Things to Pay Attention to in Cross-Cultural Communication

Communication is an intermediary to build good relationships with other people. However, to achieve the communication goals, we should pay attention to dos and don’ts in communication with people from different socio-cultural backgrounds. It is because something that has a good connotation in our culture does not necessarily have a good meaning in other cultures. Therefore, the following are the things to pay attention to in communicating across cultures.



In Indonesia, we usually begin a conversation by asking about personal things such as work, school, family, etc. It is acceptable in some other Asian cultures, but we shouldn’t do it when communicating with people with straightforward cultures like France, the United States, etc.


Another example is that we often post photos of friends to congratulate on social media, and the person mentioned feels the need to repost it. However, taking photos and posting them without the person’s permission can be considered an invasion of privacy for people from more individualistic cultures. In cross-cultural interactions, we should strive to understand the privacy limits of people from other cultures.


Cultural and Political Awareness

“Where are you from?” is a question we often ask to open a conversation. However, when we visit a country with a large number of immigrants, such as the United States, this question can offend Asian descent there. Many of them have lived for a long time and become citizens of the United States. Hence, asking this question seems to doubt their nationality and contains stereotypes.


In addition, talking about political issues from one’s country can offend a person, for example: asking a friend from Taiwan whether Taiwan should be independent or part of the People’s Republic of China; or talking about the relationship between North and South Korea with a South Korean citizen who comes to our event.


Personal Space

Personal space limits how close someone can be around us without causing discomfort. Personal space is usually influenced by culture, the closeness of relationships, age, gender, to religion. For example, Indonesians generally have less personal space due to crowded public areas, such as in public transportation. It doesn’t matter when we enter other people’s personal space; we just apologize, then it will be clear. In contrast to Australians who are used to keeping one arm’s distance when communicating with other people, it depends on how close and good the relationship is.


Another example, British people often give a lot of personal space; they even feel uncomfortable if someone sits or stands close to them when there is other space available. Similarly, Spaniards maintain a distance of about half a meter from each other, but most men are less protective of their personal space, and women are more comfortable with closeness.


Physical Touch

Not all countries have the same culture of physical contact. Some areas consider it something that should be avoided, especially for new people. It is because physical touch is a sign of closeness or depth of affection between one another.


For example, in France, physical touch during communication is legal and is considered affection. However, physical touch is greatly minimized in Japan, unless it is unavoidable in public places.


Gesture and Body Language

We must pay attention to gestures and body language when communicating with others. It could be that the body language that we think is good may not necessarily have the same meaning elsewhere. For example, making a sign by sticking the thumb and forefinger, we usually know as a sign of okay, good, and right. However, this sign can be misunderstood when we use it in Germany. Whereas in Russia and Brazil, this symbol has a bad connotation and is very disrespectful.


Generalizations as in the examples above are used as insights only, do not use them to create stereotypes. The best use of generalizations is to add them into knowledge to understand better and appreciate other fascinating and multifaceted human beings.


Indonesian Food Names from Foreign Languages

Colonialism that occurred in Indonesia had an impact on the Indonesian vocabulary. Some words in Indonesian come from English, Dutch, Mandarin and Portuguese. These several countries have colonized and settled in Indonesia for a certain period, so they provide some foreign words adapted in Indonesian.

One of the adapted word categories is found in Indonesian food names. Even the food was brought by foreigners and assimilated as local food. So what are the names of Indonesian food that originally come from foreign languages?

Here are some Indonesian foods whose names are adopted from foreign languages.


  1. Bakpia

Bakpia is a food that developed in Yogyakarta and has become one of the specialties of this area. Historically, Bakpia is a food originally from China brought by Chinese immigrants in the early decades of the 20th century. The name Bakpia comes from the Chinese Hokkien dialect, from the words “bak” which means meat, and “pia” which means cake. That implies Bakpia as a cake with meat in it. Over time, the stuffing of bakpia was adapted to Indonesian culture by replacing the contents with green beans.


  1. Siomay

The name siomay comes from Mandarin “shaomai.” In Cantonese, it is called “siu maai,” while it is known as “shaomai” in the Beijing dialect. Initially, Siomay used minced pork as the main ingredient and wrapped it with thin wheat flour. In Indonesia, Siomay is generally made with mackerel or chicken as the main ingredient and served with peanut sauce. It was popular in the Bandung area, so it’s not surprising that many Somay traders claim the “Siomay Bandung” name.


  1. Perkedel

Perkedel’s name comes from the Dutch language “frikadel or frikadeller”. This food was brought by the Dutch when they colonized Indonesia. At first, the ingredients for making Perkedel were minced meat and then fried. While in Indonesia, it was made from potatoes and spices as the main ingredients.


  1. Bistik

Bistik or more popularly called steak is a culinary product resulting from the assimilation of Western and Indonesian cultures. The entry of steak into Indonesia cannot be separated from the colonizers who brought their regional food to Indonesia. The name Bistik is adopted from “Beef Steak” in English, or “Biefstuk” in Dutch which means cow meat. Bistik is usually served with potatoes, peas, and carrots as a compliment.


  1. Nasi Tim

Nasi Tim is a Chinese-Indonesian acculturated food. However, the Tim name comes from the English word “steam” which means “steamed.” Therefore, Nasi Tim is steamed rice combined with savory seasoned chicken. The Chinese community believed that Nasi Tim served warm can give warmth and restore one’s health.


  1. Lumpia

This traditional snack is an acculturation between Javanese and Chinese culture that has existed for a long time. The name Lumpia comes from Mandarin “lun or lum” which means soft, and “pia” which means cake. Although Lumpia comes from Chinese culture, the taste has been modified according to the Indonesian taste. In addition, since 2014, Lumpia has been officially recognized as an Indonesian cultural heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).


