Flash Fiction: A 3 Hour Journey

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It takes me a few minutes until I have my seat. My hometown is about 3 hours away from the city where I am studying. It is such the most tiring day. I can see the foggy sky through the window next to me. There are likely two passengers talking to each other loudly in the back. “could you stop, please?” I ask them in silence. I have been looking out the window and listening to good riddance at the same time. The starngers’ voices in the background start fading out slowly. “They finally stopped making me want to jump out of this bus,” I smile in peace.

I was born and named Afi 17 years ago. I am going to be 18 in 2 days. I very much like this month, due to my birthday. However, I cannot believe that right now I am going home on my own, as a grown lady. My mother used to pick me up in primary school.I was in 2nd grade when green day’s music came on MTV very often. My concern was not only Billie Armstrong and his bandmates. There was also a boy in my class, the only boy who I paid my attention to. I always wanted to pinch his chubby cheeks. His hair was not as glossy as other boys’ who were worn hair gel by their mothers. My well-formed opinions on him were extremely ruined after being his friend. He was not as cool as I expected him to be.

“What are you looking at?” he interrupted my daydream.

“Nothing, go away!” I started feeling annoyed by him, so much.

“Oh you will regret saying that because I am cute and handsome. You wrote it by yourself, didn’t you?” He suddenly laughed as if his joke was funny.

He made me completely confused. “What are you on?”

“This ugly book.” He responded fast.

I shockingly felt choked in a sudden “It… is a diary, you dummy! And it is not ugly, you are ugly!” I grabbed my diary out of his grip. Forgot saying something, I turned around “You are also very short!” then I run away.

“You are not taller than me!” he shouted in anger.

It seemed I would’ve still smelt his rage even if we were thousands miles apart. We had stopped talking ever since. I thought that all I did was not right. I once blamed myself. On the other hand, I did not think that he wanted to talk about it. Every time we came across, we would just walk on to different directions. We both just kept the distance between us. I saw him with his new friends one day. “Great, you feel very happy about your new friends,” I mumbled in jealousy.

Graduation was passed. I had never opened my diary since the day we fought. I did not want to take a guess on which part he read either. But then I pushed myself to open it. I accidentally saw something written on the last page, saying you are genuinely pretty. It is not my handwriting. “Was that him?” I questioned myself. “Well, too late now.”

The bus stops at the shelter nearby my house. Oh, no! my mind has been running back to the past for 3 hours.

Credit: Photo by Shinta Puspita Dewi

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