm, I will always hear, now and only God knows for how long to be.

Until the time comes when the figure become a real translucent light of dawn.

 

Writer’s note :

For reference, you might want to read about Indonesian history, the mass killing of 1965 in Indonesia. Sad, but true 😥

 

After Nine

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Gambar diambil dari : https://catracalivre.com.br/

 

It was past 9. Back and forth, he still struggled to close his eyelid. Yes, the night was still young. The owl of the moon had not floating in the dark sky just yet. That’s not it. It was not the time he feared. It was the clueless night.

Trembling in his death-bed-to-be, he stared at the silent ceiling. Beautiful color translucent from the soft lamp light soared to his entire room. But all he could see just the dark spots, coming nearer, as the death angel welcomed him to His chamber. God, he prayed, but the One he called never answered. And by the name he just whispered, he only felt fear come choking.

Was it really cold the night he entered? Was everything suddenly unbecoming? Disappearing from his old eyes?

He got up. This would never be his death bed. The death angel would not flutter his wing just yet. There must be something better than this. There must be something bigger for him. It was not the night he feared. It was the darkness of the future had strayed before him. Then, after.

The night was surely still young. He saw his grandson stared deeply into the light of the stupidity. Yes, television was all the stupidity could offer. And the plague had spread into the countless brain cells of children, of teenager, of adults, of elderly.

He grunted, “young man, can’t you just play instead of putting stupid information into your poor brain?”

No answer. Kids these days, he thought, maybe lacked of everything. Lacked of manner, lacked of consciousness, lacked of passion. He trapped among them, became someone who would not know anymore what to do in life, except for satisfying his primitive needs. How sad. How infuriating.

But, he never knew what to do. Not anymore. Everything had gone. A long time ago.
Such an old poor man strayed in the entire house. Found each and every bubbles that might have been left. The bubbles of his ideas or creativity. Why did someone have it in certain time, just to be left behind with nothing?

The wrinkled hand of his stretched out. Into what? He didn’t even understand. He didn’t even know, how could he understand? The old man, by his 70’s, grabbed varied foods in front of him and munched them. He munched them, slowly but surely, until he wanted to puke. But not his mouth that felt sour. It was his eyes. Trembling, those blurry eyes started to wet.

He didn’t know what to do. No one would ever give him clue anymore. All of his life, all of the lifetime of his, filled by authorities. Told him exactly what to do. Forced him on how to do. Strangled his ideas because it would never be good enough. Because the change always feared them. So, they kicked away, far far away, every change, every renewal, every innovation.

Then, all of the information in his brain cells lost, entirely. He called them, they would never respond back. They didn’t want to befriend someone who once threw them away. How cruel a world without your true friend. The truest friend, to whom you put all of the trust in it.

He grumbled, but didn’t really know what he said. He just murmured something useless, something even more stupid than few guys dancing around meaninglessly in the television.

These days, these days he lived, he just lived. Instead of every-nothing, he lived another day. Day went by, weeks passed on, he would still be living.

Once again, he dragged his feet. To the nearest place afforded by his remaining strength. The sofa, the place where his grandson stupidly stared at the television from. At least, he could abandon the loneliness for a little while. He stared at people dancing meaninglessly at the screen. For many times he already lost counts, he just sat silently.

Then, it happened. As of sudden, his eyes turned.

His grandson, the son of his once a beloved daughter.

She left him with nothing but a burden, a huge cloud of anxiety would never be disappeared. The old man with the wrinkled face stretched his hand once again. And those slim figures felt something soft, anything of all that was smooth, and they all were warm.

The warm and smooth little guy turned his head toward him. The eyes, big and sparkled, watched him carefully. Attentively cautious and evaluated his intention. How funny, he smiled. It suddenly became bright. Everything was clear again.

No one could ever tell, force, or make him to feel anything like this.

arrived

Dalam Peraduan yang Menghijau

 

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Gambar diambil dari http://www.scpr.org

 

Putih dipercaya sebagai awal. Yang suci. Yang bersih. Murni dari segala-gala.

Maka, bayi diliputi kain katun putih selembut kapas. Tangan kematian pun dilumuri oleh tinta putih yang membalut jasad. Lalu, pria dan wanita, yang baru saja memulai satu titik kehidupan. Semua berlumur putih. Putih dan putih.

