Tag: Story

Christmas (4)

Hey, It’s Okay

Birds were chirping and hearts were beating. Ex-friends were sitting on swings side by side. Silence took over as they lightly swung to avoid conversations, and faces were buried in their own smartphones.

They decided they needed to talk long ago, but hey, they never really gotten the chance to. It was too complicated, too many hearts were breaking all around, and they needed the whisper to stop at all cost, even if it broke their friendship apart.

The young woman in her sundress sighed. “I miss telling you everything,” she said.

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Who Knew What You’d Learn When You Dig A Little Deeper

History is always under appreciated by students at school, don’t you think?

And as I write this down, I’m not at all ashamed to say that I as well never paid much attention to history due to how little meaning it gives to life. History doesn’t change anything. Not now, not the future, not ever. The only lesson that still applies from history is the ideology of how experience is the best teacher. It teaches us how things that failed in the past should not be repeated if we are to avoid the same impact that happened times ago.

So I never pay much attention to it.

Until one day, I was staying at this Ramadhan camp for two weeks in a little village. I had the chance to get to know people around the camping site, and I met this woman in a little shop. She told me and my friends to call her ‘Bu Eli’.

(Bu in Bahasa means Mrs.)

Bu Eli was kind, gentle, and a sincere Muslim woman. She invited two friends of mine and I to her house for a nice evening chat. Introduction was made, and small chit chat was shared.

I remembered her beginning her tale with a simple sentence. She said gently with eyes that went a shade darker as she recalled her past. It was the eyes of someone who’s seen the dark part of life and never entirely made it back to the now.

“I’ve lived here (in this village) for twenty years. You see, I was the victim of the monetary crisis. I used to live in Jakarta back in the day.”

I sure as hell remembered not understanding what it meant. “What monetary crisis?” I asked.

“Is it the monetary crisis like in the movie Di Balik 98?” My friend asked.

“Goodness, you don’t know? It was the monetary crisis that happened back in ‘97 and ‘98, my child,” she said. “You must know, it was when President Soeharto was forced to step down after 30 years in power.”

“Oh, when the inflation happened?” I remembered studying something of some sort.

She nodded, “That’s right. It was when the dollar inflated so high that it reached 17.000 rupiahs from 3.000 rupiahs.”

My friends and I shared a surprised a look. That was a high price, indeed.

“Everything went downhill really quick at that time. You weren’t born back then. You see, many companies struggled to keep on their feet with so many debt the country had, and many prices went up. Many companies fired many of their workers to keep the expenditure at minimum, and many assets were sold.”

We listened to her intently. It was more interesting than the lectures my teachers ever gave. It was a real story from someone who’s lived the history. She was there to see it with the two of her eyes. The way she told the tale, it gave away emotions of one who doesn’t have the intention to repeat what’s happened.

“Scholars rebelled, and buildings were burned down. It was the time when the Trisakti Tragedy happened—”

“—When the students were shot down,” I said, finishing her sentence. 4 students were shot down and became hero of the tragedy. Their names were still remembered to this day.

We finally touched a ground I was familiar of.

She nodded, and it must have been a bitter reminiscent. “My husband and I, we struggled to keep on standing on our feet. We opened a book publishing company, but we couldn’t afford the price of the paper as time went by, and things just never got better.”

She took a breath and exhaled, and I held my breath. She waved her hand around, “So we moved here. We sold our assets and came here to stay.We left the rebellion, the mess, and experienced the rest of it though the news in the TV.”

It must have not been an easy decision to make, I gathered.

“Things were different in this village then. There were very few villagers, just forest and vast crops field. My husband and I started over. I believed that knowledge is a beautiful, never-ending tool that can get us back to our feet. We started a course in this village.”

“With only very few villagers, who’d come and study?” My friend asked.

“Oh, there were many students who were interested,” Bu Eli said vigorously.

“What about daily supply? Where do you get things from?” I asked too. It was a very real life Harvest Moon experience to me. I had to ask before my imagination went wild to the point where villagers trade things to get their need in my head.

