Episode 3: One door closes, another door opens (Ruby)

Part 1: A mother’s day

I really don’t know how to react to Anthony’s good bye kiss just then. It feels really awkward to kiss him in front of Rudy. I also wonder whether he would feel jealous due to the kiss. But, I just couldn’t start to get my hopes high again. I need to concentrate now. I am meeting his mother.

I am actually closer with his mother rather than with my own. She even asked me to call her Ma like his other children. This has made the situation even more difficult. I don’t want to hurt her but we cannot stay the same. She needs to get closer with Anna. Anna would feel uncomfortable if I am still close with her mother in law. However, hurting her feeling is the last thing I want to do today.

My headache is spinning even more. Honestly, my body didn’t feel right since I wake up. My head feels heavy. I just don’t want Anthony to worry about me. I have to be strong. It is just one more strike to go. Rudy realizes that I keep touching my head and give it a little massage. There were times when I can’t even see things clearly.

“Are you ok Cing?”

“I feel fine.” I lied to him

“You don’t feel fine. Are you really ok?”

He then touches my forehead and shouts “Cing, your temperature is not normal. It’s very warm, it is even hot. Let’s go see a doctor.”

“I am fine really. I just had a fever last night and Anthony already gave me a medicine. Don’t worry too much. I am still able to handle it. What’s the room number again? Is your mom waiting?”

“She is still having a long lunch with her sister. They rarely see each other. She will be here within an hour or so. I need to talk to you alone beforehand.”

I am now feeling uncomfortable as we are going to a room, just the two of us. It doesn’t seem right. However, I am feeling very dizzy and I couldn’t stand to go to another café or coffee shop today. I just nod weakly, agreeing with his decision and waiting to see what will happen later.

He opens the room with a card and asks me to sit down on the couch. It’s a nice room. I think the type should be at least Junior Suite. I am proud for his achievement due to his outstanding career. He must have lived well in Germany. I rest my head to the couch as I realize that something cold is touching my forehead.

“What is this?” I ask him

“It’s just a wet towel to compress your forehead. We need to get your temperature to come down. Please wait here.”

I see him walking to the bedroom and make a room call. I couldn’t hear anything.

“Cing, I wanted to ask you before but I don’t want to ask this in front of Anthony as I have no idea whether he knew that I have given you a ring before. Why did you give the ring which I proposed to you to Anna? I didn’t give a ring to Anna because I would never have proposed to her. I will only give a ring to the woman I love as it symbolizes as an unending love. If you don’t want to wear it anymore, you could have just throw it away or return it to me.”

My head starts to spin even more and I don’t have the power to answer back to him. I couldn’t make anymore lies, not with the ring. I gave Anna the ring as a symbol of my pray support, wishing that he could continue my love for him. But, I couldn’t say this thing. What Rudy has known was I had already given up on him one year ago. Rudy starts to notice that I am really not feeling well and say

“You don’t have to answer it if you don’t want to. However, I need you to tell me the truth as you know that I hate being lied to.”

“I don’t want to state my reason” I say to him with eyes close. I begin to feel cold again.

“Rud, can you please help me to grab my medicine in my wallet? Please open the zipper. I really have a severe headache.”

He helps me to open my wallet and remains to look at my wallet without taking the medicine.

“Can you find it? If you can’t find it, just hand me the wallet please….”

He then takes the medicine and hands it to me with a glass of water.

“Cing, You still put our picture. I don’t understand why. I thought that you and Anthony were already a couple. I also notice your BB wallpaper. It’s the picture of you and your niece, not with Anthony. Are you guys for real?”

“Rud, can you please stop to interrogate me? It doesn’t matter anymore. It doesn’t change a thing. Please concentrate on your relationship with Anna only and stop interrogating my personal life.”

He then starts to raise his voice, cry and says

“Ok! I admit it Cing, I am crazily jealous. I couldn’t stand the thought of you being together with someone else, not even with Anthony. When he gave you a kiss, I really want to push him away from you. I am not ready to let you go, to let go of our love. I still love you very much.”

“I open my eyes to look at his expression. I wonder whether this is for real.”

He starts grabbing my body and hugs me tightly while saying

“Please give me 10 minutes… no 5 minutes… I just want to feel that there’s only the two of us now. There is no Anna, there is no Anthony, they are no problems, no other people… Just the two of us.. I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I have waited for this moment for a long time.”

My defensive mode starts to melt. Deep down in my heart, I also wish the same, wish that they are no other people or any other obstacles. It’s just us two. I want to say that I love him too. I want to tell him that it’s all a lie, tell him that I only treat Anthony as my best man, never the groom.

rudy 1 (2) Rudy 7 Rudy kiss

He is letting go of my body and then touching my cheeks with both of his hand. His face leans towards me, closer and closer. I can feel his breath now. My body starts to freeze and I don’t understand why I cannot even move my arms. His mouth is starting to touch my mouth softly. He kisses me tenderly at the beginning and begins to kiss me more and more passionate.

I can recall this kiss. It is still the same kiss as I remember 4 years ago. It is also still the same kiss when he proposed me and asked me to become his wife. I start to lean my body onto the couch and lie down. He continues to lie down on top of me, still kissing my lip. I wish that the time could stop now. Suddenly, I hear a door bell rings. We stop the kissing right away and I feel the highest level of embarrassment. I really blame myself for this situation. How can I let this happen? How can I kiss two different guys in one day? I just feel awful.

