Welcome

Another season, another semester, another writing assignment.

In the last half of the year, this space will host new writing submissions and assignments for our 2018 Creative Writing classes.

Carve those words! Twist that plot! Color those brand new stories!

By The Trees: A Memoir

Tiara Kasih

180410160012

It was a typical evening for me, crawling my motorcycle down the street of Sudirman headed home after a never ending Monday at school. I accompanied by the thunders which were breaking the sky vigorously as it was showing its most crestfallen form that I had ever witnessed trough my way home. Sudirman street however was one of the streets that I went through every single day and I fancied it because of its silence atmosphere in the morning when not many people crowding around with their vehicles to do their activities eventhough in a productive day. There were many humongous houses along the side of the road covered with giganic green planters that were waving anybody who passed whenever the cool air breeze washed them. They surely did taken care of their surroundings in . I was not good at paying attention, but that evening was the most intense moment of my life as I had never ever seen a cruel circumstance. Me being an ignorant person that I was, stood upon a couple fighting on the side of the road of Sudirman. Did not want to get involved, I kept pulling the motorcycle’s throttle slowly as I was expecting the tears of the sky to run down my face. A not so rough sound screamed for my name and I was not ready to be involved badly so I started to hope that the one who called my name would win a lottery and die on the next day. The blue surface stopped showing its melancholy look and started to shine so bright, letting me feel those sparks grasp my body. “Tiara!” that was she said, while she was waving her hand, hoping that I would notice her and stopped my vehicle. Her left hand was firlmly grasped by a hand which seemed to be unexpectedly trained well because the person appeared to fancy sport so that it was a strong grapple. Her puffy red eyes showed that she had been crying for a long certain of time. I did not know whether she cried because of the pain caused by the strong grapple of her boyfriend or the problem that caused them to do a certain fight on the side of the road underneath an eight meter of mango tree that was dancing to the symphony of peace. She told me to take her home and asked for a ride yet her lover stare at me with brows came closer together leaving space between the eyes. His face was dark red, the vein in the side of his forehead started to throb, his eyes were wide open and I could see the dripping of sweats from his hair down to his forehead. Those were the signs that I should not mind their business and told me to keep riding and leave. One thing that bothered me a lot was that how could he dripped sweats in a place where God kindly let the cool breeze of heaven to mortals who could not even deserve hearing the word heaven. Then I realized that me and them were in a different world, a different atmosphere. While they were trying to escape a fallen ruin and chased by molten rock generated by geothermal energy then expelled through surface, I was in heaven where I saw a green futuristic wonderland where angels with glowing metal wings and jetpacks soar in between skyscrapers and the roads adorned with colorful neon signs that were beaming against the dusky sky at night. The place where every location, from the bustling town filled with TV screens hugged by greenery and flowers to the planetariums where angels gather to revel in the blessings of peace. It washed with the beautiful glow of rainbow which was brighten the screnery and added more colors as contrast to the green field where butterflies never ever wanted to fly out of the place.

The generousity of God, who showed me His presence by letting my own bare skin being touched by his glorious breath troubled by a couple arguing selfishly because one of them was trying to prove themselves as the most righteous living creature in this world or maybe their own world as I did not know what kind of world that a couple lived in. Thus of course concerned me the fact that their fiery ambience hassled the miracle that God had given me trough mother nature. I could be upset no more. The girl suddenly sat on the back of my ride’s seat then wrapped her arms around my wrist as a little girl crying because the lollipop she had was taken away from her hand by some random child in the playground. Her body was on heat, the back of my body could feel her main yet the most important part of human body was beating rapidly so that time I could imagine that I was at the scene where Leonardo Dicaprio fought a wild huge brown bear in the bushness of forest covered with sparkling snow which was a contrast to the blood spilled when the fight was occured in The Revenant. With a high temper of anger, the boyfriend told her to get off my ride as he was trying to pulled my ride so it was almost fallen to the ground. The girl was out of my ride and so the boyfriend made his right hand into a rounded fist and punched her brutally right on the cheek. It happened so fast as I was trying rise up my ride in the right position. I could not help her nor stopped the action. A scream could not be denied at the moment so we did it as I was shocked because of his ignorant action driven by the use of physical force to cause harm and damage against two female student at the side of the road. The deafening scream of us attracted people around to come to check up on us and see what the hell was happening in the silence evening. Apparently, two angkot drivers and three stranger came up upon us to see what caused us to attempt such blasting screams in a place where peace exist in the world full of agony.
A young strange guy wearing nice blue shirt kindly helped me to rise up my ride and tapped my knee who were covered in dirt because of the burdensome situation occured in the street of Sudirman. The two angkot drivers were trying to get the guy who caused the cruel moment which involved me in it off our sight and had a chat. I did not know what the drivers told him but it made his temper go down. The girl kept telling me to take her home. Did not want to make her in a more gloomy situation, I took her home and let the gloriousness of God that I had ten minutes ago to dissapeared. She told me then to get her off infront of a classic American style house which was two kilometers apart from the Sudirman st. She thanked me with the tears of joy whilst rubbing her puffed eye and her bruised cheek that she had during the fight.

