That day, the members of Catholic Teenager Organizanition—Perkumpulan Remaja Katolik (Perekat), prepared to go to street children’s place in Bantagebang. Lisa, one of the member of this organization was very enthusiastic to visit street children. She joined the organization with a grateful heart.
Almost of Lisa’s times were used for charity show, which organized by Perekat. She seldom stayed at home until 6 p.m and then she went to sleep. She couldn’t take anymore to still stay at home…
“You’re a greedy man!! You get drunk every night!!” shouted her mother.
“What did you say?! If I’m a greedy man, you’re a bitch” shouted her father. After that, Lisa heard… PLAKK!! Lisa knew that sound came from her father. She knew her father slapped her mother’s cheek…
The street children welcome so kind. Perekat could join with them quickly. They introduced themselves and showed many games to play together. After that, the street children appeared Sajojo Dance.
“Can you teach me The Sajojo Dance?” asked a little girl, who was ten years old.
“Of course I will teach you. What’s your name?” shouted Lisa.
“My name is Rini. I always remember you because you are beautiful.”
“Oh, I see… Thanks for compliment. Alright follow me, two steps to left and then two steps to right…” Lisa practiced Sajojo Dance to Rini. Meanwhile Rini practiced to dance, there were many boys who follow their movement. They weren’t neat and seemed to be a group of naughty boys. Lisa was smiling when she saw the boys.
“Hello! Nice to meet you. My name is Maman. Your name is Lisa, isn’t right? May I join this Sajojo Dance?” asked Maman.
“Yes, you may. By tehe way, may I know your friends?” asked Lisa.
“Oh yes! Let me introduce my friends. This is Malik who has long hair and this is Heru who has white skin,” said Mama. “Lik, Her, this is Lisa.”
“Nice to meet you, Malik and Heru,” said Lisa.
During that time, Lisa got closer to closer with Maman, Malik, Heru, and Rini. Lisa felt so close to talk with Maman and he also seemed the same thing. Maman was a humorist boy. Rini also felt happy near to Lisa, she wanted to be Lisa’s little sister. Lisa followed them to be a singing beggar. They sang the songs together from one to another bus and at traffic light. They admitted if their profit was bigger when Lisa participated as a singing beggar.
Lisa was impressed with their place. Most of that house made of wood and junk roofing. Their home had name ‘Sanggar Akar’. Sanggar Akar had seventy five members. The members’ age varies five years old until eighteen years old. Lisa thought that the street children were very creative and always happy anywhere and anytime. They made many handcrafts and accessories for sold. They also sold many foods and drinks. There were street singer and junk collector. They had practiced to have an initiative for their life before they had released from Sanggar Akar.
Once, Lisa visited Sanggar Akar, she often helped them to do their mathematics’ homework.Unfortunately, when it was almost 3.00 p.m, the children cam back to work. At half past 4.00 p.m, Maman, Malik, and Heru had finished their works. Lisa talked eith them until about six ‘o clock p.m.
“You often visit us. Aren’t you afraid if your mother was angry with you?” asked Maman. Lisa was sullen when she heard Maman’s question.
“My mom will never care about me. I’m home or I’m not home, it’s not different for my parents,” said Lisa.
“Hei, why did you say like that? Maybe your parents were busy, it didn’t mean they forgot you” said Heru.
“I came from a broken home family. I hate them,” said Lisa.
“Do you ever Thank God because you have them? Please imagine if you like me who don’t have parents? Or Heru who was separated with his parents since he eight years old. Or Malik who was thrown by his family? You must Thank God! We always Thank God every time, everywhere, and for every condition,” Maman advised Lisa.
“Ok… Don’t be sad, Lisa! How about we sing a song? Choose one song, please!” said Malik.
They could make Lisa very happy. Lisa wanted to live with them and leave her parents. She began to love it in Sanggar Akar after a month. In this evening, Lisa actually didn’t go home but she couldn’t do it, she might go home.
“My I accompany you to your house, Lisa? Your house is in Harapan Baru, isn’t it?” asked Maman.
“Er, you don’t have to do that. Don’t accompany me; I can go home by myself,” said Lisa. Lisa felt clumsy if Maman pay for the expense because Maman didn’t have much money.
“Hem, I know you thought that I pay the expense. I want to invite you to walk to your house. Yeah, if you want to walk with me…” said Maman. Lisa was surprised Maman knew what it was in her mind.
“I really like to do it. I want to drop in the square in the middle in the city! Lisa was smiling to Maman.
“Ok…!! I accompany you. But by the way, the distance from here to your house is not near,” said Maman. And then they walked from Bantargebang to Bekasi. Lisa loved to hear Maman’s jokes, he is a good jokester. Maman told her about his childhood when his parents when his parents were still alive. He was entrustes by orphanage, but when he was ten years old, he ran away from orphanage because he wasn’t sttod to live the orphanage. Maman lived as a homeless drifter during a month until he met Uwak Karyo, who managed Sanggar Akar.
