About four years a go, mr.mck and Huib celebrated their joined birthday by throwing a BBQ party at Bugil’s bar. I think it was either Saturday or Sunday afternoon, and there were about 50 people turned up to stuff their faces with sausages, burgers and beers. Most of them were people we hung out with, the usual suspects. Some I didn’t recognise, and I guessed they were either party crashers or Huib’s friends.
By late afternoon, it became too hot and people gradually moved inside to get some cool air from the bar, and before long the bar was packed with people buying beers and other cold drinks. I stayed outside for most of the time, close to the food supply. Sometime before dark I went inside to go to the loo. It was absolutely crowded, and I had to push myself in between people just to pass. On that moment, I felt that someone had pinched my bum. I stopped, looked around, but there was no indication who did it. I really had to pee so I continued my journey.
After I finished, I had to pass the same crowd just to get outside. In between my attempt of pushing myself out, suddenly I heard someone whispering in my ear, “Nice bum.”
That was the guy who pinched my bump! I turned around and saw him smirking and smiling at me. And I lost it. I screamed at the top of my lung. That he can’t do that to me. That he was out of the line. That I was going to kill him. I can’t remember exactly what I said, I found it hard to express my anger because I was so mad and turned out, saying what I felt in English when I was mad was difficult! But he got the message. His face turned white, and he kept saying he was sorry. He didn’t mean anything.
Huib was standing next to the guy and saw the whole thing. Later he told me that the guy was his acquaintance, someone he worked with, and the guy was really sorry. He didn’t realise that he targeted the wrong girl (heh, like a girl who could speak English? A girl who would not accept being treated like a piece of meat?). He was even more embarrassed when he found out I was mr.mck’s girlfriend. He even went to mr.mck and apologised, and as mr.mck said, he looked like he really meant it, he felt really bad, but of course, seeing me in that state, he wouldn’t dare to come up and apologise (what, risking himself being kicked by a tiny Indonesian girl? FYI the guy is nearly 2 meter tall). I think more than one occasion both Nonie and Huib were trying to talk to me about the incident, but I kept telling them that what he did was disgraceful, disrespectful and disgusting, and he only could get away with it in Indonesia, where the girls and society are so permissive. If he tries to do that in his own country, he’ll be thrown out of the bar in no time. In short, I found what the guy did to me was unforgivable.
About a year a go Nonie sent me text saying that they were in Thailand for a short break. When I was asking who she was with, she giggled and asked if I still remember that guy, who, at that moment, was sitting next to Nonie and Huib. And I nonchalantly asked if it’s the ass-pincher she was talking about. And before long I was ranting and saying cynical stuff about him, like whether he has developed a new technique to pinch people’s bums, or whether he knows whether it’s a girl or a ladyboy’s bum he pinches. I was still upset, but not as mad as I used to be.
And then when I said yes to Lena and Mick’s wedding invitation early this month in Bali, Nonie warned me that the guy will be there too. I just shrugged, so what. I wasn’t going to throw some fit in the wedding, I couldn’t care less whether he’s there or not anyway. All I wanted to do is celebrating Lena’s happiest day.
We gathered at the hotel lobby, and I was only standing a few feet away from him. I asked Nonie whether he was the ass-pincher and Nonie nodded.
But then it struck me. I couldn’t even remember his face! It was 4 years a go. And last time I checked, I didn’t feel a single thing, not anymore. Even though now I saw him standing not far from me. Maybe time has healed me. Or maybe because I have known he had apologised – although not to me. Although I still never agree with what he did, as to me it’s a reflection of his behaviour towards women in general, what he did to me personally maybe doesn’t affect me as much as it used to be. Nevertheless, I kept my distance.
The ceremony went well. The groom looked incredibly handsome and Lena looked so gorgeous and fresh. The minister is hilarious, he sounded more Jamaican in some words. Everybody cried. And when the whole thing finished, we went to the open bar.
That was when he approached me. Shook my hand and said he was terribly sorry and he apologised for what he did four years a go. I almost choked. I mean, considering that this guy must be a top guy in his company, and at least 20 years older than me, here he was, humbly apologising for what he did, four years a go! The guy could choose not to do anything, and he was risking himself by approaching me and asking me to forgive him.
I put my cake down and shook his hand and we both exchanged cheek-to-cheek kisses. I did forgive him. Maybe I have forgiven him a long time a go. And I really appreciated what he did. It took a lot of courage to do what he did as I could have thrown this tiffany-color cake at him. But life is too short to hold a grudge, and he has apologised. What more could I want?
Although, of course, when my friend went to me, I introduced him as my ass-pincher. He was shocked in the beginning. But when he saw the way Nonie, Huib and I were joking (well, most of the time, Huib’s way of joking, which is too rude to be exposed here), he got the idea.
So at the end we were really enjoying the wedding. And I felt so much lighter. It could be because the wine was working, or because I have let it go completely.