He asked her to move and sit at the chair next to him. “So we can talk better” he said. She complied. Before, she had preferred to sitting in front of him, talking while waiting for their order, pizza and lasagne, to arrive.
He ordered the pizza, she, lasagne.
They’ve just arrived to the Pizza Hut they were now in from playing pool at the pool lounge near the Pizza Hut. He saw the Pizza Hut first then asked her whether time still permitted them to have something to eat before going home. She said, yes.
“Something wrong? You looked sad.” She could see him became silent for sometimes after she’d sat next to him. He was startled with her question. He didn’t feel sad. How could he not feel happy every time he was close to her? This had happened many times before: people had mistakenly assumed him of having troubles, where in fact he was all right, just because he was quite and turned into a serious mode. But when she said that, he knew he had homework to solve, lest people, she is the most important one, misunderstood him.
This night that he was spending with her, in fact, one of the happiest nights he’d ever had in his entire life; so he was a bit dismayed when she continued: “Or perhaps you’re not happy going out with me tonight?” He dreaded being asked that kind of question from her.
“No, I’m thinking. Perhaps, that sent you a wrong signal. I’m sorry. I always look like that when I’m in a deep thought. In fact…..” He wanted to let her know that being near her, like they had that night, was one of the happiest moments of his life. He wanted to thank her for going out with him. But he couldn’t let words out of his mouth. “In fact what?” She expected him to finish his sentence.
He winked at her instead and pointed at something in front of them, “Look at the couple there,” he said, “happy couple, because the man, for me, looks very excited, so does the woman. Don’t you think?”
“Yeah…from a far it seems he is but not when I’m close to him.” she said sheepishly looking at the mirror in front of them where their reflections were contained.
He gave a very broad smile to her and now became more engaged in their conversation trying to escape from the fear that had been creeping in on him from the second he held her hand in the pool bar showing her how to shoot a ball correctly. He was in fact felt scared: scared of losing her, scared that the moment would eventually pass. He, until that moment, had never been able to persuade love to stay. Love, until that moment, only stayed briefly before moving on. He trembled inside because he was right at the very limit he’d ever stepped on. He didn’t know whether he would eventually walk further from the line and embrace and celebrate the love of his life.
He wanted her to know about this also but the words somehow got lost inside his throat.
“Being with you here tonight, for me, is just too good to be true.” It was all he could say about the truth of his feeling. He hoped it could make her know that she was meant a lot to him without having to tell her about his fear of losing her, of losing the love he hoped to win.
“It’s just too good to be true for me also.” She said. “But please don’t think of me that way. I’m just an ordinary woman who enjoys your company too.”
The food on the table had turned cold. He couldn’t eat the Pizza anymore and she, her lasagne. So before leaving they asked for a bag to take away the food.
(Jakarta, September 18, 2007)