Half-past three. My brother and I walk through Maude Street with Maddy and Lucien who’ve decided to take the long way home with us. The Rottweiler at the other street freaks us out, thus it’s ideal to take this route. Besides. Passing by Maude Street means passing by the playground. We ride the teeter-totters there for a few minutes before we finally make our way home.
We march on to 5/54 O’dell Street with bindies latched on to our socks. Mum has milk and cookies set on the table. We gorge them down, watch some Rugrats and Ahh Real Monsters, and do some homework in between. Dad arrives after a day’s worth of PhD-ing. It’s my turn to set the table. I’d unset them later and then it would be Quantum’s turn to do the dishwashing.
He looks funny perched on that plastic chair, soap dripping from his hands.
Half-past four. Sir Nang-is is droning on as usual. What he’s sharing is actually interesting. He’s telling stories about Perseus and the gorgon Medusa. He says we’ll split into groups later on and present our interpretation of the play. Awesome. But my mind’s preoccupied. I’m thinking about the school paper meeting we’re having after this last class.
Of course my brother will be there. Along with the rest of his troop. Warren and Raymond (the twins) and then Shamal. The quartet would bring comic relief as choleric me would do the ordering around. Kiti-kiti, the guidance counsellor describes them. Okay, not them. Just my brother.
Who’d have thought that we were related?
Half-past five. It’s another Wednesday fellowship. Yey. This time it’s different, because it’s the first after EGR1. We’re having a celebration. We play a game of evolution. Sing songs. Someone gives a message. Then we divide into groups.
Our group leader asks us about our EGR experience. I am jubilant. I tell them that it was awesome – I felt like singing my way down the Math Building after that life-changing weekend.
I tell them I have but one wish though.
That my brother would experience the same thing as well.
Half-past six. The Wallbreakers Encounter is coming to an end. It’s the final session. I am nervous. I know God is moving, but I can’t bring myself to see what’s happening. I survey the room anyway.
But my eyes are locked to a specific corner in the room.
Sir RJ prays for him first. I can’t read his reactions. He’s so… still. I keep praying. Kuya Verge approaches him next. He spends a considerable amount of time with him. Funny really. He’s the oldest kid in the bunch. An incoming senior college student in the midst of high school youth. What was I thinking, inviting him here?
But then he falls. I approach him. He sits down. I wrap my arms around his shoulders. Tears. He says, “Thank you, thank you, thank you” over and over again.
I am overwhelmed.
Half-past seven. I’m on the road. Travelling from work, hoping that I won’t have to wait for two hours to get a good standing position inside the train.
“You should get a car,” he tweets.
Yes. I will. And I’ll drive him around when he comes to visit me.
But he’s telling me that I should go back home. “Congratulations! Now that you’ve finished your Masters, you can now come back to the Philippines and stay here!” he comments in Facebook.
I think he misses me.
I miss him too.
Half-past eight. I’m finally home. Not home home. Home still.
I realize that blood is thicker than water.
Dearest Quantum Yuri Balberan Lubrica, send me a letter please?
Thank you. Miss you. : )