Part 1: My happiness flies so soon (Ruby)
We are at the ambulance on the way to the nearest hospital. I am holding Anthony’s hand and ask him to open his eyes.
“Thon, please wake up. Please look at me. It’s me, Ruby your bride.”
After a while, he opens his eyes weakly and says
“Rub, I cannot see anything. Everything is dark but I can feel that you are holding my hands.”
“Thon, I am here. You will be alright. We are bringing you to the hospital. Please stay with me.”
Anthony is closing his eyes again. He says weakly
“You know when I saw you at the altar earlier; you are the most beautiful bride I’d ever seen. I wish that I will have a thousand years to live with you. Don’t cry should you can’t see me anymore. Don’t be sad because I never left.”
I am holding my tears because I don’t want Anthony to hear me crying. I whisper in his ears
“I know. You have to hold on. I love you.. I really love you..”
“I love you Ruby…. I love you….. Forever….”
I am looking at him. He doesn’t breathe normally. Prof. Wendy also notices his irregular breathe. She asks the nurse to give him the oxygen mask. I continue to say
“You have to hold on. We will be at the hospital very soon.”
He is rejecting the oxygen mask. It seems that he still wants to say something to me. I am looking at Prof. Wendy and ask her
“Can we postpone it for a while? It seems that he wants to tell me something important.”
Prof. Wendy nods her head weakly. I help the nurse to open the oxygen and put my ears closely to his mouth. He says
“I am really sorry. I have been hiding you the truth for a long time. The reason Rudy left you before was because……………………………………”
Afterwards, I couldn’t hear his voice anymore. He is unconscious again. I keep calling his name. I really hope that he could wake up and talk to me. I don’t know why he mentioned about Rudy before. I don’t care about Rudy or anyone else. I just want to hear my husband talking to me.
We finally reach the hospital and all of us are waiting outside the operation room. Inside the ambulance, Prof. Wendy told me that we have to fast forward his operation due to the severe internal bleeding. We can’t wait for her senior to come from USA. We also can’t wait for Dr. Eka to come. We even have to conduct the operation at a small hospital in my home town. Everyone is looking at me. Kev is trying to give me a glass of water to drink but I don’t need anything at the moment. I just need my Anthony to wake up and see me. Rudy is sitting beside me and he didn’t say a word since Anthony passed out at the church. Two hours have gone by with no news from the operating room. I am still looking down on the floor and pray that Anthony will be just fine.
Both of our parents are coming back and forth to the hospital while bringing everybody some snacks to eat. They finally know the truth about Anthony’s condition. Rudy and Kev explained all the details to both Anthony and my parents. Anthony’s mom is now holding my hand and says that she never blamed me in the first place. She is touched by the love I gave to her son and the way we love each other. She is also thankful for all the things that I have done for him for the last few months.
I wish I can tell her that I haven’t done enough comparing to what Anthony has done for me. Instead of consoling her, I can only reply her sincerity a weak smile. I am afraid if I open my mouth to speak out, I could not hold my tears any longer. I need to be strong. I still have to wait for my husband to come out and spend our honeymoon together.
Four hours have passed by with no one is coming out from the operating room. This time, Kev really forces me to change my cloth first. He is afraid that I would feel cold. I still don’t want to move even for one second. I don’t want to leave my husband alone. My father approaches me and says
“Cing, you need to change first. We also don’t want you to get sick.”
I am looking at my father and smile. After a while, Papa finally understands that I am not ready to change yet before there’s an update from the operating room. Chris gives me his suite to wrap it on my body. To be honest, I don’t feel any difference. I didn’t even feel cold before.
One hour later, there is a nurse coming out from the operating room.
“Is there anyone with ‘A’ positive blood type who can donate the patient?”
I am standing up right away and run to the nurse. Rudy runs towards me immediately and says
“No, I will do it instead. She is too weak.”
I am looking at Rudy after a while and give him a fierce look. He knows that it means ‘I insist’
I follow the nurse to go inside a little room beside the operation room. She starts transferring my blood to an empty transparent infusion bag.
“Nurse, please take as many as you need to safe him. You can even take them until my body dries.”
The nurse gives me a smile and says “We are doing the best we can.”
I really want to ask her how the operation progress but I am just afraid that she will tell me a bad news instead. She has finished taking my blood and asks me to wait again in the waiting room. Everybody is still there. I look at the surrounding and even see that Chris is also there. Mat, Amy, and Karen are also there to give us some support. They are still wearing their fancy gowns and suites.
An hour later, Prof. Wendy comes out from the operating room. She is opening her cap, her mask while still wearing the medical attire. She says
“I am sorry. We have done the best we can do. I am really sorry. We cannot save him.”
I am holding my stomach. I can’t even have the strength to stand still. This is not true. This can’t be true. I realize that there’s someone hugging from my back, trying to lift me up before I collapse. He says to me out loud
“Cing, be brave. Come on, stay with me. You still have us.”
I begin to burst my tears out. The one I have been holding from the last few hours, even from the last few days since Anthony locked himself in the bed room. I can only shout
“No… This is not the truth… He is still alive. Today’s our wedding day. He couldn’t leave me like this.”
I am crying and screaming at Prof. Wendy
“Please Professor. Please see him again. There must be something that we can do. Please.. He’s not death. He is still alive. We are still planning to go on our honeymoon tomorrow. Please Professor, I am begging you. Please save him.”
