Sometimes walking in the mall makes me wonder, who are all of these people. I meant, it is so weird to see different faces in front of us every day. I always end up with questions; are they rich as they dress? are they happy as they look? are they busy as they walk? are they smart as they talk? Ah, it is not a good thing to thought out, unless you are with someone.


The season is already changing, my kampoeng started raining hard. After the office hour, people were confused. They were not ready with the rain. Some people just stayed in the lobby, waiting for the rain ends. Some people ran, chasing the bus. Some people entered the mall–right beside the office. And I was the one who chose to walk inside the mall.

Actually I literally had no purpose here. There was no one with me and it became really boring after a minute. Until I saw my favorite restaurant. It sold ramen with a red half-boiled egg. The price was cheap, the taste was great, and there were no many crowds.

For the next minutes, I got rid of my gadget while enjoying the ramen soup and observing people walking by. Until suddenly a girl came and asked my permission to sit with me.

“Nani? who is she?” asked myself.

It was true that I chose to sit in the two-seat table, alone. But there were still many empty seats around. Well, I couldn’t reject her, it was inappropriate. So, I said yes to her confused. She sat with her ramen immediately. A smile appeared from her face, her mouth also started to open.

“Sorry bothering, I saw you alone without a single gadget for a long time. I haven’t seen a person like that. So I come here, to have a talk with you.”

“My name is Aulia, anyway.” while handed me a hand.

Her name was Aulia, later I called her Lia. She just graduated from the University of Indonesia and worked in the same building as me, just ten-floor different. She was a junior business consultant. Her left eye was a little bit smaller, just like me. I could see her brown hair a bit behind the jilbab until she fixed it. Her laugh was funny but not her joke. She was… pretty.

Unexpectedly, we ended up chatting a lot.

“Hey I want your opinion, may I?” she asked. “What do you think with that girl on that store?” she continued while pointing at someone with her eyes.

“that saleswoman? she seems very happy with the job, doesn’t she?”

“No, I think she is forced. You can’t sell things with the frowning face, you know. Just look a little longer when she turns around, you will see the truth” she answered.

I got her point, Now it was my time to ask back.

“What do you think about that young couple?” I asked.

“Hmm. They do not look like a good couple. Why are they busy with their phones and not talking. Even the baby doesn’t like belongs to anyone. Duh, unhealthy generation.” she said.

“You better watch that man over there, in front of the masjid. The one who helps to keep people’s shoes. He seems very happy inside. The smile purely decorates his face.” she added.

I nodded to agree. Even though my focus was actually not on that man, but on her. I asked my self what do you think about a girl named Lia in front of you. A girl that suddenly came out of nowhere while you actually observing others. A girl with a lot of questions that made you think differently. A girl that her smile made you also smile. A girl that her glum just made her more adorable.

I looked at her eyes. She seemed conscious but decided to keep talking. I looked at her more seriously this time. She seemed really aware now. So she looked at her watch and was shocked about the time. She needed to go home as soon as possible, she said. I didn’t know it was real or not. In just a second, she excused then left.

I suddenly lost her in the mall with a thousand people in the thousand faces city. Literally losing her. I didn’t know her full name, or her contact, or anything so I able to know her more and even meet her again.

Ah, it is true what the saying said. People indeed come then leave. No matter you whether ready or not. Because that is how life works.


This short story is a fiction–but actually real.