His Sketches that Told A Story

By: Jamilatus Sholihah Dary

09.35 ]

What a moderate weather, that morning was contented with. The bird chirped an unknown song until the tip of the blue sky. People were getting busy with their own business as most of them take on guard with their phone. The sound of transportations roaming throughout the city, sometimes the beep of some cars joined the melody of the busy morning.

The weather was busy. Yet calming. And cold. What a pretty day to start by walking outside to seeing the beautiful side of the universe.

Not for Adrien, though.

The raven-haired boy was lost in his own thought inside of the busy world, the busy school, the silent classroom. The small child of imagination ran happily in his head. Sometimes rolling. Sometimes falling. With every single moves, his hand turned them to form sketches so much that the paper turned to bea wreck.

Zooming in from all the voices of pens’ scribble which dominated throughout the room, anybody who paid attention could see his eyes were barely open. A pencil danced on the paper so fast that unfortunately wouldn’t form a single word, half of his soul drained to God-knows-where as he gazed droppily.Somethimes, they changed attention to the questions printed on the paper. The topic was something about future plans, much to what Adrien had ever known. And for him to read that out of the blue in a single, peaceful morning—

—was only to feellike being completely dead. Defeated. Thanks to the critical hit of a questionwhich said,

‘After leaving high school, where would you like to go for college?’

The waltz of his pencil stopped as he snuggled to the surface of the table. Pencil left hanging around his fingers, unmoved.

He didn’t know.
.
15.00 ]

The bell as a sign for the students to go home rang, and a sigh of freedom then emerged from the part of Adrien’s lips. It felt like his mind went into hystoria of random studies that never became one of his interests.

“See you soon.” His deskmate—Lea was her name—waved her hand to him. He merely gave her a single nod and a small, “yeah.” Before quickly grabbing all the things needed. As he put the last book into his bag, his phone vibrated.

He unlocked the password. There was a text message.

|[Ditya :

So, how was it? What did you choose?

Adrien squinted to that. Ah yes, Aditya. One and only friend bearing the title of ‘college student’ whom he met from social media, and God, how embarrassing it was to remember why he was drowned in the idea of it back then.

As he was the one who surfaced around the internet. As he was the one who searchedthings about university that he had an interest to attend, just to finally met Ditya’s profile. As he was the one who was thinking, ‘Hey, this guy’s cool.’ and messaged him just like that. Between he wanted some informations or had nothing better to do or just too lonely so his mind was getting out of control, he couldn’t remember.

Leaving that cringy moment aside, he tapped his thumbs to form some replies.

|[ Adrien :

Nah.

Didn’t choose anything.

He swore he only left it for five seconds before his phone vibrated again.

|[ Ditya :

For God’s sake, Adrien.

You do realize that you’re currently on the third year, right?

|[ Adrien :

Of course. Do you think I’m that dumb?

|[ Ditya :

If that means aboutI’m-neglecting-my-future kind of thing, then yes.

|[ Adrien :

Shut up, I’m not. I just don’t want to be stressed about college.

|[ Ditya :

Then what do you want?

|[Adrien :

I said shut up.

How quick it was for the fate to play aroud with them. Right after he sent the message, the battery suddenly died. How great, Adrien thought. It would mean like he was getting angry and Ditya might felt bad and blah blah blah, some troublesome things to go.

Not like he wanted for it to happen, so he needed to charge his phone soon.

Not until there were some guys looking at him. Their eyes spoke mischief and possible catastrophe—and his deduction was strengthened by one of the guys who looked at his phone, smirking.

Double the greatness, it’s going to be a long day.

.
21.46 ]

|[ Ditya :

Sorry.

>p>Wow you truly are not responding.

Hey, sorry, okay.

Did I offend you?

|[ Adrien :

Nah.

Battery died.

|[ Ditya :

Oh.

I almost thought you’re being like a kid.

Well, that’s good, then.

After that, there was a slight silence. Adrien peeked through the chat, and he could see the bubble that Ditya was typing.

|[ Ditya :

So, what are you doing?

