Chapter 5: Parting
Time seemed to flash by. Aiman had been going out with Shinta for a year now. Much to Nina’s relief, Aiman and Shinta’s romantic relationship didn’t affect their friendship at all. Those three best friends still could carry on their lives as normal, just like before Aiman and Shinta were dating.
Because a year had flown by, Aiman had graduated from high school at the moment. As planned, he decided to go to Jakarta after his graduation to pursue his dreams.
Today was the day Aiman would leave for Jakarta. His parents, sisters, and best friends saw him off to the bus terminal.
“You have to take care of yourself, my son,” Aiman’s mother, Nuri said while smoothing her son’s hair back.
Aiman nodded. “Yes, Mom, I promise you I’ll take care of myself well.”
“Be careful, my son. Don’t forget to call us or send us some letters, okay?” Fachri, Aiman’s father’s tapped him on the shoulder.
“Yes Dad, I will,” Aiman promised.
“Don’t forget to buy me some souvenirs from Jakarta when you come home, okay Brother?” Aiman’s youngest sister, Adinda requested.
Aiman smiled. “Okay, my beautiful sister.”
“And you, Alya,” Aiman refered to his other sister, “as the eldest sister, you must take care of our Mom, Dad and sister, okay?”
Alya nodded her head. “Sure! Don’t worry, Brother! I will take care of them when you are in Jakarta.”
Aiman rumpled her hair. “Good girl!”
“Hey, careful, Brother! You’re messing my hair,” Alya protested angrily. She disliked it very much when her brother tousled her hair.
“Don’t be angry with me, okay? You know, you look uglier when you’re angry,” Aiman said said teasingly.
Alya cuffed her brother lightly around his head. “You’re so annoying!”
“Ouch! That hurt!” Aiman groaned.
“Stop it, you two! Why are you always fighting?” Nuri scolded them.
“He started it, Mom!” Alya pointed an accusing finger at her brother.
“I was only joking, Mom,” Aiman defended himself, “She shouldn’t have been angry.”
“Just quit it, Kids!” Fachri interrupted, “Aiman, Alya, you are both siblings. You must love each other. Don’t quarrel all the time!”
Alya and Aiman hung their heads in shame. “I’m sorry, Dad,” they both said in unison.
Looking at her brother and sister, Adinda stifled a giggle.
“Aiman, you’d better bid farewell to your friends now.” Fachri pointed at Alya and Shinta who were standing a few meters away from them.
“Correction, his friend and girlfriend, Dad,” Adinda said mockingly.
Yes, both Aiman’s and Shinta’s family had known that they were dating, and the two families had approved of their relationship.
Aiman glowered at her. Meanwhile, Dinda stuck her tongue out at him.
Their parents shook their heads in disapproval, while their sister laughed at them.
“I can’t believe it! Adinda sides with Alya against me. I feel like none of my sisters love me,” Aiman complained.
Alya and Adinda did a high five, making their eldest brother snort with annoyance.
“That’s enough, Aiman! You should go and see your best friend and my future daughter-in-law now,” Nuri said.
Aiman nearly died of embarrassment when his mother called Shinta as her future daughter-in-law. He turned away to hide his blushes and said, “OK.”
Aiman finally left his family and approached his best friends. “Shinta, Nina,” he greeted them.
Unexpectedly, Shinta hugged Aiman. “I am going to miss you so much, Aiman,” she said sadly.
Aiman hugged Shinta back. “The feeling’s mutual, Shinta. I know you hate being away from me, but don’t worry, okay? This is just for awhile. I promise I’ll be back as soon as I become successful in Jakarta. And we can be reunited again later.”
“I understand, Aiman. I see our separation as a test of the strength of our love. I will always wait for you to return patiently,” Shinta stated.
Nina gave a little cough to attract her best friends’ attention.
Aiman and Shinta quickly detached their embrace as colour flooded their faces.
“So you’re only going to miss Shinta, but you won’t miss me, Aiman?” Nina pouted angrily.
Aiman turned to Nina and talked to her, “Of course, I’m going to miss you too, Nina. We have been best friends since we were children, so I’ll be very lonely when you’re not around.”
Nina burst out laughing when she saw the sad expression on Aiman’s face. “I know, Aiman. Don’t take my words very seriously, okay? I was only teasing.”
“Nina, you!” Aiman snorted.
Nina held up her hand and made a V-shape with her index and middle fingers. “Peace!”
“OK, I’ve got to go now,” Aiman told his best friends.
Nina gave Aiman a brief hug. “Be careful, Aiman! Promise to keep in touch with us, okay?”
“Yes, Nina, I promise you,” Aiman responded.
“Good luck, Aiman! I hope all your dreams will come true,” Shinta prayed.
“Amen. Thank you, Shinta.” Aiman beamed.
After that, Aiman excused himself and rejoined his family.
“Mom, Dad, Alya, Dinda, I am leaving now,” he told them.
The family then put their arms around each other and hugged.
Detaching their embrace, Aiman walked towards the bus that was going to take him to Jakarta.
“See you later all,” he spoke to his family and friends.
“See you, Aiman,” all of them said in unison.
Aiman was about to step onto the bus, but suddenly Shinta called after him, “Aiman?”
Aiman turned around to face Shinta. “Yes?”
“Be careful!” Shinta said with a warm smile.
Aiman returned her smile. “Okay.”
He finally jumped the bus and took a seat in the front row.
A moment later, the bus driver climbed into the driver’s seat and started the engine.
As the bus drove off, Aiman looked out of the window and gave his family and friends a wave of goodbye. They all waved back with tears rolling down their faces.