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Thread: Tesa

  1. #1
    Senior Member eeyore's Avatar
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    Dec 2002
    Hundred Acres Wood

    Default Tesa (Finished)

    Hiya all,

    Me and Shiro would tried to translate one of Indonesian novel in this forum. Since I know for sure I can not create my own fanfiction or story, but I feel I want to contribute to this fanfiction, this idea start to come. Than Shiro, volunteer to work as my partner.

    The story title is Tesa written by famous Indonesian writer Marga Tan. This is a romance story, telling about a girl name Tesa, whose so unfortunate with her love life. But at the end.... (no spoiler.. )

    As me and Shiro has really enjoyed so much this story (we both has read the story houndred times ), we were hoping you all can also enjoy this. And since this is really a translation work, any feedback of the way of our translation is greatly appreciated.

    Here we go...
    Last edited by eeyore; 01-11-04 at 05:37 PM.
    Spring Summer Autumn Winter.
    Pair ducks nest fly together.
    Clemencies. Summer life, feather winter white.
    Green meadow in spring, before the autumn bite.
    Watching the red gown.
    And none else, alone.

  2. #2
    Senior Member eeyore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Hundred Acres Wood

    Default Chapter 1

    The student dormitory was a large area, consisting of more than 30 blocks of buildings. Each building had 5 stories and each level had 38 rooms. No wonder that most of the students were not familiar with each other, especially when the Westerners were not nosy with other people’s matter.

    Tesa had been in Perth for almost a year now, but her friends were limited to those who lived in the same level with her, who she often met in the kitchen. Atina and Sabita, both her close friends, were from Jakarta. Pika, Sabita’s friend, also lived in the same level, but she’d been there for almost 3 years, so she’s more adjusted with foreign life.

    Tesa missed her home often, especially when she remembered why she had gone this far from home. Well, to her parents she said that since she could not get into public university, there’s not much different cost-wise between studying abroad and going to private university.

    But now, she slightly regretted her decision and a bit worried thinking about the cost. The money that was sent from home was very tight, if you don’t want to call it not enough. And she could not asked for more since she knew that because of the oil price and devaluation in Rupiah, her parents’ situation is not easy financially. Before she left, her mom had asked her so many times whether she would be able to cope with that amount of money and she had said yes. At that time, she had already set her mind: better starve to dead than eat happily in front of the nose of a traitor. And the owner of the nose was called Goffar! Nicely shaped nose, handsome face, but wicked heart.

    On a party, Tesa had introduced him to Shakira, her classmate. Who would know, who could guess, that Goffar would have a heart to betray her. He HAD to marry Shakira. Well, it’s not meant to be, she said inside her heart when she’s daydreaming. But when she’s in a worse mood, she really wanted to poison that wicked heart. But she was always afraid when imagining the prison cell and all the bad stories of it. At the end, as usual, only her tears would fall down her cheeks.

    After thinking for a thousand times, she decided to leave all the bitter memories behind. She made up her mind to turn a new page in her live. But now…

    If she didn’t get some extra money soon, she would have to leave this place, stop her study, go back to her parents’ home, and cry everyday thinking about her life!

    Tesa sighed while playing with her soup, her lunch for today. She’s so occupied with her daydreaming that Pika’s appearance startled her.

    “Hi! I heard someone sighing. Was that you? Your face is so gloomy. What’s up? Is it about him?”

    “Why would I think about someone else, when my life is messy enough? I do not want to have a boyfriend before my school is finished. I have no money, Pik! What will my parents say if I fail, when they have already spent so much money on me? Boyfriend! Huh!” In a second her troubled mind remembered Goffar, and her temper flared.

    “Heh, you seem to have experienced a broken heart before! You seem to be against guy, huh! Well, not all guys are that bad, Tes. For example, my boyfriend…”

    Tesa sighed. Really, this Pika was so insensitive of other people’s feeling. If she already realised Tesa’s heart had been broken, well, no need to gloat about her first-rated boyfriend! It’d only make Tesa’s heartbreak even worse, wouldn’t it?! But Tesa knew Pika. Everywhere, to everyone, she would always show off her boyfriend, who she never introduced to anyone. Her reason, she’s afraid someone would steal him away from her! If that’s your reason, you need not be afraid of me, Tesa thought cynically. I would never want to snatch other people’s boyfriend, because I already knew the bitterness when your friend did it to you! And, well! That’s the main reason she went further south. Because Goffar had been stolen by Shakira, her best friend in high school who had now turned into her enemy.

    But that was not what really weighed her mind now. She had no money! And she didn’t know whom to ask for help. Definitely not Pika, she thought cynically, when the cheerful curly girl kept on talking about her boyfriend’s great attributes.

    Out of politeness, Tesa listened half-heartedly. Her own mind was just like a whirlwind, turning around and around on the same problem. She had no money. If she could not find work to do – any work – she would have to say bye-bye and go home!

    “… and next Sunday, he will receive a cup for the tennis tournament at his campus! After that, lunch together, of course I am invited too. Wah, his professor praised him highly, you know. Next summer holiday, he will go with his university team for a match in Darwin. Great, huh? Eh, by the way, why are you only eating a watery soup? You are not going to be full. Come, I just got fish and chips. Yummy!”

    “No, thanks. I still have some omelette in my room from yesterday,” Tesa, who hated to receive favour, said, and rushed back to her room, leaving a stunned Pika behind, since they normally ate together in the kitchen and chatted. But Tesa didn’t want anybody’s pity on her when they knew she had already run out of egg 3 days ago.


    Two weeks later she only had twenty dollars left. If she did some penny-pinching, she could use it for 2 weeks meals. That meant she had to walk to campus. But then, there’s nothing else she could do. Maybe once a while she could go with her friend’s car. But clearly not everyday.

    The bell on her door rang, startled her. She quickly closed her shabby and thin wallet, then opened the door.

    “Hello, may I come in?” Pika called out as she came in without permission. Tesa closed the door and sat with Pika on her bed. Before she had any chance to ask Pika the reason for her presence, that girl had already talked like firecracker.

    “The other day, didn’t you say you want to get some extra money, Tes? Would you like to look after a sick person?”

    Of course she wanted to. But what kind of sickness? If it’s too difficult, she could not do it for sure.

    “What kind of illness, Pik? If it’s not too difficult, I won’t mind. But if it needs special care, I may not be qualified.”

    “Oh, don’t worry about it. It’s OK. The person is not really sick, meaning he does not always stay in bed. But he needs help, because… he’s blind! An accident 2 weeks ago. Doctor said there’s still hope; with operation, he’ll be healed. But it has to wait for another 6 months. And that’s only for one eye. The other would be in the next couple of months. So roughly after eight to nine months, he will be able to see again. And during those time, he will need help.”

    “The patient is a he?”


    Tesa hesitated. Can she do it? Helping the person to the bathroom, to the bedroom…

    “Is he still young?”

    “Two years older than me.” That meant four years difference with herself. That young?! Ah, she can’t! She’s not a nurse, not used to taking care other people’s personal need, not to say a young person her age.

    “I can’t. I’m sorry.”

    Pika mentioned a sum of money that was more than enough for her. Tesa reconsidered again. She was reluctant, because she would feel awkward and shy with that kind of patient. Not to say if the person is strong enough. Isn’t he not really sick?! That meant his physics was healthy. That meant… Ah, you’re too proud, accused her mercenary mind. You prefer to starve to dead than lower yourself down by waiting on someone else.

    “I really don’t think I can, Pik.”

    “Why not?”

    “Well, have a look yourself. What if he wants to go to the bathroom or toilet? How can I help him? Do I have to bathe him? What if he tries to rape me?”

    Pika burst in laughter. “You don’t have to worry about that, Tes. When he was still in the hospital, he already learned to go to bathroom and toilet by himself. Ha has a wheelchair that he can operate easily. But he will need help if he wants to go out, like to the campus. Someone has to warn him if there’s a danger on the road. He also needs help in the kitchen and finding chapters in his textbook. That kind of tasks! It’s not hard, right? But there are conditions.”

    “What kind of conditions?”

    “First, you can not use your real name if you work there. You have to say your name is… Ina, for example, or Selina. Second, you can never speak about your personal life to the patient, like what your address is here or in Jakarta, what course you do here, etc. In short, you can never be close with him. And once his operation succeeds, you have to quit, never once introduce yourself to him! Agree?”

    Instead of answering, Tesa asked her back, “Who is he, really?” She felt a little annoyed with those conditions. So unusual, she thought.

    “His name is Pasha, and he’s my fiancé!”

    Hm. Now Tesa understood and even sympathized with her friend’s worries and concerns. She was not going to like it either if her fiancé were snatched by someone else… if she had one!

    “But, if you are so worried that I will snatch him, why don’t you take care of him yourself? That way you can save some money too, right?”

    Pika sighed. “That’s how it’s supposed to be. But the problem is, I am so impatient. In a week, I lost count how many times I already got upset whenever he made mistakes. Or if he lost his courage and didn’t want to try anymore. He’s so depressed because of that accident and was easily angry over any small things. Besides, I don’t have time. I have to study full-time. I have to go swimming, aerobic and so on. In short, I don’t have time to stay with him all the time. Now, I’ll give you time until tomorrow to consider this offer. I guarantee you, he won’t rape you!”
    Spring Summer Autumn Winter.
    Pair ducks nest fly together.
    Clemencies. Summer life, feather winter white.
    Green meadow in spring, before the autumn bite.
    Watching the red gown.
    And none else, alone.

  3. #3
    Senior Member shiro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003


    Finally it's up... lolz...
    Eh, the T in Marga T is for Tan?? never knew that...

  4. #4
    Senior Member eeyore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Hundred Acres Wood


    yup yup... your turn now...
    Spring Summer Autumn Winter.
    Pair ducks nest fly together.
    Clemencies. Summer life, feather winter white.
    Green meadow in spring, before the autumn bite.
    Watching the red gown.
    And none else, alone.

  5. #5
    Senior Member jeh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002


    Very interesting story, update soon.

  6. #6
    Registered User Danielle Lin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002


    Indonesian fic? Interesting! Update soon

  7. #7
    Senior Member shiro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003


    Erk, sorry for the wait... but here is chapter 2... Enjoy...
    Wait, wait, disclaimer first... We tried to translate it word by word, but sometimes meaning got lost in translation... so if we made the mistake, gomen...

    Chapter 2

    Of course not, Tesa thought when she saw her patient. Pasha only had time to think about himself and cry over his misfortune. How could he realize that there’s a girl beside him whom he could easily overpower? He only sat there, in front of his room window on the second floor, and didn’t acknowledge Tesa’s presence at all.

    Pasha Solem had a tall and athletic body. His handsome face was adorned with compelling high nose, strong jaws, and lips that were always slammed shut. His thick eyebrows were black in colour, above his unseen eyes, since they were protected by dark eyeglasses. Quite funny to see a person wore such dark glasses in a room that wasn’t infiltrated by sunlight. But maybe it’s doctor’s order? Tesa planned to ask him about that some time later.

    Pasha’ short temper was revealed that afternoon, when Tesa asked him to take his medicine.