  1. Bakso

Bakso was brought by Chinese who came to Indonesia. The origin term of Bakso consists of two syllables, “Bak” which means pork and “So” which means gravy. Literally, in Hokkien Bak-So means “ground meat”. It implies that Bakso is ground pork served with gravy. The Bakso ingredient in Indonesia is meat (cow, chicken, or fish). It is different from the original recipe where pork is the main ingredient.


  1. Tahu

Tahu was brought to Indonesia by the Chinese in the 10th century AD. The name Tahu comes from the Mandarin “tao-hu or teu-hu”, where tao/teu means soybeans and hu means crushed into porridge. Thus, tofu is a food made from mashed soybeans as a porridge texture.


  1. Cincau

The term “Cincau” comes from the Hokkien dialect “sinchau” (Chinese: , pinyin: xiancao), which is pronounced among the Chinese in Southeast Asia. On the other hand, Cincau is a type of plant that is used to make jelly. It is helpful in reducing sore throat or fever.


  1. Permen

The name permen (Indonesian) comes from the Dutch word “papermunt”. It is undeniable that all people will love candy because it tastes good and easy to find, both in traditional markets and supermarkets.


  1. Sosis

The original name of sausage comes from Latin “Saisus”, which means salted. Then this word was adopted by the British, and America became “sausage”. However, our community has become familiar with this food since the Dutch came to Indonesia with “sausaij”. Whilst, Indonesian tongue is difficult to pronounce correctly. Therefore, the name “sosis” was used by our community to call sausaij.


  1. Bolu

This term was adopted from Portuguese “bolo rei”, which means “bread”. In the 16th century, the Portuguese arrived in Indonesia to get spices, and they brought a sweet and soft food known as “bolu”. It is made from flour, sugar and eggs, generally cooked by baking in the oven or steamed.


  1. Bakmi

The name bakmi comes from the Chinese Hokkien dialect “Bak” means meat, while “Mi is” from pinyin Mian (pronounced myen) means noodle. Therefore, bakmi is a term for serving noodles with meat. In Chinese culture, noodles are a symbol of long life, that’s why the Chinese have a tradition of eating noodles during birthday celebrations and Chinese New Year.


  1. Semur

Semur is one of the Indonesian foods from the Dutch cultural heritage. The term semur comes from the Dutch “smoor” which means stew, or “smoren” which means boil. At the origin, semur is boiled meat with tomatoes and onions as a compliment. Meanwhile, in Indonesia, semur is made not only from meat but also from chicken and jengkol.


  1. Nastar

Nastar’s name comes from the Dutch word “annanas taart”, which means pineapple tart. Initially this cake used strawberry jam, peaches, or other popular fruits in European countries. However, in Indonesia, the contents of this cake are replaced with pineapple, which is relatively cheap and easier to obtain.

Those are some Indonesian foods that come from foreign languages or acculturation from other countries’ foods.



The use of language (formal or informal) depends on the situation and conditions in which we stand. Formal language is more common when we write; informal language is more common when we speak in situations that involve people we know well.

We are usually taught English in a formal form in school, but it turns out that some informal patterns are important to know because they are often used in everyday casual conversation. It seemed more friendly and relaxed for each speaker in certain situations.

As in everyday parlance in the United States, people are quite happy to do things “real quick.” In casual conversation, American English speakers often use adjective forms in adverb places. Lots of them may drop the -ly from the adverbs and genuinely use adjective forms to modify verbs. A very common example is in the use of ‘real’ as in “Let’s get some snack real quick” instead of “Let’s get some snack really quickly.”

Another examples of how Americans use adverbs in an informal situation are represent as follows:

  1. Today is going slowly >          Today is going slow
  2. Drive safely                 >          Drive safe
  3. Take it easily               >          Take it easy
  4. Doing well                   >          Doing good

Americans generally do not go with this pattern in writing and formal conversation. Instead, they use the -ly ending, or for example the word “good” in casual conversation will become “well” in formal cases. These patterns are not particular slang or impolite words, and you can even hear some people use them at work, job fairs, or any other situation (informal).

Grammatical patterns in conversation do not always match the patterns used in formal writing or speech, but it is more flexible in casual speaking. Understanding this will help us understand Americans when they speak, and it will help us get along well with them.

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

Annisa Bunga Maharani

(Top 10 Short Stories English Language Fiesta 2021)


Have you ever heard about beat around the bush? It means, we tend to avoid saying what we mean, usually because it is uncomfortable to be said. Perhaps, I was the embodiment of that idioms. I constantly ignore my own feelings and every responsibility that faces me every single day. Something died inside of me since that day, where I couldn’t see the shoulder of my dad, again. Where my mom couldn’t get up from her bed, and the moment where I held her cold hands… my sight suddenly change… into monochrome. Tears won’t fell out, my screams got leaked on my throat and say nothing but silence. Everything suddenly tears apart, leaving me behind with my own shadows. I got flashbacks for a moment, and then suddenly realized that I was in school, waiting for our first math teacher to come into our class.

“I abandoned our today’s math homework.” Says me, staring right into my friend’s eyes, Ken. He glances at me before throwing a heavy book on top of my table, and then continued to say, “Here, you can look at mine, then.”

I got startled when the book drops and leave a huge sound on it. He stares at my eyes, leaving a cold mark before cutting his eye contact with me, and says, “I know, it must be difficult for you since your dad leaves you alone with your mom who nearly died.”

Silence suddenly wrap our conversation. I can see the awkwardness slowly appears in his stares. “Ali…” he suddenly calls my name before miserably staring at me, “You know… it’s already three weeks since I don’t see your smiles again.”

