Fatiha Nashwa Putri Hendryan
(Top 10 Short Stories English Language Fiesta 2021)
A little girl saw the blue sky with the wind that made her long hair move as if it had been dancing to the rhythm. Suddenly, a hand tapped her shoulder and broke the atmosphere.
“SHERAPOVA! WHY ARE YOU IN HERE? EVERYBODY HAS ALREADY BEEN WAITING
FOR YOU,” Nalesha screamed.
“Sha! Can you please calm down?” said Sherapova. “Just hurry up! The show is about to start!”
Jalu, Cakra, Nalesha, and Sherapova quit and focused on the show which was the interview with the most famous artist, Nadya Kusuma. That day, Garuda Senior High School (SHS) invited her as the speaker to teach the student about knowledge of art and can have the interest to become a person who had a profession related to art.
“Everyone, please welcome, Nadya Kusuma,” the MC shouted.
Every student stood up and gave applause to Nadya Kusuma. She had a bright aura that made people amaze her. At first, Nadya Kusuma explained some theories of her profession and some of her successful works of art that had been included in national and international art exhibitions.
When the presentation was over, it was time for Garuda SHS students to ask a question.
“Anyone wants to ask something to Ms. Nadya Kusuma?” the MC offered.
“My name is Sherapova, I want to ask about how can you be sure to be an artist?” Sherapova asked. “The key is doing what you like,” Nadya answered.
Sherapova had a lot of anxiety about herself, especially about her college. She was still not sure about being an artist, but a lot of people wanted her to take an art major at the University of Indonesia. At home, while she was watching television, suddenly she was interested in her father’s workspace. Her father was lost when he had an official visit abroad. Since that day, her mom told her that her father had already passed away, but she did not believe it at all. Her mom kept a lot of secrets from her and kept them in a room. She tried to open the door of the room, but it was locked. She had an idea to open the door with a bobby pin. She succeeded to open it and entered the room.
She could see a lot of books and files. She also saw her father’s photo on the table.
“I miss you so bad, dad. When will you be home?” she asked hopefully while dripping her tears.
Sherapova started to find various information about her father through the items in the room.
Looking at her father’s files, she just knew about her father’s job and what he actually did. Seeing his father trying to do justice even though he was criticized by certain people made her want to become like him instead of forcing herself to be an artist.
The next day at school, Sherapova would try to tell her friend about not entering art major at the University of Indonesia. Jalu, Cakra, Sherapova, and Nalesha had already made a promise to themselves to enter the same major and become successful artists in the future. Then, with a heavy heart, Sherapova had to break the promise she already made with her three friends.
“Nalesha, Jalu, Cakra, there is something I have to talk about with you, Guys,” Sherapova said. “I will not continue my dream as an artist, no matter what my mom will really hate it. I just want to do what I want, not others do.”
Instantly, the whole atmosphere changed. The facial expression changed as fast as lightning. “You break our promise, Sherapova,” Jalu said in a disappointed tone.
Cakra, Jalu, and Nalesha left Sherapova with disappointed expressions on their face. Sherapova felt guilty toward her friends. She went back home and tried to talk with her mom.
“Mom, I don’t want to be an artist. I want to become like dad,” Sherapova said. “Stop talking about your dad! He has already died!” Mom replied angrily.
“Your dad died because of his own fault and I don’t want you to follow him,” mom explained.
Sherapova called Nalesha and explained everything about her current condition and told Nalesha to persuade her two friends, Jalu and Chakra, to forgive Sherapova and help her. Finally, Nalesha managed to convince Cakra and Jalu to help Sherapova.
“Guys, I want you to help me find my father. I don’t have much information, but I’m sure we can find lots of clues in his office. About my mom, don’t let her find out.”
Sherapova, Nalesha, Cakra, and Jalu entered Sherapova’s father’s office slowly and carefully. The four of them began to rummage through the things in the room and tried to find clues that could lead
them to where Sherapova’s father was. While looking through the sheets of newspaper, Cakra found a newspaper that had been torn up untidy. When he read, it was written news about the owner of the Garuda Bangsa Foundation which was the Garuda High School Foundation.
“Sherapova, I think it can be an important clue,” Cakra said as he handed the piece of newspaper to Sherapova.
“Hey, I’ve found a savings book,” Nalesha said.
Sherapova took the passbook and checked page by page. There were many records of deposits made by the owner of the savings account. At first, she thought it belonged to her father, but seeing the huge amount of money, she was not sure about it.
“Krisando Natanda,” suddenly everyone in the room fell silent.
Kristando Natanda was a well-known name to all Garuda SHS students, the owner of the Garuda Bangsa Foundation, dubbed the founder of the best school in academic ability. It was related to the disappearance of a student’s parent at his school, strange but real.
Nalesha found a safe. She had an idea to open the safe hoping there would be more evidence they could find.
“Sherapova, what is your mother’s date of birth?” “19th, why, Sha?”
“It’s finally open!” Seeing Nalesha able to open the safe made her friends amazed.
They found a lot of files and important letters. Sherapova took out a folder and checked the sheets one by one. She also found the teacher’s contract and the head of the foundation which had suspicious points. They also found Kristando’s villa address in Sherapova’s dad’s journal.
“What should we do next, Sherapova?”
“We will go to Mr. Kristando’s villa. He is the only person we can suspect now,” Sherapova said, staring intently at her father’s photo.
Sherapova and her three friends had arrived at the villa.
“We share the task. Nalesha and Chakra, you have to search this villa to find files or suspicious things.
I’m going to find out where dad is because I’m sure he is in this villa.”
Meanwhile, Nalesha and Cakra were searching the cellar, looking for evidence they could gather. Cakra opened a dusty safe. There were many files grouped according to the names of Garuda SHS students. Thousands of leaked questions were also seen in the room, and even the ranking order was manipulated all this time by the school just to maintain the school’s accreditation. They suspected that was Kritando Natanda’s biggest secret that Sherapova’s father wanted to reveal, so he could be kidnapped here.
In search of Sherapova’s father, Jalu and Sherapova found a suspicious locked room. Sherapova saw from the keyhole there was a man lying on the floor. A face that was very familiar and she had not seen for a long time, “father,” she said briefly. With all their strength, Chakra and Jalu broke the door, then Sherapova ran and immediately hugged her father who was lying limp due to malnutrition.
“Sherapova, what are you doing here?” her father asked.
“I am here to free dad and expose all the crimes of Mr. Kristando.” “All parents are involved in this,” her father said.
Hearing the words of Sherapova’s father, the four of them were shocked and did not expect that all the parents of Garuda SHS students were involved in the problem. Sherapova’s dad gave a flash drive containing all evidence of the teaching contracts, scores manipulation data, and exam papers to send to the education office.
“If we report this, all your plans to enter a top university will most likely fail. Our school will be destroyed and tarnished.”
“That’s our risk. We’ve come so far and we can’t just be silent by looking at the rot in the school. Justice needs to be upheld, right, Sherapova,” they said.
From the story, we can take lessons from Sherapova and her friends that nobody knows what the future holds. Their initial desire to become an artist, so their parents deliberately sent them to Garuda School because the guaranteed grades, did not turn out as they had planned. They even risked giving up their dreams in order to uncover the truth about the manipulation of grades at their school. Telling the truth rather than thinking about personal interests is a noble thing after all.