Here drink this water it would help calm you down.” Guntoro said while handing her a glass of water.
Endang couldn’t stop herself from sobbing, but she only had herself to blame, if only she had been honest to Widodo, if only she had maintained physical distance from Guntoro, if only………
Guntoro squatted in front of her, putting her hand into his, “If he loved you that much, he should have come and confronted me. Don’t you think? If a man really loves a woman, he would do anything necessary to get rid of the competition, and not give up and run away like that. Instead of winning you over, he let you go.”
“I don’t know, maybe I should have told him from the start about us. And also I should have been more considerate and careful, I mean today is Sunday, the day that he comes and visit me. With the front door open and the two of us…..” She stopped and looked at him, “Why was the front door opened?”
“That? Well, it was because I was feeling a little bit hot, that’s all. I thought maybe a little breeze would inspire me.” He replied.
“I feel very bad. I can’t help thinking that this is all my fault. I can’t believe that it’s all over between us because of my stupidity.” She hid her face in the palms of her hands and sobbed.
“Stop blaming yourself.” He got up then sat beside her, pulling her into a hug to console her. “There, there, now. If you want to cry, then just cry. But tomorrow you have to forget all about him and move on.”
She leaned her head against his shoulder, “If you were in his shoes, what would you do?”
“What? if I was skinny, with thick glasses, and had a head like a tree branch?” Guntoro joked.
“No…stop being so evil. You know what I mean.”
“I don’t have to pretend to be in his shoes, I can tell you exactly what I did when some guy was interested in the woman I love. I used my wits and cunningness to separate them.”
“Is that why you had a divorce with Dini? Because of another guy?”
“Dini? That was another story all together.” He took her hand and brought it to his face, holding it against his cheek, “Do you want to eat something to lift your spirit up?”
She shook her head, “I’m really not hungry. Could you play the guitar for me?”
“I could do anything for you!” He smiled, “You wait here while I bring down my guitar.”
Guntoro sat across her, Endang sat back and closed her eyes enjoying to the tune that filled the quiet house. As always the sound of his fingers strumming on the strings always has a soothing effect on her. She opened her eyes and looked at him, he is truly a beauty, if men could be called beautiful. Luckily he takes after his father, in avertedly the notion popped up in her mind. She quickly discarded the thought. “mBak Yuni, forgive me.” She said to herself.
That night she found it hard to sleep, tossing and turning in her bed. She sat up putting her head between her knees. Crying softly lamenting herself.
The door opened without a knock. “Are you okay?” Guntoro asked while entering.
She shook her head. “Did I wake you up?”
He smiled slightly, “Don’t worry about it. Move over!” He sat on the bed beside her. Then reclined on the mattress. “Come here!”
She doubted for a while, but then moved closer to him and placed her head on his shoulder. “Is it alright? For us to do this?”
“Why not, if it’s just lying in bed together, we’re married aren’t we? We’re just like an old married couple, caring for each other, but absolutely no action.” He said while hugging her tightly.
“Stop fooling around!” She sulked.
“Alright, close your eyes and go to sleep now.”
“Help……….attack of the gold fish monster!” Syaiful teased when he saw Endang the next morning. Both her eyes were swollen from crying.
“What happened to you?” Riski asked.
Endang held back her tears and shook her head. “Mas Wid broke up with me….” She spilled out.
“What, why?” Riski didn’t expect the news.
“He came to my house yesterday and saw me, playing around with Dik Gun, then he got jealous and told me it was over.”
“Oh. You poor thing.”
“So what happened, did he pick a fight with Pak Guntoro?” Syaiful asked her.
Endang shook her head, “No he told me that we were over and just left.”
“Just like that?” Riski’s voice was upset.
“nDang, you know, if I ever saw Riski fooling around with another guy, I would go up and punch him in the face. I wouldn’t just break it up with her, I’d ramble, get upset, ask for an explanation and make her swear not to do it again. If your boyfriend ended his relationship with you that easily, that means he thinks he can find your replacement in no time, and that he doesn’t need you.”
This comment made Endang cry louder. Riski glared at her boyfriend. “Go away!” She told him.
He shook his head and left, joining a group of young men who were walking towards the faculty building.
“I have a headache for crying so much,” Endang said.
