Episode 15: A Pandora Box (The boys)

pandora box

Part 1: Finding Ruby (Christian)

Rudy and I have been waiting at Ruby’s house for more than ten hours. There is still no any update news from either Kev or Ruby. I begin to feel really worry about them. I keep calling Kev’s cell phone but the phone is switched off. There is also no point trying to call Ruby’s cell phone as well.

Rudy and I still don’t know how to talk to each other except asking about the time or reconfirming whether Kev has contacted either one of us. The sky is now getting brighter. It’s already early in the morning. I am looking at my watch and see that it’s already 06.00 AM. We really need to start calling her parents to check whether they paid them a visit yesterday. I am asking Rudy to call them since he is more familiar with them. After hanging up the phone, Rudy informs me that they Kev and Ruby never paid them a visit yesterday.

I am asking Rudy again for a hundred times about the details Kev spoke to him yesterday. After discussing and repeating the same information over and over again, we both agree that we should go to the hill and look for them. The hill is our best shot at the moment. I am asking my driver to find out whether he knows the location. He says He knows the main road. We could ask the local people for further direction to find out the specific location.

We finally reach the place after six long hours of making two wrong turns and experiencing such a heavy traffic. Indonesia is really different with Australia when it comes to the road infrastructure and traffic rules. Rudy and I are spreading to search the location. We just found out that the hill is in fact really wide. I couldn’t see that there is anything special about the hill. There is a big lake which looks quite descent but it looks dirty. I don’t think anyone would want to swim on the lake.

We don’t know where to search Kev and Ruby anymore until we hear some of the local motorcycle men chatting about a random accident. They are saying

Guy #1: The car blew up because of the heavy rain. I think it’s because of the leaking fuel hose. The girl is probably already dead but the young man survived. He was also injured.

Guy #2: When did it happen?

Guy #1: It happened yesterday night. I heard that the girl was trying to end her life by drowning herself into the lake. The young man tried to save her life.

Guy #3: And then?

Guy #1: They were trying to cross the road when there is a car coming towards them unexpectedly. I heard from Pak Lurah (Pack Headman) that she tried to save him by pushing him to the other side of the road. She got hit badly by the car. There were bloods all over the place.

Guy #3: Who are they?

Guy #1: I don’t know but they are not from here originally. The young man doesn’t even have his KTP (Indonesian ID Card). They said that He’s from Australia.

Oh my God! It can be Kevin and Ruby. I am approaching the three motorcycle men and ask them

“Where did they go? I might be their family. Are they in hospital?”

Guy #1 tells me that some of the local people have brought them to the nearest hospital. I ask Guy #1 to make the lead and take us there.

Rudy doesn’t say a single word. I can see that he is shaken up a bit. I try to keep him calm by telling that Ruby and Kev might be alright.

We finally arrive at the local hospital. It’s more of a small rural clinic.

I finally reach the small reception and ask

“Is there any patients under the name of Ruby Lee or Kevin He?”

She is looking at her files and says no. Rudy then asks her again

“Is there anyone brought here yesterday because of a car accident?”

The nurse finally says yes. She is telling us that both of them have been transferred to a bigger hospital in Jakarta because the girl’s condition was really critical.

“Can you please tell us which hospital? We are their immediate family.” says Rudy

The nurse probes us to find out more about our relationship to either Kev or Rub.

“Who are you?”

Rudy answers the nurse straightly

“The girl is my wife! Now, tell me where she is at the moment or I will sue you and this hospital together!”

Finally, I can see some emotions coming out from the frozen Rudy. He must love Ruby very much. The nurse informs him that they took her to one of the biggest hospital in Jakarta called Medistra. We make a move right away and ask my driver to drive back to Jakarta.

On the way to Jakarta, he makes some phone call to the hospital asking about Ruby and Kev. He says

“It’s weird. They said that they are no any patients transferred from here. I have also double checked with them. They told me that they are no any patients sent there yesterday due to a car accident. Let me check and call few other hospitals. The nurse must have gotten the information incorrectly.”

I am also calling Cindy to help us search and track Ruby and Kevin. Both of us are scared that something might happen to them. After calling almost all the hospitals in Jakarta, they are still no news about Ruby and Kevin. We even go back to Medistra three times and few other hospitals to check them one by one at least two times.

We are back at Ruby’s house. It’s now already in the morning. They have been missing for more than 24 hours. I wonder that we should start reporting to the police.

“Rud, should we call the police instead?” asks me to Rudy.

“I don’t know. I don’t want her parents to worry. I am afraid that her father will have a heart attack. If they are still missing by tomorrow, we should even tell a lie to cover up where they are.”

