Kaptain's Blog

The writings and musings of The Kaptain

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Through The Godless Hours (26)

’Pak Bambang had had no qualms, in fact, about the last concession he was forced to make in order to avoid matters spiralling even further out of control. After hearing out the elders without interrupting – despite their undisguised invectiveness – he concluded immediately that the situation had enough potential to seriously impact the continued success of his business. And this, he knew, was inextricably linked with the livelihood of its staff, the overwhelming majority of whom lived in the Kampung: loyal workers he would be placing in an impossible position had he done anything other than agree to the elders’ proposition. But even more important than this, Bambang wanted an instant but lasting solution that would rule out any possibility of future problems for his son. In short, he needed to bury the issue, and quickly. Ultimately, it was for this latter reason that he had submitted passively to all the demands set before him. In any event, whilst he classed himself a religious man, Bambang had never felt comfortable the with the rigid, sectarian syllabuses that were taught – instructed – within the walls of the type of institution the village elders proposed. He had instead always preferred to position his beliefs within the broader spectrum of faith taken as a whole. In his enlightened way, the old man had consequently been able to experience a fullness of life that few from his background were flexible enough to imagine.

And as regards the Kampung girl’s baby: well, it was quite simple. If the child were female then there was no issue. She and her mother would be supported and kept out of harm’s way, quietly surviving in the village, to follow destiny’s course whenever it chose to interfere. But if ’Pak Bambang happened to inherit a grandson – however illegitimate – then that was a different proposition altogether. Should that be the case, he would look over the boy like some guardian angel, forever present without making an appearance – never far away from lending an invisible hand when needed. And who gave a damn about their ‘academy’, anyway? But all of that was still a long way off. First he had to find, and then take immediate care of, his son…

Daman rose from the grass and shook his head, wiping away the tears while trying to think clearly. It was only a matter of seconds before he decided what to do. Following his instinct, he ran as fast as he could: not away from the problem, but towards it – in the direction of the village, and his love. Blinded by the shock of events that had unfolded, the young man sped past row after row of carefully planted oil palms, all neatly arrayed and of equal height, feeling no strain as he hurtled along the rough road that had been laid beside the plantation. Scrambling desperately up on top of the bank that ran alongside the paddy, he slipped once, then twice, in the mud before gaining sufficient purchase to propel himself forward and continue once more upon his way. Panting heavily, a fire now burning in his chest, he raced the final kilometre through the tall grass on the outskirts of the Kampung, coming to rest at last, bent double, as he emerged from its final, stinging swathe.

There had been no plan other than this simple sprint and, arriving at the dusty road that led into the village as dusk was just about to sweep its cloak over the sun, he discovered that there was not a soul about. But it was then that he saw the door of the car up ahead open, and the imposing figure of his father get out. Ten paces later he buried his face once more, this time into the old man’s broad chest, sobbing uncontrollably.

posted by Kirk at 5:45 am  

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress