Episode 7: The Bird Course (Ruby and Friends)


Part 1: Setting the bird free (Christian)

I am trying to find the old happy me by going to the Carruzo. I hope that I can forget about all things which happened during the past few months. She really drives me crazy. One day, I could feel that she is getting closer to me and the other day; I am feeling that she’s slipping through my fingers. I can’t understand what she truly wants. I have given my best effort to let her know that I am bloody serious! This is the first time I am serious to care for someone. It kills me that she never accepts me seriously and still sees me like I was. Maybe, all my friends are right. Having one serious relationship is just too painful. Having lots of girls are more fun and will make our lives happier.

“What are you doing here?” Kevin takes my drink from my hand.

“What do you think? I am having fun.” Replies me to Kev

“Ok! Just continue to have fun like you used to. Ruby sent me to get you but I think that you don’t care anything about her anymore.”

“Stop fooling me! She told me that she never felt something even though I had put my best effort to get her. I dare to challenge my mother, I am trying to change the way I live, I am even willing to get up in the morning and attend the bloody lessons with her. I never did that in my whole life.”

beer

Kevin then orders a drink and says

“You have to give her some time. Even though that she is younger than you, she has more experience in terms on both love life and hard life. She started to work at the very young age. All events in her life have thought her to become more cautious and thus make her to hide her true feelings. She is just afraid.”

“I don’t get it! What is she afraid of?”

“She is afraid of being left out again. That’s why she always keeps her focus on her past relationships. She always looks back and never sees that it is ok for her to take a chance on somebody new. She always thinks about Roy, Rudy, and Anthony, the guys who she has known for the past decade and afraid to meet somebody new. She has successfully completed her physical make over but she still fails to make over her heart. You have to give her some time. In the mean while, you need to show her your seriousness. You can’t just give up and run away to the bar every time you are upset about her!”

Kevin is right like he always is. I never face any obstacles since I was young. Everything just handed to me before I even asked. Girlfriends, money, cars, and even close friends. They always revolve around me every time I want them to come. Ruby is the first girl who rejects me.

“Do you think that she has developed any feelings towards me?”

“You have to find out yourself. Don’t ask her a direct question because when a girl says no, she might actually say yes. But, there will always be other signs which can never lie.”

“What are there?” I feel like Kev is now my personal love guru.

“Things like tears, the way she looks into your eyes, and other movements which you have to find out yourself to seek the truth.”

“Where is she now? I need to find her!” I reply immediately. I really want to find out.

“She is now seeing Roy and telling him that she doesn’t have the same feeling for him anymore. She is rejecting Roy and part of the reason is because of you. She just doesn’t notice it currently.”

“Do you know where we can find her?” ask me

“Yes. She told me that she went to a park. But, I don’t know which park she’s talking about.”

“I know! Let’s go!”

We pay our bills and storm out to the park. This was the park I found her when she was missing. I am excited to see her. I will make her to see that I am ready to begin a committed relationship. We are parking the car and running towards to spot I found her. Suddenly, the world seems to stop turning. I saw her kissing with Roy. It’s already too late. Kevin was wrong. She came here not to end things with Roy but to start accepting Roy. I can’t stand watching them kissing and start to run towards the car. I begin to drive the car and make a promise to myself never to put my hopes on her again!

From now on, I will start to avoid her in every way. I won’t attend the ridiculous lessons again; I won’t do things for her anymore. I just want to forget all the things about her. I will let her free because she was never mine in the first place.

Part 2: Two stupid birds!!! (Kevin)

Chris runs away from the kissing scenery, leaving me behind to see what really happens. Ruby told me that she understands her feeling towards Roy and it’s not love affection.

I am seeing her running away from the park after slapping Roy’s face, leaving Roy alone. Roy is hitting the chair near him. I understand now. Roy forced Ruby to kiss her. Chris is so stupid. He runs away before finding out the truth. Even though Chris has reached his 30, he is still like a 20 year old boy to me. His parents always give him what he wants and never force him to study well at school. He is the sole apprentice to inherit his parents business but they never make him to become a responsible air. I really don’t understand the way his parents raise him. They have told him that if he doesn’t pull himself to get serious, they will inherit their family business to May. Chris doesn’t seem to care about it.

I chase Ruby and see that she has already called a cab. I also call a cab next to hers and ask the driver to follow the car. It turns out that she is heading back to the apartment. Before she is coming into the lobby, I pull her hands to ask her what happens. She looks stress.

“Rub, are you ok?”

