A boy at the Lake (Ahmad Zakiyuddin)

Thin fog covered the area. The sun appeared bashfully on the horizon. All around there were birds singing, joyous in the morning freshness. The scent of the wet earth filled the air. What a lovely morning!

I walked slowly through the village street. Though it was just ten minutes past five, the street was already crowded with villagers who were going to their fields, markets, or nearby towns.

Then I walked off the street where I could see some farmers working in the fields. I was so fascinated by everything around me and by the village atmosphere. So, I didn’t realize that I had already gone too far from my grandma’s house, the place where I spent my holidays this semester.

I just keep on walking and enjoying the scenery. Thinking that it was a most beautiful morning I’ve ever felt. Finally, I arrived at a place with place with big white board in front of it. It told that here is a lake, a tourist site which is open daily for public from 9 AM through 6 PM.

I knew that the place was not open yet, but I really wanted to see it. So, I approached the gate, which was already wide open. However, when I was going to enter, a male voice called me, “Hey, what are you doing? This place is not open yet.”

With a little surprised, I looked around. I saw an old man standing with a broom in his hand. I looked he was cleaning this place and surround this lake.

Oh, I know that, sir. But do you mind if I go inside and look around for a while?” I asked.

He seemed to think for a moment and then “You are not from around here, are you?” he asked.

No, sir. I am from Surabaya.” I answered.

Well, go ahead then, but remember, don’t swim in the lake, it is dangerous”

I smiled. “I will keep that in mind, sir. Thank you.”

Then I went inside. A big green board welcomed me. On it was written what the visitors may and may not do during their visit to the area, or we called it “rules”. The rules said that we do not swim in the lake, and throw all the trash in the garbage.

Walking further inside, I saw a small swimming pool on my left side while on my right side there was a small park. As I walked on, I saw an incredible view. There, right in the middle of everything was a lake, a beautiful lake.

The lake was not so big, but not so small either. It was lined along its edge with colorful flowers and surrounded by a path. The path itself was lined with many big trees and a lot of benches.

Then I sat on one of the benches and looking at the lake. The water was green. I wondered why it was dangerous to swim in it, just like the old man and the board said. I really enjoyed such kind of situation. What a friendly and beautiful place. I’d loved to spend my holiday here. The atmosphere around me was quiet and peaceful, drowning me in my daydream, deeper and deeper, until a voice surprised me.

Hello”

While surprising, I saw a boy in the same age of me standing beside me. He, who wore T-shirt and jeans, was smiling wholeheartedly, I thought.

Oh, hello. Sorry, I didn’t hear you coming.” I apologized.

It’s ok, you are daydreaming.” Still smiling, he sat beside me.

I smiled. “Well, I guessed you can’t blame on me. This place is so quiet, so I daydream.”

You are right.” He laughed. “I don’t believed if you are from around here”

Yup. I’m from Surabaya. I’m here to spend my school holiday.” I answered. “How about you?”

I’m from a town near here, and I’m on my holiday as well.”

Minutes later, we were both involved in a nice conversation, talking about music, school, sport, and other teenagers hobbies. I found it so enjoyable to chat with the boy, whose name was Ricky Irawan. I didn’t realize that it was time to go back to my grandma’s house. Fortunately, I had a chance to glance at my wristwatch when the sun was shining brightly. It was almost eight. So, hurriedly I got up.

Sorry, I guess I have to go now. I had a promise to my grandma to back before eight to have breakfast together.” I said.

It’s ok.” Ricky smiled.

You still want to sit here?”

Yeah. Just for a little while.”

Well, see you later.” I smiled

Yup. Nice to have met you, Andri”

Nice to have met you too, Ricky”

Hurriedly, of course without forgetting to say thank you to the old man, I left the place. And when I arrived at my grandma’s house, everybody was waiting for me.

Where have you been? Since you don’t know this village very well, I thought you were lost.’ My grandma said.

Sorry I’m late, grandma. I apologized.”

It’s ok, let’s eat.” My grandpa said then smiling.

Then we had breakfast together while chatting happily.

Hey, Andri. How about going to the lake this afternoon?” suddenly my cousin, Wini, suggested.

Yes, you have to see it. It’s very beautiful.” Windi, Wini’s older sister, added.

I’d loved going to the lake, but I’ve already seen it. It’s really beautiful” I said.

You’ve been there?” Wini wide-eyed asked. “Alone?”

Not exactly.” I answered. “I met an old man there.”

Mr Sarjo, the guard and the keeper.” Windi said.

And a boy, Ricky Irawan.” I added.

What?! Oh my God” This time everybody surprised.

I was silent for a moment and not knowing what was going on.

Somebody please tell me what’s wrong, don’t just say ‘Oh my God’.” I said.

Suddenly there was a silence.

Then my grandma’s voice broke the silence. “Andri, four years ago, when swimming in the lake was still allowed, there were four boys who came from a town nearby to spend their holiday at the lake. They were playing and swimming in the lake cheerfully. The water was so calm, but unfortunately one of them disappeared. He drowned. His family and his friend together with the villagers and the police tried hard to search him. But his body was never found. So, after five days of searching, they finally gave up. The elders of the village thought that the boy was eaten by the white crocodile that was believed to be the lake guard.” My grandma explained.

And?” I asked impatiently.

And,” My grandpa answered, “The boy, who was missing, was Ricky Irawan.”

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