Previously: Something That Is Real
For two days, we didn't speak.
She and I.
Siblings divided, when custody of the kids - her toddler boys - becomes a flashpoint at home. Hurtful words were hurled. Expressions of rage, our mother would never wish to froth out of our mouths. But it bursts forth one night, with knuckles biting the wall.
The reasons need no expounding.
These conflagrations of fury exact a price on my health. I am not used to the polar vortex forcing its way into the corridors, when we come across each other outside of our four-cornered domains. The mother-daughter stalemate had been doused off quickly. But the cold war between us, estranged siblings, lingered for days.
Meanwhile, a lump just above my thigh began to swell. It must have been the tight underwear I've been wearing lately, or maybe, the difficult Squats Coach Blakedaddy asked me to perform at the gym last Monday. Whatever the cause, there's no denial my immune system received a blow. Tuesday evening and sitting for me had become a painful and inconvenient body position.
The family is no stranger to boils, and other afflictions of the skin. While hygiene falls at the bottom of my daily habit, the boils on my buttocks is partly caused by the disharmony of the House. It added to the piles of troubles threatening to topple my inner peace. The last time I had a big and painful lump, my skin had to be sliced open for the thick yellow goo to drain.
It was ten years ago when the horrible incision happened.
A blink to the present and I found myself at the Master's bedroom, with my sister sitting next to our mother. The matriarch was alarmed of my condition and volunteered to clean the abscess for me. When I flatly refused her offer, she volunteered my sister to take her place.
I barged out of the room as she grunted at the idea.
Less than a minute would pass and I heard her calling my name.
"Kuya..." She was outside my room. I opened the door to acknowledge her presence.
"Bactroban." She handed over a tube of anti-bacterial cream.
"Lagay mo daw sa Pigsa mo."
"Thank you." I said with ambivalence. Deep down however, I felt the undeniable thaw. The cold war, which I have foreseen to last for weeks end with one kind gesture.
Something I am not certain to undertake had I been in her place.
True to observations, of that familial ties that bind three families under one house, normalcy of relations immediately commenced when my sister asked me to look after the sleeping Diego while she took a leak sometime after midnight.