Black Green Light
by: Stephen A. Dangazo
As I paced down from the bus, I was abruptly rapt with the appalling figures fronting me, the world I haven’t perceived before but heard a lot, the world so diverse from mine. My world was a world of green woods and singing birds; of industrious carabaos and healthy vegetation, of fresh air and flower blossoms; os imple living and affectionate family.
Gigantic buildings, speeding jeepneys and busy hotfooted crowd were definitely strangers to me. So, I hanged back and halted, queried myself with questions, I know unanswerable in my state: Where an I going? Where am I going to start? No matter how hard I tried to quench my brain with answers. I couldn’t satisfy myself. I could not help but recall my sentimental departure…
“Masakit para sa akin ang umalis ka anak” my mother uttered with tearful eyes and shivering bands touching mine. “Bakit di ka na lang tumira kasama kami at kalimutan ang tungkol sa Unibersidad? Pwede na man tayong mabuhay kasama si Linda at Makisig.”
“Nay, gustohin ko mna.. Peo hindi ko lubos maisip na ganitong klaseng buhay ang ibibigay ko sa aking magiging pamilya.” I maged to reply but stammered. I embraced my crying mother to console her and swathe the regret I felt inside for hurting her by my words.
“Huwag ka na mang maging madamot, Elena kailangan din niyang hanapin ang buhay na taliwas maibigay natin sa kanya, ” the powerful and hearken voice of my father from behind, gripping his emotions not to waft away with the scenario.
“Kuya, sasakay ka ba sa broom-broom? Pwede ba akong sumama? Linda’s utterance sabbed my heart intensely.
I actually don’t want to leave. I want to stay wiht these people who really love me. I felt affection for my mother. I esteemed my father very much. I love Linda, my younger sister and Makisig, my favorite playmate from childhood hitherto, a carabao.
Nevertheless, I have to swell my frontier. I have no subsist and experience the kind of life they talked about… I have to go and away… though it’ll blight them, though it’ll hurt me.
The university is pending for me in the city called Manila. I haven’t been there; I haven’t been in a city actually.
I stepped inside the bus and bide goodbye to my weeping mother. I hate to see my mother crying.. to my father, who could not control his tears to plunge.. to the innocent Linda who could not comprehend why I have to leave. Goodbye to makisig.. to my friends.. to this place,.. to my home.
As the bus motioned, I could not helped but cry. I glimpsed at the window bursting to cry. In my desperation, I found myself estimating the distance that keep me apart from them..
I had somehow reached the university, And I started to live a life different to what I had; I tried to adjust in this new life. I mailed a letter to my family when I arrived and every month, each letter I dropped was sealed with tears and kisses hoping they would feel how I missed them.
My first week in the university was filled with mock especially made for me and I was baptized with a new name “uptown boy”. I don’t know what to feel inside; should I hate them or be grateful for the welcome? Certainly, I knew the meaning of the words and it’s not bad, I’m proud I am a hick but I wondered what made it a laughingstock? I could sense that I don’t belong to them nor they belong to me.
Consequently, I had a new circle of friends. I had somehow enjoyed my life here in the city. I accompanied them everywhere they go, movie house, barhopping. malling and girl hunting. I had adjusted my lifestyle to them. My activities with them stimulated to be mortified of. It led me to forget my place, my friends, Makisig, my home, my family… I didn’t mail a letter to them for a couple of months.. six months.. a year.
Until my first birthday in the city came and my allowance from the scholarship wasn’t sufficient for my plan then there I posted them a letter requesting for additional money for my birthday fete.
My Nanay forced me to celebrate it with them because they missed me a lot and a surprise is waiting for me; I could feel the emotion and I emphasized the money I needed.
In fact, nothing in my native soil that will grant me delight anymore. Yes, I had change a lot.. and I’m proud of my changes. The city turned not to be my home and my barkadas were my family.
The money arrived earlier that I expected. Subsequently, the night of the party came with oodles of foods and refreshments intended for my barkadas and friends. I was with my axquaintances babbling about things that interested us.
“Have you heard about Jane?” That was Mike’s words.
“She’s deeply in love with you Pete, Pare”
“Will I have a lot of them.” I couldn’t believe I voiced that out but it definitely came out from my mouth. Though I knew it’s true but I guess part of my changes was being haughly. Laughter filled the dorm.
“Pedro, anak?” A call from a familiar voice stopped the laughter. They’re stunned and turned to the source of the call.
“Happy birthday! Hali ka at may pasalubong ako sa’yo.” In my desperation I could not moved my head to the direction. I knew who’s calling.. my Nanay. But why she’s hear?
“Pete! That dumpy old beggar was calling you” Ritchie mumbled to me. “Do you know her? She’s calling you Pedro.. what a name.”
“Dala-dala ko si matapang, nanganak na kasi si Makisig at heto ang manok kakatayin natin” My mother uttered with enthusiasm and a smiled. ” May bisita ka pala?” She was stunned seeing my barkadas and I piping our cigars.
Certainly, she was my mother who gave me life, who helped me build my foundation as a person, who loved me endlessly, and who faced her fear of being in the city just to see me and to give her present-the calf.
“Pete, Is she your mom?” Mike said with interrogating look.
The question hit me. I got confused. She’s my Nanay but my barkadas hate hick and my Nanay is… and I was.
“Ah.. kuwan” I looked at my Nanay and she’s smiling at everyone.
“Hindi Yaya ko!”
I couldn’t believe the words came from my mouth but it did..
“You Yaya is such a dumped old woman!” Ritchie whispered and everyone laughed.
My Nanay heard the words I knew and due to severe shock, she numbed her mouth and didn’t utter even a single word. She just tunred around and leave. Yes, I know it hurts her. It’s apparent in her face and palpable in her eyes but she didn’t show it. It impaired me inside to see her crying somewhere because of me… because of her ambitious son.
They laughed over the statement and the devilish me laughed with them. I wondered where does her desperation lead her. Where was my Nanay weeping? Then, I went upstairs without acquiescence. I enetred my room and locked the door..
Oh! it’s good to be back home! Everyone acted as if nothing happened. My Nanay is in the kitchen preparing the dinner. I could still feel the melancholy that she felt. I could see a speck of liquid in her cheeks ( I know she has forgiven me since the day I arrived and even the night I disowned her. How did I know? Because she told me when I lied in my newly made bed). My Tatay is in the table with a handgrip in my picture. I don’t know why he’s delving in my image. I could still sense that he missed me… that he wanted to hug me.
“Nanay, natutulog pa ba si Kuya?” The question breaks the deafening silence in the room from Linda.
“Linda giging na ako!” I told her but she didn’t hear me. I know she won’t and she never will. Nobody hear me sense the day I came back home. They talked about me but didn’t listen to me. I know this is one of the sub sequences that I will be facing since that night.
“Tumahimik ka nga diyan Linda!” my mother shouted to my little sister with tears in her eyes.
“Elena, huwag kang ganyan. bata iyang kausap mo at hindi alam ang nagyayari dito!” My father’s hearken voice made Linda cried and propelled my nanay to weep again.
I’m tried of witnessing this scene. It’s been a moth that this home became unordered. It’s been a month of weeping and crying.. of tears silently falling in the sleepless night. It’s been a month that smiles and laughter deserted this home. It’s been a month for me, craving to hug and kissed them. A month that I revitalized the old me.. a month since I delivered home.. dead!