The pasundan earth

The pasundan earth

A Chapter by risma


 I'm staring at a pair of glass doors in front of me with a few drops of tears. it is my very first time to stomp my feet on this capital city of central java land. I'm not here for vacation neither to do the shopping. I officially turn 18 on the last june 23rd and it was right on my high school graduation moment.  I'm not ready yet. Not to be a college girl. Not now. i quailed mumbling. Somehow, I still stuck within my highschool memories. I left my best friends behind. When I was kid I always excited to be a college girl. To have my own life without parents. But now,  If being a college girl means moving to this strange big city and living my life with my own. I undoubtedly  not ready.

 Small white car had a few minutes ago parked in the dormitory front yard. as the sun setting in the west and sky turned to a rosy chenille my mind drawn and keep questioning. So this is It? i finally turns out studying tourism? How could? don't you always dreamed to go somewhere else? But you are qualified. You are accepted.. This is what you have achieve! you're going to study in you country's best tourism institute!  be happy! But, this is it? this is how you giving up everything and play safe? you're alone here. you've got no relatives, acquaintance . All you had is yourself. I kept talking to my conscience while the crackling sounds of big purple  suitcase drag continuously right behind me. My mom, sister-in-law and brother are busy taking care of my stuff and take them out of the car.

"Elodie, how long do you gonna standing there while all your stuff become really none of your business honey? "said mama eventually. My eyes get its focus back and my mind returning to the real world. I immediately grabbed my suitcase And drag it to my is on the 3rd floor, Room 315. It was so crowded with all fresh highschool graduate who passed on the test and accepted i arrive inside my room, I checked All the equipment for the training of basic and professional attitude which I found all are complete. my mind start roaming forward, lapse passing a weeks and I landed on the day when   the training of basic and professional attitude is held. Everything going to be so familiar. Scream, anger, selfishness. Every little mistake gonna be our fault. Every single word gonna be a mistake. Somehow , I know i will live, but clearly in my mind now i'm thinking about how i survive without aprisha. My best friend in the universe.

The pale yellow-painted room look so spacious and empty. There is only one bunk bed on the left side and one single bed on the right corner side. The view of a large window immediately caught my attention. I could see a very wide lawn with completed by typical rural small house that looks  so shady and peaceful. I can see how  childrens are playing around and have a rest in a small shop on the corner of this village if I look further, I saw a row of green hills covered with clouds. all the wonderful things that are right behind the campus parking lot. There are 2 tables and 1 desks which had been carefully wrapped with wrapping paper. some fruit binders, tissue and stationery kit neatly set up. i see another purple suitcase was on the right side of the desk chair while On the opposite side there are three pair of  closet door right in front of two single beds and the other one is in front of the bunk bed. Even this cupboard had its own desk. I immediately decide if that cupboard would be mine. I got the mattress number two, so I will sleep on down side of the bunk bed. I kept wondering where are my roommate who actually had come but magically disappeared.  my mom and brother pairing the sheets, blankets and pillows while I just watch them working because I have no idea what can I help. unfortunately I forgot to bring a pillow bolsters.

"Elodie! It's your room! put your clothes inside the closet "Said my brother , adnan.

I started unpacking my suitcase and set it in the closet, I feel my nose is itchy really itchy. I have a dust allergy severe enough

"look at her mom!  elodie will had so many trouble living alone. This kids is too spoiled. she could sneezing endlessly just because a little touch of dust. how can she clear her own stuff?" chirp adnan.

"I can certainly do everything by myself" I respond fiercely.

The sky that has begun to pose a reddish-orange streaks now gone darker. our White car was still parked in the dormitory front yard.

"Oh my God! I just told this girl such a speech! " adnan complaining even more.

"Then what can we do ?? Mama can not stay here Forever! Try to independent! "Mom griped in the end. My eyes are hot. Yes, I started to cry when they're about going back to my hometown. I am scared. My beliefs fear of astral sentient  has reached its peak.

"there is not that such a thing here elodie .." added my brother in law tried to be patient. I know he's already snarled almost night and day because they still had not moved even for a single inch far from this place

"I'm not going to have college here .. can I just have a college in tangerang?!  " i start wailing. Those three people sighed, I know they really feel embarrassed by my behavior today. Unexpectedly, they  run and get in to the car, I can see they immediately turn on the machine.

