It was heavy.
No, not the bag I was carrying in my hand. It was that feeling in my chest.
I walked along the corner of Malingap Street and Kalayaan Avenue, past the Japanese food house. I was on my way to the bank to withdraw some money. It was early in the morning in the month of June, and the mayas were busily chirping their gossip from their homes in the fire trees.
I sighed and made a short poem in my head.
She was so beautiful,
So sad, dressed in cobwebs and tears
She stood on the church steeple,
And as a little boy nears
The old stone—
I tripped. Yes, it was a stupid thing to do in the middle of the road, especially when you were wearing a mask and with Beethoven screaming in you ears.
Most people, when they fall down, try to get up. I did not.
I probably looked crazy lying in the middle of the road watching the mayas feed their babies up in the mango tree. Luckily there were no cars; the whole city was under strict quarantine.
It reminded me of my mother. No, not the quarantine, but the birds.
My name was Isabela for the Isabela Oriole, her favorite bird. I missed my mother. We had been forced apart by the pandemic.
I decided to call her. I never even went to the bank anymore. As soon as I got home I called her up.
I dont know what time we started, or the time we ended. But I knew for sure that we talked for a long, long time.
At the end I was as light as a cloud drifting through the blue skies, bluer now that there were less people going out.
Mother Nature had a way of healing, and I found mine. Here I was thinking that there was no way to drive that dark cloud out of me when what I needed was right here all along.
Author’s note: you can look at a map or pictures of Quezon City, Philippines, if you want to know where Isabela is. I hope you enjoyed this!