My friend, Ron, told me about a new business he wanted to do: to be a fresh tea distributor. I said to him, it was not an easy business. He had to go around Jakarta to find a stall that would take his fresh tea. More than that, it was a small change business.

“I know,” he said. “But, I have no choice. I must do something. I need money. I can’t stay at home all day without doing anything. Do you have another choice for me to earn money?”

I could not answer that question.

Ron was my old friend. We had live together at the dormitory for one year in senior high school. We had not met for many years and got close just only in the last of two years. He taught me to appreciate my life.

***

Ron father died when he was child. His mother had worked hard to support her three children. Ron had grown up as a naughty boy. He was a king of absence and had repeated class in junior and senior high school. I had never heard about him after passed senior high school.

***

In the year 2000, we met again. Ron changed. He looked calmer and come of age.
“I work at a telecommunication company while taking evening classes,” he told me.

It was surprising that Ron used to hate academy was taking evening classes.

***

Ron finished his program.

***

One night, Ron told me that he had a problem in his relationship with his girlfriend, Win. His would-be parents-in-law had demanded that he had a house of his own before marrying their daughter.

The good news was they had given help to buy a house on hire purchase. They had advanced the money for deposit of the house. So, Ron and Win had just to pay for the loan every month.

The bad news was that the house which had been taken by Win’s parents was too expensive. They had taken a type 72 house. Ron and Win had to spent Rp 1,4 million a month for the credit. Win did not work yet. She has been specializing as a dentist.

So, for the sake of love, Ron spent Rp 1,2 million while his salary only Rp 1,6 million a month and Win bore the rest. For the sake of love, Ron had to struggle with Rp 400 thousands a month.

***

One night, Ron told me some good news. He got a new job at high salary as an assistant manager in a chemistry company. For that job, he got Rp 6 million a month.
“Congratulation Buddy,” I said.

***

One night, holding a bottle of Tequila in his hand he told me sadly, ”I am fired.”

It was only three months ago when I said to him “Congratulation Buddy” and that night I saw him drunk.
“I didn’t pass the probation period,” his voice became soft and deep.

His boss thought, he was not the right man for the position.

***

One week later, Ron sent me a message to my cellular phone.
“I am starting a fresh tea business. I am trying to be a distributor.”

I tried not to imagine his would be parents-in-law, his girlfriend Win, and their type 72 house.

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