December Sunshine Part 25

“Can you think of anyone who would have any reasons to write a message like this? Maybe an ex-boyfriend or something?” Lieutenant Cahyono asked.
Endang looked at Guntoro and shook her head, “My ex-boyfriend, Mas Widodo doesn’t know Dik Dini, I doubt he would be the one behind this.” She said.

“And I spoke to him earlier today, he seemed sincere when he congratulated us on our marriage,” Guntoro added.
Lieutenant Cahyono nodded his head, “Pak Guntoro, you seem pretty well-off for a part time lecturer. You even have your own personal assistant, 24 hours security guards and a chief of security, what actually is the nature of your business?”
“I’m sorry, what?” Guntoro asked.
“Your Chief of Security, Pak Wahyu, I spoke to him regarding the break in at your residence.”
Guntoro shook his head and pinched between his brows, “Wahyu is not my chief of security, he is my longtime friend, and we knew each other since high school. Rahmat is his nephew who is studying in university, so he runs errands for me to earn some pocket money. And the security guards, they’re high school graduates who need work until they get a permanent one of course. We hired them after the attempted break in, for my wife’s sake.”
“Ah, I see…..” The Lieutenant nodded.
“Eh, Lieutenant, I’ve just change my cellphone number a month ago, not many people have it just my closest friends, and most of them are girls. I’m very sure that none of my friends know Dik Dini, even though she came to our faculty building, but she was there for only a few minutes, and I’ve never spoken about her to anyone.”
“Pak Guntoro and Bu Guntoro[1], thank you for providing us with this information, we will let you know if we find anything.” He stood up.
“Thank you Lieutenant.” Guntoro shook his hand, he turned to Endang, “Let’s go.”
They walked out of the office, Guntoro looked at her pale face, “Are you okay?”
She smiled and nodded unconvincingly.
Guntoro hugged her by the shoulder, “Don’t worry.”

“Anies, you got over Pak Guntoro so fast.” Riski teased, “I just saw you riding around on a motorcycle with a handsome young man.”
“My boyfriend goes to Polytechnic.” She said while smiling shyly, “We met at Bu Warta’s shop coincidently while having lunch, he introduced himself to me and the rest was history.”
“Ah…..congratulations, when do we get to meet this fine young gentleman?” Endang asked.
“I’ll ask him.” She smiled proudly.
“Guys, we should get going, the exam is about to start.” Riski panicked.
They ran into the classroom together. Endang was happy for her friend, she felt relieved that Anies had moved on and was now happy with her new found romance.

“Here, this is your new cell phone number.” Guntoro said while handing her back the cell phone after installing the new sim card. “Make note of who you give your number to that way we can at least try to control who texts you or calls you.”
“Thank you.” She said softly, “Mas Gun, I…I can’t thank you and everyone enough for everything you’ve done for me. You’re grandparents raised me, Mas Koes and mBak Yuni have been like my second parents, and you, you’re the best thing that ever happened to me. I’m very grateful and I feel blessed.”
“nDang, you don’t have to thank me for anything. I love you.” He kissed her on the cheek, “And to prove it, today I’m going to make us dinner.”
“Hang on a minute.” Endang grabbed him by the wrist, “You cook?”
“Oh yeah, how do you think I ate before we were married? I can’t go to restaurants three times a day. Pfft, what a waste of money.”
“So the other day, when I was busy studying for Bu Nunik’s exam, and you practically dragged me into the kitchen to cook for you and the guys out there, you complained that you didn’t know how to cook and you didn’t want the five kilos of fish that you bought to spoil, so you made me……..”
“That wasn’t me…” Guntoro replied.
“Yes it was!”
“Nope. That was your evil niece in law who makes you eat left-overs and sleep in the kitchen.”
“How did you…”
“How did I know? I was reprimanded in front of all the other lecturers by that woman, I felt my ears were going to fall off having to listen to her two hour long lecture on decency and respect towards my family.” He took a deep breath, then put on a big smile and ran to the door, “Isn’t payback fun?”
“Mas Gun! You’re so mean.” She chased after him, holding her sandal in her hand as a weapon.

