I didn’t realise that a long, thin slice of watermelon could bring so much blessings to my family.
It is extremely hot today, on the streets. Although I am used to it and not complaining, I can actually feel my blood boiling inside my veins. My mum and dad look similarly constraint — trying to show patience despite the scorching weather. Hasan has been nagging them for some cold drinks, and Husain has been crying relentlessly. It’s tough indeed to see such a young boy going through this bread-winning adventure with us, but this is the only way we could help each other stay sane. Having a loving family around us.
My dad keeps walking. I know why. My mum knows why. If we don’t want to return home late, we have to walk the talk. Today’s route is indeed much longer than the previous days’. Dad has heard of a collection point that pays higher for each kilo of cartons and paper products earned, and he has hoped to go there for some time. Not knowing that today’s weather isn’t gonna be that great, he has decided to try it out, heading to the referred location. Mum and I of course fully support his plan, and to show our support, we have no complaints regardless the weather.
“Aba, there is a fruit peddler there!” Hasan screamed. “Can we stop there?” he continued begging.
My dad glanced at him and immediately looked away, not answering. He continued walking.
I understand my dad’s reluctance, and so does my mum. If we spend more than our usual expenses, we might not have enough tomorrow or for emergency. But somehow today, my mum had a different idea. Noticing the ordeal her two sons, and I, have to go through today, she approached my dad to put his mind in ease.
“Tomorrow is another day, Aba,” she comforted my dad, “If urgency arises tomorrow, Allah will surely give us a way out. He always does.”
My dad looked at my mum as if he was in love with her for the first time, “You are right, Ummi,” and he smiled.
So we stopped at the fruit peddler. My dad asked what Hasan had wanted.
“Watermelon!” Hasan jumped in joy.
My dad gestured to ask what my mum and I wanted, and both of us shook heads. We had committed to help dad save as much money possible for future emergency. The scorching heat is still bearable for us both.
“How much, Bang?” my dad inquired.
The fruit peddler said, “1,000!”
You may wonder why spending a mere 1,000 had caused my dad a lot of thought. Well, just so you know, we only get 1,000 rupiahs for one kilo of cartons we sell. And do you know how many kilos we collect each day? On the best days we can get up to 8 kilos, but on the worst days, it’s good enough to gather 2. Can you imagine how much we spend for meals each day?
Anyway, my dad gave the long, thin slice of watermelon to Hasan, “Here you go!”
Reluctant, Hasan took it but his face wasn’t looking great, “What about you, and Ummi, Kakak, and Husain?”
Ummi answered, “Don’t worry, Dear. We’re fine,” showing him a heart-warming smile.
Hasan was puzzled for a while, then he sat on the pavement. All of us — dad, mum, and I — wondered what was going on his head.
Hasan broke the watermelon into 5 short pieces and he stood up, giving one piece to dad, one piece to mum, one piece to me, and one piece to the crying Husain.
Dad felt so touched that he almost weeped to tears, “Thank you, Son!”
Again, for I don’t know how many million times in our life, my mum showed a comforting smile.
Husain stopped crying, occupied with his little piece of watermelon, and we all sat down on the side of the road, enjoying the small bits of the mouth-watering, refreshing fruit while feeling grateful to God for the blessings of the beautiful, thirst-quenching relief shrouded in love and compassion we have for each other.
I hope there are more “watermelon” days ahead.