The wind softly blew the black and long-as-a-waterfall hair laying on Ancora’s chest and shoulders. Rays of wispy hairs left an adorable messy mark on her milky, smooth skin. She slightly frowned her willow-like, thin eyebrows to announce her discontentment, but she didn’t bother to move nor open her eyes to stare out her anger. It seemed like the weather wouldn’t give her a good rest. The sunshine walked across her face and stayed. The heat of Ancora’s body volumed up and she felt like the water in the pot being boiled. Ancora opened her black pearl eyes little by little, and a plain white roof was seen. For a second, it reminded her of the snow. They are both white and pure, too.
She thought of the days when she went traveling and got to know a lot of things, such as skiing, snowboarding, and especially Chasmatias. Ancora would rather say Chasmatias instead of the another name that was well known by everybody. She believed that this name sounded more friendly and gentle. In that place, she heard and learned for the first time comments about Chasmatias. Everyone talked about Chasmatias in serious and foolish dialogue, in fear and anger, in tears and laughs, everywhere. From these conversations, she understood that people hated seeing Chasmatias because that meant they had to make sacrifices in exchange for something they didn’t like. Unexpectedly, Chasmatias, on a first impression, was a matchmaker. Chasmatias helped form her lovely family. At least, this was what she thought before seeing Chasmatias with her own eyes. Ancora came back from the flashbacks and got up from the white bed. She saw her reflection on the French window besides the white walls, a slim figure with a white long-sleeve dress that covered her legs. On her wizened oval face, there was no emotional appearance. It was like a profound and deep book that no one could read and understand. Ancora walked closer to the French window and slowly put her hands on it. A sense of coolness trickled down into her heart from the touch. But that didn’t distract Ancora from watching the view through the window. She stared for a while and then spit out a word from her lips in a whisper: Rain.
It was raining outside. The cold rain washed off the dirtiness and blurred the clear view. The repetitive sounds of tick, tock from the rain drops grow louder from the distance to Ancora’s ears. Her mind started to play the improvised song created by her grandmother, Ustrina, and accompanied with the play of piano by her grandfather, Gelus. It had a very beautiful, gentle, and soft melody that led people to endless aftertastes and pleasure. Next, a memory showed up in front of her eyes. It was the best time in all the memories she can remember. (Well, you can’t expect an eight-year-old girl to have a good memory.) Ancora’s grandparents, parents and Ancora would always gather together in the living room when the weather was raining. At that moment, Ancora would be nestling in the arms of her mother, Flamma, and her father, Otium. She would be running in circles around her grandparents and the house would be filled of warmth and laughs. At that moment, Ancora didn’t need to be struggling about school work nor friends’ problems. She had no worries under the protective umbrella of her family. Any request was satisfied and accepted. And one thing that Ancora loved most was to hear the love stories of her family.
Ancora remembered every single story very clearly. For example, Ustrina was a nurse and Gelus was a doctor at the time. Their first meeting wasn’t very pleasant because the place they arrived had been visited by Chasmatias and plenty of damage and sacrifices occurred. Fortunately, their tacit mutual understanding and cooperation turned up a very good result. Soon, after several coincidental encounters with the same situation and outcome, it quickly led to attraction to each other and they fell in love. They married and had a daughter named Flamma. Beyond expectation, Flamma carried that magical trait of meeting her destined one because of Chasmatias. Flamma met Otium in a practice drill about “if Chasmatias appears” when she was in college. Flamma accidentally injured her ankle on the way out to the field and the kind man, Otium, noticed her, then carried her on his back to the wellness center. This encounter left a heavy and throbbing mark on Flamma’s heart. And that was only the beginning of their stories. There were so many more that Ancora knew but couldn’t describe.
