FOR PAPA AND MAMA, AGAIN, HAPPY WEDDING ANNIVERSARY. I LOVE YOU BOTH.
By: Rachel Ann Biclar Pedroso
Today, I yearn to hear her voice laced with longing for him. I want to see how she looked at him with so much devotion and tenderness the way he will stare at her with equal affection and passion. There were ugly fights and cold nights but in the end, he will succumb to her charm as if she was the queen of the universe and she will give in to his pleas as if he was Zeus incarnate.
It is hard not to see her. It is hard not to see him. And it was harder not to see them together, throwing insults in anger or bantering pleasantly with good mood. I will witness the exchange often during their coffee breaks at dawn and sometimes at night when all the lights are off. They can be annoying with pointless arguments; he not relenting with compelling conviction and she not acquiescing with a stubborn explanation. I, in the middle of the table, will listen objectively while sipping a powerful roasted coffee. Ah… scent bitter-sweet , like he and she, bickering now and laughing later to their heart’s content. Obviously ignored during this rendezvous, I will end up gobbling the hot pandesal with so much irritation.
I’m afraid to grow so fast, or rather, to act according to my age when at 29, I am supposedly at the marrying age or living independently on my own. They will be aging as well but I doubt if their much-celebrated imbroglio will come to a ceasefire. These royal exchange of extemporaneous speeches seemed to make them younger. They look forward to it; she prepares hot pandesal while he waits for the gurgling of the hot water from the kettle.
Yesterday was their 30th wedding anniversary. I told my sister to buy her a cake and him a red wine. She was a sucker for sweets and him a mild alcoholic who I constantly remind to try tea or milk instead. She will nonchalantly fill up the fridge with chocolates. He will stubbornly pick up coffee and beer will always be his staple drink. But yesterday was a good day. I dare not ruin the mood.
I wish I can throw a party for them. But I should know better. They were not used to fancy celebrations. They don’t like going to restaurants or hotels to signify the occasion. He will not give roses or cards. She will not cuddle or kiss him in public. They were busy adults. For them, every day means business and they have to seize the moment. But not for long, recently, they will go out without notice. Her whim or his caprices, it doesn’t matter, no one can stop them. Time is never a variable if it’s already 12 noon or 3 in the afternoon when both decides to go out, they will head off to anywhere in the world with naughty glances along the road. I don’t contest. My sister approves and so does our younger brother who will happily drive for them. Every day lovingly they show us their affection, and every day I pray to give back as much love as I was given.
I want to stay younger for them. I hate to sprint out of their lives, out of our home, out to my own adult world. I want to stay for awhile and be needed for just a little longer. I know how desperately she wants me to marry and live happily to where the world will bring me. I know how achingly he wants to give off my hand to someone who will treasure me the way he treasured my mother. I pray for that as well but right now, I don’t want to be forgotten so soon. I want to sit in the middle of the table once again and listen to their beautiful word war. While sipping my coffee, I want to see how their eyes will meet and how they will be lost in the romantic universe that only the two of them exist.
I have my own life to live so are my sister and brother. We are happy that our parents are contentedly bliss after all those struggles and challenges while tending to us. There were scars which held great stories of retribution and success and we remember each with fondness. I can never go back to the time where the five of us will eat meals together. But as a child seated in the middle of the table and as the eldest, I hope to remind my siblings of our responsibility to carry on what Papa and Mama entrusted us. These things mean so much to them. Should they not to us?
I’m sipping my hot cappuccino flavored coffee, relishing at the warmth and the memories. Later, I will call them to greet, “Happy anniversary Papa and Mama. I love you.” #rabpedroso