Monday, December 26, 2011

Rhythm of the Rain

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain, tellin' me just what a fool I've been.
I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain and let me be alone again.


Rain poured down heavily from the dark cumulonimbus cloud. Thunderbolt stroke halving the sky along with the rumbling sound of the frightening thunder. Cold breeze blew through my skin and made it shivered in chillness. I took shelter in front of bakery shop, crossing and grasping my two arms coated with light brown cardigan. It was rather wet and successfully made me quivering. My hair was dripping wet because I recklessly ran under the rain from nearby bookstore until the thunder freaked me out with its deafening sound and forced me to stop by here.

I looked up at the crying sky. The rain would not seem to stop so soon. I glanced at my watch and found that it was already four in the afternoon. Passers by were running hither and thither, avoiding themselves from getting caught in cascade-like rain. No choice, I thought. It looked like I should wait patiently inside the bakery shop.

I finally opened that glass door as the waiter greeted me nicely. I threw back a little smile to him and chose a seat at the corner beside giant window. Staring outside unblinkingly through this glass barrier, I nearly did not notice the waiter asked me about the order.

"One hot chocolate drink and chocolate croissant, please."

After repeating my order, he politely vanished from my sight. I did not pay any attention to him either way because rain still successfully made me immersing my past.

I used to love rain. I loved rain and would always loved rain tomorrow and forever. Not because I spent some unforgettable remembrances with one special friend of mine, but really, I loved the crackling sound when rain touched down the ground or the splashing melody, just like beautiful orchestra played by nature.

And of course him.

David James Forests.

My rain.

Why rain?

He was not sun which always shone so brightly. He was not sun which always warmed my heart. He was not sun which always brought cheerfulness. He was rain, instead. Rain which frequently chilled me out in emptiness. Rain which sometimes dragged me down in sadness. But rain which always wiped away all of my tears and emptiness. Rain which always soothed my anxious heart. Rain which always cooled down my bursting mind.

I was head over heels in love with him as much as I loved rain. I swore I never asked for this feeling, it just came all of sudden without me wanting it. I had been keeping it for so long and never intended to let him knew any single piece of it.

We were not meant to be. I knew it from years and years ago, since we first met. I built up strong fences in my heart but to no avail since he kept them wrecked slowly but surely. He weakened my ultimate defense and finally ended up with overshadowing my whole life with his shadows.

He was not mine. Forever he would not be mine. The reason was simple, he engaged to someone else.

The only boy I've ever loved is gone away, looking for a brand new start.
But little does he know that when he left that day, along with him he took my heart.

Sky was clear finally after an hour and half waiting at the bakery shop. I paid the bill and walked outside heading home. Rain left puddles here and everywhere. I cheerfully jumped over them as I chanted any songs coming across my mind, just like a five-year-old child. But that did not take too long and shortly lasted when I remembered of him all of sudden. 

Dave. My best friend yet my worst agony. I had no idea his whereabouts and what had he been since the last time we argued about small - but became quite something due to my stubbornness and his carelessness - stuff. That happened five moths ago and he never contacted me ever since. He was madly angry, perhaps, but I was the one who supposed to be angry. Ah, forgot that. I did not want to remember that irksome day. 

I dashed on the tarnish road, clasping tightly my newly-bought book inside the plastic bag, to go home. I always liked the smell after the rain when dust and ground were dissolved by rainwater. How tranquil. I could feel breeze stroke my face and hair as I walked briskly.

Arrived at fork in the road, I turned left and walked about half mile before passing through the alleyway. My dark blue jeans had now changed its color. Splashing mud scattered here and everywhere. I could careless about this, no one would notice me anyhow. I slightly ran through the shops along the way and suddenly should stop in surprise.

Only five meters right before my eyes, I saw an absolute recognizable person whom I could never forget the face even a slightest bit. Person whom I used to know very well but suddenly became a stranger due to certain case. Person who understood about me more than everyone else in the world but never failed to make me shed my tears several times. Person whom I longed for so long. Person whom I helplessly unintentionally irrevocably in love with.

Yeah, that person was Dave. My supposed-to-be best friend, my best partner, yet my best anguish.

He was staring at me intensely yet unbelievably. I stared back at him, dumbfounded. But what surprising me more was a girl standing beside him so closely. She was not Renata, his fiancee, instead of my former classmate whom I undoubtedly knew her. Samantha.

Wait, Samantha? Why? I never saw him getting this close with her for all those years. I never knew how could they were getting along all of sudden?

