“When do you miss her the most?” he asked.
I looked away wondering how to give an answer to that. An answer that wouldn’t make me sad. An answer that wouldn’t make me realize, if I haven’t realized it already that I miss her. Outside, dust had settled down with the downpour of the afternoon. The sun was subtly setting, the hint of orange was slowly spreading in the cloud. It still felt like February although it was almost April. It still pinched my heart when I thought of her although it was almost a year since she was gone.
I tried to articulate an answer. But there was a lump in my throat and I had to fight the tears trying to roll out of my eyes. I took a deep breath and cleared my throat before opening my mouth and closing again. I didn’t dare to look at him.
“When I…” I said, trying to find my voice, raising it louder with each word. “… when I come back home and there’s no one asking me what happened to me that day. When I cannot sleep because my feet are ice-cold and freezing. When I am on my laptop on a Saturday afternoon, and no one calls me for a nap. When no one remembers that I hate kerau, any kind of peas and when people complain that I am still wearing four layers of clothes because I am that kind of person who always carries an extra layer because I feel cold easily. When I don’t know who to call first to say I will be late which I don’t want to at times because I will have to explain ‘why’. But I would have come back home to tell her everything anyway.”
I sighed, realizing I still didn’t have the confidence to look at his face. But the silence was deafening. I could sense that he was still waiting for me to say something more, so I asked, slowly looking at his face, “What about you? When do you miss her the most?”
And now it was his turn to look away.