This is the second part of the memoir, if you haven't read the first one, please click this.


It’s the reality. I can’t bend it anymore. My clothes, books and supplies are all packed. I’ve checked them for a little longer just for the extended minutes to feel the atmosphere of our home.

My parents borrowed a minivan so the travel won’t’ be hassle. I take some last look at our home and at our cute puppy who doesn’t know what will happen to me, I don’t know either.

Hours passed and I’m there at the entrance of the school. I looked at the school banner above but just got some glimpse of the details of the logo and their slogan. It’s engulfed by the shadow of the night ‘Technical education towards…’ Towards what?

My over excited younger brother entered the vicinity ahead of me. After signing the registration, I followed him. Then horror came into me – students are everywhere! They are at the bench, at the side of the classroom, on the open area playing volleyball, everywhere! They will surely notice me because my height is abnormal for a Filipino teenager.

I gulped and continued walking at the hallway. At the side of my vision, I can see them looking at me, “Hey I’m not a dangerous kid,” I want to shout it out so their chitchat will be silenced. Whatever, I endured the uncomfortable attention and realized, after a few minutes, that I’m already at the door of the dormitory where I’m assigned – M8.

I’m thankful because it’s not the weird and dingy room that I’ve imagined in my head before. Well, it looks like a normal dormitory – double decks, cabinets, electric fans and a huge C.R. that is shared between two rooms. It’s devoid of students, I’m the first to come. Cool, I think I can live in it.

My mother’s eyes are telling me that she’s worried about me. This is the first time that I would leave home for more than three days and maybe she didn’t believe that I can live with unfamiliar people. I’m an introvert who doesn’t speak much and preferred to have few selected friends.

“I would be okay Mom, six months and I’d be out of here for a vacation.” I swallowed hard at the idea of staying here for six months, but I still managed to alter my face to express fake confidence.

“Okay son, just always eat on time, sleep on time, and study hard. Always remember that this is for your future,” she said with concern “And don’t forget to wash your clothes weekly.”

Then it dawned on me that challenge – I have no idea how to wash clothes. Kill dinosaurs maybe, but wash clothes?

Then my father, who is very silent himself, gave his number one advice to me, “Talk to people.”

“Okay.”

Few more conversations with my family and finally, the dreaded good bye is said. The last image I’ve seen of them is their back as they walked out of the dormitory. I didn’t follow them for reason I can’t even understand myself. Maybe I don’t want to feel sentimental or don’t want to walk on a hallway full of students.

I’m now alone in the room. It’s deadly quiet. I shake my head from time to time just to let go of horror stories, bad stuff. Surely the image of floating spirits in my imagination would disturb be all night.

I looked at the fish pond at the back side of the dorm. Abandoned by fish and pretty dull. I got bored immediately, I fished for my book titled Jurassic Park and flipped the pages until I got to the bookmark, then read until I’ve fallen asleep on my bed.

I just wished that nobody would disturb at the middle of my sleep, but there is one – not a ghost, a student.

He didn’t intentionally done it, but the sound of him organizing his stuff is pretty loud. I even thought that he came from abroad because his supplies can fill up a decent size grocery store.

He noticed me awake and looking curiously at him. He smiled and offered me something, “Hey, want some penoy (unfertilized duck egg)? I have extra one here,” his hand extended into me offering me the egg.

“No thanks,” I said politely.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“Okay, by the way, I’m Christian … Christian Trajano.”

I didn’t answer for a moment. His hand is still extended. Maybe he wants to shake his hand with me. But I didn’t offered mine and just said my name. Bad attitude.

We exchanged more details about each other. But I reserved myself and didn’t said much. Maybe he’s amazed on the few words I uttered for replying to him. He’s obviously a sanguine who wants to talk for hours but I’m a melancholy who doesn’t care about chit-chat. So he respected me for that and just finished organizing his supplies then positioned himself in a weird way – he prayed. It gave me an uncomfortable feeling but I controlled my reaction. Then he closed his eyes and fell asleep.

I tried to sleep again, but my mind started to jumble lots of thoughts. So I grab my book and sat down on another deck where there are some light from the outside and started reading.

After about an hour, I heard him snoring. I laughed silently then put a bookmark in my book. I go to my bed and slowly fell asleep.

To be continued.

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