Zaqia Octiani / 180410150040
"Kana!" Calls someone. Her voice was not too loud, but somehow I was startled. "Your phone." She said again, pointing toward the black-square thing that had been shaking.
"Ah, thank you." I said and picked up the object that had been whining for me to touch it. I listen to someone on the other side thoroughly. Several times respond with "yes" then it’s disconnected. I took a deep breath, catch an attention from my friends who were busy with their food.
"Kana?" A friend of mine touched my shoulder. "Are you okay?" He asked in a worried tone. I nodded for not bothering to make a sound.
"Sorry, but I have to go." I says. After I said good-bye I went to the parking lot. I’m tired because I haven’t slept for two days because of work that piles up in the office and the phone call just now made my head more chaotic. I tried to control my emotions so I’m not do stupid things like speed up my car and hit something and die. Ah, I’m too young to die. I still have a lot of things to do. One of them was Joe, the little devil who was the main cause of the storm in my head.
The sound of the radio sounded faintly playing pop songs of the 90’s, I’m mumbling softly, looking out the window, staring at a street that’s been two years I passed. I stopped right at the red light, the front row. It’s the most unlucky day. Again, I was startled. This time because of two little kids tapped on my windshield. One of the children wiped my windshield with an old cloth, while the other spoke something. I rolled down my windshield, took some of the money I had provided for parking fee and gave the boy who was still mumbling, all I heard was "Hopefully .. hopefully .." Not long after the two children left, the light turned green. I deliberately step on the gas slowly, somehow I feel like I want to enjoy the evening as though I have never seen it. Seeing the sky with a reddish-orange color seemed to take me in the past where it all started and also ended.
I was about 12 years old at that time and was sitting in second grade of middle school . Joe, my younger brother who was 5 years old from me just went to elementary school. That time, in the afternoon I just got home from school. My clothes are wet with sweat from walking from school. One of my hands was carrying a bag of mangoes that I had just gotten from a grandmother who I helped because her tires had leaked. I say hello at the door and take off my shoes. Mrs. Nindi’s voice was heard from inside and came to me, she smiled. Somehow that day she looks very happy. I can tell from the clothes she’s wearing today. Usually Mrs. Nindi wearing a short-sleeved short skirt with a worn tosca turban to cover her hair. But today she was wearing the clothes I thought was the best she had. She led me inside. That’s when I saw a man about 30 years old talking to Mr. Galih, Mrs. Nindi’s husband. I also greet Mr. Galih then that person. Somehow the man saw me with strange looks and looked very sad.
"Come on, you take a shower and change your clotch. After that, bring Joe here. "Said Mrs. Nindi and smile widely. I shudder at her soft voice and go straight inside. It was not too long before I returned to the living room with wet hair and the smell of bubbly bath soap. I also brought Joe with me. Based on the explanation from Mr.Galih and Mrs. Nindi, the man who is now sitting before us is my real father. She separated from mother when mother before she had Joe. I didn’t heard the rest cause my eyes and my mind focused on Joe who’s holding my hand tightly. That day, is the day when our status as an orphan turned into just not have a mother. Joe and I left the orphanage accompanied by the smiles of both husband and wife as well as the cries of several children. Some are not willing to apart from us, others are jealous of having to live longer in that rotten place.
Our lives changed drastically because of our real father, but it isn’t easy for him being a father figure for both of us. Although he took us to a placethat 100 times better than the orphanage and treated us so well, it didn’t make me see him as our father because all this time the father that we know is Mr. Galih, a construction worker who was fights with bu Nindi about money that is always lacking every single day. The figure of the father in front of me right now, who is playing with Joe, is a fictional figure I always imagined in my head. This moment is too good to be true, It’s still hard to believe ifhe really exists. He’s our father, me and Joe. Ours and we don’t need to share him with 12 other children.
As the saying goes, "When you receive something, you must be prepared to lose something too." We receive happiness and a comfortable life but we must also be willing to lose the giver of our happiness. One and a half year was not enough to give me a reason to cry when my biological father left us forever. Little Joe didn’t cry at all. His left hand reached my cold palm and grasped it. While his right hand holds an action figure of a super hero. I took a step back as people crowded around my father, who was lying calmly in the middle of the room. I turned my face to Joe when the people who claimed to be my father’s relative were staring at us. Did I suddenly have superhuman powers? Because despite not seeing or hearing them I can know what they say. More or less, "Poor kids”.
My hands became colder and sweaty whenever the men were piling up the soil into the grave. As the ground began to pile perfectly into the bend, I squatted aloof with Joe. Looking at his innocent eyes and smiling stiffly. This time we really became an orphan.
Our life without father surprisingly runs quite smoothly. I thought maybe dad had planned it all before he died. All our needs are borne by the dad’s company. Some of the workers also often stop by to see us. Honestly, I hate to see their concerned faces whenever they see us but I can’t forbid them to come because Joe already likes them. Joe is not like me, he is easily close to other people. Even the first time we moved into my dad’s house, I found him sleeping on my father’s mattress while hugging him. Thinking of it suddenly I feel sad. How can God take my poor Joe’s happiness?
One night I was doing my schoolwork. Suddenly Joe came up to me. "Sister, I want to learn karate." Joe said as he cling into me.
Joe’s little head nodded enthusiastically. "I want to be like Mr.Miyagi (one of the characters in The Karate Kid). Whush..whush..Joe practiced some of the moves he imitated from the movie he watched with dad’s companion this afternoon. "Can I?" His round eyes looked at me hopefully.
