In a small cemetery, somewhere in Leyte , darkness was reigning the azure sky, and the wind blew strongly that made foliage fell to its destination, while trees seemed dreadful as they dance ungratefully. The heavy clouds started impending to rain cats and dogs. Little by little, the people, from the burial of Anna’s mother, started to go home after condoling their sympathy to Anna. They were the close friends, neighbors, workmates and some spectators of Anna’s mother.
“Poor Anna,” said the old widow with the tears in her eyes as she turned around from the burial and started walking home along with the old lady.
“She is now in her own, I pity her for what have happened,” added the old lady to the former as they trudged.
Anna felt their sincerity and sympathy, but it did not help to halt her burden. She was still standing in front of her mother’s tomb. The priest tapped her shoulder and concurrently said, “The Lord will bless your mother’s soul.” The 15-year old girl did not respond; no words came from her mouth, she just stood reticent. The priest understood her condition and began to pace placidly away from her.
She was all alone now. The rain started to pour heavily. Raindrops met her precious tears and began to touch her radiant skin. Her long silky black hair was so black when caught by the rain. At almost half an hour of standing, her pink lips eventually quivered. It vividly showed she felt the coldness slithering in her body. Suddenly, she took out a fine gold necklace with a pendant shaped in a small broken heart from her pocket. It was the most precious thing her beloved mother bequeathed to her before the former died in chronic disease.
“I promise mom, I will find him,” she whispered in the cold breeze wind.
Afterwards, she went home with her wet body and downcast face.
Pain was not over to Anna. Two great tears fell slowly from the corners of her eyes toward the corners of her mouth when she saw her simple house, full of unforgettable memories of her beloved mother. Tears continued falling from her tantalizing eyes when she got inside, in the living room, and saw the big chair with a colorful linen and blue lace on its side. She remembered her beloved mother used to sit always on it while knitting with a glaring smile. She could not take the pain and eventually ran to her room. She was catching her breath and wanted to go next to her mother. Loneliness and dejection filled in her narrow room. She was weeping all night long with no one to lean on and no one to turn to. Until her flimsy body gave in and began to collapse in her bed, she fell asleep.
Two weeks after, Anna recovered from all the distress of mourning. She decided to sell all the possession she had, even the house had no exception. She moved in Manila , trying to forget her life in the province, and rented a small room in the house of the eloquent woman named Rosing. No days were wasted; Anna began finding her long-lost father. It was her volition to search the said man. Day and night, without ceasing, she searched her father in all police stations in Manila . Until the time had come without noticing her money from the profit of all the possessions she had sold were consumed from searching. She did not pay the monthly bills as well as the rent for she had scanty cents left.
One day, a loud throbbing knocked on her door made her awake from sleeping in the small serene room. It was Rosing, the owner of the house, made the noise and she wanted Anna to pay the rent.
“Anna!!! You impudent bitch,'’ shouted the woman.
“Wake up and pick up your dirty clothes if you don’t want to pay!” she added.
The poor girl opened the door and welcomed the unmelodious sound and unsavory words of the big widow.
“But Madam, I do not have any money right now, can you just let me stay for awhile?” Anna said without any fear.
“What?” condemned the woman with vexation.
“Are you crazy? It’s been a month you did not pay me, and you want me to let you stay. Who the hell are you?” the woman replied with great anger.
“Now go out from this room and be vanished!” declared the woman.
But Anna did neither move nor response to the woman, she just stood reticent and clogged the woman. Ultimately, she tasted the great slap of the truculent woman. Anna felt the deafness in a moment.But the woman did not yet finished, she grabbed Anna outside and impelled away from her house.
“Go away and never let me see your bulls*** face!” uttered the woman while exhaling.
“But my clothes and my things?” Anna said.
“All the things that have left in the room are all mine now,” the widow responded.
“Madam you don’t have the right to do that!”
“Really? Yes I don’t have but I have now!” Rosing said with elegance move of her fingers while slamming the door.
Anna was crying, thinking of having no money to provide and sustain the basic needs and finding her father. But in spite of those things, she was happy for having the necklace left in her pocket.
The darkness enveloped the city. The modest girl was still walking in perplexity with a contracting stomach and a tired body. She didn’t know where to go and where to stay until her feet brought her to the backstage street of the center city. She saw some children with the freedom to roam in the perilous street and some children knocking on car windows selling sticks of cigarettes and sampaguita garlands. She saw beggars eating and sharing left over foods from the fetid garbage. Concurrently, a thought triggered in her mind. It made her realized how blessed she was in her hometown. But no regrets allowed showing up in her face for she knew the consequences and the perils in going in Manila . With valor, she continued trudging in the street and saw many faces of poverty and stark reality of the plight of the abandoned people. She anticipated that she would be part of the place soon, if she can’t find a job.
