Chapter 8: THE CHANGE OF CHRISTOPHER’S COLD CHARACTER
Düsseldorf, Germany, Deutschland. Winter, December 18th, 2014.
A loud knock in the dull blue accented bedroom door drifted up softly in Anggia’s ears, almost couldn’t be heard. Her body was stiff, like something heavy was being crushed it. Indonesians said that it meant to be crushed of a gennie. Modern medical science explained that it was a disease that attacked the nervous system. The stiffness of the body attacked at the moment, not just made Anggia seem unable to move. However, it was also barely able to feel anything. The air aroma that was moving around her was almost empty and unpalpable.
“Ia?” Christopher Schlösser who didn’t find Anggia’s answer for twenty minutes at length decided to open the room with a duplicate key. Christopher knew that it wasn’t polite at all. However, something in his brain cells delivered an uncomfortable feeling.
“Ia?” Christopher repeated his call. At the moment with shaking Anggia’s shoulder gently that stretched out on the bed, completed by a knit hat that covered her ears. A tweed jacket and a dark violet thick blanket almost covered her entire body.
Anggia’s eyes opened a half. However, there was no signs of life at the girl. After several times Christopher had seen Anggia fell asleep in the sofa of living room, he knew well that Anggia had slept continuosly with closing eyes fully. Considering it, at the time he knew that there was something wrong happened to the girl.
Christopher shook her body hard. “Ia, won’t you go to the campus? It’s too late for....”
Christopher broke off his statement for the sake of touching the girl’s forehead that became colder. “God! You are freezing!”
He touched Anggia’s neck that is covered by a purple scarf. The neck was also frozen. As if the knit scarf had never warmed her body.
Christopher saw that the fireplace of the room had been turned off completely. He lighted the stove. Before taking a very thick blanket for Anggia. He rubbed Anggia’s face with his both hands, in order to warm Anggia’s frozen body.
A few minutes later, the eyes Anggia react, staring at Christopher. Christopher smiled warmly seeing the reaction. And further strengthen rubbing his hands in the face Anggia.
“Christ....” Anggia lips trembled softly a few seconds later. Although, still looked pale and blue.
Christopher barely hear his voice. “Ja, meine schöne Frau?”
He got closer his ears to Anggia’s lips.
“It’s so cold.” It was the shortest speech Anggia for Christopher knew.
Christopher searching for something in the closet wall looming in the front of them before issuing a dark blue knitted warm scarves and winter jackets matching. He covered Anggia’s body with two blankets before taking a hot chocolate for Anggia. “Drink it! Maybe it could warm up your body a little bit.”
Christopher Anggia obeyed by sipping hot chocolate until half a cup. However, creeps in Anggia body was also subsided.
“I almost forgot if this was your first winter. I shouldn’t have asked you to enjoy cycling in the early winter.” Christopher climbed onto the bed and pulled her into his arms Anggia. He rubbed his face again Anggia by hand.
Anggia did not mind. Instead he’s getting closer and leaned against the chest of Christopher. Feel the warmth of the man’s very contradictory with the weather in the vicinity.
Christopher body very warm. Very warm. More than warmth that can be delivered by two pieces of old blankets, a wool jacket, a winter jacket, and two pieces of knit scarves. Pun, although Christopher only wearing a thin T-shirt long sleeve warm upper body.
Anggia slightly upturned toward Christopher. Looking for something that can be seen in the eyes of Christopher. Eyes that look warm and soothing shade. Until Anggia think, do not want to take off the arms of another.
Christopher catch her eye on both second and smiled. “Just take a rest! I’ll take care of you here.” He put Anggia to the bed. Closing the door bedroom apartment measuring five times four-with the automatic button on a remote control on the side of the bed-before covers Anggia with warmth.
“Christ?” Anggia shifted uncomfortably.
“It’s Ok. It’s Ok. I just want to take care of you from the air of a snowy winter.”
The dozens of minutes they like it up a ringing phone interrupted their long break.
“It’s maybe Karina.” Anggia no intention of raising his voice when utter it. However, the sound that came out of his mouth pretty hard and cynical.
“You’re grumbling because Karina is calling? Or you don’t like if any girls call me?” Christopher grin. Fully tempting Anggia. “Ah, it’s another girl indeed!”
“Not Karina or Sara?” Anggia’s expression changed when reciting words. She turned face toward Christopher. Which makes Christopher nodded firmly and increasingly widen his smile. Enjoy any objection expression being enveloped Anggia.
