"Bakit ako na lang lagi"
"Eh sino pang aasahan ko bukod sa akin?"
"Bakit yung isang anak mo parang walang pakialam sa mga nangyayari dito?"
There was a brief, brooding silence between the two people talking.
"Ganito na lang ba lagi, pasahan ng responsibilidad?"
"Napapagod rin naman ako mama eh."
The verbal tussle downstairs has come to an end. The maid and the driver apparently signed a truce and was ignoring each other's unacceptable behavior. Upstairs, inside the master's bedroom, amidst the darkened chamber partially bathed in light from a fluorescent desk lamp, surrounded by dust-covered books bearing witness to the fate of the household, two masters were having a dialogue about the issues shaping the landscape of the homeland in the days and weeks and months to come.
"Nakakapagod talaga pero ikaw ang eldest eh. Kung hindi ka gagalaw, paano tayo?"
"Matanda na ako and by now, you should know that I'm slowly passing all my responsibilities to you."
If only she understands I cannot do it on my own.
The third master wasn't aware of the drama unfolding that morning. Not that she doesn't care but she was merely out of the picture. It was the height of the cold war between siblings and she was intentionally left in the dark. Most grievances were accorded to her, and being a mother of two rival children, she tried to absorb the bullets in behalf of the utol.
"Dapat marealize niya na kapag may nangyari sa akin, lahat ng responsibilidad dadalhin niya."
"Kaya nga ako laging nagdadasal eh, hindi ko kayang mawala ang isa sa inyo."
In a family who have known the ups and downs of living, survival through our meager resources is what we have learned to live with. Two decades before, mom was the only one working for the family. Dad was the one fighting the injustices of society. Torches were passed from parents to children but the roles we play are still the same. Going back to my mom, through sheer hard work (she juggled so many jobs and still run the household by herself) and supreme sacrifice, (it was only lately that she started buying things for herself) mother was able to pull things through. These values, which I think I do not possess is the reason behind the demands for the utol to take some responsibilities.
It was a long twilight followed by an almost eternal daylight. The issue between masters was settled without another round of character assault against the utol. Bonds were strengthened between mother and son. The driver, after exhausting herself looking for the missing wallet found her peace in the sofa. It was the maid who covered her with a blanket. I would learn that morning she wouldn't drive mother to work anymore. She was too crushed to even pull herself together and ponder what's in store in the coming days. The utol went on with her life like nothing earth-shaking happened while she was peacefully asleep. Later that night, the first sign of reconciliation will happen between two siblings. A peace treaty would be signed in a few days.
The trauma would hit me badly that day. I wasn't able to perform well at work, specially when I realized a time would come when I will have to drive the car and shuttle my mom to work by myself. The ancient nightmares would drive me to the brink of madness. It was stopped down to its tracks by a quick trip to the gym. I felt better after. Though the nightmares still dread me everytime I feel strange about myself, I learned to live with it. Quietly. Life passes as time marches and what I pray for is to serve the loved ones before I too transits from this earth.
And as for the wallet, which became the bane of our existence for an entire day. Suffering would end that night after it was found inside a black shirt. The black shirt was the one worn by the driver as when she went out for a drink. The shirt was on her bedside the whole time and she claims of turning the place upside down but still didn't produce a missing wallet. Just like the Alicia Keys incident, one of her possessions got missing, only to emerge after lighting a candle to a relic of San Antonio in one of the altars at home.
The month has come to a close and the shrill of the air raid sirens could not be heard anymore. Peace was found in the realms of Galente, as swift as it was carelessly lost at the beginning of the year. Looking up to the sky, one would still find the searchlights
For in a life we have learned to live, serenity is a state of mind that must be flooded by artificial lights...
... skating across starless skies.