I know that Rudy is right. We don’t want to add another problem to Ruby’s parents. I keep calling Cindy every one hour and ask her if they are any developments from Ruby or Kevin.

“I will go and try to look at the big hospitals again. You should wait here. Please call me immediately should they are back.”

Rudy nods his head. I am asking my drivers to drive and go to the big hospitals again. I even go to the emergency room and ask the doctors myself. None of them have recalled seeing Ruby or Kev. I tried to show the reception, the doctors and also the nurses their picture. Now, I am really afraid that something bad has really happened to both of them.

I am reaching Ruby’s home at around 11.00 PM. Rudy is still sitting in front of the main door. I know that by seeing his expression, Ruby and Kev have not come back.

Rudy is standing and I am shaking my head to let him know that I also can’t find Ruby and Kev yet. He suddenly says

“Maybe we should go back to the hill and digs out some more information. We can also go to the damn clinic to ask again.”

I am nodding my head. I agree that this is the last hope we have. Rudy tells me that he will come alone tomorrow where I can stay at the house hoping that Kev and Ruby would come home.

I am waiting until 11.00 PM at night the next day. I am waiting for Rudy to come back and share me the news. I can hear the sound of his car outside the house. I am running outside to greet him as quick as I can.

“How was it? Did you find them?” I ask Rudy right away. He is just getting out from the car.

“I didn’t find any credible information. It’s like both of them have disappeared from the earth. I asked the local people there. I even tried to bribe them with some money. They only gave me the same information we already knew. I think we should start reporting both of them to the police.”

We go to the Polda Metro Jaya. We are reporting about two missing people. We also have no choice other than calling her parents to let them know that Ruby has been missing for two days. The police will eventually pay the family a visit and conduct an interview about any missing person. Kev is an orphan. June and I are recorded as his only family as we are living under the same roof in Sydney. We both leave of our number ask them to call us right away should there’s any update news.

On the way from the police station to her house, Rudy suddenly gives me a question.

“Do you think that both of them are hiding from us intentionally?”

I am staring at Rudy and feeling afraid that it’s the truth. Rudy is an observant guy. I am sure that he has his reasonable views to analyze the situation that way. I give him my honest answer

“Now, I really don’t know. But, I trust Ruby. She wouldn’t run away with Kevin without giving us any prior notice. She knows that we would worry sick about her.”

“It’s not Ruby I don’t trust. It’s Kevin.” says Rudy.

I don’t understand why Rudy thinks about Kev that way.

“I have been friends with Kev for many years. He wouldn’t just kidnap her!”

We don’t speak with one another until half an hour later. Suddenly, Rudy says

“You probably haven’t noticed that Kevin’s crazy about her. He really loves her more than you can even imagine. I don’t think he would step back his feeling for you anymore.”

I know that Rudy’s right. This is what frightens me the most as well. I don’t want to have fight over a girl with my best friend. Knowing Kev from before, he would forfeit right away.

I am also willing to step back from any girls he feels attracted to. But right now, the situation is different. The girl is Ruby. We are both in love with her even though it means that we have to lose the only best friend we have. Rudy cuts my mind by asking

“Have you called your cousin or all of her co workers?”

I am shaking my head. I realize that I haven’t called Amy or two of her other best friends. I know that Ruby is also close with them. They were the one who made her to go to Sydney.

“Hallo! Amy? Has Ruby given you a contact nowadays?”

“No!” she answers directly

“Do you know where she might be at the moment?”

“I am not sure but you can ask Lily. She has been staying at my place. She said that she doesn’t want to live alone in a hotel.” says Amy

“Ok! Can we meet now? Where are you?”

I am very curious why Lily is coming from Sydney without informing me or Kev earlier. I am telling Rudy about our conversation on the phone. I also inform Rudy that Lily is in fact Kev’s girlfriend. Amy asked me to meet up at her place. She lives in Residence 8 Apartment, Jakarta. She buzzes us in and we are now already sitting at her apartment. Lily is already sitting on the couch.

“Hi Ly! Why didn’t you tell me that you are coming to Jakarta?”

“I thought Kev has told you that I came two days ago.” Says Lily

“No, he didn’t tell me. By the way Ly, this is Rudy. He is a friend of me and Kevin as well.”

Rudy is shaking her hand. His expression is still as cold as the iceberg on the North Pole. I just realize that he never really smiles to anyone except to Ruby. Amy gets us two glasses of water and then Lily hands me a letter. She says

“I think that you guys should know about this.”

I am reading the letter Ruby wrote for Kev. My hand is shaking. I am showing Rudy the letter and ask

“Is this Ruby’s hand writing? She gave me a letter two years ago but I don’t want to scare myself.”

