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Raibnya Abdul Hakeem-Irshad | The Disappearance of Abdul-Hakeem Irshad

Raibnya Abdul Hakeem-Irshad | The Disappearance of Abdul-Hakeem Irshad

Karya seni oleh Shams Najafi, dikomisi oleh the archipelago. 

To read this piece in English translation, please scroll down.

 

Sudan


Hilangnya Abdul-Hakeem Irshad membuat si Lelaki Sudan menjadi tempat semua orang bertanya.

Kapan terakhir kali kau bertemu Abdul-Hakeem Irshad?

Tiga hari sebelum tanggal keberangkatannya ke Kanada.

Apa ada yang aneh waktu itu? 

Tidak ada.

Apa dia sempat mengontakmu setelahnya?

Tidak. Aku belum mendengar apa pun darinya.

Ia bahkan harus mengurus kucing yang dipungut oleh lelaki itu. Dua minggu setelah lelaki itu menghilang ia membuka kamar kosong itu dan mulai mencari petunjuk. Tapi nihil, hanya ada beberapa baju bekas yang Abdul-Hakeem katakan akan ia tinggal dan sebuah koper yang sudah dikunci rapat.

Beberapa orang Afghanistan dari komunitas pengungsi datang ke unit apartemen mereka siang itu. Mereka memeriksa kamar Abdul-Hakeem Irshad dan menarik koper itu keluar. Seseorang dari mereka bertanya padanya, “Mengapa koper ini kosong?”

Ia mengernyitkan dahinya sambil menggeleng penuh keheranan. Tapi lelaki yang tadi bertanya padanya kembali membuat darah naik ke kepalanya dengan satu pertanyaan. “Apakah kalian pernah bertengkar?”

“Apa maksudmu bertanya demikian?”

Seorang wanita menengahi mereka berdua. Setelah beberapa saat memeriksa barang-barang Abdul-Hakeem Irshad, akhirnya segerombolan pengungsi Afghanistan itu pergi dan meninggalkan si Lelaki Sudan itu sendiri. Tidak masuk akal, pikirnya dalam hati. Bukannya dia yang harusnya bertanya gerombolan itu kalau mereka pernah bertengkar dengan Abdul-Hakeem Irshad? Kalau tidak mengapa Abdul-Hakeem Irshad memilih tinggal dengannya, bukan dengan komunitas atau pengungsi Afghanistan yang lain? Jelas ada alasan tertentu di balik itu.

Selepas kepergian mereka, si Lelaki Sudan mulai memasak makan malamnya. Ia membuka jendela sambil menunggu syurbah yang menjadi untuk matang. Ia melihat-lihat apakah kucing kampung yang dipelihara oleh Abdul-Hakeem Irshad akan kembali pulang.

Pikirannya kembali mengembara, apakah nanti dia bisa disalahkan dengan menghilangnya lelaki itu? Bagaimana jika ia dilaporkan polisi? Tapi ia tahu hilangnya satu orang pengungsi di negara ini berarti berkurangnya satu masalah. Tentu saja para polisi tidak akan mengusutnya. Tadinya ia berpikir bahwa mungkin Abdul-Hakeem Irshad sengaja bersembunyi sampai ia tiba di Kanada. Tapi tak dianya, ia juga tidak terbang ke negara itu.

Ia menuang semangkok syurbah untuknya. Tapi ia mengingat bahwa Abdul-Hakeem Irshad juga menyukai makanan ini. Akhirnya ia kembali membuka kamar lelaki itu dan mengecek sekali lagi. Ia mengeluarkan koper yang ada di lemari dan terkejut, koper itu sangat ringan. Ia memindahkan koper itu ke atas kasur sambil bertanya-tanya, mengapa orang yang sudah menunggu bertahun-tahun untuk keluar dari negara ini malah tidak mempersiapkan kepergiannya.

 

Afghanistan


Ingatan si lelaki Afghanistan akan Abdul-Hakeem Irshad kembali seminggu setelah lelaki itu menghilang.
Ia baru saja pulang setelah berkumpul dengan teman-teman modelnya yang lain. Sesampainya di kost yang ia tempati di Depok, entah mengapa ia mengecek message request yang ada di Instagramnya, sesuatu yang jarang ia lakukan. Tetapi harus ia lakukan karena terkadang ada peluang dan tawaran dari jenama-jenama di Indonesia yang akan menawarkan endorsement padanya.

Pesan itu dikirim empat hari lalu oleh social workernya dulu, si lelaki Jawa. Mengatakan bahwa Abdul-Hakeem Irshad menghilang seminggu sebelum ia akan berangkat ke Kanada. Ia membalas pesan itu dengan cepat. Satu jam setelahnya ia menutup telpon dengan Lelaki Jawa itu yang dulu menjaganya selama ia berada di shelter.

Berdua, ia dan Abdul-Hakeem Irshad, pernah tinggal bersama selepas keluar dari shelter. Waktu itu bukan hal yang mudah, Abdul-Hakeem Irshad sibuk dengan dunia di dalam kepalanya sendiri sementara ia sibuk mencari cara bertahan hidup. Di negara asing tempat ia menetap. Ia bahkan tidak mempunyai kewarganegaraan, pekerjaan atau bahkan sebuah tempat yang bisa ia sebut rumah. Tapi ia mempunyai keluarga-keluarga baru di tempat ini. Abdul-Hakeem Irshad pernah menjadi salah satunya. Sampai mereka bertengkar beberapa tahun lalu.

Penyebabnya sepele, hanya karena angka sepuluh ribu. Jumlah followers di Instagram si Lelaki Afghanistan itu melonjak dalam beberapa bulan. Abdul-Hakeem Irshad juga turut bahagia dengan kebahagiaan temannya itu. Sementara jumlah followers-nya ia terus meningkat, persaudaraan mereka semakin renggang. Ia semakin jarang ada di rumah, sibuk dengan teman-teman barunya. Persahabatan yang baru ia bangun dengan melihat jumlah followers dan berapa banyak mention di Instagram. Sampai akhirnya Abdul-Hakeem Irshad mulai meminta hal yang aneh menurutnya.

“Memangnya kenapa kalau mereka tahu kau pengungsi?” tanya Abdul-Hakeem Irshad.

“Teman-teman dan followersku bisa menjauh kalau mereka tahu aku pengungsi.”

