“Aaron? You’re still sleeping?”
I can hear my sister’s voice from across the
room, breaking my beauty sleep. I know what she’s going to do now, but I still
pretend sleeping anyway. “don’t you have morning classes?”
I stay still, hoping her to give up. But I
know it’ll never happen. She pulls the thick blanket away from my face, I immediately
think she is going to throw me a bucket of cold water. But thanks God, she’s
not. “I know you’re awake. Stop pretending and get off your bed, lazy bum.”
I open my eyes slowly, really slowly, trying
to look as if I’m hell tired, because I really am. “Can you just be nice to
your super tired younger brother who only had two hours of sleep?” I said
weakly but quickly.
“No one told you to take the hardest
engineering in Uni.” She stops and eyes the floor. “how many times have you
flung your alarm away?”
“was the sixth I guess.”
“for crying out loud, get up! You only have
thirty minutes left!”
before she gets any crankier, I jump off my
bed and go straight to the bathroom. Seriously, I need no more classes. Either
mornings or afternoons, they are all boring classes. They only teach basic
stuffs which I have mastered since ages ago. Well, at least it’s like that to
me. I have no idea with the other kids, I never asked them. But it really is
basic to me. The only reason I go for classes is only to see her. Linda always
knows how to make things less boring, if better, things are always interesting
with her. She has always been like that since the first time I saw her three
years ago. She and all likeable things about her never changed. And that’s why
I always want to see her. Everyday.
As I’m walking to the bathroom, I stop and
just stare at one of the photos of Linda I put up on the wall in front of the
bathroom. I put it up there on purpose, I guess just to motivate me, since I’m a
slow sloth in the mornings. I have no clue but her ‘typical Linda’ smile can
just alter my mood instantly. If you want me to describe, her smile is
different in comparison to other typical, plain smiles you always see on
people’s face. It is one that radiates purity and charm. Just looking at her
smile can make you smile all of a sudden. I know I’m not the only victim here.
“are you going to spend your whole day
looking at Linda’s photo?” Ariana’s voice interrupts my thoughts. “if you’re
not going today, you can’t see her.”
“no need to tell me, Ari.” I said, continuing
my trip to the bathroom. I can sense her smiling behind me. I know she’s going
to tease me now. Before that happens I quickly add, “mind your business, Ari.
You’re old, go have a boyfriend already.”
I know I just pissed her off just a bit.
“well, unfortunately I’m not the guy who needs to confess on the first place.”
Then she smiles slyly, “my little brother has grown up.”
She really knows how to get on my nerves. I
was going to throw something back at her, but no. So I just simply say, “just
stop calling me ‘little’, will ya?”
“just stop calling me ‘old’, will ya? I’m
only two years older than you, geez.”
I just smile at her, but that should answer
it all. Anyway, she was right. Girls are lucky because they are not guys. All
they do is wait and decide.
Cambridge is nothing much different to other
colleges all over the world. It’s just how people see it. And people see things
differently. From how I see it, Cambridge is nothing really special, regardless
of thousands of remarks worldwide. You can say it’s just an opinion from
someone who’s been in the college. You never really know about a college until
you’re actually enrolled in that college. Especially when you take the craziest
subjects and are ready to have ‘no life’. You just can’t deny a gradual change
in your opinion. Stress and helluva projects are some potential factors.
Since the moment I arrived at the gate I’ve
actually started looking for Linda. She is not in the same faculty as I am. She
takes music. But really, she could take everything she wanted. She could take Medicine
or English literature or History, everything. She has no specialty, because
she’s really good in general. I think it comes from her great mix of gene pool.
She’s half British, half Indonesian. And I’m sure she once said her dad’s
ethnicity is British with some Spanish and Indonesian in the mix. Out of all
those fancy faculties, she picked music. But I have to say that her music skill
really stands out. She’s so passionate about music and she can ‘bewitch’ anyone
who watches her play. Linda could go for Juilliard if she pleased. Anyway, I
can’t find her now, but I really hope she has a morning class. If not, my
attempt to wake up this morning is so pointless. I walk upstairs to my first
class of materials technology and my fellow engineer-to-be, Willy gets in my
way. “Hey Aaron! What’s up?”
“Do you notice we’re late two minutes
already?” I asked, looking at my watch to emphasize my words.
“Mr. Brown is late for the fiftieth. I been
here earlier. Too bored in class. Went out. And guess what? You’re the lazy
bum.” He stops for a while, then adds, “wait, besides Mr. Brown of course.”
