Baykoy Series

A Little Girl’s Gripping and Magical Story – 17

Goodbye... Goodbye... Goodbye...

A little girl's gripping and magical story. Baykoy Series.
Literary Fiction/Epistolary/Drama/Fantasy

A little girl's gripping and magical story. Baykoy Series.

Baykoy and The Only Something

This is a gripping and magical tale of a little Filipino girl who goes by an endearing nickname, Baykoy.

The story is narrated through the heart-convulsing letters of a woman to her niece, detailing her extraordinary childhood experiences.

Written by

J.J. Ireneo


The Truth about Angels – Part Three


Part Three

Age: Six years old.

Year: 1985.

— indomitable —


Dear Sage,

Tik tik tik tik tik!” This demonic sound had been screeching in from outside.

Yes, it would disturb nights once in a while. So it wasn’t new to me anymore.

Some elders had devilish descriptions of it. And believe it or not, my ‘fear’ bones wouldn’t even bother to explore its truth or myth.

It was one of the ghoulish entities that Reynan spoke about. Yet ‘tik tik’ creatures didn’t really count. Not much. Before.

Grandpa was still indulged in his reading. While grandma would poke fun at the viscera-sucker’s earsplitting summon, “Ding ding ding ding ding!”

As I was lounged up on the floor, sharpening up my pencils. With all my school items spread out, looking sentimental.

No, it shouldn’t frighten me at all. As it wasn’t new to me anymore.

But!

Why did I think of Angeline all of a sudden?

“Grandma,” I moaned.

Grandma looked at me, unhinged. “It’s just another night.”

“No!” I ran towards her.

Tik tik tik tik tik!”

“It’ll shut up,” grandma said. “Watch… Ding ding ding ding ding!”

Tik tik tik tik tik!”

And my ‘fear’ bones broke into a cry! And it wasn’t a big baby tantrum cry. It was the cry of a bereaved. As I felt it.

Now ‘tik tik’ sounded like a ghostly forewarning. A cruel, nasty feeling.

Grandpa barged in. “What’s the crying about now?”

Tik tik,” grandma murmured a reply, embracing me.

A knowing look locked into grandpa’s face.

He strode over to the window and opened it a bit, then dunked his head out. “Get outta here! Aswang, you hear me? Get outta here! Out! Out!” And he shut it closed.

Hush! I shrunk into silence.

So did the viscera-sucker.

“That’s how we scare them away,” grandpa chuckled. “And no, it’s got nothing to do with Angeline at all. That would have been Kidlat and Kuwago howling.”

I looked at Kidlat and Kuwago, and they were just alarmed over grandpa’s outrage. Nothing unusual, really. So I should take it as a good sign then.

“Ooh really?” I uttered.

“Guaranteed,” grandpa said, then noticed my mess on the floor. Sharpener, pencils, the shaving debris… Notebooks, pads… The writing essentials. “You’re sharpening them all?”

He scrutinized the pencils. “Why do they have to be this pointy and sharp? This is a bit dangerous for you.”

I shrugged. “‘Cause I’m gonna be writing a lot from now on.”

“With really sharp pencils?” He then reprimanded grandma, “She can’t use these pencils. I’m giving her some new ones, and I’m doing all the sharpening myself.”

He grabbed the sharpener and slid out of the room.

“Grandma,” I cried.

“Ssshhh…” grandma comforted me.

“Don’t cry!” grandpa yelled out. “You’re getting the shiny ones!”

I gasped, bright-eyed. “The shiny ones.”

“Grandpa only uses the shiny ones for writing his stories,” grandma whispered.

And my shiny pencils were only meant to write letters.

Letters to a good friend who would become my real angel.

In a lifetime,

… you’re given a few mementos. Make sure to keep the ones that your heart values.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

The sinister night swooped me into words.

The words that I should scribble across the pages.

I could write. I knew I could write something. I just didn’t know what to write about yet. All I knew was my deepest sadness was eager to write lovely letters to Angeline.

I would keep on tossing around in bed, nestling in grandma’s arms, hurling away… over and over… all through the night.

Well, I must have already started snoring pretty late. Like when grandma had to go to the bathroom. Or just before grandpa would get up for his early morning reading pleasure again.

Just before the distant neighbors’ roosters would greet the town with a ‘good morning’ crow, grandma and grandpa would already be up for coffee.

I opened my eyes from sleep, with an unsettling feeling. Almost prophetic in a way. Like… the feeling of knowing that a heartbreak was breezing along with a spectral wind. It was heavy and about to tear me apart.

I thought of Angeline.

