Flash Fiction: Composure

Shanara Andari Kameswara


The one hour and a half trip to the rainy city was cold and restrained. I went here alone, unlike the usual. Normally, I would go to Bandung with my closest friend. I thought I would have never gone companionless, because I had always been afraid of being unaccompanied in an unfamiliar place. I always feel as if everyone’s eyes are fixated on me when I walk past them, even though I’m not some famous figure and I always think that they’re judging my appearance internally. I have eczema around my mouth since I was a child, maybe that’s why.

Dad went here to visit me from Jakarta. Jatinangor is too far and the traffic on the way there is nuts, he said. We never had a good father and daughter relationship ever since my parents got divorced. I went to Bandung by Damri from Jatinangor, because why would I waste more money on Shuttle if I can go safe and sound by paying not more than Rp10.000? As I got in the bus, I noticed a guy whom my friend, Emma, introduced me to at a concert a while back, sat alone by the window. Without thinking any further, I plopped down next to him. “Hi. Knox, right?” I approached. “Hey…Daisy. Weird that we met here, what’s up?” he answered while pulling out his earphones and smiled.

Throughout the trip, we got to know about each other a little bit more. He asked me if I wanted to accompany him to buy some CDs from his favorite record store, I said why not and we went. After that, we had lunch at his treasured restaurant and went to wind down at a park where he used to spend a lot of his childhood at. It was already 5 p. m. when I looked at my watch, meaning Dad would arrive anytime soon. “You know, today was unexpected. We’ve only met twice and now we’re sitting on this bench. It happened so quick, as if I had known you before I met you”, blurted him. “Exactly, it feels strange but also not at the same time. I had never gone anywhere alone, it’s even crazier that we didn’t know each other that well before and suddenly we went to all these places together”, I said, wondering how. “You’re a great company, Daisy, I’m glad we bumped into each other today. Thank you. Emma and I had just broken up, it’s still hard for me”, he stated. I didn’t know how to react. The uneasy silence was saved by a text from Dad which reminded me that I have to go and we parted our ways.

As I waited for Dad to show up at this arrival hall, I looked around and noticed that everyone was with everyone. I, too, was with someone, but with a hit from reality, he’s now gone in the blink of an eye. For the first time, I could tell that everyone didn’t have their eyes on me, nor judging me silently, because they were too busy with each other’s company. Although I was by myself, I finally felt free and I didn’t need anyone to make me feel this way. Being alone in a bizarre place wasn’t as frightening as I thought it would be.

#Scribere2018, #Class C, #FlashFiction

Photo Credit: Dallas Clayton

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