Rudy takes the letter and then reading it very fast. His tears are coming down from his eyes. He is squeezing the letter and says

“She couldn’t do this to me. She couldn’t leave me like this. She didn’t even write me a letter. I know that this is my punishment. She punished me because I left her twice.”

Rudy’s expression is really horrific. He is saying

“She didn’t even leave me anything, not a single word written on a paper! She didn’t even care to say good bye and explain her decision to me! I mean nothing to her.”

I am putting my hand on his shoulder. Suddenly, he screams at Lily.

“I thought that you are Kevin’s girlfriend. Why did you let your boyfriend close with another girl? Why did you let such things happen? Why did you let Kevin taking care of Ruby?”

I am looking at both of them. Lily is crying as well and she finally says

“I didn’t know. I thought that Kev only came to Indonesia to help Chris. I thought it was something to do with work. I didn’t know until I called Ruby three days ago. I also just found out that Ruby’s husband has been passed away for a year and Kev was the one who took care of her all along.”

I know that Rudy shouldn’t blame Lily for this. She is also a victim. I am putting my arms around Lily to calm her emotion down. I know that she was ill with a blood cancer. We shouldn’t cause anything to affect her health. Lily continues to explain

“But I know that Kev has loved her all these years although he didn’t admit. He broke up with me two days ago and told me that he has fallen with somebody else. He told me that he loves her to the point that he doesn’t want to live his life without her. He left me alone in Ruby’s room. Amy picked me up. I am also hurt. Kev dumped me in less than one hour after my plane landed.”

Rudy is able to calm his emotion after hearing Lily’s explanation. He finally consoles Lily and says

“Sometimes in life, we cannot control our feelings. I am sure that Kev didn’t mean to hurt you like that. It’s just Ruby was way more important to him because it’s a matter of life and death. We cannot blame him for abandoning you. We just have to blame the cruel fate and wrong timing. Now, even both of them are missing. We don’t even know whether they both survive the tragedy.”

Rudy and I tell everything we know about the car accident. We tell Amy and Lily that last news we heard was Ruby tried to drown herself to the lake. Amy finally gives us her first response.

“Ruby was trying to kill herself because she wanted to free all of you from her. She wanted you guys to live your life with no burden. We all know that she has been living in hell since Anthony passed away on their wedding day. She tried to survive because you guys always visit her whenever you can. I would probably do the same thing if I were in her shoes knowing that I cannot repay your kindness. If I cannot give the love you always wanted, I’d rather leave the world and let you living in peace.”

Out of a sudden, Rudy hits Amy’s table and says

“She can choose to end her life but it doesn’t mean that she could ask me to live my life without her. She’s not a burden; she is my most valuable treasure. She just couldn’t! I read her letter. Kev told her that if she jumps, he will jump as well. She didn’t even know that for me, if she jumps, I wouldn’t even have the strength to jump with her because I am already death! She is the air that I breathe!!!”

Amy replies Rudy by saying

“You know that she can’t have all three of you. She has to choose either one or even none of you. What would you feel if she is choosing Kevin or Christian instead of you?”

Rudy looks at her and says

“I don’t know. I wouldn’t be able to accept it. It’s different when I saw her with Anthony. I know that Anthony really deserved to have her. He knows her since forever. He has taken care of her for his whole life. He was the best guy to be around her. I know that I am nothing compare to him. But, with Kevin or Christian, I don’t think that they love her as much as I do. They certainly don’t need her as much as I do and they don’t know her longer as well. I would never give her up to any of them.”

I am looking at Rudy and says

“You have no idea how much she means to me. If you know, you wouldn’t say such a thing! She is the first girl that I truly love. I’ve got a strong feeling that she would be the last as well.”

We are all quiet for a while. Finally, Lily says

“It’s not a matter of who loves her the most but who will she love and choose at the end. I am sure by reading her letter; you guys would know that Kev means more to her compare than the two of you. I am willing to give up on Kev because I know that he doesn’t love me now. Why you two couldn’t accept the fact that she doesn’t love you?”

Rudy finally says what’s exactly on my mind

“Because I used to have her and she used to love me very much. It’s only because of my stupid mistake caused me to lose her. I won’t let it happen again. I don’t want to lose her again, not until I put up my last fight.”

Deep down in my heart, there is a voice who says “What if she was never ours to have?”

