Writchal #1 – Memento

“These mementos of yore, in a dusty old chest,
Guard the stories of lives, in their very best.
Though years may pass, and time may relent,
In these treasures, memories remain permanent.

So let us hold dear, these relics of the past,
For in them, our history lives steadfast.
In each memento, a tale to remember,
In their quiet whispers, our heart beats somber.”

Writchal #1 untuk kali ini bertemakan “Memento” untuk membuka masa kepengurusan 2023/2024. Sejauh ini, sayangnya hanya ada 1 submisi untuk pelaksanaan Writchal kali ini. (Well, personally saya sebagai kadiv kali ini juga belum menyelesaikan submisi per waktu publikasi laman ini, but worry not–it will be up any time soon).

Writchal #1 kali ini berlangsung selama 40 hari dari tanggal 1 Oktober 2023 hingga 10 November 2023. Hasil submisi dapat dilihat sebagai berikut:

Well then, until next time!

Indulgence in Cinder (The Teaser)

Entry Writchal #1 2023/2024

Theme: Memento 

Reconstruction Complete.

Activating QIP – Neja 97235.



A monotonous voice echoed through her mind.  It was a very familiar voice, a perfect imitation of someone so dear to her, etched through her very soul. Yet as perfect of an imitation as it was, it was still an imitation, and that fact irritated her. Neja had grown tired of listening to that voice countless times at this point.  Well, it was not exactly countless per-se. If anything, as indicated by the voice, it was the 97235th time. But in terms of getting your body being destroyed and rebuilt again, that number was as good as countless.

And there she went again, being grumpy before even waking up.

Ah, I must be getting old.” She thought. Then shortly after, she chuckled inside of her head. “Who am I kidding, I’m pretty old alright.”

By this point, she had regained all the human senses that her body possesses. She could feel that her entire body was being grazed by a large volume of cold air. She could feel her hair flailing all over the place, with many strands nudging her lips and her eyes. She could tell intuitively that she was currently free-falling from a great height. And yet, despite all of that, if she was being honest, she didn’t really feel like waking up. Whatever happens wouldn’t matter anyways. At worst, she would die, and she would hear that voice for the 97236th time.

Actually, hearing that voice again would be pretty annoying. She wasn’t at all fond of that memento left for her. She sighed, physically this time. Bereft of any choice in this matter, she slowly opened her eyes.

Immediately after she did so, the glare from the sun burned through her eyes. She moved both of her arms in reflex to cover her vision, but her arms felt unusually light. After a few moments of acclimatizing, Neja could see that she had guessed right. She was, in fact, currently free-falling from the sky. She lifted her head up and could see a great ocean of clouds, rapidly approaching her. She looked down on her feet and could see the vast empty void of space below it.

The fact that she had to be reconstructed meant that she died a violent death. Then memories came flooding back to her.

“Ah right, I was playing soldier.”

She now remembered that she was currently serving as a medical officer within the Commonwealth army. Even though she strictly only healed people, they still gave her the rank of a Colonel anyway. As far as she could recall, she was boarding an airship bound for a different front. Unfortunately, they were ambushed by an enemy fighter squadron, and here she was now.

After confirming the situation that she was currently in, she crossed her arms and stroked her chin. She could see that the Quantum Identity Pattern currently registered her with the Commonwealth’s officer uniform, so she was reconstructed with it. It was a shame her cane didn’t register, she was quite fond of it. People kept commenting how the walking cane strongly mismatched her childlike appearances. “What are you, an old woman?” A comment that she always received, in which her replies were always something along the lines of “Why, yes, I’m quite old alright.

Not that it mattered to her. Neja had lived countless lives throughout the many millennia she had been around. Even though she spent most of it being a hermit, she would occasionally feel like checking out on humanity to see what they’re up to. They were after all her children after all, it was her obligation to take care of them.

The last time she checked up on them, she could afford to enjoy life as a baker, a lifelong passion of hers that she couldn’t fulfill back when she was still a little girl. She scoffed, who would’ve guessed she would need to be a god first in order to realize her childhood dreams. Unfortunately for her, or rather, for her children, she decided to now check up on them right as they were about to have a full-scale global war. It wasn’t the first time she saw it happen. The Empire that she ruled over many thousands of years ago fell as soon as she left them to their own device due to infighting. The next cycle was so close to reaching out to the cosmos before they too, fell due to infighting. It was the same damn thing all over again, it is especially frustrating when they began fighting for a very stupid reason. Right after that second one, every time those stupid kids took one step closer to ending their own existence for whatever stupid justification that they had manifested, she decided that she had to step in and course correct her children. After all, she didn’t commit a mass genocide of seven species just so her own children could end their existence by themselves.

She sighed a breathless sigh. Being a mother was difficult. Funnily enough, she actually made several attempts throughout a number of cycles, including this one, to adopt a child. She tried to be a real mother to someone just to see how it compares to parenting the entirety of the human races. Turns out… yeah, children are quite troublesome alright. When you laid down the work hours of a mother into statistical time-tables, it would evidently be one of the busiest jobs in the whole world. The hours were constantly changing due to an enormous margin of errors that the Baby produced. All of that constant watch and care that you gave them early on, only to be repaid in kind by a snotty attitude and rebellious fervor in their teenage years. Then after they grew up, they went out on their own, started their own family, and left you alone for a good part of their life. There really was no net surplus at the end of the day. It was a job entirely fueled and motivated by love, and love alone. In some ways, she could see a parallel in being a mother to a child or more, to being the mother of all of humanity.

Ah, that rambling made her forget that she was currently free-falling. She tilted her head upwards again, the vast ocean of clouds from before had been replaced with a brownish landmass, and the ground was approaching fast.

Yet again, she sighed in resignation. Ordinary people would do the same too in her position, as she was not equipped with a parachute and could only watch the ground getting closer and closer every second, before hugging their death. Not Neja, no. She had wished for death countless times before. So much so that she actually hired a professional assassin once, just to see if he could actually kill her. He couldn’t. It wasn’t death that she was resigned to. It was the fact that she couldn’t die. Not only physically, but also… If she dies, who else would take care of those stupid children if they decided to do anything rowdy? Neja was tired. Really tired. But that’s just how mothers are. She had seen how some mothers were kept awake throughout the night just to care for their babies, she herself had experienced that. No matter how exhausted they are, no matter how powerless, how deflated they are. A mother would do anything for their children. And it was the same with her.

After all, it was because she loved all of humanity.

No matter how tiring her existence is, she had resigned herself to parent the humans that she so loved, even though she gained practically nothing in return. That was just how mothers are.

Ah, this forlorn line of thought had made her quite moody. She shook her head, and slapped herself in the cheeks several times to sober herself up. She had made a promise to someone long ago to never be sad anymore, to never have any regrets anymore, and to spend every single second to the fullest. And, in mere seconds, she reverted back to the childlike persona that she had always donned for many millennia in front of her children.

Now that she was done with her self pitying monologue. There was something amiss with how the world looked around her. Despite being called Eclipsed Marshes, the region wasn’t known to have wetlands frequently inundated by water. Its trademark was legions of pine trees sitting across a hilly ridge with the view of Mount Éponge. Neja had only heard about it through monthly tourism magazines that somehow found its way to her. Her airship had to cross Eclipsed Marshes where her presence was urgently requested. Neja had been keeping the time. She had to be above the region when her airship was shot down. Instead, below her were actual marshes with reeds that grew more golden as she got close.

Neja amused herself with the thought that her eyes were deceiving her again. She shrugged and chuckled, thinking that those reeds were going to become pine trees anytime soon. There was a massive mountain overlooking the wetlands. That had to be Mount Éponge. Then came a gull-like cry. She turned her attention and found five orange-feathered birds. They were akin to emus, except that they were flying. They screeched and Neja curled as those birds flew past her. It became evident to her that they were also larger than her; maybe about two times larger. It made her anxious. Did she miss another evolutionary development of local fauna? She didn’t remember reading about orange-birds two times her size when she read about Eclipsed Marshes.

She craned her head up again. The reeds were real. They didn’t turn into trees. Also Mount Éponge was never a volcano. Yet the mountain she saw was spewing constant clouds of ashes that made the industrial revolution blush. Closer to the ground, she saw what looked like oversized bed bugs ten times her size. They had a huge sac dangling below them. Their legs were on their rear, stretching out and spinning like a propeller. Whatever creature she came across, Neja could always tell. She had lived for many millennia and she had the power to confirm those things. But flying emus and oversized levitating bed bugs? What kind of world is th-

Ah…this again? Really?

Neja exhaled deeply. It seemed like her Quantum Identity Pattern had reconstructed her in another world, again. She couldn’t believe that it happened to her for the second time. She thought she had that thing fixed. More homework for her. Neja groaned knowing that she had to deal with it once more. It was easy the last time. Now that the QIP malfunctioned again, she had most likely messed it up. Neja was obliged to put more effort into it this time.

Neja flipped herself and rubbed her chin.

“Hmm, what would it be this time?”

Last time it was a world where rain barely stopped. She had to make a trip with a boring old man to cease the endless rain. It was…pretty fun near the end. Neja could play with her powers and no-one could stop her. Not even that old man. She wished for a proper companion this time. And by proper she meant someone she could mess around with without them shrugging her indifferently. She also wasn’t really keen on using all of her powers this time. She hoped that someone was strong enough to fend for themselves.

The ground was just tens of meters away. Neja decided to cast a spell that negated her fall. She didn’t feel like listening to her QIP voiceover again. She didn’t want to dwell on her past when a new world beckoned. It was pretty boring so she also role-played her fall. What would her puny children, the humans, do? She flailed her arms as if trying to grab onto something. Neja laughed, thinking of how silly she looked. But it didn’t stop her. She cried out loud as if she was actually fearing for her life. No one survived a fall from the stratosphere without a parachute. Unironically, she felt much better. Her burdening thoughts went down the drain with the air that streaked out of her mouth.

Then came a loud thud. Her face kissed the golden reeds. Neja had made sure that they broke her fall. It felt like she just fell to a spring bed after a long trip. The reeds tickled her ears. They whispered dimly, but Neja could pick them up. Dark magic blighted the place. Neja sensed it. There was malice in the ashes. The whole island-continent reeked of dreaded air originating from that giant volcano. The more she thought about it, the more it revealed its presence. Not that it threatened her or anything. Nothing could convince her that she didn’t have to deal with it soon. Neja sighed. With great power comes great responsibility, she learned it the hard way.

“Are you okay?” Neja heard a voice but she ignored it. There was no one else on the marshes. Neja instead lifted her face.

“Not this again…” She ironically cried.

“Pardon me?” The voice replied.

There it was again. It took some time before the culprit revealed itself. Neja raised her head. She saw something…a beast ahead of her. It wasn’t there before. She didn’t see it there when she was free-falling. Its dark-gray skin was smooth on some edges. She could have distinguished its contrast hue from heights. But she couldn’t. She swore to herself that it wasn’t there before. Its seven pairs of legs were bound by a single chain-like tendril. Its head had a long mandible-like mouth. It also had a pair of curved reflective ears sticking out of its head.

No way…

A companion? Did someone answer her prayers? That wasn’t possible. She was the one who had to answer prayers. She had never seen anything like it before. How did it get there? Last time it was an old man who never grew up. This time it was a cute little creature. Neja could only wonder what kind of adventure awaited her. For now, she was going to vent her excitement.

“Woah…a tank!”

Writer: PrimDom & Von Grenadus

The Harvest Festival

Entry Writchal #4

Theme: Fireworks

The Harvest Festival


It was the coldest night Tem had spent since his early childhood. He had to tighten his coat to his body so tightly for so long that the tips of his fingers began to feel numb. Clouds of vapor emerged in the air following his every breath, dissipating and getting more rapid and turbulent as the night progressed. Ducking underneath a branch from which hung a swing set he adored as a kid, a couple of loose branches stroked his forehead, causing a pinch of his hair to fall over his eyes and blind his sight. He stumbled on the roots of a tree, covered entirely by dry leaves yet leaving enough space underneath it to strip him off his right boot, and Tem fell to the ground.

The lights of his house are off, and soon enough the others may wonder where he had gone. If he isn’t back by the next morning, they’d fail to prepare the village festival early, knowing many of the decorations and fireworks are stored inside the house, locked in a cabinet whose key only he then possessed. With that in mind, he rose back up, picked up his boot from the jagged root, and rushed to the shrine.

Opening the door, he found the hall empty and dark but one end of a table. The youngest priestess, on her candlelit table, had with her a sheet of papyrus, ink, and a brush she so elegantly wrote her diary with. Finally letting go of his grip on his coat, Tem let his footsteps echo throughout the hall. She clearly noticed it, but that did not interrupt her writing. Only when Tem sat at the other end of the table letting the candle shine his face did she look at him.

“Sorry for trespassing,” he bowed. She recognized his face but couldn’t pick out history out of it. She finished the line she was writing on the papyrus, laid it flat on the table, and rubbed the tip of the brush with snake hide.

“Would you give me advice?” Tem asked. She nodded.

“It is about the death of my sister.”

Images flowed inside him of her silhouette two mornings ago, exiting the house out to her workshop. The exact actions and movements he took that morning drenched his brain again, dipping his head low as he talked to the priestess. What he saw just a few moments after her exit was a fresh, cloudless morning sky. The leaves of the ginkgo tree at the center of the village rolled around in the air, striking his window. But the village was left with too many questions.

The body of Tem’s sister, Suma, was found lying underneath the ginkgo tree, bearing the whiteness of the brightest stars of the sky, her eyes closed as if they had never been open, her limbs so close to her body as she lay above the fallen leaves. She bore no witnesses.

The villagers panicked. Children thought she was asleep gazing at the sky, seeing her body left no trace of violence, wounds, or illness. Once the flames of confusion engulfed the village, the village elder Kuan calmed the masses. Tem did not make a sound, staying just a few steps away from his house.

They gathered for her cremation that very day. Gathering flowers and aloe from the neighboring hills, everyone gathered around the furnace as Kuan represented the village’s wish for her.

“It is important, then, that we accept her passing as the will of the Gods themselves,” so he said. And her body burned.

“How could they prove that? Why so would the Gods hand her her death?” Tem asked the priestess.

The priestess took a breath. “Does she leave a legacy?”

“She…well, one thing she does is making fireworks for festivals. The kids love her! They…I know they feel really bad to see her go. The older folk, too! She’s the only one continuing on our tradition of firework-making…to their pride.”

“Then,” she glared. “How’d you suppose her spirit feels?”

Tem glanced away from her gaze. Staring at the candle already dimming, wax closing in on the sheet of papyrus, Tem admitted that “Yes, she would be happy.” Knowing how many people remember her and her craft, in no way would she be unhappy and forgotten.

“Then that much is enough.”

That wasn’t enough of an answer. “But there has to be a reason to her death! Think of all the people she left behind!”

She sighed. Seeing the wax close to running out, she looked at the nearby cabinet containing new candles. Not knowing how to properly answer him, she replied, “It’s true that circumstances surrounding her death are unclear…”

She stood up from her seat. “Perhaps you’d like to find out yourself?”

“Please. I’d do anything.”

“I have a feeling…that the Gods may forgive you if you question them.” She opened the cabinet. “Come to the mountain. You can summon them there. Though, you can’t wait for long. It’ll only be so long until the festival commences.”


The fireworks Suma had handcrafted were all stored in a shed near the ginkgo tree. Tem helped to move much of the decorations from inside his late sister’s room. Children painted flags and fabrics to decorate the festive treehouse. Older men prepared stilts out of bamboo, striped red and navy all around, lining up against the town hall. As noon approached, Tem, as the village treasurer, calculated and estimated all expenses, lining up the tallies and costs down on a piece of carved bark. It should’ve been tomorrow that he details them, but knowing he’d soon go on a long journey alone, it’s better to tire himself down now.

The year’s harvest festival, the most festive, is almost coming to its fruition. The period saw the successful reaps of sorgum—the highest it had been since the great flood. With this, Kuan instructed that the people give the utmost festive of celebrations to the Gods. And as per tradition, it is to be held at the new moon.

He reminded himself the whole time how much he hated the new moon. His father had been deeply religious, and whenever Tem and his sister wanted to enjoy their time near the new moon, he’d always force them to prepare for some festivity. Whether he’d make him visit others’ homes or neighboring villages, prepare decorations and offerings, or prepare food, he’d hate it for the simple fact that he was forced into it. It may be that he’d still do it anyway with less resentment had his father not be so strict.

Not to be misunderstood, the festivals have always been fun, but seeing kids his age run over to the mountain or play hide and seek deep in the bamboo groves at the time always gave him a sense of disbelonging. While Tem took the route of spiting the Gods for letting him be born into such a religious family, Suma seemed to fully accept her deep role in the village’s spiritual life.

Tem’s father, a fisherman, disappeared when he approached his early teens. Amidst a famine caused by the flood at the time, his father had made a large wagon and gathered flowers, logs, and all sorts of spiritual offerings. He disappeared alongside everything he made. The village panicked at his disappearance, though Tem stayed quiet, relieved even—that he finally got to feel a sense of freedom in the new moon, at an age too old to reclaim childhood. Suma soon replaced his father’s role, but without any force placed on Tem.

Seeing her as his father’s apprentice, Tem thought the villagers would take her death by more outrage. But no—the troublemaking children, San and Lin, still knocked at people’s doors with slingshots Suma made as if she never passed. Elder Roi, the rocking-chair-bound wrinkled-and-grayed woman who used to make fireworks, was not shedding a tear at the passing of her former trainee. And Kuan, the one holding such pride in her, shielded himself behind vague answers.

Thoughts kept running on and on in his head as he calculated costs.Once everything was finished, he placed it in the box of important documents for the villagers to read, and sat underneath the same tree he tripped on the night before, and drank some water from the nearby stream. And so came time for his departure. As his shadow lay twice his height, he knocked on Kuan’s door.

“Sorry for disturbing.” He looked at Kuan’s exasperated complexion. “I’d like to go to the mountain, by myself.”

“By yourself? What for?”

“I—it’s about Suma. I thought, there is no way she could’ve passed away so…suddenly. I have to know the reason behind it.”

Kuan’s wide forehead wrinkled yet his eyes saw right through what Tem was about to say. “And what will knowing the reason give you? Surely she won’t be brought back.”

“She knows me well enough to know that I’ll not stop until I find the answer. It sure enough will give me reassurance.”

Kuan gave his words a thought. “As our treasurer, don’t you have more to worry about?”

“I’ve written down all the expenses and costs, sir.”

Kuan sighed. “If you wish, then…I suppose I can’t stop you.”

Tem let out a breath of relief. “Thank you, sir!”

“But,” he raised a finger. “Do return when the festival commences.”

And so he set out on a journey.


The rugged, boggy land extended for miles in front of his eyes. There used to be a spacious woodland here, just up to a decade ago. Right before his father disappeared, a great flood struck the land. An earthquake had caused a massive landslide to the south that blocked a major river, altering its course and flooding the lands. As a result, harvests failed, forests were truncated, and fauna evacuated.

It’s concerning to see that nothing much has changed since. Not the skinny trees nor shrubbery have even regenerated. The mountain is just fifteen miles away, and nothing blocked his sight except the dawning night. He had brought with him only water, offerings, and a short tent to spend one or two nights. If he could walk faster, he’d make it before the festival commences.

As the tent laid on the flat ground, the menacing mountain peak stared him down. Slipping into a deep slumber, thoughts and reflections of Suma’s resting body did not escape his mind. And such it will remain until the following morning.

