LN#4 It’s Just the Late of Night

Hold your ground, make a comfort stay

It’s just another bad day

Drink tea, scrape away the pains

Though you’ll only find scares

 

In a small flat night feels a little too hot

But it’s your choice to give life a shot

For the things you care about

For the same reason, you won’t cry aloud

 

Every triumph is in hindsight

And it’s not the time yet to look back and wield pride

Spare yourself some accusations

It’s just the late of night that makes you feel so down

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surga Keramik-keramik Lucu di Semarang

2017-11-15 042116017151..jpgSebagai orang yang lahir dan besar di Semarang, saya dengan percaya diri bisa bilang bahwa saya belum sepenuhnya mengenal seluruh sudut kota saya sendiri. Kalau itu hanya sekedar kafe trendi terbaru yang belum saya coba, saya sih tidak terlalu peduli. Tapi kalau itu adalah tempat menarik yang sudah dari dulu didirikan tapi belum pernah saya datangi, saya akan lebih terdorong untuk ke sana.

Maka, saat Iluk mengirim pada saya sebuah tautan instagram berisi foto toko peralatan berbahan keramik yang terlihat sangat menarik, dan mengatakan bahwa toko tersebut sudah lama sekali berada di Semarang, saya sangat bersemangat untuk mengunjunginya. Saat dia berkata bahwa toko bernama Sango Ceramics Showroom itu berada di Plaza Semarang, saya cukup kaget mendengarnya. Saya tahu sekali plaza tersebut terletak di dekat Pasar Johar Lama, sudah eksis dari sebelum saya lahir, dan, setahu saya, dari dulu selalu sepi! Bahkan saya pikir tempat itu diam-diam sudah bangkrut lho, hehe.

Dugaan saya bukannya tidak berdasar. Saya hanya berpikir bagaimana bisa sebuah bisnis bisa bertahan lama jika kendaraan saja tidak pernah lalu lalang keluar-masuk ke bangunannya. Ternyata saya salah sekali. Sango Ceramics Showroom tidak perlu banyak pengunjung untuk bertahan, karena bisnis utamanya bukanlah showroom tersebut, melainkan bisnis ekspornya. Ya, showroom milik Sango hanya memuat barang-barang sisa ekspor mereka yang dikirim ke Amerika, Eropa, dan seluruh Indonesia. Rumor beredar bahwa Sango Ceramics merupakan salah satu supplier merk-merk asing yang sudah masuk ke Indonesia. Dari riset internet, paling tidak saya bisa mengonfirmasi bahwa H&M mencantumkan PT. Sango Ceramics Indonesia sebagai salah satu pabrik supplier mereka.

Sebenarnya banyak sekali pabrik supplier merek asing asal ndonesia, hanya saja tidak semuanya membuka showroom seperti Sango Ceramics. Ngomong-ngomong, kalian merasa ganjil juga tidak sih, membeli produk bermerek asing, tapi labelnya menyebutkan bahwa produknya dibuat di negara sendiri? Saya sih sedikit ganjil, hehe. Tapi mau bagaimana, praktik seperti ini memang sudah lama dijalankan banyak perusahaan kapitalis asing demi menghemat biaya buruh pabrik dan biaya produksi (Kalau saya sih tidak masalah selama hak-hak buruh lokal dan perda selalu dipatuhi, karena tidak bisa dipungkiri mereka juga berperan mengurangi angka pengangguran).

Pada siang yang cukup panas, saya dan Iluk akhirnya mengunjungi Plaza Semarang. Awalnya kebingungan mencari lokasi parkir di lahan besar yang terlihat kosong dengan hanya beberapa mobil terparkir, si bapak satpam menunjuk ruang kosong di samping mobil begitu saja. Oh, tidak ada tempat parkir khusus motor sepertinya.

