Hari ini aku melihatnya tersenyum,” Ia berbisik.
setelah banyak sekali beban berat yang harus dipikirkannya. Aku tidak tahu darimana dia dapat sumber kekuatan, tapi aku senang, dia tidak lagi memasang wajah cemberut yang mengesalkan itu.
Dia hebat, kapan ya dia akan sadar? dia selalu merasa rendah diri, salah satu karakter yang aku benci darinya. Tapi sebenarnya aku sedikit takut, kalau dia sadar dan menjadi sedikit congkak. Sepertinya tidak mungkin, tapi namanya juga manusia. Aku berharap dia tidak pernah melupakan tujuan utamanya. Aku ingin dia selalu menjadi orang yang tidak pernah melupakan orang lain, apalagi menjatuhkan.” Ia tersenyum kecil. Rambut di dahinya bergerak-gerak ke kanan; tersapu angin.
Di balkon kamarnya, setiap langit berubah warna dari biru menjadi jingga, Ia akan berbisik. Bukan pada telinga, yang menurutnya hanya akan mengendap di otak sang pendengar. Ia berbisik kepada dunia, agar kawanan burung yang tidak sengaja melintas bisa menyampaikan pada kawanan lain dan daun yang tidak sengaja gugur menyampaikan pada tanah dan cacing. Bisikannya akan terekam dalam molekul hujan yang suatu hari jatuh dengan sangat deras, mengalir bersama air sungai menuju laut, menguap bersama air laut membentuk awan. Bisikannya didengar oleh setiap sel makhluk hidup maupun unsur makhluk tak hidup.
Dalam bisikannya Ia meyisipkan keluh kesah, ungkapan syukur, harapan dan doa. Bisikannya membumi, dan akan selalu sampai kepada orang yang membuatnya sedih, orang yang mengukir senyumnya, orang yang selalu Ia simpan dalam setiap pinta. Bisikannya melangit, dan akan selalu sampai kepada pencipta burung, daun gugur, tanah, cacing, hujan, air sungai, air laut, awan–kepada Yang Maha Mendengar walau bisikannya kadang hanya berupa sengal tawa dan isakan tangis.

untuk yang sedang berjuang,
dari yang selalu berbisik.

I’ll See You at Seven


4 p.m.
three hours to go, she said to herself.
keep calm, keep calm. what are you going to wear?
she got up from the chair and walked toward the cupboard to find her best clothes. she ended up with a deep sigh. she found nothing–there are 10 pairs of sweaters but she needed something more appealing.
“Kath, Can I borrow your dress?” she shouted from her room.
“do yourself a favor.” Kath, her elder sister, didn’t care about anything she does just like usual.
she went across her room–to Kath’s room–and began to try every flowery dress she could find. I need to look bright, she thought.

