Rabu, 29 Juni 2016

Second Chance (30 Hari Menulis #29: Kolaborasi)

Ayah tertawa melihatku buru-buru masuk mobil. "Kamu nih, udah jam segini baru mau berangkat. Kalo Ayah udah keburu pergi, gimana?"

"Kan nyatanya masih sempet nebeng Ayah," balasku, lengkap dengan cengiran yang membuat tawa Ayah semakin membahana.

Picture taken from pcwallart.com
Kami meluncur keluar kompleks, dan mulai menikmati kemacetan kota ini yang selalu hadir setiap pagi. Kemacetan yang selalu dikeluhkan warga, dilawan pemerintah, tapi tidak pernah benar-benar pergi, karena masyarakat - seperti kami - tetap memilih berkendara sendiri daripada mengembara dengan angkutan kota. Aku dan Ayah menertawakan hal ini.

Laju lalu lintas lambat laun mulai bersahabat. Ayah membawa mobilnya semakin dekat ke sekolahku. Itu dia gedungnya, sudah terlihat. Hanya perlu belok kiri di sini...

Tapi sebelum sampai kami ke sekolah, aku mendengar suara benturan yang sangat keras dari arah kanan, kemudian kepalaku berhantaman keras dengan kaca mobil di sebelah kiriku. Aku mencari-cari Ayah, tapi yang bisa kulihat hanya merah.

Lalu hitam.

Lalu gelap.

Lalu putih. Terang benderang. Silau! Pelan-pelan kubuka mataku, mencoba untuk meminimalisasi cahaya yang menusuk-nusuk pupilku.

Aku menemukan diriku berdiri di sebuah padang bunga yang sangat luas, Sang Mentari bertengger bangga di angkasa, bersinar seolah-olah tak boleh ada sedikitpun bayangan di Bumi.

Hanya saja, aku tidak merasa berada di Bumi.

Aku memancarkan pandangan ke sekelilingku, dan menemukan seseorang berdiri tak jauh di belakangku. Ia tersenyum. Pria? Wanita? Aku bahkan tidak bisa mulai menebak usianya.

"Kami telah menunggumu, Putra," katanya.

Menunggu aku? "Kenapa?"

"Karena hanya kamu yang bisa membuat alam semesta kembali utuh," jawabnya. Ia mulai mendekatiku.

Aku tidak bisa menjelaskan apa yang aku rasakan. Hanya: aku tidak ingin berada dekat dengan orang - makhluk - itu.

Dia tersenyum. "Yang harus kau lakukan sekarang hanyalah masuk."

"Ke mana?" Siapa kamu? Kenapa aku? Alam semesta? Ada banyak pertanyaan berkecamuk di kepalaku, tapi mulutku seolah terlalu takut untuk membuka. Di mana Ayah? Apa yang terjadi?

Sebagai jawaban, dia hanya mengangkat tangan kanannya, menunjuk ke sesuatu yang berada di belakangku.

Aku berbalik, dan melihatnya: sebuah peti mati yang dikelilingi bunga-bunga mawar.

Tidak. Tidak!

Aku berlari sekuat mungkin. Aku tidak peduli ke mana, aku hanya ingin menjauh dari semua kemustahilan ini. Ayah! Aku mau pulang ke Ayah!

Tapi usahaku sia-sia. Kedua tangan makhluk itu memanjang dan memanjang, menyusulku, melilit tubuhku, dan mengangkatku tinggi di angkasa tanpa kesulitan.

Aku melihat ke bawah, tepat ke arah peti mati yang perlahan-lahan membuka sendiri, sedikit demi sedikit.

Aku meronta

dan meronta

dan meronta

tanpa hasil.

Tubuhku melayang rendah, rendah, rendah, hingga aku berada di dalam peti mati itu, tidak bergerak, tidak bisa bergerak, atau berteriak, hanya bisa memandang nanar peti mati yang menutup, membungkusku dalam kesunyian.

