Wednesday, May 11, 2011

the men of the old house

it felt it was just last month, when a young boy fresh from college took all his courage and decided to find life in the city.

without any family, relatives nor friends with him, he saw himself renting a small room in katipunan together with an old landlord.

for almost four years the two men stayed under the same roof. but they managed not to divulge into a conversation. there relationship was constrained with brief nods or small talks whenever the boy pays his rent. there were even times when the boy catches the old man just waiting for him sitting on an old dusty couch as if cornering him to finally know who his tenant was.

but the boy, though as polite as he can, would always excuse himself with alibis of something important to do. then he will just catch the old man's dismay through his eyes. He will then feel loneliness radiating on his face.

It seemed like the boy just cannot stand the gloominess and coldness of the room. it was as if he was watching a very depressing film. hence he would always just stays inside his own space.

one time, the boy woke up realizing the landlord was not in the house. there was no coughing down stairs. no radio turned on. it was just plain silence. so he finally went out of his lair and decided to explore the entire house. then he realized, it actually took him a year before he have done this.

ang maarteng kurtina

in general, it was old enormous house, where dust already covered its elegance and time already stole it from being a home.

there was an old piano dead waiting on the corner. above it were frames of blurred old photos; of people who the boy have never seen before. but somewhere among the frames, he managed to identify his landlord. a young radiant man who was laughing while hugging a woman carrying a baby. the boy figured it must be his family. and no, he no longer attempted asking where they are now? he just left his curiosity inside boxes of piled stained letters, post cards and peeking photos. the mere thought made him really down and was even magnified when a cold smooth breeze brushed his arms.

it had been over a month since the boy learned his landlord was back. surprisingly, he was no longer waiting for him downstairs, sitting on that old dusty couch and listening to a struggling radio box. however, he noticed a woman, probably in her 40s, cleaning and bringing food to his landlord's room. she was also silent. eyes blank and lip tucked.

when the end of the month came, someone knocked on the boy's room. it was the woman. she said the landlord wanted to see him.

so the boy hurried, dressed up, took his rent from his pocket and went downstairs. when he opened the door, he was shocked. the old man was look entirely different. his frail body seemed way weaker than before, his swollen eyes sunk deeper towards his face. cheekbones almost vanished and skin paler than the cream blanket covering him. the boy almost did not recognize the man. pity started engulfing him.

the boy also barely recognized the old man's voice. though the message was clear. it was almost over. he wanted the boy to find another place; afraid that he can no longer maintain his house. he just wanted to rest and go back to another waiting. At least thats how the boy understood it.

the words struck him. he (boy) was speechless. there was just that automatic response of handling over his rent and go out. guess, he just can't bare the feeling or perhaps the conscience asking him why he cannot give the old man very small amount of his time before, just to make him forget or at they very least alter his routine.

but before he even made his second step, the old man stopped him. he refused to take the payment and advised the boy to use it for his next space. then he smiled. the boy almost surrendered to his own tears. he thanked the old man and left.

when he arrived in his room, he just stood in front the closed door and looked at the space he called at that time called his home, along with the things that he have brought inside; all the memories that he have met for the past four years.

goodbye has never been his thing probably because he always has difficulties of starting over. but if theres one thing he have learned from the old man, its simply waiting in between is far more worst than starting or ending something.

now, after four months of checking ins and sleeping overs, the young boy had finally moved over to his new place. brewing a new line of stories. and hopefully, this time, he will have the time to spare for other people to share their own stories with him.

6 comments: said...

kelangan ko tlaga basahin muna to bago ako magcomment tungkol sa comment mo sa blog ko. lol.

1. bakit kelangan may piktyur ng lalake nung dumating yung matandang babae? piz!
2. yung lalake na pakealamero ng gamit. lol.
3. ang bait naman nung matanda lalaki. nakalibre ng renta ang batang lalaki.
4. mukhang magada ang bagong nilipatan.

ayus na. salamat pala sa pagbisita sa blog ko. ngaps, panu mo nabasa yung mga encypted post ko? san mo nakuha pw?

Viktor Saudad said...

actual pictures ba yung mga andito? ganda naman nung nalipatan.

kuyakoy said...

ouch, what a sad story. The old man was just asking a lil time for the boy. Sayang naman!

Pepe said...

Was it the old man's eagerness to know the young boy that made this story moving?

Or, was it the boy's seemingly reserved, if not evasive, character that is more interesting to follow?

I think, old folks know better when someone or if there is "something" with a kid, whether it be a candy stolen from the store or a coin from lola's purse, they can sense it. And that is what caught my interest between the lines. What the old man thinks about the boy, and why the boy is acting that way in return?

Kasi katulad ng matatanda, kids also know when they need to hide.

gumawa daw ba ako ng ibang kwento. hehe

Ely said...

Sad, but I like this post.
Sorry, slow ako. So, ikaw ung "young boy"? Hehehe

♥N said...

To where did you move that you have now disappeared?????