Sabtu, 06 Februari 2010

Bologna in the Arms of a Twilight

Short Story: R. Masri Sareb Putra
In 1997, I had to Bologna attending The Bologna Book Fair. I met with two beautiful Italian girls who sell coca cola in front of the hotel I was staying, Jolly Hotel. Remembers when it was, I wrote this short story.
BOLOGNA in the afternoon was wet after rain. Rain crystal glow. The glow of sunset swept. The wind blew gently shaking the leaves wet. Beads of water at the end of the olive leaves fall to the vulnerable.

A corner, not far from Piazza del Nettuno, in a garden full of flowers. Luciano sat thoughtfully.

This place still leaves a Renaissance building. Once upon a time a haven and meeting the maecenas (merchants). Very famous for Fontana di Nettuno lies fairly high.

Luciano's eyes focused on range rainbow hues that graced the western horizon. In April, as well as elsewhere in the Alps mountainous areas, the range during the day more than night. No wonder, at 21.00 the sun was reflecting the color of twilight.

From the files of that light, as if seeing Luciano beloved figure. And now the figure is present permeates the entire body and soul. Slowly pulled his wallet from his blue jeans pocket. There is still an image stored neatly. All were clear in color. He looked at photos Ruth Kumala Dewi, who was smiling, as if life and speak sweetly. He strokes the photo-rubbed gently.

He and Ruth had often walked Fontana di Nettuno at the heart of the city, after undergoing intensive courses. University of Bologna was very strict discipline. No wonder that this university has long existed. One in five of the world's oldest university, since the Roman empire professionally managed and implemented public lectures. Being forerunners studium generale.

After college, they usually stop first at a rental store novels of famous literary or find a slice of pizza is easily found along the road pedestarian. A novel by Umberto Eco, Il Nome Della Rosa, who became famous after translated into English, The Name of The Rose, they read out together.

After that, they were chatting freely, looking at the roses. Rosa in the Latin language, the flowers of love, who was then flourish. Sheen setting sun that fell struck the flowers.

Luciano now teaches at his alma mater. From campus, Luciano to walk to where they once used to mingle. Journey that makes it feel fresh.

Bologna is a city that is cool and beautiful. The streets look tidy. Buildings European-style with quaint architecture. Flowers in each corner of the city. But more than that, there was an enchanting beauty of Luciano. The beauty is more beautiful than Bologna. The beauty of a woman east: Ruth Kumala Dewi.

Although different departments, where Luciano taking Modern Philosophy while Ruth took Creative Writing, the two often met at the student activities organization. Ruth Kumala beautiful girl, smart and agile. Also a radical thought. Great girl, who was always fascinated Luciano every time speech.

Often two different human races are involved in fundraising for social activities. Had also involved a protest at government policies that pro-war and anti-abortion protests. They often meet, discuss, arguing, fighting and eventually fell in love: a feeling of walking slowly and eventually became so deep.

Finished her studies, Ruth returned to his country, Indonesia. She later joined the opposition party in the country. There became one of the enterprising activists voiced anti-democratization in the country.

While Luciano remained in the country, continue to take the doctoral program of study at the University of Bologna. Luciano now became one of the teachers there and write a dissertation about the middle of Machiavelli's theory and practice in Indonesia.
Since the last meeting, they never met again.

LUCIANO had never received the news of Ruth. The news that he got more about the political urgency in Indonesia. He often saw large-scale demonstrations in Indonesia through international television networks.

Finally, he heard Ruth subject gallant and could not go abroad. The news was vague. The only other news from Ruth who had Luciano received the last year via email notifying them that Ruth was in the pressure and hard contact with the outside world. He said that need help. What kind of assistance, Luciano did not know. But at least he was grateful that Ruth is still alive. That means he still has hope.

"You know Luciano, I have to go. If you had to choose I want to stay with you. Want to continue to caress your face. Want to straighten your clothes, want to keep reading verses with Umberto Eco, "Luciano," said Ruth on one morning before returning to his country. "But my country is critical. There the people grew poorer. This current government dictatorial and corrupt. My people suffer, Luciano. I have to help them. Maybe I can not do too much for my people, but I will not stand if I keep listening to my people here each day with a sad death, "Ruth's eyes.

Ruth's hand stroked his cheek Luciano. Touch of tapering fingers felt peaceful. He whispered softly, again warm.

"I love you, Luciano. However, I also love my parents and my country. We do the task and call each one. I hope we can meet again someday. "That's the last word on Luciano Ruth. Luciano still dazed. Not saying a word.

Until now still waiting for a meeting Luciano as ever. Once, in a week, he took time to come to the flower garden corner of Bologna simply entertain themselves. Or to recall memories of the past. When Ruth was still with him. Perhaps this hope vain and naive. However, he continued to try. He did not give hope. Hopefully the wait ended reality.

Luciano continued to search for information development in Indonesia. Latest news he can from the international news network is that the Indonesian situation is getting worse.

People are sick of the New Order regime growing impatient. Some time ago, troops opened fire on student demonstrations. They arrest the opposition. Including one of the women activists were arrested.

"Could Ruth?" Luciano really felt scared that happened. Soon he was wasting shadow. Ruth could have been kidnapped. Then killed.

Ruth was kidnapped? Then do not come back again? This is the most feared.
Luciano also heard the news that a massive demonstration in Jakarta not able to topple the authoritarian regime.

"Could Ruth be free?" Luciano muttered to himself.
He tried to contact the Department of Foreign Affairs. But it still did not hear anything about Ruth. Luciano did not want anything happened to her lover. It was truly desperate.

"Is Ruth's dead?"

"No! No! Ruth can not die, "Luciano entertain themselves. "She has promised to meet me. Ruth had never lied. And she'll survive. "Luciano head feels heavy. He staggered.

This is the fifth year since the last meeting with Ruth. Luciano still often go to the flower garden. That afternoon, Luciano deliberately add new footprints there. Traced back to the way memories with Ruth. He wanted to calm down. Cool heads and minds after class.

Last night, via yahoo. Luciano received an email from Ruth.

Luciano Tardelli My dear,
We've both read Il Nome Della Rosa, Umberto Eco's work is beautiful. We know, a character in the novel is unique. One of life behind the walls of the monastery. The other outside. But, can merge because of love.
I feel very strange day. I felt so like a character in the novel. You're so Adso and I girl. Benedictin monastery walls are sturdy and tall. However, it did not prevent two people having love. Although divided by profession and life choices.
Yes, love is more powerful than anything. In fact, sometimes stronger than death. We'll be in love.
I'm sorry I still can not keep my promises to meet you.
Best wishes,
Ruth Kumala Dewi

BOLOGNA in the afternoon was wet after rain. Sheen afternoon bias swept by late afternoon sun. Breezy breeze. Gently shake the leaves wet. Beads of water at the end of the olive leaves fall to the vulnerable. Entire whole rose petals around the Piazza del Nettuno.

Far in the corner of a city park bench, Luciano sat thoughtfully. He looked at photographs indistinct Ruth Jade. As if smiling. As if to say something to him. He caressed the picture lovingly.

Luciano in the afternoon watchs CNN. Demo back occurred in the heart of Jakarta. This time at Semanggi. Rows of students joined the anti opponent. The situation was a mess.
"Der, bam, bam der der!"

Security officers have been reasonable. They drive out and silence the demonstrators with a shotgun.

One bullet hit the rifle is Ruth Kumala Dewi.

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