Happy Birthday


A man has been gone for years without any news, except a birthday note that usually came exactly on a woman’s birthday. But, sometimes, it missed by about a month. With the same way the note came, through a postcard, for once a year he managed to send a birthday note just to remind her how life has moved on. Wrinkles show on every inch of her face while the memories remind still to one heart only, to the immortal love, between them both.


Whenever she moved from one location to other, she always came back to wait for the same note, a happy birthday note from him. A note on a postcard with a different stamp each year. It showed her where he was when he sent it. Under the moon and the sunlight, that is where he lay. He’s still the same person. The man who can’t be put in one place for a long time. It’s his job that forced him to do so. It’s his job that not even allowed him to use his real name. Different background he answered to the questions from others.


He looked deep to her dark eyes and said, ”the only truth about me, is how I feel about you. I love you. Keep holding on to it and the rest just let it stay with me.”


Time flies. She’s introduced to new trends of technology, to the cellular phone, social media network, and Google, which can answer almost everything she desired, except about the man. No story, face, or even real name ever appeared on Google. He’s gone! Disappeared. Vanished. No technology could reach him.

It is always traditional way he came with the word “Happy Birthday,” tagged with heart, hug,and kiss…. CHRIS… a very common name that belongs to millions of million men in the world. He could be Christian, Christopher, or just Chris. Millions of faces appeared on Google Images, Facebook, and Twitter. She has no clue how to find him. All she has are memories and a piece of a photograph of her and him, nothing more. How is she supposed to find him?

Everything has changed. She married just to fulfill her human desire to deliver a baby just like her society wants her to. She has a husband to meet her biological needs. While her heart belongs only to the same person from years back. Their story only lasted a few days. The man promised that, for long as he lives, to send the note on the woman’s birthday, the same date when they first met. It’s the sacred date to remember that the love was completed with both the pain and pleasure that only came once in her life.


She waits on the veranda while holding a dozen postcards from him. Her neck is in pain because she keeps looking well past the fence, expecting the postman, who rarely loses his job because of the technology. She wants him to deliver the message when everyone else holds their smart phones. The thumb moves faster to send message than the postman’s old motorbike. Life has being spoiled by technology. Everything is easier, just like you start to forget the memories written on the old paper and your hand writing is getting worse. But not the one she loves, he still loyal to a postcard and a hand written “Happy Birthday” to her.


She drops her body on the rattan chair, her heart beating suddenly, then silent and numb. A gentle breeze whistled in her ears…”Happy Birthday, My Love.”


No more postcards to wait for.

Bandung, 12 February 2013.


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