An Elegy

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Written by
3 years ago
Topics: Shortstory

Someone waved at me while half shouting my name. I turned and saw him sitting casually under a mango tree, on a small half-finished chair to be precise. I call it semi-finished because the chair is made without aback. He waved his hand, intending to call me to come closer to his side.

"Where are you from son?" As soon as he opened a dialogue after I was near him. Cigarette smoke gushed from his mouth. I waved my hands to get rid of the cigarette smoke.

"From Rahmat's shop, bought medicine. "

"Is your father sick?"

"Yes, a slight headache. Wait a minute, I went straight to the house first I've been waiting. "

"Ok!" The reply was brief.

I am both happy and amazed by Uncle Adi's attitude today. Normally, he prefers silence and only responds to people with nods and shaking their heads as a sign, yes or no. I took ten meters, twenty meters, until my last gaze before I disappeared behind the turn, there was a bright glow in her eyes.

After a few minutes later I came back to see him. He was still faithful to sit alone under the mango tree earlier, of course, with a twisted skirt on the edge of his lips. This time I brought him a cup of coffee, his favorite drink. If only there was a selection of the best coffee and cigarette enthusiast, then with perfect confidence I would bet on him, whatever it is. The villagers have also memorized their habit of prioritizing coffee and cigarettes over food, so when Uncle Adi comes or just visits their homes, coffee is always a special menu for him. Dark black with a little sugar.

"You came again to accompany me."

"Yes. As I promised earlier. This is I brought coffee. "

"Thank you very much, son. This morning I didn't drink coffee. "

Uncle Adi sipping sip after sip of coffee. It seems true that drinking coffee is his favorite, especially when combined with a cigarette, the perfection of life seems to be represented in the mixture of simple and traditional aromas, at least perfect for the size of someone like Uncle Adi.

That morning Uncle Adi told me a lot about his life. Starting from his adventure to migrate to many countries, including Malaysia. He talked about various experiences in his life, starting from the first land he stepped on when he left his village, namely Sumatra Island, to his last overseas trip to a neighboring country. He also talked about the events he had experienced. People who have been good friends or have had conflicts with him do not escape the story. At that time I became a good listener of the stories. "Uncle Adi's memory is still strong," I muttered to myself. The story ends with the last sip of coffee and he asks permission to sleep. I said yes. He also stepped away from me. I saw the glow in his eyes getting brighter.

After Uncle Adi escaped from my sight, I suddenly felt that something was missing from his story. Not one bit of this series of stories offends the figure of a woman. "Is it true that from Uncle Adi's overseas country for a long time, he never fell in love with or just liked a woman?" I thought to myself.


Today is exactly a week I don't see Uncle Adi. Usually every morning in two or three days he always visited my house. Uncle Adi is my mother's cousin, their parents are siblings, so my house is Uncle Adi's house too and it would be really weird if he didn't set foot here in a while.

I asked the mother and father but no one really knows. They just wish. "Maybe he's at your grandmother's house because he's been living there all this time, or maybe he's joining other people to find work like he often does, maybe he's not feeling well so he has to continue to rest at your grandma's house." And a series of other possibilities that make me even more confused. To satisfy my curiosity, right away I came to my grandmother's house, where Uncle Adi has been living all this time. Just like mother and father, grandmother also didn't know where Uncle Adi had gone.

"Yes. Do not worry. He was like that often. When the time comes or if he misses home, he will definitely come home too. "

"But it's been a long time Grandma, one week."

"Well, let's just wait. He will definitely come home. " Grandma said sure which also relieved my feelings a little.


I once asked my mother about Uncle Adi's always gloomy attitude. Mother said that Uncle Adi was indeed that kind of person, but one of his non-talk attitudes got worse when his mother and sister passed away at almost the same time. Uncle Adi has a younger brother but they have never met for decades. The last time they met was when they were still living together overseas in Sumatera. Uncle Adi decided to leave his younger brother and go to Malaysia because their relationship didn't get along anymore. Meanwhile, his father has passed away a long time ago. Coupled with the solitude of being over 40 years old, it would be very natural and easy to understand if Uncle Adi's attitude was more silent and gloomy. The glances in his eyes that were full of bright sparkles and laughter that came out a few days ago again crossed my mind. "Is that the real Uncle Adi?"


