The Mirror of My Past

With those white dots of anti-acne cream scattered all over my face, I sat in front of the mirror and took a glimpse of my past lives.

The mirror did show my reflection: a sleepy girl in her panda-pajamas, with this puzzled expression upon her face.

But this wasn’t the only thing I saw. In fact, my reflection went blur and I was looking at myself 14 years ago.

AGE 8.

I love to read, and I write short stories all day long. I have this special book filled with my grammatically incorrect writings and unfinished mystery novel. And I have a clear picture in my head: I’m going to be a writer someday, and I’m going to publish a book with my name on the cover.

My perfect day is going to a bookstore with mum. She uses to leave me there while she went out shopping for groceries. I can spend hours there, being amazed. My dream is to have a bedroom inside a bookstore. That will be the coolest thing ever! I will be able to read all kind of books all day long for the rest of my life…! Awesome!

The greatest feeling of all feelings is: the feeling you felt when you got 100 in a school test and your mum told you that she would give you some money to buy one thing you’ve been craving for. (I’ll buy a book, for sure)

I went to the kitchen and made myself a cup of coffee. I knew it was going to be a long night—and probably I won’t be able to sleep tight. I just knew it by heart. I opened the fridge to see if there was something interesting to be eaten.

Apparently, my mum had made a strawberry sponge pudding with milk sauce. Fully armed with a cup of coffee and a slice of sponge pudding, I went back to my bedroom and sat in front of my bookshelves. I saw all my diaries… and it came to my mind; how fascinating it was to have your whole life documented in 9 different diaries. That you could actually went back to see yourself in your past and realized how much you have evolved since then…

AGE 13.

Life is so fun and simple. I have some great friends with whom I spend most of my time: hanging out at the music studio—and share this dream that one day we will share our music with the whole world. Playing basketball under the rain is the coolest thing ever. Learning how to play guitar is extremely important! And all problems can always be solved with a medium-sized pizza and a bowl of ice cream. And being in love is addictive. I am in love… my first love: he is perfect. It is impossible for me to stop falling in love with this guy!

The greatest feeling of all feelings is: the feeling you felt if a guy you had a crush on told you how much he loves you.

AGE 17.

I miss those days when all problems could always be solved with a medium-sized pizza and a bowl of ice cream. To love someone who doesn’t love you back is awful. I feel worthless. Probably I’m not pretty enough, not aggressive enough, not cute enough. Am I deserves to be loved?

Nobody loves me. I have a boyfriend—but probably he wants to be my boyfriend because he doesn’t have another choice but me. In fact, I am always in love with another guy—the same guy who had hypnotized me since I was 13. Why should I fall in love if it hurts like hell? There is no such thing as a perfect day.

The greatest feeling of all feelings is: the feeling you felt if you could freeze the time and stay numb forever.

AGE 22.

University life is full of pleasant surprises. I love the lecturers and enjoying the whole classes. I don’t have thousands of secret admirers, but I am surprised to know that I have some. I don’t dated anyone, but I do meet some guys casually and hang out with them every once and a while. I don’t have a boyfriend, but it doesn’t matter at all. I have fun with my friends: going out for clubbing, shopping, staying in a friend’s villa, or simply eating roti bakar at SARAS while sharing our miserable love stories.

I can’t believe how stupid I was, falling in love with that guy from my past. He’s not worth it! What was I thinking? I have a life of my own, many dreams to realize, a career to pursue… All things will be placed in order eventually. I mean ALL things. Including love. It will come my way surprisingly. I’m sure of it.

The greatest feeling of all feelings is: the feeling you felt when you’re able to love yourself the way you are.

My eyes felt heavy. I crept into my bed and rested my head on the pillow. I put my feet under the blanket to make it warm—and turned my cell phone into silent mode. The last thing that crossed my mind before I dozed off was: My life is not perfect, but it’s enough.

And I just knew that no matter how long the night would be, eventually I would be able to sleep tight and having a perfect dream. As always.


Crisis Moments

*dedicated to all my highschool friends–class of ’01

“… but when we leave this year, we won’t be coming back. No more hanging out cause we’re on a different track. And if you got something that you need to say, you better say it right now cause we don’t have another day …”
(:Graduation by Vitamin C)

It was our last year in highschool. I guessed all those thoughts about saying goodbye to school atmosphere, leaving our class-mates and the sweet memories we’ve shared for these last 3 years, have made our class of 2001 a little bit sentimental. Suddenly, things that had never happened before became an inseparable part of our everyday life.

