Chapter 5: AN AMAZING SURPRISE
Lessingstraße, Düsseldorf, Germany. Autumn, December 12th 2014.
“Christ?” A sopran voice of high frequency across the phone was heard in Anggia’s sense of hearing.
“Nein, nein, Mutti. Ich heiße Anggia, ich bin die Freundin von….—No, no, Mom. I’m Anggia, the friend of….”
“Ah, Schls Freundin?—Ah, Schl’s girlfriend?”
“Nein, nein, Mutti.”
But, the woman across the phone didn’t hear Anggia’s refusal. Even, the problem was German had the same word for addressing about female friend and girlfriend. Anggia was completely failed to explain to Christopher’s mother about her role in the Christopher’s life well in a very short time.
Christopher’s remained to grumble in German in the high speed. Adding with the buzzing of telecommunication network increased Anggia’s brain task to comprehend it becoming so hard and complicated. Her ears was forced to listen to it by getting it closer and closer to the earphone.
“As his close person, you have certainly an idea how is the best way for me to spend time with him… what kind of cooking food that he is loving so much… something like that.”
Anggia stole a glance Christopher Schlösser’s direction who was stretching out peacefully on his back over the favourite living room. He snored softly constantly, as if there was no disturbance in that morning.
“Isn’t it better if Mutti make a deal first with Christ? Christ don’t like if—” Anggia was completely uncertain and doubtless.
In one side, Christopher was obviously a native German. He didn’t like to be disturbed with any ways without making a deal first. Moreover, if it would happen in his apartment. Anggia still remembered clearly for their last quarrel with Karina. Even, for Christopher’s objection to Florens when he joint suddenly to interrupt the comfort of Christopher and Anggia’s picnic one day before.
“It’s Ok,” interrupted the woman fast. “I would handle about that problem.”
Anggia gave in and told about any informations she knew. “I think, Christ would wake up too late in the afternoon. So, it’s better if Mutti come at….”
“Ok, I understood,” said the woman briefly. “Then?”
“A bottle of honig—German honey….” Anggia stated doubtfully. Actually, everything she knew about Christopher just through deductive method. Concluding particularly from general matters that appeared in her sense of sight. There was none of the conclusion that has been proved the truth. “I think, he is unwilling to get outside. A romance German DVD movie would be perfect for three of us. Mutti doesn’t need to bring any food. I would cook for us. But, if Mutti forced me to give any suggestion, just bring apfelkuchen, a German pie! I think, Christ is missing it too much.”
“Are you sure?”
Anggia nodded, facing the blue colored telephone cable that was hung on the kitchen wall, as if the woman was looking at her. Anggia just had known the existence of its telephone a few days before. When Karina had been failed to contact Christopher through his cellphone. The matter had made Christopher and Anggia feel to be disturbed by a telephone ring during a whole night. Christopher almost had reported Karina’s action to the policeman. Before Anggia prevented him.
“Do you need something? I want to gift something for you. A white tulip, maybe?”
Anggia laughed faintly and politely. “Thank you so much, Mutti. But, it doesn’t need to do. Moreover, it isn’t a spring.”
“I was forced.” Christopher’s Mom stated sharply. Looking clearly to not can reject and refuse.
“Just add a lot of German cheeses and some mushrooms on the apfelkuchen-nya!” Anggia joked completely. But, the old woman seemed satisfied and stopped the conversation immediately.
“Thank you for calling me Mutti. See you a few hours later!”
“Ok, Mutti! Take care!”
After the receiver had been put in the place, Anggia stole a glance at her watch and jumped a half though the refrigerator’s direction with a long step. Hoping that there would be a little bit of meats, potatoes, and vegetables there. She decided to cook bifi—East Timorese potatoes meaty steak—for their lunch. It was her best ability and specific skill in cooking food during years.
Anggia was relieved to see that the refrigerator was full of foodstuffs and ingredients. Until she could find all of food materials and spices she need easily. Might be Christopher buy all of those stuffs in Asian online shop without saying anything to Anggia.
