Half Full, Half Empty on My Ancient Mind: Short Story


Summary: Hari got a lottery coupon from Pop Mie, he went to Jakarta for asking the validity, and then, the receptionist said that indeed he got a prize to trip to Thailand, Hari imagined the beautiful snow of Thailand’s winter, but actually it’s just in my ancient dream.

Recently I cannot sleep like a baby. That lottery coupon always comes to my dream. I got it from Pop Mie last week when I was taking a lunch break at supermarket where I work. I sent that unique code: *200*200*6250807077#, OK. And two days later I received a message: "PT.INDOFOOD, Selamat! Anda mendapatkan hadiah Jalan-Jalan ke Thailand dari Pop Mie Get Lucky Pin: 55d062p3 Kunjungi: www.kejutanpopmie.com.” I immediately checked the blog and my name, Hari was there in the list of the winners.

Since then I often spend hours daydreaming about the beautiful of Thailand. I were building a snowman, making snowball, running, rolling, and laying over the snow like in Frozen movie -my sister’s favorite movie.

It’s sunny day. I’m sitting in my porch with my best friend, Yogi. We’re the same age-22 years old-had grown up and played in the rice field together. Last night after I finished my work, I talked to him on my ancient phone. I asked him to come to my house. I want to tell him about my lottery coupon.

I’m playing my weak guitar while Yogi, singing a song of JKT 48 “Baby! Baby! Baby!” His smartphone in his hand is already like his daily microphone. Believe me, he loves Yona. I often see him kissing Yona’s poster in his bedroom’s wall.

“Hey, the snub-nosed! Can you stop singing? My earwax is very itchy.”

“Hallo, the dark-black! Uhuh! You must clean your earwax. Go away! Ask my mother whether she have cotton buds or not.”


“What’s the problem? You ought to know I’m Yonaranger!”

“Ya, I really know you, but please… can you hear my gripe for a while?”


Saus tartar! I get a lottery coupon. Do you not want to accompany me to Jakarta for asking the validity?”

“Really? Finally… I’ve a friend to go to Jakarta. There’ll be a concert of JKT 48 on Monday the 28th, come on! We’ll depart on Monday, 11:00 AM, okay?”

“What?! Tomorrow? I don’t have enough money for transportation. And you have to finish your assignments in your college, right?”

“Keep calm, Kecap! I’ll be here for you. Just skip that chore!”

Primajasa is ready. We sit behind the bus driver. It’s quite comfortable. Yogi sits next to my right near the window, wearing his headset, and certainly listening to the music of JKT 48. While I just sit and think of Thailand.

Six minutes later, a charming woman sits next to my left. Her hair is shoulder-length. She has white skin and brown-eyes. I think she also will go to Jakarta because her jacket campus it’s like a jacket of UNJ’s student. Almost 25 minutes in our trip I look at her but she doesn’t realize it. I’d love to see her, but I’m too shy to start a conversation. Yet, suddenly Yogi asks her.

“Excuse me, are you Ade?”

“Ya? How do you know my name?”
“It’s from your jacket you’re wearing.”
“Oh? Of course.”

“Are you going to Jakarta?”
“Ya? How do you know?”
“Of course, from your label jacket you’re wearing. Hmmp… but I don’t know your Line ID, could I know?”

“Oh? Of course.”

She just smiles when she was flirted by Yogi, but she seriously gives Yogi her Line ID.

“Yogi? What are you doing?” I whisper.

“I only ask her Line ID, it’s just for you, you’ve been kept seeing her. Do you like her, huh?”
“No, I…. I… I just…”
“Okay, so you don’t want her Line ID?”
“Hey! You already know that my phone is ancient one, it’s not smart phone like yours "
“Oops! Sorry.”

We arrive in Cililitan at 01:17 PM. Yogi tells me that he will go to Kota Kasablanka and we’ll meet again here at 11:00 PM. He leaves me alone. And then, me? I just have a piece of paper, “ALAMAT PT INDOFOOD CBP SUKSES MAKMUR TBK. Sudirman Plaza Indofood Tower, Lantai 27 Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 76-78 Jakarta 12910”.

