A2: Fly to... Where?

MY MOM drove us to the airport, the window of the car we were riding in was left open. Phoenix city temperature 23° C, clear sky, blue without clouds. I wore my favorite shirt — sleeveless, white lace; I wear it as a symbol of farewell. The object I was carrying was a piece of parka… er, but this is Bella's story in the Twilight novel, not mine.

Ha ha! I am sorry to Stephenie Meyers for brazenly copying the main paragraphs of her novels. I did not mean to plagiarism, really! I love her!

However, of course Mom took me to the airport… with my biological father, not a stepfather. The airport is not located in the city of Phoenix, but the city of Jakarta, Indonesia. Regarding to the object that I was carrying… not just a piece of parka, but also a suitcase of clothes. Then another suitcase containing the rest of the clothes, books and other items that I thought were important.

Then, smartphone and an earphone.

What do you expected from an eighteen-year-old girl like me in 2021? Of course, there must be a gadget!

Besides, my story might be a little different from Isabella Swan.

I flew from Jakarta to Bangka Belitung to move to Gran's house. It is not because my mother remarried and had the right to enjoy her happy days, no. Dad got a new assignment in a remote town (or village, I do not remember), and Mom was forced to get a dilemma because of it. She could not stay away from my father, but it was also impossible to leave me in Jakarta alone.

Why is that?

My parents always thought that I was a baby. That is purely my opinion, but there is nothing wrong with it. I cannot go to school outside, so there is only one-way out; homeschooling.

It is not only that. Leaving home alone without the company of one of my parents is a strict prohibition for me. I cannot even play to a neighbor's house or shop alone, no matter what the reason is.

Once I defied. Secretly I went to a small shop near the house, to buy a young woman's personal needs and a bag of tempting snacks. What is the result?

My father was furious. My mother cried like a nut artist so it made me feel sick. After that, I no longer dare to go quietly. Others might have thought I had just blown someone's distended stomach when they saw how my father was angry at the time.

Mom and Dad spoiled me indiscriminately by buying whatever I wanted. Their love is truly immeasurable. They even allow me to play social media, with a note that do not violate the norms or restrictions that exist. That way I do not miss the latest news or trends and stay fashionable.

However, I still feel like a special prisoner with the free needs. Only have friends and neighbors online… it is unimaginable. For nearly eighteen years, you cannot stay away from your parents' arm… just return to my mother's dilemma.

Using Mom's confusion, then, that is where I began to improvise.

“I'm going to Gran's house,” I suggested at the time.

I looked at Dad's face in surprise. He seemed to be angry again. Meanwhile, Mom took a sharp breath and shook her head tightly.

Mom's hands on her hips. “It's more dangerous there, Barbie!”

I shudder at the nickname. I tried to hold my tongue from arguing that Mom could call me Barbara, Barb or Bara; but not with Barbie! I instead asked, “How is it even possible?”

Mom began to chatter about juvenile delinquency, which is very worrying, and how many oil palm plantations and rubber trees in Bangka Belitung—, which actually has nothing to do. My father added excessively that there were many criminals there, which I, his precious daughter, cannot be near their city.

Really, their words made me ashamed of myself. Sincerely, I apologize to the island of Bangka Belitung. I often watch programs with the theme of Bangka Belitung, and the scenery there is truly extraordinary. Gran often sent pictures of the sea from various regions in Bangka Belitung, and there was no way I would say the bad ones while the portraits were clearly amazing.

Regarding juvenile delinquency and crime rates, I think it is no different from the rest of Indonesia. On the conclusion, Dad and Mom's chatter is useless. I would not be surprised if the authorities for vilifying something without any basis punished them.

“Have you heard it, Barbie?”                    

My mother's words woke me up. Dad crossed his face with annoyance. Deviated from reality, my mind suddenly blurted out how evil the two of them were, for not one bit left their charming face to me. I stared at them while snorting once.

“Well then, I have an interesting solution.” I join my arms while leaning my back on the sofa that I sit on.

My parents' expressions looked alert, as if their daughter was going to ask for a weapon!

“Let us hear it,” said my mom.

I cleared my throat. “I am coming along.”

My parents' faces suddenly went blank. I think I made a mistake... or not?

Suddenly, my father's cellphone rang. After Dad answered the phone call and had a long-distance debate with someone who seemed more powerful than he did, then here I am; a few days later, thousands of feet above sea level, riding an iron bird, on the way to Gran's house in Bangka Belitung.

Oh, freedom, I really want you!

Uh, well… looks like it does not want me, damn it!


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