    “Mr. Solem, Sir, you have to take…”

    However, his voice cut off Tesa’s words. “How many times do I have to say that I don’t want to be called mister? Just call me Pasha, or get the hell out of here! Get out!”

    Tesa trembled. “So… rry… Mis… eh, Pa… sha. Sir, you have to…”

    “Don’t call me Sir! You! You, you, you! Understand?”

    Tesa went silent out of shock, not able to utter a word.

    “Undestaaaand?!” Pasha Solem’s roar caused the furniture and wall almost shaking as if in an earthquake.

    “Understand, Pa… sha.”

    “Now, what do I have to take?” His voice was calmer.

    “You have to take your medicine. Here, let me help you.”

    “No need!” Pasha waved his arm, shooing her away. “Can the medicine heal my eyes?”

    “I… don’t know.”

    “Hhh. If they can’t, then I would only swallow them in vain. Just throw them away!” Then he sighed and went back to staring through the window.

    Tesa stepped closer and touched his arm carefully, afraid to get another bashing. “These medicine must have some use, because they’re prescribed by the doctor who took care of you. Come, swallow them.” Huh! It’s like coaxing a little kid, she sighed.

    “Have some use? Hm! I’ve swallowed tens of them, but how come my eyes are still like these? No! Just throw them to the trash. Don’t ask me to swallow them!”

    “Pasha, you have to be patient. Your eyes will surely be back to normal,” Tesa persuaded as she touched his arm once again.

    “Huh! Patient! Patient! It’s easy for you to say that, because you can see with your own two eyes. If you’re in my place, you can’t be sure that you wouldn’t howl, can you?”

    “Maybe… yes,” Tesa answered softly.

    “Hm. You don’t know how miserable it is to have to depend on somebody else like this. You don’t know how restless I am to be stuck on chair like this! I have never appreciated my eyes all this time. I took them for granted. My ears, my nose, my mouth, my hands, my legs, my heart, my liver, all my body! I took them all for granted, without ever giving thanks to God for them. Now after I lost my sight, I just realized how happy I was before this. But now, it’s all too late, Selina. Too late!”

    And Tesa watched, touched and surprised, when this well-built guy bowed his head down, crying, and covered his face with both his hands. Stunned, Tesa was not able to do anything. At last, she gathered her courage and she pulled Pasha’s hands away from his face. Then she took off those wet glasses and cleaned them with Pasha’s tissue that was lying on the table.

    “Here’s your tissue. Wipe your face, then we’ll take these medicine.”

    Suddenly Pasha burst out laughing, causing Tesa to take a step back in fright. He’d just cried; the tears hadn’t even dried on his face. And now he’s laughing?! Had her patient gone crazy?!

    But she immediately understood and even joined in the laughter when Pasha said, “You’re really going to join me swallowing these medicine? You said ‘we’…”

    “Oh, I mean…” Tesa blushed when Pasha looked at her, forgot for the moment that he couldn’t see.


    “Oh, you baddie! I meant, you took the pill, and I will only help handing it and some water to you…” Suddenly Tesa was taken aback; she didn’t hand Pasha the glass she was holding in her hand.

    “Eh, why are you so quiet? What’s wrong?”

    “Oh, eh… nothing’s wrong. Here, let me clean your face first.”

    She took the tissue in Pasha’s hand, and then dried his eyes and cheeks. She wiped them very gently, as if worried that those eyes would shatter if touched. Pasha stayed still, letting her. The fact was, he felt half drunk smelling the fragrance wafted from Tesa’s body. Don’t know what kind of perfume and soap she uses, he thought fleetingly.

    When Pasha asked for his sunglasses back, Tesa refused softly. “Did the doctor order you to wear them?”

    “Yes, if there’s direct sunlight. My eyes still can’t take too much stimulation.”

    “But it’s dim enough here. No light at all. Even the light was turned off. It’s better not to wear them. You know, your eyes are very lovely.”

    “Don’t mock me! My eyes are blind. How could they be lovely!”

    “I’m not lying. Your eyes don’t look any different from normal eyes. Still have lights in them and look lovely. I think the damage must be in the inside, so that it’s not visible from outside. Am I right?”

    “Yes. The doctor said, the nerves and retina, and whatever else, but it is all in the inside.”

    “By the way, don’t forget about your medicine here.”

    “Hm. You must have cheered me up to make my heart lighter, didn’t you, so I would be easily persuaded to swallow them!” Pasha said, a little annoyed.

    “Oh, no, not at all!” Tesa argued. “These medicine are for your own good, to…”

    “Ah! Don’t teach me! I’m the medical student here. I know more than you about it!”

    Suddenly her heart got peeved. What she was doing, caring for this kind of patient? She’d better quit!

    “Fine with me if you don’t want to swallow this medicine. But I don’t want to be chided by Pika. Therefore, I think I’ll just get going now! Good afternoon, Pasha!”

    “Eh, eh, eh, where are you going?” Pasha called out, a little panicked, when he heard Tesa’s footsteps got farther away from him.

    “I want to go home and never come back!” she blurted out, vexed.

    “Ah, ah, ah, it seems that you like to sulk too, like me. Ha, ha, ha! Just like me. Come on, don’t be angry, Selina. Try to persuade me one more time. I will give in to you. Even if it’s poison, as long as you asked me to swallow it, I will swallow it. Come on, where’s those medicine? I don’t know what they are good for, that I have to keep taking them everyday.”

    Tesa smiled involuntarily, then walked back toward the window. She took the pill and the glass from the table and handed them to him.

    “If you want, I could call the doctor to ask about it. My guess, the medicine is to regulate the blood flow around the wounded area so that it would heal faster. And this capsule is to prevent infection.”

    “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I think so too.” And like a good boy, Pasha swallowed all his medicine.

    “Now, I’ve been a good boy. You won’t leave me again, will you?” Pasha chuckled softly. Seemed like he was in a good mood. But some time later, when Tesa suggested to read him something, he exploded again.

    “I’m not a little boy!” he roared. “Get out!”

    Tesa walked to the kitchen and sat there, looking at the traffic down below. Then she heard the clock clang three times. She got up to make some coffee and prepared some snack.

    From the living room, there’s no sound at all. Tiptoeing, she peeked. Turned out Pasha was asleep in his wheelchair. His head lolled to his chest. Tesa took a blanket and covered half his body without waking him up. Then she went back to the kitchen.

    Apparently, the smell of pancakes woke him up. Pika had given her the recipe for it. “This is Pasha’s favourite food. Even if you make it for him everyday, he won’t get sick of it. So it’s easy if you don’t want to go out to buy him some snacks,” Pika had said.

    Pasha sniffed a couple times before he was sure that the smell didn’t come from the apartment above him.

    “Selina!” he shouted, calling out for her. “What are you making?” Suddenly he felt the blanket that was covering his legs. Hm. He remembered that he didn’t wear a blanket before. So Selina…

    “Oh, you wake up already?” greeted Tesa, who was hurrying from the kitchen. “I’m making some pancakes. But I don’t know if it’ll taste okay or not, since I’ve never made it before.”

    “Of course! A girl like you wouldn’t like to go to the kitchen, right? Ha, ha, ha!”

    “Ah, you made me embarrassed,” Tesa said, pouting a little, then quickly reminded herself who he is. You can’t get too close with him, she reminded herself inwardly. He’s only your patient and someone else’s boyfriend!

    “Be patient. Another minute before it’s done.” Then she hurried back to the kitchen, before Pasha could hear her thundering heart.

    That first afternoon they ate pancakes together. Taste quite good, although some of them got burned before she could take them out. The burned ones of course were all eaten by Tesa, so Pasha wouldn’t know her failure.

    Not long afterward, Pika came to see how Tesa was faring. Luckily there were still two pancakes left.

    “Quite a surprise that you’re here this early,” Pasha commented, not without some happiness. “Want to supervise, right? Afraid Selina will be eaten by a tiger?”

    “Ah, you. Here I am, missing you, and you thought rubbish,” Pika pouted. Miracle of miracles, Pasha turned tame as he was faced with his mate. So many sweet words he offered so that his girl wouldn’t get angry.

    Finally Pika consented to laugh again, then flew to the kitchen, where pitiful Cinderella was washing the dishes she had used to make pancakes.

    “How is it? You can go on?” Pika whispered while helping her drying the plates and glasses.

    “Forced myself to go on,” Tesa whispered back.

    “Haven’t exploded yet?”

    “Oh, I almost ran out and go home this morning. But then I remembered the money I need so badly,” Tesa sighed. Pika cheered her up.

    “Patient. He’s actually very nice. He only still can’t accept his condition right now. After a week, you will be used to it.”

    “Will… will… his eyes not… heal back to normal?”

    “I don’t know!” Pika took a deep breath. “Doctor said there’s hope. But we all can be happy again after it becomes a fact, right? That’s why he is so glum. In his mind, the doctor only wanted to cheer him up.”

    “So Pasha thought… he would never recover?” Tesa whispered, her heart quaking.

    Pika nodded. “Something like that.”

  8. #8
    Senior Member Floo..'s Avatar
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    Feb 2002
    Still on Earth


    Way to go, girls!!!!!!!

    Kok gue blm pernah baca ya? Thanks for translating, then
    back w/ a vengeance ^_^

  9. #9
    Senior Member jeh's Avatar
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    Aug 2002


    I'm afraid Tesa will start to like Pesha It would be a good thing if he was still single but...sigh. Update soon.

  10. #10
    Senior Member eeyore's Avatar
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    Dec 2002
    Hundred Acres Wood

    Default Chapter 3

    Thanks for reading...


    And so, day by day, Tesa came to Pasha’s apartment, and gradually, she got used to all his complains and thundering voice.

    When she was there for almost a month, some of Pasha’s friends came, trying to persuade him to come to the class again.

    “We’ve already arranged everything, Pas. The class materials will be recorded and you can go over it yourself at home.”

    So many times Pika had persuaded Pasha to go back to the class. But the guy had refused to do so and said it was useless since he wouldn’t be able to do the laboratories class. “It can be taken later,” Pika had argued. The truth was, she was worried seeing Pasha brooded all day.

    Pika’s coaxing had turned out to be fruitless. But now, listening to his friends’ suggestion, for a moment he seemed to be interested.

    “But how do I get there? I can not drive my car anymore!”

    At that moment, Tesa appeared from inside, so nobody answered him. They were taken aback seeing her, because as far as they knew, Pasha’s girl was the energetic Pika, not this slender gentle girl.

    “Who is this angel, Pas? Don’t tell me that you have a new Pika!”

    “This is Selina, Pika’s friend. She’s been looking after my meal and… oh, she’s so good in forcing me to take my medicine! But she’s also good in soothing and comforting my gloomy heart.”

    “Ha, that means she is entitled to be called your angel!” shouted a person with thick eyeglasses.

    “Yes,” shouted another person. “Mr. Solem’s angel! That’s a nice name, eh, Sweetie?”

    “Come on, come here, Selina, I want to see you closer!”

    But Tesa got even shyer at being the center of attention like this. At the end, Pasha told her to make some coffee so she could go to the kitchen.

    “Ho, you cheater!” accused another person. “Seems like, you want to take out our rights for an introduction with her! Selina, after making coffee, you have to keep us company! Don’t you dare hide yourself in the toilet!”

