Thursday, January 21, 2010

Peace In Our Time

The clash began during the first hours of the new year. It was an insensitive remark that started it all. Like two superpowers in the brink of war, they shoved their ideologies to everyone while refuting the others. Before, it was an uneasy stalemate until one tried to impose his will on the other. The other resisted. She was not ready to give up her way of life. The antagonist forewarned. Funds are running low and help is needed to keep the household afloat. She was unperturbed. Her response left him troubled. The issue would have died down with the onset of sleep. However, an accidental Achilles Heel was discovered. It was exploited and was used against her. In the end, she was crushed by his blunt remark. The weapon of choice: vanity assault. He knew it would cause despair when her pimples get the spotlight. Ladies of all creed do get alarmed when their looks get questioned. Aiming at the heart of her distorted awareness, he went overboard to deliver the final blow.

"Yang mukha mong tadtad ng tigidig. Paano ka pa makakapagpaderma niyan eh wala na tayong pera?"

"Yuck! Ang pangit pangit mo na!!" I scored a direct hit.

It was all lies, and yet the message cut deep. Believing every word I said. She was depressed the whole week.

And I was disowned by my sister.

The period of mourning lasted for several days. After the narcissistic holocaust, the ice age came after. No words were spoken. Eyes could not meet everytime we see each other. There were nights she would sleep elsewhere. Her excuse were the meetings her brethren carried out to ensure the victory of her party. Her absence stirred more hostility. Leaving me with a worried mother who sleeps just before daybreak, a maid and a driver, a cat, a dog and a bunny, all to look after, while juggling a ten-hour job made a martyr out of me. When there were occasions to loathe her accomplishments, ears were thrilled to hear my discontent. Her presence and actions were merely tolerated (and grumbled in secret) because she is a master of the house.

Besides, she has the backing of the United Nations.

I was spreading strife and turmoil without her knowledge. Every decision she did (like hosting a meal to a number of comrades leaving us with almost nothing to eat) was condemned. I was ready to disown the utol and to make the vengeance sweeter, recognize the half-brother instead. He is reaping more accomplishments. (like getting his own PSP from his own salary) The half-brother deserves another entry. But to compare him with the utol, at least, he brings home organic rice for the matriarch.

Relationship between siblings would remain strained, if not for the events concluding the Skies Over Galente entry. To cut the story short, I arrived late that night. Drained from the pressures at home and work, there was joy in learning that the crisis has been resolved. Utol was at home too, in my room and doing some paperworks using my computer. The correspondence she was writing was for her comrades. During ordinary days, I would simply drive her out without much fuss over the issue. But in days when hell was easy to let loose, restraint must be applied in the name of peace. There was an overwhelming feeling of euphoria and in the spirit of accommodation, I let the utol finish her work after humbly requesting for an extension.

The wall of ice began to thaw.

Two days later, I learned that the utol will undergo a surgery. A tooth causing chronic infection had to be extracted beneath her gums. It was a complicated procedure, my mom said, and to assure my sister that everything will be fine. Our favorite aunt volunteered to accompany her to the dentist.

Unfortunately for her, the favorite aunt called and told my mother she could not make it because of an urgent meeting.

Unfortunately for me, I had to give up sleep to accompany the utol because our mother hardly ever gets up at seven in the morning. Her frailty couldn't bear the stress.

So the burden was passed unto me. The night before the surgery, utol arrived late from her meeting. I was holding back my temper for I knew, my waking hours will be stretched beyond its limits. You see, after her surgery which I expect to last for three hours, I have to be at work by 2 pm. Shift will be over by 10 in the evening but I have to be back by 6 the following morning for the training of new agents. Even the alone time was taken out from the schedule while she will get to sleep, which I badly needed.

The six hours' worth of snooze might have doused the temper, but grumpiness had settled again when the utol tried to rouse me from sleep. I didn't take a bath nor bothered to fix the bed as a hint of dissent. Mother was complaining of chest pains but I merely said to take her pills. Utol can barely speak and her eyes were drowned with uncertainty. Anxiety was brooding, I can tell. But as to why the mother and daughter tandem was acting strange that morning, the answer lies at the procedure before the surgery.


I maybe too numbed to share their worries, but I feel the urgency to lend a hand and ease someone's fear. Before we left the house, mother told me to show some compassion to my sister. I didn't pay attention to what she said and instead, merely told her I'd text when we arrive at the clinic.

But things were exactly opposite inside the cab.

Realizing our fraternal bonds: the fundamental truth that we can only count on each other in days of distress: and that the homeworld shall never know peace as long as we're divided, I stretched my arms to wrap around utol's shoulders.

"Kuya sorry," She said.

"It's alright. Higa ka sa shoulders ko."

"Tulog ka muna. Everything will be alright."


anteros' dominion said...


TOUCHED my heart in ways i can never explain

thank you

red the mod said...

An estranged older brother, a middle child harvesting responsibilities he does not want, a list of transgressions that remains unread, the choice to leave the homeland if only to escape capitulation, or worse, confrontation.

You make peace when an opportunity presents. Because blood runs thick, and no amount of antagonism will ever sever the ties. And that peace, although often short-lived and temporal, will not be lost in the coming days.

Accumulate strength. Times are challenging. It will not break us, cracks withstanding, although it will seek to frighten. For after all the tracks we thread, our path always leads to our homeland. There where peace is a memory we weave to empower us.

fox said...

ang magkapatid.. whatever happens.. magkapatid pa rin..

im glad and im proud to be your friend joms..

Herbs D. said...

awww. reminds me of the first time i ever hugged you. with those big manly arms of yours, im quite sure anyone can just find their refuge around it :)

paci said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
paci said...

i was about to say, just like my sister and me. heehee. although we bonded because she is the bunso and i am the second bunso.

engel said...

regardless the petty fights and disagreements, a sibling's still a sibling. you're lucky to have one.

john stanley said...

really mature, joms. i'm glad.

and yes, everything will be alright...

wanderingcommuter said...

sana mameet ko din si utol. and for cheers for you kuya joms. for being one of the best brother there could be...

Darc Diarist said...

that was really nice :)

thecuriouscat said...

ayan naman pala e, buti na lang ginawa mo 'yung pag akbay sa kanya. she needs you kaya siguro nagpapansin siya

Eben said...

sobrang nakaka-relate ako sa post na 'to, joms. Like you, kuya rin kasi ako (panganay).

Being a brother is better than being a superhero. :)

blagadag said...

damn you soulja. you always make me cry. i love you, beh. take care of yourslef always. get a good sleep later, please. tears are now flowing down my keyboard. you made me happy today.

lee said...

aawww that was really sweet :)

family will always be family despite arguments and differences.

this is really touching.

Anonymous said...

wish all brothers could be like you, Galen.

-- anon75

blagadag said...

musta ka na? nakatulog ka na? wag ka muna mag weekend night-out ha. habaan mo muna uli yong pasensya mo. kalingain mo muna mommy mo at ang sister mo. at kung may time and will ka na, i think this is best time for you to talk to your sister to ask her to join you in keeping the house economy in tact by encouraging her to scout and land a job. good luck.

dark_knight said...

kudos to you galen..

citybuoy said...

no matter how many times i fight with my sister, i can never hate her completely. i always cave din.