it was raining. not cat and dogs, but mass enough to gravy the dusty roads and alleys. in that cold weather, we choose to stay inside. warm, but cold with air-conditioning in our comfortable blankets and rooms. everyone refused to move, and apparently after an hour afternoon nap, we began to crawl, lazily.
i first step out from the glass door, where a nice looking gentleman loyally manned it. he greeted me, and asked me where are we heading to in that after-rain weather. i just smiled, and shook my shoulder giving a sign we are unsure where is our destination. its not that i declined to properly start a conversation with him, but in my head, i was busy asking myself; did we really want to dirty our slippers and thigh to start our trip this time?
i turned. 2 small little girl was there, smiling and showing the utmost sincere and pity faces, asking me to borrow their umbrella. i smiled back.
i shouted a bit. they were standing by the hotel small garden in that mist after-rain. upon hearing my voice, they carefully run towards me. they eye’s were full of fear, looking at the bellman, who will kick them off when they step into the car lobby. i shook my head at the bellman and waived at them, saying that it’s ok to come to me. this time, they run to me, eagerly.
“berapa aja om”
the children were small, smaller than my little sister. one is 10, while the other is no bigger than 8. both looks messy, with smudge on their face. the hair was never been properly wash, and they run around in their God slippers. looking at them, it touches my spot, deep in my heart. but i restrain from showing it off.
“ok. kamu tggu aja disini. sebentar lagi. aku mahu masuk”
we turned back at each other, i’m looking for MFY, and they rewind back to the spot under the rain. then when we came out, they handed me the 2 umbrellas. the thousands note changed hands, not that much but it will make them happy, at least. and they promise to wait at the lobby to return the umbrella. then they disappear, in the rain and its people.
we walked pass the hotel gate. the rain doesn’t stop its people from roaming around. most of them are soaked and dirty. none look better than us. drains, dirts and rubbish is not a matter. we are the only one that jumped left and right, avoiding the patches on the road. they, just run through it like its a pure water springs.
from afar, the 2 girls, hiding behind a huge pillar, catch my glimpse. when they noticed me looking at them, they run away, to the hiding. maybe they too, have a pride. i know that they are admiring us all. but they are too shy to ask and dont want us to look down on them. we continue our walk, passing a mall.
“om, kami ikut aja.”
a small voice appears from our back. the 2 girls were trailing us. from the start, from afar. i didnt know that. i would be happy to walk them around in their umbrella if i knew they wanted to follow us. F, being a phedo-sweet-talker, start a conversation with them. he asked them, and they cheerfully answer. he handed them my last pieces of Halls, some balance from my offshore trip. they received it, and smiling their teeth out. seems like the sweets was a very precious present they ever received, and i can see how happy they are when opening the wraps.
we enter the shopping mall, and that is where they stop. the stairs of that mall is like a sacred place for them, where they can’t simply enter. they just stood there, on the street, fear of stepping into the door. the people inside the door look at them with sharp eyes, smirking at them not to enter.
“om, kami pegang aja payung ini. nunggu disini aja”
we handed over the umbrella, and left them there. i wish they didnt wait and go, as we didnt know when we will be returning.
plus 2 hours, we come out through the same door. the kids was nowhere to be seen. the rain had stopped, and they sky were clearer. but the roads had turned into a swamp full with trashes. we walk fast to return back to our hotel.
the roads were busier than 2 clocks ago. cars and motorcycles were crossing each other. and in the middle of the road leading to a parking lot of that mall, we spotted a small body. dresses in pink, the kid was sleeping deeply. using her slipper as pillow, she slept under the gate bar, right in the middle of the road. the divider was big enough for her to fall over if she turn to the side. we stood there and looked at each other. how on earth that tiny little human can sleep, not even with a mattress. dont imagine about a room, she’s lucky if she has a house. lots of thoughts played in our head. M was looking at me, and F was busy with his hand gesture. Y? smiling, like he always do
blur and unknowing what should we do, we patch our steps back to the hotel.
we did learned. learned how to appreciate what we have. learn how hard this life could be some other human being. that kids has no different from us. the same god created beings. but why did they are so unfortunate, whilst some can eat ice-creams that can cost a family a month meals. we did feel obligated to give, and share what we have. at least we are still humble and small, feel touched and close to heart when seeing things like this.
F said, this trip, his soft-spot was touched the most. and Y, dont regret travelling with us! the second part will be soon narrated!