Do you know why it's hard to say goodbye? Because we afraid if our memories might not be able to remember them, rightly. The fact is, goodbye means good. No matter how hard.
~Aurora Esterlia

Chapter 1: A Relationship

On the rain season. Benjamin Mitchell, 23 years old, a clinical nutrition assistant. He just off the duty on a late four in the afternoon he's out from the clinic with the green-color umbrella. It's very hard rain and his car across the street. He just has to cross the street. He wore great dark-brown coat to warm his body though he learned he breathes little fog. It's small road but he realized a great traffic on the main road. He was going to open his front-door. Well, he look at his watch, leather watch. 
"Dang it," he said.
He walked through the rain. He out to the main road and so long traffic. He made a right choice. He then blend with others people walk in the street. It's not far destination, it's up hill main road, just for that reason. Cold, wet, and hike. 
It's a big rain, just. No hurricane or such. 
The buildings stand skewed against the nature. He passes the book shop, laundry, cafe, clothes shops, bakery, it's already hard to breathe. He keeps looking straight and walk. 
"Ben..." a man called him, bit shorter, "Mitchell!" shouted the man again. 
Ben turned back and he saw Danny Fredrickson. Crew cut, really blonde, round face, and bit wrinkles between his blonde eybrows. He's white made the dark day can being seen clearly. 
"Fredrickson?" said Ben.
"Hello," he smiled, "Where are you going?"
"At Hill."
"Walking from here?" asked Danny, "It's about a kilometer or more."
Ben didn't say anything.
"Alright, then. It's nice to see you." Danny gave a gesture to shake hand. But, Ben just right away turn around and walk.
Danny was in rain jacket. His bare hand really wet. So, he decided it's his fault. 
Danny walking down the hill, he's going to the bakery.
About five minutes later, he arrived. On rain, the bakery has no life. His girlfriend, Joan Peterson, on cashier doing nothing. Danny opened his rain jacket, so wet. 
"Hello, Darling." He smiled.
"Danny." Chubby face, black bob hair, "Let's break up."
"What?" Danny was not in his focus stage, he giggled. He put the rain jacket on the side of door, "Nice joke, darling," Danny also is going to open his wet boots. Start with the left pair.
"I'm not joking. I was thinking about it. Now, I've made my decision that we should break up."
"Give me a reason. What's the matter?" Danny still smiled, he done with the whole boots. He's bare foot and walking through the shop, took his favorite banana cream bun. He eats it in front of the cashier and kiss Joan's cheek. The cream slight on that cheek.
"Danny..." Joan took the napkin and clean her face. Danny laughed, "Its not funny."
"Its not funny. It's cute." He smiled.
Joan was not smiling.
"It is not funny, is it?" asked him.
"I want us to break up."
"Why?" asked him.
"I've been cheated on you since 2014 January. A month before your birthday. With Anthony."
It's hurt so much to listen that truth. All the cold he just been through out there, he really needs to be indoor. But this place disgusts him right away. The bun he just ate and he is swallowing, now, made by that Anthony. He didn't feel well and he right away takes the napkin on cashier and spewed the rest.
"Where is he, now?"
"He's not at work. He is going to tell you this morning. Have you seen him?"
"No. But I just saw Mitchell. Benjamin."
"Ben. He used to bring his girlfriend here, a foreign girl. She's a marvel girl. She loves all the cakes here. Until she had to back last year. A breaking heart news," Danny wondered, "Just like now."
"I love him. We're going to marry," said Joan.
Another punch for his stomach. He asked, "When?"
"Well, sooner better."
"I'm pregnant."
It's doom. Danny suddenly put his hands to the cashier stand and looked down.
"Oh, darling...," said Joan, "Are you alright?" There's no sound from Danny and he hid his face, Joan out from behind cashier, "Danny?" Then Joan heard the sob, "Are you crying?" Joan looked bit down and he did crying, "Oh, Danny," It goes louder. Danny fell to Joan's chest.
"Why you did this to me? Why?" he cried.
"I am sorry." They sat on floor.
"I've proposed you fifteen times and you told me to wait, so I wait. Then, you, you, you betrayed me." Danny really dropped all the truth. For once, he out from her and asked, "Are you sure its his?"
"Of course. We never did it, did we?" said Joan.
"We never because we're believe on it," Danny back to sob, "Who are you?"
"I am sorry, Danny," that's all Joan could say. Then Danny back to lean on Joan's chest.
"Two years? He was my best friend for two years. He was a good baker, beer mate, and I even lend him my XBox and he knew my Netflix password! He stole my love!"
Suddenly the back door was open and there's Anthony. It stole Danny and Joan attentions.
"What's happening?" asked Anthony.
Joan just showed 'the face'. Anthony was scanning but when he's also back to see Danny, Danny already in front of him and punched his face. Anthony didn't fell but it's quickly broke his nose. Joan was shouted, "NO!" but yes, Danny even took Anthony's shirt and pushed him to the wall. Anthony even taller than Danny but we never know where that strength came from. Its just a start. Danny showed the most fearless face and mad to Anthony but for the next five minutes, the bakery went a mess because Anthony threw Danny's body like a sack of flour. All breads wasted on floor and shelves turned down. It's big rain out there and nobody really care inside the place. Now, Joan was screaming for Anthony stop beating Danny, "NO!" she cried.
Danny got bleed-eye, bleed nose, and pain on his stomach and his back. He injured so bad.
"STOP!" shouted Joan.
Anthony stopped. The room went silent again. Joan was crying because she didn't know what else to do. Anthony still showing his angry, " nose," he said to poor Danny on floor.
Danny couldn't reply anything because he even hard to breathe.
"What have you done?" cried Joan.
Anthony started back to himself, he also cried, "Oh, no."
"You almost killed Danny!"
The sight from Danny was blurred but he could see Joan, for the last time. His hand with his blood on it was trying to reach the woman he always love and that hand never gets what it wants. He saw Joan cried on the floor looking at him but then Anthony came to her and asked to get up then both of them ran away through back door because turned out there came the customers, they shouted and came to Danny. Danny closed his eyes and his last heard someone calling the police before he full unconscious.

