Creative Writings Flash Fiction

Rosa Mystica

Shuvarnabumi Airport, Wednesday 27 September 2021, 19.47 Bangkok Time.
It was rainy outside. The lights outside were glowing, not bright, subdued by the heavy water directly fell from the dark sky. The airport deserted. Only few people were there. Pandemic had crushed the airline business to its core. I remembered two years ago when I visited this country, when the pandemic hadn’t ravaged the world, the Shuvarnabhumi was one of the busiest airport in the world. Bangkok was one of Asia’s travel hub, connecting the world with Asia’s cities.

I looked around, and my eyes stumbled upon a girl sitting in Starbuck cafe, her eyes glued to her cellphone, a plastic cup of coffee on the table. It’s already half-empty. Or, half full. That’s a matter of perspective. The distance between where I sat and Starbuck was not very far. Around 200 meter. I looked at my watch. 19.50 Bangkok time. I looked up, and to my surprise, the girl was now looking at me. I was taken aback. Never did I expect that she was also staring at me. Perhaps she also tried to find other fellow human beings in this deserted airport.

I was not sure whether I should nod and smile, or just looked away. I nodded. And smiled. She smiled back. The girl wore a denim jacket and trousers with a pair of black heels. Her hair was shiny black, which she ponytailed. I approached her.
“Is the seat taken?”
“ Please,” she drew her plastice cup nearer to her.
“Thank you,” I replied. “Waiting for someone?”
“Yes, he should arrive at any moment now.”
He. Male. So, perhaps she’s waiting for her boyfriend or her husband. Boyfriend, I guessed. She’s just in her early 30s, I estimated. Nobody in their right mind would marry in 30s. It’s too young. Marriage was something serious. It took a lot of considerations and thoughts to get married. 30 was too early.
“Your boyfriend?”
“No! I am waiting for my father. He promised me to see me in Bangkok. We haven’t met for almost ten years.”
“Oh, where is he from?”
“Jakarta, Indonesia.”
“The plane from Jakarta has landed several minutes ago. I am from Jakarta, too. He must’ve been here.”
“Yes, I know. That’s why I am here.”
“So, he will meet you here?”
“Yes, Dad. I’m your daughter. Don’t you recognize me?”
I was silent. I looked at her again. Closely. I saw her rosary necklace around her neck. A rosary necklace I specially made for her with Rosa Mystica inscription engraved on its crucifix pendant. Yes, she’s my daughter. My daughter who died ten years ago in a traffic accident in Bangkok on her way to college, just a week before her birthday on which I promised to see her. An eerie realization suddenly engulfed me. I heard a commotion nearby and saw four paramedics in a hurry pushed a cart with a man lying there. I overheard some airline crew members described what happened during the flight to the paramedics. “He’s got a heart attack on the plane, we have tried CPR, but….”
I looked at the girl. She smiled, “Come, Dad! I missed you so much!”
She took my hand, and we walked out of the Shuvarnabumi Airport into the heavy rain.

Author: Harris Hermansyah Setiajid 


Illustrator: Betsy Mariana Agoha

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