What woke him up was not a piercing ray of sunlight against his eyelids. Before the sun came up, tall grass rustled and the sound of the nearby stream flowing was briefly cut by a slithering shrill. And then, there was the loud swing of an axe. Suspicious of his surroundings, he stayed quiet inside his tent, until a voice called.

“Anyone in there?” asked the masculine, hoarse voice. Knowing he’d be found sooner or later, Tem could only hope it didn’t belong to a thief. He pulled his head out to see the outside. It was barely dawn.

“Anything up, sir?”

What he saw was the silhouette of an old, grumpy man, with a muscular build seemingly trained by his profession. He wore ragged, beige clothing, with black stains littering the sutures and holes and dye already scraped off parts of it, revealing white wool. On his right shoulder hung an old leather satchel. He had a short beard, partly turning gray, though Tem couldn’t see the hues clearly with the sun barely out. In his hand was a pickaxe, blood dripping from one end coming from a snake he had killed. So that was what slithered.

“What are you doing here?” he asked.

“Ah…sorry, sir, I was asleep.”

“That’s not what I meant!” The man took a good look at Tem’s face, tilting his head and squinting his eyes. “Anyone familiar with this area should know never to sleep on bare grass. That tent of yours…won’t protect you from anything.”

“That snake…was it approaching me?”

“Of course. I stood here for long, waiting for you to wake up and protecting you from these critters!”

Tem shyly evaded his gaze. “Thank you…for that.”

“Come, wake up. Where are you going?”

“The mountain.”

“To the mountain? What for? Why would one go there without a caravan?”

“…I need to ask the Gods for something.”


“It’s nothing you should get involved with, I’m sure.”

“No, no, I know the Gods well! Maybe I can offer a hand.”

Know the Gods well? Not a normal person would ever say such a thing, Tem thought. Not knowing even whether to trust him or not, he said what he needed to.

“Would they reveal the reasons behind someone’s death?”

The man leaned on his pickaxe stuck to the ground. “It wouldn’t be easy. Perhaps,” he let out a breath, “they’d see you as an ingrate.”

Tem hindered from his eyes.

“Well, either way,” the man continues, “you’ll be coming along with me.”


“I mine obsidian there. Why else would I have this pick? Besides, you look too inexperienced to spend days and nights out in the wild.”

So the pair headed off to lands yet unmapped by Tem’s mind. The man introduced himself only as Kosh, and as he guided Tem through the plains, he took no break to his exhausted partner, even sometimes forgetting he existed. Inside his small satchel was only one sleeping bag, made of thin leather and a net to protect one’s face from the wilderness. Probably never having a partner alongside him before, he didn’t have a second one.

They stopped soon after next to a stream. Kosh ordered Tem to sit down and fill both their water bottles, as well as collect any flowers or fruits nearby. Kosh locked his eyes on a monitor lizard burrowed under wild shrubs.

His catch ended fruitless. The beast burrowed deeper underground, building a fortress against the hostile man. With that, they only had wild berries for breakfast.

“The flood killed off most life that used to be here,” Kosh explained. “Food has been scarce since.”

“I see.”

“You know, that’s about when I started coming to the mountain. I prayed, and prayed, and collected flowers for the Gods over and over. Mining is just a way of making a living out of it.”

Tem chewed his berry, carefully savoring its juices. “Then…do you still do it out of hope they’ll return the land to how it was?”

The man sighed and smiled. “That is…partly correct. Though, listen. We live only under their mercy, and once you submit yourself close to them, they could place any curse they want above your head.”

A gust of wind blew from the west.

“So, for that, I’ve been keeping this question. Do you really want to face them head-on?”

“What could happen if I do?”

“That I can’t tell. It’s opening the gates to whatever malevolence they may inflict upon you. Even still, I’m putting myself at risk bringing you far away to the mountain.”

“But my sister…there’s no way they let her die so suddenly.”

Kosh stared into the distance. “How did she?”

“I—I don’t know! It’s all so sudden…She didn’t have an illness nor was she attacked by anything. When nobody was looking, she collapsed under a tree. And…since then, I haven’t been able to find peace.”

“And you think it is worth the risk?”

“Of course! I…no, there’s no way I can continue peacefully without knowing.”

The man did not reply.

“Say…do you have a family?”

Finally he glanced back at Tem. “That, I don’t know. What matters to me now is only going, back and forth from the mountain to the villages. I’d buy bread or porridge from their local bakeries once and again, and then return on my journey.”

Tem stayed silent.

“With this kind of life, do you really think I’d have the time for a family? Though, they may still exist…somewhere.” Kosh rose from the ground, and cleaned off dry grass from his garments. He refused to talk any further, insisting that “at this rate, we won’t even reach the mountain by sunset.”


The grasslands, as barren as they were, has been completely mapped by Kosh. He knew the burrows of every snake, lizard, and hermit. Just by pointing his finger in any direction, he could tell how strong the wind would be in a few hours. The mountain peak, then seemed unreachable even by the eye as the early morning fog clouded it, soon became a towering colossus, with a body as dark and black as coal.

As if to wish luck for their advances, they had a small serving of tea from wild ferns, known for increasing one’s strength, though it never goes beyond rumors. They sat on a mossy, run-down wagon at the foot of the mountain with bottles half-empty, waiting for them to cool down.

“The mountain…though it’s not that high, it’s steep,” Kosh explained. “You’d better prepare yourself. They don’t like outsiders climbing their residence.”

Tem seemed absent-minded at his words. “I can’t tell, but you seem to look at the Gods with…negativity.”

“Well, that’s the way they are! If you’ve ever seen them with your own eyes, you’d believe me too.”

The image of his home village returned to his head. The way that everyone held the Gods at such a level of prestige had convinced him so long, that maybe his beliefs have been misguided. As Kuan would’ve said in response to Kosh, “They do what’s best for us, never leading us into evil, and for that, they inflict what we may see as disasterous, but the ends will justify the means.”

“Then, would you say they’re evil?”

He chuckled. “As much as I’d like to believe so, it’s bad for you to regard them as such. In fact, quite the opposite. We live in an inherently evil system, Tem. And for that, we must conform to them. Why else then, would I have warned you about coming here?”

A short shock of hesitation climbed through Tem’s spine. Though, by this point, he has gone way too far to return.

“I don’t understand. How…how do people stay quiet about things like this? When my sister died, she—nobody, not a soul questioned it. But she lay so quietly under the tree, no violence or illness. Her position was perfect, looking upwards without a limb outstretched. They did not have to change a single thing about her body before cremating her. Then, why, does nobody question it?”

Kosh did not answer immediately. “Well, there’s a crazy thing about faith. Say, you believed the Gods always have our best interests at heart, wouldn’t you feel reassured already? I’m sure they do still have questions, but…as long as you’re willing to keep yourself ignorant, you’d be satisfied.”

After the drink, the two filled their bottles and started climbing when their shadows lay twice their height on the ground, misshapen by tall grass and gravelly surfaces. The whole of the mountain reeked of anger and dominance. Its skin had no drop of water flowing on nor underneath it. The black sand and gravel chewed down on their boots with each step. The air smelled of soot and volcanic ash. All the while, the heat of boiling magma underneath absorbed all moisture off their mouths and echoed through the air, rolling down from the crater above.

At some point, dark clouds formed above and enveloped a fog encompassing the both of them. With Tem still being able to see the grassy bottom, now looking only like a flat, green surface, the temptation to come back down was building up in his mind. But each time it struck, the image of Suma’s funeral returned to him. That innocent face when she lay lifeless underneath the canopy of the ginkgo tree, the leaves covering her arms and neck, the perfect pose, almost as if she had planned for her death to arrive, all pushed him forward, only following the decade-trained instinct of the obsidian miner.

At last, the pair reached the top. The crater gaped open at a diameter at least near that of Tem’s village, and was perfectly circular. The crater had only the most extremophilic bushes and ferns jutting off its walls. The ground lay charred and hot, all the while magma flowed through one of its corners. Next to the flowing magma, a complex of volcanic glass crystals were forming, ready to be harvested. In the middle of the crater, a campfire had been recently lit, and was surrounded by offerings, be it withered flowers, rotten food, or clothing, perfectly ironed by the sandy surface. Old walls from ancient times were still standing, withstanding the heat.

For years, Tem had been told stories of the Gods, residing within the crater since a time incomprehensible. Yet, he had never been shown it, and now as he’s finally able to make his pilgrimage, seeing a view many would faint over, he felt only awe—not at seeing the Gods, but at the lengths some would go to reach such place.


“When the sun sets, you’ll see for yourself,” said Kosh. “Though I’m afraid I can’t be here to see it with you.”

He had mined what could fit inside his satchel, and was ready to make the climb down the mountain. In a last parting to ensure Tem’s safety, he handed over his sleeping bag.

“Why can’t you stay a little longer?” Tem asked.

“Like I said…The Gods are to be feared. I’ve brought you at least this far, and they won’t be happy if they knew everything I told you. You wouldn’t even be here without me.”

Tem’s heart sank. Though the old man only gave him guidance, he couldn’t bear having to make his journey back alone. “Even so, wouldn’t you at least let me finish?”

“No way. I’ve put myself at risk enough, Tem.”


“I’ll wait for you. At the foot of the mountain.” And so, he climbed out the crater, shuffling through the same dirt path he went up through.

Tem placed all the offerings next to the campfire. And, as procedure, sat down on the hot sand, closing his eyes and only listening to the rumble of the magma. At the arrival of sunset, the clouds dissipated above him yet the magma screamed louder. From the west, a wind flurried and engulfed the crater, and out summoned a cloud of smoke from the dying campfire.

Tem, overstruck with hesitation and fear, did not wait for words before they came from his mouth with his hands behind his back.

“O Almighty protectors of this land, crowned be thy head, blessed be thy mountain, and strong be thy hand.”

A few seconds pass before they responded. “Who is it?” a baritone voice asked.

“Your Almighty, it is me, a humble servant. I am here to inquire you.”

The smoke gently surrounded the campfire, tickling the petals of the scattered flowers and the fresh scent of berries.

“Go on.” The baritone voice continued.

“My sister—she had died of unknowable causes. She lay perfectly still under our ginkgo tree, bearing no illness nor wounds. She had fallen leaves covering her arms and neck, but her limbs weren’t outstretched. What could you have done to bring her such a calamity?

The smoke stood still, not flowing nor flinching.

And they laughed. “If such is the question, you had better not come here,” a soprano’s voice responded.

“What do you mean by that, your Almighty?”

“Had she been anywhere else, she’d suffer the same fate,” continued a tenor voice. “Had she been by your side, she’d suffer the same fate. Had she been here, she’d suffer the same fate. Why, then, do you ask?”

“I don’t want you to bring her back. I just want to know…why? And how? If there had been a necessity for it to be her, and not anyone else with some illness or wound, then…please tell me!”

“All beings suffer greatly under Our authority,” said the baritone.


“That much is true. You! If only you’d know how many souls We’ve put under our command, you would’ve known the reason for her passing. Year after year, We demand from nature, one sacrifice! And that, We require for our survival.”

“But then…why did it have to be her?”

“Servant…do go home, lest you’d like to undo the sacrifice,” the soprano responded.

“Undo the sacrifice?”

“There are notches deep in the universe’s code of law, young servant,” said the tenor. “And that demands your respect and sacrifice! The young maiden…she’s a perfect practitioner! One with expertise in fire, explosives, and…heat.”

The smoke seemed to glance at a far distance.

“Look. Back at your home, aren’t they having quite the celebration,” a bass voice said. “And you would rather come here than be with them.”

The harvest festival had commenced. And he had left it behind.

“So, that’s why we needed her!” the tenor voice continued. “She had finished all her duties in this realm, and now we take her away!”

Tem’s mouth did not function. A roaring sound blared from the direction of the village, as the first firework was launched up to the sky.

The baritone voice chuckled. “We had taken away a fisherman. He, skilled with the waves and way of the water, was perfect for our incoming flood. It was, after all, a necessary sacrifice to appease nature—to let things return to how it’s intended.”

Another firework blew up. This time, as the wind blew so strongly to the west, Tem could see pieces of it above the crater.

“But something bad happened,” it continued. “The fisherman, under the guise of a pilgrimage, had brought us offerings to sacrifice himself…yet he did not pray. He did not appease us. He was chosen, but he betrayed a purpose!”

“And he is still alive to this day,” the bass continued. “…with his pickaxe and leather satchel. Not even destroying his memories did a thing to make him return to us.”

The ground and air alike started to shake as fireworks encompassed the sky, all blowing so quickly to the west.

“For that reason, the land cannot become fertile, even after the great flood! We had waited…for ten years! Ten years for him to return! But he never prayed.”

“Suppose, then,” said the baritone. “If we could refertilize the lands another way, we’d need just one more sacrifice.”

The sky lit up, stars became powder to a sea of fireworks, slightly deafening and shutting down the Gods’ voices. Tem got ready to stand up from his position, as the smoke in front of him expanded to a hot, suffocating mass.

“You should not have come.”

The flurry of fireworks continued, yet an earthquake shook the known world. The smoke yet again disappeared from atop the campfire. The charred sands of the crater again mixed around, slithering like a lizard’s tail. The loudest, and most wrenching boom of the fireworks occurred right above the crater, and followed by the release of incandescent, molten rock from every inch of the crater’s bottom circumference. Flowers burned around the campfire as gas swallowed everything to its roots.

In a final expression of awe and inescapable heat, Tem looked up at the sea of colors. Red, green, yellow, and blue, all lined up and blooming against each other, so majestic that he could not feel his feet burning.

“Suma, I’m sorry.”

The flow of magma swallowed him whole. And soon after, a great eruption let tons of magma and smoke rumbling across all corners of the wide-open plains.

Writer: Syado


Entry Writchal #4

Theme: Fireworks


The Sakanoboru family has been managing and attending the local shrine, to which it also named conveniently as Sakanoboru Shrine. The shrine, atop of a hill, stood dauntingly and shrouded in mystical energy of heavenly origin.

Or so it should have been, according to the tale passed down by Mother and other old folks. It now resembles a generic, uninspiring, old Japanese-styled building of which nothing remarkable can be seen. My home, and I, as one of the daughters of Sakanoboru, have the duty to attend it as a shrine maiden.

“Mo-chan! Come on, hurry up!”

A lot of the shrine maiden’s duty included ceremonial work, shrine cleaning, also rituals ranging from monthly to yearly, on top of several types of worshipping rite including the shady ones. Though these days, only the shrine cleaning duty remains. To be precise, it’s just daily housework. The customary rituals have dwindled down, and the remaining few rituals held only as formality—only if there’s enough manpower and fund, anyway.

Mother said that the duty of the Sakanoboru Shrine Maiden right now is to live as a normal girl. The old customs weren’t important nor convenient in terms of practicality, neither do it held any form of power in entrancing people into believing in the God residing within our shrine. ‘It comes down to live on with the teachings left by our ancestors, and learning from their mistakes.’

“Alriiiight, a little bit!”

Even if there is a lot of work, I wouldn’t complain any way. Since my generation have two person taking on the role of Sakanoboru Shrine Maiden.

Sakanoboru Saki.

Sakanoboru Moto.

We are the identical twin daughters of Sakanoboru family. And we both, share the burden of committing the duty of Sakanoboru Shrine Maiden. And as though our Mother have an inkling of what we will go through in our life as one, we are trying to our best to live as a normal girl.

Because the daughters of Sakanoboru bloodline inherits an ability related to temporal sight.

“Been up all night, and forgot to set alarm too. Sorry, Sa-chan.”

“Muuu…I’ve got to see your cute sleeping face so whatever.”

“Ah, so that’s the reason you didn’t wake me up until the last minute?!”

“Well, there’s still enough time to walk to school together. Take it easy.”

—Foresight. To be precise.

They can catch a glimpse of the future within their mind. And whatever they see will inevitably occur. Compared to reading a possibility of what will happen, on the contrary, the ability seems to set the future in stone. This ability seemed to be the main reason why our bloodline runs the shrine and (according to Mother) revered by the local community as messenger sent from Heaven.

It manifested on Saki.

She have been catching glimpses of future since childhood, and Mother was the least bit surprised when it happened. That was also the day we were taught about the Sakanoboru Shrine Maiden. Mother never replied on whether she still have her ability or not, and we lost her at the tender age of 25.

Though it happened a long time ago, and we never really looked back on it much since we have each other to worry and enjoy life together. Mother, with her absurd knowledge of Sakanoboru history and teaching, would probably say that the reason our ability manifest is because in life, we have to look forward, not backwards.

“Oh right. The summer festival is coming soon, isn’t it?”, Saki interjected.

“The one with plenty fireworks in the end? Yeah, in five days.”

“Hmm, I wonder if this time we should come…”

“I’d rather play some games, really. Or do something unusual, like going someplace far away.”

“So that you could be alone?”

“No, because the fireworks were loud. It’s held near our shrine every year. It’s getting irritating, to be honest.”

“But we have the best spot to look at them all exclusive to us, you know?”

“You seem to enjoy it every time, even though we didn’t go to the festival.”

“Duh. I’m plenty with just the fireworks.”

“Well, then maybe I should try going to the festival. See if I could have fun.”

“Heeee, on your own?”

“…I’m not saying you couldn’t join.”

“Ho, then.”

Saki ran ahead and turned back to face me.

“Promise me you’d take me along on the night of the festival?”

She beamed a smile filled with expectation. Her invigorating eagerness almost made me smile in return. How noxious her liveliness is.

“I haven’t said anything on what I will do, though?”

“And the promise was to take me along on whatever you will do, so?”

“…sigh. Can’t be helped then.”


“…What? Don’t you have anything better to do by then?”

“Mmn,” Saki shook her head lightly, “I’ve got nothing better to do than being with you anyway.”

Though I’m already familiar with her antics, and she usually spent most of her time with me either way, her tone seems to be odd.

“Saw another future again?”

“Mmm…maybe? Sort of? I can’t really tell.”

“…sigh. Come on, you.”

Saki’s footsteps halted and she smiled dubiously. Saki always do this whenever she has something she wanted hidden. A poor liar, or an expressive girl, I don’t really know which. And as a follow-up I stretched both her cheeks flippantly.

“Uweueeeeh, shtop id~”

It sort of became a habit. And I never truly pursue the matter further if she never wished for it.

“One of these days I’m gonna become a loose girl because of you, Mo-chan.”


…Honestly, I have an idea on what she saw. But whichever action I take, nor hers, the outcome would always come out as per her vision. That much is certain, so we don’t dwell on it much.

As for me. I have no ability of the sorts Saki experienced.

I inherited none of the Sakanoboru bloodline’s ability.

…is what I’d like to say. I do, in fact. own an ability, though less defined and vague than Saki’s foresight.

The ability to send my heart back in time.

Ugh, even saying it internally still made me uneasy. I have no precise idea on how nor what truly was sent back in time. The term “heart” was simply a term for…a strong feeling accompanied by an indistinct premonition.

It definitely isn’t memory, consciousness, let alone my physical body that went back in time. That much for certain. For once, if I send my own back memory in time, then I would have knowledge on what will happen, or at least supposed to happen.

But I carry no memory of those. Just, a vague feeling that I went back in time to fix things. For example, if one day I broke a glass important to someone, I would send my “heart” back in time, and by then I would have a premonition to be more careful around the time the glass broke back then. No memories attached, I presume.

