Flash Fiction: Imaginary Soulmate

Rizky Aprilia Fajarningtyas

"Hey, you stupid girl, you better keep your mouth shut or I tell you to get out of this house!"

Yes, that’s her dad. An abusive and alcoholic person.

Her name was Anna. She spent 15 years of her life in Yogyakarta. The misery life had happened since she was kid. Her parents divorced when she was 7. Everything was fine when she lived with her mother until universe required her to live with her problematic dad one year later because her mother moved to America to follow her new husband. The child custody belonged to her father. Her life was falling apart. Her father did not take care of her. He was just busy with his business until late at night and came home drunk. He often said rude words to Anna. An 8-year-old Anna could do nothing but cried. She couldn’t tell anyone because she was too scared to meet people. Little Anna thought every people were similar to his father.

12 years of her age was a turning point for her life. At one night, she accidentally spilled her drink on his father’s desk which caused his business report wet and couldn’t be saved. His father who was drunk slapped then shouted at her mercilessly. She was very shocked. She felt empty for some moments. Then, hallucinations about good things came to her mind and she wondered how much she wanted to have a happy life. She unconsciously created an illusion that she had an imaginary friend who was always ready to accompany her. Her friend was a boy with the same age as her. Anna felt that he was her guardian who always there for her. The existence of him made her mental space so much better. She felt accepted in life.

Anna grew to be an attractive woman, but she was still in her solitude in the real world, only being accompanied by her imaginary friend. She moved to Bandung when she was 18. She was tired dealing with her father also she had to continue her study. Bandung was the choice suggested by her imaginary friend. Luckily, she began to feel comfortable there. She tried to open up with her college friends. They were not as bad as Anna thought. She started to join a photography community to learn more about what she used to do at her own time, taking pictures. It was fun for her. There, she met many people and she got acquainted with a man named Dharma. They both felt connected since they first met. Along with it, her imaginary friend disappeared and never come back. She felt something wrong with herself and Dharma but it had never been said.

Days changed, months passed, they both got closer without any voice in Anna’s head. She started to get anxious. She carefully told Dharma about what she experienced during her life. Unexpectedly, a truth was revealed from Dharma. His life was exactly same as Anna. Broken home, imaginary friend, solitude, all were exactly the same. After finding out deeper, they both realized that each of them was the imaginary friend which always been in their mind that became real. Since then, their relationship was getting better and they strengthened each other to get the peace they had been looking for.

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