Agam lits another cigarette. Usually, he doesn’t smoke this much. It’s his second pack of sixteen today, and it’s almost half spent. Too many times he swore to quit, when his hands became numb and shaking, when he was gasping for air, his sight failed and his body was wet from sweat. When doom was closing in, he realized, somehow, he still wants to live.
He stares at the roadside through the car’s window as they slowly move through the center of the small town. Today he believes that everyone will die. So fuck it. Besides the thought of money from this job and the walks they have done for the las few days have had their effect. He felt his spirit being reinvingorated, and he can feel his blood flowing.
A matic scooter lines up beside their car, two girls on top. Tight white t-shirt, short pants. The heat of the day reveals the sign of perspiration upon their milky brown skin. They pause on the right side of the car where Agam is, right before the window where his face is. Pausing, not sure whether they can overtake the car while there is another car coming from the opposite direction.
No helmet, their long hair is swept by the wind, he imagines his face among them. The one behind pressing her breast to the back of the one in front. They are busy talking to each other. Traces of sweat visible somewhere around her back. Full juicy meat, solid young muscle, promising warmth. He longs to caress those thighs.
And then they moved, accelerating. Agam eyes follow them until he sees them from the windshield. They accelerated and disappear beyond other cars before them.
Submitting to the fact that the enticing sight has gone, his eyes come upon the cross hanging form the mirror behind the windshield. Swaying, as if to halt his quest for flesh.
According to Google, Jesus was 30 when he died.
Or 31, or 32.
Google was less sure whether he was married or not.
He wonders whether Jesus had the same excitement.
“I’ve asked the people I know back in Pontianak and some other towns, they’ve confirmed that they have never seen the news related to this on any media. Not local, not national.”
Maldwyn has been on the phone for quite some time, now comes the reporting time. Agam wonders why Maldwyn would think he cares.
There was a tourist spot around the west coast, it had a hill that promised the visitor the heavenly view of the beach and beyond. However, there was a catch. The road climbing towards the top of the hill was so steep that cars would fall, taking the entire passengers with them. Some people died. Agam knows this because his cousins and their family were among the lucky ones to be alive through the whole flying cars ordeal.
But there was nothing on the newspaper, nothing on tv, local or national. He isn’t sure of what happens on the site now. But nobody talks about it anymore.
A man from South Korea fell from the helicopter a few days after he found a large chunk of diamond, or a large deposit of gaharu… or both, Agam isn’t sure. Indonesia is a place where old planes and choppers fall, but nobody falls from a flying plane or chopper, they don’t have to, they can just fall with the whole fucking aircraft. That’ll be a grand way to die, it’ll be news. The media, local or national will cover it, they will fill the entire month with talk shows discussing and questioning about what had happened. From the ministry of transportation to celebrities, from pilots to the engine guy, they invited everyone.
People fall from chopper and cars flying down the hill are no news around this part, for reasons best left to assumptions. Agam looks at Maldwyn. He thinks about all the complications that this story might bring. He flicks the ashes from his cigarette out of the window. He put the filter to his lips and start sipping the multitude of poison.
“I know someone who was somebody up north, I can call him. Do you want to stop by?” Agam tries to fish out his cellphone, wondering whether that name, which brings up a recollection of a loathsome face, is till there.
“By all means.” Maldwyn, somehow, suddenly looks joyous.
“Don’t keep your hopes too high, this one is not one of those nice and decent people.” Agam, takes another stream of smoke into his lunge, and breathe it out out of the window, recalling the time when people ran towards him brandishing cleavers and sickles.