How I came to realize this was just another part of the mystery. Akin to a sudden surge of relief? Feeling of ease? “An unwanted future avoided”-kind of realization, though with exact reasons unknown. The feeling that I went through both sequence would remain vague as sometimes I couldn’t recall which was the one I went later to fix. Like how you would not remember the plot of a manga you have previously read.

You have certain remembrance you have read it. But not how it went.

In short, this ability doesn’t really do me justice. Heck, could this even be called an ability? Not even the user have a clear understanding, or even let to understand it.

So I just shrug it off, and think of Saki as the inheritor of the Sakanoboru bloodline’s ability.

Mother told us to live our life as a normal girl. And I’m here to help her become one.

“Mo-chan, see you after school!”

“Yeah. Later, Sa-chan.”

For one, I know well enough Saki is burdened by her ability all this time. The duty of Sakanoboru Shrine Maiden. The destiny of Sakanoboru bloodline’s daughter. The inevitability of their foresight. She must have a lot on her mind, despite her carefree and easygoing personality.

And for two, it pained me to no end knowing full well I could never understand a shred of what she have to go through—despite us being identical twins.


Four days went by almost too leisurely. Saki showed signs of resignation here and there, probably another future she saw came to pass. And I could do nothing but console her with a head pat or a cheek-rub. For some reason, she kept asking about our previous promise, and I had to reaffirm her every time that I’m going to be there for her.

This night, though, she seemed a bit more reluctant than usual.

No, not a bit. She’s dejected, perhaps forlorn. Like losing something important to her, though not as depressed as when we lost Mother.

Just as I was about to sleep, a knock came over to my room. Saki slid it over, her gaze downcast.


She looked frail, and her body slightly trembled. Did she saw another unpleasant future? It has been so lately. Seeing such future come to pass surely would bring unease, no matter who.

“Can I…sleep with you tonight?”, Saki timidly asked.

“No night-visit this time? Usually I wake up only to found you right beside me all the time.” I tried to ease her tension by cracking a joke, but she only slant her gaze slightly, as if realizing a fault she never thought about doing.

“…I’m not mad about it. It’s fine, really. Let’s go to sleep, then?”

Her gaze finally have enough courage to lock with my eyes, and she nodded ever so slightly. Abrupt as it was, I couldn’t ignore how dark the circles on her eyes were, nor how it glazed with tears waiting to burst.

“Lights off, okay.” I went over to turn the lights off and was about to take out another futon. Saki grabbed my hand from behind before I could do it. I turned back and saw her shaking her head in a hurried manner.

“Let’s sleep together.”


Casting aside whether it would be comfortable or not, if she wished for it, then I’m up for it. It’s not like I have particular dislike on sleeping in tight space either.


I went to the bed first followed by Saki snuggling up from below, forcing her way to my embrace. Our bodies are so close to each other, the bed is still quite wide on the other side.

Saki’s downtrodden face changed into one frightened. It’s right in front of me, around 10 cm apart, so I can’t help but look at it trembling uncontrollably.

“What, are you afraid of me leaving you?”

“…Un.” She nodded once.

“When did I ever leave you, really. I won’t, okay? This is my room too.”

“M-Mo-chan, are you really fine with us sleeping together? Am I troubling you?”

“Come on, how many times did you snuck inside my bedsheet without asking me. This time you just did it with consent.”

“It’s okay. Open your eyes. I’m not going anywhere.”

Saki stopped trembling and slowly opened her eyes. It’s dark, yet I can tell how her eyes interlocked with mine. When was the last time Saki have been this nervous? She would only get this nervous if some awful foresight came to pass. And by awful, I meant the one involving the loss of someone.

Describing her frail-looking face and teary eyes as cute wouldn’t call it justice. How come I, the identical twin of her, feel so inferior in terms of cuteness and lovability? God, this girl was really wasted on someone like me.

“E-even I’m a bit excited to sleep together with you, o-okay.” Though I told her to look at me, I’m the one who sided my glance. Augh, her gaze is plain destructive to my reasoning, I might not be able to sleep for real.


“I never felt troubled nor annoyed by your midnight antics, okay. But sometimes I think to myself, ‘if only she asked me beforehand, then we could have sleep together even longer~’ and such since…well, you never really asked, and I felt childish for asking one.”


“Err, point is. Even I, your identical sister, want to look at your sleeping face too, just so you know.”

Mustering up the little reasoning left within me, I couraged myself to look at her eyes while saying that.

Crap. She smiled.

“Moto. I love you. Take me along tomorrow, okay?”

“Mmn. I love you too, Saki. Let’s sleep before tomorrow comes.”

Saki snuggled up even closer and embraced me tighter ever so slightly. I was not joking when I said I want to look at her sleeping face and how I felt a little excited to sleep together with her.

But, contrary to my expectations, Saki’s peaceful breathing, relaxed rhythm of movement, and heartbeat that reverberates through lulled me into deep drowsiness with ease. As if to let my body remember in exchange, I unconsciously did the same thing as her before falling into sleep.


I arrived at a land of endless white. I stood, yet could not see the ground below me. Wind blows through the crevices of my hair and flutter my clothes, yet there’s no sky above me. I think I have arrived at the “Passage of Time”.

It has to be a dream, one I have a hunch will be forgotten by the time I wake up.

It is a sacred place only the shrine maidens of Sakanoboru could perceive and arrive at.

According to Mother, anyway.

What a weird feeling. It truly have no description other than a land of endless white, yet I feel confident that this was the place Mother had once described in detail.

A girl came up to me, donning a neat cloth of shrine maiden outfit of ours.

From which generation, I have no idea. She resembled Saki, but younger. Though my gut feeling told me she could not have been Saki.

“Moto, you unmistakably are one daughter of Sakanoboru, that I assure.”

“Why am I alone in this space?”

“There is me, is there not?”

“No, you are supposed to be a fragment of my imagination. I must be dreaming since lately Saki…or the whole Sakanoboru duty attached to us have been weighing on my mind.”

“Correct, yet still further from truth.”


“The duty of Sakanoboru, ours, as the ones graced with the responsibility to bear, is penultimately—the prevention of disaster.”

“That does not answer my question.”

“Originally, one would inherit the ability to venture into the future and past willingly, albeit metaphorical in nature. ”


“The duty, or so it conveniently named after, is for us to see the future which lies ahead, and return in time to prevent both the event and the premonition itself from happening in the first place. An occurrence unhappening, a deed unrewarded.”

“And your point is?”

“That you still have no idea what the point is.”

“Then tell me straight. I’m not one with the ability proper, Saki would be the person you look for.”

“Did you hear me not? You unmistakably are, Moto, a daughter of Sakanoboru.”


“Including that so-called ability of yours to go back in time.”


“Though it may be far from calling it a proper usage of what Sakanoboru daughter could wield. Still, for one with half the whole, you surely have a knack for guessing it quite accurate.”

She took a sit on an empty white space. Cross-legged, establishing both mature and childlike disposition through her gesture. I did the same, but with the manners taught to me as Sakanoboru Shrine Maiden.

“Well-taught, ain’t ya?”

“Forgive my impoliteness. May I have you elaborate the meaning of this encounter?”

“That part would be you on your own. The fish can only be counted after you are done fishing, right?”

…Meaning there’s no meaning if it’s not done yet, I presume.

“You were correct about you, yourself, climbing upstream in time to prevent an undesired future. Down to the part where you couldn’t remember a thing, since it is meant to be that way.”

“…Not even us, would remember what could have been nor why we go back in time, is that it?”

“Correct. I told you, an occurrence unhappening, a deed unrewarded. That responsibility shouldered by us, daughters of Sakanoboru, as one graced with inhuman perception.”

“Then, since in my generation a twin is born, the power was partitioned so that only one of us could see what the other cannot?”

“Half-correct. though I would never absolutely ever say the reason lying behind my words.”

It’s harder to deal with a child(?) with strong personality than I had thought. My feeling told me to be cautious of her though, reflected by both her gesture and manner of speaking which assert an indifference to my presence, really.

“Is that all?”

“Sadly that is all.”

“Then I should go back.”

“To where?”

“To wake up. I have to take Saki along wherever I go today.”

“But there’s no place to go back?”

“…Excuse me?”

“This place is where one goes “back”, the start of the past. Not a soul could go further back than this, not even a Sakanoboru daughter.”

“It’s one only you can arrive at, Moto.”

All of those conversation thrown seems to make no sense at all. I couldn’t tell whether she said those metaphorically or literally. Still, an inkling of answer crossed my mind which I won’t hesitate to say.

“Then I’ll go see Saki. To the future.”

“…Right, she’s ahead of you, isn’t she?”

I stood up quite politely. Only by then did I realize I donned the same outfit as that child(?), as though midway I admitted that I am truly one of the Sakanoboru daughters.

I strongly wished to see a future with Saki, and put both my hand and eyes in prayer.


I woke up to find Saki no longer in my embrace. No idea when or how she managed to get up without me realizing. I felt like I was in a very vivid dream either…perhaps sleeping with Saki made me think about all of the Sakanoboru stuffs too much.

Today, I promised to take Saki along with me wherever.

I am not one particularly keen on promising things, but for Saki, I could never ignore it.

The old folks said Saki went ahead without telling them where she’s going. With her shoe gone, phone left, and bag remained, I have no way to reach her other than to look for her.

I spent the whole day strolling and searching for Saki around the town.

Not in the place she’s usually in, nor anywhere she hangs out with me or by herself.

Weirdly, none of the people I asked seem to recall ever seeing her today.

The sun was setting, and the festive mood began to burst within the town as the summer festival gained momentum from its flooding participants. All my attention, on the other hand, seems to get even more unsettled with each passing second.

“Where are you, Saki…”

I muttered a question no one could answer except Saki. A little bit of hope in my heart wished she would surprise me from behind in a joking manner like her usual antics. But I’m greeted with despair with every back that I turn to look for her.

As the sky began to darken, stars began to emerge whenever I look up. The day almost ended, and the festival approached its main event—the fireworks.

A slight hint of resignation dwelled inside me. Perhaps, she will return just fine, or through some sort of miraculous misunderstanding, we just missed each other barely. With dejected footsteps, I return back home.

On my way back, everyone seemed to go with the flow and towards the festival. Expectations and joy radiating out of their face haphazardly. Saki should be teeming with such happiness too, if not for the fact that I couldn’t find her.

Saki, similar to me in a sense, uphold promises in high regards. To the point where she would feel guilty even if the other person was the reason it goes unfulfilled. And today, I promised to take her along wherever. And all day long I was by my own. Saki must be ridden with guilt.

Tired, I took a breather near the base of the stairs leading to the shrine. The hill, somewhat misplaced amongst all the western-styled housing, felt like a place where time is frozen in place. The stairs, one where I have been used to seeing, seemed to be so tall and far than usual.

My gut feeling told me this won’t end well.

For one, I’m exhausted. There’s no lamp either. Only me and the stairs leading up to the shrine.

“…No choice about it.”

My feet went upstream and I climbed.

Each step, a bit louder than usual since I put more energy into it.

The surrounding sound drowned out, as if I’m the only living thing.

What was it that I try to do?

Yeah, finding Saki.

Only she has the key to go into the future.

The duty of Sakanoboru Shrine Maiden.

A disaster about to happen.

I could go back in time to fix things.

And Saki should be the one to see it happen before.

If one future pass.

And I’m not there to fix it.

She…what was it?

Have we been taking our abilities for granted?

The term duty seems to be heavyhanded for just a trivial ability.

Or might there be a price to be paid due for not committing the duty? I don’t know.

But I have to find it first.

The way to look into the future.

So that I may change the past.

Even if unrewarded.

Even if nobody realized.

Surely a future will come to pass where we could be happy.

And even if it won’t.

I will see it.

And I will return to make it so it will.

At the second last step of the stair, I felt terribly exhausted. Like going through a similar experience thousands of times waiting for a result I wished for to occur. It should have been an experience I have no trouble going through though. Yet cold sweat ran down all over my body.

As I gently took the final step leading to the shrine grounds, a flash of brilliant light casted a shadow in front of me. Mine. And with it a loud booming sound reverberates through the night skies.

I looked back.

The fireworks bloomed in the night sky.

It colored the starry canvas with bright colors you don’t usually see. The sound of each round being shot into the sky heighten your anticipation for the explosion. And with each explosion, a flash of light blinds the eye for a brief moment. It was very brief, yet very beautiful. And the next moment, came another.

A sequence of never ending, brief, beautiful scene played out in front of me.

I stood alone right below the torii leading up to the shrine. Somehow it felt natural for me not to stand in the center of the road. Someone else might just come up to pass beside me. Or maybe I want someone else to enjoy this scene together with me. Though nobody really pays this shrine a visit.

Another round fired, and another part of my memory were lost in its brilliance.


That’s why they always said, ‘It’s beautiful, isn’t it?’.

They can’t really put a word into what those were. The feeling of having something important taken away from you. The feeling of regret for losing so much. The feeling of helplessness over the inevitability of an end.

A huge round was fired and a myriad of blooming flower painted the night sky bright. A presence appeared besides me. Tears began flowing down immediately as I felt another hand grasping mine.

It must be the magic of the fireworks.

For a brief moment, I just want to enjoy this moment together with her.

“Don’t go back, Moto.”

I know.

The only way out is for me to not go back in time.

Were you clad in so much pain all this time, and not even once shed a tear in front of me?

Do you carry all the burden we ought to have shared together?

I don’t know.

But I promise the next time I will try to understand you better.

So that we can figure a way out.


“I’m going, Saki.”

I wished dearly inside my heart.

As the final round erupted, we were enveloped in brilliance. Two shadows casted on the ground, hand-in-hand with each other.

I closed my eyes, and return back in time to fulfill our promise.

Writer: AJIBEH

Writchal #4 – Fireworks

The crowd sings a cheer as the sun dips into the horizon.
The closing curtains mark the end of the festival.
All that left after the festival is the lingering feeling of delight.
Being able to reap the fruit of her toil, the girl can’t hide her swaying tail.
As she ponders in elation, a loud noise twitches her ears.


Lifting her head upward, orange gleam reflected on her eyes.
In the vast, lonely sky, flickering flames escort the stars in their journey.
The flame coruscates in the vast sky, rivaling the cheering of the crowd.
As the flame shows its fervor, so does the crowd.
And as the flame fades, so does the crowd.


Dimming embers embellishing the sky leave nothing but a picture in the memory of those who sees.
So does the crowd, as their fervor etched on the memory of the girl.
The ethereal scenery, the fleeting cheers, is this the last?
Leaning on the railing with her head on top of her palms, she gazes upon the sky.


“The sky is beautiful, isn’t it?” Said the girl as sparkles sprinkle her eyes.
As her voice reverberates in the cold night, another girl with a green hair approaches.
“Indeed it is.” Said the green haired girl.
Leaning on the railing, the two girls remain silent as wind brushes their cheeks.
“I want to see this beautiful sky again.” The girl said.
“Well, maybe you can start from helping me to clean the mess?” Said a boy while bringing a broomstick and a mop in both hands.
“Oh, I thought you already dozed off.” Said another boy.
“So, shall we begin?” Said the green haired girl.
“Yes!” Said the girl as her fang greets the night with her smile.

Writchal #4 sekaligus yang terakhir dari masa kepengurusan 2022 hingga 2023 bertemakan “Fireworks”. Berbeda dengan umumnya, writchal ini berlangsung selama 2 minggu dari tanggal 1 Juni 2023 hingga 15 Juni 2023.

Pada writchal ini, terdapat 4 submisi hingga tulisan ini dipublikasikan. Namun, terdapat 1 submisi yang tidak bersedia untuk dipublikasikan.

Twins’ Order – The Prologue

Entry Writchal #4

Theme: Fireworks

Sergeant Rahardjo had been struggling to maintain order in his unit for the past hour. It shouldn’t be a chore if the telves weren’t tens of meters away from their position, unloading their rifles and machine-guns. His unit was replying in kind. But it’s dangerous as a Gauntlet battle tank was doing its job supporting the telve infantries. He dared a peek over the jagged wall he hid behind. A ricochet on the other side flinched his head back. He pressed on his head to ensure that not a part of it is sticking out.

A flash of flame drew his attention. The house to his left burst in. A cloud of smoke and dust steamed upward. There goes his last Amplifier. The Gauntlet had been lucky for the duration of enemy assault on his position. He glanced to a fuming Chord to his right. It had gone out of cover to scare the encroaching Guards. It did neutralize a handful of them. But it only managed to stall their advance. And that was until the Gauntlet took it down. Fortunately, the crew survived.

The second defensive line was anchored at the village of Lone Thong. He was manning the place when the news of a breach in the first line hit. He was aware that the telves’ pace were rapid, Command had told him that. Yet they didn’t specify how fast they were advancing. He was the one to discover that shortly after when a Gauntlet opened fire at the village. There were about fifty-people who had braced for the contact, including him and his squad. They had two lightweight mortars for indirect support. The telves had pacified them. And now he himself is left with four out of nine of his men. Worse is that he had to cover the retreat of the other squads because they had lost heart to fight before his squad did.

He maintained tight communications to the other squad leaders as he watched them withdrew. He cursed how they couldn’t go any faster. The Line-section Guards crept closer with shield in hand. It took a rocket launcher to punch through it. The Utilities have them. But there was none in his squad, only Directs and Amplifiers. The plan was to provide covering fire as the other squads withdraw. They then were supposed to assume position to cover his squad’s retreat. It’s a necessary course of action to prevent full rout. He prayed to The Primus that they were discipline enough to commit the maneuver.

“Go, go! We’ll cover you!” One of the other squad leaders said.

Rahardjo shouted withdrawal to his remaining men as soon as he heard that. He and his squad emerged from cover, maintaining their low profile to avoid getting shot. Still, one of his men wasn’t lucky enough. He caught a grenade. His body collapsed to the ground. The explosion was startling enough to draw Rahardjo’s attention. His heart sank as he watched the lifeless body of his comrade. There was nothing he could do for him. Rahardjo could only keep going. At least for him, the war was over.

A projectile landed on one of the squads covering him. It seemed so as he was briefly blanketed by a bright flaming flash. The explosion thundered his hearing, the shock toppled him. A Seraph Round. It destroyed a friendly squad. The impact was devastating enough that the other squad abandoned their task and fled the field. Rahardjo shouted orders at them as he recovered, but they didn’t seem willing to return anytime soon.

He and his squad trudged to the nearest broken building. It provided them as much cover as an open ground. Yet it’s the only valuable cover they could find within their reach. Rahardjo saw the Line Guards closing in, covered by their shields. The telves didn’t fire at them. Certainly, because Rahardjo and his squad can’t harm those Guards. In his haste, he didn’t equip himself with any grenades. He didn’t think that any help is coming. Command must had sent all they could muster to man the third line given the telves’ blistering pace. It’d require a miracle to live through it, other than surrender.

When Rahardjo dropped his assault rifle, a glowing projectile soared through the skies. It had azure tendrils orbiting its core in a sporadic manner. It shrieked as it flew overhead, leaving azure trails in the sky. The sergeant was in awe. He forgot in a second that he had Guards going after him. When he returned his attention to them, they were already scrambling away. But then it happened. The projectile flashed as it stopped mid-air. Its slow descent is a huge contrast compared to its climb. The way it pulsated made it seem even more menacing.

Rahardjo sensed a terrible aura surrounding the projectile. But it was one that sparked obedience in him instead of fear. He felt a throbbing on his muscles. It soothed his head. The stress and fatigue he had been feeling was no longer there. Glances shared among his squad told him that his men felt it too. Even more astonishing was the absent of fear that had gripped him for the past couple of minutes. He suddenly believed that he could take on those shielded Guards by himself regardless of his tiny odds of success.

