Dining Table Politics
“Become—Kades?..” Kang Didit tried to confirm it.
The villagers nodded firmly, assigning that was a correct confirmation.
But Kang Didit was still unsure, “Is there any competent villager who are more worth to join the election?..” he asked again.
The villagers shook their heads together, and he fell into silence when he knew their request was serious matter!
“My God!—They asked him to join the Kades election!..” She spontaneously closed her mouth with both hands.
Yudha smiled—At last Kang Didit is chosen by the villagers, just like he wanted before!
He delayed his dreams to become Kades to rebuild his beloved village because no villager asked him to join the election, and now there’s no excuse for him to avoid the election!
“No, Kang!.. In this village the one who has good competence and knowledge is only you!..” answered the elder.
“You’re the smartest villager we have! You also succeed in making this place which was a dead land until become fertile and tidy like now!—Even many smart peoples from many places and countries are visiting you!”
But no sudden answer came out of Kang Didit’s mouth. He still felt uneasy with the offers.
“Kang Didit! We believe in you, Lembur Ciheras can be rebuild into a better village!..” a villager tried to encourage Kang Didit.
“Please, Kang Didit! Don’t let us fall to another regrets again!”
And at last, Kang Didit spoke up, answering the elders and villagers offers.
“Bapak-bapak! I’m very honored, being trusted by you to become the new Kades!—But, I’m sorry, I can’t give the answer now! I must discuss it with my family first!..”
The guests looked shocked when knowing Kang Didit’s answer. Kang Didit saw and heard their murmurs which showed how disappointed they were. An elder tried to soothe the silence unrest, he smiled softly “I see!.. Even just become a Kades, it still needs deep serious consideration and approves from your family!..” said the elder.
“Ah!—Thank you for your understanding!..” said Kang Didit to the elder.
“So, when we will get the reply??..” a villager still couldn’t control his excitement.
He was thinking for a while, “I hope I’ll give the serious confirmation the day after tomorrow! I’ll tell you as soon as possible!” answered Kang Didit.
The guest nodded to each other after they heard the answers of Kang Didit. They agreed to wait for until the day after tomorrow. The meeting ended. The persons who attended in this occasion got up from sitting on the gazebo floor and made light chit-chats again.
When Kang Didit went with the guests going out from his house, he caught Yudha and Lia hiding behind the wall.
“Oh!—Looks you both have same hobby, eh??..” said Kang Didit.
Both of them fell in clueless silence for a while. But when they were looking at each other—how close they hid side by side, even Lia realized she’s held to Yudha’s back so intimately!—they were apart in blush and awkward feelings.
“Y-You are taking advantage from me right???..” scolded Lia.
“No! It’s you that took from me!!..” Yudha counter-scolded her.
Kang Didit smiled, “Lia, please call your sister and Ditsy!..”
Lia got up from her hiding, “Okay, then!..”
“And.. Yudha, do you mind to join this family meeting??..”
I smell danger here, “Huh?—But I’m not the part of the family.”
“We considered you as the part of the family!—” answered Kang Didit, “But if you are still not interested, don’t bother yourself!..”
Yudha looked confused with the dilemmas—between he didn’t want to involve with Lembur Ciheras’ troubles and felt bad to Kang Didit and his family who had already given him so many supports.
I can’t, my purpose in this village is just to do my obligatory field practice!
“I’m sorry! But if you need something, I’m at my room!” and Yudha refused.
Kang Didit looked very disappointed when he heard Yudha’s replies. But he tried to control it, “Okay, then! Sorry if I’m too pushy!”
And when Yudha walked into his room, he caught Lia was looking at him with disappointed face—but her disappointed expression was more dominated to sadness than fury like she always does.
She eavesdrops us—Yudha said nothing, he tried to pass her.
But suddenly, she grabbed his lower shirts very tight.
“Why you deny it??..” asked Lia.
“Don’t lie!” she grabbed his shirt more tightly, “Your concern about these villages’ condition! How excited you are when discussing with my brother about his dreams! How you care about Pak Amin! And—”
And she almost teared Yudha’s shirt.
“Ouch!” his shirt strangled his neck.
“Also how care you are with my complaints.” And then she let his shirt.
Yudha fell in silence, “You get it wrong—I want to do my field practice as best as I can.” He answered.
“And how about our close conversations and your compliments yesterday—and when you let me hug you! Is that also part of your FIELD PRACTICE, HUH?!!”
“Lia—” but he couldn’t complete his sentences. She suddenly pushed him to enter his room.
“Jerk!—Stupid jerk!..” she left him speechless to call her sister-in-law and only nephew.
