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19 Mei 2007

Two Paths (published; Suara Kampus Edisi Kelantan vol. 38)

The night was dark and windy. Stars were like glittering hints of many treasures in the black rug of night, only waiting to be dug out. The waxing moon was full, shining through the riding clouds of the night.

“She looks really pretty tonight, right Light?” asked Dark.

Light was lying next to him, on the green carpet of grass, staring at the atmosphere. “Right. I wish the world could be just like this. I hope that our world is not at war, Dark. I hope we can live in peace.”

Dark sighed. “Hope is just hope, Light. We can do nothing. We’re powerless. We’re feeble. Frail. Fragile.”

Light took a deep breath. Then exhaled. “I know. We cannot do a thing. Not unless we have power to stop all these insanity and psychosis. It looks like a disease that has already devoured all those people’s souls.”

“But your father, Light,” protested Dark, “is the leader of one of the battling clans.”

“And your father too is the leader of the other clan. We cannot doubt over this matter, Dark. It’s not worth it.”

“Then what, Light?”

Light heaved a deep breath. “We can only make sure that we, ourselves, would not be involved in this affair.”

“Not a chance, Light.”

“Neither will I. But then, I will lead myself for a better future, for a better world, where the only thing I can find is peace and serenity.”

“I’ll find you there, Light.”

Both of the kids smiled.


The Captain looked at the fortress. There’s no turning back. In the struggle to reach the citadel, the Captain had had too many battles. He was ultimately stranded, war-torn. Only a few of his army survived, and followed him to the fortress of the enemy’s clan.

But the Captain began to doubt about his act. He led his army to war. A war he once hated so much. The war he didn’t want to get involved. But then, he suddenly came to his heart, hearing the voice deep inside himself.

‘You shoulder the burden your father had been carrying long ago. The burden that is to lead your people to peace. Why should you falter now, then?’

‘I have been wondering… if what I do is the right thing…’

‘You are a leader. Leaders don’t always make the right decisions, but they make their decision right.’

‘Yes, my father told me that.’

‘Then… why should you doubt?’

‘I don’t know why I fight. I never know the reason why I draw my sword. I only do this because… because my father asked me to. I hate to admit this, but I must know why.’

‘Did you remember what your father taught you back then, when you were a child?’


‘That is why you are now doubting. Get a grip. Flash your thought.’


Light followed his father to a plateau. The breeze from the sea felt comforting. The day was calm. It wasn’t very sunny. But it looked good to go out for a walk.

“Look at the sea, Light,” said the Captain. “It waves to us. It is waving the waft of peace.”

Light thoughtfully gazed at his father, and his words.

“My vision is to make a world where we can live in harmony. But there are others on the opposite, which want to achieve peace with any means. Not with the means of ours, but they hunger for power and will do anything to realize their desire. That is not the true peace we seek, my son. Greed will only lead to destruction.”

“But Dark told me that his father always tells him that with power and wealth, nothing is impossible,” Light tried to protest.

The Captain smiled at the words of his son. He looked at the child’s face. There was a hint of curiosity in him.

“Let me ask you something, Light. If you were hungry, and your mom cooks a meal which doesn’t fulfill your hunger, would you ask to have another?”

“Absolutely, father!”

“Then that is absolutely what Dark’s father has been seeking.” The Captain turned to the ocean and stared lordly at the emerald waves. “Like the water there. Drinking water is essential to our lives, but drinking salty one like that will make you want more, but doesn’t even quench your thirst.

“Seeking power is like drinking sea water. You will want more and more thus making you more thirsty, and sooner or later, you’ll die in thirst.

“Dark’s father will want more and more. Once he defeats us, he will definitely try to make the world succumb under his only rule. We are the ones who can stop him.”



The Captain opened his eye-lids. Almost as abruptly.

“You okay?” asked one of his remaining soldier.

“Yes. I’m all right.”

“Should we bash into the fortress now?”

The Captain shook his head. “No, it’s getting dark now. We should jolt in tomorrow morning right after we break camp. The enemy already fled, anyway, and there’s nothing to rush about.”



Light and Dark met for the last time. They would have to part, following what path had laid before them.

“I’m sorry, Dark. The war doesn’t seem to let us to get together anymore,” said Light. There were sparkles of regret in his eyes.

“Don’t be sad, Light. I promise we will see each other again one day.”

“And on that day, we’ll become friends again, won’t we?”


Both of them exchanged their swords, which were given by their fathers, as a token of their friendship.


The Captain walked to the throne where the enemy’s leader was sitting in the fortress. He drew his sword from its sheath.

“Welcome to my humble home, Captain, or should I call, my dear friend, Light,” said the man on the throne.

The remaining soldiers unsheathed their blades too and tried to rush forth, but the Captain forbade.

“No, hold your ground. I’ll deal with this,” he said.

The soldiers halted and sheathing back their swords, they walked back to their position.

“Ah, just like you, Light. You never change,” commented Dark.

“But you do. You sacrificed our friendship just for the sake of power!” barked Light. “You’ve broken your oath.”

“You too have broken yours! Why do you have to draw your sword against your former friend?”

“Yeah, my former friend, not a friend anymore, though. You are a traitor!”

Dark grinned, and eventually laughed a diabolical laugh.

“Enough is enough,” he said, still laughing, and drew his sword; the sword that had become his symbol of friendship with Light. And now, he was going to use that symbol to destroy their long-built relationship. “Let’s finish this once and forever, Light!”

Light held his blade forth. “I still want to give you a chance, Dark. Drop your weapon and I will think you as my comrade!”

“And we’ll become friends again? Like I said long ago? What’s this? Cowardice? Come on, Light! Have you lost your guts?”

Light gripped his swords’s hilt firm, resolved. “I have no choice, then.”

“Come, Captain! Give me your best!” barked Dark cynically.

Then, both of them rushed. Blades clinking.

There is no telling who wins the fight. Just note that, wherever there is light, there is darkness. And vice versa. But note also that, light and darkness shall never merge and unite into one. This brings us to a conclusion that, good and bad will never be under one roof.

“Say: The bad and the good are not equal, though the abundance of the bad may please you; so be careful of (your duty to) Allah, O men of understanding, that you may be successful.” ( Al-Maidah: 5: 100 )

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