Guntoro lifted her body in his arm, running towards the driveway where his car was parked.
“Pak Gun, I’ll drive,” Syaiful said as he quickly followed behind Guntoro.
The other student watched in confusion not knowing what had happened. Riski instinctively ran towards the car, as she was closer to it and opened both the back seat doors.
Guntoro gently placed Endang in the back seat leaning her against Riski’s shoulder and got ready to sit down.
“Pak Gun the keys,” Syaiful said as he opened the driver door.
Guntoro’s hands were shaking and sticky from the blood that was seeping out of her wound, he reached down to his pocket, accidently dropping the keys to the ground. Syaiful quickly jumped and picked up the keys. He sat in the driver’s seat and started the car.
Guntoro took off his jacket and folded it, using it to cover Endang’s wound and putting pressure on it.
“Endang, hang on, be strong….” Riski cried.
Endang opened her eyes slightly, “Ndang, you’ll be alright.” Guntoro whispered pulling her weak body towards him without letting go of her stomach. “Don’t leave me… don’t leave me…” He cried while kissing her hair.
Endang moved her lips “Mas, Gatot’s father he killed my father” She whispered weakly.
“I promise you I’ll look into it later, but promise me that you’ll be alright.” He said, “nDang, try to stay wake, okay? Keep talking to me. Look, Riski is here with us.”
“NDang, don’t worry about it, you’re going to be fine, do you remember that we made a promise to go the Pantai Bale Kambang together? I spoke with my parents and they gave me permission to go, maybe next month, let’s all go there, I’m sure Pak Gun will let us use his car.” She said ignoring her tears that didn’t stop falling.
“I feel cold.” She whispered
Guntoro moved his body a little to put his arms around her, “I’ll keep you warm, let me keep you warm….”
Syaiful slowed down the car as they neared the hospital’s ICU entrance. He stopped the car and Guntoro almost immediately jumped off. He carried Endang out of the car and ran towards the door.
“Help me….” He cried out, “She was stabbed.”
The nurses ran towards him pushing a stretcher. He gently put her down on it and followed them as they wheeled her away towards the resuscitation area. He stood spiritlessly as they closed the door in front of him without saying a word.
“We need you to wait outside.” A nurse said without any emotions.
Guntoro stood at the front of the door, holding his head. He slowly lowered his hands seeing her blood still staining it with a painful red color. The strong smell of iron entered his nose, but felt like a dagger to his heart.
Dejectedly he walked to the toilet to wash his hand. No matter how much soap and water he used, the smell just wouldn’t go away.
He returned to the emergency room, Syaiful and Riski were already sitting there, their faces gloomy and tense, not knowing what will happen now.
Gatot drove his motorbike like crazy, trying to disappear from the villa as fast as he can. A few times he almost crashed into pedestrians crossing the streets as he speeded through the red light. He arrived at his boarding house, without greeting anybody he ran into his room and locked the door.
“She brought it on herself.” He said to himself, “If she didn’t insist in protecting that bastard, none of this would have happened. It’s her fault, it’s her fault.”
He paced back and forwards holding his head with both hands. He stopped for a while, peering out his window then he quickly walked up to his closet and started filling his backpack with clothes. He walked to the door, opened it and rushed out again.
A nurse walked up to him asking him to fill out the paper works, he followed her to the front desk. He quickly dialed Wahyu to let him know about the situation and to make the police report. Then he called his parents who took the news difficultly.
Guntoro clinched the bridge of his nose and began to massage his forehead. He was feeling tired and desperate. Finally, the door opened and the doctor came out of the resuscitation room.
Guntoro hastily stood up, “How is my wife?” He asked.
The doctor exhaled before answering solemnly while patting Guntoro’s shoulder, “We did our very best.”
“Doctor, are you saying that my wife is….” Guntoro couldn’t continue his words his heart sank to the floor.
“Yes, your wife is stable. The procedure went well. As I said, we did our very best.” He replied.
Guntoro felt his soul rush back into his body. “She’s fine, doctor?”
