I was very fond of goodbyes, growing up.

In a time where you always feel like you don’t belong, it’s difficult to stay in a happy place and feel at peace with where you are. This is perhaps why I barely shed a tear when prom or graduation comes knocking on my door. While others may stall for just a little bit longer, begging and yearning for forever,  I was always ready to open a new door with two arms to jump in head first into another self-searching journey.

Check-in, search, 404 not found, check-out, repeat.

17 years, and I can barely count with one hand how many times I felt like I belong at peace with where I am and my environment – until I invited Bandung into my life – and came it did,  bursting through my door in a huge, huge storm two months before I was to leave to Japan.

This is temporary, I tell myself as I shake hands and learn new names.

Come September I’ll be gone, I tell myself while I trade dirty whispers with 12 lovely ladies all night long.

You’re being selfish, I tell myself in the mids of texting back a guy I hardly plan to spend forever with.

The storm that is Bandung is a solid ground that I never thought I’ll ever need for my personal peace and I find myself wanting to run far, far away from the goodbye that was so, so near. Fate is a cruel mistress like that, I think. She made me stay years in time where I wish I can be moved and then takes me away the second after I have a thought, I belong here. 

Leaving everything and everyone else was never more painful than ripping a band-aid. Leaving the storm, however, I think I left 12 different pieces of my heart and a chunk of guilt somewhere in there.

(and lovely memories, but that is only for the cold wind of Bandung to remember.)

I was very fond of goodbyes, growing up, so I learned one, two, three new names and truly believed that there will be no damage left. Ripping off band-aid, I remind myself. Quick and easy, stinging pain that will heal come tomorrow.

Band-aid is not enough this time around, I think, because the open wound is more painful than I remember.

Does the mistress truly believe I deserve this?

(My fingers pause, ponders, counts on the tears I spilled, heart I broke.)

(My fingers continues.)

Yeah, she probably does.

It’s okay, I think. I do too.