Part 1: At Ruby’s home
I put my arms around Ruby and walk her into her room. I help her to lie down, pulling her purple quilt cover which feels very soft. She always knows how to buy nice things. She falls asleep right away. She looks exhausted. Ruby is the kind of girl who was born at the wrong time and at the wrong place. She was supposed to born during the Word War II or any wars which need a hero who is willing to die for her country. She always sacrifices herself for someone else, always thinks that anybody else is more important than her. What she does not know is the world is actually so much better with her presence. She is very kind, sincere and helpful to others around her.
I knew Ruby since she was around 3 years old. She lives next door and I was her brother’s classmate. Almost every day, I accompanied her brother, Eason to study. He has a difficulty to understand and learn things like normal kids. Therefore, his mother needed to teach him with special attention. Ruby on the other hand is very different in terms of brain capacity and personal character compares with her brother. She learns things quickly, and can memorize anything fast. She was famous as a “Human Photocopy Machine” during her studies. She likes to play piano and does not like any outdoors activity while her brother is completely the opposite.
As times went by very quickly, I truly wish that we can all go back to our childhood. Ruby was a happy kid and now her burden seems to cover the real her as a happy kid. Her mother’s business was bankrupt when she was 17 and her boyfriend, Roy broke up with her during her darkest moment. Her big family treated her very mean and she was forced to not continuing her study. Starts from that moment, she took everything very seriously. She took two part time jobs while continuing her bachelor degree without one day to rest. She closed her heart and only made 2 – 3 friends during her college life as she was busy making money to support her life. Her heart started to heal when she met her high school sweet heart Rudy. She began to trust love again. After a very serious 3 years relationship, the guy made her heart even more broken. There were moments when she couldn’t swallow any food or even lost slept for months. She looked depress and her confidence level dropped significantly. I came by to her house for every single day, tried to get her to eat, read her stories to make her smile or even asked her to talk to me but failed. She only started to respond after few months. It took a great deal of effort for me and her father to bring back her confidence level. After a long painful year, she finally agreed to take a job offer and try to forget about Rudy. She was drowning herself there. She became a crazy workaholic.
Now, everything is ruin. Why did Rudy have to disturb her peaceful life again? Hasn’t he done enough to hurt her? I don’t know how she will deal with things tomorrow. Meeting with Rudy’s mom and girlfriend, whoever their names are would eventually hurt her again. What should I do? Should I call Rudy now? Or Should I just talk to the girl? No, I cannot betray her trust. If she finds out that I do things behind her back, she will not trust me again. No, it is too risky. If at the end she has no one to lean on, she will crush.
Ruby is starting to talk in her sleep again.
“Don’t leave me.”
She repeats it over and over again. I look at her and think whether I should wake her up. However, her face just does not look right. She looks pale and ill. I touch her forehead to measure her temperature. Yes, she has a high fever. I open the bottom drawer beside her bed and take out the box filled with all kind of medicines. I take the thermometer and put it on her mouth while searching for the medicine to reduce the fever.
After a short while, it beeps and I look at the number. It’s 39.8. I try to wake her up and ask her to drink the medicine while shouting her maid’s name to help me prepare some cold water to compress her forehead. No matter how hard I shake her body, she does not respond or wake up. What should I do? I need to force her to eat the medicine.
I take the pill and run towards the kitchen, trying to look for something hard to mash the medicine. I find a glass and an aluminum foil which usually wraps up her sandwich. I cover the pill with the aluminum foil and mash the pill. My plan is to mix the pill with water and hopefully she can drink the medicine easier.
I am grabbing her body; put my left hand as a leaner for her head while my right hand is trying to feed her the medicine. However, I cannot make her to drink them and the water even spill her shirt. I really don’t know what to do and start to panic while thinking whether I should call an ambulance or even calling her parents. However, calling them will not bring any help in a moment as they live outside the city. I open the case to take another pill again and think of another method for her to eat. I have to make her eat the medicine and eventually make her body’s temperature to go down.
The maid enters the room and said “Pak, the water is here.”
“Please compress her forehead and her neck and change her wet t-shirt.”
