Page 1. A comic page of six panels in full colour, with black lines.
Panel 1: Siti, a migrant worker, receives a call from her mother in Tegal, Central Java. She covers her mouth with her hand in surprise. Mother: “Siti, your father passed away.”
Panel 2: Siti falls to her knees in shock.
Panel 3: Close-up of Siti’s phone, now on the floor.
Panel 4: Siti’s employer, a middle-aged woman, and the employer’s child sit beside Siti on the floor. They try to console her. Employer: “It’s very dangerous in your country now. If you go back to Indonesia, you may not be able to return to Singapore.”
Panel 5: Close-up of a photograph of the employer’s deceased husband. Employer: “I know how it feels to lose someone. But you have to be wise, Siti.”
Panel 6: Siti and her employer embrace. Siti: “I must see him before he is buried. It’s my last chance to show my gratitude and respect to him. As Muslims, my family can’t wait too long to bury his body.”
Page 2: A comic page of five panels in full colour, with black lines.
Panel 1: Siti and her employer are at the airport. Employer: “I heard that returning migrant workers must be quarantined.” Siti: “I’m sure they will understand. My test results are negative, and I’m going to pay my last respects to my father.”
Panel 2: They are standing in the departure hall. Siti has a suitcase beside her. Employer: “How can tickets be so expensive?” Siti: “Don’t worry, I still have savings.”
Panel 3: The employer hands an envelope to Siti. Employer: “Please accept this, though it’s not much.” Siti: “But you’ve given me so much already…”
Panel 4: Siti looks at her employer, who continues speaking: “I know you’ve been sending money back home. You probably don’t have a lot of savings. Keep it for your family; use this if something happens. 
Panel 5: the airplane takes off into the sky. Seated within, Siti murmurs in her heart: “Thank you, and goodbye. We probably won’t meet again. I’m so sorry. I must go home.”
Page 3. A comic page of six panels in full colour, with black lines.
Panel 1: Siti is in a Covid-19 quarantine centre in Indonesia, speaking to an official on duty there. Siti: “According to the regulations, there is no fee for migrant workers.” The official replies: “You still have to follow the procedure.” Siti pleads: “Please help me. My father has passed away.” The official says, uncaring: “This is the amount you have to pay for the quarantine.”
Panel 2: Siti is in an isolation ward. She calls her employer using her mobile phone to update her. “You’re right. I have to be quarantined for eight days.” It is the fourth day of her quarantine.
Panel 3: From the corner of her eye, Siti spots a well-dressed woman in sunglasses walking past the door of her ward.
Panel 4: Siti moves to the door and overhears a conversation between the woman and an official. Handing an envelope to him, the woman says: “I have to get out of here.”
Panel 5: Close-up of the envelope and the official’s hands receiving it. Woman: “Can you help?” Official: “No problem.”
Panel 6. Close-up of Siti’s face, surprised and angry.
Page 4. A comic page of five panels in full colour, with black lines.
Panel 1: Outside the quarantine centre. An official waves to a departing car belonging to the woman. “Happy holiday, drive safely!”
Panel 2: Suddenly, a hand grabs the back of his shirt.
Panel 3. It’s Siti. Frustrated, she confronts the official, demanding: “Procedure? What procedure?!”
Panel 4: A few other officials hold Siti back. The official whom she had confronted responds: “That’s how it is. Pay more money if you want to get out.”
Panel 5. Wanting to leave early, Siti hands over some cash to the official with regret. She mutters: “You should be ashamed to wear that uniform and badge!”
Page 5. A comic page of three panels in full colour, with black lines.
Panel 1. Siti’s hometown. A procession of people dressed in black carry a coffin down a road lined with trees. 
Panel 2. An old woman dressed in black is weeping by a freshly dug grave. She is Siti’s mother. “Where are you, Siti? We waited for three days. Your father has been buried.”
Panel 3. A view of the burial grounds. Siti’s mother is surrounded by many other graves and tombstones, also freshly dug. The other mourners prepare to leave.
Page 6. A comic page of four panels in full colour, with black lines.
Panel 1. Siti floats alone in her thoughts, thinking about all the costs she’s had to bear thus far. She is surrounded visually by these labels: Plane ticket; COVID test; Quarantine; 
Immigration fee; Payment to officials; Burial fee; Bus ticket.

Panel 2. Close-up of her hands opening her wallet, now empty.

Panel 3. Siti leans back in her bus seat. “Thank God, I still have enough for the bus ticket.”

Panel 4. The bus makes its way from Jakarta to Tegal, her hometown, on a road winding through hills.
Page 7. A comic page of three panels in full colour, with black lines.
Panel 1. A day after the burial, Siti arrives home and embraces her mother on the front porch of their house. A yellow flag indicating mourning is still mounted to the tree outside their home. Siti: “I’m so sorry, mum…”
Panel 2. Close-up of her father’s grave, on which a yellow umbrella is placed, indicating that it is a new grave.
Panel 3. Close-up of a white and yellow plumeria flower settling on top of the grave.

Okky Madasari is a novelist and columnist for several media outlets in Indonesia. She has published 11 books and is now doing her PhD at the National University of Singapore, with a thesis on censorship and silencing in Indonesia.

Ghufroni An’ars is a visual artist based in Lampung, Indonesia. He completed his Master’s in Indonesian Language and Literature in 2020. His work can be found on Instagram at @arscave

Abdul Khalik is a journalist who has worked with The Jakarta Post and Jakarta Globe.