Fortunately, he didn’t have to. Those Guards who had been scrambling away a moment before were now either limping away or writhing and twitching on the ground with their hands pressing their ears. The squad that had ran away returned, the squad leader ordered his men forward to disarm the incapacitated Guards. Rahardjo and his men chased those who were trying to flee and seized them with the stock of his rifle.

One of his men stayed to round up the prisoners. Along with the other squad, he returned to his position and continue the onslaught. The projectile was still in the air. The telves retreated, slowly stepping away from the village. They swayed like their limbs were bound to the ground. The projectile did something to their heads. They were pressing it as if it was about to fall apart. None of that mattered to him. They didn’t fire back, and it was a blessing. Rahardjo picked off the limping Guards.

More Proxy came into the fray. By the time the Guards recovered, the Proxy have reorganized. The distant Gauntlet tried to suppress the reinvigorated defenders. Rahradjo was undaunted. He found himself constantly cowering from the shock and whatever debris those tank shell kicked off. Still, he didn’t break. He didn’t feel like it. Somehow, there’s a voice in his head that he had to drive those telves back.

Two rockets flew at the Gauntlet. Only one hit, but its armor weathered it successfully. White smoke popped on the field. Telve’s artillery. And they concealed the Guards from view. Rahardjo stopped firing. There was no point wasting bullets firing blindly into the smoke. They would return, and Rahardjo better had some clips ready by then. He took a deep breath.

The Guards’ assault operation was still in progress. Their rapid advance allowed them to breach the defensive line at multiple points. One of the breach points was about a kilometer west of Lone Thong. They swing left and tried to overwhelm the village. Rahradjo held off the attack. But that didn’t mean that he thwarted the whole operation. The telves would try again, and again until they deemed it unproductive to proceed. At least the village stood. They would reconsider their options about the position—whether or not they should take it, and in what manner they should take it if they had to. It didn’t matter for now. Maybe later, once he recuperated.

The sun was setting. The sky was still bright with its red shade. Rahardjo turned at the prisoners. There were ten of them, mostly in their mid-twenties. Two of them looked like they were about thirties, as old as himself. He heard tales about the First Great Liberation War. In particular, how both sides took no prisoners then. Seems like they had learned something that resorted them to prisoners exchange whenever possible. They avoided eye-contacts as much as possible. But Rahardjo could still see exhaustion in them. It’s the eighth year of the Third Great Liberation War, and they all wanted it to end as soon as possible. He could see that they didn’t care anymore. They just followed what The Empress had ordered them. Just like how he followed whatever The Primus told him to.

“That’s for Krutsov, you telve bastard!” Rahardjo caught a man yelling at the prisoner. He followed it up with a rough blow to one of the young Guards. The Guard flinched as he fell to his comrade’s lap.

The Proxy seemed eager to follow it up. Rahardjo wondered why none of his squadmates held him back. He decided to move in and pull him back. That’s when he saw a figure emerging from a corner of a rubble. She dashed toward the man immediately and seized his hand.

“Harming prisoners of war is a violation of the fourth point of chapter two under the section ‘Prisoners of War’ in page two-hundred-fifteen of the Command’s Guideline.”

The woman was light-skinned and had topaz eyes. Her cedar hair stretched as far as her back. She had tiny braids behind her ears, tied by golden ribbons. Her fatigue was the standard-issue Proxy coat that went past her knee. She was clad with the tactical-gear of the Direct Proxies, a similar gear that Rahardjo was wearing. Only there was a golden outline on her left shoulder-padding. She wore a skirt instead of cargo pants. Her legs were covered by leggings, which then were protected by a set of greaves from the knee-down.

“Let me go, princess!” The man tried to shake her hand off.

The woman looked at him disinterestedly. While the man was struggling to free himself from her grip, she didn’t even budge or break a sweat.

“Do that again and no ration for you for the next twelve hours.” She let the man go once she said that.

Rahradjo watched the Proxy withdrew with a bitter look fixed at the woman. He then returned his attention to her as she ordered two men who had been following her to secure the Guards. The sign on her fatigue’s collar gave her rank away. A Senior Commissar. Rahardjo had a hard time believing it because she looked like she was still in her early twenties, too young to be one. He was impressed at how swift she acted. She immediately rushed to end the racket. Meanwhile, he thought of stopping that Proxy only once he was about to hit the Guard for the second time. Not surprising coming from a commissar. But for her age, it was something. Especially her decision of saving him and his men at Lone Thong. Any commanding officer would just left them there. She decided otherwise and brought a couple of men with her to reinforce him. He could only wonder how she could overcome her dilemmas in a split second.

The woman looked around briefly before eventually noticing him. She strode at him with steps that exhibit an unflinching pride. Rahardjo saluted her as soon as she arrived.

“Ma’am.” He said. He knew that a Commissar is a rank equivalent to Sergeant-Major, the highest non-commissioned-officer rank in the Proxy. A Senior Commissar meanwhile must be way higher. Given that there’s at least one senior commissar per-brigade, it must be equivalent to somewhere between Colonel and Brigadier.

The woman returned the salute. “Sergeant…”

“Hardjo, ma’am.”

“Sergeant Hardjo.” She nodded. “Are you in charge here?”

“Apparently…” Rahardjo looked around him. “I’m the most senior NCO around for now.”

“The 5th Motorized Company will take over. I’m assigning you to them.”

“As long as it works.” Rahardjo shrugged.

The woman activated her utilizer on her left arm and tapped on its buttons. She gazed at the armlet as if she was about to tuck a string to a needle. His utilizer blipped once she was done, notifying his transfer. Command should be notified as well.

Shortly after, the village teemed with Proxies disembarking from the Crescent armored-personnel-carrier. A Chord battle-tank accompanied by a handful of Convex armored-fighting-vehicles kicked the commotion further. The Utility Proxies rushed to set up nests for weapons such as Firewall heavy-anti-tank-missiles, Suling heavy-mortars, and Caustic auto-cannons brought in by a bunch of Turangga cargo-trucks. It was more than fortunate for them that the telve didn’t interrupt them as they work. With Lone Thong rearmed, the Proxies just gave the Guards an inconvenience.

The woman then called for all the Proxies there to present before her. Everyone gathered close enough for them to listen. Rahardjo crouched near a rubble where her back is against him.

“Brave sons and daughters of Creatio Genetrix,” She cried, her voice was as loud as a Concave volley. “Do not think that this was just another clash with the telves.”

Rahardjo briefly glanced away. Everyone was paying attention. The men fixed their eyes on her as if she was showing her private parts. The women seemed a bit unfazed as they looked upon the senior commissar indifferently. Their eyes suggested otherwise. They were looks wishing that she was a man, given her unyielding charm and assertive attitude. Even the vehicles gave the same degree of attention.

“Every battles matter, every skirmish. There shall be no relent whenever, and wherever they strike. We will show them that they will pay with blood for every step they take upon our motherland. We will show them that our resolve is rooted to the deepest bowels of this planet. The Holy ArC will not be tainted by whatever damned teachings they preached. They will learn that to uproot us, is to destroy the world they are so keen to protect.”

Rahardjo watched as the woman’s eyes set everyone else’s ablaze. The radiant spirit that inhabited her shone upon all the present Proxies. It yielded determined smiles. Everyone began to believe that they would live through the onslaught. The last time Rahardjo heard such speech was a year ago, and it was from a male counterpart. Turns out genders did determine how invigorating they were. Or perhaps it was because she was a human, and a young one. A frail cog in the war-machine when compared to the Androids.

“Scientia!” The woman yelled.

“Victrix! Victrix! Victrix!” Everyone else followed in unison.

“The Primus will be proud.” The woman ended her speech.

Rahardjo chuckled as she broke off. He wished his wife was like her, not some generic female with a big-mouth whenever the grocery budget hadn’t dropped. His squad was reinforced with three Utilities and an Amplifier Proxy. He casually ordered them to their battle stations. In his mind, he wondered how the state could breed such an imposing female figure. He was sure that it would always be beyond him.

Writer: PrimDom

Pilcrow: Antologi Divisi Story Periode 2021-2023

Buku ini dapat diakses melalui link berikut:


Matahari terbenam. Lampu-lampu menyorot bayangan. Warna hitam di atas putih menghasilkan bentuk-bentuk yang terasa akrab dan unik. Di hadapan kastel pikiran yang dikelilingi oleh parit ketidaktahuan, bentuk-bentuk tersebut berbaris membentuk harmoni kata. Menyeberangi jembatan persepsi, tamu-tamu tersebut disambut dengan sebuah resepsi.

Waktu berlalu, ribuan kalimat bertamu. Sedikit demi sedikit membaur dengan penghuni yang laur. Bersama Sang Raja, merestorasi kastel yang terus tergerus oleh waktu. Hingga suatu saat bertemu dengan akhir waktu.

Paragraf lama berakhir. Paragraf baru pun hadir. Dengan sebuah pilcrow di depannya, paragraf itu menyampaikan harapan dari penulisnya. Namun, apakah harapan tersebut akan tersampaikan?

Buku ini hanyalah sebuah paragraf dari cerita yang ditulis sejak 2012. Berharap untuk mengukir kenangan pada dinding ingatan pembacanya selama-lamanya.

Cerita yang membentangkan sukacita dan derita.
Cerita yang menuturkan canda tawa dan air mata.
Cerita yang berjudul…

Divisi Story Genshiken ITB


Kadiv Story Genshiken ITB 2022-2023


A Festive Festival.

Entri Writchal #3

Tema: School, Comedy, Romance

“Ya ampun, ini semua tidak ada akhirnya…”

Renne bergumam kesal di tempatnya duduk. Seluruh isi kepalanya jenuh dan pusing memandangi seluruh berkas dan dokumen yang sedang ada di depannya.

“Renne, apa yang harus kulakukan dengan semua ini?” Seorang siswa lain yang membawa kardus berisi pita dan confetti mampir ke meja Renne.

“Uh, soal itu… sepertinya tadi kudengar di lantai tiga sebelah barat masih kekurangan dekorasi. Mungkin kamu bisa membawanya ke sana.”

“Siap laksanakan, komandan!” Siswa tersebut tersenyum dan memasang salut dengan riang. Renne hanya membalasnya dengan tersenyum.

Jam dinding menunjukkan pukul sepuluh malam. Seisi sekolah masih ramai oleh para siswa yang sedang mempersiapkan festival sekolah yang akan datang dalam beberapa hari lagi.

Renne terus memimpin semua proses persiapan yang ada di sekolah dari awal sampai akhir. Semua persiapan ini sudah dimulai sejak seminggu yang lalu. Persiapan festival sekolah biasanya tidak sampai se-ekstensif ini, namun tahun ini memang cukup berbeda dari tahun-tahun sebelumnya.

Sudah hampir jam dua belas malam. Kebanyakan dari para siswa yang bersukarela untuk melakukan persiapan sejauh ini sudah mulai beristirahat di ruangan kelas—mereka lebih memilih untuk menginap di sekolah. Namun, tidak dengan Renne. Sebagai ketua OSIS, ia harus bekerja lebih keras lagi dari semuanya.

“Ren, kamu yakin tidak ingin tidur? Ini sudah hampir jam dua belas malam, lho.” Seorang siswi menghampiri Renne di mejanya.

“Heh. Berlaku juga untukmu.” Renne tersenyum lelah.

“Dari tadi, aku hanya berjalan-jalan melihat sekeliling saja, kok. Saat aku kembali ke sini, ternyata semua orang sudah tidur.”

“Berbohongmu jelek sekali. Lalu, apa berkas tebal yang sedang kamu bawa itu?” balas Renne sambil menyeringai.

“Mending kamu tidur saja, Ren. Kantung matamu sudah cukup parah. Biar aku yang mengurus sisanya.”

“Berapa kali harus kukatakan ini? Meskipun kamu Wakil Ketua, namun bukan berarti aku akan menyerahkan tanggung jawab ini kepadamu. Aku yang memulainya, dan aku akan menyelesaikannya apapun yang terjadi. Lalu, kantung matamu juga tak jauh bedanya denganku. Aku bahkan bisa melihat lubang hitam yang terbentuk di sana saking gelapnya,” sindir Renne.

“Hei!” Siswi itu meletakkan berkas yang dibawanya dengan cukup keras di atas meja Renne. “Kamu sudah kelewatan dengan itu. Aku hanya ingin membantumu agar kamu bisa mendapatkan jatah istirahat yang lebih banyak dari ini,” keluhnya dengan memasang wajah kecewa.

“Semua berkas ini berasal dari pihak sponsor dari luar yang sudah mendaftar. Mereka semua punya ketentuan mereka masing-masing dalam setiap dokumennya, jadi semua harus di-approve secepatnya.”

“Ya, maaf. Terima kasih, Ver.” Renne mulai membaca singkat berkas-berkas itu.

“Kuingatkan lagi. Itu tidak perlu untuk diselesaikan sekarang. Lakukan esok hari juga tidak ada masalah. Sungguh, aku tidak bercanda. Tolong tidurlah, belakangan ini kamu hanya tidur 2 jam dalam sehari. Itu sangat tidak baik untuk kesehatanmu.”

“Iya, iya. Aku mengerti.”

“Aku punya perasaan, kalau aku meninggalkanmu di sini sekarang, kamu takkan menuruti perkataanku. Oleh karena itu, aku akan menemanimu di sini sampai kamu tidur.”

“Apa—hei! Baik, baiklah, aku sungguh akan tidur sekarang.” Renne meregangkan badan bagian atasnya, kemudian meletakkan kepalanya di atas meja.

“Tidak, bukan tidur yang seperti ini!” Siswi itu memegang tangan Renne, memaksanya berdiri. “Di lantai satu lumayan banyak sleeping bag yang tidak terpakai. Kamu bisa memakai salah satunya. Ikut denganku sekarang.”

Tangannya tiba-tiba dipegang seperti ini, langsung membuat Renne salah tingkah. Ia tidak bisa melepaskannya, dan terpaksa harus keluar dari ruangan OSIS tempatnya bekerja sekarang.

Mereka berdua sampai di dalam sebuah kelas di lantai 1. Terlihat persiapan festival yang masih setengah jadi di dalam, dan para siswa yang sudah tertidur di lantai—dengan sleeping bag-nya masing-masing.

Siswi itu menunjuk ke sebuah sleeping bag yang menganggur. “Itu, ada satu yang tidak dipakai. Tidurlah di sana, aku yakin anak-anak lain tidak akan mempermasalahkannya.”

Renne menghela napas. “Huh… Baiklah.” Renne sedang lelah, ia enggan untuk memperpanjang semua ini dan memilih untuk menurut kali ini.

Renne menelentangkan tubuhnya di atas sleeping bag yang tidak terpakai itu, kemudian mulai memejamkan matanya.

Kalau dilihat kembali, memang selama ini Renne terus memaksakan dirinya agar festival sekolah ini berjalan dengan sukses. Setelah berhari-hari kurang tidur dan bekerja tanpa henti, akhirnya semua rasa lelah itu sudah mencapai puncaknya untuk momen ini. Ia langsung mendengkur hanya setelah beberapa detik memejamkan mata.

“Sungguh… kamu ini. Selalu saja memaksakan diri.” Siswi itu menatap wajah tidur Renne dengan tersenyum lembut.

“Eh… Verra? Kau masih bangun? Bolehkah ikut denganku sebentar? Kami perlu bantuan di lantai 2 bagian ujung setelah ini…”

“Uh? Baiklah, tunggu sebentar.”

Ya, namanya Verra. Sang wakil ketua OSIS di sekolah yang selalu menemani Renne di setiap pekerjaan OSIS yang mereka lakukan. Semua orang di sekolah tahu bahwa mereka berdua adalah pasangan ketua dan wakil yang sangat terampil dan serasi. Bahkan hingga mengurus sebuah event sekolah yang sebesar ini di penghujung masa SMA mereka ini, mereka berdua tetap mengerahkan segalanya untuk membuatnya sukses.

Beberapa hari sejak malam itu, dan sekarang adalah H-1 acara festival sekolah. Hampir semua persiapan sudah jadi, hanya tinggal sentuhan akhir saja yang tersisa. Berbeda dari sebelumnya, hari ini Renne memutuskan untuk akhirnya berpatroli sekeliling sekolah dengan Verra untuk memastikan semuanya benar-benar sudah siap. Namun, sebenarnya alasan ia berpatroli bukan hanya untuk itu. Ia cenderung terburu-buru di banyak tempat dan berfokus ke beberapa ruang kelas saja. Ia juga kelihatan tersenyum saat melewati ruangan kelas tertentu, dan itu membuat Verra kebingungan.

“Huh? Tumben kamu senyum-senyum sendiri. Memangnya ada apa?” tanya Verra sambil berjalan.

“Heh-heh. Bukan urusanmu,” jawab Renne sambil nyengir.

“Seperti bukan kamu saja.”

“Terserah apa katamu, aku tidak peduli.”

Verra memutuskan untuk tidak bertanya lebih lanjut. Patroli terus berjalan, hingga malam hari tiba. Kebanyakan siswa yang menginap berhari-hari di sekolah akhirnya pulang ke rumah, untuk mempersiapkan diri mereka masing-masing untuk esok hari dengan penampilan yang terbaik.

Tak terkecuali untuk Renne. Ia sudah menginap di sekolah paling lama dari siapapun, yang berarti juga pulang ke rumah paling jarang. Ia akhirnya malam ini memutuskan untuk pulang juga. Ia sedang membereskan semua dokumen dan berkas yang masih berserakan di meja kerjanya sebelum pulang.

“Akhirnya kamu pulang juga, ya.” Verra memasuki ruangan tanpa mengetuk terlebih dahulu, seperti biasa.

“Kamu juga. Aku tidak berpikir kamu akan turun tangan sampai sejauh ini. Bukannya kamu membenci tema festival yang kuusulkan dulu?”

“Membenci? Tidak, kok. Aku tidak pernah mengatakannya. Aku hanya merasa sedikit kaget, saat kamu mengusulkannya…”

“Hmm, begitukah.” Renne akhirnya selesai membereskan semua berkasnya. “Kamu tidak pulang? Aku sudah selesai di sini.”

Verra hanya terdiam di tempatnya berdiri, tidak menjawab. Renne sedikit kebingungan, namun ia tidak terlalu memikirkannya.

Renne mengangkat tasnya. “Baiklah, kalau begitu aku duluan—”

“Tunggu sebentar.”

Renne terdiam di tempatnya berdiri. “Ada apa?”

“U-untuk festival sekolah kita yang terakhir ini… uh…”

Verra menundukkan kepalanya, rasa gugup mulai menguasainya. Renne yang kebingungan dengan situasi yang dihadapinya sekarang hanya mengangkat sebelah alis.

“P-persiapkan dirimu, oke.”


Setelah itu, Verra juga langsung mengemas barang miliknya dengan terburu-buru. Ia kemudian langsung meninggalkan ruangan tanpa berani menatap wajah Renne lagi, meninggalkannya sendirian di dalam.

Ada apa dengan si Verra itu? Dia terlihat aneh…

Meskipun berpikiran demikian, namun Renne tidak terlalu memikirkannya lagi lebih jauh. Ia memilih untuk lebih memikirkan soal esok hari yang akan datang.

“Ah! Maaf aku terlambat.”

“Ah-hah! Akhirnya si bodoh yang terakhir datang. Seperti dulu, kau selalu saja jadi yang terlambat kalau kumpul bersama seperti ini.”

