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Aubrey

I walked across the room, looking at this music box on a small wood desk.

Weird, very weird.

I have never came here before, but this music box looked familiar.

Very weird indeed.

“Have you waited long?”, a voice startled me.

She turned around, swiftly as soon as she heard me.

But it was like she moved in slow-motion. How her calf-length skirt swayed, how she spun herself, and how her hair covered her face partially as the wind blew.

She looked confused. Her expression was questioning me, and everything.

Deep down inside me, I was chuckling.

She was beautiful as always.

“Uh. Hi.”, I greeted this man in front of me.

He was wearing a white loose shirt, he has this silver fox hair and his eyes… they were magnetic. Those that would draw you in if you stared at them too long. Oh and I was doing that alright.

I tried to smile, awkwardly.

“Uhm. I’m Sierra.”

His smile faded as he stared at me, and he looked disappointed for a split second. Then he smiled, a smile that was so calming, so beautiful and so familiar.

Familiar?

“Hi, Sierra. Liking what you were looking at?” he pointed at the music box

“Ah yes. No. I mean, I don’t know. I think it was a music box?” I laughed, embarrassed at myself for getting so nervous.

He chuckled. It sounded like a warm espresso on a winter night.

He looked at me with a serious look on his face. “Yes it’s a music box. But you know, it could also be a treasure box or something. Do you want to try to open it?”

He smiled teasingly. I blushed.

“I don’t know. Can I?” I looked at the music box again.

He stood beside me. He walked so quietly I almost didn’t realize it.

“Sure. If you have the key.”

We just stood there in silence while staring at this music box keyhole.

Ah, yes, I just realized it has a keyhole on it.

Do I have the key?

Weird. So weird.

I felt so relaxed. So peaceful that it was weird.

Ah, where is this place again?

Wait, why am I here?

I started to looked around slowly.

There were no other thing in this room but this desk and a music box on it.

The walls were the color of autumn leaves. I love autumn.

How do I get here again?

I looked at this man in front of me, quizzically.

What was his name again?

I smiled.

It’s always entertaining when she narrowed her eyes and got deep in thought.

I missed that. So much that it was so painful that I had to wait such a long time.

“I painted the walls. Because you like them, don’t you? The color of ginger and cinnamon? Of how the leaves changed their colors on fall? You also like to step on dried leaves just to hear the crackling sound they made.” I couldn’t help myself but chuckled as I remembered that.

I darted my eyes on his immediately.

Did I know him? I do know him, don’t I?

My eyes started to get wet. Uh why was this again?

I felt a strong feeling of longing something.

I stared at him, looking into his hazel eyes, trying to find an answer.

My hands reached for my pocket and I felt my hand touching something metal cold.

I looked at him with tears welling up.

He smiled gently, “You have the key?”

I pulled out a small gold key.

“Do you want to try to put that key in? You might find something treasured inside. Probably your old mitten? The one that you couldn’t bear of throwing it away even though it was already so worn out. The color was not even olive green anymore.” he laughed and looking at me, amusingly.

I pouted.

He had this twinkle in his eyes and smiled coyly.

“I love your pout. I always have, I always do, I always will, Eyra.”

Butterflies were flying erratically in my stomach. My heart thumping hard.

I know this guy. I surely do.

Even the butterflies in my stomach knew that I do, they felt so familiar, like a de ja vu.

I ignored him and focusing on the music box instead.

My hand was shaking slightly, but I managed to put the key inside it.

I twisted it gently and heard a click sound.

I looked at this man who was smiling so gently at me. He gleamed with anticipation.

I opened the music box gently.

The melody of Aubrey song was filling up the room.

And Aubrey was her name,
We tripped the light and danced together to the moon

I watched how realization dawned upon her, memories were hitting her hard, her tears started streaming down.

I puled her into my arms, embracing her. I caressed her ash gray hair and hold her small fragile body tightly as she cried her heart out.

“Gregory.. Oh Gregory… How I missed you… How could I forgot you…” she wept.

I smiled into her hair and kissed the top of her head.

“I forgot who I was when I first got here too, darling. It’s okay. It’s okay. I know you would remember me anyway.”