“Apa hubungannya? Kalau mereka benar-benar temanmu, seharusnya mereka tidak peduli akan hal itu. Justru mereka harusnya membantumu!”

“Kau tidak mengerti, Abdul-Hakeem Irshad!”

“Jadi kau tidak akan memposting gambar ini di Instagrammu?”

Ia menggeleng waktu itu. Ia tidak melihat kilatan marah di mata Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. Hanya kesedihan dan kekecewaan. Sampai beberapa bulan mereka harus pindah rumah dan Lelaki Afghanistan itu diajak tinggal bersama pendiri agency model tempat ia bernaung. Lelaki itu mempercayainya dan ia mempercayai juga lelaki itu. Ia bahkan memberikannya pekerjaan tanpa kontrak dan membayarnya tunai.

Bertahun berlalu, followers si Lelaki Afghanistan bertambah melewati enam digit.

Tapi ketenaran punya harganya sendiri. Komunitas pengungsinya acap kali meminta bantuannya tapi ia sama sekali tidak berani membuka statusnya sebagai pengungsi. Ia seperti berada di dua dunia. Abdul-Hakeem Irshad pernah bertanya padanya dulu apakah ia mencintai Indonesia.

“Aku tidak tahu,” jawabnya. Ia menyukai negara ini tapi negara ini tidak menyukainya, ralat, orang-orang sepertinya. Ia bahkan tidak perlu bertanya pada temannya itu apakah ia mencintai Indonesia. Abdul-Hakeem Irshad pernah berkata bahwa ia terbelenggu di negara ini. Ia bahkan tidak mendapat hak sebagai manusia, untuk mencari pekerjaan, pendidikan, dan rumah tinggal yang nyaman.

Ada waktu dimana si Lelaki Afghanistan merasa sedikit kesal kepada Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. Ia terlalu larut pada kesedihan dan kemarahannya sendiri. Kesedihan dan kemarahannya itu tidak bisa membawanya kemana-mana. Ia juga pernah melihat bahwa Abdul-Hakeem Irshad disiksa oleh karena tulisannya sendiri yang mengkritik para penjaga tempat penampungan pengungsi.

Tulisan Abdul-Hakeem Irshad berbahaya dengan caranya sendiri.

Bahkan walaupun jarang bertukar kabar, si Lelaki Afghanistan masih sering membaca tulisan-tulisan Abdul-Hakeem Irshad di Facebook. Kebanyakan bernada marah dan putus asa. Tidak jarang mengkritik Indonesia. Sampai beberapa bulan lalu ia mulai menulis puisi cinta di Facebooknya. Mungkin Abdul-Hakeem Irshad menemukan tambatan hatinya di sini sehingga ia tidak mau pergi? Apakah ia kembali melakukan perbuatan bodoh seperti tahun-tahun mereka di shelter? Atau mungkin Abdul-Hakeem kembali terkena masalah dari tulisan-tulisannya? Tapi justru dari si Lelaki Jawa penjaga shelter mereka dulu barulah ia tahu bahwa tulisan-tulisan itulah yang membawanya mendapatkan kesempatan untuk pindah ke Kanada.

Bahkan ratusan ribu followers si Lelaki Afghanistan itu tampak tidak berharga sekarang.

Ia mencoba tidak memikirkan Abdul-Hakeem Irshad barang sejenak. Ia mulai membersihkan tubuhnya lalu berbaring di kekelaman kamarnya. Tapi akhirnya ia malah membuka facebooknya dan membaca semua tulisan Abdul-Hakeem Irshad yang ada di sana. Tak berapa lama ia menekan tombol pesan dan melihat bahwa seminggu yang lalu Abdul-Hakeem Irshad mengirim pesan padanya tapi sudah dihapus. Ia terbangun dengan cepat sambil memusatkan perhatiannya pada pesan yang terhapus itu.

Apa yang ingin kau katakan, Abdul-Hakeem Irshad?

 

Jawa


Lelaki Jawa itu tidak menyangka bahwa kali terakhir ia melihat Abdul-Hakeem Irshad secara langsung adalah bertahun-tahun lalu saat ia mencoba pergi dari dunia ini dengan caranya sendiri. 

Si Lelaki Jawa tidak pernah lagi bertemu secara langsung dengan Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. Mereka hanya bertukar pesan lewat whatsapp sesekali. Ia melihat pesan terakhir Abdul-Hakeem Irshad, mengabarinya bahwa ia akan segera pindah ke Kanada setelah mendapatkan sponsor di sana. Mereka berjanji untuk bertemu lagi terakhir kalinya. Tapi janji tinggallah janji dan pertemuan itu tidak pernah terjadi.

Hari dimana mereka seharusnya bertemu, Abdul-Hakeem Irshad menghilang tanpa kabar. Esoknya si Lelaki Jawa datang ke Apartemen Kalibata untuk mengecek keadaannya. Tapi ia tidak diperbolehkan naik oleh petugas keamanan. Beruntungnya si Lelaki Jawa bertemu dengan teman satu unit Abdul-Hakeem Irshad, seorang Pemuda Sudan yang juga mengabarkan perihal hilangnya Abdul-Hakeem Irshad.

Si Lelaki Jawa itu menghubungi Abdul-Hakeem Irshad setiap hari, tapi nihil. Pikiran mengenai Abdul Hakeem Irshad terus menghantui pikirannya.

Ia mengenal Abdul-Hakeem Irshad kurang lebih dua belas tahun lalu. Ia baru saja lulus kuliah dan mendapat pekerjaan sebagai pekerja sosial di salah satu shelter pengungsian di Tebet. Bertahun-tahun dia habiskan menjadi pekerja sosial tapi Abdul-Hakeem Irshad adalah pengungsi yang paling membekas di otaknya.

Abdul-Hakeem Irshad datang kepadanya sebagai seorang remaja yang seakan-akan dipaksa dewasa. Ia masuk ke dalam shelter pengungsian tempatnya bekerja. Awalnya ia tidak terlalu memusingkan remaja itu. Ada sekitar dua puluh remaja yang harus ia urus di sana. Lelaki Jawa juga tahu bahwa Abdul-Hakeem Irshad tampak tidak stabil, tapi toh begitu juga dengan dua puluhan remaja di sana.

