Two Ionas in a Shell

One ripe afternoon, two college girls sat on the steps of the stairs that skirted out of a great hall. One seemed haphazardly flung, almost in a sunbathing manner. Her head tilted upward, towards the sun – as if absorbing solar power. Confidence emanated from her manner –the one who was the taller of the two.

The shorter girl kept more to herself, it seemed. Her palms were wedged in the space pressed between the back of the thighs and the calves – a curious folded position that almost mimics that of a fetus. Clearly, what sprang forth from her was an impression of subjugation and reserve.

The taller girl suddenly hoisted herself up and faced the shorter one. She was bent on saying something – a confession?… an idea?… an unveiling?More

Frio who had an Afro

I remember him now – that guy on TV, the one who landed third place in Hear Ye, Theatre Calls. I can’t believe he lost to farmer boy, Venoit… but it is expected; Venoit performed better – best, I mean. The battle of a talent attuned to popular taste versus skill and expertise harnessed by training and theoretical knowledge.More

The Position of Cara Evergreen Who Can’t Do Anything

“Okay. Next. Let’s listen to your position, Miss Evergreen.  Step on the riser and begin…” instructed Miss Hally.

Ahem- ahem!” Cara paused for twenty seconds for a pensive effect. She looked at each of her classmates’ foreheads – the area close to where eyebrows furrow. After a lungful of breath intake, stated:More

The Night Reader

The Night Reader used to have tons of music books – some photocopied; some original. Some were hard-bound; some were loose papers stockpiled. She used to read every night before she went to sleep and sometimes, I didn’t know the hour she actually slept because I have fallen asleep sooner.

I loved observing her when she read her many books. I told myself hitherto that I was going to be like her – a reader – a voracious reader.

“It makes you smart – reading, that is,” she said. “You will gain something that others will never have.” I did not know hitherto what that “something” was, but I promised that I will read nonetheless.

Then one day, she just stopped reading. When she had received her graduate diploma and her Sablay from the University of the Philippines-Diliman, she stopped reading. She no longer sat for hours and hours just reading as it was her wont. Perhaps she found what she was looking for from those pages? …or maybe she quit her seemingly pointless pursuits.

I don’t know.

I never asked.

I merely watched her from a certain distance.

As for her books, they are now shelved at the topmost part of a storage cabinet – all covered in dust. I might never reach them since I am only yea high.

I may remember to ask her tomorrow or the next day, but for now I’m one to open her own book.

Passenger Seat

The car is sleek. It’s shiny and it’s black. He is eyeing it for months now – Lorenzo Saev, that’s who. He said he is going to trade the one he currently has for that sleek one.

“I need more space. I need a bigger build,” he said.

“What for?” she asked. “Don’t you like the small car we bought together?” Roonie Saev was curious. He just bought the smaller car last month… now he wants a bigger car? Why the sudden change of heart?

Lorenzo was determined to trade  the small car for the bigger car he was eyeing for months. And when he finally did…

“I’m gonna take it for a spin,” he said to Leticia with the dark eye shadow and red lipstick. “Wanna come with me?”

“Of course,” Leticia replied. She was flattered. “What about your wife, though? Shouldn’t she be the first to sit on the passenger seat?”

“Nah. She’ll have her time. For now, let us go.”

But Roonie never had that chance to ride in the sleek black car or to sit on the passenger seat. She wasn’t the first to smell new leather because Roonie’s heart failed her when she saw her Lorenzo with another woman in the passenger seat.

Grocery Shopping with a Grouchy Little Sister

Grocery Shopping with a Grouchy Little Sister

She did it again. My sister, I mean. After recently burying a misunderstanding with me, another one at its worst emerges from the ashes. Should I adjust again? Should I just concede and compromise because I’m older and because I’m supposed to be the “wiser” one?More