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It was 2 in the morning.

It was 2 in the morning.

It was 2 in the morning…

I laid my head carelessly on the couch's puffy arm, simply not in the mood to sleep. In fact, I'm not in the mood to do anything but to think. Think, think, just think with my blank mind. Yesterday's work was almost the same as how it usually is, plenty, but easy to do. Today it won't be much different. I will have no difficulties in finishing them even without sleeping for a couple of days or more. I glanced at the clock just to give my wide-awaken eyes some job. Why, I wasn't surprised that I'm right.

It was 2 in the morning indeed.

August…17th. That date. It hasn't even been a week after I had to come to that celebration she held at her place, as a mandate from my boss. It was a big celebration, as how such an event supposed to be celebrated, every year. She hasn't changed much since before that time; still with that long, straight black hair, dark eyes, tan complexion, small nose, accepting smile.  That's her. That's how I remembered her. Different clothes, different surroundings, but that's her alright.

I came to her with a bouquet of tulips, red and white tulips, careful not to add any blue ones among them; though I always think her choice of colors are incomplete without blue. They were wrapped in white plastic wrap and red ribbons. I knocked at her door, pretty early in the evening, didn't know what expression I should make, what words I should say. Should I say "hi"? "Congratulations"? "Damn it"? I remember I stood there for quite a while, felt weird; reminded myself that she almost never does anything on time. But when she opened the door and had that smile, that wide, happy, grateful smile as she took the bouquet…

"Thanks for coming," I clearly heard she said, "…Belanda~!"

…I couldn't help but to smile as well; though smiles can never really stay in my face for a long time. The usual flat expression of mine came as quickly as the smile disappears. But at least I know I'm on a good mood. And she knew it too.

"Hallo."

"It's nice to see you. Glad you can make it this year too~"

I shrugged, "Enjoying your celebration, huh?"

"Ahaha, of course I am!" she nodded and opened her doors wider, "Come in, come in! I cooked a lot every August 17th, you know~ I wouldn't be able to finish them alone! Someone gotta help me, hehe…"

"Ja, ja…as long as you put some spices on them." I snorted and pulled off my shoes, put them hesitantly outside. Those were not my best shoes, and it's not like I didn't expect anyone to steal it. It's her place; I wouldn't be surprised to see a perfectly random person stole those shoes when they can. But manners are manners. I was the one who drilled it into her; I was her teacher, and I must admit I was strict about this. Naturally I'm supposed to give some examples.

"Of course, Meneer, they're filled with spices~" she said in a cheerful tone, laughed a little, "I'm not called the Spices Paradise for nothing, don't you think? And if it wasn't for the spices, you wouldn't even think of coming all the way from the western Europe to the south-eastern Asia. Benar?"

"Whatever."

…In all honesty, that was true. Indeed, it was her spices that attracted me the most; that made me willing to sacrifice a lot of time, money, and ships to go around the world to find this unknown land. I've always been an efficient nation. I think about the cost and advantage of everything before I do something. When I had to I give a lot…I got paid two to four times the amount I sacrificed. That was how it always is. That's how it was supposed to be. And her spices were not an exception.

"Ah, cold as usual," she prepared the table and brought some homemade dishes, put them on the table, slightly  looked gloomier but still smiling, "…though it has been 65 years. You still cannot accept it, can you, Meneer?"

"Cannot accept what?"

"That I'm independent from you already," she said in a quieter tone, motioned over the chairs as if she didn't really want to bring up the subject, polite as usual, "Please sit down."  

I sat casually; saw that she sat as well after putting a glass of hot honey, milk and ginger mixed drink near the dishes for me. I wanted Heineken, but alcoholic beverages are never popular in her place. Guess I had to be satisfied with this drink. I sipped it a little, it didn't taste that bad. Actually I quite like how she always mixed several weird things into her drinks and how they somehow taste not as weird as I imagined they would be with all those ingredients.

It tastes funny…and warm.

"Hm," I sipped more," I thought I accepted it on 2005. Your so-called real independence year, that is."

"Eh...? But that's not…uh…"

"What?"

"That's…not all," she bit her lips.

"Still not satisfied?" I frowned, "What other date do you plan to change?"

"No, no…that's not what I mean," she looked down, "It's true that you finally agreed I was already independent on 1945 and not 1949 as you insisted all this time, and for that I'm happy when at long last we came to an understanding on 2005. But eh…what I meant is…"

"Just say it," I demanded.