Ia ingat betul suatu hari Abdul-Hakeem Irshad pernah datang padanya sambil menangis, Mengingat bahwa remaja itu bukanlah satu-satunya remaja pengungsi yang pernah datang padanya sambil menangis, si Lelaki Jawa tidak terlalu ingat akan perkara yang menyebabkan Abdul-Hakeem Irshad remaja menangis waktu itu. Waktu berjalan seperti biasa sampai akhirnya seminggu setelahnya si Lelaki Jawa-lah yang menangis. Di depan kamar rumah sakit tempat Abdul-Hakeem Irshad dirawat.

Itu adalah kali pertama ia memergoki Abdul-Hakeem Irshad mencoba membunuh dirinya sendiri.

Di waktu-waktu lain remaja itu tumbuh seperti remaja pengungsi lain di shelter tempatnya bekerja. Penuh harapan bahwa mereka akan mendapat tempat yang baru di luar Indonesia. Walau tentu saja terkadang ia dapat melihat sorotan mata mereka yang menyimpan kepahitannya sendiri. Tumbuh besar dalam keluarga yang harmonis membuat si Lelaki Jawa terkadang tidak dapat benar-benar memahami apa yang terjadi pada anak-anak yang ia jaga. Tapi ia mendengar beberapa hal.

Mereka datang dalam kapal dari negara mereka yang berkobar dalam konflik, berharap-harap mereka mendarat di satu negara utopia yang akan menampungnya. Tetapi si Lelaki Jawa telah mengenal negaranya sendiri dengan yakin, bahkan terkadang warga negara sendiri terurus dan terlantar, bagaimana mungkin negara ini peduli dengan mereka yang terbuang dari negaranya masing-masing.

Mungkin alasan-alasan itulah yang membuat Abdul-Hakeem Irshad mencoba bunuh diri. Sangat disayangkan melihat harapan para remaja ini terus menerus dipatahkan, bahkan dalam umur yang sedemikian muda. Selaiknya harapan itu yang patah berulang, perbuatan Abdul-Hakeem Irshad di masa remajanya pun terus berulang. Seminggu sebelum ulang tahunnya yang kedelapan belas, Lelaki Jawa kembali menemukan Abdul-Hakeem Irshad terkulai di atas ranjangnya dengan mulut berbusa.

Remaja itu selamat. Tetapi sesuai peraturan yang berlaku Abdul-Hakeem Irshad harus keluar dari shelter setelah berumur delapan belas tahun. Dan Lelaki Jawa tidak pernah lagi bertemu secara langsung dengan Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. Mereka sesekali berbalas pesan via Instagram ataupun Whatsapp. Setidaknya Lelaki Jawa tahu Abdul-Hakeem Irshad masih bernafas dan menjalani hidupnya.

Di hari dimana Abdul-Hakeem Irshad berangkat ke Kanada, Lelaki Jawa sedang berada di shelter. Memandang beberapa remaja pengungsi yang tengah membersihkan shelternya. Ia seperti melihat Abdul-Hakeem Irshad remaja berada di depannya. Menyapu halaman lantas mata mereka bertemu. Remaja itu tersenyum dengan tulus, kepolosan berenang di tatapannya.

Seorang remaja menyenggol badannya pelan. Membawanya kembali dari kenangan. Remaja tadi tersenyum padanya dengan kepolosan yang sama. Lelaki Jawa menarik nafas panjang. Berharap semoga dimanapun Abdul-Hakeem Irshad berada, di dunia ini maupun yang lain, ia akan menemukan kebahagiaannya sendiri.

 

Moggy


Kucing Kampung kembali ke tempatnya dilahirkan tiga hari setelah majikannya menghilang.

Tidak banyak kenangan yang dapat diingat di memorinya yang terbatas. Tapi samar ia mengingat bau sampah dan suara lalat yang berdesing saat ia mencari-cari puting ibunya. Kucing kampung juga tidak dapat mengenal waktu yang mengalir melewatinya. Yang ia ingat suatu waktu ibunya menghilang dan saat itulah ia harus menghadapi dunianya sendiri. Berkelana di antara warung-warung kecil dan gedung-gedung apartemen Kalibata. Saat malam tiba ia akan beranjak mengikuti suara kereta. Di sanalah ia bertemu dengan Abdul-Hakeem Irshad.

Kucing Kampung seakan-akan tahu bahwa orang di depannya adalah makhluk yang baik. Jika tidak bagaimana mungkin lelaki itu memberikannya sekerat daging sambil mengelus kepalanya dengan sayang. Lantas mengajaknya berbicara sepanjang makan malam itu dalam bahasa Farsi yang liris. Tentu saja Kucing Kampung tidak mengerti apa yang dikatakannya, tetapi ia melihat kerinduan yang dalam dan tak berdasar menggelayut di mata Abdul-Hakeem Irshad.

Suatu hari lelaki itu membawa seorang perempuan berkerudung makan malam bersamanya. Kucing Kampung membaui wanita itu lantas mengeluskan kepalanya di kaki Abdul-Hakeem Irshad dengan protektif. Tidak akan dibiarkannya ada makhluk lain merebut perhatian lelaki itu darinya. Tapi tak dianya, wanita itu justru menyarankan Abdul-Hakeem Irshad membawanya pulang dan merawatnya. Mereka bahkan memberinya namanya, Rumi.

Tapi suatu hari Abdul-Hakeem Irshad tidak kembali.

Tiga malam berganti sudah. Rumi mengigau keras kepada Lelaki Sudan untuk memberinya makan. Akhirnya piring kecil tempatnya makan kembali terisi dengan makanan kering. Ia menyantap makanan itu dengan lahap. Selang beberapa jam kemudian ia tidak terlalu mencari Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. Dengan gatal ia menggaruk dinding apartemen sampai garis-garis halus terukir di kertas dinding.

Saat Lelaki Sudan itu membuka pintu untuk keluar, Rumi mengikutinya. Teman Abdul-Hakeem Irshad itu mengangkatnya ke depan mukanya dan bertanya apakah Rumi juga merindukan tuannya? Setelah itu ia diletakkan kembali ke dalam. Tapi akhirnya dengan keberanian yang entah berasal dari mana ia melompat keluar dari balkon yang ada di lantai 1.