This guy seriously had nothing to do, huh.

|[ Adrien :

Lying on bed.

|[ Ditya :

You’re not with your friends?

|[ Adrien :

Nah. I’m alone.

|[ Ditya :

What happened?

|[ Adrien :

What?

|[ Ditya :

Give me a photo of your hands.

|[ Adrien :

What.

|[ Ditya :

You type so damn slowwith such short replies when you’re not even busy. Your hands must not be in a very good condition, I presume?

Wow. This guy is just. Wow. What should he type for reply now.

|[ Adrien :

You’ve never asked for a photo before.

|[ Ditya :

Don’t change the topic, Adrien.

The said boy was only able to sigh. He took a moment to take a glance at his own hands. And of course, there were bruises. The tips of his knuckles bested with purple, and it slightly stung, his fingers trembled.

Musing over should he accept the request or not, Adrien unconsciously bit his lower lip. A slight moment of hesitancy, and he finally took a photo.

|[ Ditya :

Adrien.

Are you kidding me—?

That’s just.

Oh, God.

Have you treated your wounds properly?

|[ Adrien :

Kinda.

Dunno how to treat wounds.

|[ Ditya :

How about your parents?

|[ Adrien :

Don’t wanna make them see this.

|[Ditya :

Hmm.

Okay, have you done alternating between cold and hot treatments?

|[Adrien :

I have.

|[ Ditya:

Then wrap it with elastic bandage. Don’t wrap it too tightly.

Adrien didn’t even bother to reply. After reading the text, he reached for his first aid kit. His phone vibrated when he was in his way, so he just took a peek.

|[ Ditya:

Send me a pic when you’re done.

He scoofed, since it seemed like Ditya is going to have a long wait. Wrapping bandage when his hands felt sore is quite a difficult task. Not to mention he could hear the chatter of his parents nearby—footsteps even—and it made him so nervous that he couldn’t even roll the bandage properly.

Five minutes of struggle passed and he finally did it, though. After placing the equipments to their right places, he then took another photo.

|[ Ditya :

Lol.

That’s such a mess.

|[ Adrien :

Why excuse me.

.
09.15 ]

“What happened?”

Lea was staring right into the wounds. Different person, same query. The universe might ponder just how many people had asked this question.

Adrien shrugged between the business of scrolling his phone.

“Some guys tried to mess with me, so, yeah. You know the outcome.”

She quirked her brow at the answer, the orbs told that confuse and wonder still lingered around her very existence.

“You lost?”

That’s a pretty nice form of words on how to make Adrien affronted.

“Screw you, I didn’t. Instead, I made those guys learnt some lessons.”

Even a tiny drop of amusement didn’t even land on Lea.

“Seriously, Adrien,” she huffed, her head landed on her palm. “Just what are you going to do with your life?”

There was a pause. The boy’s gaze wandered around the ceiling, a hum was flying around.

“Don’t know, don’t care.”

Just when Lea wanted to protest of his entire life choices, suddenly Adrien perked up, his dark eyes told the tale of glee.

“Look! The hiatus artist finally posted again!”

.
10.18 ]

|[ Ditya :

Well, she was right.

You truly need to think deeper about your future.

|[ Adrien :

I don’t know, okay.

|[ Ditya :

Well, tell me something, then.

What do you want to be with your current skill and passion?

Adrien didn’t even need seconds to think of an idea.

|[ Adrien :

Burglar.

|[ Ditya :

I swear if you’re going to be that one day, I will find and catch you and slap the heck out of your mind and finally drown you to Atlantis.

|[ Adrien :

That’s actually a good idea.

After placing his phone down, he tried to lay his head on the desk. He wanted to sleep. But his mind just blocked him. He actually went through the previous night with somekind of a deep thinking, but he just ... couldn’t find the answer.

Should honesty dripped, then he could say that he indeed was a mess. Anybody wouldn’t want to take too much business with him. That’s why, he felt blessed to have Lea. She seemed like she didn’t care about what he is—or actually just didn’t truly care about anything present in general.

