Once Upon A Wedding Maret 11, 2009Posted by yayanlei in Uncategorized.
It’s inspired from what a friend of mine ever said, “Why should ALL my female friends get married to the seniors?”
Once Upon A Wedding
“HELLO! Anyone’s there?!”
A blank stare.
The reaction was only a slight of turning head and a glance before it came back to a blank point somewhere on the ceiling.
“Okay, I give up. I’ll talk to you later when you have your mood back.”
Pak Kom left his companion, who had had bad mood since this past two days, then, got inside the secretary room to type something, there are a lot of better things to do than talking to a robot, he mumbled to himself.
Itang was sitting on the bamboo chair at the terrace, with his foot folded on it, his back leaned against the hard bamboo and his gaze was pointed to who-knows-somewhere.
An invitation letter was hung on the wall, next to the green and black HMI logo, the identifying mark of Wisma Hijau.
That’s where all his sudden switch in mood begun.
He was supposed to know that it would happen one day, but at this moment he wasn’t ready yet. After for about three and a half years, he still thought that it was too sudden.
After for about three and a half years, he had known her well since their freshman year. The initiation campus was the first time he met her; a shy, graceful girl with a large veil covered her head and a big part of her upper body. They were gathered in a group of twelve with the number of female members was one third of the total ones. Well, it was faculty of Forestry, only a small number of girls would choose the majors there in the very first time in the university entry exam. A part of them who got there usually had relatives who had been involved in forestry field before as reference and the other part had no idea at all about what they would get themselves into there. Needless to say, it needed more than a strong body to experience the practices deep in the forest; three weeks in Getas and two months in Sumatra or Borneo. No spoiled girls would survive in there, only the tough ones. So, all forestry girls were tough and wonderful. And among all those tough and wonderful girls in this faculty, she, Nadya Aurelia, was the most sparkling one in Itang’s eyes.
It wasn’t her fault if her performance caught everyone’s attention who ever met her. She had covered her figure with the real hijab. Her manner and attitude were perfect for a jilbaber. But her intelligence reflected through her two bright eyes, was something everybody couldn’t just ignore.
He had seen her very critical since the campus initiation. On every discussion sessions, she was active to throw her notions to forum and not the ordinary ones, but always the smart, dazzling ones.
Soon she became famous among their batch, and among the older batches and it brought her to join HMI’s Basic Training. Itang joined it also, for a reason he couldn’t truly explain, though he grew fond on this student’s organization’s community then.
How couldn’t he refrain from admiring her? But he kept his feeling for himself well. He knew a kind like her would never accept any non-Islamic concepts of man-woman relationships, like dating. The only one she would approve was marriage. And he was far beyond ready for that. Nevertheless to get steady in a marriage, he was still struggling against his not so good average point by studying over again some subjects. Even this semester he still had some Cs and one or two Ds to repair.
Once or twice, he ever thought the possibility of getting marriage before finishing college. It was a common discussion topic among HMI members. They even made it into seminar topic few times. But his thought always ended to the same conclusion. For him, personally, it was an impossible thing. How would he feed his wife and family if he still counted on his mother’s wage as rice field laborer, his only parent left, to pay his college fees? He still even had three siblings he had to care. No…no…he would always sheer off that thought away from him
And if Ilham, a senior of about three batches before him, had the chance to propose her before Itang did, none could blame him. As a senior he had passed the undergraduate degree faster, had earned a good job faster and thus he had started steady much faster too. He was an ex-Pak Kom of his time. Nobody doubted his qualifications as a future husband of Nadya Aurelia.
The first shock came to Itang one afternoon, few days ago. He was trying to collect his concentration on Mr. Long Tailed Monkey’s monologue before the class about the almost extincted Javanese eagle (hey, it wasn’t an insult! It’s how this professor proud to be addressed, as a remembrance of his doctoral dissertation on long tailed monkey creatures or Macaca fascicularis). But he failed, since almost all the other students in that classroom were busy talking among themselves. He only had to count the seconds when Mr. Long Tailed Monkey ended his monologue, like what he always did every times he was being ignored by the class.
