It was typical hot day inside the bus from Jepara to Semarang. Yeah, that ugly bus if you’ve had took one before, though it’s not uglier than Kopaja or Metromini. I was sitting on my favorite seat, just next to the door so I could felt the breeze that would make it less hot. Then a passenger hopped on. He was a muscular man, not so tall, I guess he wasn’t taller than me. He sat next to me, it was still vacant.
“Halo Mas, going to Semarang?” he suddenly asked me, opened the conversation
“Yes. Well, actually I wanna go to Jogja” I answered him, “What’s that with you?” I pointed to a bag he carried with him.
“Ah this one? Oh this is some items I want to sell. I’m a street vendor.” he smiled. Seemed so proud with his job.
“What do you sell?”
“Just some toys for kids. Easier for me to sell this kind of stuff to them, he-he-he” I’m agree with him
“Where will you sell those toys?”
“This time I wanna go to Purwodadi?”
“This time? Where have you been before?” I’m starting to get into this conversation
“Well, I’ve been in Palembang, Jambi, Lampung, Jakarta, and Bogor.”
“Woooo so you’re already experienced, and a traveler eh?”
“He-he-he actually I’m easily getting bored if I stay in one place for long time. So I decided to always try new places, hopefully the fortune will be with me.”
“Ha-ha-ha, anyway, you’re pretty muscular for an ordinary merchant? Were you doing any sport before?”
“Yes I was. I used to be a footballer several years ago. Do you know Persijap Junior?”
“Of course I know.” Persijap Junior against Persib Junior in Piala Suratin 1998 was the very first live football match I watched. How could I forget?
“I was a player of Persijap Junior in 2004. I joined the team for Piala Suratin.”
“Yeah” he convinced me
“Then why didn’t you continue your football career?”
“Well I once got an injury. A bad one. That was a big blow for me. Both physically and mentally.” Though it was a sad one but he kept his smile…, “I had to used crutch for months. I was traumatized and afraid that if I pursue my football career, I would end up never be able to walk normally anymore. Then I made the decision, to gave up my dream on football.”
“What is that? I mean your dream? Playing for national football team?”
“No no no, I knew I couldn’t. I only dreamed to play for Persijap Senior. Compete with best footballers in the highest division of national competition. That’s all. I realized that the competition to join national football team is too tough for me. Though I knew the money I could made is so big, he-he-he.”
He continued, “I used to be Ian Kabes’ roommate.”
“Yes. He was so quick and difficult to steal the ball from him”
“What was your position in that team?”
“I played as a fullback because I was quick. I guess I was quick because I’m short, he-he-he.” Surely this guy is so joyful.
“So am I! In high school I used to play as a a fullback, and sometimes as a centerback.” Then we did a high-five. Tos! “But you’re still playing football, ain’t you?”
“Yes, but just for fun with my neighborhood and make friends in new place.”
“Sorry, but are you happy with your life? As you couldn’t catch your dream?” I asked him seriously,
“Yes. I wasn’t at once but I try to live my new life. You know, it wasn’t as bad as I fear before. All I did is enjoy it. That’s it.”
I was in silent for some minutes then…
“Let me guess, are you 27 year-old? Do you know Anam Syahrul?” Anam is my neighboor. He’s also a footballer and now playing for Persijap.
“Yes of course! We were teammate in that tournament in 2004! You know him?”
“He’s my neighbour, he-he-he”
“Ah! Send my greet to him will you? Tell him it’s from Sobirin! I’m off here Mas, see you.” So he’s name is Sobirin. He hopped off the bus and carried his bag.
I watched football matches a lot and following football news since 1999. Many players, either young or experienced, got injuries. Some are really bad, like shinbone fractured, that made some people couldn’t bear to watch it. But they always, as far as I know, came back on to the field. They’re back to do passing, dribbling, shooting, and tackling. Unless they had heart attack, they never stop playing professional football.
I never knew that an injury would’ve made a very big and deep impact to someone. Turned him from a young potential football player to an ordinary street vendor who travelled from one place to another to seek money and fortune. I don’t know whether the injury that was too hard to take or his weak-mentality, but one thing I’m pretty sure is he didn’t regret his decision, as shown on his eyes and voice tone during the conversation. Well, I hope I wasn’t wrong this time.
Two more lesson I learned. Something is not as easy as we always see. Made your own decision, live with it, enjoy and have no regret.
©Shesar_Andri, April 14th 2013
while keep checking my inbox