After I give her the instruction, I walk again towards the kitchen to mash the medicine again. I come back from the kitchen again, bring the mashed pill with water and ask the maid to leave the room. I have thought of an idea which can make her eat the medicine. I am just thinking whether it is appropriate for me to do this. After doubting for a while, I just don’t have any other choice. Her health is my number one priority at the moment. I put the medicine into my mouth and use my hand to open up her mouth. We are now mouth to mouth as I try to transfer the medicine for her to swallow. I push my breath even harder to her mouth like doing a CPR. She finally responds and swallows the medicine. Her body seems to start shaking and experiencing the cold. I open her closet trying to search for a sweater and socks for her. After putting them on, I lie down besides her, covering both of us with the blanket while hugging her body to make her feel warm. She stops shaking and her body slowly starts to respond well to the medicine. Her face looks slightly better. She is now sleeping well. As she is now in my arms, I start to hug her even tighter and confess to her my biggest secret in life:
“Why you never realize that I have loved you along the way? Why you never look at me as a real man who is willing to give everything for you to love me back? Why your tears always drop for someone else? Why I have no courage to let you know that what I really want is for you to be mine.”
I wake up in the morning and remember Ruby immediately. I turn away and find out that Ruby is not here.
I start to call her name repeatedly. I go outside to find her maid. Instead of finding the maid, I find her talking on the phone with someone. She doesn’t know that I already awake.
“When can I meet you?” said her on the phone?
“Ok. I will go there and met you at the coffee shop on the second floor at 11:00.”
She turns away, looks at me, smiles palely and says “I have made your favorite breakfast.”
“Who was it on the phone?” I ask her right away as I am afraid that she is still working today.
“It’s Anna. She is staying at the Le Meridien Hotel. We will meet her at the coffee shop today.”
I don’t know how to respond as I am so angry that she does not take her health seriously.
“Have you made an appointment to see a Doctor?” I look at her with no smile on my face.
“I don’t have to. I feel better. It’s just a small fever. I will just eat the regular medicine.”
I am now grabbing her hands hard and yell
“It was not a small fever last night. I couldn’t even get you to awake and eat the medicine. Do you have any idea how worried I was?”
She puts my hands away put her hand into my palm. We are now hand in hand.
“I am ok now. Look at me. I saw the medicine encasement beside the bed. I know that I ate two medicines last night by looking at the trail.
“No, you only ate one.” I begin to feel that my temper is going down. She is still a very thorough girl. Any small details could not miss her sight.
“I did not remember eating it though. How and when did you get me to eat it?”
I look shy, wonder whether I should let her know the truth but finally answer her question vividly
“You were sick. It’s normal that you didn’t remember.”
“She smiles and turns away without feeling any suspicious. I am going to take a shower first.”
I am then sitting down at the dining table and eating the breakfast she made. She cooks the best pasta I’d ever taste. I am wondering what she will say to Anna later on.
Part 2: At Le Meridien Hotel, meeting Anna.
“I still don’t get why you are doing this and why do you need to bring me along with you” I said to Ruby while driving the car the hotel.
“You will understand later.”
I see that she is biting her nails. She always bites her nails when she gets nervous.
“Thon, I need you to cooperate with me later on. Just follow my signal and don’t object or disagree to anything I will do or say. As you have promised to help me, you have to do it up to the maximum.”
“Can you tell me your plan?”
I know that asking this question is useless. I want to change her mind should the plan brings any harm to her. However, when Ruby decides to do something, she will do it no matter what. Nothing could change her mind. She is very determined.”
“I think you know the goal if this meeting. I have already explained to you yesterday. I will try to change her mind on the abortion. I am also trying to persuade her to agree marrying Rudy and accepting his family slowly. I don’t know whether she knows Rudy’s family situation as He never discloses it with anybody before.”
I then look at her and salute her courage while is still worrying what she will do to herself to make this succeed.
“I am just afraid whether your method will hurt your feelings even more.”
“Don’t worry. I have nothing else to lose”
I glance at her and find the tears start to fall down on her chick. I sob her tears using my left hand. I find that she still has the fever after all.
“We need to go to the doctor first. We still have time. There’s an SOS clinic near the hotel.”
