”I shouldn have brought you here, ” said Esa who didn have an appetite anymore.

Ever since the black paper fried rice had been served, Esa didn touch the food for quite a long time. A few minutes later, she forced herself to spoon the food into her mouth meanwhile Galih enjoyed the food casually.

”What is it? Do you miss him so much that you can eat the food? ” Galih asked right after he finished the dish until nothing was left. He was getting tired of this situation.

Esa always brought up Satya in their conversation. She never acknowledged Galih, pretending like he was only a stranger to her.

Esa remained silent the whole time. She lowered her head. Galih tidied up her hair that covered half of her face. Esa didn say anything and kept on silent.

”Its not a big deal to take you to all places that could remind you of Satya. But the thing is, you would probably have a hard time moving on. ” Galih warned her.

Esa let out a chuckle. She could see how pathetic she was. She had been disappointed for too long. ”Satya will definitely come back to me. I will always wait for his return. When he comes back, Im sure he will feel proud because I successfully managed this online shop. ” Esas words were full of hope. ”But its unfortunate that I faced loss in business recently and its because of that slowpoke employee you brought. ” Her lips trembled, trying to hold back her tears.

Galih sipped the drink and then said, ”I have already told you many times, I will give you compensation for your loss. You are free to kick out Qumi whenever you want. Let me find another job for her. ” he explained.

Galih could not let go of Qumi and abandoned her. He had a responsibility to take care of Qumi because she was Surtis daughter. Surti was a middle-aged woman who raised Galih since he was a kid.

Esa reluctantly finished the food. To be fair, Esa still could not accept Galihs compensation for her businesss loss this easily.

”You should drink more. The hot chocolate will make your body warm. It can clear your mind too. ”

Hearing what Galih said, Esa threw the spoon to the table and it made a loud sound. Galih shook his head back and forth watching Esas sudden attitude. He then sipped the drink until the glass was empty.

Galih looked at his watch wrapped around his right arm. ”Lets go to the mosque. We should perform the Maghrib prayer. Theres not much time left. ” Galih quickly changed the topic.

Esa didn make any sound and only gave a faint nod as a response. After Galih pay the bills, both of them walked outside the restaurant and headed to the mosque which was not far from here. They went home as soon as they finished performing the Maghrib prayer.

***

Galih parked his car in the front yard of Esas house. It was quite spacious. Security quickly approached the car with an umbrella in his hand. The rain hadn stopped when they got here,

”Esa, where have you been? I tried to call you numerous times but you didn pick up your phone. ” Tyo asked with a concerned expression. He was Esas father. When he saw his daughter walking into the house, he folded the newspaper and threw it on the table.

Esa stopped her steps for a moment and walked again without giving a response to her fathers question.

”Good evening, Sir. ” Galih greeted politely.

”Good evening, boy. Have a seat here. ” Tyo welcomed his son-in-law and his hospitality.

”Thank you, Sir. ” Galih sat down on the sofa across the table. It was not difficult for him to deal with Esas father. Tyo was friendly toward him and welcomed him with an open arm. ”Esa, come here and sit down. ” Galih reached Esas hand as he said. Esa sat down next to Galih without saying anything.

”Oh, I didn know you
e here already, ” Astrid said. Esas mother emerged from the kitchen with a cup of coffee in her hand. She put the coffee in front of Tyo. ”Would you like something to drink? ”

”I think a cup of tea is a good idea, ” Galih responded. Esa remained silent and never opened her mouth since she got here.

”Sweetie, would you like to drink something? ” Astrid turned her gaze toward her daughter.

Esa shook her head slowly. ”No, mom. I drank enough water today. I just bought hot chocolate with Galih just now. ” she refused.

”Theres nothing wrong if you drink another one. Its a good opportunity to enjoy a cup of tea while chatting with Galih. ” Tyo said.

”Im exhausted. I want to take a rest. ” Esa got up and walked away. She went to her own room.

Astrid shook her head watching her daughter. ”Esa… why do you always act like this. Galih is here but you try to avoid him, ” she commented,

Galih smiled and said, ”Its not a big deal. I have spent so much time with her today. ” Galih tried to defend Esa.

”Theres no single regret when I chose you to be my son-in-law. I chose the right person. You
e always down-to-earth and kind to Esa. Its so hard to deal with Esa and shes getting hard to handle lately. She is still too emotional and unstable. ” Tyo said proudly.

”Galih, stay here a little longer. I will go back to the kitchen. Aunt Tumi is taking bath right now so itll take time if we wait for her to serve the drink. Ill prepare it for you myself. ” Astri left the room and went back to the kitchen. Galih gave a small nod.

While waiting for Astrid, Tyo and his son-in-law continued their chatting. Most of the time, they talked about the growth of their business.

On the other side, Esa locked herself in her room. She once again drowned in loneliness. She reluctantly took her steps toward the desk that was in the corner of the room.

She opened the drawer and took out a box made of antique wood. There were several polaroid photos inside the box. It was a picture of her and Satya since they were in high school. The happiness sparked from both of them in each picture. She felt nostalgic. The reality was so harsh, she did not expect the life she had would turn out like this.

She moved her fingers, flipping the photos one by one. She stopped when she saw the last photo. It was taken a day before Satya disappeared without a trail. The photo showed Satya who was standing along with her. He wore a white shirt and black pants as well as a black coat.

Esa kept on staring at the last photo she held in her hand. She thought about the good chemistry between the two of them in the photo. They took a picture in a flower garden when they just got back from the meeting they held on that day. It was a seminar about online shop business which was built with their hard work together.

Tears fell from the corner of her eyes. the photo she held was soaked because of the tears. She suddenly remembered the last conversation between her and Satya.

”I hope our business will have a good start and grow immensely. Well, its not ours, but yours. ” Satya said happily while pulling Esa into his arms.

A ray of hope sparked in her eyes when Esa looked at Satya, it caused Satya to feel relieved. Satya was happy to be by Esas side and helped her start their new business in selling branded bags.

”You
e wrong. It is our online shop. You and I start this business from zero, don you remember that? ” Esa could not stop smiling.

Satya shook his head. ”No, I only took a small part in this business. You
e the only one who manages this business. ” He ruffled Esas hair as he said this.

”Don be stubborn, you
e here from the start. This business can grow like this because we helped each other in managing this online shop. lets work harder next time. ” Esa looked him in the eyes. ”We have to learn what we have to learn and be better. Promise me, please stay by my side. Promise me, you will always be there for me when I need you like you always do. ”

A smile formed on the edge of his mouth. the smile painted on Satyas face this time looked so stiff like he was forced to smile. Instead of answering to Esas question, he just pulled her into his arms. Of course, Esa didn even realize Satyas expression at that time because she was too happy. She was too late to realize that Satya didn give Esa the answer she wanted.

When she recalled that single memory, Esa felt like her heart stabbed by a knife. It was too painful. She was still persistent though, she still hoped for one day she would see Satya again.

”Satya, where did you disappear to? If only I could realize that there was something wrong when you remained silent, I would never let you go. ” She whispered and started to cry.

Esa leaned her head on the desk. She burst into tears, recalling her good memories with Satya. Those memories would never disappear from her head for the rest of her life.

”You have to come back. You have to. You must tell me why you suddenly disappear. You owe me an explanation. ” She continued to cry.

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