I pulled her chin up, holding her gaze.

He kissed my tears.

My sweet, sweet Gregory.

How could I forgot him?

After all this time I’ve waited for this moment to be with him again.

I held his hand tightly.

“Finally. Finally I can see you again.”

I stroked his face gently and lovingly.

He smiled and kissed the inside of my wrinkly palm.

“I know. I missed you too.”

I smiled brightly.

It was so bright in this room as well.


 

“Aubrey. Are you done?”

“Ah yes, just a little while.”

I took the music box from the drawer.

Mom often asked me to open this music box to her in the hospital, she would listened to the music serenely.

It reminded her of dad, I guess.

I sat on the edge of my bed.

I remembered how they used to play this music box to stop my tears back then when I was a little kid. When dad passed away, mom would sometimes open this music box too. Now that I thought about those moments again, I believed those were times when she was missing him.

So I would open this on the funeral. And later I would too, when I miss them.

I smiled at the music box and wiped my tears.

Slowly, I opened the box.

Mom, Dad, I miss you.

Oh and mom, have you met dad?

 

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My name is Albert.

My family call me Al, while most of my friends call me Bert. Actually, I think all of my friends call me Bert. All, except one.

She never called me Bert. Nor Al. Heck, not even Albert.

The first time we met was at Tony’s, my friend, birthday party. She was his girlfriend’s cousin. Tony brought her around when I was getting another drink, I heard him giving a swift introduction, “Here, this dude over here is Albert. But we usually just call him Bert.”

I turned my back, facing them. In front of me was Tony with a tomato red face, proof that he was starting to drank too much alcohol, and a gorgeous woman with a shoulder-length brown hair. Her eyes were as black as the night sky, twinkling like there were stars inside.

Suddenly I felt like stuttering. “Hi.”

Her eyebrows shot up a little bit and she smiled coyly, “Hi.”

What a simple word with only two letters. But that, along with her smile, had successfully got me smitten. Oh call me shallow, call me vain. But I was sure at that moment a cupid just shot me right in the heart. Nice shot, buddy, nice shot.

I grinned like an idiot, “Hi.”

Oh wait, that was the second hi, wasn’t it. I was truly an idiot. She chuckled while Tony looked at me like I had just peed myself. Then Tony introduced her to other people and later on the evening I saw her hanging out with other girls. She laughed, throwing her head to the back. Her brown hair swaying, and her head tilted to the side while listening to her friends talking.

The rest of the night was a blur. But I remembered waking up on my bed the next morning, alone, and kept thinking about her. The way her eyes squinted when she laughed, the way she put her hand on the side of her hip, and… her smile. I remembered clearly she had a very beautiful smile.

On the afternoon, I decided I should asked Tony her number. But first, coffee.

I remember the guys said something about a new coffee shop around the office complex. Well, might as well try another new thing today. Other than daring myself to ask for a girl’s number to my asshole friend, risking myself to be a teasing object for weeks.

As I pushed open the door and my eyes scanned around for someone I might knew, they were stumbled on a pair of familiar eyes. I felt out of breath.

The risk of being teased for asking her number was gone. But there was now a huge risk of making myself a fool right in the middle of this coffee shop, and right in front of her.

For a split second, I was thinking, did she remember me? Did she not? What if she didn’t? What should I say? Should I reintroduce myself? That were a lot of thinking in a brief moment, so I finally went with the easiest way to make sure.

I smiled.

And my heart was beating faster as her eyes lit up, telling me that she remembered me. She remembered me.Β A little version of myself inside my head was doing a happy dance, jumping and shouting triumphantly YES!! SHE REMEMBERED ME!!

She waved her hand, “Hi!”

“Hi there!” I said, probably way too brightly. She gave me a broad smile, the smile I remember, and her shoulder relaxed.

“Hi, B.” she said again. Smiling, teasingly.

I was stupefied a moment, then letting out a relieved laugh. It felt like all the nervousness depleted.

