Summary : A new student in my class always ignore anyone who tries to be friend with him, but I will make him be my friend no matter how many times he ignores me.
The Time When I Call You ‘My Friend’
People said that Monday is monster day. I do agree, but for me, monster day is not only Monday, but everyday in a week is the same. Transferred to a new school in the middle of the semester in a place I never heard make me more upset than usual, well maybe I upset with my life all the time, but meeting new people and seeing them act like they want to know me really makes me more upset. Seeing their curiosity makes me sick, disgusting.
There’s a new student in my class, he doesn’t speak much or I can say he is rarely speaking and whenever I try talk to him, he always just staring at me and say nothing. I’m ignored and the situation being awkward hahaha poor me. Well I’ll try again later, I’m curious about him actually, not because he is from the city-I-never-visit, but I think we can be friend, I don’t know.
“Ya, Aryaaaa, hello? Are you there?” Someone clap my shoulder, it’s Ruli.
“What are you doing? Day dreaming in the morning? Or thinking a way to be friend with the new student again? Are you falling in love with him?” he laughs.
“Hush Ruli! It’s not funny!” I upset. Ruli always makes fun of anything, sometimes it’s really funny but sometimes it’s not and I often get upset by his joke, but yeah he is a friend that worth to keep. We are best friend since junior high school and I have already known how to face his annoying attitude.
“Wooooo, am I right?” he take a seat and sit in front of me
“You are falling in love with him.”
“If I would fall in love with someone, it would be you I promise.” I take Ruli’s hand and look at his eyes.
“Ugh! Not funny! Disgusting!” he wards my hands off, frowning. I laugh, I really can handle him and I proud.
“Do you want to go to Cipanas after school?” he asks
“I can’t, Mimi told me to help her in the store.”
“Well, maybe later then, oh don’t forget to choose me in the student president council election buddy” he smiles bright, wink, and leave my class.
“YOU?” I shout, he waves his hand and lose from my sight. Ruli? President council? He must be kidding me!
I live with Mimi, my grandma. My parents died several years ago, now just both of us left, and we are happy, we have each other. We open a grocery store for living, and yeah it’s enough for both of us. At first, it’s hard for me to accept the truth that I only have Mimi as my family, we have no other relatives, I don’t know where they are, so does Mimi. It feels like we are forgotten, abandoned. But, I meet Ruli in senior high school, he acted like he was the most popular man when we first met, annoying and never stopped trying to speak to me even when I ignored him. Maybe there was no one who wanted to hear his stupid jokes, or he knew that I was lonely. I’m afraid to make friend with the others, even to say hay. I’m afraid that they will be just pity on me because I’m an orphan. I don’t want that kind of relationship. Then Ruli gave me the courage to make friend with the other, to not just knowing their names but hang out with them too. Ruli didn’t know I’m an orphan before, and when he knew, nothing change. He still Ruli as I know, still annoy me and never show he is pity on me and I forgot how lonely I was when I’m with my friends. When the first time I tried talking to Reyhan, the transferred student, and his respond was like he didn’t want anyone to get close to him, I feel like saw the old me, saw my reflection on him, and I know he is lonely and I decide to be his friend. Haaah ,I sound like a girl, but really I.. Ah whatever, I’ll speak with him again later.
“How was the school? Have many friends already?” Anna, my stepmother always asks the same question every dinner.
“He said he will not come home today, new project has just begun and I think he will be very busy.”
“Why did you marry him? You know he will never have time to spend with you.”
I do not hate her, I’m pity on her. My father even doesn’t have time to spend with me, to his family, that’s why mom left us. I rarely talk to my dad, he always busy and when he got home, he was always talking in the phone. I often heard my parents fighting in the night, my mother was scream and shout, sometimes I heard my dad’s voice but my mom’s always dominating and louder. And once morning, I found my mom has left with no words for me, she was just disappear like never exist, never calling me or meeting me. I asked my dad, why and why, but he always said “I don’t know”, and I don’t care anymore, sick with him yet can’t leave the home, I don’t have money, so I stay with him. And soon or later I think she will leave anyway, or maybe not, who knows? Maybe she wants my dad’s money, well I don’t really care. She looks at me and smiles.