"You have to survive here. Bye! "Shouted adnan, and sure enough, my brother in law stepped on the gas and moving away. My mother waving with grin. I cried harder. What kind of family is that!! they want to dump me up here or what? !!

I climbed the dorm stairs with unsteady step like i've no life direction. I act Like the world will collapse tomorrow. I walked into the dorm room and began to cry. I send to my friend a voicenote.

"Put! I do not want to be here, I want to school in other places that are close to you and mama .. " my brain completely unpalatable. And shortly afterwards she immediately respond

"What are you doing you idiot! You do not remember? I just failed to be accepted in your place! You've been in the right school and nice! Until you dare to move to another university, your brain is completely broken! Moreover, why you act in this way?! Still afraid of unfounded superstition! Grow up! You've grown elodie! "Boomed the voice note and made me sad even more . No one supported me. But really, I'm already 18 years old. Anyone would say the same thing to me. Staring into a large mirror in front of me, Bandung city light slowly already began to glow and flicker. It's not that bad risma! It's not that bad !!  I scuttle my face even deeper to my Big pillow.



I can see blurry of the yellow pale wall color as I started to open my eyes. I rubbed my eye to make everything looks clearer. I could see a girl sleep across my bed. Wait, is this my room? no of course not. I heard a very exhausting and tight breath come from bed right above my head. i could see the morning light absorbed by the window and penetrate the dark brown curtain which neatly closed. Everyone was still fall asleep. I take my cellphone to checked the tim. but instead of noticing what time is it, my mind start flashing back to what happened last night until I could finally sleep here.

I walked along the corridor of this 3rd floor right after I wake up from my sadness. there are 21 inch television and 3 orange sofa that left image like a great comfortable places to socialize with the whole residences of this dormitory . I sitting down and watch TV while I actually don't. I just keep questioning. "did I the only one here who has no friends. I heard laughter and warm atmosphere from each of room. And i'm here by myself while none of my roommate has come to where they're suppose to be.

"This is unfair."  I complained and look straight to the television. Not to enjoy the show instead of trying to find my reflection inside the TV screen because i really have no idea what to do. It's kinda really hard to do if the TV is turned on. Just several minutes later, i heard foot steps coming up from the stairs.

"Excuse me.." i heard woman voices accost me continued by I a hand touches on my shoulder, i immediately turn my head and my eyes caught a middle aged woman standing with a girl in my age that I assume is her daughter. She looks so sophisticated. I could see some wrinkles through her glasses, she is tall and slim probably slimmer than her daughter. she wears grey blazer and medium heels. i smile a little as a respond


" you live in this dormitory too right? said her trying to make sure. i smiling and noded. i eventually get into a conversation with this woman while the daughter seems so constrained.

"what major are you?" asked the woman.

"travel industry, how about her? " i switch my focus to her daughter. She gawk for a little while and finally smiling and stare me back

"hotel administration." she chimed in.

"we already been here since this afternoon, but her roommate haven't come yet." I can see how her mother looks so anxious, while I remembered how my family immediately run and go home even knowing that my roommate haven't come yet.

"me either.. " I replied whilst frowning and show sad expression

"btw what room did you stay on?"

"313, you?

"Oh, so you're a nearby. I'm 315." squealed me

"Oh, btw my name is Elodie" said me again

"I'm grace" she shook my hand and let's say we've known each other in a blink of an eye.

Right after that we fall in very long conversation and switching every contact. BBM pin, line ID and phone number.

An hour later grace's mom feels relief to leave her daughter with her new friend which is me. and I see a very touchy farewell on the dormitory's lobby between grace and her mom. I see how they deeply embrace each other. And I can see a few drops of tears in each other's eyes.

"That's okay, you're from jakarta. You can even go home this weekend" I cheer her up like I forgot how i lost my mind and cried like a baby right after my family left me on the parking pavement. Grace wipe her tears and smiling with her glisten eyes.

"you're so strong" said her tremble voice. I bite my down lip and grinning. I feel so guilty to give an advice that even me myself don't really believe of what i'm saying.

me and grace sat down on the yellow sofa at the lobby and watch the TV. I don't know what i'm watching. We just randomly watched to feel better.