She shook her head, tried to find a more polite words.

"It seems to me," the words came from her mouth one by one, carefully, "That you're still thinking of me as your Netherlands East Indies. That was what you called me when we met again just a while ago, right? East Indies? I mean, of course I understand that you've been calling me that for hundreds of years, but…"

"Ja? But what?"

I waited for her every word; wanted to shake her or something so the she would sputters those words faster. So slow…why so slow? I always thought I couldn't deal with her slowness of doing things. But at that time, I just waited. And I slightly cursed my brain for knowing what she would say.

And then she said it with a small, sweet, almost understanding smile.

"…we're…no longer what we're used to be, Meneer."

And though I knew she'd say that, that sentence struck me like a loud gunshot in the middle of the night. Those words, as clearly as a lightning on rainy summer day, ran inside my head in a deadlocked circle. Again, again, again.

No longer what we're used to be.

No longer what we're used to be.

No longer what we're used to be?

My mind came back to the present time, where I laid down on my couch, alone, thinking. Perhaps she was right. We were not what we were used to be. That fact seems obvious to me now, I mean…no one is what they're used to be 65 years ago, ja? It's just not possible. People changed. Nations changed as well, if not as drastically and quickly as humans.

But then I was thinking again.

What were we used to be?

I frowned, glanced tiredly to the dark-tiled floor. Perhaps it's true. Perhaps we were not what we were used to be. But what was she to me? Was she my underling? My subordinate? My colony? My servant? Did she mean that less to me? Was she my friend? My girlfriend? My lover? My wife? Did she mean that much to me? What the hell, all of a sudden I wasn't even sure of my own feelings. I'm never the type to let my feelings get involved in my thinking process, but this is somehow surprising, even for me. Who wouldn't be surprised? I stayed with her much longer than I ever with other girls. Three hundreds and fifty years. I spent three hundreds and fifty years with a girl without knowing exactly what I think of her.

How ironic.

My body ached slightly, demanding some sleep. But my brain and eyes refused. I suddenly remembered that time, when I came to one of her cities and saw it myself. She was standing in front of a battlefield, a battlefield she created herself. Her eyes looked darker than they usually are, her hair spread messily all over her shoulders, her face frowning in rage, and for the first time I saw how deep her hatred towards me at the moment. Quickly, angrily, she grabbed my flag and tore the blue.

She tore my pride right in front of me.

And she shouted at me, said that it's better for her to be dead than to be under my rule. Better be dead. I couldn't understand. I was confused. I knew I colonized her, at that time. Really, what other option do I have? I was just being independent myself, and the chance is either I have to start colonizing or be colonized again. And I, of course, preferred the first. It turned out that I was not so bad a colonizer. Better than that bastard Spain, England, Russia…and almost everyone else, in fact. But she said it, clear as ever, that she preferred to be dead that to be with me.

Dead?

So, what was I to her?

Was I someone she didn't even know who accidentally saw her place on the map and decided to stay? Someone who was predicted to take over for a while? Someone who was destined to go after my time with her is over? A superior? An old friend? A big brother, like Japan? A boyfriend? A husband? An uncle? A teacher? An acquaintance? A stranger? A damned colonizer?

…An enemy?

I stretched my back a little. It screams for a rest, but I hadn't finished thinking, so I ignored it. My hands reached on top of the small table next to the couch, grabbing a smaller frame of two frames that stood there. The girl on the picture inside the frame smiled happily---a little shyly, her hands clasped together, her body was wrapped in batik-patterned fabric and she wore her hair up in a knot bun; put some flowers on it. I looked at the picture for a couple of minutes, resisted chuckling when I saw again that the flowers on her hair were tulips. I remembered I said to her that she was not supposed to put tulips on people's hair.

Who the heck put tulips on their heads anyway?

But she insisted, said that it was one of her ways of showing her goodwill to build a good relationship with this particular European nation---me. I let her wore them, then. And took her picture, put it on this frame. My fingers caress the tip of the frame, feeling its tiny wood texture. I remember I took the picture with the first Polaroid camera I got from England at the turn of the century. My first Polaroid camera, my first picture of her. And definitely my favorite among all other pictures of her. It still is, though the time has passed.

It still is.

Wearily, I put back the frame on its previous place right beside the other frame on the table, and muttered a deep, grunting "Verdomme…" to myself before I glanced at the clock again. I can't help but to frown.

