Chapter 1 : My Mother is not Dead

Neo open up his eyes. People surrounding him. Morning skies above him. He just saw his mother. She was there. In some place. His mother wich was told she was dead.

Neo lying on the side walk. Between the legs he can see the morning crowd. A boy fainting in the street, someone is answering other person who is walking on the side walk.

Neo tried to sit down. Some lady who owned a stall beside side walk bring him a glass of water. Neo just silent. His mother is not dead. He can see her in some place. Like all this time he can see things in othe places.

Some people start to leave the place. Feels waste of time seeing a weird boy who doesn't want to took care of. Neo tries to stand up. People surrounding him all gone. The lady is going back to her stall.

Neo has to sit down. His legs feel so weak. He sits at the side of a gutter tries to rest. His uniform dirty now. His bag still lied not far from him. Untill he finally realize he has to be in the school now. Some kids with uniforms passing in front of him. But for a while his view stuck at the cross the street. He feel someone has been standing there watching him.Among people pass over the street, that man looks so neat with his suit. A man in the middle age.

Neo decides to live the place, but when he grab his bag, this man with the suit suddenly appears infront of him.

“You are a special boy. One of kind in this world,” his voice is soft but clear.

Neo looking up to him. He can't see this mans's face clearly, dazzled by the morning light behind the man. At glance he see his clean face, flat looking eyes and neat hair.

“You have something that nobody have. You should be in school with others great kids,” that man said.

Neo doesn't really understand what he said. However he doesn't want to be late to school today. But this man already thursting a peace of paper. Neo has no choice but to take it. Flashly he can read the title : Jakarta International Paranormal Academy . Then he folded the paper quickly and put inside his pocket pants. Without saying good bye, Neo run leaving this man he doesn't know. His school is not so far from there.

***

Neo standing by the school fence. He still feel weak. What happened in the side walk is not his first time. He always hope it never happened in the school. But it is not it that makes him stand still beside a tree. It is because of somebody he wait for that already coming. A sedan park not far from him.

Neo tries to concentrate. Because it what he always do every morning. Seeing something inside the car from where he stand. Seeing a girl with highschool uniform sit at the back of the car. Because this girl still sitting there looking down a small book on her lap. A poetry books of Kahlil Gibran. Neo knows it. Neo try to get more concentrate. He can see line by line which she reads as he feels he reads these lines together with her.

Suddenly something breaking his concentrate. Two girls coming toward the car.

“Miska!” one of them calling out the girl in the car while knocking the window's car.

The girl inside surprised and hurry put the book she just read inside the bag as she doesn't want her friends to know what book she read.

“Hai Brita! Hai Kristin!” The girl who called Miska say hi and hug them as she get out the car.

“You are not forgetting this evening right? Looking out some valentine broche?” Brita asking.

“Of course, we also going to movie right?” Kristin said happily.

“Sure, we'll meet up at the café,” Miska also shows her antusiasm.

Then they walk forward the gate without stop talking each other. They walking through the cars that park in the side of the street. Leaving Neo standing there. But only Miska took his attention. He keep staring at the three of them. And he can see through the Miska's bag a book of Kahlil Gibran.

The sound of vehicle machine surprise Neo. At his back a big motorcycle stop not far from him. The driver open up his helmet. It's Ponte, Neo's classmate, still wearing his rayband glasses. He has big body with muscle.

“Have a crush on sexy gank? Which one, Brita, Kristin atau Miska? Ponte grins as he roaring his motorcycle.

Neo silent. Doesn't know what Ponte ask him the question for. But he knows what to answer.

“Don't waste your time. Take them with motorcycle.” Ponte wear his helmet again, still grins to Neo as he starts his motorcycle to the gate.

Neo silent still. As he getting understand what's Ponte's up. Because he doesn't even have his own bicycle. The bell is ring. Neo runs a bit to the gate before it's closed.

 

In the second hour of the class, there's a chemistry test. All students sitting down with their paper test. Some looks in difficulties . One who sit beside Neo is ready with his cheat sheet. Neo's paper is still blank. He just pretend s like he was thinking, put his hand on his head. He knows who is the smartest for each subject.

Erwin is the smartest in chemistry, sitting at the corner in front of class, three chairs from Neo. He is already done with question number 1. Neo close his eyes, tries to concentrate. From his chair, he can see what Erwin written in his paper. Neo copying exactly what erwin write there and waiting for the next answer.

The teacher is coming to Neo's chair. Neo trying to look like he was thinking. Student beside Neo got caught with his cheat sheet and got punished to get out of the class. Some students looks nervous. But all Neo has got to do is only concentrate. He's already copying the second answer from Erwin's.

The Bell ring. All paper should be gathered to the front desk. Many faces looks confused and hopeless. But not for Neo. He's as cool as Erwin. Only the last answer he makes different from Erwin. Got little less mark from Erwin is all enough for Neo.

***

“Just put the clothes in the bucket!” Neo's step mother ask form the kitchen. Her hands are busy firing the oil stove.

Neo put his dirty uniform in tho the bucket near the well. The cement floor arroun the well is all mossed. One week ago his father asked him to clean it but he hasn't done it.

Some stir-fry kale is on the table. Neo poure some rice to his plate. His step mother bringing some hot omelet to the table.

