In the Name of Friendship

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Chapter 11: Love Betrayal

5 years went by since Shinta entered the Police Academy, and now, she finally became a police officer. Because she was placed in Jakarta, she had to move to that metropolitan city and live with her uncle and aunt. Leaving her parents was a terrible wrench for Shinta. But she could do nothing about it. Her parents couldn’t move to Jakarta with her because her father couldn’t abandon his work in Karawang. All they could do was visiting their daughter in Jakarta regularly. Or if Shinta weren’t busy, she would come home to Karawang to see her parents and and best friend.

As long as Shinta was in Jakarta, she had lost count of the number of times she had been trying to search for Aiman and his sisters. Rumour had it that they lived in this city as well, but they were nowhere to be found. Shinta didn’t know if it’s because they had moved to another city or because she hadn’t tried hard enough to look for them until she couldn’t find them anywhere. It’s as if that they had vanished off the face of the earth. However, Shinta wouldn’t give up trying to look for Aiman. Moreover, Aiman was still her boyfriend now. Even though she never heard of him again, she remained faithful to her love for Aiman, because she was sure that Aiman would do the same thing. She believed that someday she would be able to meet Aiman again. And she hoped it would be sooner rather than later.

Shinta parked her car in the car park of one of the biggest malls in Jakarta. Today, she was going to meet Nina there as they had promised before. Yes, Nina had moved to Jakarta too. She had been living in this city for 3 months now. She was working as a teller for one of private banks in Jakarta.

Shinta was about to open the door when suddenly her phone rang. She picked up the phone soon. “Hello?”

“Shinta, where are you? I’ve been waiting for you here for a long time, but you haven’t shown up yet,” Nina grumbled at the other side of the telephone.

Shinta explained, “I’m sorry, Nina. I was stuck in a traffic jam, so I have just arrived here. I am in the car park now. I have to go to the bathroom first. After that I will see you at the restaurant. Wait for me, okay?”

“Okay, but don’t take too long, or else!” Nina threatened.

Shinta chuckled. “Okay, okay, I won’t take long. I’ll be right there. Bye.”

“Bye.” Nina hung up the phone.

Getting out of her car, Shinta walked towards the entrance of the mall. Once she set foot inside the mall, her eyes were drawn to a man dressed in black leather jacket with a grey T-shirt inside of it, black jeans, and also a pair of black and white shoes who was standing in front of the hallway leading to the restroom. Her eyes shone when she recognized who it was. Without wasting time, she approached the man.

“Aiman, is that you?” Shinta asked just to make sure.

Aiman’s eyes widened when he saw her standing in front of him. “Shinta?”

Shinta pulled Aiman into her arms. “Aiman, where have you been? I missed you so much.”

Aiman hugged her back. “I missed you too, Shinta.”

Shinta detached herself from their embrace. Holding Aiman’s hand, Shinta told him, “I can’t believe I’m finally able to see you here, Aiman. You know, I have been looking for you anywhere, but you’re nowhere to be found.”

Her words took him by surprise. “You were looking for me?”

“Of course!” Shinta said, “I was worried sick about you. You left without saying goodbye. I had tried to call you so many times but I couldn’t get through. I was afraid that something bad had happened to you. Thus, I started searching for you, but I couldn’t find you anywhere.”

“I’m sorry because I have made you worry about me, Shinta. I lost my mobile phone so I couldn’t call you to tell you where I was at that time,” Aiman explained.

“That’s okay, Aiman, I understand. The most important thing is we can meet again now,” Shinta said with a smile.

“By the way, it’s been a zillion years since we last met, right?” Aiman said.

“Yeah, you’re right. It’s been a very long time since the last time we met,” Shinta agreed.

“How are you, Shinta?” Aiman asked.

“I’m fine,” Shinta answered, “and what about you, Aiman?”

“I am fine too,” he replied.

“And how are your sisters, Aiman?” Shinta asked again.

“They are fine. They live with me now,” he replied.

