La Perle Perdue

Februari 11th, 2010
“Dear Diary, today me and my family move to Jakarta. I will attend the Jakarta University. Speaking of Jakarta, I remembered about Onel – my childhood friend. Thirteen years ago he moved to Jakarta. Where is he now? I hope I can meet Onel in Jakarta. I’ve missed you for this thirteen years Onel...”

Pearl closed her diary. She recall a memory of her childhood when she sat in the swing in the garden behind her house. At that time she was crying, accompanied by a boy. The boy was Onel. “Hey, don’t cry. After I moved to Jakarta, I promise I'll call you as often as possible.”
With tears in her eyes, Pearl held Onel’s hand tightly. Onel tore the photograph of himself and Pearl into two parts. He put the picture of Pearl into his pocket while he gave the picture of himself to Pearl. “Treasure it Pearl, I won’t forget you.”

Onel was Pearl’s next door neighbor, her best playmate. When the other kids nosy on Pearl, Onel was the one who protects Pearl. When Pearl’s mother scolded her, Onel provide his garage for Pearl and accompanied her hide until they fell asleep because of tired. When Pearl fell and injured, Onel wept with her.
The days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months. Onel kept his promise, he phoned Pearl once a week. Although just say “hello”, Onel was able to made Pearl show off a big smile with her missing teeth.

In one night after 3 months Onel moved to Jakarta, there was rain storm that caused the center of the phone line damaged. It meant that Pearl’s home phone number have to be replaced with the new one. At that time, Pearl was crying uncontrollably. He went on hunger strike for days until he fell ill. But over time and to be comforted by her parents, Pearl slowly began to have a new spirit to play with other friends in the neighborhood, though she still often felt lonely and missed Onel.
Last month when Daddy announced that the whole family will move to Jakarta, Pearl was very excited and hoping her move to Jakarta will take her to meet Onel.

3 months later ...
Pearl looked at the sunset from her room window, four more days she would has been a college student for 3 months. She adapts with her neighborhood, her college and she is looking... Looking for Onel and try to find all information about him. But the quest for almost 3 months obtain no result. Pearl sighs and close her room window curtain. Knock! Knock! "Pearl, may I come in?" Her mother’s voice knock on the door.
“Yes mom. Please come in”.
Pearl's mother come in and sit on the edge of the bed. “How’s your college life, Pearl?”
Pearl smile and sit beside her mother. "So far so good mom, but ..." Pearl hesitate a moment and stops her words.
“Umm..why am I haven’t met Onel? Though I've asked my friends on campus if anyone knew a guy named Onel or not. But no one knows so far. I regret when I was a kid, I just know Onel-Onel without knowing his full name. Onel also don’t know my name at that time. He found it hard to pronounce my name, so he just called me little sister.”
“Pearl, Jakarta is spacious. Looking for a Onel in Jakarta is like looking for needles in hay. But if destiny willed, someday I'm sure you would be reunited with Onel.” Said Pearl’s mother.
“I hope so...”

“Bye friends! See you tomorrow.” Pearl step out of her class and walk to the elevator. While she is waiting for the elevator, Sophie-one of the comittee of Jakarta University’s 50th anniversary greet her. “Hey Pearl! You will participate in Jakarta University’s 50th anniversary, won’t you?”
“Yes, I will donate a song. But I need an acoustic guitar accompaniment, who's able to help accompany my appearance?”
“Ius can help you," Sophie smiled.
"Ius? Which Ius?" I guess I never knew a guy named Ius.
“That’s it!” Sophie suddenly shouts and point to a tall-good looking guy.
“Ius, come here.” The tall-good looking guy then walk towards Sophie and Pearl.
“Hey, what’s up Soph?” he say to Sophie.
Pearl stared at the guy in front of her. His face is a bit familiar, but who? Could he Onel? But it’s impossible, his name is obviously Ius.
"You can play acoustic guitar, right?" Sophie ask him. "Let me introduce, this is Pearl, she will participate to sing a song in our campus 50th anniversary, but she needs accompaniment. Would you accompany her appearance?
"Ok, no problem. Count on me." Ius smile friendly.
"That’s good. Well, just introduce yourself each other. I still have another business. Have a good teamwork!" Then Sophie leave Ius and Pearl.
Ius and Pearl then exchange their phone numbers to adjust their training schedule.
Three weeks quickly passed, tomorrow Pearl will perform at her campus' 50th anniversary with accompanied by Ius.
During these 3 weeks she has getting close to Ius because of their intensive training schedule.

That evening at Pearl’s home backyard...
"Hopefully tomorrow we can perform to the maximum," said Pearl after her singing practice with Ius.
“I hope so.”
“Anyway Ius, don’t you have someone special in your heart?” Pearl ask, jokingly.
Ius smile, “I have someone special actually, a little girl.”
“Really? It seems interesting, tell me" said Pearl curiously.
Suddenly, Ius’ cellphone rang. "Yes mom. Yeah, I'm done. Ok, I'll be home soon."
"Sorry Pearl, it seems I should go home. My mother has cooking for dinner and asked me to go home."
"Oh, never mind. Say my hello to your mother."
Ius rise from his seat a bit hasty and accidentally drop his wallet. His wallet falls open. He want to pick it up, but Pearl grab it first.
Pearl stunned looking at the photo in Ius’ wallet. It’s the picture of her when she was a kid. Part of photograph which torn by Onel 13 years ago.
“Onel? Is that you?” She stared Ius.
“Li..Little sister? Yes.. It’s me Onel. Kornelius, Ius-Onel, whatever.”
They both stared each other, realizing that they have found someone who they are looking for 13 years.
“My little sister, I’ve missed you for 13 years. I finally found you.” Onel hug Pearl with full sense of longing.
Witnessed by the twilight sky, Pearl finally reunited with Onel, her childhood friend, where she took refuge, her best playmate, future soulmate...

© Rossana Valentina
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