The Decade After

Entry Writchal #2
Tema: High School (kinda)


THE DECADE AFTER

a screenplay of time-crossed lovers

CHARACTERS 

RYOUSHI NAKANO 

– AGE: 32 Y.O. 

– OCCUPATION: 

– HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER (FORMERLY)

– SCIENCE RESEARCHER 

YOSEP JUNAEDI “JUN” SUPRATMAN 

– AGE: 25 Y.O. 

– OCCUPATION: 

– HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT (FORMERLY)

– GRADUATE RESEARCHER


SWEET HOME 

EXT. DAY – A ROAD CROSSING A RICE FIELD – SUMMER 

“I expect your parents to visit the principal’s office tomorrow!” said the teacher before I went home. It wasn’t my fault. That boy is mockering me while I am doing my maths. He picks on me. He deserves those punches. 

I wipe my bruise. It hurts. 

My home is already at view. A small house in a small village in the middle of the rice paddies. This is the place where I’ve spent ten years of my life. It might look tranquil for an outsider, but if you spent enough time, You know it’s rotten. 

I can’t connect with anyone here. Nobody here loves science nor learning nor anything scholarly, in fact. It’s a great curse to be a standard villager here while having no interests in football, gossips, or soap operas. 

I don’t think this works with everyone, but I have this certain ability that I don’t think everybody has. I can sense someone’s intellectual level and if somebody will connect with me. That is if someone has the same interests and intellectual level as I do. I know intelligent people just by looking. How? Well, it just worked. Back years ago, I had friends who I grade as Intellectual. But then he can’t stand the pressure of being different and now his level just plummeted. 

I don’t want to lose my identity, yet nobody can relate with me, and everybody just can’t leave me alone in my world. Instead, they pick on me. I don’t want to be looked down upon by them, I will not back down, not like my friends who just go timid and all-weak after getting bullied. NO. I do what someone with common sense does. Punch them. 

I approached the house. Seems like my father is about to leave. He is getting his old bike out. 

YOSEP 

I’m back 

MOMMA SUPRATMAN 

Welcome home, sep 

YOSEP 

Where are you going, dad?

MR. SUPRATMAN 

I’ve told you innit? There’ll be some Hinomoto people staying at our house? 

YOSEP 

Huh what? Hinomoto?

MR. SUPRATMAN 

Yea. and anyway I am late. Ask your mother. See ya. 

YOSEP

See ya dad. 

I waved my hand as my father left. 

YOSEP 

So… mom? 

MOMMA SUPRATMAN 

I am surprised too, Sep, I think your father wants to surprise us but then forget. 

Ah yes, my father is quite clumsy. I park my small bicycle near the front door. 

MOMMA SUPRATMAN 

Go take a bath Sep, I need your boy’s hand to help me prepare dinner to welcome the Hinomotoans. 

YOSEP 

Arite mom 

********* 

My body was pure again. I prepared some welcome drinks for the guests. My mom is busy cutting some onions while watching television. I can’t believe she dared to cut while her eyes were glued to the soap opera on TV. The TV cuts into an advertisement. 

It’s nearing dinner. My father still hasn’t returned yet. “Probably they talked till they forgot the time.” 

My mother jokes about it. It’s true that my father could become quite excited when he sees a foreigner. Back then, he made quite a name after acting like he understood foreign languages. Some Westerners came here to make business and surprisingly they didn’t bring along a local interpreter. My curious father stopped by and eagerly talked to them like he can speak the language (He didn’t). Apparently, the Westerners liked him, and now he is the village interpreter. He should’ve actually learned some language by now. 

A car approaches. 

MOMMA SUPRATMAN 

Ah, it’s the village chief’s car. 

YOSEP 

It must them 

The car pulled over in the yard. My father came out first, followed by our village’s chief and a city guy with some fancy shirt. 