“No. we don’t have the time. We need to pick up something first at Felice Store in Plaza Indonesia.”
“Can we get it later?”
“No, we have to get it before we met Anna.”
I remember that you tried to polish your ring one week before. “Are we going there to get that ring?”
“Yes” She answers it with a bitter expression on her face. I know that she loves the ring so much. She doesn’t even want to take it off when her father bought her a new ring on her birthday.
After picking up the ring, we finally arrive at the hotel and go straight to the coffee shop on the 2nd floor. The hotel looks bigger than I remember. Ruby’s friend was having a wedding 2 years ago in here. Ruby is coming by to the shop cashier and asking for Anna’s name.
“Hallo Bu Ruby, this way” The waiter asks us to follow her. It seems that Ruby has been visited the place often. They already knew her.
Ruby suddenly is grabbing my hand. We are now hand in hand like a couple. I finally understand why she needs to bring me with her.
“Hi! I am Ruby. It’s nice to meet you Anna. I have heard so much about you.”
“Hi!” Anna is talking back to Ruby and looking at her thoroughly as if she is analyzing her top down.
“I have only seen your picture and finally I can see you in person. Nice to meet you too” said Anna.
“Allow me to introduce you to my fiancé, Anthony. I am sorry that we could not see each other alone at the first time. As we have been living together for the past year and share a car together, it is hard to part while we are also planning to meet our wedding organizer at two today.”
Anna and I are both shock by the news. However, as I have promised Ruby to cooperate with her no matter what, I just smile and offer my hand for a formal shake with Anna.
Ruby starts to call the waiter and says “Pak Anthony will have a double espresso and I will have a vanilla late with caramel as usual.”
Anna then starts questioning Ruby’s intention to meet with her suddenly.
“Rudy and I just met yesterday. He told me that the two of you are getting married. We would like to give our biggest congratulations to the both of you. Anthony and I have known Rudy for so many years and we couldn’t get any happier that he has found his soul mate after all this time.”
Anna is looking even more confuse but also not responding anything to Ruby.
“Please don’t get me wrong Anna. I know that you have misunderstood a lot about the relationship between Rudy and I. We were together before but we have broken up along time ago and have not been in touched until yesterday.”
“I don’t understand. I thought that both of you are still in love with each other even though he left you to take the job.”
“You misunderstood. The reason we broke up was not because He went to Germany. We have broken up 1 month before as I have realized that he was not the one for me. Anthony was the one. He has always been there beside me for the past 20 years. I thought what Anthony and I had been just a love between brother and sister. However, it turns out that we were both wrong. We have loved each other for a long time and never realize that we are perfect for each other until one night when he got a car accident.”
I start to get where her point is. It’s true that I had a car accident at that time. However, it was both of them who were the one who took care of me. Anna does not seem to buy Ruby’s explanation and keeps to push her to tell the truth.
“That’s not how it appeared. I saw Rudy night after night in Germany. He even began to have a drinking problem. He went by to the pub for almost every day. While he was drunk heavily, he said ‘I am sorry to have left you.’ I am sure that it was meant for you. Should you cheat and left him with Anthony, he wouldn’t say such a thing.”
Ruby’s face does not change due to Anna’s explanation. I thought that her face would turn red as it always has been whenever I caught her not telling the truth.
“As I said, you really misunderstood. Rudy probably said those things for his mother, not me. He left his mother alone. His parents were already divorced a long time ago.”
As I have expected that Ruby has played her card very well. She has known that Rudy is a self contained person. He never speaks to anyone about his family.
“I don’t know about that. I don’t know that his parents were not together anymore.”
“Ok! The reason I am here today is due to Rudy’s request yesterday to explain things with you as you never give him a chance to talk properly. He said that you always feel hesitate about your relationship or even ours. If you don’t trust him fully, how can you expect Rudy to be open and talk about his family’s condition to you? As you know that Rudy is very well preserve. He rarely talks to someone if not really necessary.
