I shutdown the computer after finishing the financial report up to recent date. Work always been overloading. I have to stay 45 minutes over the usual time. The day is getting dark outside, means the night is about to come.
“..Enjoy your time in your hometown..” as I walk outside, my boss at the gate greets me.
“..Thank you, and have a good evening. The report I have sent to your email..” I explain to him.
“..Is good. If there is anything I will email you..” I continue to walk to my motorbike, and head home.
The plan to go back to my hometown was just popping a few days ago, getting accommodations there is no difficulties. I have to take the plane for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or so, and after I will have to hire a driver to get me back to my hometown for about 2,5 or 3 hours, depend on the traffic.
The next day at the airport, I sat quietly at the hard bench it provided. My backpack are under the chair where I sit in. The song on the ear phone play Layang Kangen from Bossanovajava. My mind is thinking about him that is far from my reach. We most of the time were just talking through facetime. That’s how we communicate all these years.
The plane is a rather small, I understood considering the destination is not a very big city, it even flying with the plane with propeller, it doesn’t go that high up in the sky, just a little above the cloud.
At the arrival, I sat on the restaurant at the airport and order a light meal, I need a little time to rest and called the travel service and inform them that I am already in the airport, and to know what time the pick-up time is. The male voice on the other side said he will be here in 40 minutes, enough time for me to finish my meal and have one or two smoke.
“..Mas Angga?..” he smile at me and nodded. He open the door for me. I have a ride in front. I asked specifically to have the front seat, I don’t really like to sit in the back of a car. Especially when I have to travel with other strange passengers. With friends I don’t really mind.
Angga, the driver, said he is working in this travel for more than 4 years now, he comes from my hometown as well, just from different areas where I am headed to. He mentioned some name I familiar with, from my high school, which he knew from where he grew up. He said one of my friend already have a kid that is going on the 4th year. And the other have two kids, the big one is 5th year and the little one on her 1st year.
“..Do you have kids Pak?..” it still sound strange in my ears to be called Pak by others, at work some colleague called me that as well but still, strange that someone called me that, I asked myself sometime, do I look that old to be called Pak?
“..No, for now I have no plan in having kids. Yet. Mas..” I answer in short to avoid more question in that field.
Entering the city, I saw some school kids heading their way home, they ride their motorbike with group of others. My mind wandered decades ago, where I usually heading home on my bicycle, took me more than an hour to pedal that old blue bicycle to get home after a long day learning from school.
The long road ahead with rice field following along the side, it feels home already. My parent house are facing the rice field, I usually sat on the porch with my book, letting the wind greets me after school and read my book there. Sometime mom called from the kitchen to tell me the food is cooked and ready to eat, she always told me to eat after school, even though I don’t feel like to eat yet.
They didn’t know that I am heading home, my parents got used to me not telling them when about will I be home, I don’t want them to stay home and waited for me, or cooked something special for me, just because I am heading their way.
At the gate, Angga stop the car and I get my backpack. “..Let me know when will you head back, then I can pick you up next time..” He said before we parted ways.
“..Sure, I have your phone, I will call a day or two in advance. Have a good day Mas..” I get out from the car, I stood at the gate for a few second, the old house where I grew up. “..I’m home..”
The door knock on the door a few time and is locked, I walk to the back door, knock a few time, also locked. I sat on the porch, looking at the rice field. The memories of my youth flows in my head. I smile. How happy I am to be raised in this house. The good and the bad, all I remember is mostly the good.
I dial on my phone name Emak and Bapak, the phone ring but no one is answering. I dialed again, I hear the ring of the phone from inside the house. Ahh.. Probably they went to rice field. They never take their phone with them, they always left the phone in the house.
“..I think your parents is going to the rice field..” a familiar screaming voice from the house next door, I looked and my cousin were standing in front of his house. I walk closer.
“..How are you? God you’ve so grown now!..” We both shake hand.
“..Good, and how are you? Hows Mak Jill doing?..” I called my aunt Mak Jill, and my mother Mak, in where I grew, we called our female parent as Mak, and adding their name is like, our second mother.
My cousin wanted to drive me to the rice field, but I refuse, I prefer to walk through the rice field to get there, I find it more pleasant. I put my bag in my aunt house. Took me 20 minutes. I follow the river to get there, the sound of the river, the yellowish rice tree that is about to be ready to harvest, the wind that welcome me, I feels like a kid, again.My Mom and Father were surprise to see. They were about to finished and starting to load the full bag of rice to the street, so we can transport it home. I see clearly their tiresome face with smile to see me. I hold one of the bag and ask my father to help me to put it above my head, wanting to help them.
“..No, it’s too heavy for you..” my father said. From the size of it, maybe it is like 43 or 45 kilos. Long ago, I used to help them loading the bag to the street, I think I can handle it.
“..Just try, if I can’t I will drop it..” My father seems unsure about it, but he help me anyway. At first it feels heavy, especially when I was about to stand from crouching down to get the bag on top of my head with my father help. But once I start stepping to the street, it feels not as difficult.
When I return for the second one, my parents look at me oddly. I hear the helper talking “..He is so skinny but he can lift that full bag?..”
“..I am their son..” I look at my parents. And they all started laughing. My Mom is busy finishing up and get ready to go home, and my father were collecting all the tools.
“..I didn’t cook today, these are the leftover food from yesterday..” My mom in the kitchen busy warming the leftover food. My father were sitting in the kitchen enjoying his coffee and kretek cigarette.
“..No problem, I’m sure it is delicious as always..” That is why I did not tell them I am going home, my Mom will be busy cooking for me. While I wanted to enjoy the normal daily food they ate. Just the same as when I was a kid.