“That means I’m not late for class. He’s not
here yet.” I said, pushed him lightly aside.
“Apparently we may not have this morning
session. Other lecturer said Mr. Brown caught a flu.” Willy said while
following me behind.
“Well, it’s a really cold winter indeed. I
don’t mind missing classes anyway.” I said, I really couldn’t careless.
“Lucky you for being a smart ass. You need to
lend me your brain sometimes you know?”
“Lending you my brain as in finishing the
rest of your project?”
Willy nodded approvingly. “I’ll pay you ten
“Not even for a fortune.” I replied, then
playfully pat Willy on the head, “you’ve got to be dedicated in order to come
out with the desired outcome, son.” I uttered, mimicking Mr. Brown’s best
Willy is about to slap my hand but I get away
just in time. We get into the classroom, but Mr. Brown is still not there. I
can see no one is absent. I think Mr. Brown really is not coming today. A bad
timing for some students I guess, because they seem eager to start today’s
session. Well, what a good timing for me. I really don’t want to listen to any
So we have two hours of private study, but I
can’t really have my private study, people keep coming to me and asking
questions. Apparently my plan to skip study today is not going to happen. They
look so clueless I can’t refuse to help. So I try my best to help them until
they really understand it all. I’m about to charge them for private tuitions
but that’s not nice. I realize some of the girls are not really listening while
I’m explaining, they can’t stop smiling and looking at my face. That’s creepy,
but I can’t yell at them, because I can’t. Linda once told me that I didn’t
need to yell at them, just tell them to ‘listen’ and ‘stop’ staring. I said I
just couldn’t and then she said I was too nice of a person. I have to admit my
biggest weakness is that I’m too nice to people. I can’t be honest and hurt
their feelings, though I’m so ignorant of studies.
When the class finishes, I walk downstairs
and start searching for Linda around the music faculty. I still can’t find her.
I’m not confident if she’s around now. I was going to call her until one of
Linda’s good friend, Casey, appears in front of the music building. I wave at
Casey and she smiles at me. I was going to say I’m just looking for Linda but
she seems so happy, I probably need to chat to her for awhile.
“hey Aaron!” she greeted cheerfully.
“hi Casey, have you seen Linda?” I asked with
a very welcoming smile on my face.
“I think I just saw her talking to Bruce?
Yeah, I think it was Bruce.”
I raised my eyebrow. “Bruce? Bruce Wilson?”
“yeah, Bruce Wilson from the faculty of
music. How are you Aaron?”
I don’t answer Casey for a moment, I’m just
thinking. “uh, good, I guess. How are you Case?”
“Excellent. We just had a practical test on
violin. And guess what?”
I waited for a moment, thought she was going
to continue her words until I realize her expression that tells me to finish.
“Linda came first?”
Her expression changes slightly at my guess.
“yeah, you’re right. And I came second highest.”
So my guess didn’t really catch. But I still
congratulate her anyway. “congrats! You deserve it. You’re just as good as
“you don’t know how much I wish I could
“Coming as second highest is great already.
You can always do better.” Boy, am I so phony. Casey doesn’t know what I think
inside. I really do hope no one can surpass Linda. I need to see that girl,
right now, so I just try to get out of the conversation, “I gotta go now. See
you next time Casey.”
Casey smiles brightly and waves, “see you
After that, I run inside the music building
until I finally find her. There she is, standing alongside one old huge piano
located in front of a classroom. I have no idea why Linda is standing alone,
facing to the piano. I can’t even hear her play the piano. I was about to call
her out, but she walks away. So I’m following her instead, may be I can startle
her or something. The closer I get to her back, the more I can hear sobs. Is
she crying? But why?
I don’t know where she’s going but she stops so
suddenly in front of a wide bench I almost bump into her. She finally notices
someone is behind her, she turns around and jolts as she finds me standing
right in front of her.
“what are you doing?” her voice is shaking,
at that moment I’m sure she’s crying.
“following you.” I answered, I give her a
smile, but she doesn’t try to smile back. Not as usual. “I thought you came
first in that practical test.”
“I did.” She said briefly and sits on the
I don’t say anything for a while, baffled by
her unexpected sad face. I decide to start a joke, “are you crying because of
that Bruce guy?”
She glares at me, but I’m used to her glares.
“what makes you think so?”
“you told me he was fine.”