Prof. Wendy is looking at me and only shakes her head. I couldn’t even look at Anthony’s mom. I couldn’t ask for her forgiveness. I have been hiding the truth from her. Now, she didn’t even have a chance to say good bye. My father comes towards me and holds my arms tightly.
“Papa, I kill him. I am the one who kills me. It’s because of the accident. It’s because of me. Papa….”
“No one is blaming you, no one! You have to hold it together. Look at all the people who love you now. You have to be strong.”
The nurses are bringing a body covered by a white coven outside the operating room. I really don’t want to look. I am afraid that it’s really him. Anthony’s mom is coming towards the body and opens the coven. It’s Anthony, it’s my husband. I can only scream.
“No………………. No….. Please no………….. Please……….” Everything went dark afterwards.
The sun is very bright and I am holding hand together with Anthony. We are running up and down on our hill. It’s a picnic day again. Eason is playing with his kite with our father. Anthony and I are sitting under the tree. Suddenly, he asks me to close my eyes.
“Ruby, I have a surprise for you.”
I feel that he puts something on my head. I open my eyes and try to take it to see what it is. It’s so beautiful. It’s a crown full with flowers. He says
“I will marry you someday and you will wear a real crown.”
We always play the bride and groom drama since forever. Our parents look at us and smile from a distant. Our moms are having a picnic under another tree. I can hear my mother shouts to the both of us
“Not too far, ok?”
We keep running up and down the hill again and come back to sit under the same tree while eating our lunch box together. I ask him
“Thon, why do people want to get married?”
He is lying down on the grass and says
“I don’t know but I only want to get married with you.”
I am also lying down on the grass to see the blue skies above. We are holding hands and he says
“Rub, if I am not by your side in the future, please promise me that you will come here to remember me. This is my favorite place in the entire world!”
I am smiling at him and say
“We will always go here together. You have to promise me that we will come here again after we are marrying each other, ok?”
I put on my pinky swear and he also tights his pinky finger with mine.
I am looking at both of our hands and realize that they are smaller than I remember. I look at him and he looks like only a 12 year old kid. This can’t be right! We are already a grown up.
Where am I? I know that this is our star hill. But, we are not supposed to be here. This is not right. I remember now. Today is our wedding day. We are supposed to get married today at the church. Why are we here instead? Where is everybody? Where are Kev, Chris and my other friends?
I run to a lake beside the hill and want to take look at myself. Anthony is shouting
“Rub, don’t stand there! You can’t swim. Don’t stay near the lake too close!”
I don’t move and he keeps repeating
“Rub, don’t stand near the lake.. Rub…. Come back….”
I am ignoring him because I want to look down into the water to see my reflection. I am even more surprise to see a little girl instead of me. I make a question to myself.
“Did we go back in time? Why am I looking to a 5 year old girl?”
“Where is everybody? Why are we here?”
Suddenly, everything is flying.
Part 2: Anthony’s funeral (Kevin)
Ruby has been unconscious for the last 24 hours. We need to give her an infusion (IV) because there’s no any nutrition yet going into her body since yesterday. Rudy and Chris also never left the hospital. Ruby’s parents are helping Anthony’s mom to organize his funeral. I could never forget the way Ruby screamed outside the operation room. She kept begging Dr. Wendy to safe Anthony.
I am actually glad that she is still sleeping at the moment. I couldn’t imagine what will happen when she wakes up. How devastated she will feel when she wake up and has to see Anthony is no longer at her side.
I look at both Chris and Rudy. Somehow, I am seeing their resemblance with each other. They have the same eyes and hair. Their noises also look similar in some way. If I don’t know better, I think that they are brothers.
Ruby is shaking her head unconsciously on her bed. She is having a dream. She screams
“Where am I? Anthony? Why everything is flying? Papa? Mama?”
Both Chris and Rudy run towards her bed. One is holding her right hand while the other is holding her left hand.
Rudy caresses her hair and says
“Cing, wake up. I am here. It’s only a bad dream. Cing, wake up…..”
Ruby opens her eyes and sits right away.
She is looking at me “Where is Anthony? Where is he?”
I don’t know how to talk to her. I wish that he asks this question to either Rudy or Chris. Maybe, they know how to comfort her better.
She finally realizes that her right hand is given an infusion.
“Why am I at the hospital? I am not sick. What’s with the infusion?”
She is trying to pull out the IV.
Chris is gripping her hand tightly and shouts
“Rub, listen to me! I know that everything has been really hard for you. But, you have to accept that Anthony is no longer with us. You cannot pull out the IV, We need to get you some nutrition to come into your body. You have been unconscious for more than 24 hours now.”
Ruby looks at Chris and says
“No, you are lying. Anthony is still alive. Anthony would never leave me like this. He would never leave me alone. Let go of my hand, you are lying!”
Chris is crying and holding her face instead
“I hope that I was the one who died instead of Anthony. Seeing you like this really rips my heart out. Please, you have to learn to accept the truth. Your parents need you, Anthony’s mom needs you, and we all need you.”
I know that it’s really hard for anyone to see Ruby like this. I ask both of them to leave the room.
“Chris, Rudy, please leave us alone for a moment. I need to talk to her.”