I thought that it’s his mother but it turns out that it’s a man with a long white coat.

“Please come in Doctor.”

Now, I realize that he was making a phone call to get the hotel Doctor to see me.

“Which one is the patient?” The doctor asks Rudy.

“It’s my wife.” He answers it with a smile.

I really don’t know how to react or whether I should give a clear explanation to the Doctor. However, I am just too weak to debate. The doctor asks me to lie down on the bed and starts to check my chest. He also asks me to open my mouth, putting a thermometer and also starts to check my blood pressure.

“It’s 60/80. It’s really low. You really need to get some rest.”

The thermometer then produces a beep sound.

“It’s 39.2. You have a high fever. I recommend you to take your wife to go the hospital right away. We need to conduct a blood test.”

“I am fine. I will go to the hospital later on. Can you please give me a prescription for a vitamin Doctor? I am having a severe headache now and I really need to get well as soon as possible.”

“A doctor is not a magician. You cannot get well if you continue not to rest. The best medicine is for you to rest. I am also detecting that you have asthma. Do you bring your asthma pump with you? Do you have any allergies reaction to any medicine?”

“Yes, I always bring the pump and No, I don’t have any allergies.”

The doctor then gives a prescription for me and reminds Rudy to take me to the hospital for a blood test. After the doctor leaves, I am now realizing that it’s just the two of us again and I really feel awkward. After a while I think that it is better for me to leave the room at wait downstairs.

“I want to buy some flowers or any cakes for your mother. It’s not polite to see her with nothing on my hand.” I am trying to figure out an excuse to leave the room.

“You don’t have to buy anything or go anywhere. I promise that I will behave myself and will not make you feel awkward anymore. Just lie down on the bed and rest while we are waiting for mom. You also don’t have to persuade her to accept Anna or talk anything about Anna. I just want you to get better. Nothing is more important than your health.”

The medicine I took before really get me to feel sleepy. I couldn’t start to open my eyes anymore as soon as I reach the bed. I wake up after a while only realizing that it’s already dark. I look at my watch and even feel a shock that it’s already 07.00 PM. I look at my BB phone only to find out 18 missed calls. Some from Anthony, the other is from my boss and some from the unknown numbers. They must be my candidates. I am then starting to call my boss to find out the reason she called me. It turns out that she only concerns about my condition and wishes me to have a speedy recovery.

I am then searching the room looking for both Rudy and his mother with no one to find. Few minutes later, I hear a door open sound. It’s both of them. I then reach his mom and start to kiss both of her cheeks as this is the custom of Indonesians to greet a close relative.

“How are you Ma? I miss you so much..”

She then touches my forehead and says “The temperature has gone down. I bought you a hot soup and a bowl of rice with some chicken from Plaza Indonesia. I remember that you like steam chicken.

“Thank you Ma. It’s so nice of you.”

Ma then helps me to prepare for the food. I really have no idea how to begin mentioning Anna to her. As a sign of appreciation, I finish the whole meal she has prepared for me even though I don’t have the appetite. She then gives me the medicine prescribed by the doctor before. I know that they went to the mall to buy some meals and the medicine for me. I feel truly touch.

“Ma…. Congratulations! You are going to become a grandmother again.”

I decide to tell the news to her by letting her know that she will have another grandchild.”

“Are you pregnant? How come? I thought Rudy just came back.” She answers me while still feeling confuse but happy.

“It’s not me Ma. But it is still Rudy’s child. He has a girlfriend in Germany. I already met her. She seems like a very nice girl and well behaved. I am sure that she can take care of you.”

Ma starts to feel shock, continues look at Rudy and saying nothing. I am then trying to give her some sweet talks about Anna. How Ma supposes to feel happy because Rudy has found his soul mate and so on. I am also emphasizing that now it’s ok to get pregnant before marriage. They are also planning to get married soon and how everything is going to be just fine.

“Then, what about you?” says Ma while looking into my eyes deeply. She also touches my hands.”

“I am of course happy too.” I lie to her to comfort her feelings. I know that she loves me but this forbidden love needs to stop.

“Ma, I also have found my other Rudy. His name is Anthony and we are also getting married soon. He treats me very well. By the way, I need to give him a text because he has left me many calls before. Please wait for a moment.”

I am sending two messages right away. The first message is given to Iwan, my driver which instructs to pick me up and the other one to Anthony which says: Sorry that I couldn’t take your calls before. I will explain everything later. I will be home soon.

It takes me another hour to persuade Rudy’s mom. Finally, she is willing to see Anna tomorrow for breakfast. I also told another lie to her that I am moving to Singapore with Anthony. This is to maintain a distance for us to communicate with each other. After that, Rudy walks me down to the lobby.

“I am so sorry and thank you for helping me again. I already owe you so much.”

“I am sorry too.” I say to him while looking down at the floor.

“Why are you sorry?”

“First is because I responded to your kiss and second because I fell asleep for so many hours on your bed. I don’t want to bring you any trouble and you even bought me some food and the medicines.”

“Cing, it will be hard for us to see each other anymore. Please don’t say another thing to hurt both of our feelings even more. I am not sorry to have kissed you. Kissing somebody you love is not a crime.”