“Yes. I realize that he does not talk much. It’s one of the reasons that I feel attracted to him. Many guys chased me before by giving me sweet talks or buy me flowers. But Rudy is different. Rudy acted very cold during my presence even though I am trying to get close to him. I just couldn’t stand it how I cannot get him to feel attracted to me”
I can understand what Anna has been talking all along. She is very pretty comparing to the other girl. She looks like a high end model in a fancy magazine. Her skin is very white. Her face reminds me with Nadine somehow. She also has the right body proportion compare to Ruby.
“Then, why did you plan to get an abortion?” Ruby asks the question directly
Anna is a bit shock and start to silent. I am guessing that she might start to think on whether to even answer the question.
“Why do I really need to tell you? We only meet this one time and we are not even that close.”
I really want to help Ruby but I also don’t know what to say at the moment. In the mean while, Ruby is drinking her coffee and starting to answer her back with a question.
“Do you know why Rudy has asked to meet me yesterday after ignoring me for all these years?”
“No, I don’t know.” Anna is also drinking her water.
“Rudy has asked me to help him by giving any advice for your wedding party. As he has been away in Germany for so many years, he does not have any idea about any wedding details in Indonesia. He knows that Anthony and I are getting married in a few months. He is asking for any inputs and good recommendations. He also asked for me to be one of your bridesmaid should you are willing to accept and Anthony to become his best man. However, when he told me that you are going to abort the baby, I decline his offer right away.”
Anna is still silent and doesn’t react to this.
“Rudy loves you. He always loves you. He loves you even having to put his dignity to see me. It was never ok for him to see me again. As long as he can make you a beautiful wedding party, he got back in touch with his cheating ex girlfriend. I wouldn’t have the same courage should the situation is in reverse.”
Anna’s tears begin to fall down and I am starting to feel discomfort as a pregnant lady is crying in front of me.
“I don’t know that he loves me. Every time I asked him whether he has any feelings for me, he never answers. I thought that He’s just being responsible. He was so drunk that night. He didn’t even know that it was me. He missed you so much and thought that you were there instead of me.”
“I don’t need to know on the details!” Ruby said it with a very bitter expression. She is drinking her coffee again and even spills some of the coffee to the table.
“Are you ok? Is it still hot?” I ask her while handing her some tissues as well.
“I am fine. Anna, Rudy is different with any of the usual guys. He doesn’t like to show his intentions by words. However, you can see him by putting an action into it. Having a wedding is a big commitment to anyone. Do you think that he would marry a person he doesn’t love?”
Anna then argues back to Ruby with a high tone and says “It’s because I am pregnant with his child!”
“No, I don’t think so. If then, why he would ask me to prevent you to do an abortion? If he does not wish to marry you, we would gladly accept the abortion. Think about it, it just does not make any sense, right?”
I am now very proud of Ruby and understand why she is one of the best recruiter in her office. She can always persuade people to agree with her and can debate any issues with a clear logic.
Anna then touches Ruby’s hand while says “Are you telling me the truth?”
Ruby says with a smile on her face “Just think about this with a clear logic”
“Ok. I will not do the abortion anymore.”
“You never thought about doing the abortion before. You only did it as threat Rudy because you are afraid that he might leave you.” Ruby says it calmly but with a sharp tone.
Anna smiles back to her and say “No wonder that Rudy has loved you for so many years before. You are just as smart as him. No wonder that he could be opened to you because you can predict people’s heart.”
“Don’t give me such a high praise. I am not smart. I just understand him well as we have known each other for a long time and I also understand women. Any women would probably do the same to prevent the man she loves from leaving. That’s really understandable. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
“Then, why are you doing this? Is it for Rudy? Is it because you still love him? I know that if he finds out that you still love him, he won’t give up on you.”
“You are once again wrong and blind with the jealousy. No, I am doing this for myself and for the sake of his mother. I don’t want to be misunderstood anymore. As if I am still in love with him while beside me, there is a better guy that I love with all my heart. His mother has always been kind to me as well. The only thing I can repay her is by putting the two of you together, solving this small misunderstanding. I know that she is longing for Rudy to come back to Indonesia, get married with someone and have babies.”
Anna crawls her eyes and begins to hesitate some more.
