By: Geraldine Rose D.
rain was pouring, I’m drenched and soaked, my stringy, tangled, shoulder-length
hair was plastered to my face, but I didn’t mind. The heavens must be so in
sync with my inner self today. For as the rain poured and the winds blew,
teardrops cascaded down my face, mixing with the puddle of mud and water at my
feet where I stood walking, not knowing where to go, going only where my feet
would take me. With me, I only bring a waterproof bag containing my clothes, a
journal, a pen and pencil, my savings, and some food.
let destiny take me to wherever this road might lead. What lies ahead may not
be as grim as what I am leaving behind, or it might be worse. I know not of the
things that are waiting for me in the future… if I even have a future.
am all alone now. No one could help me but myself. I have no family to speak
of, they have made that crystal clear when they disowned me. There is no
boyfriend, either. He’s gone, vanished into thin air as soon as I told him my
problem. He didn’t want to take part in this, didn’t want to shoulder the added
I wish I could turn back time to undo what has been done. How I wish I could go
back to that one fateful night when all was seemingly blissful… How I wish I
could erase the underlying current of pain and remorse that it brought, so I
could once again live my life as a 17-year-old, intelligent girl. Emphasis on
the word intelligent. All my life, I had been garnering awards left and right.
The spotlight was always on me. Not only have I been blessed with a brain that
could absorb almost everything, I have also been blessed with a pretty face.
Sure, I am not one of those head-turners that could make any guy drool, but I
knew that I was definitely not one of those who were, umm, unfortunate in the
even the smartest people commit mistakes. Intelligent as people perceived me to
be, my supposed intelligence did not stop me from committing that mistake. I
could still remember everything…
We were supposed to be at a friend’s
debut… That night, we were supposed to be down at the ballroom, eating from the
spectacular feast that was the buffet… But no. We had opted to stay in one of
the hotel rooms, after all, with all the people at the celebration, the
debutante is bound not to notice that we were missing. At first, we were
contented with just lying in bed, telling stories, kissing each other… until we
weren’t content with just chaste kisses anymore. The kisses grew more and more
passionate, until… the inevitable happened.
don’t know why I let him do that. I knew it was wrong. We both knew that it was
wrong. We both knew of the consequences that we might have to face,
consequences that I am facing alone now, but we still did it. Despite the fact
that we both knew that this would happen, we still did it. And I am carrying in
my womb now the effect of my foolishness.
ultrasound revealed that she is a girl. Though I regret that night, I don’t
hate my baby. She had done no wrong. I intend to raise her as my own, without
help from her father, or her grandparents.
now, I know that the news have spread. People talk about me behind my back,
they shun me, they eschew me. I continue walking down this road, praying that
the rain would go away, both literally and figuratively.
I am, in my own room, fixing my hair, recalling what has happened all those
years ago. Though it has been more than two decades, the memories are still
vivid, as though everything had happened just yesterday.
remember how I walked in that rain, thinking hard as to how I am going to
survive. I had enough money to tide me over for a few days stay at a cheap
motel, but other than that, I had no other resources. I decided to just
check-in in a motel, and take it from there.
remember how I applied for every single job that might take me in. almost all
turned me down when they learned that I was pregnant, and worse, out of
wedlock. Through sheer luck, or fate, and with the Supreme Being’s guidance, I
found a job at a dress shop. Better yet, Adelle, the middle-aged woman who took
me in took pity on me and let me stay at her house for free, provided that I do
my share of household chores and do my best sewing and designing clothes. Like
me, she got pregnant out of wedlock. Her son, though, died just a few minutes
after he was born. I knew right away that we shared a special bond, that she
would understand the predicament that I am going through. True enough, we soon
treated each other like family.
was really no fashion expert, but I have been told lots of times before that I
had my own unique sense of style. I had no idea how to sew dresses, but Adelle
taught me everything she knew, coaching me, and correcting my mistakes. I drew
sketches of gowns, and dresses, and soon, the customers were clamoring for my
designs and Adelle’s handiwork.
I gave birth to my baby, Adelle was there. She and my baby were my source of
strength. The moment I laid eyes on my baby, I felt happiness and warmth surge
inside me. I could only muster to stay awake enough to hear her cry, and then I
remember that when my daughter Anya, turned one, she was already walking and
talking. The first few months were hard, as she was so delicate, and I would
almost go crazy whenever she went sick. Adelle was a very big help, and acted
as a second mother to Anya. We coasted through the rough times, and somehow,
Adelle and I has made a name for ourselves in the fashion design business,
earning enough money to open another branch of the dress shop, and hiring
workers. We brought in more money to shop than both of us had expected, larger
even than what we really needed.
Anya turned three, she had become a lot less difficult to handle. She seemed to
possess a lot more wisdom than other kids her age, and more maturity. She
seldom cried, spoke in complete sentences and is very active. At an early age,
she has learned to understand that her dad is nowhere to be found. She had
begun asking questions, which I found difficult to answer, since I didn’t want
to hurt my little baby’s feelings. One of her artless remarks go like this:
“Doesn’t Daddy love us, Mommy? Why didn’t you two get married?” I remembered
answering that I got pregnant out of wedlock. I told her that her daddy isn’t
ready enough to take responsibility for the both of us, that I wasn’t about to
coerce him into a marriage when he didn’t want to, that marriage should be
founded on true love, not because he got me pregnant. At that time, Anya just
remained quiet, and I had doubts as to whether she really understood me or not.
