After Six

Nonfiction by | August 8, 2010

I went home today taking the long route. Traffic was bad and the trip had a lot of stops and turns along the way. I looked at people’s weary faces in the jeepney as they stared blankly at the traffic jam or in space.

I watched them and thought what could they be thinking at this hour of day. Perhaps they thought of the day’s events, summarizing it. Some of them,who were clad in corporate attire could possibly be thinking of end day’s rest at home, or the sumptuous meal waiting for them, or the company of family. Others seemed to be drowned in their thoughts not caring about what was happening at the moment.

Indeed, riding in a jeepney or bus would provoke reflection of what has been, what is, or what is to come. The idle time spent in travel gives us the chance to ponder the many aspects of our lives.

As for me I thought of the conversations I had shared with Cyrene, my office mate. I didn’t know how I could so easily open up to her about my life. I often wondered if the silent afternoons we spent in the reception area yielded a friendship of honesty and openness.We talked about our career history and plans and dreams. I shared how dynamic I was in my quest for my place under the sun. She shared her first time moments as a professional. It was fun to have something in common— the interest in discovering each other’s lives.

There have been countless times that we also talked about our relationships. We talked about people, fashion, clothes, food, friends, family, jobs, feelings, everything under the sun. I must say afternoons with Cyrene have been moments of sisterhood. And as the last of my working days draw near, I realized how I am going to miss the afternoon chitchat with Cyrene. Indeed, God sends you the right persons to accompany you in your life journey. Cyrene is one of the many people who helped me walk this earth with joy.

Then my thoughts shifted to my dad. Until now I still cannot fathom how God could allow my dad to die and leave us all behind. Could it be because we don’t need him anymore? Or could it be because we have to stand on our own? Whatever the reason, I have finally accepted that there are many things in life that we cannot change. So it is better to divert our thoughts and efforts towards other things than focusing on what will never be. I guess God is telling me to be patient because in due time, I will understand and appreciate everything.

This insight led me naturally to Norman James, my boyfriend. My thoughts used to center mostly on the plans that I have for myself in relation to him. I don’t identify myself with him but most people do. Sometimes I wish my own name stood alone and not beside his primarily. So to chase my dream of being independent would mean to sacrifice him, in a manner of speaking.

It is surprising how people reacted to my decision to leave Davao and not go to General Santos with him. All of them asked, “Paano si Norman?”

I thought about this for a very long time. Why? What about leaving Norman James is so big a deal? Norman said people have different views and backgrounds when they asked this question. Well, I could not argue with that. So I sought my own perception regarding this matter. I am an individual with a perfectly different set of needs and wants, and a different outlook in life. So is Norman James. Then it is perfectly okay to pursue what’s mine.

So there. These thoughts popped in my head all the way home. Amazing the depths a jeepney ride could take you if you let it.

—-
Leah Judith Jacobe is a nurse by profession.

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