Become the Kades of Lembur Ciheras, not just Yudha Mahardhika's last resort to fix his awful last term academic grade points in Karyawijaya University.
Yudha was trying to find the bamboo couch that Teh Ningsih said at the front terrace, and after couple minutes trying in searching, at last he found it.
It's an old-fashioned large bamboo couch. The length of the couch is equal to two adult persons to sleep on it.
"She said the bike is behind the couch.." Yudha tried to shift the bamboo couch—and he didn't realize the bamboo couch was not as light as he thought. He need four pushes to shift the thing—might be the bamboo couch furniture were mixed with another of heavy woods.
And he found the hidden treasure—a white mountain bike, and the bike is made by well-known mark from Japan, and it’s full customized, and he tried to measure the value—it's the same as the brand new common motorcycles—that's why Kang Didit's hid the bike behind the old couch!
He tried to check the condition first—the steering bar, breaks, and gearings—all bike parts were still in the good condition. Probably Kang Didit still used it for sometime, and after that he hopped in to the seat.
And his time-killing and mood booster mini adventures began—but before he started the adventure.
“YUDHA, WAAAIITTTT!!” called Teh Ningsih in panic.
He quickly pressed the brakes when heard the scream, “Y-Yes, Teh??”—Phew! Thank God I am not leaving yet!
The gasping Teh Ningsih showed a plastic drinking bottle, “Here! I forgot it!—You’ll need it later.”
“Have fun with your trip!”
"At last!—Arrived at the top!.." said relieved Yudha, after struggling to go to the hilltop of Lembur Ciheras.
When he saw the sceneries below the hilltop, he realized his hard efforts has paid—he could see Lembur Ciheras, front to front with vastness of Indian ocean, the green and tidy part that was managed by Kang Didit and his community and the desolated and slummy part led by the authorities, the grey skies looks drawn near him, even what he feels could touch the grey clouds.
Yudha took a rest, sat at the open field, took a drink from the bottle prepared by Teh Ningsih and started to think.
Maybe his dreams to rebuild the nearly destroyed village was inspired when he was looking at the village from this place. Maybe, sometimes he visited this hilltop when he has free time—to review how far he and his community do to this village.
“AH! ALMOST FORGET!!”
He took his smart phone and took many pictures of the Lembur Ciheras’ sceneries from above—even he took many places and interesting villagers’ activities when he was cycling to the hilltop, the Lembur Ciheras from the top picture was his ultimate!
After getting enough stamina, Yudha was preparing go to the beach. Going downhill is the most easy part—just enjoying the bicycle rolling by itself and bit breaks to control the speed.
"Wooooo-Heeeeee!!.." Yudha shouted to show his happiness—his first of lifetime, experiencing this mini adventure.
He needed ten minutes to reach the beach, while he needed one hour for going to the hilltop, using no power to do it.
The blowing sea breeze was getting more intense, giving the sign that he soon would arrive at the beach—until then, he arrived at the untouched iron sands mining of Lembur Ciheras coastline.
The sea breeze! So refreshing!—He closed his eyes and stretched his arms as wide as he could, remembering the days he passed at this village—Kang Didit’s house, the calming green rice fields, the friendly villager’s, the lazy and abusive Kades staffs, the Sekdes who seldom attends to office—the absences of Kades Mukti whom he never met since the welcoming ceremony.
Also when he first met Lia in this beach.
Ah, yes! This is the beach! And this time she always plays with the students.—Yudha looked around the beach, hoping that he would find Lia and the students.
Oh! There’s Lia and her TK students! I wonder what they’re doing..—Yudha was pedaling the bicycle to make him bit closer to them.
When he was close enough to them, Yudha could see what they were doing—they were not playing the sands like he met her at the first time. The students were circling their teacher who was singing and humming together—and not just that, Lia was singing while she was playing guitar!
Her voice! And she also can play guitar!—That’s obvious why she won the first prize at the singing contests!
Yudha was hypnotized by her golden voice. He quietly nodded; following the rhythms—I know this song! It’s one of many anthems that must be learned in the Indonesian compulsion schools. But, aargh! I forgot the name!
And then a verse of the anthem give him a glance of clue—Ah! It’s Ismail Marzuki’s song! But—the title!
They heard the grey skies grumbled, “Ok!—We must end for today! Get packed and go home, guys!” Lia stopped her guitar playing and ended their extracurricular activities.
When she caught Yudha stalking at her, he guessed the song, “Isn’t it Rayuan Pulau Kelapa, right?”
