Endang could feel her blood rush to her head, this was an overwhelming new experience for her. She had never been this close to a man before let alone pressing lips like this.
She was shocked when his tongue pried open her lips and began exploring her mouth. She had a moment of hesitation whether to push him away or allow him to continue. Her heart told her to choose the latter. His strong hands gently pulled her closer towards him, pressing her body against his. Endang’s senses began to drift away, caught in the current of his passion.
Guntoro moved backwards, releasing her from her trance, he put his forehead against hers, holding her nape with both hands. “You can’t imagine how long I’ve waited for this.” He whispered while caressing her cheeks with his thumb, “I want to go all the way with you and make you mine. But I understand that maybe this all too sudden for you. I’ll wait until you fall completely in love with me and are ready to give yourself to me wholly.”
“Mas Gun….” She whispered.
“Let’s take it slowly, one step at a time.” He said.
She nodded, “Yes, let’s take it one step at a time.”
“Good morning.” Guntoro said while closing the door to his bedroom. “How did you sleep last night?”
“Good morning. I slept well.” Endang replied, her face was flushed, leaning against her door.
He smiled, “I’m going to take a shower now.” He said while pointing at the bathroom door.
“Go ahead, I’ve just finished. I’ve prepared your towel for you.” She looked down at her toes.
He entered the bathroom and closed the door. Endang felt relieved, unconsciously she lifted her finger and touched her lips. Feeling embarrassed with herself she quickly entered his room to prepare his clothes.
Guntoro finished his coffee. He looked at her who was standing in front of the kitchen sink washing the rest of the dishes. He stood up and walked behind her, he tapped her shoulder to get her attention. He sneaked a peck on her cheek as she turned around.
“Let’s go out tonight, do you like to watch movies?”
“Who doesn’t?” She replied, “Are you asking me out for a date?”
“Eh-he, since we’ve agreed to take our relationship slowly, one step at a time, I think this will be a good idea.”
She nodded, “Okay.”
“What time does your last class ends?”
“Mine is at three thirty, so I’ll wait until you’ve finished.” He continued, “Let’s go, I’ll take you campus.”
“But doesn’t your class start later?”
“Yeah, but there’s nothing wrong with taking my almost wife to school.”
“Almost wife?” He often comes up with strange terms that make her laugh. “Isn’t an almost wife a fiancée?”
“In most cases, you see the normal relationship starts out with dating, then engagement and then marriage.” He looked at her, “Our relationship is not like that. You’re married to me, but not exactly my wife….yet.”
“Hmm….”She didn’t want to give him an answer knowing what he was insinuating. “Let’s go then.”
“Wait” He pulled her arm, “Don’t think I’m not going to ask more of what you’ve already given me.” He said while attacking her lips with his.
“Endang, you look different lately.”Anies said sitting in front of her in class.
“What do you mean by that?
“You look……I don’t know, fresh, radiant, did you change your makeup?”
“No, and no….” Endang replied rebutting Anies’s attempt to butter her up.
“But I haven’t said anything yet.”
“Whatever it is, I know that it has something to do with my…my nephew, and the answer is no.”
Anies pouted. “I’ll buy you lunch.”
Endang shook her head. “Look, Bu Nunik is here. Class is starting.”
“What did Anies want?” Riski asked while they were walking outside the faculty building during their break between classes.
“I didn’t give her a chance to ask. She was brown nosing me by telling me how beautiful I look.” Endang recalled.
“But you do look different, a few weeks ago, you were walking around campus like a zombie crying over Mas Wid, but now, you’re so bright and shiny, is there something you’re not telling me?”
Endang smiled shyly, “Well, Mas Gun and I have been, should I call it “dating” for the past two weeks now.”
“Ah……” Riski nodded, “But what do you mean by dating, aren’t the two of you married already?”
“We’re getting to know each other again, as two adults this time. Not as you know, family.”
“So was this your idea or his?”
“It was his. But also I needed time to get over my previous relationship before fully entering another one.” She smiled and lowered her head, “Mas Gun is so wonderful. He is understanding and very patient with me.”
“He’s wonderful now, is he? So he’s no longer an arrogant, stuck up peacock with a boring voice?”Riski teased.
Endang just smiled, “I was a little bit mean wasn’t I?”
They joined up with a group of friends who were gathering around in a circle chatting, joking and laughing. Endang was easily immersed in their anecdotes and conversations. Syaiful as always was the life of any group he was in. Endang smiled happily looking in turns at him and Riski. She was happy for her best friend. Syaiful was a good guy, decent and well behaved. Riski couldn’t have chosen a better boyfriend.
Endang didn’t understand why the crowd suddenly fell quiet and all eyes were looking at something behind her. Endang turned around, Guntoro was standing behind her with his hands behind his back. She quickly stood up and approached him.
“Did something happen?” She asked.
“Does something have to happen for me to find my aunt in campus?” He answered her with a question.
She smiled shaking her head.
