Monday, 25 February 2008

When Friendship Is Found (this story has previously been published under a different title)

One afternoon, after school..

Tiara heard some called her name. Recognising the voice, she stopped walking and turned around. She smiled and greeted back, “Hi! What’s up? Looks like you’re in a big hurry?”

Denny tried to catch his breath, “No. Not really. I’ve just been trying to find you since morning. I want to borrow the new book you just bought, if you have finished reading it.”

Tiara sighed, “The way you were running.. it was like someone just got electrocuted! You scard me just now!”

Tiara stopped for a second before she continued, “About the book.. actually, I haven’t finished reading it yet, but shouldn’t be too long now. I’m sure you’ll like it. It’s fascinating! Once you start reading it, you won’t be able to stop”

Denny smiled and nodded. Then he looked at his watch, “Oh no! I have to go. I have an extra Math session. So, I’ll see you tomorrow?”

Tiara nodded, “Alright! I’m going home. See you tomorrow!”

At that, they waved and went their separate ways.

A few nights after that day..

After finishing her homework, Tiara sat on her bed and started writing in her diary about everything she did that day.


Everybody seemed very nice today and there wasn’t any homework to submit or exam to sit today. So I was very happy at school. But Diary, something has been bothering me lately.. Denny’s presence has brought confusion to me.


We have been close friends for almost three years. He always tells me everything and so do I. But I never feel like I’m his best friend. We never talk about our friendship. I’m confused, Diary.. What kind of friendship are we really in? What kind of friendship is it?

Tiara closed her diary and went to sleep, but her mind was still full with questions.

A week later, at school..

Denny dropped by Tiara’s classroom after school was over, at the same time Ira was about to leave her class.

Denny called out to Tiara, “Tiara! Wait a second!”

Tiara stopped walking. She looked at Denny and smiled, “Hi! Have you finished reading my book?”

Denny nodded, “Yes, I have, and it is in my right now. Why don’t you take it, and at the same time, I will show you my car. You haven’t seen it, have you?”

Tiara laughed, “No I haven’t seen your car. The truth is, I never actually think that you can ever have a car.”

Denny pretended to be angry, “Oh yeah! Well, then.. you should learn your lesson.. Never underestimate anyone!”

Tiara laughed again, “Hey! I’m just kidding. Don’t be angry!”

After taking her book from Denny’s car, Tiara looked for her car. Denny accompanied her. But after more than a few minutes search, they still couldn’t find that car, Tiara was sure that her car had left.

Tiara sighed, “Oh no.. I must’ve taken too long to get here! My sister must’ve thought that I was still busy at school. I’d better call her now, so that my driver can come back later to pick me up.”

Denny nodded with apologising look, “I’m really sorry, you were left behind because of me, but I’ll make it up to you. You call home and tell your driver that he doesn’t need to worry about picking you up today, because I’m driving you home!”

Tiara quickly looked at Denny. She was surprised at Denny’s suggestion to drive her home. Denny has been her best-friend for a long time, and until now, he never seemed to be bothered with things like driving a girl home or feeling sorry for a minor guilt.

However, since Tiara really wanted to go home, she decided to agree to Denny’s suggestion right away. After calling home, Tiara followed Denny to his car, where Denny quickly started the car.

In the journey to Tiara’s home, once again Denny surprised Tiara when he suddenly talked to her in a serious manner.

“I’ve been waiting for the right time to talk you about something that I believe you need to know.”

Tiara crossed her eyebrows in confusion, “If you want to tell me something, say it clearly! You’re giving me a headache!”

“Actually, I’m not sure where to start, so just bear with me here!”

Tiara just nodded.

“I’m not sure if there is anything wrong, but I feel that you are not like usual. Ever since Rosa dropped by my classroom every so often, you have completely stopped coming to my classroom. I don’t think you’re jealous, because you still talk to me and you still talk to her.”

Tiara shook her shoulders, “I am not jealous..”