Something sore caught in my throat and made it burned in disbelief. I gulped the saliva bitterly, getting so perplexed to what I saw.


He finally asked me, still in bewilderment. Samantha gave a sincere smile - no, that is a smirk instead, from my point of view - but yeah, my sudden enviousness made it looked that way. I was looking at them surprisingly without any single word came out of my mouth until she gave me a hello.

"Alice?! I never thought we could met here!" said her excitedly. Her fiery eyes and gentle smile made me even envious.

"Ah yeah..." I threw a slight smile, no, a forced smile to be exact. "Hi, Sam! And... Dave."

I barely could say his name. Tons of ballasts fulfilling my throat. Would you explain, Dave? Would you explain why it should be her who stayed beside you instead of your fiancee or... me? Would you tell me what kind of relationship you had with Sam? Was she more than a friend for you now? Was she successfully replaced my place after the day we fought each other?

"Where are you going, Al?"

He asked, still with the same voice as he used to. It was loathsome seeing him this way abruptly, but I must not show it off to them, especially to him, my bothersome friend.

"I-I'm on my way home." I answered shortly. "Since when you're here? And... Sam?"

He supposed to live in the city about hundred miles away from here, but why was he here? What was he doing? And with Sam?

He seemed to know about my bewilderment. He smiled and said, "I have something to do in this city, so I asked Sam to accompany me."

Sam to accompany you? Why? Why not me?

I gulped those questions over and over again without having any courage to ask him. I had sworn I would never interfere his business all over again. I had sworn I did not want to know about him at all. But I really needed an answer this time.

Rain won't you tell me that I love him so, please ask the sun to set his heart a glow.
And rain in her heart and let the love we know start to grow...

I did not know why I already sat in the nearby restaurant in front of David and Samantha now. As always, he never failed to make me wasn't able to decline his every request, including asking me to join them eating here foolishly. I had no option but to say 'yes' helplessly.

David ordered sirloin beef steak with banana smoothie while Samantha had french fries and strawberry milk shake. I had lost my appetite since I saw him so I just drank a cup of cold green tea.

"How are you doing, Al?" he asked, cutting the beef with silver knife.

"Just as you see."

I did not intend to reply him this cold, but I did it accidentally. A pang of guilt engulfed me when seeing his unpleasant expression as the reply of my cold answer. I immediately changed my tone of speaking, making it heard smoother.

"Doing good, thanks. And you?"

I just realized that it was the first time I had a chat with him since the day we got into argument that day. I was rather so clumsy, so awkward, and another inexplicable feeling when I saw his face.

"Not much, but I'm okay now." He laughed a bit. "Where have you been before?"

He stared at me with the same gentle eyes I used to know. Those eyes which seemed to be able to see through into my heart, to know everything I held back from him since years and years ago.

"Bookstore." I slurped my green tea. "I bought detective novel and few stationery."

I could see him throwing a look at white plastic back in front of me. He took it and put it out to see what kind of detective novel I bought.

"Wow, Sherlock Holmes..." he murmured. "I never know you like this book..."

"Oh yeah?"

I responded nonchalantly. Because you never care about me no more, Dave. You never wanted to know about me since that day.

"Cough, cough."

I could hear Samantha coughed deliberately, giving us a sign that she was also there and must not be forgotten. I had no idea since when I found her this annoying. I never ever had a problem with her before. Otherwise, we became partner in certain task group. But... it strangely felt so different now.

"Don't forget I'm still here." She was sulked and complained to us with such spoiling tone of speaking. "You must not talk just the two of you."

"Oh, I'm sorry, Sam." David apologized to her with puppy eyes. "You only eat french fries? Why not order something else? You'll get hungry if you only eat them."

Those words of David were enough to make me surprised for the numerous times today. Why is he so damn care about her? What the heck happens between those two?

"No, it's enough, Dave. I'm afraid I won't make it, my tummy's full already." She said softly in a romantic way. Her eyes stared at him so intensely. "Hey, aren't we supposed to go to there before going here?"

"Ouch!" he patted his forehead as he put it on her shoulder. "How could I forget that..."

"So did I..." she muttered, full of regret.

"Well, we go there after this. You don't mind accompany me?" he tilted to her and asked very closely.

She shook head and smiled, "No problem."

What the hell happens right here? What kind of inexplicable affection they showed right before my very eyes? Why I didn't know anything?