Both of them are leaving the room without protest. I finally sit on a bed while holding her hand. I need to get her back on the reality.
“Rub, what is the last thing that you recall lately?”
She doesn’t give any reply to me. Her tears start to fall down on her cheers.
“I know that you remember seeing Anthony already covered with a white coven. You know deep down in your heart that he has already gone. Rub, face the reality. I will stay by your side no matter what. We all will. Your family, all of your friends will always be with you.”
She finally opens her mouth and says
“But, who is accompanying Anthony now? I don’t want him to be alone.”
I really have to be ready in facing my biggest fear. She is really thinking of leaving the world to go with Anthony. I don’t know what to do. We can watch her 24 hours but the most important thing to do is to delete this idea from her head.
“Rub, do you want to see him?”
She is nodding her head. I hug her tightly. I know that she needs a shoulder to cry on.
“But, you have to eat something first. I will ask the nurse to take off the IV. But first thing first, I will heat the soup for you. Ok?”
She is nodding her head again. She finally says
“Kev, I had a dream about our childhood. We made a promise to marry each other back then. He asked me not to stand near the lake because I can’t swim. Then, everything is flying and I wake up.”
I am hugging Ruby even more tightly. I am asking Chris to come in and heat the soup for her since I can’t leave her side at the moment. I am really afraid that something will happen to her. After the soup is heat up, I try to spoon feed her to drink the soup but it’s not even working. She is throwing up every time she tries to swallow them. I try again after a while until Rudy tells me to stop.
“Don’t force her to eat yet. Don’t try to take out the IV. She needs to stay here for a while. I will call the Doctor to come in.”
An old senior Doctor finally comes in to see her. He is doing an examination. He is asking Ruby’s some question but she is not willing to answer him. At last, he is giving up and asks us to come out to have a word.
“She is under a depression. We need to get her a psychiatrist. Her blood pressure is low and her body is rejecting any food to come in. Maybe, it’s best to ask her parents to come here and console her. She needs to be surrounded by her loved ones.”
I am going inside her room and see Ruby is lying down on her bed with her eyes open. I caress her hair. She is finally willing to open her mouth
“I want to see him. Please take me to see him. I want to see him.”
I know that if I reject her request, she will even try to meet him in the more extreme way. I ask the nurse to pull out the IV and put a band aid on her hand. I am carrying her to go out from the hospital. Chris and Rudy are sitting outside the room. They look very nervous. They are standing up as soon as they can see us. Chris finally says
“Where is she going? Is she allowed to come out from the hospital? Where are you taking her?”
I am not saying a single word. I know that I am doing the right thing in order to keep her alive. We are going to the funeral home for her to see Anthony. I ask one of the drivers who is standing by at the hospital to take us there.
We arrive at the funeral home and Ruby sees the coffin right away. In front of the coffin, there’s a frame with Anthony’s picture on the table. She is looking at the photograph for a long time. My right hand is on her waist trying to hold her in case she lost her strength to stand up. She is still very weak. Both of her parents are walking towards her. Her father is bringing her a chair beside the coffin for her to sit down. She is walking slowly to towards the chair and sees Anthony’s face. I put her to sit down and she begins to touch his face.
“Please don’t go….. Please don’t leave me alone…. I really cannot live without you. You promise that you will stick around with me. You told me that you can’t even stand to leave me for even a minute. Why did you leave me? Why you didn’t take me with you? I am your wife….”
Everyone in the room is crying including the all the workers. I can’t even stand to shed some tears either.
“Why did you punish me like this? I have changed. I have changed my love for you. We both love each other so much and yet you still chose to leave me. Why? It’s not fair.”
“I have tried to give you everything. I tried to show you that I really love you. I thought you could understand, I thought you knew. Please don’t leave me. Please come back…..”
She is crying hysterically beside’s Anthony’s coffin. I know that she’s been holding it for a long time. Therefore, I just let her to speak her mind. She continues to speak
“You told me that the best feeling in the world for you to know that you have made me happy. I am only happy when you are around me. I am only happy if you wake up and open your eyes to see me. Please wake up… We were just got married. I am your wife now. How could you leave me? You have promised me not to ever leave me.”
Ruby is still sitting beside the coffin after two hours later. She doesn’t beg him anymore but her tears are still falling down from her eyes. Everyone has finally left the funeral home except for Anthony’s mom. Ruby’s father asked Chris and Rudy to go with him and pick up Ruby’s luggage. By looking at her now, she may want to spend her time at the funeral home until the burial.
Suddenly, Ruby is kneeling in front of Anthony’s mom. She is talking to her and still crying.
“Mama, I am so sorry. Mama, please take my life also so I could go with him. Mama, I am sorry that he got into the accident. I am sorry that I took an advantage from him for all these years, I am sorry that I didn’t tell you about his health condition. Mama, please forgive me. Please ask Anthony to wake up. He will do as you say as always. Please mama, please… I promise that I will become a good wife for him, a good mother for his children and a good daughter in law for you. Please tell him to wake up. Mama, please…. He doesn’t want to listen to me. He is angry with me.”
Anthony’s mom is also crying with her. She pulls Ruby’s body and hugs her.
“You are my daughter now. Anthony has left us but we still have each other. You have to be strong. You still need to take care of me. I know that no one will ever love you like he does but I promise that I will treat and love you as if you are my own daughter.”
