“Ms. Nana, you were not rough to Angie last night, were you?”
A workmate asked me—as a greeting—when I entered the teachers’ room around an hour ago (this is Friday June 13, 2008).
“Of course not at all,” I answered, feeling like something tickled my stomach hearing her choosing the word ‘rough’. She really likes exaggerating anything, I guess. LOL.
“I was not angry with her, actually.” I continued saying.
This workmate of mine looked into my face, expecting me to explain more.
“I was angry with the situation, perhaps.” I felt a bit amused when finding that my workmates looked at me, astonished with what I just said.
“You know. I went back from Tembalang branch in such a bad weather—it rained very heavily—in a hurry. The electricity was off too. I came here, wanting to see whether Angie came to attend the written test or not. I really wanted to see her here. Rahma told me that she saw Angie a few minutes before. So to find out where she was, I called her cell phone number, ‘Where are you now honey?’ She said, ‘On the street Mum.’ Feeling puzzled, I asked, ‘Street where?’ I thought she was on the street in front of our office, but I was wondering why she didn’t see me coming and entering the office building? Although it was dark—due to the blackout—I believe Angie could see me clearly. Then she said, ‘I’m on the way Mum, with my classmates.’ You can imagine how disappointed I was. I rode the motorcycle in a hurry, to find her here. And in fact she went away with her classmates, without asking for my permission. And I didn’t have any idea where she was. ‘On the way where? What do you mean?’ I asked. She said, ‘Well, a classmate is going to treat us tonight. But I don’t know where we will have our dinner.’”
“So, honey, what am I supposed to do now?” I asked Angie, disappointed.
“Wait for me at the office, Mama?” begged Angie, slowly, not sure whether I would be willing to wait for her.
“What am I supposed to do while waiting for you?” my voice still sounded harsh, I believe.
Angie didn’t answer.
“You know honey there are two things I want to do so that I don’t mind waiting. The first is reading. The second is scribbling anything. And you know when the electricity is off like now, I CANNOT DO THOSE TWO THINGS. How could you ask me to wait for you at the office when I can do nothing?”
Then Angie suggested an idea, “How about going online Mama?” her voice sounded very soft, showing she was not sure with that idea.
“Honey, the electricity is off. The cyber cafes close to the office must be close because of that.” I said.
“Ah … yes. …” Angie got stuck.
“Listen to me. I don’t want to wait for you here. You go home by yourself. Ask someone, your classmate to take you home!” I said that sternly.
“But Mama, how can I ask anybody here to bring me home? I cannot.”
“Honey, this is your responsibility since you go without my permission and you know that I will pick you up here. I am here already and you are nowhere I know. I don’t want to wait for you.”
Feeling upset, I hung up the phone.
“Oh, actually there are some people ready to take Angie home, of course.” My workmate, who happened to be Angie’s class teacher this term, told me.
“Well, I didn’t know if you joined the crowd. If I had known, I would have asked Angie to give her cell phone to you and I would have talked to you directly to be responsible to take Angie home.”
“Well, after Mima called you, and I talked to you using her cell phone, and you guaranteed that there would be someone to take Angie home, I was relieved already.”
“Oh, that is the problem. I thought you were angry because I asked Angie to go out while in fact she had to study to prepare the promotion test at her school.”
“Last night I accompanied Angie to study until 23.30. It was fine with that.”
Another workmate jokingly said, “Ah, you were supposed to ask Ardi to accompany Angie to study until that late. Don’t let her go away when she brought Angie home.”
“I cannot be mad at Angie. That’s for sure.” I told my workmates.
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