“Guys, next Saturday is my birthday.” Anies said in high spirit, “I want to invite you to my villa in Batu to celebrate it.”
“Yay…..” They cheered.
“Free food….free food…….” Syaiful raised his hand up to the air and clapped loudly.
“Stop acting like you’re starving to death.” Riski pinched his back.
“Ouch…” He complained
“Shht…..” A girl hushed them, “Pak Gun’s here.”
Guntoro entered the classroom door, walking directly to the desk and putting his books there. “What’s all the cheering and commotion about? What are we celebrating?” He asked cheerfully.
“It’s Anies’s birthday next Saturday. She’s invited us for free food.” Syaiful said out loud.
“Congratulations, Mbak Anies.” He smiled. “I hope you have fun with your friends.”
“Pak Gun, you’re welcome to come if you like.” Anies said to him.
“Me? An old man like me will only bore you guys to death.” He smiled, followed by the hooting of the students.
“Pak Gun, you can take your new wife so we can get to know her.”
Guntoro smiled glancing at Endang from the corner of his eyes he said, “We’ll see, guys, we’ll see. Come on, let’s start our lesson for today.”

“Can we go and buy Anies a present?” Endang asked.
“Sure, why not? Where do you want to go?” He asked.
“Depends how much you’re willing to spend.” She said in a canny tone.
Guntoro laughed, “What do you want to get her?”
“I don’t know, maybe some makeup or jewelry, something nice, and we’ll also get a present from you.”
“Okay, that wouldn’t be a problem. Let’s go to Sarinah department store. First we’ll go see a movie, then we can go shopping.”
“I have no problem with that….” Endang replied.
They chose a movie that they considered both of them could enjoy. Smuggling in the snacks that they bought in the supermarket. Half way through the movie, Guntoro was beginning to feel bored. He glanced at Endang who was sitting beside him submerged in the story. He smiled, feeling the urge to disturb her, first pulling strands of her hair then pinching her cheeks. Endang glanced at him, and ignored his childish behavior. “When it’s dark like this, nobody will see that I’m an old man.” He whispered.
“Leave me alone! The movie is interesting!”
He held a few strands of her hair and used the edges to tickle her face. “Stop it!” She said slapping his hand.
Guntoro laughed cheekily, “Do you like the movie?” He whispered.
“It’s interesting, if you’d let me watch it.”
“Go ahead, you continue watching, I’m going to entertain myself in the meantime.” Moving his hand and putting on her lap then sneaking it under her skirt. Endang quickly slapped his hand as hard as she could.
Guntoro laughed complaining slightly, “Aren’t you rancorous.”
“I have more where that came from.” She poked her tongue while showing her hand to him.
He pulled her closer and kissed her cheek, “You’re so cute.” He whispered in a playful tone.
“Mas, somebody might be watching us!”
Seeing her concentrated, he began to disturb her again. “Stop that! Stop that! Stop that!” she started slapping him on the back.
The people sitting behind them were beginning to feel disturbed, “Shhhh.”
Guntoro giggled while leaning back on his chair.
They couple sitting in front of them apparently felt disturbed too. The man turned around facing them, “Please be quiet. We’re trying to watch the movie!” He said.
Endang looked at him with her eyes wide opened, “Gatot?” She exclaimed.
The girl with him turned around also, “Endang? Pak Gun? Are you here too?” Anies said, she looked at Endang, “Do you know my boyfriend?”
They sat at a table in the food court, ”Tot, how are you? I didn’t know that you came to study here in Malang.” Endang said.
“Endang, Mas Gun, how have you been? It’s been a long time since I saw you. How long has it been? Five years was it? When Endang suddenly disappeared and never came back.”
“There was a family problem, that caused my father decide to move Endang to another school.” Guntoro responded.
“So I heard, I’m sorry about that,” Gatot replied.
“Anies and I go to the same faculty,” Ending explained, “Nies, Gatot is my childhood friend, we went to school together since elementary school, his one of my best friends,” Endang said to Anies.