Like a sharp knife stabbed my chest so deeply, I could feel my heart started bleeding. Something painful chocked in my throat that made me wanted to throw it up right before them. I barely could believe anything, not even a single thing.

I did not want to hear their intimate conversation, no more. I closed my ears with invisible earplugs so I did not need to wound my heart with sudden romance between them. I could not stand David's look against her and otherwise. Gentle eyes that he used to look at me that way, long ago, before the mess we made. But now, that's not for me. That's not for Renata. Instead, for a stranger...

I obscurely heard they were talking so sweetly but I preferred not to pay any attention on them. My heart was aching. I painstakingly bore my tears from falling foolishly. I did not want to cry, not for them. They successfully ruined me, inwardly yet outwardly, mentally yet physically.

I really wanted to go from here, going somewhere afar, far away and forgetting what I had seen just now. Erasing all memories about him, all, until nothing remained. I wished rain would sweep me away and made me vanished into the air.


At first I did not notice him calling but as I awoke from my painful reverie I realized that it was not a dream.


"Are you okay?" he asked, sounded so tender.

Of course no, Dave. I'm badly hurt now. I'm far worse than okay.


I set a fake smile, wishing him to believe me. I was a very good actress to him. I could always hide my pain in front of him, no matter how hurt that was.

I almost did not speak at all. All I did was only listening those two lovey-dovey chitchatting so comfortably without being able of responding anything. I lost my willingness to talk, not anymore since she apparently did not give me a chance to it.

I could not stand it. I must go or my wound would get hurt even more.

"Dave, I..." I stood. "I think I should go. I almost forget that I have a promise with my mom to accompany her shopping this evening."

"This fast? Can't we have a talk a little longer?" he tried to impede me from leaving persuasively.

We? You said 'we'? Wasn't it you and her without me?

"Later, Dave. I'm sorry." I was about to go. "Bye, Sam!"

Without letting him preventing me from going, I dashed out of the restaurant and shed my tears. I did not have any reason to hold it back from falling, no more. Rain started to fall again and cleared my tears away. I wished rain could also dissolve my wounded chest.

I ran and ran without listening everyone's warning reminding me to take some shelter. This raindrop suddenly felt so painful when raining on my head. I cried and cried and let the rain washed it away.

He was no longer my rain which always embraced me with its sincere rhythm.

He was no longer my rain which always wiped my tears away.

Instead, he was my agony which always brought me into the nightmare.

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain, telling me just what a fool I've been
I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain and let me be alone again...


I wished I could just wake up from a dreadful nightmare, but unluckily it wasn't. Everything I saw yesterday was all real, Samantha had taken my position as her best friend now. That was absolute truth. My heart was still aching as I opened my eyes this morning. It felt I had been betrayed. Betrayed with my very best friend. Betrayed with someone whom I used to put my trust in. 

I woke up from my bed and saw my reflection on the mirror. Eye bags obviously marked on my face and my swollen eyes made it uglier due to crying non-stop last night. Bangs dangled untidily, my brown hair matted tangibly. What I saw right before my eyes was a miserable monster living helplessly, just like failing at final exam or being bumped into unbreakable something. Sure, I was more than horrible to see right now.

Bathroom seemed to be the most suitable place to make over this monster-like face. I washed my face on the water sink, putting some face cleanser on it. Then I was ready with my towel to take a bath.


My phone was ringing, but I did not notice it until I finished my bath. I swiped over the soft unlock button on my phone display to check who had just called me while ago and I found Clay's name was on it. Without a second thought, I pressed the green button to call him back.

"Clay? What's up?"

My eyes furrowed as I heard him pick up my call and greeted me cheerfully just like he used to do. 

"Are you free today?" he asked.

I was silent for a while and then smiled. "Yeah, why?"

"Mind accompanying me to look for some shirts?"

May I call this as coincidence? I could not stay forever in my room just to lament how pathetic I was yesterday. I should go somewhere and coincidentally Clay asked me to go with. 

I did not answer his offer pretty soon. I looked at my face again on the mirror and found my eyes were not even better. How could I possibly go out with these zombie eyes?


I awoke from my short thought. "Ah yeah... of course, Clay."

"Okay, see ya at Saks Fifth Avenue now." 

Without waiting for my answer, he hanged up the phone. I went to my wardrobe and searched some sort of casual clothes to wear. I picked the blue jeans and pink long sleeves shirt. My hair was knotted into one tidily. After making sure that everything was okay, I grabbed my sling bag and wore it, then dashed out of home.

