City of Manila
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"So, this a city looks like?"
In my thoughts, while being amazed by tall buildings and bright lights. I came from the mountainside of the province. There are lights but only in the houses but not the same here that even night time looks like day time. It's so bright that makes my eyesight blurry.
The morning has come and classes starting. I am in college now but unlike high school or elementary that the students must wear a uniform. I sigh not because of no uniform but because of my appearance wearing a dress. I can see the difference so much that I feel like becoming so small in this place. Of course, most of the students notice my old fashioned dress. There's nothing I can do with that. My mother bought this kind of dress and you know mountaineer. I can see how the students laughing and making fun of ky appearance. But I must continue, I am here to study and nothing else.
I'm walking hurriedly while not looking at the surrounding. I'm shy about how the students look at me.
"I want to be in my room."
That's what in my mind while walking so fast.
I hear a woman's voice and when I look at her. She's falling because I bumped her. I am strong because I used to work on the farm. I carried sacks of rice, vegetables, fruits and many more. I also used carabao in ploughing field. That's why when I pulled the woman I made her hugs me. I let go immediately and keep on nodding while I kneel down.
"I'm sorry, I'm really sorry, I'm so sorry."
I said it repeatedly as the students looking at me.
"Damn, this is so embarrassing."
In my thoughts and the woman handed me her right arm, smiling and said.
She keeps on smiling and I was stunned for a bit of time as I saw her pretty face. She's really pretty that I'm sure of it I haven't seen a pretty face like that. Let's forget our place because most of the woman there are muscular and dirt all over their faces. What to expect since all the people in the mountain are industrious.
I blinked and I realized my mouth are still open. I stand up immediately and start walking again in going to our classroom.
"Ah, at last, I can relax now."
I whispered when I'm sitting inside the room. I breathe deeply while watching the tree beside the window. I enjoy watching it and I suddenly miss home.
I heard a woman's voice but I ignored it. I know it's not me her calling because I don't have friends yet.
It continues but when I felt someone tapped my shoulder. I turned my head right away but when I saw who was it. I return my head slowly where it was looking a while ago and acting like I don't recognise her. I am so nervous about what to do. So many things came into my mind how can I leave this place. I need to make some reasons.
I'm shaking and stop thinking. How this woman knows my name. I just told her without thinking.
"I'm so sorry earlier."
I'm thinking to run again to avoid her. When I took my first step she holds my hand and I can't move. I pulled it but it won't budge. I began to wonder how this woman becomes so strong when in fact I am strong enough for an ordinary person.
"You can't escape now," She said.
I just sit in my chair and she pulls one chair to sit near to me. She smiles at me while I smile at her forcefully because I'm really shy.
"I'm Catherine, I know you don't have a girlfriend. From now on I am your girlfriend."
My eyes almost came out because I couldn't believe what she just said. I could hear my classmates inside the room so loud said, "WHAT" and when I look at them. They all stop moving while their mouths are open.
"What were you saying?"
It's not that I am happy because I know how I look like in the mirror. Even my mother told me before that I'm ugly. Then for an instant, this pretty woman just declared to be my girlfriend. All I can say in my mind is "HUH"
I turned my head away again from her but she's so bossy and strong. How can I win from her, she holds my face to remain where it is.
"What now is your answer, Martin?"
"Are you freaking serious? Come on, look at me?
" Did you think I'm lying?"
I accidentally replied her with that so I covered my mouth to stop talking.
She's frowning of what I just said and left. I rubbed my forehead and covered my face with my hands.
"What did I just said?"
I immediately stand up and followed her. I reached her hand and hold it.
She was surprised when I hold her hand, she pulled it. She is strong and I was thrown in the trash can.
"Ouch, my back is hurt."
"Sorry, you startled me."
She said then carries me while lying in the ground. I feel so embarrassed about what she's doing.
"Put me down, please."
She out me down and we start talking. I agreed that she will be my girlfriend even though I have no idea what to do for it. I just doing some research after we finished talking and goes home.
"*Going in a nice place like in the park, eating ice cream and many more."
As I promise to go out on Sunday. We are now in front of the train's station to go to a certain place. Actually, this is my first time to read on a train. I have no idea how they pay the fare. I saw people passing on that horizontal pipe and the pipe just move. I imitate what they just did but the pipe won't move. I'm desperate to go inside so I crawl down instead to pass. I saw people laughing while looking at me. I go back to where Catherine is standing. She never stops laughing so my mood changed and decided to go back to the park and eat ice cream.
Every weekend we go outside to have a date. I don't understand but it seems Catherine is in a hurry. I just ignore it and enjoy the time together. This time we go to a beach. My eyes are busy watching ladies wearing bikinis. Of course, I didn't let Catherine wears a bikini. I don't want the boys will stare at her like what I am doing.
I'm thinking of teasing her to be angry. When I saw hear near me enough that she can hear my voice in low tune. I said to a girl who is also swimming.
"Hey, let's play a game about catching. If you can catch me, you can have me."
Actually, that girl didn't hear me. I arrogantly turned my head to face her while smiling. I want to see what will be her reaction. Damn, she looks so mad and she runs away from me. I followed her immediately and she just stops not far from the beach but no people around. I approach her and I noticed she's crying. I feel guilty because of it.
"I'm so sorry, it was just-,"
I didn't continue what I want to say because she interrupted me saying seriously.
"Do you really love me, Martin?"
"Before I will answer you, answer me first why me? How could a pretty woman like you love me? There are so many good-looking guys out there but why me?"
She glimpse and I gulp as I ready myself what she will tell me.
"Martin, let me ask you first.
Have you heard about the legend of the firefly?"
"Yes, of course, it's a popular story into the mountain. The firefly will be given a chance to become human for 1 year. It only happens when there will be a human will take care of them and love them. Firefly will be given a chance to repay the love of what the human did because firefly is being known as a life of love."
After I answered her about the legend story. It made me wonder, I took a firefly years ago. When I saw it in the window and couldn't fly. I put in a glass and put some grasses. I saw that firefly all the time inside my house but it was gone. I'm still wondering but I'm thinking what's going to happen here.
"Don't tell me Cath, that was you?"
She nods her head as a glimpse and tears falling. I can see the sadness in her eyes.
Catherine, you're joking, right?
"No, Martin and today is 1 year already when I became human."
I can't believe what I just heard. My chest feels so tight. The sun is so hot and bright but I feel so cold that I'm almost frozen. The world suddenly becomes so dark because of my tears.
"How unfair Cath, how unfair."
"You know that I love you so much Martin but you also know we have a different world."
There's no world to come out in my mouth knowing that Catherine will leave me forever. We keep staring to each other as the sun goes down and the moon will come. She will become firefly again when it becomes dark. My tears never stop on falling but Catherine keeps on wiping while smiling and crying.
"I LOVE YOU MARTIN, PLEASE DON'T FORGET ME."
Catherine is now fading right in front of my eyes. I kneel down as I'm like a dog barking to the moon because of the agony I feel inside.