“All these years, I’ve been trying to force myself to believe that you will be different later on. You will stop smoking and drinking. You will learn how to take care your own health, because for me it shows that you will able to take care me and our future children.”
“I will.” I said it simply as a respond. It was not a promise or a clear statement from me. It was a defensive mechanism of me. I knew she was really angry with me. Keep drinking beer and smoking behind her back for sure was not a good way. I knew it for sure, but somehow I could not stop. Beer and cigarette are part of me. These two are something that I could rely on for many years before I met her.
“You said you will stop. It’s been years. And I am sorry. I could not let myself being foolish by you another year.” Her eyes were met with tears. It was a painful words for her to be told.
I was trying to hug her, but she refused. She turned her back against me and facing the wall. That night, I knew it will be our last night together. I was right. She left me after that.
* * *
“What do you think about traveling to Maldives?”
I smiled when heard about it. I grew up in coastal area and we’re originally from Nanusa, a small group of foremost islands of Indonesia, in the north part of the country. So, for sure I do loves to go to spend time or having holiday in beach or island. But Maldives? What makes it special?
“I wanna swim and dive there.” I was cooking when she threw that idea. It was a perfect cover to hide my disinterest about her plan.
“Our honeymoon. Where we both can take a break from works. No laptop, no email, no writing, just a holiday. Pure holiday where we both can enjoy time and you wont bother to check email or submit an article.”
I finished my cooking. It was pork ribs, one of my favorite cuisine. Been learning it for more than a year perfecting my skills. I do obsessed with the way people around the world serves pork ribs. Perfect color and taste, for me will bridging you to heaven. You can see God’s face if you have a good pork ribs.
“I will check the tickets and see our availability. Once it fixed, we can buy a ticket. Next month sounds perfect, right?” She hugged me from behind. I gave no reply.
“I will arranged my schedule and remember, you need to do yours. Tell people in Indonesia to let you have a week for holiday. They need to do that. After all, I let them having you for uninterrupted four months. So a week for me wont be hard.”
It never happened. We never been to Maldives, together.
* * *
“Do you ever been to Bach Ma?”
I shook my head. I read about it once. But no interest to go there. National park somehow never made into my list. But few days after she asked me about it, I found two of us were hiking to the top of the mountain in Bach Ma. We spent a night over there and it was wonderful.
“You know that, I never thought that I will fell for a guy from Indonesia.” I hugged her closer, because the whether was cold. Mountainous area for sure will no need for air conditioner. But we also did not use blanket to hide ourselves. Instead, we’re both naked because of our hearts warm enough that night.
“When we first met, I thought you will be just another random guy who was curious with local girl but later will move on.” Her smile was so beautiful. Through it, I can see how life will be in the future. With her, finally I was able to imagine a plan how to spend the rest of my life. With someone that you thought will be your comrade to spend day by day and growing old together.
“I want to come again. Of course with you.”
“Yes, we will. Maybe after I finished in Thailand, then we can arrange our trip together.”
“But, before that I wanna go to see beaches and islands in Southeast Asia. Wanna visit Thai, Malaysia and Indonesia. Wanna have seafood and stay overnight next to the beach. Exploring cities together. It sounds perfect. What do you think?”
I nodded my head and kissed her.
At that time, I was strongly believes that we can make it. I did sure that with her, a fairy tale will be come real. But reality hit me hard. Years after Bach Ma, I found myself sitting alone at the coffee shop and writing about her.
* * *
“I am tired.”
Her face looked pale. A long trip from Hue to reach my hometown never been easy. We started from our place early morning and took bus to Da Nang. From there, we will fly to Malaysia. We arrived in Jakarta in early morning. We just missed our flight to Manado. Our flight from Kuala Lumpur was delayed for couple hours and we did not managed to catch our next bird.
It was Christmas eve and we supposed to have breakfast with my entire family members next several hours. Both of my sisters were there already and my parents was waiting to see her.
“I want to have seafood as soon as I arrived. Your hometown is coastal city, so no reasons. I want shrimp.”
I smiled. It was a “yes” answer. But later, as usual I did failed to fulfilled my promised.
* * *
“Do you believe in one marriage?”
“Why?” I was shocked and that was my respond to her question.
“One marriage for the rest of your life? Spending with just one woman and settle down to have a life just like common people? Giving up on your dreams because you want to have another dream that can be shared with your partner?”
I do realized now that replying question with another one was a bad idea. It might sounds as a perfect way to delaying time before giving an answer. But for her, it showed that how I was not ready to answer. Means that, she figured it as the answer itself.