For part I, read here.
Black world, grey in between, white sun. The light gives shades through the windowpanes, the bars shadows moving as the sun getting higher, like traces of forest the city had once been. It is the day of the sun indeed. Kids rise and shine with their parents or nanny watching them play in the park or swimming in the pool of the apartment. Most people are still asleep after a long saturday night: partying, hanging around with friends and/or lover, or simply weeping for a dead future husband, fetishizing the smell on his shirt.
Usually, she always woke up at 5.00 AM. It’s her body alarm. Then she would get out of bed, took off her clothes (if she wore anything when she was up, it rarely happened when these lovers were sleeping together), did some stretching, a bit of yoga and pilates, then she started to dance. Any dance, from a simple belly dance, contemporary hiphop, then ballet, then traditional Indonesian dance. She did these without music, as not to wake her lover up. But he would woke up eventually and joined her. They would dance nude, then do the pilates again, and closing up with Yoga for couple. They were indeed the dream lovers. The Yin and Yang. A perfect circle in a perfect sunday.
But not this sunday. It’s twenty pass seven, and she still sleeping on her bed, her face touching a dark grey shirt. She dreamed of doing her wake-up habit with him in her sleep, but that dream becomes really dreadful once she wakes up.
The smell on his shirt vaporizing, like the color blue that had turned to dark grey. The queen size bed feels like an ocean: vast, limitless, empty. She’s awake in a nauseatic state, dazzled and confused by his absent. I should not have gone back to this room last night, she thinks. I should’ve gone to my parent’s instead, or to a friend’s house, or to a club to dance and get drunk and fuck anybody or anything that fuckable. Anything, anywhere but this room.
Why am I here?
She gets up and stretches out her hand and her body instinctively. “…you..”
She hears a voice. She looks around the room. Nobody’s there. Suddenly she gets the creep. Like someone, or something is watching her closely, breathing on her neck without air, whispering nothing to her.
Nothingness is creepy, she thinks. Then she gets out of her room. She goes to the kitchen, take a glass of water, puts the glass on the table. Then she opens the fridge, and takes a box of cereal and milk. Puts them in a bowl and fix herself a breakfast. Dried fruit cereal. His favorite. He used to eat this with vegetable juice. He was good at making mixed juices, cooking, and he was picky when it comes to diet. He was a lot more feminine then she ever was, is or will be. It doesn’t mean that she’s masculine or tomboy. She likes being a woman, to be look at as a sexual object and desire. And so did he as a man. Loving him is like loving a lesbian woman with a penis.
A lesbian with a penis, his regular joke. She smiles a bit, but lost her appetite. Not because the thought of his penis, but because her inability to think of anything else but his trace on every part of the apartment. She even sees his image washing the dishes when she looks at the sink. He complained a lot about food, he was picky on what to eat or what to wear, but he was fond of washing dishes and cleaning up the house. It relaxed him, he said. O, he was the dream of most modern women: a voluntarily domesticated man.
Now, there she goes again. Rambling about him on anything her eyes lay upon. Don’t stay too long, she thinks. Take what you need and leave this haunted place. You can go crazy here, she says to herself.
She gets up from her chair, walks to the sink, throw the milk into the sink and the rest of the cereal into the trash bin, then washes her bowl. Her neck moves her head right and left, her feet stretches. It’s something you just do when you feel stiff from prematurely ceasing a daily habit of working out.
She stops instantly. She looks all around the kitchen, the living room, her bedroom. Again, nobody’s there. But it was definitely his voice. Now she feels certain on what she’s been hearing since she woke up, but at the same time hesitates to herself. Is she really going crazy? Was it hallucination just yet? Is she that depressed? Schitzophrenic?
She’s also curious. Then she starts to move her hand, plays her fingers.
“Thank God, Bubu! Keep doing it, you can only hear me when you dance!”
She stops, smiles, and laugh. She might be crazy, but this sure makes her happy somehow. He’s still around, like he always been.
“Pipi! Where are you!? You’re here! How silly of me!” She says out loud. She dance again, this time with her hand and her feet. A slow movement of early awareness. Like the first date with a crush.
“Speak as you dance,” the voice whispers. “We can only talk if we’re dancing.”
“How long have you been with me since the accident? Did you stay here waiting for me?”
“I came to dinner at the restaurant, Bub. I sat in front of you. At first I thought you were mad at me because I was late. You didn’t speak a word, you didn’t respon to anything I said as if I wasn’t there. When you took that call, I realized. I was dead.”
So he’s been with her all along.
“I saw you sniffing my clothes, you perve.” That joke again, its like she haven’t hear it for ages. “I’ve been dancing and shouting since this morning like a looney!”
“Watch out!” He yells. She almost crashes the table with a mug on it.
“Don’t worry, Pipi,” she assures him. “I know this room like it’s my body extention.” Her moves is not yet firm. She doubts if it really is her lover. When she was a little girl, her old folks said there’s no such a thing as ghost. Only djinns or demons pretending to be the dead. These supernaturals will lead you to doom, they said.
“Now,” his word echoing in her head, “You can finish washing the dish. I’d be happy to do it for you, if only I can touch it.”
That complain! It’s him alright. She laugh while dancing and washes the dish. The black and white world now has a real conversation sound. Like the end of silent film era. A grand innovation of human civilization.
She dance gracefully in every soap and foam stroke, pouring water on the bowl thus creating a streaming sound of heavy rain. Like that night in front of the bus shelter. Two love hurricanes become one again. There’s an invisible color in the room, an inaudible music.
And a beautiful, happy, visible dance.
To be continued…