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Tuesday, 3 September 2013

MY DREAM IS INSIDE EGG SHELL- A Short Story by Heri Sumardika


            “Crack…..” sound of my breaking egg. It felt down from my bucket into the stony land. I was slip. Five hundred rupiah was lost. The problem will come when I arrive at Mr. Tongki’s house. He usually gets angry and throws the other eggs when I come late or missing the egg. He is my customer, my boss, and my life. I can avoid Mr. Tongki by going back to home, but who will give me money? And also my father will really get upset. His sharp moustache will be like a knife. Okay, I will continue this journey, whatever the risk. Due time is when the sun rises. I must walk quickly.
I just walked around one hour, only one third from all. I must walk for 6 kilometers, passing emerald-watered river, and walking beside high trees is my everyday food. I face a muddy road. This sandal is not good enough. It can’t help me to walk on a muddy road. Really really slippery, sometime the left belt detached. I am forced to wear that black Sunly sandal. The price is not too expensive, only four thousand rupiah. But my money is limited, sandals is not my priority. As long as I can use this sandal, it will protect my fragile foot skin. I have to release it, and throw to the end line of mud. I walk without sandal and hold my egg bucket tightly. I really watch my step.

Two hours walking, I feel thirsty and a little bit hungry. I go to a hot spring. I boil one egg into that hot water. Five minutes later, I eat it. I keep the shell into my pocket. I get drink from another fresh spring next the hot spring. I fell okay, and continue walking. I feel a little bored, then I sing “Garuda di Dadaku”. That song makes me cheerful and happy.
“Mr. Tongki……. Mr. Tongki…….” I shout and knock the door. “Mr. tongki…..Mr. Tongki……” I shout louder while knocking his door again. I feel hopeless. For the last try, “Mr. Tong……”, suddenly the door open. A soft voice of a wise young man touching my ears. “Yes, my father isn’t home, what can I do for you girl?” My heart is beating faster, my eyes can’t stop to look at his charming eyes. I don’t know what to say.”Hello….Hi……” he swings his hand in front of my face. Then he flicking his fingers like a magician “flick” I shock. I am shy and feel down. “What can I do for you girl?” He asked me. “Emmmm……….a…………….emmmm……a……em……” He just looking at my eyes. “Em….I just want to deliver these eggs”. I give the bucket to him, and running back to home. I feel different, I’ve never feel like this before. I hear a little voice “hey girl…….come back……” I feel shy and run quickly.
On the way, I see many people in the yard. I think that they are watching cock-fighting, like my father’s hobby. But its sound is different “huuuu…….ea……..huuu……hea……huuu……” Then I hear sound of hand clipping. “Why do they clap their hand while watching cock-fighting?” I feel anxious. My desire forces me to walk with little step into that place.
I try see the game clearly, but the tall men block my sight. I try hard to move into the front line. “Hey girl…. Don’t be egoist”. “Sorry sir. I want to know what game this is”. “Hahaha….isolated girl. Don’t you know this famous game?” that full-tattoo man asked to me. “No sir. This is unique, they hit the chicken feather forward and the other hits it to return. What game is this?” I seriously confuse watching this crazy game. While enjoying the game, I listen his voice quietly because of the place is very noisy. “We call it badminton. Today is Village-Open Cup. We annually celebrate the anniversary by making this competition. The winner will get cash and a ticket to join the regency cup. If you win again, you can join the higher level. A worth chance for you to join Djarum open in Jakarta. Again, if you win, you will be world’s top badminton player. Everything will come to you, money, masculine men, expensive car, and large house”                     
            I feel flying when hear his voice. I dream if I can play well and win all competition. I smile myself. “Don’t dreaming kid! Look at yourself. I know you cannot hold racket, and even you don’t know how to hit the shuttlecock. Hahaha…..Your sandals show that you won’t be able to buy shuttlecock!” I am sad, tears flow down to my dirty cheek.
