How do you tell your mom that your dad doesn't love her anymore?
My dad hasn't been home for three months.
On those 90 days, he managed to get fired from his almost 3 decades-old job, lose four of his teeth and about 10 kilos or so on his weight.
On the pressure from our relatives, his older brother and some friends, we decided to go to him and bring him home.
A simple plan so it seems.
I left Manila Wednesday night and arrived at about 3am in our province on Thursday. My almost nine-month pregnant Atte and my Mamma were still awake. We went over the plan. ME, Mamma and my Atte's Husband were to drive 3 hours to where my dad was. Talk to him that he can come home and then he'll get his things and come home with us - all shall be forgiven.
My Mamma even agreed not to ask questions like: Ano bang nangyari? Ano na ngayon gagawin ng babae mo?
We decided that it won't matter anymore so long as he comes home to us where he can get proper food at least.
We had a hard time finding him in the city where he and the babae was.
All the while, he was at the corner of the street just waiting for us - he knows well the Pajero we were in. I alighted the car and went straight to him.
Pa, agawid tan. (Dad, let's go home). ME mustered
He just looked at me and made an excuse that he was going home naman daw that afternoon, he was just waiting for his kumpare para sabay na sila as they were going to Manila to attend a burial of a colleague. I asked him to just come with us, since we were there already and his kumpare could always drop by our house to fetch him if they planned on going to Manila. He made some excuse that he was going to fix some things at the apartment etc. I resorted to asking him out for lunch na lang.
He agreed to lunch. He climbed the passenger seat beside the driver. My Mamma was at the back seat with ME. They didn't talk.
He took us at a restaurant about 15 minutes away from where we picked him up. My Mamma figured that this was so we could not see his bababe or his bababe see us.
I was holding my Mamma's hand all throughout that 15-minute ride and asked her to press my hand if she ever feels like slapping my dad right there.
My hand was swollen when we got to the restaurant.
We ate as if everything was fine - we talked about my Atte's pregnancy, my work and some random stuff.
My Mamma did not eat a single bite.
After lunch, we dropped my dad off to where we saw him. He did not offer us to go to his rented apartment.
You can come home anytime, Pa. I said
He embraced me.
My Mamma waited for him in the afternoon. My dad did not show up.
I left for Manila that night at 9pm - still, no dad anywhere.
Ramdam ko na ayaw nang umuwi ni Pappa. Not because he doesn't want to see us, but because he doesn't love Mamma anymore. I can feel it to the gut. I told my Atte.
Ano sasabihin natin kay Mamma? My Atte asked.
I don't know. How the hell will we tell her the love of her life - after so many unforgivable events - doesn't love her anymore? I asked back.
Basta you tell her. My Atte commanded
I never thought it would come to this. I honestly thought this was just another phase and he would eventually come home pag nagsawa siya. I told HE
You can't force your dad to come home when he doesn't want to - that would just be wrong. HE
I know that. My Atte knows that. But our mom - he loves him so much that she's still expecting that he will come home ulit. ME
Its high time your mom moves on. HE
Alam mo, anniversary nila this month. And even without saying, I know my Mamma expected him to come home. Wala na kaming pride - kami na ang sumuyo... ME
Your supposed to be like that when it comes to family. Hey, its time your family moves on. You deserve to move on. HE reassured.
But how do I tell my mom? ME
And there was silence.