Sep 22, 2010

Chances (Chapter Three)

III. Coming Home

Nine years ago...

A seventeen year old good-looking boy can be seen walking lazily out of the airport.  The only flaw in his features would be his crossed eyebrows, expressing his displeasure.  His disposition is obviously not good, it could be from the fact that it is extremely hot in the Philippines compared to the weather from where it’s from?  Or perhaps he is trying to remember his frustrating conversation with his father before he hopped on the plane back to the Philippines.

“I don’t want to go there. I don’t know anybody there, aside from you,” he argued.

“Then it is the perfect time to meet your mother’s family,” his father reasoned out.

“But I don’t want to be there. Besides, I’m in the middle of my college applications,” he tried to insert his education as an issue in an attempt to sway his father’s decision.

“James, I told you,” his father answered quickly.  “You’ll get into any university here easily.  Any university here in the Philippines.”  His father reiterated the last part, because he knew James would insist on studying in Australia.

James’s mood is not improving, in fact it’s getting worse.  His father decided to set-up a business in the Philippines.  The old man thinks that this is a great opportunity for James to reconnect with his ancestry, after all, James is half-Filipino.  His father’s marriage with James’s Filipino mom was not perfect, which is why they ended up in a divorce.  But why do I have to stay in this friggin’ country just to know her and her other family, James whispered to himself angrily.

He crashed down on the lobby chairs trying to pass time.  His father would be picking him up.  He noticed that a lot of girls were glancing towards his direction and trying to catch his eye.  He overheard two girls whispering to each other trying to figure out if he’s an upcoming actor.  He smirked and shook his head.  Back in Australia he was just a normal guy, here he’s an actor material. He stood up when he saw a familiar  bluish black car stopping in front of the glass doors.

He was welcomed in a big hug by  his father.  James smiled, the only good thing with staying in the Philippines would be being close to his father again.  They have a very close bond between them. Well, at least I have something to look forward to,  James assured himself.


On the other side of the airport, the one for domestic flights, a petite and morena girl was anxiously pulling her luggage.  It’s not only her soft facial features, pointed nose and curved lips, making her stand-out. It’s the fact that she stood still in the middle of the lobby, uncertain where to go.

It’s Devon’s first time in Manila, alone. Her aunt was supposed to pick her up.  She clutched on her bag tightly and kept on glancing on the old phone she’s holding.  It was a blessing that she was able to have this chance.  She smiled when she recalled receiving the entrance examination results from a prestigious university in Manila along with her acceptance in the university’s scholarship program. 

At first, she was hesitant in continuing her education in Manila. It would be too expensive.  But her aunt was able to come up with a solution.  While studying, Devon could stay with her, in the house where her aunt is working as house help.  In return, Devon must contribute or help in the household chores.  Devon doesn’t mind working while studying. In fact, she was a working student in her last two years in high-school. 

She was trying to hide her laughter when she remembered her family when she left Cebu earlier.  Her parents were bawling, acting as if she would be going somewhere in the Middle East.  Her sisters where obviously embarrassed by their parents antics, that they pulled Devon away and pretended that they don’t know their mother and father.

I miss them, already, Devon sighed.  What they lack financially is compensated with the closeness in their family. 

Devon saw a familiar figure near the guard, she was waving her hands crazily and calling out Devon’s name.  It was her Tita Aiz.  Devon walked towards her and whispered to herself, everything for my family.


James was sleepily watching the buildings, as their car passed by them.  he was wondering how long he would stay in Manila. His father broke the silence.

“How was your Laura and the rest,” asked his Mr. Peid.

“She’s fine,” James answered. “So are the others.”  His father sensed his son’s boredom.

“There’s a lot of guys who live in the village who are in the same age as you,” his father eagerly said. “You’ll have no problems with making friends.”

James smiled, “Naw.  I’m not that friendly. Let’s see.”

Mr. Peid looked at James and shook his head.  His son just acts so unaffected sometimes, that he, James’s father , would ask if his son is a robot.   He manuevered his car into a village.  James looked at the houses.  This is a posh place, he said to himself. Oh well.

Mr. Peid stopped in a front of a big white house with a modern wood gate in front.  James recognized the place, his father had this house since he was small.  Mr. Peid was honking the horn trying to get the attention of the househelp. 

James went our of  the car and tried to look around.  He was stretching his arms and legs, when he saw a tricycle pulling up in the house a few blocks away from them. an older woman, went out of the tricycle first, pulling out several bags. 

A pretty girl got off the tricycle.  She was nervously holding on to her bag. The middle-aged lady must have said something funny, because the girl was throwing her head backwards in laughter. 

Even in that distance, James could hear her laughter and there was something in it that captured him. He noticed how her smile lightened up her facial features.  What he did not notice that he was also smiling and that his father kept calling him to go inside the house.

He was brought back to reality when his father called him again, this time louder.  Imagine what a few seconds of her laughter did to him.  What would a full minute do? An hour? He shook his head and walked towards the big house.  James glanced towards the girls direction, but they were already inside. 


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