Everyone is sick of having the same routine every day. But not for me. How I wonder if I got a chance to stay a day without any changes. There's people who study, there's also people who work and even people who do nothing. And for me, I do all of that. There'll be a morning I'll woke up as a high school student, or an office worker, or even as a farmer. My life, my wealth, my house, they change. Luckily not my parents.
There's once my mom have said "It's fate who brings us tomorrow. We’ll never know what we will be tomorrow, Rick. " . It’s bitter yet a truth story of my life.
Yesterday, I was a baseball’s player son and today, I woke up as a fish monger’s son. At this age, I should probably go to school. But it's okay as finally I got no homework and no assignment for today. That's a good point we got there. Most of the time, if I was woke up as a farmer, fisher or an unemployed person, I'll use this time to go out and look at the people.
I'll help my parents if they really need my help, but most of the time they didn't need me.
For this 18 years of life, I've meet a lot of interesting person. But, I barely make a friends with any person in my life. Because I know, if I make a friends today, I'll lose them tomorrow. So what's the point of having friends? It's better to stay alone without hurting or being hurt by anyone.
A day passed by so quickly. Living in a poor family is somehow tiring. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be a president or an artist son? Well, I hope so.
The next day goes as I'm being a doctor's son. This time my house becomes much more fancier than the previous one. And I can see that my mom's doing her chores like a pro and father is compiling his document. But it's somehow weird that how my parents can do their work even though they'll woke up as a different person every day? Again, I didn't care much about this. And today i decided to go for a walk as my mom goes for shopping and father goes to work.
Step by step. Hands in the pocket, heads bowing to the ground. But literally my head's flying high leaving where i am now.
Suddenly, my eyes caught my memento. This memento, my only gift from my only friend, Tim. That playground, the first and the last place we met. Oh, it was already 10 years ago. From day to the night, we done everything together, from playing games and sharing our secret. He's the only one who know my life story, that my life changed every day. Shockingly, he believed that. He's my only friend and I'm also his only friend. We share everything together, as what best friend would do. And one of the things that I craved for, this memento. 10 years has passed, my life changed every day, but still this memento still on my neck. 10 years has passed, and we're living in the different world. Tim, do you still remember me? Do you even exist now?
I keep walking, looking to the ground. Suddenly, I stumbled to a person and fell down. His face look somehow familiar to me. Madly, he rise up and clean his cloth a little bit. I know that he's just new here, my heart say. With a small smile he introduce himself a little bit and told me that he's a traveler asked me if I could bring him for a walk here. As I got a lot of time today, I just nodded with agreement.
Everywhere, everything, we do it together. It's been a while since I got my. We shared a lot of story together. Then I know that he's traveling all over the world, just to find his long separated friend. I shared my story that I changed my life every day. Shockingly he believed that. He said that his long separated friends also said the same thing like I said. At that time, he didn't believed that but then he cannot met that person, so then he believed that.
He is Tim. The one I’ve lost, the one I’m missing a lot. I brings him to a tight hug. It's been 10 years. How I miss him. My first and only friend that I got in this world. That time, I cried my heart out. How I wish that my life won't change tomorrow.
But then, he said that he'll continue traveling tomorrow. Then, he continued. "Not only your tomorrow will change. Every person’s tomorrow will change. That's rule of life. You won't keep everything forever, sometimes you need to let it go. Tomorrow is going to be better than today. Because of that, never lose hope and keep going for tomorrow. Your life change, but your memory not. Keep the best memory ever.
The sunset is fading. He gave me his last hug, then he leave. We’ll meet again. I promise.
It's a new morning, as a minister’s son. I've lost him today, but I'll meet him again, one day.
Ouh, what I’ve discover? What you’ll find tomorrow will always shock you, never lose hope.
Muhammad Luqman Hakim bin Mohd Fauzi
Seoul National University (LEI)
My heart is pumping, my breath is getting faster. Stinging sensation on my muscles is getting stronger as I exert all my energy towards the finishing line. This is it!
“Hey watch out!” Suddenly a hand reached out to me as I was about to fall down into the deep forest.
“A mountain is not a place to daze out man” A guy with a red cap, wearing navy blue shirt was waving at my face. He had a skinny pale face. I can clearly see his cheek bone. Although he looked like a sick-person, he had a sturdy body, fit for a hiker within this mountain area.
“The name Tony what’s yours?”
“Usain” I replied softly. “Okay Usain, nice to meet you. I won’t ask why you are here but be careful will you? Anyway, wanna climb up together?”
From that onwards I spent my time chatting with Tony while on our way up the mountain.
To be honest, I was not sure myself why am I even here. I should be on track training for the next Olympic. It was not because I don’t want to train but I just can’t. My colleague himself was the Gold-medallist who smashed the world-record last Olympic. I never beat him whenever we race. It feels like I’m just a ‘filler’ since they need at least 2 people from each country to participate. My coaches keep saying I could take the Gold medal this year. I know too well that is just a way for them to keep me in the team. In fact, coach doesn’t even care how well I do. The government paid the coach a lot for training me. Surely he wanted to keep me. I held on and continued to train trusting that his hopeful words were real.
Eventually, one day I overheard two of them talking in the changing room.
“Hey coach, what do you think about Usain?” I hide myself while trying to listen. “You don’t have to worry about him, at least we got one runner down. That if he manages to get to the finals!” Hearing it crushed my hope into pieces. One thing that I had pride the most was easily trampled. Feeling lost, I went up to the mountain to find myself again is what I was hoping. Truthfully, I am just running away from my own battle. But who am I to fight? I am just a small existence when compare to the world fastest man. I am no one. The heavy feeling keep on pressuring as if there are these several hands holding my leg making me unable to run anymore.
I don’t know why but I just told Tony about my story. Tony suddenly stands up and climbed up to the nearest boulder. I could see the moonlight shone onto his face. He had this kind of serene expression as soft breeze was blowing to his face. I could feel a sad yet warm feeling coming from his eyes.
“Look up Usain, Can you see how beautiful they are? Like how many stars are there? The universe is so huge. I can’t believe how small we are!”
