A long period of separation ensued, what was there before, was inevitably, forever lost. The sparks that were ever-present before, had vanished. Replaced by awkward smiles and small talks. It was heartbreaking. What was so compatible before, so drawn to each other, like a moth to light had faded. Burnt and gone…
Note: This story might sound a bit boring… so yeah..
‘Ughh!, why is it so cold?!’ I grumbled as I got up from the bed, adjusting the temperature. It had been raining non-stop these days. There’s hasn’t even been an ounce of sunlight shining through the window these past few days. There’s only been rain, rain, and even more rain. And aside from the rain, there’s also the not-so-occasional thunder and lightning combo appearing every now and then. And what’s worse is that the streets had been flooded since day 1. The dark mixture doesn’t even stop at the ankle, it reaches more than half of an adult human body. It’s been three days since it started. It’s a curse and a blessing all wrapped up together, not knowing how to differentiate between the two. A curse because people, no, even cars could barely cross the street. And with the street being so dirty, it couldn’t be any better. It was a recipe for disaster. Plus, the people in the countryside would definitely take the hardest hit, some of the houses would have probably been demolished by now, moreover, in this kind of weather, I doubted if any of the crops could survive. And a blessing because the class is suspended, that means no one has to go to school! I mean, with a weather like this, even if the class is still compulsory, I really think no one would come to school just to attend class unless that student is really that dedicated and ambitious in his or her studies. I bet even the teachers won’t come to school. So everyone, not only students can just laze around the house, without being called lazy.
‘Dude, come quick, the basement of the building is drowning! Come, quick!’ said my 6-year-old little brother as he dragged me out of the room and into the mess of a terrace. Most people would define it as it looking like it had been run over by a truck. However, in my case, it’s been blasted by a gust of powerful wind with a sprinkle (definitely not) of water here and there to tie in the beautiful art (ahem, mess). ‘I thought the basement drowned long, long ago.’ I replied with a snort to my little brother, while purposely shoving my hand onto his hair and ruining it. ‘Yeah, it did, but they somehow eased the situation, the water even went down by a tiny bit.’ replied the kid with the tousled hair look, not even minding the birds’ nest on his head. ‘Ohhh, then what’s so fun about that?’ ‘Well, it is.’ ‘It’s not’ ‘It is!’ ‘Not’ ‘Is!’ as we argued back and forth.
Just as we were about to get physical, ‘Now, now, kids, let’s all be friends and stop fighting, ok? Please’ said my aunt as she tried to separate the two siblings from each other, creating quite a distance between them. ‘Just let them be, you’re only gonna get pissed trying to stop them. You might even get involved in the fight by stopping them and coming in between.’ said the sleepy-looking guy who still had a bit of saliva at the corner of his mouth and has a nest, more creative than the one I made earlier. It was my older brother. ‘Well, look who it is, I thought you died from the hours you spent hibernating in that disgusting cave of yours.’ I daringly mocked as I hid behind my aunt, revealing only my head, scared of getting beaten up early in the morning. ‘Yeah, Yeah, just shut up, will you?’ he responded as he went back to his room, into the toilet with a set of towels and clothes on hand.
‘Crap!, there’s no water!’ yelled my brother as he ran out of the room half-naked with his hair sticky from the shampoo. Instantly, the house was filled with laughter and sniggers. ‘Man, you should have seen your face!’ I said in-between the laughs. ‘Epic!’ said my little brother as we teased him further. ‘Haha, wanna get hit, hmm?’ said my older brother threateningly as he waved his fists in the air, trying to look intimidating. ‘Kids! Violence is prohibited in the house, ok? William, go back into your room! My god, you’re half-naked!’ said my aunt, coming in between us again while pushing the older brother back to his room.
Due to the typhoon, the building has been in a state of chaos and somehow the water supply in the building has been cut or disabled. Luckily, there’s still electricity in the building. However, it definitely won’t be too long before the whole building starts experiencing blackouts. By that time, all the teenagers living in the building would probably be groaning in pain or shouting like a banshee and or having a nervous breakdown due to the lack of entertainment provided by the internet.
<30 minutes later>
‘Looks like, we’re playing hide and seek.’ as I said without looking at Sally, my best friend, who happens to be living in the same condominium as I am. ‘Of course, we are, you jinxed us!’ yelled Sally as she started hitting me by the arm. ‘Ow! It hurts, it hurts, I apologize, ok?’ as I cried out in pain. ‘You better. Now, back to the topic of playing hide and seek. Since you’ve jinxed us, we’re gonna play it my way and in my rules. The first and only rule is that the whole building will be our battlefield.’ said Sally as she turned to face everyone. In total, there are about 10 people playing the game. Me, my older and little brother (3 people), Sally’s older and younger cousins (4 people), and another friend and classmate of mine who also happens to be living in the same building as us, Benedict and her two little sisters (3 people).
