The Voyager took a break as the sun sets on the horizon. He’s spent all three days bailing water out of his leaky boat. His arms ache, his stomach cried, and his head was a bit dizzy. His body was cold and wet, either by sea water or his own sweat; or both; both smelt salty and tasted almost the same.
He looked at the sea water that keeps rushing in through a hole in his small boat. It seemed that all his effort was useless. He threw the bucket, sighed deeply; and surrendered. He was then waiting as the water swallows his boat slowly but surely.
The scenery was stunning though. The sky was painted gold and clear. The ocean casted the sinking sun to compose something divinely breathtaking. The wind breezed gently through his hair. It’s as if the mother nature herself was trying to ease the heavy heart of the Voyager.
Too bad, he has learnt that all those beauty can turn to be violent in mere minutes. The great ocean that is swallowing the twilight sun is the same ocean that would swallow his long light boat, along with his puny little soul. He lied on his back for a while and saw at least four seagulls flying above him gracefully. Beautiful indeed, he thought, but he also knew that these very seagulls would be the first to enjoy the human flesh he left behind.
He tried to close his eyes to embrace the end, but his heart kept buzzing in him. Somehow, there was a tiny voice in his head that refused to give up. “die trying!”, it said. His mind was collecting reminiscences of his mother back at home, telling him those words over and over again when she taught him to swim, and overcome any fears restraining him. That sudden memory gave him a burst of encouragement.
So he opened his eyes, kissed his boat goodbye, and got in the water.
Holy God, the Voyager hasn’t swam a meter and a cruise ship suddenly appeared in front of him blocking his way. He was stunned. He must’ve closed his eyes for too long to unnotice the huge ship coming, he thought.
The Voyager was about to scream for help when a child saw him from the deck fence and called his mother. “Mom! Mom! Look! Someone is on the water!”, he said. The mother took a small glance out of curiosity but then surprised that her son was really seeing somebody on the water with a sinking boat. She hastily ran to her husband, calling him “Honey! Honey! Someone is on the water!”
The husband turns out to be the Captain of the ship. But even after the surprising news from his wife, he still took his time to calmly put his captain uniform first and walked in laze to see the poor soul on the water. The Voyager looked at the captain and recognized a familiar face, but somehow he couldn’t remember if he ever met him. The Captain, however, looked at the Voyager only with a smile.
“Honey, do something!” said the wife impatiently.
“I will, darling,” the Captain composedly answered as if seeing a boy on the water in the middle of an ocean was just another routine.
The Captain walked over the deck to get a big bucket and then threw it to the voyager, “Fix your boat, son!” the Captain shouted, “You’re gonna make it!“. He also threw some woods and boat repair kit on a lifebuoy. But his huge ship didn’t slow down and only passed by in front of the Voyager. Later, the Captain also threw some biscuits and fishing kit, as the ship moved away from the Voyager.
The Voyager was speechless, not because of the bizarre moment he was facing, but because his mind was then collecting reminiscences 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 was taken aback for a moment.
The dark has fallen; uncovering the brightest stars, one after another. Above the huge ship that was turning small in distance, there was 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 was crying to her husband in the Captain’s room. The Captain tried to soothe his wife with a warm hugs.
“You should’ve saved him! He’s just a boy and he’s helpless,” said the wife.
“He’s a voyager, darl. He’s making his own journey,” said the Captain as he tried 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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