Whatever it is, he was lucky to have her.

... Yes. He should talk with her later.

.
13.20 ]

“Why don’t you become an artist instead?”

The answer just came so sudden that Adrien was left bewildered by that.

“Huh?”

Lea merely sipped her drink.

“You like to draw stuff on your book, right?”

“Uh ...,” Adrien shifted his position on the chair that had been sat on, “well yeah, because I don’t know anything the teacher is speaking about.”

“So, what are you getting confused for?”

.
18.15 ]

That’s probably a spontaneous answer, but she was right ... wasn’t she? Or it was just him who had questionably judgment of decisions?

Whichever it is, it doesn’t mean like Adrien had a better idea, so he would stick to that. Thus why he thanked her.Now, his pencil twirled between his fingers, sometimes scratched against a paper. Ideas kept popping out from his head, and it was enough for him to finish his drawing.

|[ Ditya :

Is that me?

Wow, Adrien.

‘Ditya’ on your drawing looks so flawless!

|[ Adrien :

Because I don’t know how you looked like.

|[ Ditya :

No, that’s not what I mean.

You have a unique style.

I like it.

|[ Adrien :

Is that a sarcasm.

|[ Ditya :

No.

Oh, now that we’re talking about this, my university is actually holding an art competition right now.

We still in need of participants, so ...

Why don’t you try?

|[ Adrien :

Why should I?

|[ Ditya :

Because the finalists will take the challenge right here, in my university.

Isn’t that a good opportunity for us to meet?

Not just that, the winner will be given a free pass to art major!

|[ Adrien :

Huh.

|[ Ditya :

Come onnn.

Don’t you think it’s cool?

|[ Adrien :

I don’t know, Ditya.

I don’t think I can do it with my hands right now.

Even though they’re getting better, I still feel stiff.

|[ Ditya :

There’s no ‘I can’t’ without trying.

For the outcome, just let the fate decide.

Well, if it’s okay as long as your hands don’t feel hurt....

Huh.

Adrien actually smiled at this.

|[ Adrien :

Okay.

I’ll register.

|[ Ditya :

Great!

|[ Adrien :

With one condition.

Give me some hints about your appearance.

|[ Ditya :

Huh? Why?

|[ Adrien :

Because I need to develop my imagination, Dummy.

Also, drawing people is not my forte. But I might actually will be able to push my limit if I try.

Like what you said.

|[ Ditya :

Oh my God.

Okay then. Take an attention.

.
20.40 ]

After their talk, Ditya placed his phone onto the table next to his bed. He was smiling. He couldn’t be patient enough. For them to finally meet, for them to finally talk with their own voices. Without the need to wait for the other’s answer. For them to finally know each others’ expressions when they talk.

Yeah. This should be one of the best moments in his life.

.
08.00 ]

“I don’t know anymore.”

Adrien knelt down to the table. A big sigh flew, and Lea, with a roll of eyes then asked, “Now, what?”

“Ditya asked me to join an art competition.”

“So?” Half-hearted question, as Lea still didn’t bother to answer with eye contact. Her attention had been already thrown to the book she read currently.

“He was so optimistic. Like, really. Because if I proceed to final somehow, we can finally meet.”

“Cool. Then, what’s the problem?”

“Can’t you see my hands.”

“Oh. Then? You still registered?”

“I did.”

Lea hummed, the book now turned down for her gaze to fall right onto the miserable man in front of her.

“Whythe hell, Adrien.” And it didn’t even sound like a question.

“Ugh, I don’t know. It’s just ... the idea of meeting him is something that makes me excited, so I just went, ‘alright’.”

“you want to meet him that bad?”

“Yeah.”

“Because?”

“I want to.”

Not a satisfying answer, but she managed to smirk anyway.

“I feel a love atmosphere between you two.”

Adrien looked up, pissed.