“I symbolized myself as a grain of sand on the beach. Actually I want to symbolized myself as a star, but I don’t resemble to be a star,” suddenly Maman said that words.
“Why do you think yourself can’t be a star? Stars is beautiful, your personality is kind… Then what’s the meaning of grain of sand?” asked Lisa.
“What is my kind personality? Sands are on the beach. It adrift and buffeted by water ripples in the sea… The sand is like me who has uncertain life. I’m as sand who will never be a star in the sky. I want accompany the moon but until now I don’t find the moon yet… I looked like a poet, eh? Do you know that I want to be a contractor? But I can’t reach it,” said Maman in a deep voice.
“I believe that you can do it. Don’t be pessimistic like this. Everything can be reached if you have intention. If you think you can, you can!” advised Lisa.
“You’re so optimistic! Thaks a lot. From you, I can learn to still alive to reach my dreams,” said Maman.
Then they arrived to Lisa’s house about nine o’clock p.m. Maman immediately went home after he said, “Do you want to be my best friend?” to Lisa. She just smile at him, it was meaning ‘yes’. And then she entered to her house. Like usual, her house was empty… But, Lisa didn’t care about her parents anymore.
* * *
The street children were going to arrange a drama theatre musical which had a title ‘The Song of Canned Music’. The story told us about street children’s life. They used rummage as their property to arrange the drama. Their music was good although they just used gallon, old drums, old guitar, old cymbal both of things were taken from trash. Maman, Heru, and Malik played the ornament of music. The show was held at Ismail Marzuki Park, North Jakarta. There were many spectators who wanted to watch their show.
After the show finished, Maman invited Lisa to go with him to the square. Lisa was very happy; Maman was like her brother for her.
“By the way, I like to ask you… Do you enjoy our friendship?” asked Maman. “Do you know that I have found the moon?” Lisa didn’t understand what Maman was talking about. Oh… She remembered that Maman was looking for her moon.
“I think the moon which I really wait is you.” Lisa just didn’t say anything because she was confused. The moon was someone with whom Maman would love forever. Why he said the moon is me?
“Lisa, I really need you, I want to closer to you than before. Do you want to make a longer relationship with me?”
“What…? Oh, no Maman, I can’t…”
“Why? I loved you; I will do everything just for you…”
“Do you realize that we’re different? I just want you to be my friend.”
“Oh… It means in your opinion that we are different. Yeah, now I see I’m not like you; who lived in the big house. I’m just a poor person, a loser. I’m sorry, I did not think before I asked this to you… I will never meet you again because we are different, like you said.” Suddenly Maman lelf Lisa alone.
“Maman…! Maman…!” called Lisa, but he didn’t go back to Lisa. He misunderstood with her. Lisa liked to say that Maman was like her brother, they were different because herself was childish and Maman was mature. She loved Maman as brother. Am I really the moon for Maman?
Two days after Maman left her, she went to Sanggar Akar to meet Maman. But it was surprised that Maman was gone from Sanggar Akar.
“Maman gave you a letter. May this letter can answer why he ran away from you…” said Malik.
Dear someone who always cares me…
I’m just a grain of sand on the beach which only sees the moon in the sky forever.
I’ll just adrift and buffeted by water ripple in the sea.
I’ll never be the one of the stars on the sky which can accompany the moon…
Do you know if you are the moon that I’ve search for long time?
I always dream about you, imagine you. And finally you came and touched my heart.
I’m luckily man because I have you.
I recognize that I’m not for you; I’m too bad to you, and we are different.
So, I have to leave you. I’m sorry if I hurt you…
But, I don’t wanna leave you forever.
You tough me not to give up reaching my dreams.
And now I try to be someone that you want to see.
I go to somewhere to be a star, so I can accompany the moon.
I promise I will come back again to you.
Wait for me, Girl…
Lisa smiled after she read this letter. She thought that Maman was not too bad. If Maman came again, she would never hurt him anymore. She learned to love him just like the way himself. She would be waiting for him…
This was finished on April 2005 as a reminder for a narrative writing competition in Widya Mandala University Surabaya on May 5th 2005 with my partner Angelina Septin. Also for all of the group who participated to this competition: Bagus, Prima, Petra, Vani, Tia, and Ms. Eka and Mas Adrian (our lovely teachers); I wanna say thanks.
The tale was dedicated to Uwak Karyo the leader of Sanggar Akar and also its members.
Especially for Perekat: Dwi, Epil, Vero, Manto, Eka, Eman, Ria, Denis, Fuji, Samuel, and more. I was proud to have friends like them. We have made many big things to our organization, to church, and to ourselves.