“The guests that visited our home have asked me to join the new Kades election.” Said Kang Didit.
Teh Ningsih looked at Lia with shocked feeling, “Hey! Why you don’t look shocked when heard it?” she cluelessly asked.
“Because I and Yudha knew it.” Answered Lia simply.
“They’ve eavesdropped the meeting.” Kang Didit added it.
“When will it be held?”
“Next Six months.” Answered Kang Didit.
“Wow! Time have passed so fast. It’s already near Kades election!” said Teh Ningsih.
“In my own opinion, I’ll accept their offers. It’s my momentum to pay my debts to Lembur Ciheras! Because we have their trusts now!” suddenly, Kang Didit excited expression changed to bit down and doubted, “But—”
“But what??..” Lia asked curiously.
“There’s something more important than this village—my family.” Answered Kang Didit, “What do you think, guys? Should I accept their offers?—If you refuse it, I don’t mind to refuse their offer. It’s okay!”
“But, become the Kades to rebuild our village is your longtime dreams since you visited for the first time!” said uneasy Teh Ningsih.
Kang Didit smiled to his beloved wife, “Like I said. My family concern is my number one priority. I won’t blame you if you don’t approve me to join the election—don’t worry!” he laughed.
“You’re really a damn family man, Kang Didit!..” hissed Yudha while peeping from his small opened room door.
Kang Didit is the one of many peoples who believed—the smooth of rough carrier life is depended by the blessing from their most beloved persons, he will not hesitate his long time noble dreams be dumped if his wife, little sister, and son don’t approved it.
“In my opinion—I agree! I approve your plan to join the Kades election!” Lia decided.
“Are you sure??” Kang Didit asked.
“Don’t you dare questioning my decision, A!” threat Lia.
“O-Okay!” avoiding unnecessary quarrel with Lia, he shifted his stare, “So, what about Mamih and Ditsy.”
“I think Papih should know what Ditsy’s thought.” Answered Teh Ningsih, “Ditsy, what do you think Papih become Kades?”
The fifth grade SD kid looked clueless when he was asked for this Kades opinions, “I don’t really know about Kades thing. But, as far as I know, one of the Kades duties is to make sure the villagers have a good living.”
“Someday, my school friends didn’t want to play with me, and I started to encourage myself to ask them—why now you looked at me like a bad person? First try they answered they just hated me. And they also hated other community kids too!”
“But, I feel they don’t just hate me—I tried to ask them again. After I tried to ask them again and again, finally they gave up and told why they hate me. They said—They envy with my life! I have big house, nice and clean uniform, rice fields, and many factories—I said, about rice fields and factories, they are Papih’s, not mine. But they don’t care.”
“Some teacher said that, it’s because our Kades made their parents can’t plant rices and catch fishes along the beaches.”
Ditsy paused his talkings for catching fresh air, and after having enough breath, he continued again.
“If you become the new Kades. Can you make their parents able to plant rice fields and catch fishes again, so they have money to buy nice house and uniforms like I have?”
Ditsy’s parents startled when they heard his opinions, and Teh Ningsih sniffed her nose and rubbed her eyes, Kang Didit grabbed his only son’s shoulders and watched his eyes firmly.
“SURE!—When I become the new Kades, I’ll make sure that their parents can plant and catch fishes again, so they’ll have enough money to build nice houses and bought nice uniforms—and they wont envy you and other kids, and become friends again!” answered Kang Didit.
“Promise?” Ditsy showed his right pinkie.
And Kang Didit hooked Ditsy’s right pinkie with his right pinkie, “Promise!”
“So, how about you, Mamih?” and now it’s Teh Ningsih’s opinions.
Teh Ningsih just warmly smiled at her husband, “Of course I’ll help Papih to make Ditsy and his friends become friends again!”
“Shit!.. Fuck!.. Why my eyes getting hot???..” Yudha rubbed his watery eyes and runny nose.
Kang Didit’s family approved him to join the Kades election in the next six months. Yudha closed the door and went to bed—avoiding his heart and mind getting more intoxicated by Kang Didit family and Lembur Ciheras.
I must leave as soon as possible! Every day passes in this place, I am getting sucked deeper and deeper with their problems!
He tried to neutralize it by remembering his imagination of the future—becoming a happy salaryman, having a great and rocketing career, building a happy humble small family with Siska in the apartment at the center of big city—faded, because it seemed impossible when he looked at actual conditions.