“Bu Lik, this is for you. There was a gathering for the academic staff and they gave us some snacks. I want you to eat it.” He handed a small paper box to her.
“I’ll see you later.” He said after Endang had received the box. He turned around and left. Endang stood there for a while, dreamily looking at his back as he walked away.
“You’re so lucky!” One of the girls in the group said as soon as she sat back with them, “Pak Gun is handsome and kind. You have to be prepared, I’m going to become your niece in law someday.”
“Keep dreaming!” Riski replied, smiling meaningfully at Endang.
“Come in Mat.” Guntoro said while opening the door for Rahmat, his private assistant.
“Thank you Pak Gun.” Rahmat replied.
“How is your mother doing?” He asked.
“She’s fine. She sends you her regards.”
“I was beginning to think that you wouldn’t come back to Malang, how long were you gone?”
“Three months. I’m sorry about taking so long, my mother was very upset that my sister eloped with her boyfriend, she is just eighteen.”
“No, don’t worry about it. Did you finally find your sister and bring her home?”
“I found her, but I didn’t bring her home, she was already two months pregnant when she eloped. We had no other choice than give them our blessing.”
“Mat, sometimes it’s better to be humble and accept the decision of the people we love, and not force our opinion on them.”
“I didn’t know that you had a guest.” Endang walked in the living room bringing Guntoro’s afternoon tea.
“nDang, this is Rahmat, my personal assistant. Rahmat, this is Endang.” Guntoro presented.
“mBak Endang, I finally get the chance to meet you.” Rahmat smiled widely.
“Finally get the chance to meet me?” Endang wondered, she turned to Guntoro who was looking sharply at Rahmat.
“Uh…what I mean is……..What I mean is that I heard about you from Pak Gun, you know that he has an aunt who is fifteen years younger than him.” Rahmat explained nervously.
“Ah…I see.” Endang replied, “I’m sorry I can’t say the same. Mas, eh Dik Gun, never said anything about a private assistant.”
“Rahmat was gone for two months, he had some private issues to deal with.”
“Ah…..okay. I’ll go and fetch you some refreshments.” Endang said while entering to the kitchen.
“Pak Gun, I’m sorry.” Rahmat said, “I almost spilled out that…”
“It’s better if we don’t talk about it,” Guntoro said, “Ever!”
“Y…yes, sir.” Rahmat replied.
“Here, take a look at this document, it’s an investment proposal that some colleagues of mine sent me, they asked me to invest in this private college. I want you to investigate how it’s doing, academic and financial wise. Also look into their potential growth, if it’s viable if I invest or not.”
“Are you planning to withdraw your investment from this University that you’re currently teaching in?” He asked.
“Not any time soon. Besides my investment is made through my corporate entity, so it’s good because nobody knows that I’m one of the owners.” He handed Rahmat a manila envelope. “Here, send my manuscript to my agent for editing, I just finished it last week.”
“Ah, and also book two flights and a hotel room in Yogyakarta, I want to take Endang there for the weekend.”
“Just one room?” Rahmat smirked.
“Mind your own business!”
“Oh my lord, look at that!” Endang shrieked with excitement while looking out of the rented car as they drove through Malioboro. This was a pleasant surprise for her, she never imagined that Guntoro would plan a trip for them and taking her on her first plane ride.
“Let’s check-in to the hotel first.” Guntoro said, he had a wide smile seeing how happy she was. “After that we’ll go to the Sultan’s Palace and the Prambanan temple, then we can have dinner in Malioboro tonight. Tomorrow we’ll go to Borobudhur.”
Endang awed at the hotel they were staying in, especially after entering their room. She had never imagined such luxury could exist. “Isn’t all this expensive?” She asked feeling bad for Guntoro, “Aren’t you throwing away your money?”
“Not if I’m spending it on you!” He replied.
“Thank you.” She said to him lacking anything else to say.
“Come on, let’s not waste any more time, there’s a lot of places for us to visit.”
The Prambanan Temple Complex was built around the 9th Century CE started by Rakai Pikatan of the Sanjaya Dynasty who were devotees of the Hindu God Siwa . A dynasty that at the time controlled the Ancient Mataram Kingdom in Java. The construction of this temple was not only as a religious act of faith, but also as a political movement, as the previous ruling dynasty which were the Syailendra’s were Mahayana Budhist this was the dynasty that commissioned the construction of the great Borobudhur Temple. This Prambanan Temple Complex is an eternal monument to demonstrate that shift of power between dynasties and between official state religions. The temple complex originally consisted of 240 temples, with the temples of Siwa as the epicenter.
Endang went crazy snapping photos at the reliefs on the stone walls of the temple. Taking selfies and wefies with Guntoro.
“That’s the epic story Ramayana.” Guntoro said.
“Yes, the story of Rama and Shinta. It’s a romantic love story, isn’t it?” Endang commented with high spirit
“I don’t really like how the story ends though,” Guntoro replied.