“Why did you say that? Of course because I love him, and I love you too.” She smiles, ugh! Love! What kind of reason is that? Disgusting. What a poor girl, doesn’t know that my dad doesn’t deal with ‘love’ things. Well whatever.
“I’ll go to my room. Should I clean the dishes?”
“No, I’ll do that.” She smiles again. Should I smile too? Oh stupid.
It’s almost a month since I moved here; it’s a nice place actually. Fresh air in the morning, rice field in my left and right when I go to school, something new, not bad at all. But this place has no complete bookstore like Gramedia, there is no taxi, and broken road in everywhere I go. It sucks. My new school is not really bad, but the food really makes me want to puke. As usual, I don’t get along with the students there, even my classmate, some of them tried to talk to me at the first week, but I always just stared at them with I-am-not-interesting-talk-to-you face. They are always asking the same question, ‘where are you from? Where is your old school? Where is your home?’ I don’t understand why do they want to know? They stopped talking to me after a week. Well I don’t care, I don’t have many friends from my old school too, or maybe I don’t really have one. People come and go, and the one you called ‘friend’ will leave you anyway, leave you because they get bored with you. I don’t need that kind of relationship, I’m better with my own self. But, there is someone who always bothering me, keep talking even when I give him no attention, his name is Ari or something, I forget. He always read manga with his friend and laugh and cry in class, seriously, that’s not cool and they go everywhere together like a gay couple. Sometimes they ask me to go with them, but I always refuse, I don’t want to be seen as a boy band, go everywhere in group. Almost everyday he tries talk to me, what is his problem? Why can’t he just leave me alone? I bet tomorrow he will talk to me again. Haaah, no use, I will ignore him again.
13.35 pm. I have waited for 30 minutes in front of my school gate for a public transportation, I don’t even see one. I’m going to look for a book store around Cipanas, maybe I can find one. It’s suck! No taxi.
“Hei!” someone claps my shoulder, I turn my head and see him smiling. That let’s-be-friend boy. I’m trying not to sigh. Maybe he is just so care about other’s people social life so he feels so uncomfortable seeing other people alone and always bothering me.
“Are you waiting for public transport? Where will you go?”
“Looking for book store.”
“To Cipanas? We’ll go there too, looking for shoes, let’s go together, I bring a motorcycle.” I’m not thinking too long to say no, he will ask me and try to chat with me for sure when I sit on his motorcycle seat.
“Really? I know a complete book store, you can get any book you want there.” It’s a good offer actually but I don’t want to owe anything to him.
“Are you gay?” That’s question just come out from my mouth, he looks shocked hearing my questing, he gapes at me.
“Because you are so persistent to get close with me, I’m normal and not interesting in any relationship that you are offering.” He laughs.
“I just want to be your friend. I think we can be a good friend.” Oh he thinks. But his thought is totally wrong. We can never be friend, I don’t do something like make friend.
“I don’t think so”
“Don’t think then. So you will not come with us?”
“Ok.” He claps my shoulder again and goes with his friend. His friend looks at me, smiling at wave his hand. Ugh! Really like a gay.
“I heard he says you are like a gay.” Ruli laughs.
“I know, he looks frightened.”
“Stupid hahahaha, you really like one though, so why do you so persistent to make him your friend?”
“I don’t know.”
“Whatever, let’s buy shoes in the store under the bridge.”
I park my motorcycle and Ruli go toward the shoes stores, still wearing my helmet. I see some students in red-black uniform in that store, just like a school uniform which has a quarrel with some students in my school. Students gang fight. And usually, the students who don’t even involve in the fight will get the consequence too. Ruli maybe not aware because he is too busy choosing shoes. I enter the stores and push Ruli’s hand.
“What?” Ruli give me a glance and see where gaze is.
“Don’t be afraid, we don’t have problem with them.” As usual, Ruli doesn’t care, I’m afraid because last week a student from my school is black and blue because a problem with the students from that school. Maybe not all the students from that school are the same. Calm down calm down. I know that I’m weak so I should just avoid making problem which will just contain physical power.
“Hei, may I see that one?” one of the red-black student point toward the shoes which is in Ruli’s hand.
“I’ll buy this one, sorry.” Ruli answers calmly, and I see they are not really happy with Ruli’s respond.