Photo by Daniel Jeffries

Bust Out from Bubble: A Memoir

School was a lovely place for some people as I heard they said there were many unforgettable moments at there. Sometimes we were missing those moments and threw back at some of it. At school we could find many new things such as love at first sight, new organisation, or broke ourselves from comfort zone. But, the first thing I thought was the social environment at high school. I thought high school was worse than junior high school, but after I got accepted, it was totally different from what I thought.

High school was an escape time for me to move on from my comfort zone, class was the first place that I tried to move on. I encouraged myself to be a leader’s class candidate. Back to junior high school, I did something cringe on the first day of school and I compared it to high school, it was totally different. High school was much better than junior high school. Even though I’m was not elected to be leader’s class, that was the best start for me on this process. Class was unforgettable place in high school because my school adapted randomization of student from grade tenth to eleventh and it was not applied for grade eleventh to twelfth. Because of that kind of system, we could deeply know our classmates in the class and it bonds us indirectly.

Most of times from the second and third grade, we were always chilling out at front of class or behind the class if the teacher was absent. We talked about random things, weird day dreaming, and singing together. Some of my friends always bring a guitar every day, so it could entertain us if there was a free-time in class. Ijon and Seto was always playing the guitar for us most of the times because they were master of the guitar in my class. Sometimes we slept in class if the teacher was in meeting and it would be so long time. Also, if it was happened, we might would like to go to canteen and spend most of times there. There was a fresh drink seller in our school and we called him mas Jawa, he was a kind Javanese man. He sometimes gave us a bonus if we bought many items at his shop and we could debt to him if we had no money left. My school canteen was good and clean, there were many shops that affordable for students. Mba Mumun was the best seller that sells delicious and various gorengan in my school and the risol keju was one of my favorite there. Then, AA was the best soup seller in school. Me and my classmates (the boys) used to eat lontong kari in the rainy season.

There was one day that is priceless to forgotten, a new history-teacher came to our class and it was his first-time teaching in the school. He was a fresh graduate from Universitas Negeri Jakarta, his name is Rifai; a kind teacher, yet sensitive and having bad temper sometimes. Once he had ever go out to the class because he mad to us and did not want to teach for one day on that time. Not long after that, a new student was placed in our class and his name his Toshi. This man was so calm and friendly at first but aggressive and being a jerk for the rest. He made some girls cried because of his mischief, most of girls hate him and made a gap with him. I could not never expect that he would be a jerk like that because he seems kind at the first time we met. But he was kind to us and we knew the reasons why he did all of those things.

I also never expect that class would be a beautiful place with its moments and I was experiencing unexpected events with my classmates. The one that I would also never forget was when the PKS (Patroli Keamanan Sekolah or as known as discipline team) recruitment test on the October week end. At the second-floor class we were trained like the military force. We had to eat and drink erectly, addition to that the senior who trained me put a banana above our head and if it falls once, then we had to push-up ten times and it applied multiples. The seniors were always screaming and yelling as they came into the class also did that things in front of our face. After that at the filed we had to ran as many as we could, our seniors pressing us to ran quickly. As a result, my friend named Delfi was fatigued and fallen. Right after doing all that test, we closed the recruitment with doing push-up together for twenty times as one of the committee commands us. At the field, one week later we gathered before the class started, it was the announcement time and I was not believed that I got accepted. Surprisingly, my friend Toshi also got accepted as PKS. Could you imagine that a jerk became discipline team? On Monday at the field, we were inaugurated as the new PKS after the flag ceremony. Everyone were clapping for us, I was so happy and goose bumps for that memorable moment.