I don’t want to argue with him anymore as I know that this probably will be the last time we see each other. Our love story is really ended now. We will no longer have any hopes. We will depart wishing each other happiness and bless each other to be happy with someone else, rather being than with each other. I am texting Iwan to come to the lobby.

After the car arrives at the lobby, I am then saying good bye to him. He suddenly takes my right hand, is not willing to let me go. I am then saying

“I fall, I rise, I make mistakes, I live, I learn. I have been hurt but I am alive. I am human. I am not perfect but I am thankful to have had you in my life. I will always cherish our beautiful memory. I am glad that I met you. I hope that you know that.”

I see the tears to fall down to his eyes and he only replies me with a much shorter sentence

“You will always be the woman in life. I will always love you, and only you.”

I get into the car immediately before anything is going to become harder than it already is. After closing the door, I ask Iwan to drive away and I even begin to cry some more.

After arriving at home, I take a shower and try to rest on my bed. It has been two of the longest days in my life. It has been one of the hardest but I am thankful that I finally put Rudy to an end. It is not the ending I hope, it’s not like as beautiful as a fairy tale ending story, but I am glad that this finally comes to an end after all these years.

Part 2: My First Fight

Luckily, today is Friday which means I will have two days off to forget about everything. I couldn’t fall asleep and rethink about my kiss with Anthony and my kiss with Rudy. How can this happen? I haven’t kissed any guys in 4 years and today I have kissed two already.

My maid knocks my door and she enters the room.

“Bu, Pak Anthony is here.”

I look at my watch to see 12.00 PM on the clock. Is he crazy? I forgot to text him but he could just call to the apartment and ask my maid whether I have arrived safely. I ask the maid to let Anthony comes in.

“Hi Thon, I am sorry that I forgot to text you.”

“Are you feeling better? How’s the meeting with an ex in-law?” He tries to make a joke and laugh. I smile and feel glad that he comes over.

“It could have been worse. But Ma was pretty easy to persuade. Nothing was compared to our meeting with Anna. At least I don’t have to kiss you to persuade her.” I laugh back at him. 

I feel stupid to bring up the kissing topic. However, I don’t feel awkward at all. Due to the joke, I can look at him as my best friend again.

“Did he kiss you today?” Anthony asks the question with a relax gesture.

“Yes, he did.”

I just don’t want to make another lie today. He has helped me and deserves to know every detail. He is coming over and sitting on my bed while replying “Did you kiss him back?”

“Unfortunately, I did.”

ITWY 31

He seems mad and suddenly slaps me on my right face. I did not expect this at all. He is the guy who never even hits a fly. My parents often tell me that he has spoilt me too much. He covers up my mistakes and always buys me what I want. I feel surprise that he hits me. This is the first time someone hits me in my whole life.

I put my right hand on my cheek and try to hold my tears to fall down. I don’t want him to think that it hurts badly. He looks at his hand, the one which hit me and starts to regret it right away.

“I apologize. I shouldn’t have lost my temper like this. I shouldn’t have hit you.”

He then starts to punch his hand on the wall repeatedly. I try to pull his hand but failed. He is just too strong for me. I then wrap my hand around his fist when he punches his hand again and begins to shout. It really hurts. He finally realizes what happens and starts to look at my hand.

“Are you crazy? You are a piano player. You cannot let anything bad happen to your hands.”

“I don’t want to see you like this. I don’t understand why you are this mad. Tell me. It’s me. You can tell me everything.”

“Ruby, I don’t want you to become a girl who happens to kiss back any random guys. Although I am not your boyfriend but I have protected you since you were little. I don’t want to see you not protecting yourself while I am not with you. Doesn’t it across your mind about the pregnant Anna? How would she feel if she saw her fiancé is kissing with the girl who just told her that she’s no longer in love him? I’d rather to see you die rather than to see you fooling around to kiss any strangers.”

My heart suddenly feels pain. I feel insulted. He even wishes to see me die. How can he judge me like this? He knows me better than anyone. I am not that kind of a girl. If he thinks that I am just a girl who likes to hit to any stranger, maybe I am not worthwhile to become his little Ruby after all.

Nevertheless, I don’t have any power left to explain things clearly with him. I have been through enough for today. I already tried so hard to let Anna feels happy, let Ma feels happy and even by letting go the love of my life, Rudy. I just want to be alone now. I just don’t want to fight with my best friend in the world. I’ve already been through enough for the day.

“Get out of my room, now!” I put the coldest expression to him

“Ruby?” He feels shock from hearing my reaction

“Get out Thon, now! And please don’t try to reach me.”

He looks at me for a while and walks away from my room without looking back.

Anthony waiting

Part 3: A Lifetime Secret

I wake up late on Saturday as I always have still thinking about what has just happened last night. It seems that it’s only a dream. I never fight with Anthony, not even once. This feels weird. I know that should apologize for kicking him out of my room last night. However, I decide to cool off and spend the rest of my Saturday watching a movie series which I have been longing to watch even though I have watched this for several times. It’s Bu Bu Jing Xin. The story is about a modern girl who travels back to the Kang Xi era. It’s about the battle of the throne and also the love triangle between her with the 4th and the 8th prince. As I start to watch the movie. I just couldn’t stop. The movie really got me. I finished the whole series until Sunday night. The story ends with a tragedy while leaving the ending open that the girl comes back to the modern era and meets the reincarnation of the 4th prince whom she loves deeply.

