Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday the 13th (And Valentine's Day thereafter)

It's the eve of Valentine's Day and yet it's also a Friday, the 13th of February.

Chito chuckled at the irony and wandered what disaster could possibly unfold to spoil the lovely day of love that's coming tomorrow. As far as he's concerned, he assured himself, nothing of that sort could ever happen. He carefully searched for the bracelet he would give to Lily from among the items on display at the jeweller's counter in Trinoma. The saleslady was doing the hard sell but the 30 year old accountant was totally oblivious to that. "That's high-grade silver sir, the current rage, and it had in fact replaced gold as the favorite gift, well not really, but with gas prices and galloping inflation, the price of gold has... well turned gold, hahaha..." The poor girl realized she was laughing at her own joke and looking absolutely silly she finally shut up.

Finally, he broke his silence. "I want that one, the third item on the second row, yes that one with a mermaid pendant. yes. He pulled out his credit card and patiently went through the swipe, and watched intently as the saleslady wrapped the item with such pomp you almost sense any moment she might break into a song or offer free massage service to lend new meaning to customer satisfaction. Well she almost did, announcing to his surprise that they actually have a pre-valentine's promo, giving customers a 20-percent discount on every item. Not bad for a Friday the 13th...

"Hi, Lily how's your day? And what's for dinner?" Chito tried to look normal as soon as he arrived home. Well, normal after ten years together is being predictable and saying the things that he had been saying over and over from day one of their marriage, which also means being insensitive of anniversaries, births, deaths, valentine's, the unpaid bills, the fighting children, the visiting in-laws and if the days are that bad, forget asking 'Hi, how's your day and what's for dinner?' In fact, the more normal you act the better it is sometimes. Chito wandered if this is the day to break from the norm and to not be normal for a change. He reached for his chest pocket where he placed the box containing the gift and it took a mighty effort to not succumb to the temptation of giving it to Lily and watch the unfolding miracle. He longed to see her smile the smile of absolute joy, like she did the first time she laid her eyes on the wedding ring, with Chito on his knees and begging to marry her. It's been quite a while since he witnessed that smile and he realized just how much he wanted it badly now but amazingly, Chito was able to get hold of himself. There'll be plenty of time for that tomorrow, he promised. Today would be anti-climactic.

Meantime, it was amazing how Lily herself had totally forgotten what day it is today and the significance that it holds among the couples, or is she just trying to act normal the way he does? He wondered.

That night, lying in bed together, husband and wife were an absolute contrradiction. She had fallen asleep like a baby the moment her head touched the pillow while he tossed and turned. He was still brooding over the gift. At close to midnight, finally, sleep mercifully came to his rescue.

He jumped out of bed the next morning and ran towards the kitchen where she found Lily preparing breakfast. The sunny side up simmered on the frying pan and he smelled bacon. "I knew it". He blurted outlound. "You're just pretending you don't care but you actually prepared something for Valentine's, hahaha... Well guess what, I got a surprise for you too".

No reaction from Lily. "Happy Valentines Day, Honey". He went straight to the point. Still no response. He gave him a peck on the cheek. Nothing. He felt cold. He felt strange.

Chito remembered the bracelet and realized it may have still been in his shirt pocket. He rushed downstairs and searched for it among the heap of a full week's laundry. Then the shocking discovery. He couldn't even move the pile of clothes. He realized his hands pass through anything, his touch a gust of wind, an apparition in the tangible world. The next moment, he was inside their bedroom looking at himself. The froth from his mouth had spilled into the pillow, the ashen face and the fact that his eyes were wide open suggested a horrible death. He let out a soundless scream.

Lily was shaking him and pinching hard at his arm. "Wake up Honey, you're having a nightmare again. You're scaring me, honey, wake up, wake up". She was on the verge of tears when finally he opened his eyes. Chito held her tight and gave his wife a gentle kiss.

He realized he had just came back from the dead to greet his wife a happy Valentine's...


Wind said...

Wow! Nice~ thanks for sharing...:)


This Brazen Teacher said...

It seems the quiet students in the back row always absorb twice what the others do- and yet seldom share their secrets with the world.

Today I celebrated your fifth comment on my blog :-) I too, admit I am baffled by your compliments. How is it that such a superior writer thinks this immature, unabashedly, brazen teacher is anything worth reading? Often I reread the words on my own blog and wonder how in the world anyone with your word weaving capacity wastes their time.

More often than not however, I let your presence on my blog remind me that indeed, I have something to offer the world... however small that something is.

Please don't stop blogging. I think I would be very sad about that.



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