The Key to The House with The Windows Closed

The windows to the small house on the other side of the hill were always closed. They were dusty. They were dark. I had never been allowed to go there.

I asked Mom once, "Who lives there, Mom?"

She didn't answer.

And then, one early morning, I decided to check it out my self. I was nine, and I thought I was big enough to make a decision. And it would be visiting the house of which windows were never opened.

It was summer. All my friends were leaving town. I was practically the only child left without any vacation plan at all. Mom said we were lucky enough to get food to eat everyday, a vacation would cost one year without food.

Monty, my best friend, asked Mom if I could go with him. But, of course, with dignity Mom said no.

So, I thought, the dark house would be my summer fiesta. Alone, by myself.

So, I took all the tools I thought I might have needed to get into the house. A hammer, some nails, and anything I could find in the attic. All filled my tiny bag.

"Where are you going?" Mom asked during breakfast.

"To the lake," I answered with a trembling voice.

"No, you're not."

"Yes, I am."

"I know it, Mark. You're going there, aren't you?"

I nodded. Mom could always tell when I lied.

"I think, it might be time for you to know."

"Know what?"

"I'm sorry I have to tell you this, Mark. But there's the place where you might find your Dad's soul. He was murdered there. I know I told you that he died as a soldier. Well, he didn't. We got robbed and he wanted to save us. You were only 7 months by then. He got shot on the head. I could not live there any longer. Yet, no one wanted to buy it, knowing the story. So, I moved in here."

I didn't say anything. It must have been painful for her to tell me that. But, I left to the house anyway, in the afternoon. With a key, given by Mom. The key to my past, to her painful past.

Bulan Hitam

"Mak, bulannya hitam," ujar Putik, anakku.

"Hmmhh..." aku tak mampu berkata-kata. Tubuhku letih, kepalaku penat, hatiku lelah.

"Mak...Mak...Emak!" tangan mungilnya mengguncang lenganku.

"Sshh..." perintahku lirih.

Ia diam. Sedetik. Dua detik. Tiga detik.

"Mak...bulannya hitam, Mak."

Kututup mata rapat-rapat. Terbayang mereka yang berdesakan bersamaku tadi siang. Mereka yang menggencet dan digencet. Mereka yang mampu keluar dari kerumunan dan mereka yang ajalnya dijemput.

Kubuka mataku. Dan, ya, memang benar. Bulan menghitam. Mungkin mereka turut berduka.


"Iya, Tik...Mak tahu. Bulannya hitam kan?" sahutku perlahan, mengirit sisa energi yang ada.

Ia menggeleng.

"Putik lapar, Mak."

Kupeluk ia erat. Sangat erat.

Kami berpelukan sambil memandang bulan yang menghitam. Putik dengan perut laparnya, aku dengan rasa syukur karena masih diberi kesempatan bernafas dan berjuang demi anakku semata wayang.

September 18, 2008