Anggia glanced at watch that covered her left wrist once more. It was ten o’clock in the morning. She hoped that Christopher’s Mom wouldn’t arrived too early as her promise until Anggia could take a bath again and make the best preparations in everything. Anggia didn’t care at all, although Christopher had prohibited her to take a bath frequently. Anggia would do it constantly for the important meeting.
A hard knock in Christopher’s apartment about two o’clock post-meridian made Christopher groused unclearly with the long and shrill frequency. “Iaaa….!!!” exclaimed him while covering his pinna closely and crouching more and more on the sofa.
Anggia was so busy to make a cup of wedang jahe and a glass of Indonesian orange juice hied to go outside from the kitchen. A pink apron still covered her chest.
The knock was obviously too early from the deal. Fortunately, she had completed to prepare a banquet and had taken a bath well. As well as taking a bath with seven flowers in Indonesia—a tradition to take a bath with red roses, white roses, champaes, white tropical magnolias, ylang-ylangs, jasmines, and tuberoses or gambier jasmines every important program happen.
“Mutti!” exclaimed Anggia happily, naturally. She took the interesting elegant old woman’s fingers who had an age about fifty years old. Bowing and kissing the fingers politely before kissing the woman cheek by cheek.
Christopher’s mother saw one’s way to glance at Anggia’s barefoot before taking shoes off near the place she hung her overcoat behind the door. Anggia didn’t say anything to prevent her.
Christopher who was crouching on the sofa jumped up suddenly and almost tumbled over the floor when he was hearing the way of Anggia to call his mother. There was no friends calling his mother with that way. And seeing that Anggia never changed to implement Indonesian culture in his country made Christopher’s heart-moving. It was just like that the heart jumped out over the dark blue carpet of the apartment. Removing completely the fed-up because his mother appeared suddenly there without making a deal with him first.
Anggia took over a bottle of white wine, a bottle of honig, and four cartons of apfelkuchen from the grip of the russet curled-haired woman. The woman’s hair rolled perfectly up. Seeming that Christopher just descended the hair color and the pellucid glassy deep sky blue eye colors. No less, no more.
“Mutti shouldn’t bring any stuffs—” At that moment Anggia captured Christopher’s sharp gaze. Anggia could understand clearly the meaning. She didn’t need to say it in Germany if she really wanted so much the white wine, honig, and apfelkuchen. It was so contradictory with Indonesian culture and custom. It wasn’t polite in Indonesia to not say “You shouldn’t bring any stuffs like that for me. It made you tired so much” in that situation. Even, if visiting any houses of Indonesians, it wouldn’t be polite if not saying “You shouldn’t do that for me. It made you tired so much” when the hosts offer and bring any food and beverages.
“I love your girl’s attitudes, Christ. She is really so friendly, corteous, and civilized.” The woman who wore a crow dress suit whispered softly to Christopher when Anggia was stepping to the kitchen’s direction. But, the particle of air that blew between them brought the voice until Anggia’s eardrums.
“Muttie, please, don’t talk about it!”
“You know, since years ago I wished so much a girl like that to be your future girl and wife. But, you were so close with Katl—”
Anggia who was bringing two cups of wedang jahe and two glasses of Indonesian orange juice almost dropped the tray and made the beverages spill over the carpete of the living room.
“Be careful!” Christopher stood up spontenously and held the tray up with his two fingers.
Christopher’s mother laughed uproariously for seeing the scene. “You both look so congenial.”
“Mutti, please! Don’t say like that!” exclaimed Christopher for twice. But, something in the rates of blood circulation was just like to explode out of his body. He forgot when the last time his mother laughed a lot like that. Might be when his age was still six years old. When his both parents decided to separate. But, at that moment his mother could shake with laughter. And it was fully because of Anggia.
“Don’t be nervous in the front of me! We are Germans don’t interfere teenager’s affairs.” Christopher’s mother winked to Anggia.
