• Saturday morning. This is my last day in Bandung. It’s the only day when I don’t have to worry about any speaker’s schedule or choreographs. This is in fact, the only day when I wake up earlier than others.

    It was dusk when I lay awake in bed, contemplating around my room: Dania beside me was sleeping soundly; my suitcase, still unpacked; my sweater, sprawled against the stone-cold floor. Outside, Alma was on the sofa-bed, still caressed in her slumber. A few mutter of sounds came from my uncle’s bedroom.

    The ancient cheese grill lay abandoned at the kitchen, dead. Last night, the girls and I found out that I murdered that poor thing yesterday. I forgot to unplug the cable after toasting my breakfast. Hence, it was grilling all day until Dania discovered it last night –hissing when she finally pulled it away from the electrical socket. The black layer that coated it was flaking. I was showered by guilt and remorse for that old grill. And that, people, is why you should never leave a short-minded fifteen year old girl at home alone.

    The day gradually turns back to ‘normal’, as one by one, the house came back to life. I continued packing and gobbled a leftover sandwich from yesterday. I changed into my tee and jeans, instead of the black Artepolis uniform I’m supposed to wear today. I hate leaving early. I still have so many things I want to do with everyone!

    That morning, a text from Maya came through Dania’s phone –asking her if I have left the house yet. Poor Dania, she doesn’t understand what Maya is really up to. She ignored the text and told me that Maya wants to talk to me. She insists that I should call her right away.

    It was one of the most awkward conversations.

    “So.. umm, are you leaving soon?” inquired Maya timidly.

    “No.. not in thirty minutes..”

    “So, do you want me to drop by to your house?”

    “ Up to you! Don’t ask me”


    “It’s okay, I’ll pretend to look surprised…”

    We both knew well that this plan would wind up to be a total failure. At this point, I don’t really care. I’m just glad to know that someone would actually do this for me.


    Maya arrived exactly when my taxi came to pick me up. She ran across the separating couple of blocks with freshly trimmed flowers from her garden on one hand, and a handful of friendship bracelets on the other. She was wearing the Artepolis uniform we’re supposed to wear today. My heart couldn’t help to sink a little.

    As I predicted, I was not the surprise victim for this particular visit.

    “MAYAA! WHAT ARE YOU DOING??” cried Alma, burying herself even deeper under the sheets.

    She tried to act as if she’s still sleeping at first, but I don’t think she could manage to stay still. Dania just finished her shower, and was deliberately trying to hide her wet, messy hair and inappropriate outfit. I was actually quite thankful that I knew beforehand.

    Maya gave me the handful of white roses and let me chose one of the bracelets. That particular bracelet is definitely staying in my ‘forever bracelets collection’ –a group of bracelets I never took off my wrist ever since I got them. I’m so glad Maya cared to visit me and my cousins for the last time. She doesn’t know how much I’ll miss her when I’m back in school.

    Thus, on 6.30 AM I left for the city-trans station accompanied by my uncle. He couldn’t stop telling me how proud he was of me. I thank him incessantly for offering me this incredible experience. Shortly, I went back home with a handful of white roses on my hand, a heavy suitcase behind me, and tons of unforgettable memories in my mind.