Inspirational Friendship

By the time I step outside, the leaves were on fire. Greet me with the summer breeze of zero degrees land. This land was in its summer all the time, without ever experienced the beauty of winter. The leaves have fallen together with their dignity, imitating the autumn that they have never seen. Shannon told me that it was a sign for rain to come, with only two seasons the change often unclear. Indeed, this earth was getting older and human gets more and more greedy.

A week ago, Shannon asked me to come with my passport and a bag for a week. We did it sometimes, a secret travel whenever one of us needs to breathe. We were travel from one place to another, which the name I hardly remember. One day in a car, then a train, a bus, a ferry, and sometimes we found ourselves stranded under the tree, somewhere I didn’t want to know. That morning Shannon woke me up and said that we have to go to Malang. She had a cousin lived there. So, that morning we packed our bag and flew to Malang as our final destination before come back home.

And this afternoon, I found myself sat on Shannon’s cousin back yard with a cup of iced tea and hide myself under the shadow of a big tree. I can see a squirrel jumps from one branch to another, majestically framed by the golden-red leaves behind it. Escape from the harsh tropical sun, and the squirrel wasn’t the only one. Some birds and insects lolled under the shadow of a tree like me, in the corner of the gate I spot a box like cage. Absolutely autumn like view with a summer weather, it’s funny for me to experience it, how it’s even possible. I’m indeed just a human, little I know about this home I call Earth.

The door opened and Shannon cousin appears with a bottle of frozen beer in his hand. His name is Daniel, a tall man with sharp eye sight. It feels like he explored deep into your mind and read all your secret. I feel naked every time he stared at me in silence. It’s been two days since we arrived here and no single moment, I saw him smile. But he’s smiling with a beer in his hand. He poured the beer into a cage like box.

“What a waste!” I can’t believe what I just witnessed.

“Alcohol isn’t good for your body. Iced tea is better.” I was amazed by his hypocrisy as he sat next to me and sips his beer.

“Are you buried a corpse there?” I asked, half joking half curious.

He chuckled almost choked by the beer, “that’s for the cockroaches.” He said,

“Cockroaches?” I could feel my eyebrow curiosity.

“We human, just because we our fear and disgust, we kill other creature. Do we really have a right for doing so? I don’t believe that this earth belongs to us. This earth belongs to every creature live in it. We have been dominating and monopoly this planet for centuries. We take their home and claim the land. What a shame to kill a creature that’s seeking a warm just because ‘disgust’.” His explanation sounds dangerous. I feel like I might trap here for unfinished argument. Because for me, no matter what’s his intension to summon those cockroaches, it still not good.

“Well, I did say nothing about murder some cockroaches. But you have to admit the fact that they carry germs. It makes you sick.” The only one I want to kill right now was my unruled mouth, to be honest, I should have shut my mouth.

“That’s why I kept them outside. They will come inside if you let your house looks like a trashcan. It’s even more disgusting than the cockroaches. I just put the cage and heater outside so, any creatures are seeking for it can feel the warmth.”

Well, I am speechless.

He chuckled “sounds freak, didn’t I?”

“But let’s think about it. The cockroach was categorized as a pest because it carried germs. It’s not protected because his ability to survive is outstanding. They’re stronger than us. Their kind was survived many extinction periods of this planet. If based on age, earth must belong to them, not us.”

“In UK all bats are protected, didn’t they carry bacteria too? Dog and cat, aren’t they many in number? Why kill them counted as a sin and make us a sinner, but kill cockroach make us look like a hero? Ridiculous!”

“Because they’re smart, I mean dog and cat” I imply,

“How did you know? Just because we didn’t understand, doesn’t mean it’s the truth. Even if so, you mean it’s fine to kill the less intelligent one? It’s better to murder the uneducated person than the educated one?”

“Interesting.” I smile at him “when did you start think about this?”

“When I worked for recording sharks and rays landing.”

I look at him curiously, “I am a conservationist, that time when I have to work in shark and ray landing site, I was furious. I can help but depressed to saw those sharks dying powerlessly. But after few months, I was surprised with myself. I started to saw those sharks with local perspectives. One day, some sharks without fin landed frozen in the auction hall and from behind the hall it looks like tuna, that’s when I realized for the last couple weeks, I was seen those sharks merely like other fish in that fish market.”

Even though I hate it, I admit that I did convince by his perspective. It’s not kind of discussion you encounter in your daily life, so I let it go.

“But it’s hot over here. They don’t need a heater. You should invite the cockroaches later, when the rain season comes.” I sip my iced tea, didn’t believe this situation. My eyes saw an autumn-like scenery but my body feel hotter than a worst summer.

“It has a cooler there.” I knew it will happen. Finally, this bloody iced tea decided to attack my nose, I choked.

He patted my back as he looked straight to the cage. I could see his smile once again and warmth in his hand now. “I know it doesn’t make sense for your perspective. It still a pest after all.” He added,

“It does make sense. But I never think someone really built a cage for kept them warms in their house. I want to say, ‘it just a cockroach!’ but, I think I’m the one rude at this point.” I smile bitterly.

I laugh with satisfaction at last, feel guilty for my own stupidity.

October 11, 2020 22:09

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Lesley Fox
16:16 Oct 24, 2020

i really love the dream like way this story is written and the moral behind it. I like the character of Daniel. when he is first introduced he seems like a not very nice man but he soon turns that round and we learn that he is actually very deep and caring. this was a short story and I found myself wanting to know more about your characters, why do they travel so much? how old is the main character? I think maybe it makes the story even more interesting to leave these details out, let the reader decide. you need to watch your tense, for exa...


Amy Utami
16:22 Oct 24, 2020

Thanks Lesley for enjoying the story. I was concerned about the grammar too. I tried my best for the last couple weeks to improve it. hehe


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Princemark Okibe
17:07 Oct 18, 2020

I loved the philosophical musings and dialogue. Your story has good morals as it had made me see that insects also do matter especially the cockroaches we as humans disdain. You just have to work on your grammar and you will make a great philosophical author.


Amy Utami
12:22 Oct 19, 2020

That's on point, I have not write for years due personal issue and try to write again with English instead of my native language. A bit hard but I tried, I work on my grammar nowadays, thanks for your kind words 😉🐣


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
04:54 Oct 18, 2020

What's an interesting perspective 👍


Amy Utami
04:56 Oct 18, 2020

Thanks Brev, 😉


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.