“Hello!” Christopher said as he rose from the couch, heading outdoors all blue patterned dull it. However, there are some additional ornamentation pink, orange, and purple in some parts now. Including, wallpaper the room. “New Year?.... No, I still don’t have any plannings.... What? Ia?.... No. It semed to me that she—”
Furthermore Anggia could not hear the words of Christopher. Because Christopher had moved to another room that is away from the bedroom Anggia. Seeing this, the heart Anggia turbulent sharply. Feeling there are thousands of embers suddenly stung, until Anggia rush to release a winter jacket and scarf draped Christopher to her a few minutes ago. And kicked away two old blankets to the farthest end of the room. He took a tote bag that was lying on the wooden table beside the bed and ran out at high speed. Anggia nearly derailed when the rush into the high heels five centimeters floored flat.
“Ia?” Christopher stunned with disheveled appearance Anggia sudden rush away. Especially, for in Germany, only this time Anggia go outside without a shower beforehand, without prompting.
Christopher who was sipping a bottle sprudelwasser medium level, choked-choked great. Not on the voice at the end of the cell phone. However, in what is charged Anggia. “Ia, wait! You can’t go around Germany in the winter with just taking—”
Anggia perched a glance at the watch on her left arm. Fitting with tram arrival time. Accelerating the steps ahead of Christopher. Hoping whatever it was Christopher wasn’t able to pursue his pace.
“Ia!” Christopher exclaimed. Anggia stepped to try to catch up to the street. However, Anggia’s crazziness could transcend a few steps and entered a tram.
Karina almost went down from the middle part of the tram door when she was seeing the scene suddenly. Without a word, she sat back in her seat again. And deciding to stop at the next stop. Her grayish green eyes browsed ahead.
Anggia faced down a half while doing something she had never done in her life. Anggia’s shoulder shook greatly. Once, twice, and increasing tremendously in the fifth shock.
Anggia sobbed greatly, ignoring all of the inhabitants of the tram.
More than anything, Karina felt to need cigarettes and alcoholic beverages at once. Fortunately, the next stop has been splashed across the front of her eyes.
Anggia almost cursed when she was hearing the call again. The call made her to feel like a female snake. And Christopher proved it a moment ago.
Christopher had been never interested in me more than a relative or friend. I should have realized it and didn’t hug or kiss Christopher in many ways.
“Slst!” Ralf blocked Anggia’s arm in two seconds when there was no signs of Anggia that she wanted to answer it. “Do you have class—?”
Anggia just shrank her tears with her fingers. Trying to turn away from Ralf. However, the tears came out more swift.
“You are fighting with Schl?”
Anggia stared at the man in front of her. “I thought, the Germans didn’t want to know another people’s business.”
“No, of course not. Forgive me! Just I thought, an Asian like you wouldn’t mind to share any personal and private affairs.” Ralf was uncomfortable entirely with the strange act he did a moment ago. Until he decided to withdraw from the presence of Anggia. He stepped his legs slowly away from Anggia before Anggia remembered something.
“Why did you think that I was fighting with Christ?”
Ralf looked to stop while shrugging. “Girls are always sensitive to persons they love. Your appearance today is too messy, not as usual.”
Anggia pressed jacket and scarf before smoothing her hairs that were exposed by the aroma of snow. Feeling it, Anggia remembered to a shadow that was constantly tidied the snowflakes on her crown.
“Remembering for Schl, eh?” Ralf laughed a lot. The laughter was constantly crisp and warm to be heard. “You are blushing.... Mann! If Schl see it, he wouldn’t like to quarrel with you!”
Anggia didn’not answer. Just asking anything else. Although, more than anything, Anggia wondered why Ralf knew her heart voice as plain as that. “Do you have a class?”
Ralf nodded. “At the end of the hall. You wouldn’t like it. The architecture.”
Anggia glanced oddly at him.
“It isn’t an advanced architecture. The initial rate. I didn’t pass it last year. Actually I’m pure the painting art student.”
Anggia smiled at a warm man who was beside her. If it wasn’t because of piercings that was inherent in his both ears, perhaps Anggia would think twice about him. The masculine impression that came out in his face of bad guy style was very clear. However, the both piercings removed any senses of interests in Anggia’s heart to niceties. Especially, because at the time Ralf added one more piercing on the tip of his tongue. His ears didn’t embedded by black ear studs , but dangling earrings. Apart from that, Ralf was an interesting German.
