Ysabella Manlangit, 18 November 2011
The feelings I had were unexplainable, though I thought I was prepared for this moment. I had to be; after all these years it was all I ever hoped for. My eyes panned towards the window steadily focusing toward the countryside. The vista was serene, a contradiction to the emotional storm brewing inside of me. Excitement, fear of rejection, hope and anxiety all bottled up inside. I let out a sigh as if to release a bit of tension. Finally, the train halted and simultaneously, a sea of faces got up from their seats eager to exit the musty carriage. I held out a photograph of her towards the light; silently talking to myself saying- I am finally going to meet the person behind the face…
A biting breeze welcomed me as I stepped out of the station adding to the tension inside of me. My boots sank in the soft overlay of fresh snow as I made my way to the scribbled address on a wrinkled parchment of paper. Though the weather was unforgiving and bleak, residents of the town were warm and bright. It has been a long time since I have smiled this much, my face began to hurt. I finally reached the place; rows of elegant houses surrounded me. Each lit with glowing Christmas lights and draped in holly wreaths. “It’s okay if it does not turn out well” I whispered as if assuring myself.
I struggled with myself as I stood in front of the door, thoughts of turning back formulated in my head but I took one last look at the photograph and it pushed me forward. I needed answers; I wanted to know who I am. I knocked and waited; it seemed like eternity before the door flung open. I held my breath as my eyes fixated on the figure before me. A young woman in her mid twenties greeted me with her warm brown eyes similar to the woman in the picture. For some reason, I dropped the formalities and in my anxiousness I frantically showed her the photograph, which was fumbling, in my hand.
In an awkward reaction, she looked at the photograph and then shifted her eyes towards me. The cold breeze of air has cracked my lips and my throat run dry for words to even utter. “I’m so sorry but that woman in the photograph has passed away two years ago.” she replied teeming with regret. Those words were barely audible to my ears and it hit me like a brick wall. Though the snow began to fall, my palms began to sweat as my lips quivered to speak. Curiously, she reached out towards me saying, “How do you know my mother?” I shook my head and pulled myself from her grip, I ran from the softly lit houses, past the manicured lawns blanketed in the snow. The place seemed to remind me of a scene which I could never be a part of. The only person who holds the key to my existence departed again, only this time it was forever.
Her last words resonated in my thoughts, “How do you know my mother?” Owing her a response I bitterly uttered to myself; ” I don’t know your mother, I never did and I never will.” I struggled to catch a breath exhaling heavily. I lay on the blanketed pavement of snow and burst into tears. All these years till this moment, I was searching for answers to who I was and where I came from. The being who brought me into this world is no longer a part of it and would never be a part of mine.
I used to be comforted with the thought that she could be found somewhere sometime in this seemingly unforgiving world- which has now become a bleak yet improbable state of reality. All hopes and a lifetime goal with suspended anticipation were now dissolved in an instant…