“It’s worse than I thought! I really have hurt Roy. I shouldn’t come to Sydney and agree with Amy in the first place. I have really hurt him. I am really selfish!”

She is crying and I want to hug her to make her emotion to calm down. However, if Chris sees me hugging her, their misunderstanding will get even bigger.

“Let’s talk a long walk.”

“Rub, I saw what happened. Roy kissed you against your will and you ran away from him.”

“You saw that?” She asks me curiously.

“It wasn’t only I who saw the kissing. Christian saw the kiss as well.”

Ruby suddenly cries even harder and I have no other choice rather than to hug her and calm her emotion. I hope that this is a blessing in disguise. I hope that Ruby will eventually find out Christian’s position in her heart. I am hugging her and letting her cry for a while.

“Now, you know how you truly feel for Chris, don’t you?” I wait for her reaction

“Yes…”

“What is your feeling for him? Why are you so sad when you found out that Chris saw you kissing with Roy?”

“I…. I….” it seems that it’s very hard for her to speak out

“You have to say it out loud! Only by doing that, you will let go of your past and have enough bravery to start a new life. Say what is in your heart now!”

“I… I… I….”

“Ok! I think that you have changed. You are not the same brave girl I used to know 10 years ago. You stood up for yourself when your family asked you to quit school. You worked hard to reach your position at the office. You have proven to all the people that you can be as successful as you are now. Why you can’t still face your true feelings now? Are you so afraid of being left out? You are much more beautiful when you were that fat girl. At least she has the courage to live an honest life!”

She then cries even harder and squat.

“Stand up and be brave. Face yourself. If you are not able to face the real you, you won’t reach the real happiness in your life. Come on Ruby. You can do it. Don’t fail the people who love you and trust you. She finally starts to speak her true feelings.

“I like him! I like ChristianI started to see him differently when he gave me a hug inside the car after the cruise accident. I like the way he made me laugh. I liked the way he played a trick with me during classes, I was touched when he apologized to me for kicking me out of the house, I am proud the way he stood up for me in front of his mother. I was also surprised that he’s willing to attend all the classes with me. I know that I fell for him during our dance. I have known it along that I like him. I like him. I truly like him.”

I am glad that Ruby starts to admit that she likes Chris. She deserves to live a happy life. I think that Chris and Ruby is a good match. They can cover each other’s weakness. They can make each other happy. Ruby will help Chris to become a better man, a more responsible man while Chris can help her to live her life easier. He can make her laugh.

Ruby’s phone rings and she picks up her phone.

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“Hello Thon? What is it?” she says calmly

“What? I will go home tomorrow morning using the first flight available.”

Her face seems even paler now.

“What’s going on Rub? Why do you have to leave tomorrow?”

“My father is sick. He is in the hospital.”

We are walking back to the apartment as fast as we can. She goes to her room straight away and starts packing. Cindy asks her what’s going on and Ruby tells her that she needs to go back because her father is hospitalized.

I know that I have to find Chris right away. I have to tell him and make him understand about all of this. I try to call him for several times but his mobile is switched off.

“Oh! Why does he need to disappear now? Is he back at the club?”

I am now borrowing’s May’s red Ferrari car and drive back to the Carruzo to find Chris. He is not there and he is not at the other clubs also. I stop by at his usual spots but I still couldn’t find him anywhere. I try to call him again for several times but failed.

Now, I am back at the apartment. I know that I can only see Ruby for a few hours more. I open the fridge and grab few beers. I knock Ruby’s room and she has just hung out the phone. She seems worried. I want to ask her condition and see is there anything I can help.

“Have you booked the flight?”

“Yes. I am leaving Sydney tomorrow at 08.00 AM using Garuda Indonesia.”

“I am sad that you are leaving Rub. I wish that we have more time.”

I am handing out the beer to her hands. Hopefully, it will get her to calm down her feelings. She begins to drink finally says

“Kev, I am glad that I have found a soul mate during my trip in Sydney. This makes everything worthwhile. You have always been there for me, taken care of me. Our minds click and we seem to understand each other without having to explain things to another. You see me better than anyone else.”

“Ya.. Sometimes I wonder why we are not together although I know that I am much more good looking compare to Roy and Christian.”

We are laughing together and she starts to answer me back.

“Stop saying nonsense! I know that lots of girls have got their heart broken because you didn’t set your eyes on them. When you play your guitar, even I could start to fall in love with you in a second. Luckily, I know better that you won’t fall for me.”

“I think that it’s the opposite. You look like an angel when you on that piano. Any guys would fall for you and willing to give their life for you. So, why we don’t fall for each other while we are so perfect for each other. Why don’t you like me then?”