I’ll see you at seven, he said after they got off from school today. he looked slightly nervous, but he hid with a forced smile.
“amusement park over there?”
he is a senior, one year above her. she rarely got a chance to talk to him. in fact, today was the first day she talked to him. Tris, her friend, said that Johnny came to their class when she went to the restroom.
Johnny? that Dimple Guy Johnny?! you sure he was looking for me?” she couldn’t believe it at first.
yep. he even asked me, hey, are you by chance friends with Lisa? did you see her in class this morning? and I answered yes, she went to the restroom.”
why on earth would Johnny look for me? I mean, with every possibilities exist, why?” She still couldn’t just believe it.
Johnny. that Dimple Guy Johnny. that guy she saw in the first year at the library laughing with the madame while holding a book by Haruki Murakami. she hated that author, but the sight of a fine young man with a deep dimple on his left cheek had caught her off guard. she then met him accidentally several times; on her way to chemistry lab, at the front yard while she waited for her mom to pick her up, at the amusement park a hundred meters from school where she usually had a chit chat with her girls group. she learned his name is Johnny from her classmate who happened to be in the same middle school with him. he was popular back then because he played basketball. she once witnessed him playing basketball during his PE class–laughing charmingly like his usual laughter.
that Johnny who is a living portrait of her imaginary prince was looking for her.
what. a. news.
what did he said?” she asked her friend.
he didn’t say anything. he just left after I answered.”
she knew who Johnny was, everyone knew who Johnny was. but Johnny would probably never heard about her name. she was not that popular to be acknowledged by the school superstar. why would Johnny look for me?
she kept thinking about it she couldn’t focus on what Mrs. Dean said about the history of pyramid and stuff. Mrs. Dean was her all time favourite teacher and today she didn’t put any thought of what she taught. she felt guilty but she just couldn’t stop it.
the school bell rang, everyone ran out from class to corridor like mad dogs. she walked slowly as if the other kids are really sick and contagious. but actually she didn’t want to go home immediately, just in case Johnny would come up again.
and he did.
Lisa!” a deep voice called her from behind. she turned around.
hey.. uh, I was looking for you. I bet you already knew from your friend. so,uh.. do you by chance, have thought about going to the school annual party?” his voice trembled.
she, as far as she remembered, had never heard a guy trembling while asking to go to a party, and here is Johnny, her crush since the first year, doing everything all at once? asking her to go the annual party and trembling at the same time?
she lost the energy to open up her mouth to answer.
oh I’m sorry! I’m Johnny, senior year. I might sound creepy for not introducing myself first.”
it-it is okay. I thought about it, yeah. but I don’t think I’m going…” she said, more like she whispered. she was just as trembling as when he asked her.
he looked upset. “why?”
all of my friends decided to go with someone so.. yeah.”
he smiled and she swear it was the closest she ever saw him smiling, ten times more mesmerizing and the dimple on his left cheek just popped out, like asking to mess with her brain.
would you go with me?”
those words. she repeated and spell it out to make it easier to understand. those are simple words, but she was so dumbfounded she forgot how to interact normally.
how do you know my name?”
he was startled. “I asked the librarian. I often saw you at the bench near the window. you read so many interesting books.”
so.. which one is okay?” he looked at her.
so which one is okay? me asking the librarian about your name or going to the annual party with me?” he grinned, and really, that is the least thing he should had done in this condition because her heart was already a mess.
both, I guess.” she said, this time with a steady voice.
great! I wanna give you something to wear, you know, the corsage flower, but I left it at my house.”
did he just asked her to visit his house?!
I’ll give it to you, uh.. tonight?” he continued.
okay then. when?”
I’ll see you at seven.”

it was already 5 p.m when she finally found a dress that fit her taste. she rushed to her room and prepared for her best appearance. she never dated, not even once in her 16 years of living. this was going to be her first date–if going to school annual party could be considered as a date.

6 p.m.
she yelled again to her sister that she was going to the amusement park, and her sister didn’t even bother to reply, just like usual. she walked down the road with an ear-to-ear smile. was today a dream? she thought to herself. Johnny whom she had never even dream of giving her a smile asked her to go to the school annual party! she counted how many pretty girls from senior year are, and wondering why Johnny asked her instead of them.

6.50 p.m.
10 minutes to go. she waited anxiously. which direction did Johnny go after school today? she faced the opposite direction so that when he come, he has to call her name first and she can pull out her fake-shocked-but-laughing-prettily-face.

7.15 p.m.
he hadn’t come yet. would it be possible that he forgot their appointment?

7.20 p.m.
her cellphone rang–it’s Tris.
“go home.” the voice from the opposite said.
“what? why?”
“go home. he made fun of you. it was just a joke from the beginning. he was playing around with you. he lost a game and his friends forced him to ask a junior to go to the school annual party, and guess who? it was you. he chose you. not to literally go, but to pull out his disgusting joke.”
she didn’t answered the voice. she froze; her face turned pale in all sudden. she spaced out for a straight one minute, not knowing what to think–she was being too stupid or Johnny being ruthless, or both. she didn’t know that a high school crush could broke her heart into million pieces; she didn’t know what is worse and more pathetic: being fooled when she actually believe it or hoping that her friend was the one joking.
she ran across the school and went straight; not going home, but to the direction Johnny was going this afternoon. she would like to ask him herself, how does it feel to play with feelings? does it feel good? would he recommend her to do such a thing too? she ran and kept running until she saw a crowd. a sound of ambulance coming nearer. she slowed down a bit, wondering why the crowd made a round formation. she walked closer and  finally saw the center of the crowd: a guy with blood all over his head.
his body lied down and stood still; his eyes closed, his mouth shut.
and his name is Johnny.


10 a.m.
9 hours before.
“who’d you ask?” his group asked.
“her name is Lisa. Sophomore year.” he said with a smile.
his friend fussed around, “wow man what’s with the smile? do you really want to ask her?” 
“I lost the game, right?” his laugh followed by his group laughters.
“but I do really want to ask her, though.. despite the game.”
everyone was busy laughing, nobody heard his whisper except himself.


Kid from A to Z

30 years from now, the kids from this generation will become the leader. iya, anak-anak SMP SMA yang sekarang lagi ngeluh-ngeluh kurikulum 13 bakal ada yang jadi pejabat pemda, kepala puskesmas, anggota DPR, presiden, dan posisi-posisi berpengaruh lain. well, aku pun suka mengeluh. suka. banget. hehe. bahkan tulisan ini merupakan keluhan terselubung. satu hal yang membuatku mikir keras sebelum tidur semalam ialah, kalau aku nggak bisa menjadi contoh yang baik bagi adik didikku, kalau aku nggak bisa membimbing adik didikku, bukankah Indonesia akan kehilangan satu orang berbakat 30 tahun kedepan nanti? pertanyaan sebenarnya ialah, kalau pendidiknya kayak aku, yang mageran, yang gampang banget capek, yang dikit-dikit emosinya naik turun, emang bisa adik didiknya jadi yang etos kerjanya tinggi, yang emosinya stabil, yang solutif dan kreatif? aku malu sendiri sebenernya, karena pepatah Jawa bilang guru digugu lan ditiru. guru diperhatikan dan ditiru. apa yang bisa ditiru dari aku? waktu semalam adik didikku tantrum, dia marah nggak mau ngerjakan soal dan coret-coret bukunya, kemudian aku balik ngambek dan langsung beres-beres tas mau pulang, should I feel bad about myself? karena ya, aku benar-benar merasa buruk sesampainya di rumah. bukankah anak kecil itu emosinya masih proses pembentukan? bukankah ada ribuan cara untuk bisa menaklukkan hati seorang anak dan membuatnya tertarik akan hal yang dibencinya, selain memarahi? bukankah harusnya aku yang membuatnya luluh dan mau belajar, bukannya berharap dia yang dari awal bersemangat belajar? aku kan nggak bisa memaksa semua anak dari kecil langsung terbentuk mental pejuang? kalau gitu, berarti aku yang harus merubah biar mereka punya mental pejuang? tapi, tunggu, apa aku sendiri sudah punya mental seorang pejuang?


an online tantrum, dari seorang 20 tahun terhadap masalah sepele di hidupnya.



for instance, if you come at four in the afternoon, I’ll begin to be happy by three. the closer it gets to four, I’ll be excited and worried; I’ll discover what it costs to be happy!

pada suatu pagi di hari libur, aku menghabiskan waktuku menonton drama spesial milik salah satu stasiun TV Korea Selatan yang berjudul You Are Closer Than I Think. dalam drama tersebut, pemeran utamanya merupakan seorang pemilik toko buku sekaligus penyiar radio yang selalu membacakan surat masuk dari pendengar, salah satunya Fennec Fox. pendengar yang satu ini selalu rutin mengirim surat, sampai akhirnya mereka bercakap-cakap dalam jalur pribadi dan memutuskan untuk bertemu. pemeran utama sedang menjaga toko bukunya ketika gadis cantik masuk dan menanyakan buku karya penulis Jerman kesukaannya, yang tentu saja membuatnya berpikir bahwa gadis ini ialah Fennec Fox, orang yang diajaknya mengobrol tentang karya penulis Jerman tersebut. saat ditanya, gadis itu hanya menjawab sebuah kutipan dari buku The Little Prince karya Antoine de Saint-Exupéry; kalau kau datang pukul empat sore, aku akan merasa bahagia sejak pukul tiga.

barangkali penggalan kalimat itulah yang membuatku tersenyum kecil saat harus menunggu adik-adikku di sebuah resto sore ini. kalau mereka datang pukul tiga–seperti janji kami–aku akan bahagia sejak pukul dua. namun mereka tidak datang pukul tiga, tidak pula kunjung datang pada pukul empat. apakah aku masih bahagia?

but if you come at just any time, I shall never know at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you.

nyatanya, aku bahagia ketika mereka datang pukul lima kurang lima belas. aku tahu tepatnya kapan aku siap menyambut; detik pertama aku melihat mereka tersenyum dari arah pintu masuk.

setelah sebuah percakapan panjang, aku bertanya kepada mereka, “ada yang suka baca novel?” yang dijawab dengan gelengan pelan kompak.

“kalau kau datang pukul empat,” ucapku menirukan satu kalimat dalam buku The Little Prince, “aku akan bahagia sejak pukul tiga,”

mereka terdiam; bingung, kemudian aku menyelesaikan kalimatku, “maknanya, jadikan pertemuan ini hal yang kalian senangi. kalau kita janjian pukul tiga, maka berbahagialah sejak pukul dua. ini termasuk ukhuwah islamiyah, bergembira untuk berkumpul melingkar.”

mereka mengangguk kecil, sementara di dalam otakku menggemakan rentetan nasihat yang baru saja kuucapkan, memenuhi sudut-sudut pikiranku agar tidak pernah terlupa; aku mengatakannya, aku harus pula melakukannya.

menunggu tidak melelahkan bila diakhiri dengan manisnya pertemuan. menunggu itu membahagiakan, bila yang ditunggu merupakan wujud cinta–dalam kamusku, berarti mereka.



“I’ve always wanted to fly,” I whispered, leaning my head forward to get closer to Sky’s ear.

“Then go on.” Sky didn’t really pay attention and focused on the man singing in front of us instead.

Tonight is the anniversary of our school. The hall wasn’t too crowd, people were really tired of school to the point they’d stop coming if there are no classes; even though it’s the school annual party.

“I never got a chance to fly. I’ve never been on an airplane before. What was it like being up there, Sky? They said it’s beautiful, but I think it’s kinda scary though, to be miles away from safety tools. You don’t have hospital up there, or police station, so if bad things happen then you’re done, you can’t do anything. I wanna fly, but I’m also scared at the thought of it.” I talked in a low toned voice.

“You don’t think when you fly, you just feel. You feel the soothing light of the sun and imagine soft textured clouds touch your fingers while the wind blows below your neck. Beside, why’d you think when you are 30.000 ft above the earth? Leave your bad thoughts down there. you really like to complicate things don’t you?” Sky turned around and faced me, looking uneasy.

The music ended, it was the time for the party to end too.

“Okay, sorry.” I mumbled as I straightened my back, ready to get up. Sky was already standing and left.

“Here, take these. Fly on the way home.” Sky came back, handed me lustrous pink and grey balloons from the photo corner.

I grinned then asked, “Take a picture of me?”


If I fly, will I ever touch the Sky?



“Look at that full moon. Isn’t it beautiful?” Sky pointed at the moon, we were at the school finishing some group project.

“It is. Do you like the moon?” I asked.

“Among all the celestial bodies? Yes.” Sky answered.

“Why?” I didn’t know Sky liked the moon that much.

“Okay this is cheesy but you were the one who asked. The moon has always been so close. Let’s say stars are bigger and shine on it’s own, but the moon simply rotate around the earth. It rises and sets everyday, although there are days it goes blend with the dark, still, it is what I like about the moon. It’s consistency of being close.” Sky talked while looking above, then giggled after heard my laugh. “Why did you laugh?”

“I never heard that kind of reaction when it comes to astronomical talks.” I couldn’t help but laugh harder. “Tell me, who’s this moon actually?”

Sky didn’t answer. “What’s your favourite, then?”

This time I didn’t answer. I smiled for a straight 10 seconds. I knew I’ve been a stargazer for half of my life. And I knew, I wasn’t the moon, or will ever be.

I was only a mere stardust; remnant of the vanished star.



Lost in Words

“how do you do that?” Sky asked.

“do what?” I answered while braiding a kid’s hair.

“communicate with them.” Sky mumbled.

“well, you know, Sky, I believe that language were made for human to simplify communication. But these kids, they aren’t human, they are beyond that. They’re angels, and angels don’t need voices nor words to communicate, their eyes radiate what their hearts want to speak.” I smiled, and Sky  smiled back.

Sky was that kind of person who got awkward around new people. Sky knew, that I was also like that, but I could overcome it. What Sky didn’t know was that I lost words more than Sky ever imagined, more than Sky ever lost words while talking to new people.

I lost words everytime Sky stood in front of me.


📷 Sab/Ekv/Rfq