“..we will have a barbeque later, Pak Indra want you to join..” Seran, a colleague ask me to go out later after work, since tomorrow is a public holiday. We are not often hanging out together. But sometime, when we have a long holiday, one of a colleague held a barbeque party in their place.
“..i can’t, I have to pass this one, I have an appointment tonight..” his name is somehow unusual for me when I recently knew him. Later on, he told me that Seran is actually his last name, he come from the east part of Indonesia. He is a good friend. We sometime take a walk together on our way home and split half way because we live in a different areas.
“..our supervisor ask me to let you know and would like you to join as well..” he continue.
“..i would like to join, but I have appointment already, so I can’t cancel that one..” I explain carefully, I can’t accidentally slip out that I am having an appointment with a man and more over with a foreigner man.
“..with who you have appointment to? Come one! This barbeque event are very rare happening, how come you not going?..”
“..with a friend as I said before. Look, if I don’t have an appointment, I would join tonight barbeque. Maybe next time..” I look at the woman of the place where we ate. “..Bu, I am finished, one mix rice and ice tea..” Starting to feel irritated, I rather leave. “..i still have some work to finish, I’m off ya, see you later..” I leave him finishing his food. He always took longer with finishing his food. He wave at me.
“..ok, see you later..” he is saying it with his mouthful.
I don’t like canceling any appointment last minutes, that is not polite, that’s how my parents raised me. This has nothing to do with who will I meet.
My phone vibrating on my pant pocket, at work, I silent my phone so I don’t have any distraction when I am working. I was about to sit.
“..hi Mak, wait let me call you back..” as soon as I see who is calling and pick it up, it was my mother. I don’t want them to waste their credit.
“..OK..” ‘click’ she hang-up the phone on the other side. I dial *888# and register my number to have a call packet. That will make it cheaper to call my parents. It is better for my parents to use the credit I purchased for them to call other families member.
“..hi Mak, how are you? Everything is alright back home?..” I speak once the call got connected.
“..everything is good, just wanted to chat and hear your voice..” That’s how sweet my parents is.
“..ahh ok, I am at work now though, hows Bapak doing?..” I ask about my father. We, javanesse in my hometown, called parents with this Emak (for mother) and Bapak (for father). Of course in the city, they go with Papa or Mama or something more fancy compare to how I call my parents. It is just showing, that we grew in a village. Where the surrounding is still green, trees everywhere, fruits in the backyard, or vegetables in front yard. The ricefield we have commonly we plant rice or corn.
“..he is asleep at the moment, have you eat already?..”
“..yes, just some Nasi Campur at the Warung nearby. What did you cook today?..”
“..Eggplant with Fried Chicken..” ahh, how I miss my Mom cooks. Every dish she cook, it always taste so good.
When my parents call, we hardly have any heavy topic, usually just the common conversation. Except when my half-sisters acting up, then the conversation would be longer. Which I have to come up with the solutions. Sometime, I feel sorry for them, in their old age, they still have to take care my both half-sisters who already grown. They both older than I am. That is also one of the reason why I don’t really go back to my hometown often. Problem always like in front of the door. Don’t get me wrong, I knew my duty as their child is to help them, but sometime, I think half relatives dragging me down, most of the time. But when I remember to where I am, I think that is just how it is supposed to be. In a family, it must be one who is helping the others. And this time, that person is me. And it got me to where I am, that’s something I am happy about.
“..you not coming tonight I hear from Seran?..” the supervisor stand next to my table.
“..yeah, sorry, I have an appointment already, take a raincheck?..” I smile
“..i was hoping you would come tonight to congratulates you..”
“..eh? Congratulates? For what? My birthday is 4 months ago..” I confusedly ask
“..last week I have a meeting with the owner, said he want to bump you to sales department..” he talk without expression, it is hard to understand this guy, he always kind to me yes, but his no expression is making me having difficulties to read him, to understand him.
“..where does that come from? I am not a sales person, I can’t sell..” it confuse me even more.
“..he notice that most of client are rather ordering through you, than to our sales staff, and I confirmed it as well..”
“..they ask if the hardware they wanted to sell is in stock or not, but that was just it, the order still go through the sales. I don’t think I am up for Sales, I have no background in the field..” me, not knowing how to react on such news. Should I be happy? Or should I not?
“..you declining it? The pay is better compared to where your position now. And you have more allowance. Why don’t you take it?..” I honestly don’t know how to react. “..anyway, congratulation! I think by end of the month he will have a meeting with you regarding this..”.
Still puzzled with the information I receive after lunch. Whether I should be thrill about the new position is about to offer, but I don’t see myself as someone who can sell. It is a nice feeling when your work is being recognized by your superior, you feel appreciated and acknowledge, but changing department is not in my vocabulary lists. Taking calls? Being nice to person I don’t really fancy about? And always have to be pleasant even though the customer were shouting, or snob in front of you? I am not that kind of person. I most of the time say what I like and dislike. But the raise got me tempted. Who would refuse a raise anyway?
Arriving home, I freshen up by washing my face, and change my clothes to a casual one, a jeans and a t-shirt should be enough. I will have to get ready to meet Gerhard soon. He must have had on his way already. I sat on the balcony, and light a red dunhill on my finger, inhale the siggarete trying to release my head that is full of question on how, what if, and so on.
“..I wait in Telkom building, just arrived here. See you soon..” a text on my inbox arrived. Telkom is a name of a government landline telephone office building in the area.
“..will be there in 10 minutes..” and I press send. I then left to the place he mention he waited for me. I actually have to almost running to make it there in 10 minutes. The distance is too far for 10 minutes relax and easy walk. And I don’t like making people waiting for me too long.
“..hello tourist..” I greet once I spot him. He look at me up and down.
“..did you run to get here? You look like just finished from running 10 time in the park..” he look at me oddly.
“..well, almost running, yes, if I walk it won’t be enough for me to get here in 10 minutes. I won’t feel good making you wait too long also, I know I hate to wait, I assume most of peoples are hating it as well..”
“..true, but you don’t have to do that, I don’t mind to wait in here. Ok, we need to get something cold for you to cool down..” he suggest.
“..what kind of cold drink you want?..”
“..this was for you, not for me, so you pick what you want..”
“..cold water?..” I am not sure, I usually just give time for the body to cool down by itself and adjust. The same thing like when I get sick, as far as I can bear with the pain, I let my body heal itself. I tried to take medicine when I have the flu, it was heal yes, but the flu return after 3 or 4 weeks later. So I decide to let my body work by itself since then.
He told me to hop on in the back on his motorbike, and he drive, he said he will look for the cold drink on the way, and I did. He drive rather fast, and when he break because of cars or motorbike in front, I have to hold on to the handle of the motorbike, which is a little difficult. He stop at this stall that sell Es Campur (I don’t know how to explain this one, just google this one, you will see the result).
“..why you look at me that way..” I ask once we sit down, while we have our drink.
“..like what? This always is how I look at you, haven’t I?..”
“..i don’t know, this smirky smile, I haven’t seen this kind of smile out of you..”
“..what is a smirky smile?..”
“..i don’t know either..” I give up in trying to explain. I just let him be. I can’t elaborate on this one. Just like the information I receive this afternoon. I can’t digest it properly. So I let time finding its answer.