The newspaper club ( Chapter 1 draft)
I had a dream once. The setting was at a club in the '90s. The band was playing hit OPM songs such as Eraserheads. I was with some people I assume were my friends. I couldn't remember what their faces look like but I could remember what they wore at that time. They wore stretchable pants, blouses with paddings on the shoulders and large plastic earrings. That was all I could remember, It's better if you searched it on Google or something. I wasn't born in that era!
Anyways, We were drinking San Miguel beer and talking about the latest celebrities gossip, and about politics when a group of men suddenly waltz in on our conversation. We could tell they chugged a lot of beer from their breath alone. And the worse part they're around 40 or 50 of age and weren't at all attractive. My "Friends" and I was about to leave them from disgust when a guy from their group put his hands on my shoulder and began to flirt at me. His "soft words" do not match his looks and his breath. It made me uneasy and gross but I didn't do anything because I was scared that he may hurt me. My "friends" left me all alone to escape from this awkward situation to dance on the dance floor instead. Talk about what great friends I have...
He kept flirting on me for about a couple of minutes when a guy my age grabbed on my shoulder and said;
"Could you not touch my girlfriend?"
At first, I was at a shock to what he just said and was about to dismiss that when the guy who said that winked at me as if he's saying to go along with it. Of course, I want this awkward and uncomfortable situation to be over so I just pretend to be his girlfriend. And it worked! The man apologized and left me. As he left, I could hear him curse under his breath;
"Tch lost another one"
When the man was gone, he let go of my shoulder and asked If I was okay. I said I was fine and thanked him for saving me. He said It was nothing and also apologized for posing to be my boyfriend. I brushed that off and still thanked him. I offered him a drink and that was how my dream ended.
I woke up and opened my eyes and saw my mom looming over me and flicking my forehead.
"Gising na! Your breakfast is gonna get cold."
I put my hands on the spot she flicked and got up from the bed. I stood up and began to fold my blankets. While doing that, she left me while saying;
"Even though it's summer, that doesn't mean that you can sleep all day. I won't allow that. Anyways go downstairs after that and eat your breakfast while it's still hot. Your sister is already downstairs eating"
I cursed under my breath and finished folding and arranging the blanket and pillows. Folding it neatly, putting the fallen pillows on the bed, and thinking about telling my mom to wake me up more gently next time. This was just a typical day in April. Scorching Hot as ever. After all, El Nino already started.
As I walked downstairs I could see a lane of pictures from the time we went traveling. Mom always likes to show off these pictures to her friends, just bragging it off to others. I could see a Family picture of us four. Dad with a shining smile on his face. I wonder if dad knows about the ways mom wakes me up? Can he wake me up instead?
Nah, that would mean we didn't visit his grave and that would be terrifying.
I got downstairs and was immediately insulted by my older sister Edna.
"Hoy, Tubbs why are you late? Your food is about to be cold."
"Can you not call me that?"
"Hey, I'm speaking the truth aren't I?"
My eyebrows curved and I looked back on Mom who I could see on the small opening on the kitchen cleaning all the eggshells. My eyes telling her about my sister's insult. Mom sighed and looked at us unamused;
"Edna, don't insult your sister and Eva, eat your breakfast already"
We both okay after that. I was a little disappointed at her response but no one can oppose mom when she's like that. If we do, she'll kick our butts. She's like a semi tiger mom. Chill but a little strict at times. I sat on the chair across my sister and ate my breakfast. While eating, I told mom about my dream.
She had this weird look on her face as I told her that, while my sister was just busy with her phone texting to her friends. After I said every last detail, Mom looked at me and said;
"Eva, that's... how I met your dad..."
" Woah! Really?!"
"Yup, that's how mom met dad," Edna said that as she was still texting, looking unamazed by it.
"What a weird coincidence..."
"Yeah, what a weird coincidence..."
Mom began to tell us about her youth and what happened after she met dad that faithful evening. It was a long story as if she were telling an epic. I thought of it as never-ending. But it ended, thankfully.
"Oh right, after this I'll be going to the mall for a pedicure. So please, clean your closets. It's like a jungle in there..."
"Oh, and don't half-assed it alright? If you do, you aren't allowed on using your phones."
Ah, Her strictness is showing.