    Since then, Tesa was known as Mr. Solem’s angel by Pasha’s friends every time them come to his place. Tesa didn’t protest. She also never refused every order gave out by Pasha, who she considered as her employer. She felt it’s natural for a servant to do every order, even the most finicky one.

    And Pasha loved giving orders, sometimes even overly annoying. He didn’t show any compassion toward the poor girl who was there to serve him so she could continue her study. But for Tesa, it was not that big of a deal. She didn’t expect her employer to give attention to her. Instead, she was supposed to be the one who had to show attention to her employer so he’ll get better soon, physically and mentally.

    Tesa persuaded Pasha to follow his friends’ suggestion to go back to class. His neighbour accidentally heard the suggestion when he was visiting Pasha while his friends were there. Bob straight away offered Pasha a lift every morning with his car to his campus. From there, he could use wheelchair to the classroom, with Tesa accompanying him.

    “I have to think about this carefully,” Pasha said, trying to get away.

    The truth was, he felt reluctant to go to campus in his present condition. Normally, he went there as a guy in his top form, loved to be the center of girls’ attention, confident with his appearance as the bright and brilliant tennis star. And now he had to go there crawling on the wheelchair, guided by a little girl like an old grandpa?! No way! It’s better stay at home and wait until the operation succeeded.

    “But if the operation does not succeed, what will happen then?” Tesa blurted out, annoyed with this man’s arrogance. And she immediately regretted her audaciousness when she noticed Pasha’s face turned deep red.

    “What did you say?!” he roared. “How dare you wishing that my operation is not going to work? You want to act smarter than the doctors or are you trying to curse me? Who do you think you are?! You are paid here to serve me, not to open your insolent smart mouth! If I ever need advice, I will ask Pika, not you! Understand?! Get out! Don’t stay close to me anymore!”

    Tesa swallowed her tears. Without any sound, she walked to the kitchen. She closed the kitchen door, then sat at the table and cried profoundly. At a time like this, the images of her own home, her kind parents, her cheerful brother and sister, especially Markus, her older brother, flashed in her mind. How she really wanted to go fly home. Oh, if only she had wings! What was she doing in this foreign country anyway? Got spit in the face like a lowly slave.

    Oh, what was it that she really hoped in here?! Just because of her emotion that she had come here! Just because of a broken heart! And now…! This is the payment, got yelled by someone else! Even her dad and mom, who had raised her, had never shouted at her like that! What really gave Pasha Solem the rights to do this to her?!

    Oh, if only I don’t really need the money, I’ll walk out from here straight away. Oh God, please help my heart to endure this!

    Tesa was so occupied with her mind that she didn’t hear the kitchen door was opened quietly. The wheels of the chair moved soundlessly across the linoleum floor. When her arm was touched, Tesa jerked, almost yelping out loud.


    Hurriedly, she wiped the tears from her face, forget for a while that Pasha could not see them. She swallowed her tears, because she didn’t dare to make any sound.

    “Are you crying?”

    She shook her head. But than remembered that Pasha could not see her head movement. But before she could deny it, Pasha’s fingers were already on her cheek. Pasha seemed to understand that she shook her head earlier.

    “Ah, I’m right. You’ve cried. I have hurt your feelings, Selina. Please forgive me, will you?”

    “Ah, you don’t need to apologize,” she replied emotionlessly. “I should not talk too much anyway. Isn’t it that I’m only here to serve you?”

    “I was not this harsh before. Strangely, now I’m very short tempered. Maybe only in difficult situation, one’s true nature shows up!” Pasha smiled cynically. Then he sighed. “Maybe you won’t be able to cope with me like this, just like Pika. She already gives up. Selina, do you want to quit?”

    Yes, I really want to quit! shouted her mind. But she didn’t have any courage to voice it out. So Tesa just kept silent.

    “I know you want to quit. But don’t say it now, Sel. Think about it carefully for a couple of days. I’m started to get used to your presence here. I will feel very lonely if you stop coming here. Living in this foreign country is really making my heart miserable. At home, there will be people to spoil me. Ah!”

    “So why don’t you just go home?” asked Tesa a little cynically. She starts to dislike this guy, whose only concern was only about his own well being. Even asking her not to quit was also for his own welfare. He didn’t even have a thought about Tesa’s welfare at all.

    “I’m ashamed, Selina. What will people say seeing me this powerless? People will always have to assist me to go everywhere. Even to the toilet, for instance. It’s easier in here. But in my house, the toilet is combined with the bathroom, so slippery, and they do not use toilet paper. How can I move from the wheelchair to the toilet, then clean myself? Besides that, all the pretty girls will mock me! Especially those whole feelings I have hurt, even though… not deliberately…”

    Hm. Not deliberately?! This guys was surely a player. So many hearts had been broken because of what he had done. Tesa felt even more antipathy for him. What Pasha considered important were just 3 things. First, his magnificence. Second, his attractiveness. Third, his vigor! Ashamed, ashamed, ashamed!

    “Besides, Selina, I’m still expecting the miracles from the upcoming surgery…”

    Miracles?! Huh! Only you yourself would call it a miracle! And you must have known, in this era, miracle didn’t exist anymore!

    “Selina, why you so quiet? If only you are still willing to keep coming here, I promise I will try to restrain myself more, especially my mouth. I won’t snap at you anymore. What do you think? I will also raise you wages. And later, I will give you bonus. You agreed, Sel? You will not leave me, won’t you?”

    Tesa felt disgusted. But she didn’t show it in her voice. “You don’t need to raise my wages, Pasha. And no need to worry that I will leave you. I will not quit, since I really need this money. Now, let me get up to make you some coffee.”

    “Yes, yes, yes, I know you really need my money. That’s why you are willing to come keeping me company everyday. You come not because you like me! Well!” his voice sounded bitter, but why should Tesa care? Liking you?! Yuck! I would rather kissing a rat from a gutter than shaking your hand!


    Days went by with very boring routine for Tesa. Pasha kept on sitting in front of the window daydreaming, with sunglasses on him. He didn’t want to listen to music, he didn’t want to be read a book. But he did not dare to refuse if he were told to drink his medicine, since Tesa had threatened him that she would quit and look for another job.

    To kill the loneliness and time, Tesa brought with her some reading or sewing materials. One of her hobbies and talents was making clothes. Her friends in the dormitory quickly made used of her talent. The earnings were not that bad, although it was not even one-tenth of the normal dressmaker.

    While accompanying Pasha, of course she couldn’t go to her own class. She had to copy the notes of her friends who also went to the secretarial academy at Prince Edward College. Once she asked for permission to go to campus, but Pasha wouldn’t let her go.

    “I pay you to accompany me here, not for you to leave whenever you feel like it!”

    Goodness me, what a pompous guy! groaned Tesa, but she didn’t dare to argue with him. Ah, if only I can find another job, she kept thinking. When she’s in the dormitory kitchen, for breakfast or dinner with the others, Tesa often mentioned her wish to get a job. Of course not when Pika was around, so that she wouldn’t tell her boyfriend. Tesa felt bored and fed up looking after this patient, even though the wage was fairly good.

    “Weird! You never have lunch in the kitchen anymore nowadays. Where have you been all this time?” asked Nopi, the multi-skilled student who had become the dormitory inventory, since he’d been there forever.

    “Ah, it is none of your business!“ replied Atina while dipping her food in chilli sauce.

    “Is your name Tesa?” asked Nopi in annoyance.

    “I didn’t hear you mentioning any name!” Atina retorted.

    “So, you think I started to get interested in to your sick self?” mocked Nopi.

    “How dare you! What sick self? Since when I am sick?” asked Atina angrily.

    Nopi just shook his head exasperatedly. “It’s difficult to deal with once-a-mental-so-so person!”

    “Eh, what was it that I heard just now?” challenged Atina, taking a step closer to Nopi.

    The person who got challenged had to stay away, because Atina’s hand had just touched the blachan and Nopi hated blachan’s chilli.

    “Did you say I was crazy before?”

    “No! Is that an ear or mushroom?! I said, it’s difficult talking with a spoiled child, just like Mr Neumann’s cat that fell in love with a mouse. The mouse got so scared, since it didn’t like the cat. The female cat got so heartbroken, then got crazy. So the owner had to put her in the mental institution!”

    “What are you trying to imply here?” posed Atina angrily. “Who fell in love? Who didn’t like it? I’ve never heard a mental institution for cat?!!”

    “You don’t believe me? I’ll take you to it one day!”

    Atina felt happier, when suddenly Nopi added, “When it’s the end of the world!”

    “You! You!”

    Seeing Atina really wanted to hit Nopi with the pan lid, Tesa quickly came and interfered. She would feel bad if any war started because of her. Even more so now that Nopi had already grabbed a fork!

    “Hey, guys, if you want to kill each other, let me call the ambulance and police first!” she shouted, which caused both childish people to stop their fighting.

    Tesa flopped herself on the chair in between her two friends. “I’m busy looking for a job!” She lied, because she remembered her promise to Pika. Nobody should know that she was working for Pasha. Even Sabita, Pika’s close friend, couldn’t find that out.

    “Have you found it?” asked Nopi.

    “Found what?” Atina still tried to chirp in; seemed like she had not learnt her lesson yet. “Do you think she’s looking for cigarette butt, asking whether she has found it or not?!”

    “I mean, have you found the job?”

    Tesa shook her head.

    Nope stared at her with more scrutiny, as if trying to compare goods.

    “Do you want to give some Indonesian private lesson?”

    “I do!” answered Tesa straight away.

    “So do I!” Atina copied.

    “Eek, nobody asked you! Haven’t you looked at the mirror lately?” mocked Nopi.

    “What’s wrong with me?”

    “Laa, someone like you want to teach language? Even before you start, everybody will run away! Language teacher has to be gentle and patient. Since she has to talk a lot, the students would always have to look at her face, so… her face shouldn’t look like a rat fell into a flour!”

    “Argh!” shouted Atina angrily while she looked right and left looking for something to hit Nopi that’s better than a pan lid. Too bad, there’s none. In the meantime, Nopi continued his conversation with Tesa.

    “Since you agreed, I’ll take you to him. He’s an old professor, a widower, maybe a little eccentric, but he has a good heart. How about tomorrow? Do you have time?”


    Actually Pasha really minded giving her permission since he didn’t want to be left alone. So amazing, this guy seemed to be more and more spoiled from day to day. Seemed like in this world, he’s the only person who had trouble. He didn’t even show any effort to cheer himself up. Instead, he looked even gloomier.

    Tesa, felt hopeless, almost called Nopi to cancel their plan. But fortunately, Pika came for a visit. Deliberately, she smooched Pasha in front of Tesa, making her blushed.

    “Hello, Selina,” her friend greeted her with a fake smile. “Coincidentally, I have time this afternoon. If you want to go somewhere else, shopping maybe, you may go.”

    Pasha seemed like he wanted to stop her again, but Tesa quickly said thanks. “Coincidentally, I want to visit my friend. Since you will keep Pasha company, he won’t have any reason to detain me here.”