Two years later

Part 2: Living in hell (Rudy)

rudy A

I have been living like a robot for the past two years. I always do the same routine over and over again. I always come the earliest to the office and go home at the latest. I have been given a promotion as IT Head six months ago. I am no longer representing IBM now. Today, I am already a permanent staff at Wong Corporation. I have rejected a lot of job offers from other great multinational companies. Some of them have even offered me a job in Singapore or other developed countries. I would have accepted them in the past but now, I have a different goal. I am still waiting for Ruby to come back.

Ruby’s mother, Aunt Julie still contacts me very frequently to swap any news about her. We both believe that Ruby is still alive somewhere. My relationship with Christian hasn’t changed to become closer for the past two years. I always maintain my distance to anyone else besides Ruby; especially Christian is my love rival.

On the other hand, I really must admit. Maybe, if we don’t love the same girl, we probably can start to grow our friendship. Christian is a fun guy. He can always lighten up the atmosphere. We are yin and yang. I am like the cold moon where as Chris is more like a warm sun. Everyone will prefer to be around him instead of me. He has lots of friends around the world where I have none.

My office phone is ringing. It turns out that Cindy asks me to go PD Wong office room. I am shutting down my laptop because I know that the meeting could last for hours. PD Wong has been ill since few months ago. Cindy said that she has a lung cancer which already at the final stage. Since she was ill, Chris and her sister May have been taking care of the company quiet well. May is way more capable than Chris. She is very sharp. However, I have to say that her work ethic sometimes is too straight forward for the Indonesian culture. Most of the senior staffs here don’t get along with her very much. Their youngest sister June, is similar with me in so many ways. She is an observer. She doesn’t talk much but I know that she is gathering all data around her to make her own analysis. She often comes to my room and asks me about Ruby. I can see that she cares a great deal about her.

There is no one single morning I can erase my longing for Ruby. I miss her more and more every day. I don’t know where she is at the moment but I am pretty sure that she is still alive. I left her for two years when I took a job in Germany. Maybe, she is also punishing me with the same period. I really hope that after two years, I finally able to have her again in my life.

I am knocking the PD’s room. It turns out that it’s Cindy who opens the door for me. Christian, May and June are already sitting on the long couch. I am also sitting next to Christian and then wait for Cindy or PD Wong to make their announcement.

“PD Wong just passed away thirty minutes ago in Singapore.” says Cindy.

May and June are crying out loud. Chris and Cindy are trying to console both of them. I just wait another announcement Cindy’s trying to make. I really know how they feel. I lost my mother a year ago due to sickness as well. But, I really don’t know how to cheer them up as I am not their closest relative.

After a half an hour, finally Cindy asks us to remain calm. She says

“PD Wong has 52% shares in the company. 10% is under Mr. Wong and the other 38% are in other minor stock holders. She has written a death will which already legalize by the lawyers as well. She is giving the four of you each 13% of the share. The house in Jakarta is for May, the pent house in Sydney is for Christian. June gets the villa in Paris while Rudy is given a sum of money of USD 2.000.000. All other bank accounts under her name are also divided between the four of you.”

I am feeling shock at the moment. Did she say the four of us? She must be joking!

Chris finally says what’s on my mind.

“The four of us? Cindy? What are you talking about?”

Cindy answers everybody’s question clearly.

“There is something that she hasn’t had a change to tell you all. Rudy is her birth son from her first husband. This is the DNA result which we already asked the hospital when all employees need to participate in our yearly MCU. She’s been hiding this all her life. She hopes that the four of you can get along very well and continue to run the company. As you know, your father never cares about the company and your mom. I already called him before I set this meeting with all of you. He already got a copied of her death will. He said that he will even put this matter to court. He insists that Chris and Rudy should not get any shares of the company since both of you are not his biological sons.”

I am looking at Christian. He looks just as shock as I am. He says

“I am not my father’s son? Is this for real?”

Cindy nods her head. May and June are just sitting there quietly. Both of them only wait for Cindy to explain everything.

“Chris and Rudy have the same biological father which is Mr. Liem. Your mother and he divorced a month before she was getting married with Mr. Wong. June and May have Mr. Simon Wong as their biological father. All four of you have the same biological mother.”

I begin to make a question to Cindy. I don’t want to get involved in the seizure of property.

“This company is under Mr. Wong’s family right? I am not his son so I am not even the legal to inherit their family business. I also don’t want to get involved in any of this. My surname is Liem, not Wong. I would never change mine to Wong. ”

Cindy replies

“No. This company is under Mrs. Betty Wong’s family. Betty Wong’s father is the rightful owner of this company since they helped the company during the financial crisis. He then inherited the business to Mrs. Betty Wong. That’s why Mrs. Wong has the bigger share compare to Mr. Wong. Now, the situation is a bit complicated. Apparently that Mrs. Wong has signed an agreement with Mr. Wong to only inherit her shares to her daughters when Chris was made GM three years ago. Even though her will is stronger than the agreement, we need to take any legal precaution.”