“Hush, diam! Kalian semua rumahnya saling berdekatan, tahu. Aku yang paling jauh! Kalian sudah lupa?”

“Sudah, sudah. Mending kita percepat urusan kita kali ini. Mumpung kesempatannya pas.”

Tiga orang yang sedang berada di dalam ruangan saling diam. Suasana menjadi sedikit canggung.

Masing-masing dari mereka adalah Nabo, Torro, dan Balla. Semuanya adalah teman dekat sejak SD. Namun, saat SMA semuanya berubah. Masing-masing dari mereka sudah mulai sibuk dengan urusannya masing-masing, dan alasan yang membuat mereka bisa berkumpul bersama sudah mulai hilang. Ditambah lagi, kelompok mereka aslinya terdiri dari empat orang.

“Yah, kita bisa sering berkumpul bersama seperti ini setelah sekian lama. Bukankah itu hal yang bagus?” Nabo memulai diskusi.

“Tapi, ya, seperti biasa… kita kekurangan satu orang, kan?” jawab Torro.

“Yah, mau bagaimana lagi. Dia sejak awal memang sudah menjadi orang sibuk sejak masuk SMA.”

“Kau benar sekali.” Nabo menimpali. “Tapi terkait festival ini, aku sama sekali tidak menyangka ia akan melakukannya. Kupikir itu ide yang ceroboh, tapi aku pribadi juga sangat senang ketika mendengarnya.”

“Aku juga.”

“Kita semua sama, kok. Heh.”

“Yah, pokoknya begitulah. Besok adalah waktunya. Kita akan berdiskusi untuk yang terakhir kalinya. Ini akan menjadi festival yang hebat, camkan perkataanku!”


“Pastinya!” Torro dan Balla menimpali dengan penuh semangat.

“Bagus. Lalu, terkait yang akan kita lakukan… aku sudah berbicara dengan Wakil Ketua OSIS soal ini. Ini adalah permintaan pribadi darinya, dan sebagai gantinya ia juga akan membantu kita. Semua anggota OSIS lainnya juga setuju dengan rencana ini. Jadi, kita akan…”

Hari yang ditunggu pun telah tiba. Renne bangun dengan segar, setelah tidur sangat pulas di malam sebelumnya. Ia mengenakan pakaian yang sudah ia siapkan sebelumnya, kemudian becermin di kamarnya.

“Yah, tidak buruk,” begitu gumamnya sambil tersenyum.

Renne sampai di sekolah pada pagi buta. Rupanya sudah ada siswa lain yang datang mendahuluinya. Semuanya sedang bersiap untuk rangkaian festival yang akan dimulai pagi nanti. Semuanya berjalan dengan cukup biasa saja, namun ada satu hal yang benar-benar mengejutkannya.

 “Yo. Sudah kuduga, pakaianmu payah, kawan!”

“Memang, dari dulu kau tidak pernah berubah, ya.”

“Kalau kau memang wibu, terima saja! Jangan setengah-setengah seperti ini.”

Renne sedang dihadang tiga orang di depan pintu ruang OSIS yang sudah mengenakan cosplay dan make-up. Situasi menjadi sedikit canggung. Semua anggota OSIS yang juga sedang berada di sekitar sana tidak mempedulikan suasana canggung di antara keempat orang ini.

“Nabo? Torro? Balla? Kalian semua… apa yang kalian lakukan di sini?”

“Ah, itu tidak penting. Yang lebih penting, lihatlah dirimu sekarang. Kau serius ingin mengikuti acara ini dengan kemeja putih polos seperti itu? Kau yang mengusulkan tema festival yang seperti ini, kan? Dasar payah!” Nabo menepuk pundak Renne dengan keras, tertawa.

“T-tunggu dulu, kenapa kalian bertiga tiba-tiba ada di sini? Ini masih pagi, acara belum dimulai…”

“Kau kaku sekali, Ren. Kita kawan lama, kan? Bagaimana?” Torro menyahuti.

Balla merogoh sesuatu dari salah satu tas yang mereka bawa. “Ya. Kami sudah tahu kau akan begini. Oleh karena itu, kami sudah menyiapkan apa yang kau perlukan untuk festival ini.”

Torro dan Balla bersama membuka bingkisan yang mereka bawa. Isinya adalah sebuah kostum karakter yang sangat ikonik. Renne sangat mengenali karakter itu.

“Ini, pakailah! Hanya kau yang pantas mengenakannya!”

Perasaan Renne sedang bercampur aduk sekarang. Ia tiba-tiba menghadapi semua kawan lamanya secara bersamaan sekarang, dan semuanya langsung berbicara akrab dengannya.

“M-maaf, aku merasa sedikit pusing. Tolong, tinggalkan ruangan ini. Aku dan yang lain masih harus menyiapkan banyak hal untuk hari ini…”

“Eh? Ketua pasti akan cocok memakai itu!”

“Ya, itu pasti akan terlihat hebat!”

Secara tiba-tiba, semua anggota OSIS lainnya yang sedang berada di sekitar langusng menanggapi. Renne jadi semakin bingung dengan situasi ini.

“Pakai! Pakai! Pakai!”

Semuanya langsung berseru bersahutan, meminta Renne untuk memakainya. Renne yang sedang pusing dan malas untuk berdebat lebih jauh, akhirnya dengan sedikit berat hati memakainya.

“Pastikan kau memakainya sepanjang hari, ya, Pak Ketua!” Nabo menepuk pundak Renne dengan cukup keras, mengagetkannya. “Semua orang pasti akan terkejut melihatmu.

“Dan ingat, jangan menahan diri. Festival ini adalah untuk semua orang, tak terkecuali kau sendiri. Nikmatilah, Ren!”

Nabo meninggalkan ruangan OSIS bersama dengan dua kawannya itu. Setelah kedatangan mereka bertiga, suasana di ruangan OSIS menjadi lebih meriah dari biasanya. Hanya Renne yang tidak tahu, namun semua anggota OSIS yang berada di sana semuanya sedang berusaha keras untuk menyembunyikan senyuman mereka.

Waktu yang ditunggu telah tiba. Pembukaan festival sekolah akan dimulai dengan pidato dari Ketua OSIS, yaitu Renne sendiri. Begitu ia mulai melangkah menuju mimbar di hadapan seluruh siswa, semuanya mulai berbisik-bisik dari tempat mereka masing-masing. Renne sempat menjadi sedikit lebih gugup dari biasanya karena ini, namun ia tetap menenangkan diri dan memulai pidatonya.

Pidato berjalan lancar seperti biasa. Namun, begitu ia memasuki kalimat penutup, ia langsung tercekat dan harus membacanya dua kali agar memastikan bahwa ia tidak salah melihat.

Aku tidak ingat menulis bagian ini. Siapa yang menulisnya, duh?!

Renne menengok ke kanan di balik panggung. Sekretaris OSIS hanya melempar senyuman dan berkedip, tidak berkata apapun. Renne hanya bisa menghela napas, mempersiapkan dirinya.

“Lalu, anu… jangan lupa semuanya, ONE PIECE IS REALLLL!!!!” Renne berseru sambil melempar tinju tinggi-tinggi ke udara.

Semua murid yang sedang mendengarkan pidato langsung tersenyum lebar dan bersemangat.


Seluruh isi lapangan langsung menjadi riuh rendah dan penuh dengan semangat. Renne sama sekali tidak menyangka ini. Namun, ia tetap berusaha untuk tenang dan menyelesaikan tugasnya.

“Ehem, ehem. Dengan begitu, festival sekolah kita yang ke-XX akan dimulai! Kalian boleh bubar, dan nikmatilah sesuka hati kalian!”

Seluruh siswa pun langsung membubarkan diri, dan rangkaian kegiatan festival dimulai. Seluruh kelas mulai menjalankan kegiatan mereka masing-masing. Banyak perlombaan mulai diselenggarakan, mulai dari menyanyi, menari, teater dan sebagainya. Namun, semuanya tak lepas dari tema festival yang sedang dibawakan sekarang.

Ya, festival sekolah kali ini mengusung tema One Piece, sebuah seri manga yang sangat terkenal di seluruh dunia… yang juga secara tidak sengaja, adalah salah satu seri manga favorit dari Renne itu sendiri.

Awalnya, ia tidak pernah menunjukkan sisi dirinya yang seperti ini. Ia selalu berusaha untuk menjadi sosok Ketua OSIS yang bisa diandalkan oleh semuanya. Namun, semuanya sangat berbeda apabila dibandingkan dengan saat zaman SMP dulu.

Saat Renne ingin mengunjungi ruangan OSIS, ia kembali bertemu dengan ketiga orang yang ia temui tadi pagi. Ia mulai heran mengapa mereka bertiga bisa terus berkunjung di ruangan OSIS tanpa sepengetahuannya—padahal pekerjaan OSIS di dalam festival ini cukup terpisah dari para siswa lain di kelas dan jarang sekali siswa lain yang tidak berkepentingan untuk berkunjung ke dalam.

“Yo! Pidatomu tadi bagus sekali, Ren!” Nabo menyapa dengan riang.

Renne mengalihkan pandangannya. “Uh… iya. Terima kasih.”

“Kau kenapa? Dari tadi pagi kau selalu kelihatan murung seperti ini. Aku suka sekali di akhir tadi dengan punchline-nya. Kau memang fans One Piece paling akut yang pernah kukenal.” Nabo tersenyum bangga.

“Ya, tadi itu hebat sekali. Padahal manga-nya saja belum tamat, tapi kau sudah berani berteriak seperti itu,” sahut Balla.

“Kalau kataku, kau bisa membantu Oda-sensei untuk menyelesaikannya. Kau punya koleksi semua manga-nya dan kau hafal semua isinya dulu, dan aku cukup yakin sekarang itu tidak berubah.” Torro juga menanggapi.

“Hey, katakan sesuatu, dong. Kenapa kau seolah-olah tak mengenal kami semua seperti ini? Kita teman, kan?”

Renne masih terlalu gugup untuk menjawab.

“Ya, kita teman. Tidak ada yang namanya mantan teman. Nah sekarang, ayo kita semua menikmati festival ini bersama!” Nabo merangkul pundak Renne, berlagak akrab.

Pada akhirnya, mereka berempat mulai berkeliling ke semua kelas dan menikmati hal-hal menarik yang disajikan masing-masing kelas. Karena tema yang diusung kali ini adalah tema yang berasal dari manga One Piece, maka hampir semuanya tentu menggunakan atribut ataupun hal-hal yang berhubungan dengan dunia perbajak-lautan. Sama seperti tahun-tahun sebelumnya, tentu ide maid café, rumah hantu, dan sebagainya masih tetap digunakan di beberapa kelas, namun sensasinya sekarang menjadi sedikit lebih berbeda daripada sebelumnya dengan tema One Piece yang diusung kali ini. Maid-nya banyak yang ber-cosplay dari karakter perempuan dari manga One Piece tersebut, begitu juga dengan rumah hantunya.

Tanpa sadar, Renne sudah mulai bisa tertawa lepas dan lebih terbuka dengan tiga anak ini. Ia sama sekali tidak menyangka, bahwa semuanya bisa menjadi semenyenangkan ini. Tak hanya implementasi dari pada siswa yang kreatif dan luar biasa, namun semuanya juga dihubungkan dengan One Piece, yaitu serial manga favoritnya. Ia tak bisa berhenti tersenyum ketika berkeliling bersama ketiga orang itu.

Tak berasa, hari sudah menjelang sore dan hari pembuka festival sekolah akan segera berakhir. Renne, Nabo, Torro, dan Balde berjalan dengan santai di lorong-lorong sekolah sambil menyapa para siswa lain yang sedang membereskan semua peralatan yang digunakan.

“Bagaimana? Kau senang, Ren?” Nabo menyeringai ke arah Renne.

“Yah, aku tidak bisa bohong. Hari ini memang luar biasa. Aku tidak menyangka bisa merasa sesenang ini.” Renne tidak bisa menyembunyikan kepuasan hatinya.

“Mau bagaimanapun juga, kita semua ini tetap teman, kan?” Torro menimpali.

“Ya, aku juga tidak akan memaafkanmu jika kau sampai lupa akan kami.” Balla juga menambahkan.

Renne menggaruk kepalanya. “U-uh, soal itu… aku memang terlalu sibuk dengan pekerjaanku di OSIS. Aku minta maaf…”

Semuanya langsung terdiam dan situasi juga mendadak berubah canggung untuk sejenak. Ketiga kawan yang tadinya sering menyeletuk ke arah Renne kini juga terdiam—berkaca pada situasi mereka sendiri.

“Ngomong-ngomong, apa sebenarnya yang membuatmu berpikir untuk mengusungkan tema festival kali ini? Bukannya kau justru membeberkan fakta bahwa kau itu wibu? Bukannya kau tidak suka akan hal itu?” Nabo bertanya untuk memecah kecanggungan.

“Oh, soal itu, ya. Eng… sebenarnya…”

Sebelum menyelesaikan kalimatnya, Renne langsung membelalakkan matanya. “Oh iya! Aku hari ini belum berpatroli sama sekali… aku harus melapor terlebih dahulu! M-maaf, kalian semua! Sampai ketemu lagi besok!”

“Hei, tunggu dulu!”

Renne pun langsung berlari meninggalkan ketiga kawannya itu sebelum mereka bisa menahannya. Nabo hanya bisa menepuk dahi sembari menyeringai.

“Dasar, si masokis yang menyebalkan. Heh.”

Ruang OSIS.

“Permisi!” Renne membuka pintunya dengan cukup keras. Di dalam hanya tersisa beberapa anggota OSIS yang sedang berberes—dan tentunya Verra juga masih ada di sana.

“Uh… maafkan aku! Seharian ini aku justru berkeliling dan bersenang-senang terlalu banyak… aku sampai jadi lupa total dengan tugas patroliku hari ini. Aku sungguh minta maaf…”

“Kamu tidak perlu minta maaf, kok, Ren.” Verra berkata sambil merapikan sisa-sisa berkas yang ada di atas meja.

“E-eh? Tapi…”

“Tentang bagian patrolimu, aku sudah menyerahkannya kepada anak lain, tenang saja. Semua baik-baik saja. Tidak ada masalah yang berarti pada hari pertama ini,” jawab Verra dengan meyakinkan.


“Tak perlu terus menyalahkan dirimu sendiri terus, Ren.” Verra langsung memotong sebelum membiarkan Renne kembali berbicara. “Semua murid di sekolah ini berhak untuk bersenang-senang dalam festival ini. Apabila kamu sendiri justru harus merasa terkekang dan tidak bisa bersenang-senang, justru saat itulah festival ini sendiri gagal dalam memenuhi tujuan utamanya. Bukankah begitu?”

Renne hanya bisa terdiam, tidak bisa membalas perkataan Verra.

“Jadi, bagaimana, kamu menikmati festival sekolahnya sejauh ini?”

“Ya. Aku sangat menyukainya.” Renne tersenyum dengan tulus.

Verra sedikit terkejut ketika melihat Renne tersenyum seperti itu. “Y-yah, kalau begitu aku juga bersyukur akan hal itu.”

“Tapi, untuk hari ini saja, ya. Sayangnya, untuk besok aku tidak bisa menemukan anak lain yang bisa menggantikan jadwal patrolimu. Jadi, sayangnya, besok kamu harus kembali untuk bekerja. Hehe.” Verra terkekeh kecil di akhir kalimatnya.

“Ya, aku benar-benar minta maaf untuk hari ini. Aku berjanji akan bekerja ekstra untuk mengganti kekosonganku hari ini.”

“Hei, sudah kubilang pekerjaanmu hari ini sudah dikerjakan oleh anak lain. Kamu tidak perlu menggantinya atau apapun itu.”

Renne kembali terdiam. Sekarang, ia mulai bisa paham atas seluruh nasihat Verra yang dikatakan kepadanya.

“Ya. Kalau begitu, aku akan berpatroli dan bersenang-senang dengan murid yang lainnya, bersama-sama menikmati festival ini sampai puas.”

Verra tersenyum puas ketika mendengar jawaban dari Renne itu. “Itulah jawaban yang ingin kudengar darimu sejak lama.”

Hari kedua festival sudah dimulai dari rangkaian festival yang akan berjalan selama satu minggu penuh. Berbeda dengan hari pertama, kini Renne sudah bersiap dengan cosplay yang sudah ia siapkan sendiri dari rumah. Dan tentunya ia menggunakan kostum dari karakter favoritnya, Monkey D. Luffy. Kali ini bukan pinjaman seperti kemarin—kostumnya jauh lebih bagus, dan ia juga bisa berdandan untuk tampil sebaik mungkin. Semua murid di dalam ruangan OSIS cukup terkesan dengan penampilan Renne di hari kedua ini.

“Tidak buruk juga. Kamu terlihat cocok,” celetuk Verra. Renne hanya bisa tersipu malu mendengar pujian itu.

Kali ini, Renne berusaha untuk lebih menikmati perhelatan festival sekolah yang ia pimpin ini. Ia ingin semuanya berjalan lancar, namun ia juga tidak ingin melewatkan segala kesenangan yang bisa ia dapatkan. Ia berpatroli, namun juga berusaha untuk mengikuti serangkaian kegiatan di kelas para siswa yang lain.

Di festival ini masih memiliki beragam aktivitas yang lain. Selain pelayanan yang diberikan masing-masing kelas, masih ada yang lain seperti perlombaan cosplay, kontes kecantikan, dan yang lain sebagainya. Renne menghadiri kontes kecantikan untuk sekarang—ia cukup penasaran dengan babak kualifikasi yang akan diselenggarakan dalam waktu dekat.

“Yo, kawan? Apa yang sedang kau lakukan di sini?” Tiga Sekawan itu menghampiri Renne ketika ia sedang menghadiri babak penyisihan kontes kecantikan pada hari itu.

“E-eh, aku sedang berpatroli…” jawab Renne dengan malu.

“Jangan bohong. Kau sudah ada di sini sejak setengah jam yang lalu, aku tahu.” Nabo menyeringai nakal, merangkul pundak Renne.

“Ya, kami tadi sempat berada di sini kemudian berjalan ke tempat-tempat lain. Lalu saat kami kembali lagi ke sini, kau masih ada di sini.” Torro menambahkan.

Renne memasang senyuman canggung. “Hm… kalian tidak salah juga. Ini semua cukup menarik dan menyenangkan.”

“Dasar fans One Piece harga mati. Tentu saja kau senang, Ren,” sahut Balla nakal.

Ketiga kawan itu tertawa, begitu juga dengan Renne.

“Ah, ya. Kau harus berpatroli, ya. Kemarin itu sepertinya sudah kelewatan. Kami minta maaf.” Nabo menjelaskan.

“T-tidak, bukan begitu!” Renne menjawab cepat. “Kemarin itu menyenangkan, kok. Aku sangat menikmatinya, dan kita semua akhirnya bisa bersama lagi dan bersenang-senang bersama… rasanya seperti aku bermimpi.”

“Tapi, kau tetap harus berpatroli. Ingat, kau itu Ketua OSIS, Ren!”

Renne menggumam. “Hmm… tidak apa. Mumpung kita sedang bersama dan ini adalah festival sekolah, aku ingin menghabiskannya bersama kalian semua. Bersama, seperti dulu lagi. Tenang saja, aku juga tahu apa yang harus aku lakukan dengan tugas patroliku. Ayo, semuanya!” Renne mengepalkan tangannya, meninju tinggi ke udara.

