The Waiting Room

It’s a vast and empty space behind that door. There stood, sit, and wait, hundreds of being that eventually will serve very specific purposes. Every now and then, a voice called out each being to descend and finally fulfill their duty. Of course, before anything called out from that door, the first one to turn the knob and got out is Mr. Ticking Toe. Nobody in the room ever guessed that he will start this whole creation process. He was, After all, just an ordinary fellow in overgrown suit, punching one left toe in very exact intervals.

No hard feeling though, thought all the waiting hoards. Maybe Mr. Ticking Toes is needed first for his consistency. After all, his toe bumps have been the room’s standard in measuring the amount of passed moments. Maybe that role is needed too down on earth. Before he was called out, they have waited for exactly 24 million 5 hundreds and 31 Toe bumps. One thing they worried is this new standard called “years”. It makes everything seemed to flow faster, because now they knew the voice always called out someone every few hundred years. Can you imagine? Only a few hundreds! Compared to toe bumps units, it felt like moments passed in much faster pace.

In the bunch of odd fellows, you can find the blue man with bluer eyes. His humming makes everything felt so vast and will make you lost in its melody. It is the sound of waves, he said. You can see that he doesn’t sing for leisure, he does it to nurture the early life blooming across his body.

Waiting still in the middle of the room, a ruffled man was playing with squirrels by growing acorns from the tip of his fingers. First he grew the acorn from the left forefinger, but then makes it disappear and suddenly grew it back in his right little finger. The twin squirrels jumped hastily to follow each acorn, and the man laughed every time. Leaves are his mustache, woods are his arms, and he is father of all things that grow.

The fat lady is more beautiful than ever, bowing every time the skinny lady swings her arm. The twin never once took a wrong step, each moves are surprising yet choreographed, for they must come in precision yet unpredictable mood.  Sure thing about them is that they are white, and very, very cold. Just like the poles were, and forever will be.

Beside the notable quartet, you can find hundreds of other beings waiting to finally play a specific role on earth. The black kid, the angry aunt, the little bearded guy, the hooded flaming man, tan women with baggy eyes, the frizzy lady, and many others are waiting for the voice to call them out.

Among them, two similarly peculiar yet discordant beings sat on two corners of the room. She was an ill-fated lady with trembling hands. She sat down while hugging her legs, putting the head down and resting on the knees. While other beings chatted, laughed and created, she was too nervous to do much. She put herself away, trying to stay unnoticed and did nothing but to stare and observe from a place no one can see. She memorizes everyone, everything that happened, all the things they talked about, and most importantly, the feelings each of their eyes gave her. For her, all eyes reflect each identity, and she was fascinated by each being’s different personas.

The second being stood on the other corner. He did not move, for his pride held him down. He could not see himself getting along with other beings, for the dark hole in his chest taught him not to. He held himself in a self-proclaimed throne, did nothing but scrutinize and analyze. His best analyses were for specific sounds each being made. The Blue man sounded like feathers struck by warm breeze, the flaming guy sounded like burnt charcoal, the frizzy lady sounded like percussion, and so on. For this little experiment, he was spirited. All the sounds inside the vast room fueled him with thoughts and ideas.

There were times when he finished his contemplation, he’d then raised his head and started to mutter words. Beings who stood next to him could hear his mesmerizing sentences, and whispered them to others. Along the way, the white-haired master with round belly would shout this murmur and turned it into a speech. He would then point the still muttering man, and the room would start to clap, making him more anxious than usual. This happens a few times without his consent. Some even asked his name, but he won’t tell. Over time, he grew very uneasy, but still won’t move from his throne. He was bound by his own thoughts, until a certain melody came from the opposite corner.

In the far corner of the room, the trembling lady fiddled her brown-gold hair. She does anxiously; even more anxious than the way he muttered his speeches. Yet the melodies that came out of her are much, much more beautiful than anything he ever heard. And she captured the attention of the whole room.

As she finished, all eyes were fixed on her. She grew frightened and step back again to the far corner as the sound of clapping ricocheted through the room. It’s weird that everybody did felt the joy of listening to her fiddling, but did nothing more. Maybe it’s because for these beings, joy is just a stimulant to be reacted to. It was indeed beautiful set of tunes, which is why they clapped. But after that, they must return to their natural selves; occupied with personal thoughts and individual actions.

