You know the feeling of wandering around, doing small things that could fill the empty part of your soul? Trying on new activities just to see whether it could heal the burning curiosity in your head. Trying to feel the satisfaction of ‘trying’? I am searching for the satisfactory feeling of trying. Trying new activities, new hobby, exploring the unknown side of yourself. I am Auji. These inner searching of your true self thing, have led me to the darkest secret of this idealistic town. I was once lost in Putrajaya, and I think I lost myself too at the end of the day.
I am one of those soul who are easily inspired by the actions of others, no matter on what medium it was conveyed; photos, videos, television shows, facebook groups, humanity posters on the streets, even by the stories told by unknown mouth to the others. It ended up bugging my head for the whole week, asking myself what have I done to the society or to any particular people in need to ease their burden or their pain? And I am one of those soul who are ill-equipped, penniless, and end up just keep on hitting the share button on facebook to only help spreading the news. No, it wasn’t a bad thing, but hitting up the share button did not satisfy my hunger to help. I want a tangible deeds, I want to hold their hand and look into their sad eyes and tell them that there are people who care about them out there and they are not alone.
I bought a new camera. Graduating school for my degree certificate is like bailing myself from the jail. 16 years in school – the primary stage was an idealistic phase, the secondary was a dreaming phase while the college stage was a destruction phase. School is demoralising, as for me. I wanted to start living life, and by living life is by trying new things as they say. So I started to learn photography. Photography was not a new thing for me, I always love pictures. Always love taking pictures. Camera is bag full with memories. I never had the chance to have a good cameras, and by the likes on my pictures on Instagram, I think I’m quite good in it. Don’t you find it funny, how we define ourselves by the amount of likes we get on an apps? I mean, don’t you think we are too focused on getting likes rather than genuinely doing things we love and sharing it with the public. Nevertheless, I am too one of the souls who put up pictures on Instagram at certain hour of the day so that I can have more likes than usual.
That fine day, I went for scenery sightings. Putrajaya was my choice. I am too tired to see the darkness of our ‘big apple’ town, Kuala Lumpur. There are too many sufferings looks in her occupant’s eyes. Dark spots were everywhere whenever I turn my head to any corner. I need a new town, a fresh town. We can have better life if we leave the dark past behind. Putrajaya is a symbol of new start.
I arrived at Putrajaya by the train. I was alone today, and packed up light. Just me and my camera. The train was quite empty. I could not help myself but to take few shots of people inside the train. I wonder what were they thinking when they were looking outside of the window. Was it the weather today, was someone crossing their mind, wondering where should they eat tonight or simply looking at the blue sky and how the skies stay afloat without any support or maybe who, what is God?
And there was this girl, sitting at the end of the train coach.
She was in all black. She wore a black dress that look ripped at the end with a pair of handsomely looking boots. Her hair was the blackest and silkiest that went down to her knee length. It was puffy at the top of her head but were layered down. I bet she must be one of those rock or metal band vocalist or something. But the only thing that bug me is that her face is hidden beneath her hair. I wanted to see her face, I want to see her skin, I want to see the shape of the eyes, the puff of her lips, the tip of her nose, I want to touch her silky hair, I want to see everything, touch everything..
Wait...something is totally wrong with me today.
In a split second, the girl look at me. At this distance, at two-coach-far, I swear I could really see her eyes clearly. It was..
‘Putrajaya, Putrajaya’ says the automated train operator, announcing the station that we have arrived.
I was distracted by the announcement. I picked up my camera on my lap and search for the girl. She is nowhere to be found. I bet this would be her stop too. The moment I step out of the train, I catch the glimpse of her ripped-end black dress at the corner of my eyes, but the moment I turn my head to see her, she is gone. I had never feel this kind of emotion before to a stranger. I feel, lost and strangely, very sad.
Remember how our mothers used to say never talk to a stranger when we were kids? Well, I should have listen although I am 23 years old.
I was lost, and just wandering around the administration precinct. I don’t know where I am going. I went on walking and snapping around with a blank mind. I stopped at the building with the steel-structured entrance arch, walked through it and cross the building and went to Masjid Besi. It was simply beautiful, just how the mosque shine by the sunlight as if it were made from pure gold.
Despite the warmness of the scenery, I still could not help thinking about that soulless-eyed girl. Her eyes were as cold as the winter, but were very dark. I had never witness such dark eyes in my life, although we Malaysian are very common with black eyes. The eyes were so deep that I too can feel the emptiness in her soul. It was so dark, that by looking through those eyes, I found myself lost even in the lights. I feels like my soul were drained by the infinite darkness but the desire to look into those eyes again is something I can never explain. How can someone be so desirable only at the first look?
‘Looking for me?’