That afternoon, my decision to get a cup of coffee at a new place turned out to be an amazing 1 hour of talking and laughing and seeing her laugh which in return made me laugh, deliriously happy. She had no idea this was the new recommended place the guys talked about, she just dropped a document for her boss at a nearby building. Something her secretary friend usually would do, but today that friend was on sick leave so she had to do it instead.

I believe that was fate, the one just like in those romantic cliche movies and novels. Hey turned out it was real. It’s like that quote in a famous book, if you really want something, the universe will conspires to make it happened. Or something like that.

I saved her number to my phone before we left the coffee shop.

And that was the beginning of us chatting all day. Phone calls on nights, talking until one of us fell asleep. A date a week later. Almost nonstop chats. Phone calls every night. More dates.

And a new nickname.

B.

No one ever said something but as we continued our chats and calls and dates, we knew we were an item. People knew she was mine and I was hers.

Life was good. Life was beautiful. It felt like the sky was always bright blue and the birds chirping happily on the background.

On days it was actually raining, I was still happy. We would snuggling inside the blanket and sharing a big mug of hot coffee. We would order delivery foods, watching Netflix, cuddling, warming up each other and at the end of the night, I knew I would fall asleep with her in my arms.

Sometimes on a relax evening, we listened to slow ballad songs using only one set of earphone, swaying our heads in sync, sometimes looking at each other and smiled. And I loved to watch how she closed her eyes, tilted her head to side, and slowly, repeatedly nodding her head, immersing to the song.

Then, as all other couples, we had our first fight. Our second. Our third. And it became countless.

She called me asshole more often now. Oh and jerk. If we count how many times she called me asshole and jerk, I think they would be tied on the first place.

I didn’t even remember when, but it started to felt tense when we were in the same room. Not a desirable kind of tense. Rather like I-could-claw-your-eyes-out-if-you-said-the-wrong-thing kind of tense.

I felt exhausted, everything I said could and would turn into something she held against me. Everything was wrong. We were mean to each other, and I was not sure how, but it felt like we hate each other.

So one day, on a breezy Saturday afternoon, we decided we were better when we’re not together.

Before we parted ways, she gave me a hesitant and wry smile, “Can we… Can we, well, still be friends?”

I looked at her, unblinking.

Then I tried my best to smile lazily, not sure if it looked convincing and assuring, “Yeah. Sure. I mean, sure that goes without saying. Friends. Right?”

That was 3 years ago and for the past 3 years we didn’t exactly be friends. Only contacted each other to say Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, without small talks. Every wish was replied with a “Thank you, you too, have a wonderful day!” full stop.

We never bumped into each other again, because she moved to another city and pursue her master degree there.

Sometimes, on a breezy afternoon when I was sipping my warm coffee in a coffee shop, I would remember her. Like now.

I remember how we coincidentally met at a coffee shop. Her vibrant smile, the way she touch her nose when she was embarrassed, how her eyes went bigger when I brought her favorite cake, the sound of her laughter and how she threw her head back when she laughed.

The episodes when she screamed and yelled at me were not forgotten, but they didn’t feel like they were as infuriating as back then. I could remember how she cried and made me feel like I was such a loser and at the same time, monster towards her. But I wonder if I said better words, lowered the tone of my voice, and tried to talk things out with her… Would it be different now? If every time we fight I stayed and calmly listened to her instead of slamming the door and left the house, would we still be together?

Could both of us be a better version of ourselves?

I wonder,

If I were given a second chance, would I seize it?

Would I press the reset button and start afresh with her?

I smiled mirthlessly and sipped my coffee. Well, enough wondering what ifs. I put the cup down and got up.

As I walked through the pavement, I could feel the wind was getting even colder. Frosty air prickling on my face. I walked faster andΒ got into the subway station, it felt so much better without the icy cold wind slapping my face. I shifted my postman bag and strode across to the escalator.

I stood on the left side, absentmindedly.

But somehow, from the corner of my eye, I caught someone like her. I turned my head to the left. There she was, standing on the other side of escalator going down, eyes downcast.

Hair still as brown as mahogany. But it was wavy now, and longer.

There was a sudden rush urge to see her face clearly so I called her name, but it came out almost like whisper. And I held my breath.