 “Uwaah. Aku seperti melihat orang yang barusan kerasukan. Kau tidak apa, kawan?”

“Siswa teladan sekolah itu ternyata wibu tidak tertolong seperti ini, ya? Ya ampun, yang benar saja!”

“Kuingat, Monkey D. Luffy itu orangnya impulsif dan tidak pernah berpikir sebelum berbicara. Sepertinya kau orang yang sama, ya?”

Tiga Sekawan itu bergantian bergurau dan menyindir Renne, namun Renne sama sekali tidak memikirkannya. Mereka semua kembali tertawa bersama, kemudian menikmati festival sekolah bersama-sama. Meskipun Renne masih mempunyai tugas patroli dan urusan OSIS yang harus ia lakukan juga, namun ia sekarang merasa lebih bebas dan bahagia dengan keberadaan kawan-kawan lama di sekitarnya dan atmosfer festival yang meriah ini.

Keseharian seperti ini terus berlanjut hingga hari terakhir festival. Setiap harinya selalu menyenangkan bagi Renne. Setelah waktu pulang selalu melelahkan, namun rasa senang itu bak menghapus segala keletihan yang ada. Renne benar-benar menikmati seluruh momen ini dengan sepenuh hati.

Hari terakhir festival.

Di hari terakhir, Renne sama sekali tidak bisa menemui tiga kawannya itu di manapun. Ia sudah berusaha mencari, namun tak satupun dari mereka yang menampakkan batang hidungnya—padahal teman-teman kelas mereka bilang bahwa mereka masuk sekolah. Renne sampai sempat tebersit dalam kepalanya bahwa semua ini bisa jadi adalah salahnya yang terkesan memaksa untuk terus bersama dengan ketiga kawannya itu belakangan ini. Namun, ia langsung menyingkirkan pemikiran negatif itu.

Festival ini adalah sesuatu yang harus kujalani dengan sepenuh hati. Tidak ada waktu untuk menambah emosi negatif dalam diriku. Kalau mereka memang menjauhiku sekarang, aku tinggal meminta maaf kepada mereka di lain hari.

Semua perlombaan memuncak pada hari terakhir ini, tak terkecuali perlombaan cosplay. Babak final dan penentuan pemenang, semuanya ada pada hari terakhir festival ini. Sungguh hari yang ditunggu-tunggu oleh hampir seluruh siswa.

“Kulihat-lihat, kamu sudah benar-benar menjiwai festival kali ini, ya.” Suara Verra tiba-tiba muncul dari kerumunan siswa yang ingin menyaksikan penentuan pemenang lomba cosplay. Selama ini Verra tidak memakai kostum yang terlalu mencolok sepanjang festival—karena ia memang tidak berpartisipasi dalam kegiatan apapun selain pekerjaan OSIS.

“Oh, halo. Tidak menyangka bisa bertemu denganmu di sini. Ternyata kamu suka yang seperti ini juga, ya,” sapa Renne dengan tersenyum.

“Hmph. Itu harusnya kalimatku, tahu,” balas Verra sambil memasang senyum iseng. “Kamu tahu sesuatu, Ren?”


“Aku sudah bilang sebelumnya, aku bukannya membenci ide tema yang kamu bawa untuk festival kali ini. Pada awalnya, aku hanya tidak paham, kenapa kamu memilih tema seperti ini. Padahal hal-hal berbau komik dan anime jepang seperti ini sangat tidak familiar di kalangan banyak orang, sehingga pada awalnya aku sempat bingung—juga sedikit cemas—bagaimana festival kali ini akan berjalan.

“Namun lihatlah sekarang. Semuanya berjalan lancar, dan aku bahkan berani bilang bahwa ini adalah festival terbaik yang diadakan di sekolah ini dalam kurun waktu 10 tahun ke belakang. Para murid yang awalnya tidak tahu-menahu soal tema yang dibawakan, kamu dengan semangat menuntun mereka untuk mulai mencari tahu soal seri One Piece itu sendiri. Walhasil, banyak murid yang mulai tertarik, lalu mengikuti serinya, dan pada akhirnya menikmatinya dan semakin bersemangat terhadap festival sekolah ini.” Verra mengambil jeda sejenak.

“Dan, untuk pemenang lomba cosplay dalam festival sekolah tahun ini…”

“Tak berbeda denganku, yang pada awalnya tidak tahu apa-apa soal semua tema ala komik jejepangan ini. Semuanya terasa asing bagiku. Namun meskipun begitu, sekarang aku paham. Bahwa apapun itu, apabila sesuatu dikerjakan oleh orang-orang yang memiliki passion, semangat, dan etos kerja yang bagus, hasilnya takkan mengkhianati semua proses yang telah dilalui. Lihatlah, aku bahkan tidak pernah tahu apa itu One Piece pada awalnya. Namun, untuk melihat festivalnya berjalan meriah, kemudian semua orang bersemangat dan bersenang-senang seperti ini…”

“Pemenangnya adalah… Suzy dari kelas 3-E!”

Riuh rendah langsung pecah di antara para penonton. Ketika sang pemenang lomba cosplay mulai menunjukkan diri dengan kostum meriah miliknya, semua pasang mata di sekitar langsung tertuju ke atas panggung.

“… semuanya terlihat begitu indah dan menyilaukan bagiku.” Verra mengakhiri kalimatnya dengan senyuman lebar.

Renne tanpa sadar tersenyum dan pipinya memerah ketika melihat Verra begitu senang dengan festival sekolah yang ia pimpin ini.

Verra menghela napas dengan berat, ia mengepalkan kedua lengannya. “Fuhhhh. Baiklah. Kurasa sekarang adalah saatnya.”

Kemudian, Verra tiba-tiba mencengkeram tangan Renne, lalu kemudian langsung berlari ke belakang panggung.

“Eh? Eh? Ver, apa yang kamu—”

Sebelum Renne bisa bertanya lebih jauh, mereka berdua sudah di dalam tempat yang cukup gelap. Ia kebingungan dengan apa yang terjadi sekarang. Verra sudah masuk ke dalam sebuah bilik yang digunakan untuk ganti baju.

Renne menyadari keberadaan seorang anggota OSIS yang juga ia kenal sedang mengawasi di belakang panggung ini. “Hei, kau lihat barusan, kan? Verra menarikku seperti itu tiba-tiba, aneh sekali. Kau tahu sesuatu?”

Anak itu hanya mengangkat kedua bahu dan tersenyum. “Yaaah, mana aku tahu. Aku kan hanya mengurusi logistik perlombaan ini saja, aku tidak tahu apa-apa soal Wakil Ketua…”

Renne mendecak. Ia juga bertanya kepada beberapa anak OSIS lain di sekitar dan anak yang mengurus keperluan panggung, namun mereka semua juga tutup mulut soal itu. Renne lama-lama juga mulai merasa kesal.

Namun sebelum Renne sempat mengeluh, bilik ganti baju sudah dibuka kembali. Di dalam gelapnya kondisi belakang panggung sekarang, Renne masih kesulitan untuk melihat sekelilingnya.

“… Oh, oh, oh! Tapi, tunggu dulu. Kita punya sedikit kejutan. Aku tidak perlu memberi clue apapun untuk sekarang, jadi tunggu saja!”

Pembawa acara di panggung terdengar bersemangat di kalimat yang baru saja ia bawakan. Renne sedikit kebingungan. Kejutan? Tapi, semua orang di sini hanya diam saja. Mereka tidak seperti menyiapkan apapun…

“Ayo!” Renne mendengar suara Verra yang bersemangat, tangannya dipegang dan ia ditarik menuju ke panggung. Kembali lagi, Renne harus mengikuti arus tanpa sempat bertanya terlebih dahulu.

Renne harus sedikit mengerjap-ngerjap begitu keluar dari belakang panggung yang gelap secara tiba-tiba. Sekarang, ia sudah berada di atas panggung di hadapan semua penonton yang ada. Meskipun ia sudah terbiasa tampil di depan banyak orang, namun melakukannya tanpa persiapan seperti ini membuatnya sedikit gugup. Begitu melihat sekilas ke arah para penonton, ia bisa langsung mengenali beberapa wajah yang sangat ia kenal.

Mereka bertiga… kenapa mereka tiba-tiba ada di sini? Padahal aku tak bisa menemukan mereka sejak tadi pagi…

Perlahan Renne juga mulai menyadari bahwa sebelah tangannya masih dipegang oleh Verra—yang tak lama kemudian segera melepaskan genggamannya. Begitu menoleh ke sebelahnya, ia kehabisan kata-kata untuk sejenak.

Verra sedang berdiri di sebelah Renne dengan masih menggenggam tangannya erat, menatap seluruh penonton di depan mereka berdua. Ia sangat gugup dan wajahnya sangat merah, namun ia tetap menahannya. Kostum Boa Hancock yang sedang dikenakannya, benar-benar membuat Renne tak berkutik. Para penonton juga terkesima di hadapan sang Wakil Ketua OSIS yang menggunakan kostum karakter yang begitu ‘berani’, meskipun pada beberapa bagian yang memang benar-benar harus ditutupi dari penampilan karakter yang sebenarnya—kalau kalian mengetahui desain karakternya, kalian tahu bagian apa itu. Namun di lain itu semua, kostum yang sedang dikenakan Verra benar-benar mirip dan tidak terkesan setengah-setengah sama sekali. Renne yang merupakan fans berat serial One Piece benar-benar terkesan dengan Verra yang sedang ia lihat sekarang.

Meskipun mungkin memang, ada sesuatu yang lain yang membuatnya tak bisa memalingkan pandangannya untuk sekarang.

Pembawa acara memberikan mikrofon kepada Verra. Verra pun mulai menghela napas panjang, menenangkan dirinya yang sedang gemetaran karena gugup. Ia mulai mendekatkan mikrofon ke bibirnya.

“H-halo, semuanya! Y-yah, maaf kalau menyela acara untuk sejenak. Ehem, aku tidak ingin berbasa-basi di sini agar tidak berlama-lama.”

Begitu selesai berbicara, Verra mematikan dan kemudian meletakkan mikrofonnya di lantai panggung. Ia langsung menggenggam kedua tangan Renne, memaksanya untuk berhadapan dengannya. Renne yang masih kebingungan menjadi semakin salah tingkah.

“E-eh… Ver… ini…”

Renne bisa merasakan Verra menguatkan genggaman pada kedua tangannya.

“Renne… aku suka padamu! Jadilah pacarku!”

Begitu mendengar kalimat itu, Renne bisa merasakan seolah jantungnya hendak copot. Pernyataan cinta yang singkat, padat, dan jelas itu langsung diikuti oleh riuh rendah semua penonton yang menyaksikan, juga siulan-siulan nyaring yang antusias.




Semua penonton benar-benar senang dan sangat puas dengan pengakuan Verra. Di tengah keributan semua penonton, Renne berusaha untuk berpikir dengan situasi yang ia hadapi.

Verra tiba-tiba menyatakan perasaannya kepadaku. Aku sudah sering melihatnya di antara murid yang lain, namun ini pertama kalinya bagiku. Bagaimana aku harus menjawabnya untuk sekarang?

Pikirkan. Aku sekarang ditonton oleh banyak orang di sini. Mereka semua tampak senang dengan situasi yang sekarang, dan aku juga harus menjawab dengan cepat. Lalu, soal pacaran ini, aku memang tidak terlalu mengerti seperti apa itu karena belum pernah menjalaninya. Namun, untuk sekarang, agar tidak mengecewakan para penonton yang sedang bergembira dan keberanian Verra, maka jawaban yang harus kuberikan adalah…


Keramaian penonton mendadak berhenti.

“Y-ya, baiklah… aku menerimanya.”

Renne sampai harus menutup kedua telinganya ketika mendengar respons para penonton setelah jawaban yang ia berikan. Seluruh sudut ruangan dipenuhi oleh teriakan-teriakan kegirangan. Bahkan Verra juga mulai tidak bisa menahannya setelah beberapa lama dan harus ikut menutup telinganya.

Keributan di perlombaan pun tak lama kemudian langsung dihentikan setelah beberapa guru yang berpatroli mulai berdatangan untuk mengecek situasi. Tentu saja, Renne dan Verra sebagai ketua dan wakil ketua OSIS yang dipanggil untuk ditanyai mengenai apa yang terjadi—dan tak lupa juga mendapatkan beberapa omelan—terutama terkait pernyataan cinta di atas panggung tadi. Untungnya, semua berakhir baik-baik saja dan keduanya hanya mendapat peringatan setelah Renne dan Verra meminta maaf berulang kali di depan para guru.

Dari ruang guru, mereka berdua beranjak menuju ke ruangan OSIS untuk menyelesaikan pekerjaan mereka berdua di hari terakhir ini. Informasi menyebar dengan cepat, dan banyak sekali murid-murid dari kelas lain sudah berusaha untuk bertanya-tanya kepada mereka berdua soal apa yang terjadi di panggung tadi. Namun, seiring mereka berdua berjalan, Verra hanya memasang wajah cuek—membuat semua murid lain enggan untuk bertanya yang macam-macam. Mereka berdua pun bisa terus berjalan menuju ruangan OSIS tanpa harus banyak mengurus keingintahuan banyak murid yang lain.

Sesampainya di ruang OSIS, situasinya menjadi sedikit berbeda dari yang biasanya. Semua yang berada di dalam tampak lebih sibuk dari biasanya, namun mereka tak bisa berhenti tersenyum—membuat aura di dalam ruang OSIS menjadi jauh lebih ceria dari biasanya.

“Maafkan aku, akibat dari semua persiapan untuk hari ini, banyak pekerjaan yang tertinggal dari jadwal. Aku harus segera membereskannya. Kalau ada yang ingin kamu tanyakan lebih jauh tentang yang tadi, tolong simpan semuanya untuk nanti.” Verra menjelaskan dengan nada datar sebelum Renne sempat bertanya—ia sudah kembali memasuki mode bekerjanya. Meskipun apa yang terjadi di panggung tadi masih berusaha ia cerna, namun ia juga setuju dengan perkataan Verra untuk membereskan segala pekerjaan yang ada untuk terlebih dahulu untuk sekarang. Dengan begitu, pekerjaan di dalam ruangan OSIS terus berjalan seperti biasa.

Seluruh rangkaian festival pun diakhiri dengan pidato dari Ketua OSIS, seperti biasa. Namun, untuk festival kali ini berbeda. Kabar menyebar dengan sangat cepat di dalam sekolah terkait dengan apa yang terjadi di antara Ketua dan Wakil Ketua OSIS di panggung lomba cosplay tadi. Begitu pidato Ketua OSIS selesai, tidak hanya tepuk tangan meriah yang terdengar, namun juga suara siulan dan teriakan antusias dari para siswa. Renne menjadi malu, dan memilih untuk cepat kembali ke belakang panggung.

“Kerja bagus.” Verra tersenyum di dalam remang begitu Renne berjalan kembali ke balik panggung.

Setelah itu, seluruh murid pulang ke rumah dengan wajah berseri-seri. Seluruh anggota OSIS juga kembali untuk membereskan sisa-sisa festival hingga benar-benar tuntas. Meskipun harus pulang malam, namun seperti biasa, tak pernah ada yang protes ketika mereka melihat ketuanya yang selalu pulang paling terakhir dari yang lainnya.

Pukul sembilan malam. Semua anggota OSIS sudah selesai beberes dan sudah pulang semua. Menyisakan Renne dan Verra di dalam ruangan OSIS, berdua.

“Akhirnya… selesai juga.” Renne meregangkan sekujur tubuhnya di kursi kerjanya.

“Terima kasih atas kerja kerasnya.” Verra menyahut dari sudut ruangan.

“Dengan begini, ini akan jadi kali terakhir kita akan sibuk bekerja di sini, ya…” ujar Renne dengan tersenyum lemas.

“Ya, kamu benar sekali. Akhirnya aku tak perlu lagi pulang larut untuk menunggumu yang kerjanya lambat sekali seperti siput.”

“Hei, jangan begitu, dong! Kerjaku tidak lambat. Lagipula, aku juga tak pernah memintamu untuk pulang selarut ini. Aku bekerja seperti ini karena keinginanku sendiri.”

“Kalau bukan karena aku yang selalu membantumu seperti ini, kamu tak akan pernah pulang ke rumah. Kamu akan selalu menginap di ruangan ini, tenggelam dalam pekerjaanmu. Jadi berterima kasihlah karena itu.”

“Y-ya… terima kasih sudah selalu menemaniku, Ver.”

Verra langsung refleks membalikkan badan, pipinya memerah. “S-sama-sama.”

“Ngomong-ngomong, Ver. Sebelum pulang, aku ingin bertanya sesuatu. Ini tentang yang terjadi di panggung lomba cosplay tadi…”

Seketika itu juga, Verra langsung terperangah di tempatnya. Ia tahu ini akan terjadi, namun ia tetap tak bisa menyembunyikan kegugupannya. Ia merapatkan bibirnya untuk sejenak, bersiap untuk…

Tok tok tok.

“Pakeeeeet!” Tiba-tiba ada suara dari luar ruangan.

“Oh, ya!” Renne langsung beranjak dari tempatnya untuk membukakan pintu. Namun, begitu terkejutnya Renne ketika semburan confetti langsung memenuhi wajahnya setelah ia membukakan pintu.

“Huahahaha! Kau ini memang lucu sekali, Ren.” Rupanya Tiga Sekawan yang berada di balik pintu. Mereka semua tertawa-tawa sementara Renne terus mengeluhkan wajahnya yang gatal karena tersembur confetti.

Nabo menutup pintu ruangan. “Ya ampun, ternyata kau selalu bekerja sampai malam begini, ya. Lalu, Wakil Ketua? Oh, kau masih di sini juga? Hm, berarti sesuai dengan rumor yang sering kudengar kalau pekerja OSIS kita tahun ini benar-benar workaholic semua. Memangnya kalian tidak tahu masa muda itu apa, hah?”

“Uh… huh? Kenapa kalian masih di sini?” tanya Renne.

“Ya, tentu saja. Kami awalnya ingin pulang bersama dengan kau, tapi seperti biasa, kau mencintai kerja rodi seperti ini lebih dari siapapun. Kami jadi harus menunggu sampai malam seperti ini.”

“Ya, itu benar!” Torro dan Balla mengiyakan dengan kompak.

“Sudahlah, aku tak ingin lama berbasa-basi di sini memarahimu. Yang penting sekarang, aku ingin mendengarkan cerita Wakil Ketua soal kejelasan siang tadi. Ayo, lanjutkan!”

“Lanjutkan! Lanjutkan! Cerita! Cerita!” Tiga Sekawan kompak berseru-seru, membuat Verra yang dari tadi diam semakin salah tingkah.

“B-baiklah… aku juga memang perlu menjelaskan tentang semua ini bagaimanapun juga. Maaf sudah sangat merepotkanmu untuk hari ini juga, Ren.”

Untuk sesaat, Renne bergumam dalam hatinya. Eh? Verra langsung mengiyakan begitu saja? Apabila denganku, biasanya ia selalu membalas perkataanku dengan mulut pedasnya. Seperti dugaanku, ia belakangan ini semakin sering bersikap aneh…

Verra pun akhirnya berterus terang soal apa yang terjadi tadi siang. Rupanya, selama ini ia sudah bersekongkol dengan Tiga Sekawan untuk menyiapkan semuanya pada hari ini. Verra memang serius menyukai Renne dan memang ingin menjadi pacarnya, dan itu sama sekali bukan kebohongan. Verra yang mengetahui beberapa hal tentang anime One Piece, karakter kesukaan Renne, dan yang lain sebagainya juga berasal dari informasi pemberian Tiga Sekawan.