It's already 1:30 pm. I've already finished the chore and miraculously didn't half-assed it. My sister though isn't finished yet since she was busy video chatting with her friends. Mom went to the mall to get her nails done. And now I'm just here laying on my bed, thinking of something to do. Then a thought went into my head. I'll be in high school after summer. Is it different from when I was in grade 6? Will my classmates have boyfriends or girlfriends already? Is it much harder from what I heard? What's gonna happen to me? I feel as though anxiety has overtaken me again. This often happens to me this past week. Being anxious and excited at the same time. It's like roosters fighting in a Sabungan. I could hear imaginary people shouting and cheering and betting who's gonna win. Excitement is taking the reigns and leading the fight but anxiety quickly turns the tables and cornered excitement. Anxiety, scratching excitement's one eye. But luckily, excitement's defense is strong and was able to pull through. And they began to continue the fight in the middle and go on.
As excitement and anxiety fight, I suddenly hear footsteps outside my door. Edna swung open the door; Stopping my train of thought.
"Hey, I'll pay you if you help me clean my closet."
"Now, why would I help you?"
"Because we're sisters and I'm gonna pay you."
"Okay, fine how much are you gonna pay me?"
"Sige na nga! 300?!"
"That's what I'm talking about!"
I got up from the bed and went straight to my sister's room which is just ahead of the hall. Edna grumbled a bit, saying;
"If we were not siblings, I swear I'll kick you out a long time ago..."
And on the rest of the afternoon, I helped Edna clean her closet. And let me tell you this, it was NOT easy. I could have sworn I saw a couple of spider webs here and there. And even a small rat in which we screamed and pointed fingers to whoever is gonna get the rat out. We even played Jack-n-poy to who's gonna get the rat outside. Luckily it wasn't me. So I just kept laughing my socks off to Edna as she prepared a pillow to make it as her shield and a broom as her makeshift sword. It took a couple of failed tries the final of which a rat climbed on her body and she ran outside which also scared the nearby passerby. I saw all of it from the window and laughed so hard, I could swear my soul just left my body!
It was SO HILARIOUS! Though as she returned to the room she was so furious at me, I felt my hair stood up. She began to attack me and we accidentally hit the neatly folded clothes causing another mess again. But she didn't punch me or anything, She just tickled me and to be honest, It was kinda fun. It's been a while since we were able to do this. I was a bit happy despite the mess we made everywhere. After all the tickling we noticed the large mess and folded the clothes again. I noticed how Edna folds. She's much quicker and neater than my folds. I never actually noticed that, until now. Huh, I guess I should notice more details like that.
Edna noticed how I just stared at nothing and bopped my head.
"Uy! Don't just doze off. We still have a lot of clothes to fold."
"Huh, oh... right."
I stopped dozing off and continued folding. We grabbed the broom and dustpan from downstairs and swept the closet. A lot of dust came out so we had to put on masks to prevent it from entering our lungs. After all the cleaning it was already, 4:00 pm and the closet looks clean as new. And! my sister paid me so it looks like I've earned a bit for my allowance. Edna shooed me off and closed the door behind me. Looks like sister bonding time is over...
I went to my room and lay down on my bed. I checked my phone and saw a recent text from mom.
"I'll be arriving late today, I'll be going to the grocery to buy some food."
I closed my phoned and continued my train of thought. I slowly closed my eyes and accidentally slept for the rest of the afternoon. I woke up, 6:00 pm with my sister calling me from downstairs. Looks like mom was already here. I went downstairs and saw a scene where Edna is helping mom with the groceries.
"Hoy Tubbs! Help with this will you?"
And with that, I helped them with the groceries. After that, mom cooked us dinner and Edna and I helped her out. After what seems like a long food cooking session, we finally ate some Kare-kare. While eating, mom asked us what we did the whole day and we began to tell her everything that had happened. Even the thing about the rat. She responded with a smile and took a note for herself.
"Next time, I'll call the exterminators to check the corners of the house, no wonder I heard a sound coming from your closet..."
After that, we went to our respective places. Mom on the TV, Edna video chatting her friends again, and me playing games on my phone. Like a normal day in the Flores household. I still can't help but think about school, more specifically, High school.
Nonetheless, It's still pretty early. I shouldn't think about it. Or should I?