No, not again. I hate that stares. I don’t want to look pathetic in front of my friend, cause it hurts. So I smiled, and nod at him before saying, “If you only wanted me to smile, then you can say so. I can smile for you without hearing an old classic story like that.”

After that, a massive panic was obviously written on his face. But I smiled, deeply, sarcastically. Stares at him for a while, “It’s obviously easy for me to smile when I feel nothing and saw nothing about my future,” says me. He knows it was a sarcastic sentence, but he says nothing about it.

We didn’t talk until our school rings its last bells. But I regret nothing, especially when he brave enough for having the audacity to bring a sensitive story like that. It was a huge disappointment for me when I already struggled enough to forget my unwanted past.

It was silenced, many students already go home but I still have to stay kind of long because of my late assignments. I didn’t pay attention enough when I was walking in the corridor hallway, so I bumped somebody in front of me. It was a girl. A mole below her eyes, and her hands busy enough to fix her wheelchair that fell into the floor. That girl… reminds me a lot of my… mom. She even has the same short hair like my mom. I wanted to help her, but.. she really triggers me with something I don’t wanna remember with.

“If you clashed with someone, it would be appropriate for you to help the person that you clashed with.” Crap, she is nagging me. I got my realization back in the moment where she starts to say a word. My hands suddenly moved and help her wheelchair back into the first place before she bumped with me. Without saying any word, she stares at my eyes, triggers some of my memories until I got chills and turn my face away. “Do I know you?” asked her, speaking softly. But I shake my head instead.


She is squinting her eyes at me. “You look at me as if I was a monster or something like that.” She sniffs for a while, probably got offended due to my previous stares. I feel uncomfortable, so I turn my head away before walking away from her. But she suddenly grabs my hands, “I don’t know what’s your name or anything about you, but if you have any problem, you should face it instead of avoiding it. It was a coward response to handle your own problems like that.”

I’m freezing. My hands started to feel cold and my heart bumped faster than before. It feels like I got hit by a hammer right in the middle of my head. It was a perfect storm for me to explode and unleashed my hidden feelings, especially anger. But surprisingly… I got slapped by her words, then I froze again.

“Oh, so I was right, huh.” She smirks at me. “I may look weak because of this wheelchair, but I have a strong will to live. You looked like you have a massive sadness in your thoughts. All I can say is, although we’re just a stranger, I can’t bear the feelings to ignore a depressed person like you. You deserved to be happy. Cause your past doesn’t need you anymore, but your future does.”

Then she leaves, right after hitting the nail on the head. Her shoulder slowly disappeared her hair blend with the darkness at the end of the hallway. The sounds of her wheelchair slowly turned into silenced and got replaced with the rain noises. This is it, my moment of realization.

I lost both of my parents, ignore my responsibilities, hurting my only one friend. I… started to lost my own future. Is it the end? Should I continue? Is there any second chance for me?

“I heard it.”

It was Ken’s voice. He’s here, listening to my conversation with the girl since the beginning. I gulped, slowly turning back my head and stares at Ken’s eyes. He’s right behind me, watching me stares at the floor with blank eyes. He knows my emptiness. He knows it all.

“Do you think… I’m gonna leave you like that? I’m not that evil, Ali.” he started to open the conversation again. As if he’s trying to unlock the prison of my misery. He’s trying to help me… but I always denied it. I only stare at him and say nothing, tears slowly falling into my cheeks, eyes turned as red as tomatoes, and voice crack fully wrapped my throat. He started to hug me like the first time I got hit by a volleyball on my face, he comforted me like the usual day. He is never changed, but I’am.

“It’s okay to cry, you deserve it. I prefer to see you cry, rather than a fake smile. Stop making me worried…” he said, with a little crack in his voice. I only cry and say nothing.

Something… change inside of me since that day. The moment where I fully realized, every cloud has a silver lining. I may not know what could happen in the future, nobody knows what the future holds anyway. But at least I know… that I still have a loyal person beside me until this time. I still have a chance and a hope to hold. I only focused on the monochrome and dark things that already happened to me, when colorful and so many beautiful things already waiting for me in the future.

A Plastic Bag Of Fish

Sindu Wanata

(Top 10 Short Stories English Language Fiesta 2021)


In a village there lived a fisherman named Asep. Asep lives in a simple and small house with his wife and child. Every night, after Isya prayer, Asep goes to sea to look for fish, then returns home before subuh’s call to prayer. Asep is a good and generous fisherman. He was diligent in worship and never left the congregational prayer in the mosque, even the sunnah prayers he did regularly.

After returning from fishing, if the catch is more than enough, Asep always sets aside some fish to be distributed to people who are in trouble or less fortunate. Asep put the fish in a plastic bag and hung it on the door of a poor villagers house. He did it because he felt pity for the poor. This Asep did when the villagers were still asleep, so the villagers who got the plastic bag containing the fish were confused, because they didn’t know who distributed the fish.

Villagers that got plastic bags filled with fish secretly gathered in one of the villagers’ houses, out of curiosity about the incident. then one of them proposes to do night patrol. After a long discussion, they agreed to take turns daily night patrols for men starting at 23:00 PM and stopping at subuh’s call to prayer.

On the first day of the night patrol, the villagers had not found anyone distributing plastic bags containing fish. Because at that time Asep was seriously ill so he could not find fish in the sea. for several days, the asep did not heal. Villagers who carry out patrols are almost desperate, because they can’t find the person they are looking for, and no one else distributes fish to villagers.

A few days later, Asep who had recovered from his illness decided to go back to fishing in the sea and he caught a lot of fish that day, so he could share some of his fish to the villagers. Villagers who had felt desperate and almost stopped to do night patrols, finally that night they managed to find the person who distributed fish to the villagers. At 03.30 am the villagers saw someone hanging a plastic bag on the door of one of the villagers’ houses. Villagers immediately approached the person, they were surprised that the person who had been distributing plastic bags filled with fish was Asep. Villagers are surprised because to their knowledge Asep is a poor person and not a rich person.