“Oh that’s good!” Shinta commented. “You know, I miss them so much. They’re like sisters to me. I wish I could meet them again.”

“You can come by my house if you want to see them. You know, they miss you too,” said Aiman.

“Really? Okay then, I’ll drop in your house if I have time. And you have to come by my home too, okay? I live with my aunt and uncle now. You still remember their house, right? We used to go there together when we were kids,” Shinta said.

“Okay, I will,” Aiman promised. “By the way, what do you do, Shinta?”

“You know what? I’m a policewoman now,” Shinta replied proudly

“Wow congratulation, Shinta, finally your dream came true!” Aiman beamed.

“Thank you. And you Aiman, what do you do?” Shinta asked.

At Shinta’s question, Aiman suddenly got tensed up. “Me?”

“Yes, you. Who else?” Shinta giggled.

“Hmm... I am... I am...” he hesitated. Aiman paused for a moment before finally answering, “I am a banker now.”

“A banker? Wow, great! Congratulation, Aiman, finally you can become a successful man in Jakarta like what you always dreamt of,” Shinta said excitedly.

Aiman smiled. “Thank you, Shinta.”

“By the way, what are you doing here?” Shinta asked curiously.

“Um, I—” Before Aiman could reply, a beautiful young woman with a straight long hair who was wearing a black mini dress with white shoes and holding a white branded handbag approached them, interrupting him.

“Honey, I am sorry I took too long,” the woman talked to Aiman.

“That’s okay, Honey,” Aiman said with a nervous smile.

“Wait! Why did they address each other ‘Honey’?” Shinta asked herself in bewilderment.

“Could it be...?” she trailed off.

Shinta quickly drove every negative thought out of her mind, and decided to ask Aiman directly.

“Aiman, who is she?” Shinta pointed to the woman standing at Aiman’s side.

“Um, Shinta, she is Sandra, my... my girlfriend,” Aiman replied hesitantly.

Shinta’s jaw fell. “What the hell is going on here? I’m Aiman’s girlfriend, but why did he introduce another woman as his girlfriend to me?”

“And Honey,” Aiman continued, “she’s my best friend from Karawang, Shinta.”

“A best friend? So that’s what I am to you, Aiman? Just a best friend? I always think of you as my boyfriend, but apparently you only consider me as a friend.” Shinta clenched her fists to suppress the anger that bubbled up inside her. She felt betrayed. All this time, she’s always faithful to Aiman, but how could he dump her for another woman like this? She really wanted to cry now, but she tried her best to choke back her tears. She didn’t want to look vulnerable in front of Aiman and that woman.

“Oh hi, Shinta.” Sandra held out her hand to Shinta.

Hesitantly, Shinta shook Sandra’s hand. “Hi.”

Sandra quickly pulled her hand away from Shinta, and then she linked her arm to Aiman’s. “Honey, come on we have to go now. My parents have been waiting for us.”

“Okay, Honey,” Aiman said. He turned to Shinta. “Hmm, Shinta, I am sorry we have to go now. I have made an arrangement to meet Sandra’s parents today.”

Shinta faked a smile to hide her disappointment. “Oh, that’s okay.”

“Oh wait! Here’s my card if you want to contact me.” Aiman pulled a business card out of his jacket pocket and gave it to Shinta.

“Okay, I’ll call you later.” Shinta quietly crumpled the business card into a ball.

“Okay, see you, Shinta. Glad to see you again,” said Aiman.

“Me too,” Shinta responded with a plastic smile.

Shinta watched Aiman and Sandra walking away with a sinking heart. Tears filled her eyes, but she tried desperately to fight it back.

All of a sudden, Aiman looked back over his shoulder. He beamed a warm smile at Shinta.

Shinta gave Aiman a weak smile before she turned her face away from him so that he wouldn’t see her tears.

Out of the corner of her eyes, Shinta saw Aiman opening his mouth, it was as if that he wanted to say something to her, but Sandra kept tugging at his sleeve, so Aiman had to turn his attention back to his new girlfriend.