“If you were just playing around with your nephew, why was he so upset to break up with you?” Riski asked not convinced.
“The truth is….My parents took me in when I was a baby, they’re not my biological parents.”
“Oh…., well that changes a lot of things.”
“What should I do? I don’t want my love life to end just like that.” She whispered.
“Endang, I don’t want to criticize you in this situation but you have so many hidden secrets, it’s just not funny anymore!”
“He’s my husband,” Endang confessed out of the blue while turning her head away.
“Who? Mas Wid?” Riski couldn’t grasp her context.
“No, Mas Gun. We’re married.”
Riski looked at her with eyes wide opened, “I have to sit down.” She said while stumbling backward to a bench. “How did that happen?”
“I have no idea, one minute, I got a call telling me that my father was ill, and the next minute I was at the marriage registration office.” Endang shook her head. “This is very confusing for me too.”
“So if you’re married, why are you still dating Mas Wid, is your husband okay with that?”
“Ris, he was thrown into this just like me. I’m sure he already has someone he likes, or even if he still doesn’t it’s not like I’m his type. He gave me permission to see Mas Wid. Even though he and I are married, but there’s really nothing between us, the marriage is just on paper.” Endang explained
“nDang, even though your marriage is not a real one, but I don’t think you should insist in seeing Mas Widodo or any other man. It’s not right, no matter how you look at it. Coming from a friend who loves you, I think you should resolve your situation with Pak Gun before anything else. You should really talk it over with him.”
“I suppose you’re right,” Endang said softly. “You will keep this between us, won’t you? Don’t even mention this to Syaiful.”
“Of course I will. nDang, I wish you all the best and hope you’ll find a solution soon.”
The doorbell rang twice. Endang wiped her hands on her apron and walked passed the living room to open the door.
It was Dean Eni Suntoyo, the dean of her faculty. She was a stout woman in her late forties, she was standing in front of the door accompanied by Pak Cahyo the vice dean.
“Are you mBak Endang Suryati?” Bu Eni asked.
“Y..yes, Mam, I am,,” Endang replied nervously.
“Is Pak Guntoro at home?” She asked again.
“Yes he is, please have a seat while I call him.” Endang welcomed her in, then quickly went upstairs to call Guntoro.
“Mas Gun,” She whispered after opening the door, “Dean Eni is here to see you.
“Dean Eni?” He repeated and stood up “Serve them something to drink I’ll go downstairs and talk to them.”
Guntoro walked down the stairs and greeted the guests. “Bu Eni, Pak Cahyo, to what do I owe this visit?” He opened the conversation.
“Pak Guntoro, I’ll go straight to the point,” Bu Eni said, “We’ve received complaint from a student regarding your living arrangements with mBak Endang Suryati. We heard talk in campus that the two of you are aunt and nephew, but according to our source, this is not exactly the case.”
“Bu Eni, Endang was taken in as a daughter by my grandparents, she is a child of a distant relative who was orphaned. Respecting their noble action, I do have to address her as Bu Lik.” He explained.
“Pak Guntoro, the problem is, the two of you are living here alone. I mean….., should your grandparents live here with the both of you or if you were married, it wouldn’t be a problem, but since there is nobody else in the house, it is an inappropriate arrangement. Two adults of the opposite gender who are not closely related cannot live in the same house just by themselves. Our society doesn’t accept that kind of behavior. Even if the two of you were actually aunt and nephew, some people might still see it in a bad way.” Bu Eni paused, “Pak Gun as an academic staff member, you should give a good example of proper moral behavior, this type of cohabitation is unacceptable.”
Guntoro smiled patiently and took a deep breath, “Bu Eni, the truth is, Endang and I are already married, I will show you the documents to prove it.” He walked to the cupboard and took out his briefcase. “This is my marriage license booklet, I’m sure Endang has hers kept somewhere.”
He handed the booklet to her. Bu Eni opened it and nodded, she handed the booklet to Pak Cahyo, “Well, then I think a congratulation is in order. Pak Gun, why didn’t you mention this to anyone, otherwise we would have given you a wedding gift.”
“That’s right,” Bu Eni smiled.
Endang came in with a tray in her hands full of refreshments. Guntoro signaled her to sit next to him.
