A piece of me in the eyes of a cousin…
Yesterday, I received a text message from a cousin who now lives in the province. It was just last year, I think it was Christmas season, when I saw her again for the first time in years. She left our neighborhood maybe more than a decade ago to live a new life in the province. She really did not age much when I saw her last year. But when she saw me, the first thing she said was, “Kid, ikaw na ba yan?!” (Kid, is that you now?!). I didn’t know if you should get offended or what. Well maybe, I really aged big time. LOL
Just a brief backgrounder, my cousin and I were never really close when I was younger. She was more than 10 years older than me so we belong to different generations. When I was still a teener, she already had a family of her own. Most of the things were different for the two of us. But I guess, we share one thing similar. We were both snobs. LOL. Even at a very young mind, I felt that she never liked me or just be around me. She never liked my guts nor my attitude. For one, I was bratty when I was younger (up to now, I think) and wasn’t too friendly. I kept myself busy with studies and did not interact with them much. So among the cousins, I was really the outcast. But it never bothered me. I was living in my own little world then.
But last year’s encounter erased all that. When she approached us, Mom and I instantly invited her inside our house to have a small chat. We did not talk much about the not-so-nice things in the past but rather the happy on-goings in each of our lives. Since then, she started to communicate with us (so it’s true, I’m the one who is the snob as I don’t initiate communication or maybe I’m just too busy with work… echos!) even with just a simple “Hi! How are you?” And that’s the exact thing that happened yesterday. But it transpired to something touchy when she started texting this to me:
Alam mo Kid, kinukwento kita sa mga anak ko dito kung paano ka naging isang mabuting bata noong araw. Si (name of eldest child) parehas mo rin syang matalino kaya hindi ko sila mapabayaan na 3 dahil lahat sila matatalino. Si (name of eldest child) nag-graduate ng salutatorian sa elementary. Second year high school na siya ngayon. Si (name of 2nd child) 1st year at si (name of 3rd child) Grade 4 naman.
I was still preparing my reply message to her when I received her follow up text:
Si T’yang Floring, napakaswerte nya sayo dahil mabait at matalinong bata ka noong araw. Swerte ka rin sa kaniya dahil sya ang naging Mommy mo. Simula’t bata ka pa lang, nakita ko na kung gaano ka nya kamahal.
I had to re-write my reply and I sent her this:
Kaka-touch naman ang text mo, ‘te. Pinipilit ko lang suklian ang binigay nina Mommy at Tatay sa akin. Yung mag-aral ng mabuti was the least I could do. Mabait sa akin si Mommy kaya she more than deserves all the good things that she is experiencing now. Ikaw din, ‘te. I’m sure ibabalik sayo ng mga anak mo ang pag-aalaga mo sa kanila. Nakakatuwa at matatalino silang lahat. Mana ba sa ina?
She instantly replied me with:
Hindi sa akin. Sa iyo.
I just smiled when I read that. And so I told her that I think it would be nice if I get to meet her children someday soon. She hoped to bring the eldest though on her next visit to Manila.
That short exchange of text messages really meant something to me. I never thought that people like her would have that impression about me. I know, I can be rough on the outside, a snob at times and a wicked little girl most of the time. Well, that’s who I really am in the eyes of people who don’t know me too well. Maybe, just maybe, a person only needs to look a little harder in order to see the real me… just like that… in the eyes of my cousin.