Plaza Semarang terlihat sepi, seperti biasanya yang saya tahu. Desain interiornya kuno, saya berasumsi mungkin memang tidak pernah direnovasi untuk mengikuti zaman. Si bapak satpam mengungkapkan bahwa gedung ini, selain showroom milik Sango, hanya berisikan kantor saja. Tapi dengan ruangan kantor sebanyak ini, saya pun tidak melihat adanya aktivitas kantor yang normal. Hanya ada dua orang berlalu lalang — sepertinya bukan pegawai kantor karena pakaian mereka sangat kasual– lalu sisanya adalah satpam, penjaga toko, tiga orang bule, lalu saya dan Iluk.

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Sango Ceramics Showroom terdiri dari tiga ruangan yang saling bersebelahan. Ruangan tengah dan kiri, bagi saya, memiliki stok yang paling beragam dan cenderung lebih bagus, sedangkan ruangan kanan, memiliki stok yang paling outdated, lebih murah, tapi produknya hanya dijual dalam bentuk set. Namun, harga rata-rata semua produk di showroom ini lebih murah dari harga di pasaran, dengan kualitas yang bagus. Showroom ini memang tidak terkesan ambisius dalam berbisnis, jika saya menilai dari penjaga yang sangat santai dan huruf “M” yang dibiarkan lepas dari logo di dalam ruangan.

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Kualitas Sango Ceramics memang tidak main-main. Berdasarkan info dari goodfactories, Sango ceramics memproduksi fine china, porcelaine, dan stonewares untuk peralatan rumah tangga dan industri pelayanan, dan memiliki tim manajemen yang secara kolektif telah memiliki pengalaman selama 300 tahun dalam pembuatan keramik. Meskipun showroomnya dibuat sederhana, kualitas produknya saja sudah dipastikan dapat menarik pengunjung berkali-kali ke tempat ini. Meskipun, seperti yang sudah saya sampaikan, showroom ini bukanlah penopang bisnis utama Sango Ceramics.

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Ada berbagai macam motif keramik yang dapat ditemukan di sini. Dari motif polos, floral, check, gold, tema natal, dan yang paling menarik bagi saya, yaitu motif ala scandinavian. Motif scandinavian biasanya ditandai oleh ilustrasi-ilustrasi alam –seperti binatang atau tumbuhan –yang sederhana, dan memiliki style kontras yang tinggi.

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Harga produk di showroom ini sangat beragam. Ada gelas-gelas produk rejected yang dijual dengan harga Rp. 5.000, mug dan mangkuk kecil yang dijual dari harga Rp 15.000, hingga teko, mangkuk, dan piring besar yang dimulai dari harga Rp. 100.000. Selain dinnerwares, showroom ini juga menjual berbagai gift berbahan keramik, dan bahkan ada juga kartu undangan kuno yang dijual dengan harga Rp 1.150 di dekat meja kasir!

Kira-kira kalau saya beli sekarang, bakal diberi kembalian Rp. 50 tidak, ya?

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Showroom ini bagaikan kotak harta karun, saya kemari mengharapkan keramik-keramik cantik dan murah, tapi juga menemukan peralatan rumah tangga, hiasan ikan koi dan kucing, hingga kartu undangan dengan desain dan harga yang sudah sangat outdated. Kalau kamu mampir ke Semarang, cobalah mampir kemari, entah untuk berbelanja atau hanya untuk menemukan hal-hal tak terduga di dalamnya.

Sango Ceramics Showroom

Alamat: Semarang Plaza Building Ground Floor, JL. H Agus Salim, No. 7,, Semarang, 50137, Purwodinatan, Semarang Tengah, Purwodinatan, Semarang Tengah, Kota Semarang, Jawa Tengah 50137

Dua Minggu Setelah Kepergiannya

Berhari-hari setelah kepergian sahabat saya ke sisi-Nya, saya seringkali mengalami fluktuasi emosi secara mendadak. Selama ini saya tidak pernah terlalu memperhatikan hal-hal kecil yang biasanya dilakukannya dalam menanggapi setiap tindakan saya, tapi tanpa sadar hal itu sudah menempel di kepala saya, hingga saya selalu memikirkan dia sekilas jika melakukan sesuatu yang saya tahu pasti akan mengundang respon darinya.