The adhan for Friday prayers echoed out. I stopped my motorbike and parked it in the courtyard of the mosque. I think I have to postpone the wish to perform Friday prayers in my hometown until next Friday. I put the bag containing my lecture books on the terrace of the mosque and then walked to the place of ablution. I washed my whole body with water before stepping into the mosque and performing Friday prayers in the congregation. In the mosque, I met Uncle Adi. Her eyes weren't as bright as they were a few days ago, but her face was brightening up something. I stepped closer to him and sat beside him. He only realized my arrival when he finished praying.

"Where have you been?" I asked in a whisper.

"Lives in this village, son." He replied with a broken smile Maybe he was happy to see me too.

"Who live with?"

"Uncle works as a construction worker, so you stay at the house of the person who employs you."

“Why don't you come home? Mother, father, and grandmother are worried about you. "

"Uncle can't go home until I finished."

"But you can give me the news, right?"

"How to? I never met people from the village. "

A congregation gestured for us to turn down the sound. Our talk is pending. The preacher went up to the pulpit to start preaching. The atmosphere of the mosque became more solemn, all the congregation was silent, including me and Uncle Adi.

After I finished performing the Friday prayer, I said goodbye to Uncle Adi to go home, meanwhile, he went to his workplace.


The next few days, I found Uncle Adi under a mango tree, a place where he often sat alone. He saw me but did not call me, I then took the initiative myself to get closer to him. When he got closer, he gave me a brief glance before pounding his gaze on the clearing in front of him. His gaze was blank, barely even a blink. His mouth is mute. He just bowed. His thin body and old hair looked shabby. Barren, without life.

"It's been a long time coming home, uncle?" I asked just small talk to provoke the story. But he just answered me with a nod of his head. Slow, slow, and slow then return to silence. Her mouth was locked tight and only opened when the roll of her skirt was pinched between her lips, not to speak. I don't see any coffee nearby. I went home then came back with a cup of coffee. He immediately drank the coffee. A sip of coffee turned out to only lead him to silence. I muttered this is not Uncle Adi who sat with me in this place the other day or maybe this is what Uncle Adi is like, but who used to sit with me here? It seems that the things that have been bothering Uncle Adi all this time are back and making him a human without speaking, without expression, and without a smile.

The next day, I have to go back to the city to continue my studies. For the first time, I felt very hard to leave Uncle Adi. Before leaving, I met him under the mango tree. I brought her two packs of black skirts and a simple cell phone. My former phone is still good now. I deliberately prepared it for Uncle Adi so that he could give the news to mom or dad if he went again and also to get rid of his loneliness because even though it was simple, this cell phone could be used to play songs. I then taught him how to use the cellphone. He listened to my words and a smile appeared on his face. Again, a bright glow adorned his eyes.


Two months later, I returned to my village. Not an hour before I rested my body after traveling quite a distance, I immediately asked my mother's permission to meet Uncle Adi. I can not calm down before meeting him. Mother said since yesterday Uncle Adi stayed and spent the night in Grandma's garden. He helps her grandmother protect her corn garden from the wild boar.

I was in the middle of the garden. I shouted for Uncle Adi but there was no answer until I arrived at a small hut in the garden. The atmosphere is cold and tense. Inside the hut was a stiff, pale dangling pair of legs. My blood and heart moved uncontrollably. I jumped inside. Uncle Adi's body was hanging in the hut. The rope wrapped around his neck. I immediately untied the rope and lowered and lay down. I hugged his body. The tall and thin body emitted a chill, very cold. The water in my eyes flowed and trickled down his wrinkled face. I stroked his hair while continuing to wins. The cellphone in his shirt pocket was still singing, singing a memorable song. I took out the cellphone. A short message that failed to send, on my behalf.




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Written by
3 years ago
Topics: Shortstory


That's a sad story You just never know what one's thinking or feeling completely

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3 years ago

Is real life story or just a story made by wide imagination? Because every details are perfect and the I felt the emotion because your using 1st POV

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3 years ago