Midnight arrived; the abandoned people were now sleeping peacefully in their collage house made of different sacks with the stones on the roof holding the edifice not to fall. Anna was still trudging and searching for a shelter and food to feed her starving stomach. She never dared to eat left over foods from garbages and never mind the tiredness of her body and the time. All in her mind was to find a job. She reached another street that full of different color of lights. She saw many beautiful ladies were waiting outside in a bar with the hospitality for their customers.
The innocent girl approached one of the ladies and asked, “Do you need a helper Madam?”
The lady with a sexy red dress looked at her from head to toe while sniffing a cigarette.
“Hmm…you look perfect,” said the lady.
“Pardon Madam?” Anna replied with smirk.
“I said you could easily have a job with that fresh body and a tame face.”
“Madam, I don’t understand,” Anna said hesitantly.
“You want a job, right?” the lady asked.
“Yes I want,” Anna said vigorously.
“Then, you are hired,” declared the lady.
Anna was so happy to hear that last four words from the mouth of the lady. That moment, she was filled with ardor.
“Shall I start cleaning your bar Madam?” Anna said as she smiled to the lady.
“Cleaning my bar. what for? You are going to work as a dancer not as a janitress.”
“A dancer!” Anna replied with great shocked.
“You don’t want? Then leave it,” the lady said.
Anna paused for a while and thought those possibilities to find her father if she would grab the opportunity. Since she was in need of a job and had one choice, she accepted the impiety job.
Anna was now one of the ladies in “The Red-Blooded Woman”, the name of the bar owned by Ms. Red. The bar was eminent in the street because most of the customers were workers in the government, rich men, and even drug lords. People in a low level can’t enter the bar.
At her first night in the bar, she was in trouble doing the certain job and was even disgust in what she was doing. Her work was full of torment, sins, and discouragements, but they did not put her down. Instead, they made her stronger than ever.
Time passed by, Anna changed a lot from inside and out. The timid girl was now a prostitute, and she absorbed the personality and all the virtues of a professional prostitute. But no matter how hard her heart was changed, she was still a human with a vulnerable heart.
Day was the night for the young ladies who worked in the bar and night was their day. When the light of the sun shined in the sinful place, all the young ladies were in the back of the bar. There were many rooms; it was like an inn, not for the customers but for the personal room of the workers. One of the narrow rooms was occupied by Anna together with Lina, her room-mate. The girls were preparing to sleep, and suddenly they have a little conversation.
“I am barely breathing. I think my chest is tightening in this four corner room,” Lina said to Anna while removing her gaudy make-up in her face.
“Mine too. That’s why I promise to myself, as soon as I find my father, I will be out of this place.” Anna responded.
“That is my plan too. After I save enough money, I will be outta here,” Lina said as she continued removing her make-up.
“If it’s not for my mother, I would not be here dancing naked in front of the fiends,” Lina added.
“My mother is the only person who gives me strength and inspiration. She is in her death bed for almost a couple of year. She needs medical supplication and the doctor said the supplication is forever. That was the thing forces me to enter this irreverence job,” Lina said with two great tears fell dainty from her eyes.
“How about you Anna, What brings you here?” Lina asked her room-mate.
“Well, fate brings me here. I am here in Manila just to find my father. Before my dearly loved mother died, I said I will give the necklace to my father,” Anna said intimately to Lina.
“Silly girl. You sacrificed your life for that volition,” condemned the lady.
“It might be ridiculous, but I love my mother and I am willing to bring back their love, though my mom is gone. You will not understand it unless you will listen to my mom’s story.” She explained.
So the18-year old girl intrigued and wanted to know the story of Anna’s mother.
“At the age of 18, my mother worked as a petty helper in the house of a prominent Congressman in our place. The Congressman had a begotten son and that was my father. My mom and my father fell in love with each other.They knew that my father’s parent will disagree to their relationship. So they decided to elope and move away to a place where his parent cannot find them. They lived and started a new living away from the wings of my father’s parents. In their time, my father bought a two identical necklace with a pendant shaped in a broken heart where their names engraved on it as the sign of their love. They promised to each other that they will keep it and connect it until the day they will take their last breath. A month later, their love to each other created a new life and that was me. But their peaceful living did not last long. My father’s father found out the place where they lived and took my father away from my mother. They have communication to each other by sending letters, and my father always had bad news to my mom each moment he sent a letter. Later on, my father and his parents moved in Manila and had this fix marriage to my father. It was a great pain to my mom. After a year of communicating, their communication had stop. No news from my father did my mother receive. The time had come for my mom to give birth, and I came out from the womb to experience the thorns of life. Day and night mom strived harder to have money in order for us to survive in this uncertain life. I guess that was it, the heart-mending story of my mom.” Anna said as she smiled to her room-mate with tears of joy.
“Wow, what a nice story!” Lina said while wiping her tears.