So the lecture ended up ten minutes faster than it should and the students stormed out the classroom as fast as possible. He sighed, when will Indonesian students ever grow up? It’s not like his classmates didn’t know their professor’s habits. He knew they did it on purpose to make the lecture end faster. And they succeeded.
He stopped walking downstairs as his gaze met her figure walk the opposite direction as his.
“Assalammualaikum…” He greeted her first.
“Waalaikumsalam…Eh, akhi Itang…” She replied with a bowed head, like always every times she spoke to any males.
“Having a lecture?” He quietly stole a glance to her super sweet smile that was pointed to the floor.
“No, I’m going to the library.”
“Oh… Okay. I think I’m going to the faculty mosque. Assalammualaikum…” he was about to continue his walk, but…
“Eh, wait a minute, akhi…”
He saw her open her bag and emerge something that seemed like a thick colorful paper. She handed the thing to him and it was hung for few seconds in the air before he really accepted on his hand. He frowned as he tried to read the bold letters on it, “Wedding invitation? Who’s…”
“It’s me. Well, what a coincidence to meet you here. Would you like to give it to Wisma Hijau? I’d like to invite all commissariat’s members…”
If her gaze wasn’t pointed to her own feet, she was supposed to see the apparent shock that was drawn on his face. It was his luck that she didn’t know. “Why?!” Uncontrollably, that question escaped his mouth.
He realized his stupidity then, “I mean…why now? You’re still in the fourth grade, and haven’t passed the undergraduate program yet…”
“That’s not a problem. I want to avoid fitnah and adultery. I just want to do the thing right…”
That wasn’t difficult to guess, he was supposed to know. A kind like her would always have that answer. What could he say again now? Oh, puhlease…don’t get married now, at least not to that… that…who? How silly those words would be? Or maybe…would you wait for me and marry me after I finish this undergraduate program… He was lost in his own mind that he didn’t even hear her say good bye and wassalammualaikum and walk away from him.
He felt his feet limp as he walked to the faculty mosque with the invitation letter in his hand. He had thrown that bothering thing onto the table at Wisma Hijau terrace soon after he got there that afternoon. Pak Kom picked it up and read it fast. With a little sly grin on his face he looked at his batch mate and said, “Well, it seems you have to move quick. You only have less than two weeks…”
His choice of words surprised Itang, “What?! Move quick?! Two weeks?!” Does he know? Does it mean Pak Kom supports him to keep struggling and that that invitation letter isn’t the end of everything?
“Sure!” Pak Kom snapped, “You’re the LEMI director, remember?! You have less than two weeks before the wedding day to prepare the bus to get there. It is also your job to accommodate all HMI members who want to go there together with us, include the alumnus. Well, considering who the bride and the groom are, I think it will be a big project for us. Do it seriously. So, I think you better start to make the advertisement. And don’t forget about the bus hunting…I really hope you can find a proper one in agreeable price…We may earn some rupiahs for our cash flow if we’re luck.”
“Oh…” Itang dropped his back against the backrest of the bamboo chair, felt truly defeated. It was the second shock for him. Everything is really over now. The girl of his dream is going to get married to someone else and he is going to be the one who has to prepare the accommodation for all his friends to attend the wedding! What a fate!
The time he had between typing the advertisements and pasting them up on the advertisement board at the campus, or between the bus hunting and collecting names of the wedding attendee (which he did half hearted or even quarter hearted or even one tenth hearted), was supposed to be a time for reflecting his own self. But his brain was too worn out. All his reflection resulted as more pain to him because he kept thinking that he wasn’t a good enough person for not getting a girl as qualified as her.
Until the D-day came, he still didn’t succeed to console himself. He was too ashamed to talk to someone else and admit all what he felt. All his friends at commissariat never talked about love or broken heart. So, on the bus which was fully booked only few days after he pasted up the advertisement, which brought the group to attend the wedding, he pretended to sleep while all his friends with their childish cheers (yeah…he thought they really seemed like kindergarten kids who were going to have picnic at the zoo…) were busy talking about how the wedding was going to be held, the food they were going to eat and even about the possibility of how the future kids of the bridegroom would be someday, eeehkk…! Disgusting! He didn’t even want to imagine about that! He had thought some excuses not to go, but then he decided that he didn’t want to cause any suspicion among his friends. So there he was; stuck, trapped, tortured.