I'm gazing at how grace randomly press almost all the buttons of the remote control and make the channel keep changing constantly without remains a chance for people to know what is the show. she looks so distracted. I don't even know how to amuse her. Maybe her feeling just right like what I was this afternoon. I really thought as if the world gonna ends. Not the world, But my only world. I feel like I'm not only gonna living alone, but will also feel soo terribly lonely.

I hear the sound of suitcase's rattling from the main gate of this dormitory. Grace glancing at me and and smile. I can heard " we've got a new target" from her sight.

we both turn our head behind and see a  girl with high volume hair girl, brown skin and quite tall dragging her suitecase.

"hey, need a  help?!" grace unexpectedly react. that girl frowning and stare grace constantly.

"is that okay? you don't mind?" she convinced . Grace nodded grinning

"Diane" she proffer her hands to grace. Grace looking at me. And shook her hands

"grace, btw that's my friend! elodie!! come here!" grace called me while I actually still too shy to act the way she does. I just smile and walk to her

 Diane, elodie, elodie, diane" told grace cheerfully. I shook her hands and smile.

"what major are you?" I asked

"Pastry" she answered.

"well, what room are you?"


"i'm 315!!" I exclaimed

"i'm 313!!" chimed grace as if she want to tell diane that this is your neighbor. We kinda make her a little bit scare I guess. But she chuckled. and grinning even wider.

"So, let's go upstair" she twist her eyeball and dragging her suitcase

My mind goes forth and I am back In this room. Yeah, I spent my night at room 316. Which is diane's. I look around this messy room. this is not kind of mess that trashy or dirt. This is just because diane hasn't set up her room so, everything looks very amiss and ragged. many boxes havent been open yet and Some of them has been empty because diane has putting off all the contents and arrange it on her table. my head twitching as my eyes glared to get its focus. i lowering my legs and let my naked feet stomp up the creamy color floor. "dug!" my head stumble the edge of bed ceiling, which lead grace to a mumble. i can feel a small quake while grace tried to change her sleep position.

" You woke up elodie? "ask diane as she rubbed her eyes  and pulled her hair into a messy bun

i smile and rapidly nodded. i didn't bring any hairband. So I let my hair loose and see her with my morning face.

"you need help to set up this room?" I offered. Diane roll her eyes and exclaimed

"nope" There's a small sense of relief spread within my chest because I know I really need to setting up mine.

"well.." I hang my words while I grab my pillow and blanket.

" i need to go back to my room. Is that okay? diane? grace? " I look up toward grace who still drawn on her sleep.

"yes" said diane, smiling. i immediately wear my flip flop and walk straight to my room.

This is such a very exciting sunday. i feel a very cold air absorbing through my skin while i'm pretty sure that the sun is lighting beneath the clear sky. Actually the cold weather of Bandung is really make sense. This place is really surrounded by mountain, hill, and located in high area. But I remember that i've got this things called sinusitis which refers to the inflammation and infection of the lining of my sinuses. The infection may be caused by a virus, bacteria or even fungi. Inflammation makes the mucous membranes swollen and also blocks the channels that drain the mucus from within the sinuses. This causes accumulation of the fluid and leads to the symptoms of pain over the sinuses. The sinuses behind the cheekbones are what happening to me a whole this year. i can coughing a lot in a very cold day because my nose is fully clog while I got a quiet terrible headache. And i think I can feel that headache now. I really need myself to adapt toward this place and this new weather. i pick some clothes and put it inside my closet. I don't know if I bring this much clothes in my suitcase.

I can feel everything are so dusty until I think I really need to scratch my nose that finally ended me up sneezing. Once. Twice. And it constantly happen for many times. My closet finally looks as a closet supposed to look. The hanger are hanged my clothes and the clothes are neatly folded on the other side of this closet. After done all the wardrobe things I come off and wipe the the cloudy window that only take a few minutes until I cleaning up all the spot and stains. i think of what else I could do to make this room looks clean I finally checked my foot and see how dirty it is. Seriously, the floor need a I bent to the corner of toilet and pick mop which still look as new as my existence in this dormitory. I wreck the wrapper plastic , soak the mop to the water and squeeze until it reach the right level of humidity. I won't wet the floor but the mop has to be moist enough to wipe those dust and stain away. I start mopping the whole corner of this room while i still wonder, who the heck my roommates are that leaves me here with no one. And let me do all this teamwork things by myself.