“She hasn’t regained consciousness yet, we had to give her blood transfusion because she had lost a large amount of blood, and it seems knife didn’t puncture any vital organs, but we still have to closely monitor her for any latent signs of evisceration. For now, that’s all we can do. The nurses are applying the bandages, we will move her to the observation room in a few minutes. You can go and see her once she’s there.”
“Thank you, doctor.” He said.
She was lying on the bed with her eyes closed, the beeping noise from the life support machine, sounded eerie and depressing. Guntoro’s heart stung seeing her condition, needles penetrating her skin, and pipes providing her body with oxygen.
“Endang, wake up!” He whispered while putting the palm on his hand against her hairline, “Your friends are outside they’re worried about you. Bapak and Ibu are also on their way here to see you You have to wake up soon to greet them, okay?”
“Why did this have to happen?” She sobbed.
“Shh… everything is going to be alright.” Syaiful said wishfully.
It was all like a surreal nightmare for Guntoro as he reached for the button and pressed it down with all his strength. His face was pale and his entire body shaking. The sound of the long endless beep that filled his ears was like a sword stabbing at his soul. The doctors and nurses ran inside pushing a defibrillator, somebody pushed him out of the room, from the distance he could see as the doctor’s put the paddles on her chest and her body jolting up, a nurse jumped to her side and started pumping her chest as another on pumped air into her mouth, the doctor repeated the procedure, he cried as she convulsed to the electrical current that ran mercilessly through her body. Even with all that the long beep still dominated his audition. He was about to step inside again to run to her side when suddenly the door closed in his face.
He felt his legs weak as he fell to the floor, hands helped him up and led him to a chair. Voices like in slow motion surrounding him, making him feel dizzy and nauseous. He stood up and ran to the bathroom emptying what little content his stomach had in the toilet. And just like that he was transported back to earth again.
“Gun, are you okay?” He heard his father’s voice.
He nodded while lifting his body then walked to the hand basin. He splashed water on his face over and over again as if washing away the cruel reality that surrounded him.
“Here drink this.” Pak Koes handed him a bottle of tea. “You haven’t eaten anything since yesterday. If you get sick, you won’t be able to take care of your wife.”
He accepted the bottle and took a drink, only to break down in tears.
Wahyu arrived with the police in front of the boarding they rang the bell and Widodo opened the door.
“Were looking for Gatot, the one that comes from Jember and studies in Polytechnic.” Lieutenant Cahyono said.
“He isn’t here,” Widodo replied, “I mean he arrived, but shortly after I saw him leave bringing his bag. What is this about?”
“He is the primary suspect in the stabbing of Bu Endang Guntoro.”
“En…Endang was stabbed? Why?” His face turned pale, “How is she? Where is she?”
“She’s still in the hospital, in Batu, she’s in a coma.” Wahyu replied
Widodo stepped backward leaning himself against the wall, he covered his face and began to cry, “Can I go and see her? Please, I need to know how she is. I just want to be near her to know how she is………”
Wahyu nodded, “She’s in the intensive care unit.”
Gatot arrived at the neighborhood just as it was beginning to turn dark. He knew that he couldn’t go to his house that would be the first place where they would go to look for him.
He turned his motorcycle towards the rice field heading to the river. Suddenly several men in brown uniform appeared in front of him, he tried to turn his motorcycle to his right hand side, but it caused him to fall into the rice field. The policemen ran towards him, he felt someone pulling him up from the ground and twisting his arm behind his back.
Endang stretched her hand out to feel the rice plants as she walked in the field. The wind was blowing her face, making her hair fan out behind her. She skipped and hopped playfully breathing in the fresh crisp air. All her senses were thankful enjoying the majestic nature in front of her.
The little finches scattered in panic as she ran up to them and frightened them away, their little wings flapping in the air and their little angry chirps to her seemed as if they were blighting her.
She waved both hands up in the air laughing out loud, then continued to skip around the field looking up to the sky, opening her arms and turning around in circles.
