the three windows
August 18, 2015 § 8 Comments
In this environment, there was nothing more interesting for him than a row of three windows on a backside of building at lane 21, WindLake Rd. The flat building was rather old and the smallest around the area.
The fact that he had a vegan customer there wasn’t rare enough to the relationship among the people who lived behind those windows.
The first window on the left was the brightest, in shock purple paint, with super clean-and-white curtains, two pots of roses, and (almost every morning) a cat on the windowsill. Mrs. Elizabeth who lived there had been a loyal customer for his uncle’s Rayya’s Vegan Delivery in recent two years. She lived with Mr. Felix, the cat.
The second window was plain gray. It suited with the green plants and some books that put near the windowsill. The shy girl who lived behind it gradually changed some cute decoration up there. He secretly knew her name from an occasion—it’s Lousiana, by the way—and she was a peacemaker between Mrs. Elizabeth and Mrs. Arundhati—the later was living behind the third windows.
Every morning, delicious smell of curry dish (in every single recipe you could imagine) would spread out the environment from Mrs. Arundhati’s windows. Everybody didn’t mind at all, except for Mrs. Elizabeth, who thought the smell was the main reason Mr. Felix had a bit overweight now.
Mr. Felix did take a journey across the windows every morning, to say meow to Lousiana, and then had luxury breakfast at Mrs. Arundhati’s. And that’s why Lousiana had to calm down the two elder when they shouted each other—out from their windows.
He somehow felt warm to see those kind of interactions every morning. Mrs. Elizabeth reminded him of his killer lecturer at university. Mrs. Arundhati’s cooks had reminded him of Indonesian rendang and how he missed his country. And Lousiana, well, he just loved to see her as a ‘sweet and calm granddaughter’ for both of them. The uniqueness of them never failed made him smile.
Since Mrs. Elizabeth always wanted to take her order from the window (she hated to walk to the front door on the different side), he often had to wait for a while in front of the back fences, with boxes of food in his hands, until the quarrel was over—like this morning.
But this time, his eyes were fixed on Lousiana, who smiled awkwardly at the middle window, holding Mr. Felix. This was the first time they shared a look, and suddenly he felt a rush of heat on his cheeks.
“Boy!” said Mrs. Elizabeth, broke their stares connection. “Are you going to stand there all morning?”
“Ck, I thought you’ll let him frozen out there,” Mrs. Arundhati muttered from her window. “And it’s not my fault that the cat loves me more!” And then she disappeared inside.
He was afraid that the quarrel about to start again, but thanks to Lousiana, who leaned out of the window so she could give Mr. Felix back to Mrs. Elizabeth. Her soft voice seemed to melt the tension, “Bye, Mr. Felix. Have a good day, Mrs. Elizabeth, I have an exam this morning.”
He just stood there numbly, mesmerized by her voice, watching Mrs. Elizabeth took Mr. Felix and smiled to Lousiana. “You take care, too, darling. Good luck.”
He could swear that Lousiana was stealing a glance to him before went inside—because so was he. Mrs. Elizabeth cleared her throat. “So, my meal?”
He startled and walked hurriedly into the backyard to give the order.
“Here’s your tip,” said Mrs. Elizabeth like usual, but to his surprise, this time she hold his hands firmly. “Yoghi, it’s your name, right?”
He looked at her, confused, and slowly nodded. He rarely spoke to her more than about the payment things. “Y.. yes, Mrs. Elizabeth?”
The lady looked at him. “I like you. And I like her. But she is too naïve to fall in love with a bad boy—her schoolmate, I guess. She might break her heart in short time. She will need a good friend to laugh with. Of course for now she still has us, two old grumpy ladies of the world, who makes her laughing all the time with our silliness. Don’t look dumb like that. I know you see us quarreling so often, but we are best friends. And this girl is always between us, she was a natural ‘bonder.’ I love her. Mrs. Arundhati loves her. And I know you’ll be her best friend, Yoghi.”
He was speechless, aware of who’s ‘her’ she was talking about. Mrs. Elizabeth took his hands off and waved a goodbye. “Well, thank you for your kindness all this time. It’s rare to see a boy who can keep his attitude and patience to an old lady like me.”
He didn’t know what to say, what to do, until Mrs. Elizabeth was no more at the window and a voice from the third window startled him. “Is she gone? Here, boy, I’ve been waiting you since yesterday. Take this.”
He approached to the window, and took the plastic box Mrs. Arundhati shoved. From the smell, he knew it was potato chicken curry. His favorite.
“Your uncle should keep his good job with the delivery-resto so that you’d had a reason to come by. I’d love to share food with you—and Mr. Felix, and of course Lousiana.”
Mrs. Arundhati’s eyes glinted when she said the later.
“Thank you, Mrs. Arundhati,” he smiled sheepishly. “Thank you.”
And then he left, with a big grin and warm feeling—the three windows never failed surprising him. Today, its surprise reached another level, which made his day, very much.