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 😥