She saw a small opened hut in the middle of the field, she ran up to it and entered, she laid down on the clean pandanus mat that was spread out on the floor of the hut, the breeze that caused the trees to sway around her also made her feel cool despite the abundance of sunlight.
She heard the sound of footsteps approaching the hut, she sat up to take a look at who was coming. She saw a young man in his early twenties, he had a hoe over his shoulder and on his head was a bamboo hat. The man stopped in front of the hut and took off his hat. To Endang’s surprise, he was in her opinion very handsome, his face was oval, his smile friendly, his eyes very gentle, and when he smiled to greet her, he had dimples on both cheeks.
“Why are you here?” He asked her kindly.
“Me? I’m here because….because…..I don’t know why I’m here.” She replied becoming confused. “But I like it here, it’s so beautiful, I want to stay here forever. Can I stay, please?”
The young man smiled, “I’m happy that you came here, I glad that I got a chance to meet you and talk to you, you are a very beautiful and special girl. But you should go now, it’s not time yet for you to be here.”
“But why?” Endang asked looking straight at him.
The young man smiled again, showing his dimples, “Because you still have to live, my child. You still have many things ahead of you, to contribute to society, to have children of your own and raise them, and to take care of their children too. And because there is somebody very special waiting for you, the one who’s heart is breaking seeing your condition at this moment. Go back to him, I’ll be here waiting for you. When the time comes, we’ll meet again. I promise.”
“Go now, that way.” He pointed towards the middle of the rice field, “Go….”
Endang hesitated for a while, but then she did what he said, she climbed down from the hut and walked towards the middle of the rice field. She turned back to look at the young man, and he waved his hand to her.
“I’ve always been watching over you, and I will continue to do so…….” He shouted.
Endang smiled at him and waved too, “Thank you.” She shouted back.
She arrived at the spot that he pointed to her, suddenly she the ground under her began to sink. She tried to grab hold of something to prevent herself from falling, but everything around her was sucked into the growing hole.
Endang found herself alone in the dark, a familiar voice was calling her from the darkness, she looked around her trying to find the source, but she couldn’t see anything. A sharp pain suddenly appeared on her stomach, she tried to clutch it to no avail. Endang closed her eyes to try to minimize the pain, it seemed to work, as her body began to feel comfortable. She opened her eyes slowly.
“Ndang, welcome back…..” Guntoro smiled in relief while kissing her hand.
Endang walked to the stage, she smiled as the Rector handed her the diploma, she couldn’t help but feel proud of herself as he moved the tassel on her tam. She walked passed the academic board who shook her hands respectively. Arriving at the end of the stage she walked down the steps carefully, supporting her huge belly with her left hand. She smiled at the direction of her family as she sat back on her seat.
Guntoro was surrounded by the students who wanted to take their graduation photo with him. He accepted without letting his wife out of his sigh.
“Ndang don’t move, stay there!” Syaiful said, “Guys, come here. Let’s take a group photo! Come here, we shouldn’t tire Endang by making her walk around too much!”
Endang stayed put as her friends merrily walked towards her. They all hurdled together in front of the faculty building. Parents and family taking pictures of them as memorabilia of the last day they get to act as carefree young adults before they enter into the world of responsible grown-ups, with work and family.
Suddenly Endang felt a growing pain around her waist, “Mas Gun, come here for a minute” She called out to Guntoro.
Guntoro leisurely walked towards her, “What is it?” He asked lovingly.
“I think it’s time.” She whispered.
“Time for?” he looked at his watch not understanding what she was getting at.
“The baby, it’s time, I think I’m going into labor.”
Guntoro was surprised, he felt the palm of his hands beginning to sweat, “We have to go to the hospital.” He said. He ran towards the car, leaving Endang standing in the same spot.
He ran towards the car, leaving Endang standing in the same spot.
“Mas Gun, I think it would be a good idea take me with you to the hospital.” She shouted.
 Pantai Bale Kambang a beach located on the southern coast of Malang where on a small island off it’s coast there is a Hindu temple.