"Eh?!—Since when you’re there??"and she noticed that he’s using her brother's bicycle, "OI!!—The heck you was using my brother's bicycle?!!" yelled her.
"Hey! Easy! Teh Ningsih told me to use Kang Didit's to take around the village!" Yudha answered immediately, before Lia sent him some karate attacks.
Lia hold her attacks and she nodded, “Yeah!—It’s Rayuan Pulau Kelapa.”
“Soon it’ll be raining. Let’s go home together!” offered Yudha.
There’s no choice—Lia accepted the offer.
“That’s obvious why you got all those awards!..” said Yudha.
“Huh??..” Lia felt clueless with his saying.
“Uhh!—The awards, at the alley.”
“Oh!—“ now she understood what Yudha said, “Stop talking about that!”
“But why??—It’s awesome!”
“Just don’t!—It’s embarrassing!..”
“Hey! Seriously! I’m not teasing you!”
“Said that again—I’ll punch you!”
And then Yudha shut his mouth when he was threatened like that—Yikes!—He tried to find another subject to talk about, “So, is that extracurricular activities?”
“Yeah! Every after-school every class have their turns to have outdoor extracurricular.”
“Nope! We have made simple crafts and paintings—and this week we have singing. And I focus the after-school activities with nature’s arts subjects.” Answered Lia, “And do you know? What I planned, it’s comes true!”
Yudha looked at her with sour smiles, “S-Sorry, I don’t get it!..”
She sighed, “That nature subjects!—Their drawings and making trees and hills dummies, singing the beauties of our country. I do that to build their awareness about Lembur Ciheras environmental conditions.”
“So, how’s the results?”
“GREAT!—Some of my students asked me why in the song our land is beautiful but in the truth, our land is heavily damaged! They started to concern about their village’s condition!” answered Lia very excitedly
“Good! Many big actions are started from such simple critical thinking like that kids.” And he stared at the beach, “This place reminded me to the moment I met you for the first time!” said Yudha.
But Lia’s response disappointed him, “Huh?..” she looked clueless.
Yudha blushed, “Eh! Nothing! Don’t mind it—just a gibberish!” he tried to avoid to what he talked—Sigh!.. She didn't pay attention at the bus..
While they were busy talking to each-other, Yudha didn’t realize there’s large road hole in front of them, “OH SHIT!!” he yelped and tried to avoid the deep holes as quick as possible. Lia squeaked while she tried to stick tightly to Yudha’s body to avoid falling from the bicycle.
“Phew! That’s close!” Yudha successfully avoided that hole.
She sighed in relieve, “Watch the road, moron!” scolded Lia.
After a while he pedaled the bicycle in stable balance, he realized something was going on with her—she still stick her body to his back!
“There’s no holes again—you can release your hug..”
But Yudha didn’t expect such hostile reply, “DO YOU MIND I HUGGING YOU?!!” she asked with furious voice and blushed face.
He didn’t dare to comment, he shut his mouth again, let Lia hug him with awkward feeling.
And Lia noticed this misunderstanding, “Sitting at back seat makes my back aches! Lean back for ease my stiffen back!..”
“I see..” replied Yudha while he continued pedaling and looking at the roads.
"Sometimes I worried, when the time will come—"
"What time??.." asked Yudha curiously.
"When the miners, backed up by Kades Mukti, take over that last beach—it’s all done. Basically, we are helpless villagers that have no authority to protect it." Said Lia with her sad face.
"But, I hope!—" Lia broke the silence.
"I hope, what?.." asked Yudha.
"Next half year, the election for new Kades is going to be held. I hope my brother will do his long pending dreams to become the Kades!"
Yudha didn’t response her talks, he kept quiet and pedaling the bicycle.
Lia sourly smiled, “Looks like you aren’t interested in politics, huh??..” she forced her giggles.
I feel there’s something wrong with me and her! Now her hug more haunts my mind than Siska’s conditions while hospitalized!
And I urged to touch her warm hugging arms.
“Hey! Yud!”—and she started to ask something important to him, after she postponed it due to Yudha slept early at yesterday’s dinner.
The blushed Lia started it with gulping her throats, “Do you have someone spec—?“
FUCK! EXACTLY WHAT I'M WORRIED!
“H-HEY! THAT’S YOUR HOUSE!!” he pointed his right index finger and shouted at Kang Didit’s house, “Let’s give little power to arrive quickly!” he tried to pedal the bicycle harder.
“Don’t pedal harder! If it broke, I don’t mind to karate chop you!!” warned her.
