Final Writing: What If (Fiction)

Berliana Rizka Ramadhanti / 180410150071

“They didn’t know each other. Imagine if I had been there.” he said as he showed me two screenshots of his two friends’ Instagram story. Both shows that they were at the exact same spot, standing right next to each other, without knowing.

“What if you had been there?” I asked out of curiosity.

“I could introduce them, you know, and they could be friends, even best friends. Someone from both of their family could meet and fall in love with each other.”

“And then they get married?”

“And then they GOT married. Grammar.”

I know it was complete nonsense. Even Kenken himself said that I should not take his words seriously. But it was interesting; the thought of how one single individual could affect the life of the others, and probably many others too would get affected. Just by one particular action of one particular individual.

“And then they would have two or maybe three kids. One of them could be president, I don’t know.” he continued.

“Yeah, better than ANY other presidents before him.”

“Who said it would be a boy? But yeah maybe a boy will do. He would be the greatest president this country ever had.”

“Maybe this country would have zero corruptors, if he had been the president.” I was starting to follow his imagination deeper.

“All I wanted was a country with well-educated citizens who understand road etiquette and obey the rules, hence there would be no one contra flowing. But zero corruption sounds good too.”

He hated rules violators, he always do and always will. I recently know how he feels—I was always holding him back when he started shouting or cursing violators, especially the ones who do contra flow. But to think that he wanted free-rules-violators country rather than zero corruption country, well, that was something.

“Or maybe this country could become a superpower country!”

“There you go with your superpower thing again.”

“No, Keiko, I mean like the United States, they’re superpower country right?”

“Ah I see.”

“The superpower I refer to is that kind of superpower. Imagine Indonesia ruling all over the world, dominating. Imagine we have nukes, bio-weapon, and stuff. Imagine every other countries are against us, but they could do nothing because the gap between us and other countries combined are huuuuuuge.”

“Now that’s too far.”

“Now that’s not too far. Or maybe it is, if we add tons of other facts to the calculation. But the point is, anything is possible, even what I just said is possible. Doesn’t that scare you?”

Now that I think of it, it is really possible, even though this country needs a really great effort, it is possible. His imagination may seems very wild but it is not that he was all wrong—in fact, he said nothing wrong, just, far, maybe, from the current facts.

“Like I said, one could change everything, even right now me having a conversation with you, the most beautiful girl in the world, could change things, change lives. That person’s, perhaps.”

“What about that person?”

“You know, you could thank me first for calling you—“

“Thanks. Now what about that person?”

“You are. Very. Welcome. That person was sitting next to us, and five or six minutes ago, he moved table because he had to answer the call, from his girlfriend maybe, or his mom, or his cousin, and he wouldn’t be able to answer the call freely because we are talking.”

“So? We are the cause of him moved from here to there so we are changing his life?”

“Yes, it seems ordinary because, well, it is ordinary—he’s just moving from here to there, nothing happened. But we’re talking about what might happen, right?”

“What would happen then?”

“Now imagine there was a fire, the kitchen suddenly explodes, big fire. What would happen?”

“Ermm…everyone would..go..outside..I guess?

“RUN outside, yes, and that person would die.”

“Why so?”

“Because he is now the person closest to the kitchen, he would die, exploding with the kitchen. He would have survived though if he was still sitting next to us, but he is not. See? We changed his life. We would have killed him indirectly if there was an explosion, his reason for moving there was probably because of us.”

“But what if he managed to survive the explosion and ran?”

“He would have died either way, because his position is in the backmost. Other people would stack in front of the door, and he would ran out of oxygen before he could even got outside this cafe, and if he did succeed, he would still have the mall doors to worry about. Would his lungs survived that long? I…don’t think so.”

“What about us then? Would we die?”

“No, our chance of survival is the biggest here if there was a fire. We are the closest to the door after all.”

For some reason, I feel afraid of him, because I know, the image of death does not scare him, at all, maybe. He basically was just talking about how someone could have died, while sipping his hot cafe latte casually. I myself find it hard imagining someone died, especially someone I know. I just wanted people to live their happy life, without dying. But somehow, I feel safe at the same time. Because I know he know what to do if something ever happened.

“But he wouldn’t die though, if I went to Yogyakarta.”

“What’s the connection between those two different events?”

“You see, he is actually Merry’s brother. I recognize him, but we don’t know each other. I just showed you Merry’s Instagram story, and Karnesa’s too. They were both my friends who went to Yogya, stood at the same spot, but never met each other because they are stranger.”

“Wow it’s suddenly interesting now.”

“It is. What if I introduced Merry and Karnesa, and they did become best friend, and, I don’t know, maybe that brother of Merry would fall in love with Karnesa or her sister or anyone from her family.”

“And how would that prevent his death?”

“That would prevent his death because he would not be here right now. If he had been, let’s say, Karnesa’s boyfriend, they would have chosen different cafe because Karnesa doesn’t like coffee, or even if he’s Karnesa’s sister’s boyfriend, the same would happened because none of her family like coffee. If this cafe did explode, he would have known it from LINE Today’s article.”

“And they would get married?”

“And they would get married. Have kids, three, maybe. One of them would be president. I don’t know, the possibilities are endless.”

“What about us then? What happen if I don’t jump in to your conversation with your friends back then? Would we talked to each other? Would we have conversations? Would you still asked me to be your girlfriend?”

“See, you finally get it; the concept. The ‘what if’ concept, I call it. It’s as interesting as it sounds. One particular action might change the whole world, I could say. If you hadn’t talk to me back then, who knows, maybe we wouldn’t be having conversation right now, talking about things. Maybe I would be alone thinking this whole concept, and become a lonely sad person. But no, you talked to me. We had conversations and I asked you to be my girlfriend. That’s what they call fate.”

“You know, I actually have an assignment; creative writing assignment. I need to write a short story, and I think our conversation is a material.”

“I think so too. Is it fiction or nonfiction?”

“I want to write fiction so it will be fiction. Fantasy, maybe.”

“What kind of fantasy?”

“I was thinking of Butterfly Effect-like fantasy. The film goes with your concept perfectly; where a man could change his own fate, and many others, just by one single action. But he could time travel, though. I don’t want any super powered characters in my story. I just wanted a usual character with usual everyday life and problems.”

“Or you could just write down our whole conversation. I mean, you don’t have to make our conversation reality in your work. You don’t have to make a story about a man who died because of explosion. You could just write how I talked to you about that, and make that a story.”

“Now that is an interesting idea. Actually, I think I’ll go with it. I’ll use our names and our backgrounds as a couple, I could add a little bit of romance in my story too, based on our activities. What do you think?”

“I think it might be best if you change our names, that way, you don’t feel awkward writing our romance. BUT I think you should not use romance though. A little bit, maybe good, but it have to be reaaaalllyy little bit of romance.”

“Come to think of it, yeah, I feel awkward too. Okay then, no real names, no romance. Just two ordinary couple hanging out in an ordinary coffee shop. What should I call my work?”

“What if ’What If’?”

“Sounds good to me. ‘What If’ it is, then.”

Word count: 1.531

References: LINE Chat with Dzikri Fahrurrozi Mahfud.

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