Slowly, she lifted her head. Her eyes looked confused, like she heard someone called her name but not sure if she was imagining it or not.

After a split second that felt like ten years for me, she turned her head to her left side and saw me.

And just like that, she smiled.

A smile that was so radiant, she looked beatific.

As my escalator kept going up and hers kept going down, we were holding our breath while staring at each other intently.

She opened her mouth to say something and close it again.

And finally, she called out,

“B!”

Roller Coaster

So, I think to myself.

Now that I’m here at the amusement park I wished I went with you.

Would you see that,

Clouds above our head, like a white cotton candy swirling around.

Would you see that,

People laughing gleefully, eyes enlightened with excitement.

Would you smell the hot air of mid June,

kissing our skin together with sunbeam.

Would you,

hold my hand?

I smiled.

Imagining how you tried to clasp my hand, awkwardly.

Yet you would try to do it nonchalantly.

And I would feel your hand sweating with nervousness.

Or was that mine?

I wonder,

Would you smile at me?

The way I do every time I remember you.

Or would you laugh?

Because I would love to see you laugh.

How your face lit up with happiness,

and all problems felt like evaporated to the air.

I look up,

Clouds scattered on the azure sky.

Reminded me of my fragments of heart.

While I try to make them stay stringing on a thin thread of hope.

I look at the roller coaster ride stopping in front of me.

Hopping into the car.

And slowly, I can hear the rattling sound it makes.

Like two massive gears are grinding,

As the ride ascending slowly uphill.

Adrenaline rush surging inside my bloodstream.

I feel anxious.

Thrilled.

And I wonder,

If you were right here beside me,

Would your heart throbbing fast like crazy,

Would you feel like you were weightless,

A bubble floating up to the sky,

Evanescent?

As the ride makes a screeching sound,

and reach its highest point,

I wish I was holding your hand.

 

And as it falls,

I wonder,

If you were right here beside me,

Our fingers intertwined.

Our hearts pounding.

Would you,

fall for me?

 

 

Another Time

Sounds of people’s steps rushing up and down the stairs.

From the speaker, a lady told us that a train would arriving soon.

I held my tote bag closer.

Train arrived and opened the door.

Inside my mind, I chanted along the sound emitting from the train speaker, asking people to be careful with their steps.

And that doors are closing.

Another morning. Another peak hour rush.

I glanced around me, searching for a familiar face.

Couldn’t find it.

I felt a pang of disappointment.

I was putting my earphone on, thinking maybe listening to my favorite songs would make me feel not so despondent, when someone running towards the door and jumped inside exactly before the door closed.

He landed with a thud!

Very close to me, palms still on his knees.

His breath heavy.

I stood still, still overcoming my own shock.

Slowly, he raised his head and stand straight.

And then, he smiled.

Like a sparkling-light-bulb smile.

A smile that left me stunned.

Time was broken at the moment.

It was dysfunctional.

It was mummified.

How come such warm smile could froze me, I didn’t really understand.

“Sorry. That must startled you.”

And he held on to the pole I was also holding on.

That was it.

The face I was looking for.

And I,

I was still standing breathlessly. Imprinting his voice. His smile. Into my mind.

It’s been a few months now, every workday morning, I would try to find him among the crowd.

I didn’t know what drew me in.

Probably his gorgeous face.

Or the way his musky perfume scent evaporated into the air and left behind a whiff.

Or the electric sparkle I felt whenever I saw him.

I felt my days are brighter when I found him on the same train with me.

And for a short 10 minutes, I was content by looking at him.

Even only a glimpse.

Even only a part of his head in flood of people inside the train.

I would recognize his hair.

His side look.

His chiseled jaw.

His eyes staring intently to his phone.

Or the way they sometimes just staring out of the window.

“That’s alright.”

I said, trying so hard not to stutter.

And he smiled again.

Heart palpitations.

I believed I was sweating visibly now.

Because I felt feverish.

Now.

Now would be a good chance for me to ask for his number.

No, not his number.

His name.

Baby steps, I reminded myself.

I didn’t have to rush.

Or should I?

What would he thought if I asked his name?

Should I introduce myself first? Would that be weird?

