Welcome. Come on in.
I know what you’re up to. You want to know, just like everybody else. You want to know why when you look at me. Why did I do that? Why did an ordinary woman like me do such a thing?
Everyone is still talking about it. It’s still the hottest news – a waiter from that restaurant…murdered. It didn’t take long for you guys to figure me out, eh?
I get it. You all want to know why, so let me tell you a story. This is about a boy named Billy – and our last supper together.
To you, Billy might have been just an ordinary nine-year-old boy. He was sweet and he loved foods. He was never a picky eater and I loved him for that. I still do and always will. He was my life, especially since my husband passed away.
The only thing that prohibited him from eating anything he’d like was his allergy. You see, Billy had inherited his late father’s gene: he was allergic to seafood. He had to be careful, especially when we went to restaurants. Many times his father and I had to request for specific orders from the waiters. Some of them were very understanding. Some just weren’t. They thought Billy was just overly-spoiled. I mean, he was a boy. He was supposed to be strong. You know, deal with it. Suck it up like little men should.
I hate ignorant waiters. You know, those who aren’t attentive, caring, or even won’t bother repeating your orders before they take them into the kitchen. It wasn’t like Billy had asked for it.
I had specifically asked for no seafood in his vegetables that day. Maybe it was my fault too, because it was rush hour and everyone seemed to be in a hurry. I didn’t get a chance to chase after the waiter to reconfirm our orders, making sure that he’d got them right.
Worst of all, I had to go to the restroom that afternoon.
“Is it okay if I go to the toilet for a while?” Billy just nodded and smiled, like a sweet boy he always was when I asked him that. Besides, the toilet was really close by. “You remember the rules. No talking to strangers. Scream if anyone touches you. And…”
“Don’t eat anything with seafood in it.” Billy nodded again. “That’s okay, Mama. I get it.”
“Good boy.” I kissed his forehead before rushing into the ladies’ room. “Mama won’t be long, baby.”
It was a blur after that. I believe our orders had already arrived. I’d tried to go back as fast as possible. By the time I got there, people had been crowding around our table – while my poor Billy was choking and writhing on the floor. His face had turned red, his eyes wide with fear and pain. Some people were trying to help him, but they had no idea how.
“BILLY!” I screamed and rushed forward. I tried hitting his back while someone was already calling an ambulance. I wanted to give him his pills, but of course he couldn’t swallow.
It was too late. By the time the ambulance arrived, my Billy had already stopped moving. He was no longer breathing.
When I checked his already half-eaten pile of veggies, I found baby prawns underneath the greens. I had told the waiter not to put them there.
The restaurant manager had given me a compensation, but I didn’t want the money. I just wanted that ignorant waiter fired, but they still hired him.
So I killed him that night, after work…
I know my Billy can never be brought back to life with that, but hopefully the manager has learned the lesson. So have I…the hard way.
There. That’s your answer.
(Jakarta, 9/4/2015 – from The Couchsurfing Writers’ Club Gathering @Anomali Coffee, Setiabudi One, starting at 8:00 pm. Topic: “foods”.)