It was 2:15 in the morning…
((Something for my Indonesian friends~ OuO
Ah...for your information, I'm not Indonesian. I'm just staying here because it's a prettypretty country. If there are some mistakes, kindly note me or something. Idk. And almost everyone who ever read my other writings know how I suck at words.

*sighs*

So yeah.

This doesn't have anything to do with the current HOH storyline, though~
And oh, no offense intended to anyone. c:
There, done.

Netherlands (c) Earth, APH/WSH
Indonesia (c) I just made a loose reference on several Indonesia OCs I found on dA.
APH/WSH (c) Himaruya))
Add a Comment:
 
:iconileanawhiteshade912:
ileanawhiteshade912 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
a. The Netherlands was kept in-character. b. The history between them is valid and factual. c. Indonesia's character just feels right, and I think it fits the Indonesian persona. d. Roughly free of typos or grammatical mistakes. And finally, e. The story's just amazing.

You don't suck at words. You did an awesome job! :D
Reply
:iconrandomanonperson:
RandomAnonPerson Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011
Great story. I really liked it. :thumbsup:
I see you gave Indonesia the cheerful disposition of the Javanese. That's alright, since there are 300 ethnic groups in the country you might want to choose the dominant one.
You did a great job of putting Netherlands in character. Good job.
Reply
:iconthe--netherlands:
The--Netherlands Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011
((Thank you for the nice comment :aww: :heart:
I appreciate it that you spent some time to actually read my writing~
It means a lot to me :nod:))
Reply
:iconrandomanonperson:
RandomAnonPerson Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011
yeah, your welcome
Reply
:icondhurain:
dhurain Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this makes me love Belanda MOAR :heart::heart::heart:!! i can't stop smiling when reading this fic, even my dad felt uneasy looking into my face. HHEHE~ :brushteeth:
Reply
:iconthe--netherlands:
The--Netherlands Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2010
((D'aw...thanks for such a nice comment :la: :la: Ahh...I wonder how you face looked like if you can even make your own dad felt uneasy :iconteheplz:))
Reply
:icondhurain:
dhurain Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconheheplz:=>:iconhurrplz:=>:iconilavplz:=>:icondurrhurrplz:=>:iconleleleplz:=>:iconimhappyraveplz:

o yea~ i think my face more bizarre than this :icondesiremeplz:
Reply
:iconkannakurru:
kannakurru Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010  Student Digital Artist
wow!that was a veryveryvery good!i like this fanfic^^
Reply
:iconthe--netherlands:
The--Netherlands Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010
((Thank you so much~! ;u; Glad you like it because it took me quite a while to get this finished))
Reply
:iconkannakurru:
kannakurru Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Student Digital Artist
you welcome^^
but it is fanfic that you make was very good,i can't make it as well as you-__-
Reply
:iconguriin-midokarasu:
guriin-midokarasu Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010
*speachless*

you make me fall in love with Holland more T____T *

very good damn Story >.</
Reply
:iconthe--netherlands:
The--Netherlands Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010
((Eh...thanks a lot! ;u; Lol you like Holland? 8D Glad you think it was good, because it took me eight days to write this thing -u-"))
Reply
:iconguriin-midokarasu:
guriin-midokarasu Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010
yeaaah i like him so much <3.....

but i do love your work :D good job..and you know much history about indonesia and netherland >.<
Reply
:iconthe--netherlands:
The--Netherlands Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010
((Well, if that's not obvious enough yet, I'm a Dutch. OuO I knew Indonesian history from quite a few research I did while I roleplayed my country this character~))
Reply
:iconguriin-midokarasu:
guriin-midokarasu Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2010
wooooo i see >.>
i was RP-ing as holland to >.> wkwk
*sorry for very late reply btw >.>
Reply
:iconthe--netherlands:
The--Netherlands Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2010
((Haha...no problem...I kinda used to late replies *sighs*))
Reply
:iconguriin-midokarasu:
guriin-midokarasu Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2010
ahahahahah >.>
Reply
:iconwitch-indonesia:
witch-indonesia Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010
Kyaaaaaaa! XD. I'm impressed with the way you describe the flag incident! It's my favorite since throughout my history book! No, you DON'T suck at words. It's simple but goes straight to the heart! Thanks for writing this!
Reply
:iconthe--netherlands:
The--Netherlands Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010
((Thank you so much for the nice comment~! ;u; I think the flag incident was one of the main events in Indonesian history, so I picked that as a theme~ Glad you think it's good, it means a lot to me :heart:))
Reply
:iconwitch-indonesia:
witch-indonesia Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010
Kyaaaaaaa! XD. I'm impressed with the way you describe the flag incident! It's my favorite since throughout my history book! No, you DON'T suck at words. It's simple but goes straight to the heart! Thanks for writing this!
Reply
:iconthe--netherlands:
The--Netherlands Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010
((Thank you so much for the nice comment~! ;u; I think the flag incident was one of the main events in Indonesian history, so I picked that as a theme~ Glad you think it's good, it means a lot to me :heart:))
Reply
:iconkarina-de-silva:
karina-de-silva Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010
(this is the same person as :iconwitch-indonesia: XD. Actually Indonesians don't really pay attention to the flag incident, there are a few other war scene they which are more important, but I particularly like the flag incident because it's like... symbolic and very dramatic. I mean, war was inevitable that time. The flag incident and this awesome fanfiction still gets the first place in my heart XD)
Reply
:iconnaga-pyon:
Naga-pyon Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010
Aww... I'm pleased with how you were able to portray the emotions of the respective characters..

