Jollibee V. Luna 3: Remembering Aurora
By Virginia J. Pasalo
A WOMAN with a red bag entered the door. The other woman sitting on the adjacent table suddenly stood up and headed towards her.
“Do I know you?”
For some moment, they looked at each other, trying to search each other’s eyes, a remnant of old memories, a slight indication of a trait.
“Oh, so sorry, I thought you were an old friend.”
The woman smiled and turned to the counter. She requested for a newspaper and sat by the window, flipping the pages of the newspaper and from her bag, she put on her eyeglasses and took out a pen and started to write on the page. Occasionally, she looked at the door.
Another woman enters. The woman who earlier stood up, stood up again.
“Is that you, Aurora?”
“Oh, yes, yes! Ako si Emy, how did you recognize me?”
“The mole on your upper lip, and the upturned edge of your eyebrows. By the way, I am not Aurora. I am Lolita!”
“Oh, my God, of course! I realized it after you described me. You were always the one with a detailed memory.”
They embraced and headed back to their table. A man in the adjacent table was reading the newspaper, when suddenly, something from behind knocked his head off. Emy’s blue handbag hit him thoroughly and he fell flat on the empty plate in front of him. From the way Emy’s shoulders sagged, it seemed that the bag she carried contained a heavy stone.
“Ay, sorry po, di ko kayo nakita, naiwan ko eyeglasses ko!” (Oh, so sorry, I didn’t see you, I forgot to wear my eyeglasses!)
Dazed, the elderly man looked at her and muttered something inaudible, a muffled high-octane word that sounded like what President Duterte said to Pope Francis.
“Dumating na ba si Aurora?” (Has Aurora arrived?)
“Oh, I thought she was the first woman who entered, because she wore a headband with a red ribbon. By the way Alfredo is also coming, the one who had a crush on me.”
The man on the adjacent table, who appeared to have just recovered his wits from the blow on his head, turned around.
“Ikaw ba si Emy? Ako si Alfredo!” (Are you Emy? I am Alfredo!)
Emy shook his hand unable to utter a word, and they stared at each other. Emy felt uncomfortable and excused herself, almost running to the Ladies Room.
“How are you, are you Lolita? I was here since a while ago, but I did not recognize Emy, my old crush. She has suddenly grown old. She has many wrinkles.”
“You too have many wrinkles. Imagine, meeting each other after 45 years!
The woman with the red ribbon stood up and headed to the table as Emy returned.
“Are you my classmates from Manaoag High School? I am Aurora.”
“I knew it was you, always wearing a ribbon! Why did you say, ‘Do I know you’?”
Aurora did not respond. She fumbled something from her bag, and unable to locate it, emptied the bag on the table. With a sigh of relief, she found it, a hearing aid. She mounted the contraption in her right ear and looked at Emy.
“Ano yung sinasabi mo?” (What was it you were saying?)