Bu Eli chuckled, “It was hard too at first. Being in such a secluded place, it took hours to go back and forth to get what we needed. But as time went by, many mini mart opened up, and many small merchants stayed for good. It was quite a peaceful life after that.”

And Bu Eli is now a headmaster in a local kindergarten, a teacher in a local middle school, and a student counselor in a local high school. She’s a mother to three children, and she owns a farm or two as I recall.

“And you’ve never thought about going back?”

Bu Eli didn’t need time to think about it. It was an immediate response of, “No, never.”

“What about families?”

“The goodbyes were hard,” she adjusted her glasses back on with a fond smile. “But times were hard, and sacrifices had to be made. We still see each other to this day.”

But is this the happy ending you imagined you’d have? Have you ever regretted anything?

There were many questions, many rude questions left in the tip of my tongue. I was so eager to find out what crosses the mind of someone who’s lived the history to tell the tale. I was curious to know what made her survive mentally, what made her still stand up to this day, and what made her find her peace.

Bu Eli took me back to those old history lessons that I’d sleep through at school. I never thought much of those lessons. In fact, I never thought it deserved a penny of my mind, until I heard Bu Eli’s tale, and I realized there was much more to history than old tales and mistakes.

In history, lived the tale of thousands of people who experienced the same one event. There were victims, heroes, or simply spectators, and each of them had their own story to tell. Each and every one of them had their own struggles, and they had their own way of rising back up to face the future that was held before them.

There were many different celebration, and many different grieves. Every teardrops to every pain and every smiles to every new hope. But at the end of the day, history holds not only mere experience, but it also holds beauty of its own. Because behind the pages that were printed in our textbook, now I know the tiny glimpse of what it took to be remembered, to be timeless.

Dear you, who’s lived through your own history and made it to where you are today, raise your glass, here’s to you.

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As Years Pass By

She was 11 when she first dreamed of her prince charming, except her prince charming was more of a dark knight from a faraway kingdom than a handsome prince. In her dreams, nothing was imperfect. They met at a balcony in summer, and everything was sweet, wonderful, and naive. In the dream, they loved each other right away, and they shared their first kiss under the stars.

She turned 13, and her charming prince was no longer a charming prince. He was Allanneire Radgon from London. He had a twin sister, loving parents, two annoying cousins, and a step-brother he cherished completely. She loved his family as her own, and she would often attend family dinners, movie night, and laugh along side them. She became part of their lives, and she thanked God for the joy He gave.

15 hit, and things started to get rocky. Mama found out of her Allan. She tried everything she could to get rid of him. Mama told her he didn’t exist, that prince Allan is just a mere imagination. Mama said her obsession with Allan was unhealthy, and she couldn’t understand what she was thinking. Allan was waiting for me, she told Mama. Can I go to Allan, she asked Mama. She made an enemy out of Mama, but she didn’t care. Mama had her for 15 years, it’s Allan’s turn now.

The roughest was when she blew her candles of her 18th Birthday. It was harder for her to see her Allan. She didn’t know what it was, but Allan started to walk away, and it scared her to death. It was suffocating. It was painful. It’s hard to breath without Allan. It’s hard to smile. She realized it must be because a handsome, young guy was attracted to her. She turned him down in an instant, of course. She was Allan’s. She giggled, of course Allan was jealous. This was why she didn’t engage any relationship with anyone.

Her wedding bells was a cry of the devil she feared to hear, but alas, it rang, on her wedding day as she stared back into her reflection. Stood a young woman at the age of 22. Her make up was running down her face. She couldn’t do this. She begged for Mama to hear, but Mama was getting old and she wanted her to start producing children. Children from a man she didn’t love. Mama said they were perfect, and that if Allan really did loved her, he would be here by now. She hated Mama for being right, and she hated Allan for not being the groom in her wedding. She sobbed again, staining her white dress. The guest won’t appreciate it, but she didn’t care. She was betraying Allan. Her heart was breaking apart. She couldn’t care less of what they think.