But, when he remembered it, he also remembered how hectic and frustrating living in the big city like Bandung—stacked like a canned sardines every going to work and home, traffic jams, and unhesitate city workers to tackle each-other for chasing better careers and more money—terrified him so much, especially he isn’t a bright Karyawijaya University student who made a serious relationship with well known persons’ daughter.
When he saw the peaceful rice fields, fresh sea breeze, how hospitable and cooperative the community people and his acquittances who lived around the Kades office, the roomy feelings when gazing at the skies—those are offered by this southernmost village in West Java; He feels fully accepted.
Lia’s humble charms and her exotic burnt skins beauty. Her nags, sulks, and protests. How great she keeps the house, how mesmerizing her voice and masterful she plays her accoustic guitar. How cute her quite smiles and giggles.
How soft she hug his body and how peacefully her hums while she laid her head at his back when he was pedaling Kang Didit’s expensive bicycle to home.
NO! NO! NO!
Maybe I’m a lousy student with too average IPK, but I’m a faithful man! I believe, good things always come to a good conduct person!
Try to soothe his worry, Yudha checked his social media account, looking for news about Siska—hoping he got good news, something like she left the hospital.
But—when he checked the timelines, he got more problem than peace.
Yudha was shocked when seeing Siska’s mother account photo tags—she showed a candid photo of Adri kissed Siska while she’s at the bedrest. She also typed words.
Aah! Those youngsters love I missed it so much! We hope good future for both of them!
Yudha fell into long silence when he saw the photo. He tried to message Aryo about this photo. But after waiting for half hour for his best friend reply, he didn’t. He hid himself in his blanket, spacing out, enjoying the grumbling heavy rain that didn’t subside yet.
It was two AM—but Kang Didit still couldn’t sleep. His mind was succumbed by the Kades problems. He hoped when he was spacing out for a while, he could fall asleep in peace like his wife did in his right side.
What Ditsy said had haunted him down.
“You’re not sleeping yet, A??..” Teh Ningsih asked him.
The uneasy Kang Didit gasped when his wife caught him spacing out, “Y-Yes!—This Kades thing is really bothering me!..” answered him.
“The Kades thing still bothering you?..”
Kang Didit sighed, “You know, being a Kades in this condition will need extra cares, right?”
“Extra cares, extra time, and consequences our time with the kids will decrease.”
Teh Ningsih fell into silence. She looked thinking about that deep, “I see..”
“But! We have Lia, right? She can take care Ditsy for us!” said Kang Didit.
“But, sometimes she has short temper problem. And sometimes she must go back to her campus for last assignment reports to the lecturers.” Answered Teh Ningsih.
“I see..” Kang Didit fell into silence again—thinking another solution for their only son.
“Maybe it’s the time for us to teach him how to become a good teenager early.” Said Teh Ningsih.
“Ah, yes!” Kang Didit agreed.
They’re remembered about their parenting plan—when Ditsy starts his 6th grade, they will teach him how to become a good teenager. Teaching him how to turn on the stove, to cook and to reheat frozen foods, how to use rice cooker, locking the door when leaving—and many simple grown up activities that can be learned by new teenager.
“We still have six months to prepare him to become a teenager.”
“Damn!—It’s like Ditsy just born yesterday and now he becomes a teenager.” Kang Didit murmured and smiled to his wife.
“By the way—It’s still raining, huh?..” Kang Didit was listening to the voices outside the window.
“Yes. From the late afternoon it’s not stopped yet..”
“I have another alternative solution for Ditsy!”
“Hmm? What alternative solution is it?” Teh Ningsih was clueless with her husband saying.
“How about giving him—a new sibling, ehh??..” answered him with naughty voice.
Teh Ningsih slapped him, “NAUGHTY!!..” and she giggled.
AT LAST! PERFECT PLANS!
Yudha had just came back from his entire night by spacing out, when he got the plan—the plan he believed that he could leave the village early and met his girlfriend who was seduced by her ex, without worried his college threatened!
After he texted Aryo about his plans and begged him not to leak it, he threw his blanket and got up from his hidden slumber!
BAM! BAM! BAM!
Uh? Someone knocks our door??—Kang Didit woke up.
“A! Someone is knocking our door!!..” Teh Ningsih tried to shake Kang Didit’s body.
When they dressed up with sleeping kimonos, Kang Didit turned on his bedroom lightnings and opened the door. He was shocked when he looked at the person knocking hard in this late morning—Yudha with his casual clothing.
“Y-Yudha??..” Kang Didit looked confused.
“What happened in this earliest morning??..” asked Teh Ningsih behind Kang Didit’s back.
Yudha held his breath for a while, to start his runaway plans.
“I must go home now! My mother fell into a serious ill!..”
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