This is the official blog of Winna Efendi, author of several bestselling Indonesian novels.

Jumat, 27 Maret 2009

with you

someday we'll do this together regularly, on the back terrace of our own house.
no talking, no laughter, just sitting back there with one cigarette and a sip of hot chocolate.

Someday, you promised me once, over dinner, when you asked me something important. Your fingers wrapped in mine, enclosing the finger with the glistening diamond, and I felt the warmth, the genuineness of your words. Indeed I did, because I said yes. Maybe I was overwhelmed, but I liked to launch into self denial and simply said, I was in love.

We never talked about forever, but I had to admit I envisioned one. One long journey of togetherness. I kept talking and convincing myself, long enough to finally realize that you had never spoken about it at all.


Sometimes I found you there, crouching with a light cigarette resting between your fingers, blackened by ash. You were staring into space, as if wishing you would vanish with it. But honey, space was always present, just like the lingering breath of air, just like the unspoken words between us. We could never disappear, just like entities did not just disappear into nothing.

You held a cup of hot chocolate, cradling the handle gently. Most of the time, the drink turned bitter and cold, almost tasting like stale coffee. I knew because I once took a sip, just to feel the coolness of the touch of your lips there, just to feel your loneliness.

You never spoke about what it was that haunted you. Was it just me, incapable of being someone you could love and love you back. Or was it someone else entirely, someone I never knew, but felt like having known forever. Or was she such a big part of you, that I could feel her being, closer and closer.

Was I not enough, or was I not because she was not here?


We had our first fight last night. I pretended not knowing you pretended not hearing me cry. I pretended not noticing you had retreated into your personal nook there, in the back of the terrace, watching fireworks blow off in the first full minute of the new year.

What we were arguing about, I was not sure. Neither were you, I was certain, because you kept looking at me with blank stares, and the words you spoke meant nothing. I recalled calling you selfish, and you admitted it. I did not want you to admit it. I did not need you to tell me something I already knew.

I asked quietly, later when I found my composure back. It was never me you wanted, wasn’t it?

It hurt when I said it. It hurt more when you didn’t answer. It hurt most when I heard you say, wanting is not the same as needing.

And then you lighted up another cigarette.


It was dawn when I was jolted awake by a sound. It was not unlike the noise a child made. I rubbed sleep from my eyes, stood up and found you there.

I took your feverish body in my arms. I felt your shiver, I heard your sobs, I touched your tears. You looked up at me, and I cried with you. I uttered a promise of my own, I will be with you.

someday we'll do this together regularly, on the back terrace of our own house.
no talk, no laugh, just sit back there with one cigarette and a sip of hot chocolate. And I will be with you.

time 21:59, song Snow on Sahara, inspired by Saskia's blog entry. Thanks, dear

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