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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

FICTION: Lunches And Stilettos

by Viva Manilena

So after dropping off a screaming Caitlin to her pre-school class, I found myself re-applying my makeup while waiting for Teena. A quick look at my Philip Stein confirms that she's running late for the nth time, which is not really bad because who arrives on time anyway. I learned that from Teena, by the way. 

The children's happy voices drowns the teacher's plea to have some quiet moment so that they can begin the lesson. I find that amusing as I watch behind the pillar outside the classroom. Caitlin's voice was one of the loudest. A trace of a smile form around my lips as I recall the scene earlier when she told me that she hates school. She hates her classmates. She hates her teacher. 

Hate. A single syllable word that can be translated into so many things depending on who and how the word is uttered. 

Teena and Jack was running when I saw them. I waved at Teena while pointing inside the classroom. Jack's late in class again. A plump kid with a mass of curls around his head. Cherubic. Not. He's actually one of the little bullies in class but I'm glad that Caitlin can stand up to him. Punch his face if the need arises. Of course, I won't tell Teena that I taught Caitlin how do it. We're friends, you see.

"Your car?" Teena asked in her trademark bored falsetto. "Oh, but I think we should just use mine since I'm using JP's to save gas. You know, his office is paying for it anyway."

Honestly, she look ridiculously pretty like a parrot today and I felt like an insignificant Maya. "Okay. Where to?" 

"Didn't you want to check out the new restaurant in Salcedo? But I heard from the grapevine that its owned by Mara so I'm not sure if you wanted to go."

The concern in her voice touched a cord and a small lump began to form in my throat that threatens to choke me. I hope she doesn't notice. 

"I'm okay," I force myself to smile, my eyes a bit brighter- tears must not escape. "I want to see."

Teena must've raised her perfectly-lined brow but I didn't notice. I was deep in my thoughts that's full of what ifs. There were even times when I can't seem to distinguish the what ifs from what is. 

We used to live in Bacolod because my parents wanted us to stay with them after Bien and I got married. Caitlin was used to running barefoot and bathing in the rain. We all did, even Bien. And that was like a thousand lifetimes ago. We lived simply even if we are not lacking.

Bien's family are from Bacolod too but they sold their properties there and moved to Manila after his father passed away. His mother gifted us with a three-bedroom unit and Bien was all eager to pack our things and relocate. 

Teena was my first friend at Caitlin's expensive pre-school. Bien's mother insisted that she wanted only the best school for Caitlin especially when they can afford it. Most of the children studying in this pre-school has a yaya or two in tow aside from having a driver. Some even have bodyguards. I guess Teena and I stood out because there's only us. No yayas. No drivers. No bodyguards. 

It used to amuse Bien when I told him about Caitlin's classmates, the yaya brigade, the drivers, and the bodyguards. He also said nice things about Teena. But that was before I knew. Before we knew. But that's not important now.

Living in Manila is a hell for me. I miss the serene solitude of my hometown. The familiar trees and unpaved roads. Bien finds it easy to adapt though. And in no time, it seemed as if he grew up in the city all along. 

*** end of part 1 *** 


  1. "But that was before I knew. Before we knew. But that's not important now." - I'm curious to find out what this is about. Looking forward to part 2!

    1. I'm curious to find out also ... No kidding. I just allow the story to develop on its on while I write. Thank you :)

  2. I love this! It's so rare to find interesting fictional works in mom blogs. Like Nicole, I'm also looking forward to the next chapter!

  3. I love Caitlin hehe, I wish my daughter knows how to defend herself from her bully classmates. I want to read the next chapter, I'm exciting to know the end of your story :)

  4. Cant wait for the next part! It's gonna be soon right?

  5. fiction, interesting! totally different thing from blog writing right? much harder, I think, I can't do it! :D great way to exercise creative juices, though, good job!

    1. Thanks :) I used to write stories/poems/plays. A.Lot. But mommy duties kept me from doing it so I turned to blogging. I seem to have found my inspiration yesterday when I was cleaning my stilettos!

  6. Oh cool! A story! I love stories! Like Caitlin's mom, I also find it hard to live in the city. I want the serenity of province-like places, with trees, expanses of grass, somewhere my kids can run in barefeet.

    1. I'm born and bred and still in the city. I dreamt of living in a farm myself. Sadly, my parents province are far from being called a rural place.

  7. Edel, I didn't know you also write fiction! Nice!

  8. Wow, you made this? My hidden talent ka pala! and 2nd.. you have stilettos? haha! can't wait for part 2! :)

  9. Nice! Seems like it's based on real-life experience. *wink Can't wait for the next, keep it up! :)

  10. Very nice. It got me hooked like a favorite soap opera.

  11. I hope I can write fiction too. I can't wait for part2. I like Caitlin too, I hope my son will learn to defend himself to bullies also.

  12. Interesting!! One of the few stories Ive actually finished reading. It got me hooked, cant wait for the part 2!


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