This is a short story (not really that short though) I made as my final paper requirement for my creative writing class back in my first year in college. I plan to post it in chapters because of it's length and wordiness. It's about love, passion, patience, commitment, and a very unusual way of putting these virtues to the test....all at the same time. Enjoy :)
And There I Was
“85 Dela Rosa St. Sucat, Paranaque. Well, I guess this is the right place.”
Lifting my two, 50 pound luggage I head towards the other side of the road where I see where I’m about to spend my next few years, or few days at least. Just like playing patintero when I was a child, I try to get to the other side without getting tagged by cars and jeepneys as my playmates, but this time, I can only get tagged once. I see some things here in the Philippines never change.
I stop to wipe the sweat off my face for a while, dripping like a waterfall down my forehead to my eyes. It was 1:45 in the afternoon, and the sun is just a little off the zenith. After wiping off those salty liquids, I looked up and saw what’s ahead of me.
There I was, my body almost bathing with perspiration, looking at a big, 20th century mansion covered with moss of I-don’t-know kind. My heart seems to be slowing down as I stare longer. Again, sweat started to run down my face.
I picked up my bags yet again and began heading towards the door. My heart is still pounding as if something’s not right. Like there’s something happening but I can’t tell what the heck it is. All I can say is that I don’t like the feeling of it. My sweat started to become cold, my hair rising to the tips of my whole body. It was almost 2 in the afternoon, but I feel as if I’m all alone in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night.
I snapped back to my senses and saw myself standing right in front of the big, wooden door, probably Narra or Mahogany. I rang the doorbell more than a few times before someone finally answered.
The huge door opened and a young lad, maybe in his late teenage years came up to me with a smile. He took my luggage and helped me into the house.
“Sorry po Mr. Medrano, andun po ako sa may kusina eh. May pinahanda po kasi si Mrs. Montes na turbong manok para sa inyo.”, said the sweet, young kid.
“Ah, thanks. Ano nga pala name mo, iho?”, I said softly as I look around the big, old house.
“Jake po sir. Katiwala po ako nitong bahay, dito po ako natutulog para magbantay.”
“Well, ‘di mo na kailangan pang magbantay. Dito na ako matutulog starting tonight eh.”
The boy looked glad with what I said.
I stopped to look around the interior of the worn out mansion. I stared closely to every angle of the apartment’s insides. I guess I was wrong. The place doesn’t look as bad as it seems outside. It has a decent interior designing, and I was amazed by its pure simplicity. “I think I’m going to enjoy my stay here.” I thought to myself as I walked myself upstairs to my room.
Jake had just finished fixing up my stuff when I entered the room. I excused myself in and asked him if he could kindly prepare the food so we can both eat lunch. After he had left, I put down my shoulder bag on the floor, and immediately laid myself down the big, white mattress. For the first time in about a day and a half of travel, I felt so relieved. My numb shoulders can relax now. I really felt home, though it’s my first time here in this house. I immediately changed my clothes and went down to check on Jake.
“Oh, heto na po sir. Sorry hindi po ako makakasalo sa inyo, may sakit po kasi si Inay. Bibili pa po ako ng gamut.”
“Ay, ganun ba? Okay, here’s some money, and take a big piece of the chicken you cooked. Di ko din mauubos yan eh.”
He gladly accepted my gifts of appreciation, and I can see his eyes all teary. I really felt sorry for him so I told him I can handle the chores and let him go home right away to take care of his sick mom. I also gave him extra money for his mom’s medicine.
“Salamat po talaga sa inyo sir,” said the young lad as he ran home with a great smile in his face.
I went back into the house and started to fix things up. I stared at the house once more, and I was still amazed of its sheer beauty. It has two bedrooms, very neat comfort rooms, fully furnished dining and living rooms, and a kitchen like those in television cooking shows. What more can a bachelor like me ask for?
I went straight to the kitchen to grab myself a bite. After finishing my meal, I looked for something to drink from the cupboard. Luckily there were some Black Label and Carlo Rossi bottles up there. I used all of my strength left from a long travel to reach the high cupboard, just to see the bottles empty. Darn. I am used to having something to soothe my throat after I finish eating. So I went outside to the nearest store to buy me anything I can drink, even just that plain old Tanduay that I used to drink back then.
As I closed the door after coming back from the store, the echoes of the crashing door squandered all around the house. It was so quiet that you can even hear a pin drop in there. There I was, standing all alone in the middle of the big living room. It’s starting to scare me to my bones again. I wish I had someone with me in here, maybe even Jake. But what the heck! I better get used to being alone in here.