“Indeed, we are small and insignificant”
“But those small people are the one who build the rocket and eventually step on the moon. The same people who sailed the seven seas and explore the whole world! The same people who keep on chasing their dreams no matter how small they are. Even if you are small compare to the whole universe, so does others. But they manage to do these great things! Why? Because they believe they can! They have dreams they want to achieve. Your life is your story, and you are the main character! I can see it in your eyes. Even if you talk as if you want to give up but you still have the passion don’t you?
And he was right. I didn’t really give up. I just want someone to tell me I can do it.
“And you can do it!” Tony smiled confidently while looking straight into my eyes.
After that day, I gained back my confidence and decided to run again. I am now the fastest man in the world.
On the same day, I received a letter from Tony. To my surprise, he actually has a rare incurable disease called ‘spinocerebellar degeneration’ which causes his neuron to degenerated, unable him to perform daily activities such as walking or even talking. Given time would cause fatality. He was scared of thinking how his life would be if the symptoms becoming worst. Instead of facing it he decided to put himself to rest in the mountain. Though, his mind changed after our meeting. He told me it was my burning desires to win help him to face his fear. He sent this thank you letter just to tell me he will chase his dream of conquering Mt. Everest one day.
Sometimes we don’t know how much a person is suffering from his life. You might feel it is a bother to lend a helping hand. Although without us noticing it, that hand we refuse to lend might lead to even bigger contribution to other. Remember that, even a small action can make miracles.
“Uncle, can you tell me that story one more time?”
“Alright young one. I can vividly remember that situation. Partly because it happened rapidly, but mostly because the situation was not really much of a difference than before. It was that one night, the night when I was pushed from side to side. Rather than painful, it was somehow natural. I knew there were others around me also being pushed, judging by the sort of painful sound that I can hear from my own space. At that specific time, my memory flashes back to a couple of weeks prior, when the others around me sent signals; the way for us to communicate with each other. The signals, unravelled that in a few weeks all of us will finally get to exit the space of nothingness; now. My mind kept thinking of the possibilities of the things we get to discover and see once we’re out of this space. Will it be beautiful? Or will it be another nothingness? Not knowing anything gave me that atrocious feeling of fear but at the same time euphoria.
Minutes passed and I am still being pushed. I can’t even do anything, I’m completely powerless to endure the pushing; not knowing whatever is happening outside of my space. It was until then I finally feel myself slowly being pushed, or rather, sliding out. My eyes still can only see nothingness, but I can feel the space around me widening, until I felt no boundaries. I felt myself laying down on something solid; cold solid.
Suddenly I was lifted up to air by soft touch. It was delicately holding on to me. “He’s out! Look at how beautiful he is.” The voice triggered me. That must’ve been the voice of beings called human. I can still see nothing but darkness, but the voice gave me the feeling of calmness; I am saved. “I’m naming you Indiana Jones. Because you look like one.”
Indiana Jones. That was the name they gave me.”
“Can we skip to the things that you’ve learned? I love that part!”
“Okay. So a week after that I could finally open my eyes. The world was beautiful. Big things around me, I can see what I was eating. At that point, my whole senses were finally completed because I discovered sight. Seeing things made me more anxious. Whatever they do made me intrigued.”
“So did you go and figure them out?”
“Of course, a week after! My feet finally gained strength and I was able to walk! I was walking all around the house but I was quite unstable so I bumped into a lot of things. I still couldn’t go up to the massive tall things though because I could only make small jumps. It was not until about 3 months till I was able to make huge jump. From that day, I managed to discover a lot of things! More hidden spaces high above the ground, more secrets they hid, and apparently more dusts! Also, the image projecting square on the table...that one thing that I wanted to see upclose the most.”
“I can’t wait to discover things just like you, uncle! I can see why they named you Indiana Jones the cat.”
“Young one, you will discover many things. I’ve learned many things the past 14 years living with them. Despite my mischievous manners, they still loves me. You too, will soon know how lucky it is to be with them, for you are adopted despite your blindness.”
“Yeah uncle, I believe so too. I’m excited to finally uncover the adventures and possibilities I have in stored for me. Thank you for your story! I can’t wait to touch the square on the table like you too. And probably play with that fluffy thing they used to touch me yesterday.”
“Maybe we’ll go up there after you are able to walk stably. Be patient. More things are coming on your way.”
“Daniel, could you please come up here and read your son a bedtime story!” his wife shouted.
Her husband had fallen asleep with his head inside the holosphere entertainment unit again. “Yes, dear – coming,” he managed to blurt out in a groggy daze, not quite sure what was going on. Last he remembered, he was watching a sector level Star Trek game. No wonder he fell asleep. A Star Trek game is just a little more exciting than watching vegetation grow in slow motion.
He got up; shuffled his four feet up the white stone ramp and into his son’s nest chamber.
“Read me a story, daddy!” his son shouted gleefully as his antennae made little circular motions of excitement.
“OK, OK, calm down and let me think… What story haven’t I read you yet? Have I read you Golden mandibles and the three Xoak grubs?”
“How about The three tiny crustaceans?”
“Yes, two times.”
“What about The swamp-fly who cried arachnid? – that’s a good one.”
“Daaaaad, you read that to me a mega-qua-zillion times!” his son threw his claws in the air in frustration.
“Wait a minute… I know a story, but it’s not in any reader chip. A special story my dad used to tell me. I think you’re old enough to hear it,” Daniel said slyly as his son started to beam with pride.
“Tell me dad, pleeeeease.”
“OK, let me think….”
“Once upon a time, a long time ago, and many light-years away, a spacecraft from a planet called Earth was sent to a nearby star. They were the first humans to travel to a neighbouring solar system. When they finally reached this new system, they picked up a strange signal coming from the fifth planet, so they followed it to investigate.”
“What was it dad?” his son asked impatiently
“Just wait, you’ll find out, just let me tell the story.”
“Now, where was I? Ah yes. So they landed on the fifth planet; the signal led them to this small object, and they could tell it had been made by another intelligent life form. It was purple in colour; shaped like a cube with what appeared to be some form of hieroglyphs over its entire surface. It was easily picked up with their appendages; the object’s surface looked like some type of metal, but was remarkably light in weight. The humans were very excited about finding this object, as it was their first proof they were not alone in the universe. They explored this planet for a long time looking for more evidence of the civilization that made it, but found nothing else. When they brought it back to Earth, their world welcomed them back like heroes; their whole planet was very excited about this discovery. But what was it; what did it do, if anything? It was made of materials they didn’t know; it had a power source they didn’t understand. They studied it for a long time, taking it apart piece by piece, and finally they thought they knew what it was.”
