(Taken during Christine’s graduation)
Ang mga Pagluha ni College Girl (last part)
It was almost a year since we found dad, but until this time mom had no idea that that we had been seeing dad and our half-sisters. Christine and I spent countless nights thinking and talking together how to tell mom about these developments. “I am sure she does not like it,” I told Christine. “But mom deserves to know,” Christine contended. Besides how could be bring back our dad to our home if mom does not know he still exists and that we have found him? It’s a dilemma, but how in this world should I crack my head to find an answer? My last recourse, was to pray. Yes, we prayed together with tears and faithfulness in our hearts.
And God may have heard and answered our prayer; mom had called but scolded us on our secret meetings with dad. We could not lie to her for two reasons; she has the exact details of our secret meeting with dad, and we have to tell her the truth so we could bring them back together and rebuild a broken relationship- much less a broken home. But that does not come easy, mom had struck it to the rock that there’s no way she could forgive dad. Dad on the other hand, although repentant and willing to come back to mom he had two children of his past relationship. How could mom accept both children and dad? Mom just said a few words (out of disgust), “mga hinayupak kayong traydor (vicious traitors?)!” She banged the telephone and the line was cut off. I wanted, we wanted to explain everything; but how could we? She was so furious and fuming, we could not just dial for overseas call to talk to her. All we could do was cry, and cry again till there were no more tears left in our eyes.
Mom did not call us for several months. She did send us enough money for food and our daily allowances. We had to use whatever savings we had to pay for other school expenses. We know mom was hurting and she wanted us to feel the same. It’s our fault alright, but is it not our right to see our dad? Dad knew our situation and he gave Christine some money for our needs. Only Christine received them, I refused. Dad was hurt but I have to explain that it’s a fight between me and my mom to what is right? And what is right anyway? To beg to her for the resumption of our support? To apologize to her and promise to stay away form dad? Dad did not insist his help, he respected my position. And this is what I want to a man, deep thinking, and very understanding. He captured what I had in mind– to minimize my reliance with my parents for support in my studies. Dad had previous connections with NGOs so it was easy for him to find me a part time job as a researcher. Though I received allowances and some stipend, they’re not enough to make me economically independent from them my parents. Finally I decided to receive financial assistance from dad.
Time passed by, we knew that mom with her iron heart would not budge in to patch up our differences. We were expecting the worst, perhaps it would take years for us to be able to talk to her again or never. But mom proved us wrong. Just before Christine’s 16th birthday she called and greeted her happy birthday. She told us that we were already forgiven. We could not express how happy we were, at least mom realized she was wrong and here she is coming back again. For the first time we heard mom saying, mahal ko kayo (love you).” No doubt mom loves us but she expressed her feelings in other ways. She showered us with material things, the least she could do to express her affection. But it’s not material things alone that we need, her physical presence. We need to embrace mom too and feel the warmth of her love. But even as simple as that, it did not come so easy.
The truth some relatives in the States talked to mom about our case. They told mom about the risk I used to take in crossing rivers, climbing mountains, and walking through muddy roads just to reach the remotest barangay to gather some data for research. She was deeply hurt and cried to my struggle to send myself to school. And she had a change of heart. Similarly, unknown to us, dad called her and talked to her about our case. She listened, and their communication line was working again. Mom regularly called dad and inquired about us. Unknown to us both our parents were already closely working together (again?) to fulfill their duties as parents to us. But they’re not yet home, they are thousand miles apart. Will they comeback to each other and make up for the wasted years in their relationship? All we could do was hope.
And the good news came. Mom decided to come home in order to talk with dad. Mom was coming home to attend Christine’s graduation. Never shall we experience again (crying) having no parent to witness our graduation. And we met her at the airport on the day of her arrival from the States. We told dad that mom was coming home. To our surprise he was not so excited about it. He did not say anything, and we had not heard from him since then. Mom looked so good, she’s prettier than ever. If dad was only here to meet her, he could be in love again with her.
“How do you do girls?,” she said and embraced us. Christine with her usual reaction if excited cried again so loud like a little goat hungry and crying for mother goat’s milk.
“Umaatungal ka na naman, hindi ka na nagbago,” mom told her laughing.
Mom looked at me too and said, “ang ganda ganda ng baby ko, may boyfriend ka na?”
“Wala po, no body in his right mind will make ligaw to me,” was my answer.
Everybody was happy. Even tita Wilma had a lot of stories to tell her, and its about us. Mom just laughed it all. This time mom was in no mood to hear anything about the past, she was only interested to talk of the present and the future. And speaking of the future, she asked us if we were interested to join her in the States. It’s a good idea, why not. But what about dad, are we going to leave him never to see him again? There were so many things we talked with mom, we went places particularly Malls to buy something.
One morning I saw mom talking with somebody at the phone. She was so happy and smiling most of the time. I overheard her talking to a man. It could be dad but I was sure it wasn’t him. Who is this mysterious person, I asked myself. A day after the phone rang, it was dad at the end of the line. He was asking some updates with mom. Honestly I felt mad with him at that time, how come he only called this time and did not even show up when mom arrived. I warned dad to better show up or else he would lose mom forever. Dad only laughed to what I said. As if he was no longer interested with mom; and that’s my greatest fear.
We can not afford to lose neither one. There is only one thing we had in mind, to rebuild our broken home. But that may not be the case anymore because I heard mom and dad talking together on the phone to settle things once and for all. I pretended not to have seen and heard her talking with somebody. But mom noticed me and the more she yelled at dad on the phone. I told Christine what I saw and she was so disappointed. My world started to crumble again. We saw mom dressing up in our room so we rushed to her and asked where she’s going. She coldly answered us, “to settle once and for all our relationship with your dad.” When she’s done she left in a hurry and get aboard a waiting cab.
While mom was not around I had a heart to heart talk with Christine. Tita Wilma was looking at me but I talked loud enough for her to hear.
“I’m leaving Christine if mom and dad will part their ways… I can’t take it anymore living in a broken home.”
Christine did not say a word. She did not even cry, very unusual of her. I started to packed up my things but she did not even help nor stop me. “If you want to stay, you stay,” I said crying.
I locked myself inside or room. Christine did not even bother to come, knock at the door and see me. But it was mom late in the afternoon who came knocking the door.
“Mer, open the door. Let’s talk.”
I did not. She knocked again but harder time. “Better open up I have a surprise for you…”
What surprise, I said to myself. I was obliged and opened the door but mom was not there anymore. I became curious and looked around, to my surprise mom was at a corner passionately kissing with a man… and it wad dad!
“Hey you two what are you doing? youfooled me… “
This time it was dad who came and explain. I felt like crying but I could not. I was simply surprised and no other else.
“We really want to surprise you. Your mom and I have settled our differences long ago, we have forgiven each other and decided to give it another try.”
Mom butted in,” I know you want to bring back your dad to this home… Sorry, no one but me alone can bring him home.” She said laughing.
Christine came in laughing too.
“Ang daya daya mo, alam mo na pala e hindi ka pa nagsasabi (you cheat why did you not tell me what you know)”
Mom looked at us with a big eye, as she used to do, and said:
“ Starting tonight, you girls sleep at the living room. This room belongs to us”
“What?,” Christine and I complained.
“Hindi puwedi magpakasal muna kayo (no way, you marry first),” I said.
“What marriage, kasal na kami no? (we’re married),” dad answered.
Christine just pulled my hand suggesting we should leave them, and so dad and mom rushed inside our room.