"And almost everyone who ever read my other writings know how I suck at words."

But you have the potential to be better, you see ^^
There's room for improvement so.. keep on growing~
Reply
:iconthe--netherlands:
The--Netherlands Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010
((Glad you're pleased :aww: I tried to do so, and quite happy to hear that I managed to do it. Of course, I'll do my best at improving my writing skills. Thank you for taking some time in reading and commenting~))
Reply
:iconaph--indonesia:
APH--Indonesia Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010
((I LOVE THIS A LOT *u* :heart: you do really know about Indonesia's history as well 8D~ i do really glad!
a beautiful fanfic, i could imagine in every word you typed~ >w< you're a good writer~
well, not much mistakes on the history, just a little C: but true~ /automatically faves/ ))


....-smiles- well, if you're not occupy me back then, i couldn't write alphabets, or even learn about laws... i learnt lots of things from you...
Reply
:iconthe--netherlands:
The--Netherlands Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010
((THANK YOU SO MUCH~! :bounce: I did quite a bit of a research about Indonesian history since I decided to roleplay the Netherlands, haven't I told you that? OuO No, I don't think I'm a good writer :I But I'm glad you like it. It means a lot to me. And you know I didn't mean to make the mistake, whatever it is. Thanks for reading, commenting, and faving~! <3))

Huh? o_o
*turns his head* Hey!
S-since when were you there?!

*sighs* Uhh...
Nevermind...*frowns, sits on the couch*...don't just stand there, come in.
What were you saying, again?
Reply
:iconaph--indonesia:
APH--Indonesia Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010
((*w* yes~ You're welcome~ <3))

..aih?... since.. since... uh... i don't know.. -shrugs & laughs nervously-

-comes in- i said... what am i saying? -thinks- ah! ... -smiles- you taught me a lot. If you weren't there that time, i don't use alphabets... It's also thanks to you too...
Reply
:iconthe--netherlands:
The--Netherlands Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010
*looks away, tsundere modeee*
Why are you saying thanks?
It was for my advantage as well. I wouldn't want my colonies not to be able to read and write, would I? :I
Reply
:iconaph--indonesia:
APH--Indonesia Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010
That's why... you taught me, and i should thank to you~! -giggles-
Reply
:iconthe--netherlands:
The--Netherlands Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010
Pfh. No need to thank me.
I took a lot from you for that >:U *still tsundere more*
Reply
:iconaph--indonesia:
APH--Indonesia Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010
uhmm... well, ya...
but still~ *repeats all over again*
thank you thank you thank you thank you~ 8D don't be tsun much, Belanda.... -laughs-
Reply
:iconthe--netherlands:
The--Netherlands Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2010
Urrhh. >://I
Reply
:iconkallua-zeruk:
Kallua-Zeruk Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
*is speechless OTL*...

ANYWAY! It's really a good fanfic you have there, Aza~~ :iconiloveyouplz:

Well, it's said that actually the Netherlands didn't occupied Indonesia for 350 years. 300 years was Netherlands's attempts to colonize Indonesia, well, since Indonesia's territory is quite big and Indonesia is a union of some kingdoms, like the way the Holy Roman Empire did.