“I didn’t know that,” Anies said, “I knew you came from Jember too, but I didn’t know that the two of you were close friends.”
“Yes, close friends, we’re close friends, ” Gatot murmured.
“And it’s just the two of you here?” Anies asked them.
Endang and Guntoro looked at each other, he took a deep breath and nodded, “Yes, it’s just the two of us.”
“And your wife?” Anies asked.
“Nies, what are you saying? Endang is Mas Guntoro’s wife, I found out about it last month from my relatives who lives in the same street as Mas Gun’s parents.” Gatot said.
Anies was surprised she looked at them with her eyes wide opened, “But I thought that the two of you were aunt and nephew.”
Guntoro exhaled, “Endang was raised by my grandparents, that’s why I call her aunt, but we’re actually distant relatives.”
“But, why didn’t you…..why not tell everybody about it?” Anies asked again.
“That was my decision.” Guntoro replied, “I wanted Endang to be able to enjoy her university days with her friends, without people distancing from her because she’s a lecturer’s wife.”
“Ah, I see.” Anies said softly.
“Nies, do you mind not telling anybody about this?” Endang asked.
“Sure….I suppose….” Anies replied.
“Thank you.” Endang smiled.
“Mas Guntoro, you wouldn’t mind if I go to your house and play once in a while, would you?” Gatot asked.
“Of course I wouldn’t mind. By the way, what are you studying here in Malang?”
“I’m in the first year of Polytechnic,” Gatot replied.
“Why are you just in the first year?” Endang asked, “Did you take a break from studying?”
Gatot looked at her sharply, “After I graduated high school, I decided to work first, I worked with the people who rented your father’s land, you know doing farming to take care of that land. I didn’t want to leave the neighborhood, because, I planned my future there. Who knew that my dreams were destroyed?” His voice began to sound very dark.
“What happened?” Guntoro asked.
Gatot smiled, “Things changed, just like people, they change also. Some people are easily lured by money and promises of the easy big city life, forgetting and betraying the people who really care for them.” Gatot said to himself.
His tone of voice made Guntoro feel uneasy, to lighten the situation he asked, “And how about the others? Where are they now?”
“They’re scattered all over the place, Siti got married to Dwi, remember him?” Gatot looked at Endang, “He used to be our senior in high school.”
“Yes I remember him.” She said.
“Eko and Kurniawan entered the army. To sum it up, everybody spread out their own ways.”
“Wow, I miss those days playing in the rice fields,” Endang said dreamily, “I wish I could go back to those days.”
Gatot’s face brightened up, “Do you really? He asked.
Endang smiled and nodded, “Yes, those were some of the happiest days of my life.”
“I don’t want to be a party pooper, but it’s getting late, and I have to go home.” Anies said.
“Ah, okay…I’ll take you home,” Gatot said. “It was good to meet you again.”
“Like wise, Tot,” Guntoro said, “We’ll be seeing you around then.”
“Yes, you definitely will,” Gatot replied.

Since Anies already found out about their relationship, Guntoro didn’t mind going with Endang to her friend’s birthday party, although they did keep a distance to prevent the other student from finding out. Endang found that Anies’s mother was a great cook, and what she liked the most was that she was very friendly and didn’t mind giving cooking tips and recipes.
Endang spent most of her time mingling with her friends, Riski and Anies more than anybody else, she would look around from time to time to see where Guntoro was, he was with Anies’s father most of the time. Maybe it’s because of their age. Ending thought.

Guntoro sat in the terrace chatting with Anies’s father. The older man was very knowledgeable about real estate investment and gave Guntoro a few pointers that he thought was feasible. He looked at the students who were mingling and joking with each other, he smiled as the memory of another group of young people flashed before his eyes.

