Today, Rio got a new neighbor. The names are Mr. Andri and Mrs. Reina. They have a daughter the same age as him and a boy who is 2 years younger than them, Arina and Ardeo.
“Rio, let's say hello to our new neighbor. Who knows, eventually you will have friends to play with, ”said Rio's mother.
Rio looked at the new neighbor's family who were busy moving things from the car into the house behind his bedroom window. "Not. I don't need friends, women either, ”said Rio a little curtly.
His mother just smiled resignedly. "Do not be like that. I know you prefer to be alone, but having friends is important for socializing. "
Forced, Rio nodded. "I'll meet him later in the afternoon." He returned to his book.
"Just now. Help them move things. Pity, there are only three of them, while your father is out of town. His younger brother is still young. "
With a heavy heart, Rio put down his book and went to the house next door.
"Excuse me, Tan. I'm Rio, the occupant of the house next door. Can I help the moving aunt? " Rio asked politely.
Mrs. Reina, who was holding up a large cardboard box, looked surprised, but soon she smiled softly. "Thank you, Rio. We do have a hard time moving all of this stuff. "
"You're welcome," Rio returned the sincere smile. "So, what can I do for you?"
The woman who still looked young thought for a moment. "Arina, come here for a moment!"
A girl in a beautiful ponytail runs toward her mother. "What's wrong, Mom?"
"Here, please accompany Rio. He wants to help us. He can help you move your things, ”Bu Reina pushed Rio's back slowly.
"Okay," said the girl cheerfully. “My name is Arina. Thank you for wanting to help. "
Rio was a little surprised by Arina's friendliness, because before he rarely met children his age. However, he immediately smiled faintly so that Arina would not be offended. "I'm Rio. Just tell me what to do and I'll do my best. "
Arina laughed. "You're too stiff, huh. Have you never been friends with someone all this time? "
Rio shook his head. "Making friends waste my time. I'd better spend that time reading the Encyclopedia. "
Arina passes a large box which is quite heavy. “Papa has many books on science and astronomy. Do you want to borrow? "
Rio's two eyes lit up. "Can I borrow it right?"
"As long as you want to think of me as your friend," nodded Arina.
"Okay. From now on I am your friend, ”said Rio.
That day, Rio helped Arina while chatting about family, school, hobbies, and others. They got along very quickly. Even Rio, who usually looks cold, indifferent, and stiff, now starts to look more "alive".
Late in the evening, Rio had just finished helping Arina organize her room. He was so exhausted he sat leaning against the front yard.
"Here," Arina held out a stick of chocolate popsicle. "Sorry, you're so tired like this."
Rio received it with enthusiasm and ate it right away. "Thank you. Usually, I stay at home, so it's okay if I sweat like this every now and then. "
Arina sat beside Rio. "To be honest, the first time I saw you, you looked so empty and dead."
“Well, usually kids like us must be having the most exciting times of life. Moreover, I see your mother is very kind. I wonder why you don't seem to know happiness, joy, and warmth. In fact, to me you are the best boy ever, "explained Arina.
Rio smiled bitterly. “Since I was young, I couldn't feel any emotions. I don't know what made me this way, but I can only accept it. My friends nicknamed me "King of Ice" because I always carried the cold, wherever I was. "
"But what I feel from you is the beauty of the frozen ice," replied Arina who was now staring at Rio with a sweet smile. “I know your heart is actually very pure, that's why you have a hard time feeling your friends' hearts are dirty and filled with negative things. But, try to feel their positive side, and you will know what a cheerful friend is. "
Rio was transfixed by Arina's words that touched his heart. He's right. What he had felt with his friends was hatred, jealousy, jealousy, pride, pride, and many more. That's what makes him lazy to meet other people. But, Arina was different. He could feel the warmth of the fireplace in winter and the cool spring air when he was around her.
"Brother, time for dinner!" Call Ardeo, Arina's younger brother who is only 6 years old.
"Okay!" Arina replied. She took Rio's hand. "Come on, you too!"
Since that day, Rio became close friends with Arina. They attend the same school, live in the same housing, take the same courses, have the same extracurricular activities, and have the same hobby, namely reading.
However, Arina is a reckless child, in contrast to Rio who is always careful. Because of that, every day Rio gets dizzy by Arina's actions. Whether it's climbing a tree to take a kite, entering a ditch to save a chick, fighting with a middle school student to defend a child who is being bullied, and so on. Rio is even willing to take a judo martial arts course in order to protect Arina from the threats of junior high school students who now hold a grudge against Arina.
Rio was by Arina's side when her father died in a plane crash, and was even willing to take Arina's father's place.
Time passes quickly. Now they are 16 years old. Rio and Arina of course enroll in the same high school.
There, Rio met Kevin, who later became his best friend, while Arina as usual has many friends and fans because she has a very beautiful appearance. But for Arina, only Rio she loved.
"Eh, Ri, that Arina really is your childhood friend right?" Asked Kevin one day.
Rio glanced at his friend suspiciously. "You like Arina?"
"She's the prettiest student in this school. Good at exercising too, ”Kevin grimaced.
Rio folded his arms across his chest. "Should not. You don't qualify to be his girlfriend. "
Kevin glared. "Are you the father?"
"Of course. Mr. Andri died 3 years ago and since then I played his role as his father, "said Rio quickly.
