continued from part 1
I love my mother very much. She is the only person who accept me as a gay. My brothers especially Ricky is shy to other people that I am a gay. My sisters and father is not angry to me but they do not care me. They do not make me part of their life. When my father is still living he do not talk to me. When only him and me is in one place, for example in the sala, he go to the kitchen or to outside the house to his fighting cocks. Only my mother kiss me and embrace me when she is still not a stroke victim. But sometimes I hate her, I blame her. This is her mistake. I become a gay because she dress me like a girl when I was small. She give birth to two girls and three boys straight before she give birth to me. When I go out, my two sisters are already big and my mother miss playing to a little baby girl so she always dress me with skirt and then she sing to me and said to me to do fashion show in our sala. So I want to be Miss Universe when I grow up.
I have my new birth certificate and my passport already and you are processing my visitor visa. You said this month will not go before I can fly to New Zealand. I should be in Isulan always where there is internet so that you can chat to me if you need. But I’m sorry. I have to be here in the house in Kulaman to take care my mother. I cannot leave her yet. She is not better or worst. No improvement. She cannot walk and she cannot talk but her spirit is alive, her eyes can talk to me. I talk to her every day. I story you to her and her eyes sparkle when I talk about the sweet things you do to me like you bring me to Boracay and Manila. But when I said to my mother, Nanay I want to go to New Zealand to married John, her eyes look like there is clouds inside like when the rain is going to fall.
If I go away now my mother is only one here in the house. All my old sisters and brothers have family already and I don’t want to bring my mother to them because they are very poor and they have many children. Also their house is in the farm which is far from the health center. They will not take care our mother properly. My oldest sister is in Manila, do you remember her? She live in the squatter area and her family bring us to Mall of Asia and Luneta Park. She is responsible and she want to take care our mother but Manila is very far. Our youngest which was born following me is still in the college in Isulan and her graduation is five months from now. I don’t want her to stop schooling and go back here. No one is available, only me.
Actually Ricky volunteer to take care our mother. He said his family will live here in our original house in the center of the municipality. But it is meaning that they will abandon their farm and they will have no source of income. They will wait only for the money I will give them. Of course I said no. I have no job there in New Zealand. You and me will depend only in your pension and we have no extra money to give to Ricky and his wife and his four children. Our extra money is little and it is good for my mother only. Also Ricky and his wife use to live here in the house when I’m still working in Isulan and they do not take care our parents. The sickness of our father is coughing only and I give money to Ricky to buy medicine but I don’t know what he do to the money, our father went to heaven.
So I am very sorry John. Please give me extra five months. I need to wait for my youngest sister to graduate in the college. She will go here and take care our mother and I will go to New Zealand. But of course I will pray always that my mother will be back to normal very soon. I rosary every night and I attend the mass every Sunday and light a candle in the statue of Mama Mary. If my mother is OK I will fly to New Zealand immediately so please wait for me.
Why did you did this to me John? Why you didn’t wait for me? My heart is broken like mirror, million million pieces in the floor, cannot be returned again. I thought you’re only angry a little because I can’t fly to New Zealand soon. I’m shock to discover you married another person, another Filipino who is a gay.
You are offline always when I want to chat. You stop follow-upping my visa application. You do not make your feelings to me anymore. You just send me P150,000. I am surprise because that is the money you have to show your embassy as the evidence that you are sponsoring me. I ask myself why do you give the money to me? You secreted the reason for two months and then you email me a letter . . . I am sorry my love, I married a Filipino caregiver I met in Manila when I visited you . . . Oh John, it is so very painful on my part. I feel betray. You and me have a promise to married. I don’t know that you have a number two in case I cannot get visa.
I see that gay bitch in Facebook. You forgotten to untag some pictures so I click his name and go to his profile. I know how to investigate in the internet you know, I finish two years computer. There in the Facebook of the gay I see many pictures of you together in the mall, in the park and most of all in your house. He is very happy and proud he is in New Zealand already. The stealer! He steal what is mine. I want to crumple his ugly face. Yes, he is very ugly. His skin is white and that’s all! Well . . . he is bright because he is a nurse. Also he grow up in Manila, living in the city and seeing many cars and tall buildings is ordinary to him. Also his family is not poor because he study nursing which have high tuition fee. He is better to me in many reasons.
I understand you John. Why would you love me? I’m ugly, I’m black, I finish vocational course only, I’m from the boondock. The people here in our barrio is correct. I’m only Agi nga Ati. No one will respect me. No one will like me. No one will love me. No one. Only my mother love me and she can’t walk and she can’t talk. When I said to her what you said to me a tear fall from her eye.
So that’s the reason why you are thin and more older in Facebook. So that is the reason why you bring the gay from Manila to the mall and the park and in your house only, not in the mountain which have snow and in the ranch which have so many cows like you promise to me if I go to New Zealand. That is the reason why you did not wait for me and you married immediately and you choose a gay which is a nurse. You are not anymore healthy. You have very small time remaining in this world.
It is right decision that I don’t send you the one letter I write before. You will feel bad if you read it. But it is wrong decision that I don’t try to chat to you again. I’m not able to say thank you to you for everything you done to me. I’m happy I meet you even our ending is not happy ever after. So I am writing this now. This is my last letter.
My mother is OK OK now. She still cannot move and cannot talk but she become fat a little. I think she will live many years more if I continue to take care her.
My brother Ricky is still the same. Well he change a little also. Just yesterday he went here with his wife to ask when I will fly to New Zealand so that they will transfer here in the house to take care our mother. I said to him my boyfriend is dead, no one is going away, no one is entering our house. I know he is angry but he do not say anything. When I go to the room to check our mother I hear Ricky said to his wife, Let’s go, we will get nothing from that Agi nga Ati! They go home without saying goodbye. He change into bad to me again. But I don’t care.
I know people will look down to me again because I have no boyfriend which is foreigner. It’s OK. Matter of fact I want them to think I have no more money. I will secret that you give me P150,000. It’s still whole in the bank in Isulan. I will use it for business. I will rolling it until it become one million.
It’s OK if they call me again Agi nga Ati. They will never like me whatever I do. They are nice only to me if I have money but they will show their true color like Ricky if I go back to zero. I know now who will love me. This is what I learn from you John. I know now what kind of love God will give me. I will light a candle for you in the church for your recovery and I will not look to men for four Sunday. But after that I will go down to Isulan to chat again. I will find a man in the internet which will like my beauty, New Zealender, American, German, Pakistan! #
Jude Ortega was born and lives in Sultan Kudarat Province. He’s been published in the Philippines Graphic, the Free Press and Philippine Daily Inquirer. He was a fellow for fiction at the 53rd Silliman University National Writers Workshop.