Monday, February 27, 2012
"Ah so this is your house pala.", sabi ng pinsan kong si Jae.
She's my cousin from Ilocos. One of the very few I actually like.
She came to Manila with her mom, my dad's sister, because one of our relatives died.
Nagkita kami sa SM Fairview tapos pumunta kami ng lamay. After that, we went to church real quick because I had to join the choir for rehearsal.
She thought I was kidding when I said church.
After that, dumeretso kami sa bahay. It was her first time there.
"Yeah. This is the house.", sagot ko.
"Grabe. The silence is defeaning."
"So who cleans and does your laundry?"
"I have a cleaning lady. She comes here twice a month on sundays. She does all the chores."
"Hindi ka ba natatakot mag isa dito?"
"Hindi naman. Sanay na."
"Eh pano yung food mo?"
"I cook pero usually I eat out nalang para wala akong dishes na huhugasan."
She noticed that there was something different about me.
"Are you okay?", she asked.
"Yeah. Just glad na may kasama ako ngayon."
"Oo nga. Parang ang boring dito pag ikaw lang mag isa."
I was silent for a few minutes. She was walking around the house.
I poured myself a glass of coke.
She sat on one of the chairs in the dining table.
"Well now you know how and where I live."
She was looked at me but did not say anything.
"For the first few months it was fun naman and at times it is still fun. I mean, I have no curfew, I can do whatever I want. I have all the freedom in the world. But sometimes nakakalungkot din."
She was still silent.
"I mean, I dont clean kasi hindi naman nadudumihan ang bahay since I'm always in my room. I prefer eating out kasi what's the point of going through the trouble of slaving myself over a kitchen stove eh ako lang naman ang kakain."
She was just there, sitting on the wooden chair, staring at me.
I took a puff from my cigarette.
"I like living alone because that's what I'm used to but sometimes I do get lonely. I do get homesick. The idea of living independently and following your own rules is fun but when you get tired of the freedom and realize that that is what you have to live with day by day, it doesn't become as fun anymore."
It took her a moment to react.
"Does tita know?"
"Yeah", I answered. "I've written about being homesick on my blog and she comes here once a month to check up on me which I appreciate."
"Does she know that you feel that way?"
"Of course. Ano ka ba. Close kami ni mama. I tell her everything. And I know she worries about me but you know it's one of the things that are out of our control. I'm not complaining naman. I mean, I have a good life, I have a good job. The things I want I get, I can afford. But some of the things I need, well, those are the things that money can't buy."
Again she fell silent.
She was looking at me in a certain way which I never like seeing from people.
Ayokong tinitignan ako ng ganun.
Yung tingin na naaawa sa akin.
I immediately changed the topic.
To something much more fun.