Benjamin arrived 'At Hill'. It was the name of the cafe. It was big cafe and they have great interior, basically its wood structure building and glass house. Then, they build inside the cafe like an outdoor-look. Like a restaurant on glass house. They put little gazebos as tables. Then, Benjamin already got the table. The steward took him to this little gazebo and a young woman sat there alone, looking behind the glass-wall of the pouring-rain scene. As steward arrival made her noticed and saw him, she smiled. Benjamin also smiled. He ordered warm black tea then the steward left. He slowly sat to his own side of table while his eyes never stop looking at young woman. The last time he saw her, she had short hair, it was a year ago. Now, he hair was long and it got tied with pony-tail style. Black hair, he believed she colored it. He missed her. Its not just the hair that change but also the appearance. It was just a year ago and she was fine but now she wore a decker on her right-arm with purple bruise on her right eye.
"Are you alright?"
"Yes." She smiled.
He knew she got an accident a week ago. She was walking on the street and suddenly a fast bike almost hit her from behind her. She turned around and his right side of body was far from the bike, so she away from it so fast by jumped to the right side but she just fell and her right side of body hit the ground so hard.
"I was worried." he cried, "Your mother told me and I wished I was there."
"It's nothing. I'm fine." said she.
"It's not fine, Che." Ben grabbed her right hand and kissed the hand.
"Hey," She asked him to look at her and he looked at her, "I'm here." Ben then kissed the hand one more time and let it go. Its her who actually takes the hand from him. Ben noticed that.
Che back to see the window. She's looking at sky, a grey sky. Then, she cried.
"What is happening?" asked Ben.
Its just like she suddenly poured tears and mourned. Benjamin didn't know what's happening.Che cried but she bit her lip. It must really hurt. Ben just straight to get up and went to sit next to her and lend his arm so Che could lay on it.
"What is it, Che?" asked Ben. His hand brushed the head and its really sad. His hands still cold and kind of wet. Che kept crying, "What is it?" that's all Benjamin could asked and became just like whisper and he just keep the thought by his own mind. What is it?