Vitamin C’s Graduation had become our new anthem. We sang this song in most occassions. We wrote the lyrics on a piece of paper and gave it away to our friends during lessons. The boys did some last attempts to conquer their fear and started to call up some girls they had a crush on.

Not long after, some new couples emerged; declaring their new status by holding hands and throwing kisses along the hallway. The number of new couples was increasing every single month. Those who have become enemies for years decided to forgive and forget; eventhough some times were still needed to heal the wounds. We celebrated our teacher’s birthday with surprise parties and delicious cakes. For a few months, we were living in harmony, filled with lots of love and laughter. Everything seemed moderately perfect.

But it didn’t last forever.

Our school’s football league had just started, and the competitive air filled the sky. Sportive competiton has been defeated by a huge ego to win the league, and becoming this year’s champion of the league was the most important matter. Period.

Our class of 2001 was divided into several cliques. Constant quarrels and fights happened both inside and outside the football court. The tension increased and widened its wings: suddenly, all the fights were not merely about football. It was also about ‘you-dated-my-girlfriend’ and ‘you-dated-my-boyfriend’ thing. The love and laughter had evaporated since then. Tears and hatred took place.

I remembered that afternoon–not long after I went back from school, my phone rang:

“Hello? Hanny?” I heard my friend’s wavering voice. “Have you heard the news?”

“What news?” I asked, puzzled.

“That Ben and some other guys were going out to play basketball this noon at Sentul. And God, they… they got a terrible car accident and three of them were badly injured. They’re all at the hospital now.”

I had no idea what happened next. It all happened so fast. In less than an hour, our class of 2001 had received complete information about the accident. Somehow, we’d been united by this tragic accident that almost took lives of our closest friends. All those tears and hatred that had been hunting us these past few weeks dissapeared. Love, loyalty, and compassion took place.

In a few days, we had collected some money to help our friend’s family covering some costs for the hospital, surgery, and other medications. We sold stuffs and gave away half of our pocket money every single day. We gained support for donations. We did morning prayers for their recovery. We did simply anything that could help our friend’s lives. We had made ourselves busy to forget the sadness and when we weren’t busy, we concentrated on our next efforts.

And a few months after, I believed, our class of 2001 was the happiest one knowing that our friends’ lives were able to be saved.

Suddenly, the football league was no longer important. The boyfriend-girlfriend thingy started to seem ridiculous. During crisis moments, we have found our best quality as highschool students once again. Love, laughter, and compassion filled the air with its freshness. Our class of 2001 would always believe in the strength of love and friendship–that have helped us to pass this awful crisis, together.

Vitamin C’s Graduation and all those nice things that had happened in the beginning were spinning once again …


Berbagi Suami

About 2 or 3 weeks ago, during lunch, my friends at Maverick were discussing about this new movie: “Berbagi Suami”. As a modern women, we do not believe in poligamy—nor the voluntarily will of some women (especially some who are well educated and come from a very promising background), to get themselves involved in a situation where they have to ‘share’ their husband with other women.
Therefore, I was shocked when a friend of mine, who has the same educational background and same perspectives on many issues of life with me, came up to me one day and said that she was dating a married man. A married man with a wife and a 3-y.o. daughter!

She told me how they were in love with each other, and at the moment, they’re just enjoying this romantic encounters as they go along with their everyday life. She told me that she knows how wrong the thing she did. But she just can’t help it. She’s in love. I didn’t say I understand the reason why she was involving herself in such a mess. Because honestly, I don’t understand it. And it would be a lie to say how much I understand her position. Because I don’t. I just don’t.

I know it’s impossible to control your feelings. You’ll never know to whom you’ll be falling in love with—either he’s single man, divorced man, or married man. But you always have choices to control your action. You can choose to get into romance with this married man or not. You can choose to kiss this married man or not.

Therefore, my friends’ situation seems ‘invalid’ to me. And why would you want to hurt other woman’s feelings? Woman with kids?!! And the fact that this married man cheats on his wife… can’t you hear a bell rings in your head? Hel-looo? If he could cheat on his wife, why can’t he cheats on you? Apart from the fact that this man’s wife is a good person or a bad person, they’re already married to each other. And there’s no excuse for you to interfere!

