City’s Chess Champion (Part Three)

I giggled and want to mock her. I picked up the piece of paper containing my poem to Ita and gave it to her. I explained to her,

“If you want to know the girl’s name, her name is on this poem, Henny.”

My sister’s name was Henny indeed, she grabbed my poems and watched. She looked frowned. I was getting excited to tease her.

“Who ?.”

“There’s her name there,” I explained.

“There’s not,” said Henny.

I laughed and teased her even more excited.

“I hid that on the poem’s phrases.”

“Of course on certain systematic, Henny.”

“There’s not.”

“There is.”

I grew up with laughter. I was getting excited to mock Henny. My younger sister who still on second grade at our school. Suddenly her face lit up.

“Aha, I know.”

“La-ti-fa,” she said. Trying to solve the puzzle on my poem.

Then she burst out laughing. Turned me helpless embarrassment. I tried to grab the paper from her hand. But apparently Henny had already wary. She maintain that piece of paper. Henny ran toward the houseyard to avoid my grabbed of the piece of paper. She giggling continued to examine the white paper writing.

“Latifa who ya, brother ?”

“Aaaah, I know, it’s obvious anyway.”

“La-ti-fa Ra-mo-ni-ta.”


Henny laughed out loud. Harder than the previous one. I chased her to return the piece of paper. She ran faster and screaming all the way.

“I know, I know.”

“I know your girlfriend’s name, big brother.”

I pursued my sister who ran to the road. I wanted to grab a piece of paper containing my poem from her hands. My sister ran very fast. Firmer than usual, so I could not chased her.


When on the sixth grade, I entered as redactor of the “Derap” student magazine. “Derap” mean “Tramp” in English. As I recall, only me was selected as editor that came on this grade. Therefore, my name was the most distended on the order of the editorial board.

City’s Chess Champion (Part Two)

Sometimes I fantasized that Arief was conducting a secret research in Japan. Since still with us, it was already apparent about his talent as a candidate for a genius scientist. The research was very very secret indeed, so the identity of the researcher then eliminated as well. Until the parents themselves could not reach them all. What about me ?, only my name is cheating just the name of a genius scientist, Enrico Fermi from Italy.

Treading the seventh grade, I fell in love with a fifth-grade student. Lol, sorry to say. I knew her name was Ita. We were pretty close as friends with students from other classes. Pupils at our school was not too much. We could almost be said to have jointly started from Kindegarten up to Junior High School.

I liked to wait Ita out of her classroom and chatting. Sometimes we talked in the library. Often she was annoyed because I jerked at her. Because of that she liked to run after me. And we chased each other on the school yard. What a romantic. The story of the courtship of the past.

It happened that I wrote a poem for her, this was my poem to Ita.

Langkah kakiku semakin perlahan.
Tikas cahaya yang kupandang pun meredup.
Fakta mengatakannya.

Ramai orang mengatakan.
Tumor yang bersemayam di tubuhku.
Sedih nian tak terkatakan.
Tengadah tangan memohon ampun padaNya.

Here’s the meaning in English,

My footsteps more slowly down.
Beam lights I looked even dimmer.
Facts say.

Crowded people say.
Tumors that dwells in me.
Sad and unspeakable.
Looked up hand begging Him for forgiveness.

I kept it in my bookcase and grinning. I soon forgot the poem until one day my number four younger sister asked,

“I’ve heard the news that you have a girlfriend.”


“You are a liar !.”

photograph by Denies Priantinah Senopranoto