“Then, I want to ask. Why does he seem like he rarely comes to school lately? Is he sick? "
Rio fell silent. He was also curious about it, because today Arina doesn't appear at school anymore. Even if he entered school, his face always looked pale. Even though their houses are next to each other, recently Rio is so busy with various activities that he doesn't have enough time to visit Arina. Ardeo is now rarely seen playing on the lawn. Usually, Ardeo went to play in the yard or park with Pak Heri's old dog. Now, he seems to stay indoors more often.
Intrigued, Rio headed straight for Arina's house, which looked gloomy without permission from school, aka skipping school. The door is not locked. He immediately opened the door and strolled into the house that he had been entering since the last 8 years.
“Arina…? Aunty? Ardeo? " Called Rio quietly. Faintly, he heard a voice from Arina's room.
The door was slightly ajar, showing Arina who was lying down with a pale face and was fitted with various medical devices.
“… You should have heard my words the day before yesterday. You can't keep pushing yourself for your best friend, ”Rio heard a woman's voice who was quite familiar. It was the voice of Arina's family doctor, Dr. Fransiska.
“I can't stay here forever. Rio will "die" again if I'm not with him, "said Arina weakly.
“Sis, Sis Rio is not everything. You also have to pay attention to your condition! ” Ardeo sounded half snapped.
“Without Rio, you won't survive this long. You also know that your brother's life span should only reach the age of 8 years after you officially contract leukemia? The proof is that after meeting Rio, my brother can last for another 8 years, ”replied Arina.
Unconsciously, Rio's tears flowed. For the first time, she cried. He broke into Arina's room and embraced the girl he had really loved.
"Ri ... Rio ...?" Arina was surprised by the arrival of the person she had been talking about. "You ... hear everything ...?"
"Why are you not being honest with me?" Rio asked regardless of Arina's question. "Why do you keep letting yourself suffer?"
Arina smiled. "Because I know you will be like this. Where did that emotionless “King of Ice” go to? ”
"No kidding!" Rio half snapped. His hug grew tighter. "Since when are you like this?"
"Since he was 6 years old," answered dr. Fransiska. "And it got worse 2 years later."
Rio choked. That means the first time he met Arina was when Arina almost met his death. But, at that moment the mother didn't seem worried or anything. "Her parents know about this?"
Dr. Fransiska shook her head. "Arina forbade me to do it."
“Mama suffered enough when her brother died. I didn't want the news about this to be known by mom or dad, but Ardeo managed to find out when he caught me and dr. Fransiska was in the hospital when she was about to visit her friend, ”said Arina softly. Suddenly, blood flowed from his nose. She was silent but smiled a few seconds later. "Looks like this is the limit of my strength."
Rio held Arina's hand. "What do you mean?"
"Sis has survived for 8 years, and that's enough to make a lot of memories with Rio," said Ardeo, who had been silent for a long time. “All this time you have only survived for Rio's sake! And Kak Rio doesn't even realize that you really like Rio! ”
Once again, Rio choked up. "Wh ... what ...?" He turned to Arina.
“Sorry, I liked you from the first time we met. You are a handsome boy, but unfortunately, you look dead. I was determined to make you more alive, and I succeeded. You're not a King of Ice anymore, but you can be a King again. But now, it's the King of Warmth, because now you feel so warm, ”Arina touched Rio's chest. “Your heart is really warm, Rio. I'm grateful I met you and even spent these 8 years with you. Sorry I can't be with you anymore. "
Rio's tears flowed even more profusely. "No, please ... I haven't even done anything for you ..."
Arina stroked Rio's face. “Rio, not everyone has a noble heart like you. There are many people out there whose hearts are dirty and rotten. So, it's your job to purify their hearts. Don't look down on them just because of their heart, but have pity for those who can only see the worst of things. By doing that, you are already making me happy enough, ”she turned to her younger sister. "Ardeo, Kak Rio will be a substitute for you. Don't think of him as your enemy anymore. Suppose Kak Rio is your real brother. And please take good care of mama after you come home from Singapore. "
Arina looked out the window. "The world is beautiful, unfortunately, humans make it more and more damaged, both physically and" mentally ". If you are not able to change his physique, at least fix the humans who are in charge of protecting this Earth, "he whispered to someone else. Sorry, it's time. Goodbye, Rio, thank you for being the source of my life for the past 8 years. "
Coinciding with those words, Arina closed her eyes, and it would be like that for good. Her face is still beautiful as usual. Her red lips parted into a sincere smile as if to say that “my job is finished. Now go and be a King again ”to Rio.
A week after that sad day, Rio decided to clean Arina's room. Arina decorated her room with photos of her family, Rio, and her other friends. Half nostalgic, Rio pulled one by one Arina's photos with him to save them in the album.
He paused at one photo. The first photo they took 8 years ago, when Arina's family held a thanksgiving event at their new home. In the photo, Arina who was laughing broadly embraced Rio who only smiled a little. For fun, Rio saw the back of the photo. Rio was surprised when he realized Arina's handwriting in the lower-left corner of the photo.
“Seems like the King of Ice has gone. But you can be king again, maybe the King of Warmth 😉 love you always, Arina ”
Rio hugged the photo tightly. "Yes, I'll be king again, and you'll be my queen, forever."
Good read. So heart felt. Thank you for your blessing!