Saya adalah orang yang serius di dalam pikiran saya sendiri, tapi panca indera saya canggung dan kurang peka (yah, mungkin karena terlalu banyak berpikir). Kontradiksi ini sering membuat saya kehilangan fokus saat sedang mendengarkan, berbicara, melihat, bahkan makan. Efek yang ditimbulkannya selalu jadi bahan komedi bagi dia. Saya yang ditertawakan, biarpun agak kesal, entah kenapa pada akhirnya senang saja melihat dia kelihatan bahagia. Kelembekan hati saya inilah yang menurut dia membuat saya patut dikasihani (sial).

Setiap kilasan ingatan tentang dia belakangan ini menghentak isi pikiran saya. Dia sudah tidak ada lagi. Bayangan wajahnya yang pucat, raganya yang diam itu, selalu datang lagi. Lalu saya kembali marah lagi, entah pada siapa. Di luar saya bisa tersenyum dan tertawa untuk beradaptasi dengan lingkungan sosial, tapi akibat dari terlalu mengkompromikan perasaan diri sendiri, saya terkadang jadi kewalahan lalu kebablasan bersikap pasif agresif.

Beberapa hari kemudian, datang undangan untuk bertemu dari Tika. Tika dan saya berbagi ikatan sejak SMP bersama dengan dia, karena kami semua berada dalam satu tim vokal. Akhirnya kami bertemu, bersama dengan Uga –teman masa SMA– di sebuah restoran, Eden.

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Sore itu, saya tiba terlebih dulu. Selagi menanti kedatangan Tika, saya diam-diam memprediksi  bahwa mungkin situasi hatinya akan sama atau lebih pahit dari saya.

Ternyata tidak.

Yang saya lihat adalah dua orang gadis yang tertawa lepas selagi melambai lalu menghampir meja saya. Saya agak terkejut, tapi saya menyingkirkan berbagai kecurigaan, selagi mengobrol tentang hal remeh-temeh dengan mereka. “Apa kabar? Dari mana kalian? Setelah ini mau ke mana?”, pertanyaan dan jawaban itu berlalu, obrolan kami sudah mulai melebar, tapi rasa heran saya masih belum terusir.

“Apa kamu sudah tidak sedih lagi tentang dia?”, pertanyaan saya seketika menghentikan obrolan tentang kehidupan Uga di Australia. Saya khawatir, apa hanya sebatas itu perasaan Tika tentang sahabat kami berdua?

Tika tersenyum. “Tidak. Aku tidak mau sedih saat mengingat dia. Aku inginnya bahagia saat mengingat dia. Dia kan sudah memberi banyak kenangan bahagia untuk kita.”

Seperti angin berhembus menyejukkan hati saya yang panas. Keinginan sederhananya mengingatkan saya. Kenapa terpaku pada hal yang tidak bisa saya rubah? Manusia setiap hari lahir dan mati, sedangkan penyesalan dan kesedihan saya tidak bisa merubah apa-apa. Tuhan sudah mengambil semua kesempatan saya bersama dia.

Meski begitu, masih ada yang tersisa, yaitu kenangan yang kami bagi. Di situlah dia masih bisa hidup. Dia akan selalu hidup bersama saya, selama saya mengenangnya.

Dan begitulah, dari situ pembicaraan kami jadi berubah mengenai masa lalu kami. Kami membicarakan, mengingat, menertawakan, berandai, tentang dia. Semua seolah dia masih bersama kami di sini. Saya yakin dia akan protes kepada kami jika dia mendengar komentar kami soal tingkah-tingkahnya. Tapi saya tahu, biarpun agak kesal, dia sebenarnya senang melihat kami bahagia.

Ya. Diam-diam saya tahu hatinya juga sama lembeknya seperti saya.