The winking isn’t same at all with Christopher’s winking, said Anggia to herself. She cussed directly the voice of her mind in the twice second.
“Ginger tea and orange juice?” asked Christopher’s mother.
Anggia shook her head sharply. “No. But, ginger without tea. In Indonesia, we made a beverage from ginger, hot water, sugar, spices; and called it wedang jahe. And Indonesian orange juice isn’t one hundred percents original fruit. Mixing with stillwasser—water without soda, sugar, something adding with milk. Because, it’s so hard to find stillwasser here, I used medium sprudelwasser that had been let to evaporate during several minutes, in order to the bubbles of soda would vanish.”
“You shouldn’t need to drink it if—” Christopher interrupted. But, the woman who had thin lips and a bulbous nose pointed her hand up highly to stop Christopher’s utterance and took the glass with her right fingers.
“Hmmm… interesting. Making me so curious about the tastes of your Indonesian cooking food,” stated her after sipping the orange juice while frowned her exotic thin.
“With a pleasure, Mutti. Come with me, please! I have prepared a banquet in the style of three countries. Or should I bring all of them to—”
“No, no. You don’t need to do it. Let’s go to the kitchen!” Christopher’s mother took her knit soot gloves off and put it over the leather metallic hand bag before following Anggia’s step to the kitchen’s direction.
Christopher himself didn’t get up directly from his seat over the carpet. Trying to enjoy the weird and strange view in the front of him.
“These trash cans—” Christopher’s mother stopped suddenly in the doorstep of the kitchen.
“Ah, forgive me! I should set them in—”
Christopher’s mother threw hand up highly to stop Anggia’s murmur. “I love your taste to re-design this apartment, Christ. Eight coupled trash cans near the doorstep of kitchen, vacuum cleaner near the window of living room, and my given kitchen table that already varnished.”
“Ia did everything. Including, about the eight colored coupled trash cans. Just look the colors, Mutti! Pink, linear fuscia, punch metallic, orange, linear tangerine, tawny metallic, purple, and violet. I was so amazed that she could find the coupled trash cans with all of her favourite colors.” Christopher grinned.
Anggia was bringing two small bowl of sayur asam—Indonesian tamarind vegetable soup made by long beans, tamarinds, sometimes adding by corns, pumpkins, cabbages, and tomatoes—almost spilled the contents. Her face was completely pale. She didn’t know what she should say and do. She didn’t understand fully whether it was a kind of compliment or insult. Different with Christopher’s and another Germans’ accents who she had ever heard before, the accent of Christopher’s mother was completely strange in Anggia’s ears. Even, that woman didn’t show the change of expression when she was laughing or not.
“Are you Ok, Ia?” Christopher stopped suddenly in the doorstep of kitchen for seeing Anggia’s pale face. The change of expressions looked so clear in Anggia’s brown skin. If only Anggia’s skin was brighter and whiter, it would be more indistinct to know it.
Christopher pulled Anggia at his embrace in the front of his mother without feeling uneasy or uncomfortable and seated her on the davenport.
“Let me prepare—” Anggia was complaining when Christopher seated her on the davenport and took over her task to prepare food and beverages.
“Just sit down! Let Christ continue everything! Here, husbands always share work to do all of house chores with their wifes.” Chritopher’s mother uttered very seriously.
Anggia was adjusting herself to gulp a glass of medium sprudelwasser down choked and sputtered terrificly
“Mutti! We aren’t planning a wedding,” protested Christopher. At that moment, he had finished his task to bring three small plates of bifi and currywurst—German curry flavored sausages—and sat directly beside Anggia.
“Look, Mutti! You had made her choked and sputtered.” Christopher felt cross and annoyed for seeing that Anggia hadn’t stopped yet to choked terrificly.
Anggia’s face looked to redden and mixed with tears for being failed to stop her coughs. As if it was in Indonesia, she would be glad to gulp several drops of stillwasser down that might be would relieved her throat directly. But, it was in Germany.
