It was afternoon. I made a promise to meet some people. We would meet at city park. Afternoon during fall wouldn’t make a nice company. Temperature would decrease rapidly and you would begin to crave warmth from some hot drinks. Before that happened however, I had ordered my coffee brew and I waited them to appear while sitting calmly on park bench sipping from my cup while reading newspaper.

He was a nice man back in school. He often came to school early before any of us. He smiled a lot. I mean, he was easy to laugh and we really appreciated his helps on several matters during class. There were a few fights and misunderstanding but we always came to good conclusion and our friendship became normal again.

His demeanor, however, started to change during college when we rarely met. He rarely showed up in reunion. When we asked him about it, he simply said that we had different timeline. I didn’t know whether it was true but it seemed that he had his days off and began to get busy before any of us.

His eyes don’t show kindness anymore. We barely talked last reunion. Me and my partner here are sometimes welcomed with silence if not with short answer. The answer was correct, direct, and fine but it wasn’t just him. It was unusual for him to behave like that. I mean, why did he change that much?

He was friendly. I still remember when he encouraged me to make a proper proposal. It was years ago. He was almost there when I needed his strange, out of the box, and abnormal opinion.

However, when the day came, he was never in our picture together. After all the time he shouted at me to pursue what I dreamed dearly, he simply vanished. I don’t mean that he disappeared into thin air like a ghost. It’s just that I could call upon him. I might talk to him but he was never there. I heard his voice and read his writings but I couldn’t sense his self any longer.

The last thing he said to me is that he was terribly sorry for not being able to be in my picture. That picture is one of kind which I wish that I won’t need to take another picture like that. Just once for a lifetime.

Now that I’m away, I can’t talk to him any longer in person. I might know where he might be but I can’t guarantee that I might reach him. Why is it that he became a ghost like he is today?

Sometimes I wondered if he has any friend. For all I know, he is more like a lone, wounded wolf who cries during the night with his silence. I’ve seen him wandering around the calderas, forests, and markets. He always said that he has something to do before all else but I’ve never been able to comprehend his statements. He looks strong and yet weak, durable and yet fragile.

For those who talked to me about him, it was only my usual response that I asked them if they really are his friends. I have seen so many uneven transaction, weak questions that demands heavy answers. Such things might become a burden.

I might talk to him later about this matter. Don’t worry. You can’t find him the way I do because you are barely living in a place as same as he is. So, I’ll talk to you guys later? Oh, and by the way, this is your problem. I only convey what you want to say to him but you can’t reach him.

After that we concluded our conversation and they walked out the park. Personally, I don’t think that this matter is as complex as it seems. It just needs more time. Time will solve this condition eventually and if there is no more disturbances, I think he’ll be okay soon enough. If not then I might never find him anymore.

What a cold weekend, I said to myself as my cup draws empty. I took the last gulp and threw the cup to¬† trash bin nearby. Just after a few steps, I stopped and looked at the man before me. His expression is plain. He met me with gentle smile. His hands were inside his pockets because of almost-winter temperature, I presumed. I took it that he just got back from his ‘work’. Whatever that was. He never shared anything.

How could you know I’m here?

Care for a second coffee, brewmaster? Seems we haven’t had a chat for a little while. Don’t you think?

Sun was almost set. He was right to invite me for another coffee. He might have already known what those people said about him. I would tell him anyway and I was sure that he would simple give his smile as an answer. I also didn’t know what was wrong with this guy.