I open the window when the car is passing in between the rice fields. The coconut trees grow in sparse. I breathe in the cold air solemnly; let it touches the wall of my lungs and muffling my heartbeat. I start to remember when my little sister and I played with the water buffalos there. I really miss those moments. The moment when I was still innocent and did not lapse into the polemic of real world.
Not far from the fields, I saw a welcome sign painted with bright green and yellow. It carved sufficiently by locals and the walls that held it made from bricks. I reached my cell phone into my pocket. There are still about four minutes before I arrive at my destination. So I play my favorite song of Ed Sheeran. Yes, photograph, reminds me of those who are waiting for me there.
The car stops at the edge of the main road. Although it’s paved, it’s not as flat as the streets in the capital. The driver lowered a few boxes with colorful ribbons. Once I make sure I pay him well, I carry all the boxes carefully to the footpath nearby. There, at the end of the path, I saw a small house. In the past, it was painted with a soft pink and decorated with flowers. Now it’s only wooden fence around it, and it’s getting fragile by the weather.
I’m trying not to make noises. I stop for a moment at the edge of the outside tiled floor. I take off my shoes after opened a box containing two-storey cake I bought an hour ago in a pastry shop. I walk in a silence then knock on the door three times until someone answers my call. An old man looks surprised to see me while I’m trying to smile like a fool. I hear somebody else call his name from the inside. He doesn’t reply to then the owner of the voice comes up. She’s also surprised when she looks at me, and again, I’m only able to smile.
“Happy birthday,” I whispered.
My tears flow when I’m looking at the old couple in front of me. Their hair is now getting white; wrinkles dominate their aging faces; their thin hands shaking as forming a grip; and their eyes look at me wistfully. I put the cake on the old-fashioned sofa next to me. Today is their birthday. That’s why I chose to book a flight just to give them a special cake. I know why they’re only able to look at me, confused. My presence made them shocked and I hope they would forgive me. I kneel in front of them to kiss their feet—don’t care anymore with the tears that made me cry hard.
“Happy birthday, mom. Happy birthday, dad.”
They both then hug me. Without a sound, without a word, we just hug each other in tears. I know they don’t want a cake or other gifts that still sitting outside with my suitcase. All they want is me. They want me to go home as the greatest gift they need.
That is all they do.
Wait for me to come home.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “RSVP.” Plan the ultimate celebration for the person you’re closest to, and tell us about it. Where is it? Who’s there? What’s served? What happens?