God Save The Queen (Part Six)

“Nit, please ask Ira’s address in the Netherlands,” I told Nita, Triarsi Yanitasari. A good friend who was quite tall for most of us. She was beautiful as well.

“Why Mit ?,” asked Nita in surprise.

“Nothing, Nit.”

“Do you like Ira, huh?”

“Nope,” I replied lying.

“You’re a liar, Mit.”

“No it’s not Nit, Ira will move to the Netherlands. The Netherlands is far away, the other friends are just nearby, it’s easy to know their news. If I want to send her a letter to ask the news, how can I write to Ira if I don’t know the address? “I answered diplomatically to Nita.

I was surprised, with such diplomatic capabilities, why did I not just enter the Department of International Relations when I continued my studies and attended Gadjah Mada University, many years later after the event. Nita understood my reason, then she replied,

“Okay Mit, wait a minute. I will ask her.”

Nita immediately approached Ira and they talked for a long time. The other didn’t pay attention to them and me, because they were busy with themselves. Some brood while eating boiled peanuts, and some were busy talking with friends. Then, Nita came to me after talking to Ira. I began to have palpitations and sweating. My sweat was as big as corn seeds.

“You were told by Ira to ask her directly.”

I was speechless. Somehow I was very embarrassed to ask. Even though Ira I knew was spontaneous and talkative. I approached Ira a few steps and then stopped, there was something like blocking me. I was surprised, even though we used to joke when we were in English classes with Mrs. Indra and sat next to each other. Our chatter can develop to the end of the world. But somehow, that time I was embarrassed.

(Photograph taken from pixabay.com)

God Save The Queen (Part Five)

We, the former eighth graders, the last class at our Junior High School, held our own farewell parties. Eight B class had their own party, as well as 8C class. We from 8A class would hold a farewell at Ira’s house in “Bareng Kartini Hutment”. The choice of the place was not without reason. Ira would go far across the ocean anyway. We would enjoy the last moments with Ira anyway. With others, of course, we would still often met because we still lived in the same city. If we miss each other, we could certainly visit our beloved friends’ home.

In addition to the farewell parties that we held independently, the school also held a farewell party. I did not attend the farewell event held by the school. I mean it as a sign of protest to my father who was the Vice Headmaster there. One thing I later regretted was that my father might not feel that I was keen protesting against his behavior.

That night, at dusk, we arrived one by one or with several friends to Ira’s house in the Bareng Kartini Hutment. A bustling hutment in the middle of the city. Close to the legendary ‘Kelud’ movie theater in our city, and very popular because of its cheapness. We enjoyed the dishes served by Ira’s family. We joked and laughed about the strange and funny events that happened during our schooling until we graduated from kindergarten to middle school at junior high. I thought about asking Ira’s address in the Netherlands. But I put off asking. I want to write to her later if we have entered the senior high school. Just asked the news, I think there’s nothing wrong with such a thing like that.

Finally, because I was embarrassed to ask Ira, I ventured to ask Nita for help to ask Ira’s address in the Netherlands.

God Save The Queen ( Part Four )

All of my friends were mingling at school. The classes where we previously conducted the exams were left blank. They were laughing and tell stories in the schoolyard. I secretly broke away and headed for the classroom where Ira did her evaluation exam. I went to Ira’s desk and examined it. I noticed the names of the test participants there.

I breathed a sigh of relief. Ira’s card was still plugged in at the top right corner of the table. I read it carefully, right, it says, Octavi Laily Irawati. That was Ira’s full name. I looked at the photograph that there. True, it’s Ira’s profile picture. Immediately I reached out my hand and took off the examinees card attached to the table. I took it off carefully, I did not want it to get damaged.

The last remaining glue on the exam card has been released. I looked at Ira’s photo on the exam participant’s card with a victorious smile and satisfaction. I really didn’t know, where can I get such a genius idea like that?. But, indeed I was quite satisfied with my work’s result. I put the exam participant’s card in the pocket and slipped out of the classroom. No one was paying attention to what I’ve done anyway. Again, I smiled satisfied and rejoined my other friends outside the classroom.

A week after, our Junior High School announced the graduation. As we thought, we all graduated successfully. I believed, most of us did have intelligence above average. We were all getting happier, as well as getting sad too. It felt like we would be separated from brothers and sisters. A few days later we signed the Graduation Certificate and received the Pure Final Stage Learning Evaluation Value which would be used to enroll in Senior High School. At that time, that was Indonesian’s Education and Culture Ministry rules to enter the higher education at High School anyway. It’s almost the same rules indeed nowadays.