Yang kulihat hanya merah.

Lalu hitam.

Lalu gelap.

Hanya gelap.

(Ini hanya bagian saya dari cerita kolaborasi kami. Untuk cerita yang lengkap hasil tulisan saya dan teman-teman kelompok saya, sila baca di link ini.)

Selasa, 28 Juni 2016

Why I Got Married Even Though I Never Wanted To (30 Hari Menulis #28)

I was never into marriage.

Picture taken from HuffingtonPost.com
Growing up, my friends often fantasized about their dream weddings - beach weddings, garden weddings, white weddings - but I just couldn't bring myself to care about what kind of dress I wanted to wear or which color scheme I wanted for the decoration. I was much more into other stuff, like actually getting good grades in school.

Nearing my 30's, a lot of my friends were engaged, or married, or pregnant. Me? I was still so focused on my career as a writer and human rights activist. I wasn't envious of them, either, because I couldn't imagine dedicating myself to just one person for the rest of my life. My parents grew wary of my singledom, even trying to introduce me to children of their friends whom they thought were eligible men, but I just shook my head and did my own stuff. Marriage was never for me, I guess.

But then he proposed to me, and I couldn't say yes quick enough.

He came out of nowhere - a representative of a client company that wanted me to write an article about their product on my blog. Turned out we'd met on several occasions on banquets or mutual friends' weddings, and during our work together we realized that we just had so, so, so much more in common than anyone else we'd met in our lives. I can still remember his face when I told him that his favorite books were written by me, back when I still used an alias because I wasn't confident enough as a writer to use my real name on my books. He lit up like the sun.

Love happened very suddenly, took me by force and I was drowning in happiness. It made me anxious, to be honest. I wasn't used to feeling so happy because of another person, and certainly never for such a long period of time. When I told him this, he said that he felt the same, but he couldn't imagine going back to how things were now that he knew what life was like with me. That was two weeks before his proposal, three years after we went on our first date.

It's been ten years now, and every morning I wake up smiling at his sleeping face right next to mine. The peacefulness he radiates reminds me that life can actually be this good, no strings attached. Well, it's not always golden all the time - even now we still find some things we disagree about, or stuff we just tolerate about each other - but this feeling of completeness, of being understood, is definitely worth all the bumps on our road.

I still maintain that you don't need to be married to be happy even today, but if you meet the right person - the person that can make you fall in love with yourself, especially when they're around - marriage isn't such a bad idea. Spending the rest of your life with that person isn't scary - it's something you actually look forward to.

Senin, 27 Juni 2016

Homunculus (30 Hari Menulis #27)


Someone is living in me.

She is breathing, breathing hard.
She always starves
for something terrible
something awful
to happen.
She is always there,
somewhere in me,
living,
breathing,
waiting.

If her time comes,
when
her time comes,
she will break out
and rip everything I've ever had
to a million
a billion
a trillion little pieces.

And I will never be whole again.

And I'm scared
of that time.
I'm scared of her.

I'm scared of me.

Minggu, 26 Juni 2016

Pulang (30 Hari Menulis #26)

Pagi ini berjalan seperti biasa: aku bangun, bersiap-siap kemudian berangkat bekerja. Begitu sampai di tempat kerjaku, sebuah kafe kecil di tengah-tengah Sheffield, aku langsung membersihkan kembali tempat ini dan mempersiapkannya untuk hari ini. Aku menyapa Dan dan Phil, bartender dan chef kafe ini, kemudian kami memulai hari.

Tapi ada yang tidak biasa pada hari ini.

Picture from bangordailynews.com
Beberapa jam setelah kafe dibuka, kami memasuki jam sibuk. Berbagai macam orang datang ke tempat kami untuk sekadar mengobrol, bersantai, bekerja dengan laptop mereka, atau makan siang. Aku melayani tamu-tamu kami seperti biasa, diawali dengan senyum, dan diakhiri dengan terima kasih. Beberapa tamu terlihat familiar karena sudah beberapa kali ke sini, dan beberapa di antara mereka memang bahkan sudah memiliki tempat favorit masing-masing.

