In the Name of Friendship

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Chapter 29: Once Best Friends, Always Best Friends

Departing from the hospital, Aiman rode his motorcycle to the robbers’ den to meet Prama, Putra, and Reza. Aiman dismounted from his motorcycle directly he got there. Hastily, he burst into the building only to find the place empty.

“Prama? Reza? Putra?” Aiman called out his friends’ names, half expecting they were hiding somewhere in this place in order to avoid him, but they made no reply.

“Please Guys, come out now! I need to speak with you urgently,” Aiman begged, but there was no answer yet. It meant that the robbers definitely weren’t here.

Aiman rushed out of building, then mounted his motorcycle, and lastly rode away. His next destination was his friends’ second-hand car showroom. Much to his bitter disappointment, the showroom was closed.

After that, Aiman whizzed down the road on his motorcycle, visiting his friends’s usual haunts. However, he didn’t see Prama, Reza, and Putra in any of those places.

Tired, Aiman pulled up at a kiosk which was located on the side of the road and bought a bottle of mineral water.

Sitting on his motorcycle seat, Aiman opened the mineral water bottle and drank the water straight from the bottle.

“If Prama, Reza, and Putra aren’t in their den, showroom, or their usual haunts, where are they now?” he wondered.

(((((

While Aiman was busy looking for his friends, at the same time, Prama, Reza, and Putra were slouching on the sofas in Prama’s living room. It was a cosy room with two large sofas and three armchairs scattered around a glass coffee table. Across from it, there was an entertainment armoire with a big screen TV on it. There was also a bookshelf filled with lots of books in one corner of the room. All those books belonged to Rara, Prama’s sister. Unlike her brother, Rara loved to read a book. That’s why she had a collection of books in their home.

Moments later, Rara emerged from the kitchen with a tray which was fillied with a jug of orange juice with three empty glasses and two jars of chocolate chip cookies. She then lay the tray on the coffee table and gave her brother and his best friends a nice smile.

“Thank you very much, Rara,” the three young men said in unison.

“Don’t mention it,” Rara responded. “If you want another drink, just help yourself.”

“Okay. Thanks,” they said at the same time.

Rara only replied with a smile.

Whilst her brother and his friends were watching daytime television and eating chocolate chip cookies, Rara moved towards the bookshelf at the corner of the living room. Picking a book from the bookshelf, she retreated to her bedroom, settled down into her bed, and finally began to read.

“I’m bored,” Putra blurted.

“That makes two of us!” Reza agreed with him.

“So, what shall we do now?” Prama asked.

“I don’t know,” Reza answered, shrugging his shoulders.

Putra thought for a moment before replying, “Who wants to play cards?”

“That’s a good idea!” Prama exclaimed.

“No,” Reza disagreed, “I don’t want to play cards. You know, I’ve never been very good at cards.”

“Don’t tell me you’re afraid!” Prama teased.

“Me? Afraid? Don’t make me laugh, Man!” Reza sneered.

“OK then, let’s have a game of cards now!” Putra decided.

“OK. Why not?” Reza said confidently.

“Wait a second!” Getting to his feet, Prama marched over to the bookshelf at the corner of the room and took a deck of cards from the top shelf before he rejoined his friends on the sofa.

“Come on, Guys, put your money here!” Prama instructed as he banged his money, along with the deck of cards, down on the coffee table.

Putra and Reza pulled a thick wad of banknotes out of their pockets and put it on the table.

“Whose turn is it to deal now?” Reza asked.

“I think it’s my turn.” Putra picked up the cards from the table and began to shuffle the deck. Afterwards, Putra dealt out cards to each player, and he lay the rest of cards face down on the table.

At last, Prama, Reza, and Putra played cards to relieve their boredom while Rara sat reading in her bedroom.

(((((

Aiman stared at the two-storey house in front of him. It’s Prama’s home. Because he couldn’t find Prama, Reza, and Putra in the robbers’ den, their showroom, and their usual haunts, Aiman decided to look for them in their homes. He had been to Reza’s house and then to Putra’s house too, but neither of them were at home. At last, Aiman went to Prama’s house. He hoped that he could find his friends here.

“Oh God, am I doing the right thing?” Aiman asked himself, “If I go back to the gang of robbers, it means that I will break my promise to Shinta. Not only that, it also means that I will go back to the bad again whereas I’ve promised myself that I would keep myself on the straight and narrow.”

Shaking his head, Aiman shoved the thought to the back of his mind. “No, no, no. Now, it’s not the time to weigh up whether my decision is right or wrong. No matter what happens, I have to do this, for the sake of Dinda.”

Taking a deep breath, Aiman went straight up to the front door and rang the bell.

Rara was snapped out of her reverie when she heard someone ringing the doorbell. She laid her book down on the bed and stood up before heading for the front door to answer the door.

“Kak Aiman?” Rara was surprised to see Aiman ​​standing on her doorstep.

“Hi Rara. Is your brother home?” Aiman asked to the point.

“Yes,” replied Rara, “Kak Prama is in the living room now, together with Kak Putra and Kak Reza.”

Relief washed over Aiman knowing the three of them were at Prama’s house.

“Can I come in? I need to talk to them urgently,” Aiman queried hopefully.

“Course you can,” Rara answered with a smile. She then stood aside to let him enter her house.

“Thanks,” said Aiman ​​as he walked into the house.

“No problem,” Rara responded.

Afterwards, Rara escorted Aiman to the living room.

Once Aiman and Rara stepped into the living room, they found Prama, Putra, and Reza playing cards.

“Hi guys,” Aiman greeted his friends.

Putra, Prama, and Reza looked up from their game of cards briefly until Prama signalled to them to pay no heed to Aiman, thus, the three of them finally turned their attention back to the card game.

From her brother and his two friends’ reaction, Rara could guess that they were going to have a row with Aiman soon. Didn’t want to get involved in their quarrel, Rara decided to slink out of the living room and let them to fight it out.

“Guys, I need to talk to you. Please listen to me!” Aiman begged, but his friends still ignored him and carried on with their card game.

All of a sudden, Prama crowed while showing his cards to his friends, “I win, I win! Look at this!”

Reza and Putra threw their cards to the table with disappointment. “Damn it!” they swore irritably.

Prama continued cheering as he gathered up all the money in his hand.

Aiman was upset that he had been neglected by his friends, so he hollered to attract their attention, “LISTEN TO ME, GUYS!”

Aiman’s scream agitated Prama. He then jumped up from his sofa and hurled his money at Aiman’s face.

“WHAT THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE, AIMAN?” Prama bellowed.

Putra and Reza rose to their feet too.

“Yes,” Reza added, “What the ruddy hell do you want?” He looked furious as well.

“I’ll come straight to the point, I am looking to you for help,” Aiman answered.

He paused for a moment, then went on, “I know that this is a bad time to ask for your help considering we aren’t on good terms with each other lately. However, I have no choice but to ask for your help, Guys. The thing is, my sister, Dinda is dying. Her doctor told me that Dinda would require surgery. But I don’t have money to pay for her surgery. That’s why I came here to meet you, Guys. I want to rejoin your gang again so that I can get the money for Dinda’s surgery.”

“You said that you wanted to quit being a robber, right? So, why do you want to rejoin us and become a robber again now?” Putra asked sharply.

“To be honest, I don’t want to be a robber anymore. But I don’t have much choice. I must do this, for Dinda’s sake,” Aiman replied.

“Instead of asking us to help you, why didn’t you ask for your fiancée’s help? She’s a rich woman who can obtain anything she wants with the snap of her fingers. I’m sure she won’t mind giving you money.”

Aiman elaborated, “Sandra was abroad now. I’ve tried to call her so many times, but I couldn’t get through. I also have tried to borrow money from everyone else, but none of them can help me. Now you’re my last resort. So I hope you can help me, Guys.”

“After all you’ve done to us, why should we help you?” Prama sneered.

“Yeah, we don’t want to help you. When you were happy, you dropped us, your friends. And now when you suffer a hardship, you come to us for help,” Reza spat.

“I’m sorry, Guys. I know I am wrong. But I hope you still want to help me. I don’t know where I can get that much money in a relatively short space of time. If I couldn’t get the money within a week, Dinda would be dead. So please help me, for Dinda’s sake! Please, Guys! I beg you. You’re my last hope,” Aiman pleaded.

“We’re sorry to hear about your sister, Aiman, but don’t expect us to help you!” said Prama fiercely.

Reza said, “Yes, you—”

“That’s enough, Guys!” Putra interrupted, “Aiman has apologized to us. And as his best friends, we should forgive him.”

“Aiman has betrayed us, Putra. How can you expect us to forgive him?” Prama snorted.

“You can say that again, Prama,” Reza agreed with him, “We must not forgive Aiman for what he did to us.”

“I didn’t mean to betray you, Guys, I—” Aiman tried to explain, but Putra silenced him with a shake of the head.

“Let me talk to them!” Putra said.

Aiman nodded his head in agreement.

“Look, Prama, Reza! I know what Aiman did was wrong, but don’t you think it’s time to forgive and forget? No matter what happens, Aiman is still our best friend. And as friends, we must help each other,” Putra advised.

Reza disagreed, “But he—”

“Put yourselves in Aiman’s position, Reza, Prama!” Putra cut him off, “What if what happens to Dinda befall your siblings? What would you do? I’m sure you would do the same thing as Aiman.”

There was an awkwardly long silence among the four of them until Prama spoke up, “You are right, Putra.” He turned to Aiman and said, “Aiman, I want to apologize for my rudeness.”

“I’m sorry too, Aiman,” Reza added.

“That’s all right, Guys,” Aiman responded.

Putra draped his arm around Aiman’s shoulders. “Don’t worry, Bro! We will help you to get the money for your sister’s surgery. Right, Guys?” He shifted his gaze from Reza to Prama.

“That’s right,” Prama and Reza said in unison.

“Thank you very much, Guys. You’ve so kind. In spite of all I’ve done to you, you’re still willing to help me,” said Aiman.

“Let bygones be bygones, Aiman!” Putra stated.

“Yes,” Reza agreed, “Even though we are often fighting, we are still friends. It is our duty to help each other.”

“That’s right! Once best friends, always best friends,” Prama emphasized.

“Thank you so much, Guys. I don’t know what I would do without you,” Aiman said with gratitude.

“No problem,” the three of them spoke together.

“So, what is your plan now?” asked Putra.

Aiman scratched the nape of his neck. “Um, actually, I haven’t planned anything yet.”

“Aha! I have a pretty good idea!” Prama exclaimed.

“What is it?” Reza inquired.

“Listen up!” Prama commanded.

Those four friends finally got into a huddle. Aiman, Putra, and Reza listened closely as Prama laid out his plan.

“What do you think?” Prama asked for his friends’ opinion.

“What a crazy idea!” Reza commented.

“But it’s also very brilliant,” Putra said.

“You’re telling me,” Aiman agreed with Putra.

“So when are we going to execute our plan?” Prama enquired.

“What about tomorrow?” Aiman suggested.

“Why not?” his three friends said at the same time.

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