“Jadi, bagaimana menurutmu soal kostum Boa Hancock yang dikenakan Wakil Ketua tadi, Ren? Hm?” tanya Nabo dengan usil.

“Uh… soal itu. Hmm.” Renne berhenti sejenak, membenarkan posisi kacamatanya dan memasuki mode fokus. “Menurutku sudah lumayan bagus. Pemilihan bahannya cukup sesuai, proporsinya juga tidak buruk. Aku pribadi cukup suka dengan wignya. Namun sayangnya, di beberapa bagian kostum ada yang warnanya kurang cocok dengan aslinya, lalu juga untuk bagian dadanya… yang tadi itu menurutku terlalu tertutup—”

“KYAAA!” Tangan Verra bergerak secepat kilat untuk menutup bibir Renne. “Tak perlu membahas sampai ke situ! Lagipula, itu juga termasuk peraturan berpakaian sekolah, jadi aku tetap harus menaatinya!”

Tiga Sekawan tertawa lepas. “Ya ampun, kau tak pernah berubah. Kalau sudah berbicara soal One Piece, kau selalu lebih tahu dari siapapun,” celetuk Torro.

“Benar sekali. Bahkan untuk berkomentar seperti itu terhadap Wakil Ketua, benar-benar tidak ada ampun untuk kesalahan,” timpal Balla.

Beberapa saat kemudian, Nabo menahan tawanya—berusaha mengembalikan topik pembicaraan. “Ngomong-ngomong, kau mengiyakan perkataan Wakil Ketua tadi siang. Walaupun begitu, apa kau benar-benar yakin? Kita sebentar lagi akan melewati ujian akhir, lalu lulus…”

Renne berpikir sejenak. “Hm… Sebenarnya aku tak ingin mengatakan ini, namun jawabanku tadi siang itu sangat dipengaruhi oleh suasana di sana. Itu bukan jawabanku yang sebenarnya. Tapi, tunggu dulu!”

Renne mengangkat tangannya, menghentikan Nabo yang raut wajahnya langsung berubah masam setelah mendengar perkataan Renne tadi.

“Aku tahu itu egois, aku juga sebenarnya ingin menjawabnya dengan serius. Mau bagaimanapun juga, aku harus menghargai usaha Verra yang sudah begitu beraninya melakukan itu di depan semua orang.

“Jawabanku yang sebenarnya, aku masih belum tahu. Lagipula, kita tidak punya banyak waktu tersisa. Hanya beberapa minggu lagi menjelang ujian kelulusan, dan kita semua akan memasuki dunia perkuliahan. Aku hanya merasa, semuanya sudah agak terlambat…”

“Apa yang kau maksud, huh?” potong Nabo.

“Eh? Ada apa?”

“Kenapa kau harus sok dramatis soal itu? Tinggal masuk ke kampus yang sama, lalu urusan selesai, kan? Aku tahu kalian berdua mengincar kampus yang paling top, tapi kalian berdua juga penghuni tetap rangking 1 dan 2 di sekolah ini—seharusnya tak ada masalah. Dengan begitu, kalian bisa berpacaran dengan sepuasnya di sana. Ya, kan?”

Hanya dengan begitu, semua orang di dalam ruangan langsung terdiam dan saling menghindari tatapan mata. Torro dan Balla juga hanya bisa ber-oh pelan.

“Apa-apaan dengan kalian semua ini? Masa begitu saja tidak paham? Duh, kalian semua ini menyedihkan…” Nabo menepuk dahi.

“Jadi, bagaimana, Ren? Jawabanmu yang sebenarnya. Apakah kau benar ingin berpacaran dengannya? Atau—kuganti pertanyaanku agar semuanya jelas di sini.

“Apakah kau benar-benar menyukai Wakil Ketua?”

Renne sempat terdiam untuk sejenak untuk berpikir. Ia pun akhirnya memiliki jawabannya.

“Aku… jujur saja, aku sama sekali tidak berpengalaman soal ini semua—cinta, pacaran, atau apapun itu. Tapi, apabila Verra sudah serius dengan ini, maka aku juga akan berusaha untuk membalasnya semampuku. Aku sangat tahu soal Verra—ia sangat bisa diandalkan, tak pernah membosankan sebagai lawan bicara, dan selalu peduli dengan orang lain. Meskipun sekarang aku belum bisa mengatakan aku menyukai Verra dengan tulus, namun aku yakin Verra bisa mengajariku ke depannya tentang semua ini—rasa suka, cinta, atau apapun itu. Aku akan selalu menemaninya di tengah semua itu.”

Nabo kembali lagi menepuk dahinya. “Ya ampun, kaku sekali. Tinggal bilang ya, atau tidak, apa susahnya?”

“Bisa diandalkan… peduli dengan orang lain…”

Mendengar Verra yang bergumam seperti itu dengan wajah tersipu, Nabo hanya bisa menghela napas panjang. “Yah, kalian berdua memang cocok, sih. Terlampau cocok, malahan. Seperti sudah ditakdirkan atau apalah itu… terserah saja, lah.”

“E-eh, sepertinya aku ditelpon,” Verra mengambil gawai dari saku roknya, kemudian mengangkat telepon. Ia kemudian dibuat kaget, dan berulang kali mengucap minta maaf.

“Maaf semuanya, aku lupa kalau orang tuaku mengajakku untuk makan malam spesial di rumah setelah festival berakhir, namun aku malah melupakannya. Orang tuaku benar-benar marah sekarang. Aku harus segera pulang sekarang, terima kasih atas semuanya hari ini!” Verra buru-buru mengambil tasnya, meninggalkan ruangan OSIS sebelum sempat ada yang bertanya lebih lanjut.

“Hm. Terserah, lah. Dia sudah mendengar apa yang perlu ia dengar. Tidak ada masalah.” Nabo tersenyum tipis, diikuti oleh Renne yang tertawa kecil agak dipaksakan.

“Hei, Ren. Kami juga datang ke sini untuk mengatakan sesuatu kepadamu.”


“Kami ingin mengucapkan terima kasih yang sedalam-dalamnya atas festival sekolah yang sudah kau pimpin ini.” Nabo menundukkan kepalanya cukup dalam, diikuti dengan Torro dan Balla yang juga menunduk dan berterima kasih.

“A-apa? Ada apa? Kenapa tiba-tiba…”

“Tidak, kami serius. Kau masih ingat, kan, dulu? Saat SD dan SMP dulu kita selalu bersama, selalu berlagak bodoh bersama. Tidak—kami bertiga yang bodoh, dan kau adalah anak pintar yang rela bergaul dengan kita semua hanya karena kita semua sama-sama wibu. Namun, di SMA kali ini, kita semua jadi sangat jarang berkumpul bersama. Bahkan aku, Torro, dan Balla sudah saling tidak sapa selama berbulan-bulan. Kau sibuk dengan kehidupan OSIS-mu. Kita semua sibuk dengan urusan masing-masing. Aku tidak suka mengatakannya, namun mau tidak mau kita semua tumbuh dewasa. Kita bukan anak-anak lagi.”

Udara di dalam ruangan mendadak berubah berat. Renne agak tidak menyukai ini, namun ia tidak ingin merusak suasana yang serius ini untuk sekarang.

“Tapi, sejak kau dengan beraninya mengusulkan ide soal festival sekolah bertema One Piece ini, kami semua merasa seperti kembali menjadi anak kecil lagi. Semangat mengikuti festival, bisa kembali berkumpul bersama lagi dan bersenang-senang bersama. Kami ingin melihat kau mewujudkannya, karena kami semua tahu kau akan selalu melakukan hal yang sudah kau mulai dengan sepenuh hati. Dan hasilnya, festivalnya benar-benar luar biasa. Kami semua menikmatinya, bersenang-senang bersama.

“Dan jangan lupa, kita semua teman. Kita ini Empat Sekawan saat SMP dulu, dan julukan itu tidak perlu berubah untuk kapanpun. Sejujurnya, kami bertiga masih ingin kau untuk menikmati festival ini bersama lebih lama lagi, tapi apa boleh buat—kau memang punya banyak tugas yang harus dilakukan dalam OSIS, jadi ya, kami—tidak, aku minta maaf kalau sudah bertingkah menyebalkan ketika kau sedang menjalankan tugasmu selama beberapa hari belakangan ini.” Nabo kembali menundukkan kepalanya.

“Uh… aku juga minta maaf…” Torro dan Balla mengikuti.

“Eh… angkat kepala kalian! Kalian tidak perlu meminta maaf…,” ujar Renne sambil memegang pundak Nabo.

“Aku… juga minta maaf sudah putus kontak dengan kalian semua sejak bergabung dengan OSIS di tahun kedua dulu. Sebenarnya… aku juga ingin mengajak kita semua berkumpul bersama lagi untuk menikmati festival bersama, itu sebabnya aku memilih tema ini. Namun, ternyata, aku terlampau sibuk untuk bisa menikmati festival ini sepenuhnya. Oleh karena itu, aku juga sebenarnya sudah merasa sangat senang dan bersyukur ketika kalian sampai repot-repot untuk mengajakku berkeliling untuk lebih menikmati festival ini…”

“Tunggu dulu. Apa katamu? Kau sengaja memilih tema seperti itu untuk kami?”

“Uh… iya. Aku hanya berpikir… paling tidak kita semua bisa menikmati masa-masa akhir sekolah kita dengan bersenang-senang dengan hal yang kita sukai.”

Hening sejenak. Renne kebingungan. “Eh? Ada apa?”

“HUWAA!!! KAU MELAKUKAN INI SEMUA DEMI KAMI? KAU YANG TERBAIK, KAWAN…” Nabo berteriak sambil menepuk-nepuk punggung Renne dengan keras. Ia juga sedikit sesenggukan, begitu juga dengan Torro dan Balla.

“Maafkan aku sudah memutus hubungan dengan kalian semua…”

“Aku juga minta maaf… aku terlalu sibuk memikirkan diri sendiri…”

“Aku memang tidak punya teman di kelasku, namun aku juga begitu sombongnya melupakan kalian semua selama ini…”

 Renne hanya bisa tersenyum takzim mendengar semua permintaan maaf temannya itu. Ia juga mulai menitikkan air mata dari pelupuknya.

“Kita semua… selalu berteman. Di masa lalu, sekarang, ataupun nanti.” Renne memeluk tiga kawannya itu dengan erat.

Setelah suasana emosional mereda untuk sejenak, Renne bertanya dari rasa penasarannya. “Ngomong-ngomong, Verra tadi bilang dia ‘bersekongkol’ dengan kalian? Untuk apa kalian melakukannya? Memangnya kalian sedekat itu dengannya, ya?”

Nabo kembali lagi menepuk dahinya. “Dasar. Rangking 1 sekolah tapi kepekaanmu buruk sekali.”

“Kepekaan? Huh?”

“Tidak ada orang di sekolah yang tidak tahu, bahwa Wakil Ketua menyukaimu. Semuanya sangat gemas melihat hubungan kalian yang tidak mengalami kemajuan sama sekali. Dengan kesempatan ini, tentunya kami mewakili semua siswa yang lain harus mulai bertindak, bahkan juga bekerja sama dengan Wakil Ketua itu sendiri untuk membuatmu sadar.”

“Eh??!! Serius?! Semua anak lain tahu??” ujar Renne dengan nada tidak percaya.

“Tentu saja! Kami bertiga harus menjadi comblang kalian berdua agar semua ini bisa terjadi. Kita semua tahu kau orangnya cinta mati dengan pekerjaan dan tak peka seperti ini, tapi kau masih punya perempuan yang suka denganmu! Speknya tinggi, lagi! Dasar! Padahal dasarnya kau juga wibu payah seperti kami! Menyebalkan, tahu!” Nabo langsung tiba-tiba meluapkan keluh kesahnya tepat di depan wajah Renne.

“Nabo benar! Dan kalian tentunya akan berpacaran lama di kuliah nanti… semakin mesra… kami semua juga ingin sekampus denganmu! Tapi otak kami semua tidak seencer kalian berdua! Kami harus benar-benar berusaha keras untuk masuk ke kampus yang kalian yang bagus, apalagi kampus top yang kalian berdua incar…”

“Terkutuk kau, wibu kok punya pacar!”

“Kami sebenarnya tidak ingin melakukan semua ini, tapi ini demi semua siswa yang lain juga yang ingin melihat kalian akhirnya berpacaran…”

“Eh, sudah, sudah!” Renne berusaha menghentikan ocehan semua temannya itu sebelum menjadi semakin parah. “Jujur saja, aku tidak terlalu mengerti apa yang kalian semua bicarakan. Mungkin kalian benar, aku orangnya tidak peka. Tapi, aku tidak akan melupakan kalian semua juga, kok! Meskipun kita berbeda kampus nanti, aku akan selalu terus berhubungan dengan kalian! Kalian semua teman berhargaku, dan aku juga tidak ingin kehilangan kalian…”

Setelah itu, ketiga teman Renne itu langsung kembali emosional lagi dan memeluk Renne dengan erat, membuatnya kewalahan.

“UWAAA!! Meskipun menyebalkan, tapi kau selalu menjadi yang terkeren dari kita berempat. Kau adalah kebanggaan kita!” Nabo seperti hendak kembali menangis lagi.

“Hm-hm.” Torro dan Balla hanya bisa mengangguk-angguk sambil merapatkan pelukannya masing-masing. Namun, Balla punya ide usil lain. Ia menggelitik bagian pinggang Renne yang sedang ia pegang dengan cukup keras, yang akhirnya juga diikuti oleh Nabo dan Torro.

“HEI! Hentikan! Ha… ha… geli… tapi sakit juga, tahu! Hei!”

Mereka semua pun tertawa-tawa lepas bersama, seperti yang dulu biasa mereka lakukan. Festival sekolah telah usai, dan dengan begitu sekarang tidak ada lagi yang akan pulang ke rumah masing-masing dengan rasa penyesalan yang masih tersisa.

Empat Sekawan telah resmi kembali bersama lagi.

Penulis: Mystyros

Writchal #3 – School Festival

Tok, tok, tok… suara ketukan pintu bergema di koridor sekolah yang senyap. Cahaya jingga menerangi keramik-keramik yang melapisi lantai koridor.

“Iya, sebentar.”

Suara langkah kaki mendekat dan tak lama kemudian pintu terbuka.

“Halo, Gentan. Ini aku bawakan barang-barang yang kamu minta.”

“Wah, terima kasih banyak! Dengan begini, persiapan bisa dimulai lebih cepat,” balas Gentan.

“Ngomong-ngomong, apa hal yang mau kamu bicarakan? Tumben kamu sampai nanya aku sibuk atau nggak…”

“Tebak,” balas Gentan dengan senyuman sombongnya.


Belum sampai sepatah kata keluar, Gentan dengan cepat mengambil alih pembicaraan kembali.

“Waktu habis. Saatnya aku menjelaskan.”
“Genfest merupakan acara tahunan unit kita tercinta Genshiken.”
“Genfest merupakan tempat bagi anggota Genshiken untuk memamerkan karya-karyanya kepada audiens.”
“Namun, 2 tahun terakhir ini, Genfest tidak dapat diadakan karena pandemi yang berlangsung.”
“Intinya, aku ingin…”

Kata-kata seolah-olah tertahan di ujung bibir Gentan.

“Aku ingin mengadakan Genfest lagi.”

Gentan menghela napas.

“Tapi, aku tidak yakin apakah akan bisa. Genkun, Waluyo, dan Sugar… mereka adalah teman baikku.”
“Aku harap aku bisa datang ke acara itu bersama dengan mereka nanti.”
“Tapi aku bahkan tidak pernah berbicara dengan mereka lagi sekarang.”

Writchal #3 diisi dengan tema “School Festival” dengan harapan ikut menyemarakkan acara Genfair 2023. Namun, sayangnya hanya terdapat 2 submisi untuk Writchal #3 kali ini.

Writchal #3 berlangsung selama 29 hari dari 19 Februari 2023 hingga 19 Maret 2023 menyinggung masa-masa Ujian Tengah Semester.

Pertemanan Terukir dalam Malam Festival

Entri Writchal #3

Tema: School Festival

Pertemanan Terukir dalam Malam Festival

Oleh: ZesT


Suara pukulan drum terdengar dari kejauhan. Tak lama disusul suara terompet dan instrumen  lainnya. Terlihat grup marching band sekolah tengah melakukan latihan di tengah lapangan  sepak bola milik sekolah. Di tribun lapangan basket yang tepat di samping tempat marching  band sedang latihan, terlihat sekumpulan laki-laki dari klub robotika yang sedang  mempersiapkan robot mereka untuk didemonstrasikan besok. 

Aku yang tengah duduk di dekat jendela kelas, hanya bisa melihat semua keramaian yang  dilakukan teman-teman lain dengan tatapan sedih. Semua orang sedang sibuk dengan persiapan  stand, pameran, dan permainan yang akan mereka tampilkan di festival sekolah besok. Ya  betul, festival sekolah. Sora no Tsubasa, SMA tempat aku belajar sekarang ini, sangat terkenal  akan festival sekolah yang diadakan tiap tahunnya untuk memamerkan klub-klub dan  kebolehan siswa-siswinya dalam berbagai bidang, salah satunya seni. Kebetulan kelasku tahun  ini kebagian untuk menampilkan sebuah drama dari cerita klasik seorang pangeran dan putri  yang kisah cintanya dihalangi oleh penyihir yang iri… 

“Miko, lihat ini! Teman-teman dari klub prakarya membuatkan ini untuk kostum dramaku  besok”, teriak seorang siswi dengan suara familiar yang sontak mengalihkan perhatianku. 

Keiko berlari menghampiriku sambil mengenakan gaun berwarna biru muda yang dihiasi dengan beberapa pernak-pernik mengilap di sekitar bagian dadanya. Aku menoleh sambil cepat-cepat menghilangkan raut kesedihanku tadi. Aku memuji betapa cantiknya Keiko  mengenakan gaun yang telah dibuat itu. Dia tersenyum cerah sambil memutar-mutarkan  badannya. Wajahnya yang cantik, rambut hitam mengilap, dan badan yang indah, tidak aneh  kalau dia terpilih oleh teman-teman sekelas untuk memainkan peran putri di penampilan drama  kelas kita. Gaun biru muda ini adalah sentuhan akhir yang melengkapi kecantikan dan  keanggunannya. 

Sejujurnya aku sedikit iri dengan sahabatku satu ini, dia sedari dulu memang hebat dalam segala hal. Dia pintar secara akademis, sempat beberapa kali mewakili sekolah untuk lomba-lomba tingkat provinsi. Dia juga gemar melakukan olahraga, tidak jarang kamu akan bertemu  dengannya di gym atau di kolam renang sedang melakukan olahraga mingguannya. Di sisi lain,  aku tidak bisa banyak melakukan hal-hal sewajarnya anak-anak lain seumurku. 

“Hei Miko (sambil melambaikan tangan di hadapan Miko), kok kamu seperti melamun gitu daritadi aku liat?” 

“Hm? Oh itu, aku dari tadi sedang membayangkan gimana kerennya kamu dan Ryu besok  ketika tampil, Pasti sangat cocok kalau pake kostum yang senada” 

Wajah Keiko tampak terkejut, dia berteriak dan sambil berlari keluar kelas mengatakan bahwa  dia lupa untuk meminta dibuatkan juga kostum untuk Ryu. Aku tertawa kecil melihat dia  terburu-buru ke kelas sebelah. Ya begitulah, meski pintar dan atletis, dia kadang-kadang  ceroboh dan pelupa. Tapi menurutku itulah yang membuat dia masih terasa manusia dan  kadang terlihat imut juga. 



