Flash Fiction: A Stranger’s Request on a Rainy Day

Nurul Hanun Asyifa


Wonderful things happen when you least expect them. One happened on one rainy day, during Dania’s visit to her grandmother’s house in a village behind Mount Ciremai in Kuningan, West Java. She was walking down on a wet road when she encountered a man who was standing behind a tree. A patch of sadness was plastered on his face, making Dania approached him and asked him what was wrong.

The man’s face became cheerful as if he had just received a prize. “I am watching over my family over there. That is my wife—” he pointed at a woman who was sitting on the porch of a house just a few meters from where they stood, “she now has to work in a rice field, I feel very bad for her. Oh, and my daughter’s about to graduate soon. You see, I no longer live with them, so I can only watch them from here.” said the man. ‘What an odd man. Why is he spying on his wife and daughter? They must have been divorced’, thought Dania. She was about to leave the man when he asked her a favor, “I know it’s a very strange request to be asked to a stranger, but I really need your help. Could you please tell my wife to look under the brown cupboard?” asked the man. Dania politely declined the man’s request, telling him that she would not want to be involved in other people’s businesses, and suggested him to just tell his wife himself. The man looked devastated, but did not say anything. When Dania walked away, she could not help but felt sorry for the man.

Later in the evening, Dania was walking on the same wet road. She saw the man’s wife was sweeping the porch. Dania remembered the man’s request, she immediately went to the big tree where she met the man earlier. However, it seemed that the man had already left. Dania contemplated at first, but finally decided to tell the wife about the man’s request. The woman was very mad, “You inappropriate young lady!” yelled the woman, she then told Dania to go away. Dania got scared and annoyed, she quickly ran away from the woman’s porch.

On the last day of her visit, the woman came to see Dania in her grandmother’s house. Dania was very surprised and confused. The woman was very sorry for yelling at Dania, she then explained her reason. The man whom Dania met the other day actually had passed away three years ago. The woman found a stack of money under the brown cupboard, she had no idea that her late husband had kept his money there. The woman also explained that the man had promised their daughter that she would go to college, “I believe he had kept his money there to be used later as our daughter’s college tuition. I don’t know how he reached you, but thank you very much. He was a very responsible father, and now he has kept his promise.” explained the woman. Dania was feeling puzzled and yet, relieved. “Now your burden has gone, Sir.” Dania smiled, staring at the bright blue sky. She had no regret for helping the man that day.

Word Count: 542

Photo Credit: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/310-E-Main-St-Vernon-MI-48476/120529011_zpid/

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