Say My Last Farewell

This is about a Filipina teenager who fell in love with the most unexpected person in the most unexpected time. Does that mean a bad ending or a good one? In the process, readers will encounter Filipino words where you can learn and understand through the little dictionary below each chapter to use as reference. This story is not connected in anyone in real life and scenario but if any story is related, it is a big coincidence. This story is inspired in common Filipino lifestyle in the past during colonization of foreigners in the Philippines. [Reference are provided to keep readers from getting confused] [Author might have messed up with the Philippine History timeline but other than that, the words in the reference are facts.]

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8. SEVEN

THE NAUSEATING smell of poop from the farm animals welcomes Maria in her baro’t saya and tousled hair.

            “Senorita,” says a farmer, “We’re glad to have you here.”

            “Salamat” A sweat finds its way in the corners of Maria’s face. She wipes it with her handkerchief as she asks, “I would like to go over the field, who can guid me?”

            “Can you wait Senorita, I will find someone expert with the field to guide you, and I’ll be back soon. Just seat in the office first.” The farmer says.

            Maria waits as she fans herself in the humid air and settles on a bench under a tree. Just a few minutes when footsteps come behind her. She didn’t turn to look and instead waits. “Senorita, I’ve brought someone who can assist you,” he says. It was the farmer.

             Maria turns as she picks up her fallen fan. Coincidence or destiny? The guy the farmer brought is Bryan de la Cruz.

            “Thanks,” Maria says through gritted teeth. When the farmer goes, she quickly walks to a different route when a hand stops her. The tries to jerk but the hands won’t let go of it and instead leads her to different way.

            “Senorita Maria Gomez, that’s the direction we’ll take,” he says pointing to the path on their right. “We’ll start from there, okay?” Bryan asks but without waiting for answer and draws her towards it. He sounds superior.

            They starts walking to the direction, first he leads her to different compartments where crops are stored, there are workers separating the rotted ones to the fresh ones. They greet them as they passed. Next they move to another building where the crops are packed and taken care of. And so on Bryan showed her the areas in the field.

            Thank God the sun is tamed at the moment that the two proceeded to the other workers in the land planting. It pains Maria seeing people too unfortunate to work in such place. Unlike her, she will only administer the Palayan ni Gomez while these people are pouring loads of sweat whole day and repeatedly does the next days.

            As they reach the end of the field, Bryan says, “Senorita,” he breathes and continues, “I’m sorry for everything that happened – cabin and the picnic.”        He stops and seizes a rotting plant and throws away. “I didn’t mean to hurt you, I meant, the… the kiss, I don’t know why I’ve done it but believe me, I wasn’t making fun of you nor I want to hurt you. It’s just my vision blurred and all I know is that …” He pauses to let out a loud “Ha!” as he stops walking. “I don’t really mean to make you jealous as the party, she’s just my friend.”

            “Wait, what?!” Maria shrieks.

            “Yeah, jealous.”

            Maria’s eyes narrows as she gives him a fierce look.

            “Hey, I was just joking,” he says in force laughter but with fear.

            “What do you want? HUH?” Maria demands as moves forward towards Bryan who backs off.

            “Nothing” admits Bryan.

            “WHAT?” she says in louder voice.

            He didn’t talk.

            “WHAT?” This time Maria is far more than yelling. Irritation burns inside her, to everything he’d done.

            “Look, the first time I saw you on a branch of that mango tree on your birthday, I told myself I wanted to be your friend, I watched you the closely and when you nearly tripped, I was there. I… I brought you to your room and I guess you know the rest. I had seen you many times already, to admit, a little of spying on you. And the time when you fell in that mud all I want to do is to save you, take care of you, be with you. I don’t know!” he throws up his hands in the air. “It happened so fast, you are so gorgeous, I spent my whole growing years thinking how it feels being with you. You are like heaven while I’m just the land. I know I am not for you, but dreamed of miracles Maria. One day I just found myself falling hard on you, but I’m the Bryan who knows I am not supposed to be with you. You need a good life… I can’t give you that.”

            Maria remains still

            Bryan turns back to face her.

            “I’m sorry,” he apologizes. “I don’t mean to hurt you or scare you.”

            Maria reaches for Bryan and gives him a hug. “You didn’t scare me, you just annoyed me,” she says teasingly and giggles. “Chill. Sorry if I – ”

            He cuts her off. “Kaibigan. She’s just my friend. The one I brought in the picnic. We are close and – ”

            “Shut up,” she stops him and adds in mocking voice, “You kiss and hug and hold hands with friends, ain’t you?” Maria slips out of his arm. “Let’s go”

            Leaving in a hurry, Maria arrives in their mansion before noon only to dress up for their date with Frederick. She is in a mess with her tsinelas designed with mud leaving dirt in their wooden floor. No longer tidy Mara jolts in surprise as her eyes found Frederick sitting in their balcony. Thankful that he might not have seen her, she rushes to the stairs to change her wear, dispatching the dirt. Once clean, she goes straight to Frederick who is sitting on a chair enjoying the view of their garden.

            “Frederick.”     

            “Maria,” he says. “What beautiful lady.”

            Maria chuckles as they head for the door. 

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