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Forest Story

IOPENED MY EYES AND CLOSED IT AGAIN, really compelled to stay on the bed for the next few hours. But sensing the awfully cold morning air on my face, I cringed and felt betrayed. Looks like I forgot to close the window last night. I woke up slowly, and stop. It took me about 5 minutes to kill the nauseating sleepy haze that lurch in my head. Feeling better, I stepped out the bed lazily, walked across the room and opened the door.

It was 5.30 in the morning. There was a spark of dim light on the skyline but most of it still painted with a dark color. I can feel the morning dew stinging on my face and the awful rattling breath sending shivers down my spine. Bad breath, bad breath. Shouldn’t not forgot to brush the teeth last night. Wait, triple negative at this early morning? Sigh, nevermind.


My eyes scanning and searching for a pair of old running shoes. Ah, there it is, hiding shyly behind the door. I bought it six or seven years ago, I’m not sure, but it’s definitely has already worn out. There are countless blotchs & stains from everywhere on, make it look both tough and creepy that one of my friend mocked it as an arsenic relic. I closed the door, locked it, took the shoes, put it into my bycycle, then started to ride. It was a time for my morning ritual: seeing her.

She is a kilometer away. As I pedalling onward, the wind howling, but the world stopped and the city stand still. All I can hear is white noise and the rest of the silence. Then my mind dancing. Her. I had to be mental to be so drawn on her.

No matter how much I tried, I really can’t remembered, not even once, how and when did I started to notice her.

When I was middle schooler in Papua, I saw a lot kind of her. Everytime we can came home early from school, me and my classmates would cross 2 mountains with a ridiculous name — Gunung Empat Ratus and Gunung Aduh Mama —, then find our sanctuary in the middle of her. We called it “Batu Tengah”, a majestic crystal clear river that runs in the heart of our little town. In the middle of this river you can see a huge rock that strangely popped up (hence the name is Batu Tengah) and serves as a resting spot while we were swimming arround.

She is similar to what I see back then in Papua. Only much uglier. But — and here’s lies the problem — there’s not much her left for an easy access. People kept chopping her into pieces and replace it with a new shinny thing. Something that I’m sure happen in every single modern city in Indonesia. Not there’s something wrong with being modern though, because it’s the thing that link me to the wider world. But I just hope that more city can find a way to keep at least a small remnant of her arround. Not in the outer circle of city, not in the mountain far away, but in the heart of place where you can passed it by on your daily life.

As I’m busy with my mind, I realized that I were already in my place. I stopped and look up. There she is: the small forest. She must be a hundred years old, standing there all alone and look content while the morning ray lit up her face. I wave hello, and she grins back.

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Someone from Yogyakarta. Love trees, Mario Kart and letter G. Blurry eyes, five foot six, black hair. A husband, father, managing director, day by day – in that particular order.