A Little Girl’s Gripping and Magical Story – 26


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 Enchanting Spirit – Part Four


Part three

Age: Six years old.

Year: 1985.

— indomitable —


Dear Sage,

His name was Pastor Juan Ramirez.

We sat in the living room. Grandma and grandpa were in the kitchen, most definitely eavesdropping.

He opened with a biblical passage. “They’ve told me you’re very smart,” he said. “I’m sure you’ve understood what I’ve just read. Would you tell me about it?”

“I have to pray, so I’d be saved,” I replied.

“Saved from what?”

“From bad things.”

“Which bad things?”

“Kids who don’t want to play with me. And getting really sick. And good people dying.”

“Why do you think good people die?”

“They die because life is bad.”

“Why is life bad?’

“Because it makes people eat bad stuff, like pork. It makes them kill animals to survive. It makes them work hard to survive, then they get sick and die from working very hard. And also, they fight because they don’t have enough. They do good, but they never get enough to survive. So then they end up going bad, and they start hating each other. Then they die.”

“Is that what you’ve been feeling?” he asked.

“No,” I muttered.

“What have you been feeling?”

“Very sad.”

“Why?”

“Because I sat in a funeral van. Because my brother died. Then I found a good friend, and she died, too.”

“What’s so special about your good friend?”

“She gave me a chocolate bar. When we sat on the rock, I thought I was sitting with an angel ‘cause I felt her good heart. She loved me right away. She walked me home and she spoke to grandma. Then we sat on the front porch, and she told me about her beautiful and sad life. And she also told me about her good friend, Emily. Then she wrote me a letter. And she told me I was a very special little girl, and she already loved me very much.”

“Who taught you about good hearts?”

“I’m a kid. I feel good hearts. Don’t you?”

He smirked. “Do kids also see things outside of this life? Like… ghosts? An evil creature? Maybe… heaven and angels?”

“No evil creature,” I answered. “That’s for sure.”

“Then what made you go really angry and violent today?”

“Because I sat in a funeral van. My brother died. Angeline is dead. I don’t have a good friend.”

“But your outburst was quite unusual for a tiny little girl like you, though. Have you ever thought of that?”

“Because I sat in a funeral van! My brother died! Angeline is dead! I don’t have a good friend! I’m always very sad!”

Grandma and grandpa stormed in over my passionate outrage.

I leapt up and hid behind grandma, with my arms around her waist.

“She’s not emotionally capable enough to talk about it,” the pastor told them. “And I don’t think she ever will be.”

“What do you think we should do now?” grandpa asked.

“Attend church service regularly,” the pastor replied. “So she’d get a chance to interact with like-minded kids.”

Was that his magic? Prescribe church attendance?

Only you have the power to understand…

… the magic lurking in the world.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

Did I like church?

Yes and no.

I loved the singing, and all the fun activities. How all the adults and elders would devote their time to us little ones and youngsters. How they would speak to us. How reading and playing musical instruments had become such one of the imposed laws. How confidence and self-esteem were shaped. How intellect must go hand in hand with character. How chores and responsibilities were given importance.

I hated the regular worship. The long-day service. The thoughtful considerations on pretty much everything. The forced interactions. The show-offs. The pressure to learn a lot of things at once. The secret competitions. The frustrations of mastering a skill. The social nights. Kids feeling privileged. The puritanical reputation that seemed phony. The economic classes. The subtle discriminations.

Lots more.

Lots to love. Lots to hate.

I had seen them all growing up.

Meanwhile, soon after the embittered pastor had left, grandma gave me the fable book. The one that I had just recently started reading.

They sat on the front porch for tea and boiled cassava. Slopped into an absorbed talk. Still on edge. But in a consolatory tone.

I was in the living room, sitting at grandpa’s table. The natural gas light looked inviting. Enticing me to write.

But no sharp objects for me yet. Not even a dull shiny pencil.

It was getting infuriating. But the big baby tantrum’s button had already burned out for today. So I had to cool it for now.

For now.

For Angeline…

My mind carved out a letter instead.

Tell the angels I’ll never forgive them for what they’ve done.

Also, tell heaven it’s their job to teach big kids to be nice to sad little kids.

So there wouldn’t be sad little kids anymore.

And I don’t think church would make me feel better at all.

I’d rather stay at home and read or play with Kidlat and Kuwago.

Cause I think church is phony. Really phony.

Cause they just like to look pretty and dress well and speak well and not care so much about other things that I believe in and experience myself.

The pastor asked me questions without a heart.

He didn’t even want to be here.

