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Saltwater Room

Based on ‘The Saltwater Room” by Owl City.


He opened his eyes. It’s been far too long since he had a good night’s sleep. Looking at the clock, he realized it was midnight. He sighed as he walked towards the window. A burst of cold night air rushed in as he opened it to look outside. It was pitch-black, besides the single streetlight that illuminated the road in front of the house. The stars danced across the sky, singing a lullaby to the planets below. He took no heed of the sight before him, as he was far too tired to care.

Nothing worked. He just couldn’t sleep. The monotony of the world around kept him awake and, in the end, forced him silently downstairs and out the door. There were two paths to take; the first followed the streetlights and led to the heart of the city, the other followed cold iron rails that carve their way through the countryside and eventually meet the ocean. He took the second one.

The fresh night air that blew gently across the hills grew stronger and stronger as he neared the bay. The only sound that could be heard was the soft rolling of the waves, sometimes accompanied by the hoot of an owl nestled in the trees. While walking, he took in all the details of the world around him; the clear sky, an albatross on the docks and moored boats, the running lights of an airship moving across the sky, the old lighthouse that jutted up from the rocks, and the starlight that spilled all over everything.

Finally reaching the bay, he sat down and thought about everything, about the air traffic, about the sea, about love and life. The music started playing in his head and soon filled the port with a blissful ambience. He didn’t notice time passing by at all.

A sigh was heard, but it wasn’t his. He quickly stood up, noticing the girl standing beside him. “H-h-hi?” he managed to squeak. The girl just smiled and continued walking down by the bay. The poor guy was in a state of utter panic; not knowing what to do, he decided to follow her. Immediately regretting this decision, all his words started pouring out.

“Umm, so, why are you here?”. She simply answered, “Staring up at the stars that aren’t there anymore.” They looked up, and noticed that indeed, the stars were fading away as the first few drops of sunlight hit them. Is it morning already?, he thought. They resumed walking until our star was above the horizon, then she began to leave. He opened his mouth to ask her something, but no words came out. They both silently went their separate ways.

He hadn’t even asked her name yet.

The next night was the same, a trip to the bay, secretly hoping she would be there. True enough, she was. They didn’t talk this time, but it felt as if they could read each other’s minds. He heard her asking the same question he had. Soon after that, the Sun rose, and they parted.

The following weeks were his happiest, knowing that he now had a friend. Every night they would meet, stroll down the bay and start talking. As time passed, they talked more and more; commenting about the beach, about life and introversion. The lingering question in both of their heads begged to be asked, but neither had the courage.

The Sun rose once again. Just before they parted ways, she opened her mouth to ask the question they had always thought about. Before she could begin, he answered it with a smile.

“Oh, all the time.”

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Rama-rama

Aku terduduk di hadapan cermin, bercakap seorang diri.

“Mungkin dia baik, mungkin dia rajin dan kelakar. Tapi kenapa dia? Kenapa aku suka dia? Itulah antara soalan yang selalu berulang di mindaku. Bagaimanakah seseorang manusia, seperti aku, boleh ada sesuatu daya tarikan kepada manusia lain? Kenapa A suka B, C suka D, E suka F, G suka H, I suka J, K suka L, dan sebagainya? Kenapa kita tak boleh imun kepada cinta?”

“Ini pula membawa ke soalan: apakah itu cinta? Mungkin ia hanya sebuah reaksi kimia di dalam sel-sel otak kita. Ataupun cinta adalah takdir Tuhan, setiap orang mempunyai jodohnya sejak kecil lagi. Mungkin kita tak akan tahu. Kalau tengok di sekeliling kita, boleh nampak cinta di setiap tempat. Cinta seorang ibu kepada anaknya, seorang pelajar kepada gurunya, seorang budak kepada rakannya, seorang suami pada isterinya. Mungkin cinta itu hanya buatan manusia, semata-mata untuk membolehkan spesis kita terus hidup.”

“*sigh* tengok tu, dah mula bercakap seorang diri. Dah lari daripada topik. Kalaulah dia boleh dengar aku sekarang….”

Aku pandang wajahku di cermin. Apalah nak jadi dengan hidup aku.

“So. Kenapa aku suka dia? Bukannya baik sangat, layan aku pun sekali dua je. Bercakap pun kuat-kuat. Tak habis-habis tergelak ketawa. Macam orang gila.” Aku terus memandang wajahku yang muram di sebalik cermin. “Then again, aku pun orang gila sebenarnya.”

“Oh, kalau kau boleh dengar aku sekarang… Aku nak bagitahu kau; setiap kali aku bercakap dengan kau, hatiku berasa ringan, seperti dipenuhi rama-rama. Bila aku memandang wajah kau, aku hilang semua masalah dan kesedihan di dalam hidupku. Aku pun tak tahu kenapa.”

“Mungkin aku takkan tahu. Aku sebenarnya nak tanya ni, kau suka aku ke? Adakah kau dipenuhi rama-rama bila bersama aku? Ke kau tak ambil kisah pun pasal hidupku yang gelap ini? Aku rasa kau tak nak cakap denganku, seolah-olah menjauhi aku… Mungkin sebab kau malu denganku? Tak kan, sebab aku orang gila, terlalu sedih, tak pernah senyum pun. Ibu bapa aku pun jauh daripada aku.”

“Cinta. Misteri yang manusia tak akan faham. Emosi yang boleh menggembirakan tetapi menyakiti. Adakah kita jodoh? Aku rasa tak pun, tengok orang lain, bersama lalu berpisah. Agaknya kita hanya bayangan antara satu sama lain. Hanya satu mukasurat dalam buku kehidupan orang lain. Tapi, aku tak kisah. Hidup ni pendek. Baik memenuhkannya dengan beribadat, berbuat baik, menolong orang. Tapi ada sesuatu yang hilang daripada hidupku, satu bahagian puzzle yang mungkin tak akan sempurna. Kegembiraan. Mungkin kaulah pelengkap hidupku. Mungkin kau dapat membuat aku senyum.”

“Kau takkan suka aku sebenarnya… Aku gila, bising, annoying, tapi pada masa sama, aku senyap, sedih dan tiada kawan. Kau takkan faham aku. Aku pun tak faham aku!”

Ku melihat lagi wajahku di sebalik cermin. Mataku yang kebiruan kerana tak cukup tidur sudah berair. Tiba-tiba aku ternampak seseorang sedang berdiri di (doorway) aku.

Aku cemas dan kelam-kabut, cuba nak cari perkataan yang betul, tapi aku tetap bergagap. “Er…. er… umm… hi? Uhm.. k-k-kau… bila d-datang?”

Dia menjawab dengan tenang dan gembira. “Dah lama dah”

Lidahku kaku sebentar, tak tahu nak memberi respons. “Ehrm, uh… K-kau  deng-dengar ke…. aa.. urh… a-a-apa yang aku cakap ta-tadi?”

“Takpe, aku pun suka kau”

Pada saat itu juga aku pengsan. Masyaallah… apa masalah aku.