BPPM Equilibrium

Broken Pieces

By Virginia Monic
Illustration by Aisyah Zakkiyah

Dedicated to the one who loves my broken pieces, thank you.

Storming out of my house, I scavenge the darkness of the district. The very core of my being is as frustrated as it is allowed to be, my body practically shaking with anger and sadness. Thousands of thoughts and reasons encircled my head as an effort to grasp into this situation, but it proved futile. “Why, why, why, what did I do wrong? What have I done to deserve this?” I contemplate in frustration. Not long after, nausea got a hold of me. The world spins as my heart clenches. “I need to breathe” I thought to myself. I found a bench next to the side street and settled, catching my breath and collecting my thoughts at the same time, trying to stop hyperventilating. 

“What’s wrong, young one?”

My eyes crack open due to the calm but firm tone. Whirling my head to the left, I saw a middle-aged man smoking a cigar sitting on the bench next to me. I must have not noticed due to the surge of emotions. I sat in silence for a few moments, eyes cast down to the pavement as I was not willing to engage in a conversation at the moment. “Ladies problem, eh?” he asked yet again. Unconsciously, I tilted my head up. The man’s eyes are glinting as they meet mine, looking like they have probed deep into me. The silence prolonged for a few seconds. I was debating internally until I decided to respond with a slow, small nod. He beams with satisfaction. “You know, I once had a lady problem of my own. Back in the days, I was an infamous heartbreaker. But, that is before I met my wife,” the man starts his tale, puffing up smoke as he does. “Yeah? What about her?” I replied, deciding to humor his story to escape my thoughts.

“Oh son, she was a nightmare. Not the prettiest, nor the sharpest. Man, she was even the biggest bully in our neighborhood. She probably kicked me in the gut more times than these fingers can count.” I mentally laughed at his description, my expectations of a sweet lady who bakes cookies for every child in the district destroyed. “But when you get to know her, her warmth exceeds the ray of the sun, her sweetness unparalleled to even the sweetest candies, her patience never running out and her kindness flows like the river. She is a work of art, a man’s every wish come true,” the man continued, his eyes crinkled with fondness. “When we first got together, we fought every single day. Dishes would get thrown, clothes ripped and screams filled the house. Nevertheless, not once has she thought of giving up on us. After the fight, I would clean the broken dishes while she sews the ripped clothing. The cycle continued on until one day, we learned to stop fighting.” the man chuckled to himself.

I raised my eyebrows in bewilderment. Sewing ripped clothes? Cleaning up broken dishes? This man must not have been in the right mind when deciding to marry his wife.

“So, where is she right now, man? The lady of your dreams letting you smoke here alone?” I remarked. Ever so slightly, a shadow marked his complexion. Slowly, he lifts his cigar to the building in front of us. “Inside,” he uttered, pointing at…

The hospital.

“Residing with stage three breast cancer and still battling,” he declares somewhat proudly. I, on the other hand, was too shocked to respond. His eyes were shining when he talked about his wife. He seems like he was telling a happily-ever-after fairytale. My mouth tries to form a few words of condolences but they never come out. My brain can’t comprehend the few words he just said.

“Shocking, eh?” the man speaks, preceding me. “I have no words. I hope your wife will do well. I’m rooting for her,” I stuttered, managing to get a few words out. “Thanks kid, means a lot,” the man chuckled bitterly. Silence filled the air. This time, it was me who decided to break it. “How could you do it?” I whispered. The man tilted his head to face me. “How can you not give up? How can your eyes still shine while remembering her? Doesn’t it bring hard memories? It must hurt to see her break, I know it does,” I state, my voice slightly breaking with emotion.

The man sighed and leaned back, inhaling one last smoke before he replied. “Son, once you are deep in love, giving up is never an option.” Intrigued, I urge him to continue. “Love knows no sickness, no boundaries, no nothing. None of that matters. Storms may come, battles must be fought, and we’ll both get hurt. Still, at the end of the day, love gives you the strength to keep going, and the courage to not give up,” he continued.

“So, the question is, do you love this lady enough to accept her and all that comes with her?” I pondered the very question. Is there any way I could accept her? Her flaws, her broken pieces, her everything? My mouth starts to form the word no, but every fiber in my body screams yes.

Next thing I know, I was running as fast as my feet could carry me. The destination was clear : her. Two miles later, I barged into her house, finding her weeping quietly by her window. Her obsidian eyes turn to look at me. “What are you doing? I thought you had given up on me,” she said, tears streaming down her eyes. “No, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that,” I replied, embracing her. “Don’t do this. I can’t give you anything. I’m broken, I’m in pieces. You can’t fix me,” she sobbed. “I’m not going to fix you. I’m just going to love you, even to the tiniest of your broken pieces.”

Terkadang kita terlalu banyak menuntut hingga kita lupa mengasihi. Terima kasih untuk kalian yang terus tidak berhenti percaya akan kasih.

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