It was summer. No classes for two months. No plans yet but you just don’t want the restful days to end. You wake up, eat breakfast or lunch or brunch, and then play computer games, watch anime in the afternoon, eat snacks, and dinner shortly afterwards. That was a routine – a boring one as I look at it now – but I wonder how did I manage to get through those days? Phones back then aren’t that smart, I just remember sending group messages to my friends twice or thrice a day.
And sometimes I do send a group message intended to a specific person just because I want a response and start a conversation – this is flirting before messenger and other social media apps became a huge thing. I know I’m not the only one. Come on! 🙂
I had no money back then aside from my small savings from my weekly allowances. Yet, I found ways to enjoy life. I can recall those moments when I looked forward to afternoons because I was close to almost all the maids that we had and we often go out to buy street food. Since it was summer, halo-halo is the best one to buy. My mom usually gives me money but sometimes I get treated. I have no specific plans for this post, it just happened that I can’t sleep yet so I will try to remember ate “Alona” who worked for us for over a year, I guess? She was the closest I have ever been with. And my fond memories with her mostly happened during my summer breaks.
She sings well. That was the first thing that came to my mind. Whenever there was an event in our house, she would sing a couple of songs in the karaoke and I remember how pleasant her voice was. She’s very caring too. She wasn’t a pain in the ass type of maid and we all treated her as someone equal to us. She was very respectful and I can clearly remember how I spent a lot of time in our terrace. Ate Alona did her ironing of clothes in the terrace and I would go there voluntarily to talk about anything. I usually asked everything about her boyfriend and the one that I remember the most is asking what their theme song was. I was a child back then and I honestly thought that every couple should have a theme song. Well, it isn’t that cringey – it can be sweet too.
Speaking of sweet, there’s an ice cream store near our house that you can reach within a five-minute walk. I always wanted to go there because I love ice cream so much, until now actually. Naturally, I would buy the ones that didn’t cost a lot but I was always craving for “banana split” and other products in their menu which were expensive for me back then. I was very vocal to my ate Alona that I wanted to try them but she also can’t give me that because as you know, maids don’t earn that much unless you work for Kris Aquino or Sharon Cuneta. Kidding aside, I understood why I can’t always get a treat from her. But one day, I was wrestling with the pillows on my parents’ room (I am a huge fan of wrestling and actually dreamt if becoming one in WWE) and she called me: “Gor tara, punta tayo ice cream store”. (Let’s go to the ice cream store). I didn’t think I knew that it’s gonna be a special day. She treated me with the more expensive options in the menu! I finally got my banana split! It happened once and I’m so thankful for my brain that I can still reminisce that moment. It was nothing special until I’m writing this.
Normally, my mom would allow her to go back in their province to celebrate Christmas and New Year. I understood that she needed to go to her family but I didn’t hide the fact that I was lonely. I talked to her more often than my siblings and parents. I found comfort. I think I can say that I had a friend in her. I was around 11 or 12 years old and she was around 18-20? I genuinely think that my bond with people older than me started when I was young. Right now, my closest friends at work are at least five years older than I am. Okay that was a personal trivia, going back – I patiently waited for the day that she’ll come back to the point that my family teased me about it. But I was really excited because my days will surely be brighter with her around in our house.
I can’t remember the exact date that she decided to marry and leave our home. Though I am quite certain that it was in my second year in high school. I didn’t have the chance to personally say goodbye as I woke up early in the morning to go to school and she was also busy in her last day of doing household chores. That made me sad. I didn’t realize how sad I was until I received a text message from her saying: “Gor, alis na ko. I’ll miss u.” (I am now leaving. I’ll miss you). I’m honestly feeling a little bit lonely remembering that moment right now. That was our last conversation. It wasn’t even in person. I’m thankful though ‘coz I might tear up and be embarrassed right away. But that was really our last conversation.
I didn’t bother to know her surname. I had no facebook back then and I had literally no idea that social media apps will rule the future and will be a tool for reconnecting with old acquaintances or friends. After this, I will try my luck and search for her. I can still remember her face. But I’m not getting my hopes up. I am just happy that I will be putting my memories with her by writing this post. I cannot trust my memory as I get older so I’ll be going back to my blog every time I want to relive my moments with ate Alona, especially those summers with her.