The Sallow Sea
I'd been standing in this bay for almost more than an hour. The streets behind my back were rather busy than usual. Cars passed by in a minute. People were walking and riding their bikes on the sidewalk. It was so busy in the early evening yet so quite. No horn sound, no people chattering. But sometimes, I heard the bike bell rang gently. I didn't understand why all of them could be look so obedient.
Not so far from my place, I could see the harbour. The sun had not set yet. The horizon was still clear. But maybe in 15 minutes or so, the sun was going to touch the thin border of the sea and the sky. Ships were moving slowly to the port. The wind blew my hair and the cold started creeping my neck. The temperature started to drop due to the end of the day. I pulled up my coat collar and let my face sank into it.
I saw a seagull fly, created a big curve then dived in; let his wing dipping in the water while flown over it. He looked like testing the sea water, and then made a notch up to the sky. I saw him fly away at a distance. And because of that, I realised the sun just sank into the sea horizon. I dazed, let the moment took away my mind. A moment of solitude felt so last. The traffic was getting busier. But I just could hear the sound of the wind creating low whistle; the horn of the ships blew once or twice in the far away, the sounds of the wave met the land, and the seagull was calling each other.
The sea rippled in a small wave. It was full of twilight glitter which started to dim. I amazed and wondered how deep the gulf bellows this bridge. It hypnotised me. I saw the darkness spread from the deep. It was so tantalising. I felt the emptiness take all of my problems in which my mind was full of. It was so hard recently this day. Many things happened in my life and I just couldn’t find any reason to share it with others. Yet also I was not sure anyone wants to hear my problems. They were too busy with their own business. And this just made me felt so empty and desperate inside. I wanted someone to take this burden. But, human used their mask in front of everyone to be as perfect as possible. It was shameful letting others knew your agony. What a ridiculous norm! But, since small, it was what everyone taught me.
The night came and the street light lit up. But the light never reached the sea bellow. Was it made of darkness? I could still hear the sea wave and the wind. I saw nothing bellow. And let this moment take me into silence. Suddenly, my body felt so light. I heard something big hit the water, created a loud smash. Just then I felt my body was engulfed by something cold. It dragged me to nowhere I knew. I tried to move but I thought I was paralysed or rather something hugged me from behind. I held my breath. I heard nothing except my heart beat which was getting slower. Emptiness filled my head. I felt someone just swapped away my burdens. I tried to open my eyes. I saw white glitters in the far high. Was it snow? No snow in November. The white glitter rippled in a slow motion and it was getting far. Ah, so was it how it looked like when the street light reach the sea? I smiled. I didn’t hold back my breath anymore. The small bubbles escaped from my nose and mouth. I smiled. So, it was the end. I was drowning and let the darkness engulfed me.
Just before sleepiness took over my body, my eyes snapped open. I turned my head to my right side. I saw a pair of eyes, worry and pity reflected on it. I hated that kind of eyes.
“Hime-chan, Hi! What are you doing here?” I smiled playfully and moved closer to her. She didn’t answer and dazed in a moment.
“I am … going to go to campus.” She answered, hesitated. She looked up and I caught her worry and pity. My smile was getting wider.
“So ka, so ka! Jya, ikko, ka?” I put both of my hand inside on my jeans pocket and bounced on my toes.
“I want to go to campus actually. But when I passed this bridge, I saw the sun set. Then I stopped to enjoy the moment.”
Hime-chan nodded without making any eye contact with me.
“So, do you want to go to campus together?”
We walked together in a silence. But I was okay with that. She was a kind of shy girl in our class. I hardly remember I talked to her in our classes. And she also wasn’t a kind of girl who talked a lot with boys. I liked her companion, just like today. But I thought today was different. I could feel something bother her. Did she saw what I want to do just back then?
“Ano, are you okay?”
“E, why did you all of sudden ask me that? Of course, am okay!” I let a small laugh escape my lips. I saw her move uncomfortable.
“Really?” She looked up and our eyes met. I saw a concern there.
I chuckled and nodded.
“So desu ka.” She looked relieved and her face softened with a small curve of her lips. I felt a small thump in my chest.
“Ne, hime-chan, why do you look so concern?”
She looked at me then avoided me as soon as she caught my gaze. I saw her cheek redden. Something squeezed my stomach. I couldn’t hold my smile.
“It is, um, I was just thinking that, just before I called you, you will jump off the bridge.”
My smile disappeared all of sudden. There was a silence between us. She didn’t look at me. She looked like uneasy about what she’d said.
“Eeee, nani kore?! Why shall I jump off the bridge?” I acted like she was kidding me.
She looked at me and started to be panicking.
“No, of course, I don’t want you to jump off. And you better shall not. I can’t imagine it happens in front of me. But, but when I found you standing there, you looked like, what can I say, looked like unusual. I don’t know how to call it. But you looked like holding on something, looked like in pain. It was like you will break into a piece in a second. When I saw you grip the bridge wall, something bothered me. Just that moment I thought you will jump off. So that is why I called you.” She mumbled, talked furiously; worry and pity. I found her concern really pure. It was really touching. It was the first time someone looked so concern about me.
I laughed, bitterly. What on earth should this girl I hardly talk to even know what I hide behind my laugh and smile so easily?
I didn’t realise we stopped walking. Hime-chan looked so confused. Her eyebrow was furrowed. I might be looked so pathetic.
I tried to stop my laugh, whipping my tears in the corner of my eyes. This was the first time I felt so amused because of my irony. What was more irony than someone’s talking about your true self behind the usual mask you put every day, just like she read a story from her favourite book?
“Sorry, Hime-chan.” I tried to stop my laugh but I just could not. I giggled in advance, trying holding back my laugh and tears, perhaps. Hime-chan still looked so confused. I never knew she can express such a worry look for someone like me, a class clown.
“It is so funny, you know, what you’ve said to me.” But Hime-chan was not laughing.
Instead, she reached her hand and whipped my tears. I stack. My body went rigid and I didn’t ever know that I held my breath.
“Are you sure you’re okay? Because I see you as you want to cry.” Hime-chan asked me once again. Her worry was pure. Her motherly looks melted my heart. My eyes met her worry eyes. She looked like want to cry as well. Did she pity me?
She pulled her hand hesitantly. I didn’t want to admit it, but I wanted her hand caressing my check longer.
“Thank you, Hime-chan. But, I am okay.” I smiled as gently as I could do, for now, tried reassuring her.
She didn’t talk back. We continued walking to campus in silence. But I could say that she was upset. Maybe because I didn’t tell her the truth? Or, I was just not ready to open myself to someone else anytime soon.