YOSEP (mumbling) 

Oh so now they got an actual interpreter 

MOMMA SUPRATMAN 

hmmm…. so we’re only the host now 

After that, four Hinomotoans get out of the car. Two young women, a young man, and a middle-aged man.

MR. SUPRATMAN 

Let me introduce my family, Mr Nakano, 

Ah, my father started to talk here. 

MR. SUPRATMAN 

This is my wife, and this is my son, Yosep. 

YOSEP 

Nice to meet you… 

I bowed down, and finally got to speak English! 

Wait, hold on. Why am I getting excited too? 

MR. NAKANO 

“Oh, what a fine young man. How old are you?” 

MR. SUPRATMAN 

“Yessir. I am eleven.” 

MR. NAKANO 

Oh, you’re English is great! I want to hear more from you later. 

YOSEP (INT.) 

Huh? But I only answer “Yessir” though. 

I know my English score is great at school. But learning from a book and practising it are very different things! 

YOSEP (INT.) 

Well then, these are my colleagues. You all can introduce yourself. 

……………. 

********* 

Everybody has introduced themselves, including the guy in the shirt. 

THE GUY IN THE SHIRT 

Nice to meet you all folks, so my name is Salman, and these are exchange students from Kanagahama, Hinomoto. I was sent by the embassy as their interpreter, so rest assured. 

As I thought, the interpreter. 

THE GUY IN THE SHIRT 

Also, Mr Nakano here is their professor, and he’ll be in charge of supervising them. As we have stated, Mr Nakano and the students will be staying in some host family, with Mr Supratman’s house as the rendezvous point. 

Well isn’t this quite an opportunity? Finally, I don’t have to worry about my friends. Now I got Hinomotoans in my home! Surely they’ll have a lot of stories to tell… 

MR. NAKANO

Oh wait, there’s one more person who hasn’t introduced herself yet, Lemme call her first 

Wait there’s one more person? 

MR. NAKANO

Oy, Ryoushi! Come here! 

RYOUSHI (???) 

Yea I’m coming 

Huh? A girl’s voice in the car? So she’s only sitting there while everyone’s here? What a bad attitude- 

……… 

A young lady stepped out of the car onto our soil. Probably a high schooler? A teenager still in her jackets and training pants. Headphone on her neck. Sharp, unexcited eyes with a bit sullen expression. What’s with this girl? She seems sloppy. 

YOSEP (INT.) 

Looks like she came here against her own volition huh. 

So do I think? 

YOSEP (INT.) 

-but she seems… nice? 

But then, thunder flashes on my head. 

I know this feeling. 

It’s the feeling when someone I connect with is around. 

YOSEP (INT.) 

Is it her? 

My heart is throbbing 

YOSEP (INT.) 

Huh? Why am I getting excited now?


YEARS OF WANDERING 

EXT. DAY – TRAIN STATION PLAZA – SPRING 

Today is cold, and it somehow reminded me of that fateful day more than a decade ago. Unlike today, that day was the very opposite. It was warm. Okay, maybe not “warm” per se, it was more like scorching hot. 

JUN (INT.) 

(deep breath) Welcome, Ishizawa City. 

Steam came out from my mouth and nostrils as I breathed. Even though it is sunny, it is cold, and I am here, walking out of the station, into this city, far away from the capital, freezing, wearing the most formal dress I have – that means thin insulation. 

What the hell was I thinking? 

I looked upon my watch. 

JUN (INT.) 

Oh my, I’m running late. 

I ramped up my walking speed, though not too fast. I don’t want to ruin my dress with a standing bath of sweat. 

As I was walking to the bus stop, the edge of my eyes flickers. A familiar figure, I noticed one. Round glasses… unkempt hair… a suit! I glimpsed, and instinctively called 

JUN 

Sensei! 

The tall woman stopped and turned towards me. It seems like she is also familiar with me — oh, she definitely knows me. 

SENSEI (?) 

Oh. This is quite unexpected. 

********* 

INT. DAY – CITY BUS 

SENSEI (?) 

