Hana and Shoji – part 3

It was silent outside. The only sound was the sound of the wave hitting the beach. Shoji looked at the sea from the balcony. The sea surface was glittering under the moonlight. He turned around and got back inside the room, closing the doors to the balcony. He took out two mugs from the cupboard and poured down the boiled water into the mugs, brewing the tea inside.

The shower door opened and Hana appeared, wearing a towel robe. Her hair was tied in a bun on top of her head. Shoji held the tea mugs each in his one hand. The hot steam rose above them. He sat down at the side of the bed and gave one mug to Hana. She sat beside him. They took a couple of sips and sighed in relief.

“Long ride, wasn’t it?” Shoji said, putting his mug down on the bedside table. Hana gave her mug to him and he put it beside his mug. “You tired?” he asked.

“Yeah, but you took me to this nice place,” she smiled lovingly at him. She got up and walked slowly toward the balcony doors. She opened it and they could hear the sound of the wave clearer. She stepped out to the balcony fence and stood watching the glittering sea.

Shoji stood up and walked toward her. He stopped behind her and put his arms around her, his chest pressed against her back. They stood in silence. He breathed in her scent on her hair and bare neck. She closed her eyes smiling, and put her hands on his arms.

The wind suddenly blew a little stronger. She shivered. “You cold? Let’s get inside,” Shoji let go of one arm and walked her back into the room. He closed the balcony doors.

Hana climbed into the bed. She laid on her back, let out a sigh of relief and closed her eyes.

Shoji turned the lights off, leaving the bedside lights on. He laid down beside her on his side, facing her. He put one hand on her cheek and gave her a little kiss. “You sure you want to sleep?” He asked, half whispering.

Half whispering, she said, “I’m tired and very sleepy. But–” Her eyes slowly opened. “–how can I resist you?” she continued in a whisper. She raised her hand and put it on the back of his head, pushed his head gently toward her face and pressed his lips on hers. They closed their eyes and started kissing.

Hana and Shoji – part 2

The sun had set forty five minutes ago. Hana and Shoji were still at the park area. It was a large complex with shops, restaurants and stalls around. More people were coming since it was Friday night; some were co-workers, some were friends, and some were families. The area looked beautiful with small lights hanging over the sidewalk.

Hana and Shoji took a seat at a food stall and ordered two kebabs. Shoji took Hana’s hand and clasped his fingers between Hana’s on the table. They’d been married for years but Shoji still did that now and then. Hana was thankful for that, especially whenever she heard her friends or co-workers told her about their spouses who were getting cold. She was also thankful that she and Shoji could spend some time alone once in a while so they wouldn’t have to hold back their longing to be alone for too long; or maybe the flame was still there because they spent some time alone once in a while, she wondered.

Hot, spicy kebabs lifted their spirits. After dinner they took a walk holding hands around the area. Shoji knew Hana loved this kind of atmosphere. A festive evening. They walked slowly along the sidewalk passing stalls selling chocolates and candies, ice cream, snacks, books, saucers and mugs and many other stuff. People were smiling and laughing, small kids were running with their little feet followed by their parents, some were laughing happily on their fathers’ shoulders. It was a happy atmosphere.

After a while, Hana and Shoji headed to the grass and sat down. The grass area was lit by the small lights from the sidewalk and some lantern-like lights scattered on the ground. The surface of the water in the small lake was shining with reflections of the lights. The sky was clear, the air was cool, and the mood was good. Shoji put his arm around Hana’s waist and pulled her closer. They commented every fun and interesting event they saw. There was a chubby kid, probably five years old, sitting on the mat on the grass eating fries so fast that his little brother didn’t get anything but only a couple of fry sticks and he cried. There was a man sitting on the grass, his trouser’s back were so low his butt cheeks were peeking. Hana shrieked and closed here eyes. Shoji laughed and turned her face away with his hand. There were some other funny and interesting things they saw.

After a while, Shoji said, “Should we leave now? We still have a long ride ahead.” Sure, Hana replied, beaming.

They walked back to the car park and got into the car. Shoji started the engine and drove the car through the city into the highway, leaving the city lights behind.

Hana and Shoji

It was 4 pm. Official working hours were over. Hana saved her work and shut down the computer. She swiftly packed her stuff into her bag, waved her colleagues goodbyes and walked out of the office. She went to the rest room, washed her face and reapply her makeup. Her colleague, Yuko, got out from one of the toilets when she was applying her natural peach lipstick.

“A date?” Yuko asked her while washing her hands.

“Yep,” answered Hana, checking out her look in the mirror and putting her stuff back to her bag.

“Incredible. If I didn’t know you, I wouldn’t think you guys were married,” Yuko said with a chuckle.

