He did not know what just happened.
He struggled to say something, but like the times before, he chose to leave instead.
I stood there as I heard the soft thud of the door close.
How ironic, a soft thud to mask the explosion that just happened.
There goes my dad, I thought, doing what he does well - running away.
And with one look at my Ate, I know she was thinking the same.
Hindi ko napigilan, i'm so sorry K. It was Ate.
What happened? ME
I read Mama's phone, tine-text sya nung babae. Ate
Ano sinabi kay Mama? ME
Bad things. I mean, I don't even know where this babae is coming from. The nerve of that slut! Ate
I'm coming home. ME
When my Ate curses, I know its a matter of National Interest and Security so I rushed home.
You see, my dad had a mistress.
My dad has a mistress.
He had a couple of mistresses actually...
A 5-year relationship with an OFW from Abu Dhabi (which I do not get - kasi ano naman yun - long distance love affair? Ano yung point db?). Then a couple of 1 or 2 or 3 (or infinite) night infidelities with beer garden girls. And now, he is with someone in her early twenties with one child (READ: the babae is 22, more than half my dad's age).
I mean sure, early on, when my ate and ME realized that he goes home to someone else and does things with her like a husband does to his wife, we were crushed - heartbroken even. But then my dad stages really good comebacks - tears and all - and we would all forgive him. But then, if you do the same thing over and over again, it would feel like reruns of 7th Heaven - you can only tolerate so much. So in time, we have learned to tolerate it, so long as he keeps the mistresses at a distant and disciplined. So far, my dad has done a marvelous job up until last week...
I have a plan. My Ate said.
I hate it when you drag me into your plans. ME
He cursed Mama. Ate
Ay puta sya, ano plano?! Tara na ate, tara na! Taga saan ba yan? Pu... ME
Pero talaga,sinabi niya kay Mama yun? ME
Oo. I really don't know where the babae got the idea that the babae could even dare speak to us. Ate
So now what? ME
I have her number, we'll call her. Ate
Of all my dad's mistresses, this particular babae had the nerve to come into contact with us.
I mean to us, just like previous babae's of my dad, they are practically non-existent. They hover above our perfect family portrait, but that's just that - they do not get to participate in the portrait - but they can hover all they want.
Perhaps, its the babae's youth that makes her aggressive. Or just her plain ignorance and lack of thought of the repercussions of what she just did. (ME and Ate are betting on the latter).
So after dinner, my dad was doing his sales reports while my Mama and Little Sister were doing dessert.
ME and Ate were just outside the door. She took her phone out.
Makining ka putang ina mo... Alam mo yang... Hello? HELLO! Ate
She hang up. Puta sya, she hang up on me! Ate
Subukan mong ibaba at tignan natin kung babalikan ka pa ni St***. Ate
Hindi ko alam, putang ina ka, kung anong klaseng kang tao, putang ina mo, pero subukan mong itext o kausapin ulit ang Mama ko at makikita mo. 'Tang ina ka, wala naman kaming ginagawa sayo bkit kailangan mong maging parte ng buhay namin... Ate continued.
To this end my Ate had a grin on her face. She held the phone to my ear, all I could hear was the babae cursing. I gave her a puzzled look - more puzzled than Mona Lisa's smile.
Ate stormed towards my dad and gave him the phone.
Putang ina mo, sino 'to? My Dad.
Then he turned pale.
My Ate and ME might curse the hell out of our spites but we never ever have cursed each other or Mama or dad. Tapos yung babae could just easily curse us to death? Puta siya! (Ay, redundant...)
So being "the" son, I had to talk to Mama. I told her that Ate read the texts of the babae to her and we were both upset that we had to something about it.
You don't have to fight my battles for me you know - I'm the Mama - I should be doing that for you and your Ate. My Mama said.
I just smiled. She has been through a lot with my dad and I know na kahit tarantado yung tatay ko, mahal siya ng nanay ko. She had all the reasons to leave him - yet she stays.
Sit. I'll do the dishes. I told Mama
We're not kids anymore Ma, inasmuch as you would like us to be. Saka hindi namin papalagpasin yun. Kung hindi kaya disiplinahin ni dad yung babae nya, kami na gagawa para sa kanya. ME
Where's dad now? Mama
You're impossible! ME as i rolled my eyes.
Dad's babae just ridiculed and molested your pagkatao Ma and you're still asking me where dad is? He could be in hell - I wouldn't care! ME
I don't either - since long time ago. Ate just entered the kitchen.
You two don't mean that. Mama
She was right - we didn't. But I would have given anything to hate him that moment. But I knew I wasn't in a position to judge my dad or the babae for obvious reasons. But unlike the babae - I know my place and I have every bit of respect for SHE. Its the upbringing I guess and the intellectual maturity that I and SHE share that's why we're cool and all (yabang lang). With the first encounter of the babae I can safely assume that the babae doesn't have 3/4s of my Mama's class.
Come to think of it, all my dad's mistresses were women of ill repute - exactly the opposite of my Mama's Grace Kelly meets Rosemarie Gil personality. It could be a fetish or just like my Ate said, its just the sex - but my Mama couldn't be that bad... (Eww, just had a mental image - erase... erase...)
Look, this is not something new in this family. We've been through this before and we have stayed intact and I would like to keep it that way. Mama said and looking at Ate, And its your wedding in two weeks, we do not need this drama right now.
How am I suppose to trust my husband-to-be with dad setting such a great example. Ate with all the hints of sarcasm in her voice.
You don't - trust is an illusion. But you have a chance to create a relationship based on truth - I think that's what you both should strive for. Mama
Hay, no wonder we're a mess - a douchebag for a dad and a romantic for a Mama. ME
We laughed - all the three of us. And just like that, our dad was (again) forgiven.