I didn’t remember how long I’d stood here leaned on this pillar. I wondered why Ama didn’t come home for days. This was the first time he left me alone in our big house in such a long time. My sight was slowly blurred. I thought the world I was living in was going to be darker each time. My skin was wrinkled and my hair was all in white. I was easily crying over things I didn’t understand. It was like pieces of me evaporated to the sky. I couldn’t clearly hear sounds around me, couldn’t easily move, couldn’t feel food taste, I even couldn’t… feed myself. This body didn’t belong to me anymore. What I had now were memories about him.

More strangers came to the big house. They talked to me like we’d been close before. But I didn’t even remember their face and name.
“When does Ama come home?”
“He will never come home, Buk. He has found his new home.”
“Where is it?”
“It’s far away.”
“Can you take me there?”
“I should wait, then.”
“Yes, you should.”
“How long?”
“We’ll never know.”

Ama wore his sarong, put turban around his neck, sprayed perfume as a final touch, and took his walking stick. It was Friday afternoon. He left home to pray Jummah at the nearest mosque. That was the last time I saw him because he never went back home. But his presence is eternal, more than mine. I felt like he’d always been here sitting next to me eating his breakfast, drinking coffee milk, and gave some humor in our conversation in the early morning. His frame was standing at every corner in the big house. The house that was too big for myself.

The terrace I sat every evening was our favorite place. We could see bright morning sky or starry night sky form the bench. But from the day he left, I only sat here alone by myself seeing people walking on the road.

I stood here again leaned on pillar like if I could find him walking with his stick on the road toward home, the road that stole him. I wouldn’t wait again. I would search for him because I was tired of waiting in the time that I could never see the end. The scent of him in my remembrance would lead the way to him.
“Where will you go?”
“To the road where Ama goes.”

This short story is a tribute to Ama & Ibuk (Kakek & Nenek)
Rest in peace Ama & Ibuk


Silver Moon

Bestow upon me your absence
thus beneath silver moon I’m hanging
ricochet of your reflections
let me reminisce deep within the heart
I want to stop you from leaving
instead of calling in a desperate silence
here I whisper to the wind from the balcony
to send you prayers
it will be enough
and more than a relief


A Story of Black Coffee

I first tasted black coffee when I was in 3rd grade. It was Saturday night and I was wearing purple pajamas, could not sleep so I walked to living room and found my dad smoking his cigarette while watching TV. Mom allowed me to drink it, the same black coffee she made for dad. It was black and bitter but I really like the smell. It flowed through my nose, my lungs, and my brain. It energized my body, made my eyes focused. It was the first time I stayed up all night long with dad, only the two of us.

Dad’s gray eyes looked at the TV but did not focus at all, looked at somewhere I could not see. I knew something had been troubling his head but he did not tell anybody. He sipped his coffee, I copied him but he did not realize it. He was not there with me and I doubted he felt my presence beside him. I eyed him from head to toe back to eyes, his was empty. I looked at it, deeper, deeper, and deeper, felt his solitude, his pain, and his tired soul that he did not show to his family. I saw him standing alone against light on a pathway looked at the sky. He was older and weaker than his actual appearance. He turned his head, saw me, and he smiled at me.

And that day, I realized I have fallen in love with this man. I prayed to God to always fill my heart with love for him so I can always see his smile.

We sipped our black coffee.


I always remember my man and that night when I see or drink it.