I could not move my leg. It was petrified by millions of invisible ants crawling over thighs. I could not feel my toe. That little bigger finger than others has gone together with the footprint of the hand of time. I was conscious but astray. It was only dark I could see without the power to feel the pain, I was lost. Then the darkness beyond the darkness knocked me to emptiness. Dragged me to the story I no longer remember.
The fog muddy on my glasses. The dawn greeted me with its last hello. I waved my finger to the cloud that dancing up in the sky. Shattered by an invisible wind, marching their clan to the unseen barometer. My eye was digging into the old stories that left their traces on the buildings of this old city. The youth and memories, I wish could drag me into nostalgia.
I am an empty shell, still an empty one.
After uncounted a few couple minutes of walk, trespassing the alley full of stores. I saw it, an old building of a world food franchise, a chicken that only tastes good if you buy one in Indonesia. I remember sat at the table next to the window, ate an awful taste of rice and I swore that day to not dare myself with food any later. But there, in front of that fast-food chain, there’s tasty street food. The one made me wish to be a spoiled rich kid so I could buy the owner and brought him home. I remember spending all my money there, nothing different from gambling. Guessing which one tastes good, which one would take me straight to hell. When my faith over my freedom hasn’t cleared yet and I need to pretend like have one, certain religion.
Then I turned left, to Seven-Eleven that I love. A bunch of budget motels was lining in front and on its sides. Competed with who’s favor cheapest price. I saw a girl run over one of that opposite doors, just like she always knew if the cars weren’t up yet, she passed to the Seven-Eleven. Open the door with a smile on her face, a curiosity was written crystal clear on it. Wonders with her curiosity, I followed her steps. I pushed the door as I saw her eyes amazed by the slurpy machine. Green, red, yellow, clumsily she mixed them all into a plastic cup and I copied her. The slurpy line gets blurred by the combination makes an unidentified dark color between a bitter purple or black.
She scanned the shelves full of snacks and beverages. Seems like looking for something specific. Her eyes stopped whenever a yellow tag caught her attention. Now she stopped, turned her head right to me. “YOU SHALL NOT BE HERE EMMA!!!”
“AAAHH….” I heard myself panicky tried to found some air to fill this rotten lung. The eyes of that girl were painted like thunder. I remember but found her nowhere to reach. Then sudden reality hits me. I am still trapped in this darkness. Yawning in pain, I discovered a pack of eight water bottle next to me. My eyes tried to grasp randomly, nothing to be seen but a pile of dust. I tried to absorb what just happened for then I reached an hourglass in my pocket. Darren gave it to me when I complained about his attendance once. Five of us had one, to said that we would leave anyone behind if the sand was all fell off. It counts fifteen minutes each time, so I flipped it.
I left it on my thighs, thereafter I grabbed a piece of cloth from my shirt and ripped it apart. Pulled the water closer and with all energy, I have left, then poured enough water on it. Wet, I covered my nose and mouth with that wet cloth. Tears streamed down on my cheek and vanished when it touched the wet cloth. I grasp the sanity now. A piece of chopped arm one a half meters on my left side slapped me with a fact of this unfortunate situation. The rubbles of concrete blocked me from the world I used to live in. I could hear a simmering noise closer than it appears, but nowhere to seize. It’s dark with the glimmers of light trespassing on every crack possible. The sand was all moved to the lower side of the glass. Then I marked the wooden table over my head. A straight line of Romans numbers and flipped it back.
I remember, whether it was today or yesterday, I woke up on that gray Wednesday. I pointed to the calendar as I was super excited about the day. Because that was the one day of the years, I would meet friends of mine. Five of us would gather once a year on the same day as we met on another hemisphere. Explore any path we could reach with our feet. The wise listener, Darren. The peacemaker, Daniel. The intelligent, Hans. The superstar, Jay. The dreamer, Emma. I wonder if they could find me here, between this rubbish of nothingness. The piles that soon-to-be my tomb.
Only now, at this particular moment, I regretted a thing. I thought there was no such thing called regret in my life. Indeed, it just part of my arrogancy. An ambition that pulled me into the glory but also pushed me to the shore of tremendous misery. After two decades of crafting my path on this earth and all those years were dedicated to determining the one right and wrong, black and white, as clear as crystal, felt like a sinner for the grey in my mind. Simply to realize that there’s nothing right or wrong, black or white. The fundamental monochrome only to satisfied the integrity of one believed it, and the majority would always be the winner. Only if I know that I would die soon.
I could feel it, a tickle on my tummy. A peristaltic movement formed my laughter. I laughed and laughed and laughed, over the things that are not so clear. My brain repeated the same thing again and again.
This is it, the end. This is it, the end. This is it, the end.
The memory of me arrogantly claimed to the assurance of death cursed me with karma, tragic, whereas I was not put my faith over Epicurus wisdom. I might die soon. A second later, an hour, a day, no one knows and not me to know too. But wasn’t it clear now? Or at least the possibility had increased. I felt nothing, yet regret remains there. Now the sand emptied the upper side once again, I marked the wooden table and flipped the hourglass.
I thought my tragedy wasn’t that bad. I could feel a smirk upon my cheek as I noticed a white and grey colored bag a hundred and twenty degrees obtuse of my right. Its pattern stands amid the dust and the rubbles. A death crocodile skin that priced more than a year of my meal. It was funny to feel this disgusting emotion when I myself was at the end of my life. I thought I was trapped there forevermore. At first, it was dark and cool, then it’s getting colder and darker. The dark was dawdling the belief to meet the light. I was waiting and waiting and waiting until the numbness comes. I was simply used to it and the emptiness inside was unbearable.
I looked up to the tally-mark I made over fifteen minutes I recognized. There were ten or eleven of them. Few were faded away or my eyes were getting blurry. Staring at the straight lines on the wooden table that protected me from death brings back my sanity. I took a deep breath with limited air around, closed my eyes, and stop thinking. I tried to transmit as much as oxygen possible to every cell alive in me.
I am not gonna die here!
I heard my sanity screamed inside. Slowly, I opened my eyes with all determination to lay on my beloved warm blanket hours from now. I started to tap a ring on my finger to the table stand. I wonder if it was made of iron or anything with space inside. Because surprisingly it produces piercing songs of morse code. I used to hate Daniel that forced me to learn this morse thing. Never did I know that something like this genuinely happened.
I was no longer counted the time. Those faded tally marks told me that time was out of my reach. It's something I could not control. Whether I would die or not also an uncontrollable variable. Nonetheless, I shall not let myself die without a fight. I didn’t know how long was I tapped the ring. Seems like, it soon corroded by the taps. After a while the noise gets vibrant. I could not grasp any words, but I started to tapped excitedly. A second later, the light from the edge waved to me. I could sense the thrill of excitement all over my body. The closer I was to the light the bright and greater the light be and finally, the gravity pushed me into my freedom. I’m free!