I didn’t expect we’ll meet again here, Jun. 

JUN 

We-well… I didn’t expect to meet you again here either Ms Nakano. 

It is my former high school teacher, Ms Nakano. We met at the station’s plaza and now we are taking the bus together. 

Ms NAKANO 

You’re going to the wedding right?

JUN 

Sena and Marina? Of course. Sena’s been my mate all along the high school. 

Ms NAKANO 

Pfft. (chuckles) What the heck are we even doing? Coming to a wedding with a city bus. 

JUN 

Well, aren’t we both practical? Coming to our best man’s wedding by bullet train. 

I smiled along as sensei’s chuckles became a burst of all-out laughter. A couple with fancy outfits on a bus. What a striking contrast, aren’t we. Sensei sure has a cheap sense of humour. 

JUN 

Sensei, so where did you come from? Why were you at the station? 

Ms NAKANO 

Oh, I just arrived from out of town. I’m getting back to my old passions. Have I told you yet? 

JUN 

Hmm… you haven’t 

RYOUSHI 

I’m back in Science again. I have moved close to my laboratory. 

JUN 

Wow. THAT”S GREAT SENSEI! 

RYOUSHI 

Aren’t I? 

JUN 

So happy for you. 

Time has passed so long. I often forgot that things are dynamic. 

I glanced at the buildings as the bus we were riding past them. Out of the blue, a sense of nostalgia – of the years I have spent living in this foreign country. 10 years ago as a scholar, I first stepped out from the station we just left and rode a bus just like this. And Sena, the lucky man today, was a fellow scholar and my roommate in my first three years. 

JUN 

(sigh) Well, It has been some time, innit Sensei 

Ms NAKANO 

Hey! Stop calling me “Sensei”. You graduated like 5 years ago. 

JUN 

Well, Ms Nakano?

Ms NAKANO 

(irritated). Somehow that makes me really self-aware with my age. 

Call me Ryoushi. 

JUN 

Ryoushi? 

RYOUSHI 

That’s better. (patting Jun’s head) 

JUN 

Hey, what the heck? What about the “I’m not your student anymore” thing? 

Well, that head pat was actually nice. 

RYOUSHI 

Oh, I’m sorry~ but you are forever my student. 

JUN 

… 

My God, this situation again. After a long time not seeing her, I have made no progress. She still sees me as her student. Please sensei, I’m already a self-sufficient and independent adult. 

RYOUSHI 

So what was it you’re about to say? 

JUN 

Ah, nothing in particular. I was just suddenly reminded of that moment in my high school graduation when I finally tell you that we actually have met years earlier 

RYOUSHI 

(raising brows) Oh, that one. 

Yeah. I taught you for three years, why did you just tell me then? 

JUN 

Well, I just fear that I might get the wrong person tho? 

RYOUSHI 

Oh. 

But still, It amazes me how small the world that we live in. 

Sensei turned her face to me. I glanced back. 

RYOUSHI 

Now, look at you. Look what that country boy has become. 

JUN

You sound like my mom. 

RYOUSHI 

Well, that’s not very nice of you. 

JUN 

You are not my mom, sensei – I mean Ryoushi. Didn’t you have a boyfriend already? 

RYOUSHI 

What a daring question you have there, young boy. I’ve dumped him away. 

My, what have I said? Why did I say such a cruel sentence? 

JUN 

I see… Sorry for asking that 

RYOUSHI 

Not a problem at all, that dipshit deserved it anyway. 

(pause) 

Why did you bring that out now? Perhaps you’re having a quarter-life crisis because your best friend is getting married? 

JUN 

That could be it. 

RYOUSHI 

Well, you were the so-called “school prince” back then. You should be okay finding a partner sooner or later. 

What nonsense is this? I am pretty self-aware of the condition of my face, but that doesn’t mean I am such a womanizer. 