June suddenly begins to ask her first question since the meeting.

“Why is the death will is stronger than the agreement?”

“It’s because the death will was legalized by the lawyer where the agreement did not.”

Chris finally shouts “I don’t care about the company share. June and May can have all them if they want to. I already have enough savings of my own which could last for three generations.”

I agree with Chris. I am also replying everyone.

“I also don’t care about this company share. I can sign a letter immediately to forfeit and reject her will. June, May or Chris can have my shares and the money. It’s never mine to have. I only have one mother and her name is Lisa. She already passed away last year and she loves me so much.”

“There is one more thing. PD Wong has appointed Christian to take her position as President Director. May will be the deputy and Rudy will be appointed as the new General Manager effective immediately. The BOD will set up an emergency meeting later today at 02.00 PM.” says Cindy

All of them are looking at me. Cindy doesn’t say anything although she seems that she wants to talk to me in person. Out of a sudden, May stands up and says

“We will do as mom said. We will obey her will. Cindy, I want to make a consultation with all the top lawyers in the country. Please also invite our company’s lawyer to my office now. I will also make a consultation with my professors in USA. Berkeley has many great law professors.”

We dismiss our meeting and Cindy asks me to stay back. She is crying and says “She left this for you.”

It is a very heavy box. I carry and bring it to my office. I open them. They are many photo albums of me when I was a baby. PD Wong used to carry me and they are lots of picture with her and my father. He also collects the picture of my birthdays every year. They are pictures of me when I was in elementary school, junior high school, senior high school even at the university. I didn’t remember that I took this picture before. Most of the pictures were taken from a distant.

There is one album consists of the copy of my all school certificates and all achievements. She even collects everything about my career development from the newspaper and also from all my previous companies. They are toys which I used to play. I remember this red miniature car. I used to carry this all the time. Finally, there is an envelope. It turns out it’s the letter she wrote from me.

Dear my son,

Forgive me for leaving you without telling you the truth that I am your birth mother. It’s really hard for me to not be able calling you my son for whole my life. When your mother was badly ill, she asked me not to tell you to the truth. She’s afraid that you couldn’t bear to accept the fact.

I only loved one man in my life and that’s your father. We were forced to get a divorce because my parents want me to marry Wong. I was pregnant with Christian at the time. Forgive me for not having courage like you to choose the one I love and cancel the wedding like you did with Anna. Forgive me that I had to leave you with your father and couldn’t raise you by myself.

I know that you won’t love me as your mother but I can only hope that you can start to love Chris, May and June as your brother and sisters. They are really good kids. Christian and May are happy kids while June and you are more like me. We always hide ourselves and pretend to act cold and ruthless amongst others while our hearts are actually burning.

My son, I really hope that you can start warming your heart and willing to live harmoniously with your siblings. I know that they will accept and welcome you to the family.

No matter what happens, please don’t give up your company shares to anyone. It belongs to you and it’s my last hope that you can help Christian and May to manage the company. Please use the shares to vote Christian as the President Director.

My son, they are more complicated intrigues than you know about this company. I know that all other share holders will give Christian a hard time and force him to step out from the PD position as my successor. I have appointed Christian to sit in my position with your help as Deputy. Please help him to run this company with integrity and passion. Thousands of employees depends their lives from our company to make a living. All of us need your help, especially Christian. He needs someone he could trust to support him as he is still raw in running the business.

My son, I am really sad that we haven’t been able to find Ruby and Kevin. I thought that Kevin could stay by Christian’s side as his right hand. I know that all three of you love the same person. Whoever Ruby will choose at the end, I hope that it won’t affect your relationship with your brother. I can only give you my blessing to both of you and choosing your own mate.

My son, don’t live the same life I did. Don’t marry someone you never love. I have been living with regrets for everyday since I left both of you and your father. Good bye and I sincerely hope that you can forgive all my mistakes in the past. Please believe that I really love you for all my life.



I couldn’t help to shade my tears reading the letter from my biological mother. I don’t know why but I could feel that she truly loves me. She even collects everything from my childhood. I decide to fulfill her wish by making Christian the rightful heir to inherit the President Director position. I am calling Chris, May and June to come to my office immediately.

The four of us unite to vote Christian as the upcoming PD. We have more than 50% of the share. Thus, they will have to listen to us at the end. I am showing PD Wong’s letter to all of them.

Chris cries when he reads the letter. He says

“Now, I know why dad never loves me. I am not his son. I thought because I always did things as I wished. It turns out it’s so much bigger than that.”

