In the Name of Friendship

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Chapter 3: The Dreams of 3 Best Friends

The years seemed to race past. Now, Shinta had turned sixteen and was in the second grade of high school.

This afternoon, she was sitting on a park bench under a Banyan tree in her school’s backyard. She had been spending half an hour there, daydreaming about her future.

Since Shinta was still in the second grade now, it meant she still had about one and a half year ahead of her to graduate from high school. However, this girl, who had short black hair, had been busy thinking about her life after graduation.

She was wondering if she could achieve her lifelong ambition of becoming a policewoman. And if she couldn’t turn her dream into reality, what would she do? Could she get into college; or should she apply for a job?

And one more thing. She also wondered what her best friends would like to be when they have graduated from high school. Could they still be friends; or would they live their own lives separately?

“Hi Shinta.” Out of the blue, she was jolted out of her reverie as someone tapped her on the shoulder.

Shinta looked back over her shoulder and found a long-black-haired girl with glasses standing behind her. She was Shinta’s best friend since childhood and also classmate, Nina Wijayanti.

“Oh Nina you startled me,” Shinta complained.

Nina chuckled. She then walked around the park bench and took a seat beside her best friend. “What are you doing here alone, Shinta?”

Shinta answered, “I am just thinking about our future, Nina. We’re young now, but I wonder what we would like to be when we grow up.”

“Hmm, I don’t know, Shinta,” Nina said, “This is my hometown, so maybe I just want to be a farmer like my parents.”

Karawang, the town where those two best friends lived was known as major rice producer of Indonesia. Almost the whole area of Karawang was surrounded by rice fields. So most people there worked as farmers.

Meanwhile, they who didn’t want to be farmers chose to work at foreign factories that were growing in number recently in Karawang, or would gravitate to the bigger cities in search of work.

Nina’s family were natives of Karawang. They owned tens hectares of rice fields throughout Karawang and a big rice mill in their village. Brought up in a farmer family, Nina had no ambitions other than to be a farmer like her parents. Even though a smart girl like her actually could get a better career if she wanted to work in big companies.

“What about you, Shinta?” Nina finally asked.

“As you know,” Shinta answered, “I just want to be a policewoman. This is something I’ve been dreaming of all my life.”

“Wow, that’s great!” Nina exclaimed.

“Hi Shinta, hi Nina,” A handsome curly-headed boy suddenly approached them.

“Hi Aiman,” Shinta and Nina greeted their other best friend in unison.

Unlike Shinta and Nina who were in the second grade, Aiman Alfarizqi, who was one year older than the two girls, was in the third grade now. Thus, it meant that it was his last year at high school.

Aiman inquired curiously while sitting down next to Shinta. “What are you talking about, Girls?”

Nina replied, “We’re talking about our future, Aiman.”

“Yes, Nina is right,” Shinta added, “By the way, what would you like to be when you grow up, Aiman?”

“Um... I don’t know what I would like to be in the future. But one thing for sure, I want to go to Jakarta,” Aiman replied.

There was a tradition in Indonesian people, especially for those who came from small towns or villages, to move from their hometowns to bigger cities after they graduated from school. One of the most favorite cities to move to was Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. Many emigrated to that metropolitan city to seek their fortune. And Aiman wanted to be one of them.

Nina looked surprised. “Jakarta? What will you do there?”

Aiman replied, “I want to find a job there.”

“Why didn’t you just stay in this town, Aiman? I think there are so many jobs to do here. Even my father moved from Jakarta to Karawang to get a better job,” Shinta tried to persuade him.

“Come on, Shinta! I can’t just stay in this small town. I want to get a better future so that I can make my parents proud of me. And I think Jakarta gives me more chances to be successful,” said Aiman confidently.

Shinta said, “But Aiman, I am so worried about you. What if—”

“That’s enough, Shinta!” Nina cut her off, “It is Aiman’s choice. As his best friends, we have to support him whatever decision he makes.”

Shinta sighed. “You’re right, Nina. I am sorry, Aiman. I know I should have supported you whatever you decide.”

Aiman smiled. “That’s alright, Shinta, I know you’re like that because you care of me so much.”

Shinta smiled back, and Nina gave a smile as well.

“Okay, Girls, I have to go home now. I have to pick my sisters up from their school first,” Aiman told them.

Aiman’s first sister, Alya was 15 years old now. Meanwhile, his youngest sister, Adinda was 13 years old. They both were studying at Secondary School now. The former was in the third grade, and the latter was in the first grade.

“Okay, we should go home too, right Shinta?” Nina looked at Shinta.

Shinta nodded. “Yes.”

“Okay then, let’s go home together!” said Aiman.

“Okay,” Nina and Shinta said in unison.

Getting to their feet, those three best friends left their school and then went to fetch Aiman’s younger sisters from their school. Alya and Adinda’s school was located behind their brother’s school, thus, they didn’t need much time to get there.

Apparently, Alya and Adinda had been waiting for their brother at the school gate. The two girls soon greeted Aiman and his best friends warmly as they approached them.

At long last, the five of them walked home together. Yes, since their houses were not very far from their schools, so they could easily walk it. On their way home, they were talking and laughing all the while.

Little did they know, there was a girl who stole a glance at Aiman every so often. Secretly, that girl had been carrying a torch for Aiman for a long time, but she didn’t want him to find out. The reason was because she was afraid that there would be a wedge that was tapped into their friendship if she’s dating Aiman. That’s why the poor girl could only love him from afar.

A deep blush of embarrassment flooded her cheeks when Aiman suddenly turned to look at her and caught her staring at him. She quickly turned her face away from him so that he wouldn’t see the blush and her shy smile.

Aiman realized there was something strange about his friend, but he just shrugged it off and chose turn his attention back to the road ahead of him.

The girl casted a furtive glance at Aiman one more time and hoped, “Aiman, I wish you will notice my feelings some day.”

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