“nDang, can we talk?” Gatot came up to her.
“Eh, Tot, of course.” She replied.
They walked to a separate location, at the far end of the garden.
“nDang, you don’t know how much I miss you. Why did you leave without saying anything?” He asked.
“I miss you and the guys too. My brother in law made that decision, it wasn’t until recently I found out why he moved me out of the school and the neighborhood so abruptly.” Endang told.
“Yes, it was because of that evil witch, she came to your house and started saying bad things about you. I was there that day. I didn’t go to school because I had a fever. But since that woman was screaming so loud, everybody started going out of their houses to find out what happened. I became curios and went to your house too. She told everybody that you had an adulterous relationship with Mas Guntoro, she told everyone that you exchanged yourself, your body, for money. Was that true, nDang?”
“Tot, of course not, I’m not that kind of person, and Mas Guntoro was always nice to me and took care of me, he never did anything to disrespect me.”
Gatot nodded, “nDang, you were my girlfriend, how could you leave me just like that, and how could you involve yourself with another man?”
“Tot, what are you talking about? I was never your girlfriend, you were always a very dear and close friend to me, but I never saw you more than a friend.”
“That’s a lie. Endang, we were born for each other, everybody knew that you were my girlfriend, if you didn’t love me too, why did you spend your time with me, why did you smile and blush at my advances, why go to volley ball practice with me, and most of all, why did you tell me to work at your father’s land? Isn’t that a sign that you loved me?”
“Tot, I think you misunderstood me, I never asked you to work at my father’s land, I was just joking, and you came for me every day for volleyball practice, as a friend I didn’t see any reason why I should refuse to go together.”
“As a friend? And what about him? Why did you leave me for him? What did you see in him? His money? His looks? Or is it the way he touches you? I can work hard to find money for you, a lot of people say that I’m handsome, and I can touch you and love you better than him.” He said while moving forward to take her hand.
Endang stepped backward, “It was you, wasn’t it? You were the one who attacked Dik Dini, You were the one who tried to break into our house, and also you sent me the text message.”
“It hurts nDang…” His eyes began to tear up, “It hurts seeing my woman laughing and enjoying herself in the arms of another man. You couldn’t even begin to imagine how it hurts me to see through the bedroom window all the disgusting things he does to you, and how humiliating it feels knowing that you respond to him.”
“Get away from me!” Endang stepped backward trying to get away from him, he grabbed her by the wrist to prevent her from leaving.
“Let go of me…” She shouted, trying to pry his fingers off.
Gatot took something out of his pocket, “You’re a whore just like her!” He said with hate, “I’m going to make him end up just like your father! My mother always told me how much she loved him. My mother loved him even though she had my father, and even after she gave birth to me, she never stopped loving him. But you see, my father was no fool, he showed her how to respect him. He sent your father to hell. Now I’m going to show you how to respect me!”
“Don’t hurt him, please, don’t hurt Mas Gun!” She pulled his hand. “I won’t let you hurt him.” She pulled his arm back with more strength causing him to accidently thrust backward hitting her stomach.

Guntoro’s smile faded away, suddenly he remembered a slim, and tall young man with light skin. A young man who knew about Dini, and who knew about his relationship with Endang. He stood up frantically looking around the property for his wife, he ran to the garden and began asking everybody if they saw her.
“I think she went to the far end of the garden with her childhood friend!” Syaiful said.
“Towards what direction?” He asked half yelling.
“Th….that way…” Syaiful pointed.
Guntoro’s face was a white as paper, he ran towards the direction that Syaiful pointed. Syaiful followed behind him sensing that something was wrong. Guntoro saw Endang leaning against a tree, when she saw him, she slowly walked towards him.
“Mas Gun…” She called out.
Guntoro rushed to her, she was pale and weak, she was about to fall but luckily he caught her in time, preventing her from tumbling to the ground. A warm liquid trickled down his hand, from the corner of his eyes he could see that it came from the red fluid that stained her shirt.
He screamed out her name as she slowly began to lose consciousness in his arms.

[1] Since many Indonesian people don’t use surnames (including yours truly), it’s common for a wife to be called in the style of Mrs. husband’s first name, sometimes even adopting her husband’s first name as her last name, ex. Endang Guntoro.

5 thoughts on “December Sunshine Part 25

  1. Oh, what a sudden turn of event. Did not expect her to be physically wounded like this and for gatot to just leave her like that after he harmed her. Tsk tsk. Is that what you call love?

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