Aku menyukai pekerjaanku, selain karena bayarannya bagus untuk pekerjaan yang bisa kubilang sederhana, juga karena orang-orang ini membuatku nyaman. Setidaknya, kebanyakan dari mereka.

Masuklah dua orang yang belum pernah kami lihat sebelumnya. Tamu baru. Dengan sigap, aku mengantarkan menu kepada mereka, lengkap dengan senyuman termanisku, dan berkata, "Selamat datang. Ada yang bisa saya bantu?"

Salah satu dari mereka memandangku dari atas hingga bawah, melirik ke temannya, kemudian mereka berdua tertawa. Aku mengernyit, tidak mengerti dari mana perlakuan tidak menyenangkan ini datang. Kata-kata yang keluar dari mulut mereka kemudian memperjelas situasi.

"Sudah siap untuk pulang? Kami tidak mau orang-orang sepertimu di negara kami lagi."

Aku terpana. Hal yang kutakutkan sejak sebelum hasil referendum kemarin keluar akhirnya sudah dimulai.

Aku masih tidak bisa berkata apa-apa ketika Dan menghampiri meja mereka dan bertanya apakah ada masalah. Salah satu dari mereka menjawab, ada, ada masalah. Masalahnya adalah aku. Aku seorang pendatang yang mengambil semua pekerjaan mereka dan menikmati hasil pajak mereka. Mereka ingin aku pulang ke negaraku. Mereka ingin aku apa?

Dan meminta mereka keluar.

"Apa-apaan ini?" tanya salah satu dari mereka, marah. "Kami tidak salah, kami hanya mengatakan apa yang dipikirkan semua orang!"

"Perlakuan seperti ini tidak diterima di kafe kami," tegas Phil yang entah bagaimana sudah berada di belakangku, meletakkan tangannya di bahuku untuk menunjukkan dukungan. Aku merasa sedikit lebih baik.

"Untuk informasi Anda, Sir," aku mulai berkata, "saya lahir dan besar di negara ini, sama seperti Anda. Ini rumah saya. Saya memang sudah pulang."

Salah satu dari dua rasis itu protes, mengatakan sesuatu tentang Islam atau kulit gelapku atau hal lain yang tidak begitu aku pedulikan. Yang jelas, mereka akhirnya angkat kaki. Aku sedikit lega, tapi juga merasa bahwa ini hanyalah permulaan dari hari-hari yang tidak menyenangkan.

Aku membalikkan tubuhku, menghadap ke arah para tamu yang lain. Beberapa dari mereka sama terpakunya dengan aku tadi atas apa yang baru saja terjadi, dan beberapa lainnya - para tamu langganan - memberikan senyuman dukungan kepadaku.

Aku meminta maaf atas kejadian tidak mengenakkan barusan.

Salah satu tamu langganan kami - Louise, yang selalu memesan cokelat hangat dan duduk di samping jendela - mendekati aku, dan memberikanku sebuah pelukan yang sangat hangat. Sangat sulit bagiku untuk menahan air mataku untuk tidak jatuh. Haru menyelimuti seluruh tubuhku.

"Kamu tidak sendirian," ujarnya.

Begitu aku pulang, aku masuk ke laman sosial mediaku dan menemukan bahwa memang, aku tidak sendirian, dalam arti yang berbeda dengan yang dimaksud Louise. Akan lebih banyak rasis yang merasa benar karena Brexit, dan aku tidak bisa menyembunyikan rasa takut dan khawatirku.

Tapi aku mengingat apa yang dilakukan oleh Louise, Dan, Phil, dan tamu-tamu kafe lainnya hari ini, dan setuju bahwa aku tidak sendirian, dalam arti yang dimaksud Louise. Rasisme tidak akan menang, dan hari demi hari akan aku habiskan untuk memperjuangkan kebenaran.

