I Can Tell by Your Eyes
by Noor Widiastuti
A man wearing hat was running through the crowded in the railway station. He brought a backpack in his back. His T- shirt was wet of his sweat. It seemed his panting breath that he had just been running in a hurry. He turned to the left and to the right. His eyes looked at the railway wagons in front of him. He looked at his wristwatch. The watch showed 16.14. Something he had been waiting for finally came. The railway coach door was opened. He immediately ran to catch it like he was the only one in the world who needed the railway coach. Entering the train, he chose a seat he thought it was good. He decided to take a seat nearby the window. Besides he could feel the open air, at least he would not be annoyed by people passing by.
It seemed many merchants passed by. They sold various stuff. There were people selling fruit in plastic bag, rice packed in paper, iced tea, cigarettes, candies, peanuts. There were people such walking stationary. The merchant brought some books, pencils, ballpoints and even hairpins. There were people selling some daily needs like seasonings, matches. They usually offered their products to the train passenger. Such things were common phenomena in an economy-class train.
The man wearing hat seemed wrought up. He turned his head outside the window at once. He drove into his own daydream. Somebody touched his hand.
“Hey sir? Would you buy my newspaper? Just one … sir.”
The man arose from his daydreaming and turned to the boy, “What?” he said. He looked at the boy wearing worn t- shirt.
“Buy my newspaper, please... only two thousands rupiahs..” said the boy while shaking the man’s shoulder.
“Does it look like I need that?” said the man perfunctorily.
“At least you look like have two thousands rupiahs, I think.” The boy pointed the two-thousand-rupiah laid nearby the man’s shoes. The boy took it and gave it to the man,” here you are. Just kidding, sir. I didn’t mean to do that.” The boy smiled.
“Oh… never mind.” The man said while fixing his hat.
“Wow, your watch… sir! I like it so much. I always watch it when I open these newspapers. Yeah, Swiss Army is symbol of elegance, art and gentleman…also money ha ha ha. Don’t you think, sir?”
“Hey, how could you say that?” the man slanted his eyes.
“Just calm down, Mr. Gentleman. I noticed you’ve been restless looking at your watch and the window.”
“You’re just a school age kid, right? I wonder how you know those sort things. You’re such walking Wikipedia, hahaha.”
“I can tell you by your eyes that you probably still have anxiousness in your heart even you are laughing.” He winked his eyes. “Oh, sir. Will you just let me standing just like this while we have so much talk? My legs feel so stiff. May I sit down beside you?”
“Sure, little boy. What’s your name anyway?”
“Thank you, sir. It was the first time I found a rich man who is kind to a poor boy like me.”
“How do you think like that? How do you think that I’m… let’s say, have much money?”
“Everybody must know, sir. You are what you wear. In fact, that’s what makes me wonder most, hahahah.”
“How?” the man said curiously.
“You’re wearing DKNY hat, Swiss Army, Polo shirt but you’re now sitting in this poor train. I think you take the wrong train….or there’s something different.”
“Now you’re a detective. Hey, kid. Excuse me, but I really wonder how you know everything and judge me like that,” said the man while staring at the boy’s face.
“Okay, I know our talk is too far. I know I’m stranger for you, sir. But now I want to have a talk. You’re interesting. By the way, FYI, just you can see, I’m an errand boy. It will be embarrassing if I don’t know what I bring here and there every day.”
“Hmmm…so you’re reading. No wonder if you’re talking like a ten-year-older boy.” The man surprised.
“Now let’s talk about your ‘wrong train’. It must be interesting. Hmm are you a bad guy trying to escape? Why you decide to go by a train, poor train, I mean. Commonly people escape by a plane. It’s much faster.” The boy got his face closer to the man.
“Hey! Don’t say that loudly. Ok I’m a rich man and nothing strange about me. I just want to know how sitting in a train feels. No more reasons.”
“But you look so restless, nervous, something like that… I can tell by your eyes.”
“How dare you say that, little boy? I was busy with my daydreaming then you came. Now you become a little detective and interrogate me. You judge me by my branded outfit and stuff. Don’t you think I’m disturbed with it?”
“I just want to talk to you… I’m afraid something ‘bad’ I can see by your eyes.”
“Okay, you can go home now! Just talk to your father. Leave me alone! Don’t say to me ‘I can tell by your eyes again. You don’t know anything about me,” the man shouted.
The little boy moved back slowly. He, who used to sit next to the man closely, now started to stand up. He fixed his newspapers, folding it into tidy one.
“Excuse me, sir. I never have a talk with my dad. He died. And you know what? I’ll never bother you again.” His face turned red. It seemed that a drop of tear almost wetted his corner eyes. He stepped away from the man. He walked fast to emptier space. He tried to find a window. He finally found it. He moved his head out the window. He felt the wind blow his hair and caressed his face. Out of the window was a wide turf. It was so green. He could see the grass was woven by the wind blow. His sharp sight starred at the far distance.
In his seat, the man felt regret. He chased the boy. He ran, passed through seat by seat in the train. At the corner of the railway wagon he got the boy closing his eyes and felt the wind. The man could see that tears fell down to his cheek. He felt sorry for the boy. He started to hold the boy’s shoulder.
“Uhm, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do that. I just….”
“Don’t worry, sir. I know who I am. You don’t have to ask for my apology. You’d better go back to your seat. I don’t need to be cheered up. I used to chasing my sorrow all by myself,” the boy turned his face but not fully faced the man.
“I want you to know that you’re right about my eyes. There’s something wrong. You can guess what’s on my mind. I’m restless.”
“Are you sure?” He stared at the man.
“I’m a bad guy, the one who carries away other people’s money.”
“A thief? A mafia?”
“More than it, I stole your money too.”
“How come, sir? I don’t have any money anyway.”
“Undirectly, it’s true because I’m a corruptor. That’s why I decided this train. I want to escape. I just don’t know what I do…”.
The boy suddenly cut the man’s words, ”Whatever your reason I don’t want to know about it. All I want to tell you is just when you do something, think the impact toward others. Don’t think about yourself.”
The man nodded, “What should I do then?”
The boy pointed at the sky, and the man followed it.
“Look at the sky, sir. They say there’s the God’s place.”
The man stared at the boy and embraced him. The boy smiled.