Anggia viewed each other with Christopher. Christopher shook his head firmly, looking to not can defy. “No, Ia. Faucet water here contained high calciums without filtering.”
Christopher got up and moved to the living room. Taking a glass of orange juice that hadn’t been drunk yet for Anggia. “I hope, your feeling is true about the bubbles of soda.”
Anggia obeyed Christopher’s order to drink it. Several minutes after that, Anggia could breath relievedly like before.
Christopher opened the window of the kitchen. And let the slight breezes blew through to the kitchen, accompanying them to taste Anggia’s mixed cooking food.
“Do you mind if I smoke?” Christopher’s mother took out a cigarette without clove favouring made in Germany from her hand bag while gazing intensely around the living room. Seeming to look for thoroughly if only there was any air conditioner in that room.
“Of course, not. But, I can’t join Muttie to drink coffee or smoke.” Anggia smiled sincerely from the bottom of her heart while bringing a cup of bitter black coffee for that woman. Although, she had never liked any smokers, but she respected so much Christopher’s mother lifestyle. “And it’s just like Christ, I don’t like air conditioner.”
Christpher’s mother lighted the cigarette while leaning relaxly on the back of sofa. Christopher who didn’t like the aroma of smoke was in a hurry to press “on” button in the remote control to open the window. And the glass partition of the apartment moved automatically. Showing the leaves fell and sheded wonderfully as far as the eyes could see. At that time, the leaves looked change the colors again to become umber, almost gray and black.
“Yesterday I went around with Christ to the Lessingstraß—” Anggia was wanting to throw her buttocks on the end of sofa that was far from the place of Christopher’s mother sat when she remembered suddenly something. “Ah, I almost forgot!”
Anggia got up and moved from her position without completing the utterance and walked through a bed room. She took a compact disc player and a shawl that still was covered by a plastic. Without saying anything, she put the compact disc player over the refrigerator and pressed the “on” button. At that time, a melancholic pop rhythm from Ramms Ein resounded in the air. Mutter.
Christopher’s mother who was sipping a cup of bitter black coffee choked terrificly. She gazed at her son sharply. But, Christopher just shook his head as the answer for understanding about why his mother was so shocked and what she wanted to ask to Christopher by her gaze.
“Three spoonfuls of black coffee, a one quarter spoon of sugar, and full-level sprudelwasser. Anything mistaken?”
Anggia’s last words not just making Christopher’s mother choked again in the fifth gulp, Christopher was sipping a cup of wedang jahe made by Anggia that at that time was getting colder sputtered terrificly. None knew the mixture, except Christopher and his mother. Neither did his father. But, Anggia expressed it just like a lovely daughter who was born from his mother’s womb.
Anggia shrugged her sholders desperately—because none of them answered her question—while handing a batic patterned shawl to Christopher’s mother. “Made in Pekalongan Indonesia. Shawl isn’t Indonesian original product indeed. But, it was original Indonesian product.
Christopher’s mother remained to not answer. Just lighting the cigarette more. Might be for ten times.
“I meant, momentarily the winter would come. Might be it would be useful to warm the neck. But, if no, Mutti could turn it back—”
Christopher’s mother just threw her hand up highly to stop Anggia’s statement. “Have you invited Ia to meet your father, Christ?
“Mutti, I’m not planning—”
“Meet your father!” Christopher’s mother commanded emphaticly, ignoring Christopher’s protest. Looking to not can be defied or discussed anymore.
Without saying anything, she took off a white gold necklace had a love pendant from her beautiful long neck and opened the shawl wrap after extinguishing the cigarette. She put the shawl around the neck before wearing the knit gloves to the fingers again. “I go home now, Christ, Ia. We would meet again after you would meet with Christ’s father,” promised her.
“But, the movie compact disc? I heard, Muttie wanted to bring me an old romance movie compact disc.”
