The Heaviest Emptiness

Earlier this morning my mother told me that one of my uncles was in comma. My mother is flying to Pekanbaru to see him today, and she asked me to come. But I couldn't because I have class tomorrow in which I must attend. And a few hours later, as my mother was ready to leave for the airport, she got a phone call informing he had passed.

I guess it was what happened to people when they were told that they lost somebody they care deeply and love dearly.. that split second when everything goes unclear; because sorrow, breathlessness, regrets, guilt, everything that comes along with grief struck in altogether, in such overwhelming speed, without prior notice.

And I hate the fact that I'm trapped here because the only thing that I feel like doing right now is to pay my last respect for him.

And I also hate the fact that the last time we talked was a few months ago, when he bought us, the "kids", to have burgers for lunch as we were enough of the greasiness and spiciness of Lebaran delicacies. Though I'm not that close to him, he's a family and I love him. Not to mention he's one of the people I know who lived with the kindest and the most generous heart.

When I think of it, I may have dealt with this kind of loss before, but it's never been this huge and close.

As I'm typing this alone in my bedroom, only accompanied by the sound of ticking clock and the dim of turned off lights, I feel nothing but so empty yet so burdened at the same time.

So I guess it's what death leaves for the living... the heaviest emptiness.

Innalillahiwainnailaihi rojiun, selamat jalan, Om. I know you're in a better place with Him now. :)


Isn't it sad
that the older you get and the more you grow up
the more you think you'll find yourself

But you realize
as you get older and grow up,
you misread and misjudge
you pick the wrong battles
you make faulty decisions
you miss your moments

Then you find yourself too late to return
yet too lost to push through

And isn't it sadder
the only thing left with you is the irony
that as you try to find yourself
you end up losing it in the process

And maybe you lose too much
that now you have become a stranger to your old self


It’s past midnight and I cannot sleep.

The past few days have been about change(s) for me.

I can finally drive car. It may be irrelevant to some but being able to drive had been my to-do list since a year ago. My parents are very by the book, they didn't let me land my hands on the steering wheel until I turned 17. I actually practiced several times early last year, but I think my poor motor skills and my tendency to panic over small things got in the way then I decided to give it a break. Earlier this year, I set a goal that I needed to be able to drive car by the start of the new term. And I nailed it. I’ve driven to some places although I’m still under my parents’ supervision (because having my driving license issued is one thing and getting my parents’ permission to drive all by myself is another. And the latter is harder.) My driving skills still have lots to polish, but people say practice makes perfect. I cannot wait until I bid goodbye to my dependence toward cabs―so long, Mr. Taxi!

Also, last week I moved in to a rumah kostI don’t know what people call it, a boarding house?nearby campus. It’s not that my house is that far, it normally takes around an hour to get to school; it’s just not the best option to go back and forth (since this satanic Jakartan traffic will take away my time and sanity). The hardest part of it is I’ve always had issues of staying away from home. I don’t have problem living independently, but I do have problem feeling lonely. I miss talking to my parents during dinner, I miss being in the middle of my brother and sister’s stupid fights, I miss my maid knocking on my bedroom door to wake me up, and I miss home-cooked meals. Now the only thing that I look forward to is weekends because that's when I get to finally go home.

I also went through homesickness, literallyrunny nose, sore throat, and a bit of temperature riseduring my first days here. But I’m getting better and starting to settle in just well now. Kuddos to my friends who can endure living alone in this big city and being far away from their family.

And some shameless webcam boredom from my kost room to end this so-called post:

I have to hit the sack now or I will miss my 7 am class tomorrow (or today, technically).

To everyone moving in to a new place, signing up for a gym membership for the first time, planning to get an extremely different haircut, healing from a terrible break up, or undergoing changes in general:

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Lao-Tzu

"Your voice. And your smile. I will probably forget them both."

“You know, talking to you… it’s nice,” katanya tiba-tiba. “Movie talks are always nice,” jawabku santai. Kami memang biasa berbincang soal film dan hal serupa, mungkin karena selera aku dengan dia yang nggak jauh beda. Untung ngobrolnya cuma berdua begini, kalau ada orang lain, terutama teman-teman dekatku yang isengnya bukan main, kami berdua pasti sudah jadi sasaran empuk untuk diolok-olok.