‘Oh!, come on. Bro, the whole building cannot function! You do realize that we live in a building with 40 floors right? And now that there’s a blackout in the whole building, we can’t use the freaking elevator.’ I said as I look at Sally exasperatedly. ‘Ya, but it’s your fault for jinxing everyone in the building.’ as she refuted back with sounds of agreement across the room. ‘What the- why is everyone always ganging up on me. Y’all all agree with her, so does that mean you all don’t mind going up and down using the stairs?’ I questioned them as I glared at everyone in the room. ‘Oh, we do mind, but this way it’s more fun.’ Benedict expressed. ‘Fine! I give up! Y’all are all insane!’ I said, annoyed. ‘Cora, I mean, look at the bright side, you’ll be able to lose weight this way.’ teased Sally. Causing everyone to erupt into laughter, including me.
After that day, Cora’s and everyone’s legs were sore from climbing up and down the stairs. With some of them, having bruises all over their arms and legs as they accidentally rolled down the stairs (Ouch! I know right?).
I gave up, I thought. It was never mine, the need, the want, the desire. “It’s for your own good”, they said. Is it? Then why do I feel empty inside me? My fingers are aching, my neck is sore, my shoulders, tired. This wasn’t what I wanted. I don’t feel happy. When was it, when did this requirement became my passion and ended up as a chore?
Everyone was waiting, staring at me. Irritation was in their eyes. Dissatisfaction, evident in their faces. Their patience was limited. Time was ticking. Yet, I was rendered immobile. Paralyzed. Trauma was all I saw. I couldn’t hear the jeering crowd. It was silent. I couldn’t breathe. It hurts. My heart was beating rapidly. Yet, time stood still. Then, before me, a hand appeared. I felt safe…
If you turn and face the other way when someone is being bullied, you might as well be the bully too.”
It was a Saturday afternoon when the incident happened. ‘Lydia! Marceline! Hurry up with the food! I’m hungry!’, I cried across the kitchen, in the living room, lounging on the leather sofa, watching the television. ‘Yes, yes, we’re cooking it now,’ replied Lydia, as she skillfully chopped up the cabbage into tiny shreds, moving on to the carrots at the side. ‘Do you want scrambled eggs or boiled eggs?’ asked Marceline as she took out two raw eggs from the refrigerator. ‘Scrambled!’ I replied excitedly as I watched the scene on the T.V., It was ‘Tom and Jerry’, it was one of the scenes whereby Tom almost caught Jerry but was unable to due to his big size and Jerry being way smarter than him.
My brother went out with my dad early in the morning to go to his office. While my mom, went to the market to buy even more groceries, to prepare for dinner and tomorrow. Thus, I was the only one in the house aside from my two housemaids, who were currently cooking me a delicious meal. I was in a happy and relaxed mood, humming as I watched ‘Tom and Jerry’. And after ‘Tom and Jerry’, I planned to watch a new show called ‘Phineas and Ferb’ on Disney Channel. Today was its premiere and I was eager to watch it. Unfortunately, the cheery mood didn’t last long.
‘ding dong’, ‘ding dong’, ‘ding dong’ the doorbell rang again and again. I was getting annoyed. I got up from the sofa, irritated, looking as if I’m ready to pounce on someone. I took my time walking to the door and opening it. ‘It’s their fault for interrupting me.’ I thought as I opened the door. But I was in for a shock, Pamela, one of the bullies, was right outside my door. ‘Oh hi, so this is where you live, I came here to play with you, would you mind me coming in?’, she said in her diabetic high pitched voice. I was utterly dumbstruck. ‘I-I-I d-don’t k-know…’, I stuttered as I gawked at her. ‘What do you mean you don’t know?’, her voice coming off very sharp and piercing, probably more than the kitchen knife Lydia was using earlier.
I didn’t want her to intrude into my haven, I don’t want any of them to. I hated them. They always pick on me just because I’m the youngest out of the group. They treat me like a slave. To them, I am anything they want me to be. The only place where they can’t find me was in school or inside the house. I’m done with their bullying, but I can’t do anything about it, I tried telling my parents, but all they do is just telling me to be nicer and they are going to be nice to me too. They never believed me, they thought I was making up lies that they were bullying me. Or even if they believed me, which is very unlikely, they might not even do anything about it. The bullies’ parents and my parents are friends, they might possibly be business partners too. As such, I could only suck it up.