Ruby is still begging her and asking her to talk to Anthony. I really cannot stand it anymore. I am dragging her from her chair. I have to make her leave the room. I am pulling her hands and making her to go with me. She is making a stand to stay but I am too strong for her.
I get her into my car and lock the car immediately before I go inside the car as well. Chris and Rudy are back from Ruby’s house. They see me dragging her to the car. They ask what is going on with us and where are we going but I am ignoring them at the moment. I don’t have the time to explain my intentions with them. I also don’t know where I will take her. I just have to know that she can’t continue to stay in the funeral home. I am driving as fast as I could. She doesn’t even complain or scream or feel frighten. She doesn’t ask where we are going.
We finally reach a red light and I braked the car as soon as I can. I begin to talk to her.
“Do you really want to die with him? Is that what you want?”
She doesn’t say anything but I begin to shout at her to force her to say what she really wants.
“Tell me! Do you really want to die?”
She still doesn’t give me any response. Her tears start to fall down from her blacked eyes again
“Ruby Lee! Tell me, what is it do you want?”
Finally, she is creaming back at me
“I want Anthony. I want Anthony with me. I only want Anthony. I don’t want anything else!”
I am gripping her arms and say
“Well, he’s death! What do you want then? He cannot stay by your side anymore. He’s already death! He’s gone!”
Ruby begins to cry even more hysterically than before.
“Tell me, what do you want after he dies? Tell me!”
She looks at me and says
“I want to die too. I cannot live without him. I want to die too!!!!”
I know that it’s very hard for Ruby to say it out loud during the circumstances. Finally, she speaks what is in her mind lately. I hug her tightly and let her cry on my shoulder. I whisper in her ears
“No.. You can’t die. You have to live well. You still have me. You can’t even think for a second that you want to die. I am not allowing you to.”
Ruby then says
“I don’t want anybody. I don’t want you, I don’t want Chris or Rudy or you or anybody. I just want Anthony. I want him by my side. I want my husband.”
I am looking at her and begin to give her a warning
“Ok! Fine! I will drive this car as fast as I can. No matter what happens, I won’t step my foot to hit the brake. I will go to die with you. I have made a promise to Anthony to stay by your side and keep you alive. But, you just told me that you wanted to die instead. Ok! We will die together now.”
I start to drive the car again as fast as I can. Luckily, the road is an open road since it’s already 11.00 PM tonight. We are at Ruby’s hometown and nobody is out from the house since 08.00 PM. There is no another car on the road. I am reaching 140 KM / hour. Ruby suddenly begs me to stop the car.
“Please stop… I am sorry.. Please stop.. Please stop…… “
I still drive the car very fast to give Ruby a shock therapy. I don’t want her to have any thoughts again about wanting to die. I continue to scream at her
“I thought you wanted to die. Ok! This is me approving you to die except that I will also die with you! We will die together!”
Ruby screams at me and says
“Please stop, I am sorry.. Please stop…”
Instead of stopping, I even step on the gas to run the car faster.
“Please stop…. I don’t want you to die… No.. I don’t want you to die with me! I can’t face anyone closes to me to die again. You cannot die because of me…”
I finally got her to say the words. I step on the brake pedal after driving like a crazy person. I finally have the courage to look at her. I have to admit that I even lost my temper a few minutes ago.
Ruby screams at me hysterically. She gives me a slap to my face
“Are you crazy? Are you really willing to die with me? I am not worth it. I am nobody! You still have Lily, you still have your friends!”
I am staring at her eyes deeply and say
“I don’t care about anyone else. Please remember this Ruby! Please remember this every time you want to kill yourself. You have to remember that if you jump, I jump!”
Suddenly, she hugs me for a while and says
“I am sorry… I am really sorry… I didn’t mean to. I didn’t mean to make you guys worry. I just don’t know how to live without him… I am sorry….”
I am stroking her hair and say
“It’s alright. Everything is alright now. Don’t worry. Everything will be alright.”
She finally falls asleep in the car while I am driving Ruby back to her house. I don’t want to bring her back to the funeral home. She will start to break herself down again once she sees Anthony in the coffin. Tomorrow is Anthony’s burial. I just hope that she would face it stronger than today.
I am carrying her to go inside her house and bring her to her room. She lives upstairs. Her parents look at me for a while and I nod my head to them. I give them a sign not to wake her up.
“Don’t worry. She just fell asleep. I am bringing her to her room now.”
Her parents smile back at me. I am now putting her on her bed. I caress her hair for a while. I wonder whether I should sleep here or in the guest room. I am going down to talk to her parents for a while.
“Eat something first. You also haven’t eaten anything for a whole day.” says Aunt Julie
Ruby’s mother is Julie while Ruby’s father is Joseph. I call them Aunt Julie and Uncle Joseph to show them my respect. I am eating the meal Aunt Julie cooked for me. I finally ask their permissions to let me sleep in the same room with her.
“Aunt Julie, Uncle Joseph; please allow me to stay near Ruby for a while. It means that I will be sleeping with her room and follow her everywhere she wants to go. I can sleep on the couch or even using my sleeping bag. By seeing her condition, I really couldn’t leave her for a while until she can get back on her feet. I promise that I wouldn’t do anything to harm her even a bit.”