Ruby is smiling and says

“I am willing to tell you but you have to promise me not to tell anybody including Christian.”

“Do I look like a tattle tale for you?” I reply to her.

“You know that when it comes to a relationship, I am such a coward. I am very passive when I used to be fat and even becoming more passive after losing weight. Before, I was afraid that no guys would like me because of my appearance. Now, I am so afraid that guys would only like me because of my appearance as well. I always feel unsecured when it comes to guy. Therefore, I never dare to like someone first. I only give a response after seeing what they have done for me. I saw Roy when he was willing to give his life for me during the snow accidents. Only because of that, I tried to accept his feeling for me. The same condition happened with either Rudy or Christian. It’s because they made a move on me first. Now you really know why I don’t like you. It’s because you don’t like me first.”

bed room

I put my arms around Ruby and touch her head. I pull her head to make her head lean on my shoulders. I love Ruby and I will always love her although I have to love her in a different way.

“Now, it’s your turn to tell me. Why don’t you like me?”

“If you must know, I am even more coward to face my feelings towards someone I like. I am more afraid to be rejected by somebody compare to you. I liked you 13 years ago but I didn’t dare to ask you to go out with me. You might have not noticed but there was a special aura in you although you were overweight at that time. Roy saw it in you and started to chase you. I know that he is a good guy and I decided to forfeit instead to fight with him to get you. 11 years ago when Roy left you; I know that you experienced a difficult time in Indonesia. I decided to pay you a visit to see how you were doing. When I saw you in the hospital due to depression, my heart was ripped apart. I just found out that I gave up my love for a wrong cause. That time, I was planning to let you know how I truly felt. I wanted to stay by your side and to take care for you. Unfortunately, I saw someone who cared and loved even you more than I did. It’s Anthony. He’s even willing to take a semester leave from his studies to stay by your side. I saw him putting your socks on when you had a high fever. He never left your side for even a minute. I have to force myself for the second time. I had to give up my feelings for you because there’s already a better guy at your side. I decided to go back to Sydney and met Lily. She seems like a nice girl. Therefore, I gave it a shot to get over you and went out with her.”

Ruby started to cry and I put my hands on her cheeks to wipe out her tears and continue to talk to her. I know that we won’t have another chance in the future to be open with each other.

“One year ago, I saw a different you, the skinnier you and the beautiful and attractive you. When I met you during the house prayer, you told me about your intentions to come to Sydney. I couldn’t like you again because you have set your eyes on Roy. I thought that you might still have some feelings for him. When I saw Roy didn’t care for his life saving you from the avalanche, I knew that I will always be a loser. I couldn’t give up my life for somebody like that. Then, I saw how Christian was willing to change so many aspects from his life for you. I began to sense his changing only in a few days after you got here. June also noticed it and came to talk to me. However, Chris didn’t realize that he has looked at you differently. I am his best friend. I can only support him as this is the first time for him to care about other person rather than himself. I cannot let him know my true feelings for you. You are my soul mate but Chris has been the only best friend I’d ever had. I owed him so much during the past years. He even helped me to pay for my tuition. When my parents died 4 years ago, he asked me to move to his place and treated me like his own family. Even though he said that he needed me to do his homework, I knew that it was only to cover his good intention for me. Now, you understand why I don’t like you. It’s because I don’t want to enter the competition. I’d rather be your ordinary best friend rather than to compete with my best friend or even with another men who love you more than I do. That’s also one of the reason I chose to accept Lily. Being with Lily is much more carefree for me. I know that she loves me so much and I am willing to love her back.”

Ruby is smiling. We both sit for a while and we don’t say anything to each other anymore. We know that even without words, we already know what each other would say at this moment. We are so similar in so many ways. We always wish the best for each other although it might hurt our feelings by giving up our affection to one another. I know for a fact 13 years ago, she has developed to have some feelings for me. Her best friend Michelle told me that she had a little crush on me.

After a while, we are busy with our phone. I am busy with my phone try to dial Chris’ number while she is also busy with hers to call Anthony to ask her father’s condition. She finally begins to say

“Kev, you know that I have always loved you.”

I look at her; give her a warm hug and say

“I have always loved you too and I will always will until the end of my life.”

I know that we could never be lovers. This is already our fate. I understand when she said that her love for me now is actually a pure friendship love.

Now is already 05.00 o’clock in the morning and I still couldn’t find Chris anywhere. Ruby is taking a shower and preparing herself to go to the airport.