My ancient phone is ringing, I open it, “Ti Cililitan, naek busway di halte BKN, naek nu ka arah Gerogol, turun+transit di Semanggi, tah eta geus di Jl. Sudirman. Naek nu ka arah blok M we, turun di halte GBK, tidinya teangan we kantor Indofood na belah mana.” I read it slowly, it’s from Yogi. Maybe he forgot to tell me because he’s too excited to go to JKT 48 concert. I take a bus to Grogol in BKN shelter. I ask the bus driver to let me know when the bus arrived in Semanggi.

Twenty eight minutes later, I have already arrived in Jl. Jend. Sudirman, but where is Indofood’s office? I take a piece of paper written the address of Indofood’s office on my pocket. I look at the address and begin confused where else I should go. I also open my ancient phone and read the last message from Yogi but I’m still confused.

Suddenly, a brown-skin and wizened woman comes to me. She carries some cloth in her worn bag. I think she is a 56-year old. She looks very tired in the midst of hot weather. I asked her that there is anything I can help. "Just after my son died, I also found that I lost all my money on my trip to my son’s home I’ll see him for the last time. Could you give me enough money to get to Bogor?" say her. “Really? I’ll help you but I just have… this." I give her my money. She smiled at me. She thanks me with all her prayer for me. And in a flash she has gone from my sight. Believe me or not, I just have Rp73.200 and I gave her Rp70.000. It’s my luck! I’ve not found the office. It’s confusing indeed, but I cannot let that old woman goes without money.

I walk on the sidewalk. It’s already more than an hour I am looking for the office but still haven’t found it. Even I don’t know where I am now. Oh my God, what should I do? I asked everyone that I met on the sidewalk but always gave me the same answers “gak tau, mas.” I cannot call Yogi, my ancient phone just dead.

For the last time, I ask a newspaper vendor. He has dark-skin and wizened. He looks like had worked all day long because his shirt worn-out and dirty. I tell him that I don’t have money but I should find the address. I show him the address, then I ask him what he knows but he is silent. He just holds that piece of paper. He pats my shoulder and walks away from his newspaper. I call him but he keeps going. I keep asking him while following him, "Sir, where are you going?" He still doesn’t answer. He just smiles and sways his head. Half an hour I follow him, unexpectedly he stops. He pats me on my shoulder again, give me my piece of paper, and then go.

I don’t follow him back. I’m already exhausted. I’m taking a break while close my eyes…. sitting on the porch of security post with wheezing breath. I still hold the piece of paper. Yet, when I open my hand, there is Rp20.000 rolled together. I look around thinking of the newspaper vendor. And what? I don’t realize when I’m in security post of PT. Indofood. I immediately save the money and stand up-ran toward the office’s door which will soon be closed. I meet a receptionist in the office.

“Excuse me,”

“Yes, sir?”

“I get a lottery coupon from Pop Mie and I received a message that I get a prize to trip to Thailand. Is it true?”
"Yes, it’s true we hold Pop Mie Get Lucky. However, let me seek your name if you indeed get into the list of the winners."
"I’m Hari from Bandung. And my PIN is 55d062p3. "

10 minutes later…

"Yes, congratulations! You’re indeed one of the winners, Sir."
“Are you serious?”
"Yes, later we’ll inform you after our weekly winners are announced."

I’m shocked my head. I’ll go to Thailand, free?

I run out, hold my lottery coupon. I’m speechless. It seems like I’ve already felt the snow in Thailand. Ooohh.. I cannot wait for it.

Now, I should go back to Cililitan. I’ll tell Yogi that I really get it. I decide to use money that I saved to go to Cililitan. I think Yogi is still watch the concert, thus I should waiting for him.

I’ve been a long waiting for him in Cililitan. The time has shown at 10:00 PM. It’s been late night but Jakarta is still crowd. The light irradiates the path. The sound of their engine’s car is still noisy like a bee buzzing. And the worms in my stomach began playing their song kurukukurubuk.

In the midst of the city, obscurely I see Yogi sways his hand while run as fast as maze runner.

Cap, let’s go home!”
“Yogi? Have you finished?”
“Yes! I’m done.”
“Come on, we should go before the bus leave!”