May starts to call the company lawyer, Jason to come to our office as well. He says that there shouldn’t be a problem even though Mr. Wong is showing the previous agreement. What we have is a lot stronger. We have the DNA result and also the legalized letter from international lawyers.

At 02.00 PM, we come in to stake holder’s meeting. It finally ends at 05.00 PM. The meeting was brutal. Mr. Wong debated us through a video conference for more than one hour. Luckily, May and June are on our side and both of them refused should their father is forcing them to accept all the shares. The meeting ends with giving Christian as the President Director. I was appointed as the Vice President and May has been given a title of the General Manager.

All four of us have another meeting together after everything ends. This time, Cindy joins us. I say

“I already help you everything I could have done. I will help you to run the company. I will try my best to keep you a successful President Director. But, you have to promise me something.”

Chris looks at me and says “What do you want?”

I am looking right at him and says

“I want Ruby. I want you to give her up should we are able to find her”

Christian 2 peter ho

Chris is losing his emotion and trying to punch and hit me. May and June are grabbing him while Cindy tries to grip my hand. Chris screams at me

“Don’t even talk if Ruby is still alive! Even if she’s already dead, I won’t let you to have her. I’d rather lose everything than giving up on her. Do you understand?”

May and June are dragging him to go outside. I know that it’s pointless for him to give up his feelings for her. But I really want to give my final shot. Cindy finally says

“Why do you have to say that? He is your brother. He just lost his mom and so are you. You shouldn’t quarrel with him at this time. We don’t even know that Ruby’s still alive.”

I am turning my head to talk to Cindy and say

“I won’t miss any chance when it comes to Ruby. She is everything to me and I know that she is still alive.”

Cindy says “I need you to go to Surabaya next week and to conduct the open ceremony at our new office. I can’t ask Chris or May to go to Surabaya. They are still mourned. Can you please do that?”

I am nodding my head. I know that everything will change starting from today. However, I just hope that I will find my Ruby back very soon.

Part 3: Our new life (Kevin)

SD 2

Ruby and I have been living in Surabaya for the past two years. I have been hiding her from everyone who knows her. I don’t want her to recall any of her past life and start living in pain. I was really scared when she tried to kill herself. Fortunately, she lost her memory because the accident.

It took months for her to recover from her injury. I rented a small house belong to the local people near the hill. Ruby was cured by a local witchdoctor in the village. I didn’t bring her to any hospitals because I never want Chris and Rudy to find her.

Three months later, I brought her to leave the city and moved far away from Jakarta or her hometown. She can’t meet anyone who can recognize her. I took her to move to Surabaya by not taking any air or train transportation. Any online transportation system is too easy to track. I hired a car and went to Surabaya. I know that Chris or Rudy will investigate any online records under my name or under Ruby’s name. I even lied to Ruby about her name. I told her that she had a different name. Her new name is Livia. It means darling in Dutch.

I took a job in a food and distribution company as a Business Development Manager. Livia is also working as a Recruitment Manager in an insurance company. We have been living our life out of our limited monthly salary. She never recalls about her past memory except that she told me about having the same dream over and over again. It’s the dream when she had the accident. She dreamt that she pushed me away to save me. She told me that the dream has given her more and more insights during the event. Last night, she can even recall that we were drowned together on the lake.

SD 10 SD 20

When she was awaked, I told her a lie that we were lovers and both of us are orphans. We have been dated since she was 17 years old since we met in Sydney together during our studies. We only come back to Jakarta just to spend our holiday. She thought that we had an accident during our vacation in Jakarta. I know that it’s all a big fat lie. But, this is the only thing to keep her alive at that moment. She couldn’t live in fear or out of guilt anymore.

The past two years have been the happiest days of my life. Although we lived in a two small bed room house with no any luxurious facility, I have Ruby beside me. We are planning to get married in few months on her birthday this year. She already said yes when I proposed to her four months ago.

I have been postponed to ask her hand in marriage for only one reason. I am really afraid that she will remember about her past life and finally realize that she never loved me in the first place. We are living under the same roof now but I have been able to maintain my distance with her until today. We are sleeping in a separate room.

Now, I am on my way to get home. Every day, I always want to reach home as soon as I am finish with work knowing that she’s been waiting for me. I open the door using my key and say

“Liv, I am home.”

I can smell her cooks since I open the door. She is shouting in the kitchen and says

“Please take a shower first. Dinner will be served in 30 minutes.”    

I go to the kitchen and see that she is frying my favorite Kung Pao chicken. I hug her from the back and start kissing her neck. I have missed her for the whole day.

