It was a cloudy day, the fourteenth day of September.
Back 2 years ago,
I was riding on my motorcycle, visiting the ancient district of my city, Semarang, known as "Little Holland". I just finished my Junior High School era that day, and up for a lonely celebration. Therefore, it was only me and my bike.
I pulled the gas, slowly moving out from my garage, and then speeding to the main road. I didn't know where I want to go, or what I want to do. I just let my bike took me away from my home. I just don't want to spend the rest of my day in my room.
Then it came to my mind about some tour at the "Little Holland". Where else I could find some nice view of ancient buildings with Victoria style, beside "The Thousand Doors" (Javanese : Lawang Sewu) building? I took the North route and then drove my bike to the North side of the city, where some remnants of Dutch colonization remain.
After two hours of hectic travel, finally I could drive calmly on the paved roads. The first train station in Indonesia, Marabunta theater building, the oldest post office in the city, everything was so beautiful.
But it was really unexpected, when I decided to drive randomly, I was somehow invited into an old house.
The House at the Corner of the Street
- Suddenly my motorcycle went off. I pushed the starter button many times, but what I heard was just a few clicking iron in the machine. I descending from the seat and checked the machine, see if there's anything wrong.
Then, I felt a smooth touch on my nape. So smooth, it was like a slow chill wind passing by and twisting softly on my skin. That calming touch crawled down to my back, and then gone. In the following moment, a fragrant scent of flowers sneaking into my nose.
I turned around to see what behind me, and realized that I was at the front of an old house. Strange, unlike the other house, it was neat, clean, and beautiful. It made me almost believe that the house was recently built, but who is going to build such house in a district where even a renovation requires few permissions from the city government directly?
An intention to see the interior of the house popped out inside my mind. I might able to persuade the owner, that I am one of the history admirer in the city, in fact I am to be honest. I took out my pocket camera and then walked to the door. I saw that the door was beautifully made and designed, therefore I knocked it slowly, avoiding accidentally scratch such beautiful deco.
Few moments I waited, and then a sound came from the door forced me to stand firmly. The next thing I saw was a pretty European young girl, in a classic clothes. Strange, I must say. She wore a long-dressed shirt with laces on the wrist, a skirt which is as tall as her knees, a pair of long socks, and nice boots. For a second I thought there is a costume party inside. Her hair was long, light-brown, and a beautiful ribbon shaped like a butterfly clipped on it.
At the same time, I heard a beautiful music came from inside. If my ears weren't lying to me, it came from a gramophone. I moved my focus to the young lady.
"Hello there," I started the conversation. "I'm sorry, but my bike just suddenly stopped, and I saw your house. I am one of the history admirers in this city, can I take a look inside and have a nice tour?"
The girl didn't speak, but smiled and opened the door more widely, signalling that I am welcomed.
So there I was, walking around inside the house, admiring the classic furniture and the decorations of the house. We were walking together. But whenever I spoke to her, she only replied with smiling, or nodding, or not replying at all. I thought that she was mute, but when I asked so, she shook her head.
After 2 hours, I decided to finish my tour. I was taking my last picture of the decorations, when I realized she wasn't there anymore. I looked everywhere and found her carrying a tray to the living room, contain two porcelain cups and a teapot. She put them on a table and then invited me to have some tea. The air was cold, so I nodded and join her. She poured the tea gently. Then finally, she was speaking.
But the problem is, she was talking in Dutch. She talked a lot and I don't even catch any single meaning of her words, so I just do my best to make her feel that I understand her, by laughing or nodding.
Surprisingly, I felt a great pressure in my head. It wasn't painful like an ordinary headache, it's more like when you are sleepy. I tried to keep myself sit properly, but every time I forced myself, my head got heavier. The cup in my hand crashed and shattered on the floor. And then, I gave up, and fell to the floor. Yet, I can still hear her talking, and sometimes, giggling.
Everything Went Dark
Hardly, I opened my eyes, and then found myself lying on the ground, at the front of a desolated, dull house. An old man sat near me, spreading a warm scent of cajuput oil to my breathing distance from a little bottle in his hand. "Are you okay?" he asked me. "Where am I? Where was that house?" I replied.
The old man smiled and touch my shoulder, and said "That was Nina. Don't be afraid, she means you no harm."
I don't know why, but I think, this only happen to me, and that old man. He said that Nina was a dear friend of him, back at the ages of Dutch colonization time.