Wednesday, 5 November 2014

My First Love

"I dare you to write about 'my first love story'."
I felt a bit suffocated when a friend of mine asked me such thing. And i could sense the rest of my writing club friends were smirking like evil when that particular friend threw that challenge. Dear friends, it is a desecration to our holy friendship guild, just so you know.
To be honest, i never shared my first love story because, yeah, you know, it is really personal. I guess only a few people know about this. But, I also dare myself. So I gathered my sense of courage and accepted the challenge. It feels like i was challenged by a 14 yo old of me that sometimes haunted me every time i tried writing a blank new page in my life. 
I guess everyone my age has had their first love. A quarter century is a quite long journey particularly for me. But before i begin, i'm warning you to prepare some tissues. You know, just in case your eyes burst into tears (most unlikely to happen). You also have freedom to close this window anytime you want. It's kinda boring and romantic,  I don’t mind. Have i told you that i am one of helplessly romantics in the world? 
So, where should i begin?




Born and raised in a conservative ( and a bit religious) family had its own perks. First, I've been taught to be good to myself and others. As the result, i have to admit that i have great compassion and sympathy for others especially those who are in needs. Not only that, i also learned to stay honest and true to myself. That's a very berry principle I've been holding onto. But basically, I don’t wanna hurt someone’s feeling. Yeah, it's lame because everybody wants to do the same. As a proof, i watch my words and behavior when i'm surrounded by people. I didn't curse or utter bad-mouthing words. I was lean and clean. Second, i had to learn that women are the most respected creature in life. In my own eyes, women place themselves in a very crucial role in the family. You know, when a girl becomes a woman and a woman becomes a mother, she manifests herself as a life sustainer. That's why Greek has Gaia and the concept of Mother Nature was created. Obviously, my mother, as any other mother, gave a lot of influences in my life. I’m not lessening the role of father in the family, but in my religion, there’s a hadits explaining this:
Once a person came to prophet Muhammad SAW and asked, ”who among people is the most deserving of my fine treatment?”. Prophet Muhammad SAW replied, “Your mother.”, he then asked,  “Who’s next?”, Prophet Muhammad SAW Replied, “Your mother.”, He asked again, “Who’s next?” Prophet Muhammad SAW replied, “Your mother.” He asked again, “Then, who?”, prophet Muhammad SAW replied, “Your father.” (Bukhari Muslim).
Before i go further, i have to explain some of my traits when i was kid. So one time you're wondering why i did some stupid things and stuffs, you'll know that's because I'm me.

Well, I was a typical kid who got bountiful questions in his head but never came out. Poor my curiosity  because i had to suppress it even though a lot was going on in my mind. But rather than posing questions straight forward, i often let my mind wander to see the answers. Sometimes, i wish the answers came in when i was sleeping. Or when i meditated. I was 10 years old and i did meditate? Of course, yes. My little me considered spending time more than 5 minutes to defecate in the bathroom is one of a very simple way of meditation. The real meditation because sometimes you think you're done doing business in the bathroom but apparently you prolong time because you perceive the solacement you can't resist.