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LN#3 If Only I Remember

No place left to cry

Deep emotion is a punishment

The things allowed to share are laugh and smile

And so I learn to live around them who say “Long live the fun”

But my smile grows as a thick wall, keeping a lot to imply

I’m just getting better in being a chameleon

Alas, I could have been the best kind of ally

If only I remember how to trust someone

Their Biggest Hypocrisy

They: “Weird is the new cool. Embrace your true self.”

They: “You’re so weird. Not the cool kind of weird, but the freak kind.”

They: “Just be who you are, ignore what society says.”

They: “You’re thinking too much, be more spontaneous. You’re too awkward, be more relaxed. You’re too quiet, be more lively. You’re too serious, be more cheerful.”

They: “Free people are so trendy, they don’t care what people think of them and dress anyhow they want.”

They: “The way you dress is so old-school. Be more trendy.”

They: “[She] is a real role model, so brave and free. [She] is simply what she wants to be.”

They: “Your taste is so conventional. Be cool like [her].”

You & My Withered Hopes

It was around 4 P.M. when we started our rehearsal for Middle School Group Singing Competition. I was practicing my harmony part, and you stopped me in the middle for the fourth time. You gave me an annoyed look then said, “You got the melody wrong again.” I took a deep breath, a little frustrated, thinking of why I couldn’t do something you could so easily. It was always been like this, I would be the try-hard case, and you would be the one who sang beautifully, naturally, with all the riffs and runs. I swallowed my bitterness and tried again. Well, people have different strengths, anyway. I couldn’t be like you, but I had to keep trying to be the best, in my own way.

I’ve just finished writing my morning journal when my phone is ringing. I take a peek into the screen, find out an unknown number, and hesitantly press the answer dial. I hope it won’t be another insurance marketing call that will “only take a little of my time”. But no, it’s I. –my high school and university friend. Before I have the chance to ask anything, she gushes me with a question in an alarming voice tone, “Have you heard?”.

“Heard what?” I don’t know why she calls me only to expect me to hear something or anything. Yeah, I heard a lot of things, but what does she specifically mean, I don’t—

My heart suddenly thumps hard. Amid all the possibilities I can think of in this short time, I get a glimpse of a vision into which I don’t dare to look further. That must not be it. It could just be something silly or—

“She’s gone.”

We were hugging each other at the announcement of our first winning in national competition. We’ve been in the game since first year and finally get the chance to win the national competition in the second year. We knew we deserved it, for we comforted each other as much as we challenged each other to aim for it.

I hurriedly call her mom. I run out of breath and can’t think clearly right when she answers my call, “I…”, I finally speak, “I heard something about her, is s-she okay?”

Her mom’s voice sounds so weak I can only barely hear it, but I don’t think I misheard when she, while sobbing, says, “She’s gone…”

We didn’t meet as often as before in high school as there were not as many competitions, and we got different circles. But even after not meeting up for a couple weeks, we would suddenly call and go out, not bothering with all the formalities. Sometimes I heard words about how you were messing up with your wild life styles, and I would laugh at it because I knew you were bold and unapologetic like that. You were the one who would wear a tight leopard printed top in a school event while holding a cigarette, intentionally inviting judgmental looks from others, as if challenging them to throw off their masks in this collective society, where everybody is made only to blend in apathetically, while I would secretly enjoy the wondering look from others when we walked together, like they couldn’t believe our unlikely pairing. They didn’t know how good a friend you were, all they wanted to see is only a core that matched the cover, and you provided them an intriguing matter at which they couldn’t grasp.

I arrived at her house with a floating feeling. The news sound surreal to me that I can’t help thinking that it’s some kind of a bad dream. There’s a body inside her house, laying still on a bed, fully covered in a white blanket. I opened it a bit and there it is, a face I’m so familiar with, eyes closed, looking the same as always when she’s sleeping nonchalantly, but her skin is yellowish and her lips are pale.

That eyes won’t open anymore.

For the first time in a long while, my eyes burst into tears.

