In the Name of Friendship

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Chapter 13: The Future In-laws

After driving for thirty minutes, Aiman and Sandra finally arrived at their destination. Aiman stopped his car before a tall iron gate with brick wall at the either side of it. He gave a sharp toot on his horn to make their arrival known. Within seconds, two security guards opened the gate for them.

Aiman then drove through the gate and parked his car in front of a gigantic house with steps up to the front door. The house was gleaming with fresh white paint. In the front yard, there was a garden blazing with colours. Two huge fountains were playing in the center of the garden.

This was the first time Aiman came to Sandra’s house because all this time he always met Sandra in her apartment, and he couldn’t help but stand in awe of the view of it. Never had Aiman seen such a big and luxurious house in his life like this. Maybe because such a house only belonged to the rich people, meanwhile Aiman was only from a middle-class family.

Yes, Sandra came from a wealthy family. Her father, Hendra Kusuma Diningrat was a successful businessman. He ran a gold mining company and owned a factory producing a range of textiles. His business caused him become one of the richest men in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Sandra’s mother, Raden Ayu Safira Kusuma Diningrat, was of Javanese noble blood. She was now a housewife who spent most of her time attending social gatherings and charity events.

In spite of their family backgrounds that were worlds apart, Aiman and Sandra fell in love with each other. Sandra didn’t mind even though Aiman came from the lower class of society than her family. On the contrary, Aiman didn’t feel inferior although Sandra was from the upper class family. It instead motivated him to work harder in order that he could be the best man for Sandra.

Aiman unfastened his seat belt and hopped out of the car. After that, he walked around the car and opened the door for Sandra.

“Thank you, Honey,” Sandra said as she climbed out of the car.

“My pleasure, Princess,” Aiman responded with a smile.

Afterwards, he strode to the back of the car and opened the boot. Aiman pulled several shopping bags out of the boot and approached Sandra again.

“Do you think your parents will like the presents that I have brought for them, Honey?” Aiman asked nervously.

“Don’t worry, Honey! My parents will certainly like whatever their future son-in-law gives them,” Sandra reassured him.

“Are you sure?” Aiman still doubted it.

With a smile and a nod, Sandra replied, “Yes, I’m sure.”

“I hope you’re right,” Aiman mumbled to himself.

“Let’s go inside now, shall we?” said Sandra.

Aiman nodded his head. “Okay.”

Sandra linked her arm through Aiman’s. The couple then ascended the staircase leading to the front door.

Sandra rang the doorbell. Not long after that, the double doors flew open, revealing an impressive entrance hall with two staircases spiraled up from either side.

Six women dressed in maid uniforms lined up at the either side of the doors to welcome their arrival.

“Welcome home, Miss Sandra,” they greeted in unison while bowing their heads slightly out of respect.

Sandra only replied with a nod.

Being welcomed by a lot of maids like this made Aiman feel like he’s a king who is entering his palace. “Cool!” he thought.

“Bi Inem, where are my parents?” Sandra asked a woman with greying hair. She was the eldest of those six maids and also the head maid in this house.

“They are in the living room, Miss. They have been expecting you two,” Bi Inem answered.

“Okay, thank you,” Sandra said.

“Let me give you a hand with those shopping bags, Sir!” one of the maids offered.

“No, thanks. I’m fine,” Aiman refused politely.

“That’s okay, Aiman. You can give it to them. It’s their job anyway,” Sandra said.

“Oh okay.” Aiman finally handed his shopping bags to the maids. “Thank you,” he said.

“It’s a pleasure, Sir,” the maid responded.

“Come on, Honey!” Sandra led Aiman to the living room. Bi Inem, the head maid, and two maids who helped to carry Aiman’s shopping bags followed behind them. Meanwhile, the rest of the maids went to continue their chores.

“Mom, Dad, I’m home,” Sandra chirped as soon as they reached the living room.

Aiman’s eyes darted around the room. The walls were painted in soft pastels that were easy on the eye. A crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling in the middle of the room. This room was decorated with rich fabrics. The sofas, the coffee table, the entertainment wall, the curtains, the carpet: everything was the last word in luxury.

Hendra and Safira, Sandra’s parents, who were sitting on the sofa quickly rose to their feet and approached their daughter and her boyfriend.

“Mom, Dad, this is Aiman, my boyfriend,” Sandra introduced Aiman to her parents.

“Hello, Sir, Ma’am.” Aiman shook each of Sandra’s parents warmly by the hand.

“Hello Aiman,” said Hendra, Sandra’s father, “It’s a pleasure to finally be able to meet you.”

“Pleased to meet you too, Sir,” replied Aiman.

“Nice meeting you, Aiman,” said Safira, Sandra’s mother.

“Nice to meet you too, Ma’am,” Aiman beamed.

“You know, Aiman, I have heard a lot about you from my daughter,” said Hendra.

“Oh I hope Sandra didn’t tell you about my bad habits, Sir. It will be very embarrassing.” Aiman gave a nervous giggle.

Hendra laughed. “Don’t worry, Aiman! Sandra has never said something bad about you. She only told us that you’re a very good man.”

“And she also told us about how much she loves you,” added Safira with a grin.

Sandra went bright pink with embarrassment. “Mom! Dad!”

Seeing their daughter’s expression, Sandra’s parents cracked up.

Once their laughter finally died down, Aiman stated, “Sandra is a very kind woman too, Sir, Ma’am, that’s why I fall in love with her.”

Sandra blushed when Aiman declared that he was in love with her in front of her parents. “He’s a real gentleman,” she thought.

