Chapter 15: Reconciliation
The next day, Aiman picked Nina up at Shinta’s uncle’s house because they were planning to go shopping today. Shinta came with them too because this happened to be her day off.
Going on a shopping trip with the two young women was Aiman’s way to reconcile with them. Aiman knew Nina was just joking when she said that she would forgive him only if he treated her to a new pair of shoes, but he chose to take it literally because he wanted to make his friends happy. He hoped after today, Shinta and Nina would forget about what happened and the three of them could be best friends again like a few years ago.
Aiman, Nina, and Shinta went to one of the biggest malls in Jakarta. As promised, Aiman treated Nina to a new pair of shoes. Not only that, he also bought her a new branded handbag, and some new clothes.
He brought the same things for Shinta too. At first, Shinta refused, but Aiman insisted that she should accept it. Shinta knew that Aiman wouldn’t take no for an answer, therefore she gave in and reluctantly received all of the presents from Aiman.
Besides buying presents for his best friends, Aiman didn’t forget to buy some gifts for his beloved sisters too. Shinta and Nina helped him to pick the things that he would give to his younger sisters.
After shopping for hours, the three of them decided to go home. However, before taking Shinta and Nina home, Aiman brought his two best friends to his house first. It’s because those young women wanted to look in on Aiman’s little sisters, Alya and Adinda.
After about thirty minutes, they finally arrived at Aiman’s house.
“Here we are!” Aiman exclaimed as he stopped his car in front of the gate of his house.
Shinta and Nina looked out of the car window and surveyed Aiman’s house. They were amazed by the view of his new house. This luxury house was a world away from the tiny house where he was brought up. The house rose to two storeys and was enclosed with iron railings that was painted black. The roof was in the shape of a triangle and was painted navy blue. The walls had a white, cream, and brown colour scheme. A balcony with black iron balusters occupied the second floor. There was a wooden gazebo on the balcony. The roof of the gazebo was painted navy blue to match the roof of the house.
“Wow you have such a beautiful house, Aiman!” Nina commented in admiration.
“Thank you,” Aiman responded.
“I’m glad all your dreams can come true, Aiman. Your parents must be proud of your successes,” Shinta beamed.
“I’m very grateful for everything that I have achieved, Shinta. But it’s too bad my parents are not here to witness my successes now,” Aiman said sadly.
“Don’t be sad, Aiman! I’m sure your parents are watching your successes from the heaven right now,” Nina consoled him.
“I hope so,” he mumbled.
There was a silence for a moment before Aiman finally spoke up, “Let’s go inside now, shall we?”
“Okay,” Shinta and Nina replied in unison.
Unbuckling his seat belt, Aiman hopped out of the car only to unbolt the gate and pushed it open before going back into the car. After he parked the car in the terrace, Aiman climbed out of the car. He walked around the car and opened the passenger seat door for Shinta. Next, he also opened the back seat door for Nina. Both of the young women thanked him, and Aiman answered them with a smile.
Aiman then walked to the trunk, opened it, and unloaded all his shopping bags. With bags of shopping in his hands, Aiman sauntered to the front door. Nina and Shinta followed behind him.
Aiman pulled a key out of the front pocket of his jacket and then unlocked the front door, revealing an entrance hall that ended with a stairway leading up on to the second floor. Beside the staircase, there was a guest bathroom which had a shower, a wash basin with a mirror, and a toilet.
To the left of the entrance hall was the living room with two sofas and three armchairs that were scattered around a glass coffee table. Meanwhile, to the right of the entrance hall were the dining room with six-seat dining table, and the kitchen with French doors leading into the backyard.
“You two wait here, okay? I want to make a surprise for Alya and Dinda,” Aiman talked to Shinta and Nina.
Their heads nodded in agreement.
Aiman stepped into his house, and left the door ajar so his sisters couldn’t see Shinta and Nina.
“Alya, Dinda, I’m home,” he announced, “Come downstairs now! I have a surprise for you.”
He heard the pitter patter of feet coming down the stairs and not long after that Alya and Dinda came.
“It must be our surprise.” Dinda snatched all of the shopping bags from Aiman’s hands.
“Hey, is that how you welcome your brother? You didn’t even say hi first,” Aiman complained.
“Sorry.” Dinda grinned. “Hello, Brother. Welcome home.”
“Thanks for your surprise, A Aiman,” Alya said while grabbing half of the shopping bags from Dinda’s hands.
Dinda pouted at her sister and Alya smirked.
“No, no, no, it’s not my surprise. I have a much better surprise for both of you,” Aiman stated.
“What is it?” Dinda asked curiously.
Aiman cleared his throat. “You can come out now!”
Shinta and Nina finally emerged from behind the door.
“Teh Shinta? Teh Nina?” Alya and Dinda squealed, then ran up and threw their arms around Shinta and Nina. They hugged Aiman’s sisters in return.
“Teh Shinta, Teh Nina, we missed you,” Alya and Dinda said in unison.
“We missed you too, Alya, Dinda,” Shinta and Nina responded at the same time.
A smile touched the corners of Aiman’s mouth seeing the joyous reunion between his sisters and best friends.
Detaching themselves from each other embraces, Nina and Shinta looked at Alya and Adinda from head to toe. The two sisters had shot up since the last time Shinta and Nina saw them. Alya was now as tall as them. Meanwhile, Dinda was a little bit shorter than her older sister.
Alya’s appearance didn’t change much since 5 years ago. She was still slim with black straight hair down to her waist. Meanwhile, Dinda looked a little bit different. Even though she still had shoulder-length black wavy hair like a few years ago, but now she seemed much thinner than the last time they met. Both Shinta and Nina also noticed that Dinda was looking very pale as if she was ill. They wanted to ask what happened to Dinda, but they restrained themselves. It wasn’t the right moment they thought. They didn’t want to ruin the joyous moment of being reunited with Aiman’s sisters again. So, they preferred to save their questions till later.
“Come on in!” said Aiman.
“Okay,” Nina and Shinta said in unison.
All of them finally went to the living room and sat around the sofas.
“Alya, could you please get something to drink for Shinta and Nina?” Aiman requested.
“Okay, wait a moment!” Alya stood up and started walking towards the kitchen.
Within minutes, she returned with a tray which was fillied with five glasses of orange juice and a jar of cookies and a plate of brownies. Alya set the tray down on the table, and after that, she seated herself beside her brother.
Shinta and Nina drank and ate everything that was set in front of them while shooting the breeze with Aiman and his sisters.
When it was getting dark, Shinta and Nina told them that the two of them had to head home right away because they had to go back to work the next day. After Shinta and Nina said goodbye to Alya and Dinda, Aiman finally drove them home.
Aiman was grateful his attempt to reconcile with Shinta and Nina had succeeded. He just hoped that there wouldn’t be any more strain in their friendship.