“I don’t believe it. I am also a woman. I don’t believe there is someone who is willing to go with this trouble with no hidden agenda. I know that you still love him. I can see the changes your facial expression when I told you the reason I am pregnant is because he was drunk. I also saw the anger and jealousy when you said that you don’t want to know the details. I can sense it”
Ruby is then standing, grabbing my hand and asking me to stand up. She looks at me and says
“Thon, Kiss me…”
I don’t know what comes over me and why I begin to put my right hand on her waist, my left hand on her cheek then starts to kiss her gently on the mouth. I probably also caught up in a moment and truly believe that we really have loved each other along the way. Although deep down in my heart know that this is just an act, my heart feels the happiness I have been longing to have. She starts to kiss me back with passion and put both of her hands on my shoulder. I don’t want this to stop. I kiss her passionately for a while until Anna cuts us off.
“Ok, stop it. I believe you now.”
Ruby is then sitting down; leaving me to froze and reevaluates about what just happened. I just don’t know that should I feel. It doesn’t feel like an act. On the other hand, it seems very real. When I held her just now and kissed her for a while, I truly feel that we were a couple who are in love, as if my other half has just appeared beside me. I need to ask her right away should she feel anything about that kiss.
Probably, this is what I have been waiting for. This is the moment for me to make a confession.
“We need to go now to see the wedding planner.” I put my hands on her shoulder.
“Oh.. Yes.. We need to go now..Thon, just sit down for a while and give me one minute. I want to give Anna an engagement present from both of us.”
“Ok.. Please hurry up honey.” I decide to play along with this act and put my arm around her.
“I know that Rudy hasn’t got you an engagement ring. He wanted to give you for a while but he has not got a chance to buy it. This is for you. This ring has been with me for many years. I always put it on because I really like the design. It has three diamonds on it. It represents: Past, Present and Future. I hope that you can accept and forgive his past, love his present and cherish your future with him until death do us apart. Anthony and I sincerely hope that the two of you will become the happiest couple in the world.”
Ruby is now standing and offering her hand to shake Anna. Out of the ordinary Anna is hugging Ruby and bursts into tears. She is thanking her for making her dream comes true. Ruby is then grabbing my hand, says good bye to Anna and leave the place while talking to the cashier “Put the bill on my regular account.”
Part 3: at Ruby’s office building, meeting Rudy
While we are waiting at the lobby for the valet attendant to get the car, she is getting her BB from her bag and begins to dial.
“I have met Anna. Everything is ok. What time should I meet your mom?”
“I have recorded my conversation with Anna. Anthony will bring it for you to listen. I have to go to the office for a while to do some things first. Anthony will meet you at Chase Plaza book store. It is at the lobby. It has a small café there. Afterwards, we can meet your mother at Grand Hyatt.”
After she hangs up the phone, the car arrives. They are so many questions I want to ask her but I don’t know where to begin and which one to ask first. Before I open my mouth, Ruby says
“Please go to my office first. I need to sign something. Emily has texted me about some offering letter so many times. It seems that it’s urgent.”
As we are now in the car, she finally shows her true emotions and cry. I have wondered how she can put herself together in front of Anna before. She is covering her face with both of her hands and just cries nonstop. I stop the car and really worry that her body temperature will rise again. Apart from that, her heart has not been healed from the meeting Rudy yesterday. I also haven’t seen her to eat anything while we were at the house. I hug her and whisper “Stay strong. Even when it feels like everything is falling apart. You don’t need someone who only sees the good in you. You need someone who sees the bad and still wants you.” After a while, she is grabbing some tissues and says
“I just feel sorry to have to put you into this. Thank you for helping me. I couldn’t have done it alone.”
“What do you mean?” I ask her with a high curiosity. She did not do anything wrong to me. I still think about the kiss. I even can’t stop smiling after her meeting with Anna. I can’t understand what she is apologizing to me for. I thought that she is crying because of Rudy and Anna not because of she did anything wrong to me.
“I am sorry that you have to kiss an ugly woman like me in public. I am sorry that you need to pretend to become my fake boyfriend. It’s just not fair for you. I shouldn’t have asked you to go through that. You must felt extra uncomfortable. Kissing me is probably like kissing your own sister.”
