Errand Man (Part 2 of 2)

Fiction by | August 12, 2018

Arriving home, Evanswinda took her slippers off and searched for a dry shirt that she could change to. Her husband wasn’t home yet, which made her wonder where he went after seeing him outside the Granada’s residence. She didn’t wait for him and ate the cold rice and dried fish left over from their breakfast. When she lay back to sleep on the bed, she thought to herself what her life would have been if she didn’t marry her husband. Would she have been happier? Would she have not experienced the miscarriage? She did not know, but she easily concluded that she would still marry someone else and remain poor. No rich man would marry her. She knew she wasn’t pretty. Her flat nose looked like a small bump in the middle of her face and her eyes were large and unattractive. With that last thought, she dozed off to a dreamless sleep. She was awakened by the door opening and the sound of feet hitting the ground steadily. No light came from the small hole on their wall, which meant she slept throughout the afternoon. She hastily stood up, remembering that she had not prepared dinner. She went out the room and saw her husband lounging on the sofa in their living room.

“Hey,” he said, sitting up on the sofa. “I bought dinner. It’s on the table.”

She walked away without a word and went to search for the food. The food was put inside a plastic bag. Peaking inside, she saw that there were four cups of rice and two dishes, pinakbet and ginagmay. She prepared the table and called out her husband. The shuffling of feet could be heard behind her when she sat on the chair.

“How did you find out that I haven’t cooked dinner yet?” she asked.

“I just know,” he said, flashing a barely perceptible smile.

Evanswinda chewed her food first before she spoke. “I saw you outside the Granada’s. Why didn’t you tell me you were coming? What were you doing there?”

He didn’t answer immediately, knowing quite well that she was curious to know.

“They hired me to do errands,” he said. He focused on his food and wouldn’t look at her.

“What errands? I thought you hated them? You didn’t even want me to work for them.”

“Just simple errands. It’s just work anyway.” When she opened her mouth to speak he quickly said, “Let’s just leave it at that.”

She didn’t probe more and continued eating. She knew he hid something, but she could not determine what. He acted kind of edgy but tried to hide it well. He kept moving his leg under the table and looked anywhere but her.

Continue reading Errand Man (Part 2 of 2)

Errand Man

Fiction by | August 5, 2018

Evanswinda squatted on the washroom floor, scrubbing gently the clothes she had been washing. Left alone in the washroom of the Granada’s residence, she hummed to herself a song she heard in passing. The whirring sound of the washing machine and her soft humming broke the quiet morning in the household. She would have wanted to chuck the clothes she had been scrubbing inside the machine beside her if not for Ma’am Rissa’s instruction to wash them by hand because of the delicate fabric. She couldn’t afford to be scolded again in fear of losing her only job. A metal design on a dress shaped like a heart that she had failed to notice scraped her wrist. She yelped in surprise and quickly rinsed the shallow wound off with the soapy water. She continued washing, paying no attention to the stinging sensation while she scrubbed.

Ma’am Rissa’s daughter Christine, a young woman in her twenties, sauntered to the washroom and told Evanswinda to finish quickly before lunch came. As briefly as she came, she left. Still, she went ahead in washing the clothes slowly. She barely slept that morning after the talk she had with her husband Tiyong last night. She had gone to visit her parents in Maco yesterday. There was a fiesta in Maco that day and she accompanied her mother in the market to carry the vegetables, pancit canton, and a few slices of meat they bought. Obliged to lend a hand in cooking along with washing the dishes, she almost had no time to rest that day. She had been worn-out and couldn’t wait to go home. Her home was in Sto. Niño. This had been her home ever since she married Tiyong. Sto. Niño was not as clean and peaceful as the home she had in Maco, but she had become attached to the place after living there. The houses were disorganized with feeble attempts of fixing the leaking roofs and holed plank walls. The black canal surrounding the purok gave off a putrid smell. It was as if the canal has died and had been left there to rot. Of course it was not the shabby image of the town that she had liked, but the place full of life and sound despite the lives most residents had.

Evanswinda only had a few minutes of rest when she arrived home. Sitting up on the bed, she massaged her sore arms when her husband came. He had gone straight to their room to change and had ignored her unintentionally. His face, darkened by the sun, scrunched up in worry. Tiyong was out of sorts that night, staring unto nothing in particular and seeming to forget the food offered before him. Evanswinda felt offended for she had frantically prepared the table upon his arrival. After preparing for bed, he took his wife’s hand and spoke up what had been bothering him.

“It had been long since we lost the little one,” he started.

“It had only been two years,” said Evanswinda.

“That had been long enough,” he said. “Why don’t we start again?”

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