    “Why did you have to detain her from going?” asked Pika, pretending to scold him, but in truth, she’s actually jealous, assuming her boyfriend can’t be separated from Tesa. “You want Selina to stay with you all the time, huh!” accused Pika loudly.

    “Of course not!” argued Pasha unhappily. “This kid has too big a mouth. When have I ever detained her? I’m not impressed at all with her. If she wants to quit now, I will let her go!”

    “Pasha! You cannot say it like that. You can offend Selina!”

    Tesa took her bag and coat, then left without saying goodbye. Her feeling was hurt. Her eyes were warm. Anytime now, her tears would go down. She cannot understand why Pasha was so snappish. Even in front of Pika, he could not be a bit sweeter.

    Tesa almost arrived in the bus stop and saw 3 grannies were sitting there. Hurriedly she wiped her moist eyes.


    Two days later, Tesa again was standing in front of Pasha, handing him the medicine he had to take. After putting the glass on the table, Tesa sat in front of him. For a while she watched his face. Pasha was actually a very attractive person. But it seemed that because of his good looks, he became pompous and caused a lot of people to despise him. But sometimes, his condition made her sympathized with him. If his brain was in the middle, it seemed like he actually had a good heart.

    It was the middle of June. The weather was already cold, but in western Australia, it was never snowing. A sudden cold air went through the window, making Tesa shivered and sneezed. Pasha ran his wheelchair to the windowside; he wanted to close the window.

    “Ah, let it stay open,” Tesa said. “You need a fresh air, since you’re locked up all day in the room.”

    “But you will catch cold. Let me close it.”

    “No. It will be better if I wear jacket and sit inside. If there’s not enough fresh air, you can easily get sick.”

    Pasha obeyed her. They moved to the kitchen table. Tesa turned the radio on, so she could listen to songs while she’s doing ironing, and Pasha didn’t object. At least he didn’t tell her not to turn it off.

    They were face-to-face with each other, since Tesa was doing her ironing on the kitchen table. Of course Pasha couldn’t see her.

    They were quiet for a while. Pasha seemed to be interested with the songs he was listening to, because a couple of times, he were humming or tapping his finger lightly on the table. Meanwhile, Tesa was reminiscing on a letter from home that she received yesterday. His brother, Daniel, had to be hospitalised for appendicitis. Thank goodness it worked well. Maybe he already returned home now. Her mom didn’t mention anything about the cost, but surely it would cost hundreds of thousands rupiah. It would be so good if she could save money here! Or even earned her own money. Her mom never said anything about lack of money, but Tesa understood. For her parents to afford her studying abroad was already a burden. That was the reason her ambition to earn money was even bigger. Ah, if only her job now could be added with the private lesson to professor Meyer! But she knew, she had to choose one or the other. Pasha wouldn’t like it to be left from time to time, so she might need to let go of this job. Giving private lesson may not going to give her that much money, compared by working for Pasha, but she only needed to come to her student’s place twice a week, for two hours only. The rest of her time would be free. She could go to her class or get more students! But, she had to leave Pasha!

    She didn’t know why, but she felt sad or perhaps didn’t have the heart whenever she thought about leaving Pasha. And never seeing him again. Never going to hear him begging for pancake or his shouting when something happened against his will. The soup was too cold, or the coffee was to thin, or the egg was to hard… Sometimes he behaved as if Tesa was his wife, who was obligated to look after him the best that she could, not just a servant that could quit anytime she wanted.

    The song in the radio had stopped, and the DJ had not started the next song.

    “Will you be happy if my operation succeed?”

    His voice shredded Tesa’s daydreaming, caught her in surprise. Good thing that another song had started, and so, her chocking voice was not detected by Pasha.

    “Yes… and no,” she said without thinking.

    “Eh, why’s that?”

    “Of course I will be happy if you can be healthy again. Aren’t you happy that you can see again?”

    “Definitely, I really want to see what my angel looks like!”

    “Now, since you are happy, so do I. But don’t too be sure, you may be disappointed. I’ve got chicken pox once…”

    “Your… your face… was pox-marked? Ah, I don’t believe you! No! I can’t believe it! No way Thomas will say you look like an angel if your face… no! You lied!”

    “Perhaps your friend’s taste is not the same as yours! For you, a face with pox-marked is ugly, but who knows for Thomas. He may consider it as pretty as…”

    Tesa wanted to laugh but she held it back. Even thought she’s joking, but she couldn’t guess when the steam on Pasha’s head would blow up. She’d better be always careful.

    “You said you will be happy, but you also said you won’t. Why is that?”

    Tesa sighed. “Well! If you get your sight back, that means you are not going to need my help anymore. And I… well, I cannot see you anymore!” But on the last second, she changed it: “And I… well, I am going to lose the extra pocket money that I need. That’s human, Pas, always remember their need first!” Tesa laughed.

    Pasha looked stunned. His face looked like a little child who had just caused problem to his mom and felt sorry for it. Tesa felt bad seeing him like that. At that moment, Pasha’s looks really touched her: so innocent and vulnerable.

    “I never thought that my recovery would be a bad news for someone else!” he mumbled, as if to himself. And added with a louder voice, “If so, then I’m not going to undergo the operation. Let me be like this. I’m already used to this condition, I don’t mind being blind all my life!”

    “But then you won’t be able to see me!” Tesa laughed softly.

    Pasha shrugged his shoulder. “What can I do? Even without seeing you, I still believe that you are pretty. It doesn’t really matter. If your face was pox-marked, that’s even better!”


    “That means that there is a possibility that nobody would want to date you! So you can keep coming here. It doesn’t matter that I’m blind. As long as you don’t lose your income and can come here every day!”

    “Ah, you are so self-centered!” Tesa said without thinking.

    Pasha’s face crumpled and turned dark. “What? I want to help you and you called me self-centered?”

    “What else do you think? If you keep going like this, when will your study be finished? Don’t you think your parents will be disappointed when you become blind because you refuse to have the operation?”

    “I don’t care. If this is my destiny then I’m willing to be like this!”

    “Poor Pika!”

    “If she mind, I will allow her to find someone else. As long you stay right by my side.”

    “Now, isn’t it self-centered too? If I’m always stay with you, how can I go to school?”

    Pasha did not say anything, as if he just realised his mistake.

    “And I cannot look after you forever here. One day, I will go back to our home country…”

    Pasha pondered about it, sustaining his jaw on the top of the chair handle. At the end, he bobbed his head. “Yes, yes, you’re right. But if I’m well, that means you will lose your job…”

    Tesa scolded herself for blabbering without thinking. “It’s okay. I will be able to find another job.”

    “Like what?”

    “For example, teaching Indonesian language.”

    “Why don’t you just return to Jakarta?”

    “It will be embarrassing for me to return before I finish my study. My parents have paid so much for me to study here! They were so kind; they didn’t force their ideas to their children. It would be easier for them if I study at Jakarta, the cost of living surely will be cheaper. But they appreciate my desire to come here, to gain more experience. It is because of their trust on me that I really want to please them. I want them to be proud of my success in the future.”

    “I admire your strong drive, Sel!”

    Tesa stared this guy, and sighed softly. No. She couldn’t tell Pasha her decision now. Maybe tomorrow.

    But the next day, she still had not enough courage. Nopi kept asking her – when it’s just the two of them having meal in the dormitory kitchen – will she really start teaching Professor Meyer on the 1st of July? Tesa said yes, but she’s not really sure inside. She had not found a chance to tell Pasha. Maybe it would be better if she told Pika instead, and let that girl let Pasha know?!

    Turned out, that it’s not an easy task either. Pika seemed so busy and edgy when they met in the kitchen. She was with an Australian bloke.

    “Pik, can I talk to you for a second?” asked Tesa, but that girl just waved her hand while her mouth bit on the tuna sandwich that she had just made.

    “Later, Tes. Oh, let me introduce you, this is my classmate, Michael. And Michael, this is Tesa, she’s from Jakarta too.”

    Michael shook her hand so hard that Tesa almost winced. This guy had a muscular body, medium height, with eyes that looked friendly and face full of brown freckles. Before Tesa had a chance to repeat her request, Pika had already waved again, and with her friend she disappeared into her room.

    The view from the kitchen window didn’t do much to cheer her up. The cold weather, grey skies, and the skyscrapers seemed to add a distant feeling in her perilous heart. That day the sun only appeared for a while, so the warmth did not last long. The leaves danced, following the will of the wind that was blowing but did not stop over, yet bringing nuisance to those on the street. Each tried to close their jacket tighter and hide their hand inside the pocket.

    Tesa sat, lost in thought. She glanced at the calendar hanging in front of the kitchen table. Next week would already be the first of July. She had to tell Pasha her decision! Tooommmooorrrrrooowww!
    Spring Summer Autumn Winter.
    Pair ducks nest fly together.
    Clemencies. Summer life, feather winter white.
    Green meadow in spring, before the autumn bite.
    Watching the red gown.
    And none else, alone.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Azalae's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003


    Wow. It's up.

    Thought it would be on SPCnet's FanFiction section, instead of this forum. Silly me.


    We'll support you by reading.

  12. #12
    Senior Member jeh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002


    I wonder how would Pasha react. Update soon.

  13. #13
    Senior Member shiro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003

    Post Chapter 4

    Chapter 4

    “No! You can’t quit!” Pasha protested, half possessed.

    Tesa fluttered her hand, asking him to calm down, although of course, the guy could not see it (and she was only aware of it afterwards).

    “Don’t protest until you listen to me, Pasha. Just think about it, what’s it I’m really doing here? Make your room and bed, a little cooking or ordering food for delivery or buying some, make you coffee, serving snacks, adjust the room temperature, laundry, cleaning the kitchen and washing dishes. What else? I think that’s all. Cleaning the bathroom and mopping the floor are Mrs. Allison’s job, who came here twice a week. Oh yes, and watering the plants on the windowsill. That’s all.”

    “Buying grocery every week?” Pasha added doggedly.

    “Yes, and that too.”

    “Mailing letters?”


    “Paying the bills?”

    Tesa nodded, then remembered that Pasha couldn’t see her. “Yes.”

    “Reading letters for me, especially the ones from home?”

    “Yes,” she replied, cringing. It was more fitting for that last duty to be handed to Pika, who had more right for it. But the thing was, her friend couldn’t be expected to come at consistent time. Pika seemed to be too busy with her study, and she would come unexpectedly, at any time. But more commonly, she wouldn’t come for days, only calling here to ask their situation. On the other hand, Pasha was an impatient person. The moment a letter arrived, the moment he had to know what’s in it. Tesa could understand, because she herself also missed those letters from home.

    “Well, you have that many duties, and yet you said I don’t need you?”

    “But all those duties are not ones I, and only I, can do. You could do most of them yourself, Pasha.”

    “Like what?” Pasha challenged, half mocking.

    “Make your bed, putting clothes into the washing machine, ordering delivery service, adjusting the temperature… you can do those with practice.”

    “Making coffee? Boiling water?”

    “Piko can boil some water when she comes, and then kept it in some thermos. So every time you want to make coffee, you only need to pour hot water into the cup. What’s so difficult?”

    “With practice, of course!” Pasha nodded his head cynically.

