Saturday, July 20, 2024

To the Eldest Daughters

by Maria Franciss Nikole Elli | November 06, 2021

The sun peeks through the window to witness you, and truthfully quite jealous that you’re still asleep. With the body all sore from the midnight panic attack, even a few minutes of sleeping in would definitely help. But the sun decides your fate otherwise, just as how life is a grand scheme against you.

But this isn’t about the sun. This story is about you. For once.

Beside you is your younger sibling tucking himself closer to you. Sometimes, you are a sister. And at other times, a mom too. The day then begins without waiting for you and your main character moment as you get up from the bed. No one waits. No one stays.  

The day is long and tiring, with the smallest margins of minutes choking you from one errand to another. Buy the groceries. Go to the pharmacy and never forget the senior citizen booklet for discounts. You are on your own… as you run through the streets to catch the last store and the last ride home. Once done, your synchronous class awaits. The professor insists on calling the names present in the call and you can’t miss it. Letting out a heavy sigh, you unmute yourself to say “Present, ma’am.” Luckily, the hour and a half did not allow you to sleep this time. Dead tired in front of a screen, you cannot cry. A year’s worth of experience taught you to be tough, that in moments such as this, you’ll need a more valid reason to justify your tears.

No one asks because no one sees. The world got so used to how strong and resilient you are that you are merely just that. They say the process is a normal one, unknowingly putting a heavier load on your heart. You suffer in silence when everyone’s asleep just as it should. Growing deaf and numb to what others say, you figure out everything, exercising control at almost any aspect of your life, leaving little to no room for mistakes. 

Mistakes slow you down and that seems to be the last one on your priority list in this fast, hazy life. 

And for an emotional ate, the worst would probably be nursing a heartbreak all alone in a dark room to process the thoughts and feelings at once. Fast. You bleed your heart in silence and open the room as if nothing happened. You still eat the leftover dinner, treat yourself to ice cream (on luckier days), and dismiss the conversation about the puffy eyes and strained voice.

But just as you are about to give up, come the soothing days. Finally, you get to explore a quaint restaurant on your own as you taste your favorite dumplings and fried siopao dipped in sweetened soy sauce. Life becomes somehow bearable. 

Your best efforts are never put to waste. Though you celebrate small victories alone, the world sees how far you have come. Most importantly, you are more than enough. You are loved.

Your loving ate,



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