“Not in that way, you silly. I want to meet him because he is getting too much into my business. And talk too much, it’s annoying. So I just want to give him a lesson. Like smacking the hell out of him, laugh at him, before finally ... huh. Apologize, probably. And hug him. Then snuggle at him, because damn, we finally meet.”

“Yeah, that’s pretty gay.”

“It’s not.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

.
09.30 ]

It was the day.

Ditya looked around. He didn’t really know what kind of appearance he was looking for, but he still searched for him anyway.

It was not too long before suddenly he was getting hit from the back. Pretty hard. Like, there was a cannon suddenly attacked him, and he almost fell forwards thanks to that.

“What—“

And the very first thing that greeted his view were strands of dark hair. The eyeswith the color of void stared right into his, as they spoke so many words of happiness. As although he met him for the first time, the language spoken by those eyes was familiar.

He then looked down to their grazed fingers. How his skin felt the touch of bandage, as also the smell of antiseptic drained right into his sense.

“Adrien?”

The pair of young menwere falling into a short silence when slowly, the lips that was making a flat line suddenly curved upwards. The shorter boysmiled. Or was it a smirk, Ditya suddenly couldn’t tell the difference.

“It’s you!” Ditya beamed. “Woah, you’re much more different than what I expected.”

“And what did you expect?” Adrien asked.

“Like this, but taller.”

Nevermind about all of the happiness that was bulging inside of Adrien. He suddenly seemed offended.

Catching the signal, Ditya suddenly let out a small laughter, “I’m kidding. But nevermind that, you’re actually here. So, that means you make it to final?”

“Ah, about that,” Adrien suddenly looked down, his lips formed a line of disquiet. It was a surprise for Ditya to know that Adrien’s expressions could change from one to another so fast. “I don’t.”

It left Ditya hanging.

“Huh?”

“You see,” Adrien took some bangs out from his sight to the back of his ear, yet his eyes didn’t seem to have an urge to look up. “It might because I’m still an amateur. Or because I still can’t move my fingers freely.” He finally closed his eyes. “Well, whichever it is, I still lost.”

“Ah,” the moment their gaze met, Ditya’s eyes was filled with guilt. It was his turn to look down now. “I’m sorry for having your hopes up.”

Adrien’s eyes blinked.

“Huh, no,” he finally spoke. “It’s my fault for not taking care of my own self.”

Ditya looked up. Their eyes met, again, finally.

Realizing that, Adrien continued, “It was quite silly of me. And stupid. Because—this might sounds cliche—I literally had no aim in my life. I didn’t even care much about myself. But you and Lea helped me. You guys supported me. You guys helped me to search and chase for something I probablycan enjoy. And I actually do. I finally found my passion, and since then, I feel like my life has meaning again.” Adrien paused, and there was a tint of pink bloomed against his cheeks. He must be embarrassed to say these things. “So, thank you. I will not let you guys’ support to fall. I will take care of myself more and develop my skill towards the better.”

He suddenly took his bag to rummage it, and there was a file.

“So, here. Take this so you can keep track on my development from now on, because I’m going to give you something like this everytime we meet.”

Ditya took a glance on the file, and dear.

It was a rough sketch of a man. He had strands of black hair—almost brown in the shower of sunlight. His lips parted, decorating the face with a smile so faint that amazingly seemed like a godsend. How the long, dark eyelashes matched with the orbs resembling with thecolor of ashes, surelycould be detected from the half-opened eyes. Such a contrast with the fair skin which graced with some freckles, especially on his nose.

But rough is still rough. There was almost no usage of thin line in the drawing, even for the hair. Every lines in the drawing were straight, thus making the strokes seemed off and stiff. He now understood why the judge didn’t choose his work aside of his marvelous skill.

“It’s you,” Adrien said, “as you probably realize.”

“It’s—no, Adrien. This is fascinating.”

He was truly surprised. As much as he knew Adrien—yes, Adrien, that Adrien—to draw something like this is so hard to believe.

“Too fast for you to be surprised.” There came his cocky smirk. “Meet me next year, and I’ll show you the most beautiful drawing that will make your mind blown even more.”

. . Fin.