Hana smiled and waved her goodbye. “See you Monday!”

She took the elevator down and go to the lobby. Shoji should be there by 5. There was still plenty of time but she just wanted to wait there. Every time the elevators open, people poured out like streams of water flooding the lobby. It was Friday and everybody wanted to get out of work as soon as the working hours were over. They might be like her, Hana thought, coming out of the office energized by the cool air-conditioned room, full of ideas for hanging out and doing things, but the traffic and the hot, humid air would soon drain them.

But Hana didn’t want to get herself drained. Not tonight, when she had a date with Shoji. She wanted to spend a great time with him. He was going to take her somewhere he wouldn’t tell (it was a surprise) and they would spend the weekend there. They had packed their clothes and stuff in a travel bag and put it in the car trunk when they left home this morning. Hana didn’t have any problem where Shoji would take her. Anywhere was okay as long as she was with him. Not knowing where he would take her also made her excited.

Shoji arrived a little before 5. Hana hopped on the car and they drove away. The afternoon was so nice it would be too bad not to enjoy it outdoors. Their car ran to the nearby park and found a place to stop.

“Let’s spend the remaining afternoon here? Can’t just let it pass without enjoying it.” Shoji said, half-asking.

“I was thinking just the same!”

They spread the plastic mat on the grass, sat on it and enjoyed iced coffee from the thermal bottles they took from home. They just bought the coffee at the nearby café. Hana took a couple of sips and leaned on Shoji, watching small children laughing and running around while their moms sat on a picnic mat watching them, a father playing Frisbee with his son, some college students busy discussing something.

“Busy day?” Shoji asked and kissed her forehead.

“Well, not a problem since I’m here now.” She grinned.

“Same here.” He smiled and put his arm around her.

They sat like that, watching people around them, while the sun was beginning to set.


Pria Ganteng Beraroma Kaki

Pemandangan yang biasa di distrik bisnis itu: orang-orang dari gedung perkantoran berjalan ke arah Taman Jajan atau mal untuk makan siang. Aku salah satu dari mereka. Bersama rekan-rekan kerja yang sudah menjadi teman-temanku, aku berjalan ke arah Taman Jajan. Cuaca sedang sejuk akhir-akhir ini, dan kami ingin menikmati suasana outdoor ketimbang masuk lagi ke gedung ber-AC bernama mal. Waktu makan siang adalah waktunya mencari suasana yang berbeda.

Sampailah kami di Taman Jajan. Sudah lumayan banyak orang di sana, tapi masih cukup banyak tempat kosong. Toko-toko di sana punya area indoor ber-AC tapi juga menyediakan meja dan kursi yang disusun di luar. Di area outdoor yang bukan bagian dari restoran, ada pohon-pohon dan bangku-bangku panjang serta meja-meja kecil buat mereka yang bawa makanan sendiri.

Aku dan teman-teman mengambil tempat duduk di luar restoran bernama Kopi Penyet. Mereka jual kopi dan menu penyet. Kami langsung duduk dan pesan makanan. Sambil menunggu makanan, kami ngobrol.

Tiba-tiba aku mengendus suatu bau yang samar tapi aneh. Aku langsung melepas fokus dari obrolan. Aku melihat sekeliling sambil menajamkan penciuman, mencari sumber bau. Aku begitu fokus pada bau itu sampai tidak menyadari Agya mencolek-colek lenganku. Aku baru ngeh begitu dia mencubitku.

“Auw!” Aku bereaksi spontan menepis tangan Agya yang mencubitku, dan memandangnya dengan heran. Kenapa sih?

“Abis lo ngelamun sih,” balasnya. “Itu, si Momon lagi ngenalin kita ke temennya.” Dia memberi kode dengan dagunya ke arah ujung meja. Momon sedang berdiri di samping seorang cowok yang mestinya temannya, sambil bicara.

“…itu Hika,” katanya sambil mengarahkan tangannya kepadaku.

“Oh… Hai,” aku yang baru tersadar buru-buru menegur orang yang sedang dikenalkan Momon itu.

“Halo,” balasnya sambil mengangguk kepadaku. Orang itu ganteng, badannya tinggi dan tegap. Senyumnya sangat menular.

Tiba-tiba aku mencium lagi aroma aneh tadi. Instingku langsung fokus lagi untuk mencari sumber bau itu. Duuh, bau apa sih ini? Mengganggu sekali.

“Gya,” aku berbisik sambil mencolek Agya.

“Hm?”

“Lo nyium bau aneh ga?” tanyaku.

“Bau aneh? Bau apa?” Agya malah balik nanya.

Aku menghela nafas. “Yasutra lah,” kataku kecewa, sambil melihat berkeliling dan berusaha mengendus bau di sekitarku.