Sepasang itu tersenyum malu-malu. Tersipu memerah. Oranye kelabu meliuk lembut di tangan yang berujung oranye pekat. Motif bunga terpapar di atas kulit itu. Bunga berdaun tipis. Mereka juga terbalut kain putih. Sutra dan katun. Linen tebal-halus meratapi peraduannya. Halal sudah menjadi ikatan mereka. Sesegera mungkin, agar tak terjebak dalam lingkaran zinah. Cepat, cepat, jadilah halal. Dan mereka pun halal.

Putih itu segera ternoda. Semburat merah merambat pelan, lingkaran yang melebar. Darah.

Tanda mereka memasuki dunia baru. Dunia yang sama sekali lain.

 

***

 

Darah.

Annissa gemetar. Di tangannya, darah yang lengket dan kental memerahkan ujung-ujung jemarinya. Apa yang harus dilakukan? Bagian bawah perutnya sakit seperti diremas, melilit hebat. Ia bisa merasakan cairan basah-lengket menetes menggerayangi pahanya. Tapi, dia tak bergeming. Hanya berdiri. Gemetar.

Darah.

Merah.

Meluruh.

Annissa berbaring, tapi matanya nyalang melebar. Dia terpaku di tempat tidurnya. Malam itu sudah lewat tengah malam. Kotanya telah tertidur nyenyak. Perumahannya sunyi, ditingkahi sesekali deru motor satpam yang lewat berjaga.

Tapi, kamarnya berang. Memekik dengan berisik. Annissa merapatkan selimutnya. Dia membeku, ketakutan. Suara apa yang didengarnya? Seperti orkestra dari tangan-tangan awam. Biola yang berdecit nyaring. Perkusi dari kaleng-kaleng berkarat. Piano dengan senar-senar terkelupas.

“Annissa! Sudah setengah jam anakmu menangis!” ibunya berteriak dari balik pintu. Ia tersentak. Suaminya, menggeliat sejenak, tapi tidur lagi. Mendengkur pelan.

Wanita yang masih terlalu muda itu tergeragap bangun. Kebingungan, di antara tangisan bayinya dan gedoran pintu ibunya. Ia melihat pintu, lalu melihat bayinya. Mana yang harus didatanginya lebih dulu?

“Annissa!” Wanita itu memekik panik.

“Oeee…” Bayi itu tersedu sedan.

Dia berjalan pelan. Ke arah tempat tidur kecil dengan balok-balok kayu putih yang kecil. Putih. Dan putih.

Di dalamnya, seprai putih. Terserak oleh tendangan kecil, tapi kuat. Bayi itu, pipinya penuh. Wajahnya memerah oleh kemarahan yang belum juga mencapai titik jenuh. Bayi yang kuat. Dengan paru-paru yang kuat. Dengan usus yang tak pernah kenyang.

Ia membeku, melihat makhluk kecil itu meraung-raung.

“Annissa!” panggil ibunya lagi. Ia tersentak, lagi. Lalu, berlari menuju pintu.

Di balik pintu, ibunya berdiri dengan wajah ketakutan. Bulu kuduk Annissa meremang. Apa yang sebenarnya terjadi?

“Anak kamu nangis, Annissa, kamu nggak dengar?” Ia berbicara dengan suara lembut, hati-hati. “Boleh Ibu masuk?”

Annissa terpaku sedetik lamanya sebelum mengangguk pelan, ragu-ragu. Dengan gurat-gurat wajah lega lalu bahagia, ibunya mengangkat bayi itu pelan, hati-hati. Ia membisikkan kata-kata manis menyejukkan. Annissa masih terpaku di pintu, melihat anak itu terisak, tidak lagi berteriak, kelelahan. Ibunya, melirik sekilas ke arahnya, mengernyit keheranan.

 

***

 

Semua orang membisikkan kata-kata sabar. Allaah memberi kita kekuatan, kita hanya perlu mendekatkan diri pada Allaah. Annissa mengaji. Demi mendekatkan diri pada Sang Khalik. Itu yang selalu didengungkan orang-orang di sekelilingnya.

Mendekatkan diri pada Allaah. Dan memang, pada saat-saat itu, ia merasa tenang.