After done all the cleaning stuff and my room look hundreds times better than yesterday. I laid down my body upon this one person's dedicated bed and staring to my bed ceiling. There are so many people's handwriting and all of this word must be belong to the previous residents. there's always one more mountain left to climb. That Big line of sentence really catch my eyes. Of course the most civilized sentence among all of these dirty, insulting, and harsh word mostly about another department and show how much they proud of their own department. I smirk and start to wonder how's life i'm gonna meet in this new cimcumstances. All of this graffiti just make me think that people become really proud and arrogant of what they learnt. Feels like all of people have various interest that probably really strong and this people finally made it. The room division,the food production Food and beverage, travel management, tourism management, and many more. my  eyes overlaying as everything right in my sight are getting blurred and My mind start flashing back to several years ago.

"Finally it's over!!"we shouted and hug each others after finishing the final round of this debate competition. This is our last debate competition in high school level. Me and my bestfriend which also our 3rd speaker had been planning to be part of English debate society at varsity level. No matter what, we really need to learn more and more, and even more than more. Our liaison officer is walking right next to us showing pleasure.

"You guys doing such a great job. That was a great performance."  said her when as we turn around and entering the debater's hall. We shook our head and said.

"No way. our rival is a great international high school, we happy because we're okay to be in second place" I respond soon and grin.

"As we never become the first." said my bestfriend Aprisha abruptly.

"Really?" our Liaison officer gawk and seems really surprise of how we really take everything so easy.

"Yup! but our second speaker used to be the best speaker" Ruth our first speaker nodded and glance at me.

" excuse me, Used to? I guess it just once!" I frown and  questioning her statement

"Yup, but at University of indonesia. Can you imagine?"  she chuckled and insist.

"she's a liar. We are absolutely an amateur. There are no more than 10 teams joined that competition. We just lucky." I convince her, while the L.O chortled

"okay, I guess I have to tell the committee make new regulation. for no arguing outside the debate round" said her before she  take a look at her watch and said promptly.

"prepare yourself guys. We'll go to the auditorium for gala dinner in the last 30 minutes."

"ouughh bless you!" Aprisha groan and patted her stomach. She's one of the luckiest girl on earth. The skinny girl who eat more than dinasour.

 "finally I know where's the rumbling sound came from." I roll my eyes and mumbling.

Way to the auditorium is only one staircase away it isn't such a long journey that should be taken by all of these hungry debater. especially aprisha. i secretly hope to find siomay with spicy peanut sauce and some fried wanton on the surface. Imagining how delicious it would taste apparently make my stomach rumbling. Aprisha glance at me and grin. We really starving. really. The three of us is starving. Because I could see ruth burst out from the debaters hall and walk up stair by making sounds like a huddle of angry horse in the savana.

the room where we were doing the final round is decorated so differently. I mean, there was only hundreds of seat right in front of the stage with the speakers podium located right at the center of the stage and 3 seat was set to a row in each side for the government and opposition team. But now, this room is absolutely look a little bit like small party hall. the seat still there. But there are many food stall on the right side where we could get the food by coupon  we had.

A great happiness growing inside my chest when I finally found what I want. Although this is not the same siomay I imagined before, with fried wanton on the top of the spicy peanut sauce. but still it is siomay that i've been wanted since a couple hours ago. So I walk to avoid the swarm of people that still walking around the stall to find what they gonna eat and immediately take my seat. I could see my rival right some metres away in front of me. I don't like sitting in the front seat. I am more to a back side people. this has been my nature since I was a kid. Don't really like to be seen or showing. But debate is just like different thing. I really 100% different person. I could just amass my courage and voila. I speak in front of people without any doubt and I can feel so sure with what I am saying. But this is only if I really know about what should I delivered. If I don't , then I better remain silent.

I could see aprisha came onbeaming with a plate of batagor. I know she is looking for me. I raise my hand and give a small wave. She smile and walk towards me. aprisha is actually only some inches away but I suddenly feels someone sititing next to me.

"Ruth!" my heart feels like jumped out of my ribs . She grinning and a few seconds later aprisha sit right on another side.

"how was the food?" Ruth asked.

