Monday, December 1, 2008


Critique it if you want... but take it easy on me... bashing is not welcomed here...


She reminds you of a day in a beach. Her disposition is as sunny as a summer day. The rise and fall of her voice is like the ebb and flow of the waves as it kisses the shore: placid and harmonic. her hair, a tangled mess of jet black waves smelled of sweet coconuts and sea water. Her skin, a gleam of gold, as if Midas's fingers have ravished her every inch ignoring only the pale lines that traces from her nape down to the abyssmal null beneath the wide collar of her sun dress. She walks with such grace, hips swaying to a silent samba. Her wooden bangles clinking with her every step.
Yes, she was the ultimate summer girl- The girl from down south with her lack of metropolitan cynicism and impatience. Maybe that's why she has this perpetual glow in her, like the last few minutes of the setting sun, awashing everything in sight with hues of amber. Or maybe it was how she sashayed regally with her skin of gold and her virgin white sun dress, beaming at every sullen and pale faces, spreading her summer girl sensibilities as if they were flyers.
I watch her everyday. As she walks out of her dorm at 7 am in the morning, hobo bag in one shoulder and books encased in her slender, caramel hands. Sometimes, I stand still, chin on the wooden handle of my mop. I watch her as she bids everyone farewell with her calm and tinkerbell voice. It was music. A haunting and unfamiliar tune from a distant place of chalk like sand and aquamarine waters. A sweet sound I'd like to hear over and over again, if not sung to me. "Nice girl, that girl from Davao." An old and hoarse voice remarked. I turned around to see Mang Tinio, our janitor for 15 years past in his faded blue over alls. His face lined with age and stress of barely making ends meet with his meager salary for his family. He balanced his chin on the wooden handle of the mop, eyes following the shrinking figure as it disappears into the distance.
"I'm sorry?"
"That's her name..."
Larissa. A name as pleasantly exotic as her dark curls and quasi-hispanic features. She is a quarter Spanish, so they say, which explained her aquiline nose and big, deep brown eyes. But nonetheless, her Ilocana-Dabawenya roots lies evident in her evenly olive complexion. She is still as Filipino as tinapa and bagoong.
At noon time, she arrives in the same graceful and unharried fashion. Her signature samba walk seemed to hypnotize even the most chaste men as she walks past a middle-aged Chinese couple. The husband looks at her, taking off her clothes bit by bit with his widened, amorous eyes while holding his plump and petite wife's hand. The wife takes notice, slapping him with her abaniko and cursing him in mandarin. Oblivious of the commotion she caused, she opens the door to the lobby and disappears into the darkness.
At night, she exits the once dark and bleak lobby, now filled with the soft and warm glow of the bin lights that lined the five step hallway which led to the heavy glass door behind her. Cigarette on one hand, she sits cross legged on the beige wicker chair in the smoking lounge, staring through the whizzing traffic of 7 pm that separated their dormitory with our humble Italian restaurant. Is she looking at me? I hope. But why would she be? I am just but a humble waiter who barely earns enough to get by, let alone afford those pristine string of pearls that deserved to be on her delicately feminine neck. I've seen one of her many ardent suitors, a dopper young fellow offer her a string of pearls, encased in satin-lined blue box. Face beaming, she peers inside with silent delight, as if recieving her first gift on Christmas eve. She traced her slender fingers through each bead before closing the lid and shaking her head. Overwhelmed by rejection, the cavalier young dopper storms into his red shiny car and shoves the box of pearls into the backseat. "You will be mine!" He yells as he points furiously at her before he enters his car and slams the door angrily. He speeds off, almost knocking the pot of plastic hydrangeas that stood outside the smoking lounge. For once, her calm was shattered as she sits alone, shook with fright but maintaining her composure as she takes another puff of cigarette. He will be back... This is not over yet... He will be back...

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