Sand Castle

Come to think of it,

I was wrong when I called you right after I got to the terminal, one last jeepney ride away from home.

Something was wrong with that trip, even before it started. I had to keep it from the three of you for a day. I knew it wouldn’t bring out well-meaning reactions.

Little buddhas, Ma has given me leave and support to go to Boracay with the Malagas.

I didn’t think having to say that would actually put me in a vulnerable and precarious state.

I wanted to go, I wanted to go alone. And I knew why I had to. I had been carrying weight that was not just mine. And I was tired.

Bahala ka.

Lagi, naa ka dira.

Funny how I can only remember the not-so pleasant remarks on my report of good fortune.

I thought about it on the boat, on the numerous bus rides, even on the beach.

I attempted more good reports along the way, basically saying “Hey, I get to be happy here.”

Ugh.

Please come home.

It was starting to get to me. My shoulders felt an inch closer to the ground and I saw more sand than sunsets and beautiful people.

Only after three days upon my return did I realize it hit me. You both weren’t happy for me.

I shouldn’t have called you at the terminal. And I don’t know how I’m going to give you your pasalubong.

For some reason also, I feel like you're glad the trip's over.

TJ arrives tonight and I’d like to see Yen sometime. She was happy for me.
Happy birthday Liyo, for some reason, I really didn’t want to greet you on your birthday.

I’m going to cower in this air-conditioned cave for a while and make the best out of that trip in my head, without the frowns on your faces and those texts of disgust and resentment. I go home to myself this time.