Hari sudah mulai kehilangan cahayanya saat Rumi berjalan gontai sambil mendengar keramaian yang sudah lama tak ia rasakan semenjak Abdul-Hakeem Irshad mengadopsinya. Ia mendengar desisan dan ngiauan marah di belakangnya. Tiba-tiba saja seekor kucing lain mengejarnya. Rumi berlari dengan cepat. Menuju bagian belakang kompleks apartemen tempat pembuangan sampah. Dulu ia dilahirkan di tempat itu sampai ibunya tak lagi mengurus ia dan saudara-saudarinya.

Ia mencium bau seseorang yang ia kenal. Suatu waktu sebelum Abdul-Hakeem Irshad membawanya ke apartemen, beberapa pemuda mabuk pernah memukul majikannya tanpa alasan yang jelas. Bau bir bercampur keringat para pemuda itu masuk kembali ke penciumannya. Mengingatkannya akan malam itu. Rumi tidak dapat mengerti bahasa manusia, tapi ia dapat merasakan para pemuda itu tampak bahagia akan sesuatu. Salah satu dari mereka mengangkat jarinya dan menggeseknya ke leher sendiri, lantas ia tergelak.

Rumi terus beranjak pergi sambil mengiau nama Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. Lelaki yang dulu menyelamatkannya dari kejamnya jalanan. Sekarang waktu bagi dirinyalah membalas kebaikan lelaki itu.

 

Kanada


Si Lelaki Kanada itu termenung di keramaian Bandara Calgary. Bermain dengan berbagai kemungkinan yang ada. Mungkin Abdul-Hakeem Irshad ingin memberinya kejutan. Meskipun sungguh ini adalah kejutan yang sangat tidak lucu.

Mrs. Tremblay dan para sponsor yang juga menunggu bersama si Lelaki Kanada itu tampak kehilangan harapan. Wanita tua itu mulai menangis, takut suatu hal terjadi pada Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. Si Lelaki Kanada itu mengelus bahunya, seakan dengan begitu kekhawatirannya akan hilang. Akhirnya satu-persatu mereka kembali pulang dengan membawa emosinya masing-masing. Meninggalkannya sendirian, yang entah mengapa masih mempunyai sejumput harap bahwa Abdul-Hakeem Irshad akan datang. Mrs. Tremblay yang terakhir pulang menanyakan padanya apa yang harus ia lakukan dengan berbagai kue yang ia buat untuk Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. Lantas mereka berdua tertawa tanpa sebab, Abdul-Hakeem Irshad bisa saja sedang celaka sekarang dan mereka memikirkan tentang kue.

Ia membuka pesan terakhir yang dikirimkan Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. Berkata bahwa ia tidak sabar untuk segera tiba di Kanada. Bagaimanapun juga keluar dari Indonesia adalah mimpi Abdul-Hakeem Irshad sejak dulu. Bahkan mimpi mereka semua, para pengungsi yang berharap ada negara lain yang akan membuka tangannya untuk mereka.

“Ceritaku bukanlah cerita penuh inspirasi,” Abdul-Hakeem Irshad pernah berkata pada Mrs. Tremblay dan dirinya. Saat mereka sedang menimbang untuk menjadi sponsor Abdul-Hakeem Irshad ke Kanada. “Ceritaku adalah cerita tentang keuletan.”

Dan Abdul-Hakeem Irshad mulai bercerita dan membagikan tulisan-tulisannya. Serta beberapa puisi yang ia tulis. Di akhir meeting daring itu Mrs. Tremblay menitikkan haru dan berjanji akan membantu si penulis terasing. Dua tahun berjuang, aplikasi permanent resident Abdul-Hakeem Irshad diterima. 

Karena itulah si Lelaki Kanada tidak mengerti apa yang terjadi pada temannya itu.

Whatsappnya berbunyi, Teman sekamar Abdul-Hakeem Irshad menanyakan apakah lelaki itu muncul. Ia menjawab bahwa ia juga masih menunggu. Ia mengontak kembali beberapa teman Abdul-Hakeem Irshad di Indonesia. Setelah itu ia mengecek kembali rute penerbangan yang seharusnya diambil oleh Abdul-Hakeem Irshad.

Si Lelaki Kanada menghela nafas penuh kekalahan.

Akhirnya ia beranjak pergi. Baik lelaki itu maupun dirinya pernah mengarungi samudera di atas kapal penuh cobaan dan marabahaya. Ia yakin bahwa Abdul-Hakeem Irshad masih hidup entah dimana. Mengembara untuk sampai di negara yang sekarang membuka tangan untuk menerimanya. Tapi kapan Abdul-Hakeem Irshad akan tiba? Mungkin hanya semesta yang tahu jawabannya.

 

Sunda


Inilah cinta: untuk terbang menuju langit rahasia.

Si Gadis Sunda selalu suka akan kalimat puisi ini. Penggalan puisi yang pernah dilontarkan oleh Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. Suatu waktu di tempat mereka berdua acap kali bertemu di pinggiran jalan Kalibata. Tempat para penjual makanan berjejer menjajakan berbagai macam penganan dan jajanan. Mereka sering menghabiskan waktu. Mendengar keramaian jalan, dan sesekali suara kereta yang lewat, menimpali percakapan mereka. Dan saat larik puisi itu dilontarkan si Gadis Sunda bahkan tidak perlu tahu apa pertanyaan yang diajukan oleh Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. Ia cukup tersipu malu dan mengangguk setuju.

Abdul-Hakeem Irshad jarang membicarakan masa lalunya di Afghanistan. Ia lebih suka membayangkan masa depannya sendiri. Suatu hari Abdul-Hakeem Irshad memberinya setangkai mawar putih. Sambil berkata bahwa sekarang ia juga memikirkan Gadis Sunda itu di pikiran-pikiran menyenangkan akan masa depannya.

Entah mengapa saat itu si Gadis Sunda seperti berada di nirwana kecil di antara Apartemen Kalibata dan rel kereta.

Tapi masa depan mereka berada di ujung tanduk saat Abdul-Hakeem Irshad berkata bahwa ia mendapatkan kewarganegaraan di Kanada. “Bagaimana dengan masa depan kita?” ia bertanya pada lelaki itu.