Denny took a deep breath, “I realise that, and that’s why I need to talk to you.”

“What about?”

“First, I want to apologise for all the time that I was being selfish. You’ve put up with me a lot all this time. I didn’t realise it before, but I do now.”

Tiara shook her head, “You are my best friend, Denny! I take you the way you are.”

Denny sighed and smiled, “Thanks, and that would lead to the second thing I need to tell you. As much as you think of me as your best-friend, I also think of you as mine. I don’t want you to run away again if something is really happening between Rosa and me.”

Tiara looked down. Denny never knew why she decided to stay away from him last year. Tiara never wanted to do that, but Siska, Denny’s girlfriend at that time, made it very clear to Tiara that she didn’t want any other girl to get ‘too close’ to Denny, except herself, and that she wanted Tiara not to mention anything to Denny.

Siska and Denny finally broke up after having a long-term ‘disagreement’, but Tiara still kept her promise to Siska. Partly because it was a promise, and partly because after they broke up, Tiara always thought that bringing it up wouldn’t change anything.

This time, Rosa turned up in Denny’s life, and although Rosa never said anything to Tiara, Tiara felt self-concious.being friends with him.

Denny tried to catch a glimpse of Tiara’s expression to understand what she is feeling, “You backed away last year when I got close to Siska, and now, it looks like you’re doing the same thing. Am I right or am I imagining it? If I am right, I need to know why you’re doing this?”

Tiara didn’t say anything, so Denny kept talking, “If all this time you have been waiting for me to say it to you, then here it is.. We always tell each other everything, and I thought it was enough proof that we are good friends, but if it is not enough for you, then I’ll say it.. You are my good friend, Tiara! My best friend! One day we will have our own lives and go our separate ways, but even when that time comes, I’d like us to still be friends! .. And I can’t believe I’m talking like this right now!”

Tiara looked really surprised, quickly she spoke, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to confuse you. I’m glad that you finally said it. I couldn’t start talking about it with you.”

Denny shook his head, “I should’ve done it earlier.. but..”

Tiara jumped in, “.. You’re the kind of person who doesn’t like to discuss things about your feelings. That’s why I tried not to discuss this kind of thing to you either. But, knowing you very well, I can’t help asking, is there someone who talked you into talking to me today?”

Denny shook his head again, “Noone really. But Rosa says that she thinks it is odd that you always leave everytime she is around me, when, at the same time, I always tell her that you are my best friend. That got me thinking!”

Tiara gave a little smile.

Denny looked puzzled, “What are you thinking? What’s wrong? What is actually happening?”

Tiara gave a long sigh. She finally managed to pull her courage, “There is no girl who likes seeing her boyfriend being close to anyone else but herself. That is why I always leave.”

Denny looked at Tiara for a split second, “Those WERE Siska’s word, exactly! So, SHE told you to back off last year?”

Tiara fell silent, not being able to reply.

Denny continued, “Rosa is not Siska! And she is nothing like Siska. I made a mistake before, I’m sorry I didn’t realise that you were the one ended up in a hard spot. But this time, it is different. Rosa actually asks about you. So, please, Tiara..”

Tiara gave out a relieve sigh, “I don’t know what to say, Denny. I guess I have to apologise to you too. I’ve been too self-centred most of the time, and asking myself what kind of friendship is this?! Now I realise that it must take extra energy for you to talk like this to me. So, thank you.”

Denny smiled and nodded, then spoke again, “Good if it is settled. One less problem for me.”

Tiara asked back, “What are your other problems?”

Denny sighed, “Just ONE other problem. I’m not sure what to do. I like Rosa and I know she likes me too. I’m even sure that she is waiting for me to ask her out. But, I’m not sure whether I should be going out with a girl again or not. Everytime I think about Siska, I feel like I’m not sure if I can ever understand a girl.”

Tiara laughed cheerfully for a few seconds, then she looked at Denny straight in his eyes, “I think you should give Rosa a try. She is a nice girl. ..You really need to get over Siska!”