What strucked me the most is what this married man said to my friend. He said, in the end, he had to be responsible to his family. Therefore, in an occasion, he told my friend this crazy sentence: “You know who I am since the very beginning. I have wife and kids, so don’t put too much hope on me”. As a woman, I think of it as an insult. Why? First, because it is true. Second, because a woman should be able to protect herself in such a way so she would never have to hear such thing. Third, because as a woman in that situation, you should also have the pride to say: “I have never, N.E.V.E.R, put any hopes on you, looser. Because you’re hopeless!”

But my friend didn’t seem to think that way. I have no idea why would someone wants to get involved in a relationship that won’t take them anywhere. This man is having a little romance with you, having fun, going out for dating, sending you romantic SMS once every 30 minutes… but in the end, he’ll go back to his wife. To his daughters. To his family. And there my friend will be. On her own.

I kept reminding my friend that because she has already getting herself involved in this mess, she must realize the fact that she has no voice in this relationship. She must realize the fact that one day, this man will leave her. And she better be prepared to face that day; hopefully before this man’s wife smell the affair and caught them red-handed.

Love doesn’t hurt, my friend. Love doesn’t hurt.

IMG. http://ospitiweb.indire.it/ictavagnacco/burton/The_Pin_Cushion_Queen/Pin_Cushion_Queen.jpg


Kita adalah Kelap-Kelip Itu

Ketika saya memandangi bintang-bintang malam ini … saya melihat saya dan kamu di masa lalu. Kita adalah kelap-kelip itu.

Sepertinya … suatu saat dulu, kehidupan kita pernah bertemu tanpa sengaja di suatu sudut. Kemudian kita memutuskan untuk menjadikan sudut itu tempat ternyaman kita berdua, di mana kita bisa saling berbagi, tertawa, dan menangis bersama.

(Tepat pada saat ini saya teringat pada sebuah pepatah lama yang mengatakan: “Suatu saat nanti, kamu akan melupakan mereka yang pernah tertawa bersamamu, tetapi kamu tidak akan pernah bisa melupakan mereka yang pernah menangis bersamamu”).

Sampai tiba saatnya ketika semua berubah.

Dan kita memutuskan untuk menempuh jalan yang sama sekali berbeda. Sendiri-sendiri. Meninggalkan sudut itu tanpa pernah memutuskan apakah kita akan kembali, atau bertemu lagi di sana suatu saat nanti.

Sekarang, kita seperti dua orang asing yang tidak pernah saling mengenal. Hanya dua sosok yang tengah menapaki jalan masing-masing dengan pandangan lurus ke depan. Memaksa diri untuk tidak menoleh ke belakang. Selalu tahu bahwa sudut itu akan tetap berada di sana–di suatu waktu di masa lalu, tanpa pernah tahu apakah suatu saat dulu, ketika kiita masih sering duduk-duduk di sudut itu, pernah ada cinta yang hadir dan tak terucapkan hingga kini …

Ketika saya memandangi bintang-bintang malam ini, saya melihat saya dan kamu di masa lalu. Kita adalah kelap-kelip itu.

Katakan pada saya, apa yang kamu lihat ketika kamu memandangi bintang-bintang?
Apakah kamu melihat saya dan kamu di masa lalu?

Ataukah … kamu hanya melihat bintang-bintang?

~ still starring at those beautiful stars ~

IMG. http://www.lip.pt/~catarina/starry-night.jpg


Fact vs Fiction

Do you think fiction are suffering from unexplainable coincidences? Do you think movies are full of exaggerated romanticism? Well, let me tell you something. Sometimes, real life is crazier than fiction!!! Take into account these experiences of my own:

1. My first year in highschool, and I had a crush on this guy. A senior. But he already had a girfriend back then, and I could only admire him from far away. We have never talked to each other. A few years later, I was in my last year in highschool. I myself had become a senior. And then I bumped into these guy’s friends in a mall. At that time they were already in college. I was with my friend, and my friend knew his friends. I got introduced to his friends, then we had a chat through MIRC, and in the chatting room, I met this guy I had a crush on! It turned out that he had broken up with his girl. And two months after that, he asked me to become his girlfriend …

2. I was a huge fan of this well-known drummer during highschool. I wish one day I could get a bit closer to him. Years passed by, and just a few days ago, I bumped into my lecturer’s husband in Yahoo! Messenger. He was a manager in my old office (another form of coincidence). At first, he asked my opinion to edit a certain passage in English. I was curious about this passage–trying to find the meaning behind those sentences. And then suddenly he said,”Would you like to know who wrote that passage?”. I said,”Sure. Hit me.”. And he mentioned the name of that well-known drummer! It turned out that he was in charge for the launching of this drummer’s new album!!!

