Flash Fiction: (Not) Belong

Dita Kusharyanti180410160062

The sun was almost set and from the window and I saw my dad got out of his car. He walked through the front door and called mom and asked us to sit in the living room, a bad news was coming. “In two weeks, we are moving to Jogjakarta,” there. This would be the second time we moved. I hated it so much but apparently not for my parents. My dad worked in a construction company which required him to move every time there was a new project. They even left their homes in Central Java and stayed from place to place until they had me in Jakarta. The first time I had to move was when I was six to Depok. Nothing much different there than in Jakarta besides that I had no friends.

This was my fifth day in my new school in Jogja and already people mocked me. I heard whispers, “How come she has Javanese name but can’t speak our language?”. Since then, nobody in my class wanted to talk to me. On Monday, I decided to stop going to school.

It has been two months I stayed in my room and it was better than being outside, especially that school. Perhaps, it wouldn’t be this hard if my parents—as Javanese, taught me to speak Javanese language or didn’t name me Primaningtyas Arum Budiono. Mom knocked on my door. I tried to ignore her but she insisted I had to come out to the living room. Annoyed enough, I finally did what she wanted. I saw mom and her two guests, a woman, and her daughter. She introduced them—the woman was mom’s friend, Aunt Sonia and her daughter, Agnes. Mom said me and Agnes would make a good friendship, I didn’t know what was her intention but okay.

Agnes and I had been hanging out for a week now. She was a Palembang-Chinese girl and a year older than me. It turned out we had similarity. She told me when she first moved to Jogja, as a Palembang-Chinese, and knew nothing about Javanese culture. She told me that not everyone would treat us bad. We just needed to be more careful in choosing friends and adapting. Agnes or Panda—her nickname, also promised me she would always be there for me. I loved her because she helped me in so many circumstances.

Two years later dad announced that we were moving to Surabaya. I was furious, but again, Panda convinced me that living in a new place wasn’t bad. Surabaya turned out to be okay, and when we moved to Palangkaraya, it was okay too even though I couldn’t find anyone like Panda here.

I could still hear the words dad always said every time we had to move clearly in my mind. Those were what I hated the most that came out of his mouth. But here I was, remembering it while lying on my campus dormitory bed in Bandung. Studying here was unplanned. I guessed moving around was kinda my thing, but I never considered those places I lived in as a home because, for me, home wasn’t about where I live. Maybe I was meant to belong nowhere and everywhere.

Oh, I almost forgot! I was going to call Panda.

Word Count: 550

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