Denny took a long deep breath, “I think you’re right! ..But, wait a second!! Who are you?? My mother???”

Tiara pretended to be disappointed, “You asked for my opinion!”

Denny smiled, “Thanks. I mean it.”

Tiara sighed and said jokingly, “So, this is the first time and the last time you are going to drive me home in your car?”

Denny grinned, “That’s the general idea.. No! Sorry, I’m kidding! Rosa’s house is further than yours. So, we can get you home first after school. ..Or.. we can just find you a boyfriend! Hmm, how about Gilang.. the guy you constantly eyeing?!”

Tiara closed her mouth tightly, as she can feel her cheeks reddened.

A moment later, Tiara can hear Denny’s laughter, while she is turning up the music volume..

A Short Story...

For a change..

I am going to post a story that I wrote a long time ago here in my blog.

I hope it can be an entertaining experience for all of you.

Enjoy the reading!


Long Journey of Learning to Swim

When I was in Elemetary School, just like other parents, my parents enrolled me in swimming class. Coincidentally, my mother’s friend’s husband was the national swimming team trainer. So, my first experience with water was actually with the national swim team and their trainer.. There was one girl who used to be very talkative and active. She was one of the youngest in the team, but she has been one of the most succesful. I think she has also represented Indonesia in regional/international races.

Unfortunately, getting the flu, school homework and other exciting activities on Sundays caused me to miss many of the swimming sessions, and finally, my parents decided to call it off. I was nowhere near ‘able to swim’ when this happened, but since it wasn’t a curriculum at school, I didn’t feel any need to pursue it with any determination.

An unfortunate even also discourage me a little. Our second cousins had just had a swimming pool made in their house. As they were in the same age group with us, they invited us to stay overnight and swim there. After an hour or so, I was a little tired already but still excited to swim around. When I was swimming, I didn’t realise that the incoming water (from the water-circulation pipe) was pushing me to the deep side. I panicked and almost drowned. Fortunately, one of my cousins, saw me at the right time (right before I fainted after swallowing water repeatedly) and pulled me out of the pool. I was so scared and embarrassed after that.

I finally grew out of my fear and started to feel the need to be able to swim was when I started going in High School. Many of my friends took swimming lesson with our Physical Education (PE) teacher for an additional PE credit. However, I was already busy with my English course which were 2-3 sessions a week. For my parents at that time, English was a much higher priority for their kids.

A little background.. Neither my parent can swim and so far they haven’t felt the need to. However, English has been a disadvantage that they have been regretting all their lives. They believe that had they been more familiar with English and more fluent in using it, they could’ve achieved more in their careers. That was the reason why my parents didn’t really mind us skipping swimming lessons or even quitting it if it didn’t fit in our schedule, but they wouldn’t let us miss our English course, even during our school exam period. They truly believed that if we are fluent in English, we would be able to catch up with any kind of advancement in the world, including our formal education.

I believed the same thing until I finished my Junior High School, although I had to find a ‘smart’ way to keep my marks in PE high enough for a pass without going to the extra swimming lessons. However, I started to feel differently when I started Senior High School.

Around that time, going to swimming pools with friends, especially on Saturday mornings and having breakfast together was kind of the ‘trend’. Consequently, my friends asked me to go with them. That was when the challenge started for me.. I felt that I was faced with 2 choices, either to confess that I couldn’t swim, or always try to find an excuse to avoid anyone finding out that I couldn’t swim!

After considering for a while, I decided that I wanted to be able to swim. That meant that I must let my friends know that I couldn’t swim and ask them if they didn’t mind if I come and learn at the same time.

I was really surprised and grateful with the responses I received. They seriously offered to teach me! None of them laughed at me! WOW! To this day, I still remember how my four friends, Erika, Frilly, Tia and Diana stood in the pool right where the line bordering the shallow and the deep sides was, with their arms stretched, forming a line, so that I could practice swimming without the fear of heading to the deep side by accident.