He looked never mind being karate chopped by Lia—he still made the bicycle run faster than before, without thinking, how disappointed Lia when her question was being cut!
"GAAAHHH!!—At last we arrived!!.." screamed Yudha, after he non-stop pedaled the bicycle with Lia behind him, fighting with the heavy sea breeze headwinds.
"Looks like our guests have already arrived before us." Lia pointed to full of villager's motorcycles and cars parked in front of her house.
"Aaah!—Welcome home!" Teh Ningsih came out of the house, "We have guests! Lia, can you help me out??.."
"Sure!" Lia followed her sister-in-law.
"I can lend help too!" offered Yudha.
"Oh! That's kind of you!—Sure!" Teh Ningsih accepted his offers.
"What kind of bothers here??.." asked Lia with low voice.
"Hush!—That's so rude!.." hissed Teh Ningsih while putting the glasses of coffees to the tray, "I don't know either.."
Yudha was watching Kang Didit and the villagers gathered at the saung from a far. He was quite sure that what they were talking was about the new Kades election.
"Please, bring these coffees to the saung, Lia!.."
Lia obeyed her sister-in-law's request. She brought the coffees and the gorengan with lazy walk. She pretended to trouble when she handed the meals, so she could overhear what they were talking about—but what she heard was just about the community increasing rice harvests—and when she's walking back with a bit disappointed expression to the house, she was shocked to caught Yudha hiding behind the room near the saung.
"W-What the heck are you doing???.." hissed Lia.
Yudha did not answer it. He pointed his index finger to his lips, and Lia spontaneously followed what Yudha did!
"You try to eavesdropping them right???.." whisped Lia.
Yudha nodded and he tried to point his right ear to the saung.
"Thank you very much for the hospitality, Kang Didit!.." said a villager's elder.
"You are very welcome!—It's my duty as a youngster to welcome the elder's need!.." answered Kang Didit.
"Looks like you're starting to plant the next crops! How's your season's harvests, Kang?.." asked a villager when he was looking at the replanting rice filed.
"It's good! We are reaching the peak production, twice from the last harvests!.. If we can be consistent with the new planting procedures, we will have peak performance for three harvests and minimize dropping performance of new planting cycles!" answered Kang Didit' excitedly.
"We envy with your methods, Kang! We want to learn it so much!.." said the villager amazed.
"Meh!—Usual Indonesian!—Light chit-chats in the first phase!.." sulked Lia.
But Lia was amazed when she’s looking at Yudha—he's very seriously eavesdropping the conversation!—He was even not moving any inches. Maybe because of he was powered by his enthusiasm.
The villagers were looking at each other—it's a sign they're enough with the chit-chats and started to discuss the main purpose why they wanted to meet Kang Didit in his house in this evening.
One elder discussed with a question, "Kang Didit!—Do you know that Kades election will be held in the next six months?"
Kang Didit gasped when he heard that question, "Y-Yes, Pak!.." answered Kang Didit awkwardly.
When Yudha heard that question, he sharpened his gaze.
"They are discussing Kades election, Yud!.." wisped Lia uneasy.
Yudha didn't answer her, he still stayed calm and continued the eavesdropping.
And now, the elders told the real deals to Kang Didit.
"Before we held these meetings, we had already made little meetings between the elders, discussing the future of the villages after the new Kades election!.."
"As you know, since Lembur Ciheras was led by Kades Mukti and his cronies, our villages has gone into serious setback!—Since he legalized the iron sands mining, our villagers life was getting poorer! Before the mining exploitation, even we lived in below standards, our environments was still good, we could fish and plant rice or vegetables!"
"But after the uncontrolled iron sand mines erected everywhere, they poisoned our water springs, seas, and lands!—Flood and erosions, the fishes dead, even we couldn’t drink, baths, and wash as usual as we did! All the plants we tried to plant are also dead!"
"When Kang Didit came with his many innovations and reformations, sorry—we underestimated you! But now, what you offered before, we see the results now—they are amazing, Kang! And we are regretting for choosing Kades Mukti as our village chief for five years!"
"And now!—We together agree, to not fall into the same mistakes again! It's the time we change our Lembur Ciheras to the better village, with your help, Kang Didit!"
Kang Didit knew what the elder's talking, but in the name of good manners, he asked to them again, "P-Pardon me, I still don't understand!.."
The villagers were looking at each other, and looking at Kang Didit with firm gazes.
"Kang Didit—please lead us!—Please join the election! Please become our next Kades!" asked the elder.