‘Ohnenekkau’ This melatah thing got to stop. Its 2014 already. Holy crap it’s the soulless-eyed girl! She smiled overlooking the scenery.
‘Looking for me?’ she asked the same question again.
‘Yea.. I mean no….. I don’t know’ will it creep the hell out of her if I say yes? But how did she find me..
‘You’re a photographer?’ she asked.
'A self-proclaimed one’ she smiled again to the answer. I never had the answer to that kind of question. I mean isn’t the answer obvious? But I never have the guts to label myself as anything because I’ll have to be at the par as the label says I should. I wanted to be wrong and proud, and not ashamed by it.
‘Can I take your picture?’ I asked her.
‘No. I don’t think you can handle what you’ll see’ she looked up to the sky.
‘What do you mean?’
‘We only show to people what we want them to see’. I could not put a verbal reaction to that. I can only look at her pale face that never look into my eyes as she speaks. She smiled. That hypnotizing smile.
‘Let me show you around’ she says to me, but looking at the sky.
‘You lives here?’
‘No.’ she grabs my hand and we run. I never feel this happy. I am already lost by the way, so why not?
‘We don’t know yet what the cause to this disease are. What can we say is all 60 victims were found everywhere around the city of New York at almost the same time. They were all put into a quarantine ward in a hospital and were given extra care. The experts are conducting medical checkup and any findings will be notified soon.’ Said uniformed-policeman in the tv.
‘Would this have any relation to any terrorist act?’ asked one of the reporters that were surrounding the policeman.
‘We do not know anything yet but every possibilities were being measured in the moment. Thank you’.
This just proved how messed up I am with the technical part of photography. I could not snap a single photo of this soulless-eyed girl. Only blurred, shaky, shadow-like black figure were captured. I mean I’ve put auto mode on and still, not a single picture can be taken. What a photographer.
Creepy. That was my first word when I saw the retweeted picture of the victims from the diseases spreading in New York. They were bed-ridden with eyes opened and their fingers clamped tightly as fists. The nerve creating green lines on their hands appeared greener than the usual. They were as stiff as the dead. However, the fear in their eyes that looked through the hospital ceiling gave me goose bumps. It was red and tears were running down, maybe because they were exposed to the air for a long time. Over 1 million retweets and I wonder how viral it is now on Facebook. I bet the person who share the photo in the first place must have regret it. I bet her or his phone must have exploded due to the 1 million notifications. I think he or she deserved that. That’s for not respecting the sick and his privacy. I would be mad if someone posted my sick or dead face on the internet. God knows how idiot people can be, speculating, manipulating, creating opposite truths which will hurt my family if they read our society’s two cents.
‘What’s that?’ she asked. We were sitting by the riverbanks.
‘I’m not really sure but someone retweeted this. It says that this is the picture of the victims in New York. You know the diseases affected 60 people in one night. I didn’t believe in first place but the news confirmed it. Creepy right?’ I answered.
She just smile.
‘I thought this kind of thing only happen in movie. Will they wake up as zombie later or something?’
‘No, they won’t.’ She answered. I snapped.
‘How do you know?’ I asked again. She only laughed.
‘Holy crap, the victims with the same symptoms were found in Beijing last night! It’s the exact 60 people too. It this some kind of early sign of apocalypse or what?’ The news have spread worldwide in every social network and media possible.
‘Are you in love with someone?’ She asked me while standing up. She took a pebble and throw it into the man-made river. I bet everything in Putrajaya is planned. Even her river were man-made.
‘No.’ I am still scrolling my Twitter timeline to see any news about the disease.
‘Good. Have you been in love?’ She asked again.
‘Yes. Why do you asked?’
‘So you must have undergone those heartbroken phase right?’
‘Hell yeah’ I put my phone on my lap and looked at her. It is almost dawn. Putrajaya is drowned in orange and purple hues. It started to be dark now. It is always a wonderful time to be in this hour as if we are in a different place.
‘I hate heartbrokens. They sick the hell outta me. Selfish bastards’
‘What, are you against love or something?’ I started to feel confused.
‘I love people in love. They are so intensely in love that they would do almost everything to their lover. They don’t really think. They’ll always listen to me.’
‘Are you a love doctor or something? Why they listen to you?’ How can a love doctor be so dark and gothic-ly looking; I asked myself.
‘But you know, I hate the heartbrokens. They cried and act stupid to gain attention from their exes. Throwing away their self-respect and dignity, asking for a second, third, God knows how many more chances. Who would ever want to be with someone who are so weak?’ she did not answer my question, that’s for sure.
Then, she started to slowly walk down the pavement. I picked up my phone and followed her.
‘Hey, you didn’t tell me you name’
‘D. you can call me D’
‘D as if the alphabet or D-e-e or..’