Aunt Julie looks at me and says “We trust you. We just don’t want our daughter to become your burden. You already have too much pressure. We lost a son today but we know that you also just lost a friend.”
I look at both of them and say
“I made a promise to Anthony to stay by Ruby’s side. I also made a promise to myself that I will try to take Anthony’s place. I know that I am not good enough but I can assure you that I love Ruby just as much as Anthony loves her.”
Uncle Joseph looks at me for a while and says
“Don’t waste too much time on her. She is a stubborn girl just like her mother. She won’t see how much you have sacrificed for her now. She always sees what she has lost and not appreciates what she has at the moment. We also want you to be happy. I will talk to her when she is better. But I can tell you this, if she loves you later, we will love you with all of her heart.”
I am nodding at Uncle Joseph and totally agree with what he just said. Aunt Julie then says
“By the way, I want to ask you about a boy named Christian. Why does Christian never leave her side now? We never met him before. We knew Rudy but we never met Christian before. He even talked to us that he will take a full responsibility on Ruby.”
I am trying to explain as short as I can to both Ruby’s parents. I hope that they can have some clarity about Ruby’s love square between Anthony, Chris, Rudy and her. After I finish telling the story, Uncle Joseph asks me the same question Chris has asked me before hand
“Then, how about you? I can see that she is also special for you. Do you love her?”
“I love her. But, I am just her protector, her guardian, not lover. I never dare to think of wanting her more. Don’t worry. I never join the competition. I just want to take care of her at the moment.”
I go upstairs to Ruby’s room and sleep on my sleeping bed beside her bed. Fortunately, I have trained myself to be very sensitive with sound since I am a musician. Ruby also has a very sensitive ear. She wakes up easily if they are any noise around her. That’s why her parents put her to sleep on the 2nd floor alone where everyone else is on the 1st floor.
I wake up and look at my watch. It’s still six o’clock in the morning. I can see that Ruby is still sleeping on her bad. I am coming down stairs to get her a glass of warm milk. I hope that she can drink it when she wakes up later on.
Suddenly, I can hear Ruby’s voice screaming from her room. I am running as fast as I can to see what’s going on. I look at her. She seems really frighten. I am coming towards her and ask
“What happened? What’s wrong? It’s just a bad dream. Don’t worry.
She is looking at me and her tears start to fall down from her eyes again. She says
“It’s not a bad dream. I wish that what I saw was just a bad dream. No, it’s a reality instead. He really has left me.”
I hug her and let her cry for a while. I tell her to take a shower and get dress for Anthony’s burial. Her maid who has been working with her family since she was born helped her to bath. I don’t want to leave Ruby alone even in the bathroom. I have to make sure that at least, she has someone to accompany her.
We are going to St. Diego Hills, one of the best funeral home in Indonesia. Ruby’s parents are the one who decide on the location to burry Anthony with Anthony’s mom approval. Once the coffin is being put into the ground, Ruby starts to cry again. Chris is the one who holds her to make sure that she doesn’t fall down. She doesn’t say anything but keeps crying. I can see that her worlds crumble at the moment. The ceremony has ended and everyone has left except for Ruby, Chris, Rudy and me.
She talks to us and says “Please give me some time to be alone with him.”
I look at her and give her a reply
“Let me stay with you instead. I will us the rest of them to leave.”
She is looking back at me and says
“I want to have a word with my husband. Please give us some privacy.”
The three of us finally decide to leave her. We are walking towards the gazebo around 100 M from Anthony’s tomb. I can’t stop to look back at her. I still want to be able to see her from a distant. I can see her that she’s kneeling while touching the tomb. She continues to cry and keeps talking to Anthony. I can’t hear what she’s saying at the moment.
A few minutes later, the skies also start to give us some tears. Maybe heaven sees her grievance and cry together with her. It’s raining now. Rudy is running to give her a black umbrella. Chris is also planning to see Ruby but I am grabbing his hand to stay with me.
“Let Rudy go there alone to console Ruby. They had a relationship in the past. He knows how to give her a comfort. I know that it must be hard for you to see but we must think the best for Ruby.”
Chris says “I am not jealous. I also want the best for Ruby. I would prefer to see her with Rudy rather than seeing her shattering like this. It’s been a long time for me not to see her smile.”
I know that Chris has changed a lot. Both of us are still waiting while seeing Ruby and Rudy together near Anthony’s tomb. He puts an umbrella on top of her. He doesn’t even say a word.
We stay there for around more than six hours until the skies go dark. I finally say to Chris
“Now, I think it’s time for us to get them.”
We are walking towards Ruby and I finally ask her to go home.
“Where do you want to go? Do you want to go to your apartment or do you want to go back to your hometown? It’s your choice.”
She still doesn’t give me any replies even though I have repeated the question many times.
Rudy is now kneeling with her and says
“Let me take you to a place where Anthony’s already waiting for you.”
She looks at Rudy for a while and then follows him by walking behind him. Rudy gives his umbrella to her. Sometimes, I really admire the way Rudy shows his love to her. His gesture is very unpredictable but at the same time they are very effective.
Chris and I wondering where are they going at the moment. She is going inside Rudy’s car while we are following her from behind. Chris finally asks me
“Do you know what Anthony’s last words to her were?”
“I don’t know. I couldn’t hear it clearly. Ruby was tried to put her ear near Anthony’s mouth. It’s really weak so I couldn’t hear it. Before that, I only heard him saying that he loves her forever.”