“But why? If it’s a happy ending?” She pondered.
“After Rama succeeded in getting Shinta back from Rahwana, he shunned her away because she might have been “touched” by Rahwana. In my opinion, if a man really loves his woman, he would accept her no matter what. At the end of the day she’s the woman that he loves and who loves him with all her heart.” Guntoro said while touching the carvings.
Endang looked at him with admiration, “I never saw it that way.” She said.
“Come on, let’s go there to that side, there’s another story carved on the stone walls, it’s called the Bagawata Purana it contains the story of Kresna, the other incarnation of Wisnu besides Sri Rama.”
The Sultan’s Palace also amazed Endang, although it had passed its glory days as the center of power of the independent Sultanate, but the palace still serves as a monument of tradition, with the Royal Family and palace staff as primary keepers. In fact the royal wedding of the Sultan’s daughter a few years ago was a genuine spectacle, as not many modern day wedding follow to the t all the ceremonial procedures.
Endang walked through the exquisite Javanese architecture in all its splendor. The building complex itself was built with highly spiritual and mysticism philosophy layout. Every single building, gate, door, trees and elements in the palace complex represents symbolisms to attract all that is good and ward off all that is evil (to say the least).
“Are you tired?” Guntoro asked, once they’ve finished the tour of the Palace.
“A little bit, but I’m so happy, that I don’t really feel it.” Endang replied happily.
“It’s still 4 PM. Let’s go back to the hotel to shower and change, then we’ll go to Malioboro to eat and buy some souvenirs.”
Endang never used a bathtub before, when she insisted to Guntoro that this might be her one and only chance to try it, he only laughed and filled it out with warm water for her. He poured the whole miniature bottle of liquid soap to fill the tub with bubbles so she can have even more fun in it.
Endang soaked in the tub until the water turned cold, she opened the drain to let the water out, and wrapped herself with the big white fluffy bathrobe, which she loved so much. “I have to save up my money to buy one of these,” she took a mental note.
When she opened the door and stepped out of the bathroom Guntoro was watching TV while sitting on the bed.
“Look, now it’s my turn to lay out your clothes for you.” He said.
Her jaw dropped seeing the cute pink dress that he had bought her. “Mas Gun, I…..”She couldn’t think of anything to say.
“I’m going to shower, so you can go ahead and try it on.” He said.
She put on the new dress and found that it fitted her perfectly. She walked to the big mirror in the room, feeling happy and pleased with the reflection that she saw.
She had just finished putting her makeup and combing her hair when Guntoro came out of the bathroom. She stood up to show him the dress. “What do you think?” She asked.
“Like I’ve died and gone to heaven, seeing an angel before me.” He replied.
“Mas Gun…”She blushed. “Unfortunately I only bought sneakers with me, because I never dreamed that you would get me such a beautiful present, so it’s going to have to do.”
“Or you can wear this instead.” He said while taking a box out from inside the closet. He opened the box and took out a pair of shoes to match the dress.
Endang was speechless. She took them out and put them on. “Thank you.” She said, “I can’t thank you enough!”
He just smiled.
He took her to a simple restaurant that served typical food of Yogyakarta. The dishes were a little sweet for her taste, but it was delicious none the less. After the dinner, they walked hand in hand through the streets of Malioboro. Stopping at one souvenir store after another. He encouraged her to buy something for her friends. She took the time to choose items that were quite pricey to bring to her “friends” that came to her house-warming party. Something that was worth more or less equivalent to their gifts to her. She didn’t want any of them to feel that they had any claim to Guntoro because of what she received from them.
Endang dropped the bags and the floor and threw herself on the bed. Her back ached from all the walking, but her spirit was high. She kicked off the high heel shoes and put on the hotel slippers.
“Are you tired?” Guntoro asked.
She nodded, “But it was worth it. Thank you, this was a great surprise.” She said.
He sat beside her and lifted her feet to his lap, then began gently massaging them. “I’m glad that you’re happy.” He said.
He put her feet down and moved closer to her. Pulling her to him and kissed her passionately. This time she didn’t hesitate to respond to him, she circled her arms around his neck and met his tongue with hers.
“Endang, will you be my wife?” He whispered.
She nodded without hesitation. He lifted her from the bed, pulled open the covers and laid her down again before placing himself over her. He kissed her lips again, before moving his attention to her neck, tasting her skin with his tongue and gently biting on her soft flesh. Endang sighed as an alien sensation ran through her body. Before she knew it she could feel his warm skin against hers.
He stopped and looked deeply into her eyes, ”Endang, do you know that it’s midnight now, do you know what date it is?” He asked.
Not knowing why he was asking the question she answered, “December the 14th.”
“Happy birthday, my love!” He whispered then kissed her again and claiming her as his, completely.
To be continued……………..
 Jalan Malioboro is a major shopping street in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
 Siwa is the Javanese word for Shiva
 Kresna is the Javanese word for Krishna
 Wisnu is the Javanese word for Vishnu
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