“What was it!” interrupted his son
“Hold on, I’m getting there… They thought it was some sort of new power generator. The humans were all very excited. They decided to recreate this alien device, but to make things easier, they would build it on a much larger scale. The planet Earth sought out their greatest scientific minds, their greatest engineers, and experts in other fields. The humans worked on it for 23 ellipse durations.”
“Wow, that’s a long time – Those scientists must have died of old age!” exclaimed his son in shock.
“Aaah, no. I’m 35 durations young, and plan to live quite a few more,” said Daniel with uncertain confidence.
“A-ny-way, they finally recreated this power generator a thousand times larger than the original object. They didn’t have the materials that the original was made of, so they had done the best they could with what they had. Unfortunately, their version was very crude in comparison, but they were eager to see what it could do. Maybe it could make their space ships go faster, or power a huge weapon to defend themselves against unknown future enemies.”
His son interjected – “Like the outpost cannons of Mapzorp – they can destroy an entire planetoid with one shot!” his son bragged with delight. “PAAAH-BOOOM!”
“OK, we can do without the sound effects please. Can I continue?” In reply, his son nodded with extreme exaggeration.
“So, the big day came; the whole planet was very excited, and there was much rejoicing. The President of their world had the honour of pressing the button that turned on this alien power source. He made a speech about what a great day it was in human history; that this day would be remembered for all time, or something like that. You know, blah-blah-blah.” His son frowned impatiently at his dad’s mockery of a politician – his left antenna began to twitch.
“OK…. So after his speech, he pressed the button. The gigantic purple cube started to glow slightly, and then began to hum loudly.” Daniel picked up his son’s slurpy-cup to demonstrate the rest. “Next, it lifted off the ground and started to spin. It spun faster and faster; shot up into the sky and into space. It hovered up there above the planet for a short time; came down at an incredible speed, and destroyed the planet. THE END.”
“How did it destroy the planet?”
“It’s too complicated.”
“You’re too young to understand.”
“OK, OK. Do you remember what happened when that asteroid hit the moon orbiting K2B-II?”
“Wow, that’s soooooo abominable!”
“Yes, I thought you’d like that,” Daniel said looking bored. “Anyway, there’s more.”
“More to the story?”
“Yes. You see, this is a true story, and do you know what the object really was that the humans had found?”
“Was it a secret-super-duper-ultimate-planet-killer-weapon from the evil Killian Empire?”
“Aaaaah, no. It was… a child’s toy!” The pause for effect was a nice touch, he thought.
“NO DUNG!” his son yelled.
“Hey, watch the language. Yes, a child’s toy from the most advanced world in our galaxy – Phantagon.”
“So the moral of the story is…” he waited for his son’s answer.
“Don’t… build, a really big toy, on your homeworld?”
“No, not exactly…. Never mind. Go to sleep now.”
“OK, goodnight dad.”
“Goodnight, son. Don’t let the humans bite.”
His son smiled. It was the best story his dad every told him, and one he would never forget. Funny humans, he thought, but that President of Earth was right about being remembered. He retracted his mandibles, and went quickly to sleep.
“We will be friends forever. Won’t we Kevin? “I asked doubtfully as I wolfed down a huge bite of french toast. The quote ‘nothing lasts forever’ that we learned in English class today somehow made me wonder whether it was really true. ‘Even longer’ he answered after a few seconds of silence. All the moments rolled down as tears as I held the photograph. I hoped it was only a bad dream as I slowly dragged myself out of my queen sized bed. A monstrous yawn stretched the length of my face. It has been three days since I lost Kevin and every night since that day I have been having nightmares and woke up in the middle of the night sweating. My heart was always hammering as my mind was always jumbled with this thoughts. I looked at the photograph again. There he was standing next to me in the photo still with his calm smile and joyful face that never failed to entertain me. His ocean blue eyes were still alive in this photograph. I closed my eyes as my mind couldn’t bear to think anymore.
Living in a serene village near the pristine sea was a real treasure for me as its tranquility and refreshing atmosphere with the picturesque sea was the perfect getaway whenever my head was on the verge of insanity what with all the school’s work and pressures. Everyday my best friend and I will go to the sea to watch the sunset as the invigorating coolness of the sea breeze caressed our skins. I still remember the precious moments we spent together looking at the stars and the magnificent moon from my balcony with a cup of hot chocolate made by my beloved mother. As the moon played hide and seek with the cloud, we talked about a lot of crazy stuff like building a path to the moon, creating a device that can bring us to other dimensions and so on. Both of us believed that magic exists and he used to say all the time that he will be receiving the admission letter to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry soon and would have to leave me alone. Most of the time, we stayed together and faced all the leaps and bounds of life together but I never knew it would end soon.
Dawn was almost breaking. A touch of sunlight peeped from behind the hills in the distance. The deafening sound of my alarm clock made me lay wide awake on my bed. The first thing that came into my mind was the science project that I had to do with Kevin. Without hesitation, I got up from my bed and rushed to the bathroom. After getting ready, I took my backpack and ran downstairs and almost hit my mother who was holding a cup of white coffee. “Watch your steps”, said my mom with a stern look. I quickly munched on some cookies from the table and drank the white coffee prepared by my mother for me. I wished my mom goodbye and cycled all the way to Kevin’s house which was just a stone’s throw away from my school. I pedaled my bicycle faster as I was afraid Kevin might be waiting for me for a long time. I saw him waiting for me in front of the house from far. He ran towards me excitedly as he saw me and everything happened in that few seconds. That few seconds that changed my whole life. I heard a large crashing sound and from a distance came the spluttering sound of an engine. I stood motionless for a while before realizing what just happened. I ran towards Kevin only to find him lying on the ground as blood was splattered all around him. Tears started to roll down uncontrollably as I heard him saying his last words goodbye my friend as his soul left this world. Although it has been a few days after the heartbreaking incident, I felt very lonely and a part of me was feeling guilty thinking it was all entirely my fault.