I am looking at Chris and realize that his clothes are all wet.
“There’s my bag at the back. You can go change and put on a fresh shirt.”
Chris is taking a shirt and changes it right away. He is shivering. I am looking at the surroundings to wonder where we are at the moment. I see a big sign which writes BSD City. I wonder why we are going here. I have never crossed this road before. We are taking another high way and go the exit calls Karawaci. Chris says
“I know where the guy is taking her. This is where Anthony used to live.”
Now, both of us finally could understand why Rudy is taking her here. We are still following Rudy’s car and then stops at one of the house at Taman Beverly House. The house is quite big. We go out from the car and then Rudy is opening the door with his key.
Ruby is going into the house followed by the three of us. Finally, Rudy tells us his intention to bring Ruby to this place.
“Cing, this is actually a surprise present from both Amy and I to the newlyweds. We thought that you two might feel more comfortable to live here instead back at your small apartment. However, we have done some renovation by putting two bedrooms together to become a huge master bedroom for you. Let me take you there. “
We are walking through the stairs while Rudy turns on all the lights in the house. He opens the door to their room. They are double doors. The room is really beautiful. It has both of Ruby and Anthony’s pictures everywhere. They are pictures when they were kids, teenagers, during their graduation parties and even when they used to celebrate their birthdays together. Rudy even made them a beautiful painting. I can see the giant closet for Ruby to put all her belongings here. We are turning left to see the bed. It’s a large king bed. On top of it, there is a picture of Anthony is kissing her while she is still sleeping. Ruby even smiles weakly when she sees the picture.
Ruby looks at Rudy and says
“Thank you. Thank you so much. I really like it. I am sure that Anthony would like it too.”
“There is nothing greater in the world besides seeing you happy.”
He hugs her tightly. Later on, she sits down on the bed while looking at all the musical ornaments. I just found out from Rudy that they are all her collections. Rudy asked her parents to pack them all. She is lying down on the bed while hearing one of the music box.
I ask Chris and Rudy to sit with me to the small TV room outside her room.
“We have to take turns to take care of her. I know that you are working at the moment Rud but I think Chris has more flexibility to look after her. I will stay as much as I can with her.”
Chris gives me a reply
“What about your job in Sydney? You have taken your leave for a long time.”
“I will send an email first thing in the morning to my boss. I have been away too long. It’s time for me to give him a resignation letter. Don’t worry.”
Rudy is looking at me and says
“I think it’s better to call her baby sitter to accompany her. I mean the one who has stayed with her family ever since she was born. She could accompany her to go to the bathroom and taking care of her while we are not here. She can also help to clean up the place.”
The three of us finally make an agreement. Rudy will come every time he gets off from work. The three of would take turn to sleep. Chris also comes by after he gets off from his ‘work’. He usually comes at about 12.00 PM to bring us something to eat.
Chris finally asks me to speak alone with him. We go outside the house and sits in front of the door.
“Kev, I think it’s time for you to tell Lily as well.”
I am staring at Chris and wonder what he means by that.
“What are you talking about? Tell her about what?”
“I think it’s really not fair for Lily to keep waiting for you while you are here taking care of another woman. You love Ruby Kev. You really love her. Let’s face it! You can’t stop worrying about her.”
What Chris said is actually the same with I have been thinking lately. However, I am trying to settle things out with Ruby first and get back to Lily. That’s the original plan.
“I would not tell Lily about Ruby now. I just need to get Ruby back on her feet and see her to live her life happily with either one of you. I don’t care if she is choosing you or Rudy at the end.”
Suddenly, Chris lets his emotion out and screams at me
“When can you stop being a coward??!!?? Why are you always willing to give her up? Don’t look at me as your best friend. I am your competition. I will not back down and I certainly don’t want you to live in lies!!”
I look at Chris and say
“We will talk about this later. Right now, Ruby’s condition is more important.”
A few days have passed. Ruby is still having a bad dream almost every night. I have been sleeping in her closet room now which is twice as big as her room back in the old apartment. Her maid puts out a comfortable mattress for me to sleep in.
However, my most concern right now is Ruby’s appetite. She spits out her food almost every time we get her to eat. Fortunately, Anthony’s house is really near to one of the biggest hospital in Jakarta. Sometimes, we ask one of the doctors to come and give her an injection of Vitamin C. They are all saying the same thing. We need to get a psychiatrist for her since she doesn’t want to talk to them. I am really worrying that Ruby’s words are getting less for each day.
Rudy just talked to me to ask my opinion about getting a psychiatrist for her like the doctor’s advice. I rejected him straight away. Ruby wouldn’t even talk to the doctor, how she can even want to talk to a psychiatrist. She doesn’t talk to anyone beside the three of us. Even then, she only says her word very limited to us. She only talks to Chris when Chris delivers the food to say thank you. She only gives Rudy a little advice when he is asking her about something related with work. As for me, she only comes to cover me up with a blanket when I fall asleep. We rarely have our conversation except the one at night.
I look at the ceiling and begin to think whether Christian is true. Lily has been sending me a text. I only reply her as rarely as possible. I really don’t want to keep lying to her but I know if I break things up with Lily, she will feel devastated. Her health is not as good as normal people. She used to have leukemia. I also need to think whether it would affect her health later on.
