Goa Maria A short story by Bernard Batubara Translated by Toni Pollard It was unthinkable to Suhana that she’d have to wait such a seemingly endless long time. She was forced to remain patient. One of her good friends told her, “To be patient is a test from God and it goes on forever.” Forever? Yes, forever. Suhana felt she’d have to remain patient for far longer than that. Even though she could barely breathe or stem the flow of tears. Wanto was the boy’s name. And he’d promised Suhana that he’d meet her. At the usual time and at the usual place, the Goa Maria swimming pool. But the meeting never took place. There was not even a glimpse of a hair on his head. No, even though the row of acacia trees had shed the last of their leaves and the seasons had rolled around. Still Suhana waited.