“Oh?! Okay.”

We immediately take the bus which leave shortly. I sit near the bus window while hug my crumpled bag, and then…. I don’t realize if we’ve arrived in Bandung. I move from the bus, sway my hand to Yogi and then go to my house.

Although it’s gloomy day, I wake up with a blissful smile. I’m in preparation for working with full of spirit. I drink a cup of coffee and eat some cookies. Unexpectedly I receive a message that I’ll go to Thailand tomorrow with other winners and I can invite a friend to go together. It’s like a dream in the morning. Oohh. Snowflakes!! I’ll be there…

I’m in a plane with Yogi. Yogi always does the same thing every time to go with me, he sits listening to music JKT 48 but different from me, I start out of the plane window while enjoying orange juice that is given by the flight attendant. I look at the blue clouds that I never look before and I still cannot believe I can fly.

Afterwards we arrive at the airport in Thailand. This day will be the best day ever in my life because I’m in Thailand with the air is very cold and it’s being winter. There is snow in my hands, I stretch out my hand and rise up my head. I look up at the sky and snowflakes gently touch my cheek. I close my eyes and continue feeling the chill of the snow touching my face.

Cap! Kecap! Kecap!

I hear Yogi’s voice is calling, but I ignore it. I still enjoy the snowflakes while close my eyes…

Cap?! Kecaaaapp!! Hey, wake up!! This is already night. We should go home.”

I’m shocked my head, I open my eyes…

“Where am I now?”
"You sleep here, I waited for you from earlier in Cililitan but you didn’t come. I decided to go here, you’re fall asleep at this security post of PT.Indofood. Let’s go home, it’s already midnight.”

“And there are no snowflakes in Thailand. You seem delirious.”


Thank you to:

– Nia Fitriawati for editing my work

– Putri Awaliah Y Paays for recording my work

– Rina Rosalina for reading my story

– Dani Muhammad Iqbal for converting my dramatization


This Is What It Means What to Say Phoenix, Arizona by Sherman, Alexie

Word count: 1867 words

Link for work dramatization: https://soundcloud.com/melindaharlest/half-full-half-empty-on-my-ancient-mind-short-fiction

5 thoughts on “Half Full, Half Empty on My Ancient Mind: Short Story

  1. Hey Melinda. I don’t get whether your story is a funny story or not. I don’t really get the relevance between the title and the story. Moreover, there seems no main problem that’s challenging the main character. Or perhaps the problem is about his dream to go to Thailand, is it? After all, it’s quite an interesting story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hallo Ade, thank you that you’ve read and corrected my short story. My short story isn’t a funny story, I just put an idiom “sleep like a baby” that maybe you thinks it’s funny. Or in the dialogue, I just put some mock between the characters so that the story isn’t boring to be read by the reader, but actually my story isn’t a funny story. If you understand my story, maybe you can get the relevance between the tittle and the story, why I choose the title, but indeed, when I wrote the story and made a title for my story, I was confused, hehehe… sorry..
    and then, I put a lot of problems of the story. The problem isn’t about his dream to go to Thailand, Ade :)
    Once again, thanks you’ve commented my work..


  3. 180410130017/C

    Hi Mel! This is the second time I read your story. I’m confused with the grammatical structure, Mel. Is the story using the present or past tense? Because sometimes you write it with the present tense, then you write it in the past tense at the same scene. This is the example of your story: “She carries some cloth in her worn bag. I think she is a 56-year old. She looks very tired in the midst of hot weather. I asked her that there is anything I can help […]I give her my money. She smiled at me.” I like the idea of the story itself. I like it when Yogi speaks in Sundanese hehe, it refresh the story. But I think you have to be aware with the grammatical structure.

    Word count: 132

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hallo Bitha… Thank you’ve read my short story :)
      oh iyaaaaa… thank Bith, you’ve corrected my grammatical structure.
      When I wrote the story I used the present tense Bitha, but sometimes I used past tense in some scene for telling flashback time, but thank you for correcting that scene. “ga ngeuh diadegan itu ada past tense” -__- sorry, I didn’t re-check my grammatical structure.. once again thank you Bithaa :)


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