Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

Annisa Bunga Maharani

(Top 10 Short Stories English Language Fiesta 2021)


Have you ever heard about beat around the bush? It means, we tend to avoid saying what we mean, usually because it is uncomfortable to be said. Perhaps, I was the embodiment of that idioms. I constantly ignore my own feelings and every responsibility that faces me every single day. Something died inside of me since that day, where I couldn’t see the shoulder of my dad, again. Where my mom couldn’t get up from her bed, and the moment where I held her cold hands… my sight suddenly change… into monochrome. Tears won’t fell out, my screams got leaked on my throat and say nothing but silence. Everything suddenly tears apart, leaving me behind with my own shadows. I got flashbacks for a moment, and then suddenly realized that I was in school, waiting for our first math teacher to come into our class.

“I abandoned our today’s math homework.” Says me, staring right into my friend’s eyes, Ken. He glances at me before throwing a heavy book on top of my table, and then continued to say, “Here, you can look at mine, then.”

I got startled when the book drops and leave a huge sound on it. He stares at my eyes, leaving a cold mark before cutting his eye contact with me, and says, “I know, it must be difficult for you since your dad leaves you alone with your mom who nearly died.”

Silence suddenly wrap our conversation. I can see the awkwardness slowly appears in his stares. “Ali…” he suddenly calls my name before miserably staring at me, “You know… it’s already three weeks since I don’t see your smiles again.”

No, not again. I hate that stares. I don’t want to look pathetic in front of my friend, cause it hurts. So I smiled, and nod at him before saying, “If you only wanted me to smile, then you can say so. I can smile for you without hearing an old classic story like that.”

After that, a massive panic was obviously written on his face. But I smiled, deeply, sarcastically. Stares at him for a while, “It’s obviously easy for me to smile when I feel nothing and saw nothing about my future,” says me. He knows it was a sarcastic sentence, but he says nothing about it.

We didn’t talk until our school rings its last bells. But I regret nothing, especially when he brave enough for having the audacity to bring a sensitive story like that. It was a huge disappointment for me when I already struggled enough to forget my unwanted past.

It was silenced, many students already go home but I still have to stay kind of long because of my late assignments. I didn’t pay attention enough when I was walking in the corridor hallway, so I bumped somebody in front of me. It was a girl. A mole below her eyes, and her hands busy enough to fix her wheelchair that fell into the floor. That girl… reminds me a lot of my… mom. She even has the same short hair like my mom. I wanted to help her, but.. she really triggers me with something I don’t wanna remember with.

“If you clashed with someone, it would be appropriate for you to help the person that you clashed with.” Crap, she is nagging me. I got my realization back in the moment where she starts to say a word. My hands suddenly moved and help her wheelchair back into the first place before she bumped with me. Without saying any word, she stares at my eyes, triggers some of my memories until I got chills and turn my face away. “Do I know you?” asked her, speaking softly. But I shake my head instead.


She is squinting her eyes at me. “You look at me as if I was a monster or something like that.” She sniffs for a while, probably got offended due to my previous stares. I feel uncomfortable, so I turn my head away before walking away from her. But she suddenly grabs my hands, “I don’t know what’s your name or anything about you, but if you have any problem, you should face it instead of avoiding it. It was a coward response to handle your own problems like that.”

I’m freezing. My hands started to feel cold and my heart bumped faster than before. It feels like I got hit by a hammer right in the middle of my head. It was a perfect storm for me to explode and unleashed my hidden feelings, especially anger. But surprisingly… I got slapped by her words, then I froze again.

“Oh, so I was right, huh.” She smirks at me. “I may look weak because of this wheelchair, but I have a strong will to live. You looked like you have a massive sadness in your thoughts. All I can say is, although we’re just a stranger, I can’t bear the feelings to ignore a depressed person like you. You deserved to be happy. Cause your past doesn’t need you anymore, but your future does.”

Then she leaves, right after hitting the nail on the head. Her shoulder slowly disappeared her hair blend with the darkness at the end of the hallway. The sounds of her wheelchair slowly turned into silenced and got replaced with the rain noises. This is it, my moment of realization.

I lost both of my parents, ignore my responsibilities, hurting my only one friend. I… started to lost my own future. Is it the end? Should I continue? Is there any second chance for me?

“I heard it.”

It was Ken’s voice. He’s here, listening to my conversation with the girl since the beginning. I gulped, slowly turning back my head and stares at Ken’s eyes. He’s right behind me, watching me stares at the floor with blank eyes. He knows my emptiness. He knows it all.

“Do you think… I’m gonna leave you like that? I’m not that evil, Ali.” he started to open the conversation again. As if he’s trying to unlock the prison of my misery. He’s trying to help me… but I always denied it. I only stare at him and say nothing, tears slowly falling into my cheeks, eyes turned as red as tomatoes, and voice crack fully wrapped my throat. He started to hug me like the first time I got hit by a volleyball on my face, he comforted me like the usual day. He is never changed, but I’am.

“It’s okay to cry, you deserve it. I prefer to see you cry, rather than a fake smile. Stop making me worried…” he said, with a little crack in his voice. I only cry and say nothing.

Something… change inside of me since that day. The moment where I fully realized, every cloud has a silver lining. I may not know what could happen in the future, nobody knows what the future holds anyway. But at least I know… that I still have a loyal person beside me until this time. I still have a chance and a hope to hold. I only focused on the monochrome and dark things that already happened to me, when colorful and so many beautiful things already waiting for me in the future.

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