"I haven't eat it yet" then we start eat in silence. it really visible how we are really starving. No one  make a noise but chewing. after that we really busy playing our cellphone. Nobody really care if the gala dinner time has up.

"Let's welcome the runner up of this debate competition! 5 senior high school from tangerang!" three of us shockedly look up and the whole auditorium laid their eyes on us. Clapping.

"See? i've told you we'll on the 2nd place" tell aprisha as she put her cellphone in her bag.

"And now, let's welcome the best speaker of pre eliminary round. Elodie gladiola!" Ruth and aprisha hug me really really tight as if i'm a bird that could flutter my wings and fly outside this room.

I can't stop wondering.

"How can?" I mumble

"I already knew that!" ruth exclaimed.

The three of us walk ahead so hesitate. We really looks  like someone that never debating before while this is Actually our eighth debate competition. But we only won twice. Not even won we got a second place. The rest is a very competition is tragic loss. This is because we have no coach. We learn from experience, from what adjudicators said. And this is the last one right before we graduate next month. we smile to some camera flash and cellphone. I really can't wait the moment I could learn more about debate. I really amaze with those adjudicators that have so many achievement and mostly of it was achieved when they were in varsity. I really can't wait for that time. I believe I can do something more than this. If only we had a great coach. Actually , we’ve ever had one. But we only meet twice. Because my school is just too poor to pay that high quality coaches. So I sadly said that he can’t go on be our coach. While I desperately need to learn many stuff to him. I just want to prove my parents that I could stand in more than just a second place. I promise.

everything swirls back and time return to where I laid my body now. my eyes get back its focus. that was such a very good memories. debate was one of very powerful thing why me and aprisha has that such a very strong and loyal friendship. We really right next to each other in almost every situations. I actually has 2 bestfriends that been with me since I was 12 until now and still counting. the other one is saras. Or I  used to call her yayas she is now continue her study at jogjakarta. and only aprisha who stay in Jakarta.

It still cut me like a knife remember how everything not going according to my plan. To our plan. me and aprisha had been day dreaming a lot of being at University of Indonesia and be the part of their English debate society. We learn together and be as great as adjudicator we always admire along our journey at highschool level Debating club. i feel somehow still love that world a lot. my heart still longing for what i can do best and people admit that I am able. Although not great. But I just fulfilled the standard. Where I could be equal with anybody, when I know exactly what to do and what i'm doing. Everything happen just as fast as a flashing light. And every dream, every desire just burnt out in a flick of finger when i know i'm gonna fail the SNMPTN test cause I really bad at math and I don't think I could compete those smart people who want to go to University of indonesia. And at that time I feel like private university can’t pledge me a bright future. I mean a private university that my parents able to pay. The high cless priversity must be the one that require a very big cost which make my parents spent about tens of millions twice per year and I realize that i'm not came from that kind of rich family. So I joined the test of official governmental institute which under the auspices of that specific kind of ministry. There are so many kind of institute that under the auspices of various ministry. Until I finally found this campus. Bandung institute of tourism which directly under the auspices of tourism ministry And the job opportunity was incredible. No one graduate from this school as an unemployer.

I don't even know if i could be that easy to be accepted in this prestigious institute which is one of the best tourism institute in Asia. and The first best institute of tourism in Indonesia which is become the learning center and curriculum of all tourism faculty or department in every university and institute in Indonesia. so, I am the first people in my class who already placed in certain institute right before the SNMPTN result Is announced while my friend just signing up to join the SBMPTN test. Which is an academic test for the state university. Unfortunately, 2 of my best friend get failed for second times and joined the independent test on a specific state university. It doesn't prevent them from failure. Until Yayas finally decide to go to jogja and take private institute right away. While aprisha tried to join the second test on this Bandung institute of tourism and take the same major with me. I really have positive thought on it. If I could pass the test then she must be. But fortune still stay too away from her. She failed the test and that was the climacts of our sadness. We cried together and I finally accompany her to apply in some great private university. Until she finally caught by Perbanas Institute and study accounting. here we are. God really separated us three in different region.















© 2015 risma

Author's Note

i'm not coming from english speaking country and a very beginner writer. i challenge myself to write in english. so, every review, opinion, critics and advice will be very precious for me. ^_^

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Added on August 17, 2015
Last Updated on August 17, 2015
Tags: Indonesia, freshstudents, friendship, struggle



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