Priscillia Jelita Oynike Sihombing180410160070
From the corner of living room, I silently observed the room. The room was so crowded, many people came. My grandfather was gone two days ago and will buried today. Some Chinese relatives of grandpa prayed in front of altar table full of incenses. Some christian friends prayed in their own way. Muslims neighbors also visited to showed their condolences. All relatives and acquaintances from various background came to give my grandfather their last respect. Beside grandpa’s cold body, my mother and grandmother hugged each other tightly while crying, they were trying to comfort themselves.
Although it was cramped, I couldn’t help feeling fascinated. I still mourned over grandpa’s death but it just felt warm to see people with different religions and ethnics came together to mourn my grandpa in peace. Sigh. I wished all Indonesian more tolerant without any prejudices. Differences are beautiful. Even our nation’s motto is “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika”. So I didn’t understand why some Indonesian seemed to mind our differences.
“Felicia!” called mom, woke me up from my naive wish.
“it’s time to burial, help us prepare”
After the burial, I went home without mom and grandma. They still wanted to mourn in cemetery. Their love for grandpa was much deeper than my love. My love solely relied on my fond childhood memories about him. But still, I missed him. Affected by sentiment I searched some photo books. When I found some, I flipped through pages. Most of those are photos in my childhood. Time sure flies fast. My 28-year-old self caught up in nostalgia. My mind slipped away, wandered to the past.
Growing up in diverse family and homogenous society, my childhood wasn’t easy. Not only the fact that I am mixed ethnicities born but I also have a multi-religion family. Almost everyone in my neighborhood are Javanese and most of them are muslims. That made my family really standout from the rest. I spent my childhood with prejudices from others.
But since I used to it, it didn’t bother me anymore. It couldn’t be helped, prejudice is hard-wired to human brain. I flipped pages again. Then I saw it. The photo of my family when it was still complete. It was taken 18 years ago on Christmas eve. The day that changed my life.
That morning my family went to church my brother (Adam), dad, mom and me. My mother and I were muslims so we were just accompanied my dad. Adam was too young to understand religion yet. He followed my dad to joined Christmas mass. Mom and I were waiting in parking area while we prepared Christmas gifts. It was peaceful and then… BANG!!!
It was so loud that made my ears rang for minutes. I was too shocked to understand what was going on. When I regained composure, there are many police and ambulance came.
It was Christmas Eve 2000 tragedy. The tragedy that took my brother and dad lives. That night I was crying over my dad and my brother again.
Next morning, there was a breaking news on TV. It was about Surabaya Bombings. Which made my eyes streamed tears even harder. Was it impossible to live together in peace?
#Scribere2018 #ClassB #FlashFiction