    “Pasha, you don’t want to depend your life on someone else forever, now, do you?”

    “Depend on you, you mean?! No! Of course not! I wouldn’t dare. It must be sickening for you to take care of me everyday like now. Keeping me company all day! Can’t go to school, can’t… ehm, go for a date, can’t do all things. Of course you want to be free of me as soon as possible!”

    Tesa bit her lips, while her eyes misted over. Her heart throbbed, as if stabbed by the sharpest knife.

    “Pasha, you misunderstand me! Those are not my reasons for quitting and teaching…”

    “Does that professor pay you higher than I do?” Pasha asked mercilessly. “You take care of me just because of money, right? Well, that person must have offered you a bigger salary! Am I right?”

    “Pasha…” Tesa said, with voice choked by tears. Her heart ached at being accused to be so mercenary. But Pasha seemed to be too possessed.

    “How about if I give you a raise? But you can’t do those tutoring and all. You can only take care of me!”

    “Until when?”

    Pasha didn’t answer right away. Instead, he started to name all the tasks that were impossible for him to do by himself.

    “How am I going to buy grocery every week? Mailing my letters? Who is going to read me those letters from home and take care of the bills? Who…”

    “Pasha,” Tesa said as patient as possible. “To buy grocery like eggs, milk, and canned goods, you can ask Mrs. Allison for help. She will agree to do it with reasonable tips. And also going to post office and taking care of your bills. Reading your letters from home, like I once said, is more fitting for Pika to do it than me. Isn’t she your future wife? She has more right…”

    “Ah, leave Pika out!” Pasha cut in, sighing. “She has never had spare time for me.”

    “I think, she will do it if circumstances demanded.”

    Pasha huffed out his breath, then leaned forward. “Selina, tell me the truth. What is the real reason that you want to quit here? I told you, I’m willing to give you a raise.”

    Tesa bit her lips again. Seemed like this guy only thought about money. He had never thought that a person could be moved by feelings too. And what kind of feelings.

    No. She had to quickly get out of here, she thought. The longer she stayed, the harder it would be for her to break free!

    “So, how is it, Selina? You agree with the raise, do you? But cancel your plan to tutor others. You can only take care of me!”

    “Until when?” Tesa shouted, at the end of the rope.

    “Until… well, at least until my operation succeed. That’s only five months away. Will you, Sel? Afterward, you can go back to school again. Right now, it’s holiday anyway, right? After the success of my operation, I promised you than I won’t bother you again. Okay?”

    But you will be bothering my heart, she screamed inwardly.

    “And what if I still determined to quit? Do you think you will be able to detain me?”

    Pasha slumped down. His face went white, and he shook his head. “No, Sel,” he whispered hoarsely. “I won’t be able to detain you.”

    In the end, it was Pika who became the negotiator. She chided Tesa whom she thought only thinking about her own self.

    “But it’s for his own good, Pik!” Tesa protested. “I don’t want him to depend one hundred percent on me! Even now, it’s so hard for me to ask for permission to go somewhere else. He wanted me to keep him company all the time. It’s supposed to be your job.”

    “Ah, you know it yourself how busy I am. Medical school is not as convenient as secretarial courses, Tes!”

    “You mean not as easy as my school,” Tesa replied cynically. She had to admit, though, that Pika was dynamic, brilliant, lively, and smart, unlike herself who was only just on the border. But however exceptional she was, she should provide more time for her boyfriend, right? Even more so with his condition like this. “So, just because you’re busy, I have to sacrifice all my needs?”

    “Whoa. Do we misunderstand each other? Wasn’t it you who need money? And then I offered you a job, right?”

    “Right. But I didn’t mean to hand over all my time to take care of Pasha! And now I’ve found a new job. Language tutoring twice a week. The money is indeed smaller, but I’m not as restricted. I will have more free time that I can use for my other concern.”

    Pika looked taken aback as she heard that Tesa had found a new source of money now. She realized that if this girl persisted to quit, she wouldn’t be able to hold her back. Thus, she changed her heated tones with softly coaxing one.

    “Tes, do you really have the heart to leave Pasha like this? I’m hip deep in my study for exams right now. Besides, I have also begun my residency now. Keep Pasha company for a few more months. Until his surgery. Then you will be free. And we will never forget your sacrifice, Tes.”

    Yeah, sure, Tesa thought bitterly. Just because they had money. After the surgery, they would free me, but at that time, my heart would be… probably wounded badly. Would someone care?!

    “I agree to take care of Pasha until his surgery, but I told him that I will need to give tutoring twice a week. And he minds. So, yeah. If he’s that egoistic…” Tesa shrugged her shoulders.

    “I promise that I will persuade him. He will agree. You will be able to give tutoring twice a week. But you don’t leave Pasha. Agree?”

    She didn’t know how Pika persuaded Pasha to it, but the fact was, that guy agreed with Tesa’s wish. And so weeks by weeks went by. The air was still cold enough although not as cold as the Eastern part.

    Tesa still did her task buying grocery every week. Sometimes it was quite a lot, placed inside two bags, and she wouldn’t be able to warm her hands inside her jacket pocket. Usually Pika would meet her in the dorm kitchen at night if she wanted to ask her to buy something for the weekends. Like last week.

    “Tes, please buy for me three pieces of chicken breasts. And one pound chicken liver. Also a pack of mushroom. Pasha wants to eat satay on Sunday. The mushroom is for me to stew with instant noodles.”

    Sunday, in particular, was her free day, because that was the day reserved for Pika and Pasha alone. Pika often cooked and invited friends to come, but Tesa herself had never been invited. She understood though. Pika wouldn’t want Pasha to treat her as friends. Well, she liked it better to be left alone anyway; she could sleep until late into the day.

    After the chicken satay party, on Monday, as usual Tesa appeared at Pasha’s place. It was a warm day, especially the breeze. The sun was shining cheerfully.

    Pasha was sitting in front of the window, doing nothing. He looked downward, as if watching the people strolling around doing their own business.

    “What do you want for breakfast today, Pasha? Bored with ham sandwich already? I can make you some tasty fried rice. Would you like it?”

    “Only if you also eat with me,” Pasha answered, smiling a little.

    “Oh, I don’t mind. The truth is, I’ve eaten a peanut butter sandwich already. But in this weather, stomach gets empty sooner, right?” Tesa was walking toward the kitchen when Pasha’s voice stopped her.

    “You feel well now?”

    Tesa was confused. Well? She was sick? Her confusion had not cleared away as Pasha continued, “Yesterday you didn’t come. I told you that you HAVE to come. We were going to grill satay. Pika said you had headache.”

    Hm. So yesterday I got headache?! Well, there’s nothing she could do if Pika had told him that. Pasha did ask her to come, but she had assumed it was out of politeness only. Maybe he felt sorry for her when he heard her panting after climbing the stairs with pounds of grocery in her arms. She didn’t think the invitation was sincere. Even more so when Pika didn’t invite her either. Turned out, she was said to be sick. Well, no harm done.

    “Yeah, I felt light-headed yesterday. Catching a cold, maybe.”
    “But you feel better now?”

    “A little. But if I go back home too late, I still feel dizzy.” She spiced things up a bit so that she would be able to go home early.

    “The truth is, I’ve saved ten pieces of satays for you. But Pika said that satay can’t be kept overnight in the fridge, because the sauce will go bad.”

    Tesa laughed, although she was wincing inwardly. “Of course. I don’t want to eat leftover satay either. Dry, not tasty. All right, I’m going to make that fried rice now. You just sit there like a good boy, okay? Don’t jump through the window!” Tesa laughed and stepped aside from the small pillow that Pasha threw to her direction.

    Seemed like Pasha’s brain that day was right smack in the middle that day. He was friendly, easy to talk to, and not demanding. Tesa soon got busy in the kitchen; slicing onions, chilli, and all that. In a couple of minutes, the fragrance of fried rice had filled the whole apartment. Pasha seemed as if he couldn’t hold off his hunger anymore, because he appeared at the doorway in his chair.

    “Now, can I come in?”

    “Of course. I’m just ready to call out to you. Your plate is on the table, and also the glass. And here… is the fried rice.”

    They ate together ravenously. Pasha was smacking his lips non-stop in praise of Tesa’s cooking skill. Then suddenly, he stopped putting food into his mouth and looked to Tesa’s direction from behind his dark glasses.

    “Next week, I’ll undergo the surgery,” he said emotionless. “Will you take me to the hospital?”

    Tesa tried to laugh lightly, but it sounded nervous and full of worry. “I don’t mind,” she said. “But that’s the scariest place to me. How about Pika? It’d be better if she’s the one who takes you there, don’t you think? I think I’ll just wait for the good news.”

    Pasha exhaled deeply. He looked down and played with the fried rice on his plate. Habit had Tesa telling him, “The tomato is at 2. The cucumber is at 10.”

    But Pasha didn’t acknowledge her information. He kept playing with his fried rice without once putting it in his mouth. Tesa got worried that this big little boy would sulk again. How easy it is for Pasha to get sullen, she thought crossly.

    “Pika has practice that day, Selina. She can’t skip it,” he said with a little voice, as if he’s so disappointed.

    Tesa didn’t dare to deny him anymore, lest her charge really got grouchy. “Well, if Pika can’t take you, then I’ll take you. Just make sure that Pika won’t feel that I take her rights.”

    “What right?” Pasha lifted up his face and looked confused.

    Tesa shrugged her shoulders. “Well, girlfriend’s rights of course. What else?”

    Pasha was flabbergasted for a second, then burst out laughing. “Selina! What year do you think this is? We live in modern world. How come there are still such ridiculous suspicions?”

    Tesa’s face got hot at being laughed at like that. And got even redder when Pasha continued. “If she suspected you, she wouldn’t let you come here everyday now, would she?”

    “All right. Next week I’ll take you to the hospital,” Tesa hurriedly said to quickly end this sensitive conversation.

  14. #14
    Senior Member eeyore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Hundred Acres Wood


    Yay updated!!!

    and why I'm so happy when I already know the story... Shiro.. chapter 5 is sooooo llooooonnnngggg.... hiks...
    Spring Summer Autumn Winter.
    Pair ducks nest fly together.
    Clemencies. Summer life, feather winter white.
    Green meadow in spring, before the autumn bite.
    Watching the red gown.
    And none else, alone.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Azalae's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003


    How many chapter are we talking here?

  16. #16
    Senior Member jeh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002


    Yay, you've finally updated!!! I wonder if the operation will succeed. Update soon.

  17. #17
    Senior Member eeyore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Hundred Acres Wood


    Originally posted by Azalae
    How many chapter are we talking here?
    14 chapters... not that many...
    Spring Summer Autumn Winter.
    Pair ducks nest fly together.
    Clemencies. Summer life, feather winter white.
    Green meadow in spring, before the autumn bite.
    Watching the red gown.
    And none else, alone.

  18. #18
    Senior Member eeyore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Hundred Acres Wood

    Default Chapter 5

    Sorry for long waiting on update.. , Please enjoy...


    Tesa took Pasha inside the room. Then she held his arm while he moved from the wheelchair to the pristine white bed of the hospital. He did not lie on the bed right away, since he still wore his own clothes, hadn’t changed into the hospital gown that were neatly folded at the end of his bed.

