Please, remember me.
My name is Riri and I’m twenty years old. I live with my parents and my grandma. Even though I live with my parents, I feel like there’s only my grandma, Eyang, and me who live in this house. I don’t have many chances to communicate with my parents. They are very busy with their works things.
I love my grandma more than anything. She’s the one who taught me how to write and read. She’s the one who helped me when I fell from bicycle. She’s the first one who knows everything about me. She knows me better than anyone else.
” Yang! I’m home!” I called my grandma right after I came home from campus. There was no response from her. I felt like there’s something wrong happen.
” Eyang! Where are you? Why didn’t you answer my call?” I walked to her room. It was locked. I was getting panic and started to knock her door impatiently. She never locked her door before.
I ran to the kitchen, we usually put the duplicate keys in the kitchen shelf. My hands were shaking when I rummaged the shelf. After found the duplicate key, I ran to grandma’s room. I failed for many times to unlock the door because my hands were trembling. Finally I did succeed to unlock the door and there she was, lied down on the floor.
I felt my heart stop beating for a second. I tried to find my cell phone and called my mom’s number right away.
”Mom, Eyang fainted in her room. What should I do? I don’t know what happened to her. Please, come home right away. I don’t know what am I supposed to do,” I could tell that my voice was shaking. I tried to hold my tears but it didn’t work. My tears started to stream down on my face.
‘‘Okay, you stay calm and I’ll call ambulance.” she hang up the phone. I came closer to my grandma, she was still breathing but very slowly. There was blood on her forehead. Her face was so pale. It was the first time she looked so weak.
” I’m afraid that the wound in her head would affect her brain. But so far, she’s in good condition. Her heart is normal again. Thankfully it was only a small heart attack. Hope she’s getting well soon.” The doctor tapped my shoulder and walked away.
I came to my grandma’s room. She was sleeping peacefully on the bed. I sat next to her, try to catch her tired face. The doctor said that she could go home in three days.
”Where am I?” I heard Eyang’s voice. I smiled happily, finally she awake. I touched her hands softly.
‘‘You’re in hospital. You fell down on your room. Thank God you’re okay.” I kissed her hand but she pulled her hand away. I was shocked. Why did she do that?
‘‘Who are you? Why are you here?” she said weakly.
What? She didn’t know me? How come? I walked out the room and tried to find the doctor. I didn’t know what happen to her. I need to know the answer.
The doctor checked my grandma and I waited for him outside. Minutes later, he came out. I could see his face expression and I know that there’s must be something bad happened.
‘‘The collision on her head caused her to loss some memory. And unfortunately, she cannot remember you. Well, she’s looking for your mother. ” The doctor said. I didn’t say anything; my brain was still trying to understand what the doctor said to me.
“Let’s hope it won’t take long time for her to remember you. I suggest you to call your mother because she’s looking for her.”
I inhaled deeply and I tried hard to smile. “When will she remember about me?” Please, answer that tomorrow she’ll remember me again, dok. My heart was beating so fast and when the doctor said he didn’t know exactly when she will remember me, I do really want to scream out loud in this hospital. The doctor left me alone.
I dialed my mother’s number and told her about grandma. At the time, I couldn’t feel anything. Eyang, the woman who knew me better than my parents, she couldn’t remember me. It hurt me badly.
After told my mother, I have no bravery to see my grandma, so I decided to go to my friend’s house, Rea. When I got to her house, I couldn’t say anything. I only sat silence and did nothing. I didn’t know what should I told her first. My brain was so full of thoughts and many bad things were buzzing in my head.
I decided to go to hospital after my mother asked me to go there. “I’ll tell you about what happened after I arrive in hospital. Thank you.” I grabbed my bag from the chair and say goodbye to Rea.
“Be careful on your way. Tell me if something wrong happens. Send my regards to your grandma.” She tapped my shoulder; I only nodded my head and went to hospital.
‘I have to face the truth, I have to make her remember me, I have to,’ I kept telling myself on my way to hospital. And there they were my parents, my relatives, and my grandma. They were gathering in grandma’s room. It felt so awkward there, people kept watching me. I could see they pitied on me. Me, Riri, grandma’s beloved granddaughter and she could not remember me. It hurt.
I was standing in front of the door when I felt someone tap my shoulder. Reza, my big brother, he was there. He should’ve been in Surabaya. “What should I do? She doesn’t remember me!” I hugged him straightaway and cried out loud. I could fell my body was trembling so hard. Reza caressed my head. “She’ll remember you soon. Everything will be fine.” He told me. I shook my head. No, she won’t remember me soon.
