The Past

Dua Tahun

Dua hari yang lalu tepat dua tahun terakhir kali aku pulang ke Indonesia. Dua tahun. Aku tidak lagi tahu apakah dua tahun itu waktu yang lama atau biasa saja. Dua tahun aku tidak bisa membiarkan diriku untuk merasakan kangen yang berlebihan. Kangen sih kangen, tapi harus secukupnya. Jika tidak, aku akan jatuh, seperti vas bunga kristal milik nenek ku yang pernah tidak sengaja aku senggol dan jatuh ke lantai, pecah berkeping-keping.
Sebenarnya, aku bisa pulang sekarang, atau besok, atau dua bulan lagi. Masalahnya, ketika pilihan terbuka lebar, aku semakin bingung. Tidak ada yang alasan yang mendesak dari kedua sisi. Aku disini, dan aku disana. Terkadang aku berharap kalau ayah atau ibu ku tiba-tiba bilang kamu harus pulang. Namun, aku tahu, aku tidak sepenuhnya ingin kembali. Aku pergi dengan alasan, aku tidak pergi karena aku bisa. Aku menginginkan ini. Aku bermimpi akan ini. Tapi, hangatnya matahari dan bahasa ibu selalu mengusik lirih, dan terkadang rasanya bisikan itu mengikis perih.
Aku juga masih bisa tinggal. Kadang aku juga berharap dia memanggil nama ku dan memintaku untuk tinggal. Karena perbedaan waktu dan dua puluh jam penerbangan itu bukan pilihan untuk hubungan kita. Tapi hubungan kita terlalu sederhana, tidak terikat. Dia membebaskan aku untuk memilih. Aku bilang ini masalah visa. Namun, ada perasaan menggelitik di belakang kepalaku, kalau aku menggunakan itu hanya sebagai alasan. Mungkin, aku memang mau pulang. Adikku sudah terlalu lama ditinggal kakak perempuannya.
Ah, aku bingung.
Tuhan, aku benar-benar bingung.

A piece by : Fiya Muiz

The Crooked Bookshop: Part I

You told me to come by tomorrow before noon, find a copy of George Orwell’s 1984, on the top shelf of the crooked bookshop. It’s my favourite, you said. Your tomorrow is today, and it is a pleasant day, I say. The sun hangs high in the sky, although it is a bit too windy for summer but perfect to read a book. I listened to you and decided to come round. I tried to look on the top shelf. The white paint looked worn out, as if too many hands were trying to reach the top. I cannot find the book, but a moment later, I found you entering the shop. I smiled. You have a bright smile, I noticed. You greeted the man on the counter, telling him what a nice day it was. You must have seen me, but you did not say anything. You sat on the table next to the window, the one with the red chair and cushion. The sun melt on your skin, and on your bronze-lit hair.
I approached you slowly, 'Hi, Tom.' I do not know why my voice sounded shaky.
'Hey.' You replied, it is polite but it sounds too light. Like, you have never seen me before.
'I couldn't find the book.' I said. You looked confused as you left a little pause before answered, 'What book?' It was just yesterday when you told me about the book I should definitely read, on the top shelf, I remember it clearly, '1984.'
'Oh it's my,' I interrupted and said at the same time, 'Favourite.'
We are both standing in silence. You looked at me as if I was a psychic.
'Yes!' You said enthusiastically, but you forgot about me. Not a slightest hint in your face show any recall of me, or anything you said. I wonder, but how could I remember you clearly. Everything about you – your face, your small lips hiding behind your well-shaved beard. The colour of your eyes, lightest shade of caramel-brown. Even your voice, you know when in books they usually describe soothing-like, mysterious kind of voice as husky, I couldn't really put my fingers on until I heard yours. I could listen to it on repeat.
The guy on the counter suddenly interrupted us, 'Is this the book you're looking for?' He flagged up 1984 by George Orwell book on his hand. I nodded. So, I left you alone in your seat, while I can still feel your eyes on me when I walked away,
He has a beach-blonde hair and thinner beard than yours, but just about enough to give him the look of masculinity in his tall posture. He then leaned forward towards me, and said in a low voice, 'He has a funny memory disorder.' Referring it to you. I was shocked, but then listened intently to what he got to say.
He told me, you have a suffered a rare memory syndrome from a car accident happened a year ago. There was a romantic movie about it where a guy had to go through 50 first dates with a girl with this kind of disorder, apparently it was not entirely fictional. You could not remember anything the next day after you fall asleep at night. Traumatic brain injury, he said.
I stared in blankness, well, at you, too. I glanced at you and thought how normal everything looked. The guy on the counter broke the silence, as if he could read my mind.
'You have a funny memory disorder, too.' He said it so casually, I almost forget to react. It is not a shock. I wonder. He carried on explaining. In my case, the disease is more unpredictable, the length of my memory can vary. Three days, two weeks. Three months, the longest. He said I was in a car crash twelve months ago, with you, on our way to Seattle. Apparently, you were someone I held dear. I did not remember. Neither the car crash nor our relationship. But it explained the tingling feeling when I see you, both today and yesterday, and why I remembered you clearly. Everybody has different last memory, and mine is you. The last memory I could remember was when the first time I met you, at the bookshop – but not this one. This crooked bookshop was not a bookshop; it was a rehabilitation centre for those who have funny brain disease, like us. The guy behind the counter is Matt Bowen, staff who works in the rehabilitation. I looked around. The world I thought I know seem so distant and strange now.

A piece by : Fiya Muiz