“Sure, son. You can talk anything to me”
“Your days, your achievements, your goals, your sins..”
“Yes, even your sins.”
“I’ll heard you as the ear of God. And i’ll forgive.”
“I’ll forgive as God will do to you.”
“So, tell me, son. What’s your story?”
It’s rain outside.
Of course, it always does.
None of my story starts with a bright day.
I don’t know why, but..
I walk to a church on that sunday morning.
haven’t had any thought of taking my car or a bike.
Even i know for sure, the church i’m going is about 30 mins walking far away.
And again, i’m saying it’s raining. But, i walk.
I left my phone in my car, where it parked in the lot of a place i rent.
I only have my coat, which starting to get soggy, as i walk.
oh.. and my mind floats.
Typical, i know.
“I ain’t got any nerve to say it out, to open my self, to be real of what’s really happening on me right now.” i shiver. awkwardly plays around with the wet coat’s rope.
“It starts when i’m being honest and came out of the closet i’ve been comfort to live in”
“I told my parents, i want to be a buddhist. and being disowned rightaway. in the exact time, i told ’em out.”
The rain is falling even harder.
I know, it’s not good for me to keep going, so..
I turn my self to a cafe that i passed.
And order a hot chocolate.
I never thought this cafe have a good hot chocolate after the first sip i take.
I never realize this is even a cafe.
I thought it was just..
Or, is it good because the freezing rain-falling-sunday-morning and no one’s actually do anything, only few ones that got to go to the market, and me?
nevertheless, i love the ambience they have.
A lavender aromatherapy, with a touch of right level of humidity, and perfect light of a morning that actually dark cause it’s raining.
and, oh, the sound-therapy of a devotional hinduism music that been played around the room.
I don’t know what makes it good, but i enjoyed that.
My coat is soggy, not soaked. but, i know, if i keep moving, i will no longer can do liturgy.
I don’t know what comfort me, but i feel my feet on the ground again.
Even i’m start to thinking i got to stop doing this. I have to choose. I have to make a decision.
Hot chocolate goes through my throat, and comfort my cold belly.
“Why are you want to be a buddhist?” father asked. calm. i can feel a lil nervous in his tone, but.. his voice, just.. undoubtedly, comforts me in way.
“I feel connected to Siddharta. not as literal to his life, but.. you know, father.”
“It may doesn’t make sense for you. But, for me, it somehow does. It clicks just right.” I take a breathe.
“I’ve been going to Buddhist’s temple twice for Christ’s sake, but..”
“But somehow, that two times i went, feels like multipled my conviction that i’m really into this.”
“I don’t know, father.. i don’t know.” I brush my hair with my bare hands. and bowed down. a little remorse i felt after words out.
I look outside the window, watching the rain pouring even harder than before.
I’m flying through my mind. my eyes are stagnantly watch one and one spot only without any movement. I’m dead eyed watching rain.
I feel like i’m living in the different dimension.
In a dimension where i still have a family.
My mum who cooks for me, and getting my uniform ready for school.
My pop who getting ready for work, and taking me seriously when i made a mess out and scolding me in the breakfast table right away.
My sister and brother who fight for a chair beside mum.
A dimension i lost in time, when they gone by God’s calls.
I’m back with a chocolate’s drip on my pants,
“Oh, shit. I’m a mess.”
With those woken me up, i straightaway clean up my pants.
A waitress come and offer tissue for me.
“Thanks” i said.
And she smiled and left. I cleaned up.
I know that smile somewhere.
I think i do really know that smile.
“Look now, what do we have here?” father asked retorically.
“What age are you?”
“22?” i answer while i look a stain on my pants, then raise my face up.
“You’re young, full of life, and potentials, also desires to know more about something that big, yet looks so small.”
“Listen, son. Christ has always been watching all along. He even writes you life. He decides what’s good for you, and throw the bad ones, even sometimes He mixed up everything somehow, He just try to make you learn that life isn’t always about seeing the goods while you have them, but helping ones who don’t have any.”
“My point is, maybe.. you are on a test of a God’s challenge. How strong your faith to Jesus is and how far you can go with this conviction.” Father explained with a deep voice. really deep one.
“What if…?” I asked, but…
“Son, listen to your own heart. What its saying?” Father interrupts.
I think hard.
Who’s this freaking-cute-abnormally-abuse-my mental-sick-and-throw-away-my-world smiley girl?
I knew her somewhere. I knew her somehow.
But, who is she?
I back with my chocolate-mug.
And sip a little more, while watching the same spot of windows.
And get ready to fly again.
To somewhere i don’t know. Somewhere i can feel happiness, perhaps?
“I don’t know, Father. My heart always trembling everytime i touch that side of my self, my beliefs.” I breathe in.
“I went to the mosque, and do shalah like my family taught me so, my heart is trembling like hell, i feel like crying, to remember all of my sins, or being grateful of what i have and achieve right now.”
“I went to monastery, somehow to the beach, to do rituals to worship and pray for Hyang. and it makes me feel like i’m being forgiven, that i become one with the universe itself.”
“And i went also to the temple, and pray. I feel like siddharta after all the life he left. i fell peace in the utmost of my senses.”
“And i’m here, at the church. talking to you, Father.. and you asked for me to ask my heart. i.. i.. i don’t know my heart. i can’t even touch that.” i’m drowning my face to my palm where it can hold a few of my tears. I’m shivered.
“I want believe God, Allah, Jesus, Buddha, True Power of Universe, Hyang, The Divine, or whatever you named it, without any border to do something’s good.” I start sobbing.
“i see…” Father replies calmly.