My heart was still beating so fast I was worried it would get overdrive and I would drop dead.

What would be his name?

Would it suit him?

Wait, I never thought about this before, but was he even single?

He might be married. Or engaged. Or in a serious relationship.

Or none of the above.

God, I would never know if I did not start asking his name.

Wait no, I should tell him my name and let him tell me his name, instead of asking him his name out of nowhere.

Or probably I should make small talks first.

Yes, that would be good.

Right?

Right.

Small talks.

Maybe about the weather.

No, that’s lame.

About the train crowd?

I looked up and tried to muster up my courage when the train speaker announced that we would soon arriving at his station.

I swallowed my words.

His eyes darted up from his phone screen to the train door.

And moved to me.

I swallowed again, literally this time.

He smiled.

A smile that light up the world.

Slowly he made his way to the door.

And so, I tell myself again,

Repeated the same words I’d told myself these past few months.

Next time.

Next time I would ask him his name.

Or even his number.

Next time.

Yeah, next time I would.

Fireflies

I glanced at my watch.

A few minutes later, there he was.

He caught my eyes and smiled, all while pushing the door open, making the heat from outside sneaked inside for a second.

He pulled out the seat in front of me.

Nervously looked around.

While I take in all I can, looking at him.

His messy hair.

His long fingers now trying to comb his hair.

His lips pulling into an upturn, more like smirking.

His twinkling eyes. Those eyes I would love to dive into.

It felt like all the chattering around us became white noise on the background.

Like a movie where camera focused on us and everyone else is just blurred.

He leaned in to me a little.

“I missed you.” and he grinned.

Gosh, I thought to myself.

I blushed.

My heart picked up a race.

I felt warm all over my body.

Shouldn’t this stage of relationship passed already? Those moments when you got all flustered up just because few words he said.

I stared at him and gave a vibrant smile.

“I know.”

When we got out of the restaurant,

It was pouring.

For a moment, we just looking up to the somber sky, spewing out streams of water.

He turned his head to look at me.

“Ready?”

I was still grasping what he meant when he hold my hand and pulled it.

We ran to the parking lot.

I was screaming and laughing.

When we got into his car, we were drenched and breathing hard.

We looked at each other, trying to catch our breaths.

And our laughter broke.

Hard, uncompromising.

We laugh so hard I cried a little.

When it faded, he gripped the steering wheel and started the ignition.

His face tensed.

My heart was beating fast. All of my body was anticipating with need.

He drove us to a desolated roadside.

It was dark outside.

Only few glints of stars.

I looked through the car window.

Lights emanating from houses beneath us, like hundreds of fireflies.

He touched my hand, and I jerked.

It was like his skin was fire that startled me when it came into contact.

We were looking into each other’s eyes.

I could see my reflection, my hair wet and sticking to my face.

My mouth partially open, my breathing hitched.

He moved first, and instantly our lips meet.

It was slow at first. Like tasting the edge of ice cream.

And realizing we could not get enough.

After few seconds, it became wild.

Savoring each other like it could melted away if we didn’t.

His hands cupped my face and slowly makes it way to other parts of my body.

I was clinging to his shoulder.

We take and give.

We shared the feelings we have, feelings so strong they could rip us open.

We were ourselves.

Being honest to each other.

And when I reached the peak, I feel like bursting out and became hundreds of fireflies.

Flying around the paradise.

With the window rolled down, we stared at the sky while spooning.

Our breath calming down, our hearts thumping in sync.

And we talked about the stars.

The sky.

Last movie we saw.

Glimpse of our childhood.

Jokes we heard from our friends.

He asked how was my life as college student going.

I told him my new friends. My assignments.

I asked how was job going on for him.

He told me about his strict-but-very-supportive boss.

We reminisce how we met on the subway, all the stolen glances.

The bashful smile.

And again we retold jokes we heard from others.

Laughing.

Caressing.

Cuddling.

And just contentedly basking in this sheer happiness.

We never talked about the future.

Like we denied its existence.

Perhaps we understood the truth.

That we would never belong to the future.

Or rather,

There’s no future belong to us.