I disliked the feeling of being inside the home and decided to take a walk around the beach. I walked so long until I came to a place I wasn’t familiar with at all. There was a house which looked old and one lonesome tree stood by the house swaying in the wind swept by the tree whispering to the air and surroundings. As I was so tired from the long treacherous journey, I decided to rest outside the house for a while. Suddenly I heard the creaking sound of the door being opened and there stood a man who looked in his mid-thirties. He had tousled dark brown hair which was thick and lustrous. His eyes were mesmerizing deep ocean blue with flecks of silvery light throughout and he had dark eyebrows, which sloped down his serious expression. He invited me into his house and offered me a cup of freshly brewed coffee. The taste was so nice and magical that I forgot all the worries at that very moment. He noticed the sadness on my face and out of a sudden asked me am I ready to take the risk if I am given a chance to save my friend. I was really shocked as I couldn’t remember telling him about the incident that took my friend’s life. But on the other side of my mind, I was thinking whether there really was a chance to save Kevin.
Although it seemed impossible, I felt something magical and mysterious about the man. If it was really possible, I would be willing to do anything to save my best friend. He gave me a small device that looked like a pocket watch that had a time and date carved onto it. It was in gold and had a beautiful design and writing which said, “You have the power to change the past”. It was all like a dream and I was wondering whether I would remember all this when I wake up. But when I pinched myself I felt painful and realized the things I read in fantasy books was coming to reality. I had a time turner in my hand. If only Kevin was there with me he would have felt very excited but guess what, I can save him using this and we can chat about this experience one day.
. . . . . .
“Kevin, the keys are on the table. Make sure all the doors are locked when you leave, okay honey?” I said to him before exiting the house. “Okay. Anything for you, dear” a disembodied voice replied. I turned off the lights and closed the doors as there was no one else present there. The dark clouds that had been gathering all morning gave way to thunderous roars and big droplets of rain fell directly on my face and clothes. I tasted the droplets that mixed with my tears. The pain in my heart was excruciating as I clutched the golden pocket watch in anger.
Kara held a forked willow stick out in front of her by the ends. Ten-year-old Sam trailed her aunt across the field, their steps swishing in yellowing knee-high grass. The stick quivered, then twisted like a cat, reaching for the ground.
“This is for show, mind,” Kara said. “Folk like to see something happening, something to tell them you’ve done it. But you don’t need the stick, understand?”
Sam nodded, looking up into Aunt Kara’s face. Wisps of fair hair escaped from Kara’s braid and caught the light of the full harvest moon in the darkening sky. If Sam stood in just the right place, she could make the moon into a halo around her aunt’s head.
The moonlight was dazzling-bright, bright enough to cast shadows. When Sam shaded her eyes, she could see her aunt smiling, her one crooked front tooth and the sweet, clear blue eyes. Sam’s mama had those eyes, too, but Sam’s eyes and hair were brown, like her father’s.
“What really happens,” Kara said, “happens inside you. You got to feel the earth. She’s got warm places and wet places, soft and hard places. You can feel the water in her, feel it in yourself. Your feet feel damp and cool, even in your shoes, and then you know you’ve got the right place. The wetter your feet feel, the closer the water.”
Sam nodded again. Kara led her away a few paces in the field.
“Close your eyes,” she said, and spun the child around. She steadied Sam with a hand on her shoulder. “Take hold. Lightly, now. That’s right.” She set the ends of the stick in Sam’s hands. “Now open your eyes, but don’t look too hard at anything. Just walk forward and feel the earth.”
But wherever she walked, however hard she tried, nothing happened. If Aunt Kara took the stick, it bent almost to breaking to reach the ground, but in Sam’s hands it was dead as her mama’s broom.
“Never mind.” Aunt Kara kissed Sam’s cheek and smoothed her sleek brown hair. “We’ll try again another day. There’s always a water witch in this family.”
But they never tried again. Two days later Aunt Kara cut herself canning. The wound sickened and the poison spread up her arm in red streaks. Nothing helped her. She died at the dark of the moon when life goes out of things and death comes easy. They buried her in the family graveyard, on the rise at the back of the farm, where her grandparents and parents lay, and her brother who died a baby.
Sam took the forked willow, drying though it was, and walked in the field every day, trying to find the spot where Kara had held the fresh-cut willow while it arched and twisted towards water. She knew it was foolish. A real water-witch didn’t need a stick, and no stick would help if you weren’t one.
When the full moon rose again, Sam climbed up to the graveyard in the evening. The air was blue and chill with fall. Leaves made a bright rustling carpet for the little graveyard. Sam laid the stick down on Aunt Kara’s grave.
“I couldn’t do it,” she said, “I tried and tried. I’m sorry, Aunt Kara! I’m sorry we don’t have a water witch in the family now.” She cried as hard for her failure as she had for her aunt’s death.
When her tears were gone, she turned and started down the hill. The moon floated before her, and she wondered where she would have to stand to make it into a halo for herself.
When she was halfway back to the house, with most of a field to go, the wind came up, a little breeze that brushed over her cheek and crept through her hair to the back of her neck. She shivered and began to hurry back to the warmth of the house.
Then, just for a moment, the breeze was a warm breath.
“Aunt Kara?” Sam said. Foolishly, she felt as though her aunt was standing behind her, smiling down at her. She paused, longing to turn, afraid it wouldn’t be true.
Then she felt the smallest touch of cold on her left foot, through the woollen sock. The cold spread rapidly across her sole, over her toes.
Bending, she quickly undid the laces of her shoe and pulled it off.
Her sock sagged away from her foot, dripping cold, clear water.
Ivory Rose Quinten, a young red-haired girl who made her way through the crowd while flaunting her dress that had the same colour as her hair. Her sun-kissed skin glowed under the bright sunlight bringing out her best look. Nevertheless, she walked with pride and stopped at her locker. When she opened her locker, chocolates and flowers dropped from it and were collected around her red stiletto heels. She bent over to pick all of them up just to find that all of them came from the same person. Caden Layne Ellsworth. Her eyes roamed around to search for the guy and after a few seconds, her eyes landed on the guy wearing all white; from his bag to his shoes. She tried hard to meet his eyes but to no avail. Caden blushed a little when he saw that Ivory was trying to catch his attention but he avoided it and continue talking to his group of friends. He felt his heart was thumping so hard he was scared that his friends would hear it. The time was right as the bell gave out its loudest ring and everyone rushed to their respective classes.