Asep who was distributing fish was surprised by the arrival of the villagers, who turned out to be doing night patrols. Then the villagers asked Asep, why did Asep do this. Then Asep replied, “I distributed the fish because I felt pity for the villagers who did not have enough money to buy fish. Then one of the villagers asked, “Doesn’t your life also lack?” Then Asep replied “Fellow human beings we should share with each other under any conditions.” After hearing Asep’s explanation, the villagers were amazed and then hugged him and thanked Asep for having distributed fish for free.

The next day, news of Asep’s generosity and kindness had spread. After hearing the news, Pak Heru, who is one of the rich people in Asep’s village and owns several restaurants in the city, immediately went to Asep’s residence and offered to cooperate with him. Pak Heru asked Asep to be one of the fish suppliers in his restaurant. then Asep gladly accepted the offer of cooperation from Mr. Heru.

Since then Asep’s life began to change. His income is increasing every week and his economic life is improving. Asep even opens up job opportunities for villagers who don’t have jobs and are in trouble. Asep also provides free food for villagers every Friday.



School                   :

Woman Behind the Cell

Btari Edlyana L

(Top 10 Short Stories English Language Fiesta 2021)


*This is a work of fiction. Names, events, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination. Any

resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

“There they are! Catch them! The Mr. and Mrs. Thief.”

Slam! “You’re under arrest!”

“By committing heinous crimes, theft and taking a life they shall be given the appropriate punishment. Execution will be done tomorrow night. This will be the end of today’s court.”

Clank! Cell door closed. March 26th, is the very day that the famous thieves ‘Mr. and Mrs. Thief’s’ crimes have come to an end. As well as their cell that will witness their last moment before being executed. After being locked in the prison, Mrs. Thief who’s standing in the room looks around, only to find that she’s alone. The couple was placed in different cells for men and women, most likely somewhere quite far from each other. The only person she can find is the guard outside of the cell. She sits down on the ground slowly.

Mrs… Thief? Is that what they call me now? Is that supposed to be my real name? No.. I-i don’t

think so…

Then what is it?


The poor woman is trying to figure her name out. Flashback starts filling her head to find the answer. Starting when she was just a village girl who was born in a humble family. A girl with big ambition. The girl yearned for knowledge, she even worked as a maid to pay the academy bills. Happiness is what she remembers even though life wasn’t easy and tiring. She was happy… Not until her parents arranged her to a marriage on her thirteenth birthday.

Thump! Thump! The sound of her fast heartbeat echoes in her ear as she remembers a painful memory where her dream was ruined and ended right there and then. The marriage.. She knew

nothing about it and the next thing she realized was that she had been separated from her parents in a foreign place with an unknown person. It was her new home and husband.

He was a man of a few words, he wasn’t that loving of a person. He always calls her with ‘hey, you, or wife’. Never with her name for some reason. But she was fine with it, and he didn’t do anything by force and always asked for her concerns. It was normal, he went to work and she did house chores like how it should be. They had everything they needed.

So why did we start stealing?


Bankruptcy is the biggest cause. Her husband was a businessman, but he got scammed by his people. Failed by an attempt to revive his business, all their capital began to run out and they fell into poverty to the point where they won’t be able to eat for 2 days straight. Finding a job with a big amount of money wasn’t an easy matter for those who weren’t highly educated. There were debts to pay.

This is the starting point of their crimes. Her husband was the first to steal, she caught him. But instead of stopping him, she started helping him cover the tracks instead. She knew that they had reasons, so it’s okay. It was for the better. Little by little they grew greedy and because of their reliable plan, they began to steal with larger amounts. They were uncatchable and living a fun and adrenaline free life for six years known as ‘Mr. and Mrs. Thief’ among people. Unfortunately they are only allowed to live that life for six years. They were caught when they accidentally took the life of a person who was trying to fight back.

And here I am…


“Pfft.. pfft.. AHAHAHAHA!!” She laughed loudly. “Guess nobody really does know what the future holds.” She lowers her gaze to scribbled papers around her. The results of the papers and pen she requested yesterday and proof that she didn’t sleep a wink.

If that day they didn’t sell me! If that day I stayed for the academy! If, if that day i didn’t marry

him… would my life not end like this?


…Ha, why would I ask such an obvious question. Of course it would. But what’s the use of regrets now.


She stands up and brushes her short hair with her hands. Clean and straighten her clothes. For the last time, she at least wants to look good in front of her husband. “Mrs. Florent.” the guard

gives her a blindfold. “You have the right to wear it or not, the same for your husband. Your choice.” the guard explained. “Yes…” she faintly smiles .

“Let’s go.” The guard leads her.

Tap… tap… tap… their footsteps echoes as they walk to the punishment room. The hallway is cold and dark, like it has no end. She stays silent until she arrives at the door. She takes a deep breath to relax before entering. This is it.


Creaaakk… doors open. She can see her husband enter from another side of the room, no blindfold in both of them. A few steps they take and at last they meet under the moonlight that enters from the big gap in the wall. They look at each other for a while and smile at each other even though it’s a hard thing to do.

“Acacia…” her eyes widened and shocked to know the fact that her husband calls her by her name.

“So you do know my name, Erick.. Or should I say, Mr. Thief?” She smirks then looks down… by a few minutes later she jumps up to hug him. Her tears falling, he can feel her body trembling in his hug.