RYOUSHI 

Hey, I’m curious, do you have a girlfriend? You should introduce her to me! I wanna know who gets to become my best student’s, lucky woman! 

Again, like my mom. 

JUN 

Well, as a matter of fact, let me count it first. One, two, three… 

RYOUSHI 

Oh my, you’re such a womanizer 

JUN 

Oh, yea. ZERO. 

I have never had a girlfriend. 

RYOUSHI 

Wait what the heck? Are you gay or something? 

JUN

Whoa, sensei you can’t say things like that in the 21st Century! 

RYOUSHI 

Well, then I still can’t believe it 

BUS ANNOUNCER 

Next Stop. Ishizawa Higashi High School. Ishizawa Higashi High School. ——- 

As we converse, the bus is arriving at our destination 

JUN 

Well, I guess we have arrived. 

RYOUSHI 

Oh, you’re right. 

We stepped out of the bus and is greeted with a nostalgic sight. 

JUN 

I still can’t believe they got permission to get married in the school’s gymnasium. 

RYOUSHI 

Well, this place is quite significant for them after all. They met here. 

We walked up through the flight of stairs that leads up to the school up in a small hill. 

RYOUSHI 

Though, I didn’t really expect they ended up together. Marina was such a cold and violent girl. 

JUN 

Yea, me neither. I thought Sena had no interest in romances at all. 

RYOUSHI 

But he loves studying right? And so do Marina. Plus they’re both in the science club. So perhaps it’s fate? 

JUN 

Witing tresna jalaran saka kulino

RYOUSHI 

Hmm? 

JUN 

It’s an old proverb from my place. “Love grows because you get used to it”. 

RYOUSHI 

What a nice one! 

JUN

They fell in love because they have spent too much time together, I guess? 

RYOUSHI 

Good analysis. 

We arrived at the top. We stopped by a rock and a wisteria tree near the entrance gate. A crowd of guests can be seen away. I saw some familiar faces. 

RYOUSHI 

This place… 

JUN 

Hmm? 

RYOUSHI 

Back at the graduation, you said something about waiting right? 

JUN 

Oh did I? 

RYOUSHI 

Yeah, you were telling me to wait for something, yet you refuse to tell me what should I wait for? 

JUN 

Well, that is strange. 

RYOUSHI 

Perhaps I got the Mandela effect? 

JUN 

What is that? 

RYOUSHI 

You know, when you think you remember something but that thing actually never happened. 

JUN 

Whoa that sounds like some scary stuff. 

As we talked, someone call our names. 

??? 

HEY YOSEP! SENSEI! 

JUN 

Who in the-

Only one person called me by real name. 

RYOUSHI 

Well, if it isn’t the lucky man! 

It’s Sena, the groom. 

SENA 

COME HERE, BRO!

I guess my time together with sensei has ended. Time to join the crowd 

RYOUSHI 

Let’s go there. Time to have some nostalgia 

JUN 

Yup. 

*********


AFTER A DECADE 

EXT. DUSK – STAIRS DOWN 

The wedding went magnificently. 

As the sun went down, Jun is seen standing near the rock and the wisteria tree. Waiting for someone. 

RYOUSHI 

Hey, that was a nice ceremony, isn’t it? 

JUN 

(turns back) It is. 

RYOUSHI 

You’re not going down? The reception will start soon. 

JUN 

Nah, I was waiting for a certain person, why haven’t you come down yourself? 

RYOUSHI 

I just wanna have a chat with my “other” best students. 

Andd~ who is this certain person? is it perhaps me? 

JUN 

If you choose to be that person. 

RYOUSHI 

We came here together, so I guess we’ll go down together then. 

JUN 

Sure thing. 

They walked side-by-side, down the high flight of stairs, as an orange sun backdrops them together from the west. 

RYOUSHI 

(glanced back) Your suit looks great. 

JUN 

And so do you, sensei. 

RYOUSHI 

…… 

JUN 

…… 

Jun walks two steps behind Ryoushi. It was very awkward. 