"My, my, what happens with your eyes?"

Clay asked perplexedly, commenting my unusually 'beautiful' eyes. Not only Clay who noticed it, I presumed, everyone looking at me would also find me very awful. They probably frowned while thinking, was today Halloween already? Thanks to Dave who had   made me this way.

We were now at the Italian restaurant after almost two hours long looking for two pieces of football shirts and sport shoes. Clay was loving football so much or I could say he loved football more than himself, probably. I ordered a bowl of hot mushroom soup and lemon tea while he had his pepperoni pizza and chocolate shake.

"Let's just say I overdid putting eyeliner on them."

I said nonchalantly while spooning the hot mushroom soup very carefully. Clay only laughed cluelessly as he cut the bread off then smeared it with spicy mayonnaise before eating it.

"Who would've bought that?"

"Oh, Clay. At least just pretend to buy me."

He laughed even more and that was kind of jeering me. I threw a just-laugh-if-you-want-me-to-kill-you look and he immediately stopped, but still giggling a bit even after he chewed up the last bite.

"Anyway, last night Dave called me that he was here."

He broke the silence and made me chocked on my food foolishly after hearing him mentioning certain name. A name that I did not want to hear right now. A name that suddenly chilled me to the bones. I coughed badly all of sudden, painstakingly getting some fresh air to enter my lungs because everything seemed to stuff my throat.

"Cough... cough..."

"Hey, hey, easy Al..." 

He thrust a glass of water to me and I quenched it very soon. I neutralized my frantic feeling and that unnatural response, trying to keep my head down. Breathing suddenly was a hard thing to do.

I finally could forget about the painful memories of Dave and enjoyed my time with Clay until he ruined it all by accidentally mentioning the name I did not want to hear the most. Taking some breath deeply, I let the air entering my lungs so slowly until I could breathe just the way I always did. 

"Calmer yet?" he asked.

"I guess."

He chuckled incredulously. Whatever Clay, whatever what you might think about me. I was so ridiculous, indeed, and I deserved that mock and jeer. 

"So, those swollen eyes and Dave are indeed related, huh?" he smirked contently as if succeeded in figuring out about what made my eyes this way. 

"Oh, shut up you. They aren't."

I frantically denied his oh-so-damn-right guess while hiding my unwanted blushing cheeks. I bet Clay had suspected something 'unusual' in my relationship with Dave since long time ago despite the fact he knew already about Dave having fiancee.

"I'll take that as 'yes'," Clay did not stop teasing me. He grinned widely when succeeding to figure out about what happened with my eyes. "Your face explains everything."

"Enough, Clay."

I was sulking. But that just made Clay laughed even louder until I threw such a just-laugh-if-you-want-me-to-kill-you-right-now look. He stopped that stupid laugh but still could not hide his giggling, even when he chewed up the last bite of pizza. Not only Clay, I presumed everyone who saw my face right now could probably tell just by looking.

"Well, well, done with your dish, right? Let's go then."

Clay finally changed topic and I was so grateful of this. I nodded and slurped that sour-but-sweet lemon tea. "Yeah, where will we go?"

"Hmm... any idea? Movies? Game center? Or... just go home?"

Movies? I didn't think watching romantic movie was a good idea to heal my heartbreak, not to mention I wasn't in the mood of watching any kind of action movies right now. Go home? I didn't want to go home so soon because whenever I was alone, those unpleasant moments would keep repeating in my head over and over again.

"Game center! Come on!"


"Oh, come on, give me a break."

I sat on the wooden bench in this game area, still inside the building, feeling terribly exhausted. Clay challenged me to throw the basketball on the net, the one who lost should give the other a treat. 

It wasn't fair at all. I never liked any sports, including basketball, so my capability was unquestionably suck. Score now 45 versus 12, of course for Clay. I lost miserably from him. Dammit Clay, how could you possibly challenge someone having zero ability in sports thing? Now he grinned contently beside me, still holding the basketball and drinking the water to quench his extreme thirst. He perspired too much making his blue shirt soaked in wetness. 

"Give up?" he teased me laughingly. "Then... I want baked potato!"

"Alright, alright."

I surrendered, my breath still panting. I knew it's no use to overwork myself just to win this unbalanced challenge.

"Come on!"

Without asking for my permission, he grabbed my waist to walk together with him as if he didn't care that I could pass out anytime due to my extreme fatigue. I grumbled in dissatisfaction but it looked like he didn't pay attention on me and kept holding my waist.