He takes out a blindfold and places it on her eyes. Yes, he had predicted that his stubborn wife wouldn’t be wearing a blindfold so he brought one for her. “In three…” he closes her ears. “two…” her sight is dark, she can’t see a thing nor hear anything. But there’s warmth she feels on her forehead. A goodbye kiss it is, she places her hand on his and calmly closes her eyes. “I love you…” “One! Fire!”




| Acaia Florent (1946-1965) |

Erick Florent (1941-1965)

“A letter has been found in the wife’s cell.” says one of the guards. “What does it say?”

We are wrong, I know that since we started our first evil deed. I was greedy for not stopping him and helped him instead. No matter what the reason, it is not justifiable for someone to commit a crime. One deserves what they did. The one who will survive is the one who wants to rise, and unfortunately we are not one of them.

Acacia Florent, 1965. The end.

This story is made to discuss Indonesian problems regarding the common practice of underage marriage in Indonesia. Based on data from SUSENAS on Child Marriage in 2018, it was estimated that 1,220,900 girls married before the age of 18, placing Indonesia in eighth place with the highest number of child marriages in the world. And almost all of them who are married dropout of school.

Education is important. Without it, it can be di cult for someone to distinguish between right and wrong and might lead to crime. The story above is just a representation of what might happen. But the reality can be even worse. Wise readers will not imitate the scene above.



Millati Hanifa

(Top 10 Short Stories English Language Fiesta 2021)


Luna let out a long breath. She’s wondering how long she has been treated like this, like an animal. She wanted to get along with her friend, but the fact was not like what she expects.

Another paper landed on her hair, which truthfully hurt her inside. She couldn’t believe anyone in this school. Not anymore.  She thought everyone was the same, they’re mean. She tried to ignore them, but she couldn’t stop tears from flowing from her emerald eyes. She wiped her tears roughly.

“Ha-ha! Look! She is crying! So pathetic!” Shout one of her bullies. Luna wanted to get up and punched her bully right on their face. But she got nobody to protect her and she didn’t want the situation to get worst, so she just silently crying, not doing anything.

The first bell of break finally rang, Luna quickly stood up from her seat and ran to the rooftop. When she finally reached the rooftop of her school, the sky greeted her with nice, warm sun and cloudy blue sky. Sweat covered her milky, reddened face.  She leaned her back on the wall behind her to rest herself. She crouched down, buried her face between her knees. Tears flowing again from her eyes, she’s silently sobbing.

“I’m tired…” Luna spoke to herself.

Luna kept crying in her silence. Nobody was around, no one comforting her. She’s on her own, but after a while of crying, she finally felt better. She tried to give herself another spirit and telling herself that everything will be okay.

The sky is somehow getting cloudier, so Luna decided to go back inside her school building. She lost in her thoughts when walking back to her classroom, accidentally bumped into someone. Luna and that person startled at each other and fell to the ground. Luna winced in pain. But that person suddenly stood up without helping Luna. Luna stood up by herself, cleaned her skirt from dust.

Time goes by, the sky is getting redder, the sun started to hide its shine. The bell rang for the last time before all students rushed outside, including Luna. Her hair shined with the sunset’s shine; the breeze made her hair flow beautifully. Luna walked alone on her way home, carrying her little backpack.

“I’m home,” Luna said in a low tone, knocking on the front door, waiting for the door to get opened.

“This late? You come home this late?! What makes you come home this late?!”

The yelling again! Luna just bit her bottom lip. She didn’t dare to say anything, especially to her father who seemed to be drunk.

“I’m sorry, the bus was too crowded,” Luna said as she walked into her house. She hasn’t finished her sentence, when a slap flew right on her left cheek, leaving her shocked and whined in pain, silently.

“You ungrateful kid! Go to your damn room! You’re such a burden to this family!”

Luna shook her head, rushing to her room, slamming the door hard, and locked the door. She threw herself on the bed, burying her face on her favorite fluffy human-size fox doll.

She eventually calmed down after she cried. she looked outside from the window in her room, seeing some water drops through the glass. it rained heavily, soaking up her city. Luna raised her head, her face looked disheveled, her eyes slightly swollen. She felt tired crying, so she decided to sleep, not wanting to eat anything before she fell into a deep slumber.

The sound of alarm rang made Luna stretching her body, rubbing her sleepy and swollen eyes before she got up from the bed and decided to take a quick bath and walked since today was her day off from school. She wore her yellow hoodie. It was a nice afternoon, a peaceful day for a walk at the park, at least it was what she thought. But unfortunately, she saw a girl was about to jump off the bridge. Luna couldn’t help but slowly approach the girl who was at the bridge, panic painted on her face. She couldn’t do anything but screamed from a distance to stop her.

“Hey! Don’t do it please.” The girl looked at Luna, her eyes are dull, with no shine or sign of life there. Luna stopped for a moment before stepping closer. Luna stared at the girl’s face, she looked lifeless. The girl slowly turned around to Luna giving a ‘why?’ expression. Luna smiled, tried to encourage the girl. The girl thinly smiled back at Luna, then start to tell Luna all her woes. Luna listened to the girl attentively and tried to give support to whatever the girl said.

“I feel better now. Thank you for listening to my story.” Said the girl as she walked away from Luna. Her silhouette began to disappear with the distance. Luna let out a long sigh. She wiped the sweat away from her face. She’s glad that the girl felt better but somehow, Luna herself didn’t feel better at all. Luna put her chin on her palm, watched some birds flew past her. Her hair flowed following where the breeze going. The sky is turning blue, no white fluffy cloud covered the sun’s shine and the cicadas start buzzing their sounds. Luna having a thought to stay on the bridge for another moment to relax.

Arriving at home, she saw her household in a total mess, and Luna was the one who had to keep do all of the households.

Another day greeted Luna.  She’s the first one who arrived at the school. She inhaled, hoping no one will disturb her today. She decided to put her bag in the classroom and chilling on the rooftop while waiting for the first alarm to rang. When she arrived at the rooftop, she saw a person who about to jump from the rooftop. She screamed towards that mysterious person. The person turned around and saw Luna.

