I still have that habit of looking for you in the crowd.

They all say that I’ve got to move on. It’s true, but what can I do? Sometimes I can’t really help myself. I miss you. I’m surrounded by these familiar places and scenes. Restaurants where we’d gone to eat. Coffee-shops where we’d hung out. (Seriously, I still frequent those places sometimes, ordering that strong, black coffee that you fancy.)

The crowd we know. The people who miss you too. They don’t know how I really feel about you, because they don’t have to.

I walk down the same, old familiar streets – most of the time alone. I remember you walking me home twice at night. We’d talked about work and the people we know. You’d smiled that warm, gentle smile at the thought of the love letter I’d sent you once – completely out of the blue. Your steel blue eyes were sparkling, radiating a sense of flattery and wonder. I bet you were thinking: why you? I’m still young. Why not any other guy?

Why not you? You know what some people say: you could be surrounded by younger, handsomer, richer, and more outgoing fellows – yet your heart and mind always know where they want to go. In my case, mine just choose you.

I remember soft kisses on my cheeks and warm hugs. Dad had barely done that, but I’ve stopped blaming him for everything. It wasn’t his fault. He just didn’t grow up with such courtesies.

If missing someone this much were considered a mental illness, then I’m afraid I’d be in trouble already. I’d definitely need a therapy.

Still, I have the habit of looking for you in the crowd, even if you’re not there. Who knows? Maybe I get lucky. Maybe I get to run into you in the crowd again, just like old times. Then we can start talking about books and stuff again, just like we used to do. Almost like what Dad and I used to do, but this is not about him anymore.

Or maybe I can just wait for you to pay a visit to this city. Then I won’t have to look for you in the crowd. I’ll just stay in touch. Find out where you are.


(Jakarta, 13/8/2015 – from the Jakarta’s Couchsurfing Writers’ Club Gathering at Anomali Coffee – Setiabudi One. Topic: “in the crowd”.)

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