“Ruby, are you sure that you don’t want to wait and tell your real feelings to Chris?” I ask her

“My father is more important now. I couldn’t be this selfish and think about my own happiness. I have to come home. My family needs me. Anthony just told me that my father is in a coma right now. It has something to do with his lung. He was diagnosed with typhoid few days ago. His condition has gotten even worse after a few days. They are moving him to a bigger hospital in Jakarta now. The new doctor said that he was misdiagnosed. I have to come home. Please send my gratitude to June and Chris. They have been nothing but nice to me. I will miss them so much.”

I am feeling sad and angry. I have given up my love for her due to Chris. Why the two of them can’t solve things out. It seems that fate is now playing with them. I decide to stay back and look for Chris. I ask Cindy instead to drive her to the Airport. I will put my last effort to find Chris. I need to find him before Ruby is leaving to Indonesia.

“Take care and call me as soon as you arrive in Indonesia. I will miss you so much! It sucks not to have you around the house. Nobody will cook anymore. Nobody will greet us with that beautiful smile. Ruby, now you know that you are one of the most important girls in my life. You have to love yourself more than I love you. You have to be strong, ok?”

“Yes. I know. Thank you so much for everything Kev. I will miss you a lot too! You have to take care of Lily. You have to love her even more. You have to appreciate her while you still have her. Don’t make any mistakes like I do. When you have missed your chance, only then you realize how much you truly care about someone. I will call you as soon as the plan lands. Take care of yourself ok?”

Cindy walks her to the door and they are going to the airport. I know that I have to start looking for Chris. But, I don’t know where to find him. I need to find Chris. Only by finding Chris makes everything worthwhile. I decide to drive the car and start to go around the city and look for his car.

After one hour, I still couldn’t find him. I have also tried to call his phone but is still switched off. I am driving back home and hoping that he will be there. I suddenly stop at the Burger King stall because I see his car is parked in front of it. I am thinking what on earth he is doing at Burger King. I park my car and go inside the BK to look for him. He is sitting on one of the front table with plenty of burger’s used wrap. They are also five glasses of coke on the table. He must have been here all night.

“What are you doing here? I have been looking for you a whole night.”

“Nothing…. I am just thinking!”

“What are you thinking about?”

“I am thinking about why Ruby is willing to work for two weeks and took a night shift just to buy me a birthday present. She must be crazy! This place is a mess. I am sitting here all night and I couldn’t stand to stay here for another night. She even worked here. It’s smelly and dirty!”

“Chris, It’s because she likes you!”

Without waiting for him to debate, I tell him all the important things he needs to know. I tell him that Ruby was really tried to end things with Roy at the park. I tell him that the kiss was a forced and I was witnessed the whole scene all along. I told him about Ruby’s confession. I told him that she really fell for him since he gave her a hug during the cruise event.

“She is now at the airport, preparing to go back to Indonesia.”

“What? Why?” Chris asks me with a surprise mode. He spills his coke and drops it on the floor.

“Her father is hospitalized. She needs to go back home. I have been trying to find you all night. I have tried to give you so many calls. I……..”

He doesn’t wait for another minute and runs towards his car.

“She is taking an eight o’clock flight using Garuda.” I scream Ruby’s flight information to Chris.

I know that I have done my best to help them. I hope that Chris has enough time to catch her to the airport. I am reaching my phone from inside my pocket and beginning to send Cindy a text. I don’t want to let Ruby know that Chris is after her. I want them to have their moment. However, what if she doesn’t wait at the departure hall and go straight to the Garuda lounge?

After thinking for a while, I finally decide to text Cindy and ask her to keep Ruby at the departure hall as long as possible. I let her know that Chris is now on the way meeting her to the Airport. I also ask her to hide this news from Ruby as I want her to feel surprise.

“Ruby, I hope that you will find your true happiness. Go Ruby Go!”

Part 3: Love Birds (Christian)

I am driving the car as fast as I can to go to the Airport. I am hoping that I can make the time to see Ruby before the plane takes off. “Ruby, please wait for me. She is so stupid! Why didn’t she find the courage to confess to me one day earlier? Why? I hope that it’s not too late.”

On the way to the Airport, I couldn’t care of how many speeding tickets will I get by driving this fast. I just need to see Ruby. It takes only 30 minutes for me to drive from BK Central to the Airport. The time is already 07.15 AM. It will take forever to find a parking spot and I decide to leave the car at the departure entrance. I don’t care if the car will get towed later on.