However, I can’t stop lying to myself. My feeling for Ruby has grown even stronger than before. Sometimes, I can watch her sleeping for hours. I know that I am not supposed to think about her differently. I have to remind myself that I am just her protector, her guardian. Suddenly, Ruby is willing to speak to me.
“Kev, are you still awake?”
“Yes. I am still awake. What is it? Do you want something to drink?”
“No. I just want to talk to you.”
“What is it?”
“In case I forgot, I want to say thank you so much for everything you have done for me. I think it’s time for you to go back to Sydney. Your job and Lily are waiting for you there. I will be fine. Chris and Rudy visit me very often. My baby sitter is also here with me.”
I am pulling out my blanket and walk to her bed.
“Don’t worry about me. It’s my choice to stay here. I like living with you. I hate my job back in Sydney. I want to stay.”
Ruby suddenly hugs me and says
“Thank you… Thank you very much.”
We both fell asleep on the same bed that night. She is not having a nightmare in the next three days.
Time has passed us by; September, October, November and even December have gone by. Ruby is still not showing any improvements. She always stays inside her room and plays her musical ornaments. She is still having her nightmare at night.
Amy, Karen and Mat always come to visit her every weekend. They tried to tell jokes around her but she didn’t give them any response. I just realize that I haven’t seen Ruby’s laughing for more than four months. All of us really don’t know what to do.
I realize that I haven’t had a chance to look at Anthony’s luggage from Ruby’s apartment. I ask Chris and Rudy to take care of her while I am leaving to get the bag. Two hours later, I open Anthony’s bag in front of everyone including Amy. There is a house certificate, bank account and other important assets. All are already under Ruby’s name. We just need to get her signature in front of the notary and they will be legalized.
However, I don’t think that Ruby wants to sign anything at the moment. I am looking at one book. It has his hand written all over it. It turns out is his diary. He only writes after he found out about his disease. I open some of the pages and stop at his last page. It’s written on the day before he died.
September 8, 2012
Tomorrow is our wedding day. I cannot wait to walk you down the aisle. I hope that we can still have many years to come. Unfortunately, I know that my time is near. My head spin even worse this morning. I can only see things in black and white now. Yesterday, you took me to the bridal house and tried on the wedding dress. It really killed my heart because I couldn’t see you at all. I am sure that you must look really beautiful. I hope that tomorrow, my sight will get better.
Rub, for a whole my life, I am waiting for you to be my bride but why the fate has been so cruel to us? We only tasted a bit of happiness in less than a month and I have to leave you in also less than a month. I hope that I still have enough time to make you live your day happily with me.
Ruby, I know that if you are reading at my diary now, it means that I have left you. I am no longer able to stay beside you. Please forgive me that I broke my promise to take care of you until your hair becomes white. I am sorry. I wish that I didn’t have to leave. I never wanted to.
Rub, don’t afraid to get close to someone again. Look at your surroundings and see that they are three men who love you with all their hearts. Don’t close your heart to them. Faith will bring you to the right man. You know that my voice will always stay inside your heart and tell you a good advice. They are only for your consideration. At the end, it will come down to your final decision.
Rub, I am still seeing you from the above even you can’t see me at the moment. I hope that I can still see the same Ruby whom I fell in love badly which is a beautiful and light hearted you. Rub, just remember that I will always love you even though we are worlds apart.
I couldn’t help to shed few tears while I am reading his diary. He made this specially for Ruby because he knew that Ruby needs something to remember him by. I go to her room in an instant and give the diary to her. Her room is dark. I turn on the light on a desk lamp and see that she is sleeping. She has been sleeping a lot lately since she hasn’t got any activities with her. We tried to get her to go out but she rejected every time we tried to ask.
“Rub, wake up. I want to show you something.”
She opens her eyes straight away and turns her head at me
“I am not sleeping. I am only closing my eyes. Why did you turn on the lights? Please turn it off.”
Anthony has left something for you. It’s his diary. Do you want to read see it?
She gets up to sit straight away and turns on all the lights in her room. He starts to read his diary. I am staying with her to see her reaction. Her eyes are teary again and at the end she is hugging the book against her chest. She says
“Kev, he has gone but I miss him. I really miss him. What should I do?”
I put her head to rest on my shoulder and say
“It’s ok for you to miss him. You will always have him in your life. No one can take that away from you. He’s here. He’s always here.”
I am leaving Ruby after a while. She is lying down on her bed while hugging his diary. On top of her bed, we can always see his clothes, his picture, and even his bath products and perfumes. I know why she puts everything related to Anthony there. It’s because she misses him too much.
Part 3: My sons and daughters (Betty – Christian’s mother)
I just got back from the US with my eldest daughter, May. She just graduated on her bachelor degree in Finance. I am proud of her. She is graduated with a magna cum laude from Berkeley University. I want her to work at the company and heading the Finance Department when she is ready. I finally ask trusted secretary, Cindy to come in to my office. I want to know everything that has been going on lately. She is knocking on my door and I ask her to come in to see me.
“Cindy, tell me about what happened recently.”
She is giving me all the reports about the current projects. She also tells me that Christian has been working on the Bogotta’s project quite well. After an hour of dealing with many reports, I finally ask her about Ruby. The last thing I knew is that her father already went out from the hospital.