D as if the alphabet, she said to me.
I looked at my watch and it is almost 9 p.m. We did nothing, just walking down the pavement and looked at the lights that form small dots of colors from distance. It was calming and serene. It was different from Kuala Lumpur. There are not many cars on the road here. I did not see the impatient waiting faces in the cars that were stuck on the highways, texting anyone they could or singing to the song that they actually hate on the radio or people opening their windows, smoking out their frustrations. It is almost quiet here. Man, I really got to go. I don’t know when in the last train to KL and how can I get to the station. Where can I even get a taxi here?
‘I think I got to go’. Last time I check, I am still interested in man and this feeling, this sad feeling of leaving her confused me. Spending a few hours with her, and now I am a bisexual? This girl is sure dangerous.
‘Stay. Stay with me tonight’. This time, for the first time she speaks, she actually looked into my eyes. She did not avoid my eyes. What does she means stay with her? That eyes, how can it be so desirable?
‘You said you are a photographer? Right?’
‘A self-proclaimed one, remember?’ I answered.
‘I lived a long time. I never had a friend. You know, you stayed, even when we are lost…’ she stopped. And the continued.
‘…even when I did not looked into your eyes when I speak. You stayed. I know people like you, you think you are lonely, and you think you are happy with that. You keep dark things to yourself and speaks or tell happy things to people around you. You pushed people away, but when you love someone, you love deeply. When you guys broke up, you think people don’t understand you and grieved your own way. Tried reconciling to your lover with ways that actually make you look like a fool. Heartbroken, some of you even cuts themselves, smoked stupid things, spaced out, and pushed more people away and worst, your own family. Even killed yourselves. After he is gone, you keep asking who you are. Because you have been a part of someone for so long that you forget who you are as a person.’
I am speechless. I am not like what she says I am. I just live my life the way I want it to be. I am happy to be alone. I am used to it. I only know her for a few hours. She does not know who I am. Wait…yes, I only knew her for a few hours. Why did I bother staying and listen to her?
‘You said you are happy to be alone. But in fact you are not. You stayed. You stayed with a totally perfect stranger like me. You love doing new things, things that are different because deep down, you want to meet someone who understand you, who are just like you. And lived your happily ever after.’ I stay quiet, surprised to the words she said.
She continued, ‘So now, here is my deal.’
‘What the hell? You analyzed people like me, then a deal? Who are you Miss D?’
‘You wanted to make a different to the world, right? You want a happy world?’
Just so you know, I am too very confused here.
‘1 million over retweets? The photo of the victim in New York. Can you imagine what will happen to you if you could photograph how the thing happen?’
‘I don’t understand you. What are you talking about?’ I started to feel scared. I might have just be friend with a terrorist. FML.
‘All of those victims who were found in New York and Beijing, they were all heartbroken. Idiots. I have to do what I have to do. They did not care about their surroundings anymore. They don’t even care about themselves. I am tired of listening to their cries and their wish. I could hear it every seconds. I lived a long time and I can’t stand it anymore. I hear their wish every fucking second; of not wanting to live anymore. Of dying and leaving this world...’
‘…so follow me tonight, and photographs how it happen. You can write about this, stop them. Stop these little bastards to only be in love and not cheat on each other or broke up ever. I can’t stand them anymore. You can have your happy world and these disease will go. I promise. Help me, help me Auji.’
‘What are you?’ My eyes were filled with tears. I am so scared. You know, I never told her my name.
A soul-feeder who feed in sad, heartbroken souls to keep her alive on the earth. The body who lost his soul to the devil is bed ridden with opened-eyes and clamped fists. She will wonder around town at 0000 hour midnight and finished at 0001 hour. 60 seconds and drink in 60 souls at a time, every night in the city around the world. New York, Beijing, Putrajaya and who knows next?
I lied a bit. She does not need souls to keep alive. She is alive for God knows how long. She need them idiots to shut up because she can hear their mourn and stupid wish. These is the only way I can help her. To stop people from breaking their lover’s heart. To keep D at ease. She lived a long age and this soul-feeding is one bit of thousand ways she can do to keep human shut. We could have bigger amount of victims or other types of calamity.
I attached the photos I captured that midnight in a blog and clicked the publish button. I sent it to every email I have, and tweet it. I am ready for any questions and these photos are real 100%. I have not sleep since last night. I don’t think I can for another weeks. I can still see the fear in those victims’ eyes. I am still getting goose bumps from the event. I still remember her looks and the neon bluish-white fog that were sucked by D from the victims’ mouth. I still see the trembling body of the victims and their hands were frantically waving in the air as if they were in serious pain. How can I ever sleep to those vision?
Never get lost kids. And shut up now, will you?