Canteen, class, and every place that I used to visit and pass by was suddenly changed after I became a new PKS. I was feel like everyone is watching me and it made me anxious. My friend was encouraged to escape from that pressure and then I used to with all that stuffs. One day, that was a new students orientation day and I was the discipline time. At field I separated the student who was coming late and bring them to the sports-field. My discipline mates punished them for hoping that would made them chary. It made me flash back that I was the student who came late. I realized, this was funny because I became the punisher of the students who came late. It made me see the both sight of the discipline team who punished the student and the student itself.

All those things happened in my high school changed me to be a better person. Started from a new student who always came late on the orientation days and the become the discipline student. I was never expected that I would step up this far. For some people school was suck because it bonds with many rules and feels like prison. It might be, but not for me. School was one of best moment in my life because I was an extra-introvert person. Since elementary school until junior high school I was always afraid to talk to my classmates. I could not look at their eyes, it was like they were intimidating me. On my way from the gate until the class, I was always looking to the ground. At class in junior high school, my friend always rudely robed my money and if I was not give them the money, they would lash out to me. It was totally different from high school, I thought that high school could be worse than before, but I was not. High school was a place that I started change myself, a place that for the first time that I tried new-things that I never do before.

Photo Credit: http://sekolah.data.kemdikbud.go.id/index.php/chome/profil/CDC5EC1D-52A9-4412-9B82-52E5EB12E7AB

The Haunted Rent House: A Memoir

Alisha Nurfauziah180410160005

It was during my vacation last May. My friends and I decided to go to Yogyakarta. We bought our train tickets and searched for our place to stay. Adjusting to our budget, we chose the cheapest rent house we came across. It was called the Dolphin House, a house with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and even a big comfortable living room. It was cheap, the picture looked promising, and the name was cute. We were lucky to come across such a good deal.

We arrived in Yogyakarta on the eleventh of May, two o’clock in the morning. We were tired, cold, and very sleepy, so we looked forward to check in to our rent house as soon as possible. I remember feeling very exhausted yet excited at the same time. We smiled when my friend said, “we’re close”. But as soon as we arrived, our smile fell. We were confused because we didn’t find any house looking like the picture we saw, yet we were actually in front of the gate into the house.

The very first thing that crossed my mind when I saw the house was how dark it was. There were lamps around each corner but none of them were on. The house was large, and there was a separate building in front of the house but it was still counted as a part of the house. The garden looked like no one has taken care of it for a quite long time. There was no sign of anyone in the house, so I contacted the owner, which he picked up on the third ring.

We were finally able to get into the house after we got the owner’s permission, so we invited ourselves in. Oh, how disappointed we were when we noticed that it had not been cleaned yet. Dust and dirt were everywhere, spiderweb covering the ceiling, the bathroom full of cockroaches, and it smelled like a blanket which had been stored for years inside a cupboard. But even with all that mess, it was not what I was most concerned about. What made me more uneasy was the atmosphere I felt ever since I set foot into the house. It was somehow ominous that it put me on edge.

I was the kind of person who used my logic most of the time, so when I felt those kinds of things I went straight to where I felt the most unnerving, just out of curiosity. As I stepped into the kitchen area, my gaze immediately locked to a mysterious window. It was covered by an old-fashioned curtain that smelled like an aged book. Out of curiosity, one of my friends approached the window and peeked through a small gap. He suddenly screamed out, so we screamed out even though none of us but him knew what it was behind the curtain. But then he was laughing, turned out he was joking. He opened the curtain to reveal an unkempt garden at the back. The grass on the garden was very tall and bushy, and hiding behind those messy bush was a big brown old tree trunk which had fallen off and covered in mold. Right next to the window was an old mirror with a weird pattern all around the frame. But even so, it was not the very thing that made me break into cold sweat. It was the bedroom beside the kitchen, the only room where there was no air conditioner and the only room where we found a prayer mat. The instant I looked into that room, the instant I felt my chest tighten, my heartbeat increased rapidly, and I felt nauseous, so I took a step back and left to check the other rooms, which fortunately did not make me feel bad at all.

The owner told us that he would clean the house at eight in the morning, so we went to grab our breakfast somewhere else. We were in a usual conversation when one of us suddenly brought up the fact that they felt something inside the house. It turned out that each one of us did feel the same thing about that area.

Ten o’clock in the morning, we went back to the house. It had already been cleaned so It was better than before, but the kitchen area was still oozing out an eerie atmosphere, and what made it worse was that the mirror being there made us able to see right into the bedroom even if we didn’t want to. Sometime later, I got more and more agitated and so I decided to just get on with it and close the door. But not before I caught a glance at a small cook figure, that gave me the worst feeling ever, sitting silently with a creepy smile on a cupboard right beside the bedroom’s door. I took a long stride denying all my bad feelings and closed the door hastily. I think we wouldn’t be able to get a good night sleep anytime soon. After that we went out all day thankfully, so we didn’t need to stay at the house. That night we agreed to only use two of the four rooms.