“Please feed your brother after finish eating. I want to go laundry,”ask his step mother.

Neo nod gently, see his step mother going to the kitchen, preparing his step brother's meals.

 

Neo trying to put in a spoon of purridge to his brother's mouth. It's been more than half an hour he almost gave up feeding his brother that keeps crawling everywhere. His brother mouth is all dirty. The purridge is still remain half of the plastic bowl. But when one spoon is about to feed up, his hand is shaking. Neo feels loosing all his energy. His view start to fading. Like what happened this morning and before. In his faded sight Neo barely see his brother crawling to the open door. He has to catch his brother there is a narrow stairs direct to the road. But Neo can't move. All over his leg feel paralized. The last thing he can see is the bowl falling to the floor. The purridge scattered over the floor. After then is all black.

Then he can see his mother. She looks the same like the last time she was still exist ten years ago. She is walking in some place with other women in glowing faces. They looks esiting doing something happily. His mother looks so happy. Neo want to shout to call her. But there's no voice comes out from his mouth. His sight start to faded. And then black again.

 

Neo stutered calling out his mother. But infront of him now is just his father's face.

“Calm down Neo! Calm down!” His father holding his shoulder while he has already lying on the bed.

“Mother is alive! She is not dead!” Neo shouting at his father like loosing his mind.

“What's wrong with you!” His father upset chilling out his son.

“I told you, mother is alive! I saw her!” He shout even harder.

“Calm down Neo! Don't act like that!” His father's voice louder now. “You know, your brother fell from the stair, a motorcycle almost hit him.”

At glance, Neo see his room door open. In the dinning room he see his step mother holding in her son that can't stop crying. Sometime she is looking at Neo's room with upset face.

“You should keep on looking for her until you find her.” Neo a bit whispering.

“Shut up Neo!” His father hold back his shout. “This is for the last time. I don't want you act like this anymore!”

Neo sillent. His mother's face still in his mind.

“Today you can't out of your room ‘till dawn!” His father looks hold back the anger. Then he shut the door and leave Neo alone.

Neo is not going to out of his room. Being locked would be better, because this is for the first time he is having this pass out twice in a day. Neo has a chance to lay down his weak body.

 

In dimly lit, Neo try to close his eyes. But his mind is always awaken. Today he can see the sighting of his mother clearly. As clear as his memory ten years ago. It was before dawn. The cocks weren't craving yet. The rain was just adrizzle. Then the sound that Neo never had forgotten. Foot clops that had awaken him from his sleep. Seems like a lot of people were lining in the front of the house. But when he was sitted on his bed, his sight dragged away from his house, to the big river that crossing around the neighbourhood. Heavy rolls in the dark. Heavy water hitting the stone barrier. Then the cracks of the sturdy dike. That finally can't stem the outburst, swept the houses arround the riverbank, drawning the people that feel asleep.

Neo shouted calling his mother. Knocking on his parrent room. But it's only his father out of their room.

“What is it Neo? Where is your mother?” asked his father.

Neo saw his parrent's bed was empty. Then the light went off. Just in the seconds, heavy water filled up the house. Neo was holding on to a pole. Panicly calling out his mother. The water level reach his neck already. His father swim in and out the dark rooms try to find his wife. But he still can't find her. The water was getting high. He grabbed Neo and swim out of the house toward to the roof. The sound of the flood was still clear heard in the rest of the night. Neo's father stand up on the edge of the roof. Calling out his wife occasionally. Neo bend his knees, frezzing behind his father. But he was trying hard to concentrate. He dragged his sight into the darknest surrounded. He can see people drawning. A car rolled by the steam and hit the twigs. Then a cupboard rolled by the water. Then there was a garbage cart. There was a chicken coop. But can't find his mother.

***

The night is just rolling. Neo's father busy flipping through fried rice in the frying pan. The smell of the fried rice filling up to the whole stall. Rising up the customer's appetite. Neo sit at the corner. He has done his job delivering beverages. As usual, he still holding his school book. But his mind is not there. He likes to observe through customer's bag coming to his father's stall. Sometimes he writes thing about them. Like a shy young couple sitting side by side in the middle table. The boy is keeping porno magazine in his bag. Then a middle age man muse alone in the corner table. He brings a plastic bag filled with a folded shroud. His father looking at his son occasionally. Neo tries to be seen like he is reading a book he hold. He is holding physic. But in the inside there is a small book of Kahlil Gibran slipped in.

 

The customers remain a few. Neo's father finish washing all the dishes. He take a sit beside Neo. Refresh himself and strechting his legs.

“I'm sorry for this afternoon,” Neo's father talk softly.

Neo nods, still pretend reading his school book.

“You shouldn't be here, you suppose to home, studying.” Said Neo's father.

“I like it here father, I can help you cooking if you want to.” Neo speak to his father without switching his view off the book.

Neo's father embrace his son.

“You are a good boy. I'm proud of you. You always at the top five in class. I will always work hard so you could go to university.”

Neo's father tight up his embrace.

“If my saving is enough, I would take a bigger stall. May be I would hire a worker to be my assistance. So you can study more for your school. Be a success person.”

Neo embrace his father back. But Neo doesn't feel that he is smart. And he never really studying. He is not what his father think. And he knows that his mother is not dead. But nobodies believe him.


 
 
 
 
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