    Tesa decided that it was better for her to leave now, and she was about to push the wheelchair out. But suddenly Pasha caught her hand and grasped on to it tightly.

    “Promise me that you will be here when I wake up, Sel!”

    Tesa was taken aback. For a second she was panicked. What should she answer? She didn’t know whether it would be all right with Pika if she waited for his operation. It seemed too intimate and made her heart hesitated. What if Pika got angry with her? She would presume that Tesa came up with the idea herself! Waiting on Pasha was her rights. She couldn’t be that long in her lab, could she? When the operation was finished, the class should be finished long ago, right?!

    “Won’t Pika mind? I’m afraid she’s not going to like it!”

    “Ah, Sel! Why are you so old-fashioned? You are my friend too. What’s wrong with a friend waiting on another friend’s operation? By doing that, you will give me some support and in a way, pray for the success of the operation.”

    What Pasha thought was right. She could not find an excuse to go away. “Okay. I will stay here until your operation is finished!” she promised, and softly taking back her hand that was being held for while by Pasha. And it was in time too. Because a second later, the door was opened, and Pika’s worried high-pitched voices floated in.

    “Ah, luckily the operation hasn’t started yet!” she exclaimed, approaching Pasha.

    Tesa stepped aside, turning her head toward the door. Pika was coming in with her open, unbuttoned white lab jacket. Behind her, Michael was standing still with both hands inside his pocket. He seemed unsure whether he should enter or stay on the doorway.

    Pika hugged Pasha straight away and kissed both cheeks, left and right. Tesa had to bring down her head to avoid looking at them for too long. Then she heard Pika’s voice as she introduced her friend.

    “I bring Michael with me, Sha. Michael, come and give Pasha best wishes for his operation! And this is… Ttt… Selina! You know her, don’t you? The other day in the kitchen?”

    Michael shook Pasha’s hand, then turned his head to Tesa and smiled as he nodded. Tesa immediately felt squirmy. She remembered that the other day Pika called her Tesa, but now it became Selina. She’s worried that Michael would find it strange and asked. But fortunately, this guy just stayed quite. Maybe he already forgot her name, or maybe he thought that it was not his business.

    Tesa got uncomfortable staying there, like a worm buried in ash. She’s nervous, and yet she could not find any excuse to go outside. Pika seemed undisturbed, sitting next to Pasha on the bed, while Michael stood on the end of the bed with his elbows on the bed frame. Only Tesa felt like an extra, standing next to the sink, shuffling her legs, as if she’s tired.
    Fortunately a nurse came in, bringing a tray of syringe and few medicines, and asked them to go out. Tesa quietly sighed in relief and hurriedly went out the door.

    “Remember your promise, Sel!” shouted Pasha to remind her.

    “What promise is this?” asked Pika with knitted forehead as soon as they were outside the room. Like an interrogator, Pika was facing her with hands on her hips.

    Tesa looked at her and suddenly, without warning, she envied her friend. Pika looked so beautiful, lively, sophisticated, and stylish in her white jacket. She was everything that Tesa once wanted but could never be: a girl with wealthy parents, smart brain, and outstanding affability. She looked beautifully amazing. Her own face suddenly felt shabby and dull. Sure, some people had assured her insecure heart that her face was appealing and attractive, even beautiful. But Tesa had never believed that. How could she believe it? The only person she’d hoped to assure her insecure self was charmed by Shakira, her friend! Oh, she didn’t want to think about them anymore. Goffar!! Why should she trouble her own heart over a traitor?!

    “Oh, that. Pasha, he wants me to wait here until he gains consciousness.”

    Tesa sighed silently. Oh, how she longed for a strong arm around her shoulder in this needy time, just like what Michael was doing to Pika. How peaceful and safe her heart would feel…

    “Oooh!” Pika seemed relieved. She even laughed sweetly. “If that’s the case, it’s very fortunate. Now I can go with my group study. I thought it’s out of question, but now, since you’re going to look after him later, I feel better and I don’t have to skip that group study. If there is anything important, please let me know at this number, Tes.” Pika shoved a piece of paper with a few numbers on it that she wrote in a hurry.

    “This is Michael’s place. If nothing happens, then no need to disturb us. I will come later after my study group.”

    Tesa took the phone numbers with annoyance. No need to disturb, she said, Tesa thought. It’s supposed to be her concern, and she said it’s disturbing. Was her group-study more important than her boyfriend’s life?!

    “Alright. Bye-bye.”

    And together with Michael, Pika walked out with her confident steps, envied and admired by the people who were looking at her. So Tesa was left in the waiting room, just like shabby Cinderella, sat there waiting for the Prince to bring her glass shoe that was left last night in the castle.

    There’s nobody in the waiting room, so she couldn’t talk with anyone. Taking a women’s magazine, she flipped it front to back, but had no intention to read. She felt anxious, not sure why. She took another magazine and opened it like the first one. That’s how she killed her time. When she got tired looking at the advertisement, she put them back in their place and stood up to stretch her back.

    Then she started to walk back and forth along the corridor, just like an anxious father-to-be waiting for his first baby to be born. Finally she got tired staying there. She found a nurse and asked direction to the canteen.

    “Ground level, on the right corridor.”

    “Thank you,” she nodded her head, then went to the elevator and went down. The canteen was not difficult to find. From afar, one could get a whiff of the food already. Guided by her nose, Tesa arrived in front of the glass doors that were full of advertisement paper, offering second-hand goodies or rooms to occupy for students.

    Tesa pushed the door open with both hands. The cool air engulfed her straight away. On the wall there’s already Christmas ornaments, since it’s already December. The canteen was quite big. At least there were thirty tables. Soft music was playing, touching the inner sense. There were only some people enjoying their coffee or biscuits, as it was not mealtime as yet. Maybe the ones who were having coffee were the doctors. It seemed like they had just finished their night round, because some of them look awfully sleep deprived.

    Tesa went to the counter, helping herself to a cup of black coffee and a piece of apricot cake. Then she took the quietest desk, near the plants. She sat facing the door, watching people come and go on the corridor in front of the canteen. Some newcomer came into the room hurriedly; some only drank a cup of coffee then hurried out again. Seemed like the work pace of doctors and nurses was quite rushed. Tesa was mighty glad she did not take medicine as her major. Her clothes would probably end up around her ankles if she had to walk half-running like them! She preferred an easy and relaxed life. That’s why she chose to go to college instead.

    But Pasha and Pika were great people, she thought, half admiring and half envious. Admiring Pasha. Envious to Pika. Both would be GREAT future doctors.

    While she ate her cake and sipped her coffee, Tesa let her mind go wandering, even to Goffar. But that traitor was not allowed to take too much time in her mind. She loathed returning to the past, pitying herself all the time. But if she remembered her life and the trouble she’s facing now, like it or not, she felt her heart ached. She tried to think for a solution, but she couldn’t come up with any. Her heart wouldn’t let her leave Pasha, even though she’s just a servant who were paid only to look after and accompany him while he’s invalid…

    If at this moment she’s walking out from the hospital, going back to her dorm and never visiting Pasha anymore – since she’s not needed anymore; she’s sure this operation would be a success, returning Pasha sights – who would get angry at her? Who could stop her? Who would miss her? The answers were nobody, nobody, nobody!

    But her heart wouldn’t let her. Besides, she already gave her word, her promise. For her, a promise was a piece of word with a heavy responsibility. No matter what, it had to be kept. If not, it might bring bad matter. It could even destroy a piece of heart, like what she had experienced herself.

    The word of a man! A man called Goffar who had no character, just like “full moon on the side of the water, floating crocodile thought to be dead – never trust a man’s word, pledged but not completed!!!!” (This is supposed to rhyme in Indonesian – terang bulan di pinggir kali, buaya timbul disangka mati. Jangan percaya mulut lelaki, berani sumpah takut mati)

    “Please forgive me, Tes. I was not in my right mind, I forgot everything, I’m a moron, I’m self-centered. Shakira was nothing compared to you. She’s not gentle; she’s greedy and never considers other people’s feeling. I’m sure our marriage will not stay for long, but now I have to marry her! If not, her dad will chop me into pieces! Shakira’s already pregnant now…”

    “Oh, Goffar! Where’s your faithfulness, where is your strength to refuse temptation, where is your will power, where… where…? You didn’t protest when you’re being taken into the car, driven to mountaintop! You said you’re not in your right mind? You forgot everything? You said, you were filled with curiosity? You said, you were drugged? You said, you will get a divorce once your child’s born? You said, you will return to me?

    “Do you think I want to take a garbage? Do you think this world is only the size of your palm? Do you think you’re irreplaceable? Do you think I don’t mind a cheap love like yours? Do you think I cannot live without you?

    “Pfft, I’d rather let my heart being broken into pieces than to lose my self-respect! I’d rather cry all night than to make a child fatherless. If you still want a divorce, it’s your business as long as you are not going to marry me!”

    Goffar had sent her a wedding invitation, which was chucked into the bin straight away. She didn’t even bother to read it. She refused to go to their wedding. That Sunday afternoon, she locked herself in her room, listening to melancholic songs and was certain that the sun wouldn’t shine anymore tomorrow.

    But the sun was still shining brightly, the birds were still chirping cheerfully, and after her heartache settled deep down inside, she got the inspiration to go south.

    Goffar had been almost in rage when he had heard this news from Daniel, her brother. For an entire day, he had sat inside his car – his in-law’s present – outside her home, waiting for Tesa to come out. But the person he’d been waiting for had never come. Goffar then had gone away. The next morning, as early as six o’clock, he’d already been there again. And also the next day and the next next day, until Tesa finally got fed up and finally lost her patience. She couldn’t go out, even though she had a lot of things to look after.

    No other way, her older brother, Markus, had brought his friend who was in green uniform, and that pathetic guy had got so terrified with whatever threat her brother had told him. In short, her brother’s friend order to go away and never show up anymore had been followed without protest. But with an express letter, Goffar still had tried to reach her heart. She had given the letter to his brother, unopened, with a request to return to sender. Since then, Goffar had seemed to be swallowed by the earth, no news whatsoever. And their story was finished.

    After she finished her coffee and cake, Tesa felt a lot better, and her worries disappeared a little bit.

    She checked her watch. She’d been there for the last half an hour. Gathering her bag from the table, she was moving her legs to stand up when the canteen door was pushed from the other side and … she saw Pika and Michael entered, laughing intimately.

    Tesa curbed up her intention and tried to shrink herself so she wouldn’t be noticed. The two of them went to the counter to order their food. While they had their backs to her, Tesa quickly got up, then as if some ghost was chasing her, she half-ran to the door, pushed it with both hands and went out. Without turning her head back anymore, she went toward the elevator to go back to the waiting room on level 3.

    Two hours later, a nurse came over and told her sweetly that the patient had gained consciousness.

    “Mr. Solem is in his room now. He’s asking for you.”

    “Oh. Thanks.”

    She hurriedly put down the magazines whose advertisements she was enjoying, then grabbed her bag and walked to Pasha’s room. She came over to his bed quietly, afraid she would wake him up from his sleep. But it seemed Pasha was waiting for her.

    “Pasha,” she whispered, touching his arm that was placed outside the blanket. “How are you feeling?”

    “Water,” he groaned very softly.

    Tesa took the glass that was already prepared on the table and a teaspoon. She brought a teaspoonful of water to his lips. The nurse already told her that the patient should not drink too much. She put the spoon and glass back on the table.

    “More,” demanded Pasha with a weak voice.

    Tesa gave him another teaspoonful of water. “That’s all for now, Pasha. You cannot drink too much.”

    Afterwards, she sat on the chair next to the bed, looking at Pasha with sympathy. Both his eyes were bandaged. He looked so helpless. Ah, Tesa really wished that this operation would succeed, even though this would also mean that she would lose her high-paid job.

    Tesa recalled that Pika was in the canteen.

    “ Pasha, do you want me to get Pika? I was given her number earlier…” Suddenly she remembered Pika’s message not to disturb her if nothing extraordinary happened. What would be considered extraordinary?!

    Pasha shook his hand. “No… need... She’s… bu… sy. It’s okay… you… he… re… is enough.”

    A few minutes later, Pasha asked for water again. Apparently, the medicine that was given to him must be making his mouth and throat dry.

    Tesa spoon-fed him again like a baby. And so she sat there, looking after and serving her “master” until late afternoon.
    At last, Pika showed up. Alone. She kissed Pasha’s forehead straight away while saying a few dramatic words, caressing his hair lovingly. Spoon and glass were taken from Tesa’s hand, and she suggested her friend to go home.
    “You can take a break, Ttt… Sel. I’m already here.”

    Without saying goodbye to Pasha, Tesa stepped away. While walking, she chided her heart for feeling cast out by Pika’s words. You should understand, she said to herself, now that she’s there you’re just an extra!! Earlier, when she was really needed, she wasn’t there, grumbled her in her mind. Now that Pasha’s thirst was gone, she came with her flying jacket! Ah, you should understand; you were nothing but a servant, a paid person. Pika was his girlfriend, his future fiancé and future wife! Even though Pasha seemed to prefer her company, it’s no more than a dependant feeling toward a helper, just like a child to his sitter! Whatever happened, she had to know her position, so that her already broken heart -- courtesy of Goffar -- wouldn’t get even more wrecked…!

    Day by day, Tesa came to the hospital to see Pasha. Now she couldn’t stay for too long, because the patient was already healthy and could eat-drink by himself. If he needed any help, he only had to push the button. There were always nurses around who were ready to help.

    One day Pasha told her the good news.

    “Yesterday they changed my bandage. And Selina, my eyes can see again! Isn’t it a miracle? I can be back to normal! At the moment, my sight is a bit blurry, but that’s normal. If necessary, they will do the second operation in six months. But now, I can go back to class. And the most important thing is, I will be able to see you soon!”

    Pasha laughed heartily while Tesa’s hands were getting colder. She tried to join him in laughter so that he wouldn’t feel suspicious. Looked like Pasha didn’t know Pika’s plan. He wouldn’t be allowed to see “Selina’s” face.

    That afternoon, three of Pasha’s friends - who once tried to talk him to come to class – came. All of them were Australian students. They laughed merrily seeing Tesa there.

    “Ah-ha, hello!” they exclaimed. Then continued, “Looks like Mr. Solem’s Angel still faithfully baby-sits her baby!”
    One of them, who was called Thomas and had a corn-yellow hair, patted Pasha’s shoulder. “Eh, since you will get well soon, it’s about time you pass your angel to me! I feel like going to be sick soon! Big time!”

    “Over my dead body!” roared Pasha, causing his friends to laugh heartily again and Tesa’s face to get redder.

    That night, Pika purposely bumped into Tesa in the kitchen. By chance, there were only the two of them. Without hesitation, Pika told Tesa what was in her heart

    “Tes, since Pasha had a successful operation, you don’t need to come anymore!”

    Tesa knew that this command would come, but still, she’s shocked. It came too quick! Fortunately, she could cover her disappointment with a normal smile, so Pika didn’t realize that her friend was shocked.

    “Of course both of us are forever grateful for all your help all this time.”

    “Ah, it’s not necessary, Pik. Didn’t I get a good pay? When… Pasha will be released?” She tried to speak as calm as she could, but still, her voice shook.

    “Tomorrow, Tes. After the bandage is removed. That’s why… I have to ask you not to come anymore. You understand, don’t you?”

    Tesa acknowledged softly. “Then, can you please get my reading materials that were left there?”

    “Okay. You’re not angry, are you, Tes?”

    “Of course not. What rights do I have to get angry?” she answered dully.

    Pika took out an envelope from her pocket and put it on the table. “Oh yeah, this is the bonus from us, just like we promised.”

    Tesa refused by shaking her head. “No need. I can’t accept this. I already got paid enough!”

    “We have promised!”

    “But I did not say yes, right?”

    “Come on, take it! If not, Pasha will take offense!”

    “Do you guys have too much money to throw it away like this?”

    “This is not a waste of money, Tes. Take it. Or I’ll be angry!”

    Tesa felt ill at ease. She did need money. But if she accepted it, she would feel like an inferior getting some tip!
    Outside the kitchen, they saw Atina, Sabita and Nopi approaching. Pika pressed her even further. She took the envelope and shoved it into Tesa’s sweater pocket. “Quick, save this, or they will all find out!” she whispered urgently.

    Tesa knew she couldn’t argue with Pika. Seeing the situation was getting desperate, she took the envelope reluctantly and said her thanks.

    Two days later they met again in the laundry facility in the basement. Pika was ignoring her at first. But when Tesa said hi to her first, she finally returned it with “Good Morning”

    “How is Pasha?” asked Tesa as calmly as possible. She realized that it was better not to ask at all. But her curiosity got the best of her.

    “Oh, he can start reading again.”

    “Has he started the class yet?”

    “Next semester.”

    Pika got silent, staring Tesa, and then suddenly she sighed.

    “Ah, I’m so upset. He kept asking me about you that I have no other choice but to lie. I said you already went back to Jakarta! Sorry, but I have to say that.”

    “Ah, it’s okay,” answered Tesa, trying to laugh normally. “I think that is the best solution. Pasha just wants to know how I look like! Ha, ha, ha! Eh, his friends already know what Selina looks like! So, I think I’d better stay away from them too!”

    “Oh, someone knows who you are?” Pika sounded surprised.

    “Yes. They came to Pasha’s place to persuade him to back to the class. But Pasha insisted to wait until the operation. I was there at that time. And few days ago, before he was released, they came and visited him!”

    “And you accidentally were there too!” continued Pika in displeasure.

    Tesa nodded helplessly. “It’s not my fault, right? How could I know they would come?”

    Pika didn’t say anything, seemed to be occupied by her own thought. Then she sighed once more. After taking out all the laundry from the machine, she looked at Tesa.

    “Tesa, next week is Pasha’s birthday. Actually, I wanted to invite you and introduced you to Pasha as Tesa. The Indonesian students don’t know that you’re working at Pasha’s place. So it’s cool. I meant to give you a chance to see Pasha again, so that you can be happy too, seeing him recovered like before. But... Pasha also wants to invite his close friends from his university. But I just found out that they have seen you twice. Now, yeah! I have to cancel my plan. Tes, I’m sorry. I do not dare to invite you. Because people will find out that I’m lying. And Pasha really hates liar. So…” Pika looked at Tesa with a woebegone expression, asking her to understand.

    Tesa nodded without asking. She tried to laugh, although it sounded bitter. “Ah, doctor’s party. It doesn’t sound good! All they will talk about is fatal illness. It’s boring for those who don’t understand, like myself!” Than she waved and walked away before Pika had a chance say thank you (or before her tears had a chance to drop?)
    Spring Summer Autumn Winter.
    Pair ducks nest fly together.
    Clemencies. Summer life, feather winter white.
    Green meadow in spring, before the autumn bite.
    Watching the red gown.
    And none else, alone.

  19. #19
    Senior Member jeh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002


    Poor Tesa I don't think Pika love Pasha. She seem to be close to Michael Update soon.

  20. #20
    Senior Member shiro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003

    Post chapter 6

    Chapter 6

    Winter was gone. School had started again. For Tesa, life had become routine like it used to. Go to school, give tutoring, study, chat in the kitchen with her country mates, eat together, wait for letters from home, buy grocery, go to school again, give tutoring…

    It was indeed fun to be able to speak with her friends who also came Jakarta, but that also meant her English was seldom used. Thus, she was very glad that she could practice it with her student.

    Professor Meyer was an old man. Reed thin, with bony face and sharp nose. He lived alone, and according to his admission, had divorced twelve years ago when his child was only two years old.

    Tesa wasn’t clear what’s the professor’s field. If she’s not mistaken, Nopi once said he was a professor in political studies. Not a medical professor for sure.

    Professor Meyer treated her like his own daughter, not like a stranger. Every time after their lesson's over, there would always be a tea or coffee time. Because she wanted to practice her English, Tesa didn’t mind lengthening her stay. Gradually, the lesson was divided into two. First, the real thing: Tesa taught. But afterwards, while they’re drinking tea and eating snacks, the professor would teach her English. At first only with regular conversation. Then the professor urged her to bring some books. He even told her which titles. After that, Tesa was urged to buy some notebooks. And then she got homework.

    When Tesa suggested giving him some money for the lesson, the professor refused. “Then both of us don’t receive money for these lessons,” she suggested.

    Professor Meyer refused strongly. “You still have to accept the fee!” he said, half angry. “Otherwise, don’t bother to come back here!”

    And so, Tesa accepted this unfair situation half-heartedly. She herself was indeed not taken advantage of, but her conscience was uncomfortable. To secretly repay the professor’s kindness, Tesa often brought some cakes or food that she made herself. The old man looked touched by her attention, and had never refused her offering.

    And so, the lesson went on without absence from month to month. Six months had passed since Pasha’s operation. Maybe he already got the second operation and his sight had turned back to its original shape. Tesa really wanted to know, but she’s not comfortable asking about it to Pika. In the meantime, the relationship between teacher and student got closer and closer.

    Until one day…

    That afternoon, Pasha was walking toward the bus stop, carrying with him two bags filled with groceries. His car was in the shop, while his groceries were running thin. So he had no other choice but to take a bus.

    The tolling of the church bell let him know that it was already almost six in the afternoon. Not much passenger anymore. From afar, he only saw a girl sitting there, lost in thought. When he was near enough, he found out that the girl was from his country. How happy his heart was. Every time he saw someone from his country that he hadn’t known yet, his heart was always filled with hope in case she knew…

    The girl was in ponytail, wearing jeans and blue shirt. Her lips were bare without lipstick and her cheeks were bare from makeup. But even then, her oval shaped face looked so appealing. And those round eyes… oh! She looked surprised and her cute lips seemed to move, as if in greeting, but somehow, she decided not to.

    Pasha didn’t find it strange seeing the girl looked taken aback or even a bit frightened. Sometimes that’s how pretty girls acted, especially if they just came from Jakarta or some place else. They still felt awkward dealing with some guy strangers, even though the guys came from the same country. Especially if the girl was alone.