            I run into my house. I tell my father that I saw a badminton competition in the Wonagiri village. “Dad, I want to play badminton.” “What is badminton, Putri?” my youngr sister asked me. “It is a sport, like volley ball, but the ball is different. It uses shuttlecock from chicken feather.” I answer Ayu’s question. “Not from chicken feather Putri, but from goose’s feather.”Daddy, how can we get that shuttlecock? Is it expensive?” Ayu asked. My father wisely answers “\It is expensive enough Putri, Ayu. But you don’t have to be worry, Daddy will make shuttlecock by using feather of your chickens.” “Horeeee……..” Ayu is very happy, “But, what about the racket dad?” “For beginner, you can use your sandals”, father said while smile and hug us.
            I ask Ayu, “Ayu, how much money do you have?” “I only have one thousand and five hundred rupiah.” “Sounds good, I have two thousand and five hundred rupiah. May I borrow your money to buy a new sandal?” I asked ayu. Actually I know that she saves money to buy a new school bag. But I promise myself, my chicken will produce many eggs and I can get enough money to return Ayu’s money. “Greembyang….krincing…krincing….krincing……” the sound from breaking chicken-money bank. “This is what I have” Ayu said. I hug her while crying deep down my heart.
            I go to Mrs. Murti’s stall and buy new sandal. It is four thousand rupiah. I feel very happy because my money is enough. Arriving at home, I find yellow flag in the front of my house. Suddenly my happiness is gone. My little sister passed away. I cry loudly. I hug her dead body. I don’t believe that she leaves me in seconds. A few minutes ago, she gave her money to me. I felt warm. It happens too soon. I want to play badminton together. I will use the right sandal, and the left one for Ayu. But she already has her own way. She died in age of fourteen. So young. A beautiful girl named Ayu Markonah, as beautiful as her name and attitude. Father, mother, and neighbors are sad. Mother can’t stop crying. Father doesn’t cry loudly, only tears on his eyes. I can feel that he loves Ayu so much. He never punish Ayu. He always gives what Ayu wants. Tomorrow morning is her cremation day. Ayu will stay beside the grandmother’s palace. A hard day for me!!!
            Next week, I still feel that Ayu is beside me. Her charming smile, funny voice, are always in my mind. Daddy comes to me “Putri, your sister is not belonging to us again, she already gets the best place over there. Now, don’t be too sad. Ayu will feel sad if looking at you when you are sad. Now, you must do your best. Move on! Make Ayu, deddy, and mum proud of you! Before Ayu passed away, she asked me to make a shuttlecock from chicken feathers. If you see Juniora, the old male chicken, it doesn’t have any feathers on its body.” He told me. I smile while imagining Ayu doing that. “This is the shuttlecock.” He gave to me. I feel happy. “Okay dad, I will learn how to be a good badminton player.
            I go to the backyard, I pick the female chicken up. I see twelve little chicks. They are so cute. I took the egg shells and bring into my room. I took a pen and start to write. I write my dreams inside the egg shells. After writing, I climb a big tree next to a beautiful lake which is fully with white water lilies, with green grass everywhere. I hang on my wishes on the branches. While enjoying the lake view and breathing with fresh air, I remember that this place is the witness when Ayu and I played together.