Once Aiman and his new girlfriend were out of sight, Shinta slumped to her knees and burst out crying. Shinta casted her mind back to the time Aiman declared that he was in love with her. Now, she realized that everything he said was nothing but a pack of lies. Aiman never loved her the way she loved him. For him, Shinta was just a friend. How could she have been so foolish as to fall in love with her own best friend? She should have known that once a best friend, always a best friend. It’s her fault that she had expected more from Aiman.

Shinta just realized that she had become the centre of attention here. Some people gathered around her. They all were staring at her with a look of pity.

Waves of embarrassment washed over her. Shinta sprang to her feet and wiped her tears with the back of her hand. After that, she hurriedly left that place, and headed straight to the restaurant where She and Nina had promised to meet.

“Shinta, where have you been? You said that you would be right here after you went to the restroom, but why did you take so long?” Nina complained as soon as Shinta arrived at the restaurant.

Shinta took a seat across from Nina. “I’m sorry, Nina. I took so long because... because...” Shinta trailed off, and suddenly she started to sob.

“Hey, what’s wrong with you, Shinta? Why are you crying?” Nina asked confusedly.

Shinta took a deep breath before answering, “I ran across Aiman on the way to the restroom, Nina.”

Her response took Nina by surprise. “So you’re finally able to meet Aiman?”

Shinta nodded.

“Where is he now?” Nina asked enthusiastically. Her eyes darted around the restaurant, looking for Aiman, but he was nowhere to be seen.

“He has left,” Shinta replied.

“What do you mean he left? Why didn’t you take him here with you? You know, I miss Aiman terribly, and I am eager to see him again,” Nina protested.

“I’m sorry, Nina, I didn’t have time to ask Aiman to meet you because he was in a hurry. He said that he had made an arrangement to meet with...” Shinta trailed away.

“With whom?” Nina inquired curiously.

“With his girlfriend’s parents.” Shinta sighed.

“His girlfriend’s parents? So he’s going to meet with your parents?” Nina guessed.

Shinta shook her head. “No.”

Shinta’s answer made Nina confused. “But you said that he would meet with his girlfriend’s parents, right? Since you’re his girlfriend, so I think he’s going to meet with Aunty Vina and Uncle Andra.”

“But the problem is Aiman doesn’t consider me as his girlfriend anymore, Nina,” Shinta said tearfully.

“What are you talking about?” Nina queried, didn’t understand.

“My worst fear was confirmed, Nina. Aiman has a new girlfriend in Jakarta, that’s why he never bothered to contact me again,” Shinta told her.

Nina shook her head in disbelief. “No, it’s impossible. Aiman isn’t like that, Shinta. I know he loves you so much and he will never betray your trust. There must be some misunderstanding. Maybe the woman whom you saw with Aiman was his co-worker.”

“No, it’s not just a misunderstanding, Nina,” Shinta rebutted, “Aiman himself introduced the woman as his girlfriend to me.”

Nina gasped and her hand flew to her mouth. “Oh my God, I can’t believe that Aiman would dare to betray you like this, Shinta.”

“I can’t believe it myself that it will end up like this, Nina. I’ve been waiting for Aiman for years. I am always faithful to him and never give my heart to another man because I thought that he would do the same thing. But look what he has done to me, Nina! How could he forget me and dump me for another woman?! He said that he loved me, but actually it was only a lie. He never loves me the way I love him. All this time, he only considers me as his best friend, Nina.” Tears rolled down Shinta’s face as he told Nina how she was feeling right now. Shinta felt a little bit better after getting it off her chest.

Nina reached across the table to wipe Shinta’s tears. “It’s all right, Shinta. Don’t cry! I know exactly how you feel. Trust me! If you and Aiman are meant to be together, he will eventually come back to you. But if you aren’t, I am sure God will replace him with a better man.”

Shinta squeezed Nina’s hand and gave her a sad smile. “Thank you for your support, Nina.”

Nina returned her smile. “Never mind, Shinta! That’s what friends are for, right? We have to support each other.”

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