Tapi, bayinya tidak. Meraung-raung marah, memanggil sang ibu. Popoknya sudah lama basah. Ada pola kuning kecokelatan yang tercetak kering, membayang dari balik popok kain yang dikenakan padanya tanpa semaunya.

Yaa ayyuhal ladzii na ǎmaanu laa tulhikum waa amwaa lukum…” suaranya merdu mengalun. Ia adalah lulusan pesantren. Ilmu tajwid dikuasainya. Bahkan, sedikit lagi saja, ia akan menjadi hafidzah muda. Di usianya yang 18 tahun!

“Annissa!” Ibunya masuk dengan tergopoh. “Anakmu menangis, lho!”

Annissa mengangkat wajahnya. Di hadapannya, ibunya tercengang. Sembari memegang dua kantung plastik hitam besar. Dari dalamnya, mencuat batang-batang kangkung, lalu pucuk-pucuk jagung yang menguning.

Dia meletakkannya asal saja. Annissa menoleh untuk mengikuti gerak-geriknya. Ia memeriksa bayi malang itu, sambil tersenyum dan membisikkan kata-kata lembut. Annissa diam memerhatikan, dengan tatapan kosong. Seolah keduanya berasal dari jauh. Suara mereka juga terdengar sayup, jauh.

“Popok bayi kamu basah. Ada pup di popoknya, pantatnya bisa lecet kalau tidak segera dibersihkan. Kapan terakhir kali kamu kasih dia ASI?”

Annissa membuka mulut. Ia mencoba menjawab, lalu menutup mulut kembali. Mengernyit, seolah tidak paham perkataan ibunya.

“Anak kamu kurus, Annissa. Kamu harus perhatikan minum ASI-nya. Enam bulan pertama yang paling penting karena dia belum bisa makan yang lain.”

Mata Annissa yang sudah bulat semakin membulat.

“Bayi itu rentan, Annissa. Ibu tahu kamu baru soal ini, tapi ayo, belajar lebih baik lagi. Kamu mengaji, bagus sekali, Nak, tapi bayi kamu juga perlu perhatian. Mengajinya nanti dulu, urus anak kamu dulu. Begitu tidur, kamu baru mengaji lagi.”

Wanita muda itu meremas-remas tangannya. Ibunya kembali mengajarkan banyak hal tentang bayi. Ibunya melihat Annissa menggeleng-gelengkan kepalanya. “Kenapa kamu menggeleng-geleng?” Annissa mengangkat wajahnya, menatap ibunya dengan dahi mengernyit. Sang ibu balas menatapnya.

 

***

 

Seprai yang membalut kasurnya tak lagi putih. Begitu awal telah berlalu, putih itu pelan-pelan ternoda. Oleh warna-warna. Annissa berbaring menyamping. Bibirnya tersenyum, ia menyorongkan telunjuknya pada tangan bayi yang sedang bermain-main di udara. Tangan mungil itu menangkapnya. Bahkan, memasukkan jari itu ke mulutnya.

Annissa tercengang. Lalu, mendengus tersenyum. Jemari bayi itu lembut, serupa kapas. Mulutnya mengenyot, menyangka jari itu payudara. Ia tertawa-tawa sendirian, mencoba-coba pita suaranya sendirian. Bayi yang tengah belajar sendirian.

Sendiri.

Sendirian.

Seorang diri.

Bayi itu mencucup ujung jarinya. Lalu, menariknya keluar dengan suara mencecap keras. Annissa menatap ujung jarinya yang basah. Matanya terbelalak. Air liur seharusnya bening. Air liur seharusnya tidak berwarna.

Ia menyentakkan jarinya keras, mengagetkan bayi itu. Bayi itu mencibir, menggetarkan bibir bawahnya, lalu mulai menangis. Tangis itu pelan. Kemudian, bertambah keras. Keras dan semakin keras, karena tidak menemukan penenang. Jantung yang dulu berdetak lembut, begitu dekat dengan telinganya. Kehangatan yang serupa pelukan tanpa putus. Semuanya hilang. Bayi itu tersedu, kemana semua pelipur laranya dulu?

Annissa bangkit dari kasurnya. Hijau, itu warnanya. Sengaja dipilih ibunya untuk menenangkan jiwanya. Hijau, warna yang menenangkan. Warna rerumputan, warna…ketubannya.