“Kamu bisa menunggu? Saya berjanji akan mengawinimu,” air kesedihan mulai berkumpul di pelupuk mata si Gadis Sunda. Abdul-Hakeem Irshad menyeka wajah gadis itu perlahan. “Kamu tahu kan keluargamu tidak menyetujui hubungan ini? Bersediakah kamu pindah ke Kanada denganku?”

Lantas Abdul-Hakeem Irshad memberinya sepucuk kertas. Seperti biasa lelaki itu acap kali menuliskan puisi untuknya. Alasan lain mengapa si Gadis Sunda bisa begitu mencintai Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. Ia membaca potongan puisi itu pelan-pelan.

Sepotong surga kita temukan

Seperti oase

Di antara kereta yang membawa orang pergi

Dan rumah tempat orang tinggal

Sekarang kita hanya perlu bertanya

Perlukah kita juga terbang menuju sepi

Atau tetap tinggal dalam tak pasti

Itu adalah percakapan mereka dua bulan lalu. Seminggu sebelumnya lelaki itu benar-benar menghilang dari hidupnya. Ia sudah mencoba mengunjungi teman satu apartemen Abdul-Hakeem Irshad, seorang lelaki berbadan besar asal Sudan. Tapi lelaki itu pun tidak mengetahui kemana temannya.

 Sejujurnya ada perasaan bahagia yang ia rasakan untuk Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. Meskipun jarang sekali mendengar tentang masa lalu lelaki itu, terutama yang terjadi di Afghanistan. Tapi bekerja di kedai ayam geprek yang ada di Apartemen Kalibata membuat gadis itu mendengar banyak hal. Terutama dari para pengungsi yang menetap di apartemen itu. Hal ini tentu saja membuatnya juga segan bertanya kepada Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. Lagipula ia mengamini perkataan lelaki itu, biarlah mereka berbicara tentang masa depan saja.

Tapi bagaimana mungkin masa depan itu mereka raih kalau di masa sekarang saja lelaki itu tiba-tiba menghilang.

Gadis Sunda itu tak tenang sepanjang hari. Esok hari seharusnya ia mengantar Abdul-Hakeem Irshad ke bandara. Melepasnya dengan tangisan seperti perpisahan sementara dua muda-mudi di serial Korea yang sering ia tonton. Bahkan itu saja sudah mampu membuatnya menangis bagaimana mungkin ia harus mengalaminya sendiri?

Sementara ia menggeprek ayam goreng pesanan tamunya, ia jadi berpikir, jangan-jangan Abdul-Hakeem Irshad sengaja menghilang agar ia ketinggalan pesawat? Mungkin saja ia sengaja agar dirinya bisa tinggal di Indonesia. Menetap dan mempunyai keluarga dengannya. Bagaimanapun juga Abdul-Hakeem Irshad berkata ia mencintai Indonesia selayaknya ia mencintai si Gadis Sunda.

Tiba-tiba saja mata si gadis berair. Buru-buru ia menyelesaikan pesanan lalu beranjak ke kamar kecil. Ia duduk di atas kloset sambil menangis, merutuki nasibnya sendiri. Apa yang sebenarnya terjadi? Di tengah bau pesing dan aroma pedas yang masih menguar dari tangannya ia menyeka air matanya hati-hati dengan ujung hijab.

Puas melepaskan kesedihannya ia beranjak keluar dan kembali melayani pelanggan yang entah mengapa membludak hari itu sehingga sedikit banyak dapat mengenyahkan pikiran-pikiran aneh dan terliarnya mengenai Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. Tapi lagi-lagi lelaki itu kembali hadir di kepalanya sepanjang perjalanan pulang. Sampai ia sampai di rumah dan melihat ayahnya sedang berada di teras. Meminta untuk dibuatkan kopi.

Gadis itu tidak membantah. Meskipun tahu ia sangat lelah baik secara fisik maupun mental. Ia tetap masuk ke dalam rumah dan menyiapkan kopi untuk ayahnya. Yang ia ketahui dengan pasti menghabiskan harinya di teras. Tanpa berusaha mencari nafkah untuk keluarga mereka. Ia membawa segelas kopi untuk ayahnya. Sambil bertanya-tanya mungkin ayahnya akan bahagia jika mendengar bahwa Abdul-Hakeem Irshad menghilang. Mengingat ayahnya sama sekali tidak setuju akan hubungan mereka berdua karena lelaki itu adalah pengungsi yang tak jelas asal-usulnya.

Lekas-lekas ia beranjak masuk ke dalam kamar dan menguncinya. Ia kembali mengecek ponselnya namun nihil, tidak ada kabar dari lelaki yang ia cintai. Diambilnya sebuah kotak dari dalam laci yang ia kunci. Ia membukanya dan mengambil satu stik kecil dari dalamnya. Ia teringat Abdul-Hakeem Irshad pernah bercerita tentang mawar putih liar yang ada di kampung halamannya. Ia juga teringat bahwa Abdul-Hakeem Irshad telah memetik mawarnya, di suatu malam. Si Gadis Sunda menatap stik yang ia pegang dan melihat garis yang ada di sana.

 

The Disappearance of Abdul-Hakeem Irshad

 

Sudanese


The disappearance of Abdul-Hakeem Irshad made The Sudanese into the one everyone asked questions. 

When was the last time you saw Abdul-Hakeem Irshad?

Three days before his departure date for Canada.

Was there anything strange from the last time you saw him?

There wasn’t.

Has he contacted you again?

He hasn’t.

Abdul-Hakeem Irshad has gone and abandoned his cats. The Sudanese took the responsibility to take care of them. Two weeks after the man disappeared, he opened Abdul-Hakeem Irshad’s empty room and started looking for clues. But to no avail, there were only a few used clothes that Abdul-Hakeem said he would leave behind and a suitcase that had been tightly locked.

Several Afghans from the refugee community came to their apartment that very afternoon. They checked Abdul-Hakeem Irshad’s room and pulled a suitcase out. One of them asked him, “Why is this suitcase empty?”

His brows furrowed in frustration, shaking head in disbelief. His blood rushed to his head when the man who had asked him earlier submitted another question. “Have you guys ever had a fight?”

“What do you mean by asking that?”

Their argument probably would have become violent if a woman hadn’t interceded. After a thorough check of Abdul-Hakeem Irshad’s belongings, they went out.  Leaving The Sudanese alone. It doesn’t make sense, he thought to himself. He is more entitled to ask those questions to them: “Have you guys ever had a fight?” The fact that Abdul-Hakeem Irshad chose to stay with him over other Afghan refugees was a strong proof of it.