“By the way, I brought presents for you. I hope you like it.” Aiman pointed to the shopping bags that were being carried by the maids.

“Oh that’s very kind of you, Aiman. Thank you so much. We definitely will like it,” Safira said with gratitude.

“Don’t mention it!” Aiman responded with a smile.

Safira turned to the maids and ordered them, “Bi Inem, please take Aiman’s presents to our bedroom! And after that, please get a drink for Aiman!”

“Sure, Mistress,” Bi Inem said.

She and the other two maids finally excused themselves to do what their mistress told them.

“Please be seated, Aiman!” Hendra motioned to the sofas.

“Okay, thank you,” Aiman mumbled.

The four of them lastly sat down on the sofas.

“If you don’t mind me asking, what do you do, Aiman?” Sandra’s father questioned.

Before Aiman could give an answer, Sandra butted in, “Aiman is a banker, Dad.”

“Really, Aiman?” asked Safira enthusiastically.

“Yes, Ma’am,” replied Aiman, “I’m a banker in one of the private banks in Jakarta.”

“And you know what, Dad? He also runs his own business with his friends,” Sandra added.

“What kind of business do you have, Aiman?” Hendra enquired.

“We’ve got a small second-hand cars and motorcycles showroom in the outskirts of the city, Sir,” Aiman explained.

“That’s great!” Safira commented.

They paused for a moment when Bi Inem returned with a tray which was fillied with four cups of tea and three jars of cookies.

“Thank you, Bi Inem,” Sandra’s mother said after the head maid finished setting the cups of tea and jars of cookies on the table.

“You’re welcome, Mistress. Excuse me.” Bi Inem bowed slightly and then left.

“Please help yourself, Aiman!” Safira made a gesture at the food and drink in front of him.

“Thank you.” Aiman lifted his cup of tea. He took a sip of tea from the cup and then put it down.

Sandra and her parents took a drink from their cups too.

“So Aiman, are you serious about your relationship with my daughter?” Hendra inquired.

“Yes, Sir. I’m really serious about Sandra, and if you don’t mind, I want to ask you for your daughter’s hand in marriage,” Aiman stated.

Aiman’s sudden marriage proposal took Sandra’s parents by surprise. On the contrary, Sandra looked very happy about it.

“So you’re proposing to Sandra right now, Aiman?” Safira asked to make sure.

“Yes, Ma’am,” Aiman replied with certitude, “I know that I and Sandra come from very different backgrounds. But I love your daughter so much, Sir, Ma’am. Please give me a chance to prove myself! I promise I’ll try my hardest to make your daughter always happy.”

Sandra held Aiman’s hand. “Yes, Dad, Mom, we love each other. I hope you will approve of our marriage.”

Hendra stayed silence, pondering over his daughter and her boyfriend’s words. After some time, he breathed deeply before speaking, “To be honest, Aiman, I don’t care about your background. For me, everyone is equal. As long as you can make my daughter happy, I won’t stand in your way.”

“So you agree if I and Aiman want to get married, Dad?”asked Shinta excitedly.

Hendra nodded. “Yes, Sweetie. Aiman is a kind, responsible, hard-working man. I think he’s the best man for you.”

“I agree with your father. You can’t wish for a better man than Aiman. He’s perfect for you,” added Safira.

“Thank you, Dad, Mom. I love you.” Shinta threw her arms around her parents and kissed them on both cheeks.

“We love you too, Sweetheart,” replied Safira and Hendra in unison.

“Thank you, Sir, Ma’am. I promise I will not let you down,” Aiman vowed.

“Yes, Aiman, we believe that you’ll never disappoint us,” Safira said.

“So when are your parents going to come here to propose to Sandra formally?” Hendra queried.

“That’s...” Aiman trailed off. The mention of his parents opened up Aiman’s old wounds. He didn’t know if he could tell about his parents without breaking down.

Sandra understood what Aiman felt, that’s why she decided to talk to her parents for the sake of Aiman. “Aiman is an orphan, Dad. His parents were killed in a car crash a few years ago. Aiman now lives with his little sisters. The two girls were taken into his care after their parents died.”

“Oh I’m sorry, Aiman, I don’t know,” Sandra’s father apologized.

“That’s okay, Sir,” Aiman said with a sad smile.

“I’m so sorry to hear of your parents’ death, Aiman,” Sandra’s mother said sympathetically.

“Thank you, Ma’am,” responded Aiman.

“Do you have other family members who can represent your parents, Aiman?” questioned Hendra.

“I’m afraid I don’t have it, Sir. My grandparents from both sides had passed away a long time ago. Both my mother and father were the only child in their families, so I don’t have any aunts or uncles. My two little sisters are the only living family members that I’ve got left,” Aiman elaborated.

“Okay, it doesn’t matter,” Sandra’s father said, “Before you and Sandra get married, I want you two to get engaged first. I’m going to throw a big engagement party for the both of you. I’ll invite all of my business partners there, and you and Sandra may invite your friends too.”

“Okay, Sir. I agree with you,” said Aiman.

“You don’t have to worry about the preparation of your engagement party, Aiman, I will take care of everything,” Sandra’s mother stated.

“Thank you so much, Ma’am,” said Aiman.

“Your welcome,” Safira responded. “And Aiman, because you’re going to be our son-in-law soon, you should stop calling us Ma’am and Sir. Start now on, just call us Mom and Dad like Sandra does! You can regard me and my husband as the replacement of your parents.”

Aiman looked at Sandra. She nodded her head in agreement. “Okay, Mom, Dad,” he finally said. Tears of happiness welled his eyes up.

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