God Save The Queen ( Part Three )

I really fulfilled my promise to my mother to study for the evaluation exam in the afternoon until the evening at that day. But afterward, I relapsed to my laziness and angered at my father. I was not learning anymore instead. And it escaped my mother’s attention because she herself also bothered taking care of herself and her other children. Often, I heard the advice of my father’s friends to my mother. According to them, did not make the children confused. If the father was rude to the children, my mother should also follow rough, so the child was not confused with differences in their parents’ attitude. For Goodness sake, why did not they all suggest to my mother to have affairs like my father?. What on earth were they doing?.

The earlier classes were closed when we attended the National Examinations. We have all attended them in an orderly manner. After the Junior High School graduation exam, Ira will follow both of her parents who have become Dutch citizens and live there. She had attended her Dutch’ Language course in Malang with her younger sister. Indeed, in the last days of my junior high school, it was widely heard that Ira would move to the Netherlands. I asked it directly to Ira and she said yes. I did not really remember how I felt at that time. What was clear, before we’ve even split, I was beginning to feel lost.

After completing the graduation evaluation exam, our classmates still met at school frequently. Just chatting with friends who have been together since Kindergarten. There was a sense of joy that we would attend a higher level education, but the sadness and loss also be felt so generous. We’ve been together so long. Many events have happened between us. Funny things, annoying or sad, all blend into one, We’re like brothers and sisters.

God Save The Queen (Part Two)


“The lesson is all so easy yet, never needed to learn them anyway.”

My mother smiled wisely, apparently, she could understand my annoyance. Like other children, of course, I also had the ideals to continue college and pursue a profession. But it occurred to me that seeing my father’s manners had been impossible for me to pay for my college. Most of his money will be spent himself to please his affairs and bought Soto Mariam in Kebalen Traditional Market there. The important thing was to enjoy himself, he did not have to think about his children and wife. Soto is an Indonesian dish with meat or chicken. It is so delicious.

“What exactly do you want to, Mit?” My mother asked concernedly.

“I want to go to foreign college in the future,” I said. I did tell the truth. Deep in my heart, I really wanted to go to school to my height. Chatting in English in my daily life. But my behavior at that time did not indicate that I wanted to go to school. No wonder my mother became very concerned.

“Do you know the English anthem?” My mother asked.

God Save the Queen, why Mom ?,”

“Mother will teach you to sing God Save the Queen.”

“But after that, you have to learn for your exams,” she continued.

“Do you memorize it, Mother ?,” I asked full of admiration.

“Sure,” my mother replied with a smile.

Then my mother picked up a chalk and wrote the British national anthem on the blackboard where my father used to explain Mathematics to his private tutors.


God save our gracious Queen,

Long live our noble Queen,

God save the Queen.

Long her victorious,

Happy and glorious,

Long to reign ever us,

God save the Queen.

Mother sang the song while pointing at every word she sung. Then she asked me to imitate. Of course, I imitated her eagerly. English was my favorite subject. I was so sure that none of my friends at school were able to sing God Save the Queen song like me.

God Save The Queen (Part One)

Chapter XI

God Save The Queen

I entered the eighth grade, the last class in SD / SMP PPSP IKIP Malang. That year meant I had to prepare for the National Final Evaluation to determine my graduation from the Junior High School. In Indonesia, now such Evaluation is called the National Exam. At that time, the Evaluation did not go as scary and full of controversy as it is today. Because a year before our school was taken over by the government as the state school, there was no guarantee for us to enter SMA PPSP IKIP Malang, the school is now named SMAN 8 Malang or Eight State Senior High School. On the program before, we automatically entered this Senior High after graduated from SD / SMP PPSP IKIP Malang. My Junior High School changed its name to SMPN 17 Malang. A few years later his name was changed again into SMPN 4 Malang.

Nothing special in my last year. I still admired Ira and her open and frank attitude. My favorite lesson was still Physics with Mrs. Fauziah and Mathematics with Mrs. Aminah. Of course also English with Mrs. Indrawati. In English lessons, I often took Mrs. Indra to have a conversation in English when the lesson takes place. It often made my friends annoyed.

Ahead of the national graduation evaluation exam, I completely missed the passion to learn. The neighbors often make fun of me because my dad is having an affair with Poniti. It was ashamed to have a father like that. But I could not do anything. He also still liked to hit me like when I was a very little kid. Actually, I want to fight, but somehow my energy was gone when faced with him.

My mother was very concerned about my condition. One afternoon while I was sitting daydreaming, she greeted me,

“Did not learn for your National Exam, Mit?.”

“Nope,” I answered.