Only after their departure did he feel calm. He started cooking dinner and opened the window while waiting for the Syurbah to be fully cooked. He looked around to see if any of Abdul-Hakeem Irshad’s cats came back home that night.

His mind wandered again, could he later be blamed for the disappearance of the man? What if he was reported to the police? He set his own mind at ease. One lost refugee means one less problem in this country. The police, of course, are not going to look into this case. Earlier he had thought that probably Abdul-Hakeem Irshad had been hiding until he arrived in Canada. But unexpectedly, he didn’t fly to that country either.

He poured a bowl of Syurbah for himself. As his eyes gazed at the food, he remembered that Abdul-Hakeem Irshad liked it too. He eventually ventured back into the man’s room and checked everything once more. He took out the suitcase that was in the closet and was surprised, it was so light. He moved the suitcase onto the bed wondering why a person who had waited years to get out of this country didn’t even prepare for his departure.

 

Afghan


The Afghan’s memory of Abdul-Hakeem Irshad returned a week after the man disappeared.

He had just come home after hanging out with his other model friends. When he arrived at his boarding house in Depok, for some reason he immediately checked the message requests on his Instagram, something he rarely does. But he has to check them because every so often brands in Indonesia will offer him endorsements through Instagram’s messages.

There was one message sent four days ago by his former social worker, The Javanese. It said that Abdul-Hakeem Irshad had disappeared a week before he was due to leave for Canada. He replied to the message quickly. The message ended up being a long phone call. After an hour, he ended the conversation with the The Javanese who used to look after him while he was at the shelter.

The two of them had lived under the same roof after leaving the shelter. It was not an easy time for either of them. Abdul-Hakeem Irshad was busy with his mind while he was busy looking for a way to survive. In the foreign country where he resides, he didn’t even have a nationality, a job or even a place he could call home. But he has new families here. Abdul-Hakeem Irshad was once one of them. Until they had a fight a few years ago.

It was just a pointless fight really, triggered by a silly number: ten thousand. It was the total of The Afghan’s Instagram followers that had soared in recent months. Abdul-Hakeem Irshad was also happy with his friend’s happiness. While the number of his followers continued to increase, their brotherhood was increasingly tenuous. He was less and less at home, busy with his new friends that he tried to be relate with by maintaining the number of followers and mentions on Instagram. Until suddenly, Abdul-Hakeem Irshad started asking strange things, one of them was his willingness to post a picture on his Instagram.

“So what if they know you’re a refugee?” asked Abdul-Hakeem Irshad.

“My friends and followers will stay away if they find it out.”

“There’s no such thing. If they really are your friends, they shouldn’t care about that. Instead, they should be helping you!”

“You don’t understand, Abdul-Hakeem Irshad!”

“Are you really not going to help me to post this picture on your Instagram?”

He shook his head at the time. He didn’t see a glint of anger in Abdul-Hakeem Irshad’s eyes, therewas only  sadness and disappointment. A few months passed and they had to move house. The Afghan has been invited to live with the founder of the modeling agency he has been working with. The man believed in him and he trusted the man too. He even gave him a job without a contract and paid him cash.

The years have passed and The Afghan’s Instagram followers grew past six digits.

But fame has its price. His refugee community often asks for his help but he never dares to reveal his status as a refugee. It’s like being in two worlds. Abdul-Hakeem Irshad once asked him if he loved Indonesia.

“I don’t know,” he answered. He likes this country but this country doesn’t like him, or to be exact, the people do not. He didn’t even have to ask his friend if he loved Indonesia. Abdul-Hakeem Irshad once said that he was trapped in this country. He doesn’t even have the right as a human being, to find a job, an education, and a comfortable house to live in.

There was a moment when the Afghan was a little annoyed with Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. He was too absorbed in sadness and anger. That sadness and anger can’t take him anywhere. His friend expressed those feelings through writing by criticizing the refugee shelter’s guards. He then witnessed that Abdul-Hakeem Irshad was tortured because of it.

 Abdul-Hakeem Irshad’s writings are dangerous in an unimaginable way.

As a matter of fact, both of them rarely exchanged news. Nevertheless, The Afghan still read Abdul-Hakeem Irshad’s writings on Facebook. Same old same old, most are angry and desperate. It’s not surprising that many of them are criticizing Indonesia. But in the last few months, he started writing love poems on his Facebook. Maybe Abdul-Hakeem Irshad found his soulmate here so he forgot his hatred of being in the country? Did he go back to doing careless things like he did when they spent years at shelter? Or maybe Abdul-Hakeem got into trouble again from his writings? He only found out later from The Javanese who worked as a guard in their old shelter, that rather those writings brought Abdul-Hakeem Irshad an opportunity to move to Canada.

Even The Afghan’s hundreds of thousands of followers seem worthless now.

He tried not to think about Abdul-Hakeem Irshad for a moment. He took a bath and then lay down in the darkness of his room. However, he couldn’t resist the urge to open his Facebook and read all the writings of Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. It wasn’t long before he pressed the message button and saw that a week ago Abdul-Hakeem Irshad had sent him one. Unfortunately, it had been deleted. He woke up quickly while focusing his attention on the deleted message.

What do you want to say, Abdul-Hakeem Irshad?

 

Javanese 


It’s been years since The Javanese saw Abdul-Hakeem Irshad in person. He recalled the last time was when he tried to leave this world on his own terms.

After the incident, The Javanese never again met face-to-face with Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. They only texted each other via WhatsApp occasionally. He saw Abdul-Hakeem Irshad’s last message, informing him that he would soon be moving to Canada after securing a sponsor there. They promised to meet again one last time. But promises stay promises and the meeting never happened.

It was the day when they were supposed to meet. Abdul-Hakeem Irshad managed to disappear without leaving any word. The next day, The Javanese came to the Kalibata Apartment to check on his condition. But he was not allowed to go up by security officers. Luckily, the Javanese encountered Abdul-Hakeem Irshad’s roommate, a young Sudanese who reported the disappearance of Abdul-Hakeem Irshad.

The Javanese contacted Abdul-Hakeem Irshad every day, but he was unable to go through to him. Therefore, the thought of Abdul Hakeem Irshad kept haunting his mind.