 “Yeah…..ahaa……” When Ayu is alive, she also made egg-wishes. She never let me know what she wrote. I am seeking for her egg shell-wishes. So many egg wishes with colorful color hang on this big tree. It looks like the flower of that tree. Finally, I find her wishes. I remove the string and read one by one, from the oldest until the newest one. “I wish I can climb the wishes tree” That is her first wish. “My chicken has many eggs” That is the second wishes. “Rain falls heavily!” “I am falling in love”, that is her third wish. I am anxious, who is the boy? I read the next shell. “He gave me a red rose” It was so sweet. She never told me about love. Another wishes, “Father and mother are harmonious”. The sky becomes cloudy, it seems will be rain. I read the last wish before hang them again, “Putri wins badminton ^-^”. Rain falls, I run back to home. “Okay Ayu, I will make your dream comes true”
I took the new sandal and the shuttlecock. I play inside the house. “dor……tar…..” wild sound of thunderbolt. “Tok-----Tak-----,Tok-------Tak-----,Tok------Tak-------,Tok-------“ sound of my shuttlecock hits the sandal and hit the brick wall. I try different style. Twenty minutes having exercise, my body fully with sweat. “Putri, it is too mid night, go to your room, study and then sleep. Continue your exercise tomorrow.” Daddy asked me. I go to my room. I read biology book, but I cannot focus. My mind always thinks about Ayu and badminton. I take another egg shells, and write down “I have racket”. I write another wish, “Be the winner”. I write while smiling, extreme weather makes me a little fear. I take blanket, cover my whole body. I felt tired, and I don’t realize that I already sleep.
“Putri….Puutri…..Putri….wake up darling. Bring this bucket to Mr. Tongki. He is waiting for your eggs. He cannot make the chocolate cake without these eggs. Putri….” Mother wakes me up. I wake up, have a shower. Then I dress tidily. Today is Monday, white shirt and gray skirt is my uniform. “Mom, Dad, I go to school” I said. “Be careful darling” mother warned me.
Arrive at Mr. Tongki’s house, Antonius gives me a present, long box with pink ribbon. It is so sweet. “Girl, whoever you are, since the first sight, I feel that I fall in love with you. May I hear your shy voice?” gently he said. “So?” I answered without any shyness. “So, I want to become your boyfriend.” He said while hold my hand. “If I come back to this house after school, it means I accept yours. See you, I will be late if talk too much.” I continue to walk to my school.
“teng……enteng….enteng…..enteng….enteng…..” The bell is ringing. I run into my class, I am the last student who enter the class. I put the present on the floor. I accept his present, must I accept his love? I also feel that I have the sense of love. But isn’t it too soon? I can’t be focus, that handsome man with wise sound always in my mind.
I go to home. It is about a few steps to my house. “Oh my god, I must go back to Mr.Tongki house. I forget to take the money and the bucket. “Mr. Tongki……”I shout out. “Wait a moment, I’ll come darling”. Who is that? I feel disgusting. Suddenly Antonius comes. “Finally you accept my love. So, open the present please.” He asked me. I open it, “Wow…..thanks god. This is what my dream.” I hug Anton, so warm, my first hug for first love, won’t be forgotten. Anton, can you teach me to play badminton? I asked Anton with strong desire. “Okay honey, change your uniform, I will wait you in the village yard at three p.m.” he promised.
I go to the wishes-tree, hang the shells. Again say thanks to god. I shout loudly “I WILL GET SUCCESS!!!” Birds are singing after I shouted out. At two o’clock, I go to the place where Anton promised to teach me playing badminton. I arrive there, Anton bring the real shuttlecocks. I feel happy, we play together. Playing with real racket, real shuttlecock, and with the real love make me forget the time. I feel really relax, no tiredness. “Putri, I have a ticket for joining the badminton cup in this regency. If you don’t mind, I can give it to you and I’ll support all your needs.” I hear a heaven voice. He gives me the ticket.
When Sunday comes, my father, my mother, Anton, his father and I go to the place. I take the lottery, and get number 6. I will against the previous winner of this cup. I do exercise. The arena is very crowded. Now is my turn. I must play with relax mind. I imagine that I am on the wishes tree, looking at the lake. I do my best. I never be afraid to smash and do tricky. As the result, I defeated her 2-1, a proud for myself. A nice present for my sister Ayu, my family, and Antonius, my hero.
I got the ticket to fly to Jakarta. A dream to join Djarum open, my dream comes true. An egg will be chicken, and chicken will produce many eggs. That is my life.              

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