No, I shouldn’t think of her. That would be a bad omen.

So I shook it off my mind instead.

I got up and made the bed.

Making the bed was also one of my chores, and I was getting good at it. This morning, though, I made sure it was neatly done, and it must look pretty.

And I was able to accomplish it perfectly. With a whole lot of meticulous strokes.

I was proud of myself. I was already growing up.

My life. My magic. My angels.

Regardless of the big baby tantrums and the gripping grief.

I had a good friend. I was ready to write those lovely letters. She was going to see me today. We were going to play during recess. We would share more beautiful moments together. We would laugh. We would probably cry, too.

Just like when she had Emily.

I ran into the kitchen, and found grandma and grandpa setting the table for breakfast.

“You want milk or hot chocolate?” grandma asked me.

Grandpa was a bit mystified. “She always drinks hot chocolate. What’s with the question?”

“She looks like she could use some milk today,” grandma said. “Look at her.”

“Milk,” I said.

“What?” grandpa yelped, somewhat in disbelief.

It felt like grandpa was in a threatening land, too. His anxiety was jumping on, and its energy would fly right through me.

Grandma led the prayer, and she mentioned Angeline.

Grandpa and I exchanged a meaningful look.

Amen. Amen. Amen.

It was a good morning.

Roosters crowing from our distant neighbors’ yards.

Kidlat and Kuwago’s agitation sparked into a hair-raising howl.

Cold wind brushed against my skin.

The window curtains made some soft waves.

I cringed. Grandma and grandpa were in silence.

The knowing silence.

The clock’s ticking made itself known.

I had to write a lovely letter first.

Please make it a good morning.

My only prayer for today.

Let it not be a curse.

The instant knowing. Prophetic feeling.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

We left for school without a word about the supernatural incident that whorled in at breakfast.

Before the flag ceremony, I asked grandpa if I could meet the twins. He said they weren’t in yet. They were probably just late.

“Do they come in late sometimes?” I bugged him.

He didn’t respond.

Grandma asked a second grader to lead the classroom invocation. We lowered our heads to pray. As they recited the prayer in chorus, I closed my eyes to talk to the angels in my mind.

I prayed:

‘Angels, please make Angeline come home with me today. I hope she feels better by now. If she feels any pain, I’d like to have it instead. If she feels sad, give her sadness to me, and the baykoy song would make it go away. If she’s thinking of me at the moment, tell her I’m thinking of her, too.

Also, help me write my first letter. It’s very important that I have to write my first letter today. Very important. Don’t forget.

I’d like you to know that I still believe you’re up there. That you’re real. Because something is making me feel sad all the time, and I don’t know what it is. I mean, I know what it is. But I just don’t know why I get sad about a lot of things all the time.

Also, if you can, please let Reynan know that I’d like to see him again. Because I know he’s also been my good friend.

And don’t forget to hug my mom and my dad and my sister for me.

Also, bless grandma and grandpa everyday.

Amen.’

The class was about to start when…

… a distraught middle-aged woman scudded her way towards the school, in a frantic scream!

We leapt out of our seats… bewildered, shaking, curious… all at once!

I looked at grandma, and she instantly ran outside to meet her halfway.

The woman collapsed around grandma, in a disturbing cry. More disturbing than mine.

Grandma shuddered into tears, too.

Then grandpa bolted over to them, and a shock flared up in him. He patted the woman’s shoulder for comfort, then escaped into our classroom. “Baykoy!” he yelped.

“Grandpa, what’s wrong?” I groaned.

“C’mon c’mon!” He picked me up, and his strong arms wrapped around me. His grip was too tight, and I could hardly breathe.

“Grandpa, what happened?” I asked, confused.

He carried me all the way back home. On his spritzing feet. Non-stop. And I could feel his heart roaring badly.

He hauled me out into the living room and made me sit in the chair. “Just stay here. Stay here, you understand me? Stay here. Don’t go anywhere. You promise?”

I started to feel numb. “Okay.”

“You don’t say okay,” he panted. “Okay is not enough right now. Just promise me you won’t go anywhere. Promise?”

In the blink of an eye, all my emotions had vanished. Like magic. “I promise.”

He stared at me for a bit. With an awful load of worries echoing in his face. “Are you okay?”

“I promise,” I muttered. I didn’t know what he said. I only heard a fainting mumble. Like it was trapped somewhere.

He kissed me on the forehead and took off.

As my mind was fighting against time.

Emotions surprise us sometimes.

Like magic. Without a warning sign.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

I saw… I saw… I saw…

The living room walls. The books in the tall shelves. The framed family photos. The portrait of Jesus Christ. The wall clock.