    With intention to brush away the fright on the girl’s face, and to prove that he was not some wolf, Pasha purposely sat near beside her, and opened the conversation.

    “From Jakarta?”

    “Yes,” Tesa nodded.

    “May I know your name? I myself am called Pasha.”

    For a moment, Tesa forgot. She almost blurted out the wrong name, as she was used to be called Selina in Pasha’s presence. “My name is Sss… Tesa!”

    How cute she was when she stammered like that, Pasha thought, smiling inwardly. But it’s inhuman to make her stammer like that for long. And her voice was so soft, as if she was afraid to be heard. Ah, how cute she was. So shy and reluctant to speak.

    Actually, Tesa was really afraid to be heard, afraid that her voice would be recognized. But luckily, it seemed like her voice was common, nothing special and hard to distinguish in passing, when one didn’t purposely try to. But if one decided to tell it apart, then what? She could be found out, right?

    “Where did you go to high school?”

    Oh man! Had Selina ever been asked this question? If she had, what was her answer? Of course she couldn’t be in the same school with Selina! She wasn’t permitted to know her. Even her name she had to say -- as best to her ability -- not to have ever heard.

    “Budi Utomo,” she replied at last, since Pasha started to look at her in wonder. It’d be weird when one couldn’t remember which school she went to, right? Actually, she wanted to choose another school, but as it was asked out of the blue, she couldn’t prepare a lie. Luckily, it seemed like Selina had never been asked such question before. At that time, Pasha had been busy with himself only, only sitting in front of the window day and night, pitying himself. He wouldn’t have cared about other’s business.

    “Wah! Did you know Sosro, Sanu and Sambit? In our class, we’re the PS3. They’re the three S.” Pasha grinned.

    And you’re the P, Tesa said inwardly.

    “Only heard their names,” Tesa said casually so that she wouldn’t look suspicious. If she said she knew them, then she must have knows the fourth guy, right? Truthfully, Tesa really didn’t know them, because they were four years her senior, so they already graduated when she started high school.

    “We’re so bad,” Pasha said, indirectly admitted that he was in that PS3 group. “We gave nice named to the girls in our class. Japanese names. Michiko-san, Mariko-san, Yuriko-san, Ingusan (=runny nose)…! Ha, ha, ha! Of course that girl we called Ingusan didn’t want to accept her good name. But no choice, since we didn’t want to change it and we’re the powerful quartet. At the end, she gathered her resources. She made Sambit fell for her, then she forced him to change her good name. The other three didn’t agree. So the group was forced to disband…” Pasha shook his head, smiling to himself as he reminisced about the sweet past.

    “And now, they all have their own sweet cute girls. Sanu and Sosro already have their own mates. Only me…” Pasha sighed deeply.

    “Eh, you already have Pika too,” Tesa blurted out without thinking. Only when she noticed the astonishment on Pasha’s face that she realized her mistake. “Oh, don’t be surprised,” she said, as if explaining. “The moment I heard your name I knew you’re Pika’s boyfriend. Everybody knows about your Romeo-Juliet like story.”

    “Yeah,” Pasha nodded, sighing. But actually, it’s not this matter that made him caught off guard. Among Indonesian students, there was no secret about whom going out with whom. Even before parents knew about it, friends would hear about it first. The thing that made him surprised was…

    “Pika is staying in the same dorm as I am,” Tesa continued, cutting off Pasha’s thought. “She often complained about both of your families. It’s a pity, really.”

    “Our fathers are stubborn. It’s only a matter of pride and business competition.”

    “If they merge it, it will be even more profitable, right?”

    “That’s how we, sane youngsters, think. But for the older generation, it’s hard to comprehend. We have been going out since high school, but behind their backs, because they forbid it. Now after we’re here, eh… why am I telling you this? It must be boring for you.”

    “Not at all,” Tesa smiled. “It’s interesting. I wish the both of you… happiness…” Her voice suddenly went faint, so she quickly looked down to hide her misty eyes.

    ‘Ever since I got into an accident, they become more lenient. I kept writing to them, saying that Pika took care of me all the time when I was so helpless to do anything else. The truth is, it’s not her…”

    Tesa wanted to prevent him from saying more, but then she remembered that Pika, of course, didn’t tell Pasha that Selina’s presence should be a secret.

    “The one who should get all the credit is this pretty girl called Selina. She…”

    “How do you know Selina is pretty?” Tesa couldn’t hold herself from asking.

    “Oh, I just know. From her voice. From her touch. Eh, you must know her, right? What does she look like?”

    “Hoo, it’s taboo for a girl to judge another girl’s appearance,” Tesa laughed teasingly. “It wouldn’t be fair.”

    “Hmm… quite true. Too bad she has gone back to Jakarta.” Pasha sounded so dejected that a piece of truth almost slipped from Tesa’s lips. But then she remembered her promise to Pika and her lips clamped again.

    “Maybe you know her address there?”

    Tesa shook her head. “Sadly, no.”

    Pasha sighed. “It’s strange. Nobody knows anything about her. In fact, almost no one has ever heard of her name, except you.”

    Tesa lowered her head to hide the turmoil in her heart. Of course nobody would know Selina. Pika had never told anybody about Selina’s existence.

    Pasha watched Tesa, who was still looking down. A strange feeling started to seep in again. There’s something about this girl that seemed familiar to him. As if they had met before… was this some de ja vu, he asked himself.

    Feeling she was being watched, Tesa turned her head. Their eyes met. Pasha was surprised to see this girl’s face seemed so glum.

    “By the way, why do you look so sad? Maybe I can help?”

    Being alone in this foreign country, hearing a voice so familiar and sympathetic made Tesa’s defence crumbled. She told him about a Professor Meyer who took private lesson from her. Inwardly, she was glad that she had never told Pasha nor Pika the name of her student.

    “Our relationship was close. I trusted him. He was so nice that I never hesitated to make him something to eat in every lesson. At first, twice a week. Then he asked to make it three times a week. He said so that he could master it quicker, because he had a plan to go to Indonesia. He said he had a friend in Financial Department. Maybe he wanted to become political advisor, I don’t know. I never asked him. But instead, he mistook my attention. Maybe he thought I was in love with him. And just now… he… held me so tight, caressing me and whispering nonsense in my ears. I was so shocked and frightened that I fought back and ran out. And today, I’m supposed to get my paycheck. But now, I’m afraid to go there to ask for my money…”

    “No wonder you looked so sad. How about I accompany you to go there? What’s supposed to be yours, you can ask for it.”

    “Ah, no. No need. I’d rather starve to death than to see him one more time.”

    They drifted into silence for a while. A bus stopped in front of them. Tesa looked at the number. Too bad it’s not for her.

    “Your bus is here,” she told Pasha.

    “Ah, let it be. I still want to chat with you here,” he replied, shaking his head. Then was astounded. How come this girl knew that bus was going to the direction of his place? Was his name so famous alongside Pika? But he explained to himself, that Tesa must have known it from Pika. They lied in the same dorm. When night came, and they had nothing to do and chatted in the kitchen, what else would they talk about beside each other’s boyfriends? Pasha smiled inwardly. But how come this girl didn’t look as if she had someone by her side?!

    In the middle of his thought, suddenly Pasha remembered something and tapped his forehead. “Eh, how about if you’re giving a tutoring to my friends? They’re a middle-aged couple. They’re so nice and won’t gobble you up like that Professor for sure. They’ve been asking me for some time to teach them Indonesian. But I have no spare time. If I won’t be able graduate in the next two years, my dad would probably come her with a gun in his hand. I have wasted too much money, he said.” Pasha laughed a little then turned serious again. “So? You agree? I will contact them later today. They will be ecstatic to get such a pretty teacher. Eh, are you blushing?” Pasha teased her, chuckling.

    “I will tell Pika, and see if you can still laugh,” Tesa threatened, torn between laughter and tears. He still teased her like this… didn’t know that inside, her heart was already went upside down, she thought.

    “Oh, don’t do that. I will apologize to you then, and promise not to tease you again. Okay? But if you really want to tutor them, I will ask them to give you a call. Just tell me your room number. Your phone number should be the same as Pika’s, right?”

    Having no other choice, Tesa accepted the offer.

    “My room is on second floor, number three.”

    “And that couple lived on the third floor, just above my place. Both are so friendly, so you will have no problem get to know them.”

    Another bus stopped. This time, it’s for Tesa. She got up and offered her hand. “Thank you so much, Pasha,” she said, half-whispering.

    Pasha held her hand tightly, as if not willing to let her go. “See you again,” he said.

    But Tesa didn’t say anything else. She knew, they wouldn’t see each other again.

    Without turning back, she climbed into the bus.

    When Pasha got into his apartment, Pika was already waiting for him there. From the kitchen, he could smell the aroma of food. Hmm. His favourite stew shrimp.

    Pika kissed him warmly as she clung into his arm. “Where were you? How come you’re so late today? Do you forget? Now is Friday afternoon, and I always hurry from class so I can be here.”

    “Sorry, Pik, it slipped my mind. The thing is, I met your poor friend. So I had a talk with her to help her.”

    “My friend? Who?” Pika asked with a frown on her face.

    “Her name is Tesa. She almost got raped by her student; she ran away and couldn’t ask for her paycheck now. I was sorry for her so I offered her a job.” Pasha pointed to the ceiling. “Mr. And Mrs. Graham have wanted to learn Indonesian for a long time now. So I asked her to teach them. I will call them later to let them know.”

    Pika listened with her lips clamped shut. Inwardly, she was shocked and worried. So Tesa finally had a chance to know her Pasha? Did Pasha know who Tesa really was? This, she had to investigate. As soon as possible.

    After dinner, Pika asked Pasha to call Mr. Graham.

    “So that tonight I can tell Tesa,” was her excuse. When in fact, she didn’t want to let Pasha call Tesa personally.

    Pasha agreed. Turned out, Mr. Graham was more than happy. He even asked the lesson to start the day after or as soon as possible.

    Pika went back to the dorm bringing that good news, and she knocked on Tesa’s room right away. She was welcomed to come in courteously. But the moment the door closed, her anger exploded, causing Tesa to step back in fright.

    “So behind my back you’re still trying to approach Pasha, aren’t you? You broke your word to me. Didn’t you agree to stay away from Pasha as soon as your job was done? Are you thinking to snatch him away, after you saw how gorgeous he is? After his eyes are well again?”

    Tesa’s hand flew to her throat, as if wanted to calm her heart, which had jumped to that region. Her eyes watered as she heard the accusation. Moreover, she was reminded of her own past. Steeling her heart, she tried to suppress her tears and spoke calmly.

    “Pik, I don’t have the intention to do that. One time, I also had a boyfriend who was as good-looking as yours now. But my own best friend stole him away from me. I know how painful it is to lose someone you love. So you don’t have to worry. I won’t steal your Pasha away.”

    “Does he know who you really are?”

    Tesa shook her head. “He asked about Selina. I told him that she had gone back to Jakarta. He asked for his address, but I said I don’t know.”

    “Hmm. Here! There’s news for you! Tomorrow or the day after, you can start your tutoring for the Grahams. But keep in mind, don’t flirt with Pasha!”

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