A month later, its on hospital. Danny just now has light purple faces. He no need any gips or else. Danny is with his psychiatrist. An old woman with very strict face and notes on her hand, we never know what she's writing about. Danny just spread his leg and enjoy his sitting on this comfort single sofa. His body calmed. His face was very down. The old woman was behind her desk and Danny didn't face the desk, he facing the chair in front of him and who sit there was the crying Joan Peterson. Danny very disturbed with the crying. Also that little bump on her tummy. Danny just listened these two women chatted.
Especially Joan who cried, "I am sorry, Danny. I am really sorry. Will you forgive me, Danny? Will you?"
"Of course I forgive you," said Danny.
"But you still want to put charge on Anthony. Please, don't do this. He will get deportation and what should I do with this child without him? What should I do without the father of my child?" She still crying. Those words put the whole body of Danny more further stays on the sofa. The old woman just there and staring. Writing notes.
Danny couldn't say anything. For his logic, Anthony doesn't deserve Joan at all. A father like that? A liar and cheater. Now, he has to forgive the man who not just stole and impregnated his girlfriend but also almost kill him. For about a month he bed rest on hospital room. It's not him who put charge on Anthony but the policemen. Then the policemen put his name on file report and its now his choice. What he wants to choose is if Joan could take him again. But the little bump, the child isn't his. The crying from the mother also shows the point he never really loved by the woman he ever loved.
"Danny? Danny?" the old woman called him. He just closed his eyes because he felt dizzy.
"Yes?" He replied.
"We've been through this," said she, "Let's her listens what do you really want."
"Yes, yes," said he.
"What?" cried Joan.
"Mr Fredickson already put things on a letter, Miss Peterson, you need to calm down," said the old woman as she also gives her the tissues. Joan took it and sneezed all on her nose.
Danny clears his throat, he looked at the old woman. The letter was her plan. And Danny agreed because that's the best and confidential. Danny didn't look at Joan, just start reading,
"Dear Joan Peterson,

here I am, writing you a letter. The reason is for the confidential of my decision according the matter between me, Danny Fredrickson and Anthony Jacobs.

I love you, Joan. I always do. My decision is I will not put any charge to Anthony Jacobs. In fact I forgive him entirely and release him from any payments to his bills. But the actions he done to me will be the report to court to consider your safety from him."

"What is that mean, Danny?" She asked, "Danny?"

"I would like to continue," said Danny and the old woman proceed, "I request for Anthony Jacobs gets a mental treatment until the report accepted by court for his behavior no longer endanger the community and even his future wife and child."

"You made me suffer...oh no!" Cried Joan. 
"I don't know what else to say, Joan. You... you must be really blind by love. I'm trying to protect you. He almost killed me. He tricked me. He tricked us. How would we know he can beat someone if not he hates me so much after all we've been through? Have I done something wrong to you? Because I love you and want to marry you?"
Joan kept sobbing beg Danny to stop.
"It must be love. I accept for your both, Joan Peterson. I leave everything to the court and peace be on your life." Danny looked to the old woman because he's done with it.
"You can go, Mr Fredrickson."
Danny turned around and never look back. His older sister, Kathy Hunt with her husband, Chad. They also heard the crying from back of room. 
"Are you alright, Dan?", Kathy put her hand on his shoulder.
"Yes, yes." Said Danny. 
"You're doing a right thing, Danny," said taller and beardy Chad, "We love Joan. She just need some time." Chad is the lawyer. The letter was his consideration with Danny's pchiatrist. Danny wants to punish the man but they asked him to not to.
Danny was smiling bitterly. They all still heard the sobbing. In Danny's head, he wished he never fell in love again. He never turned back to even see the room-door. He just walked first. The sounds blend and vanished with he went through the hospital ward. He left her behind.