Pagi ini dingin sekali… aku merasa napasku tersenggal-senggal saat bangun di pagi yang  belum disinari mentari ini. Aku menoleh ke jam digital di meja belajarku, dua puluh derajat,  pantas saja terasa cukup dingin. 


Suara batukku menggema sepanjang lorong kamar-kamar di rumahku. Sepertinya aku harus  minum obat terlebih dahulu, aku membuka pintu kamar dan melangkah menuju dapur untuk  mengambil segelas air. 

“Miko kamu gapapa sayang?”, mama menengok dari arah dapur. Terlihat mama sedang  mempersiapkan sarapan. 

“Ya gapapa ma, cuman kambuh aja nih batuk-



“Miko?! Miko!” 


Aku membuka mataku, di sekelilingku adalah pemandangan yang familiar. Ruangan yang  didominasi furnitur dan barang-barang putih, yang memberikan kesan bersih dan steril. Ah,  sepertinya penyakit paru-paruku kambuh parah lagi. Di sampingku aku melihat kakakku tengah  tertidur di sofa untuk penunggu pasien. 

Aku mengambil posisi duduk, kemudian mencari apakah handphoneku dibawakan juga ke  rumah sakit. Ternyata ada, handphone dengan casing kelinci merah jambuku terletak di meja  sebelah sofa tempat kakakku tertidur. Yah, agak sulit kalau aku harus kesana dengan keadaan  tangan diinfus seperti ini. Mungkin aku nyalakan TV saja, kebetulan kalau remote TV-nya  terletak di rak sebelah ranjangku. 

“Festival SMA Sora no Tsubasa mengundang ratusan orang dari berbagai daerah”. Oh… iya…  hari ini adalah hari pertama festival sekolahku. Seharusnya kelasku tampil pagi ini…  seharusnya aku ada di sana sekarang, berlatih naskah di balik panggung, bermain peran di atas  panggung bersama teman-temanku saat tirai diangkat… tanpa disadari, mataku mulai berkaca-kaca. 


Ah, tidak baik aku menangis seperti ini, bisa-bisa memperburuk keadaan paru-paruku. Aku  segera mengganti saluran TV dan mengalihkan pikiranku dari hari pertama festival sekolahku  ini. 


Sore harinya, dokter datang untuk memeriksa keadaanku. 

“Hmmm ya, ini cukup parah, sepertinya harus segera dilakukan tindakan lebih lanjut jika tidak  ingin gejalanya semakin buruk.”, dokter berkata sembari membalikkan kertas rekam medisku  yang ada di papan dadanya.

Menurutnya perlu dilakukan operasi karena telah terjadi emfisema lobus dan harus diangkat  jaringan paru-paru yang terganggu. Dokter menjadwalkan operasi di pagi hari, besok lusa dan  sementara waktu, gejalanya bisa diringankan dan kerusakannya bisa diperlambat dengan obat  dan terapi oksigen. 

Wajah kedua orang tuaku nampak terkejut dan sedih. Mereka menanyakan apakah putri satu satunya ini akan baik-baik saja. Dokter bilang operasi ini akan meringankan penderitaanku,  jadi jangan putus asa. Setelah dokter melakukan beberapa pemeriksaan lebih lanjut, dia  berpamitan keluar untuk melakukan visit ke pasien-pasiennya yang lain. 

Tak lama kemudian, terdengar ketukan di pintu kamarku. 


Pintu terbuka dan muncul dua wajah ceria yang sangat aku kenal. 

“Miko! (sambil memeluk dan pura-pura menangis) Aku sangat khawatir ketika tidak  melihatmu di festival sekolah hari ini!”, aku membalas kembali pelukan Keiko. 

Ryu yang datang bersama dengan Keiko meletakkan sekeranjang buah-buahan di meja sebelah  ranjangku. 

“Tadi Keiko beberapa kali panik dan hilang fokus saat tampil di drama”, kata Ryu sambil  tertawa jahil. 

Mereka melanjutkan beberapa candaan kecil lainnya untuk menghiburku. Aku menyukai  momen-momen seperti ini, menghabiskan waktu tertawa bersama dua orang favoritku. Setelah  Ryu puas mengolok-ngolok Keiko, dia mengalihkan pandangannya kepadaku dan dengan nada  serius mulai berkata, 

“Miko, apakah besok kamu bisa datang di hari kedua festival?” 

“Aku tidak yakin, sepertinya untuk hari besok masih belum bisa keluar” 

“Apakah penyakitmu kambuh separah itu kali ini?”, sambung Keiko sambil mengambil jeruk  dari keranjang yang mereka bawa dan mengupasnya. 

Aku menjelaskan kepada mereka bagaimana kondisiku saat ini dan bahwa kata dokter aku perlu  dioperasi secepatnya. Mereka tampak terkejut dan sontak jeruk di tangan Keiko terjatuh. Keiko  terlihat gemetar dan menahan tangis. Di sisi lain, Ryu tampak berpikir keras. Aku mencoba  mengalihkan kekhawatiran mereka dengan menanyakan stand-stand yang tadi ada di festival  sekolah. Tapi Keiko menjawab dengan nada yang tidak semeriah tadi dan Ryu bahkan tidak  meresponku. 

“Gimana kalo lusa kita membawamu diam-diam ke penutupan festival?”, kata Ryu tiba-tiba. 

Aku dan Keiko yang sedang berbincang serentak menoleh ke arah Ryu dengan wajah terkejut  dan bingung. 

“Cuman hari itu aja kok, untuk melihat api unggun dan kembang api penutupan. Itu adalah  puncak kemeriahan festival sekolah kita. Ini adalah tahun terakhir kita di SMA Sora no Tsubasa  dan aku ingin mengukir kenangan festival sekolah terakhirku bersamamu”, Ryu menatapku  serius dan kemudian sepertinya sekilas melihat wajah Keiko. 

“Ekhem, maksudku bersama kalian, kalian berdua”

Sekarang pandanganku beralih ke Keiko yang juga sedang memandangku, kami saling  menatap dan diam sejenak… 

“Ya! Aku juga mau begitu”, kata kami hampir bersamaan. 

Dengan jawabanku dan Keiko, rencana kami untuk menghabiskan malam festival terakhir  bertiga segera disusun 



Suara peralatan medis di ruang operasi diiringi detak jam di dinding membuat suasana semakin  mencekam. 

“Tenang saja Miko, setelah operasi ini selesai kamu akan bisa pergi ke sekolah untuk  menikmati akhir dari festival sekolahmu”, kata dokter yang berupaya menghiburku sambil  mempersiapkan alat dan bahan operasi. 

Saat ini aku sedang berada di ruang operasi, sekitar 9 jam lebih awal dari direncanakan, karena  semalam kondisiku tiba-tiba memburuk sehingga dokter akhirnya memutuskan untuk  memajukan jadwal operasiku. Di luar ada Keiko dan Kak Raku, mereka berdua yang pertama  dikabari oleh dokter saat kondisiku memburuk. 

“Baiklah Miko, tunggu sebentar ya, kita akan bertemu lagi dalam 3 jam”, bersamaan dengan  kata-kata itu aku merasakan kesadaranku mulai memudar. 


Sinar mentari menyilaukan yang menembus tirai kamar rumah sakitku, menyambut  kebangunanku dari tidur yang cukup panjang. Aku bisa merasakan ada sesuatu yang  mengganjal di sekitar daerah dadaku, mungkin efek pascaoperasi. 

“Akhirnya kamu bangun juga, dari tadi kami menunggu dengan penuh kekhawatiran. Lihat,  Keiko sampai tertidur di sampingmu”, suara kakakku terdengar agak serak dan lemas karena  juga baru terbangun. Aku melihat ke sampingku dan betul saja ada Keiko sedang  membaringkan setengah badannya di kasurku dengan tangan yang terlipat di bawah wajahnya.  Posisi tidurnya tampak tidak nyaman, jadi aku berupaya membangunkannya dengan menusuk  pipinya beberapa kali. 

Akhirnya Keiko terbangun, dengan tampang setengah sadar dia menatapku. Seketika matanya  melebar dan berbinar, “MIKOOO!”, dia memelukku sambil menangis. Kali ini benar-benar  menangis. “Aku-*hiks*-benar-benar-*hiks*-takut tau tadi malam”, kata Keiko sambil  mengusap-ngusap wajahnya yang berlinang air mata di dadaku. 

“Hahahaha cup-cup-cup bayi kecilku, karena operasiku sudah selesai, sekarang aku tidak akan  kemana-mana” 

“Kamu janji kan?? Kita kan sudah berencana untuk menghabiskan malam ini bersama Ryu di  festival sekolah” 

Aku tertawa dan mengiyakan perkataan Keiko. 

“Terima kasih atas kerja kerasnya semua, semoga malam penutupan festival ini bisa menjadi  puncak kemeriahan dan imbalan yang setimpal atas semua usaha kalian selama tiga hari ini.  Selamat bersenang-senang!”, suara dari loudspeaker sekolah terdengar dari seluruh penjuru  sekolah. Kalimat yang selalu diucapkan oleh ketua panitia festival setiap tahunnya saat festival  sekolah telah memasuki tahap terakhirnya, penutupan. 

Aku, Ryu, dan Keiko sedang duduk-duduk di pinggir lapangan, menikmati jus-jus kalengan  sambil menonton pasangan-pasangan yang sedang berdansa di sekitar api unggun di tengah  lapangan sekolah. Aku pergi ke penutupan festival sekolahku ini sudah diizinkan oleh dokter,  katanya aku seharusnya baik-baik saja selama tidak terlalu banyak terekspos dengan polusi  udara. 

“Miko, apakah kamu sudah memikirkan rencana untuk kuliah?”, Ryu bertanya kepadaku  sambil menyodorkan sekotak takoyaki. 

“Kalau memungkinkan, aku mau melanjutkan studi ke luar negeri, mungkin ke Inggris atau  Jerman”, jawabku sambil melahap takoyaki yang Ryu belikan. 

“Aku juga mauuuu”, teriak Keiko sambil mencomot salah satu takoyakiku. Aku tertawa kecil  dan menawarkan untuk membagi setengah porsiku untuknya, memang Keiko ini fans berat dari  takoyaki. Semenjak kedua orang tua-nya meninggal dalam kecelakaan 10 tahun lalu, dia sering  sekali ke rumahku untuk main dan kadang numpang makan. 

…Ibuku dulu senang sekali memasak berbagai jenis kue-kue dan jajanan, salah satunya  takoyaki. Suatu ketika, Keiko datang ketika ibuku sedang membuat takoyaki dan dia memakan  hampir semua takoyaki yang dimasak ibuku di hari itu. Menurutnya itu adalah makanan terenak  yang pernah dia makan, belum pernah dia merasakan makanan seenak takoyaki. Semenjak hari  itu, setiap pulang sekolah atau ada festival di kota, Keiko selalu mengincar stand takoyaki… 

Sambil melahap bagian takoyaki yang kuberikan padannya, Keiko mengeluarkan handphone nya, “Guys foto yuk! Kenang-kenangan festival SMA terakhir kita!”, karena tiba-tiba, Ryu dan  aku tidak sempat menata pose, kami bergaya seadanya lalu 


Foto Miko, Ryu, and Keiko (dari kiri ke kanan) 

[Dibuat dengan Dreamshaper AI]

Keiko menertawakan hasil foto kami, menurutnya senyumku terlihat aneh dan Ryu rambutnya  sangat berantakan. Padahal menurutku dan Ryu foto itu terlihat cukup bagus, foto yang berhasil  mengabadikan momen kebahagiaan kita mala mini. 

“Hmmm, kamu akan pergi jauh juga ya, Miko. Aku mungkin tidak bisa menyusulmu ke sana”,  kata Ryu kemudian diam sebentar. “Kalau begitu”, lanjutnya sambil berdiri sambil  membersihkan celananya, “maukah kamu berdansa denganku di malam festival terakhir kita  ini?”. Di saat yang bersamaan, petasan-petasan mulai melesat ke langit. 


Belum sempat aku menjawab, Keiko sudah mendorongku untuk berdiri sambil mengacungkan  jempolnya. Jadi, aku dan Ryu berdansa bersama pasangan-pasangan yang lain di dekat api  unggun. Aku bisa melihat di sisi lapang, Keiko sedang bersorak-sorak. Rasanya aneh sekali,  tiba-tiba ada yang mengajakku berdansa di malam penutupan festival sekolah di tahun SMA  terakhirku. Tidak pernah aku menyangka bisa mengalami hal ini, aku kira justru Keiko yang  akan berada pada posisi ini dan aku yang menyorakinya dari belakang. 


Terdengar suara gemercik api unggun yang sedang membara di tengah lapang. Gelak tawa  beberapa murid panitia di sisi berlawanan dari kita duduk tadi bisa terdengar dari tengah  lapang. Udara malam yang disertai aroma asap api unggun membuat sensasi festival semakin  terasa nyata. 


Tiba-tiba dadaku terasa sakit, aku berhenti bergerak dan hampir terjatuh. Ryu membantuku  untuk berjalan ke pinggiran lapang 

“Miko! Kamu kenapa?”, Keiko menghampiriku dan membantuku untuk duduk. Uhuk-uhuk 

“Sepertinya aku terlalu lama berada di dekat api unggun itu” 


Ryu segera memanggil ambulans dan tak lama kemudian aku dievakuasi oleh tim medis ke  rumah sakit. Sesampainya di IGD, dokter memeriksaku dan mendiagnosa bahwa kemungkinan  telah terjadi komplikasi pneumothorax di saluran pernapasanku sehingga harus segera ditindak  di ruang operasi. 

Ryu dan Keiko diminta untuk menghubungi keluargaku dan secepatnya ke rumah sakit. Dokter  memberitahukan mereka bahwa operasinya seharusnya tidak akan lama, 3 jam adalah batas  maksimumnya. Jadi mereka bisa menunggu di luar ruang operasi kalau mau. 


Aku sudah merasakan kesadaranku mulai pulih kembali dan aku bisa merasakan kasur di  bawah badanku, tapi badanku masih lemas aku hanya bisa menolehkan kepalaku ke kiri dan  kanan. 

“Ya, tampaknya keadaan Miko sangat kritis, saya tidak bisa memastikan berapa lama lagi  perkiraan masa hidupnya. Saya perkirakan 1-2 bulan lagi kalau tidak segera ditemukan donor  untuk paru-parunya”, aku mendengar perkataan dokter kepada orang tuaku yang sedang duduk di sofa tunggu di samping kiri ranjang pasien. Wajah kedua orang tuaku tampak murung dan  bingung. Seketika, Ryu masuk ke ruanganku dan berkata, “Tuan dan Nyonya Yamamoto, saya  akan bantu mencarikan donor untuk putri kalian. Jangan khawatir, saya pastikan setidaknya  dalam satu minggu akan sudah ditemukan donor untuknya”. Kedua orang tuaku berterima kasih  kepada Ryu, aku yang masih lemas, sedikit melambaikan tanganku pada Ryu. Ryu  menghampiriku, “Terima kasih”, kataku dengan suara pelan. 


Seminggu telah berlalu, sesuai janjinya Ryu ternyata berhasil menemukanku donor untuk paru paruku. Aku sekarang sedang masa pemulihan dan sudah mulai bisa berjalan. Sekarang  napasku terasa lebih lega dan rasanya aku sudah tidak mudah gatal tenggorokannya ketika  menghirup debu atau asap. Pagi ini aku janjian untuk ketemu dengan Ryu untuk menanyakan  soal donor paru-paruku ini, sekaligus berterima kasih pada Ryu yang telah mencarikannya  untukku. 

Aku melangkah keluar kamar sambil membawa sekotak jus, menuju taman bunga yang berada  di tengah kompleks rumah sakit ini. Dari kejauhan aku sudah bisa melihat sosok yang aku ingin  temui hari ini. Aku menyapanya dan kami duduk di salah satu kursi taman di situ. Dia memulai  pembicaraan dengan basa-basi tentang kegiatan sekolah. 

“Aku perhatikan dari tadi ceritamu hanya tentang teman-teman laki-laki, tumben kamu ga  cerita soal kekonyolan Keiko”, aku bertanya sambil menusukkan sedotan ke kotak jus yang  tadi kubawa dari kamar. Ryu tampak menunduk dan berpikir. 

“…Keiko sudah tidak ada…”, sontak aku menyemburkan jus yang ada di mulutku. Aku  menanyakan apa maksud perkataannya. Dengan suara gemetar dia menjelaskan kronologi  kejadiannya. Jadi, ternyata setelah 4 hari dilakukan pencarian untuk donor paru-paru, masih  belum juga ditemukan yang cocok untukku. Sampai akhirnya, di hari ke-5 Keiko menawarkan  untuk mendonorkan paru-parunya. Ryu sempat menolak dan bersikeras untuk tetap mencari  donor dari rumah sakit-rumah sakit lain di sekitar kotaku. Tapi Keiko meyakinkan Ryu bahwa  keputusannya sudah bulat… 

“Dengar Ryu, aku belum pernah seserius ini dalam hidupku. Banyak hal yang sudah  keluarganya Miko berikan padaku… Ini waktunya untuk aku membalas kebaikan mereka.” 

Ryu menatap Keiko dan Keiko membalas tatapan Ryu dengan serius 

“Lagipula, aku juga sudah tinggal sendiri di dunia ini. Aku sudah menerima lebih dari cukup  kebahagiaan di dunia ini. Aku rindu untuk bertemu orang tuaku”, kata Keiko sambil tersenyum  dengan mata berkaca-kaca 

…Selesai menceritakan itu, Ryu mengeluarkan secarik kertas dari kantongnya dan  menyerahkannya padaku, “Ini, dari Keiko” 

Ternyata itu adalah foto kami bertiga yang telah dicetak menjadi polaroid, di baliknya ada  sebuah sticky note yang bertuliskan. “Aku tau kamu bisa melakukan banyak hal dengan  tubuhmu yang sekarang sudah sehat. Jaga baik-baik ya badanmu itu, jangan sampai sakit lagi.  Kalau sakit lagi nanti aku marahin dari alam seberang (emot marah). Ini sedikit kenang-kenangan dari aku, aku tidak akan melupakan malam itu, malam festival yang mengikat  pertemanan kita… bahkan ketika aku sudah tidak bersama kalian lagi, persahabatan kita akan  tetap abadi”, aku langsung menangis.

Kupeluk erat-erat foto dan notes itu di dadaku. Ryu kemudian merangkulku dan ikut menangis  dalam diam. Di dalam hati aku berteriak-teriak mempertanyakan kenapa Keiko harus  melakukan semua ini hanya untuk orang sepertiku. 

“Sudah, aku yakin Keiko tidak ingin kamu bersedih seperti ini”, kata Ryu sambil menahan isak  tangisnya. 

Sambil mencoba mengatur napasku, aku mengusap air mata dari pipi dan kelopak mataku.  Betul kata Ryu, sekarang yang aku bisa lakukan ialah terus menjalani hidup ini. 

“Jalani saja sebaik mungkin dengan senyum di wajahmu! Jangan sampai menyesal (tertawa)” Aku yakin pasti itu yang akan Keiko katakan kalau dia masih di sini. 


Penulis: ZesT