“Ralf, I rarely see Germans kiss cheeks, like the other western Europeans—”
“Because, it isn’t our culture,” said Ralf briefly, innocently. Not feeling curious completely to Anggia’s strange question.
“But, you and Rin—”
Ralf laughed a lot. His laugh was very long and crispy, barely stopping. Anggia glared at him intensely until Ralf stopped his laughter.
“Com’on, don’t be kidding! All of people of this academy had known that Katl had been my girlfriend.”
“Since when—?” Anggia realized the question was too presumptuous.
Ralf grinned, seeing Anggia slipped the tongue. “Take it easy with me! I’m a type of German who is so different with the majority ones. I can understand the differences of our cultures.” Ralf stopped at the end of the hall. In a classroom stepdoor precisely on the first floor. “Since you were acquainted with Schl’s mother. Katl met Schl’s mother when she was wanting to go to Schl’s place in that day.”
There was something odd about Ralf’s statement. However, Anggia felt impolite to ask.
“I’m grateful, finally you could get acquainted with Schl’s mother. And opening Katl’s eyes that I’m the best.” Ralf grinned while combing his hairs toward the back, making masculine movements. Looking really to not mind if Karina loved Christopher wholeheartedly and Ralf only got the fractures.
“I was surprised when accidentally I saw that Schl was kissing you two weeks ago in the frontage of park. Considering that he had been never so close to any girls before. In fact, his taste of the girl is an Asian!” Ralf entered his room while shaking with a big laugh again.
Anggia herself just stunned in the place. Parsing the random arrangement of information by information that submitted by Ralf to her eardrums. At the moment she saw Florens Micek. About to pass the classroom stepdoor while kissing a half-bred Asian-Danish girl. Probably mixing with Thailand or Malaysia.
“Vi ses senere, Kæreste!—See you later, Sweetheart!” Florens uttered in Danish.
Anggia slapped hard his face when the Asian girl just turned. Some Germans who were seeing it was so shocked by Anggia’s attitude. Including Ralf just reached a bench of the classroom.
“What is this? Do you mind if I kiss any Asian girl? That girl didn’t mind at all.”
“You may kiss anyone in the world. Just don’t fool me, Flo! You know very well that I’m a pure Indonesian girl who doesn’t know deeply about German culture. I thought, you had applied the German culture to me. But, there’s no kiss cheeks in the German culture for greetings,” shouted Anggia hysterically. Her face flushed, withstanding the anger that exploded in her heart. Almost unstoppable. “Why did you fool me, Flo? Answer me!”
The anger of Anggia’s heart to Florens was more than her anger to Sascha a few days ago. At that time, Sascha just cornered her with cynical words about Christopher and Indonesia. However, Florens stained her cheeks inappropriately.
“Oh, just about the matter? I thought, about another kind of big problem. Schl could also kiss and embrace you anytime. Why can’t I do the same things?”
The way of Florens was speaking made Anggia lose the patience. She slapped Florens again. At the time so hard. Hard than the three Anggia’s slaps before. “It’s because Christ is different!!! I’m interested in Christ, not you.”
Furthermore, Anggia ran hurriedly toward upstairs. Her eyes almost blurred with tears. She didn’t take notice to some German students who were jostling in the hall about to enter some classrooms around there.
Christ, Christ, why don’t you understand?
Christopher himself was glued in the middle of the crowd, holding violet glittery sneakers. For the first time he felt a shiver, feeling the very cold winter temperature—before the new year would arrived—that almost as cold as the snow storm in Europe.
“Slst! May I borrow your designs?” Aram chased Anggia along a helical staircase toward the ground floor.
“Borrowing? Just take it! These designs of dress and shoes were the design of my mother’s wedding that have thrown away. And I’m absolutely not interested in your major.” Anggia handed two sheets of papers of design without turning around.
Not feeling offense or something like that, Aram grinned widely. “Thanks! I’m not so surprised that your boyfriend loves you so much. You are a kind of warm girl.”
Anggia rolled her droopy eyes widely towards Aram.
Unlike Ralf who had laughed constantly, Sascha who had been cynical, Florens had been harassed, Aram’s attitude was just flat on Anggia. There were no changes of expressions on his face to see Anggia’s expression at the time. Even, when he continued, “The way of Schl kissed you in the frontage of park two weeks ago, uuuhhh... made me sick! Moreover, the kisses when we all went to cycle a few days ago.”
