The Black Pearl Girl
Yudha stretched out his hands and gave a big yawn while Pak Mukti, the Kades of Lembur Ciheras gave the most boring speeches. He wasn’t the only one who thought so, all nineteen of his classmates had been wishing for the torture to end since it started two hours ago.
“UGH!” Yudha snorted—but suddenly someone elbow jabbed his chest from the left side.
Yudha faced the culprit with pissed expression—and enjoying the pain of his knocked chest—to Aryo, his classmate since first semester.
“Look, dumbass!—“ hissed Aryo while he pointed to the front rows.
Yudha held his vengeance to counter-attack Aryo, when Pak Mathias, the lecturer in charge of campus field practice, gave him one of his most frightening death glare, which only subsided when Yudha was seated obediently in his chair again.
Field practice was turning out to be right out nightmare. Yudha’s class, Class B of Law Faculty of the Karyawijaya University, was assigned to the remote village of Lembur Ciheras. Situated at the southernmost point of West Java, it wasn’t a far cry to say that it was isolated from all civilization. What’s worse was that they had to stay there for a whole week!
Yudha couldn’t stand to this boredom, he picked up his smart phone to look at his social media accounts, but toobad—no cellphone signals was in Lembur Ciheras!
“What the heck are you doing?” asked Aryo.
“This shitty place evenhas nonecellphone signals!”
Aryolaughed when heard heard Yudha’s complain.
“Ah, fuck!—Now my phone is running out of battery!”
Helaughed harder, “Not just cellphone signals!—Even the electricity in this place ishardly found!”
And at that time, Yudha could only turn off and layhis back to the chair, imagining how terrible was living without electricity and communication signals with his grumpy face.
“Long and dangerous trips! No signals! No electricity!— do the lecturers want us to become a monk or what??” Yudha was complaining.
And then he spaced out, remembering what happened before they arrived in this village, as his only entertainment while the Kades continued his never ending boring speeches.
“Aden! Your belongings for the field practice has prepared!” reported Bi Imas while she was carrying a big sport bag of clothes, chargers, and gadgets he needed for the trip.
“Ah! Thanks, Bi!” answered Yudha; picking up the sport bag.
Bi Imas is the housemaid of his family. She’s an old devoted maid. Before serving in Yudha’s family, she worked in his grandparents’ house from hismotherside. She’s in her sixties now — she has started serving his mother since she’s had Yudha.
“Uuh!—Mama not yet home?” asked Yudha; watching every corners of his house.
Bi Imas shook her head.
Yudha sighed, “As usual, she’s just going home when she sick. How dumb I am asking that question!” said Yudha.
But Bi Imas not interested about their not lovely son –and-mom relationships, “Aden! When will you be home?”
Yudha tried to recall the schedules, “I forgot, Bi!—Maybe next Monday or Tuesday.”
“Be careful, Aden! Don’t eat and drinkcarelesslyin the village!” warned Bi Imas.
Yudha laughed, “Sure! Get sick at the village might be troublesome!” answered Yudha while he slang his sports bag, “See you next week, Bi!”
“Take care, Aden!” answered Bi Imas.
Yudha didn’t felt going to his campus with the public bus—stacked between another stacked passenger, and the stacked passenger look uncomfortable when seeing his humongous sports bag he carried to the bus.
He realized the passengers complaining about Yudha’s baggages’ inside their heart, but he moved his face and whistled, pretending the condition was okay.
“The heck?! Is he evacuating from flood or what??..” An Unknown passenger was brave enough to complain him—but, as expected, Yudha pretended to be a deaf person.
Ah! Yudha was saved by his girlfriend, Siska’s—known by his special-romantic- ring tones set up at his smart phone.
“Oh! Hello! Hello!” Yudha answered.
“Hi, Yudha! Going to field practice?“ Siska asked.
“Well, I’m still on the way to the campus!”
“You sound like you’re in trouble!—Am I calling you while you’re driving?“
“Nope!” answered Yudha, “I’m on public bus!” Yudha tried to push away the passenger that tried tosandwichhim as the bus had a sudden turn.
“Oh!—When will your field practice be held?”
“Next month! And do you know where I’m going to?“Siska tried to tease him.