I am running inside and try to look for the check in centre of Garuda Indonesia. I couldn’t find her there. I am running from the left wings to the right wings, trying to look for her. Is she already inside? Am I too late? I am calling Kev and wonder whether Kev knows her current position at the moment.

“You can give a call to Cindy.” Says Kev

I am calling Cindy and she told me that Ruby is still in the toilet. She will go to the boarding gate immediately. I ask her where their exact locations are and run away as fast as I could.

I am finally able to see her coming out from the girl’s toilet. She is looking down to her bag while trying to reach something.

ITWY 21

“Ruby…..” I scream to her as loud as I can

We stand there for a while, look at each other’s eyes and stand still.

I make a move by walking towards her without taking my eyes of hers. I hug her tightly and whisper in her ears

“You are so stupid! How dare you leave me without saying goodbye? You still owe me an explanation. Kev said that you want to say something to me.”

“I wanted to say my good bye and thank you for all your kindness. I had a great time in Sydney and it all happened because of you let me staying at the house for the past few year. June and Kev have treated me so well as if I am their own family. Thank you for putting a roof over my head.”

I begin to feel angry with her as she is still not willing to confess her feelings to me.

“And then? Is that all you could say?”

“No, it’s not. I also want to let you know that I…….”

She doesn’t seem have the bravery to speak out. My patience is running out. I know that the plane is boarding soon.

“Ok! If you don’t have anything to say to me anymore, I have to go now. Take care of yourself.”

I am leaving her to walk slowly towards the opposite direction, hoping that she will call my name.

“Christian, wait!” she screams at me. I am standing still without turning back to see her.

“I like you! I truly like you!” says Ruby to me.

I have been waiting for her to say this in a long time. I am smiling and running back again towards her. There’s nothing left to do for us besides kissing. I put both of my hands on her cheek. I kiss her on the mouth gently and softly and then grow to become a passionate kiss after a while. This is our second kiss after the tango dance; but to me, this is our real first kiss. I want to make it good. I want to let her know how deep my love for her is. I kiss her mouth over and over again and begin to drown myself with our love. She is also responding to my kiss and I feel her tears touching my cheek. At that moment, I know that she is also feeling the same way.

ITWY 15

“I love you.” I am finally able to let go of our kiss. I want her to know that I love her before she has to leave.

“Do you know that this is the first time in my life to say I love you? I have been holding it for past 30 years. I never believe in the word of love. I only say the three words now because I really mean them. I really mean what I have said. Ruby, I love you.”

She is starting to smile and hug me happily. I continue to whisper in her ears

“Please wait for me for a few days. I will go back to Indonesia as soon as possible to look for you. I will go back as a grown man who has a sense of responsibility. I will ask my mother to let me work in the company. I will make you understand that I can take care of you and your family in the future.”

We hug again for a while until Cindy reminds us that it’s time for Ruby to go inside as the plane is taking off shortly. I kiss her again both on her mouth on her forehead. My tears start to fall down for the first time as I already begin to start missing her. I love you, please wait for me.

I am still at the airport until the plane takes off. Cindy already went home without me. When I finally come out, it turns out that my car has really been towed. But, I never felt happier because Ruby finally accepts my feelings towards her. I will call my mother and let her know my new decision to come home. I hope that she can support me to live a new life. Inside the taxi, I am still thinking about the last kiss and how phenomenal it was. It was the kiss of my life. I make a promise to myself that I will cherish her and change myself to become a better man for her.

Part 4: The bird is flying back home (Ruby)

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Inside the plane, I can’t stop smiling and thinking about Christian. I am glad that I finally have the bravery to follow my own heart. During that moment, I wasn’t thinking for anybody else’s happiness but I was thinking for my own instead. I have to thank Kevin for this. His won’t sacrifice all of his feelings with no achievement. I will make let him know that I am ready to chase and grab my own happiness with Christian. Even though we are not fated to be lovers, we can still be happy for each other. That’s why back at the airport I understand that if I didn’t confess my feeling to Christian at the airport, the moment will pass us by.

I am laughing while thinking from all events during the past year in Sydney. It was like a dream. I never thought that I would experience a life as May Wong and given so many princess lesson to learn how to live as conglomerates. I didn’t think that I can make a closure on Roy although my initial goal was to make a revenge on Roy and got close with him. However, I am glad that I met Kevin and Christian along the way. Now that I am reevaluating about all of this, finding Kevin and Christian are one of the best things in my life. Kevin taught me to become a brave girl who needs to face my true feelings instead of waiting for them to come while Christian taught me that it’s important to be ourselves rather than to be what societies have expected from us. They have taught me a lot.