30. She kissed her second offspring goodnight. Allan was back to the charming prince. No, scratch that. He’s just a prince now. Not charming at all.

50. The prince was long gone. Right now, she was crying because her first child just received his PhD. What would he be like if his father was a different man?

70. Her husband of 48 years passed. She shed no tears.

75. Strolling down at a park was one thing she did quite often these days when she was not with her grandchildren. It was relaxing to see all the children laugh so freely. Her wheelchair suddenly bumped into a boy. She was ready to apologize, but he stole her words. He bowed deep like a gentleman that one charming prince was.

She asked him of his name.

His smile took her breath away.

“Allan Radgon, Madame. Again, I apologize.”

She shook her head, feeling dazed. “You have nothing to apologize for, I was the one who bumped into you.”

The boy who called himself Allan pressed his lips together, like as if he was remembering, hard. He shook his head eventually and bowed again, excusing himself.

80. Her last breath was taken right how she hoped it would be. Allan was holding her cold, wrinkly hands in his. He was by her sickbed. He had been visiting her for five years, with new flowers to bring each week. He had been making up for the lost years, though he probably not have realized that that was what he had been doing for five years. He was 13 now, and she was 80.

“Tell me what you think,” she whispered to him.

He heard her. He kissed her hands. “I wish I had found you sooner, Madame. Much sooner.”

She gave a breathy chuckle. “Some things are not meant to be.”

Allan was close to tears. “Not in this lifetime.”

She felt hear heart give away.

“I will find you sooner in the next life,” he choked between tears, eyes staring deep into hers. It was all blurry, and she could see the dark coming her way. She smiled and caressed his hand with one thumb.

She exhaled one last breath.

Darkness took her sight.


She was back to 8, with dress and pigtails.

She was breathless from running away from her friends. They were playing hide and seek. She wasn’t good at hiding, she never liked hiding.

She felt a tap on her shoulder.

She turned to the person, expecting him to be the ‘it’, but her scowl didn’t make it. She recognized him, with all his glory. She recognized the same blue eyes, the same soft smile, and she suddenly remembered the smell of the hospital, the white gown, and the promise a boy made long ago.

“I found you.”

A teardrop fell. She remembered who he was.

You did.

This lifetime, their path crossed.

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He’s Late, She’ll Wait

Kellan is everything a writer could hope to be.

While he is just a newbie in the fanfiction world, his writing lacked the typo and the basic mistakes of those who usually just stepped one foot into the world. His writings were straight up neat, to the point, and mature. He carefully planned the whole plot before he put the story into words, and he updated his story every morning with a chapter of around 6000 words. He was smart, committed, and democratic. If anything, he was very welcomed into the fandom and received a great support for his brilliant work.

So it wasn’t a surprise when Ace fell in love with his words. She made sure to read every single chapter before school once they were updated, and she made sure to leave nice comments to keep him going. Sometimes, she would put in her request for some romance idea, and she would happily click open his reply to her reviews.

Kellan was 18. Ace was 11.

It was too far age difference for any possible romance to happen, but a 10 year old can marry 60 year old and Ace would never bat her lashes at how wrong it is.

Nice work, Kellan, I really love your version of Dark!Hermione,
though I wish she could be a tad kinder to her housemates.
I hope I can get more romance between Harry and Tracey
next chapter. Keep up the good work!

Thanks, Ace, I’ll keep your request in mind, though I
already have something planned out for Harry and Tracey. 

Aw, come on, pretty please?

I’ll see what I can do. By the way, aren’t you supposed
to be sleeping, kid?

Kid, my ass. I’m 11 and that is two years away from
teenage life.

Sometimes they would even speak about something completely random through the PMs. Kellan would check her works once in a while, help her get into the mindset that she’s the one who own her character’s world, and would even encourage her when the haters from Ace’s story started to irk her too much. They became friends fast, and they spoke at least once a week through messages due to being in different city.

One day, an announcement came up.