I remember that I haven’t taken any meals for the whole day. No wonder that my stomach feels pain. I look at my maid’s room and found her already fell asleep. I don’t want to wake her up. I am then taking a shower and preparing myself to go to the outside to buy some food.

I call a taxi as Iwan always takes an off day on Sunday and gives me my destination “Setia Budi”. I like this restaurant named Pastis. It’s a western / Italian food. The steak is great. I come in and ask for table for one to the waiter. I sit at my usual table and order my usual drink and meal.

ITWY 18

“She still has not contacted me” says the very familiar voice at the back of my table. I recognize this voice anywhere. It’s Anthony.

“Why don’t you initiate to contact her?” says his friend. I don’t recall to have known this voice. I have studied music since I was little. I am highly sensitive when it comes to sound. I could play any songs on the piano as soon as I have heard them once or even able to hear any voice even though it comes from a far distant. I know that they are talking about me.

“I think that she will never forgive me” says Anthony

“I really don’t understand you. You have loved her for the past 20 years and yet you didn’t have the courage to confess to her. You only showed your true emotion when it comes to jealousy. I really don’t know what are you afraid of or what did you really think when you hit her on the face?”

“I am afraid to lose her. If she finds out that my love for her was not a simple brother and sister’s love, she will maintain her distant with me. I know that she is still in love with Rudy. That night, I slapped her face and said all those crazy words because I was jealous and angry. I was jealous that another guy was kissing her lip when I just kissed her few hours ago. I know that our kiss was only an act but it wasn’t for me. For me, it was real. When I held her in my arm, I was feeling happy.”

“Then, what were you angry for?”

“I was angry because she did not take a second to try to lie to me. She did not care of how I would feel. It means that she never take that kiss seriously. She truly felt that our kiss was just part of an act. If I am already at her heart as more than just a brother, she would lie to me.”

“You know that it’s not her fault. Your love has become a habit for her. It’s like her daily bread. She has looked at you as her brother for the past 20 years. She never thinks of you differently. That’s why she didn’t try to lie to you. You were supposed to feel happy. It means that she has always been herself when she’s with you.”

After hearing this, I just couldn’t stop my tears to fall down. I just found out his real feelings for me. How can I not realize it before? It was there. The signs were there. It’s very selfish of me to share all things about my past boyfriends with him. I even feed him the details. Oh.. I feel so stupid. He is the last person that I want to hurt in the whole world. What should I do?

I go outside to the cashier, pay my bills and ask the waiter to change my order as a take away food. I really need to evaluate about this. I just can’t let anything to hurt him again, including me. I am then sending a message to him

“I forgive you. Don’t worry too much and get so rest.”

I hope that this text message would make him to feel better. He is then replying

“Don’t forget to eat your antibiotics until it finishes. Good night and get some rest too. Take care.” 

My alarm starts to ring and my daily routine runs as usual. They are already about 30 cm height of documents line in on my desk, waiting to be reviewed. I am laughing at myself as I only took a one off day. I start drowning with work. Karen finally comes by to my desk at around 12:30 PM.

“Let’s go to have lunch together!” she asks me and pulls my hands as well.

“I can’t. I still have plenty of things to do. You guys can go first.”

“We are not going anywhere without you” says Amy, another colleague of mine. She is our psychologist. She is under my other boss, Mitta. She is the head of our Organization Development Department. She always likes to test us and show us the result. The tests were varies starting from the normal psychological test until the abnormal test like asked us to mention 3 animals which across our mind or even asked us the three things across our mind when it comes to water fall. However, her results were almost all accurate. The other colleague who also likes to have a lunch together with us is Matthew who is more feminine than me. He wears make up to the office and always preserve his skin very well by using a body lotion. He always give me an advice me how to dress and how to take care of my “beauty.”

“Ruby, you need to reshape your eye brow” says Matthew for the third time in two weeks.

“Yes. I haven’t got a chance to go to a beauty salon.”

“Then, what did you do all weekend?”

“I watched a movie series for the whole 2 days.”

“O my God. It’s not good for our eyes to watch too much TV. You will look older.”

He can always make me laugh even though during my darkest day. I am pending my work and agreeing to have lunch with them as I know that they won’t give up. As I know that this is going to become a long lunch, I text my boss for a permission first. I will repay the additional hours later on.

“Ok! Spit it out” says Amy to me

“What is it to spit?”

“You barely touch your favorite food and your mind seems to fly away. Even though you join us and laughing at our jokes, I know that you didn’t concentrate like you use to. You didn’t even complaint that the waiter gave you a mineral water with ice. Clearly, something big has happened.”

I just couldn’t hide it from her nor also from Karen and Matthew. They knew me too well, especially with Karen and Matthew who have known me since my first semester. I am then telling them the details about all the stories between Rudy, Anna, and Rudy’s mom to them except for the Anthony part. They are listening without cutting me of to give any comments, something which never happens before. It becomes weirder as Matthew started to cry loudly. Karen eyes are also teary. Amy seems to think deeply and her minds seem to fly away from our table.

“Sssssttt… Matthew, stop crying. Everyone is looking. They thought that I must have done something bad to you.”

“It’s not supposed to end this way. You were both still in love with each other. I even doubt that the girl was really pregnant. You have to recheck things properly. She is really an evil.” Matthew keeps repeating the sentence, still crying while other guests at the surrounding table begin to stare at us.

