TERRY'S LITTLE BLACK BOOK

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: Booksie Classic
Infidelity would always be a component of marriage, whether one likes it or not. Men are most likely to have polygamous relationships, so a married man will not even be spared. Some would keep their philandering from their wives, while some would be repentant, asking for forgiveness.

Submitted: September 15, 2012

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Submitted: September 15, 2012

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Girly felt a whirlwind of emotions eddying in her, bringing her afloat to heights. She felt oblivious to everything. She was numb and mum. All that was left was this blank stare, she could throw over the entire room, looking for answers as if it could be had anywhere at the walls. She was struggling, choking for air, at what revelation she had to read, back-to-back of the pages she flipped.

It was laid there, this one black book atop the bed, waiting to be read and wanting to reveal a whole spectrum of truth about Terry. It was not even enough to be wary of what has been happening, but it was all about an entire string of frolics from yesterday. If it were not written with Terry’s handwritings, Girly could easily discard it into the bin, with the other garbage, burnt to extinction. But no, each pages of the black book was like this ghost haunting her with the facts she never knew.

Myra, an elder sister of Girly, was then busy preparing and cooking for Ron’s birthday party. Ron was his brother-in-law. Myra and Ron got married when Girly was about to graduate from high school. His brother-in-law was being feted and in-laws were mostly invited to join the gathering. Girly thought it was going to be another night packed with heckles and jeckles, amidst never-ending stories on childhood. The many cases of San Miguel beer were made to swim inside big basins, acting as coolers, where cracked ice got dipped with the bottles of beer. There were many aperitifs spread on the tables to match the beer drinking spree of everyone in the party. It was this time, that Girly met Teena, who was already a high school teacher, in one of the public schools at Tondo, Manila. Teena was Ron’s and Terry’s cousin. She was the more amiable in-law at that time, so Girly immediately took bond with her, like she was an elder sister. She was eight years older than Girly and two years older than Myra. Girly saw Teena’s name in the black book.

The first time that Girly met Terry was during the debut party of Myra. Ron was still courting Myra at that time. As his birthday present to Myra, Ron brought the combo that played the music for the entire night. Ron also brought along with him an entire entourage of relatives and peers, to join in the party and became dancing partners to Myra’s classmates. Terry was in that entourage. Girly was only 1st year in high school at that time, while Terry was already in his senior year in college.

Girly needed to go out of town upon suggestion of her Dad. She was on her 4th year of college, when she discovered her boyfriend for two years, was feigning his status as single. He was actually married, with two children. So to make Girly forget her boyfriend, her Dad told her to join Myra and Ron, for their hometown vacation, that co-incided with Girly’s semestral break. It was where and when, Girly met Terry again, after so many years. He came down from Baguio City to enjoy his “Undas” vacation. Terry accompanied Girly to go around town, especially when visiting Teena in her house, where Girly was taught to play the “mah jong” (chinese tiles that are played similar to the rules of gin rummy), with the other lady cousins, to pass the time during the day and at night, while playing the bingo at the town’s plaza. They were often seen together by Terry’s latest ex-girlfriend, Nemia. During later years, Nemia was being rumored to have married a guy who had the same surname as Terry and that she gave birth to a son, whose looks were similar to that of Terry, fair and handsome, unlike her husband who was dark and not good-looking. Nemia was named in that black book, quite often.

When Girly and Terry got married, they had to look for a house that was for rent, in Baguio City. It was where Terry worked. It was Girly’s first time to be separated from her parents. They found an entire house with three rooms for rent near the place where Terry’s sister and family were residing. The house was atop a hill supported by the rip-rap, the land dwellers built to protect the houses against landslide or soil erosion. You can imagine the many levels of rip-rap supporting the houses built then, that converted the hill into a entire community. Because she was left alone in the house, when Terry reported for work, Girly would descend the flight of stairs that connected her to houses built below her. She developed a special friendship with Berna, whose husband was always away because his work was out of town. Berna had her son, a toddler keeping her company. She would knit booties and bonnets as an extra income for the household, since her husband didn't supply her enough money with which to buy all their needs. For the whole day that Terry was out of the house, Girly stayed and watched Berna knit while they would both exchanged stories. Most often, Girly shared some of the meals she cooked with Berna and her toddler, as a way of helping her.

On weekends, Girly went home to Manila and check her parents. She had not adjusted well leaving her parents behind so she asked Terry to allow her to go home. Terry didn't join her since Girly needed to come back as soon, to tend to his needs. He found himself making rounds of the city with his officemates, playing basketball and then drinking after.

One Monday morning, when Girly went home late from Manila, she saw a posted mail in her mailbox. It was a summons from City Hall asking the respondent, his husband to answer the charges filed against him. Terry was being accused of acts of lasciviousness and Berna was the complainant. Girly's knees wobbled seeing Berna’s name in the black book.