Now that I understand it, my heart feels pain. The little hope I had before, wishing that she feels something in our kiss are wiped away. I begin to feel angry with her. I couldn’t have held it anymore.
“Ruby, why you are so smart in handling everyone else’s business but so stupid when handling your life? You can solve Anna’s feeling for Rudy but why can’t you see my true feelings for you? Are you really not seeing it or just pretend to not see it?”
“I don’t understand” she is now biting her nails again.
“Have I treated you as an ugly woman or said that you are ugly?” I feel so frustrated and start hit the stir in front of me.
“I am sorry. I know that you never think of me as an ugly-fat woman. I am sorry. I just think that our relationship is even closer than our own blood relative like my brother and your sister. For us to have those kiss must have made you feel weird.”
I start to reply her slowly:
“I wasn’t feeling sad before. But I am sad two minutes ago and I am feeling even sadder now. But it is not because it felt weird or because it felt like I am kissing my own sister. It’s not that at all. Ruby, listen to me. I am sad because……”
I bite my tongue and begin to analyze whether I can tell her the truth now. But, I just feel that this is not a good time for me to speak. I don’t want to burden her even more.
“Tell me… Because? Why are you sad then?”
I begin to calm my emotion down and say “It’s because you think that you are ugly.”
She is smiling and then hugs me warmly.
“Thank you. You always know how to make me feel better. Thon, we need to go to the office now. Can you please meet Rudy at bookstore café at the lobby while I am signing some papers at the office? Please bring my BB with you. It has the recording sound of our previous conversation. Rudy will know what to do how to react with Anna. Please do not do any harm to him.”
I ignore her last request as the only thing I wish is to tear Rudy’s body apart and dump them in the rubbish bin.
“Have you eaten anything?” I remember that I didn’t recall seeing her to eat something.
“Yes, I had.”
“Rub, can I ask you something?”
“Why did you give your favorite ring to her?”
“The ring is no longer mine to have. Rudy gave it to me when he proposed to me back then.”
“What? He has proposed to you? Why didn’t you tell me before?”
“I planned to tell you but you were on a business trip before. After you come back, he was telling me that he wanted to go to Germany.”
Now I know why she was caring with the ring. It’s not because she liked the design but because it’s from him. She has loved him along the way and still loves him now.
I am now waiting at the book store café to see Rudy, the one guy I want to punch him in the face.
“Hallo Tony, it has been a long time. How are you?”
Rudy always calls my name with Tony even though I have disapproved about this before. I truly hate that nickname, especially when he calls me as if we are buddies. I also ignore the ‘how are you’ polite greetings he asked me. I think it’s better to end this meeting as quick as possible.
“Ruby has asked me to give this to you and ask you to listen. She says that you will know what to do with Anna.”
“Why didn’t you just send me via email or what’s app? I am not comfortable hearing this in public.”
“I bring my headset with me. You can hear them privately. Her instruction was very clear. I think she did not want to leave a trail. Anna might open your note book or your phone. And if she finds out, this will backfire as a problem to you. She did not want to leave you any trouble.”
He is taking his breath heavily while saying “She has done too much for me.”
I ignore the last sentence which comes from his mouth. I am afraid that I couldn’t handle my emotion very well. If Ruby sees that we are quarreled, she will feel more devastated. I push the play button for the recording while trying to guest his true emotion. He has always covered his emotion well. However, I can see that his eyes are teary after he finishes hearing the recording.
“I’d rather got crucified rather than knowing the girl I love the most gone through this hell. She shouldn’t have said these things to hurt her even more. It never appears in my mind that she will prevent Anna to do an abortion with this extreme way!”
I am really getting angry at say to him
“Do you honestly believe that Anna will believe her if she did not do this extremely? Now, you know that Anna has faked it along the way. She never wanted to do the abortion!”
“I should have known. She is planning all of these for her gain. I salute Ruby now. She can even understand and forgive the woman who has tried to steal me from her.”
“There is no one to blame but you. You are not right to blame Anna. She is pregnant.” I am really trying to prevent myself to hit him hard and send him to the ground. He seems trying to put the blame on someone else.