As soon the person stared at Luna, Luna pulled the person from the rooftop cliff, told the person to sit and calm. Long brown hair covered that person’s face. Luna sat beside her, and that person started telling her story, what thing she’s been through.

“I feel better after telling you this.” the long-haired girl stood up, removing some dust from her skirt, and left Luna alone on the rooftop. Luna sighed. She saved another person’s life, but she couldn’t save herself, and nobody wanted to do it for her.

Since that day, Luna always at least saw one person about to do the same stupid thing, and she was there to listen and be a shoulder for them.

That day, it happened again. A boy stood up on the edge of the rooftop. Tried to end his life. Luna tried to give her support like she usually did, but it’s not working somehow. When the person was getting closer to their death, Luna panicked but mentally tired. Her eyes were tearing and said, “If you want to go then go on! Your pitiful expression is just too much for me!” as Luna fell to her knees.

Surprisingly, that person started to step back and calmly said, “Maybe today is just not my day.”. The boy walked to the door and left the surprised Luna alone on the rooftop.

The sky began becoming red, the sun started to set down from the sky, the birds flew back to their nest. Luna walked toward the bridge, the place where she saw a girl tried to end her life before.

Luna looked down from the bridge. She seemed to hear the deep river calling her name to jump down, and was somehow hypnotized by it. Luna climbed up the barrier, still looking down on the deep river below her.

“I’m gonna jump now and be free.”

As Luna about to jump down, the surrounding became like slow-motion, someone grabbed Luna by her hand. Luna turned around, her eyes widened, but it was all too late! That person who grabbed Luna by her hand couldn’t pull her up. Her body was slowly falling to the lake. Before she drowned in the lake, she saw a vision of her late grandmother, offering her a hand.  Luna brightened up and took the offer. She slowly closed her both eyes, smiling painted on her face.

Several days later, Luna opened her eyes, finding that she’s in white room. Her wrist was injected by infusion and her right hand was held by her big sister who felt asleep beside her bed.

“I’m still alive…? Or is it all just a dream?”

Its not a dream.




Hi, you’ve reached the end of the story, now its time for you to meet the writer, my name is Millati Hanifa Putri, I schooled in SMAN 1 Temon, my hobby is drawing and listening to music, as you know my point of writing this story is to remind you how dangerous if mental health not taken seriously☺


Renhard Sebastian

 (Top 10 Short Stories English Language Fiesta 2021)


“Foyth…”. The voice that keeps calling his name. that voice tingles in his ears from left to right whoosh… the wind howls towards him, gentle but strong. The voice itself is quite soothing, the more he hears it gives him warmth and comfort. “Should I open my eyes? Maybe I could give it a try….”. His body felt swayed like a falling snow.

Maybe not now, the grass somehow feels fluffy,”.

“Foyth, wake up”. His eyes slowly open and reveal a figure standing in front of him as he’s lying under the lush tree. Their eyes met, an almond shaped pair of grey eyes, sleepy yet sparkling.

“ah, you’re finally awake, Foyth”. A gentle smile carved on her face. He grunts and reaches for his head.

She chuckled. “that sleep must have been messing up your head a bit, eh?”. She gave me her hand and helped him stand up from the ground. “we better get going before sunset.”

“going where?”. She raises her small backpack from the ground. “Just have a little walk, you wouldn’t mind right?”. She reached into her backpack and gave me a bottle of water. “Here, this might freshen your head”. She stepped away from under the shady tree, walking alongside a breeze that howled her raincoat.

He followed behind her, He moved against the swaying grass as he tried to reach out to her whilst looking at both of his palms that had a few grass on it. As the sun beamed above the light blue sky, he tried to trigger a glimpse of memory that resembled her.

“Hey Foyth… you forgot your little friend there”. She points back towards a camera that’s dangled on that same tree branch.

They stumble upon a hill that leads to a barrier to an abandoned highway with wild plants growing even in such tiny spaces such as cracked roadways. Buzzing road lights sparkling under the broad daylight.

She leans her body forward, gazing towards the light blue sky whilst keeping her hands in her pocket, as a gust of wind howls towards them swaying her hood in the process. she raises her hand revealing a twinkling necklace on her grasp.

Looking back into the far-away meadows made out as a greenish-brown background with a hazy sky up above. Even so, the tree remains there as the centre. The silence seems absolute.

The camera strap compressed with his neck as he weighed up his camera. as he panned his camera onto that tree. A small beep, followed with a blinding lighting flash.

Once the scenery of the dancing grass on a small field changes to a little town, a quiet little town surrounded by small grassy hills on the north covered by the clouds, the noon-zephyr blows from the twitter hills. Two small-billed birds chirped from the distance and began to fly towards the blue sky.

She leaned her body forward on the highway barrier, Foyth stood beside her and did the same thing. Her eyes are wide open at the same time she takes deep breaths, a smile resembling a reminisce on her face.

“It’s really peaceful here, isn’t it?” “yeah…it is”

“this kind of feeling… is this what home feels like?”

A quiet playground under the broad sunlight in front of them, the rustling leaves branches. A pair of dusty wooden swings, one was dangling from side-to-side, “maybe…”

She picked a sprig of phlox, a sprig of tricolor phlox tangling on the ground. She gazed towards the flower, and smiled for a brief moment.

“you don’t sound too sure…” the flower flees from her grasp. slowly swayed away down the hill.

“the word home is too contradicting to resemble that kind of feeling” “…”

From the far distance the sky began to rumble. The thunder whispers.