“I gotta go first guys. See you guys later.” Caden walked away without glancing towards Ivory because he was scared that she might caught him red-handed.
“Hey! Caden!” Ivory shouted the moment she saw Caden was walking away from the scene. Much to her disappointment, he vanished in a split second. Caden, who was hiding behind the walls took a peek to see whether she was still there or not. He released a sigh of relief and started to walk to his class.
“Hey! Thought you could run away from me?” Ivory appear out of nowhere in front of him making his heart thumped once again. Who would have guess that the school’s nerd is in love with the school’s devil.
“Hey Ivory! What are you doing here? We should be in our class by now. I think I will have to excuse myself.”
“Let us not beat around the bush, shall we? Well, both of us know that you’ve been giving me all the chocolates and flowers.”
“What are you talking about? I have no time for this, I have a class to catch up.” He walked away from the conversation without any further ado and he left Ivory alone by herself in the middle of the empty hallway.
“Hey Caden! What are you doing out here? Wanna help us out? We are bored.” The thorns in Caden’s life, Erik and his gang. Erik giggled with his friends and they quickly surrounded Caden.
“Don’t worry, this time might leave only a bruise or two, not like last time.” Erik laughed and all of them kept on pushing Caden around until his face bumped into the chest of Erik.
“We promise!” Erik offered a pinky promise; mimicking the voice of a child. All of them burst into a louder laughter and the empty hallway seemed small to Caden. They dragged him across the hallway and entered the male toilet. Caden did try to escape but they kept on a good grip on his arms. Erik made sure that nobody enters the toilet and an evil-like smile is perfectly formed on his face. Nobody could hear Caden’s heart-wrenching screams but the thin air.
After a few classes has passed, Caden made a silent entrance to the last class which was the Biology class with bruises here and there on his body and took the most-end window seat. Despite his pain, he took out his book and wrote about Ivory. After all, she was just his fantasy and everything that she did and whatever she was wearing was by his command. A world he created for a guy who needs an escape from the real world. Fantasy you may call it but he has always hope that it is his reality. Ivory Rose Quinten, a fantasy that nobody can touch nor bully.
He is the guy for me.
Today is our first date. The mid-autumn is blowing slightly its cool breeze. Striking colourful autumn leaves keeps falling on the pathway where we walk together holding hands side by side.
5 years had passed when I accidently bump onto him while rushing to my class. It was the day I met a guy named Dave. Although I got angry because of the stained from the cup of coffee that he was holding he did treat me to a nice lunch to compensate afterward. Although he did ate most of it even though it was for me. “He is quite a big eater for a slim guy!” was the first impression I had on him. But still I like seeing him like that. Ever since then we continued to meet each other a lot. Dave is always kind and gentle to others especially to me. Although he seems quiet and innocent but he is actually a meanie who never stop teasing me.
He is also smart. It was a coincidence that we are in the same department. Dave always teaches me things that I would not know and I would call him in the morning to wake him up to go to class. It is a fair deal and all because of me he never late to classes and to pay me back he would help me with my study.
Dave always stayed up late to study. His smartness did not come just like that he is quite a studious person. Because of that he always sleeps late and ends up waking up late. Once I dragged him in his pyjamas from his house since he did not answer my calls. It was hilarious as he did not realize why the whole classmates were laughing. He got mad afterward and went sulking. But after I treat him with a triple cheeseburger and extra-large fries, he suddenly smiled brightly and we ate there while he was still wearing his pyjamas. Actually I was only watching. He told me it is my punishment for doing that. But he get stomach ache for eating too much and I cannot stop laughing because of that.
He cared for me and always kept me company whenever I am lonely. And whenever I am he would treat me to lunch but he always eats most of the food. I know it is his money and all but still he called me to eat with him and all. I am the sad one who needs to eat a lot you know but somehow seeing Dave like that makes me happy every single time. His presences always make me smile unknowingly.
However I don’t like it when he always laughs whenever I got angry. He said that because of my small stature I look like a child throwing a tantrum. I got angrier afterward of course! But then he would gently smile at me and told me I look cute whenever I got angry. I must confess it does make me happy but I do not want to give in just like that. However he would give me chocolate afterward and I had to stop and be happy! That reminds me he always brings my favourite chocolate in his pocket with him and give it to me whenever I am lonely, sad, angry, happy.. What am I kidding? I just like chocolate and he knows it. Although I still believe he actually carries the chocolate for himself and just gave me one since he had extras. Anyways besides the chocolates I am just happy to be with him through all the times we had together.
I was sure of my feelings during the day my parents had an accident. Both of them mean the world to me and that day they left. I was a lost cause and all my reasoning to live had gone. However Dave never gave up on me. He held my hands during my despair and never let go. He confessed his love and told me that we should support each other in times of need. He told me that after he graduated he would support me forever and make sure that I am always happy till the rest of my life.
He graduated. He did as he told me and here we are finally having our first date. Suddenly a sudden gust of wind passes by making a bunch of leaves falls on top of us. I snap out from my thoughts and get back to our moment and he is smiling gently while looking directly into my eyes. He then gently brushes off the leaves on my hair. Now I am all nervous for no reason. My face is flushing red and knowing him noticing me is making me more embarrassed.
He then asked me to close my eyes and held out my hand. By the moment I open my eyes I saw a small pink-petal which is quite familiar. I look around and I was astounded because we are surrounded by Cherry Blossoms!
“How did this hap—“
Suddenly we are on a bicycle. He told me to grab me properly so that I would not fall and we cycled through the lining of trees with the petals continuously falling onto us. Although I had some questions to ask him, I just hug Dave and enjoyed my time. I always told Dave that I wanted to go to Japan to see their famous Cherry Blossoms and today I had all the view to myself while Dave is with me. The calm breeze was touching my cheek gently as we passed through the road. The moment is sweet. I wish it could last forever.
