Before I begin with my story, let me introduce myself first. I’m Daniel. I’m 38 years old and from Indonesia. I grew up in a very poor family living in the mountains. I was the breadwinner and supported my 4 siblings and my mother. My mother had been always sick but we couldn’t afford to bring her to the hospital every time her asthma attacked her. My life was very frustrating as I never had the chance to buy luxuries and would only dream about it. Sometimes, my family and I would only eat once or twice a day as my daily income couldn’t provide three meals a day for 6 mouths. It was a tough life but I managed to escape from it.
I worked as a personal body guard for the Mayor’s son 19 years ago. So, wherever my boss went I followed him. He was very kind to me and would give me extra money or food for my family. I owed him a lot for his generosity. He treated me like a brother and disregarded my duty as his body guard. We hung out together just like siblings. We laughed, we cried, we had fun, and we made mistakes together. My boss was around my age when I worked for him. He was a party animal. He would bring me to the club to hang out with girls. One night, my boss and I tagged along with his friends at a club. I didn’t really have fun as I didn’t belong in their group. They were a bunch of rich kids and I was only a poor boy. I went back to the car and relaxed for a bit as I couldn’t drink any more. It was already 2 o’clock in the morning. As I was napping, I heard a girl crying. She was standing by the car where I was seated. I approached her to investigate. She told me that she recently broke up with her longtime boyfriend. I asked her if she wanted to drive around to maybe make her feel better and she agreed. We drove around the town while my boss and his friend were still drinking. I also brought her to a nearby seashore to get fresh air and so she could shout her anger out. We stayed there for an hour and went back to the bar as I had to drive my boss back home.
A few days later, I met the girl again in a grocery store. I forgot to ask her name the last time we met because she was too drunk to make a conversation. So I took the chance to ask her. She couldn’t remember me and she didn’t remember hanging out with me. I told her about the seaside and that she broke up with her boyfriend but I guess, she was really drunk that night. I asked her if we could be friends but surprisingly, she asked me if I was rich because if I was not, we could not be friends. I lied. I told her I was the Mayor’s nephew and that of course I was well-off. She finally told me her name was Monica and gave me her phone number as she was about to leave the store. I didn’t know what I was thinking or why I lied but I thought it was going to be okay. As she left, I ran back to my boss. I told him about it but he laughed at me and called me a ‘fool’. My boss did me a favor and gave me his old but wearable clothes and shoes so I could look presentable. My boss also gave me money for dinner dates and I didn’t have to pay him back. However, he was a little concerned as I could not hide my real identity forever.
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I’ve been seeing Monica for quite some time and it was hard to pretend to be somebody that I was not. Luckily, I was well taken care of by my boss as he taught me to act aristocratic. I only finished up to 6th grade and I was not as intelligent either. Every date we had, every outfit I wore, all the money I spent, every car I used, and everything I told Monica, all came from my boss. I stole his cousin’s identity.
Moving forward… Monica confessed to me that she already liked me. I thought since she already liked me, what if I tell her the truth? I was already falling in love with her. So I continued being pretentious until one time, she asked me to bring her home and introduce her to my parents. I knew that she would ask me for it one day and I wouldn’t be able to do so. I thought about a definite reason why I couldn’t bring her home but I couldn’t lie no more. I already loved her and the more I lie, the less chances she would love me back. One day, I asked her to meet me. I revealed my real identity and it upset her. She walked out and never looked back. I wanted to chase her but it was not worth it anymore. She would hate me forever and wouldn’t see each other again. It was all my fault. I never thought she would like me either as I only desired to be friends with her when I saw her being lonely at the club. I only wanted to cheer her up so she could move on.
One night as I got drunk, I blamed God for giving me that kind of life. I never chose to be poor. If I were to be born again, I would rather be a billionaire. Because by being rich I wouldn’t have to worry about working and providing for my family as money is constantly there. While I was working hard to feed my family it was never good enough. The next morning as I sobered up, I realized that it was about time to be productive. Even though I hadn’t finished school, I was wise enough to deal with life. A long time ago before I was even born, my mom inherited land from her parents when they died. My mother never thought of selling it as it was the only hope she had of providing us with a future one day.
I visited the land my mother inherited. It was dry with cracks all over it and I didn’t know what to do with it. And it was too far from the city. So, I thought about turning it into farmland. I asked my boss to help me out getting the land prepared so crops could grow in it. He hired bulldozers to refine the land and helped me with the irrigation system so that water could reach the farmland and keep the flow of water to it. A month after, I filled up the land with rice seedlings and planted vegetables and trees. It took a while before the rice would be fully grown while the vegetables took at least a month. From then on, I focused on farming and became an expert. I was earning enough to support my family from the vegetables we sold in the wet market every day until I was able to save up from selling rice to buy the nearby land. I kept expanding my farm and now I own 50 hectares of land. I put a lot of hard work in it and my heart to it. I survived all the tragedies that came through and I didn’t give up as I know the farm was there for a reason. Typhoons and drought were my biggest problems as it was caused by nature and it destroyed my farm numerous times but I never quit. Instead, I pushed myself more and more. My family was my inspiration in my success. Quitting was never an option to me. I put 15 years of my existence into becoming a successful farmer and now is not the time to just sit down. I hired laborers to help me out with planting rice seedlings on each farm all over the country. I, myself, help them out to plant rice when it’s time. People of Indonesia need to eat to survive and rice is critical for supplementing this. From then on, the flow of cash in my hands was continuous and I was able to buy a villa for my family. Thanks to my longtime friend/boss, Rob, who helped me construct my land. I would never be as prosperous as now if it was not because of him. He helped me a lot to become who and where I am now.
A few years back, I went to a well-known classy restaurant downtown to discuss business with the owner. I succeeded with my proposal to deliver them rice and vegetable all-year round. On my way out of the restaurant, I saw Monica. She was wearing the waitress’ outfit and holding a serving tray. I smiled and told myself, “You would have been my partner in life and wealthy now, but you ignored me because I was poor. You know how it was to be poor, yet you chose to be with a rich guy. I knew I didn’t deserve you as you were a liar just like me when we met. But my intentions towards you were good and yours were purely evil”. Money is nothing compared to love. As the love I had for my family motivated me to get where I am now. Monica then noticed me as I was walking out. When she was about to say goodbye to me as she was doing her job to greet every customer, she stopped. She asked me if we had met before. I told her yes that I lied to her as a mayor’s nephew and she remembered it. Of course, she wasn’t drunk when we were seeing each other as I didn’t want her to turn into an alcoholic. Her face suddenly brightened up and she was willing to talk to me more about my life after we split up. I told her that I was managing farms and always busy throughout the day. She couldn’t believe me and laughed at my face. And said, “I know you are here to escort your boss”. “Monica, believe whatever you want but I have to go”, I told her. Then my personal assistant approached me to remind me of my next meeting. So I said goodbye to Monica as I had to go and she couldn’t believe what she just heard from my assistant when he called me “boss”. Monica chased me and asked if we could meet again as she became intrigued. I told her that I had no time for deceptive friends as I was denied a long time ago by the only person I had dreamt of being in my future.
Since then, I became picky with the girls I date. She doesn’t have to be rich. Her personality matters to me more than anything else. I had encountered several women but they were after my money and not love. I was lucky to find one three years ago and now she is the mother of my two beautiful daughters.