I was glad I was able to be honest to my baby, and I know that when she grows
up, she will, one day, understand.
three, Anya has also started entering pre-school. Unlike most of her classmates,
she already knew the alphabet, and knew how to count from one to a hundred.
Getting her to read and write was no challenge at all, for she always sees me
writing in my journal and reading the newspapers.
was the star of her class, just as I had expected. Graduating valedictorian
from pre-school, I was probably the happiest mother in the auditorium. The
applause for my kid was almost deafening. A few mothers even commented that I
had done a good job of raising Anya, even though her father is not around. I
felt a tinge of sorrow at the mention of Anya’s father, but I consoled myself
with the thought that I don’t need a husband to raise my daughter. Anya is
doing well, and we’re both happy. We have grown close and share a bond that a
lot of mothers and daughters didn’t have. After all, Anya had only me and
Adelle for family.
elementary years were trying, but it was during her high school days that I
felt that Anya needed me most. I could still remember her having jitters before
entering high school. New classes, new subjects, new teachers, new teaching
methods. I knew about her qualms and it was to me that she turned to for
advice. I tried to help her with her homework, as well as with her problems
that were not academically-related. I remember her having a crush on one of the
guys in her class, one who didn’t seem to notice that she existed. When Anya
had felt so insecure of the more beautiful, popular girls in her class, I
reminded her that for me, she is more beautiful than they are, and someday, a
guy is bound to see that and treat her like the special girl that she truly is.
She dismissed it as one of those biased remarks every mother makes, but I know
that she got my point.
the middle of Anya’s second year in high school, Adelle passed away, due to a
brain tumor we didn’t know was there. She, having no family except for Anya and
me, bequeathed to us her shops, and everything else she had. This proved to be
a tough time for Anya and me, but I decided to stay strong for her. I held her
as she cried, as she kept on repeating that life is so unfair. I don’t know how
I managed to muster a smile and tell her that I think life is fair because it
is unfair, that it is beautiful because it is difficult. I knew that though she
was crying, she understood me well enough to know the meaning of the saying.
Anya’s fourth year in high school, she first fell in love. Unlike other
teenagers who would keep their love life to themselves, Anya turned to me for
advice. I was her mother, and her bestfriend. When rough times would come, Anya
cried on my lap and pound on my fists as she whined on and on about how
inconsiderate and insensitive her boyfriend had been. I would listen, give her
advice, let her reevaluate her feelings, and her options. When she and her
boyfriend broke up, it was to me that she turned to. It broke my heart to see
her so crushed, but both of us knew that it was for the best.
of the emotional turmoil that she had been through, Anya’s grades fluctuated,
earning her an award as first honorable mention, instead of being the
valedictorian that she always was. Though she felt that she had disappointed
me, I felt proud of her. Grades are not everything, and I wanted her to see
that. What matters is that, because of her unpleasant experience with her
former boyfriend, she had grown stronger, and hopefully, will recognize true,
lasting love when she sees it. And I hope she does.
Anya’s college years, she turned to me less. She had lots of friends to keep
her company, and I the dress shops had matters that needed attending to. During
weekends, she and I would have long talks over pizza and iced coffee, our
favorite. She was coping well in all of her classes, have immersed herself with
a few organizations, and can still find the time to be with her new boyfriend.
I was scared that she might get hurt again, but she would have to learn this on
her own, and there really is no need for my interference right now. My heart
swells with pride as I see her bloom more and more beautiful each and every
day, just because she is in love. Little by little, I had also grown to like
her boyfriend, and would not object to him being the husband of my daughter.
summa cum laude from college, job offers came for Anya left and right, but she
decided that she would rather work for the dress shops, which by then, had
grown to a number of eight branches.
before her boyfriend proposed, he came to me, secretly, of course, for advice
on how to do it. It made me feel special, it made me feel needed. For a moment,
I felt a twinge of sadness because I didn’t have someone like Anya’s would-be
husband as my own, but the happiness I felt for my daughter more than made up
for my not having a husband. I dished out advice, and just as I felt would happen,
Anya said yes. I spent my time sewing Anya’s gown for the wedding and scoping
out shops for flowers and everything else. Anya told me that I seemed more
excited about the wedding than she is. How could I not be? She’s the only one I
have left. The only person keeping me sane and keeping me alive. Her happiness
is more than enough for the both of us.
Now, with my daughter at 25 years
old, I watch as she walks toward the altar, to be with the man she loves. Tears
fall from my eyes, not of sadness, but of joy. I know that she wouldn’t have to
endure the pain that I had to experience at such a young age. I made sure of
that. Now that I know that my daughter is safe and happy, I can stop yearning
for more. To see my daughter beam with delight and shine like a star on her
wedding day is enough for me. My life has come full circle. I almost can’t
believe that I had surpassed what I thought would be my ultimate downfall.
Thanks to that “mistake” years ago, I have learned to be stronger, to live life
to the fullest, amidst all the problems that might come my way. I am back to
where I started then. I am, once again, alone, but not anymore lonely. I am,
once again, embarking on a new journey in the path of life. The only difference
is, I am now a fulfilled somebody, thanks to that one mistake I made years ago.