Di tengah kesibukanku mencari sumber bau, ternyata Momon ngajak temannya itu gabung makan bareng kita. Aku bahkan ga nyimak siapa nama temannya itu saking fokusnya dengan bau aneh itu. Mereka berjalan ke arah ujung meja dekat aku, karena di situ masih ada kursi kosong.

Saat mereka mendekat dan lewat di belakangku, swusssh!–bau aneh tadi tiba-tiba semakin kuat. Aku mengernyit sambil spontan menutup hidung. Ugh, baunya!

Aku baru tersadar bau apa itu. Bau kaki! Bau kaki yang terlalu lama berkeringat di dalam sepatu. OMG! Apakah sumbernya dari Momon, atau temannya itu?

Momon dan temannya itu mengambil tempat duduk deket aku. Aku masih mengernyitkan hidung untuk menahan bau itu masuk dengan bebas ke hidungku.

“Akhirnya, bisa duduk gue,” kata temannya Momon kepada Momon. “Pegel banget gue tadi jalan dari kantor ke sini, abis ga dapet ojek.” Dia melihat ke arah kakinya di bawah meja dan melakukan gerakan melepas sepatu.

Tiba-tiba aku merasa seperti diserang dengan gas beracun. Bau jempol menghantam penciumanku dengan hantaman yang keras, rasanya nyaris pingsan. Aku menahan nafas. Rasa mual melandaku seperti gelombang tsunami menghantam daratan dengan hempasan dahsyat. Dengan cepat aku bangkit meninggalkan tempat dudukku dan berjalan menjauh ke arah pepohonan.

“Hika! Mo ke mana?” panggil Agya.

Aku menjawab dengan gerakan tangan menunjuk ke arah toilet, sambil tetap menahan nafas dan gelombang tsunami yang bergemuruh di dalam perutku. Dengan berlari aku menuju wastafel yang agak jauh. Benar saja, aku muntah sedikit. Untunglah gak benar-benar muntah. Setelah kukeluarkan mualku, aku cuci muka sambil mengatur nafas. Ya ampun, aku benar-benar nyaris pingsan tadi!

Pelan-pelan aku berjalan mendekat ke arah tempat teman-temanku duduk. Dari jauh aku mengawasi temannya Momon. Gak disangka, bau jempol tadi itu asalnya dari dia. Yaaah… ganteng-ganteng bau jempol, kataku dalam hati. Aku masih memandang teman-temanku dari jauh dengan heran. Apa yang lain gak nyium bau itu? Aku bertanya dalam hati dengan heran.

Jake

This page has been a draft for years! Turns out that I forgot to “publish” this, so it is just “published” today! So this is one of the stories I wrote earlier.

Jake and I swam back to the beach.  The sun heat was now stinging our skin.  Jake held my hand while we were walking to the beach.  Water was dripping from our bodies as we got out of the water and stepped on the sand.  Jake squeezed my hand, making me turn my face to him.  He was looking at me and giving me his warm smile.  His smile was infectious that I smiled back before I even realized it.

He towed me and we were laughing as I was tripping while trying to keep up with his long steps. We found a shaded spot near the trees and sat down on the sand.  The sky was still beautifully blue with scattered white clouds above the sea.  I sighed and laid down on my back.  I suddenly felt exhausted.  Swimming with the dolphins had been fun but took a lot of energy.

Jake turned his head to look at my face and smiled.  I can’t help smiling back, seeing his beautiful face.  He laid down beside me, his eyes staring into the blue sky.

I felt peaceful with him.  We enjoyed each other’s presence without having to say or do anything.  We did this almost everyday.  Riding the horses, swimming with Keanu and other dolphins, laying down on the beach.  It felt as if I had been here forever.  Everyday I got more comfortable with Jake.  We sometimes did other things such as snorkeling, hiking, camping, going downtown to see a movie or eating out.  My pale face had turned reddish on the cheeks, my skin tanned, my arms, legs and tummy got muscles.

Jake has been my companion almost all the time I’d been here.  I met him on the first day I got there.  I was out for a walk when he showed up with Lightning.  He stayed here at his parents’.  They apparently owned the farm near the B&B where I was staying.  Jake had grown up there and he knew the place very well.  He left the village to attend a college but came here for vacation.

He was the one who took me places and made me do so many things I had always wanted to do but never really did.  He introduced me to the horses, trained me how to ride them and picked Thunder as my horse while I was here.  He also introduced me to Keanu and other dolphins.  I had never swam in the sea like that, not to mention with dolphins.  I had been a little scared at first, but Jake made me feel safe and confident.  He really helped me make my dreams come true.  I had always dreamed of riding a horse and swimming with dolphins but never had done them until I met Jake.

