Creative Writings Flash Fiction

Graduation Day

I saw her today on graduation day, with her family, but I was okay. Because I saw the way she looked at them. A smile on her face, one that I’ve never seen before. Though I could only watch her from afar, I can see her talking with the people who made her happy.

For a moment, my memory of being with her on the night before graduation day suddenly popped up. It was after the graduation rehearsal had finished. We were walking side by side to the campus’ parking lot as best friends, hoping that I could drive her to her boarding house on time. Among the dim yellow street lights and neatly arranged rows of cars, I turned my gaze to her. She looked tired.

“Is everything okay?” I asked her.

She didn’t answer, remaining silent for a while as she usually does. Her face looked gloomy. A few seconds passed by, she stopped walking as if there was a burden that made her stop. “There is something that I need to tell you, George.” She warmly looked into my eyes.

“What is it, Emily?” I replied. 

“This may sound sudden for you, but I think you should know this earlier,” she said with a soft voice. “By the time the graduation ends, I will have to go back to Jakarta for a long time.”

There was an awkward silence that passed between us. 

I tried to stay calm and asked, “Until when?” 

She smiled at me. “I honestly don’t know.” 

The air felt heavier than before, and I knew that she was telling the truth. “If you have anything that you want to say to me, just say it. Because I know that you and I won’t be the same person anymore, like many other good friends,” she said. 

“How about you say it first?” I slowly approached her, leaning my back against the back of my car. “It would be nice for me to be a listener for my busy best friend.” 

She laughed a little, freeing up a small burden inside her, which made her face look a little bit happier. “I’ve done it before, George, many times,” she replied. “It’s nice to have a friend like you. Whenever I have something to be said, to be let out, you always make time for me and ask if I’m okay or not. Like you just did.”  

“Well, I guess you won’t find someone like me again.” 

“Yup, you can say that.” She took a deep breath, tightly holding my shoulder. “It’s you, George. It’s always been you.” 

The clouds began to clear and the moon is shining through. The wind was starting to feel cold. I looked up to the night sky, along with my words flowing, “I still don’t believe that this is our last night before we become adults. All we wanted to do was to grow up. But now, all we want is to be the little kids looking at the moon without a thing to worry about.” 

She followed my gaze to the night sky. “At least we can still see it the same way,” she said with a faint smile. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” 

I slowly looked at her in wonder. “Yes, the moon is beautiful.” 

One second passed. We stood side by side in silence. 

“Have you ever met someone who is like the moon?” she asked, randomly.

“Yes, I have,” I answered her. “She’s quite close to me. She’s beautiful both inside and outside, but I’ve never had the guts to say that to her.” 

Emily didn’t say a thing, being a good listener as she is.

I continued my words, “As time went by, we become closer and closer. There was this one moment, when we were talking in a food stall until midnight, but neither of us thought that time would go so fast. And when we decided to leave, we waved at each other. I got in the car, watching her fade away slowly. Then, I felt something was missing.” 

“Just like that?” she asked. 

“Yup, just like that,” I said, looking at her, warmly. “Because sometimes when you meet someone for the first time, you hardly pay any attention to them. You may not even really be attracted to this person, but as soon as you get to know them, you notice yourself slowly falling for them. This person that was once average to you, has quickly become the most beautiful person in the world and perhaps the most important. It’s funny. You never saw that coming, and that’s love for me.”

She thought about that for a while and asked, “Will she come tomorrow at the graduation?” 

I nodded. “And I’ll be there when she graduates, cheering the loudest.” 

She replied with a genuine smile, making the night even longer. 

My thoughts were interrupted when I heard her name being called. She walked up to the podium, doing the graduation tradition. As she faced the audience, I stood up. Cheering her as loud as I could even though she still didn’t realize it. Then, she got off the podium and walked to her seat. For a split second, she smiled again. Maybe not at me, but she’s still smiling. As long as she’s happy, I’ll be okay.


Journalist: Vincentius Rhesa

Editor: Cynthia Olga Handoko, Cherry Larissa Hendranata (QC)

Illustrator: Ajeng Suci Hati

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