SD 18

“What are you doing? I smell bad. Just go and chill for a while.”

“You never smell bad. For me, you always smell as good as any perfumes. I’ve missed you today.”

She turns off the stove and moves around to face me. She says “I’ve missed you too”

She is giving me a quick kiss and starts to act spoilt by gliding her hands on my shoulder. Later on, she kisses me more passionately and says

“You won’t eat any dinner if you keep bothering me like this.”

I am looking at her cute face and says

“Can I eat you instead of the chicken?”

We are looking at each other deeply. She finally pushes me away to go from the kitchen. One of our closest neighbors, always tell me to marry her soon. She says that we are a very romantic couple. I am taking a shower and then dry my hair using a tower. She has put all the food on the table.

“How’s your day at work liv?”

“It’s good. But, we are busier than usual. Our company is handling a new big client at the moment. My superior asked me to recruit more people. I even need to attend the new client’s opening ceremony tomorrow. You know that I always hate to be in the crowd.”

We always chat when we are eating dinner or breakfast. She always tells me everything and so do I. Suddenly, I ask her what has been on my mind for the past two years.

“Liv, if I was not even your boy friend two years ago, will you still love me like today?”

She is eating her chicken and says

“Of course. I would fall in love with you everywhere. You are just too charming!”

I stand up from my chair and hug her neck from the back.

“I am really afraid that someday, you realize that you never love me.”

She is putting down her fork and spoon and asks

“Why do you ask this question all of the sudden? I wouldn’t stop loving you. I only know you in my life. You are my only family.”

There are few tears falling down to my cheek. I know that truthfully, I am not her only family. She still has her parents, her brother. She also has Rudy and Christian. I hug her tighter and say

“For me, you are my only family. I can bear to lose everything but not you.”

I am helping her washing the dishes. Sometimes, I am really sad to look at her hands. She is a piano player and she doesn’t even know that now. Her parents and past boyfriend wouldn’t even let her to touch the dishes. She even washes my clothes with her own hands. Her hands are become rougher and rougher each day. I am washing her hand using the soap and dry them with my towel.

“I am sorry. You have lived your life miserably with me. We both have full time job now. Maybe, we should get a maid to help you around the house.”

She is smiling at me and says

“No. It’s ok! I like taking care of you and our house. You don’t need to get me a help. Don’t say that I live a miserable life. I am living my life happily with you. Your love makes me the happiest girl in the world. Even my coworkers are very jealous with me because I have such a loving boyfriend.”

SD 8

We always clean our house together at night. I am in charge to clean the bathroom and mopping around the house. She is cleaning all the tables and washing our clothes. One thing that cannot change Ruby until now is she never can iron the clothes. I am always laughing when she tries to iron her shirt. She will make it even more crumpled.

We wake up the next morning and head off to work right away. I am helping her to pick up the cloth for the formal opening ceremony. She has that it’s a really important client. I drive her to work every day using the company car. It’s a 2009 Toyota Kijang which I would never drive when I used to work in Sydney. I often check my email address and new messages always come in everyday. It’s either from Rudy, Chris, May, June or even from Lily. I have never replied any of them. I can only hope that they will give up someday and think that Ruby and I are no longer in this world.

Part 4: Seeing a ghost (Rudy)

“My name is Rudy Wong. Currently, I am on a business trip in Surabaya. It’s very nice to meet you.”

I just met the President Director of Astra International. He is staying at the same hotel with me at Bumi Hotel, Surabaya. I just gave him my name card which reads Rudy Wong instead of Rudy Liem. Cindy has taken any necessary precautions to avoid any legal court sue because I am now the Vice President of Wong Corporation. I have also changed my surname legally. I am only willing to do this in order to save the company since it’s my birth mom’s death wish. This is also the only thing I can do for my half brother. I hope that everything in the company will go smoothly from now.

Today, I have to do the cutting ribbon ceremony on behalf of Wong Corporation. I have been avoiding communicating with Christian about Ruby at the office. We talked to each other rarely and it’s always about anything related to work. Both of us have maintained our distant since the fight inside my office before. He is now in charge in handling sales and marketing purchasing and other general activities while I am handling more on the production and technology aspects in our company. May is working under him and June has been working well with me. The limousine driver takes me to the new office. They are already some people lining up to shake my hand.

I am taking the stage to make my speech to all honored guest. We have even invited the Governor and the Mayor in our opening ceremony. I am not used to speak in front of the crowd but I know that I have to get use to it by now.

I am in the middle of my speech and out of the sudden; there is one girl in the third row that attracts me. She really looks like Ruby. She is touching her hair and putting them at the back of her right ear.

