By FATIMA B. BADURIA
She held the can’s handle firmly. Her eyes were fixated on the water trickling down the flower petals. Her knuckles turned pale as her nails dug in her palm.
Even in the garden, she could hear them. Inside the house, her father laughed alongside the banters from the television. Her brother cursed as sounds of gunshots emerged from his game.
A sudden rush of water cascaded to her foot—the pot had overflowed.
She looked at it. A few steps back and the petal’s brown edges would not have shown, nor the flower’s slight droop.
“Like a little flower,” her father once told her, pinching her then round cheeks.
It was usually out of admiration if people touched them. She did so now with a pang in her chest, running her ragged, chapped hands in its wilting leaves.
Still clinging to the watering can, she went inside the house.
“Adobo would be nice for lunch,” her father said, his eyes not leaving the television. “Not too salty.”
He lowered his voice down to a whisper when he spoke next.
She heard it, though.
“Shame, your mother was the perfect cook.” He looked towards the sky before shaking his head.
There was a clang on the floor where she dropped the can, spilling the water within.
“You can take care of it,” she said sharply.
With a cold gaze, she turned her heels and walked away. F