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.”
“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