Summary: After receiving a stone from a mysterious man, Bena, an archeology student in Jatinangor, now believed that time didn’t exist but only clock did.
Bena closed the book, took a deep breath, and then sighed. He really felt like a crazy man now. His mind wandered to every cell of his brain since that evening-a crazy evening in Caringin. He tried to remember every pieces of that night, meeting a stranger who gave him an unfamiliar stone. He might just throw that stone away, but what that man said made him keep it. The stone he was holding now looked precisely like the picture on his Ikhtisar Kepurbakalaan Indonesia textbook. The sophomore archeology student looked at the picture again, deeply, and it stated that:
The nearly period of Megalith came to Indonesia on the Bronze Age, and developed by the Dong Son Culture (Deutro Malayan).
“Seriously? A millennium BC?”
Bena knew well that he might be deceived, but his instinct told him that this stone could be more important than he might think.
The next day, Bena chose to spend the whole day in the University Library, pouring his curiosity into loads of archeology books. And from a quite distance, there was seen a girl joyfully watching Bena’s every move behind her F. Scott Fitzgerald book.
Again, Bena found his questions to the impasse. He had read every Megalith’s theory, but still, no answer. He rushed to go out hoping to get his mind refreshed after a cup of coffee from the vending machine. Before he went out, he insisted to put the books back to its self, but what stood there surprised him. It was the man who gave him the stone, from the crazy evening. Bena decided to ignore him and calmly put the books back to the self. And suddenly, that man already stood beside him.
“Already found what you’ve been looking for, Bena?” That man smirked.
Bena was startled but he tried to answer calmly, “I don’t understand what you’re talking about.”
“Oh, I threw it. It was only a stone, right?” It is time for Bena to smile now, sarcastically.
That man was no longer showing his smile. “Oops, too bad, Bena. You think you’re smart? You know everything just because you won the national student prize? You’re completely wrong. Even all of your lecturers’ theories, those all are wrong.
“You know, Bena? Your life now, that you think you know, is only an illusion.”
Bena seemed surprised about it, but he acted like he did not give a damn about it. What Bena needed right now was to be in a quiet place to enjoy a cup of coffee. Soon, Bena left the library and that strange man.
From a distance, in the corner of library, the girl was eavesdropping since the start of their conversation. The strange man was aware and looked at that girl, smiling. But that girl looked away immediately and rushed to go after Bena.
Bena kept thinking about what that man said. He walked recklessly to Gerbang Lama with a cup of coffee on his hand. Behind him, like always, the girl was following him with the pounding heart which made its own melody. It had always been like that, since the first time she knew Bena. It was just Bena who already forgot the millennium moment.
Because of the crowd of Gerbang Lama and the rushed Bena, he accidentally bumped into someone. All of his books, also his precious coffee, scattered down.
“HOLY SHIT!” Bena cursed harshly.
The girl who followed Bena behind straightly approached him and helped him get his books. Bena looked up for a moment, to make sure if he knew this girl or not. But he didn’t, so he only smiled and simply thanked her.
“Wait Bena,” suddenly this girl called him.
“Do you know me?” asked Bena, raising his left eyebrow, a sign of astonishment.
“Err, yeah, sort of, I am Dina, an English student.” That girl gave him her hand.
Bena shook her hand, smiling. Then, Dina asked him, “Wanna join me drink? Since your coffee was already spilled.” Dina thought she was really stupid. Why suddenly asked him out of blue when he barely knew her a few seconds ago!
Bena did not want any crowded place anymore. He just needed to go bed and sleep, forget everything happened today. So Bena refused her politely.
Ah Bena, if only you knew… Said Dina to herself.
“Ah never mind, see you tonight, Ben,” Dina said as she left.
As Dina walked away, Bena noticed something from her figure behind, the key ring hanging on her bag.
“A stone?” Bena realized something. It was the same stone like the strange man gave to him!
Could Dina know something? And what did Dina mean by see you tonight? Bena thought that he became crazier as he brought Dina to his big question.
Bena opened up his eyes, realizing that Dina was in front of him. But…
“Where is this?”
The things Bena saw were only those tall trees, and damn! The freaking cold temperature!
Dina only smiled, “We’re in Jatinangor, Ben. Jatinangor in 250 years ago. I said that we would meet tonight, right?”
“What do you mean? Am I dreaming?!”
“Wow, it would be nice if you’re actually dreaming about me,” Dina laughed, her face looked more beautiful under the moonlight.
“Come on, Din. Be serious.”
“Okay Ben, you know that stone? You know why I have one? It’s because you gave me that stone, in the future. Yes, the man who gave you a stone is you, from the future.
And you know why you gave me that stone? It’s because you asked me to help you, go back to this year to save the future of Jatinangor,” Dina’s expression turned to be a serious one.
As they were discussing, they were not aware of someone peeping them behind. A European man was watching them silently in every detail with the mysterious smile on his face.
Thank you to:
- The great editors: Vera Citra Utami, Kurnia Novriyanti, Luqmanul Hakim
- IYCCA, for a great trip to many Indonesia cultural heritage sites, so it gave me this idea.
- National Geographic Channel, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.
- Nadya J.S’s painting: Susan dan Beni (SR ITB 2012)
Word Count: (987)