“You should not let those two poor women to suffer, especially Ruby. You should not reach her again. You should just leave her in peace! Do you know what she has gone to get over you in the first place? You have ripped off her heart? Yesterday, you even told her that you are getting married while the spouse has already gotten pregnant? Where is the level of your consciousness? She shouldn’t help you to deal with your mess. You should deal with the problem all alone.”
He starts to open his mouth while I am raising my right hand, asking him to finish first.
“Do you know that she was under the influence that she was not worth to be loved, that she was an ugly woman? You are truly a bastard to have left her like that! You made her to fall in love with you, gave her hopes high, proposed to her but left her at the end. Was the job really important for you? Was it even more important than Ruby herself?”
Rudy looks devastated and says
“I left her not because out of love but because due to love. I also told her that I am getting married because I love her too much. You just don’t understand. This is the only way for her to get over me. I know that she still loves me. I have been in contact with Karen all this time. I truly know her condition. Do you really think that I don’t care for her? I was the one who told Karen about the psychiatrist who healed her before. I was there all along.”
“Then, why did you leave her at the first place?” I start to interrogate him to find out his excuse this time. He wouldn’t get over this easily.
“It is because of my family situation. My sister got married to a bastard name Yayang. He was a gambler, a liar who had an enormous amount of debt. My sister was being chased by a shark loan. Her baby was only 3 back then. My mother needed to hide and even forced to move from our house. My other two brothers took a job outside Java Island to prevent the shark loan. We were being haunted and threaten for months. Back then, it’s only me who can protect my sister and her son. After paying the down payment to the shark loan, and also to some banks, I really have no money left. I have to pay the bank as the loan was under my sister’s name. I know if I have told Ruby the truth, she will help me and accept my condition no matter what. However, I couldn’t do that to her. Her family condition was also not good at the time. I don’t want to burden her. She deserves someone better who can take care of her. She already did 2 part times job to pay her school tuition. I don’t know what she will do next to try to help me if she has known the truth. Therefore, I took the offer from IBM. They are willing to give me a permission to bring my sister and her son. They are also giving me a signing bonus and a good relocation allowance. Finally, after working at IBM for 3 years, I can pay back the bank loan by installment. Originally, after all this comes to an end, my plan was to chase Ruby back, to have her in my life back. She is the only who can make me happy. I am now capable to give the life she deserves. However, after that drunken night, everything was upside down. There was not only Ruby and but Anna was already involved.”
Now I know the real reason and feel even more scared. He really truly loves her. They both still love each other hard with their own selfless stupid love. If Ruby has known this, she would feel even more depressed. If she knew that Rudy had loved her along the way, with Anna and the baby, she would still have stepping down. Furthermore, she will feel worse as she knew that Rudy is not going to have a happy life. The most important thing for her is only Rudy’s happiness. Should I tell her?
As I am now analyzing this complicated situation, I come into a conclusion that her happiness is more important. She must not find out about this now. She still needs to think that Rudy has left her and that’s the end of their love story. Only then, with this marriage and the crazy pregnant lady, Ruby will finally be able to let Rudy go. Rudy is right. This is the only way for Ruby to get over him.
“Ruby must not find out about this.” I said to Rudy fiercely.
“This must stay as a secret forever. Anna cannot know about this. Your family must also never to contact Ruby again. If they need money, just come to me. Now, I finally understand while Ruby frequently did transfer some money for your mother. I once saw the text message from your mother asking her for a help. I think even though she does not know about the shark loan, she still knows that your family has some financial issues.”
“She has transferred some money for my mom? Why did she do that? She knew that I won’t approve that kind of act?”
“The answer is simple. It’s because she loves both of you.”
As his eyes are teary again, he finally asks
“How did she make Anna to believe that the two of you were for real? She doubted Ruby’s statement before. It didn’t show in the recording.”
“It is simple. We were kissing in public.”
Rudy stands up and pulls my t-shirt. “How can you do that to Ruby? She is not the kind of girl that you can just kiss.”
Now, I cannot hold my emotion anymore. I punch his face with my right hook. He also punches me back with his left hand. We got separated by the waiter in the café. I just realize that the two of us haven’t ordered any drinks.