“when did I?”
“two days ago.”
She didn’t say anything back. So I added, “so
you’re really sad because it didn’t work out?”
“what do you mean by ‘it didn’t work out’?”
her eyes are getting redder, I think she’s going to cry even harder. What did I
do wrong? Is she really sad because of Bruce?
“ah you know, you think he’s fine, and tried
to horse around with him but it didn’t work out.” I guess my joke is too much,
because Linda is now hiding her face in between her arms. I’m so stupid.
“Lindy, I was just kidding.” I try to look at
her face, but she seems to keep on hiding her face from me.
there she goes again, yelling strange words at me. She always does this. She
would be mumbling or subconsciously yelled the strangest words in Bahasa if
she’s not in the mood. I’ve been used to it. I know she just told me to go away,
I’ve heard that word for a few times. It might sound weird to other people, but
I’m really used to her other language already. Sometimes I really want to learn
Bahasa, so that I know what she really wants and feels at times like this.
“Lindy, I really was kidding, I’m so sorry.”
I feel extremely guilty all of a sudden. It feels like she’s crying because of
me. She still doesn’t want to look up at me. I’m so confused. I hate seeing her
“can you just… go? I want to be alone.” She
said very softly. I don’t know what to do, I don’t want to leave her alone
here. I never left her crying in the loneliest place, I was always with her
until she stopped crying. I know this will annoy her, but I still ask anyway,
“are you sure? You don’t want me to stay?”
“yes. just go. Now.”
I walk away. But before I walk any further, I
look back at her, she’s still in the same position. God, it’s hurting me when
she’s just crying like that, all alone by herself. Why doesn’t she let me to
stay with her? And why is she crying? I’m dying to know. “Call me anytime if
you need me. Okay? Don’t cry Lindy. You’ll ruin your face.” I said, then
I walk slowly, very slowly, hoping to hear a
reply from her. But I know she won’t say anything back. I can still hear her
sob. Sure it’s not the first time I see her cry, but this is her worst cry. If
she’s really crying because of that Bruce guy, then… I don’t know. The idea
chokes me up.
I’ve been in my room for about four hours
now, still sticking to my big project. Just a little bit more then I finish. I’m
finishing the damn project hell fast so I can just sleep peacefully and do
anything I want. I put my phone on the desk, eyeing it every ten seconds.
Sounds silly, but I really am. I still don’t hear anything from Linda. I’m just
getting worrier now. I was going to come over her house, but no, I would get on
her nerves so easily at times like this. She always says I’m a nice person. But
I can’t really see it when it comes with her.
Every time she cried before, all I’ve done
was just sit beside her and lend her my shoulder. Sometimes I would caress her
head and hold her hand as just to warm her up. I wouldn’t say anything, ‘cause I’m not good at saying
anything soothing. I would make it worse. But my shoulder was enough to make
her feel better and she would stop crying after at least thirty seconds. You
might think I counted every second, but I did. Every second just seemed so
precious if she spent it crying.
I stop playing around with my machine for a
while, and look at one of the frame on the desk, which secures a photo of Linda
and me. In that photo Linda is playing piano and looking at me, smiling her
brightest smile. I remember that time, I couldn’t help smiling too. Her fingers
dancing beautifully on the piano keys and that expression she always puts on
her face every time she plays are the most enchanting views I’ve ever seen.
Thinking all about this doesn’t help me at all. I can’t concentrate, because
I’m too worried now, I really need to see her.
I fling my tool away and look down in
distress. My old sister appears out of nowhere. “what’s wrong with you?” she
looks around to answer her own question. “your room is so messy.”
“like you’d never seen it before.” I said,
still hanging my head down.
“you didn’t see Linda?” there she gets me.
Well, not exactly. “boy, is she mad at you? She didn’t want to see you?”
I look up at her with chinky eyes. “I thought
I told you to mind your business.”
My sister just smiles thinly. She looks
pretty. Ariana is a beautiful young lady, I have no idea why she hasn’t found
herself a boyfriend. She never wanted to discuss it with me. I’m not good in
such topic. Leave alone her love life, I never even dated before. “you should
call her up, you know.” She said, now she doesn’t sound sarcastic at all.
“she will get angrier.”
“so she’s mad at you?”
“nah. I don’t know. She was crying when I saw
her.” I told her. Ariana doesn’t say anything for a moment. I look at her, her
face looks thoughtful. May be she starts analyzing already.