He finally stops cycling and I can see this huge flower garden with endless amount of flower. I got excited and ran first and finally I just lay myself down after I got tired. Dave then pulls out a small mat from his pocket and a picnic box. He then continues to take some cups, plates, and some juices from his pocket. He even brought ice cream in his pockets. Like how many things he can fit in there? He then feed me some cakes and I instantly got up panic. Dave never ever feed others food. Not even me. He likes it too much that I even suspected him to like food more than me. I asked him several questions like whether he is sick, or did he fell off his yesterday but he just brush it off telling me it was a special occasion. It is only for today he said jokingly but I know he was serious. I guess he really want it to be special. I ate a lot and got sleepy. Dave then took out a blanket from his pocket and covered me with it. I just lay my head on his lap on look at the sky. It was too bright since it was during daytime. But Dave just wave his hand and day turns to night.
The night is perfect as the moonlight shimmering onto us. I can fell the warmth from Dave as we cuddle. There were no words between us and we were looking at each other eyes. I can feel the strong feeling from him. I am loved. I am loved by Dave and I love him as well. I just cannot stop myself from loving him. No words can describes this perfect moment. Everything is too perfect. I then open my mouth and told Dave
“It’s okay. You can stop now”
Dave looks a bit hesitant and I can see tears are flowing down his cheek. He then clasped his hands tight and closed his eyes. Next thing I know I am in the bed of a hospital. I was feeling weak and tired.
My name is Dave. I am married to a beautiful sweet girl named Kelly. We were married for 50 years now and both of us are in in our late 70s. Kelly had Alzheimer till the point that she forgot who I was. Although she did not remember who I really am I cannot just leave my love-life. I was determined to take care of her. I still remembered the promise I made to her when we were studying. I tried my very best to make her enjoy her life but then another unfortunate event came. She was diagnosed with cancer. With her old age she would not last long. With her weak body she could only lay in her bed doing nothing. I was severely devastated when looking at her condition. I just wish that I could at least make her happy again. She was always happy when we talk about our first date together. I wish I could turn back the time!
Then suddenly a little girl with long black hair and pitch black eyes wearing an elegant traditional like clothing came to visit me and my wife. My wife was sleeping at that time. The girl told me that she could provide me a solution to my problem. She can make both of us fell in a deep sleeping state and make us to dream forever. Inside I could do whatever I want. However she said, I am the only who would realizes it is a dream and she could only make it into only one single dream. Meaning that even though it would feel different for Kelly but for me I would suffer a non-stop continuous loop. The girl then added that if she notices it for a bit both of us would wake up and I would die because the payment is my life for the deal. But for that, I do not mind. I rather suffer and gave my life just to see her happy again. So I accepted the offer and chose to have our first date as our dream. Today was our 1204th first date. I was already exhausted but I cannot stop now. I must make her happy.
She is a flower lover. So I always changed the setting to spring even though our first date was on autumn. With this power of mine I can do anything I want as long she would not notice it. I always thought that it was perfect but today it was too perfect. It must because of my fatigue. She suddenly asked me to stop. I was hesitant a bit and thinking that maybe she still does not realizes what is going on so I waited for the day to end so everything would reset by itself. But looking at her eyes glaring at me like that I gave in. I never was able to win her over except by chocolate. Knowing what would happen I cannot stop crying. I clasped both of my hand and wish for the dream to end.
I am finally backed from the dream world. I can feel this surge of energy is flowing out me. I knew it. I do not have much time left. The payment is starting. I am now in despair knowing that I would not be able to see her again. I cannot stop myself from crying. The tears just flow through my dried wrinkled skin. But then I could feel a warm sensation in my hand. It is her. Kelly is holding my hand with her weak small hand. Although we are old to my eyes she is my beautiful sweet Kelly. I could see her gasping for air. It seems like she is in the same condition as me as well. She then faintly called my name. “Dave” I am in awe. Did she remember who I was? I then put my face closer so that I could hear her well. She weakly wiped off my tears and told me
“Thank you for keeping your promise my love. I love you.”
“I love you too sweetie, please don’t leave me”
“I won’t Dave. We will be together soon.”
I then laid my head beside hers. We are looking at each other silently while smiling. She then slowly closed her eyes and I finally decided to rest myself.
Darah pekat yang mengalir tidak dihiraukan. Matanya hanya tertumpu kearah sekujur tubuh yang sudah tiada bernyawa itu. Dia kini sedar bahawa ibunya tidak mungkin akan bergerak lagi. Kejadian sebentar tadi datang umpama awan hitam yang bakal menyelubungi hidupnya selama-lamanya. Hidupnya bakal menjadi gelap tanpa arah. Kesedihan yang sungguh memeritkan hatinya sehingga tiada setitis air mata pun yang mampu mengalir keluar dari mata. Baginya kini, kata bahagia itu sudah tiada makna. Kerna mempertahankan dirinya yang tidak seperti manusia biasa ini, ibunya menjadi korban amarah penduduk kota.
“ Kau hanya mendatangkan bala di kota ini saja. Pergi kau dari sini serigala.”
“ Serigala tidak selayaknya tinggal bersama manusia. Kembali kau ke hutan tebal sana.”
Masih terngiang-ngiang suara penduduk kota yang memarahi dirinya tatkala dia bersiar-siar bersama ibunya di kota tempoh hari. Namun ketika itu dia ada bersama ibunya. Jadi dia tidak berasa takut dengan penduduk kota yang tidak mengerti akan keadaan dirinya. Ibu menjadi tempat dia berlindung. Ibunya juga tidak pernah menganggap dia pelik walaupun jelas fizikal meraka berdua jauh berbeza.
Tetapi malam itu berlaku sedikit kekecohan di kota. Sekumpulan serigala puak seberang telah datang menbuat onar dikota. Mereka dengan rakusnya memusnahkan hasil tanaman petani di hujung kota serta memakan bintang peliharaan mereka. Penduduk kota yang marah pantas bertindak menghapuskan serigala-serigala tersebut hingga dia pun menjadi mangsa.
“ Kau yang memanggil kaum kau kesini ya. Kau yang menyuruh mereka menyerang kota kita bukan. Kau harus dihukum serigala, makhluk picisan,” marah salah seorang warga kota tersebut. Kata-katanya disokong semua yang sedang berkumpul di halaman rumahnya.