“I never fool her. I have loved her even though when you two were together. You have known about this. My feeling was never a brother sister love as she thought. I truly love her. She just never found out my true affection for her back then because her eyes only saw you. Her feelings were dedicated just for you.”
I am now thinking a more mean way to revenge him and to make him giving up his feeling for Ruby.
“After all, it’s not all lies. We got together 1 year ago. She finally accepted my true feelings for her. We are together now. I am going to ask her hand in marriage to her family next month. I will take care of her for the rest of my life. She finally opened up to me after you have left her”
“No… That’s not true. It can’t be true.”
He sits down and looks as the world has fallen apart.
“If you can have a happy life with Anna, why you can’t let her be happy with me?”
He doesn’t answer and Ruby walks to our table and says.
“Why haven’t you guys ordered anything?” She is waving her hand to call the waiter.
“What happens with your mouth Thon? Why is it bleeding?”
“Maybe it’s because you kissed me too hard.” I start to make a joke and prevent her to find out about our fight before.
Rudy then starts to grab her as a sign to ask me to be quiet. The waiter already waited for our order. “We have two B packages and two mineral water with no ice” I say to the waiter. Rudy still does not care that there is already a waiter waiting for him. He then grips his hand tighter and asks
“Cing, is this true? Are the two of you together now? Tell me….”
Ruby then starts to struggle in order for Rudy to let go of her hand. “Rud, you hurt me…”
Rudy than finally lets go of his grip after a while and I can see that Ruby’s hand turns red.
“Does it hurt? Do you want me to put some ice on it?” I ask her. I know that it is not a big deal but I want to make him suffer even more. I hope that he can give up his love for her as well.
“It is no longer your business” said Ruby to him. I already told you that before.
“I need to know. I don’t want you to take a wrong decision in your future, the same mistake like mine. I don’t want you to marry someone you don’t love. I don’t want you to….”
She cuts him of and strikes back
“Do I still need to care about what you want or don’t want for me?”
To be honest, I am scared to see Ruby like this. She is a very soft girl. She never tries to hurt anyone, not even some of her family member who is just awful to her.
Rudy then completes arguing some more and says “If what you and Anthony have are true, why are you denying it then? Unless, it’s a lie.”
“It’s not a lie.” I say his answer straight away. She just does not like for you to interfere with her business anymore.” I try to defend this situation as Ruby does not able to lie to him.
Ruby looks at me by giving me the expression of telling me to stop talking. I start to talk to her in Chinese, a language which Rudy doesn’t understand and say “This time, it’s your turn to cooperate with me.”
I finally put my arm around her and say
“Honey, I think it’s about time for Rudy to know about our relationship. The reason we have hid this because we are afraid how his mother would react. You are afraid of hurting her feelings while she has always been kind to you. However, since Rudy is bringing Anna from Germany, there is no other reason why we shouldn’t tell them this good news. Maybe you will never ask us to attend your wedding day. However, we certainly would invite you as an honored guest on our wedding. After all, I have Ruby now due to your absence. If you didn’t leave her in the first place, we would not be as happy as right now. Now, Ruby still wants to concentrate with building her career first but we wouldn’t postpone the wedding for a long time. I wouldn’t risk losing such a nice girl like Ruby.”
Rudy then covers his face with the menu. I suddenly feel sorry for the guy. He has to marry a girl he does not love, cope up with this lie and even think to see the girl of his life got taken by someone else. As Ruby starts to feel uncomfortable, our order finally comes in. We start to have the lunch we never forget.
“Are you going to come with me to see Rudy’s mother?” Ruby asks me while I am driving the car to Grand Hyatt Hotel.
“No.. I have something to do. Can Iwan come by to pick you up?”
“Of course, I will call you when I get home.”
We are stopping at the lobby and I want to make more dramatic move to make Rudy’s heart to die with Ruby. I touch her hair and give her a quick his on the mouth.
“See you later my princess”
I know that from that moment, Ruby will scold me later on but I just don’t care. I have to admit that I am becoming more addictive to kiss her on the mouth. She just has the softest lip to kiss. I also think that I won’t have any chances again in the future as this act is now over with us. Suddenly, a part of me really wishes that this will turn to a reality in the future.