Sabtu, 25 Juni 2016

Senja, Setelah Aku Pergi (30 Hari Menulis #25: Tantangan)


Tantangan dari Rista 

Puisi ini ditulis berdasarkan gambar di atas.

Kamis, 23 Juni 2016

Predicament (30 Hari Menulis #23: Action)

I find myself in a predicament: there are fireballs traveling in what seems like light speed heading my way.

I imagine it would suck so hard if they made contact with my bare face. Good thing I managed to block it with a water barrier, then.

The firebender moves to my left, and I don't waste any time. I bend the barrier into ice spikes and send them his way. He's too fast, though. I swear it's barely physically impossible to move directions while you're running as quickly as he did, but if it's him, anything's possible.

I try my luck, locking him in an ice jail as he runs past a trail of water from the lake right next to us as fast as I can. It works, and I almost smile victoriously before I notice his grin.

He heats his whole body. The ice is melting, so I quickly get into the lake before he sets himself free. I surround myself with water tentacles, and dear God it takes so much of my energy when it's midday and I can't borrow the power of my brother's dead ex-girlfriend. I don't show it, though.

He breaks free.

I try to hit him with one of my water tentacles, but he dodges it to the right. Unlucky for him, though, I've already readied the second tentacle.

SPLASH.

He's soaked all over, his long hair glistening under the sun. He looks at me for a fraction of a second, and he runs.

Toward me.

Into the big, deep lake.

Is he crazy? This is completely my territory!

Confused, I freeze the surface to lock him in, but he's already swimming deeper by the time the water freezes above him.

My heart pounds as I wait for him to break the already melting frozen surface and show himself, but it's been a second too long. Where is he?

The sudden heat of the water surrounding me answers my question. I'm startled at the temperature that rised way too quickly, and lose my balance. I fall into the water.

I haven't had time to make sense of my surroundings when I see the fire in his eyes approaching me.

I could have just frozen the water around him before he reaches me, but I'm out of breath and energy and my lungs are just screaming at me demanding oxygen, so I quickly move my legs and swim towards the completely melted surface.

I gasp for air, taking enough to get ready to dive back in and find him, but before I can do anything, his face shows itself right next to me.

"Tag," he smirks as he places his hand on my head, "you're it."

Kamis, 16 Juni 2016

You've Got A Text! (30 Hari Menulis #16)


"MYA"

"Who is that? Found yourself a new girlfriend?"

"Missing you already"

"Adorable. Are you drunk?"

"No... I don't have to be drunk to text my girlfriend"

"Actually, you do. You're very practical with texts when you're sober."

"You know me so well! Are you an angel?"

"Just on the weekends. Where are you? You're not driving home after this, okay?"

"I'M NOT DRUNK"

"I don't believe you."

"Fine. I'm at Matt's"

"You are? Why?"

"Carolyn broke up with him I'm here for moral support"

"Moral supports aren't supposed to be intoxicated."

"I'm bad at it apparently"

"Should I take that responsibility? I can drive you home afterwards."

"NEGATIVE he doesn't want anyone to see his ugly face he cries like a little girl"

"Alright. Well, tell him I'm sorry. Are you staying there? I can come and bring breakfast for you guys."

"YOU ARE THE BEST WIFE"

"I'm not your wife yet, Alex."

"YET??? DOES THAT MEAN WHAT I THINK IT MEANS?"

"We are NOT doing this over text. Go get some rest."

"ILYSM!!!"

"How many times do I have to tell you that I'm not familiar with Internet abbreviations, like a normal 30-something who doesn't hang out with teenagers?"

"It's I love you so much remember it because I'll be saying it a lot"

"Oh because it's too much trouble to actually type every word down?"

"No because it's cool like spy codes"

"You're definitely more drunk than I thought. Go to sleep. I'll see you in the morning. Also: ILYSM2."

"Using 2 as too is a bit juvenile don't you think"

"OH SHUT UP ALEX!"