I arrived at exactly 4 PM.
It wasn't that hot anymore. I walked slowly, breaking the branches of wood and stepping on dried leaves. The sun genlty showering me with it's light.
I stopped in front of a small chapel, took a deep breath and entered inside.
I turned to the left side of the chapel and opened another door.
Two medium sized jars were placed on a white table enclosed with glass windows.
"Hi mom. Hi dad." I greeted them with a weak smile.
"I'm home." I said. Tears flowing down my eyes.
It was already 5 years since I lost my parents in a car accident. Both of them died instantly in front of my eyes. I was 12 back then. My brother, Kairon, was 20. I was lucky because I survived the accident. I was with them when it happened. Kairon, on the other hand was at school, doing a defense for his thesis. We were on our way to my Lolo's house when I heard a loud screeching sound outside the car. It was a 10 wheeler truck about to hit our car. I only remember closing my eyes. The next thing I knew? I was in the hospital and my brother was crying when he'd seen me wake up. They told me I was commatose for 2 weeks. And that our parents already passed on.
Ever since then, Kairon took over the small family business that we have here in the province. My grandfather is the one who pays for my tuition and he helps me pay the rent to my dorm. It was hard, but Kairon and I managed to survive.
I walked closer to the white table.
"It's been a while, Mom, Dad. I missed you a lot."
I tried to smile but it only made the crying even worse. "I'm sorry if you had to see me like this. I know you wanted me to smile everytime. It's just that... I can't take things any more and I need you both here."
I can just hear my sobs echoing the small room afterwards.
"Alam mong magagalit sina Dad kapag nakita ka nilang umiiyak nang ganyan."
I tried to lessen my crying. But it wouldn't stop.
I just heard his foot steps come near me. His hand on my back, gently motioning it up and down to calm me down.
"And I don't want seeing you cry like that either. Shhh. Tahan na."
I couldn't help it anymore. I hugged him and broke down in tears more.
It took a while for me to calm down. When I finally stopped crying, Kairon and I bid goodbye to our parents and then proceeded inside our house. The ambiance of our house was still there. Nothing changed. Just the physical presence of our parents gone.
"Are you better?" He asked.
"Yeah. Too much crying made me hungry."
"Good thing I have pizza delivered earlier."
I just smiled.
I sat across him in our dining table.
"Tatanungin pa ba kita, o huhulaan ko na lang?"
"Let's not talk about it, kuya. You know I don't like talking about things like this."
"I'm just checking. Kasi the last time you came home crying, you were broken hearted and you nearly drowned yourself in the bath tub. Who knows what you'll do next?" He said with a hint of tease in his voice.
"Oh, shut up, kuya. Di ko na uulitin yun. It's just school matters."
"Bakit? Are you getting bad grades?"
"No. It's not it."
"Professor's harrassing you?"
Ugh. If only you knew who was harrassing me! I thought to myself. "No."
"I just have a hard time adjusting. That's all."
"Really?" He gave me this look. Alam kong hindi siya kuntento sa sagot ko. "Then why would you go all the way here just to cry it out to mom and dad like that? Kung simpleng problema lang yan, Cara, hindi ka magmamadaling umuwi dito agad agad."
Well, he really is my brother. I can't disagree because he can see right through me.
I just gave him a sigh as a response.
"Then." He started. "If you don't want to tell me about it, then it's fine. Just know that whatever it is that's bothering you, don't let it eat you alive. I know you Cara. We've been through a lot. You're strong. You're brave. You've got the unstopabble fighting spirit of mom and the witty intelligence of dad. Whatever it is you are experiencing right now, you will go through it. You can go through it."
He stood up and took his can of coke with him.
"You can leave with me tomorrow morning. Sleep here."
Before he could entirely leave the room, he turned to me and said.
"You can handle your own problems. But if you get hurt, and if you be in danger, I'll get in the way without your permission. Got it?"
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