“why don’t you go to her now?”
“I thought I just told you why.”
“that’s my point. You never know until you
Okay, I think I can’t say anything back to
her. She’s always better than me at times like this. I just simply say, “She
will ring me up if she needs me.”
It’s nine o’clock at night and still no news
from Linda. Stupid and crazy thoughts are starting to overcome me now. Boy, am
I so anxious. I’m pacing back and forth, worrying as hell. I jolt to the sound
of my phone, and quickly grab it. Linda. Linda’s name finally appears on my
“Lindy? You’re okay?” I asked, without
waiting for her to say hello.
“can you come over? I know it’s late…”
“yes, yes. just wait there, will ya? I’ll be
there in five.” I hang up and grab my black jacket. It’s four degrees at night
and I rush to her house. I’m so glad her house is only two hundred meters away from
my house. I can sneak out and run to her house anytime I want. But I know it’ll
scare the hell out of her.
So I stop in front of her door, and try to control
my breath after a very quick run. I knock on the door, and it only takes her
three seconds to open the door. I think she really was waiting for me behind
I look at her face and she looks awful. Her
eyes are swollen, I’m convinced she’s been crying all day long. I can see tears on her cheeks. God, is it hurting me in the chest. I can’t stand seeing
her face like this, feels like I just got stabbed so deeply right in the place
where my heart is.
I instinctively touch her cheek and wipe her
tears away. “what happened?”
She’s sobbing all over again, and now harder,
and harder. I pull her in and try to calm her down.
she said. Her dad? Wait, what happened…
“Lindy.” I said, not breaking her away. “what
happened to your dad?”
“my dad… he’s gone, Aaron. He’s no more.” She
finally told me. She looks at me, trying to find a change in my expression. But
I don’t want to show it. I don’t want to look shock or sorry in front of her right
now. She needs someone stronger than her now. All I want for her is to calm
down and stop crying when she sees me.
“let’s go inside. It’s freezing out here.” We
get inside her house. And I walk her to the living room. She lives in UK by
herself. Her whole family lives in Indonesia. The only reason the rest of her
family is right there because Linda’s mom doesn’t like staying here. She’s kind
of home sick. She loves Indonesia so much that even with a husband from here
doesn’t really change anything. Linda decided to stay in UK because she doesn’t
mind both of her hometowns. And anyway, she’s twenty now, old enough to be
I ask Linda to sit down on the couch. “Do you
want me to make you a warm drink?”
She holds my hand and shake her head. “no,
just stay. I feel so dizzy.”
“it’s because you’ve been crying all day.” I
said. Her hands are freezing. I take off my jacket and put it around her, then rub
her hands in between my palms. “did you turn your heater on?”
“got no time for that.”
I stand up and go to where her heater is and
quickly switch it on. I go to her kitchen and I don’t see any stock of warm
milk left. “you run out of stock?”
“I don’t feel like going anywhere.” She said
without looking at me.
“you should take care of yourself.” I go back
to her and sit on the couch, right in front of her. “Listen, Lindy. Look at
She keeps looking down. “Linda Young. Look at
She looks up at me and this is my chance.
“you should take care of yourself. Being like this doesn’t change anything. I
know your mom will hate to hear that you’re not coping.” I told her, with a
very steady voice.
“it doesn’t matter about me. But my mom… she
loves my dad so much, and, my dad agreed to move to Indonesia because…” she
starts to break down again. I really shouldn’t have brought up the
conversation. Before I see her tears again, I quickly pull her in and plant my
kiss on her head. Damn it, she cries even harder. But I don’t care. She can cry
as much as she wants. She needs to let it all out and I don’t care how long I’m
gonna have to hold her like this. I never want to let go.
Yerp, jadi ini adalah cerita pendek berbahasa Inggris pertama yang aku publish. aku sengaja buat karakter gadis blasteran, karena entah kenapa, aku ga bisa lepas dari karakter yang 'berbau' Indonesia. May be I'm just too in love with my country, lol. No, I reall am. :)
Aku buat cerita ini menggunakan first point of view, dan kali ini yang bercerita adalah laki-lakinya. Kenapa? Karena aku ingin mencoba berpikir 'seperti laki-laki'. Aku ingin coba sesuatu yang berbeda. And I hope you can find something different in the way in which I tell the story. Apapun itu perbedaannya, aku harap kalian tetap bisa enjoy membaca cerita-ceritaku :) thank you for your support and time.