The next day we went out, visiting some places and just having fun. In the afternoon, two of my friends told us that they wanted to go back first, and maybe they’d catch up again later. So the rest of us continued our sightseeing. No more than a few hours later, it was already six o’clock, and my two other friends told us that they’d meet us at the next place which was at Malioboro. When they arrived, they told us that something happened during their short time at the house. They said that they were in one of the room when suddenly they heard noises from the garage in the house that was never opened because It couldn’t be opened. They said that It sounded like someone was cleaning and moving some things around in there, while we knew that the garage had a lock on it. We were done talking about the house at that point, we chose not to think too much about it, but then another odd thing happened. One of my friends suddenly thought that we left someone, and two others said that they felt like that too, even though there were only seven of us and the seven of us were sitting right there together. It was dreadful to think that you might be living with something not human but you couldn’t do anything about it.

As night came, we went back to the house. I was very very tired, but none of my other roommates seemed to feel the same way as me, so that night I was forced to sleep alone in the room. I was scared, but I was too tired to care. I went straight to sleep thankfully, even though I thought I felt the bed moving on its own. The next morning, we were having breakfast while talking about unimportant stuff. And just like yesterday, we suddenly just realized that something odd had happened last night. When I was asleep, my friends that chose not to sleep said that they saw the other one of my friend went out of the bedroom twice, and the second one he went into the other room and stayed there. But in reality, that one friend that they saw walking around in the middle of the night said that he didn’t came out twice, but only once, and he didn’t enter the other room at all. Suddenly the table went silent for a moment before realization dawned on us. There was something else living with us there after all.

It never crossed my mind that I would experience these kinds of things. Maybe that was the reason why it was so cheap, while the house itself was big and homey, I don’t think that anyone could ever really enjoyed staying at that house. Thankfully, that day marked our last day in Yogyakarta. We immediately checked out of the house and went to the train station to go back to Jatinangor.

Photo by: Alisha Nurfauziah

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The Bittersweet of Yogyakarta: A Memoir

Lutfi Hanifah180410160040

Special Region of Yogyakarta, like its name, it also had a special story for me. First time I went to Yogyakarta, it was in 2015 when I had a high school trip with my friends. I was so excited at that time because other than it was my first time to Yogyakarta, it was also my first time to go on a trip with friends which meant no parents. Because it was my first time to go to Yogyakarta, so it kind of surprised me. I didn’t expect that Yogyakarta was that nice, start from the people even until the places that I visited with my friends. I fell in love with Yogyakarta from the first time I step my foot there, because I didn’t see much traffic not like what I usually saw in Bandung, not hearing so many car honks to us, so I thought my trip would be great.

We arrived in Yogyakarta around 5 am in the morning, where we took a bath and do the preparation in the public bathroom which also my first time to experience it. After that, we follow the trip schedule from our school until 7 pm when we finally done and went to the hotel. I thought the most interesting part was when we actually had our free time, just we, ourselves with no teachers. We started to make a planning where we could go at that time, what food should we eat, and where we could shop to buy souvenirs. So, we didn’t really waste the time, the first place that we visited was the northern city square where they held a festival named Sekaten Festival. We tried so many rides such as ferris wheel, round up, and carousel until we couldn’t count how much money we have spent for that place only. Until one of my friends Shafira, reminded us that we still had some places to go to, so we couldn’t spent all of our money on the festival.

After enjoyed so many rides in Sekaten Festival, we went to southern city square not that far from the first place. In southern city square, we saw the legendary banyan trees. They said if we could walk pass the trees, our wishes would be granted. Then because of that myth, we couldn’t skip it just like that. We tried it too with the blindfold which we could lend for Rp. 5.000,00 each person. It was quite expensive actually, but our curiosity got us much better than anything, so it didn’t really matter. My friends tried it one by one and most of them succeed in passing the banyan trees easily, so I got more curious. I tried it last and while I walked straightly passing the tress, I pray to god. I wish our happiness would last longer, and I wish we could enroll to our favorite universities. In southern city square, we could also lend a beautiful odong-odong because they put so many lights that made them pretty to go around the square. We had so much laugh while riding that thing because that was also our first time to drive it. We had a hard time to drive it at first, but then we managed to drive it smoothly thanks to my friends who worked really hard to pedal it. I was really happy because at that time we didn’t really think about anything other than just enjoying ourselves and have fun.

