By me, for you


Photo by Aaron La Torre/THE FLAME

THE SCORCHING heat of the afternoon is enough to make Josephine feel sick throughout her shift, the knotted ends of her pamaypay almost wearing out. It is only a little over the afternoon, but her bones are starting to feel like they could melt and dissipate.

“Okay ka lang dyan? Kaya mo pa?” asks the guard standing by the entrance, brows slightly furrowed as he examines his co-worker. “Pwede ka naman umupo—oh, ito, monoblock.”

“Okay lang, kahit wag na.” Josephine shakes her head, smiles at her co-worker, and attends to the numerous cars entering and exiting the space.

A car with the windows rolled down appears before her. Inside, she manages to catch a glimpse of the driver’s children in the backseat, laughing loudly. It is enough to remind her of her children who are probably running around barefoot outside their home. How she wishes to be able to spend more time with them rather than being here.

But sacrifices have to be made, right? If there is one thing Josephine wishes, it is for her children to only have good things in life; a hearty meal, a proper mattress, a window that can actually close to keep them warm.

She straightens her back, breathing in courage. “Kaya ko ‘to,” she says. “Kakayanin.”

She wipes her forehead sweat, smoothens the creases of her shirt, and puts on a smile. Pulling out her phone, she sees her wallpaper: a photo of her children smiling. 

She cannot wait to go home. F

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