First day of January 2010 is the day that I would never forget. Everything that happened on that day will always stay vivid in my memory. It all started with a Sunday morning.
Unlike usual, that day, I woke up with a bright smile on my face. As soon as I opened my eyes, my sight immediately looked at the side of the grey cupboard at the corner of my room where I hung the calendar. I was so happy when I saw the calendar and the day of first January had finally arrived.
I have been waiting for that day to come, first day of January used to be the most exciting day for me because it was my birthday, an important day that I will celebrate with the one and only person who I loved the most, Ben. He was my childhood friend, my neighbor, my brother, my best friend, my love and most importantly he is the only person who will remember and celebrate my birthday, give me presents and wish me a happy birthday. He means the whole world to me.
But now, everything has changed, first day of January is no longer the day that will make me smile brightly, it has became the day that will brimmed my eyes with tears. I still remember it clearly, that day I could not stop from smiling. Just like how the morning sunlight brightens up the small moderate room of mine, that was how bright my smile was. As I sat on the table at the kitchen to eat my breakfast, my mom, my sister, and my uncle gave me a weird gaze as they saw me smiling for no reason. “Why are you so happy? ” my Mom asked. “If you really care about me then you should know. That was my short reply as I continued smiling and she continued eating. She had always been like that, never cared about me, never treats me as her daughter, I was never loved by my Mother. She even said in one of our arguments that I was nothing but a mistake. Since I was born, she never once celebrates my birthday and always compared me with my older sister who treated me like nothing but a stranger. I believe it was due to the fact that we came from a different father. Sometimes I felt isolated in my own home and hated by my own family.
At times like that, Ben was always by my side to comfort and cheer me up with his stupid jokes. If my uncle came back from work with his red drunk face and started to beat me, Ben was always there to protect me and climb up through the window of my room in the middle of night to heal the wounds on my body and face that my irresponsible uncle made. After done with my breakfast and the dishes, I waited for Ben in front of my house because usually on my birthday, he would come to see me with a bouquet of lovely flowers and a box of gift on both of his hand.
But after waited for almost three hours, Ben did not show up so I decided to go to his house. I was so excited to see him, on my way, I wondered a lot, I wondered of what would he give me as a present, what will he write to me as a birthday wish, will it be cooler and better than what he have given me the previous years? All those questions made me happier as I stepped closer to his house. As soon as I arrived at his house, I saw Madam Susan who is Ben’s mother, she was watering the flowers she plant in front of the house, she welcomed me with a warm smile and told me that Ben is not at home.
It was rare, Ben usually will come to my house or wait for me to come to his house, I was so afraid at that time thinking that he might forgot about my birthday. But I trusted him, he would never disappoint me. So, just before I walk off from Ben’s house, Madam Susan called me and gave me an envelope and a box that Ben asked her to give me. I took the things and opened the envelope at the park near Ben’s house. There was only a small piece of paper inside the envelope with a short note “Meet me at our place at 7. 00pm tonight, please wear the dress inside the box. I knew that “our place” refers to the place which only Ben and I know, the place where both of us always spent our time together. It was the prohibited forest behind the school. I was very nervous as I reached home, I looked at my watch and it was still 1. 00 pm, I felt like time moves too slowly, I could not wait any longer; I was too excited and nervous at the same time. After almost two hours rolling around my bed thinking about what Ben might/have prepare for me, suddenly I remembered about the box that he gave me.
Filled with curiosity, I opened the box and saw a very beautiful white dress. I almost cried as I saw the dress, it was just so beautiful yet simple. It was like something a goddess in a movie would wear. Without wasting any time, I get ready immediately. I took a bath, and washed my hair which I rarely did during the weekend. But that day, I felt different, with the beautiful dress Ben gave me, I wanted to look like the most beautiful girl for that night, I even applied some eyeliner that I secretly took from my sister’s room. I let my hair that is usually tangled fall nicely at/that time.
I went to the town and bought a perfume that has the scent of strawberry because that is Ben’s favorite fruit and he used to say that he likes the smell of strawberry so much. I walked to the forest wearing the dress Ben gave me. Once again, everyone was looking at me weirdly, maybe because of the dress and my different appearance, I do not really know and actually do not even care because at that moment I was so infinitely happy and Ben was the only thing that I could possibly think of. Just a few steps till I reach the forest, one familiar looking car blocked my way, it was my uncle.
He came out from the car with a bottle of vodka on his left hand, he shouted at me asking me to get on the car. I refused and continued to walk. He took my arm and dragged me to his car which cause the arm of my dress ripped off, he smiled and I know that he tried to do something bad to me. I struggled and screamed for help but no one was there to help because it was near the forest where nobody lives. Somehow, I managed to get a huge stone on my hand and hit it on his head. He fainted immediately and I ran as fast as I could to Ben.
I was late for 15 minutes, as I reached the place, I saw Ben sat in a circle of candle light, he arranged all my favorite foods nicely before him and place a giant birthday card that he made beside him. With his smile that I adored so much, I cannot help but cried. “You are late and you cry? ” he said. “This is the tears of happiness you fool! ” I said while crying. He stood up and walked towards me. He wiped my tears and hugs me tightly. “Happy birthday Anna, please don’t cry, I promise you that one day I will take you far away from this place and from those people who have made you suffered a lot.
You can count on me. ” I only stopped crying after thirty minutes, and we celebrated my birthday with the sound of our laughter. However, I had to lie to Ben when he asked me about my ripped dress; I said that I fell off when I was on my way to the forest. Suddenly, my uncle came and forced me to go home, I refused and he dragged me once again. Ben tried to stop him but as a result he was hit on the head by a bottle of vodka. The blood rapidly covering Ben’s face, I was so angry and scared. I slapped my uncle’s face but I could not manage to defeat him no matter how hard I tried.
With Ben unconsciously laid on the ground, my uncle took the advantage to do something bad to me, I cried and beg him not to harm me, but it was no use as he was under the influence of alcohol. I felt so weak and hopeless. I closed my eyes and pray to god, there was nothing I could do. Suddenly, Ben became conscious again and kicked my uncle and stabbed him countless of times until he took his last breath. We buried his body in the middle of the forest and sink his car in the river near the forest. After that, we looked at each other faces and smiled with tears falling down on our cheeks, we had no idea on what will happen to us.
Ben called his mother and told her everything. She was shocked at first but then she came to face the reality and told us that she did not have other choice but to move out of town with Ben, at least until police stopped searching for my uncle. I was so sad and I cried a lot that night. I knew that it will be the last time I’m seeing Ben. As I woke up the next morning and went to school, Ben was no longer there, his desk was empty, the teacher told the class that Ben and his mother has moved out to another country. Even though I was sad and hate to be separated with Ben, I had to accept it.
It was for his own good. Besides, I always trust in his words, he said to me that night, one day he will take me far away from this place. Which mean that one day he will come to me and take me with him, so I just need to wait for him patiently and faithfully, because I can always count on him. It has been two years since that day, but I could never forget that painful memory of the first January and I would never ever be able to celebrate my birthday anymore because the only person who knows about my birthday is no longer here with me.