Even my own brother doesn’t stand up to me. He would just watch them verbally abuse me, sometimes he would even join in the fun, calling me ‘stupid’, ‘loser’, ‘useless’, and many more derogative names. It was painful, seeing your own brother attacking yourself too. And although this didn’t happen as much as the verbal abuse, they would also physically hit me. They acted like they had the right to do so. They don’t even apologize, but I mean why would they… In their eyes, I’m just a useless, pathetic, stupid loser, not even a human.
As I tried to gather up my courage and refute her, my mom came back with a bag full of vegetables and fruits. ‘Great, just great.’ I thought. Without waiting for me to speak, Pamela said ‘Oh you must be Holly’s mom, I heard so much about you, did you just come back from buying groceries, it must be heavy, here let me help you, I was just talking to Holly.’ Must say, her acting skills are really top-notch, they should really give her an Oscar award if not her talents would really be wasted. Actually, on second thought, I hope it gets wasted, she doesn’t deserve it. I thought as I glared at her.
Sensing my glare, she rolled her eyes at me. Fortunately for her, my mom didn’t see it. By now, she’s probably thinking how much of a respectful, kind, polite girl she is, compared to me, who is loud, brash and has zero manners. ‘How sweet of you, no, it’s fine, I can handle this.’ she said as she smiles at her. Then she turned to me with a frown on her face and said ‘what are you waiting for, help me open the door, look how nice your friend is, why can’t you be more like her?’ I was pissed, not because my own biological mother said that, well, partly… yes, but anyways, the moment she started scolding me, I saw Pamela smirking at me, she did that on purpose. It was infuriating. She turned my own mother against me.
By now, I really couldn’t stop the she-devil from coming in. Even if I want to chase her out of the house, I can’t. The chances are I’m the one who will have the shorter end of the stick. ‘Wow, your house is so beautiful.’ she commented as she sat on my usual spot on the sofa. It was my favorite spot. But before I could kick her out of my seat, my mom said, ‘Then, you’re welcomed to come as often as you like.’ I was petrified. ‘No, no, no, this is not happening, this is so not happening…’ I thought as I tried thinking of ways to make my mom dislike her or anything that could make the she-devil leave the house and never come back ever again.
As I schemed to drag the she-devil out of the house, Marceline called out from the kitchen, ‘Dinner’s ready!’ While Lydia took the dishes out from the kitchen and placed it on the dining table. The plans were momentarily paused as I hurriedly ran to the dining table, savoring the delicious, mouth-watering scent of the dishes. There was pasta, scrambled eggs, fried chicken, beef and many more.
However, just when I thought life wasn’t so bad after all, Marcelina brought out the Chinese medicinal soup. I mean, come on. If there’s one thing I hate more than those bullies, it was this Chinese medicinal soup. Perhaps the disgust I felt for the soup was too obvious, my mom decided to give more than what she usually gives me. ‘This is poison. Yes, by drinking this medicinal soup, I definitely won’t die from any diseases as I would probably die much earlier than that, and the cause of my death would be this bowl of soup right in front of me.
The smell of the soup is just putrid. It’s color even more grotesque, a dark shade of brown, similar to the fertilizer people used for their gardens. Hadn’t this came out of the kitchen held by Lydia, I would have thought they were trying to poison us with excrement.
With the bowl of feces-like soup in front of me, I’ve completely forgotten the she-devil’s existence. If not for the fact that she tried goading me to drink the soup. ‘Holly, just drink the soup. It’s healthy for you, you know. I mean, not gonna lie, it does look a bit disgusting, but look at the bright side, you will be healthier than most people by drinking this.’ she said as she smiled at me. My mom immediately sided with her, saying ‘Yeah, listen to your friend, just drink the soup.’
They were really getting on my nerves. Hence, I defiantly and stubbornly stood my ground. Placing the soup to the other side of the table. Yet, right after I placed the soup on the other end of the table, I saw another bowl of soup in front of my seat. ‘Wait, what?’ I was confused. ‘Your mom placed it there. You should really listen to your mom. This is not showing filial piety.’ Pamela said as she patted me on the shoulder, not releasing my shoulder, instead, she placed her hand around my shoulder, trying to make us look closer.
Naturally, my mom fell for her trick as she said ‘You should really learn more from her’ then continued on, ‘I should have given birth to someone like her’ as she turned her head to the smirking Pamela right beside me.
They were truly a match made in heaven, ganging up on me, I thought.
They cry, not because they are weak, but because they have been strong, for far too long…
Trying to keep the last bit of dignity, I stood up wobbling. It lasted for a split second before I was hit once again. I laid flat on the floor as I hugged my head, ‘It hurts’, I thought as I grit my teeth through the pain. ‘Come up, loser!’