It’s our fourth years in university, and we still hung on our unpredictable routine, just like after a couple months when you suddenly called me in to cry about your bad boyfriend, I dropped all my works to visit you right away. You, without your make up, glamour, and strong persona that you tried to keep so much, crushed your walls down and cried your eyes out. “With you I can be myself,” you said weakly, amid your weeps, and I could only caress your arm as I was too coward to speak of my feelings.

She’s been put in a coffin, in a white top and gray pants, white gloves in her hands, looking peaceful and more beautiful. Her mom is sitting down nearby, looking at the far distance, no tears from her eyes like it’s dried out already. Her dad is a little further, surrounded by friends, crying out loud, calling her name. Friends come in and come out, and I can’t stop myself feeling upset when some of them recording this grieving moment and her body unashamedly, like it’s a proper thing to do to exploit this moment to gain them some online recognition.

“You’re going for the audition this year? You’re crazy. You’ve never learned how to read music sheet properly before,” You looked at me skeptically, and I, as usual, replied it with a stupid grin.

“Well, I’m in the mood for doing something crazy. And that’s why I asked you for help, you’re an expert at it. Why don’t you try it, too? You know, you’re more talented than me.”

You smiled bitterly. “I can’t, my dad won’t let me. Well, It’s not like I can’t do anything here, anyway.”

And you’re right. You became the greatest young vocal coach in the city after that, though I still couldn’t shake off the picture of your bitter expression. I knew your dreams flied further than that, just like mine. I swore when I got out of this place, I would take you higher. Perhaps your dad would let it be if it’s with me.

The priest started to lead the prayer; the people surrounding her started to sing when the music started. I’m listening attentively while tracing her face with my eyes, trying to plant this memory of the last time I can see her face.

I felt a little guilty when I rejected her invitation again, but I got more things to do now. I was anxious about my future, and I didn’t want to waste a lot of time on social life. We still had a lot more time to spend later, but it’s the only time I had to build my dreams. And in there, there would be you. We could have fun together later, after I reach something remarkable.

The priest asks if we want to tell something to her for the last time before the coffin is closed. One by one, people approach her body, and when it’s my turn, I finally brace myself to hold her hand, hold my tears, then whisper in her ear, “Goodbye…”

I couldn’t swallow my guilt when I saw you sitting down, looking at the distance, “Who is it?” you asked.

I answered in a low voice, “It’s me, Destria.” 

“Where have you been, huh? I haven’t seen you in such a long time,” though you spoke softer than usual, I could sense that you’re a bit upset.

“I’m sorry…” that’s all I could say. If I knew things would be this way, I wouldn’t behave the way I did. I was too arrogant towards fate, as if I knew for sure that life would be not too far off from my plan. When I heard of your situation, I came visited you right away, but I never suspected that it would be brain tumor, for you never showed any weaknesses and I was buying it. I should have realized earlier whom I befriend, that is someone, who, for nobody’s sake, will take anyone’s pity.

Going against the sickness that drained your mental energy, you pushed yourself to smile to me, though faintly, “I’m getting better now, just wish me to get fully healed soon, okay?” 

My last memory about her are swept away bit by bit as soils are thrown into her grave. The coffin is put inside, while I get a hold of her father’s arm as he begins to lose his consciousness. Prayers are spoken, flowers are spread. Then One by one people turn their backs, while I crouch beside her grave, looking at her picture and the name in the gravestone, still trying to believe the scene I’m living in.

She knew well how firm of a believer I am; how I laughed at my failures and keep getting into different attempts only to move forward since I want to focus on my dream, though often appear carefree and unreliable on everything else. Yet, even I threw away already most of my attachments, life is still able to take away my hopes, by stealing your last breath.

I never feel as lost as today.

A wonder starts to creep into my head as I murmur a question into the silence, “Why?”

No one answers.

Meanwhile, the rest of my mind are restless, trying to release themselves from the overwhelming mystery –one which answer I may never find.