“Sssttt… Ok ok… Let’s not talk about this ok.. Let just forget about what happen. You guys suppose to cheer me up here. Hallo?”

Amy then starts to talk with a very serious tone like reading a prophecy.

“I think we need to reevaluate your love life. You have been left by two guys. If you continue to being left out by the third guy, this will haunt you for life. It’s like a curse.”

“It’s not that serious lah..” Karen starts to ease things down

“No, it really is serious. The third time is always a charm or a curse. I am on Karen’s side with this one.” Matthew starts to defend her.

I give up debating with Amy as she can always persuade me no matter how ridiculous it is.

“Ok. What should I do now?”

“It is risky to take a chance with a different guy. You know that a person’s heart is very difficult to analyze. I think we can look back at your past lover to avoid the risk of being left out by the third guy.” Amy says with confidence.

“What? You want me to win Rudy back? Are you crazy? Anna is pregnant with his kid.”

“No. you get me wrong. I didn’t talk about Rudy. I was talking about the handsome guy in Sydney, Roy. Isn’t he your first boyfriend?”

Karen starts to back Amy’s idea up. “Yes, I think we have to solve the problem from the beginning, from the route and I think that the route is Roy.”

“I cannot. He’s far away. He does not have feeling for me anymore. It’s been 11 years since we have met with each other. No! Just think of a different plan.”

“If he does not have feeling with you now does not mean that he won’t have it in the future. You know his likes and dislikes. You can get him back.” Says Amy

“Ok! Let’s face a reality for a while. First, He is in Sydney and I am in Indonesia. Second, He probably has forgotten about me a long time ago and might already have a girlfriend or even married by now. Third, did you all forget? He left me because of my family financial problem. I still have the same family even though that now things are getting better. But I don’t want to end up with a guy who only cares about my social status.”

“Ok! First, who said that he needs to fall in love with you as Ruby? Second, we don’t want you to end up with him. We just want you to break the curse. This time, it is you who have to leave him. Third, now there’s a modern transportation called air plane. (She says this sarcastically). You can go at any day you want to visit Sydney.” Amy replies my question quickly. I even feel more confuse than ever.

“I still don’t understand some parts. I get the “break the curse” part but why did you also say that he does not need to fall in love with Ruby? I am Ruby. I cannot be somebody else. Even though we haven’t met for so long, he will still recognize me as Ruby.”

“We can give you a full makeover” Matthew speaks happily.

“My Aunt is a well known face surgery, Dr. Theresa. She was the one who made Krisdayanti her new nose. We can six your eyes, your nose, your cheek. We can get you to lose plenty of weight. You can join me gym at Celebrity Fitness every day. Karen can take you to a slimming centre, whatever it costs. We will help you to transform. I am sure that you will not be recognized.”

“Let’s do this starting from today” says Amy with a spirit as if we need to take our country back its independence.

“I am still not sure. I really don’t want to do this. Also, let’s say that the makeover is successful. Do you guys want me to move to Sydney? It won’t happen. I love my job, my friends and my life here. I need to start from the scratch all over again should I move to Sydney.”

“Sometimes, I really see you as a stupid girl” Karen replies my hesitation.

“Roy is an Indonesian citizen right? You just need to make him fall in love with you within a month or two. If he is attracted to you, he will accompany you to get back to Indonesia. His parents are in Indonesia, right? He can continue helping his parents to support their business. His parents will also love for this to happen. In the meanwhile, you can also get your revenge back by rejecting his parents should they like you now. They will like you. You are already a senior manager in your age.”

“This is crazy!” I say to the three musketeers.

The three musketeers look at me as if they are three orphanages who want Santa Claus to come and give them a family as a Christmas present. I just don’t want to let them down. Finally, I think that I am just going to join this crazy parade.

“Ok! I am now on board with you guys! Ok! Change me and beautify me!”

Part 4: Make Over

ruby before

ruby after

For the next five days, we always have our lunch together while discussing the budget on how much will it cost to do this transformation. This plan makes me forget about Anthony and Rudy. My relationship with Anthony is back to its usual. We text, we chat and sometimes, he drops by to buy me a dinner. I also buy him the things he needs such as Jacket. He always wears the same jacket I gave him a century ago. I am glad that he is willing to change to a new jacket I bought for him.

Now, besides working, my daily routine changes as Matthew comes to move in with me. I have to get up at 06.00 AM and start to jog with him for two hours. I have to eat oatmeal for breakfast instead my regular yummy sandwich. I have to always drink tea instead of coffee. After office hour, Karen then will take me to Marie France slimming centre. They always wrap my body and put it into the steamer before massaging. At night, I am only allowed to eat one single meat with no dairy, no fat and use as little oil as possible. I also need to go to Celebrity Fitness on every Saturday and Sunday full day to receive a personal trainer to arrange my activities. There is a hip hop class, there is a yoga class and other classes which I need to do every single of them. Sometimes, I really feel as if I am going to pass out. I cannot eat the things I like anymore. After two months, I already lost 15 KGs.

We are now having our regular lunch and Matthew starts to pick the order for me. The food looks awful. I really don’t want to swallow it.

“It is not working fast enough. She should lose about 25 more Kilograms.” Karen says it to Amy.

“I heard that there is a fast treatment called Liposuction by Dr Valentine in Singapore. Maybe, we should do some research for that.” Karen begins to turn away some pages from a magazine.”