Currently, the most important thing for me is my father’s health now. I have to put aside my beautiful memory in Sydney for the moment. I am also worried on what will I have to tell Anthony about Christian? I don’t want him to find out the hard way. I want to try to minimize the damage. I know that my relationship with Christian will hurt Anthony but I can’t find any other way rather than to tell him the ugly truth. I need to find the right moment.

Bottom line, I am really proud of myself now. I really have changed. The old me would never dare to kiss a guy in public. I would never have the confidence to do so. I am also not the same person who I was. I didn’t wait for someone like I have waited for Rudy to come back from Germany. Instead of waiting, I dare to pursuit my happiness by being with Christian.

The plane finally lands after 7 hours and I can see Bandara Soekarno Hatta now. I am finally back home. I am reaching my mobile and changing the sim card. After getting my luggage, I am texting Anthony to let him know that I will be out in a few minutes. He replies to me that he is already waiting at the exit gate. Finally, I am able to meet him again. He is still the same except that he looks like he has been losing weight. I wonder if he has gone through a hard time without me. He hugs me instantly and says:

“Welcome back. Don’t ever leave me this long again. My life has been miserable without you.”

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I hug him tightly as I also feel that it’s been forever.

“I miss you. I brought you something from Sydney. I bought it at the airport because I didn’t have time to shop on such a short notice. I hope that you will like it. It is your favorite perfume.”

“Ruby, seeing you and holding you now in my arms is the most important thing for me. I don’t need you to bring me anything. I miss you a lot! I have a surprise for you too”

“Really? I love surprises. What is it?”

Suddenly, someone was touching my shoulder from the back and says “Doaaarrrrrr!”

I look back and find out my three musketeers are also here to greet me.

“Wow! I miss you guys… How are you? Karen, Matthew, Amy… It’s been so long!!!”

We chat for a while until Anthony reminds us to continue the conversation later on as we need to go before the traffic is going worse. I am so happy now to be surrounded by the people whom I really love. However, a part of me is missing in Sydney. I am beginning to miss Christian.

We go straight to the hospital and I find out that my father is already in the ICCU.

“What happens?” I ask my mother right away. She doesn’t seem to recognize me. I am telling her that I am Ruby, her daughter.

After a while, she tells me that my father has been diagnosed with “Legionnelis”. It’s a virus caused by any inhalation from complex water which strikes his lung and kidney. His condition is now getting worse as the previous hospital didn’t diagnose the diseases correctly. They even suspect that my father got the virus from the oxygen used in the previous hospital.

“Is he awake?” I ask my mother with tears.

“He can’t move his body as the previous hospital has put him under seductive for too long. Now, his motorist sensor is much stiffed. They will add a brain specialist doctor.”

“But, he will recover from this right? Will he be alright?”

“We don’t know. The successful rate is less than 50%. He was sent here too late.”

I finally begin to cry hardly in Anthony’s shoulder as he is the closest person to reach me.

“I come home too late. It’s my fault. I should never go to Sydney. If I am near Papa, he wouldn’t have been missed diagnose in the first place. This is all my fault. I wasn’t there when Papa needs me.”

Anthony begins to comfort me and ask me not to blame myself. He says that everything happens for a reason. He tells me not to worry as my father will recover soon from the disease.

“I couldn’t forgive myself. I should have been near my family when they need me.”

It is now 08.00 AM and I have been sitting at the hospital since 04.00 PM yesterday. I haven’t had any sleep in 48 hours and I am not sure that I could go home to have some sleep while my father’s condition is still in a critical condition.

“You need to go home and rest first. I don’t want you to get sick also. You need to be strong for Papa. You cannot take care of your father should you are sick.”

I know that Anthony is right. I am standing up and then Amy says:

“I will accompany her to go home. You have to wait for Aunty first. She will be here at 09.00 AM.”

“Ok!” Anthony replies Amy and thanks her.

Amy drives me home and says

“Tell me about Sydney. Did my cousins treat you well? I know that my cousin, Christian is a jerk but I heard from June that you two got along very well.”

“He is not a jerk. He’s one of the sweetest guys I’d ever met.” I talk to Amy.

“What? Are you sure that we are talking about the same Christian? It’s my cousin, Christian.”

“Yes. I know. We are together now so you can’t say any bad things about him to me.” I am smiling to Amy while saying this. I know that she will have a heart attack hearing this news.

She is suddenly stopping the car and turning her head to look at me.

