I arrived home for the first time since I left. It's the month of April. I decided to have a vacation there. In my country in the Philippines. April until May serves as the vacation season. There will be no classes at every level. That's the vacation season so most people working will go home during this season.
We call it summer but it's just a sunny season. This time we can feel too much heat from the sun. Most people will go to the beach or go to spring. Maybe 15 years have passed already since the last time I glimpsed into our house.
"A lot has changed already." In my thoughts.
I saw people shouting near the sea. I'm thinking what's the celebration for today. Why there are a lot of people are gathering.
I made one woman stop running while going to the sea.
"Is there a party going over there?"
The woman laughed at me and replied.
"You didn't know?"
"Today is festive in our village. A lot of parlour games are going on. Like swimming, boat racing, drinking coconut wine and many more."
"I see," I replied.
"You are not from here?" She asked.
"I was, long ago."
The woman just raised her shoulder and invited me to come with her. I followed her but I keep my distance because I'm shy.
People are shouting and laughing. They're having so much fun while watching the parlour games. I couldn't relate away because I despised this place. After spending an hour watching the people and the participants. Slowly, my face suddenly shows a smile. I'm enjoying it. No. I'm having fun as the others do.
"Where do you live by the way?"
A woman earlier suddenly asked me.
"Have you seen that big tamarind tree near the corner?"
"That's where we lived long ago."
She looked surprised after I told her about our house. I don't know who she is. Maybe my neighbour or my friend. I don't remember her name because I was 10 years old when I left.
"Don't tell me….., Is that you, Brad?"
I smiled because she knows my name.
"Where have you been? Why you just come home now? It's me, Ciara"
"Remember that short girl you used to play?" On the shore with Ana, Mani and other children?"
She said while smiling to let me remember who she is. I keep on thinking and remembering all she said.
"Ah, that one."
I remember it. I look at her from the feet to the head.
"How big you've become, Ciara."
Ciara frowns her face and slaps me on my shoulder.
She brought me to my friends before when we were young. Somehow, the hate in me is slowly fading. The feeling of being made in this place because no one helped my parents that's why they died. I despised this place and even cursed the people. I was so mad back then.
I slowly accepted the fact that we are all human. We are capable of being anxious about what to do at that time. Although, I grew to hate this place. I saw beauty and it blooms inside my heart. That reason is enough to forget what I felt before.
I decided to love not to hate. I'm not hurting anyone but myself only. I will never forget that pain because that made me who I am now. But it doesn't mean I will never love this place where my happy memories were found. The time I had with my family will for sure doesn't come back. But it can be alive through this place and through my heart.
I realised that the acceptance of someone's flaws will help me to get stronger. I slowly forget the past and forgive them. That's all I must do for now because it's been a while since I feel so much happiness again in my life. Sometimes you indeed can see the beauty in a twisted world. We just refused to see it because we are not ready for it.
"Why are you smiling, Brad? You're creeping me out."
Ciara said and I replied.
"Nothing. I just feel like I'm alive again."
Thank you for reading
images are mine