February unfolds with raindrops and pillows and that feverish feeling of missing something you can’t really put into words or shapes or figures and makes your stomach churns. Those fluffy rain clouds loom above you as you sip your first cup of coffee in the morning and your last cup of tea in the evening, heavy with million droplets of memories. Everything is silent, like waking up in a hotel room at 2.15 in the morning or standing alone inside an elevator rushing to the 27th floor.

But there’s something slightly convenient about wandering around the house listlessly with your pajamas on when the sun is high, listening to Jonathan & Charlotte while reciting Laksmi Pamuntjak’s poems from The Anagram. You retreat to your bedroom when the storm hits and think about that French word, retrouvailles: the happiness of meeting again after a long time.

You wonder if it’s worth the wait–people change and you’ve been hurt before. So you keep yourself busy doing almost everything you can think of, just to distract yourself from the weight of not knowing. You clean and dust and vacuum and mop and cook and water the plants like it’s the last time.

You don’t write another unsent letter because they are too sad. But you keep your words nonetheless: a home is simply a place where you’ll be missed. And though he carried these words with him that day, you are not sure if he remembers or if he knows that you really mean it, or if he actually cares; and so despite the cold and the downpour, you leave the front door open, ready for the retrouvailles.


12 Responses

  1. …something slightly convenient as she tries hard to appear unaffected. unmoved by the whole prospect of meeting again. of having the uncertainty of downpour would actually bring that magical moment. would it be timeless. would it play out to her secret hopes and wishes. would her heart now stop the incessant worry and restless torment. would she let it be taken once and for all. again.

    Laksmi. it would not come to her defend. not against the rush of not knowing. the silent anticipation. the beating of her heart against the watchful grey skies. the time has come, she whispered. would she dare now. to fall again.

    would she let it.

  2. Hanny, been wanting to tell you that it’s amazing how I can totally relate to most of your blog posts. It’s scary how you can read mind/heart 😀 When I read this post I was in waiting as well, in the hope that i was not doing it in vain, that this retrouvailles would really happen.. Anyway, a friend posted this and when I watched it, it reminded me of this post.. Keep writing Hanny!!

    1. Fina, thanks so much for sharing your story! I always believe that somehow similar souls find each other 😉 It means so much to me that someone can actually relate to what I write, it makes me feel very humbled. Wishing you all the best for your retrouvailles (or maybe a totally new one)! 🙂 *hugs* OH, and anyway, MoMA is the only place I’d like to visit in the US 😛

      1. Thx Hanny for the hugs and the wish 🙂 Ey I forgot to tell you, maybe you should read the “story” of Marina-Ulay, the video would become more dramatic.. And I like the quote I found in one of the comments, “we never stop silently loving those we once loved out loud.” For me too, it’s so absurd to hate someone who used to be the reason for all my happiness. Isn’t it?

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Legs and Apples
Do it because it’s fun. Because it brings you joy; because it’s meaningful to you. Do it because it gives you simple tiny pleasures. Do it because it makes you smile.
The view from De Klok
I took another digital detox this weekend—I limited myself to a 5-minute screen time on Saturday and Sunday to quickly check my business account. I closed my social media account for the rest of the days.
Hanny illustrator
I am an Indonesian writer/artist/illustrator and stationery web shop owner (Cafe Analog) based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I love facilitating writing/creative workshops and retreats, especially when they are tied to self-exploration and self-expression. In Indonesian, 'beradadisini' means being here. So, here I am, documenting life—one word at a time.