“I don’t want to do any operation. I am afraid to do it. My parents will not approve of this”

I am now beginning to think that this idea is getting crazy and crazier. Anthony even starts to worry about my weight lost. He does not know about the Roy’s plan. That’s what we name the plan to make it easier for us to discuss. He just thought that my friends are planning to give me a makeover for my own health.

“Liposuction is not an operation. You can read all about it in this magazine. Let’s find out the price and how much KGs can he help you to reduce.” Amy starts to search for the information using her i-phone.

 “Don’t forget that we still need to evaluate to cost on Dr. Theresa’s operation. I don’t want to get bankrupt because of this.” I try to talk some sense to the three musketeers.

“O.. I forgot to tell you a good news. I have talked with my Aunt. She is willing to give you a free service operation because you are my best friend. You just need to pay the hospital fee. It’s less than Rp. 20.000.000 including after treatment and so on. I believe that you can handle it.” Matthew says.

“If that the case, I also want to do an operation.” Karen says to Matthew.

“Let’s do it first things first. Ruby is our priority now.” Matthew talks back to Karen. I know that Matthew is really a kind hearted person. If I have to choose which of the three musketeers to go on a holiday with, I would choose Matthew. He is really sincere and does things for my own good.

At the end, they have found out about the Liposuction and gives me a 2 hours lecture by mentioning how fast and save it is. I finally give up and do things according to their plan. Our office has a 10 days holiday + weekends during Lebaran time. They think that this is a good time to go to Singapore and do the Liposuction. The three musketeers + Anthony will accompany me.

It is the night before and I have reduced 5 more KGs. Anthony is staying over because we are planning to go to the airport together tomorrow morning.

“I don’t understand why you are doing this. I told you that you don’t have to go through this painful experience. You should like yourself as the way you are. You don’t have to change for anyone and make them love you. If you are planning to get Rudy back, you don’t have to do this. You can just make a phone call and he will be here shortly.”

“Please don’t talk about Rudy anymore. I don’t want anything to remind me of him. Why you keep mentioning his name? I just don’t understand”

“I don’t understand why you force yourself very hard for this makeover.”

“I have my own reasons. I thought that you have agreed with me. You also thought that reducing weight is good for my health.”

“I did say that but I am not on board with this extreme way. You don’t have to lose more. You are already fit. I even heard that you want to go have nose and eyes operation. What are you thinking? I don’t want you to change any part in your face even a bit.”

“I have my own reasons. Please trust me. It’s for my own happiness.”

“Did you remember how pretty Anna was but still the one Rudy loves has always been you from the beginning? He even left you 4 years ago because He loves you too much!”

Anthony begins to close his mouth with his right hand and try to avoid continuing this conversation.

“What do you mean? Tell me!”

“It is nothing. I don’t mean anything.” says Anthony to me

I don’t want to dig deeper as I know that it does not change a thing. He should have his baby by now. I believe that time will heal; maybe this physical makeover will also do a makeover of my heart. I am not the same girl who is just sitting there and waiting for Rudy to come back. I will not longing for him to love me anymore. It is me, the one who needs to fight for my own destiny. Anthony then keeps pushing me to change my mind to go through the slimming process.

“Ruby, nevertheless I still don’t understand why you want to go through this process if not because of Rudy. Please tell me the truth. I am very worried about you. Your father even asks reminds me about your significant lost weight. He’s afraid that this will affect your health.”

“By the time comes, I will tell you everything. Now, let me be selfish for one time and allow me to keep this one secret from you. I promise that I will always ask for your approval should I try to change anything which can affect my health. For now, let’s go to sleep. We have to wake up early tomorrow.”

After going back from Singapore, it turns out that the Liposuction was conducted successfully. The Doctor was very nice. It turns out that 80% of his patients are Indonesian. The three musketeers and Anthony made my recovery easier. They have prepared me a wheelchair and even bought me some recovery clothes to put on. They truly are good friends. My weight is now only 55 KG with 165 cm of height. According to the Doctor, it’s already in a good proportion. I just need to maintain them. In the future, I really need to maintain my dietary nutrition. I must say that even without having the face operation, people won’t recognize me anymore. To be honest, I do feel prettier than I used to.

After my recovery, Matthew starts to bring up our last step which is the facial operation. We have seen Dr. Theresa one time. She thinks that only my eyes, chicks and forehead which needs to undergo the surgery. My nose and my lip are already in line with proportion. I ask her how long it will take to do the recovery. She said it’s about 20 – 30 days. How can I take a long leave like this? I only have 5 days leave of absence left. Also, if I am leaving to Sydney for unknown period, I should not able to take another 2 – 3 months leave from the company.

During lunch, I ask my three musketeers about this. They stop say anything for a while until Amy starts to comment

“I think that you should resign from this job. Everything takes something to sacrifice. It’s not like it will be hard for you to get another job should you come back from Sydney. You can even try to work in Sydney. Didn’t you always dream to work in overseas?

I reevaluate Amy’s advice while the other two were silent. Matthew then starts to cry hysterically.

“I don’t want us to be separated for so long. I don’t want Ruby to go…”

Karen and Amy remind Matthew how we originally designed the plan for my happiness. After a half an hour, Matthew finally agrees that I should give my resignation to Madam Marlene and Madam Mita even though he said that he will also start looking for a job opportunity in Sydney.