The dark sky comes in a view. The veil of leaves falls behind them. Tears began to relinquish from the sky, the raindrop splashed louder than the rustling leaves. Puddles formed and scattered on the roadway, reflecting the boundaries between the sky and the ground. A strong smell of the rain on dust appeared. Sounds of the vines fluctuated, revealing An umbrella rises above his head. Come on, says her eyes.

Puddles were splattered. They walked under the rain. For a brief moment Foyth glances to the dark sky, for no reason, he thinks.

“The sky seems relieved”


The rumbling rain extinguishes as they walk afar, the mossy stone brick structure sets a cold ambience between them. Flickering blue lights buzzing above their heads, Even so the darkness remains there. In each of every step they take reverberated the crackling concrete pathway.

“Interesting…”. Foyth glances towards her

“contradicting, huh?… what makes you see it that way?”. He tried to let his mind speak. But, the air suddenly felt heavy for him to breathe in, making his mind feel uneasy. leaving his words dangle on the tip of his tongue.

Silences approximate between them. only the same sounds remain to fill the emptiness. “if it’s about the bridge between your past and future. nobody could ever know,” She said That heavy feeling vanished.

A flower petals drop onto the ground. The last petal lay in the back of her boots. “You must be hungry after thinking about that, right?”.

“close your eyes,”. She said, He gave a puzzled look on his face. The necklace on her neck began to twinkle. the lights begin to flicker under their head. slowly the lights began to fade and dark voids were creeping closer.

The wind repels.

Whisper throughout his thought; His eyes slowly open vastly.

The sun sets on the horizon, as the sky’s painted red. Silhouette marks the sand and twittered cliff around it. The burbling waves are roaming, swaying into the ocean. Foyth was greeted with a cup of noodles in his grasp. A cup with nothing but plain noodles with pale yellow broth. And so the smell of curry flavored broth evaporates to the sky.

“It’s nothing like home cooked meals. But, hey it works,”. She softly smiled as she sat down beside him. The girl took off her pair of boots. Gently rolls off her socks.

Waves after waves sweep off the white sand off the shore. The pine trees dance alongside its own silhouette. Seagulls sings, march their way towards the sunset.

He took a slurp of the warm noodle.

this tastes better, somehow”. He thought. The warm broth formed a harmony for himself. He gazes towards the clouds. Passing by slowly in the red painted sky. He wrapped his hand around the cup. He let his thoughts speak.

“What if all of this was a dream? and I wake up in the middle of it” “something awaits you the end of the journey”

“What do you think about the sky?”

She gave a quick glance towards him. She leans back gazing towards the sky. She lightly smiled.

“it’s completely naïve”. He responded with a brief chuckle. As he was about to take the last bite. The girl stood from the ground. Sweep a spare sand off her coat. “It’s been quite a day, Foyth. but I’ve to go,” The word ‘thank you’ was said from the tip of her lips.

Foyth rose from the ground leaving the unfinished cup noodle on the ground and stood in front of her. “so… this is a goodbye then?”. She raised both of her shoulders, and with a faint smile on her face she said to him. “Let’s just say it’s a farewell… at least for now”.

“Could you do me a favor?”. she’s asks him to take a photo of her and the scenery that was bestowed upon them, ‘to commemorate the day’ she said it passionately with her soft voice. He willingly accepts her request.

She jogged towards the swaying waves. She took off her hood, as a gust of wind howled her medium frizzy hair. Foyth pointed his camera towards her, The girl stood far away in front of him gazing towards the sunset on the horizon.

His lenses began to zoom in, turning up his iso to lighten up the visuals. Slowly focusing his lenses onto her. “Farewell…” he said, and then the light flashes into the scenery.

Foyth was woken up by a leaf that fell onto his head. Usually, he always feels nauseous right after he wakes up, but this time it’s an exception for him. He gazed into the afternoon sky and felt the breeze passing through him.

A quick glance to his side, he saw an unfinished cup of noodle on the ground. Next to it, his camera was turned on. A recent photo on the display. Foyth took a closer look at that photo.

The painted sky with the sunset, with the ocean reflected the scenes of the horizon. Amidst the whole scene, A girl with a white colored raincoat stood there gazing towards the horizon. A letter beside him says;

“I’ll see you again, Foyth” ~Sora He lightly smiled in relief.

Time Loop

Zeva Mila Sabrina

(Top 10 Short Stories English Language Fiesta 2021)


I stretched my muscles. Working nonstop left me with no time to exercise. I got out of bed and took a shower. I was scheduled to get a vaccination at the village hall. My sister forced me to get vaccinated.

“Hey, Putri! Are you sleeping again?” my sister, Dewi, yelled at me as we drove to the village hall.

“No, I’m reading messages” I sighed, “my friends advised me not to get vaccinated. Why do you always force me? I’m in good condition. Nothing bad is going to happen to me”.

“Oh, my God. You’re still the same person. I hope one day you can start caring for yourself and the people around you” my sister grumbled, and increased the speed of the car.

“Okay, I’m sorry. This’s my bad. Get rid of that flat face. People can be afraid of you” I said as shifted in my seat. My back was hurt. It’s been an hour, but the vaccination hasn’t started yet. I blamed my sister for looking at the wrong schedule, so we got here way too early. I was getting bored. My sister went to look for food. I’m starting to feel sleepy again.

“Hi, are you sleepy?” a man’s voice surprised me. I immediately opened my eyes and sat straight. I saw a guy sitting beside me smiled at me.

“I’m Dito. And you?”


“Nice to meet you, Putri. Let’s have a chat. I’m a little bored. Is this your first vaccination?” asked Dito. I smiled a little and nodded.

“It’s the first time for me too. Hmm, I’m a little bit scared” Dito whispered slowly. He squeezed his palms.

“Yeah, I’m scared too, but my sister is here so I feel a little safer.” “How about you? Did you come with someone too?”