The same day, Che was on train. She is now on the way to her hometown of village, Her place-booth just alone. She listened by her smartphone mp3 player. It's not IPhone afterall. There's a book on her lap open and she's reading it. Later, there's a man. Tall, handsome, with beard. He sat across her sit. He chose to be right in front her sight. But Che kept reading. The man was smiling. Suddenly, he starts to open the window. It's old train, no air conditioner. He lights his cigarette. For a minute, Che wasn't really annoyed. But, that man just phew the smoke to her face.
Che reacted was so brilliant. She closed her book and coughed. She looked at the man in front of her and wants to get angry until she shocked and shouted, "Lee! My dear!" She got up and took the smoke, threw it away out from train. The earplugs went off from her ears.
"Hey!!!" Lee cried, "My last one!"
"How could you!" shouted Che and back to her place. She laughed.
"Che, I was joking!" Lee was still shocked. But they both laughed, "You didn't notice me at all."
"I thought you're a stranger."
"Of course."
"I did. I don't wear my glasses." she defensed. She opened her little bag and took the glasses. She wore it, "There now, I can see you clearly."
"What about when you read the book?"
"Well," She tried to think the answer, "It's not really far that I still can read without glasses."
"Oh, really?" Lee laughed.
"You've been in the train all the time?" asked Che.
Lee just smiled.
"No. I saw you on the last train station. On this window. I never thought I could see you again after how long we've been through?"
"Through? Oh, don't be silly? It's my sweet 17 party."
"And you chose my young brother over me."
"What?" Che was blushed. She's speechless like in her heart what's really going on.
"I see you're blushing." Lee laughed.
Che still in shocked. She felt like being caughted. Though, that's true. There's a story on her 17th birthday. She met these two young lads, brothers. She fell in love with both of them on summer camp that year, then she invited them to her birthday. She chose the young one over the older for the man of the night. She felt bad and still. Everytime she remembered the face and even now, his face, in front of her, she never thought will meet him again, I mean she keeps seeing Lee Dawn everytime she saw him around the town. He has big company in village. Most of men and women of village works for his company. He has this linen fabric. He's one of the local young hero. She adored him from far but never try to approach for her mistake.
"I..I am sorry if that's bother you." Lee said.
"Well, I...I am sorry, too, for what I did," said her, "I never meant to put you embarrassed on that day. I can explain why I chose your young brother."
"Please, stop," begged him, "I just tease you. It was nothing."
"No, no. It was something and I knew I made a mistake."
"You did not make any mistake."
"I did, it haunts me eversince," rushed Che, "please, I can explain."
Lee went silent.
"I was thinking I just 17 and you're 25 years old. I wasn't really sure if its necessarry to pick very old man. So, I chose your brother, 15 years old that time. I realized it was so foolish because everyone kept talking about it and then your young brother never really liked me. I wasn't really like him. We both through. And just it. But then, you. You keep coming to our little village, invest money to our industry. Then, I saw you since last year. We keep seeing each other, right?" Asked Che. Lee caught smiled, "Yeah, but we're just too stranger to greet one another because that night."
"We are not strangers," said Lee, "I just heard you've been graduated from university and back to village. Then, it seems like you still doesn't have any job."
"Seems like?" Asked Che.
"Please, do smile. Just relax."
Che poured a tear.
"Oh, God." Lee right away took his handkerchief and wipe that tear. Che smiled, "there, there." Lee then kissed her cheek, leave the handkerchief to her.
"Thank you."
"You never change. Always feeling intimidate."
"Really?" Che still smiling, "Silly me. I cried for nothing."
"Well, can we start over?" Asked Lee.
"Sure," said Che.