This Anime Shows Me The Beauty of Expressing One’s True Feelings

Poor communication is a signal that something is wrong, but it itself is probably not the problem“, Art Markman writes in his article on examining complaints of poor communications. Nevertheless, poor communication is something that aggrandize the root problems. It happens to people regardless of age. But sometimes adults are no better than  teenagers in solving their problem. In fact, some teenagers can be better than adults due to the awareness of their own immaturity that brings them courage to fight their weakness.

Poster_Kokosake_01The heartwarming tale of some teenagers who, despite their weaknesses, fight to express their true feelings is what Tatsuyuki Nagai (director) and Mari Okada (author) convey in their collaboration work, Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda (The Anthem of the Heart)— a tale of friendships that presented in a fairy-tale-ish and musical style of storytelling.

The story revolves around a girl named Jun Naruse, an outgoing girl who likes to tell whatever she likes without thinking of the consequences, until one day when she finds that her words are the reason of her family’s broken relationship. Crying out of guilt, she meets a fairy egg who seals her mouth that she can’t hurt people with it anymore. Fast forward to high school years, Jun Naruse still becomes a person who is unable to convey anything, as she gets a stomachache in every time she speaks. Things get difficult when she’s appointed as the committee member of Outreach Community Event by her homeroom teacher, along with three other students –Takumi Sakagami, Natsuki Nito, and Daiki Tasaki.

The characters and plot development in this anime are shown smoothly in little events between each character, while accompanied by outstanding soundtracks in which many pieces are covers of well-known songs (such as  Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Greensleeves, a Beethoven Pathetique Sonata 2nd Movement and Around the World) that are overwritten into different Japanese lyrics. This movie brings you warmth and shows that there is power in music when the words fail, as long as you have courage.

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From left to right– Natsuki Nito, Takumi Sakagami, Jun Naruse, and Daiki Tasaki.


Alert: heavy spoilers!


Meet a lovely little girl who likes to daydream of a castle on top of the hill –Jun Naruse. She dreams that one day she will visit a ball in the castle with her prince. Then she, who doesn’t know that the object of her imagination is actually a love hotel, sees her father drives out of the castle with a woman. Being excited that her father may be a prince, she runs back home and casts the news to her mother.

Her innocent comment thus becomes the trigger of her parents’s divorce.

Knowing that his secret affair is revealed by his own daughter, a father chooses to give an irresponsible statement.

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The little girl cries, realizing that her words break her family. That’s when an egg fairy comes, telling her how not to face another turmoils and fulfill her dreams to meet a real prince in a real castle.

Then it puts a zipper on her mouth.

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In her high school years, Jun Naruse is still being someone who never talks. However, when she’s appointed by her homeroom teacher, Shimaccho, to be the committee member of Community Outreach Event, she pushes herself to speak up to reject her appointment, giving her a severe stomachache. The other appointed committee members, beside Natsuki Nito –Takumi Sakagami and Daiki Tasaki, also reject the idea of their involvement.

In DTM Club Room, the combination of students that are picked by Shimaccho gets an interesting comment by a class member, Aizawa, hinting that there may be a hidden agenda behind his committee picking.

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“An apathetic youth who locked up in his own shell (Takumi), a sulky high school baseball star with shattered dreams (Daiki), an eternally silent girl (Jun), and also a straight-arrow girl who always seems to be in charge (Natsuki). In terms of personalities, that’s east, south, west, and north!” – Aizawa

When visiting Shimaccho’ss room to give the resignation letter, Jun sees Takumi who’s playing accordion and singing random words about eggs. Startled that Takumi sings a song that matches with her life story, she runs away after tossing her letter into Shimaccho’s hands.

Takumi, who initially comes to Shimaccho’s room to resign, at the end can’t sacrifice any of his friends to replace him. He finally gives in to his new responsibility.

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In the next series of events, Jun is provoked a couple of times by Shimaccho’s, Natsuki’s, and Takumi’s words on the importance of expressing the true feelings, and how a music can be a good alternative to communicate.