JUN 

Sensei. 

RYOUSHI 

I told you, call me Ryoushi-

JUN 

-I’m sorry for earlier 

RYOUSHI 

Eh? What for? 

JUN 

I asked about your boyfriend, it was not very appropriate of me 

RYOUSHI 

Nah it’s fine 

JUN 

No, it’s not, let me take you for a dinner later tonight as an apology. 

RYOUSHI 

Ohoho~ (smug face) 

If it is about food, I can always accept an apology. 

Jun smiles. Yet, he is still unsettled for bringing up the topic of personal romance to a Christmas cake. A mix of guilt and passion. 

As they walked down, sundown brings memories to Ryoushi. 

RYOUSHI 

Hey Jun, This evening, isn’t it nostalgic? 

JUN 

What did you remember sensei? 

RYOUSHI 

You know, when we first met back in your village, I was lost. 

JUN 

Eh? 

RYOUSHI 

I was in the 12th grade, I excelled at my school. Yet, I don’t know what I want to be. 

Jun stays silent. 

RYOUSHI 

Then we met. 

The conversation we had after the dinner in your house. How you assumed that because I’m from another country I know more than you – when in fact, I am as clueless as you. 

JUN 

I was pretty innocent back then, I think. 

RYOUSHI

Well, that boy told me about his dreams, and what he wanted to be. 

JUN 

I am fluttered. 

RYOUSHI 

And look, That boy’s determination has brought him to his dream. 

JUN 

…… 

RYOUSHI 

And more importantly – he has inspired me to find my resolve. 

Silence. 

RYOUSHI 

And then, We met again, here. 

I guess fate works in a mysterious way eh? 

JUN 

Sensei. 

Jun cuts her. 

RYOUSHI 

Yeah? 

Jun stepped six flights of stairs down. Ryoushi stops as he passed her. He turned around to stand before Ryoushi, below and looked up to her. 

JUN 

The truth is, I feigned ignorance when you asked me if I still remember that time when I asked you to wait. I remember it, and I know I asked it. 

RYOUSHI 

Jun? What are you talking about? 

JUN 

For all time, I have always looked up to you. 

You’re the one that made me keep going so that I can stand where I am now. 

RYOUSHI 

Jun… 

JUN 

The real thing is, my desire to meet you again, to talk with the person I looked up to, to ever see the person I had the “connect” moment ever again… It is my reason to keep striving until I stand here. 

RYOUSHI 

My…

JUN 

But now, I want to stop looking up, and start seeing you from the same standing. 

Heavenly shades of gold sparked over the sky of dusk. Golden strikes blanketed over them as Jun was about to say the hardest sentence of all his life up till now. 

Ryoushi is petrified in her place. She can sense what is coming. And she cannot escape from it 

RYOUSHI 

No- Jun… I can’t 

Jun felt a thunder has struck him 

JUN 

Sensei 

You’ve always challenged me and told me to ask “why” So today, please give me a 

RYOUSHI 

……. 

JUN 

Is it because of our age difference? 

Is it because that I am seven years younger than you? 

Is It because of the fact that I was your student

RYOUSHI 

I-I-I 

Ryoushi’s face is red as a rose. Words don’t formulate on her mind. The same happens with Jun. 

JUN 

You know Sensei… when you mentioned that you already had a boyfriend. I decided to give up. 

RYOUSHI 

It was… 

JUN 

That is why! Please… don’t turn away from me… 

-for any reason other than your feelings. 

A moment of silence. 

RYOUSHI 

You’ve checkmated me Jun, I can’t deny your question. 

JUN, I LO-

JUN 

I LOVE YOU SENSEI! 

RYOUSHI 

(gasp!) 

Jun 

Since that fateful day a decade ago Always has, Always been. 

So, Sensei. 

-no. 

Ryoushi Nakano, 

Would you marry me? 

********* 

FIN.


Writer: Lordo A.

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