Lee then let the room in silent. Waitinf for Che start the conversation. Che was done with that handkerchief and then wants to return it, but she felt kind of awkward, so she held it with her hands on her lap. She look through out of window. Che realized she's being watched by Lee. 
"So... you said you seem know me unemployment."
"Yes," said Lee.
"Whisperers in town." Lee smiled.
"I'm not really unemployed, actually. I just have this thing when I was in city, this morning."
"You got a job?"
Che nodded.
"Just today?"
Che nodded again.
"Dame, what a coincidence. I was about to offer you a job." Lee laughed.
"Its not really a job. Its inheritage from my father," Che also smiled, "My uncle send me a letter a week ago and asked me to visit a town, to tell me about what father has gave me ever since he died three years ago."
"I'm sorry." Said Lee.
"That's fine. You were there." Che smiled.
"What is it?"
"Hale's Institution. He gave it to me."
"No way." Lee shocked.
"I'm now have 50% shares of Hale's Institution. Me? A fresh-graduate?"
"Hale's Institution has great job for the town."
"I didn't know."
"Hale's Institution has become great partner with DFI. I heard about there will be a new member for Hale's Institution counsils, I didn't know it was you. 50% percents?"
"Yes....wait." Che back to her bag and sneak inside then found letter, "From my uncle." She showed it to him.
"Ever since your father died, we thought they will put the shares in auction," Lee read it surprised, " and the government stands strong. Your father had prepared everything. He's brilliant man. We used to share tea talks and I used to ask him many questions to help me with DFI." He gave it back the letter.
"I don't know about that, I'm sorry," Che wondered as she put the letter back to her bag, "I was so busy with my study for past three years. But I always believe he loved his work."
"He's a happy man. Always full of surprises. Never can find someone like him, anymore. He taught me how to manage money. Now, the trade is getting competitive. He even gave me some books of his notes since I first asked endorsement from Hale's Institution. He's smart investor."
"He's also my loyal friend and my honorable teacher." Lee smiled.
Che saw those words spoken in honest,"Thank you for saying that about my father. But he never say anything about you. Its really strange. You always there whenever there's big party in town. I saw you talked with him. But you should be very welcome too to our house. He always invited his close friends.."
"I asked him to not to."
"Why?" Che asked.
Lee just back in silent and smiled.
"What? What is it?" Che wondered but then she realized, "Oh,no," she embarressed, "Its about that birthday party again."
"You still put that thing really matter. I know."
"Yes, I told him everytime I saw you. He told you about it?"
Lee nodded. Che was shocked so she hid her face with Lee's handkerchief.
Lee giggled.
"Shame on me...oh, goodness." Mouned her.
"Come on...its over,now. We already settled it." Asked Lee. Che opened out her face but back to hide it again. Lee laughed, "Stop it."
Che then let it off and also laughed a little, "I'm so sorry."
"Its alright." Lee smiled.
"Okay," Che breathes deeply and look through Lee, "Can we start over?"
"Yes," he still smiling. The smiling was meant for a relieve he just made a right decision to make first move. He's been longing to greet her yet she had her own life and tales. She's been graduate a year ago and back to town. He just didn't know how. Until someone just mentioned about how busy her for this whole month go-back to city which she might looking for a job. He tried to find her but he couldn't until this very excellent day. He wished the day never really over.
"Well, Lee, I think I need your help with Hale's Institution," said Che, "You knew my father's work. Perhaps if I can ask you as loyal partner from my father, will you accept it?"
There, he wish turns come true.
"I will be delighted."
"Very well," Che was excited, "Tell me everything."
"About what?"
"Anything. You, my father, DFI and Hale's Institution. We still have less half hour on route." Che is looking at her smartphone time.
Another day to knit relationship back with an old friend for Che. Its really very big day for her. A very happy day.

Two people will be on the journey to greet because of this day.


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