Ia gemetar. Menatap tangannya sendiri.

Darah, begitu merah.

Rasa sakit yang melilit di perut bawahnya.

Aliran air deras bercampur darah dari vaginanya.

Tiba-tiba saja, bayi kurus seukuran botol sirup dijejalkan ke tangannya.

Ditidurkan secara paksa di dadanya, yang masih bergemuruh ketakutan. Sementara, bekas jahitan ngilu meremas seluruh syaraf di tubuhnya.  

 

***

 

Ibunya menghela napas kelelahan. Ia khawatir memang, meninggalkan bayi dengan anaknya sendirian. Betapa remaja yang masih limbung. Betapa remaja yang belum mencapai ujung. Tapi, ia juga harus mengurus akta kelahiran yang sudah telat dua bulan. Sidang dan bayar segala macam, betapa ribut administrasi kependudukan Indonesia ini!

Tapi, beberapa hari ini, Annissa begitu sayang pada anaknya. Hari-hari dimana ia bersikap aneh itu sudah berlalu! Hari-hari penuh kekacauan itu mulai pudar! Bahkan, Annissa sudah menyusui anaknya tepat waktu. Ya, tidak ada yang perlu dikhawatirkan.

“Annissa, ibu pulang…” kata-kata itu terhenti di tengah jalan. Annissa dengan ujung jari yang berdarah. Berdiri gemetar. Merah itu merayap hingga perut bagian bawah menuju selangkangannya. Wanita muda itu menatap linglung ke arah wanita paruh baya.

“Mana bayiku?”

 

 

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Besar, Semakin Besar

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Gambar diambil dari bsnscb.com

 

Dia semakin besar. Semakin besar. Tumbuh, menjalar. Sejak kapan ia datang?

Tanah berkerikil itu berderak. Bebatuan kecilnya terserak. Gadis berjilbab putih merapikan bros putih yang tersemat di dadanya. Membetulkan letak tali tas tangannya. Tas tangan itu berpotongan sederhana. Ia pun putih polos.

Tapi, ia bukannya mau menikah. Tidak ada aturan menikah dengan pakaian putih dalam Islam. Dan perbuatan apapun di luarnya, hanya memperburuk citra Islam. Ia punya visi. Untuk itu, ia harus menjalankan misinya.

Berdakwah adalah kewajiban dalam Islam. Tidak perlu seorang yang jenius untuk memahami itu.

Berdakwah tidak semata dengan kata. Seperti halnya pakaian monokrom ini. Ia tengah menjalankan teladan. Menunjukkan sebagaimana mestinya wanita Islam bersikap. Ini juga misinya.

Ia membuka sepatu. Membiarkan kaus kaki tetap melekat, seperti kembar siam, pada kakinya. Bangunan itu luas. Sinar matahari menyeruak masuk dari sela-sela jendela, mencetak cahaya-cahaya kotak-kotak di keramik yang berkilauan. Langit-langit tinggi yang membuat bangunannya serasa tanpa batas.

Bisik-bisik bergaung lembut. Seperti dengung lebah yang menari. Yang menyenandungkan ayat-ayat yang sungguh indah. Ia memejamkan mata, merasa masuk ke dunianya. Akhirnya. Siapa bilang tidak ada surga di dunia? Siapa bilang tidak ada lagi orang yang masuk akal di atas muka bumi ini?

Gadis itu mendatangi satu per satu penyebab bisik-bisik itu. Berjenis kelamin sama dengannya, bersifat sama dengannya. Mungkin ada yang bergaya sedikit berbeda, berhijab sedikit lebih pendek daripada standarnya, tapi biarlah. Ia bisa memaafkannya. Karena gadis itu, gadis dengan hijab pendek itu, mau di sini, menghabiskan waktu dengan Sang Khalik. Dan hamba-hamba setia-Nya.

Saat ia mendatangi, dada gadis itu tersembul dari sisi-sisi hijab yang terlalu pendek. Ia merasakan desis di dadanya. Semakin keras. Ia mempercepat salamnya, lalu berjalan menjauh. Kepada Muslimah yang lebih taat. Bukan peniru yang fasik.