3. Sounds ironic that a PR person admire an advertising guy. Well, I admire creative people, and this advertising guy was a creative director for one of the biggest advertising agency in town. One day, I worked with a small agency for a specific purpose. After two or three meetings, I found out that this advertising guy I admired is actually the Creative Director in this new small agency! To add up the weirdness: my colleagues in the office had a crush on a girl, and he heard a gossip that this girl is dating this Creative Director!!!

Recent one:
4. I was in QB, walking through the shelves … went through each book: the title, the author, the synopsis … and flipped through the pages of some books I found interesting. And then I noticed the presence of a cute guy. I overheard his conversation with the shopkeeper, he was looking for an advertising book of some sort. He was standing nearby, reading some advertising books. And I thought it would be perfect if we could get to know each other and went downstairs to have some coffee. Hehehe. It didn’t happen. We were queuing next to each other at the cashier, but he left the shop before me. I went downstairs to have a cup of coffee on my own, and then I went straight to the lobby. A friend of mine would pick me up at the lobby. He was just hanging around with his friends at the same shopping mall. As I hopped in to the backseat of my friends’ car, I was shocked to find that guy, sitting right there with QB plastic bags, smiling!!! My friend’s friend who sat in the front turned back at me and said: “Han, let me introduce you to my brother …” — *What?!!!*

Have you ever experienced a moment which is more peculiar than fiction?!!


Tentang Kamu

Kamu datang di saat saya sedang teramat sendirian.

Kalau kamu pernah merasa kesepian ketika sedang berada di tengah keramaian, mungkin kamu tahu apa yang saya maksudkan. Ketika wajah-wajah mereka yang kamu kenal menjadi sedemikian kabur, dan kamu seperti tidak menemukan dirimu di antara mereka yang sedang tertawa bersamamu.Kamu adalah satu wajah asing yang hadir pada satu momen genting di mana semua terkesan seragam dan familiar. Dan kehadiran kamu membuat kesepian itu menjadi kehilangan arti. Karena sepercik warna di tengah nuansa hitam, putih, dan abu-abu cukup intens memberikan makna. Dan cukup kuat memukau indera.

Kamu datang di saat saya sedang teramat sendirian.

Dan kamu membuat saya mengerti bahwa kesendirian tidak selalu berbanding lurus dengan kesepian. Karena dalam kesendirian, kamu ada dalam setiap tetes hujan yang saya pandangi dari balik layar komputer saya di sore hari. Kamu yang sekali-sekali datang membuat saya tidak pernah kehilangan harapan. Dan kamu yang sekali-sekali menghilang menjadikanmu sosok yang selalu dirindukan.

Ada kalanya saya merasa bahwa kamu hadir untuk membuat saya percaya lagi pada satu hal itu, yang dalam beberapa tahun terakhir ini telah saya anggap sebagai “mitos”. Satu hal yang dipuja sedemikian banyak orang dan belakangan saya terjemahkan dengan kata “old crap”.

Kamu mengada sebagai serpih-serpih rasa pada setiap harinya. Dan jika saya cukup tabah memunguti serpih-serpih itu satu demi satu, saya akan mendapatkan satu hal itu dari dirimu. Utuh.

Ada saat-saat di mana kamu menyerpih sedemikian rupa, memenuhi jejak hidup saya, tetapi saya terlalu malas untuk memungutinya. Berpikir bahwa masih ada hari-hari ke depan, dan saya masih punya banyak kesempatan. Terkadang saya menyesal, mengapa saya tidak lebih rajin mengumpulkan serpih-serpih itu, sehingga saya dan kamu bisa lebih cepat menyatu.

Tetapi … kamu sudah datang di saat saya sedang teramat sendirian. Dan kenyataan itu sudah cukup membantu saya melewati hari-hari yang “hectic” dengan senyuman.