“Reza, is it the nurse who’ll take care of me?” I could hear my grandma’s voice. I wiped my face and look at my grandma’s face. Her nurse? Great, now she thought that I was her nurse. I could fell that all of the eyes in this room were watching me. I could see my mother’s mouth opened. She must be shocked, just like me.
“What? Am I a nurse now?” I looked at Reza’s face, he shrugged his shoulder. I took a deep breathe and smiled widely. I sighed. “Yes, Yang. I am your nurse. I’ll take care of you until you recover from your sickness.” I said clearly. I walked to her and put my hand out to her. She shook my hand. “I am Riri. Tell me whenever you need anything. Don’t be hesitate to do so.” I said. She smiled. “Thank you. Please call me Eyang and sorry if I will make difficulties for you.”
I nodded. It was okay for me to be considered as her nurse. As long as I could take care of her, it would be fine. I turned my body and look around the room and said that I’ll be fine. I asked my grandma to go out of the room for minutes. And she said yes. I went to the cafeteria with my brother.
“Here. Are you okay?” Reza gave me a bottle of milk. I smiled, “Just like what you told me before, everything will be fine. And I’ll be fine too.” I tried to strengthened myself. Reza only smiled to me.
“I’ll return to Surabaya tomorrow. Just tell me if you need my help. Tell me if something bad happens, kay?” he said. I nodded; somehow I wished he could stay in Jakarta longer. To accompany me, he was the one who understand me beside my grandma. I had to pass the hard days until my grandma remember me as her granddaughter, not as her nurse.
It had been a month and she hasn’t remembered me. She still considered me as her nurse. And my activities were study in campus, go home to take care of grandma, sleep, wake up and go to campus again. I felt so tired; it was not only my body but also my mind. Sometimes I felt like to give up but Reza always said that Eyang would remember me soon.
“Good night. Have a sleep tight.” I covered Eyang’s body with blanket. I turned off the lamp and walked to the living room. I felt so exhausted.
“Ri, you look so tired. What if we find the real nurse for Eyang?” Mom said and she sat next to me, it was long time ago since Mom and I had a real conversation. Since the accident, Mom had tried to get closer to me and somehow it made me feel so grateful.
“No. I don’t want anyone else to take care of Eyang. I want her to remember me, Mom.” I whispered. I felt like I had no strength to speak louder. Mom caressed my head and kissed me on cheek. “She’ll remember you soon. I believe it.” She said. Her words made me feel stronger. I laid my head on Mom’s lap and I was asleep on her lap.
“How’s your grandma?” Rea asked me in class. I only shook my head. I lost my hope. It had been 6 months and there was no sign that she would remember me. Yesterday, she told my mother that she didn’t need a nurse anymore. It means that she didn’t need me anymore to take care of her. She felt she’s in good condition and she didn’t need me anymore.
“She said that she’s okay now and she doesn’t need me to take care of her anymore. I feel like hopeless. I don’t think it’s possible for her to remember me. Re, what should I do?” I sighed. Reza told me to keep staying in home even though Eyang said she’s okay now. But I don’t think it is possible.
“Have you showed her your photos with her? Or anything that can recall her about you as her granddaughter?” she asked. I smiled bitterly. I had done it many times; I put photo albums on the table near her bed. She only took a glance and did nothing. Sometimes I felt like this was not real. I used to believe that this thing wouldn’t happen in real world. This amnesia thing only happened in film and I still believed that it was not real. But dang, it happened to me. God is such humorist. He could make up such story for my family.
“Re,” I called Rea, she turned her face to me. “yeah?” I sighed. “What about I quit from being a nurse? Hmm, what if I stay away for a while from my grandma? Who knows she would remember me when I’m away.” I could feel doubt in my voice. Rea bit her lips, she didn’t say anything for a minute.
“Do you think it would works?”
I shrugged. “Dunno. I want to go to Surabaya. Reza told me to go there for some days this holiday. He said that I need vacation and my Mom agreed with him.”
“Well, if you think it’s the best option for you, what can I say? I agree with your Mom and Reza. You have to see yourself, you have such tired eyes and it looks like a panda’s eyes. Really, you need vacation. And your grandma told you that she’s okay, right? Maybe I should go to Surabaya too?” she said happily. My eyes opened widely.
“Why should I ask you to go to Surabaya with me?”
“Well, you know, maybe you’ll need my help there. Or maybe your brother needs me to help you handle you!” She said, I could see she smiled widely. I punched her arms. “You wish. Well, if there’s no obstacle, I’ll go to Surabaya on Wednesday.”