He first met Abdul-Hakeem Irshad twelve years ago. He had just graduated from college and got a job as a social worker in one of the refugee shelters in Tebet. He spent years working as a social worker but Abdul-Hakeem Irshad was the refugee that stuck with him the most.

When Abdul-Hakeem Irshad joined the refugee shelter, he saw him as a teenager who was forced into adulthood. At first, he didn’t pay attention to him. There were around twenty teenagers that he had to take care of.  He knew that Abdul-Hakeem Irshad looked unstable, but so did the other teenagers.

Until now, the image of the day Abdul-Hakeem Irshad came to him crying was still stuck in his head. It wasn’t an extraordinary event at the shelter, considering it has happened to others too. The Javanese can’t recall the exact cause that made the teenage Abdul-Hakeem Irshad cry at that time. He lives his day as usual until a week later, it was the Javanese man who cried. In front of the hospital room where Abdul-Hakeem Irshad is being treated, he sobbed uncontrollably.

It was the first time he caught Abdul-Hakeem Irshad trying to kill himself.

At other times, Abdul-Hakim Irshad grew up like any other refugee teenagers in the shelter. They were hoping to find a new place outside Indonesia. Sometimes, when The Javanese saw through their eyes, he could sense the sorrow and bitterness. Growing up in a harmonious family makes The Javanese couldn’t really understand what happened to those children. But he heard a few things.

Due to war and raging conflict, they fled from their home country by boat. They wished to land in a utopian country that would welcome and resettle them. But The Javanese understood his homeland better. He knew for sure that the state wouldn’t take care of them, not when their own citizens had to take care of themselves.

The complexity of this issue perhaps was the reason why Abdul-Hakeem Irshad tried to commit suicide. It’s a shame to see the hopes of these young people being continuously broken, even at such a young age. When it falls down over and over again, Abdul-Hakeem Irshad felt no other option but to end his life. A week before his eighteenth birthday, The Javanese, again, found Abdul-Hakeem Irshad slumped on his bed with a foaming mouth.

Luckily, the teenager survived. However, due to the regulations, Abdul-Hakeem Irshad had to leave the shelter after turning eighteen years old. Soon after, The Javanese couldn’t meet with Abdul-Hakeem Irshad in person. They occasionally texted each other via Instagram or Whatsapp. From the texts, The Javanese knew that Abdul-Hakeem Irshad was still breathing and alive.

It was the day when Abdul-Hakeem Irshad are scheduled to left for Canada. The Javanese was at the shelter, watching refugee teenagers cleaning the surroundings. Seeing the boys, he remembered when young Abdul-Hakeem Irshad were doing the same thing ages ago. The Javanese felt as if Abdul-Hakeem Irshad were there, sweeping the yard then smiling when their eyes met. There was innocence in his eyes and his sincere smile.

Those daydreams were interrupted when one of the teenagers nudged his shoulder gently. The teenager smiled at him with the same innocence and sincerity. The Javanese took a deep breath. He wishes that wherever Abdul-Hakeem Irshad is, in this world or another, the boy will find his own happiness.

 

Moggy


Moggy returned home after its owner had disappeared for three days straight.

As a cat, there were not so many memories that he could recall in his finite memory. But once a while, he vaguely remembered the smell of garbage and the whirring of flies as he searched for his mother’s nipples. Time passed too fast, a stray cat couldn’t catch it. The cat remembered one time his mother disappeared and that was when he had to face the world by himself. He was wandering among the small stalls and apartment buildings of Kalibata. When the night fell, he followed the sound of the train. There, he met Abdul-Hakeem Irshad.

Moggy seemed to know that the person in front of him was a good creature. The man gave him a piece of meat while stroking his head affectionately. He spoke to him in lyrical Farsi. The stray cat didn’t understand a single word, but he could see the deep bottomless longing in Abdul-Hakeem Irshad’s eyes.

One day, Abdul-Hakeem Irshad brought a veiled woman to get dinner together. Moggy smelled the woman then caressed his head at Abdul-Hakeem Irshad’s feet protectively. He didn’t want another creature to take the man’s attention away from him. But she didn’t, the woman suggested Abdul-Hakeem Irshad to take him home. They even gave him a name, Rumi.

One day, Abdul-Hakeem Irshad did not return.

Three nights have passed. Rumi yowled in his sleep to The Sudanese, begging him to feed him. Finally, his small plate was again filled with dry food. He ate the food voraciously. After a few hours he didn’t really look for Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. He scratched the apartment’s walls until fine lines were etched on the wallpaper.

The Sudanese opened the door and Rumi followed him. He lifted the cat up to his face and asked Rumi if he also missed his master. Then, the Sudanese put him back inside of the apartment. Finally, Rumi found his courage to jump out of the balcony on the first floor.

The sun had fallen as Rumi wobbled among the noise of the crowd. He had not been in a crowd since Abdul-Hakeem Irshad adopted him. He heard hissings and angry grunts behind him. Suddenly, another cat chased after him. Rumi ran  fast towards the back of the apartment complex where the dumpster was. He was born there and lived in that place until his mother no longer took care of him and his brothers and sisters.

He recognized someone by their smell. It was from one time right before Abdul-Hakeem Irshad took him to his apartment. There were some drunk boys beating their master for no apparent reason. The smell of beer mixed with sweat snuck into his nostrils and reminded him of that night. Rumi couldn’t understand human language, but he could sense that the boys seemed happy about something. One of them raised his finger and rubbed it against his own neck, then he laughed.

Rumi kept walking while crying Abdul-Hakeem Irshad’s name, the man who had saved him from the cruelty of the streets. He believed now was the perfect time to repay the man’s kindness.

 

Canadian


The Canadian
stood in the crowd of Calgary Airport, looking pensive. His mind played with the various possibilities that he can think of. Does Abdul-Hakeem Irshad want to surprise him? The more he analyzed the situation, the more he thought that this was probably not a happy surprise.

The Canadian was not alone. He was with Mrs. Tremblay and other sponsors. They were all waiting for Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. He was scheduled to be arrive there in this exact moment. The old woman began to cry, afraid that something would happen to him. The Canadian rubbed his shoulder, as if his worries would go away. Finally, they left one by one as they didn’t see Abdul-Hakeem Irshad anywhere at the airport. The Canadian was the only person that stayed. He somehow still had a glimmer of hope that Abdul-Hakeem Irshad would come. Mrs. Tremblay, the last person who went home, even asked him what they should do with the cakes she had made for Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. Then they both laughed for no reason. Abdul-Hakeem Irshad could be in trouble right now and all that they had in their mind were the cakes.

