Cerpen karebaindonesia.id edisi 23 Agustus 2020

A. Warits Rovi

Samin mulai menenun daun jati dengan jarum lidi berlilit benang-benangan dari pelepah pisang. Sulaman itu membentuk liukan garis nyaris menyerupai wajah semar. Benang yang sedikit berserabut itu melilit lewati jemarinya, lurus menyentuh celananya yang sobek dan kumal.

Samin sesekali melirik pada sulaman daun milik teman-temannya yang duduk di sekitarnya. Muki, Ripin, Sukab, Said, Saod dan Mihba semua khusyuk memainkan jarum lidi dengan jemarinya yang lincah. Menimbulkan bunyi daun yang ditembus jarum lidi dan digesek lilitan benang,

“Jeg, desss”.

Matahari pagi mengurai warna perak di rambut bocah-bocah itu. Jumat adalah hari libur bagi bocah-bocah kampung yang bersekolah di madrasah. Sebab itulah, setiap Jumat  pagi—atau ketika sore hari—mereka berkumpul di samping kiri sebuah pos ronda. Duduk di sepotong dahan besar yang tergeletak di tanah, bermain sambil menunggu ibu mereka selesai memasak.

“Sulamanku akan selesai setelah ibu memanggilku untuk makan,”  kata Ripin yakin, seraya ia pandang atap dapurnya yang berasap.

“Kata ibu, jika sulamanku bagus, laukku akan ditambah dari biasanya,” sambung Saod.

“Benar! Dan jika sulaman kami bagus. Aku dan Saod juga akan dibelikan burung jalak yang pandai berkicau,” sambung Said, saudara kembar Saod.

“Kalau ibuku tak berjanji apa-apa. Akulah yang berjanji kepada ibu, akan menghadiahkan sulaman ini, jika ibu menanak nasi,” sambung Samin seraya terus menautkan jarum di tepi daun.

“Lho! Memang dari kemarin, ibumu masak apa?” Mihba bertanya.

“Singkong!” celetuk Samin polos.

“Hahahaha” semua teman Samin tertawa. Samin hanya tersenyum.

“Yang kamu sulam itu gambar apa?” tanya Muki dengan agak melongo ke arah selembar daun jati yang ada di tangan Samin.

Sombhilang1.

“Makhluk apa itu?”

“Kata ibu, dia adalah makhluk seram yang suka makan manusia. Dulu ayahku dimakan oleh makhluk itu,” jawab Samin, seketika tangannya henti menyulam, wajahnya meringis, jarinya menyeka butir air mata yang merembes.

Ia sangat sedih mengingat cerita kematian ayahnya ketika dirinya masih dalam perut ibunya. Teman-temannya turut menghentikan gerak tangan mereka, meletakkan daun sulaman itu di pahanya, semua tertuju ke wajah Samin, tentu  dengan wajah setengah takut, di semua mata itu, tertangkap bayang-bayang kecemasan.

Semua teman Samin membisu, bulu kuduknya merinding, beberapa di antaranya tak sadar jika sulaman daun di pahanya jatuh dihempas angin. Menangkup di rumput yang basah. Tapi akhirnya Samin sadar dan lekas mengakhiri kecemasannya.

“Ah! Sudahlah! Jangan ingat itu. Kita lebih baik melanjutkan sulaman daun ini. Ibu kita sudah menyediakan masakan yang enak buat kita. Coba lihat itu! setiap dapur kita sudah mengepulkan asap,” telunjuk Samin menuding ke beberapa dapur. Mata teman-temannya mengikutinya. Asap tipis meliut, memipih dan membubung sebelum akhirnya lenyap dijambak angin.

***

Pada akhirnya sepotong kayu itu dipadamkan oleh Masna, ibu Samin, dengan sekali gesek ke bibir mulut tungku. Asap kian mengepul dari bara yang tersisa di ujung kayu. Samin menatap asap itu; putih, tebal dan bergulung-gulung, seperti berebut celah genting di dekat bubungan, berharap segala nasib buruknya dibawa asap itu ke negeri yang jauh.

Masna menuang sesuatu ke dalam keranjang bambu, menirisnya ke kuali besar yang penyok separuh. Bunyi air menderai mematuk kuali dan asap tipis berhamburan dari keranjang bambu, setelah disalin pada piring keramik berlapis daun pisang, mata Samin terbelalak.

“Singkong lagi, Bu?”

“Iya, Nak. Ibu tak punya uang untuk membeli beras.”

“Sudah sepuluh hari begini terus, Bu.”

“Sabar, Nak! Semoga Allah menganugerahkan sebuah kenikmatan lewat singkong ini.”

Samin memungut singkong rebus itu dengan gerak pelan dan mata yang agak suram. Setelah membaca basmalah, tepat ketika tangan kirinya menjimpit cabai hijau, ia mengunyah singkong itu untuk kesekian kalinya. Gigi-giginya lincah dan teramat hafal cara menghaluskan singkong dengan cepat. Jari-jarinya sibuk, antara menyodorkan cabai dan mencabut urat singkong dari mulutnya.

Samin sebenarnya sudah muak dengan singkong, terlebih singkong itu tak mengirim apa-apa ke dalam tubuhnya selain hanya rasa kenyang. Kenyang yang sesaat dan tidak mampu membuat tubuh kurus Samin bertambah daging.

Andai tidak karena takut dimakan sombhilang, ia akan memilih tidak makan daripada setiap hari harus makan singkong. Ia menyimpan baik-baik rasa pahit yang ia rasakan itu agar tak diketahui ibunya, bahwa sebenarnya lidah Samin sudah merasa sepat dengan singkong yang melesak mulutnya setiap hari. Ia makan hanya karena takut dimakan sombhilang,sebagaimana cerita ibunya, bahwa sombhilang suka makan bocah yang malas makan.

Semakin hari, tubuh Samin semakin kurus dan lemah. Tulang-tulangnya mulai menonjol dan nyaris menembus datar kulitnya yang kering. Ia sering batuk dan kadang mendahak darah. Rambutnya awut penuh telur kutu, menjuntai ke wajahnya yang selalu terlihat layu.  Tak jarang ia kram dan gemetar saat berjalan. Tatapan matanya mulai lamur. Saat bercermin, dan mendapati  tubuhnya kerempeng, ia malah bahagia, karena dalam keadaan seperti itu,  sombhilang tak akan sudi memakannya. Ia mengira, sombhilang hanya mau mengunyah orang yang gemuk dan berdaging segar. Akhirnya ia pasrah pada apa saja yang dimasak ibunya setiap hari. Pelan ia menoleh ke arah ibunya yang tengah memasak, bibirnya mengembang senyum melihat asap yang mengepul dari tungku.

“Asap penutup kemiskinan,” gumamnya seraya mengelus dada.

Demi bubung dapur berbedak asap sebagaimana dapur tetangganya, Masna setiap pagi mesti harus menyorong kayu ke dalam tungku walau panci di atasnya hanyalah jerangan air beserta singkong atau ubi. Samin melihat ibunya itu dari bilik kamarnya yang  sunyi, sembari ia memaut tali gantungan daun bersulam ke ujung paku yang berjajar lurus di cagak kayu. Sudah ada empat buah daun sulaman yang bergantung. Samin bermaksud menghadiahkan daun sulaman itu kepada ibunya, nanti bila suatu hari ibunya menanak nasi.

***

“Samin mau main, Bu. Mau bikin daun sulaman yang bagus. Daun sulaman itu nanti akan Samin kasih pada Ibu, tapi jika Ibu memasak nasi. Bukan singkong!,” ucap Samin polos sambil tersenyum. Lalu melangkah ke luar lewat pintu dapur, langkahnya terseok karena tubuhnya teramat kurus, hati-hati ia lewati taburan kerikil, agar tak terinjak oleh kakinya yang mulai tampak hanya tulang.

Masna—yang duduk di depan tungku—hanya bisa diam, menggigit bibir dan megelus dada setelah mendengar kata-kata Samin. Ia tak bisa menahan tangis. Dadanya renyuh, tapi ia tetap ingat, bahwa sore itu asap tetap harus mengepul.

Sore mengirim segaris cahaya ke dapur Masna melalui celah gedek yang dikikir rayap. Masna memenggal kayu dengan sepasang tangannya yang berjemari kurus. Lalu disorong ke mulut tungku sepotong demi sepotong. Matanya cekung, dijilam lelehan butir-butir bening, memandang kayu-kayu kering yang mulai dijilat lidah api, menimbulkan suara gemeretak mirip derit tulang-tulangnya saat bekerja mengangkut kayu bakar dari hutan ke pasar. Tapi itu tinggal kenangan, saat ini sudah tak ada orang yang sudi membeli kayu bakar kepadanya. Orang-orang sudah menggunakan kompor. Sebab itulah, ia kehilangan mata pencaharian sejak empat tahun yang lalu. Kini ia baru bisa mendapatkan uang jika ada tetangganya menyuruh bekerja di ladang, tapi sangatlah jarang.

Api terus melalap kayu kering hingga menghitam jadi arang, mirip taring kehidupan yang mengunyah diri dan anaknya. Ia terus menangis dan gemetar. Hanya asap membubung yang ia banggakan, sebab dengan asap itulah, derita hidupnya sedikit tertutupi, seolah ia sedang memasak dalam amatan mata tetangganya. Padahal asap itu berasal dari panci tempat ia menjerang air atau merebus singkong.

Saat menoleh, pada arah sekitar 50 meter, terpantau lewat daun pintu dapur yang menganga, ia melihat Samin bermain dengan teman-temannya. Dengan sangat mudah ia mengenal sosok tubuh Samin di antara kerumunan anak-anak pada jarak yang jauh itu, sebab tubuh Samin sangat kerempeng dan kering, sehingga jika berkumpul dengan teman-temannya, ia bagai sebatang lidi tertancap di antara potongan bambu.

Samin tengah menyulam daun dengan jarum lidi yang bertaut tali helai serabut pelepah pisang. Matanya khusyuk dan jarinya yang kurus sibuk mengatur arah jarum lidi agar membekaskan sulaman yang teratur. Tubuhnya bersandar pokok kayu, Masna paham anaknya itu kurang sehat. Setiap hari hanya makan singkong rebus dengan cabai dan jumputan garam. Ia pun makan sebab terpaksa, karena takut kepada sombhilang seperti  ayahnya. Padahal itu hanya cerita karangan Masna, sebatas cerita penutup aib, sebagaimana asap dapur yang membubung. Samin tidak tahu bahwa ayahnya sebenarnya meninggal karena kelaparan.

***

Sebelum dikubur, Masna mengecup mesra kening Samin beberapa kali, masih dengan iringan butir air mata dan suara isak. Ia tak pernah menduga, anak kesayangannya itu meninggal secepat itu. tubuhnya kurus dan kering. Ia meninggal dalam keadaan tak sempat lagi makan nasi.

Para tetangga berdatangan membawa beras, gula atau kopi. Semuanya kompak mempersiapkan segala hal yag diperlukan selama tujuh hari ritual kematian. Baru saat itu dapur Masna benar-benar mengepulkan asap yang berasal dari daging yang dimasak.

Setelah Samin dikubur, ia hanya bisa mengelus tujuh lembar daun sulaman buatan Samin. Dikecup dan dielus seperti menyentuh tubuh Samin. Ia menggenggam daun sulaman itu dengan tangan gemetar, bahu bergetar, dan sepasang mata yang mencurah butiran dingin.

Sombhilang itu hanya makhluk dalam dogeng, yang tak lebih jahat daripada kemiskinan, kelaparan dan gizi buruk,” gumam Masna setengah meringis.

“Kini tinggal aku satu-satunya orang dalam keluarga ini yang harus berperang melawan kemiskinan. Sebab asap yang mengepul dari panci berisi daging untuk acara ritual kematian itu, pada akhirnya akan kembali ke asal mula, menjadi asap paling nelangsa, yang mengepul sekadar jadi tabir kemiskinan, supaya tetangga mengira aku tengah memasak, padahal hanya menjerang air atau kadang hanya merebus singkong,” batin Masna dengan dada nyeri. Air matanya membutir ke daun bersulam yang ada di tangannya.

A. Warits Rovi. Lahir di Sumenep Madura 20 Juli 1988. Karya-karyanya berupa cerpen, puisi, esai dan artikel dimuat di berbagai media Nasional dan lokal  antara lain: Kompas, Tempo, Jawa Pos, Horison, Media Indonesia, Republika, MAJAS, Suara Merdeka, Seputar Indonesia, Indo Pos, Majalah FEMINA, Kedaulatan Rakyat, Pikiran Rakyat, Tribun Jabar, Bali Post, basabasi.co, Sinar Harapan, Padang Ekspres, Riau Pos, Banjarmasin Post, Haluan Padang , Minggu Pagi, Suara NTB, Koran Merapi, Radar Surabaya, Majalah Sagang, Majalah Bong-ang,  Radar Banyuwangi, Radar Madura Jawa Pos Group, Buletin Jejak danbeberapa media on line. Juara II Lomba Cipta Cerpen ICLaw Pen Award 2019.  Buku Cerpennya yang telah terbit “Dukun Carok & Tongkat Kayu” (Basabasi, 2018). Ia mengabdi di MTs Al-Huda II Gapura. Berdomisili di Jl. Raya Batang-Batang PP. Al-Huda Gapura Timur Gapura Sumenep Madura
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