“So sudden? Oh yeah, we’ll have holiday tomorrow. Don’t forget to bring gifts for me.” She said enthusiastic. I only shook my head. I hoped everything would be as it used to be after I return from Surabaya.
I was standing in front of Eyang’s room when Mom tapped my shoulder. “Are you sure you don’t want to say goodbye to Eyang?” I shook my head. “I want to make her notice if I were not here when I’m in Surabaya. Mom, please take care of Eyang. Tell me if something bad happen to her.” I said. Mom only smiled and hugged me.
“Let’s go. We don’t want you to miss the flight.” Mom grabbed my hand. Bye, Yang, please remember me when I return. I took a last glance into Eyang’s room.
“How’s the flight?” Reza took my bag from my hand. I smiled. “Good. I’m hungry, let’s find a place to take a bite.” I said cheerfully. I tried to push away the thoughts of Eyang. She’ll be fine in Jakarta. I had to be fine in Surabaya too.
I dialed my Mother’s number; I just couldn’t help myself not to ask about Eyang. “Mom, I’m in Surabaya now. Reza picked me up and he’s with me now. How’s Eyang?”
Mom said that Eyang was fine and the bad thing was that she is not look for me. It’s fine, it’s fine, I kept telling myself. Reza took me to the restaurant near his dorm. I felt a bit happy here even though I still thought of Eyang in Jakarta. I was happy because I made a good decision to go to Surabaya this holiday. Reza succeed to make my day and he even introduced me to his friends. They treated me well as if I was their sister too.
“Let’s go to theatre tomorrow!” Reza’s friend said. “No. Riri need to take a rest. Maybe the day after tomorrow, what d’you think Ri?” Reza said. “Huh?” I was not there, I kept looking at my cell phone and found that there’s no call or message from my grandma.
God, how I wished to get a message or a call from her. Just like how it used to be when she sent me message just to asked whether I already had my lunch or not. I missed the way it used to be. I missed Eyang.
It had been three days and still no message or call from Eyang. I gave up. I didn’t care whether she remembered me or not. I decided that it would be fine for me to be Riri, Eyang’s nurse. I said to myself that it’s impossible for her to remember me.
“Za. I give up. I don’t think she’ll remember me. It’s over. I’m just her nurse, that’s all.” I said to Reza when we were in the terrace of his dorm. He stopped playing his guitar. He looked at me with do-you-know-what-are-you-talking-about eyes.
“Are you nuts? Come on, it’ll be over. Eyang will remember you. We just need to be patient.”
I shook my head. “When? I’m tired. You don’t know how it feels like. You’re not the one who being forgotten! I am, Za! She doesn’t remember me! And it’s been a half year. I think I need to move out from the house for a moment.” I was raving and didn’t know what I am talking about. I just spilled out about my feeling.
Reza didn’t say anything. I knew he’s speechless. He knew that he doesn’t know how it feels like being forgotten like me, especially being forgotten by Eyang, the woman who nurtured me since I was very young.
“If only she send me message or call me, I would try to hold out. She doesn’t even ask me to Mom. She already forgot me, Za. If only.. “ I looked into the grey sky. It would be raining soon. I tried to hold my tears; I did not want to look so weak in front of my brother.
“What if she sends you message?”
I turned my face to Reza. “It won’t happen.” I said steadily. My heart beat fast when I said that. I, didn’t want that thing to be happened. I wanted her to remember me, or just asked about me to my Mom, at least. But there was useless. It wouldn’t happen. She wouldn’t remember me.
“Come on! We’ll miss the flight!” I knocked Reza’s door hardly. The plane to Jakarta would depart in 3 hours. I could not handle my happiness. My heart seemed to burst out its place. Last night, Reza reserved tickets for the first flight to Jakarta as soon as after Dad’s call.
“Be calm! I’ll be outside in 10 minutes!” Reza replied.
I grabbed my bag and walked to the taxi that waits for us in front of Reza’s dorm. We were going to Jakarta soon. I had never been this happy before. I couldn’t wait to arrive in Jakarta.
Reza shook my head and then smiled when he saw my mouth never stop smiling since last night. Yeah, I got this smile because of one call from my Dad. We went to the airport.
“Hey, please stop smiling. It annoys me. For sure.” Reza snapped on my forehead. “Ouch! It hurts!” I caressed my forehead.
“Just one simple sentence can make you this happy. How childish you are.” Reza shook his head.
I giggled. “It means a lot for me!” I said. Just one simple word, Eyang missed Riri, could make me be this happy. I didn’t care whether it was Riri as her granddaughter or Riri as her nurse. I didn’t really care.
All I cared about is that it was a sign that she would remember soon. Eyang, please remember me. I’ll be in Jakarta soon.