“That was 15 years ago, and I am here because of this necklace that must be returned to my father,” Anna said with grimace to her room-mate while showing the necklace.
Suddenly, a loud beat of foot steps were heard coming in their room. It was the owner of the bar Ms. Red.
“What the fucking s*** you are still awake. Go to bed now for tomorrow we’ll have tons of guests!” Ms. Red shouted to the girls.
“Yes Madam Red,” the girls answered with fear in their faces.
The young ladies were now cleaning their faces and eventually rested on their smooth lavender bed
The night had come and as expected plenty of guess arrived in the bar. There were businessmen, famous persons, and drug lords. The main performer for the night was Anna. Se gave a lot in dancing on a sphere stage with the kaleidoscope of light striking her being while wearing a piece of cloth on her body. Around of applause and whistle were the responses of her performance.
At the backstage,
“Anna! Table 27 wants you, go ahead don’t make him wait for you. He is a business man and he is very rich.” cried Mama Sam enthusiastically.
“But I have one dance left,” she replied.
“No, no, no, no. Go ahead to that table. He is a big fish and don’t forget to do whatever he wants you to do,”
“Okay,” she said to the hardcore gay.
She now proceeded to the said table. She saw a hardy man all alone drank at the table. The man was not as old as her usual customers.The customer was in his thirties. She approached the man.
“Hi, I’m Anna,” She introduced herself in a cute voice.
“I’m William,” the man replied while offering a shake-hand.
Anna knew that it was his pet name because usually the customers of The Red Blooded Woman hide their identities.
“Did you enjoy my performance?” She questioned the man with a seductive look as she sat closely to him.
“Certainly yes, it was terrificly beautiful. It made me shiver. It was lovely as you are,” the man said with zeal.
“Thank you,” Anna said while started pouring alcohol into the glass of her customer.
Time ran so fast, the two were having fun; they were filled with ecstasy. They seemed that they know each other well. Eventually, the man stood up and held Anna in the hand. They went outside the bar, to the parking area. The man opened the door of his Lexus 430 and guided Anna inside. He drove the car and continued the fun they had. Thirty minutes of driving, the happiness they had been broke by Anna’s question.
“Hey, William. Do you have a wife?”
The smile of the man vanished in his face. He did not answer it; He just continued driving.
“Do you have a wife, William?” the girl reiterated her question.
“I have. . . . before. We had been divorced a month ago,” the man said in a formal tone.
“W-what happened, why did you split up?”
“It’s a long story. Ha ha ha ha ha,” the man laughed out loud.
“Then make it short,” the girl replied in a frivolous tone of voice.
“Well, she can’t give me the happiness that I am longing for,”
“Happiness, she cannot give you happiness? What kind of woman is she? She can’t give happiness to a deserving gentleman,”
“Happiness is not what you think of. Happiness is not easy to find. It’s not a goal but it is what it is. And it isn’t easy to achieve in this life that full of thorns. But I have it when I am with you,'’ the man said in an amiable voice.”
Anna was astonished in what the man had said. But she just replied, “Really?”
“Yes, I have it Anna when I am with you, I don’t know but you seemed familiar to me.”
“Ha ha ha ha ha, maybe you are just drunk.”
The two expressed amusement and they laughed out loud. Finally, they made to their destination, the house of the man. He opened the door and offered Anna a hand. Anna gave her hand. The man clutched her outside the car and kissed her. She tried to shun from the kiss but there’s no way to refuse it. In a while, Anna vindictive lips compensated the kiss of the man. The man shrugged and carried the girl. He opened the door of his large grand house and brought Anna to his room. There, they continued their romance with the heat of their bodies. Lust filled the wide room and flowed into their being that made their body became one. After the great wrestling in the bed of heaven, the two fell asleep.
Invigorating morning came. The sky was so blue and the humming birds filled the winds every time they blew. The wide room was filled with the glaring light of the sun. It caused to enter by the heavy curtains that were widely open. The captivating light of the sun shined Anna’s face. It made her awake. She noticed that the man was no longer in her side. She saw the extensive room full of different things that looked expensive. In fear, she immediately fixed herself and put her clothes on. She saw a folded paper with her name on it, on the mirrored writing table beside the luxurious bed. She took it and read it. It said, “Hi Anna, Sorry but I can not drive you back to the bar, I have to go early in the office. I leave you with money for a taxi for you to go home. The helpers are about to come. Take care and don’t forget to call me. Love, William.” It made her smile. Suddenly, a shiny lavender jewelry box next to the letter captured her attention. It was too beautiful and the light of the sun made it more beautiful. It tempted Anna to open. She opened the jewelry box and saw, with a great shock, the picture of her mother together with William and the fine gold necklace with the pendant shaped of a broken heart.
“OH MY GOD!!!! I FUCKED MY OWN FATHER!!!!”