Surprisingly, that did not occur to him. He was beyond captivated. His normally reserved behavior turned upside down by sudden curiosity for the lady. No sound in his tonal vocabulary was more beautiful than what he just heard. So he rushed towards her, it’s the first time he ever rushed in the history of his existence.

Everything sounds like something, he said to her as he stood by. The tan lady on the center of the room sounds like flowing water, the short fellow with greasy brows sounds like falling rocks, Mr. Ticking Toe sounds like magnetic rain, while the pole twins sound like melting snowflake.

She was shocked. What is this man suddenly talking about? Why is he standing while stuttered some words without even an introduction? But what he said was too dazzling, she decided to overcome fear and conversed with him. What… What do I sound of, then?

You don’t. You are the only thing in this room that didn’t make sound.

But… I fiddled…

That was no sound… That was… Music…

I… don’t even know what that means.

And I cannot explain what I meant. How can you explain music with words?

She was quite surprised by his answer. There was something in his voice, his choice of words, and the way he frowned his brows.

Maybe… He added… Maybe…Music is to say what words couldn’t.

I know you, said the Lady. You were so lovely in your speech, but so lonely in your gaze.

You saw me? The actual me? Not my words that spelled out by white-haired master?

Words said what you want, not what you feel. Your eyes, on the other hand, reflect everything that goes inside your heart.

And what goes through mine?

She was startled by this question, but then decided to look into his eyes. Back when you’re in the corner? Nothing. Now. A lot of things that haven’t been named yet.

He sat beside her then. He didn’t do so before. He thought she’d run away if he did so. But now he got a feeling she won’t do it.

So you saw my gaze, even from your corner?

I saw everyone’s gaze. Each tells a story of its own.

Just like how I listen to voices?

What do you get in the sound of magnetic rain?

I felt impatience, but also prudence. What do you see in Mr. ticking toe’s gaze?

A world he’s trying to decipher. He’s a very detailed person. I think that’s why earth called him first.

HAHAHAHAHA… That’s an interesting way of seeing his depart.

Is it?

Yes! I have no idea what you’re talking about, but it sounds so weird, it makes me smile.

Actually, you laughed.

Better then.

Much better. She smiled to him. And it was the first time he ever truly saw her face. He specifically knew that sounds are created by vibration, not by gestures like smile. Yet he could hear music playing erratically inside his mind as she smiled. On the other hand, the music made his gaze exudes million different words. And it made her wants to stay forever in this moment.

Through an entirely different way, both of them felt relentless joy. And so they talked with no means of an end, until a certain silence inside the man’s head makes him want to go back to his corner.

Where are you going?

He answered as he stood, back to my corner. I need to see my own world again, and I think you need to see yours too.

Are you coming back?

I’ll be beside you every time Lady in yellow sprayed out her perfume.

So their days with each other began. Every time a certain scent hit their nose, he would be there to talk about how the world sounded to him; she would be there to talk about how it looked. The way they perceived everything differently mesmerizes each other. He blurted out ideas, analysis and speculation; she told him why everything gazes differently in various situations. He talked about minds, she talked about hearts.

Yet never once they talked about the reason why they are there, who and what they actually are, or why do they sit side by side every day, and never want anything to change.

Until somewhere in their voyage of words, she asked him a little question.

Why are you here? Why did you decide to burst those words and got up from your corner.

I do not know. But, something told me that you are the very opposite of me.

That does not sound like a good thing.

Oh, but it is. I express thoughts with words, you show me music. I am too prideful to show others my face; you are too shy to do the same. You do exact things with me, in a very different way; in ways I cannot understand.

And it’s good?

And it’s amazing!

She put a little smile, I don’t understand words

You don’t have to.

I don’t understand you, still she smiled

Do you have to?

Not for now. Now I just enjoy being with you.

What make things much more meaningful for them are no longer stories behind the eyes or sounds behind gestures. But a simple fact that they are side by side while doing it.