“Bu Eni, Pak Cahyo, the reason why we haven’t made public our marriage, is because Endang is still very young, and she’s a student in our faculty. I’m just trying to protect her from any gossips or ill intentions.”
“Ah, that make sense.” Pak Cahyo nodded.
“Yes, I haven’t considered that.” The dean added.
They chatted a little bit longer, before the guests excused themselves.
“Do you think it will be okay to tell them about our marriage?” Endang asked.
“Why not? There’s no rule saying that students have to be single and it’s better than being accused of adultery.”
“Yeah, imagine that……” She said.
“I’m going out for a while, I’ll be back before dinner,” Guntoro said while taking the keys to his car.
“Ah, okay.” She replied.
He entered the car and made a phone call “Mat, can you please text me the address. No, that won’t be necessary, I’ll take care of him myself.”
He drove towards the direction that was in his cellphone. He parked the car a few meters away then hopped off. He headed to the boarding house at the end of the street. He knocked the door and a young man opened it.
“I’m looking for Widodo.” He said firmly.
The young man went back inside, soon Widodo came out to the terrace.
“Oh, it’s you.” He said crudely.
Guntoro grabbed him by the collar and threw him against the wall. “If you have any balls, come and face me man to man.” He said.
Widodo pushed himself up and supported his frail body against the wall. “I’m not going to lower myself to fight a man who takes advantage of younger girls.” He replied defiantly.
“Is that so? So you think it’s honorable to ruin a woman’s reputation and the future by going behind her back and complaining about her to the dean? Or did you think that by doing what you did, it would be me who gets hurt? I can find another job easily, but Endang? People will scorn her.”
“She deserves it, she’s a shameless lose woman.”
Guntoro lifted his arm and punched Widodo a few times, Widodo fell backwards, blood dripping from his mouth and nose, “If you dare do anything to hurt my woman or disrespect her again, I’ll break every bone in your body, and I’m going to make sure that you can’t utter a word ever again. Do you understand? Do you understand?” He took Widodo’s index finger and bent it backwards there was a cracking sound, Widodo shrieked in pain and quickly nodded.
Guntoro pushed Widodo’s head sideways, “You better keep your promise.” He hissed, “You don’t know what I’m capable of doing, and you don’t want to find out,”
Guntoro walked away, Widodo looked at him clutching his injured finger, “Crazy bastard.” He mumbled.
Guntoro turned around and looked at him. Widodo quickly ran inside the house and closed the door locking it.
Guntoro entered the house and closed the door behind him then entered the kitchen. “Where did you go?” Endang asked.
“I had to talk to someone.” He replied. He washed his hands in the sink.
She handed him a tea towel, “About Dean Eni, do you think it was Mas Wid who complained to the dean about me?”
“Don’t think about it anymore.” He said, “Let’s eat.”
After dinner, they sat together in the living room. Endang was behind her text book and Guntoro typing away in his laptop. She sighed several times. After a while, he looked up from the screen and turned to look at her. He stood from his chair, placed the laptop on the coffee table and walked towards her. He grabbed her book and threw it on the table.
“Hey, I was studying!” She protested.
“I believe you.” He replied, “And the subject was so difficult that you sighed like a locomotive.”
“How can someone sigh like a locomotive?” She asked almost laughing.
“You know, huh…huh….huh…huh…” He imitated her.
She laughed at his imitation. “Did I really sound like that?”
“Worse! I was beginning to get annoyed.” He dropped himself beside her. “Are you still feeling sad about that guy?”
She shook her head, “I feel kind of stupid.”
“Why stupid? Besides all the other obvious things”
“I’m going to ignore that! I know that it was Mas Wid who complained about us to the dean. It made me realize what kind of a person he is. I’m afraid that he will start to spread rumors about me, and then the whole campus will talk about me.”
“Don’t worry about it. That won’t happen, trust me!” He put his arm around her and smiled. “I’m glad it ended between you and that guy!”
“Hmmm, why? Because you can have your Sundays back?”
“And also because of this” He pulled her closer and swooped in to kiss her lips. She froze with astonishment not expecting him to do this, but her heart began to beat like crazy. She closed her eyes and responded in kind.
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To be continued………………….