The Voyager takes a break as the sun sets at the horizon. He’s spent all these three days bailing water out of his leaky boat. His arms aches, his stomach cries, and his head’s a bit dizzy. His body wet, either by sea water or his own sweat; or both; both smelt salty and taste almost the same.
He looks at the sea water that keeps rushing in through a hole in his small boat. It seems that all his effort was useless, he thinks. He throws the bucket, sighed deeply; and surrendered. He is now waiting as the water swallows his boat slowly but surely.
The scenery is stunning though. The sky was painted gold and clear. The ocean casts the sinking sun to compose something divinely breathtaking. The wind breezes gently through his hair. It’s as if the mother nature herself is trying to ease the heavy heart of the Voyager.
Too bad, he has learnt that all this beauty can turn to be violent in minutes. This great ocean that is swallowing the twilight sun is the same ocean that will swallow his long light boat, along with his puny little soul. He lies his back for a while and sees at least four seagulls flying above him gracefully. Beautiful indeed, he thinks, but he also knows that this very seagulls will be the first to enjoy the human flesh he left behind.
He tries to close his eyes to embrace the end, but his heart keeps buzzing him. Somehow, there’s a tiny voice in his head that refuses to give up. “die trying!”, it said. His mind’s collecting reminiscence of his mother back at home, telling him that words over and over again when she taught him to swim, and overcome any fears restraining him. That sudden memory gives him a burst of encouragement.
So he opens his eyes, kisses his boat goodbye, and get in the water.
Holy God, the Voyager hasn’t swim a meter and a cruise ship suddenly appears in front of him blocking his way. He was stunned. He must’ve closed his eyes for too long to unnotice this huge ship coming, he thinks.
The Voyager is about to scream for help when a child sees him from the deck fence and calling his mother. “Mom! Mom! Look! Someone is on the water!”, he said. The mother takes a small glance out of curiosity but then surprised that her son is really seeing somebody on the water with a sinking boat. She hastily runs to her husband, calling him “Honey! Honey! Someone is on the water!”
The husband turns out to be the Captain of the ship. Even after the surprising news from his wife, he still has time to calmly put his captain uniform first and walk in laze to see the poor soul on the water. The Voyager looks at the captain and recognizes a familiar face, but somehow he can’t remember. The Captain, however, looks at the Voyager only with a smile.
“Honey, do something!”, says the wife impatiently.
“I will, darling.”, the Captain composedly answers as if seeing a boy on the water in the middle of an ocean is just another routine.
The Captain walks over the deck to get a big bucket and then throws it to the voyager, “Fix your boat, son!”, the Captain shouted, “You’re gonna make it!“. He also throws some woods and boat repair kit. But his huge ship doesn’t slow its pace and only passes by in front of the Voyager. Later, he also throws some biscuits and fishing kit, as the ship moves away from the Voyager.
The Voyager is speechless, not because of the bizarre moment he is facing, but because his mind is now collecting reminiscence of his father back at home. Countless time the Voyager expected to be saved from danger by his father in his youth, but instead the father always stood by and expected him to save himself. The Captain just did what his father always did to him. He is taken aback for a moment.
The dark falls; uncovering the brightest stars first before another. Above the huge ship that is turning small in distance, there’s the Orion belt; the stars of the hunters; the stars of the farmers; the stars he has to follow.
So the Voyager screamed as loud as possible to the cruise ship. “Sir, Thank you, Sir!”
On the ship, the wife is crying to her husband in the Captain’s room. The Captain tries to soothe his wife with a warm hugs.
“You should’ve saved him! He’s just a boy and he’s helpless.”, says the wife.
“He’s a voyager, darl. He’s making his own journey.”, says the Captain as he tries to appease his wife with a gentle caress on her back.
“You don’t have to be that harsh.”, the wife sobs.
“I have to.”, the Captain answers shortly.
“because…”, the Captain takes a deep breath, “because that boy is me.”
Fajrin Yusuf M.
Garut, 3 Oktober 2017
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