Saturday, September 19

Homeward

photo by MARLOU JOSEPH B. BON-AO/ THE FLAME

I remember the silent drive to my hometown after the suspension was announced.

I was itching to leave the campus right away to avoid being stuck in traffic. But little did I know, this would be my last time traversing these routes.

If I only knew what was about to come, returning to our house in Guagua would not have been my first thought that day.

I would be spending the next five months inside it anyway.

Even now, I still scramble for some semblance of normalcy in my life. I find it at my work desk; as I open my laptop and remove the tape that covers the webcam.

For the umpteenth time, I checked my appearance in the camera before putting the headphones on.

“Agyu mu yan,” I whispered to myself as I pressed the button.

“Good morning, class!”

On the other end, I hear the chattering of students along with a multitude of other noises.

Roosters crowing alternately in the background.

A wailing toddler being scolded for hitting someone with their toy.

A student’s voice accompanied by the whooshing of wind coming from the electric fan.

I felt the need to repeat my greeting in case they did not hear. But just as I was about to open my mouth, the weak Wi-fi signal disconnected me from the call.

Tanay dana.

My patience is going to be tested today. F DENISSE P. TABOR

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