Jake is simply a perpetually happy person, and he carries that happiness with him like an aura, sharing it with whoever was with him.  Like an earthbound sun, whenever someone is within his gravitational pull, Jake warms them.  It is natural, a part of who he is.  No wonder I am always eager to see him.*

Night lights

I hear a knock on my door and open it. There he is standing in front of me, his tan skin is covered with cotton shirt and cropped khakis. Even in this simple, casual outfit he looks so amazing I have to keep myself from drooling over him.  His shirt sleeves are rolled to his elbow, showing the muscles in his forearms. He smiles then stares at my face, down to my dress, and I can see his eyes shine. “Wow,” he says, almost a whisper. Maybe he sees me just like I see him; I’m only wearing something casual and comfortable too: a cotton dress and a pair of sandals. “Shall we go?” I ask, and it is as if he is awakens from a daydream. “Yes, come on,” he takes my hand and we walk together under the starry sky. His hand is warm, and I can feel warmth from the skin of his forearm as we walk. Then a cold breeze blows and I shiver a little. He lets go of my hand and put his arm around me, drawing me closer to his warm body.

I feel butterflies in my stomach. I imagine how nice it would be to be in his arms. I manage to hold back myself from jumping into his arms and kiss him hard. I start to hear distant noise as we are approaching the park. Soon pretty lights on the trees are revealed. People are walking, chatting, laughing, having a good time.

We walk around exploring the place. I can smell the sea in the blowing breeze.

The dolphins

Continued from the previous post.

‘Keanu!’ I cannot describe how happy I was to see him.  Keanu made a beautiful sound again.  I’ve always love to hear the sound of the dolphin.  Especially when it is Keanu.  Jake and I patted and rubbed his head.  Not long after, we were swimming and having fun together.  We held on to Keanu’s fin while he swam and dive into the water.  We danced and sing together.  Keanu’s friends appeared and played along with us.

[Theme song: The Dream of The Dolphin by Enigma]

We were really enjoying ourselves so much that we forgot about the time.  Next thing we knew, the sun was already high and the heat stank our skin.  We had to say goodbye to the dolphins.  I held Keanu in my arms, patted him and kissed him near his eyes.  Keanu made his beautiful sound.

‘Bye Keanu, see you around.’  I blew a kiss to him.  As if answering me, Keanu made the beautiful sound again and dived into the water.

Morning

I was awaken by the sound of the birds chirping.  A stray of morning sun light entered my room through the window. I got up and open the window.  I saw the birds on the trees, some flying around from one tree to another.  I inhaled the fresh morning air deeply into my lungs and smile.  What a nice morning to start the day!

I ran out of the house to the green grass field.  Colorful flowers were like smiling to me.

Then I heard someone called me.

And there I saw Jake, my Native American friend, smiling widely. ‘Hey, good morning!’ I said.  ‘Morning!’ he replied. ‘Wanna go horseback-riding?’

I didn’t need to think long before saying yes. We ran across the grass field to the stable.  In a minute we were riding our horses. My horse is Thunder.  He is black with a white stripe along his forehead to his nose.  I named him Thunder because he can run very fast.  I ride him very fast sometimes, for fun.  Riding him makes me feel free, liberated.  Jake’s horse is called Lightning. He’s as fast as Thunder, but Jake claims he’s faster, which I never accept it because he never really beats Thunder whenever we race.

We rode our horses fast across the grass field, up and down the hill with a lot of ‘Yahooo–!’s.  We finally reached the end of the grass field facing the beach.  The breeze blowing from the sea cooled my sweating body.  We slowed down until our horses walked steadily.  Jake and I faced the sea, savoring the beautiful scene before us.  The sky was blue with small, white clouds here and there. The sound of the waves is a music of nature.  I breathed the air deeply.  I love the smell of the sea.

We got off and took the horses at the spot where we usually leave them whenever we visit the beach.  Then we walked on bare feet to the beach.  I stepped on the white sand that felt a bit cold. We walked closer to the waves that our feet are instantly wet.  Jake stomped his foot to the water and splashed me.  He laughed as he saw my a little shocked face.  I kicked the water splashing him.  We laughed and splashing each other.  I ran to the beach laughing, avoiding his next attack.  He ran after me, taking off his T-shirt and threw it to the sand. He ran back to the sea with only his cut-off pants on.  ‘Come on!’ he ran while gesturing me to join him into the water.

I didn’t need long to think.  I took off my top and ran to join him.  We swam a little bit further away from the beach.  We both know what we were looking for.  We both stopped swimming, our eyes scanning the sea.  And not long after I heard it.  The beautiful sound of a dolphin.  It was very soothing.  A dolphin swam to us.  Jake and I smiled to each other.  It was our friend Keanu the dolphin.