In the Name of Friendship

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Chapter 14: The Reunion of 3 Best Friends

For the past few days, Aiman couldn’t stop thinking of Shinta. The memory of the day when he and Shinta met at that mall still haunted him. He tried to blot out the image of Shinta’s sad face after he told her that Sandra was his new girlfriend, but he couldn’t. The scene of what happened that day kept replaying in his mind.

Guilt gnawed at Aiman’s soul. He knew that he needed to talk with Shinta to get the guilt off his chest. He owed Shinta an explanation of what happened. He didn’t want Shinta to have a misunderstanding and finally sever their friendship. He might have lost his girlfriend, but he didn’t want to lose his best friend too.

Aiman remembered Shinta saying that she lived with his aunt and uncle now. He thought that he had to go to their house to meet Shinta. He hoped Shinta was at home so he could speak with her tonight.

(((((

Meanwhile at the same time, Shinta and Nina were watching a movie in Shinta’s bedroom. It was Saturday night, so the two best friends decided to have a slumber party at Shinta’s uncle’s house.

All of a sudden, they were interrupted by a knock at the door.

Shinta scrambled out of the bed and went for the door. She opened the door and popped her head out.

“What’s wrong, Auntie?” she asked when she found her aunt, Penny, standing in front of her bedroom.

“There’s someone at the door who wants to see you, Shinta,” Penny replied.

“Who is it, Auntie?” Shinta queried.

“He said that he’s your old friend. His name is Aiman,” Penny answered.

“Aiman?” Shinta mumbled to herself. Her eyes widened in surprise.

Nina’s ears pricked up at the sound of Aiman’s name. She turned her attention to the doorway and saw that Shinta’s fists clenched slowly until her knuckles were white.

“Go and meet your friend. I’ll get a drink for him,” Penny said.

Shinta forced a smile. “Okay, Auntie. Thank you.”

“No problem,” Penny replied with a smile, and lastly she took her leave.

After Penny walked away, Nina tumbled out of bed and hurriedly approached Shinta.

“Aiman is here, Nina. What shall I do now?” Shinta ran her fingers through her short hair.

“What are you waiting for? Go meet him now!” said Nina.

Shinta shook her head. “I am not ready to face him yet, Nina.”

“But you have to meet Aiman, Shinta. You must demand an explanation from him,” Nina said.

“But if I talk to him, I’m afraid I’ll break down, Nina,” said Shinta.

Nina touched Shinta’s shoulder. “Don’t worry! I’ll come with you. And if you don’t want to talk to him, I’ll speak for you.”

“Thank you, Nina.” Shinta gave her friend a sad smile.

Nina returned her smile. “Let’s go now, shall we?”

Shinta nodded. “Okay.”

Shinta and Nina walked out of Shinta’s bedroom and headed straight to the front door. Those two best friends found Aiman standing in the porch. He was staring at the road in front of Shinta’s uncle’s house.

“Aiman?” Nina called.

Aiman swivelled around. A smile spread slowly across his face when he saw Nina standing at the doorway.

“Nina?” Aiman marched over to Nina and threw his arms around her. But Nina didn’t hug him back.

Detaching his embrace, Aiman asked enthusiastically, “So, now, you live in Jakarta too, Nina?”

“Yes, I’ve been working in Jakarta for a few months,” answered Nina.

Aiman nodded in understanding. “I see!”

Nina folded her arms across her chest. “What are you doing here, Aiman?”

“I come here because I want to speak with Shinta.” Aiman stared at Shinta who was standing behind Nina.

Shinta looked away, evading Aiman’s gaze.

“So you want to talk about your new girlfriend?” Nina asked fiercely.

Aiman looked astounded. “So you have known about it?”

“Yes. Shinta has told me everything,” replied Nina.

“Look! I can explain everything, Nina,” Aiman said.

“There’s nothing you need to explain, Aiman. Everything is clear. You have cheated on Shinta,” Nina accused.

“I never intended to cheat on Shinta, Nina. I—”

Before Aiman could finish his sentence, Nina interrupted, “How could you do that to Shinta, Aiman? You know, she loves you so much. When you suddenly disappeared, Shinta was worried sick about you. She was always afraid that you might have met with an accident, that’s why you never contacted her. She then started searching for you, but you’re nowhere to be found. Even though you were never heard of again, Shinta remained faithful to you because she believed that you would do the same. But look what you have done to her, Aiman! You betrayed her instead. You have broken her heart. You know what, Aiman? By hurting Shinta’s feelings, indirectly, you have hurt mine too. I’m ashamed that I have to call a traitor like you as my friend.”