The more Ancora thought, the more she was lost in the memories. A slight smile showed on her pale face and added a little brightness and vigor. She loved the feeling of being with family and thinking about those fantasy-like stories. Ancora had also wondered if she has magical traits in her blood. She thought, I love Chasmatias so much and have always spoken good about Chasmatias. Will Chasmatias be good to me? Is it because the people hate Chasmatias in the beginning, that’s why they always suffer when they see Chasmatias? Ancora had no one reply to her. Then she noticed there was no one in the room except her. She turned full circle and looked around, everything looked white and empty to her. Ancora tried to think back what just happened before she woke up but her brain went blank and she couldn’t remember anything. She had forgotten something very important.
A heart-rending scream rushed out from the bottom of Ancora’s heart. It was a combination of pain and exhaustion. It was a sharp knife that can cut through one’s soul. It was a ripping scream after numerous lonely, hopeless and helpless strangled nights. Ancora put her hands over her ears and shut her eyes to stop the ridiculous strangeness. Her body was trembling all over, half of fear and half of hollow. She tried to calm herself down by squatting down, hugging herself and clutching her own dress like a baby. But inadvertently, she broke the water filled white mug on the white small desk next to the white bed. Glass smashed into pieces on the white floor tile along with the water. Ancora slipped and her hands leaned to the floor. She raised her hand and saw blood bleeding. Then, she watched while it made the transparent glass turned into red glass drop by drop.
The door was pushed and a lady dressed in sky blue cloth came in. When she saw Ancora on the floor, she immediately ran over her side and checked her wound. Ancora let the lady picked her up and lay on the bed. But at the moment Ancora heard her soft and gentle with a bit of anxious voice asking if she was okay, tears like worthless diamonds started to roll down from her eyes and stream down to her cheeks and face. The lady thought Ancora was hurt somewhere else and asked Ancora to be on the bed, then she went to find a doctor. The nurse came in quick and left quick. It felt like a cool breeze to Ancora. She just realized that under her long white dress, most of her body was covered by clean, white bandages. The rising pain was smartening, like the fire was burning her up. That wasn’t the reason Ancora was still crying. It’s true that it’s painful but there the wound of her heart hurt more than the body’s. Ancora knew why she was in the hospital. Ancora just didn’t want to admit the truth. But Ancora couldn’t hide because she remembered what happened. She saw Chasmatias. Chasmatias came to her.
That day, the city rained hard and long. The cloudy sky lost its light blue tender and started to cry out its tears. All colors of umbrella were opened and shown trying to tickle the sun and rainbow out of the cloud. However, it didn’t help, the rain became faster and bigger. It was warning that something was coming but nobody noticed that strangeness. As usual, Ancora was in the living room with her family and listening to the story again. She would never get bored of listening but this time she interrupted the story and told them that she liked Chasmatias and wanted to see Chasmatias, then asked them whether like or hate Chasmatias. The house fell in silence. After a while, Ustrina signed and responded, “Chasmatias lives in the earth and comes with circumstances. No one wants to love Chasmatias, but…”
The ground started to shake and cut through Ustrina’s words. Glasses were breaking, dishes were falling from the cabinet and the lamps were off. Ancora could hear the scream from Flamma and the footstep running toward her. Ancora looked up and saw the light bulbs from the ceiling were falling straight to her and in the moment, she felt hugged and pushed aside by a warm body. As the piece of the building were crushing down and the weight on the body that covered her body increased, Ancora heard Flamma say, “Ancora, you have to live on. We all love you.” Then she lost her consciousness and darkness conquered her.
Crying on the bed, Ancora finally understood what Chasmatias looked like. Between tears, she tasted the sacrifices of losing her family in exchange for seeing Chasmatias and living by herself. Ancora didn’t know if she liked or hated Chasmatias anymore. It only took one day to reverse her world and without her permission she changed her life.
When the nurse came back the room with the doctor, Ancora hugged her tight and asked, “Where’s Mom? Dad? Grandpa? Grandma? Don’t leave me alone. I don’t like Chasmatias anymore. I hate it.”
Chasmatias gave her a family but it also took away her family.
Earthquake gave her a family but it also took away her family