My friends were giggling. “Oh, there’s your step Mom calling you!” they all teased.
Hungry from the hard day’s playing around, I hurriedly picked up my younger brother in my small arms and run toward her modest house. True enough, she had a lot of crackers and breads in different shapes and colors.
That was the routine every afternoon. She would call all of us (my sisters) every time she gets off the jeepney with her daughter. Everybody knows that she came from the church begging. I could understand why all of my friends were mocking at us for eating those breads and crackers at their poor, tiny home. She’s filthy, ugly-looking, smelly and hunchback.
I never mind all of those things. I thought she’s being very nice and sincere.
“How did she become a hunchback?” I asked my Mom one time.
She just told me that she was being punished and cursed by her Dad. She wasted the money her parents sent to her for her school requirements. She was very spoiled then. Her Dad did a witch craft/ black magic on her.
My light brows raised high with total confusion. “How did she arrive here? Where is she from? Where is her family?” a series of questions come one after the other.
“She was out looking for your Grandpa. She came from the other side of the island- around 20 miles. When she arrived here, she looked so tired, so stinky and can barely stand up. It took her few days to finally see your Grandpa,” she narrated.
My grandpa was a quack doctor known to do some herbal healings as well as reversing the spell or black magic or witch craft or whatever that is. So, he did help her.
“Her condition was worse when she came here. Bit by bit, she was able to move and walked. She got married, had 2 kids and after few years, her husband left her” she continued.
“Wow! That sounded like a story I read on the books!” I quipped.
She was always a victim of discrimination, abuse and rejection. The society treated her scornfully. Nevertheless, my Mom was never one of them. I can always see her big respect for her as another human being. She was even considered a relative. During those times, I have questioned my Mom’s dedication for helping her in every way while other neighbors despised her because of her being unlovable and unlikable. As a matter of fact, my Mom took care of her funeral and my Aunt adopted her daughter.
Her family never visited her nor attended her funeral. It was a sad life swathe in physical and emotional pains but she never gave up living. Most of the time, I remembered her being happy and always ready with her big smile every time she invited us over at her humble home.