Anggia didn’t comment. Just walking away from Aram. Instead of leaving the building, she just walked into the hall opposite the classroom where Ralf was studying.
Some classrooms have finished a few minutes ago. However, classes at the end of the tunnel seemed busy. Enforcing buildings shaped boxes and pillars of cork material. Some of them were busy to argue about the composition of plants and artificial ponds that would be embed in the middle of the stage.
Anggia tightened the jacket that suddenly seemed to shiver as she stepped into the room without realizing. The opened high-heels also seemed about to freeze. Anggia barely felt her own voice when she murmured softly, “Don’t be too many spotlights in the front side of the stage! The audience would feel dazzled and wouldn’t focus on the event. Place it here, here, and here!” Anggia walked around the right and left side of the stage.
“Eh?” Sara who was installing the spotlights in the front side of the stage ceased suddenly her movement. Firmness aura in Anggia’s voice seemed to be uncompromise.
Meanwhile, Anggia herself trampled on the center stage. Sliding the artificial stage design.
No one commented. Nor the students neither the lecturer who was watching it from the side of wall in the right side of the room. Anggia’s movement hypnotized anyone in the classroom.
“Well, this one, place here!” commented Anggia while shifting herself a mammoth artificial pond to the left side of the stage. “There are too many structural arrangement and artificial plants,” she said while pointing toward the right side.
“As theatrical, stage design also requires a balance of blocking.”
Anggia walked backwards, observing the work that she was able to stop the debate at length of the students in the class. The heroic actions were greeted with applauses rather lively by all of occupants of the classroom, including Sara and the lecturer.
Anggia subjected her body with throwing a little smile before reversing steps. That was when she was startled by something.
“Christ?” Her tone was very flat when she was unsnap. Very contradictory with blood and heart’s flow that seemed to jump up and down in the air, out of control.
Christopher didn’t answer. Just kneeled on Anggia while holding a purple metallic glitter sneakers. Not only Anggia strickened with Christopher’s attitude. Sara was let out muffle. The girl who had blue metallic eyes squared to face to shut her mouth tightly in order to muffle the exclamation’s sound.
“Christ, what are you doing? Stand up! I want to pass.” Anggia felt uncomfortable with Christopher’s attitude that halted suddenly her steps. Especially, when the lecturer in the classroom was still staring at them intently.
“No. Before you willed to replace your high heels with these sneakers. I tried to look for in the entire Düsseldorf and just could find these sneakers that is proper to your taste.”
Anggia stared intently at the sneakers that was in Christopher’s grip. Christopher was wrong to think about that. That luxurious sneakers was as elegant as Karina’s.
“Next time I’ll buy another one.” Christopher promised. His gaze was hopeful, pleading toward Anggia. Clearly misrepresented the views of Anggia to the sneakers that was flung a few seconds ago.
“You don’t need to keen on me, Christ.” Anggia accepted it when her feet braided by high-heels. Christopher took off her high heels and replaced it with sneakers. “But, what’s all of these for? You chased me until this place just for sneakers?”
“Tidak. Aku mencintaimu—No. I love you.”
Sara who was sipping a can of Coke quietly in front of the stage suddenly was severe coughing. Barely stopping. The girl didn’t know the meaning of Christopher’s words that rebounded in Indonesian. However, the last time she heard that statement when Florens was so close with an Indonesian girl last semester. The girl who destroyed Sara’s heart into pieces. That matter made Sara to not can fall in love again until at the moment.
“I don’t understand,” said Anggia while turning the gaze to the entire room. The lecturer didn’t moved from his seat.
Perhaps he would punish both of us, Anggia thought on her mind.
Ignoring Anggia’s heart voice, Christopher held her to rush out of the room while carrying Anggia’s high heels by hand.
He carried Anggia’s body with both hands after them regardless of the views of the professor. “Maafkan aku! Sebenarnya Mutti yang menelepon. Dan... aku cinta padamu, Ia. Aku cinta padamu—Forgive me! Actually Mutti called. And... I love you, Ia. I love you.”
Anggia was frozen for shivering. She barely felt Christopher’s statement that was said in Indonesian very fluently. Even, a strange view of the students around them when Christopher was carrying Anggia toward the parking area.
Just the movement of the stage design lecturer rushed supremely when he chased them along the frontage of the park that had been covered with white snow made Anggia conscious to breathe.
“Wie Heißen Sie?—What is your name?”
Anggia was just able to sizzle like a female snake. “Slst ... Slst ....”