How much time i spent to meditate (read: defecate), it was never crossed in mind of young me to even think about love. The topics usually weren’t far from: when did i get more money to play gamebot?, were Thundercats called cats-human or humans-cat and why?, Why Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya had to use guns (HE IS NINJA BTW and NINJA DON'T USE GUNS)?.
And maybe because, my first love hadn’t showed up yet in the elementary school. Probably because I spent my elementary school time in a religious school in town called Madrasah. So, having a girlfriend never crossed to my mind.
Graduated from elementary school, i went to a public junior high school. In a public school, the students are more diverse and open. When i was in elementary school, i wasn't allowed to mingle closely with female students while, conversely, in junior high, i could hold their hands (if i could and i would). At the first day of school, i was sit next to a girl. And i couldn't conduct proper conversation or self-introduction. So i had to ask my mom to come to school to let the teacher rearrange my sitting place. Besides, when i was having a new students orientation week, there were two girls in my class that were having a cat-fight. They sounded like meow meow meow meow meow anj anj gobs gobs gbs meow meow meow. At that time i found that girls, with pretty faces, are human too. They do curse and are sometimes really annoying. So guys, pretty face isn't a guarantee. 
It was quite hard for me to perfectly fit in. Even though i was still young, i held principles and values that i learned from elementary school and family. Cheating in exams, bad-mouthing, cursing, skipping classes, and stuffs weren't my things. At that time it feels like i was inviting problems coming to me. Because boys are boys. Skipping classes, bad-mouthing, and other stuffs like that are ones of ways to make a bonding among boys. So, you can guess i had only a few friends.
There was a girl in my class. Her name is Gilang (pretty odd name for a girl, yes). She was the first girl ever asking me to be her boyfriend after one month in class. And you know, i had to ask my eldest brother’s advice for this. Now, i feel shameful. Of course i said no to Gilang by giving her the lamest excuse like, “We’re still 7 graders, we should prioritize studying. Besides, your mom and my mom wouldn't agree if kids like us go on a date. Conversely, they will be proud if we study well and give them flying colors.”
I loathe the 14 yo me.
Then, she never talked to me ever since. But relax, she wasn't my first love. First love isn't strictly defined as the very first one we have had crush on, in my opinion. It is the first person we know what love truly is from.
After a few months in the 7th grade, i developed affinity to a girl with a thick glasses and two pony tails on right and left sides of her head. She was Anggun. She was not popular but she was smart and fun. She was the one who were having a cat-fight BTW. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I don't care about that because we talked a lot about anime and manga. She was a fan of Samurai X, Hunter X Hunter, Fushigi Yugi and Animonster. So she was basically compatible with my liking. We even had a book containing our stories. We used to swipe stories, like i wrote my fiction then she continued my fiction then i continued my fiction and so on and so forth. I wasn't conscious that we were really close until she gave me a letter asking me to be her boyfriend. I liked her. But i don’t know if being a couple could bring more intimacy than that. I mean, for a kid at my age, those activities were realy intimate because i only did those things with this girl. Once again i asked my elder brother’s advice, he advised me to write the lamest sentence to reject Anggun, like: I’m sure that love is like an inseparable lock and key. It has to match each other to make a click, in other words, to unlock our hearts. But i’m not sure yet if we are that inseparable lock and key. I didn't want to force us to unlock each other because in the end, if we’re not compatible the lock will get broken, as our hearts will be. And remember, as a student, we have an obligation to study.”
After replying her letter like that, i was still grateful she still talked with me. Even though i sensed she was gradually backing off. That’s a price i need to pay. But in life, we don’t know what’s important until we lose them. In the end of first semester, she left me by moving to the best junior high in town. I practically had nobody to share any more until i passed 7th grade.
But i can tell you, Anggun isn't my first love. Turns out, what my elder brother said that love is like a lock is quite true.
Next semester was a hell for me. I won’t elaborate on it. But as the time went by, i didn't realize i had built a very tall wall to anyone. Until a girl approached me. Funny thing, all i can remember about her is that she was the other one who had a cat-fight with Anggun at the first day of school. Yeah, yeah, yeah. 
Her name is Shendu. Actually, i can't recall why i like her. She was popular but that's not an impressive thing for me. She didn't like anime or manga. Maybe because I found out something in common between us. She liked reading novels and was into poetry. That was a very good beginning to talk. But i can't remember if i liked her because of that. I forget why i responded to her approaching me but it was flowing like water in the river. We had been really close as time went by.

How close? We were getting really close when we were on 8th grade and in different class. But being separated like that, made me realize that distance is not an excuse to let somebody go.

Almost every night after 8, I called her or she called me, and we had a very long talk on a fixed line. Long time ago, fixed line was still popular and reasonably cheap. We often spent more than two hours. At some nights, we even talked from 8 PM to 2 AM.  Several times i had to stay awake at night because my parents asked me to keep an eye on water filling in the bathroom. Usually at night, the water streamed faster and to prevent water from going to waste once water basin was filled, that's why somebody had to watch it. I had been assigned that job. She sincerely accompanied me during waiting for the water basin became full.

We were basically talking about everything on the phone, from what we are doing at the moment until serious topics like home works or even something with a tinge of love like, have you ever fallen in love? And we never got bored. We always found out something to talk. At the the time, we didn't. We kept listening to each other. Even though we could always meet and talk at school, the feeling was different when we were on the phone. Even a few times, we couldn't hang up the phone. Instead, we kept saying, "You first.....You first.....You first...." Until one of us felt really tired and really hung up the phone.

Not only that, after school we also had chat. The school was dismissed around 4 PM but we usually talked until the sun went  down. Usually we had to stand up during talking. But we didn't feel tired at all. I guess because we were enjoying each other's companion. We didn't put so much efforts to make a conversation. It was always captivating just to look at her. 

We swapped books, went to Cinema, hung out at the library, had lunch, studied together, and those were fun.  I had never felt like that, like i found the best of me in her. Because she was a reason why i studied harder, a reason why i couldn't help coming to school everyday. Yes, i fell in love with her and she was my first love.

After school holiday, we were regrouped with class mates we had before at 7th grade. So i met her again at 8th grade. But that doesn't make us spend more time together because even though we were closer every day we were separated by hustle and bustle. We were pushed to be ready for the national exam and senior high school. So even we were in the same room every single day, it's been really difficult to just sit back, relax, and talk. Every spare time was filled with learning and exercising. School time for 8th graders became longer. School started at 6 am and dismissed at 3 pm. After that, most of students including me needed to go to tutorial or having extra lessons outside the school. Me and her hardly ever talked again. Just important things, sometimes we wrote letters to each other like we usually did before, but it was short and straight to the point. 

