Write A Story With A Strong Sense of Place
“Setting” can be a place, a time or a culture.
Whaaatt! It’s crazy idea! My parents will send me to continue my study to Islamic Boarding School. Why….why they chose Boarding School? I can’t live and study there well. I can’t leave my school in Nusantara High School Jakarta. It’s one of favorite school in Jakarta.
“Listen, Sarah! You don’t have any choice now. You must follow our idea. We can’t let you study in Nusantara till last grade. We are worried about your future there.” My Mom explained about her plan to me.
“Mom! I love my school!” I protested about their decision.
“Your school is good in language and physical sciences, but you will not get good lesson about manner and religion there. Now, prepare your equipment! Tomorrow we’ll go to Boarding School!”
“Mom! Dad! Please give me a chance to…….”
“Sorry dear! We can’t approve your request. Trust us, you’ll enjoy your study there.” My Dad cut my words.
Nooo! I don’t want go to study in Islamic Boarding School.
Finally, I came to Al Ishlah Boarding School, a famous Islamic Boarding School in East Java. I thought my senior school is better and larger than this boarding school. In my last school, every student was free to bring and use smart phone or gadget. But, here no phone, no gadget, no music only nasheed (Islamic songs), no TV and so on! We should wear hijab and abaya. Abaya was the uniform for female students. I didn’t wear hijab when I studied in Nusantara. Bobby, my boyfriend loved my hair. He said that I’m so pretty with my long hair. Missed you, Bobby!
I stayed in a room with 10 other students. My room is larger than this room and I have modern tools in my room. But, here I only saw simple beds, small cupboards for our clothing and books. It was a crowded room. I promised I will be a trouble student here, I promised for that. So, the teacher will punish me and send me back to my parents. Yes, I’ll do my plan!
“Sarah! Sarah! Wake up! It’s time for fajr prayer!” Someone reminded me to wake up for prayer. “I’m so sleepy, don’t disturb me, okay!” I asked her to leave me in this room.
“Please wake up, Sarah! It’s too late!”
“Who are you?” I opened my eyes and stared at her.
“I’m Hasna a chief of this room. It’s my duty to remind you. Please wake up and go to masjid for prayer.”
“You go first, I’ll follow you next, deal?!”
“Okay, I’ll go now, but remember you must go there. If not, the punishment is waiting you.” Hasna left me alone. The other students had gone to masjid, only I who stayed in the room.
Ha..ha, I will not go there. The time is for sleeping. I don’t care about the rules. I am not afraid of the punishment. I wanted the punishment, so they will send me back to Jakarta, to my house. I’ll leave this primitive school.
“Sarah! Why you are still sleeping? Have you taken pray?” The other voice came and disturbed my sleep.
“Go out, don’t disturb me. Ah, I’m so sleepy.”
“Are you sure you will stay and continue your sleep?” the mysterious person asked me again.
She was crazy . How could she ask me while I’m sleeping.
“Wake up, Sarah!” She poured the water in to my face.
“Hey, who are…………….” I couldn’t continue my words when I saw my teacher Ustadzah Zulfa was sitting beside me. She was smiling at me. She looked very beautiful with her hijab. But, Hasna said Ustadzah Zulfa is a discipline teacher.
“Take ablution and then pray fajr. After that, please come to the office.”
In my second day in this new school, I got punishment. Ustadzah Zulfa punished me to clean Masjid and collect the rubbish around the boarding school. I really hated this punishment. It made me tired. I didn’t want the punishment like that, I only wanted they punish me and chase me away from this boarding. My first plan was failed. I will make other plan. I will break all the rules.
I sat alone in park behind Masjid. I enjoyed the beautiful flowers and plants there. I was seeing around, there was pond in middle of office park. Some students were sitting around there. In the right of Masjid were classes and rooms. My room was in the left of the office. It was the second floor. Our bathrooms were separated from the rooms. I saw some of my friends were standing in line in front of the bathrooms. I didn’t like to do that. I decided to take a bath in first rest time.
I liked to sit alone. I only knew Hasna and Fira in my room. I didn’t like to talk with others. I was bored to stay in this place. I was thinking other plan when Hasna and her friend arrived.
“Assalamu’alaikum, Sarah! What are you doing here?”
“Wa’alaikum salam. I’m sitting, you see!”
“Sorry if we disturb you, hmm you’re called by Ustadzah Zulfa. She is waiting you in her room. Please go there now!” Hasna sent the message from Ustadzah Zulfa.
“For what? Is there punishment again for me? I have finished my punishment. I have cleaned masjid. I have done it.”
“I don’t know about that. She only asked me to send the message. So, it’s better for you to come to her room soon, you’ll know about that from her.” Said Hasna.
“See you, Sarah! Assalamu’alaikum!”
I had broken the rules for a week. But, the teachers didn’t send me back to my parents. They punished me to clean the toilets, masjid, park, rooms, offices, and classes. I was like a cleaner in this boarding school. I was very tired by doing all the punishments. I didn’t know what have to do after that. Should I find other plan? I was tired to think about breaking the rules. The teachers didn’t angry of me, they advised me to obey the rules. They cared me, and always help me to become good person. My roommates and my classmates didn’t hate me. They didn’t isolate me. They helped me to know more about Islam. They offered beautiful friendship to me, but I often reject their friendship. They are great friends!
Day by day, I felt happy to stay and to study in my new school. I learned a lot about friendship, and my religion. The teachers are very kind and so patient to educate me and others. I have some favorite teachers, Ustazdah Zulfa, Ustadzah Irma, and Ustadz Yusuf. Ustadz Yusuf is very handsome. He’s like Leonardo Dicaprio. Ha..ha.
He taught Sorof and Nahwu. These are hard lessons but I liked these because I liked its teacher. I like his teaching style, his smile, his words, and his manner. I love him. I hope he will love me too. Sarah a beautiful girl, and a cleaner who had gotten many punishments. I’ll phone my parents that I loved to live in here.
A peace place!