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After opening up about her past and curse to Takumi via text messages, she’s wonderstruck by his idea for her to sing.

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“Singing or music, I think it always meant to convey something. So, if there’s something you want to say, don’t you think you should try singing? Maybe singing doesn’t count for the curse.” –Takumi

At night, when Jun tries to sing, she’s delighted to find that her stomach doesn’t hurt. Yet when a neighbor gives a visit, still she can’t find any courage to make a voice. Being resented by her mom, she runs away.

Amid her despair and frustation, she bombards Takumi with long text messages that contains an original fantasy story based on her life experience. She then pleads for Takumi to turn what she really wants to say into a song, just like what he did to the eggs.

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Unfortunately, things don’t go smoothly when they share the idea to the class.

Everyone is unmotivated and doubting the idea. Daiki even starts the blame game by pointing out Jun’s issue. The apathetic Takumi, triggered by Daiki’s ignorant statement, adds fuel to the fire by pointing back his problem with the baseball team, provoking Mishima. The situation is getting serious when, all of a sudden, Jun starts singing loudly, “I can do it, even though I have anxieties, I’m sure that I can.”

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By the sudden singing of a voice they never heard, a breeze of wonder swept through, cooling the heated conflict. After Jun runs away, Takumi and Mishima apologize to each other.

After that, the problems of each and between main characters are shown thoroughly one by one –Daiki with his conflict with the baseball team, Natsuki with her regrets toward her past relationship with Takumi, and Takumi with his apathy that caused by guilt due to his parent’s divorce. Meanwhile, Jun, as she fights to communicate and deal with the relationship with her mother, is somehow caught up in the middle of their problems, like when she shouts to Daiki and his teammates who are arguing, and how she lit a passion in Takumi as they open up to each other.

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The progress between Takumi and Jun itself triggers an unsettling feeling in Natsuki since she’s still consumed by her insecurity due to her inability to soothe Takumi’s pain in the past.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking and the preparation for the event is continuing, not even once waiting for all the restlessness to relief. The built up emotion peaking, it threatens the event they spend all their time and energy in.

The bitter confrontation is started at night before the event. Natsuki, who’s exploded by jealousy, cries and accosts Takumi for his concern toward Jun. Takumi can’t help but agree though, he confirms, it’s not out of romantic feeling. It then leads the conversation to their ambiguous dating relationship, bringing them to confess their feelings for each other.

All the while without noticing another person’s presence.

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Jun who coincidentally listens to their conversation, runs away and once again meets the egg fairy. It confirms that it’s not her stomach that hurts for breaking the seal, but her heart instead. The egg fairy echoes the voice inside Jun’s heart, revealing her romantic feeling towards Takumi.

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It finally hatches the egg that’s already full of cracks. It’s a vivid illustration on how Jun’s feeling’s starting to burst out in ugly ways.

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In the next day, Jun doesn’t show up.

The whole class members are dumbfounded, knowing that Jun betrays them because of a triangle love. Daiki demands a call of action from Takumi whom he considers partly responsible for the incident. Takumi, who’s still in disbelief of Jun’s betrayal, decides to look for her. Daiki and Natsuki support his decision and ask for the class members’ cooperation, leading to some major changes in the cast.

The musical begins while Takumi goes out to look for Jun. The backstage atmosphere is more uneasy than it would be predicted due to the Jun’s disappearance. Some class members are seemed to be unsure of how they should feel in given condition, until one of them speaks in a casual manner, yet uplifting to those who hear it.

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“Whether she (Jun) shows up or not, we’re doing the same thing either way. But if the musical is messed up, I think she would regret it the most. So either way, we have to make it a success! After all that practice, I don’t want it to go to waste!”

Takumi finally finds Jun in the place she used to dream of. Beside an old bed in one of its ruined room, Jun lays. Refusing to go back, she starts to blame her talkativeness, says that “It’s like the egg said, I become unhappy because I spoke up.” Takumi denies its existence, pushing her to the edge, until she finally admits that she needs it to exist, or she’d be lost. It confirms that she uses imagination to cope with trauma, though unhealthily.