“No, I’m alone. My parents have died because of this damn virus.” His voice was shaky.

“I’m sorry to hear that. You know what? I go out of town a lot because of my job. Like 3 times a week, meet a lot of people, but I never exposed to corona.”

“Really? You should be very grateful for that. Very sad, my parents are even always 24 at home but they have to be gone. The world is so funny, then”, he laughed bitterly.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean like that.” I realized that I had hurt him.

Don’t worry” said Dito. His lips were smiling but he’s busy wiping the tears from his face. And at the same time, my name was called.

“Oh, they call me. Again, I’m really sorry.” I started walking away, still regretting my words.

I sat and saw the officers prepare a vaccine for my arm. I was still thinking about Dito so much, that I forgot the pain.


“Please calm down Sir, you’re getting hurt.” The table next to me was a mess. A man was being held by several officers. Blood running down his arm, most likely from a syringe stroke. “I told you all this all is a hoax! Everyone, don’t believe them, don’t want to be injected!” The man yelled to the people who were waiting in lines.

I was about to leave when suddenly an officer stopped me.

“Can you help me? Please buy me this medicine for the man. We didn’t bring the medicine like this.” I nodded hesitantly, but I still went to a pharmacy in front of the village hall.

The cold of the air conditioner and the smell of medicine greeted me as I entered the pharmacy.

“Hello, anybody here? I need something. I need medical gauze and plaster.”

“Oh, I’m here. Please check in the cupboard in the corner.” Someone responded from a different room. I walked towards the corner. I quickly saw a cupboard but its shape was a bit unusual. But since there’s only that thing in the corner. I opened it.

I was disappointed, it’s a door. I was going in anyway, hoping to find the cupboard. The atmosphere in the room was a little stuffy and dark. I was terrified. My mind drifted to a horror movie scene. I also felt someone was watching me. I started walking quickly, looking for the exit door, when suddenly a hand grabbed me from behind.

I screamed, run and hid under a table. Light suddenly flashed across the room.

 “W-who is that? P-plea-se don’t hurt m-me” I heard footsteps approaching, I was getting more scared. I kept praying, hoping that I can get out of this room.

“Hey!” I heard a soft voice of a girl. I tried to glance at her.

“Hey, don’t be scared. I’m not a ghost, I won’t hurt you. My name’s Anna, come here.” Even though her face was covered by a kind of protective clothes, I could still see her smile.

“I’m Putri. I’m looking for medicines. Someone got hurt while being vaccinated.” After calming down a bit, I started to explain my purpose here.

“Wait, vaccine? Do you mean the vaccine for corona?” Anna asked excitedly. I nodded confusedly seeing her reaction.

“Yeay! Finally, after all these years, I can take off these heavy clothes! I’m so happy! Oh, Mom. I have to tell her.” “When will the vaccine start? Where, and why the village head didn’t tell us huh?”

“Oh, you didn’t know yet? I think they hold the mass vaccination until the end of the month. By the way, what are those clothes? I never see it before. It reminds me of a medical officer’s uniform.”

“You did not know this? Everyone’s wearing it in the last 4 years” I was a little bit shocked to hear that. I’ve never seen anything like it before.

“Let’s go. We must see my mom. My mom will be glad to hear this good news” Anna pulled my hand. We run out of the room. And how surprised I am. I saw the chaos of the city. Damaged buildings, damaged roads, everything was broken. It’s like there’s been a massive demonstration and looting. Anna kept dragging me. On the way, I noticed that everyone was dressed in similar protective clothing. They stared at me, seeing that I was the only one who was not wearing it.

Suddenly I heard the sound of a siren which caused everyone to panic. Anna immediately pulled me tight. We stopped running to see a swarm like bees were spreading out in front of us. Anna tried to pull me back, but it turned out that they were also spreading from behind. We’re trapped. I still didn’t understand what was going on.

“Corona! Quickly get out of there!” My heart seemed to stop. I couldn’t move because my legs were so stiff. The red things were approaching and covering my entire body. Everything was blurry, and all I saw was red. Anna? I had no idea where she was.

The red color began to fade, and they gradually faded. Until I noticed Anna sprayed disinfectant all over my body. The reds were all dead.

“Thank God you are fine!” Anna hugged me.

“It’s a miracle! For four years no one has survived the corona attack, she isn’t even wearing protective clothing!” A woman exclaimed.

“Wait, is this possible? Putri, you’ve been vaccinated, haven’t you? Of course, the vaccine saves you!” Anna remarked. I was speechless, that’s true. I’ve had my vaccinations

“Putri? Is this you?” A man tapped my shoulder.

“Dito? Are you Dito who was vaccinated with me?” I asked to make sure. I still remembered his sad face.

“Yes, but I missed it. After you were called, I immediately left and never came back. Now it’s all ruined. I regret it.” My mind was spinning again. I muttered, “Am I stuck in a time loop and now I’m in the future?” Everything I saw confirmed that I was in the future. But everything appeared to be so messed up, so terrible.

“Putri! “Why are you so quiet?”

“Putri! Hey, can you hear me?”

“Huh, why?” I immediately turned my head but how surprised I am. I was back in the front yard of the village hall and saw Dito in front of me. “Are you bored because I tell you about my-”

“Dito! Please you have to take the vaccine! You have to! I turned my face and yelled at the people.” Please everyone, get your family and friends vaccinated! You will never regret this, believe me.” Dito looked surprises to hear me. Of course, I’ve had my shots. “Take a look at this,” Dito said, pointing to the injection marks.

I felt incredibly relieved. In my dream, Dito had not been vaccinated, whereas this Dito had. Hopefully, the future was not as bad as I had dreamed. But wait, did I fell asleep? Or was I thrown into the future? I never know.


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.


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.