The Last Five Days

First part of the short story I’m writing and still figuring it how it flow…

Day One : Solitude

It was raining all night…

He stood from the sole chair that faces Sarangani Bay, a few miles down south. He could felt the cold air coming from the big window. 

How many moment he was on this, for how long his solitude will suffice his reclusion, looking back in college and to Emily Dickinson who wrote about it and to Thoreau on Walden that he read last summer. 

“damn that book…”, he muttered as he sipped the cold coffee. Rain started to fall again with terrible coldness. The mountain stared at him in silence as he retract back deeper in the dark.

He adjusted himself on the chair and started to write. He was a novelist that published two books already which been accepted by his reader. 

Could say that he was successful as a writer even though his income came mainly from the coffee farm of his grandfather who left it into him before it died.

His father disagreed on his decision who wants him go to law school but his love of language had pushed him to pursue Literature major. He just love reading even when he was a kid. No one could ever stopped him.

Today he received a letter from his father asking him to visit, Christmas is approaching and they had important thing to tackles.

He went at the kitchen when a soft knocked at the door startled him. It was John, the eldest son of their tenant. 

“Jake, the car is ready for your travel tomorrow.”, John said. 

” Thank you, would you like some coffee? “, he asked.

He poured another cup of coffee and offered one. The young man were like a younger brother to him. He had a small brother many years ago but it got pneumonia and didn’t make it. John took the coffee.

Then he went inside his room and prepared his things. Only few shirt and pants and notepads. He still going to write once he get there.

The next day, he was on the road. The sun came out and the storm already gone. It was a 4 hours drive but it was like a lifetime. He was thinking of his father and their hot argument the last time they’ve seen each other. It was his life and nobody will dictate him what he wants. A five long years of absence… Years that supposed he spent with them that he love.

— And now he was thinking what his mother look like. His older brother who always with him since they were a child, and still no news.

When he arrived, he removed his shoes at the car and went outside at the shore and walked barefoot. Their house, been renovated that been hit badly by japs bomb during the war. The seawaves murmurs. Pebbles chuckles when it rolled back on the shoreline. A soft gale wind, then he sighed.

A place where he used to run with his older brother Bein. The sound of their voice, their laughter and their dream on what they are going to do on their lives the first time they tried to drink coconut wine and rolled a cigarette smoke of encyclopedia Britannica from their fathers study room. Their old man were mad when he found out the missing part.

That they promised ‘no word’ — 

and every blow of leather belt hit on their skin made them toughed, biting their lips holding hand in hand with tears at their eyes, while their father voice became louder and louder, shouting,

 ” stupido.. stupido!!!___” 

Their mom crying outside. Then their father will barked, “Marissaaaa…” And she went inside trembling and their father slapped her hard, beat her until she laid unconscious on the floor.

Hatred still there, recalling those moment night after night after night. 

A soft touched on his face, and when he turned his head, it was his mom.

And he hugged her and she cried. 

No sound… just pained and partly half joy

“I’m sorry Mama…”, He said. 

They went inside the house and found his father on a big chair reading the Britannica, the same book that wreaked havoc their lives, why his older brother left that night.

Henry stood to shake his sons hand. Jake refused and pretending he doesn’t see it.

“Marissa, take a rest now.” Henry said afterward.

Jake noticed his father voice were softer and his mom smiled, as he kissed her forehead leading to her bedroom.

Jake were left standing frozen on what he witnessed. 

A few moments later, Henry sat beside him at the verandah.  Drinking tea, asking about his life. Few fishermen started to paddle their boat. The wave is gentler and large flock of birds flew towards the big acacia near the mountain cliff. 

” I know you didn’t take law. “, Henry started.

Jake sat silently. His eyes were fixed at the kerosene lamp from the boat who cast a fishing net in the water. 

“Things here have changed since you and your brother left.” he continued.

 Jake fist tightened, preferred not to speak. He still hurt at kind of life they were through after all these years.

After a while his father were shaking, 

” what have I done…” He said repeatedly as he cried on his chair.

“ It’s late. I need to rest. ” He said coldly, stood and went into his room.

Henry still on his chair crying.

The next morning Jake woke up and went at the kitchen. A garlic fried rice, fried tilapia, boiled egg were on the table.

Henry were on blue apron. His mother were peeling a banana and smiled when saw him approached, asking him to sat beside her. He kissed her forehead and hugged her leaning on the chair..

“How is your feeling today mom?”, He asked sweetly.

“I’m feeling okay now.” 

He poured tea on the cup. Henry placed a plate infront of him. He stood and went outside and never touched the food.

Henry and Marissa looked at each other. She saw pained on her husbands eyes but he tried to hide it. Henry is patting her back.

“Give him some time.” Marissa said softly.

 “ I will, I will. “



photo from shutterstock


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