The Bedroom: A Memoir

The Bedroom

Trisha Adelia

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The most memorable bedroom in my life was the bedroom which I and my big sister named Soraya spent our childhood together. We were five years apart and she actually had grown as a teenage girl when I was only ten year-old. Sharing bedroom with sister sure wasn’t an easy task. We had to tolerate each of our fiendish behaviors, farts, random sleeping poses, and even looting the fan position—the little pink square fan with so many heart stickers on it. Talking of the size of the room, this bedroom didn’t even have an alley for two of us to walk freely. I could not really tell what size it was because I was bad at Math. We got double bed and a large cupboard whose mirror had been crushed because we stretched our feet and pressed them onto it. The cupboard which once had a mirror then had only the remaining glasses, the rest of it was wooden frame. As a creative children we saw that wooden frame as our drawing paper. We tried to prank each other by drawing scary figures of women such as kuntilanak and pretended that no one drew it, it must be a curse, said us.

One day, we got our own television to our bedroom. It was actually not a real television with tube. It was a plasma monitor which was commonly used along with a PC. Our father worked as an IT officer, he often brought electronic hard wares to our home. And to this small bedroom, the plasma monitor sure must have a space for it. For television was a must for us. Sometimes when we watched the Bedah Rumah show, where random poor people got their houses renovated for free, we daydreamed if we could get our bedroom to be bigger and nicer, with comfier bed and a nice pink bedcover. Oh! And also new wall painting. We wondered what if our bedroom wall had a fancy wallpaper that we saw on The Sims 2 game. I and my sister complained a lot about the paint color of our bedroom. It was dully painted pink with so many scribbles and papers remaining on it. We did destroyed our own bedroom wall when we were dumb children. Well, we still did.

Besides watching that kind of pseudo-reality-show, we also watched Moto GP. My sister was a die-hard Jorge Lorenzo fan girl. She literally had almost every photo of him in her handphone. She followed almost every Lorenzo updates. When she knew that Lorenzo loved Chupa-Chups lollipop, she bought it every time we went to the town. And then, the posters. Our bedroom wall started filled with Lorenzo posters. Mostly Lorenzo during the race with his helmet on, which meant… where was his face? But my sister could obviously swoon over the image of Lorenzo even when he wore the helmet.

“Last night I dreamed that I and Lorenzo got married.”

I didn’t know what to reply so I just let her tell me more about the details of her dream.

She sighed. “I think it is clear then, I believe it, sister. I believe that one day I will marry him.” Her eyes sparkled as if there were dozens of fireflies on her pupils.

“How could you feel so convinced? I mean, he is not a Muslim, far away from Indonesia…” ‘Duh, I was once a religious child, you know.

“No, I can feel it. I know it. I am so sure that I will be his wife. We will find a way.”

I wasn’t sure what was my sister talking about. But at that time, I knew then that was faith and hope which sparked my sister’s ambition to study hard. Maybe so that she could go abroad to see Lorenzo.

Our bedroom was also the silent witness of our dreary nights. It was the place where we seek for comfort when Mom wasn’t home after she had fought with Dad. Mom used to go to our bedroom and turned off the light and changing the position of the fan so that it did not blowing the wind too hard toward us. We could definitely did all those things all by ourselves, we just let Mom did that because we felt like we got her attention. We were those type of family that didn’t say “I love you”, shared hugs, and all those sweety things some family would do.

There was one night when Mom ran away and I and my sister was so scared. We prayed isha together and my sister asked me, “what if Mom passed away?” I cried so hard to that question. I would never imagine my life without Mom, because I could not even cook noodle properly. When I could not sleep, my sister led me to do sheep-counting. We failed miserably. I could not sleep and my mind was perpetually imagining the worst case if my Mom would not come home. So my sister tried to turn off the light and re-arrange the fan direction, just like my Mom used to do. And there we were, alone and afraid on the dark night. Our bedroom was so silent and we could not help to silently sob.

Then, one day my sister brought a glow-in-the-dark wall decorations. They came in the shape of stars and sun. I was so excited to see how it would look like to see our bedroom to have stars on it. We read the instruction carefully and gently glued the stars and sun to the wall. We were so impatient to wait ‘till night so we could see the shine. It was the first night where we looked forward to see the night. And when the night came, how happy we were to see them, shining in different colors and shape. We could not stop staring at them until we fell asleep.

Gladly, Mom came back after two days.

When my sister left for studying out of town. I was left alone and crying for weeks on my bedroom. It felt so empty and hollow without her. One night when I felt missed her so much, I stared blankly at the wall to remember those nights with her. The day before my sister departed, she asked me to hold her hand before we slept so that we could meet in our dream. I was kind of shock to see how sentimental she was. We didn’t get used to practice all those family things. But that night, I hugged her tightly, I didn’t want to let her go out of town.

Months passed by, my sister came back home after the first semester holiday. She got second rank in her high school. She was studying very hard and never did she get such rank before, that was why she was so happy to let Mom and Dad knew what she achieved. Our reunion stuff was, on that night, we turned on the television and watched Moto GP in our bedroom. The bedroom didn’t change at all since I wasn’t interested on doing decorating. And we spent the night to talk about things she did on high school, how she had a crush with a handsome senior, and she was getting reasonable to not marrying Lorenzo.

However, I was having many friends at that time. I wasn’t a kid who was always rotating around the bedroom anymore. I loved to play outside and hangout with my friends. And I left my sister alone.

“Don’t leave me, I’m lonely.” Said she.

“I will come back soon.”

I went home very late, my parents even scolded me.

When I went to the bedroom, I saw my sister was playing Barbie dolls.

“Where have you been? I’m so lonely.”

I saw something weird from her face. She looked so pale and drowsy. I put my hand to her cheek. It felt like a fresh-from-the oven brownie.

“I’m so dizzy, I think I’m sick.”

I offered her a head massage and she agreed.

“Do you want me to grate cheese for you?” Grated cheese was our favorite comfort food.

She nodded with a slight of smile.

That night, we spent another sleepless night, watching cooking show and planning our holiday randomness. But then, Dad decided to take my sister to the hospital because she was so heated. It was raining cats and dogs outside. At 12 pm, my sister was brought to the hospital. And how on Earth would I know, that was the last time I saw her on our bedroom.

Word count: 1432

Illustration by: Trisha Adelia

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