Aiman hung his head in shame. “I’m sorry, Nina.”

“Don’t apologize to me, but you must apologize to her!” Nina pointed at Shinta.

Aiman lifted his eyes and looked at Shinta. “I’m so sorry, Shinta,” he said regretfully.

Shinta didn’t reply. She was just gazing at Aiman as a tear traced a path down her cheek.

Nina stepped aside to let Aiman approach Shinta. But Shinta took a few steps backwards.

Aiman understood that Shinta didn’t want him to come too close to her. That’s why he decided to stop walking. “Shinta, I know you’re angry with me, but please hear me out,” Aiman begged.

“Okay, explain yourself now! I’ll listen to you carefully,” Shinta demanded, wiping her tears with the back of her hand.

“Shinta, I know I’m wrong for dating another woman without breaking up with you properly. But you have to know, Shinta. I never intended to betray you. It’d been ages since the last time we met, and I thought that you have moved on and you would start seeing someone else. That’s why I decided to date Sandra. I don’t know that you still have a feeling for me until now. I’m sorry, Shinta,” Aiman explained.

“Forget it, Aiman! If anyone’s to blame, it’s me. I was stupid enough to keep waiting for you when I should have moved on a long time ago,” Shinta said with a wry smile.

“What are you talking about, Shinta? You shouldn’t blame yourself. It’s all Aiman’s fault. He’s so selfish. He never thinks of your feelings,” Nina said angrily.

“You’re right, Nina. I admit that it’s entirely my fault. I know I should have broken up with Shinta first before dating Sandra, so I won’t hurt Shinta’s feelings. I deeply regret what I have done. Please forgive me, Shinta!” Aiman pleaded.

There was a long pause before Shinta answered, “All right. I forgive you, Aiman.”

“Thank you so much, Shinta.” Aiman moved forward and wrapped his arms around Shinta.

Hesitantly, Shinta hugged him back.

“You shouldn’t have forgiven Aiman, Shinta,” Nina protested, causing Shinta and Aiman pulled away from their embrace.

“Look, Nina! Even though Aiman is no longer my boyfriend, but he’s still our best friend. And I have to forgive him, for our friendship’s sake,” Shinta explained.

“A best friend you said? How could Aiman call himself your best friend after everything that he has done to you, Shinta?” Nina bellowed.

“Just because my relationship with Aiman is over, it doesn’t mean our friendship has to end too, Nina,” Shinta stood up for Aiman.

“But Shinta—”

“Please stop blaming Aiman, Nina!” Shinta cut her off, “Our friendship is very important to me. I don’t want this problem to ruin our friendship. I have forgiven Aiman, so you have to forgive him too, okay?”

Nina shook her head. “No Shinta, I can’t.”

“Forgive Aiman, Nina! Please, for my sake,” Shinta pleaded.

Nina let out a long sigh, then said, “Fine. I’ll forgive Aiman on one condition.”

“Tell me what your condition is, Nina! I’m willing to do anything so that you want to forgive me. Anything,” Aiman said.

“The condition is...” Nina broke off in the middle of a sentence, making Aiman and Shinta nervous.

“Aiman has to treat me a new pair of shoes,” Nina continued and her face finally broke into a grin.

A look of relief crossed Aiman’s face. “Okay, I’ll buy you a new pair of shoes and everything that you want as long as you want to forgive me.”

“Fine. I forgive you, Aiman,” Nina stated.

Aiman couldn’t resist a smile when shinta and Nina finally forgave him. He then hugged his best friends happily. The two young women hugged him back soon.

“Thank you, Shinta, Nina. Thank you so much because the two of you want to forgive me,” Aiman whispered.

Shinta and Nina replied in unison. “Never mind, Aiman.”

“Let go inside now, shall we? My aunt has gotten a drink for you, Aiman,” Shinta said after the three of them pulled away.

“Okay.” Aiman put an arm around each of Nina’s and Shinta’s shoulders and lastly walked with them into the house.

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