It had been a long, trying day. By 9:30pm, Roma was already feeling the effects of the day's event weighing down on her. "Why do they always kick up such a fuss whenever they travel?" Roma thought to herself. When she left her little shanty or Catihan in East Java last year, she pretty much just upped and left. No pomp. No splendour. No nothing.
As she recounted her own bittersweet journey into an unknown land so many moons ago, she drifted off into a deep slumber; into a land of dreams where she was the top two contender of Indonesian Idol.
Roma was doing her final song of the night - the judges' choice. She had slayed the crowd with her riveting rendition of Hetty Koes Endang's "Benci Tapi Rindu" during classics week and it was time for her to shine again this night. Roma stepped off onto the stage as the band began to play. Her hair was done all long and frizzy just like Hetty in her heyday and she wore that same off-shoulder number that Hetty wore on her Pop Melayu album cover. It was gonna be her night. And it was, until the unimaginable happened.
As Roma negotiated the steps onto the stage the 4-inch heel that she had chosen to compensate for her lack of altitude had come back to haunt her. She fell forward and to her horror, the microphone flung out of her hand and went "thump-thump-thump". And the cruel audience laughed their collective asses off. "Thump-thump-thump," the sound of the mike echoed. And again it went, getting louder, and louder each time.
"THUMP-THUMP-THUMP!" Roma was startled out of her sleep. It was the door!
"Roma," she hears her employer's voice from behind the closed door. He then mumbles something indistinct.
"Shit, the horny bastard wants in," Roma thinks to herself, "one night without Madam and he tries his luck!" A sense of impending doom filled her heart and quickly scrambles to pull on a sweater and whatever articles of clothing she could find.
"ROMA!" the voice behind the door was now getting louder and more agressive. "Ya, Tuan?" she asks timidly as she huddles into a corner of the room, pulling the covers over her fearful, quivering body. She wouldn't stand a chance against him, she analyses as she cursed her mother for bestowing her with a small frame and a pretty face. Yes, it was indeed a pretty face, she thought as her mind drifted back to 1999 when, at 17, she won the Ratu Cantik Catihan held during the annual harvest festival.
Her employer, however, had the makings of a large disgusting pig. And by now, the gargantuan walking pork chop was pounding at the door.
"I'll smack his fat head off into the middle of last Christmas," Roma thinks as she picks up the largest pillow in the room and hides it behind her back. She gulps down the knot in her throat as she slowly approach the door, pillow firmly in her hand. Slowly she reaches out to the door knob and twists it, opening the door with caution as it slowly reveals the great hulking mass of lard looming over her.
Her employer's lips curled into a snarl and then he spoke. "Cepat, ambik diaper," he said as he pointed to the only pack of diapers left in the entire house.