Without we realize it was already 10 pm when our stomach started to grumble, so we decided to go to Malioboro to shop and to buy some foods. We then ate in aAngkringan, a long carrying pole with hampers on either end. I ate nasi kucing for the first time, which was a small portion of rice with toppings such as sambal, fried fish, seasoned potato, and quail egg satay. It was so delicious with Javanese taste that was sweet but spicy at the same time even my friend, Nadila had to take another portion because she liked it so much. I thought I couldn’t really get this taste in Bandung, so this new taste was really overwhelming and matched really well with my tongue.

After we were full, we went to Malioboro Street where there were a lot of shop to buy souvenirs for people at home. Many people said that Malioboro is a must place to visit if you go to Yogyakarta, and I agreed with that. We finally spent almost all of our money here because we wanted to give the souvenirs for our family, our relations and also our other friends. We bought so many things start from batik until the famous bakpia pathok, we bought them in Malioboro. We also had a lot of discount because Malioboro was a place that you could bargain to get a cheaper price. After we stroll around Malioboro, we went to Malioboro mall that could be reached by only walking for some meters. Not much to see in the mall because it was like the average mall we could find in Bandung, but before we could continue our walk my friend, Nabila started to realize that she forgot her shopping bag and it was left behind. She start panicking because that shopping bag contained all of the souvenirs she bought before which cost a lot of money. We tried to calm her by saying that we would go and find it with her, so that we went back to every shop we visited before but in the end, we couldn’t find it anywhere.

She started crying after that, blaming us for not reminding her and not to take notice beforehand. Of course, that was ridiculous but I was trying to understand her because I knew she was upset and sad for losing that shopping bag. Until one of my friends, Elda couldn’t take it anymore and start to yell to Nabila because she didn’t stop crying and blaming us for what happened. The situation got darker and the tension between them got thick after that, when they were yelling and shouting to each other until some people looked at us. While I, Nadila, and Shafira tried to stop them, Nabila storm off of the place alone and left us. We knew from that, that it wasn’t going to be easy. Finally I, Nadila, and Shafira tried to talk to Elda about the situation and we tried to make her understand about it, and after so many long talks she understand it and willing to apologize to Nabila regarding her action. So we went back to the hotel and saw Nabila in the lobby cried alone. We came to her, calm her, and then apologize to her. She also admitted her mistakes and apologize for what she had done.

Indeed, just like its name Yogyakarta was very special. In just a day, Yogyakarta allowed me to experience their nice things about this city, allowed me to get closer to my friends through our experience in their amazing places, but also gave us another different story which we didn’t really expect in the unexpected place. But good or bad the stories about this city would remain special for me just like what Yogyakarta should be.

Photo by: Pradito Rida Pertana on tribun jogja (July, 13 2018)

An Evidence of the Earth’s Beauty: A Memoir

Judith Aura Tiara Dwi Trisaka
180410160021

It wasn’t a really good day for me to take a stroll. My angry stomach was desperately trying to make me go out even more, to be kissed by the sun, only to get it to stop rumbling loudly. The sun was hitting my small figure as I walked back to my dorm in Jatinangor. I started cussing so bad until the heat out of the blue reminded me of one moment. One fine day, one memory, one moment about a place that I somehow knew I couldn’t forget. The said memory liked to snap out in my head out of nowhere, and now, this Jatinangor heat was the trigger.

That day, May 12th, was likely similar to this. The scorching sun had me dripping in sweat, and God knew how much I despised the afternoon sun. Yet I didn’t actually remember how much I cursed the sun for hurting my skin—because I surely didn’t let out any single curse that day. With a deep breath, I hereby stated how much I legitimately loved how the sun was kissing my yellow skin at that time.

My mind rolled back to that day. I was at a beach, located on the very south of Special Region of Yogyakarta, which took me and my friends hours and hours to eventually set our feet there. Pantai Butuh was what it was called. A beach that was so serene and quiet, as if it was blessed and given specially for us for that day. I even had a thought that Pantai Butuh could almost pass as a private beach, for there were almost no tourists seen around, except for us. Being a person who disliked crowds and people’s loud speaking voices, this place was a heaven for my soul. Pantai Butuh was located far away from the life of the cities, hidden behind numerous hills and concealed between two cliffs, making it somewhat difficult to reach. But that was what heaven supposed to be, I suppose. You should’ve gone through rocky ways to finally reach your dream destination.