Untuk sementara, perburuan mengumpulkan serpih-serpih itu tak lagi penting buat saya. Ada memori sebesar 1 GB tentang kamu yang siap diakses kapan saja. Saat ini saya sudah cukup puas memandangi potongan-potongan gambar tentang kamu. Kamu yang sedang tersenyum lebar, mengerutkan kening, atau diserang panik. Ada suara-suara kamu. Kamu yang sedang tertawa terbahak-bahak, berbicara dengan nada serius, atau bergumam sendirian di tengah gejolak pemikiranmu.

Saya sudah mendedikasikan satu folder khusus berisi kamu dalam benak saya, lengkap dengan back-up nya.

Jangan takut jika suatu hari, ketika sedang sendiri, tiba-tiba kamu mendengar suara-suara aneh yang tidak kamu kenali. Kemungkinan besar, itu cuma saya. Yang sedang mendoakan kebahagiaan kamu dan orang-orang yang kamu sayangi.

Terima kasih karena sudah datang di saat saya sedang teramat sendirian.

IMG. http://www.redrabbitriversmith.com/art/Sad%20Fairy.jpg


Hai!

Saya sering melihatnya duduk di pinggir lapangan basket pada pukul 6.15 pagi. Dengan jaket kelasnya yang berwarna biru tua, yang menegaskan bahwa dia adalah senior dan saya adalah junior. Saya biasa menatapi punggungnya sambil menunggu kawan-kawan sekelas datang. Dia tidak pernah menoleh ke belakang, seakan tidak menyadari bahwa saya ada di sana, memandangi dia.

Kadang-kadang dia duduk di sana sambil membaca-baca buku pelajaran, hingga bel berbunyi atau hingga kawan-kawannya datang menghampiri dan mengajaknya pergi. Kemudian dia akan berdiri, membetulkan kacamatanya, dan beranjak pergi. Sementara saya tidak pernah berani menatap matanya.

Suatu siang, di selasar, kami mengadakan sebuah pertunjukan. Dan dia berada di sana ketika saya menyanyi. Let It Be Me, I Want to Break Free, dan Leaving on A Jet Plane. Untuk sesaat, saya pikir alangkah serunya jika saya mempersembahkan sebuah lagu untuk dia. Saya sudah tahu siapa namanya, dan sedikit tergelitik untuk berkata “I want to dedicate this next song for … “

Itu cuma angan-angan. Saya belum segila itu.

Meskipun tidak melihat langsung ke arahnya, saya tahu dia mendengarkan saya. Karena dari sudut mata, saya tahu bahwa dia duduk di barisan terdepan, dan ikut memberikan tepuk tangan. Tetapi saya ragu apakah pandangan kami juga pernah bertemu saat itu.

I didn’t think I was in love with him.

Dia cuma seorang senior yang biasa saya pandangi pada pagi hari, sembari menunggu bel masuk berbunyi. Hari ini tiba-tiba saya memikirkan dia dan bertanya-tanya apa kabarnya saat ini. Dan berpikir mengapa pada pagi hari yang sepi itu, ketika kami hanya berdua, ketika ia duduk di sisi lapangan sebelah sana dan saya di sebelah sini, saya tidak menghampiri dia dan berkata, “Hai.”

Apa susahnya?

Mengapa kita seringkali takut melakukan hal-hal yang sesungguhnya tidak perlu ditakutkan? Merisaukan hal-hal yang tidak perlu dirisaukan? Mengapa kita selalu berpikir bahwa sesuatu bisa ditunda sampai nanti, atau dibiarkan berlalu karena masih ada lain kali?

Saya masih mencoba untuk tidak menjadi satu di antara orang-orang bodoh itu. Jadi jika suatu kali saya yang tak dikenal ini menghampiri kamu dan berkata “Hai!”, tolong jawab dengan senyuman. Jangan matikan semangat saya. Karena saya sedang berusaha untuk hidup sehidup-hidupnya. Dan belajar untuk berani menyapa orang-orang yang terlihat mengagumkan di mata saya.

Karena hidup cuma satu kali. Dan saya tidak mau menyesali momen yang tidak bisa terganti. Karena ada keajaiban tersembunyi dalam setiap hal yang saya lewati. Dan mungkin … keajaiban itu saya temukan pada dirimu.

… I need a cup of coffee …


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