And the longest struggle was by the kingdom in Aceh (it makes sense if Aceh wants to be independence from Indonesia since Aceh is already strong by itself *shot by the government*)

But... that's just an addition, and nothing related with your awesome fanfic~ :XD:
Reply
:iconthe--netherlands:
The--Netherlands Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010
((Good? Lol really? o_o" In what way? OTL
Yes, I know that. And about how long the Netherlands actually occupied Indonesia. It was not exactly 350 years, but I asked some of my friends in real live and their answers were all 350. Yes, I did some researches for this thing ;n; So I take it that I will just be on the safe side and wrote 350.
Aceh was strong. ouo I take it that you remember Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje?))
Reply
:iconkarina-de-silva:
karina-de-silva Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010
350 years is the practical answer since Netherlands occupied the most important part of Indonesia first (which is just a very small part of the whole country back then) before the other little kingdoms.

Send my regards to uncle Hugronje. Smart move.
Reply
:iconkallua-zeruk:
Kallua-Zeruk Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yep, really~~ In a good way? *brick'd*

Come on! You're good at it >3< At least, I can't write something like you did~

As expected from you~~ *huggles* Doing research even for the slightest detail~

Yepyep, my teacher taught me about him when I was in junior high school~ ;p
Reply
:iconthe--netherlands:
The--Netherlands Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010
*is huggled* Pfh, anyone can write better than me.
Or I don't know. I admit I have a surprisingly low self esteem at times. OTL
Reply
:iconkallua-zeruk:
Kallua-Zeruk Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's gonna be ok as long as you try your best and keep improving~ :icongoodjobplz:

But I haven't try it myself though~~ xD;;
Reply
:iconanina-ni-ni:
Anina-Ni-Ni Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010
((Wow, it's so beautiful! Why don't you write more often? I like seeing Pieter's perspective on things like this, it's just...I don't know how to describe it. I'll just say really cool. xD))
Reply
:iconthe--netherlands:
The--Netherlands Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010
((You really think so? ._." Somehow I still don't feel confident with my writing...but I'm glad you like it. Thanks for reading and commenting so nicely on this, it means a lot you know ;u; <3))
Reply
:iconanina-ni-ni:
Anina-Ni-Ni Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010
(( I do ouo No one really does, but I see you're improving. You're welcome~ ;u; <33))
Reply
:iconhonda---kiku:
Honda---Kiku Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010
((hooo, you know indonesia history very well. OwO good fanfic!>w<d. in indonesia always held an eating crackers contest at 17th august XDD
although indonesia is spicy country, i don't like spicy food <w<))

ooranda-san...i know you still can't forget her...as the one who took her from you, i know your feeling.she was even didn't heard me when i said i will gives an independence to her, instead she declared independences by herself when i am in the very bad injuries and near to die.....but that's already a long time ago.just let her be.....i am doing bad at her too, more bad than you think....more bad than you did for 350 years at her. but she forgive me, and now we are friend.

((history said,being occupied by netherland for 350 years is nothing than being occupied for 3,5 years by japan,that can explain how sadist japan to indonesia back then....))
Reply
:iconkarina-de-silva:
karina-de-silva Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010
(Indonesia is a good girl isn't she? *smacked for being a narcissist*)
Reply
:iconhonda---kiku:
Honda---Kiku Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010
^^;
Reply
:iconthe--netherlands:
The--Netherlands Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010
((Thank you so much~! I did quite a bit of a research about Indonesian history since I decided to roleplay the Netherlands. -u- Yes, I know about the crackers-eating contest...my friend took me to the August 17th celebration near her house when I came. I like spicy food~ OuO And eh...was Japan actually that bad?))

Hey! *sits in surprise* Since when are you he---uh...nevermind.

*frowns*
The relationship between my boss and hers is pretty good as well recently. *shrugs casually* I wouldn't worry about that.

But I never like that date. August 17th, that is.
It makes me think of things I don't want to think about.
Annoying historical things *snorts*
Reply
:iconhonda---kiku:
Honda---Kiku Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010
((really bad and cruel than you thinks....>w>))

well, that date....just 2 days before i lost at WW2.i don't like it as well...she declared an independences without my permission -__-
Reply
:iconthe--netherlands:
The--Netherlands Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010
((How bad? OuO))

...is that so.
Then it was not a good date for both I and you. :I
Reply
:iconhonda---kiku:
Honda---Kiku Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010
((like making a jail that enough just for 6 person and they will died by time...in standing position = w = ))

indeed.that was...mou!...when i remember it again, i feel pissed off:iconjapanrapefaceplz:
Reply
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