It’s heart breaking to see her throwing all her frustrations from her family relationship and feelings for Takumi. Actually, there are more healthy ways to cope with personal problems, but her parents’ treatment disturbs her emotional stability, demonstrating the conclusion of research from National University of Singapore, that overly critical parents lead their children to develop symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Takumi, determined to convince Jun to be more confident, asks her to hurt him. After listening to her shouts out of frustration towards him and Natsuki, instead of getting upset, Takumi states that he’s happy to hear her honest words, for it wakes the feelings he used to forget. This positive validation soothes Jun, helping her to regain composure.

Jun, before leaving for the musical, finally confesses her feeling for Takumi. Upon hearing his answer, she smiles bitterly, uttering a calm response, “I know.”

We finally get to see Jun’s singing in the last scene of the musicals. Entering from the public entrance, she surprises the audiences. While walking slowly towards the stage, Jun sings the song she writes, granting her wish to convey her true feelings, especially to her mom, who’s amid the audience starting to reflect on her mistakes.

When it reaches the closing scene of the musical, I lastly find my most favorite scene from the movie. It beautifully asserts the moral encouragement of the movie by combining the melodies of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Beethoven Pathetique Sonata 2nd Movement” tastefully. I feel no wonder that this movie was nominated in the 39th Japan Academy Prize as the best animation of the year.

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Completing the moral encouragement, the movie’s ending gives a hopeful flavor, leaving a sweet aftertaste without failing to appreciate the bitterness, by narrating using Takumi’s and Jun’s voices:

“What’s inside the egg? All kinds of feelings locked inside. Then, unable to keep them locked in, it explodes. And the world that’s created then is more beautiful than I ever thought.”

Little Notes #1

I am a weakling; the bravest kind of one.

I am swayed by your concerns, but I am willing to disappoint.

And your tears, I let it crushes my mind.

I am scared of being alone, but I am leaving you behind.

I am sure I will regret this, but I am blind,

For all I ever know is I have to try.

Marriage Sentimentality of a Friend

Marriage is the song played on a continuous loop around me lately.

In a couple weeks, I’ve got seven wedding invitations from my friends –the friend I’ve never met since several years ago; high school classmates; hanging out friends; my close friend. I’ve never felt sentimental in any wedding before, until the most recent one.

I went to Jakarta in April to attend my close friend’s wedding. I wasn’t surprised to encounter many of his friends there since he is a lively and empathetic person who would warmly welcome any kind of people in his presence. His house is regularly visited by different people, so it is his thing to be surrounded by many people. I myself often asked for his advice for many things: from career to my relationship. He is someone I could turn to for advice when I was frustrated and too emotional to think clearly.

The wedding hall was decorated with fresh flowers. The light was warm and bright, yet the air was tense when they both sat on the aisle chairs. Everybody held their breath as the bride spoke, letting her gentle voice to be the only voice heard in the hall.

“…And today I will marry the man of my choice,” she ended her speech for her parents before the vow began. I was trembling out of the blue. I never really gave it a thought, then a sentimentality suddenly burst out. After this, he would be a husband before anybody’s friend. This moment also marked a change for us as friends as he stepped into the world I would never understand lest I step in myself. He took a distance from his friends to be with the woman of his choice –someone anyone else would never be.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally happy for both of them; I’m just never used to goodbyes.

I understand that everyone and everything are constantly changing. But knowledge couldn’t help an overwhelmed feeling. I’ve always been fighting to accept that one day our distance will grow further as we walk to the different direction.

I absorbed the cheerful ambience after the vow is spoken. There was a slight relief in his eyes, accompanied by a childlike smile as if finally getting what he’s always wanted. I took a deep breath and encouraged myself to, despite my melancholy, soak in every detail of the happiness.

Since as Og Mandino said, today will never happen again.

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