The enormous wall clock. Tick tock tick tock

Time had run out.

I remembered… I remembered…

What did I remember? How did I get there?

A blurry face. Grandpa’s face. His rattled face.

Why? Did he put me in here? Why? What happened?

We had the class invocation. I prayed. There was a distraught woman.

Why? Why was she there? Why would she disturb our class like that?

Why were grandma and grandpa in panic?

Why? What was going on?

These images. These questions.

I was right there in between. Just in between.

Nowhere else.

Tick tock tick tock

No feeling. Nothing at all.

Heavy. Light.

I was in between. Just in between.

I pinched my arm.

No feeling. Nothing at all.

Pain. Happiness.

I was in between. Just in between.

But no. Not really.

It was just…

… nothing! A whole lot of nothingness!

Numb. Complete numb.

Why? What might have caused it? Why?

What was happening to me?

Tick tock tick tock

Barking! A whole lot of crazy wild barking!

The dogs stormed in. At once.

They jumped all over me, with a face licking attack.

No feeling. Nothing at all.

I didn’t know how to react. I couldn’t move either.

I wanted to move, but I couldn’t.

I wanted to say something, but I couldn’t.

I wanted to… I wanted to…

No feeling. Nothing at all.

All I could ever hear was…

Tick tock tick tock

Intruding its prestige on the barking.

My body wore out. I was falling asleep.

I let go… I had to let go… Into…

Tick tock tick tock

It was all I could hear. It was all that mattered.

No feeling. Nothing at all.

I saw… I saw… I saw…

I remembered… I remembered…

Tick tock tick tock

The enormous wall clock. It was all that existed.

As I was floating away into nothingness.

What did really matter?

Tick tock tick tock

No feeling. Nothing at all.

Though there was one thing I knew for sure.

I was just a little girl who might have already…

… felt them all.

Tick tock tick tock

Emotions will never understand their power.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

How did I get here? Where was I before this?

I woke up in bed, with Angel pressed against my chest.

Here was a feeling. Disgust.

Another feeling. Rage.

I jumped off of the bed and threw the doll out the window.

Movements rushed in. It was grandma.

Her face had sunk into grief. Her eyes were swollen red from all the weeps.

I abhorred grief. I was sick of it. I got sick of crying.

“Grandpa is away for a while,” she said.

I just looked at her, and threw myself back in bed. I hugged the biggest pillow, with my back on her. Nothing to remember. Nothing to dread. But…

… rage… Rage… RAGE…!

She sat beside me. “Are you hungry?”

I didn’t respond.

Baykoy,” she softly said, “I’ve made your favorite vegetable stew.”

Silence. I only needed silence.

She caressed my shoulder, then slipped out of the room.

I didn’t want to remember anything.

Nothing to remember. Nothing to dread.

I refused to know who I was. I refused to know everything about me.

What I loved. What I loved to do. Who I loved.

What I wished for. Who I wished for.

What made me sad? What made me happy?

What made me angry?

I refused to know. I refused to know.

I didn’t want to remember anything.

Nothing at all. Nothing important. No one.

Nobody was important. I wasn’t important.

I was only a kid. I couldn’t be that important.

I already felt everything there was to feel.

It shouldn’t be that important.

What I believed in. Who I believed in.

It wasn’t at all important.

I was even surprised that I remembered the doll’s name.

It shouldn’t have been important.

Grandma was in grief. It shouldn’t be important.

Grandpa was away. It wasn’t important.

Nothing was important. No one was important.

Anymore. Anymore. Anymore.

Who was I to cry? Who was I to grieve?

Who was I to believe? Who was I to wish?

Who was I to understand? Who was I to feel?

Who was I? Who was I? Who was I?

I never belonged anywhere. I never deserved to be anywhere.

No one else would want me. No one else would even ask my name.

No one would play with me. No one knew I also wanted the same.

Who was I? Who was I? Who was I?

Just a little girl. If only I could close my eyes.

The way Jiji did. Then I would be fine.

I didn’t have to wish anymore. I didn’t have to run.

The doll had been thrown away. For good. For good.

I didn’t want to remember it. Neither should be understood.

Goodbye… Goodbye… Goodbye…

It was all I wanted to say. I had just realized.

I never belonged anywhere. I never deserved to be anywhere.

Who would even care? Would I care?

I was in bed. Hugging the biggest pillow.

Goodbye… Goodbye… Goodbye…

Let me sleep now… I was already worn out…

Goodbye…

Goodbye…

Rage is born out of extreme sorrow.

The only something.

Goodbye…

— Indomitable —


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