Yudha sighed, he noticed Siska’s father, the dean of law faculty, setting up the field practice place for his spoiled daughter, but Yudha tried to not screw up the mood and said, “Nope!—Where?” with a fake expression.
“Our field practice at Carita Beach at Banten!! OMG! I must prepare my swimsuits!“ Siska yelled at the speaker.
“Oh, okay! That sounds nice!—“ said annoyed Yudha; remembering before the field practice he begged his date to persuade her father to set him field practice in the city or the suburban villages—But looked that the dad refused Siska’s request.
“Where will you go, Yud?“at last, Siska took care with him.
“This place is namedLemburCiheras—a village which the internet even doesn’t know where the place is!” answered Yudha, unexcitedly.
“Aaaw, Yud! I’m sorry!—Papa said the schedule for your class hasalreadyset!” Siska noticed why her boyfriend saying like that.
YEAH!RIGHT!!—Yudha mocked inside his heart.
The automatic announcer said that the public bus will arrive at his campus in near moments, “Ah! I have arrived at the campus! See you!”
“Take care! I’ll be missed you so much for a week!..“
Yudha smiled, “You too!..” said him before closing the lovey-dovey conversation and got ready to leave the bus.
“Hey! You promised us to stay at the place near city!” wailed Yudha’s classmate.
Oh yes, he also promised to his classmates to lobby the dean for doing the field practice near the city, but the result is a no—also he didn’t think that the protests would be serious like this.
“I had done my best, man! But the faculty decided otherwise! It can’t be helped!” answered Yudha.
“Yeah, right!!” his classmate yelled, representing most of Class B disappoinment when they learned how useless their dean’s son-in-law candidate friend was.
“Enough of this gibberish!!” yelled Pak Mathias trying to calm the disputes, “Now it’s the timetocall the attendances! Answer back when I called your names!” he declared while he was preparing his portable megaphone and attendance papers.
“YES, PAAAKKK!!” answered the Class B.
While Pak Mathias started to call all the gathering students who were going the field practice trip, Yudha overheard some his female classmates—lined behind him—whispering about his relationship with Siska.
“How come Siska was dumped by Adri andchosedating to a lousystudent like—him?..”
“Didn’t youknowthat Adri dump Siska?!..”
“But why??—They were thebestcouplein ouruniversity, weren’t they? …. Am I right??”
“Yeah! But IheardAdridumpedher and looked foranothergirlbecause she’sa lousystudenttoo!..”
“The bestboyfor thebestgirl.Lousygirl forlousyboy!—Law ofnature!..”
Thatgossip girls were whispering with fake low voices that Yudha and another classmates couldhear themclearly—surely they’re meant to mock him. Yudha could seehisclassmateslookingat himawkwardly.
There’s nootherchoice other than pretending that he didn’thearwhat theysaid, “Tch!—Those bitches!” hegrumbled.
But what heheardwasinevitablytoolate as thegossipswasentering hismindand struck his heart. Hethought backwhen he started dating Siska—forfirsttime, hefeltluckyandproud, theprincessof LawFacultythat every single person and nerddreamed of.
But after a while into their relationship, Siska still spoke highly of Adri’s career as an apprentice of a well-known lawyer, and was added with Siska’s father who was not very welcoming to Yudha due to his academic performance couldn’t match up with Adri.
Aryo whacked his head, bringing back Yudha to the reality, after enjoying spacing out.
“WHERES YUDHA??” Pak Mathias seemed getting annoyed when Yudha didn’t answer the call.
“P-PAK!!” Yudha answered while waving his hand to his lecturer.
Pak Mathias looked at him with an annoyed expression, “Stop spacing out while I check your attendances!!” warned him.
Yudha forced himself to nod, and he looked at Aryo, “Thanks, Yo!..”
“Don’t mention too much with that gossip-girls gang!..” said Aryo.
Yudha rolled up his eyes, “Of course not!..” answered himawkwardly.
Deep in his heart, he was thinking what that backbiters were talking—mostlythey gossiping the truthabouthis relationship with Siska.
“Okay then!—The results is all of the students are attending the field practice!... So pack up your belongings to the buses over there! And after the packing up completed! We are going to the village!” announced Pak Mathias.