His arms wrapped around my shoulder and I smile, feeling fulfilled.

I stroke his arms with my fingers so slowly it was like brushing with a feather.

Slowly to his hand and his fingers.

His ring finger.

And the ring on it.

With someone else’s name carved inside.

 

Tonight.

I told myself.

Just tonight.

Let him be mine.

My tears welled up in my eyes and blurred my visions.

From a distance, I could see hundreds of fireflies.

Dancing.

Without worrying the future.

Coming Back

Phew.

It’s been a while since I wrote on this blog. I feel kinda guilty to abandon this one, but I keep writing on my other blog. It’s like I have another life. A busier one. Lol.

But every once in a while, it’s always comforting to get drowned in my thoughts. For almost 3 years, usually they ran for a short while in my mind, like a flickering gaze.

Dazing for a moment.

Forgotten the next.

Then I remembered, I have this la-la-land. A place where I can get lost together with my thoughts. A place where I can pour all my melodramatic things out, along with my sentimental feelings.

So here I am.

Coming back to a place I’m so familiar with.

Like smelling the scent earth gave off when rain tore up the sky, falling down to made love to the ground.

Giving me solace.


 

When I listen to songs I like,

Sometimes I just close my eyes.

And I remember a face.

A place.

A series of feelings.

How it makes my heart tingle.

How it makes me smile.

Or grinning like an idiot.

How it makes me want to cry.

Not because I’m upset.

Just because I feel like I want to.

How it makes me miss late night conversations.

Talking about life like we understand it.

or just making small talks.

No matter how small.

Trying to keep the conversation going.

How it probably makes us smiling longingly,

staring at the screen of our phone.

Reading every words.

Interpreting it in our own way,

trying to see beyond those words.

Searching for a deeper meaning,

hoping there’s something more beneath them.

Denying any bitter truth it might hold.

Denying the logic that keeps pushing into our mind.

And we just pushed it back out of our mind.

Because

At this moment,

while listening to a foreign-language song, we just want to get lost.

Even by deceiving ourselves.

Wait, since when I becomes we?

Suddenly my becomes our.

Like we both understand.

The feelings.

The mesmerizing way we want to keep chatting.

How we want to fall asleep knowing that we are the last person we spoke to.

before drifting to slumber.

Another la-la-land.

But do we really want the night to end?

Can’t we just froze these moments.

The smile plastered on our face.

The longing feeling to own each other.

Creating another world, another dimension.

Where only both of us there.

with fingers curling up, threading into each others’

Sitting and just breathing.

Relishing in every moment.

But eventually,

It became awkward.

The conversation.

Our smile.

Even the small talks.

We lost the reasoning.

We lost the sparks.

We lost them all.

And abruptly,

we feel like strangers.

Staring at each other for just a fleeting moment.

Like the ones we saw while riding a train.

Then we give another glace.

Smiling politely.

And moves on.

 

 

A month ago, I was a bride.
I always thought every bride in every wedding would smile elegantly and gracefully. You know, with a sweet and shy smile under her veil.

But I wasn’t a bride like that. Or rather, I can’t.

Ya ampun cyiinn pas ngeliat foto-foto hari H, gue ampe miris karena gue bukan sekedar ketawa lagi, gue NGAKAK. Mana pengantin yang mestinya elegan dan manis dan anggun dan canteekk? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

And yes, gue bahkan ketawa lepas pas sungkem sama papa mertua yang sebenernya lagi nangis! Sampe akhirnya papa mertua juga ikutan ketawa πŸ˜‚

Looking at my photos, I think “Heck, apa-apaan sih gue, gak ada cantek-canteknya kali lah jadi penganten”

But I know and I realize, that’s because I was so happy on that day. And I’m happy I was being myself on that day, yang ketawa ngakaklah, yang monyong-monyong ga jelaslah, yang ngasih ekspresi anehlah πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚

I was a happy bride indeed and hopefully I’m gonna have a happy marriage πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•

Happy 1 bulanan pernikahan, koko suwam ❀️ Semoga masih akan tetep norak senyum-senyum bangga ya ngeliatin cincin kawin di jari aku πŸ˜‹

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