“Are you crazy? Are you serious? How about Roy? I thought that he saved you during the snow accident. You need to tell everything. I will text Matthew and Karen to come to your place now.”

“Can we do this later? I am so tired” I reply to Amy’s reaction.

“No. You have to tell us as soon as possible. This is huge!”

Suddenly, it’s back to one year before where we used to share our things together. I have no other choice than to tell them all the details truthfully. Either Amy or Matthew or even Karen is willing to give me a break. I can’t tell them only the big picture about Roy and Christian. They always bother me with the smallest information on how, how come, why, when and even where. After three hours of a long explanation, Karen suddenly hugs me and says

“I am so happy for you. I know that you will finally able to find your happiness. Congratulations!”

I am happy that Karen is excited about this. I am thanking her and waiting for two of my best friends to give their reaction. Matthew says to me first

“This is not I imagined things to be. It’s just too good to be true. It’s similar to the idol drama we used to watch on television. It’s like a Meteor Garden and now you have to deal with his scary mother who doesn’t seem to like you. I still hope that you will end up with Rudy somehow. You two belong to each other. His mother also loves you like her own daughter. At least, I want you to find somebody like Rudy. I am afraid that Roy is not coming from the same world with us.”

“Mat, Rudy is my past. Christian is my present and hopefully my future. We work things out slowly. Did you remember that Rudy is supposed to already have his child by now? Don’t ever mention him again. He already has his own family.”

“I don’t know. Ok! If not Rudy, I just think that you are even better with Roy rather than with Christian. At least you two had a romantic moment during the snow accident. He was willing to give his life for you.”

Matthew continues to debate as I am waiting from Amy’s reaction. She is the most important person to accept our relationship now. Christian’s her cousin. If we are meant to be bound in marriage, Amy and I will become a close relative.

“What do you think Amy?” I ask her

She is silent for a while and finally says to me

“You should end things with Christian immediately. It’s for your own good! He is a play boy and he will play you. You will get your heart even more broken than before and all the things we have done for you would become useless. I know him too well.”

Amy begins to shout even louder

“I thought that by this lesson, you will see that Anthony has been the one who stayed with you all this time. We are sending you to Sydney to get you to understand that the right guy has been by your side all this long. I never expected that you will get together with Roy. I just wanted you to learn to appreciate a real guy who never left you.”

I fully understand Amy’s reaction. If I didn’t witness Christian’s changing myself, I probably wouldn’t believe that Christian is now a different man who is ready to take a commitment.

“Ok! I understand what you mean Amy. You only think for my own good. Wait until you see the new Christian and judge if for yourself. You will be surprised that he is now a changed man.”

“Dogs will always be dogs and cats will always be cats.” Replies Amy to me fiercely.

“It’s not just that Ruby! Didn’t you move by all the sacrifices Anthony have done for you? I thought that when you two kiss a year ago was actually a turning point for your relationship to grow into a different direction. It’s just not fair. What will he do if he finds out that you are already choosing a guy like Christian now? He will fee devastated!!”

I don’t know how to defend my decision more that I have picked Chris through a long consideration. I also have thought about Anthony. However, I can’t force myself to be with him. It will only hurt him in the future. He deserves to be with someone who truly loves him. At the moment, she is not me.

“Time will tell. For now, let’s just focus on my father’s health at the moment. Don’t think about my love life temporarily.” I try to calm Amy down.

“You can’t hurt Anthony, not this way! I won’t let you!” says Amy even raises her voice higher.

“Amy, do you like Anthony? Have you liked him all this time?” I suddenly feel that there is something more than meets the eye.

Amy doesn’t reply to my question. She finally says

“Ruby, I am sorry. I know that you are tired. You need to have some rest. We will talk about this later. Let’s go Karen, Matthew. Ruby needs to rest.”

I know from that moment that Amy has feelings for Anthony all this time. How can I miss it? It makes sense now. How come that I didn’t realize this before? I am such a horrible friend. Amy is so stupid! She is willing to sacrifice herself in order for Anthony to reach his happiness. She never shows her true feeling to him because she knows that Anthony doesn’t love her back.

I couldn’t think about this for now as I know that time will help to put everything in the right place. I can’t force Anthony to like Amy but I also can’t force myself to accept Anthony due to Amy’s request. I just realized that I haven’t called anyone in Sydney. I give a text to Kevin and June and tell them that my father is now still in the hospital and I am now already at home resting. I know that I have to give a text to Christian also. However, I decide give him a call instead of texting him. He must have been very worried. We haven’t spoke in two days.

“Chris, how are you?”

