One hot afternoon, by a window that opened to a meadow, Marco sat. Hair uncombed, beard unshaved, still wearing his Silliman University shirt, smothered with black ink. He was almost finished writing the last chapter of his latest story when Don Alfonso came in, a glass of brandy in hand.
“Oh, hijo, are you writing in your ridiculous diary again? Wasting your time trying to encapsulate your thoughts? Ha!” Don Alfonso exclaimed while walking around Marco’s room, kicking away soiled clothes strewn on the wooden floor.
“You can’t even clean your own room. What will my amigos and amigas say when they see this? The son of Don Alfonso Aguerre, a wealthy, well-known haciendero, untidy! What? You don’t put your used clothes in the laundry area. You have all day… wait, all year to do so! Yet you spend all your days scribbling nonsense! … Why, you are no different from the pigs found in our farm! You are hopeless, son. Hopeless.”
Without looking, Marco answered his father under his breath, “Like what you said Papa, you are wealthy. Hire someone who’ll clean my room for me. You can easily do that. You’re rich and influential. No one can say no to you… You’re capable of putting anyone to shame if they do so, destroying their reputation, their lives. Am I right, Papa?”
When Marco said these words, his father was right behind him, back against his, taking a sip of brandy from his large beer glass.
“You are right. And, don’t you forget that I can make anyone’s life miserable with my pirma. You are fully aware of that, right, son?” Don Alfonso replied, walking towards the door. And just before he stepped out of Marco’s room, he glanced at his son who was still finishing his work, and fashioned a smile. Then out he went, leaving the smell of brandy in the room, intoxicating the air.
When he heard the doorknob click, Marco stopped writing and held his pen tight, until the plastic carcass cracked. His breathing was fast. Tears surfaced from the wells of his heart.
“I’m aware of that… Gago…” Marco whispered, closing his tired eyes.
Sums Paguia is currently a 3rd BS Education English major student at Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan.