“Are you alright?” Guntoro asked in alarm as he heaved himself up. “Are you hurt anywhere?”
He reached out to help her get up seeing her grimacing in pain he asked again, “Where did you hit yourself?”
“On my ‘none of your business’.” She answered hoarsely while rubbing her buttock then limped down the stairs.
“Oh well, from that response, I can guess you’re just fine,” Guntoro said. “That’s what you get for being an overbearing control freak.”
“Oh, do be quiet.” She sassed. Now arriving at the first floor, she headed directly to the couch and sat down a little bit to the side so she can continue rubbing her behind.
“nDang, are you alright?” Widodo asked gently, “Do you need anything? Maybe we need to put some ointment on your injury.”
“You are not going to put anything on her ‘none of YOUR business’! Do you understand?” Guntoro articulated.
Widodo shrank in his seat, feeling awkward with the situation.
Guntoro opened a draws on of the cupboards in the living room. He took out a medicine bottle and handed some pills to Endang. He then walked into the kitchen to get her some water. “You should be alright.” He said again, “Tell me immediately if the pain increases. The two of you can sit here and talk, I have some other things to do around the house.” He said while walking away.
He passed in front of them one more time holding the piece of wood in his hand.
After making sure that Guntoro was out of sight, Widodo sweetly asked Endang, “nDang, are you sure you’re alright?”
She smiled, ‘Yes, I am just a little ache.”
“Be careful with those falls on your behind, I read somewhere that it can affect your nervous system.”
“That’s comforting, thank you.” She replied cynically.
“You know, we haven’t had a chance to see each other very much late……” As Widodo was speaking, suddenly from the outside there was a high pitch sound of drilling overcoming Widodo’s voice.
Widodo patiently waited until the drilling sound stopped before continuing, “I missed you a lot….” The drilling started again.
At the first chance she got, Endang quickly said, “I know, it’s that I’ve…” The drilling started again.
Once it stopped, Endang signal Widodo to wait before saying anything, only to have the drilling begin again and again.
Annoyed, she stood up and limped towards the front door peeping out towards the terrace where Guntoro is immersed in his activity. He was drilling holes in the piece of wood he had been carrying around.
She approached him, and tapped his back, “What are you doing?” She asked.
He turned around not surprised at all to see her there, “Oh this? This is my little project. You see I found a cricket this morning when I was running, so I decided to pick it up and keep it as a pet, that’s why I’m making a little wooden box for its home.” He paused for a while, “Don’t mind me, you two go ahead and chat.”
“Well, the thing is, we can’t really hear anything with the sound of the drill and all.”
“Ah, well then, maybe it’s a good idea to wait a while. Look! I still have twenty-five more holes to make.”
She smiled to hide her annoyance, “Fine!”
She went back to the living room, “It looks like he’s a little busy with something, it may take some time.”
“nDang, you know, maybe today is not a good time.” Widodo hesitated, “I think I should go home now. Besides, you just hurt yourself, maybe it’s a good idea if you get some rest.”
“Mas Wid, I’m sorry.”
“No, it’s okay. We’ll text each other.” He said while standing up.
Endang accompanied him to the door. “Pak Guntoro,” Widodo called out, “I’m going home now.”
“Oh? But you just got here! Why are you in a hurry to go home?” He asked acting innocent.
“It’s getting late, I have to study for tomorrow,” Widodo replied being cordial.
“Ah, that’s good. Do you he that, Bu Lik? You have to take him as an example. He’s very diligent and studies hard.”
“Of course.” Endang smiled.
Widodo shook his hand then let himself out of the gate.
Endang’s smile melted away as soon as he disappeared. “You did that on purpose, didn’t you?” She accused.
“Me? Why in the world would I do something like that?”
“Because you’re jealous, you’re jealous that I have someone and you don’t! I don’t understand why you have to ruin it for me. I thought we were supposed to be a family. But you’re acting worst than an enemy!”She rebuked him.
“But I’ve supported you all along! Yesterday when your friends were here, I acted like a proper host and entertained them. You wantedDid you want your boyfriend to visit, I permitted him to visit you here! How could you say that I’m acting like your enemy?”
“You permitted him to visit me, alright. But you made it impossible for us to even speak to each other. And look at you! When have you ever dressed up like this? You’re intentionally showing your disrespect!” She grinned as the pain in her behind began to attack again, “I’m going inside to rest.” She turned around and entered the house.
Guntoro observed her back, he took a deep breath. He had to admit that she was right, feeling guilty seeing her in pain, he then followed her inside the house, “Hey! Are you alright? Does it hurt a lot?”
“I’ll be alright!” She replied.
“Do you need to see a doctor?”
She shook her head.
“Let me help you to your room then.” He offered.
She wanted to reject, but then decided not to, “Okay, thanks.”
He helped her up the stairway until the front of her room, then handed her a small pot, “I’m sure you can manage to rub this ointment on yourself, can’t you?”
She nodded and entered her room, closing the door behind her.
“What’s wrong with you?” Syaiful asked while popping up behind Riski, “You’re walking like a grandma. ”
“I fell on my rear yesterday,” Endang replied. “It’s annoyingly aching, but at least it bought me a free ride to campus. And I was saved from cooking in the afternoon.”
“How nice it must be to have a well-off relative who you can count on.” Riski commented.
“Yeah, it must be nice. Then again I wouldn’t know how that feels, my relative is not that good of a person.”
“What is it now?” Riski rolled her eyes.
“He totally ruined my date with Mas Wid.” Endang began to tell her friends what had happened yesterday.
“Oh well, that’s normal,” Syaiful commented, “Even though he’s your nephew, but he’s still older than you. He probably sees you as his little sister that’s why he is jealous and protective. I know I’m like that with mine. Whoever wants to date her, has to get my approval.”
“Brotherly love, huh?” Endang couldn’t understand why the thought of that slightly disappointed her. She quickly shook the thought off, “Hey look what I brought.” She took out a box from her bag, “Imported Swiss chocolate, courtesy of my dear friend whoever her name was who goes to Medicine.”
“So this was you so call tribute?” Syaiful asked, “You should have asked for something better, a new cell phone, or a 90 inch TV.”
“Hey, I’m not a madam, okay?” Endang firmly replied. “It’s one thing to play around like this at my nephew’s expense, it’s another thing to actually sell him for money or expensive goods.”
“Okay, you guys, we should dig in before the chocolate melts….” Riski mediated.
“Guys, did you hear what happened?” Benny ran up to the trio as they were waiting for the next class while sitting in the garden and announced with excitement.
“Benny, breath first, otherwise you’ll get a heart attack.” Syaiful replied.
“Everybody’s talking about it. Mas Toni from the third year, he got suspended.”
“The good-looking guy who was part of the student orientation team, when we just entered?” Endang asked with surprise.
“Yeah, that one.” Benny made a long pause to provoke curiosity from the others, “They suspended him, because they found out that last week he got caught by the community alone late at night with his girlfriend in her house when her parents were away.”
“Oh wow, he looked like somebody with high moral standards. How could he do such a thing?” Riski asked.
“Well, according to his friends, it had just turned 9 PM, and he was getting ready to leave. But the neighborhood security patrol didn’t believe him, so he got detained at the local police station overnight.”
“But still, to be alone in a house with a girl, I mean, who can vouch that nothing happened between them, you know? I can’t imagine what impact this will have on her reputation. I mean if she and her family don’t move to another city where nobody knows them, it’s going to be hard for her to marry any other guy either than Mas Toni.” Syaiful said.
“But why do they have to suspend him?” Endang asked.
“To maintain the University’s reputation I suppose.” Riski replied.
“But that’s not the saddest part.” Benny continued, “The girl also goes to this university. She studies finance. I heard talk that she had to resign from studying here because she couldn’t handle the stress of people gossiping about her.”
Endang was lethargic that afternoon walking home from the library, she regretted that she waited until the last minute to do her paper that was due tomorrow. She promised to herself that she would stop procrastinating doing homework till Sunday. She was surprised after entering the gate to see the front door of the house opened. This wasn’t usual, Guntoro is always picky about closing the door, because he’s a person who tends to be fussy about his privacy.
She poked her head through the doorway to see if there was anything strange in the house, any unexpected visitors or intruders, but there was only Guntoro sitting in the living room, reading a manuscript with a box of chocolate opened in front of him.
“A box of chocolate?” Endang wondered to herself. “Aren’t those mine?” She snarled.
“Ah, why are you peeping through the door? Are you planning to steal something from this house/” Guntoro asked without lifting his face from the manuscript.
“Not stealing something, observing a thief.” She replied, “Where did you get that box of chocolate?”
“Oh, this? This very delicious have you tried it before? I found this in your room!” He picked up a piece and unwrapped it, “Mint filled chocolate, exquisite…this is the last piece” He popped half in his mouth and the other half still outside.
“Give that to me……..” She screeched, running towards him then pounced on him.
He laughed out loud pushing the whole piece of chocolate in. Endang grabbed his jaw trying to pry open his mouth. “You cheat!” She said, then she used her finger to tickle his waist. He squirmed around attempting to pull away her finger. Finally, he managed to hold her wrists in each hand.
“I’m not cheating, let’s consider this my “commission” for letting you use me to get treats from your lady friends.” He laughed.
She pouted at him, “It’s not like I don’t give you “Commission” I serve you some with your morning coffee and afternoon tea!”
He moved his right hand towards his left to hold her two wrist in his other hand, then moved his hand behind his back and pulled out another piece of chocolate, “I know, I just wanted to teach you a lesson.” He said while waving the chocolate in front of her face.
He opened the wrap with his free hand then brought it close to her mouth, “Here, eat it.” He said.
She pouted and stubbornly shook her head, pulled her wrist from his grip and turned her body away, he laughed again and pulled on her wrists that was still in his hand, causing her to fall on his lap
“Here be a good girl and eat this piece of chocolate,” He teased again.
She glanced at him through the corner of her eye, opened her mouth and chomped at the piece he held in front of her, finger and all.
“Ouch, you little demon, you bit my finger!” He exclaimed, shaking his finger, now it was her turn to laugh.
“You know, if you wanted to eat these imported luxury snacks, you could’ve told me, I would have gladly bought them for you. You didn’t have to peddle me to those girls.”
“Thanks for your offer, but where’s the fun in that?” She replied cheekily.
“Are you so eager to see me find a girlfriend?” He asked.
She rubbed her chin imitating an old person, “My child, you’ve been all alone for a while now. This auntie thinks that you should forget about your ex and move on.”
He circled one arm around her waist and used the other hand to pull her ear towards his mouth, he whispered, “Wise old auntie, please stay out of my personal business!”
Unexpectedly there was a knock on the open door followed by someone saying, “Excuse me…”
Both Endang and Guntoro turned to the door at the same time. Widodo was standing there looking at them in disbelief. His eyes filled with hurt and feelings of betrayal.
“Mas Wid,” Endang said while quickly getting off of Guntoro’s lap.
“Endang, what….how….Endang how could you do something like this?” He finally managed to say.
“Mas Wid, it’s not what you’re thinking, I can explain.” She quickly walked to him.
Guntoro stayed in his seat not attempting to intervene.
Widodo’s eyes became red and moist, he clutched his fist, “You know, when you told me that you were moving to live with your nephew, I was so worried, but when you told me that he was married, I felt a little bit relieved. But you didn’t tell me the whole truth, did you? You didn’t mention that he was already divorced and that it’s only the two of you who’s living here.”
“Mas Wid, I’m sorry, I didn’t want you to worry that’s all,” Endang whispered.
“Not only did you lie to me, but now I caught you sitting on his lap, and God knows what the two of you were doing. What is it, do you have some kind of twisted incestuous relationship?”
She shook her head, “His grandparents took me in since I was a baby and raised me as their own. We are actually distant relatives.”
Widodo laughed sarcastically, “So you being his aunt was a lie too?”
“It’s not a lie, we were raised that way.”
“Endang, it’s over between us. Don’t call me or look for me anymore.” Widodo said.
“But Mas Wid…” She protested in between her tears.
“You’re not closely blood related, and you live in the same house, just the two of you. I’d be a fool to continue this relationship with you. Just how stupid do you think I am?” He stepped backwards, and just before turning around, he looked at her with hatred and continued, “Endang, you made a fool out of me, and played with my feelings, don’t think it’s going to end here. The two of you will pay dearly for this.”
“Mas Wid….” Endang called out, she dropped to the floor and wept uncontrollably.