“Honey, how are you? I have been worried sick about you.”

“I am just tired. I haven’t slept in two days. My father’s condition is not really good. I need to come back to the hospital for the doctor’s visit at 04.00 PM.”

“I miss you. I will try to get back to Indo as soon as I can.”

“Don’t worry, take your time.”

“Hon, you sound tired.”

“I really am. I am going to sleep now.”

“Can you please not hanging up the phone? I still want to hear your voice. Just put it on the speaker sound. I want to hear the sound of you when you sleep.”

“It’s really expensive as this is an international call.”

“Just hang up the phone and I will call you back. I miss you so much.”

“I miss you too.”  I hang up the phone.

After he calls back, I fall asleep right away. I am glad that he is here even though we are on a distant.

Ruby is sleeping

I wake up at 03.00 PM and head straight to the bathroom to take a shower. I really forgot to set the alarm. I hope that I can still make time to see the Doctor. I want to ask as detail as possible about my father’s illness.

I arrive at the hospital at 04.15 PM and find that Anthony is already there with my mother.

“Did I miss the doctor? Have you been here all day?” I ask Anthony.

“No, the doctor is late as usual. I just got here 30 minutes ago. I have slept in my car for a few hours in a few minutes after you left. I waited for Mama to get here first.”

“You should rest at my place. It’s not good for you to lose sleep. Did you take a day off for today?”

“Yes. I am taking a week off. I want to accompany you through this situation. We can take care of papa with a rolling schedule so you won’t get exhausted.”

“You don’t have to do that for me. You have done too much!” Amy is right. Anthony has done too much for me. I have to set my distant with him but I don’t know how to do it without hurting him.

Anthony addresses my mom and dad with the same call I addressed my parents. It’s papa (father) and mama (mother). He is more like a god son to my parents. 45 minutes later, the doctor comes by and I finally get a chance to ask all details about my father’s condition. The doctor tells me that my father has a difficulty to breath. They have to put a ventilation machine to help him. His condition is getting better than yesterday. At least, he is now responding to the right medication. However, he is still on a crisis state. His temperature is 39.8 and the doctor has put a special blanket. The blanket is filled with water and can adjust to his body temperature.

After the consultation, I run down to the cashier and ask about the administration detail. Yesterday, I forgot that I have to give back Anthony’s money and credit cards. I also plan to return Karen his travel check later on. I didn’t use any of them since I have stayed at Christian’s house and got to use all May’s facility.

The cost for my dad to be put in ICCU is around 50 million per day. It’s a big money. I need to prepare the fund. I know that my dad has some savings but I also need to get back to work. I wonder whether the vacancy is still open. I want to work for Madam Marlene again. For now, I am swapping four of my credit cards to pay 100 million in advance. I also found out that Anthony has deposited around 300 million for my father’s treatment. My tears start to fall down and I really don’t know how to repay him.

“Are you ok?” says Anthony to me

“I am ok. Thank you for giving the down payment for the hospital. I will try to pay you back as soon as I can. You shouldn’t have to do this. Also, these are your credit cards. I didn’t use any of them. This is the saving book you gave me and also the cash which I also didn’t use them in Sydney.”

“You don’t have to pay me back anything. Your parents are my parents too. I have treated me well since I was a kid. Rub, how did you manage to live in Australia without using any of these then?”

I am looking at his eyes and answering with a lie

“I am working. I can live through my own salary.”

Anthony doesn’t seem to feel suspicious about it. I am so sad that I have to make another lie to the man who loves me the most. Anthony is an extraordinary guy. How can I even have the heart to hurt him? How can I tell him the truth about the whole thing? I really don’t know how to open my relationship with Christian to him.

I am walking to the ladies toilet to clean my make up due to my tears. Christian just keeps touching my heart. I am also thinking about the other methods for me to find as much money as I could to support my father’s treatment. We have to give him the best treatment in the hospital. I also need to check his health insurance policy. I keep walking to the ladies room while looking down the floor until my head bumps to hit someone accidently.

We both fell and he seems to drop his belongings to spread on the floor.

“I am really sorry. I didn’t watch the road carefully. I am sorry, it’s my entire fault”

I apologize to the stranger while helping him to pick up his medicines.

“Don’t worry. I didn’t pay attention to the road as well. I should have been more careful.”

Suddenly, I turn my head to look at him carefully. I recognize this voice anywhere. Although we haven’t seen each other in a year, I still would remember his voice.

As I am seeing him carefully, I know that I am right. It turns out that he is Rudy.

mike he

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