I titled this writing “Period.” because of its ambiguity. A period can be the end of something. Nevertheless, it can be also a start of something new.
This piece may be similar to what happened, or it can be also very far from the truth. I have done my homework, asking witnesses and interviewing others prior to writing this, yet some truths may be lost along the way. But I hope this will still resemble what happened on that tragic night.
In memoriam of Erfin Januar, Nikita Putri, and Rio Hartanto
Tragic Accident, 5 People in the car: 2 Survived, 3 Never Made it.
Central Jakarta, Menteng.
One couple, two boys, and one never going-to-be birthday girl.
It was Friday night, February 26th, 2010. Some teenagers, age no more than seventeen, went out for dinner – just usual weekend hangouts.
The driver in the Honda CRV car hit the gas. The black Toyota RAV4 driver began to hit even harder. Two cars run side-by-side, and then in one line, and side-by-side again. Both drivers showed off their racing skills – ones, that they did not even possess.
The engine began to roar; the speedometer rose higher, higher, and even higher…
Pride – did not allow them to call it a night.
They forgot, it was just a game…
Nikita Putri (16)
26 February 2010, 10:53 PM
It was two weeks to seventeen. The ballroom hotel had been booked. The stacking white cake had been ordered. The new black gown had been bought. The invitations had been sent.
Nikita got in the RAV4, and chose the left back seat. It crossed the asphalt flyover and accelerated more through the shadow of darkness, as it tried to outgo the rival CRV.
For once, the car was full of laughter.
Now, there were screams.
The left front bumper of the car hit the sidewalk.
The car flew 50 meters away, as it rolled over like a feeble bottle – for once, for twice, for thrice, and for the fourth time…
Nikita tried with all her might to remain in the car. Her right foot struggled to restrain the force that compelled her body outwards, and made its grip under the left front seat.
The car smashed into a luxurious fence in the neighbourhood, and landed on its roof – upside down.
Glass pieces, ruins, steel, rocks, blood – all over the place.
Nikita’s long black hair was stuck in the car’s ruins. Out of desperation, it was cut – to be able to pull her out of the corpse car. The force of the crash crushed her right foot, dislocated her right thighbone and struck her hipbone – causing intra-pelvic femur dislocation.
Her right ankle was never back to its proper place.
27 February 2010, 01:26 AM
Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital – Emergency Room
The light of the Emergency Room was still red.
One person – cried.
The other – prayed.
Another one – hysterically called the parents.
…But they were all waiting.
Nikita’s lover, Willy Romaten, arrived at the hospital. He punched several numbers on his phone, and ran to the Emergency Room.
It was too late.
“Her friends lost her. They have lost a dear friend. For me, it’s all mixed. I can’t say that I’ve gotten over her. Maybe I’ll never. I love her too much but I can never say those words to her anymore… Nor that I will ever be the kind of guy that she wanted…”
Rio Hartanto (17) and Lysia Kosasih (16)
26 February 2010, 11:01 PM
Rio sat in the middle back seat of the car, with his lover, Lysia, on his right. They held hands and laughed – giggled with each other as he anxiously tried to kiss her red cheek.
It was meant to be a turn. The car must turn. But it was dark, and at 120 km/h, no one realised anything.
Until “HIT THE BRAKE!” someone yelled. No one knew who; no one cared. It was too late; the car couldn’t make the turn – and crashed.
Rio did not put on his seatbelt. What could go wrong in such a peaceful night? Anything. In seconds, the car rolled over – so fast, that the force threw him out of the back left window of the car.
Lysia’s skin began to crack open. Her vulnerable flesh was torn out, in the arms and legs. Blood spurted out. “HELP!” she screamed.
Rio’s body was stuck in the second floor of the house’s veranda. They could not get him out. The tattered remnants of his flesh and the wood, glass, and ruins – they were one.
They waited for the cops and ambulance to come, to help him out of the dreadful place. But by the time they were able to get him out, his heart had stopped beating.
Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital – Emergency Room
Lysia Kosasih, alongside Nikita, was also inside the Emergency Room. She was in a coma, and unconscious for another two weeks.
But she survived.
“Love, you’re not here… I get inside your car, listen to our song, and sit on my usual seat. But the difference is… it’s no longer you who sit beside me; it’s your mom. It breaks my heart… I miss you so much… I can’t take this any longer…”
Erfin Januar (16) and Nicholas Christianto (17)
26 February 2010, 10:49 PM
“I’ll drive,” said Nicholas. He slipped into the driver’s seat, put on his seatbelt, and ignited the engine.
Erfin sat beside him. He sightsaw the city, sent text messages, and talked on the phone – saying that he would definitely come to the Saturday morning soccer practice.
Nicholas saw the left turn, and within seconds he must made a decision. He kicked the brake pedal – half second before the tragic accident, 17 meters away from the turn – the sidewalk.
120 km/h. The grand car’s brakes failed him. He lost control of the steering wheel, and abruptly tried to make the turn.
It was not the right timing.
The front left bumper of the car banged the sidewalk.
Four somersaults in the air; the car flew 50 meters further towards the right side.
The window glasses were shattered into pieces. The steel frame was torn, tilted, crushed. The black car paint was exfoliated.
Screeches. Shrieks. The tissue box rolled over, the handphones, the bags, the… bodies…
Shakingly, Nicholas’ hands tried to release their grips from the steering wheel. He was covered with sweat and now partly covered with blood. Was it his, or his friends’, he did not know. His heart pounded like a beating drum. A weird hum was in his ears, as he tried to gulp the diminished air.
With his remaining strength, he kicked open the car door.
Which one was up, which one was down – even the force of gravity betrayed him.
He fought back the tears in his eyes, as he tremblingly gave sight to his car. All of his friends were still inside…
No, not all.
There were only three others. They had been five.
One friend of his grabbed him and yelled, “Help me to get them out of the car!”
“Shit! Can’t you drive faster?! To MMC hospital, quick!!!”
Nicholas carried Erfin, got him inside the taxi, gave all the money inside his wallet to the taxi driver, and rushed to the hospital.
A body was on his lap.
Blood – it was red. Dark red.
Never before had he saw so much blood.
A dying friend – struggling to draw the next breath.
27 February 2010, 00:25 AM
MMC (Metropolitan Medical Centre) Hospital
Nicholas was injured around the eyes, and left with a broken hand – but nothing major. He waited for news. Waited for anything. Waited for forgiveness.
The news has been clarified – Rio Hartanto died instantly.
Erfin Januar drew his last breath.
Nikita Putri drew her last.
“…Hey, Lysia… How are you? It’s me, Nicholas. Yea, hmm, I’m… I’m sorry.”
“You want to know how I’ve been? I’m shocked and depressed. I keep wishing and hoping that this is just a nightmare and someday I’ll wake up from it. Maybe my friends are still alive. Maybe I’m not the one who’s driving the car.”
27 February 2010, 04:30 AM
Nikita Putri, Rio Hartanto, and Erfin Januar are brought to Atma Jaya Funeral Home. Nikita is buried, while Rio and Erfin are cremated. Their colleagues and relatives pay their respects.
Rio Hartanto (1 October 1992 – 26 February 2010) was a brother, a friend, a good guy. His family and lover mourned him, unable to let him go. Rio and Lysia’s first anniversary was coming, but he did not live to see the day.
Erfin Januar’s (12 January 1993 – 27 February 2010) departure has been devastating. His friends remembered how he used to skipped class and played soccer, or how he bullied teachers and got detentions. There was once a wooden table of his, but now only flowers placed in memoriam of him.
Nikita Putri (12 March 1993 – 27 February 2010) was dressed in her sweet seventeen black gown. On top of the coffin there were seventeen red roses from her lover, which were meant to be given on her birthday. Her parents struggled to let her go, for Nikita Putri was their only child.
3 May 2010