It’s almost 2 days after my flight from Labuan Bajo to Jakarta, but I still couldn’t feel whether this dream or not. That night, when I was taking a bus to my home in the midnight, the rain poured very hard and left the street full of water. I sat there alone in the bus, with other few passengers, looked silently on the window and the rain drops one by one, I couldn’t see anything, except memories. It felt so fast, I still can remember how the sun sets in between the hills of Rinca and heard Miko’s laugh after the whole day dives and I almost sick of diving at the moment, honestly.
This 4-weeks journey was too fast, or maybe it wasn’t, and the condition was I just too enjoyed with the journey I made. The first moment I saw Amel at the airport, followed by Miko and worried so much when Retno missed her flight that morning so all of us waited for each other at Bali. Everything still feels so fresh, we still shared our perspectives during our education at that time, felt quite the same that we chose wrong topics for our thesis.
Then, the first time we arrived, I saw Andy, Kak Ichsan and Kak Lia were sneaking from the airport window of Labuan Bajo. I was so excited to see everyone, to see Komodo Island, the Island I always dreamt about. It was beyond my expectation, the fact that I never wished something like this before, 2 years ago to be exact. I was just a student in a small university which is not really famous, and was very busy with those social-english-and debate stuffs at the organization I worked in. The destiny was flipped, or it wasn’t, everything turned around differently, and made me welcomed a lot of amazing journey so far.
Despite, my skills of diving have not yet greatly improved, I realized more things which make me exciting to welcome more journey ahead. The knowledge MantaWatch have given me were not mere academic stuffs, but more on how I prepare my life I always wished for. I don’t know how He worked toward this, but every path I chose felt like interconnected each other.
Two-three-four weeks passed, that night we had our final presentation at Le Pirate, which Andy said we would meet 350 tourists at the roof top café. But even though only a few, I still could felt nervousness filled my vein and made my head dizzy. Maybe because I didn’t take my lunch, and we had so much pressure recently. After Andy said, “All I will handover to Rafid.” Which was the sign I have to start talking.
My heart stopped, at the moment. I starred at Andy for milliseconds and I stood up awkwardly. Grabbed the microphone and greeted everyone, though was silence in the first minute. Everything just passed away, felt like a minute. I didn’t know what has gotten into me, the words suddenly came into my head and passed through my mouth, and for some minutes, I sat there again watching Retno delivering her materials.
Then It was finished. I saw Andy smiled at me after all of us closed our presentation that night. I didn’t know how he felt, either disappointed or proud. But I still can feel he squished my shoulder and I felt so relieved. My knees were no longer shaky and we smiled to each other. The duty was done!
Our journey was over. I thought.
Then, I felt so empty. Like all the crowds suddenly gone, and I couldn’t hear anything and everything felt like slowed down. I saw Amel and Miko were laughing, and Retno was speaking to Tatiana and Cornelia. I stood up there alone looking at everyone in grayscale and slow motion.
Was it over?
It still felt like a dream. The class I had with Hollie made me realized that I only had few more days before the program ended. It’s okay to be emotional, she said. And every piece of journey during MantaWatch have come back, the visions and the memory roll back to the front order of my brain. Liveaboards, diving at Manta point, the sun sets.
I sat there with Amel and Miko in front of Dive komodo, waiting for Retno who was doing her evaluation with Kak Ichsan, Kak Lia and Andy. Then Andy came to us, picked up his dive gears in the dive shops and sat with three of us. We kept silence for some minutes.
“What are your plan after coming back home?” Andy asked at the moment.
We looked at each other and laugh. No plan. My heart said.
“Where are you going? Are you going to dive?” Amel asked doubtfully. Andy smiled. “Yes.”
“So you are not coming with us to the airport?” Asked her again.
I kept silence, I don’t know what to say.
“Then it’s a good bye?” Said Amel.
I don’t want to see Andy. I don’t know.
Amel hugged Andy as it was a sign of a goodbye, and then Miko. I stood up and refused to do so. But Andy grabbed my shoulder and I turned around, I hugged him tightly. I want to cry but I couldn’t. Too many emotions and I couldn’t feel anything instead.
Andy left along with people who were coming with Dive Komodo to Manta point this morning. I saw him left further away and finally disappeared.
It was so strange, to me. It was a strange farewell and I still couldn’t believe it was.
Then I woke up at that night with rain still falling. Realized that everything was over. It wasn’t a dream, though, but everything came into my dream that night.