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kempalanggun · 31 Okt 2021 10:59 WIB ·

No Snow in Jakarta

					Ilustrasi crime scene. Perbesar

Ilustrasi crime scene.

Oleh: Jericho Fikri (Pemenang pertama National Writing Competition, Diadakan oleh English Writing Community Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia–UPI 2021)

KEMPALAN: In a dank alley God-knows-where in Jakarta I laid dying in a pool of my own blood. A failed detective murdered in cold blood, reduced to nothing more than a clue for the next detective. I was mildly alarmed that I didn’t seem to mind.

I stared at the cloudy smog-filled sky, a sea of grey cotton jostling and drifting. There was no one to mourn me. The skyscrapers would do; their tall silhouettes surrounded me, as if they were mourning me. The drizzle of rain was their tears.

My last thoughts drifted to my mother. It all began with her. She died long ago while we lived in Maine, America. To my boyhood eyes Maine looked like a different world with its snow, leafless trees, and colourful twilights.

But we couldn’t stay after that tragedy. 13th February 1997. I was 15 when a home invasion took my mom’s life. It was seared in my head: the cold knife sticking out her stomach, her dark eyes dumbly staring into nothing, her silk-black hair matted with her own blood, and her fair skin turned pallid. People always said we looked alike, and true enough, right now I probably didn’t look much different than her, complete with the knife stuck in my gut.

After her death, Dad couldn’t raise me alone in Maine. We packed up, left his dream job, and went back to Indonesia. I never saw snow again.

I grew up into a spirited young man and applied my faculties to the Service as a detective for the rest of my 33 years of life. I didn’t want anyone to suffer my fate. I wanted to save lives, like some kind of superhero.

But there was a growing despair, a sense of powerlessness. Solving how innocents died didn’t bring them back to life. Solving who murdered them didn’t bring them back to life. Finding who killed Mom didn’t bring her back to life.

Innocents died before I acted. Just like how Mom had to die before I acted.

What kind of superhero doesn’t save lives?

It was a small despair at first, but it grew to dominate me. Before I knew it, I lived like a colourblind man. The world was like a paler, colder, windless picture. It was like watching a dream, and before I knew it, it was ending.

I didn’t mind.

I’d given up long ago.

I thought death would be an abyss of nothingness. Instead, I felt something. I felt cold, so biting it soaked into my skin and bones. I realized I might not be dead yet.

I nervously checked my wounds, expecting stabs of pain, but found none. No knife, no pain. Only the cold.

I opened my eyes and saw a new sky, twilight, deep with colour from the setting sun. The air was crisp and clean, and the clouds were soft, smog-less beds of white cotton.

And it snowed.

I rose on shaky legs, wide, wild eyes fixed to the sky.

There couldn’t be snow in Jakarta! But… was this even Jakarta?

I looked around. Gone was the dank alley sandwiched between skyscrapers, replaced by an open playground

sandwiched between simple suburban houses and leafless winter trees. They were all covered by a thin layer of snow.

I recognized the sight immediately. Maine. But that was impossible.

I crouched, cupped a ball of snow, and crushed it. It was so cold it stung. I studied the palm of my hand, and noted

how the snow made it run red. That felt and looked real. So how—

Something was off. My hands were small and smooth! I looked down and found my footprints were small and short in stride. My uniform was replaced by a white winter coat. But worst of all, my entire body seems to have shrunk. I was now small enough to fit the small entry to the jungle gym.

I was back in my childhood town, and I’ve returned to my boyhood body. It was like I went back in time.

I immediately…

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