I don know If i ll die when I finish writing this book. However, what is clear to me is that death feels so close. Know that I wrote this story NOT to add burden to Reiners mind or to make him regret leaving me, but i want to commemorate our love story. I want Reiner to know that he was once the most precious person in my heart. My poor Reiner often thinks that he is not worthy of anyones love. No, thats not true. I love him and he should know that he is precious and loved.
My full name is Maja Roxelana Pettersen. People used to call me Maya. Then, Reiner came into my life and gave me a new nickname: "Rosie."
I was born on May 12, 1992.
My fathers name is Erwin Pettersen, and he is from northern Europe (I forget which country he is from). My mom is a native Indonesian named Karmila. In the beginning, my father came to Indonesia just for vacation. He visited Anjani Island for two weeks before he fell in love with the warm air and white sandy beaches and decided to stay.
Dad always said that his hometown had very cold air, almost cold all year round, and the Indonesian warm air was very pleasant for him. Later, Dad fell in love with a girl, and they got married. Thats how I was born on this island, Anjani Island.
At first, I lived in the city, which was quite far from the beach. My father took me to the beach once a week. Anjani Island will always be known for its beautiful beaches. The best beach here is Astapasa Beach, which is very famous and crowded. Maybe its because I have so many memories with my father that I love the beach so much. And this actually sounds a bit whiny, but at some point, when I went on to the beach and remembered my time with my father, I would cry.
I didn spend much time with my father because he passed away when I was 12 years old. Not only dad, mom also left. They died in a car accident.
After my parents passed away, I was raised by my mothers family. I left the city and lived in an inland village called Gunung Ayu Village. At that time, I had just graduated from elementary school, and I continued my junior high school in this village.
The difference between life in the city and the village initially made it difficult for me to adapt. However, I was able to overcome everything. At that school, we were not taught English, even though English was my favorite subject. In addition, the teachers sometimes skipped class. There were even days when teachers didn come to teach at all. One class consisted of only 12 students. 9 girls and 3 boys. It was very different from the school in the city.
My mothers family consisted of my grandmother, aunt, and cousin (who were around my age). When I was in the second grade of junior high school, my grandmother passed away. At that time I was in deep mourning because among them, I was closest to my grandmother.
After she died, my life became worse. My aunt asked me to quit school and work to help our family. I was self-conscious that I was just living in their house, i am not truly a part of their family, so I said that I would work after school as long as I was allowed to continue my education. What would I be if I only graduated from elementary school? Actually, back then I aspired to be a model or actress, which didn require schools grade, but my father always told me that education was very important if I wanted to have a bright future, not just a job.
Finally, I begged at my aunts feet to let me go to school. I cried and kissed her feet. Auntie still wouldn let me. My aunt was a widow. Her name was Raisah. And she was my mothers older sister. My aunts husband passed away when Anggi (their only child, who was the same age as me) was 6 years old. She inherited a super small grocery store from her husband. Our main source of income was the grocery store. Since I wasn allowed to go to school, my aunt put me to work as a laundress at a neighbors house from morning until noon and after that, i will looked after the grocery store while taking care of the housework until 11 p.m.
Realizing that I would only live as an elementary school graduate always frustrated and saddened me. However, there was an event that changed my mind.
One night, when it was over 11 p.m., I closed the grocery store. Then I saw someone limping towards me. Wait a minute, this is not a mystical experience. That person turned out to be our neighbor, Mr. Matt. He was badly injured. I saw blood coming out of his stomach and legs. He asked me to call people, and I helped him. I woke up my aunt, and she called the for help.
Mr. Matt had been mugged. He was slashed by a sharp object in the stomach, and his leg was worse, almost severed. The wound was so bad that even his small intestine was spilling out, and you could see the bones of his leg. He died in my aunts grocery store, circled by people, and in the arms of his daughter Karima. The people were watching the man give his "final message" to Karima. I couldn hold back my tears at Karimas screams. I had experienced such grief when my father died. and seeing Karimas cries, the wound was reopened. However, Karima didn fare well; she turned out to be a lone wolf. She had no one left. Often, when I passed by Budi Mulia Cemetery (the cemetery of Gunung Ayu Village residents), I saw Karima crying at her fathers grave. From my aunts story, I learned that Karima lived a shaky life. She was still an 11-year-old little girl at the time. She no longer went to school and worked odd jobs from one house to another. Neighbors who sympathized with her sometimes gave her a plate of rice and used clothes.
One day, she went to my aunt and asked if she could work in our grocery store. My aunt refused, of course. However, Karima always came to our grocery store and helped me; I gave her a plate of rice as payment. Karima said that she didn want that; she was just lonely and needed to make friends with anyone who would befriend her. I could see the loneliness in her empty eyes. Eventually, my aunt didn let Karima help me anymore because she was afraid that Karima would steal our things. Karima was back on the street, going from one house to another to help anyone.
From Karima, I realized that I was so lucky to have relatives so I wasn lonely. I was so lucky that I still had a family to love and cherish. At that moment, I decided that as long as I still had a family and someone to love and cherish, my life would not suffer.I had a new life goal: to devote my love to my family. I may not continue my education, and I may not become the successful model that I dreamed of, but I can still live a simple and happy life with my family. It may sound strange, but I always felt a sense of satisfaction and happiness when others smiled at my help, or when Auntie and Anggi liked my cooking, or just when a young man gave me a smile. Those kinds of things—kindness, smiles, affection—no matter how small—were so relieving and pleasant. Im always on the verge of tears. Ah, Im such a crybaby. So, I focus my life on making the people I care about happy.
Actually, I had another dream. I wanted to visit my fathers hometown. I once mentioned that my father lived in Indonesia because of the warm weather. I, on the other hand, curious about the land of cold air. I wanted to see the snow that didn exist in Indonesia. My father lived in a village in that cold country. He said that besides being cold, the village also had its own beauty. There, the beach was not choppy and was surrounded by mountains. People used to ride boats and catch fish on the beach. There were vast meadows and many beautiful wild flowers. There were many rose bushes, oak trees, berries, and moss.The villagers had red houses.The villagers have red houses. At night, we can see green lights in the sky. How beautiful is that country? Yes, according to my fathers story. And at the end of the year, people have a special celebration. They wear flower crowns and go on a picnic at the back of the mountain. But to get to the back of the mountain, they would ride a decorated sleigh pulled by reindeer. I didn bury my dream on this one.
Time passed, and I grew up. By the time I was 18, I had grown very tall—almost taller than everyone else. I checked my height at the health center once; it was 176 cm. And many people said that I was beautiful. My face is very similar to my fathers. Maybe I inherited all my physical features from my father, except for my black hair and brown eyes, which I got from my mother. My skin is also pale white like my fathers.
At this age, I experienced one of the most painful tragedies in my life. It started with a married man trying to seduce me.