By Ahmad Syakib
Translated by Muthia Esfand
October 29th has been circled in the calendar with red mark by the couple Rahmad and Sinta. Even two months before. It will be a special date for them because they will finally allow meeting their only son, Rino.
After graduated from elementary school, Rino decided to enter a pesantren in Tangerang. As the parent who never too far from their son, Rahmad and Sinta were worried, knowing that the distance between Riau and Tangerang was very far. Rahmad and Sinta can’t imagine going apart from Rino. Both of them tried hard to convince Rino, who was only 13th, for just entered another junior high school near home, whichever he chose. But, in the end, the spirit of Rino wanting to enter the pesantren melted his parent’s hearts.
Finally, Rino went to the pesantren he dreamed about in an area in Tangerang. The delivery day seems like a big day. The day before, the young couple held a thanksgiving party with all their big family. They prayed for all the goodness for their lovely son. Both of them sincerely released Rino with a little lump in the heart.
“The first visit will be held out three months after this,” the caretaker said when giving guidance to the santri’s parents. This rule is made so that new students do not always remember their families at home. In order for the adaptation process to take place quickly. And the next three months are October 29, 2018.
Sinta wears the best clothes that are often used during big events. Meanwhile, Rahmad appears normal with his casual style. They don’t forget to bring souvenirs for their only child. Meanwhile, far away in Tangerang, Rino also wanted to welcome his parents with special kind of way. There is no surprise to be prepared, no gifts wrapped in glossy paper, just the juz 30 from Al Quran that he will read to his parents. Since three o’clock in the morning, assisted by his roommate, he repeated the memorization so that it would be smooth when he read it in front of his parents. Nervous and enthusiast caught his mind.
The clock shows eight o’clock in the morning on October 29th when Rahmad and Sinta finally met with Rino. Both of them were amazed by the appearance of Rino wearing a colored robe and white peci. Sinta’s eyes were filled with tears that start to roll down. Not long after, those three were seen hugging each other.
“So, how’re the things going on? All is well?” Rahmad asked.
Rino just smiled lightly. He stuck out a small red-bound notebook that he had brought from the beginning of boarding school. The book contains Rino’s notes every day. Rahmad began to open it. He cried when he read the article entitled “Rindu”, the instincts of his fatherhood were touched. Rino told how the early weeks tortured him because he was far from parents. He didn’t know yet all the friends from his room. He always cried when he sleeps. While in the article entitled “Spirit” Rino tells how he struggled to wake up at three o’clock in the morning to start the day, also how the struggle to get in line for breakfast, until one moment when he ran out of rice so he ate only vegetables. As for the article entitled “Discipline” Rino wrote when he was sentenced to have to run around the buildings because of came late for morning shalat; he fell asleep in the bathroom. In the following weeks, Rino’s notes began to describe how he had been able to adapt to his new friend. The writing “Riuh” tells the story of Rino’s new friends who come from various regions with the regional culture that they bring. He tells of a friend from Makassar who uses the word ‘we’ for you.
Then Rino asked, “Mom and Dad, how about you two? Can you already forget me for a while?”
Rahmad and Sinta looked at each other, then smiled slightly while answering, “Thank, God. We make it.” In fact, which parents can just forget their flesh blood?
Then Rino read a number of surah in the juz 30th that he had memorized. Although he had prepared himself well, he occasionally forgot some. Within 15 minutes he had completed An-Nabaa and An-Naziat. When he about to recited Abasa’s, Rahmad suddenly hugged Rino, saying, “Insya Allah, Son. We believe in you…”
Without realizing it, teardrop began to run the river on Rino’s face. He never felt happiness like that, happy because he could make his parents little happy and proud.
After being satisfied to read Rino’s writings, Rahmad and Sinta took Rino out of the pesantren to go to a shopping center near the pesantren. Besides eating and buying Rino’s necessities, they also bought several reading books to accompany him in the room. All three laughed and were happy that day. Sinta and Rahmad didn’t want to go far from Rino. Even occasionally Rahmad leads Rino while walking. Rino initially refused, too embarassed to be led by his parents. But he finally let it go. He knew that both of them only missed him and wanted to spend time as if it was the last day they could mingle.
Rino also borrowed his father’s cellphone to log in to his social media account. On Instagram, he posted a photo using robe with a caption, “Who missed me? Raise your finger!” not long after that, he got some likes notification from his friends. Some commented “Ouch, ustad”; Andra, Rino classmate in elementary school did not miss giving a comment, “Sick, 30 juz already?”. He closed the social media activities that day with a comment, “Insya Allah, later this year I will take a long holiday. We will exchange the story, Guys!”
Fifteen minutes before 5:00 pm Rahmad, Sinta, and Rino were back at the pesantren. At 5:00 pm Rino had to go back to the dormitory while all the staffs and visitors left the area. Sinta hugged Rino for such a long time, longest ever, while Rahmad kicked off his worries by photographing the crowd that afternoon. The hand wave was Rino’s farewell to his parents. Rahmad and Sinta soon entered the vehicle that would take them back to the airport. Rino looked at the car that drove his parents to disappear after turning from the exit. He starts to miss them.
The cheerfulness of the day was still drawn on Rino’s face until bedtime. After the Isha prayer, he did not forget to pray the best prayer for his parents. Unlike the previous night, he prayed very long that night. The faces of the two lovely people were still clearly reflected in his memory. At 9:00 pm Rino is ready to sleep. After joking for a while and exchanging stories with his roommates, Rino began to go to bed. Once again he prayed for his parents, before finally falling asleep.
“Rino … wake up, Rino,” soon there was a sound that woke him up. Rino was forced to finish his deep sleep. For a moment he saw his watch, it was just 10:00 pm. He looked around and found the guardian of the room who woke him up, as well as his roommates who had joined him. His heart starts beating uneasy. Did he make a mistake?
Without having single time to ask, Rino was taken out by his guardian to the office of the administrator. There have been gathered a number of assatidz and Ustad Nurman, caretakers of the boarding. Ustad Nurman immediately hugged him and whispered something while his hand slapped on Rino’s shoulder.
Rino’s tears burst out with news he just heard. “Be patient, Rino, be patient,” said Ustad Nurman. Although the voice of his caretaker was very close, every sound seems vanished. The voice ringing in his ears was only the last words from his parents before the parted.
“Keep on doing your best, Son, and pray for us, Insya Allah, we will meet in His paradise later…”
The television screen in the office was airing the headlines that reported the crash of an aircraft destined for Jakarta – Pangkal Pinang in the north sea of Karawang, ten minutes after takeoff. The government ensures all passengers and crews were unsurvived. Two of the plane’s passenger are … Rino’s parents.
This story was made after the government confirmed that the Lion Air JT-610 plane was headed for Jakarta – Pangkal Pinang was declared to have fallen in the North Sea of Karawang. And one passenger among them is the parents of the Tahfizh Daarul Qur’an Islamic Boarding School
this post also available in: Indonesian