Natasha Citra Adelina
Summary: Crecencya went home after her 6-years life out of the town to see her sister, Yehezkiela, that was dying. Yet, Yehezkiela didn’t seem happy to see her and constantly attacked her with sarcasm while Crecencya trapped in old memories.
When I came in to the room, she glanced at me and before I said ‘Hi’, she sighed and said, “You push yourself too hard, go home and get a rest.”
I decided to ignore her, put my bag on the desk, and placed myself in the only chair beside her.
“Why, here’s my home. Besides, I want to accompany you.”
“What a great improvement we have down here,” under her hoarse voice, her sarcasm was still on point. “Where have you been these last six years? Staying in a place like home? Accompanying some other sick sister?”
I looked through her rat-like hair that was so drenched and dull while thinking about what I was going to say next.
“Ce, it’s actually okay. You can’t deny it. I can’t see any probability to deny it either.”
“Stop calling me with that name!” I hate that name. I had to stop her calling me that right away for bad memories about that name flocked to my mind.
“What now? You scold me? Heaven sake, Cece. You may grow big but you are Cece for me, for everybody, forever.” She paused and breath heavily before lowering her emotion and continued, “Now if you want to forget that, then forget about being with me or with home; none of it accepting any other than Cece.”
While saying that, her almond-shape eyes sparkled as if she had never been ill. Despite of all the paleness spread in her face, flaws inhabiting her cheeks, and white thick-lips (that when it was still red would be the only thing that make us quite similar), she was still mom’s little duplicate. And despite of all that physical similarity between she and mom, what goes inside her head was definitely not mom. I bet it was dad’s.
“Ce, are you okay?” her cynical concern woken me up. She sounded extremely like mom. “Don’t talk like mom.”
Yehezkiela grinned, “How can I possibly imitate mom when I can’t remember anything about her? Anyway, when will you stop scolding me? You know, I’m a sick-person.”
She was only a mere baby back then.
Dad left when she was five months, when they finally found out that there was no such hope of a leg to grow after birth. It doesn’t work that way. I guess things were more complicated at that time; I was only one and a half year alive. Yet, people are more likely to blame Yehezkiela for dad’s departure and mom’s grief that followed after. And I am the one to blame for their marriage for I am the reason of it. If only I knew that dad was a rather-poor Bataknese Christian that was unable to afford condom and mom was a freakingly-rich Sundanese Moslem that was easily conceived, I wouldn’t come to them before things were sorted out. Though it took mom three years after dad’s leaving to finally gave up and die, those years were spent without her full presence. I am—and Yehezkiela was too—confused about our being. We were rather unaccepted in mom’s family, meanwhile we know nothing about dad’s family.
“It’s not like that. Sorry,” I put myself in order again and tried to smile as wide as I can remember. In contrary with her, nothing in my smile looked like mom. I am definitely dad’s version of woman. That’s why, I’m pretty sure, nobody actually liked me in the family. My mom’s mother, our caretaker, sent me out of the town for the sake of education. I wasn’t quite sure it was the reason, and never be sure. I felt like I’ve been pushed out of the area. If only Yehezkiela wasn’t a cripple, she’ll get the very same force to leave the town.
After a brief moment of awkward silence when I tried to convince her I was okay and she tried to understand what actually bother my mind, she broke the ice, “So, you left Bontang for sure this time?”
I nodded calmly. “What’s the use of staying out of the town when you need me.”
“You stayed for more than six years, tho,” she reminded me. She always looked okay before. Even when we took the family picture, she looked perfectly blend in. These whole damn things are okay for her, where it never did any good to me.
“You’ve never been needing me this much before.”
Instead of responding, Yehezkiela scanned me. I felt awkward under her observation so I tried to put my full concentration on the room we were in. Size 5×5 m, every equipment here was just one; they even only had one glass of water. Though you could see no dust in any surface, you could also see the grim they picturized—they had watched many deaths before Yehezkiela slept here, I believe. And Yehezkiela was the next.
I never had the courage to ask what was wrong with her. The first person I knew that I saw when I got here in Bandung was her. I didn’t (and would prefer not to) talk to the doctor deeply about her illness. I knew she was dying. Everybody is. Why bother to know why?
“Look, what’s wrong with that name? It’s too long to call you Crecencya. Remember, I’m a sick-person. I can’t call somebody’s name that long.”
“That’s the name mom gave me. Mom gave us. It is better to—”
“Look here, sweetheart.” Yehezkiela tried to move her head. After she failed, she went on, “You are the part of the family. Of our family. But you keep saying the contrary. You are the one who keep straying away. Now if you want me not to blame you, it’s kind of hard job to me. You left. You just left. You said that grandma asked you to. But, hell, you could just say no. But guess what? You obeyed her. But you cursed her as if she made you to. What… I don’t know what else, there are too much contrary in you.”
After such a long effort to pour out such a long sentence, she took a deep breath and fell into such an impression of depression.
“I’m not,” my tears tried to distract my view of her. I had to look at her eyes to convince her.
“You are not. But you were.”
“They laughed at us, they—grandma particularly—controlled us, they blamed us for everything, they called us with silly names—how can you possibly thought that we are the part of the family? How can you possibly thought that I would like to be there with them? It’s not about you, it’s not about me either. It’s about—”
“What? What was it all about? Can you even tell?”
Then I lost of words.
“You can have the first flight to Bontang now.”
“You can’t just piss me off like I’m—” I stopped because Yehezkiela raised her hand. It was much of surprise for both of us that her palm facing my mouth and we both watching it like it was some works of art.
She then put her hand down. She tried to move again but since nothing happened, she just sighed. With her closed eyes, she said, “You know, Ce, the truth is…”
Nothing. Nothing followed after.
That was it, the truth.
What a simple truth.
Well, at least it felt good to be the last one to hear her last words.
– ‘Crecencya a.k.a Cece’ and her physical appearance was a real person, my junior at high school. Yet, her gloomy attitude was totally opposite with the ‘real’ Cece I met in life.
– I have a nephew named Yehezkiel. Yehezkiela was my own creation (I don’t even know whether that feminine variation is existed).
– My mom is half Bataknese half Sundanese (and yes, her family name is Silalahi) but no, she had no problem with her family at all.
– I somehow recollect a memory that Dea Mirella and her first husband divorced because (according Dea’s statement) her husband unable to accept the fact that their first baby had problem with her leg (I forgot what) and probably wouldn’t be able to walk.
Word count: 1241 words
Natasha Citra Adelina