“Bu, are you busy? I knock her open door.”

“Come in Ruby.. What is it?”

“Can I get Madam Mita to come over too? I have an important thing to discuss.”

“Ok! Ask her to come in. Is it about the succession plan for our property group?”

“No, it is not. It’s about my personal matter.”

Madam Marlene and Madam Mita then sit down on the couch and ask me to talk. I finally tell them that I am planning to move to Sydney for a few months to take some courses. For that reason, I have to put my resignation letter. They both look shock and say that Jakarta has a fine institution also.

I can take the same course in Jakarta and they even can ask the company to pay for it. I can’t tell them the real reason for me to reason was to chase back a guy who has left me and leave him at the end to break the “curse”. After 2 hours of long discussion, I finally tell them that I already paid the course and it’s my parent’s intention for me to go to Sydney. Thus, I cannot say no.

Madam Mita tells me that I can come back at anytime I want after finishing the course. She also asks me to find my replacement as soon as possible. However, Madam Marlene disagrees with her. She says that finding my replacement would be hard. They would prefer to wait 2 – 3 months for me to come back rather than to recruit a new person and starts to train them from the scratch.  Honestly, I feel moved by their love for me. They have promoted me before, given me such a good facility and most importantly, they treat me like their own daughter.

I give my formal resignation letter with one month notice. During the time, I try to finish as many works as possible. Now is already October. Hopefully, I can get all of my yearly KPI to finish before I leave the company. It means that I have to do 3 months of workload into one month. The three musketeers finally go easy on my dietary routine. They know that I am also working very hard.

Time flies when you are very busy, not when you are having fun like the Donald said. It’s finally my last day at the office. I am happy that I could finish all the works up to December. I even close the position to fill Harold’s replacement. My two bosses are also very happy with my work. They threw me a bon voyage party and everyone ends up tearing at the end.

On the next day, the three musketeers are taking a leave of absence to accompany me to go to the hospital. I wonder if anyone at the office suspects that one manager from OD, one from Marketing and the other one from Sales are disappearing at the same time. It’s now time to undergo the operation. For the next 10 days, I am still staying at the hospital with the three musketeers and Anthony comes back and forth to visit me. My face is still wrapping and the doctor will open it in 5 more days. She said that the operation was successful. I have hidden this matter to my family as both of my parents still think that I am still working at my old company. I have told them that I will move to Sydney for a couple of months to help my company to set up a pineapple trading business.

I know that it’s bad to lie to your family but I also couldn’t state the real reason. I am also thinking how my parents would react should they see my face change a week later. Fortunately, they did not complain about my lost weight. Only my father was highly concerned about my change. However, he trusts that Anthony will take care of me. Anthony also thinks that my moving plan to Sydney is due to the employee transfer from my company temporarily. He also thinks that I am taking unpaid leaves to go through this surgery because they are giving me some personal time before moving to Sydney. Only the three musketeers know the truth about the Roy’s plan.

The day has finally come. The doctor is now opening the wrap around my face. I am so glad that this is over. The wrap makes my face to feel itchy. As the wraps have been remove completely. Doctor Theresa hands me a mirror for me to see my new face.

I feel unbelievable. I don’t even recognize who I am. “She is very pretty.” I whisper this to myself.

Doctor Theresa then continues to tell me not to go out and see the sun for the next 2 – 3 weeks depends on the recovery speed. She also tells me that starting from now on, I can only use a powder and a foundation specially designed for people who have undergone the surgery. Anthony is writing down the entire doctor’s advice one by one while I am still looking at the mirror to see this pretty lady. I am amazed……

“I am pretty now. I am no longer an ugly-fat girl.”

Part 4: A Good Bye Kiss

My recovery has been a huge success. It is now my last day in Indonesia as I am planning to take a night flight to go to Sydney tomorrow. As usual, Anthony is helping me to pack my things.

“Has the company arranged any accommodation for you?”

“Yes.” I lied to him and in fact, I will stay at my uncle’s place temporarily. They have a spare room there before I look for another place to stay.

“Will anyone pick you up at the airport?”

“Yes.” This time is the truth as I already asked my cousin to pick me up.

“I will miss you so much!” Anthony hugs me tightly.

“I will miss you too.” I reply him back.

Suddenly, I feel very lonely knowing that I won’t have any of his support for the next few months.

“I promise that I will be back as soon as possible. You have to tell me should you fall in love with a girl while I am away! We have to talk every day. Do you promise?” I put out my pinky swear to him.

“Ruby, you know that I will not fall in love with a girl easily. I have a very high standard when choosing a girlfriend.” He crosses his pinky as a sign of promise.

“Ya, I know that a lot of girl has chased you many times but you always reject them. I really have no idea what are your criteria for choosing a spouse. I begin to scare that you might start falling with a guy like Matthew. Hahahaha.” We are both laughing.

He walks slowly towards me and corners me against the wall.

“You know that you never really pay me back for the act I helped you to get rid away of Rudy and Anna. Now this is the time for you to pay me back.”

My heart starts to pound loudly and very fast. I am afraid that he actually might hear the rhythm. However, I am bracing myself and ask him

“What is it that you want?”

“Kiss me like when we persuaded Anna before.”