Wait the minute! It’s her. It’s my Ruby. I am very sure that it’s her. I stop to talk immediately, going down to the stage and walking towards her. I am looking at her closer. I can see that she her face very clearly now. I hug her tightly and say

“Ruby, where have you been? I have been looking everywhere for you.”

SD 6

She is letting go of my hands and says

“Sir, I think you got a wrong person. I am not Ruby. I am Livia.”

I couldn’t understand. She is Ruby. She is the Ruby I have dreamt every day.

“What are you talking about? You are Ruby not Livia. Please don’t make jokes like this.”

Suddenly, there is a man besides her standing and says

“Mr. Wong, she is really Livia. She has been working in my company for more than a year. We are both representing Excel Insurance.”

I am looking at both of them. There is no way that two persons could look exactly the same unless they are twins. I remember correctly that Ruby never has a twin sister.

There is someone who is pulling my right hand and says

“Sir, you need to finish your speech first. We have to cut the ribbon before 10.00 AM. The Governor needs to leave after 10.00 AM.”

I am back to the stage and make an apology to the audience of cutting my speech earlier. I cannot take my eyes from Ruby or the girl who looks awfully lot like her. As soon as I am done with all the run downs, I am approaching her again. Her boss is also beside her. I talk to him

“Can you please leave us for a minute? I need to ask her with something.”

He is not moving and looking at both of us weirdly. I finally say

“I will make a good deal with your company. You can set all the terms and agreements. We will try our best to follow. Now, please give me some privacy with Miss. Livia.”

Ruby or Livia is looking at me. She looks scared.

“Don’t be scared. I just want to ask you about a couple of things.”

She is nodding her head. I bring her to go inside the office building. I hope that no one is around to interrupt us. I start asking her some questions

“Are you originally come from Surabaya or did you come from out of town?”

She doesn’t say yes or no. She is looking at me. I know that she must think that I am out of my mind. I continue to explain to her.

“I am sorry but you look really similar from someone I knew very well in the past. Her name is Ruby and she is very important to me. Please answer my question.”

She is staring at me. She only says

“You are mistaken. I am not Ruby. I am Livia.”

Finally, I ask her another question.

“Do you know someone named Kevin then?”

She is finally willing to answer my question with a high enthusiasm.

“Yes. My fiancé’s name is Kevin. We are getting married in a few months.”

I am feeling shock at the moment. Even if she is not Ruby, how can her fiancé’s name is also Kevin. Coincidence doesn’t happen like this. I am calling Cindy right away and ask him to send me a picture of Kevin immediately.

I am showing his picture to her on my blackberry phone.

“Is this him? Is this your fiancé?”

SD 13

She is nodding happily and asks

“Are you a friend of my fiancé? He never mentions any of his friends before.”

Suddenly, I am gripping her hand hard and says

“Cing, this isn’t funny! Are you out of your mind? Kevin is not supposed to be your fiancé. You never love him. Why didn’t you pretend to not recognize me? I am Rudy.”

She is struggling to let go of my hands and says

“Sir, what are you doing? I don’t recognize you. What are you talking about? I love Kevin very much. I only love him in this world. He is the only family I have. How can you say that I don’t love him?”

“Cing, what are you talking about? He’s not the only family you have. You still have your parents, your brother. You still have me. You still have your friends back in Jakarta. We all have missed you very much. We’ve been looking for you for the past two years.”

She screams “My name is not Cing and certainly not Ruby. I am Livia. I don’t have friends in Jakarta. I have been staying in Surabaya for the last two years. I never go to Jakarta. I never even live there. Please let go of my hands. You are hurting my right hand”

I am letting go of her hands and she is running away from me. I am trying to catch her but she is running very fast. I start to scream at her

“Cing, stop! You can’t run. You have asthma. Please stop. Don’t run to cross the road like this. It’s really dangerous!”

Suddenly, there is a motorcycle hits me on the road. My leg is injured. I cannot stand up. Many people are coming towards me to help me. Ruby is staring at me for a long time. She is pressing her head. She looks dizzy and keeps blinking her eyes. Finally, after a while she is running towards me. She says

“Rud, are you ok? Is your feet ok?”

SD 30

I am looking at her. She seems to be able to recognize me just now. I am gripping her hand smiling happily and say

“Cing, you did remember me. You know that I am Rudy. I used to hit by a motorcycle when we used to date. It’s almost the same scenario as right now. We were fighting back then. How can you forget about me?”

She is putting both of her hands on her head and says

“I don’t know. My head hurts. It really hurts.”

Out of the sudden, she is passing out in front of me.

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