Heads-up!: A Birthday Challenge

August is finally coming!

Summer is coming to an end, but my birthday hype is just getting started!

They say 25 is the doomed period for some – heck, it even has its crisis: quarter-life crisis, so it’s called – so I want to start my 25th year of breathing our Mother Earth’s air (despite however polluted and horrid) by doing something special: writing a Quran verse each day for the whole month and how it can be applied to my life or whatever problem I will be dealing with.

I’m not exactly religious and I usually can’t see a project through so this would be a great challenge for this non-committed, self-proclaimed free spirit. A great, great challenge.

Let’s see if I can finally commit to one routine (for a month! Shame if you can’t, Mela).


Bear with me!



Somehow I think of you.

I read about him and it is your face that sits in my head, being cynical and judgmental and thoughtful and wise. Some kind of a sassy guy with a tragedy locked away inside. A cute super with curly red hair, the description says, but in my head it’s black.

When she starts to fall in love, I do, too. With him. With you. I don’t know – it’s beginning to confuse me. Am I reading my stupid diary? Or am I reading a damned, cheesy, romantic narrative? Either way, I’m thinking of you.

I’m thinking of you, I do, and I fall all the more in love with you along each line. You are reborn again and again with each word; touched up, perfected. Perfected until I no longer know if it’s you I love or it’s my imagination of you.

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January 12, 2017

Your eyes were the first thing I noticed. You approached me and almost whispered. Whispers of love, of forgiveness, of rekindled friendship, but nothing too loud, nothing too bold. Whispers that told me you’ve come back at last and soon things would be the way they had been when there were no blurry lines between your heart and mine, when sometimes we stumbled upon a sweet confusion that pushed and pulled us to and fro, and when the distance between us was always enough.


Kenapa saya menulis ini? Saya tidak ingat. Apakah situasi benar-benar menjadi lebih jelas? Saya tidak tahu.


I don’t know who is more determined to act aloof. Is it me? Is it you? When we brush past each other, why are we so persistent in not looking at each other’s eyes, and when we have to speak, why do we have to give our best to coat our voice with cheerful pretense? I didn’t realize this would be our new way to start, and it was wrong. It was wrong to not realize as it was not something we can start. In the new world you have settled without me, while I was supposed to be a passing existence. That’s why I’m sorry:

to remember what it was like for us back in the days. The fights you and I had, the playful banter that was more like lunches and dinners. The phone calls you treated as morning alarms. The make-ups. The nights we said things that broke and made us. The stories that were then. Should have stayed then. That’s why I understand:

Your stubborn attempt to hold back.

Your diverted eyes when they somehow made their way to mine.

Your silent back that has become my sanctuary from having to see you leaving me again and again, every day, getting further and further away despite being so close.

Hence, my determination:



Masih 9 Januari 2017. Dia pernah bilang saya menyeramkan dulu di periode pertama kami berjumpa. Saya rasa ada kesalahpahaman fatal saat itu. Saya pikir saya sudah manis seperti gadis-gadis sekolah menengah di manga shoujo yang sering saya baca; ternyata tidak sedikit pun yang menggugah hatinya. Pertemuan di periode kedua: seperti seharusnya manusia yang diberi akal, saya sudah belajar. Sedikit.

The Hall

It was not like I wanted to when I stepped into the hall of haunting memories. The hall itself was beautiful, built brick by brick with my own hands and decorated with laughter and joy. But it was the fact that the hall was no longer mine that made me scared; that I no longer belonged there because the memories erased me. Rejected me. Left me without a roof and the warmth of something like home. Once, then twice. And again. And so it was not like I wanted to. Instead, I had to. If I wanted to live, I had to.



9 Januari 2017. Bukan benar-benar soal dia, tetapi dia salah satunya, karena dia selalu menjadi bagian dari apa pun seperti tokoh utama yang irelevan dan tidak lagi pada tempatnya. Omong-omong, saat pertama saya post ini di instagram alternatif saya (sok-sok punya alter ego), untuk sekali-sekalinya dalam hidup saya diperhatikan sama editor Buzzfeed. Mungkin ada juga faktor saya follow (hampir) semua staff Buzzfeed.


“I love you,” I heard that voice said.

Always at the most unexpected moments: on my way home, in my bedroom, during a trip, when I am working, on a random street, in the middle of the night, when I look at the sky and think of beautiful things. Just for a split second, “I love you.”

But do not misunderstand.

The Love is neither obsessive nor possessive. It does not want and does not claim although it can be quite overwhelming. After all, the Love floods the Heart with suffocating emotions.

Both everlasting and ephemeral, the Love transcends time. In that split second, the Love stands for what has been and what could be – encased in a transitory episode.

The Love speaks of friendship and brotherhood and sisterhood. It speaks of mentor and pupil. Of parental figure. Of guidance. It speaks of Love in its sincerest sense. It is present through and through.

Nay, this is not a confession.

This is an acknowledgment of what I can no longer deny. An acknowledgment of what I can no longer pretend to be a romantic fantasy.

The Love is now our bond, along with enough trust and understanding. Sometimes, with boundaries and distance,

like the spaces between words and the five-paragraph rule of an essay.


Mine Already

For all the mornings he says “Good morning!” and makes my morning; for all the time he drives me home and talks to me; for all the moments he scolds me for not paying attention; for all the taps on his stomach he allows me; for all the “Hey”s and “Look”s he uses to call me; for all the laughter and jokes he makes to brighten up the room; for the “Have you eaten?”s and “You should eat first”s he insists upon me; for all the names and stories of my life he remembers; for the memories he surprisingly keeps; for the little things he does; for the certainty that he will back me up; for all the extended work hours he keeps me company; for the talks with my friends like they were his; for all the casual touch on my shoulders; for the way his eyes light up from excitement; for every time he looks out for me, looks for my presence, looks at me; he is mine already.

Even for all the mentions of her, he is mine already, as much as I am his, as much as we are.

And we are, but we’re not.




Saat sayang tak mengenal waktu, tak mengenal tempat, tak dikhayalkan, tak berharap, tidak kapok, tidak mau, dan jelas tidak tahu diri.