The magic of this beach started to touch me when my friend and I were on the highest peak of the hill. I was the passenger on our motorbike that he rode, and we were catching our breaths for a moment after going through a distance which felt like millenniums away. I would like to scratch what I said before—touched by the magic, was an understatement. I was likely slapped by the magic of the beach, just like how the sun slapped me with its rays. I set my gaze free to what lied before my thirsty eyes; the sky blue color merged with the dark blue water right at the thin horizon line, with thousands of tiny white specks on the water contrasting with its dark color. The size of the scenery lied upon me was surreal, it was so large that I felt like it wouldn’t fit in my eyes. The thin horizon line got me feeling as if I was seeing the edge of the world with my mere eyes. The width and the length, they were unmeasurable that I couldn’t make where the line ended. As for this time, I still couldn’t believe I was seeing this spectacular scenery with my own, nature-virgin eyes. The angry waves were smashing and rolling toward the shoreline, producing incredibly loud sound which was still heard by my ears from meters away. Note that I had never been a fan of loud noises, but this one ironically gave me the feeling of peace.

As an impatient soul as I was, I snatched off my sandals the minute I stepped on the white, warm-but-almost-hot, sand. When I set my little feet on the sand, I was suddenly a kid again. The white sand instantly buried my feet to my ankle, getting me fatigued only by trying to reach the water. As I finally reached the shore, I touched and splashed the water left on the shoreline, and a squeal which I never thought I had was leaving my lips. The temperature of the water conducted through my already-warm body, giving me the cool sensation I was wishing for. I was being a kid again, splashing cool water to anything I saw; getting my feet on the small lagoon-like, shin-deep pool; looking for little shells to collect, running on the sand, even greeting the angry waves with open hands and a big smile combined.

The color of the sky matched with a lot of things that I could find in my bedroom; it gave me the feelings of comfort. The blue color lied there above me with only little amount of cotton-like clouds tattering on it, giving room for the sun to touch everything beneath. The color of the sky seemed to work really well with its surroundings, contrasting with the color of the sea beneath it, but still complimented and complemented each other at the same time. I still remembered how wide my smile was by only staring at the calm sky and the enraged waves. I didn’t know how they could work together in harmony, despite them being in two personalities at one go. I found it amazing how the mixture of both sky and sea could actually give me a sense of peace, helping me erasing all the storm that was happening inside my mind.

The unique, peculiar scent of the beach also filled my lungs. The scent of it was almost impossible to describe—it was the scent that people could only understand by breathing it in with their own nostrils. It was probably the mixture between the salt brought by the winds, the scent of the sand, the smell of the water, and probably the trees, reef, and cliffs around. The scent was just like a memento, as it was something that made me wish to go back here over and over again. I foolishly tried to breathe in as much air as I could, hoping to bring the peculiar scent with me as a gift. At least I had a little piece of this beach that I could take with me.

I had been to several beaches throughout my life. Pantai Butuh was different from the beaches I’d been to in the sense that the shores were fulfilled with reefs here and there. Sharp reefs, animal-fulfilled reefs, sturdy reefs, were located here and there from the right edge to the left edge of the beach. I remembered stepping on reefs which texture were somewhat felt funny under my feet. It was almost jelly-like, but sturdy at the same time. It turned out that the reefs were covered with some kind of creature which would give shudders—even nightmares to people with tripophobia. It was slippery and felt unnatural, yet inciting the curiosity of this curious girl.

The waves and the seas on southern Java were known to be dangerous and savage. They were like mad at something and kept the anger for centuries, then let it out when the human civilizations were finally settling in. They were almost as loud as kids who threw tantrums to their parents for not having toys they desired the most. They were so strong, so forceful, that they could probably snap people’s neck and bones in one go. They were that frightening, yet—I was going to say it again—gave me the peace I had been longing for so long. The waves made me feel like it helped me letting out all the anger, all the hatred, frustration, and devilish intentions I crammed up inside my small figure. It was the medium for cleansing out bad vibes inside.

I wished I was only talking nonsense before, but I could hold two fingers up in the air to convince that it was what I truly witnessed before my eyes. The privacy the beach gave to me and my friends were like a gift as well as a command for us to stay away from the busy, tiring life of the city that we lived in. The beach, the white sand, the clear blue sky, the dark blue saltwater, the reefs, the unique scent of the beach, the wind, even the evil sunrays—they were indeed and unequivocally small pieces of evidence of the Earth’s beauty.

Photo by: Judith Aura Tiara D.