“Mam, Ruby’s friend who was hospitalized earlier passed away on their wedding day. They decided to get married after Chris and Ruby had a very big fight around one month before their wedding day. Ruby gave me a resignation letter after Chris had her lock in the girl’s bathroom for hours and also asked Prof. Wendy to go back to her country at the time.”
“Luckily, Kevin is here to help both of them to solve their misunderstanding. Now, Kevin, Rudy and Christian are taking turns to take care of Ruby. She is under a severe depression. I hear from Kevin that she hasn’t come out from her room for months.”
I am shaking my head and wondered how this is even happened. Why Chris had her locked in the girl’s bathroom? I can’t even understand why he asked Prof. Wendy to go back? It was Chris who begged me to take care of Anthony’s treatment at the hospital. Chris really did things out of line. No wonder they had a big fight.
“Did Ruby decide to get married with Anthony because she’s angry with Chris?” I ask Cindy
Cindy is shaking her head.
“No. I think because she really has loved him all of her life. I saw them on their wedding day. They really love each other so much. Everyone can see that. I also saw when she cried at the hospital when Anthony died. Everybody was also crying with her. It’s really heart breaking. ”
I ask Cindy to go out from the room and wonder why things turned out this way. I thought that she liked my son when they were in Sydney. Ruby is a very capable and smart woman. I really want her to become my daughter in law. Now, Cindy even told me that she is having a severe depression. I need to help her to recover from this difficult situation.
I just don’t understand how can strong girls like her have a severe depression? I need to ask some more details from Chris. So far, everything is working well. Now that Chris is the General Manager, May is also coming to the office to handle Finance. In a few months, I am also planning to promote Rudy as IT Head. I just need to call June to go back. She will probably be interested to work in purchasing. I am calling June to let her know what happens between Chris and Ruby. She has grown to care with their relationship development. I ask her to come back to Indonesia and she says that she will still consider about it. Honestly, I never saw June can get close with another girl beside May. Ruby is really something.
I am pressing a button on my office phone and ask Cindy to call Christian to see me. After a while, he comes in to my room. He looks unhappy. His face expression is not as the same compare to few months ago. I wonder whether he has been given too much responsibility at the office.
“How are you? I heard that you have done well with the Bogotta’s case. I am really happy to see you like this. Are you over loaded with work? We can get an additional staff to help you.”
Chris looks at me and says “I am fine. I just didn’t have enough sleep yesterday. It’s not because of work. I have just a lot of things going on my mind lately.”
“Is it because of Ruby? How’s her condition at the moment?” I ask Chris
“You won’t recognize her anymore. She rarely talks to me. She only says the word thank you when I deliver them some food. Kev is staying with her all day. He also doesn’t know how to cheer her up.”
I am looking at my goofy son and wonder why Ruby can change him drastically. He even talks to me in a more polite way. I also want to find out about Rudy from his side. I want to see his opinion about Rudy’s personality and whether the two of them can get along well.
“Are the two of you taking turns to take care of Ruby at the moment?”
“Yes and no. We have an additional person. His name is Rudy. He is working here too at the moment. He is the IT consultant who represents IBM. He is Ruby ex boyfriend.” answers Christian.
“How’s he? Is he a good person?” I am probing Chris on his opinion about Rudy.
“He is ok! I rarely talk to him. He is a very quiet guy. He is very different compare to me and Kev. But, we can see that he loves Ruby very much. I don’t know him that well. He always makes a distance to anyone beside Ruby. I think that he doesn’t like to have any friends either.”
I think it’s really hard if the two of them can become good friends as the two of them really have opposite characters. I continue to ask him about his current feeling now to Ruby
“Is there anything we can do to help? Will a psychiatrist able to help her depression? Is Ruby closer with Rudy or with you at the moment?”
“She is not closed with any of us. She is ignoring our existence. She still loves her late husband very much. They grew together, the shared every moment together. We are just like outsiders to Ruby. Kev is the one who is slightly closer with her. We have been thinking about getting her a psychiatrist but Kev said that it would be worthless. She doesn’t even want to talk to anyone beside the three of us. A psychiatrist will bring her condition worse.”
I am looking at my son. He seems hopeless about Ruby. I ask whether I could go and see her.
“Can I go and she her with a specialist? Maybe, we can figure out what’s best for her.”
“It’s probably best for the two of you not to meet each other. You will get her to feel nervous. I don’t want her to become unstable.” says Christian
“How about your cousin Amy? Isn’t she a psychologist? Maybe you can discuss with her ways to help Ruby. I am sure that she can come up with something.”
“You are right. Why I didn’t think of this before? Thanks mom!”
Chris finally is putting a smile on his face. He is leaving my office as soon as the wind goes by. I am really glad about his development at the moment. He can really care about someone rather than himself. He even starts to work seriously in the office. I need to find out what the other manager’s opinions on him.
Deep down in my heart, I really want Rudy, Chris, June and May recognize each other as siblings. Now, it seems that it’s not yet a good time. I am also afraid that Rudy and Chris will hate each other because of Ruby.
I am pressing the call button again and ask Cindy to go to Ruby’s house to look at her condition more closely. I want her to come back working for me. If she can come back and help me with the HR division, I can even think to get an early pension. I hope that all my daughters and sons can inherit the family business.