Shalawat badhar echoed inside the whole building as a group of men in white, with rebana in their hands, marched in line and came in. All the guests turned their heads to them; none ever wanted to miss the moments. And then they came in, the ones the guests were waiting for; the bride and the groom. Only him who kept avoiding watching every scenes there. He didn’t want to see her in wedding dress. He didn’t want to see her wed to someone else.
The moments which was supposed to run fast, moved very slowly before him like a slow motion in an action movie. Everything was seemed like being intended to insult him, to insinuate him, to rub it on his face that he was the looser. The ijab which was said perfectly by the groom burned his ears. He still had no guts to see the scene, too afraid if he would react into something embarrassing, like fainting. But he couldn’t help to see. So he would see them, for the last time, he decided. Finally, he lifted his sight from his shoes which became too interesting for him during that akad moment.
At least not the embarrassing thing he was afraid to happen to his feeble self. The bridegroom smiled, not the insinuating smile that he used to think they had for him. It was a pure one, something resulted from a relieve feeling that they had passed one sacred moment in their life, one prophet’s sunah. They were halal for each other now.
And suddenly Itang felt ashamed of himself. What had he thought before? There had never been any competition since the beginning. So if he felt to be a looser it’s because he lost against his own desire. Didn’t he always be the one who stole sights to her to enjoy her small adorable face? He knew it was forbidden, but…
“Remember akhi, Sayyidinna Ali said ‘the first sight is a bless, but the second is a sin’…” What a wise friend of his, Pak KMIK of the previous period, ever said to him one day flashed in his mind. Again, a shame feeling hit him, Astaghfirullah… Yeah…he had stolen too many sights and if he was now tortured with all these broken heart and negative feelings, he deserved it. It was his punishment.
Admitting to himself that everything was his own fault was a big help for him to relieve from all his burden. He felt better now, lighter…
Pak Kom had walked forth to hand over a trophy to the bridegroom, a present from commissariat, as the first to get wed among their batches. Everybody there gave them applause. He couldn’t help but join the cheer. Somebody pulled his hand to the corner of the building where various kinds of foods were laid out on large tables. Most of his friends had been there; busy to pinch off cakes, puddings, chickens or meats.
“Ya mus’ ty dis, ‘is so ‘reat…” Pak Kom suddenly appeared behind him with a plate of lamb satay and his mouth was full of it. ”The stand is over there.” He pointed to another corner where lots of stands of foods stood. There were lamb satay stand, soto kudus, siomay Bandung and many others.
“Wow, I’m so full, I think I’m not gonna eat anything again for a week…” Amar said while rubbing his belly in satisfaction, “But, there are still so many I haven’t tried yet…”
Itang wondered at his friends’ behavior. They were so carefree, without burden to care because they always considered all what laid before them as blessing.
“Come on Itang, you haven’t eaten a bit. I know you’re tired of all that bus hunting stuff. But don’t let it stop you enjoying all of this. Tomorrow we’ll face the real life again, where food is not free and fasting is one of the alternatives to survive.”Pak Kom said.
Amar helped him to take a plate from the pile and handed it over to his best friend. Itang accepted it, couldn’t help but felt touched by his friends’ attention. They might seem insensitive about what he felt during this last two weeks, but now he knew that it was because this love and broken heart things were not just their things.
He smiled, his first smile in two weeks. He would enjoy this day too, he decided. He might have not been fully recovered from his broken heart, but he would just let the time to help him heal. It was just the matter of time. And he had no reason not to be grateful to Allh for all the free foods laid before him. If he doesn’t get her as his mate, may be it’s because He prepares someone better for him. He only has to be a good person, because a good person will only mate to a good person too and on the contrary, bad person will only mate to a bad person. That’s the law.
Sure, his angel is waiting for him somewhere out there.