“ Tidak! Itu tidak benar. Dia tidak bersalah. Tolonglah, jangan dihukum Adam. Dia tidak tahu menahu akan hal ini,” rayu ibu tidak putus-putus. Tetapi rayuan ibunya ditolak bulat-bulat. Selepas itu, Adam tidak ingat apa-apa. Kejadian tersebut berlaku dengan pantas. Sedar-sedar ibunya sudah terkulai layu berlumuran darah. Hatinya meluap-luap marah. Tanpa dia sedar dendam mula menghantui dirinya. Adam bertekad membuat onar di kota tersebut. Kemarahan dan dendam kesumatnya telah membuatkan Adam lupa banyak perkara dan dia sudah tidak menghiraukan keadaan sekeliling. Kemarahan dan dendam itu telah membuatkan Adam lupa akan nilai sebuah kasih dan sayang.
Apa salah diriku? Adakah kerna tubuh badanku yang persis serigala ini menimbulkan api kemarahan mereka? Aku harus menuntut bela.
Jeritan memecahkan hening subuh itu memeranjatkan Maya. Pantas dia beralih kearah bingkai kosong di dalam bilik Adam. Keadaan bilik yang gelap menyukarkan penglihatannya tetapi dapat juga matanya menangkap susuk tubuh Adam.
“ Adam, mimpi buruk lagi ya,” soal Maya sedikit ketakutan. Namun, Adam hanya membisu. Melihatkan Adam tidak memberi respon, Maya cuba menyambung kata-katanya. “ Adam, itu cuma mimpi sahaja. Kau tak …..”
“ Tak apa? Tak perlu aku fikirkan lagi? Ah!! Sudahlah Maya,” bentak Adam kasar. Dia sudah bosan mendengar suara Maya, si lukisan yang hidup itu. Ya! Lukisan yang hidup. Adam juga tidak mempunyai memori bagaimana lukisan itu bisa hidup seperti manusia biasa. Pada mulanya Adam kira lukisan hidup itu cuma ilusinya semata-mata, tetapi entah bagaimana dia sendiri mula sedar bahawa lukisan itu benar-benar bernyawa.
Adam bingkas bangun menuju ke dapur. Serabut fikirannya mendengar kata-kata sama yang keluar dari mulut Maya. Melihat Adam cuba melarikan diri daripadanya, Maya pantas mengejar. Menyelinap laju masuk ke bingkai-bingkai gambar menuju ke dapur.
“ Adam cuba bilang pada Maya apa sebenarnya yang Adam mimpikan tu. Mana tahu ada yang bisa Maya bantu.” Maya masih cuba memujuk Adam.
Langkah Adam terhenti. Terus dia berpaling memandang Maya yang berada di bingkai gambar sebelahnya. Renungan mata tajam Adam tidak sedikit mengentarkan Maya.
“ Hidupku ini sudah cukup menderita Maya. Dengan kehadiran kau, tidak akan mampu mengubah diriku. Dengan kehadiran kau, ibuku tidak akan dapat kembali lagi. Jadi buat apa perlu kau susah-susah membantu aku. Kau pun hanyalah lukisan yang tidak berperasaan sepertiku. Kau tak akan faham. Kau hanya lukisan yang tiada gunanya pada diriku,” tengking Adam lalu kembali ke kamar tidurnya.
Maya bungkam. Sungguh dia tidak menyangka Adam akan berkata begitu. Dia terus berlalu pergi. Dia benar-benar terasa hati dengan kata-kata Adam.
Lukisan yang tidak mempunyai perasaan dia bilang. Dia jugalah yang melukis aku. Mencurahkan segala perasaan dalam setiap titisan cat air di badan ini. Tidak sedarkah dia bahawa aku juga hidup. Akulah lukisan yang hidup! Dengan hidup itu dimaksudkan mempunyai perasaan seperti dia.
Adam hanya termangu di birai katil. Lukisan itu tidak akan pernah faham akan isi hatinya. Tangannya masih terasa bisa. Pertengkaran dengan serigala puak seberang yang datang menganggu kawasannya telah menyebabkan tangan kanannya luka. Adam bangun menuju kearah himpunan kanvas yang berserakan. Keadaan bilik yang gelap tidak menjadi masalah bagi dirinya yang merupakan serigala jadian. Kanvas yang kosong itu ditenung. Sekosong fikiran serta hidupnya kini.
Dalam keadaan bilik yang gelap gelita itu, tiba-tiba matanya menangkap sejalur cahaya yang berterbangan menembusi kanvas yang kosong itu. Puas diamati baru dia tersedar bahawa cahaya itu datang dari seekor pari-pari kecil yang datang entah dari mana.
“ Mari,” ajak pari-pari tersebut. Walaupun dalam keadaan binggung , Adam hanya menurut tanpa banyak bicara. Pari-pari tersebut mula terbang masuk ke dalam kanvas lukisan itu. Adam melangkah perlahan menurut jejak cahaya pari-pari tersebut. Seperti kisah dongeng yang selau diceritakan oleh ibunya suatu ketika dahulu, Adam kini melangkah masuk ke satu dunia baru yang sangat asing baginya.
“ Aku di mana ni?” soal Adam kebingungan. Pari-pari tersebut hanya tersenyum. Langkah Adam terhenti. Di hadapannya terbentang sebuah pemandagan yang sangat cantik. Tempat itu juga dihuni makhluk yang cukup ganjil bagi manusia biasa. Ada ikan yang sedang riang berterbangan di awanan yang biru. Ikan berterbangan? Aneh sungguh. Ada juga sekumpulan anak-anak serigala yang asyik bermain di bawah pohon gula kapas yang nampak menyelerakan. Di kanannya pula terdapat sebuah sungai yang mengalir jernih air bewarna hijau.
Setelah seketika, mereka meneruskan perjalanan menyusuri tebing sungai. Perjalanan yang Adam tidak tahu mana tujuan sebenarnya. Jalan yang tadi penuh dengan makhluk ganjil kini hanya hutan dikiri dan kanan. Puas berjalan akhirnya mereka sampai di hadapan sebuah rumah.