Christopher’s mother smiled elegantly while carrying lightly her hand bag in his elbow. “You watch it with Anggia,” she mumbled while groping for looking for something. “May be you know my favourite movie, Ia?”
“God, Mutti, Anggia isn’t a Gipsy and soothsayer! She can’t predict anything in detail—”
“Hotel Desire?” Anggia guessed at random. Actually, that was a German movie which her parents hate so much. The movie had been burnt by Anggia’s father before Anggia watched that. That matter had made Anggia compensate in high cost to her friend to substitute the movie compact disc.
Christopher’s mother handed a movie compact disc titled “Hotel Desire” to Christopher’s direction before calling Anggia. “Come to me!”
Anggia approached her.
“Thank you so much for the banquete and the shawl. And for all of these you did for us. Don’t cook frequently like that for Christ! Or he would feel to be spoiled.”
“Mutti!” Christopher protested. Completely he had an objection with his mother’s statement.
Anggia just smiled courteously. She didn’t know absolutely what she should say. Actually, Christopher’s mother didn’t need to worry about that. It was the first time Anggia cooked for both of them. Christopher had cooked for her during she stayed there. Moreover, Anggia didn’t like to cook at all. If not because of Christopher’s mother, she wouldn’t do it.
“Keep it! Put it on your necklace if you feel that you are suitable to use that!” Christopher’s mother clasped the white gold necklace that had a love pendant to Anggia’s grip without Christopher knew about it. There was a young Christopher with his mother’s pic in the left side. And a grown-up Christopher’s in the right side.
“But, Mutti, I’m not the girlfriend of—”
Christopher’s mother just laughed elegantly. “You are really a corteous girl. I go now, Christ. Take care of Ia!” she said seriously. “By the way, forgive me, the apfelkuchen is one hundred percent made in German. It doesn’t use emulfisier. Next time we’ll go to Asian shops together to make Indonesia pies,” promised her to Anggia.
“Indonesian pies?” mumbled Anggia. She was stock-still in the doorstep of living room some minutes after Christopher’s mother had disappeared from her view.
“Hmm… how is the way you call it? Pia? Florens have ever told me about that,” Christopher stated relaxly while taking his T-shirt off and let the chest without shirt. He throw his back away to the sofa. “Would you like to watch the movie now with me, Ia?” he said heartily without feeling guilty.
“No. Before you cover your whole body up with seven layers of clothes.” Anggia shivered with the dirty and nasty thought on her mind. She put the necklace given by Christopher’s mother to the pocket of blouse. She just realized that she still wore the magenta apron around her chest.
Christopher winked meaningfully to Anggia.
“Nothing. I’m just thinking about the way of Mom thought about you.”
Anggia complained at length and mumbled unclearly. About she shouldn’t wear the apron, she should put the vacuum cleaner and eight coupled trash cans in her bedroom, until about she should ask first before deciding to varnish the Christopher’s mother given table.
Christopher himself just closed his eyes while enjoying Anggia’s gripe. The same type of character with Christopher’s mother. Just Anggia had never cut off another person’s utterances.
God, why should I compare both of them like that? Christopher thought by himself.
Christopher would stop his daydream when Anggia was shouting a load, “In what part of trash cans I should throw the cigarette butts, Christ?”
Anggia looked so familiar about everything in Christopher and Christopher’s mother. But, seeming so stupid about trivial matters she could memorize by a guidance book about German culture. While, Christopher’s mother was so dumb to take care of Christopher and his father. But, appearing to understand so much about Indonesia and its culture.
“Christ!” exclaimed Anggia for not hearing any answer.
“Restmüll, meine schöne Frau.”
“Ah, the pink one! The pink one is for cigarette butts,” mumbled Anggia like a kid who was feeling impressed with her new toys. Until she almost didn’t recognize the Christopher’s love call for her. “Eh, what? What did you say? Meine schöne Frau? But, there is no Karina—”
Christopher already covered his ears tightly under pillows.