There was this inaugural party at Terry’s office and Girly was going to attend it. Their entire office in Quezon City was being transferred from this old dilapidated building to the new office building erected in Taguig, solely for the entire office. Terry transferred work from Baguio City to another government office in Quezon City. The structure built was so collosal, you’d think it was patterned after the Pyramids in Egypt. But upon closer proximity from its ground entrance, you’d actually see a rectangular building, completely made of concrete and great walls everywhere. Girly met again her daughter’s godmother and a new cash clerk named Rose. She was a supporting student and lived at Imus, Cavite. You can imagine the distance of having to travel all the way from Imus getting to Taguig for your work. Rosa was rumored to be supported in her schooling, books and schools fees by her boyfriend. Girly never got to know who the boyfriend was. Rosa was once invited to the house of Girly and Terry, to attend the 2nd birthday of their daughter, she came with the other officemates that she and Terry had. Girly was narrating to the office mates that when she gave birth to their daughter, Terry was nowhere to be contacted. So her Dad instead took her to the nearby hospital and ran for all the needs that were required while she was delivering the daughter. Terry claimed that he was asked to render overtime work hence could not go home that night. It was not only that time, that Terry rendered overtime. In fact he rendered overtime work even on weekends, which Girly always frowned at, every time Terry was not to come home on weekends. Now, Girly was reading Rosa’s name in the black book.

Once Terry came home from the province bringing along his mother’s orphan ward, aged seventeen years old. He brought Dina with him to Manila, as he was thinking he’d ease out some household works from Girly’s mom since she was also taking care of their children, when Girly reported regularly for work during the weekdays. Nida stayed for many months, until she asked for permission to go home for a week. She was allowed to spend a week’s vacation only. But Dina never came back. When Girly went home with Terry to attend the father-in-law’s wake, Girly heard rumors, that Dina gave birth after six months coming from Manila, but the child died because of congenital defects and malnourishment. Seeing Nida’s name included in the black book, Girly could only sigh.

One morning Girly’s cousin, Vanessa called her attention regarding Terry. Vanessa actually worked at the same office where Terry worked but she was in a different department. She said Terry was being rumored and accused of malversation of public funds, in connivance with a janitorial agency their office was contracting. Terry paid their wages in cash instead of check payments. Audit findings cleared Terry of charges. The results of the audit proclaimed that the contract for engaging the janitorial services was legal and binding, it was just proper that the agency be paid for their rendered and completed services. Terry’s manner of paying their services in cash was part of the responsibility
and authority he dispensed as Treasury Officer. Yes, Girly was right conjecturing that the head of the janitorial agency is a woman named Sandra. Her name too appeared in the black book.

There were more pages to read, but Girly chose to end her readings. She thought it was time to stop or her head will give way and crack. If there were many more to read and give her goose bumps, she would rather leave them be as unknown. She couldn’t muster anymore stories that would send her haywire and cursing Terry non-stop. All she could think of was everything that Terry did was unforgivable and he would have to answer for all his misdeeds, not to her alone but to someone above. Again and again, she kept saying to herself, I never knew who Terry really was. But the day of reckoning is not yet today, Girly thought.

Flustered and flickering, Girly was surprised to receive a phone call. She had gotten pale as a ghost, when she heard on the other end, Terry was caught in a vehicular accident and had expired in the hospital. He rushed going home and his car lost its brakes, traversing along the Tandang Sora fly-over where he rammed head-on with the concrete railings, got him pinned to the steering wheel of the vehicle. He died of multiple injuries and organ failure. She had to drop by at the EDSA police quarters to claim his belongings found inside the car, together with this tousled bouquet of roses that had a letter attached to it and was found on the floor of the front seat.

Girly was holding the letter. She was rather unmoved. It read....

To My Everdearest Wife Girly,

I know words will not be enough to say sorry for all the things you have read by now. You will find them unforgivable. But I will not ask a one-time forgiveness from you, but multitudes of it, until you have given even the slightest but sincerest smile whenever I give you a bouquet of red roses. I would have given you more than two dozens, unlike this first I will give you, but I thought it would be better if I start giving them to you not one-time, like the way I’d ask for forgiveness, but each day that will pass, until you have had erased the many mistakes and transgressions that I have committed against you. I am very truly sorry for all of them.

I like us to bond again and break this wall that has made us apart because I was more into myself and never thinking of you. I have been diagnosed with cancer of the prostate, which I will tell you only now. I kept it from you so you will not feel obliged to me. But you have always stayed by me and not saying anything may just push you away further for the very few days that I can still have with you. I don’t like to see your tears because they will mean more as your anger for me. I’d rather hear your voice and laughter as that will indicate the hurts and pains, in you may have passed even for only tempory, until I can be gone.

I sincerely love you and from my heart, please let me come into yours once again.

Your repenting husband,
Terry


copyright "fantasiamore" 15 sept 2012


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