“Do you know anything about the place?” Yudha asked Aryo about Lembur Ciheras.
Aryo just answered by lifting his shoulders.
Yudha sighed —and spacing out again—imagine Lembur Ciheras is remote, desolate, and poor village in some place in West Java.
“As I thought!“ Yudha grumbled when he saw many village zinc and plywood huts during on the trip to their boarding house.
Looks far from civilizations—no communications towers, rare electricity poles, and the worn out villagers’ clothes they still wear.
“Look, guys!—The reality of the grassroots society!” commented Pak Mathias, “Don’t misunderstand your minds by field practice mixed with field trip!”
Yudha remembered the Lembur Ciheras’ boring welcoming ceremony in his entire life three hours before, which nothing seemed interesting about KadesMuktithan his lousy speeches.
“Did you pay attentiontothe Kades?”
“Of course, I did!—Notlikeyou, spacing out and sleeping during the speeches!!” scolded Pak Mathias.
And the silence broke with those bursting into mocking laughs from his classmates.
But Yudha didn’t care, “Did you pay attentiontohis bling-blings?” he asked again.
“Huh? Bling-blings??” Pak Mathias was not up-to-date with youngsters’ trends.
“Uuh!—The flashy accessories, Pak!” said another classmate.
“Ooh??..” he was thinkingabout Yudha’s questions for a while, “Ah, yes! You mean his gems rings, bracelets, and chain necklace?”
“Yes, Pak!” Yudha nodded.
“I neverthoughtyou paid attentiontotheKades, too, Yudha.” Pak Mathias amazed, “Yeah! The—what you youngsters said about it??”
“BLING-BLINGS, PAAAK!!” answered the Class B.
“Bling-blings!—It looks too flashy and does not suit him” Pak Mathias mumbled.
“Do you think it’s real gold, Pak?” asked Yudha again.
“Looks like they’re pure gold—I think.” aswered Pak Mathias doubtfully.
“That’s another facts in our society, Pak!” said Yudha ended his proofs aboutthe gap between the Lembur Ciheras villagers andKadesMukti.
Pak Mathias understood that he made a rhetorical question—he wanted to show even the village authorities like Kades Mukti, would rather be busy with their own wealth than be concerning about the villager’s poverty and lack of decent basic infrastructures which might be never built for many decades.
“Yes!” answered Pak Mathias while he shifted his gaze to the coastline of Lembur Ciheras, “Yes indeed!..” he agreed with Yudha.
Yudharealized that—the beach located along Lembur Ciheraswhich was near the messed-up village roads looks very nice! The sands was pure white, and the ocean still glows it’s pure turquoise blue colour.
This scenery made him remember the first time he met Siska.
When he was enjoying the scenery, a villager’s activity in the beach caught Yudha’s attention—a woman was playing beach sands with six children.
Judging with her casual beach clothes, the woman was in the same age as him, and her appearance looks not too poorlikeotherLemburCiherasvillagers. Probably she’s a villager girl who has a better life than those six children.
The childrenlooked at the passing field practice buses, noticed Yudha watching them, they waved to him soexcitedly.
Yudha’s kiddy part coming out—he waved back to those waving beach kids!
One of those children grabbed the beach girl’s right hand. The little girl was pointing to the bus. Her gestures showed that she was begging to the young woman to see the bus—but the young woman was not interested. She chose to continue playing with her simple sand castle.
Didn’t know where those curious feelings came from, Yudha hope that the young woman show her face that hidden behind her large beach straw hat.
But she still didn’t budge—she was still enjoying the sands, while Yudha was getting anxious when both of them were getting far each-other.
Comeon! Look at the bus, please! Just one single gaze!—Yudha begged to her from inside of his mind.
And his hope came true!—The beach girl gave up, when all of six children who were accompanying her, forced her to see the buses—a kind of large vehicles that never appeared in their village.
Yudha felt amazed when he saw her full appearance—she maybe too much burned by the sun because too much playing at the beach, but her beautiful gaze behind her big straw hat could make Yudha mesmerized to her!
S-She is the most beautiful black pearl I have ever seen in my entire life!