It was killing me inside. Because when i gave us time to talk on the phone or even eye to eye, the conversation was starting to feel empty. It was like we were rushing to go somewhere else to do something else. I tried to understand because our future depended on this. So i gave us more space and time.

Until, i called her at several nights, she wasn't at home. Her sister answered my call and she said that she was out and would be back at 10 pm. I waited and called again at 10 pm. But she wasn't yet at home. I gave up and went to sleep. It happened several times. I texted her cell phone and got no reply (because at that time SMS and cell phone call rate was quite pricey). At school, before class started, i tried to speak to her but it was kinda useless, she pretended reading a book until the bell rang. So was after school. I tried to walk her out of school but she kinda played hide and seek with me. She also refused to walk to a public transportation shelter with me. I was perplexed. What did i do wrong?

One day at school she asked me to help her study. Not help in the way i think, actually she asked me to do her home works. I felt a bit strange because she never did that. My curiosity pushed me to observe her behavior when in class. And i found out that she became, i don't know how to put in words, chicker. She put make ups in the class. Her school uniforms were body shape tailored to expose her body. She was different. Maybe, in a female world, changes like that were usual. But for me, it wasn't her.

After my little findings, i begun an investigation. Asking her parents, her sister, her close friends, and also herself. Until one day, i got a confirmation from a very reliable source that she has been cheating. My world was spinning around. I couldn't believe it happened to me. So, i gathered some evidences. And my friends, ignorance is a bliss and truth is a pain in the ass. I got evidences that convinced me that she was doing so. She knew a guy of her neighborhood in one event. He was older than me, had his own car, got some cool ear piercings,  was 12 grader in an unknown private senior high, went to pool bars and clubs in town, and similar stuffs. 

Like any other stories, the ultimate question came up, 



WHY? 



Why him. 


i heard rumors about him like he was a drug addict, had made a girl pregnant, and other bad stuffs. But that didn't console me at all. I didn't think i was better than him, but i knew she could have gotten someone better. I kept questioning, was it making her better? Why was she still with me then? why didn't she break up with me?

To be honest, i cried a river all night long. Somebody i used to know had turned into somebody i never knew. It broke my heart into pieces. I didn't break up with her right after i knew that she was cheating on me. I calmed myself and kept telling my self that there should be a reason why she was doing that. Maybe that's the point i did wrong.

One day, in school, no teachers came for two subjects in the row. At that moment, i summoned my bravery and talked to her. 


Behind the door class.

"I knew you were seeing someone else."

She was quite and her face didn't show any guilt.

"Why?"

She was still quite.

"Why?"

"Why?" I repeated.

After a long pause, she started to speak.

"I don't know. Maybe I was bored. Maybe he introduced me to a world that i actually like in it."
"Like what?"
"I didn't know how nice it was to be picked up after school and drove all the way in town."

That's why she had been avoiding me after school this whole time.

"He took me to bars and cool places at night. And made me dress up like a woman."

That's why she became a rebel to her parents and always came home very late.

"I don't know. Maybe i just like the new me."

Without being hesitant, i said, "i want to break up."

She replied flat, "Okay. I hope we can still be friends."

I didn't reply to that. I held my tears and went out of her sight. 



Still be friends? 

She must be nuts.


----------


Couple years later, sometime i was bumped into her. One day, on the bus, i was sitting a few chairs behind her. She was seen with a guy, different guy. One day, at a mall, i accidentally met her but it seemed she didn't recognize me and i didn't say hello thought. So, we were passing by like complete strangers.

It took me a quite long time to move on from her. Until one day, a close friend informed me that she had lost her mother. Without trying to remember what she has done to me, i looked up her facebook and say my condolences. At that time, i fully realized that i had no particular feeling for her anymore. And last year, when i was in Holland, we chatted. She told me that her sister was recently passed away. I said my condolences and tried to relieve her. What was my intention? She had hurt me once. I could just ignore her and choose not to care. But i couldn't. Not because i still have lingering feelings for her. It is like i am questioning myself, 

Have i forgiven her? 


And the answer is found by giving her a sympathy. And i can clearly say, yes i have forgiven her. 

My hatred had completely vanished. Even though the scar remains there. I take it as a remembrance, that at the end of the day, i cannot deny the truth that she was once was the best part in my life.


Still kept her photograph in my wallet :) 
So, what is first love to me?

Well, first love is my first lesson in love.


P.S. All the names are real. 


1 comment:

Lastye Paramytha said...

First lovenya Mang Dipta begini ternyata kisahnya.
Keep writing Mangdip, Ebu cannot stop reading your blog nih! ('',)v