After a few times, I finally gained more confidence and I could swim with only one of friends following behind or beside me while I try to reach the deep side. A few more times after that, I could swim by my self from one side, with one of my friends waiting on the other just for my feeling of security.

This went on for almost 6 months on-and-off, depending on how busy we were at school but, I was very happy with my progress. Unfortunately, with end of year exam and preparation for university entrance exams, during the final year of high school, I could only go swimming once in a while. I wasn’t feeling confident about going by myself either, so if I didn’t have any friends to go with me, I would cancel going all together. This went on until I graduated from High School and entered University in Melbourne.

In University, some friends asked me to go swimming with them. After letting them know that I wasn’t a good swimmer and they said that they didn’t mind it, I decided to go with them. That one time turned out to be quite embarrassing for me..

For the first time, I found out that the university swimming pool was equipped with dividers between each race-line (I don’t know the proper name for it). Therefore, I couldn’t swim ‘sideways’ (along the shallow side only) like back home in Indonesia. I felt a bit worried when I reached the deep side and decided to turn back. I didn’t realise that there was a guy behind me.. (and he was living in the dorm with me!). We almost crashed since he didn’t expect me to turn around in that line, when I was supposed to take the next line (I didn’t want to swim where I couldn’t reach for the sides of the pool).

He was a bit worried and thought that I was drowning. I explained that I wasn’t really sure about swimming in the deep-end and I apologised for the collision. A lifeguard approached us and warned me to never do it again, I was supposed to follow the arrow that showed which way I was supposed to swim in each line. Phew!

I still went swimming in the university pool after that but, not as much for the sport. I did it for the warm pool temperature during the cold winter :-) .. I would go with my friends and we would chat and swim, then followed by afternoon snack. Anyway, I had good times.

I finally really learned to swim and was able to swim after I got married. My husband’s family has a Sunday morning swimming routine. We would go to different swimming pools and have nice lunch afterwards.

My mother-in-law was very enthusiastic in teaching me to swim and my father-in-law gave me a beginner’s book in swimming. While my husband, my brother in-law and my sister in-law.. they constantly tried to pull me under water if I didn’t swim fast enough to get away from them! Exhausting but also very entertaining and good training!

My swimming skills became much better during my first pregnancy. I went swimming 2-4 times a week, 20-40 minutes each time. I was becoming more confident in swimming by myself too. There was a swimming pool in my office building and I was comfortable swimming there even if nobody else swimming with me.

Now, I can go swimming anytime I want to and in any side of the pool I want to. My eldest son is learning to swim from a swimming teacher but, I often swim at the same time he is having his lesson (without interaction with him). I also take my youngest son to swim with me, just to familiarise him with the water in the pool and he has been enjoying his swimming time with me.

My journey in learning to swim might be the longest a person can have but, I’m always grateful for it because more than just learning to swim, I also learned that good friends would always think of a way to help instead of laughing at us. Another thing I found out is that any knowledge or skill can be learned if we really want to and if we are not afraid or embarrass to ask.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Without a car..

When I thought my days were slowly getting stable.. new twists and turns suddenly jumped right out of the hidden corner!

My youngest son just recovered from his bad sore throat and flu. Now my eldest son and myself caught it. He's temperature has been going up and down a bit since he can't stay still in bed everytime the medicine kicks in and he feels a bit better! As the result, he hasn't been going to school since Thursday.

As if it wasn't enough.. Monday morning, the new driver, who had only been working for us for about 2 weeks, positioned the hand-brake a bit too loosely, so that when he was cleaning the front window, he was accidently pushing the car and the car rolled back and hit the wall of the front fence!

The impact was obvious.. the rear car window was completely smashed, the rear car door was deeply bent in and the new driver was released to wait for further notice, since there was no car for him to drive.. and my parents are not exactly 'cool' yet about what happened!

Our intention of sharing a car and a driver was to have efficiency in our everyday routines, but now.. we're definitely having complete inefficiency..

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