He opened the last message from Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. The man said he couldn’t wait to get to Canada soon. Leaving Indonesia had been Abdul-Hakeem Irshad’s dream for a long time. Even more, it’s the dream of them all, every refugee person hopes there to be another country who will open its arms to them.

“This is far from an inspirational story,” Abdul-Hakeem Irshad once told Mrs. Tremblay and himself when they are considering to give sponsorship program to Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. “My story is a story of tenacity.”

bdul-Hakeem Irshad started telling his stories and sharing his writings; including some of heartfelt poems. At the end of the online meeting, Mrs. Tremblay shed tears and promised to help the estranged writer. After two years of struggling, Abdul-Hakeem Irshad’s permanent resident application was accepted.

That’s why the Canadian didn’t understand what had happened to his friend.

He was getting notification sound from his phone. Abdul-Hakeem Irshad’s roommate asked if the man had appeared. He replied that he too was still waiting. He contacted some of Abdul-Hakeem Irshad’s friends in Indonesia. He also rechecked the flight route that Abdul-Hakeem Irshad should have taken.

The Canadian sighed in defeat.

He left eventually. He and Abdul-Hakeem Irshad are not so different. He also fled from his motherland by boat, struggling to seek resettlement from other country. He was sure that Abdul-Hakeem Irshad was still alive somewhere. But, when will Abdul-Hakeem Irshad arrive in Canada? Only the universe knows what the answer would be.

 

Sundanese


This is love: to fly toward a secret sky.

The Sundanese always liked this line of poetry. Its fragment once uttered by Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. They often met on the roadside of Kalibata Road where they could easily find various snack vendors. They spent time together. The crowd and the sound of the passing trains occasionally interrupted their conversation. When that line of poem was recited to her, The Sundanese didn’t even have to know what question Abdul-Hakeem Irshad was asking. She was blushing and nodded in agreement.

Abdul-Hakeem Irshad rarely talked about his past in Afghanistan. He preferred to focus on the future. One day Abdul-Hakeem Irshad gave her a white rose and said that now his mind has been occupied with The Sunda.

The Sundanese felt like she was in a small paradise placed between the Kalibata Apartments and the train tracks.

But their future was on the line when Abdul-Hakeem Irshad said he was getting citizenship in Canada. “What about our future?” she asked the man.

“Can you wait? I promise to marry you.” The Sundanese cried in tears. Abdul-Hakeem Irshad wiped the girl’s face slowly. “You know your family doesn’t approve our relationship, right? Would you move to Canada with me?”

He then gave her a piece of paper. The Sundanese noticed that it was a poem written by Abdul-Hakeem Irshad himself. After all, it was one of the man’s qualities that made her fall in love with him. She read it slowly.

A piece of heaven we find

Like an oasis

Among the trains that take people away

And the house where people stay

Now we just have to ask

Should we also fly to the lonely

Or stay in uncertainty

It was their conversation two months ago. A week earlier, the man had completely disappeared from her life. She had tried to visit his apartment and met a large man from Sudan. She went home with no result because his friend didn’t know where Abdul-Hakeem Irshad was.

She can say that she’s happy if Abdul-Hakeem Irshad received resettlement in Canada. The man rarely talked about his past, especially what happened in Afghanistan. But working in an ayam geprek restaurant in Kalibata Apartments, the girl heard a lot of things, including stories about refugees who live nearby. Those stories are too sad and it made her reluctant to ask Abdul-Hakeem Irshad directly. After all, she agreed to just talk about their future.

Isn’t it ironic? How could they discuss the future when the man suddenly disappeared?

The Sundanese was restless all day. The next day, she was supposed to take Abdul-Hakeem Irshad to the airport. She was supposed to let the man go by shedding tears. This should be a temporary farewell, a bittersweet memory like the Korean drama she often watches. Just by remembering that alone was enough to make her cry. She could never imagine that she would experience it herself.

While she was preparing a customer’s fried chicken order, she thought, could it be Abdul-Hakeem Irshad had disappeared on purpose so that he would miss his flight? Perhaps, he did it on purpose in order to be able to stay in Indonesia. He would settle in and have a family with her. After all, Abdul-Hakeem Irshad said he loves Indonesia as much as he loves The Sunda.

Suddenly, she felt tears in the corner of her eyes. She quickly finished the order and went to the restroom. She sat on the closet crying and cursing her own fate. What really happened? In the midst of the smell, she wiped her tears carefully with the hem of her hijab.

When she was done crying and letting her sadness flow, she went back to serve the customers. Somehow that day there were many customers, so she could rid her mind of strange and wild thoughts about Abdul-Hakeem Irshad. When she finished her work and walked home, her consciousness reminded her of the man again. She could hold the memories until she arrived home and saw her father on the porch. He asked to be made a coffee.

The girl was very tired both physically and mentally, but she did not disobey. She went inside the house and prepared coffee for her father, who she knew for sure had spent all day on the terrace. The man never tried to make a living for the family. On the contrary, The Sundanese had worked hard to earn money every day, but she still had to make coffee for her unemployed father. She brought the coffee while thinking whether the old man would be happy to hear that Abdul-Hakeem Irshad had disappeared. She dropped this intention remembering that her father never agreed with their relationship at all, because Abdul-Hakeem Irshad was a refugee whose lineage could always be questioned.

She quickly went to her room and locked it. She checked her phone again, but nothing, there is no news from the man she loved. She took a box from a drawer that she had locked. She opened it and took a small stick from it. She remembered Abdul-Hakeem Irshad had told her about the wild white rose in his hometown. She also remembered the night that Abdul-Hakeem Irshad had picked her rose. The Sundanese looked at the stick she was holding and saw the two lines there.

 

Diterjemahkan ke dalam bahasa Inggris oleh Rizky Siregar dan Prinka Saraswati. Rizky Siregar adalah seorang penulis dan editor yang bermukim di Jakarta. Translated from the Indonesian language by Rizky Siregar and Prinka Saraswati. Rizky is a writer and editor based in Jakarta.

 

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