Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Guitar (Part 1)

Guitara
(The Guitar)
by Thad Hinunangan

I.

Elsa was pissed. She dropped the pots and pans carelessly on the sink and turned on the faucet. She muttered under her breath.

“Elsa, apo.” Her grandmother walked into the kitchen. “The neighbors can hear that. What’s wrong?”

“What is he doing here?” Elsa was referring to hear cousin Caloy, who arrived a few minutes ago.

“Their band is playing tonight in the fiesta in Barangay Bliss. He’ll stay here only for a few nights.”

“A few nights? Why can’t he leave tomorrow?” Elsa said indignantly.

“Elsa.” Her grandmother reproached. “It’s Christmas in a few days, and he needs a place to stay. Besides, he says his band might join the citywide contest on Christmas Eve.”

Elsa did not answer. She just continued washing the pots. She disliked Caloy. He was the exact opposite of her: organized, focused, and hardworking. Her uncle, Caloy’s father, was the youngest of her mother’s siblings. He was the only one in the family who didn’t finish college, but chose instead to marry at the age of 17 and live off his parent’s money. At 38 he left his wife, then pregnant with his fifth child, and ran off with a maid.

Caloy was third among five siblings. All of them followed their father’s footsteps- none of them ever finished their schooling. The eldest child, a girl, enrolled for a year in college and later eloped with a classmate who brought her to Manila. Caloy stopped school when he was third year in High School. He joined a band as a guitarist, and they played during fiestas in various barrios and towns.

Elsa, on the other hand finished Nursing. She had passed the board exams and was only waiting for her application to the US to be approved. Her parents were OFWs, both in the medical field. For her, the chance to work abroad was her ticket to a better life.

Elsa hated the fact that Caloy and his family depended on her grandmother for support. Now that she had retired, of course her parents were now the ones giving the money for her uncle’s family. She cursed under her breath.

“Like father, like son.” And looks like they are going to drag us all through the mud, she thought. She hated the sight of him sitting down in front of the TV like some guest, while she did the housework. She hated the fact that she endured years and years of hard work in her studies to get to where she is, and her cousin merely quit school to join a band and live off her parent’s earnings.

As she carried the plates to the dining table, she glanced at Caloy sitting idly on the sofa. “Your happy days are over.” Elsa promised.

4 comments:

Reyville of Simply Manila said...

I love the new logo.

Phoenix said...

@ Reyville: Yipee! Thanks po ; )

JOSH said...

hmmmn, i always dreamed of changing my eye color to a little lighter tint on d brown side...is saw a manager of us wore those colored lenses and it really make her look different in a nice way... she is chinese descent... Now where is ur pix with d colored lenses????

Phoenix said...

@ josh: nasa header ; ) redundant na kasi pag ulitin pa yung pic

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