the Black Maria Clara, part 7

“I miss you, Abuelo.”

He didn’t answer back.

“It felt like I’m trapped on a deserted island, with no one else to talk to. I wish I could talk to you more, Abuelo.”

I took a sip from my coffee in can.

“I sometimes talk to Tsumiki about my issues, but he’s always too busy. Rokkun, Señor’s right hand, he’s always too lazy to listen. You’re the only choice I have…”

I made a bitter smile after saying that.

“Do you think I did something wrong? Should I send Io back home? I admit, it was a rash decision, but he wants to send Mamang away! Well, I know you don’t want Mamang, but…!”

This is stupid.

“No matter how much you rant, the dead won’t answer back.”

“Tita Mandy!”


Seeing her smile just made my day.

“It’s rare to see you around here.”

“Do you always visit Abuelo?”


She placed the flowers on top of Abuelo’s grave.

“I find peace in this place. No, it’s more like… a sense of belongingness…”

“On the graveyard…?”

“Funny, isn’t it? Maybe because both Tatay and Nanay were dead. My family’s nowhere but here.”

“We’re family too.”

“But not as closely related as my parents. Not even my brother was here.”

“Papang was…”

“Kuya…if he’s still alive, why can’t he just go home? Maybe we’d feel less lonely then, right?”

“It was all because of Papang’s absence…”

“Don’t blame Kuya. Time will come we will know his whereabouts.”


I waited for a few moment before speaking up again.

“You know you were right about the sense-of-belongingness thing. Here, in this graveyard…”

“Right? Haha”

Indeed, it is peaceful here.

“Io’s fine with me, don’t worry about him.”

“I hope that kid doesn’t bother you.”

“No, it’s nothing. At least I have a companion.”

“He’s a geek. You’d still feel lonely in his company.”

“His presence is enough.”

“What do you think about his suggestion?”

“Hmmm…well, scientifically speaking, it would be better for Miranda to receive proper medication.”

“I can’t afford to give her away.”

“That’s understandable.”

We let the breeze dance around for a bit before we bid farewell to each other. As I walk down the hill, I enjoyed the feeling once more. That sense of belongingness. Then I heard those words at the back of my head.

“I do not know you.”

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