There they wait, a few hundred years, or maybe thousands, nobody actually kept counting. The blue eyed man is no longer there, he is the vast blue sea of earth. The father of living things has been called; he needs to tend his children’s evolution. Even the yellow lady was assigned as world’s atmosphere, so they just start to see each other when their hearts want to. The room is filled with new beings now. They grew less bizarre, even way too specific. There were lizards, flying insects, and some mammals with trunks. They are the first of every animal, and they seemed to be waiting for the same voice to call them out.

But instead, the voice called out two names.

Rast-Ifa-Chloini, The mourning moon. Her ancient name spelled out. Miasya-Khrant-Amusha, The Lonely sun. His ancient name spelled out seconds after hers. She looked into his eyes with her brown-sky eyes, and she smile so wide, just to jump and hugged him after that.

We’re going together!!! It’s going to be a great journey! Said the lady.

More sounds to hear, more eyes to gaze! He replied with much hope.

And so they walked towards the voice, to the middle of the room where normally, a single piece of metal door appeared to take them down to earth.

But they saw two doors. Not one. At first, they were unsure. It might not be a different path; it might just be two entries to the same place. There were never two beings called exactly at the same time before, so they could never know.

Until the voice came to explain.

The mourning moon… You are to guard half of the day, keeping the luminous night. The Lonely sun… You are to guard the other half, keeping the sky stay bright.

It’s a crowded room, filled with emotions, aggravations, and excitements. But that moment everything froze still. Nothing moves, nothing ticks, and nothing can ever show how much they want to keep holding each other.

Yet they can’t.

What will make of us then? She stared blankly to the door in front of her.

The night only begins as the day ends. The hole in his chest grew darker, only to explode into bright light. He answered without looking at her.

There won’t be anyone to hear my stories. Her brown gold hair turned into white. Still, she stared at the cold steel door.

Though untold, your stories won’t lose its worth, He cheerfully answered. The light from his chest spread towards his arms.

I will be alone, she no longer sound like music, but of silence and howls. Her sad eyes are giving up.

The night will always stay for you. Just the like the day for me. He looked down at his glowing fingers, but not to her.

Most importantly, you won’t be with me ever again. Tears fell down; the word good does not deserve to be put inside “Goodbye”

I will always be with you. You can see glimpses of his calming smile.

Why?!!! Why are you acting as if our end is just another occurrence, another thing to analyze, another speech to write?

No… Of course not…. Then he stared at her, now for the last time. The light in his chest already spread to his eyes. It’s… It’s just… He paused as he forced himself to finish the sentence. She can see yellow sparks, tears that are now made of light float like dandelions from his eyes. While his trembling lips desperately put up a smile. I just want to make our end the happiest it can be.

And so with her own glassy eyes, she too, desperately put up a smile. She grabbed his hands as tight, and her skin turned pale white. He grabbed her fingers and cites, we’ll always be together, no matter what. And even until they turn completely into ball of light, both of them still tried to smile, for their end isn’t worth any tears. For their beautiful years together deserve an end no less beautiful.

I wished I never returned to my corner. I wish I stayed by your side in every toe bumps. He apologized to her.

Why would you wish to change anything?

Because my time with you was too short.

It was exactly enough time for us.

Do you just accept everything as it is?

I don’t. But when blessings end, do you regret it?

No… You cherish that it happened.

Such as you, my dear. A blessing I will cherish forever.

And it was the last day they can truly see each other. An untimely love, it was. A million miles of space separated them. To conquer them will be odd, for fate whispered more than just suggestion, but decision. They might fight, they might hold on, but to stay is no longer an option. They are to see each other through reflection; so at least they’ll remember long conversations, little laughter, and all dreams of tomorrow that never came.

In every lunar eclipse, they get to see each other’s shadow. But they couldn’t actually talk, or held hands, or tell any stories. They just get to feel stronger presence of each other during the lunar eclipse. In the rare solar eclipse, they can finally see each other only for a few seconds. Enough for her to see his gaze and know how much love he still kept, enough for him to hear the captivating music her smile never fail to play.

For Starla. May you know that you are always loved.


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