“Just give it Rul.”
“Why? I’m going to buy this one.” maybe Ruli doesn’t understand the situation, or he is just pretending that he doesn’t understand. Oh shit, Ruli. I can’t fight. I don’t have any material art skill, so does Ruli. Five vs. two? I really can’t imagine what will happen.
I look at my Google maps and make sure that the place where i am now is the right place as it said. This place is a traditional market but trying desperately to be looked like a mall. The right side is full of stores such as bookstore, stationery, body shop and the left side is full of people who sell grocery. As I passed the stores one by one, there’s no sight the bookstore I’m looking for, I’m regretting my decision to not take his offer to take me to the bookstore he knows actually, but just a bit. I’m tired and decide to go home and suddenly I see two boys wearing the same uniform with me is fighting with in the narrow street, five vs. two, wow. I avert my face and pretending I don’t see them, well I don’t know them. I go from that place, trying not to get involved, but my curiosity win. I go back to that place and hide, and then I see let’s-be-friend-boy with his friend. Their face has been black and blue. I just staring at them, and let’s-be-friend-boy look at my hiding place, we meet eye to eye. His mouth move and I understand he said ‘run’ with no sound.
I don’t know what I am doing, I throw my bag and it precisely hit the big guy with ugly face. My adrenaline hormone is rushed inside my body, my heart is beating fast, and I’m holding my breath.
“Ups! Sorry my hand slips.” I see that big guy slam let’s-be-friend boy and come to me. I look at him with a sense of misgiving. I’m planning to run but my foot can’t move
“Who are you? Their friend huh?”
“How dare you do that to me? Don’t you know who I am?” He grips my collar and lifts me up from the ground, shit! I can’t breathe. I’m trying to get loose but useless, he is stronger than I expect. Suddenly my head spinning and my temple is hurt. He punches me. I do regret my heroic act. I close my eyes and try to think a way to escape. Suddenly hear someone screaming, growling, and he slams me to the ground. I open my eyes and see the five rascal boys are running, I hear one of them said “let him go! He is possessed by Satan. I heard this place is a ghost house”. And I see let’s-be-friend boy’s friend is screaming and growling while rolling on the ground. Let’s-be-friend boy glances at me while trying to calm his friend down and look at the way where the rascal boys go. I don’t know what to do, I feel a great pain on my temple, ah maybe his friend is epilepsy.
“Rul, they have gone.” Ruli doesn’t stop screaming and rolling on the ground. His eyes wide open and look scary.
“Rul?” I clap Ruli’s hand and he stop. He looks so tired.
“Do they go?” he is panting, sweating.
“Yes, you did it bro!” I give him a toss.
“Thanks god! I feel so exhausted. Is he OK?” I look at Reyhan and come close to him. He is sitting on the ground, holding his head, I saw him got a punch on his temple.
“Thanks for trying to save us.” I stretch my hand and helm him to stand.
“Are you just giving me sarcasm? I don’t help you at all, I get black and blue instead.”
“Of course no” well, I never expect him will come and trying to save us, I saw him hiding between the buildings and told him to run, and he came instead. Unexpected. I think he won’t care.
“How’s your friend? Is he epilepsy?”
“Ruli? No, he is just acting, to scare them out. And he did it”
“What’s your name?”
“Me? You don’t know?”
“I’m Arya and my friend’s name is Ruli”
“Oh” we stare at each other. Not say a word. It’s awkward.
“Guys? Are you done? Can we go home?” Ruli breaks the silence.
“I think you have epilepsy.”
“Rolling on the ground, screaming, growling.”
Ruli stares at us, and suddenly he is laughing, and I the image of Ruli screaming and rolling on the ground come to my mind. I start laughing too, so does Reyhan. We laugh together. I feel so relieved, I don’t know why but I’ll never forget this moment. Maybe this is the beginning of our friendship. Finally I can be friend with him.
Thank you to Maesa who kindly helps me with the dramatization and Nurlita Aulia who helps me checking my grammar.
Animation TV series, Isshuukan Friend and Oregairu.
Word count : 2676 words
Link for dramatization : https://soundcloud.com/gita-kania-dewi-1/the-time-when-i-call-you-my