Friday, November 28, 2008

A digression

The two of them, barefoot, facing each other, sat on their legs. They were having an orgasmic serving of Salmon Cheese Roll at a quaint Japanese restaurant along Arnaiz Avenue. The sensational dish seemed to shoot out wads of creamy melted blue cheese into their tongues with each grind of their jaws, and it was just for appetizers. They were both speechless for a while, relishing on the flavor of the delectable dairy that enveloped the seafood sushi being savored by their taste buds. Each bite was sending out thousands of different sensations from the synapses on their tongues to the neurons on their brains. Each current seemed to weaken their defenses. They looked at each other sternly as they tried to hold themselves together, trying to read the other's mind while surveying the countenance of the person in front.
"So how... is... Cassie?" The boy tried to ask in between chews.
"She's fine. She'll be staying in Bulacan for the meantime. Uncle and Agnes will be taking care of her." The girl proudly replied, gratified at the upper-hand given by the vacancy in her trap.
"Did she say what she was upset about?" The boy asked with a squirm right after he swallowed the masticated  roll down his throat.
Carmen paused with a poker face, staring down at the lined-up rice rolls left sitting on the table, struck, suddenly, by the question about her bastard sister's sadness.
"I mean, did Lia's death have anything to do with it?" The boy continued as he shuffled his chopsticks with apprehension between his fingers as he mentioned the dead girl's name.
She continued to stare at the table. Lost in her own thoughts. Thinking about...
"It's strange how two sisters can be so much strangers to each other."
Iñigo paused as he tried to recall why he invited her out to this dinner again. Days ago, he got a call from her asking for help about an emergency with her sister, Cassandra. She was found unconscious, lying on the ground floor of her building a few moments later after she was reported scaring fellow residents downstairs with her delirious murmurings. He was in a law firm nearby. He arrived just as the building guards were manhandling the poor chemically drowned girl to a van. He insisted that he take them both to the nearby hospital instead. The next day, he called the girl right in front of him now to ask for an update about his ex-girlfriend's condition, which proceeded to the invitation. His curiosity felt that he had to know what really happened.
"Why should it bother her? If there's anyone to blame about Lia's suicide, it's you. I never liked her but what you did to her was really nasty." The girl came back to her senses.
Iñigo smiled, slightly embarrassed by her comeback. He felt sweat suddenly forming out of his skin. So he tried to form his own defenses but with no actual success. He realized that his faults were simply too obvious to be denied.  "Lia had her own problems but, yes, I admit our break up might have tipped the boat more for her. I just thought that the similarities of the incident to Adrian's might have brought back memories."
"Adrian didn't kill himself. The Yakuza got rid of him. He and Cassie really pissed those Japanese off. Buti na lang uncle was able to fly her off to Paris before they got to her."
"Where did you get that information?"
"My uncle."
"Oh." The boy came out with a defeated kind of surprise after realizing how little he knew about the cousin he thought of as a brother. "What did they do?"
"They were too busy taking all those chemicals they were supposed to deal that they forgot they have to pay off their dealers. Ewan ko ba why those two were dealing drugs for extra cash."
"They wanted to be independent." He recalled a thought he had ages ago. He has always been fascinated by the unbreakable messed up relationship between his cousin and his ex-girlfriend. He knew his cousin was a homosexual, which became the paramount belief he held on to that there was never anything between them that could hinder his relationship with her, and yet, still, he had troubles connecting with her. It didn't seem to matter that much to him back then. She was a divine figure to him in the twilight of his pubescence. Her beauty, her wit, her aloofness and her devotion for his cousin had him hooked on her.
Carmen, noticing his moment of nostalgia, joked. "She has a cute doctor. Not exactly my type but definitely one of hers I'm sure." She laughed gently like the lady she's always aspired to be.
Iñigo smirked. "Well I'm sure the cute doctor is going to do a good job keeping her from trying to kill herself again."
"Actually, he's back here in Manila."
"Ah..." He trailed on, trying to figure out what proper reaction to give her to conceal his uneasiness. "And what about your boyfriend? Why isn't he her tonight with us?"
Carmen froze for a heartbeat. Her heart skipped the next.
"Oh! He's probably out somewhere with one of his other girlfriends. He won't mind."
"You're okay with that?"
"Yeah... well.. what am I supposed to do? Cry?"
"Take this advice as an old friend. You deserve better."
Carmen smiled at the boy sitting in front of her, the boy she once harbored an innocent infatuation for back when they were younger.


  1. And the plot thickens. Interesting excerpt OSB.

    It felt like reading a story written by a "foreigner". If you know what I mean. Until I encountered surreal words like "Bulacan, Ewan ko ba, and Buti na lang" . Lol.

  2. Hahahaha... yeah, I get ya.

    I sense you haven't encountered much Filipino literature in English? I highly recommend Dead Stars by Paz Marquez Benitez and Footnote to Youth by Jose Garcia Villa. You'll be surprised at how the stories of Dodong, Teang and Esperanza are narrated with so much grasp on an Occident's language.