The next day Joe and our nanny went to the karate studio to register. Joe is really serious about learning karate. I can’t forbid, his pompous eyes always make me unable to argue with him. After all, karate is not something negative, it might be useful for Joe in the future or if Joe is serious about his words last night, he might actually be a karate athlete. Thinking about it makes me a little sleepy, but I can’t fall asleep because tomorrow is the first day of my orientation in high school and the task for that activity is piling up. I decided to went to the living room, turned on the television with its boring show, while the rain was getting bushy out there. In the afternoon Joe returned with a white clothes and white belt around his waist. Hemoves nimble to and fro, he laughed happily. I just shook my head.
Mr.Miyagi influence only lasted for one year. Joe began to lazily go to the gym studio with a variety of reasons. Finally, he said he wanted to quit karate. I think Joe is quite good at karate, in his very young age Joe has gone through many games even though he is not always win. But I’ll understand if he’s getting bored, so I let him stop.
One afternoon when I just got home from school, Joe ran up to me. "Sister, next week is my birthday." He said happily.
I nodded. "Yes, what is my little Joe wants?" I stroked his fine hair.
"I want the ball because I wanna be like Ronaldo."
Ah, this time Ronaldo huh? I stared at Joe who started enthusiastically telling about Ronaldo, his new idol.
Joe’s birthday was simple. There was only me, some of my father’s co-workers and our house clerks. Almost all the gifts that Joe got associated with football. Apparently Joe had specifically asked them. I chuckled softly, see how sneaky is my little angel .
I thought Joe will get bored with his new hobby. But it turns out lasted long enough. Up into junior high school Joe is still diligently practicing soccer. He even entered into one of the leading junior teams. I also often get invited to watch Joe game. Until one day I got a call from Joe’s school. I was at my university and rushed to go to Joe’s school. When I got there I saw Joe sitting opposite with a child and his mother. I greeted the principal and some of the boy’s mother then went to Joe who immediately bowed his head as he saw me. Based on the teacher’s explanation, Joe and his friends were playing football, then somehow suddenly he was involved in a fight with one of his friends. Joe didn’t want to explain anything even though I forced him. He just holds my hand. I felt the sweat soaking in his cold palm, I smiled. Ah..my little cunning angel.
After that incident Joe didn’t want to go to school for more than two weeks. During that time he busied himself by watching movies at home or playing video games. Joe was avoiding me, I think he felt guilty and ashamed. One day I was watching a basketball match on TV while calling my college buddies. Then Joe came out of his room and watched beside me. Immediately I turned off my phone and waited. A few minutes passed.
"Sister." He said. I replied. "I’m sorry." He said softly.
I replied again. "Then when will you go back to school?"
"Tomorrow..I’ll make sure I’m going to school."
I smiled and stroked his hair. Since when did he become this big ?.
"But … I don’t want to play football anymore."
My forehead creased. "Why ?."
"There’s no reason. I’m just bored. "
Haaahh, the same old reason. I looked at him, waiting for something I already knew what it was.
"I want that." Joe pointed to the television. "How cool that person can do slam dunk. Bam .. "
Joe’s eyes widened. "His name is Kobe Bryant? I want to be like him. "
"Of course Joe, you can be whatever you want." Looks like I have to be patient for some time again.
The sound of the horn interrupted my thoughts. I pulled over for a while, preparing myself. Oh, I can’t believe I’m going to this place. I hurriedly went into the room that was meant by the person who had called me before.
"Good night." I say politely. A man in police uniform approached me. "I am Kana, the guardian of Joe." The policeman smiled kindly then drove me to another room. There I saw Joe and three of his friends talking to some police officers and two army members. They look relaxed and even laugh together. Dear..what am I really worried about? I sighed.
"Joe." Call me softly.
"Oh .." Joe bowed when he saw me. "Sis, I’m sorry." He reached for my hand and placed it on his warm cheek. "Sorry…sorry…" he said over and over again. I just smiled and murmured.
"It is not really a big deal. It’s just that Joe and his friends crashed into the back of the gentlemen’s car. "A cop explained to me.
"I am sorry. I’m so sorry. "I say politely.
"It’s okay, after all they’ve made an agreement not to do that anymore. Joe.. "The policeman turned to Joe who was still holding my hand. "Even if you already have a driver’s license, you should not have to drive your own car. Wait till you finish high school. "The policeman advised Joe.
Joe saluted. "Yes sir."
It was wrong decision when I gave Joe permission to use my old car. I was too spoiled. Thank goodness this is not a serious problem, just the act of teenagers who are puberty.
Joe kept grabbing my hand as we drove three of his friends to take a taxi. Looks like he’s not shy at all. He even smiled widely then told this storyendlessly. Look at this big baby, he didn’t realize that now he is high schooler and still behave like this?
"Sister, the day after tomorrow can you see my match?"
I pretended to hesitate. He’s pouting and sulking. "Of course."
He jumps cheerfully. Those sparkling eyes, I hope I can always see them.
"Oh yeah, I guess I already know what I want to do in the future." Joe smiled at me. "I want to be an army. Like the gentlemen’s. They are so cool and handsome aren’t they? "
Joe? I felt my hands cold and started to sweat. Joe, you’re kidding right?
"Let me drive sis." He says.
I was silent for a few seconds, restoring my consciousness and smiling stiffly. My little Joe, little angel who can sometimes be a troublesome little devil. A voice echoed in my ears.
"Sis, can I become a power ranger when I grow up? I want to be the red one. "
My smile widened. "Of course, you can be whatever you want to be Joe." It feels like tonight I will not be able to sleep.
Word count : 2,465