In Friends We Trust

To modern people like you and I, a friend means a lot more than just someone we meet on the street, at work, in KRL Jakarta-Bogor, etc. One Facebook's fortune cookie even mentions that one's greatest fortune is the large number of friends one has.

A friend oftentimes has more impact on us than our parents or siblings do. When we you get dumped, the first person you share the story with is your friend. Not your mom, especially not your father. When our office life is like hell, the one you share the details with is your friend. Not your brother or sister. When you are caught cheating on your boy/girlfriend, the one who finds it out first is your friend. Not your family members. We hardly share important-emotionally challenging issues in our life with our mother/father/brother/sister. When we talk to them, it is usually when we get promoted, when we get promoted, or when we get promoted.

Without disrespecting our parents and siblings, there are tons of reasons why we don't share our day-to-day stories with them.
1. There is always a speech following the storytelling session. I don't know about you, but I'm really not a good speech audience. And mind you, the speech can last more than a week.
2. This can come with the speech, or separately: the accusation. You are the problem, not the problem itself.
3. The insults, especially from your siblings. How could you be stupid like that?
4. There is this need to act like a good child in the eyes of our parents, even if you have to fake it.
5. There is this need to act like we are smarter than the rest of the world population in the eyes of our parents, therefore we never make mistakes.
6. ..................... (fill in yourself).

Friends, on the other hand, seem to always be there and do the right things when we have problems. Besides...
1. Our encounter with them is always meaningful (in the office handling difficult jobs from difficult boss).
2. Our encounter with them is always in the 'quality time'. From 8 to 5, Monday through Friday. The time when we meet our parents and siblings is usually before sunrise and after sunset.
3. Friends don't give us speech. If they do, they would never be our friends in the first place.
4. Friends don't insult our stupid action in front of us.
5. Friends give us applicable solution, no matter how silly the solution will seem to be in the future.
6. We don't need to be somebody else when we are with our friends. There is no demand to be the most perfect one. Friends don't do perfect.

Sure, you may argue that friends are not that all-angelic. You may argue that blood is thicker than teh botol you share with your friends. Well, you may not confide with some friends, but you do keep a short list of friends in the innerside of your heart. Don't you?

Then, what if that one friend you keep in your very very very short list hurts you?
Probably you would reconsider the definition of friend. You'd change the friend term in wikipedia if you could. You'd check if what that person does can be considered a crime and so it can justify you to send that person to jail. You might spam on Facebook bad-mouthing that person, or you'd close your Facebook account all together. Or, you'd just remove that person from your Facebook friend's list...

I, myself, have to admit that I don't really have that many friends out there. It's not because I am choosy. It's actually -well- embarassingly because those people can't stand me. And when some people can stand me, they usually fill my list of friends easily. And when they are in my extremely very short list, I usually regard them highly. I usually trust them without doubts.

But, again, as you may argue, even the friends in our very short list might hurt us, intentionally. I know. I have been there. And I should say the 'forgive but don't forget' thing is bull****. You can't forget, let alone forgive. No matter how hard you try. Trust me, I had tried really really really hard. The trying hard to forgive and forget is really exhausting. When it is not successful, it is not only exhausting but also frustrating. My heart is drained.

On the eve of this year's Eid El Fitr, I was in the car to visit some relatives. The sound of incoming sms filled the car continously. My friends sent me Eid Mubarak's greetings. Some sent me similar message, some sent me sms with greetings so beautiful that I kept them in a separate box. You might say that those people sending the sms might not really mean what they sent. You might argue that Eid Mubarak sms is just a trend, not a sincere request.

I don't care.
The fact that someone is willing to spend some Rupiah to send the greetings is touching.

Then, it was my turn to return the sms and to send some to others. I wrote the Eid Mubarak's message and started to check in the names. I started with the As. The name list in my cell phone went down, and down, and down... and I stopped. My used-to-be friend's name was still there. I hadn't delete it. And that moment, I froze. Really froze.

Let me tell you how it felt when I froze. I felt cold, and pain, and anger, and sadness, and anger, and more pain. I was staring at the monitor half the trip with memories filling inside my head. I could have skipped the name, you know. But, somehow, I couldn't do it as spontaneously as I wanted to.

Minutes passed. I knew I had to release my pain. It had been too long and I didn't want it to occupy my heart anymore. Enough is enough.
I looked down to my cellphone. My right thumb moved. I checked in that name and... SENT.

This year's Eid El Fitr taught me that some friends may not deserve our trust. But, I will always make sure I deserve my friends' trust. Do you?

Happy Eid Mubarak.
May you have an englightening Ramadhan this year.

A Letter Unsent

Jalan raya Alternatif Cibubur selalu mampu mengalirkan perasaan ngeri setiap kali.
Entah kenapa jalannya yang mulus dengan lebar yang melegakan serta panjang yang tak berujung itu tak mampu menularkan rasa perkasanya pada saya.
Yang ada hanya kengerian.

Mobil-mobil melaju kencang berbekal klakson dan lampu besar.
Motor-motor dengan pengendaranya yang sepertinya tak kenal dengan kata 'mati', seakan tak mau kalah memacu motornya.
Bis-bis, baik yang besar maupun yang sedang, seperti sedang kesetanan tanpa peduli dengan penumpang yang dibawanya.
Truk-truk tanah berwarna hijau lalu lalang tanpa beban seakan ukuran mereka tak beda dengan mobil sedan di sebelahnya.
Motor, mobil, truk militer hilir mudik tanpa pernah lupa mengeluarkan suara menyuruh kendaraan lain menyingkir sejauh mungkin.

Dan di titik itu, jalan besar yang lebar dan panjang itu menikung.

Setiap hari, setiap kali saya melewati titik menikung itu, hati saya selalu berjanji.
Saya berjanji untuk mengirim surat kepada penguasa jalan untuk beramah hati.
Dalam surat yang saya hapal betul isinya itu, saya akan menulis...

Penguasa jalan yang terhormat,
Sudi lah kiranya anda membuatkan kami
sebuah jembatan penyeberangan
yang akan menghubungkan satu sisi tikungan
dengan satu sisi tikungan yang lain.
Kasihani anak-anak sekolah
yang harus terlambat masuk sekolah setiap harinya
karena tak mampu bersaing cepat
dengan mobil, motor, bis, truk, dan kendaraan lainnya
yang melewati titik tikungan ini.
Kasihani para ibu-ibu dengan anak-anak digendongan,
orang-orang tua yang lamban,
para tukang jualan bergerobak
yang selalu berlemah hati
saat harus menghadapi jalan lebar di hadapan mereka.
Para penguasa jalan yang berkuasa,
semoga Tuhan mengetukkan hati anda
dan menggerakkan kaki anda
untuk mencoba menyeberang
di tempat kami kehilangan keberanian kami.

Berhari-hari lewat.
Berminggu-minggu lewat.
Berbulan-bulan sudah.
Saya tidak menepati janji saya.
Janji untuk membuat surat itu
dan mengirimkannya.

Lalu hari ini, saat saya lewat di titik tikungan itu,
keramaian sedang terjadi.
Mobil, motor, bis, truk, dan para manusia berhenti bergerak.
Mereka berkerumun di satu tempat.
Tempat seorang kakek tewas berlumur darah
karena tersambar truk
yang lewat kencang
di titik tempat jalan mulus yang lebar dan panjang itu menikung.

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