Kellan wrote in his last chapter of his story that he was going to be away for a long time and the story will have to be put on HIATUS. He didn’t say anything about it to Ace, but then again, who was she to him? Of course he wasn’t obliged to tell her. That didn’t stop Ace from being the nosy and curious person that she is.

Hey, what’s going on?

I’m signing up for the army.

What about uni?

I’m leaving school.

What about your story? They aren’t finished yet.

I’m going to continue them, I promise,
no matter how long it takes.

No matter how long it takes?

I promise, Ace.

What about me? 

Delete.

Okay, I’ll wait. 

Send.

They didn’t speak again after that. Ace assumed he was too busy preparing for the armies. That was until she searched for his story in the spirit of rereading them. His writings made her laugh and cry, and she loved his works. She hummed along with the song that was playing on her music player, until she took a sharp breath in surprise.

No result found matching your keyword(s)/phrase. Please expand your search.

Tip: If you want to search a phrase and not just individual words, use double quotes. Example: “Search this phrase”.

Ace tried again. Typing in his pen name this time.

The same result came up.

She checked her Favorite Author right away and found a name, an unrecognized name with zero stories written.

Ace slammed her laptop shut, fighting back the cry of disappointment that was threatening to fall. Bastard. He deleted them. The stories, their messages, and even changed his pen name too.

He was 19. She was 12. He left. She wept.


Hey, how’s life in the army?

It’s been a while since I last saw you online. If you’re thinking that the reason I’m sending you this message is because I want to persuade you to go back to the ffn world, you’re not wrong. But mostly, I’m here because one of my greatest inspiration in writing has gone never came back since 2011. It’s been three years, and I really thought you were going to be back by now. Where are you? I’m expecting news, you know. We all are. If you’re not going to continue your great stories, then we would’ve understood. I’m not even expecting great news. Any kind of news would’ve been fine. I truly miss you, Kellan. As a great author, and as a (hopefully) friend. Write back if you get the chance to. Just don’t walk away and not look back. Don’t be that person.


I took a placement test in a great boarding school, and I’m really hoping I would be accepted. If I didn’t get in, then I guess that’s sucks, but that’s life, right? How is it there wherever you are?


Will you ever come back? Reply soon, stay alive.


I don’t know what’s going on in the army, I have zero clue of what’s going on with your life. You are incredible writer, you know that? I remember how I used to get excited every single morning because I knew your story was already updated. You’re not just some kind of a random author passing by. You’re an author that I’ve always looked up to. Many authors gave up, the same can probably said about me. But you, I can’t stop waiting. I can’t stop hoping for you to continue what you love.

I will always hope this message goes to you.


How’s life in the army? I bet you’re either all muscular or got one arm or leg dysfunction. Kidding, that wasn’t nice, sorry. But tell me everything! How’s the food? How are the people? Are there females who signed up?

…Who am I kidding? Those aren’t the kind of questions I want to ask. My brain is all crammed up with, “When are you coming back?” or “Are you even still alive?”

Selfish, I know. That just kind of happens. Especially when someone hung someone’s hope too high up in the air. I try to tell myself that you will come back and all I need is patience. But with you, I never really had to wait. You always update your story on first time notice. I try to make myself understand that you are probably having a rough time and you’re just not ready to embrace the past that you’ve once left behind. But guess what? I don’t get it. I don’t understand even the slightest bit of it.

But really, how am I supposed to understand, damnit? How am I supposed to feel okay? It’s been three years. I know I shouldn’t be complaining, I know I should be more considerate since, hey, I don’t know anything about you at all! But I just can’t just let this go, you know? You probably won’t even appreciate all this letters. Hell, you might even block my account for this. But I can’t let go. You make me happy. What you do makes me happy. Is it wrong as a human to not want that happiness to go away? Tell me one good reason why I should give up. No wait, scratch that, I dare you to make me give up. Because I won’t. I’m not giving up on you, no matter how weird that sounded. Just… stay alive, okay? Wherever you are, I hope you’re worrying about us just as much as we are worrying about you.

Come back soon.


He’s 22. She’s 14.

Kellan might be late, but Ace will wait.

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