Home #02: Birthday

“One cant call it homesick. No sickness involved when you feels missing home.” –a new friend.


Being far away from home is not something new for me. Almost one and half decade ago, I decided to part life away from my nucleus family. I took my own path, seeking my own way and later on found myself in strange way completely getting closer to them than I ever imagine. It kinda funny to imagine that after years of denying, I have to say that I miss my family more than ever. I miss my both of my sisters -and my younger brother, regardless my unfriendly ways to show how much I love him, and for sure both of my Moms and my Dads. I do missing how we spent our lazy Sunday watching movie after we enjoyed delicious foods made by our Mom -or Moms. It was a simple Sunday but it leaving behind unforgotten memories that stick with me till this very day.

To realized later that I still miss them and wanna stay as closer as I could, played important role behind my decision to gave up on the opportunities that I had to live abroad and return to Indonesia after several years of lone wolf mission.

I did not go back to our hometown, because I know that I was no longer part of it. It felt to small and will imposed me as before. For sure, I know that I will put myself away once again if I l tend to stay there. This kind of feeling maybe shared by my own sister as well. Despite that we could have an opportunity speeding up our careers and maybe having a better life economically, it was and will not be an option to be consider.

* * *

“Happy birthday. Your sister told me that today is your birthday.”

I was surprised. I forgot my own birthday. I was drowned into works and haven’t sleep whole night. So details like birthday was out of the list before she greeted me.

“Ah, thanks so much. I did not expect it before.” A simple reply. Kinda weird to find out that she was the first one who wished me. We hardly know each other. She’s a good friend of my sister and if I am not wrong, we might met for couple times only. Once, I cooked a Thai foods for them. I was having break after finished my research in several cities in Indonesia. At that time both of my sisters were there in Jakarta. So I stop by and spent some time with them and for sure, offer to cook for them. Cooking always a way for me to celebrate a special moment. I rarely to have a chance meet up with both of my sisters. So, I need to embrace each single opportunity that I have.

I love cooking.

It kind of my yoga. I can express my way and show my love through foods. Cooking also bringing all the good memories. I was growing up with delicious foods cooked with love. Something that you hardly find in restaurants and hotels. I learned how to respect women and foods through the lessons that being taught to me in the kitchen. Both of my Moms taught me all the details and basic knowledge of cooking that later on really helpful when I were abroad. Always struggling with alien foods, knowledge of making my own always save my life.

In the past, cooking has helped me to deal with my relationship. It replaced flowers or jewelry. It smells more than expensive perfume or new clothes. It explains more than words that I can say. It bridging me to overcome my inabilities to be a romantic type of guy. It able and never failed to help me expressing myself.

Cooking also helpful to cure my homesickness. The smells from spices in a frying pan somehow being an honest pray wishing both of my parents are healthy and happy. Three of us are now staying far from them. Healthy and happiness are the most important things now. So they both can enjoy their time being old together. Something that I never can do.

To grow old with someone. All my relationship ended just few years after the honeymoon over. The last one for example. She decided to walk away simply because I could not guarantee a safe and better future. It was a reasoned decision. I could and will not blamed her. It was my failures during those years to keep her next to me. Broken promises and unsure prospect of life for sure will turn one away. I was trying to hold her still. At least, tried my best to ensure her that she will be fine with me. But, spoken words was not enough. She’s going to find her own way, apart from me and left behind all of our memories together. She was fed up with me. That’s for sure. So holding her will be add more pain. It wasn’t easy, though.

But, I am hoping that later on we can be friends. But who knows. Future is uncertain.

* * *

“Normally, what you do on your birthday?” he asked me. I just smiled. It was an honor for me. A respectful comrade paying an attention on my birthday.

“Nothing. I did nothing. Nothing special to celebrate. It just simply another day. After all, I forgot if today is my birthday.”

“How about beer?”

“Yes, it will be a good idea.” I love to drink beer. In fact, one can say that I am a beer maniac. This is also one of the reason she gave up on me.

“You promised you’ll stop drinking beer. But in reality, you keep drinking. Behind my back. You lied. You never keep your promise.”

That was her line when she found out that I went out to drink beer alone at the bar. That night, she went and stay overnight at her parents house. Being left alone, I decided to go out by myself. I drunk half dozen of bottles before went back home. The next morning, she came and woke me up for breakfast. She saw my laptop still on and my Facebook account was open. She checked it and found exchanging messages of me with other two Vietnamese guys. We were discussed where we’re going to meet and grab some beer. I was the initiator. It made her sad. She confronted me but the only thing that did was saying sorry and made another promise that I will let her know next time if I were going out for beer.

I was wrong. Totally wrong. For her, another promise upon a broken promise was not an answer. I failed and now I have to deal with the consequences.

“I bought a special beer for you. To celebrate your birthday. I asked you this morning because I thought you will be OK with a small party. But it seems like, you prefer a quiet one. So, you can get your beer and continue your work.”

I looked at him, smiled and say nothing. He was right. Tonight I just want to be alone.