THE CHANCES WE TOOK
The chances we took have many flavours, served in different shapes.
Accompanying us in different dizzy moments, in different cities too.
A Bacardi cola served unappealingly in a huge plastic cup.
I kept holding onto it, before, until, and even after our eyes met.
Not knowingly. A stranger to another.
Not knowingly. I let every sip passed by.
After all, it was simply the last available alcoholic beverage at the booth.
Grey Goose, and another Grey Goose, served in a similar plastic cup.
This time, being friends with blasting sounds on the stereo.
Our eyes did not meet. We both enjoyed the music in the room.
Our lips did not meet. We both enjoyed the silence in our heads.
Only afterwards, when the lights were gone, and the sun almost rose.
Local draft beers, served chilled in their bottles.
I sat on the edge of the bed while everyone else were playing games.
You came by just to change the music playlist.
You said hi for a chat, awkwardly; I responded, in the same awkwardly vibe.
You left the city first thing in the morning.
You left me wondering.
Johnny Walker Black Label, on the rocks.
Served in a fancy way: with a crystal clear glass, on a small round table.
We were both wearing black.
You, with a bit of grey; and I, with a bit of skin.
The glasses clanged.
You smiled, with fingers running through my back.
I left with a smile.
I left you wondering.
I don’t know what you ordered for me but it tasted good.
I could taste a bit of Sambuca, and perhaps, plenty of other things.
Served in an even fancier way: in tea cups, at The Back Room.
We were both wearing sweaters.
You could not stop drinking.
The teacups clanged, and clanged again.
For the chances we took.
“Here’s another one…”
You gave another tall glass of gin and tonic.
Rose wine. Champagne. Another gin and tonic.
A hotel lobby turned bar, full of people, with dimmed lights, and electronic music.
Until my head was full, of chances with these distinctive flavours.
It was your last night in the city, but I could not stop drinking.
The glasses clanged, and clanged again.
For the chances we took.
It was the first and only chance we would have ever taken.
“I got you a pen and a book,
So you can write about us — and the chance we took.”
You wrote, at the back of the greeting card, before you left.
And this is what I wrote about them chances.
Alanda Kariza is a 20-something Indonesian writer. She has published 9 books since the age of 14, including two memoirs called “DreamCatcher” and “Travel Young”, both of which were shortlisted in the Indonesian Readers Awards 2012 and 2014, respectively. Alanda has just released her first English novel, “Beats Apart”, and is currently based in Melbourne.