Failed Trip: A Memoir

Naufal Alif Arya Putra180410160019

The clock ticking from one second to another. Laying down in my bed seemed to be a new definition of boredom. Yes, I could not go anywhere because I had been quarantined. I had been in this room for three whole days and it was already boring. It was already past noon when I noticed the clock ticking. I did not know what to do, so I checked my phone and saw the field trip photos to Bandung that my friends sent me. It looked fun, or at least it had more joy than stuck in this cramped room by myself.

It all happened in the beginning of new semester. There were a lot of gossip that the first year would be going on a field trip to Bandung. I could literally hear every single word that my friends talked about it almost everyday. I could see their hopeful face about getting somewhere as a vacation, or that was what I thought it would be. One morning, the principal told us about the news of field trip was true and we could not hide our excitement written on our faces. Everybody was hyped. Everybody was happy. We began to pay the money for the field trip. There were several of us paid it bit by bit and there were who paid it as a whole.

I did not know what to do. This disease, chicken pox, had taken away my chance to go on field trip with my friends. Guess I could not do anything in this square room. I lost in thought several times because what else could I do? My mind was travelling through memories when somebody knocking at my door. It was my grandma bringing me my food. Yes, she was the one who took care of me when no one could. Both my father and mother were too busy to stay at home to took care of me and my younger brother could not even stay close to me because he had not had this illness before. So the chances of him being infected was still high and I did not want him to get infected by me. My grandma said to me that be patient because the illness would soon be cured. It was only a matter of time. I just nodded to what she said. While chomping my food, I went back to my phone.

I already paid three hundred thousand rupiah for the field trip. That was not a small amount if I said. Was I excited? Of course, this would be the first time I spent time on vacation with my high school friends. Suddenly, boom, I was infected by chicken pox, three days before the trip. I had to leave school early with no one to took me home because the disciplinary teacher did not believe that my friend, who wanted to take me home out of pity, would come back to school. What else he could do anyway if he did not get back to school. So, I was on my way home in public transport with full realization that I could infect someone. It was her fault if I ended up infecting someone.

Seeing the clock only made me more bored and lonely. Every second felt like ages. The darkness started to fill the horizon. Well, at least I could still watch the sky from my window. But this loneliness was not something that I could handle well. I could not see my friends or going outside, playing with them. I could not join the field trip with my friends, having fun, outside. Rather I was here all alone without anything to do and anyone to hung out with. I was just laying on my bed and scratching my skin because it was itchy. It was hot. I could not even sleep, eat, relax or sit properly. It was annoying. The bed that usually comfortable became hard. The blanket I used to use, was really hot and made me sick. Well, it was already dark outside while I was whining about my condition. Seeing the dark sky outside made me remember about this morning, when my friends went to Bandung.

“I cannot wait to go to Bandung.”

“I want to eat a lot of food there.”

“It is nice to change the atmosphere once in awhile.”

“I want to meet Bandung’s girl”

Those were several things that my friends told me when they were on the bus, on their way to Bandung. Some of them gave their condolence to me because I could not make it to the trip. Well, I was happy they were still care to me, perhaps. I just smiled when they sent me those words but inside I felt jealous, sad, anger and lot more. Maybe there was still hope to recover today is what I thought. What a foolish thought, chicken pox could not be cured in just two days silly.

Three more days had passed. So, I had been in this room for approximately 6 days, could be more. I was starting to get healthy and probably I could go to school tomorrow. Days turned to night, and night turned to days. It was time for me to go to school. My mother and my grandmother were worried about me. They ask if I would be okay or would I be able to make it to school and such. I said that I would be fine. Even though it was still a bit itchy.

I went to school but with marks of chicken pox still lingering through my body. The doctor said that it would not infect anyone anymore because the virus or bacteria, I did not remember what he said actually, was dead and would not spread anymore. So, with that thought up in my mind. I left my room with feeling of ease and happy, because I would not spend days being quarantine from outside world in that room anymore.

As soon as I arrived at school, I went straight to teacher’s office. For what purpose? Of course to get a refund because I could not go to the field trip. The money, which was my mother’s obviously, was not a mere small number. Those three hundred thousands was not a small amount at all. I would get my Mom’s money back. I went straight to my teacher and asked for a refund. Unexpectedly, he said that I could not get the money back. It was because the money had been used for paying the accommodations, buses, foods, and more. I was like “why did you not give me my money earlier?” because it was clear that my letter, that said I was sick and could not attend the trip, was sent one or two days before the departure. Why could not I get my refund? I did not understand at all those excuses. It was like he was trying to avert me from the truth. I would not forget it. I said thank you and walked to the door when my teacher suddenly rushed to me and gave me a T-shirt, the one which being distributed for the students on the day of the trip. With bitter smile, I walked out from the office and through the hallway. “Can I get into my room and being quarantine for another semester? I’m tired with this nonsense.” That was what I thought.

Photo by: Naufal Alif Arya Putra