Ia membuka buku kecil berpenutup kulit hijau kelam. Tinta hitam di atas kertas putih gading. Tinta hitam yang meliuk, membentuk huruf-huruf indah. Dengan sajak yang indah terdengar, indah terbaca. Ia memegang dadanya, merasakan sesak yang menyenangkan di sana. Ingin sekali berkumpul dengan pembuat sajak terindah di muka  bumi ini.

Bismillaahirrahmaanirrahiim…

 

***

 

“Pengajiannya bagus. Ustadznya pintar, ya.”

“Iya, lulusan Universitas Madinah, tidak diragukan lagi.”

Bisik-bisik itu berubah jadi kalimat-kalimat panjang penuh kegembiraan. Gadis berjilbab putih menempelkan telunjuk di bibirnya. Mendesis. Wanita-wanita yang berbicara itu menutup mulutnya, tersenyum malu-malu. Menunduk tersipu.

Berdakwah tidak sekadar ceramah. Ia adalah setiap kata dan cara untuk mengingatkan. Menasehati. Dalam kebaikan. Dalam kesabaran. Huruf-huruf Hijaiyyah itu berputar-putar di benaknya. Kesabaran, menasehati dalam kesabaran. Ia mendesah pelan.

Suaranya sendiri bergaung di telinganya. Ia bergidik, rasa dingin menjalar. Membangkitkan sensitivitas setiap syarafnya. Ia tengah mendekatkan diri pada Sang Khalik. Dan, oh, ia merasa sangat dekat. Mungkinkah Dia berada pada nadi-nadinya, berbisik pada telinganya? Ingin bertemu dengan-Nya, ingin bersatu dengan-Nya.

Dunia hanya tempat persinggahan. Penjara yang lain. Begitu, bukan?

Di setiap sudut, ia hanya menemukan kaum-kaum yang menentang. Yang lebih mencintai manusia, lebih memilih dunia. Di setiap sudut, ia menemukan orang-orang fasik, mengaku Islam, tapi tidak mencintai Khalik mereka.

Dan perlahan, kemarahan tumbuh di dadanya. Pelan-pelan. Wajar ia marah. Ia mencintai Islam, ia mencintai Allaah. Ia ingin menjadi pembela-Nya. Ingin menyadarkan setiap orang yang menentang-Nya. Seberapa salah itu?

Wanita berhijab pendek itu berdiri. Ia menyelipkan ujung-ujung hijabnya ke belakang. Semakin jelas menampakkan dadanya di balik kaus spandek yang jelas menunjukkan lekuk tubuhnya. Di depannya, seorang wanita berhijab panjang seperti dirinya, mematut diri di depan cermin. Memoles bedak. Lalu, memulas warna-warna di seluruh wajahnya. Meronakan wajahnya.

Dan perlahan, kemarahan semakin besar di dadanya. Menyebar bagai spora. Pelan, meluas. Membesar. Ia besar, semakin besar. Ia mencoba mengingat beberapa kalimat yang menenangkan. Batinnya tidak tenang. Tapi, bukankah wajar? Ia ingin sesamanya juga mencintai Islam, seperti dirinya. Meyakini perintah dan larangan Allaah, seperti dirinya. Mendekatkan diri pada Khalik, seperti dirinya.

Seperti dirinya.

Seperti yang ia lakukan.

Seperti yang ia tanamkan baik-baik.

Seperti dia. Seperti dia. Seperti aku, bisiknya.

Ia mendengar lagi suaranya. Tapi, itu tidak seperti suaranya. Serak yang tidak sabar. Dengkur yang kurang ajar. Sesaknya berubah. Tidak lagi menyenangkan. Napasnya tersendat. Matanya menggeliat cepat. Sesuatu tumbuh di dadanya. Sesuatu yang lain. Sesuatu yang ia tidak kenal. Sesuatu yang ditolaknya. Memakannya dari dalam. Ia merasakan semua menciut; pikirannya, perasaannya, nuraninya. Tuhannya.

Dan sesuatu itu besar. Semakin besar. Ia tumbuh mendesak-desak. Sejak kapan ia datang? Dada gadis itu terasa sakit. Ia mengingat-ingat lagi. Kata-kata. Berdakwah, menasehati, memberitahukan yang tidak tahu. Dalam kebaikan. Dalam kesabaran.

Kesabaran, kata apa itu? Ia kehilangan satu kosakata dalam kamusnya. Hari itu.

 

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