IMG_20131103_142025I enter the room where you are being treated with slow steps, still worried about your safety, although you are already in a safe place. There are many doctors who will treat your wounds. Get well quickly, like you were yesterday, is my constant prayer.

How could I not be concerned? The news on a number of online news sites has said that someone has died as a result of the violent actions of the preman who broke up the demonstrations. Your friend told me that you were one of the injured and were taken to hospital. Thankfully, it was only a rumor that someone had died.

When you see me enter the room you smile. I smile back. I don’t know why but smiling is always contagious.

“Are you ok?” I ask.

“Well you can see for yourself. I’m fine right? Still handsome.” you answer with a wink.

Oh, you are always like that. You like to joke. For you, the greater good is more important, so you often forget to look after your own business. It’s not surprising that you have lots of friends. Like now, outside, many of your friends are waiting. The doctor only allows a small number to enter the treatment room, but they are still loyally waiting.

“Does it hurt?” is all that I can say.

You shake your head. “It’s not this injury that hurts me, Aya. I feel worse when I realize that bandits control this country, when I see with my own eyes, that the law enforcement agencies are unable to provide security and that preman can freely carry samurai swords and machetes to spill the blood of a worker who is fighting for a better life. The police and the military don’t care….”

You have not changed. You’re always like that. When you talk about justice you are always passionate. Your resolve is not weakened by the serious injuries you have sustained from being attacked and bashed by preman during the demonstration yesterday morning.

“Yes I am injured, Aya. But I am fine. Because I know that outside my friends will keep on fighting…”

Hearing that, I start to cry. I don’t know why, but I suddenly remembered your words as you were on your way to work yesterday. “Today I am going to join the national strike, Aya. Let’s hope we win.” you said.

“It’s alright bro. Don’t bother yourself about that now.” I answer.

You look at me. You move closer and grab my shoulder tightly. “No Aya. I must care. Wouldn’t you be embarrassed to have a husband that just waits for the results of the struggle of other people?” you said.

I am quiet. You are right. I will not stop you.

“You know, today the National Strike will continue?” I said after a few moments of silence.


“Yes really. There will still be big demonstrations in Jakarta, Bogor, Bekasi, Karawang, Purwakarta, Sukabumi, Semarang, Batam, Medan and other places. Your friends have said they will fight back.”

I see you smile. And as usual, smiling is always contagious. I smile too. Your sacrifice is not in vain my friend.

For my friends, who became victims of the brutality of preman during the National Strike in Bekasi yesterday.