“Excuse me, sir. we have an offer for a breakfast happy hour. Do you want to try them?” Someone wakes me up from my reverie.
I turned. it was her.
“eh.. uh.. umm.. sorry?” i missacted.
“Ah.. you’re daydreaming? I’m sorry to interrupt. But, we have an offer for you.”
“ah.. ah.. yes.. sorry, i’m amusing this early. so, what’s the offer?” i asked.
“yeah, rain would always perfect for being amused in a thought or so. i did the same alots. i enjoyed being in a room and watching rain drops, or even running wet to the road and plays with rain. ah.. now, i’m now amusing along too, am i not? ekekeheh” she smiles again. and her face is so relax as she smile, and comforted me to see those. She lean her left foot, and see the window too.
Darn! i must have fell in the same smile before, now i even fall deeper. What the hell with that smile? what is wrong with me, really?
“Ah.. Urrmm.. my apology, i always fascinated to see the rain too, and now i’m intervene your reverie. i’m about to offer you our breakfast promo you might interest.” she plots a gesture back to be a waitress.
And by that, i fell over again.
“I’m now here not talking as a priest. I’m here, as a human being sharing his own life’s experience to his child.” He sounds comforting, as he open the door of the chamber he’s using during our talks between congregation and its pastor.
We’re now facing each other.
His eyes are so comforting. i don’t know. But all parts of his presence are making me feel safe. Safe, as home. Ones, i don’t have but craving to death for that.
He’s hugging me. tight.
My sobbing are stopping immediately. My soaked coat getting warm from his hug.
“bla.. bla.. bla..” she explains the promotion. i’m not listening. i can just order one random menu, and that’s that. or, one she recommends for me.
“I’m humbly sorry, do i know you somewhere?” i interrupt her.
She changes her gestures, uncomfort, and looks around, as she come closer. and whisper:
“You don’t. But, if you feel i’m familiar, frankly i do feel the same.” and smiles.
“So, what would you order, sir?” she lifts up her voice to show her manager, she’s not do something not professional.
“I’ll have one half cooked salmon grill and one more hot chocolate, please.” after i looked up the menu.
“Son, God is one. you don’t have to choose. There’ll always be one God.”
“Even as a priest i know, God doesn’t have any religion. He just being Himself for all part of Him. I’m not talking about history or logic, cause there’ll be no exact explanation of Who God is? Where does He come from? Is He a He or She? or, How do He live? everything is just.. blurry to talk about in one explanation. All i know is, He just there for humanity. teach us about life and how to live it, and how to live it good.” He now release me from his hug.
“God is teach only one value of living: To do good with eachother living being. And that’s that. You don’t have to confuse of which way you have to choose.”
“I’ve been at your place, where i questioned everything and got lost, i was even worse. I decided to be an atheist once, till i found Jesus, and believe Him with all my might to live. And, here i am now. a well-known Priest in your town.” He smiles. And i don’t know how, it’s waaaay more comforting than ever before.
I smile. knowing what to do.
My breakfast has come.
They do really serve a good breakfast here.
One i can recommend to my roommate, i think.
The salmon grilled perfectly the way i wanted, it’s half cooked.
So, the surface of its looks grilled and cooked, but when i sliced it.. the inside of its still juicy and fresh. Just what prodigy they gave on this masterpiece?
I take some, and eat it.
It was miraculously tasty, and as my nature i always close my eyes, to stop one sense working and give more sense to my tongue.
Then, the real magic happens.
I see a glimpse of heaven. and it’s not a methapor.
I know for sure, it is really a heaven. As a buddhist, i believe in reincarnation.
And i know for sure, i’ve been go up there and back for many times, could be thousands or more. I should’ve known how heaven looks like. i used to live there while i wait in the line of reincarnation.
And, i see her.
“Now.. now..” He breaks the silence after about 5 minutes.
“I see you’re already learned some of the religions known. But, why are you come out to your family a Buddhist?”
“…” i silent, give the church a space to do more breathe.
“Father, i was raised in multi-religion family. My grandmother is catholic, while my grandfather is an atheist. But, they married in a catholic way. They raised an open-minded family, they have 4 children, 2 of ’em turned moslem (including my pop), one of them turned to be an agnostic, and the last one choose Hinduism.”
“And by the way my grandparents raised their children, they really give ’em an open-bar to their kids choose what they want. democratic, really. Some of them are secular, but my father isn’t. He’s really into moslem. dag up deep about the religion, then he met my mum along the way, whom came from a well-known moslem family in town. So, automatically, the generation my parents made (3 of us) haven’t any right to choose as our cousins do. My aunts and uncle have a multi-religion-marriage, as they parents do.”
“I was raised to be moslem by my parents, but i too close with my big family. So, i learn the other way also. I did moslem-routine because i must too. But, i do other-religion’s prayer because i’m willing to. You know what’s the differences out of it, don’t you?” He nods.
“And so, by 14 i learned all the holy-books each religion have that i bought from my cousins and learned it seriously. And do things i’m willing to do religiously.”
“And i got comfort the most in Tripitaka.”
I know now.
My tears are run down uncontrollable.
I know who she was. and i know just exactly who i was to her.
By the time she comes with the bill, i asked.
“Did you cook my food?”
She smiles, and nods.
This time. it’s all clear. The belonging i have for seeing her smile, and all that i see out of the blue from just eating her food.
I’m sure. I do really sure.
“Do you believe in reincarnation, and life after the life itself?”
She take one step back away from me. Not sure of what sorcery i’m trying to make.
“So, you already know who was i?” She says it surprisingly comforting.
“Come here, son. Hug your mother!”