I stumbled back to this site today and realized the last article I wrote (shamelessly) was in 2012. All these years I’ve been wanting to write, dream to be writer, and never acted as one. What happened? I thought. Life. Life happens.
I remember to have a pen pal back then. When I was younger. Much much younger. Since I could not remember his name, let’s just call him Eddie (this name just popped up in my head). Eddie is my friend’s boyfriend. I mean, he is a boy, and a friend of my friend. Literary. I think he lived overseas for quite sometime, Australia or something, and we’ve been exchanging letter for sometimes. I was the one who first took the action to send him a letter, saying I wanna be his friend. He is actually an Indonesian. With all black hair and black, kind eyes, and a nice smile. I knew this because he sent me his picture on the 2nd letter (I sent him first my picture, a picture of me laughing from a far). As you can imagine, this happened when internet era has just began and a letter (yes, on paper, and you need to write your thoughts using pen or pencil, and then send it through post office) is one of the ways to communicate in those days (mobile phone was very rare, enormous size, and expensive). I never thought someday I would meet him in person. Until it really happened. And that is when I realize, life is happened.
I don’t remember what day it was. But Eddie said he is coming back to Indonesia, Jakarta to be precise, and would like to meet me. At my house (well technically it was my parent’s). I, being a girl with no experience to meet a special friend, who is a boy, don’t know what to do. At that age, which is about 17, I choose to stick with my most comfortable side of me. Which led me to appear as a 17th boyish girl, with short pants, worn out t-shirt (which I thought OK), and a big smile. He sat there, in front of me, in my humble living room, looking nervous. He brought me a gift, and we had a small talk (I could not remember what was the conversation all about but I probably messed up there, such as asking him so many questions) and I happily received his gift. I think he was there for about an hour. After he left, I felt like I just thrown away my chance to get closer to someone who I’d think already a friend. Or maybe all this time I’ve been lying to my self about having a friend. He never called or write a letter or contact me whatsoever again.
I think I have several boy friends back then when I was a teenager. Literally friends, who are boys, with no romantic feelings at that time, but for me they made good memories. I admired some of them who I thought very talented and inspiring. One of them is Data. Yes, his name is Data. Or perhaps that was the name I could remember. He is tall, with a goofy smile, and brilliant in making music. I did not remember why me and couple of my friends got to know him and later on almost regularly coming to his house just to listen to him playing the piano, showing his new Yani’s music (if you don’t know who Yani is, google him, but he is a famous composer, maybe one of the first electronic musicians, back then), and his Mom made us all a nice healthy lunch. On the 2nd thought, I think lunch was one of the factors we loved to visit his house back then. I don’t remember whether Data and I went to the same junior high school, but we probably were. My house is only about 10-15 minutes walking range from the school. And for some reasons, Some of my classmates (and other non class mates, I guess, because Data and I were in a separate class) know my house. I probably have a kind heart or looked like a friend who will support this friend, but one day Data came to my place after school, and I was surprised. He never visited me before. Data was smiling so wide with his goofy smile and we talked about many things that I could not remember. Maybe music. And of course, me being just me, asking him loads of questions, like an interviewer. And after a while, he probably feel that it was the time to tell me the truth, or he was just so hungry because lunch time is over. He said that the only reason he visited me was because he was out of cash. And he thought that he can borrow some cash so he can go home. Now please remember that it was in an era where we go by small public transportation and almost everything is in cash. There was no gojek, gopay, gocar, etc. Traditional gojek was available but very expensive for a student (junior high), and I fortunately was able to go to school 15 minutes away from home, so I did not know (at that time) the struggle in taking public transportation. But here is my friend, Data, visited me for he first time, and I felt very special back then. And I guess it was God’s will to make me learn about empathy, more sensitive to others, and that not everything is about me. Data taught me that. He bluntly said his reason to visit me. And I was trying to be his good friend, so I gave him the money he need. I think I never saw him again after that. I’m glad that he thought me as a friend during the emergency situation. Even though deep down my heart, I think I probably hope I could still be a friend afterwards.
To be continued