I don’t know how to react. His face is so closed now. I can feel that his noise is against my nose at the moment. I am closing my eyes and think on how to respond to this. I already know his feelings towards me. I don’t want to push him away and hurt him one day before I am leaving. However, my feelings for him have not been changed.

ITWY 36

Before I push him away, he already cuts my mind by kissing me even more passionately than before. The kiss is unbelievable. What confuses me is there’s no awkward feeling like the one before. He kisses me like there is no tomorrow. He starts to move to kiss me on my forehead, both of my eyes, my nose, and then back to my lip. I don’t know why it is so hard for me to push him. I also can’t lie to myself that I am also enjoying the kiss. It is like morphine. It is very addictive and you don’t want this to end. He then starts to kiss my neck while his left hand is touching my back up and down. I know that this has to stop. We have to stop this before something else happens.

I push his body gently and put my hands on his face. I look at his eyes deeply and say

“We must stop.”

He is then taking a deep breath and says “I am sorry. I was out of control.”

We spend the rest of the night lying down on the carpet, talking about our childhood. He says that it’s never easy for him to see me leave his side. It was hard when I had to go study in Singapore. It’s hard when he has to wait for a year before accompanying me to study in Sydney before. It’s also hard when I had to leave for several months to help open a new branch in Kalimantan. He says that he always counts down the day when I am not with him.

I respond what he says that I feel different too when he’s not around to protect me. I always check my bedroom door twice should he’s not staying over. I also put his “To do list” instruction for me on the refrigerator should we are not living at the same city. I also tell him that after Rudy has left, he is the only person that I would miss.

Suddenly, he turns away his body and his face is on top of me and says.

“Can I go to Sydney with you?”

“No, you can’t.”

“Why?”

“This is something I have to do by myself.”

He is then put his arm for me to sleep on and says

“This is one of my happiest nights ever. I sincerely think that you start to fall for me during the kiss.”

I don’t want to ruin our night by saying no to him. I am closing my eyes right away and faking them as if I am already asleep, pretend not to hear what he has just said. I still don’t know what my true feelings for him. It certainly has changed since I knew that he loves me in a different way. But, I am not sure whether this is love between man and woman. I still feel that he is still just my best man.

We wake up the next morning and he starts to double check my luggage by ticking his checklist. Cloths, medicines, some of my DVDs collection, shoes, all are prepared by him. We take a lunch together and start to go to the airport at 04.00 PM.

ITWY 9

The three musketeers are already at the airport when I arrive. Anthony accompanies me to check in. He brings his passport for the security check. Now is the time for all of us to say our good bye. The three musketeers each bring me a letter for me to read on the plane. I know that they want to discuss the Roy’s plan with me but they couldn’t do it in front of Anthony.

I pull Amy aside for a while by giving them an excuse that I want her to accompany me to go to the toilet.

“Anthony and I were kissing last night.” I finally share this with her.

“How come? How does it happen?”

I am then telling her all the chronology from last night.

“I think that you start to fall for him.” Amy says the same thing with Anthony.

“I don’t know. I really don’t know.”

Don’t think about it too much. Use this time to reevaluate your options in life. I am sure that something great will happen to you.

We say our good bye one more time while Anthony kisses me on my forehead with the three musketeers watching closely. “Call me when you get you Sydney.” He leaves me with teary eyes.

airport scene 2 Anthony hug

“I will miss you.. “ I say this softly without anyone else knows my feelings.  

I feel both sad and excited to go to Sydney to do this Roy’s plan. I am taking Garuda Indonesia as I have enough miles from my company before to be able to have an upgrade class. The plane type is an Airbus.

Nevertheless, I am still confused on how on earth will I see Roy. I don’t know his current activity at the moment. I have searched his name via facebook with nothing much to find out except that he went to UTS. I wonder should he still lives at Kingsford. I think by the drastic change I am now, he won’t recognize me. But, how on earth I can get him to talk to me? I am not good at approaching people first. Usually, I am quite passive when it comes of making friends. I should have rethought about it clearly.

I am already at the airport lounge and I still have to wait for an hour before the actual departure time. I remember that all three musketeers have given me a letter. I think I am going to read them. The first one is from Karen, second one is from Amy and the other one is from Matthew.

A note for you

From Karen

Dear Ruby, I am quite sad that you are leaving. I really don’t know what to give you as a good bye present. This check is one of my life savings. You can use it if you will face any emergency in Sydney. Don’t thank me as you already have done enough to support me when we were in college.

From Amy

Rub, I am happy that you have already transformed. I always think even before that you are one pretty girl. It’s just your lack of confidence always put the worst in you. Whether or not you will get Roy back, just remember that what matters is your happiness. The phone number and address below is my cousin’s contact. You should contact him for a place to stay. He already knows what to do. Let me know should he give you a hard time later on. You couldn’t stay at your Uncle’s place. Roy will feel suspicious.  

From Matthew

Dear Ruby, I have tried to help you gather as much as information about Roy. He will attend the alumni gathering at your high school. It’s on a cruise. I already put your name as RSVP and send you the entrance pass via email. I hope that everything is going smoothly. Don’t forget that you can always come back at any time. We will always be here with you!

I am truly touched by everything they have done for me, especially Karen. She even gave me her life savings. She always tries to spend money as little as possible and now she is giving them to me. Even Amy and Matthew have thought about arranging my accommodation and on how I can reach Roy. I feel so lucky. I hope that my new brand life will not disappoint them.

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