“Eh, bentar ya, Liv,” ujarnya sambil mengambil ponselnya yang bergetar. Ada beberapa detik momen diam di antara kami selagi ia membalas pesan. If it weren’t raining, we wouldn’t be here spending the afternoon while talking about Oscars nominations. Dari dulu, kami berdua memang paling enggan untuk pulang kantor dalam keadaan hujan. Aku lalu meneguk teh manis hangatku sambil menatap ke tetes-tetes air hujan yang menempel di jendela pantry lantai ke-22 ini.

The last thing I want to do during this moment of silence is to revisit the day we decided to part ways. It wasn’t something that we took lightly. That day, we were sure of one thing: it was the best for both of us. We promised to remain friends, and that’s what we do. People keep asking why we don’t go back together or whether we are back together already. But the only question is, why can’t people actually believe that there’s nothing between us anymore? Why can’t people just accept the fact that we can stay friends while moving on? 

I think we can.

“Liv, mau ngomong sesuatu…” lamunanku terbuyarkan.

And I’m sure it’s no longer about movies.

“Ngomong apa, Al?”

“We’re cool, right?” tanyanya tiba-tiba. Ia meletakkan cangkir berisi kopi hitamnya ke tralis jendela. Nadanya tiba-tiba berubah jadi tegas, raut wajahnya menunjukkan hawa serius.

Sure, why shouldn’t we be?” aku bertanya balik.

“Kita akan terus temenan, kan?” ia bertanya lagi.

Well, unless you can give me a reason not to,” aku menjawab sambil tersenyum bercanda.

“I don’t know how this sounds to you, but I feel it’s necessary to tell you that,” ia lalu berdeham, “I’m seeing someone.

See? He can.

Aku terdiam sesaat. Bingung mau menyerapnya, lebih bingung lagi menyikapinya.

“Oke…” balasku ragu. “Jadi, maksud lo gimana?” I’m not sure how to make of that information.

“Ngga ada maksud apapun. Gue cuma mau lo denger langsung dari gue, bukan dari orang lain,” imbuhnya. Aku hanya mengangguk. Wajahnya terlihat tenang, tapi aku tau dia berusaha menyembunyikan kalau dia sebenarnya agak salah tingkah. Aku nggak mengerti kenapa dia masih harus merasa ada tanggung jawab untuk memberiku informasi tentang kehidupan pribadinya, but a heads-up is not a bad thing.

Aku lalu tertawa ringan. “You have my blessing, if that’s what you’re aiming for,” aku menjawab. Suasana hening sesaat.

Shit, kayaknya salah ngomong. Kenapa aku harus bilang aku kasih blessing segala? Geli banget, memangnya aku siapanya dia?

Dia lalu tersenyum agak malu-malu, namun tersirat rasa lega di wajahnya.

I think it’s what he wants after all.

Well,” ujarnya agak kikuk, “thanks, ya, Liv,” ia lalu merangkulku. Rangkulan seorang sahabat. Aku membalas rangkulannya. I can smell scents I’m fond of: the perfume he wears daily and his favorite black coffee.

 I’m staring at his face as he smiles, trying to grasp the last minutes that we share. Maybe it’s one thing that makes him special. The way he talks, the way he smiles, the way he sees things. I truly admire him  as a best friend, as a coworker, but mostly as a person; even for his views on movies and his taste on coffee.

You don’t need to thank me, but you’re welcome,” jawabku sambil tersenyum juga.

Then my smile is slowly fading away as if taken away by the afternoon breeze that’s blowing outside. Aku jadi sadar akan sesuatu. Sometimes what we think, what we feel, what we say are completely against each other, aren’t they?

You know that thing people say about the only reason exes stay friends is either they were never in love or they still are? And this very second, I find the answer. Maybe some parts of me still are.

Unfortunately, I cannot.

What if the reason I can’t convince people that it’s over because it’s not over for me?

And… what if the moment I think I finally moved on was actually the moment I’m falling deeper?

Inspired by:

So this might be similar to things I've written before, but 1) they're totally unrelated, 2) The particular scene above wasn't adapted from real experience, 3) I'm into this kind of plot maybe because, quoting Gotye, "we can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness."