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.




“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.




Pernahkah kalian mendengar tentang seseorang yang saking menginspirasinya, kalian sampai bengong terkagum-kagum, hingga berpikir mereka tidak punya kekurangan apapun? Pasti keren ya, indah parasnya, baik tutur sikapnya, bermanfaat tiap langkahnya.

Tapi pernahkah juga mendengar tentang seseorang yang, datar saja hidupnya, tidak terlalu menonjol pun tidak terpuruk amat, mengikuti arus, standar lah istilahnya?

Sebegitu cepat kita menilai orang lain, bahkan 10 detik pertama rasanya kita sudah bisa ikut merasakan seru maupun bosannya hidup seseorang. Kita mana tahu, dalam hidup sang inspirator ada kepahitan macam apa. Atau, betapa sang manusia biasa cinta mati dengan memasak, sampai hanya dengan memasak untuk keluarganya saja ia sangat gembira, tanpa titel maupun prestasi lainnya.

Dulunya akupun merasa, jadi hebat itu berarti punya pengaruh, bermanfaat bagi khalayak ramai. Belajar sampai Eropa! Bekerja sosial sampai Palestina! Pokoknya yang menuntutku dikenal orang banyak, menjadi inspirasi masyarakat. Tapi tulisan Mas Kurniawan Gunadi tentang menjadi manusia biasa, menyentil egoku. Wah, selama ini aku tidak pernah memandang tetanggaku yang buka laundry itu hebat. Mana ada prestasinya melanglang buana ke seluruh dunia. Tapi, dari tangannya ia berhasil menopang ekonomi keluarga, menjaga rumahnya tetap bersih terawat, membesarkan anaknya dengan sehat. Singkatnya, beliau sangat bermanfaat. Mungkin tidak bagiku, atau tetanggaku yang lain, apalagi masyarakat se-Kabupaten, tapi ia bermanfaat bagi keluarganya. Sekecil apapun, nyatanya, manfaat tetaplah manfaat. Walau hanya sebentuk muhasabah sebelum tidur, jika itu memperbaiki akhlaknya, itulah manfaat. Aku berpikir terlalu jauh, hingga melupakan hal terpenting dalam upaya menjadi lebih baik.

Hingga aku menulis ini, aku mendengar kabar temanku yang sekarang sukses dengan usahanya, bekerja keras memperbaiki jiwa leadershipnya. Sungguh, kudoakan semoga ia senantiasa mendapat manfaat dari hal tersebut. Dan teman-temanku lainnya, yang masih menuntut ilmu, atau melakukan kegiatan lain, yang mungkin saja belum merasa sukses baik finansial maupun akademik, aku percaya sekarang, pasti ada manfaatnya selama itu diniatkan kebaikan. Pasti ada, sekecil apapun itu.

Menyenangkan bukan ketika kita sadar, ternyata, hal kecil berisi kebaikan yang senantiasa kita remehkan ternyata ada manfaatnya?

Bersyukurlah, karena ternyata kita semua manusia-manusia bermanfaat!

In the World Where Existence Doesn’t Matter

he did all the prayers, but he never felt like those all were enough. the more he did the more he groaned for lacking of praying. he got the prettiest wife, with the most beautiful behaviour, yet he was afraid to show her to the world, not even on a picture, like she was a pearl under the deepest sea; his most precious jewel. he worked his hardest to get money, but he chopped it for the neighbor behind, for the widows and the orphans around the corner. he had electronics, he watched tv like almost every human being did, he surfed internet too. but the news never shook him right nor left, he stood still on what he was always taught; never say a word of what you don’t have the knowledge about.

in the world where existence doesn’t matter, he exists.