” Rumah siapa ini?” soalan Adam. Tetapi tetap saja pari-pari itu berdiam diri dan hanya senyuman sebagai ganti. Pintu rumah terkuak dengan sendirinya. Pari-pari tersebut memberi isyarat masuk kepada Adam lalu terbang menghilang. Tanpa banyak bicara Adam terus melangkah masuk. Alangkah terpesonanya Adam melihat lukisan-lukisan yang cantik tergantung di dinding rumah tersebut. Namun ada sesuatu yang menangkap fokusnya. Ya! Semua lukisan di rumah itu bergerak. Hidup dalam erti kata lain.
” Adam, sudah sampai rupanya kamu,” satu suara lelaki menegurnya. Adam kaget bukan sahaja kerana lelaki itu tahu namanya, tetapi lelaki itu persis dirinya. Memiliki tubuh badan seumpama serigala.
” Siapa kamu?” Soalan Adam tidak pun memeranjatkan dirinya. Adam tidak mengenali dirinya.
” Adam, ayah ni nak,” lelaki serigala itu bersuara kembali. Adam jadi kaget. Benarkah dia ayahku? Benarkah? ” Mungkin Adam tidak mengenali ayah, tetapi ayah yakin dan pasti ayah kenal anak ayah,” sambung lelaki serigala itu lagi. Adam yang dari tadi hanya membatukan diri terus berlari merangkul erat tubuh ayahnya. Lama sudah dia menanti saat ini.
“Ayah.” Hanya perkataan itu yang keluar dari mulut Adam. Air matanya yang sudah sekian lama tidak keluar, mengalir juga. Setelah keadaan kembali reda, ayah mempelawa Adam duduk. Maka duduk berbuallah dua beranak itu. Pelbagai cerita yang dikongsi bersama. Cerita sewaktu Adam kecil, cerita kehidupan Adam dan ibunya dan cerita peristiwa hitam yang mengubah hidup Adam.
” Ayah tahu kejadian yang menimpa ibu, tetapi ayah tidak dapat berbuat apa-apa. Maafkan ayah Adam. Maafkan ayah,” ujar ayahnya sayu.
” Tidak perlulah ayah meminta maaf. Bukan salah ayah, tapi salah penduduk kota sana.” Jelas kedengaran nada kemarahan pada suara Adam.
” Adam, elok kiranya Adam hapuskan perasaan dendam dan marah dalam hati itu. Boleh memudaratkan diri kalau tidak dibendung nak, ” nasihat ayahnya. Adam hanyaendiamkan diri. Sedar akan riak wajah anaknya yang sudah berubah itu, pantas ayahnya menukar topik perbualan.
” Cantik bukan lukisan-lukisan ini Adam,” soal ayah. Adam hanya mengangguk. Beberapa detik kemudia dia teringat akan lukisan tersebut yang hidup.
” Bagaimana semua lukisan ini boleh bergerak ayah?” Pertanyaan Adam sedikit memeranjatkan ayahnya. Adam tidak tahu tentang perkara ini kah?
” Perkara yang mustahil itu boleh berlaku dengan hanya sedikit imaginasi atau mungkin magik,” jawab ayahnya. Sedar akan riak wajah binggung anaknya, dia kembali menyambung. ” Adam sebenarnya makhluk seperti kita ini dilahirkan dengan satu bakat dan anugerah. Kita pandai mencanting kanvas menjadi lukisan indah yang hidup.” Penerangan ayahnya membuatkan Adam terdiam sejenak.
” Adam pun ada bakat itu bukan?” Adam masih lagi membatukan diri.
” Ayah…. Boleh ayah tolong Adam? Lukiskan wajah ibu untuk Adam,” ujar Adam secara tiba-tiba. Ayahnya tergamam.
” Maafkan ayah nak. Ayah sudah tidak boleh melukis lagi. Tangan ayah tidak lagi mampu berfungsi secara baik,” lembut bicara ayahnya. ” Kamu tidak boleh melukis lagi?” duga ayahnya. Adam terkejut mendengar soalan ayahnya. Bagaimana ayahnya boleh tahu akan hal itu. Perlahan kepalanya digerakkan keatas dan kebawah.
” Puncanya,” soal ayahnya inginkan kepastian.
” Setelah kejadian yang meragut nyawa ibu itu, Adam tidak lagi boleh melukis,” perlahan nada suara Adam menjawab pertanyaan ayahnya. ” Adam juga sudah lupa akan wajah ibu,” sambung Adam. Ayahnya tergamam seketika. Mengapa boleh jadi begitu? Mahu sahaja dia menanyakan soalan itu kepada anaknya tetapi melihat raut wajah anak yang sudah berubah itu, dia hanya mendiamkan diri.
” Adam, bukankah dirumah ada sebuah lukisan ibu,” kata-kata ayahnya membuatkan dia terpinga-pinga. Lukisan ibu?
” Ayah, Adam harus pulang ayah. Adam harus pulang segera,” ujar Adam tidak sabar.
Guruh yang menggegarkan langit membuatkan Adam terbangun. Mimpikah dia? Ya, Maya!! Dia harus berjumpa Maya dengan segera. Pantas dia memulakan pencariannya namun Maya tidak kelihatan dimana-mana. Puas dia meneliti setiap bingkai gambar kosong yang tergantung di dinding rumah. Kenapa selama ini dia tidak sedar. Butakah dia? Benar, matanya saja yang celik tapi hatinya buta.
” Maya! ” jerit Adam.
” Adam panggil Maya.” Suara yang sangat Adam nanti-nantikan muncul dalam bingkai di hadapannya.
Dengan mata yang berkaca dek kerana menahan air matanya keluar Adam memulakan bicara. ” Adam minta maaf. Selama ini Adam tidak sedar dan tidak hargai apa yang ada di depan Adam. Adam sebenarnya yang tidak berperasaan. Adam sebenarnya yang tidak berguna. Maafkan Adam…. Ibu.” Tumpah juga air mata yang dia tahan tadi. Maya tersenyum memandang Adam.
Dendam dan amarah yang bersarang dalam hatinya telah membuatkan hatinya buta. Sehingga tidak mengenali wajah yang paling dia rindukan. Ibu.