A while later, he stopped all of sudden and made me bumped into his back accidentally. I lost my balance. My legs which had lost its strength was unable to propped my body and made me almost fell down the ground. Fortunately Clay's reflex was pretty good. He caught my arms before I falling freely.

"Clay, what the...?"

Before I could continue my words or at least thanked him for helping me from tripping over and falling, another surprise presented right before my very eyes. I gawked in disbelief when seeing Dave only two meters away from us. 

"Dave...?" I gasped. "What are you doing here?"

Clay excitedly dashed to him and gave a friendship hug. I could see Dave was smiling when hugging one of his long-time-no-see friend. They were chitchatting to each other and sometimes laughing away. They even forgot about my existence. About me being there. 

Unlike yesterday, Dave was alone now - or at least it looked like that - without Samantha nor Renata held his arm. My heart started to palpitate unpleasantly. Butterflies betrayed me by suddenly alive in my tummy. Why should I meet him after all the shits happened yesterday?

"Eh, you're with Alice, Clay?"

Perhaps, those two finally realized that I was still here. Dave came over and gave me a kind of smirk on his face. 

"Yeah, I'm kidnapping her," Clay chuckled. 

A hint of uneasiness flashily marked on Dave's face but then it quickly vanished as he talked to me. "How long have you been here, Al?"

I was all thumbs just to face him.  But I should act as natural as I used to, so I tried to hold back everything I felt for him. I held back my pain, my aching chest, and my unusual awkwardness.

Stay calm, Al. Stay calm.

"From ten in the morning, I guess." I take a glance at my watch. Surely, he sent chill down my spine making me felt so suffocated. "You alone?"

"Yeah. My sister's house is down there, around this building."

His eyes looked so intensely at me, very meaningfully, as if he left so many words unspoken. I did the same. Trying hard not to burst everything out from my almost-exploded chest, I faked a smile to him in clumsiness just to break an ice. 

No matter how much I strove to hate this guy, my heart always at his side.

My heart betrayed me.


Baby won't you tell me why there is sadness in your eyes, 
I don't wanna say goodbye to you

Love is one big illusion I should try to forget, b
ut there is something left in my head...

So here we were now, walking together side by side even sometimes Clay and Dave left me behind one step. I could not blame them for being that way, their friendship's relationship was much longer than with me so I should greatly comprehend.

We took a seat in a burger restaurant. Dave said he was so damn hungry so it seemed to be the second lunch for me and Clay today. The waitress came over us and gave the menu politely. Dave and Clay ordered cheeseburger with akin of fruit smoothies for the drink. I didn't feel like I wanted to eat, so I just ordered lemon tea - yeah, again and again. I'd been addicted to it since some time ago.

Clay suddenly left his seat and said that he wanted to go to the restroom. He dashed rather bit quickly and left me and Dave alone. I sat face to face with Dave and finally realized that it was the first time for us to be alone like this since we met yesterday. Awkwardness engulfed us, we both kept our mouth closed without saying even a single thing. I got myself busy by flipping the menu pages aimlessly, as if I didn't care about him being right before my eyes. Dave seemed to feel the same awkwardness, he was busy with his phone.

"Hmm..." he muttered something unclear, placing his phone on the table. "Are you going out so often with Clay?"

I gasped. What kind of question that was? Sign of jealousy? No, impossible. He never had a heart towards me, even a slightest bit. For him, I was just a mere friend, mere best friend― wait, I didn't think I was, not anymore. Samantha had taken my place very perfectly.

"Not really." I voiced as calm as I could. I didn't want to overact myself in front of him, not after that incident months ago which made us total strangers.

He did not immediately respond my flat answer instead of slurping his banana smoothies which had just been brought by the waitress. I took my lemon tea from her after saying thanks.

"So, how are you doing lately?"

Still in somewhat uneasy voice, he asked without glancing at my eyes even just a little while.

"Not much, everything goes not so easy as I imagined." I let out a sigh, gently received my friends' order from the coming waitress. "You?"

"Just as you see."

He replied coldly, smearing his cheeseburger with ketchup and biting it carefully. Seriously I hated this atmosphere. We had never been this uneasiness before when speaking eyes to eyes - not before we were apart by the distance after getting along too well. He changed so much to be the person I never knew. But I did not have any intention to complain because I might have changed as well.

I hated this awkwardness. 

(to be continued)

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