Then he left right away. After he told grandma and grandpa to attend church regularly.

So there’s my problem. Another problem.

How come I never run out of problems, anyway?

Could you ask them why they’d always like to make me feel sad?

Am I really that special enough?

I miss you. I miss you very much.

Love,

Baykoy.

Oy, baykoy,” her gentle voice breathed into my face.

I giggled. I wasn’t stricken with awe anymore. “Oy, baykoy.”

I’ve just read your letter,” she softly said.

“Ooh really?” I replied, amazed.

Her spellbinding laugh dazzled into my ears. I laughed along.

It swept them right inside, mystified. “Baykoy?” grandpa yelped.

As Angeline and I shared a whopping laugh, grandma held me up in her shaky arms, weeping.

Weeping hard.

Somehow, she knew.

A broken heart weeps hard.

Pure love only wishes for your happiness.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

Grandma sent me to bed while I was still trapped in my beguilement. Grandpa stood in the doorway, and I could feel his sadness, too.

But I couldn’t help myself. Angeline’s amusement was tickling me around. Her laugh was smoothly brushing against my face.

I knew she was still here with me. I knew she wouldn’t leave.

Grandma sang, ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’. As she massaged my hands and feet. She sang it in her usual hypnotic lullaby voice.

Grandpa disappeared into the living room.

It was going to be another sleepless night for them.

As grandma’s singing covered me, I drifted away.

Into sleep. As my mind played its tricks with more questions to ponder.

Why couldn’t I just stop thinking, anyway? What would it take for my mind to quit on me?

The tricks:

Would there be another magic? Would it send me away to Angeline’s new life?

Would the invisible arms cradle me again? Would she hold my hand and speak to me again?

Or would it all end? How would it all end?

Would the silent voice in my gut tell me something important again?

Or would I be taken away? Would something happen that would make me get sick and die?

Why was this happening to me?

I sat in a funeral van.

Jiji’s peaceful and pale face.

Angeline resting in a casket.

Kids refusing to play with me.

I was so little, so tiny, so fragile.

I couldn’t make a good friend.

Reynan. Where could Reynan be?

Oh, I thought of him again.

I thought of what he said, “If someone would ever hurt you, I’d feel it, and you’d see me again. And then I’d kill them with my slingshot.”

But I had been hurt. The angels hurt me.

Would he feel it? Would he kill the angels for me?

Where was he? Where was he hiding?

Where could I find him?

Perhaps, magic would lead me to him.

Angeline said a good friend was waiting for me closeby.

Who? Where?

Reynan lived quite far from here. He said he had to go past lots of rice fields to get to the waterfalls.

The waterfalls. How I missed the waterfalls all of a sudden.

But then I would get very sad once I went.

It was where Angeline and I shared our first beautiful moment together. But it was also where I met Reynan.

How could I still remember him after all this time?

Had he been thinking of me, too? Would he still remember me?

If I were to see him again, I would probably be happy.

Not so much, really.

Because I knew he would be gone for a long, long time again.

Oy, baykoy,” the familiar voice whispered.

“Oy, baykoy,” I replied, giggling.

Wanna fly and sing for the last time?”

“Wanna fly and sing for the last time?”

Genuine hearts who resonate with yours…

… feel your sadness from afar.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

Eyes closed. Deadened. Yet conscious.

Why was grandma crying? Why was grandpa rocking me in his arms so badly?

Panic. Tension. Alarming fears. All around!

What was happening?

I was only drifting away to sleep. Just too exhausted to move or respond.

I couldn’t open my eyes. Something was keeping them closed.

I couldn’t budge either. Something was locking me up.

Not the invisible arms. Not Angeline.

Nothing like that at all. Even the silent voice in my gut had already gone silent.

I spoke to Angeline in my mind, “Angeline, where are you?”

No answer. Just grandma and grandpa’s horrific hysteria, desperate to wake me up or say something.

They were massaging my hands and feet, caressing my hair and face, kissing me on the forehead… as their tears and prayers and singing deplored on… into the restless night.

The dogs were also expressing their sorrows and anxiety from outside. A lot of barking, a lot of scratching, a lot of howling!

I wanted to tell them, “I’m here! I’m here! I’m alive! I just can’t do anything!”

Should I pray? Should I?

What magic would it do?

I still hated the angels. I still couldn’t forgive them.

Heaven was a lie. There was no god.

No god. Reynan was right.

If the angels did love me, they shouldn’t make me feel sad all the time. If heaven really existed, they should keep life happy somehow.

Happy and bright.

Just like life beyond.

The life that had been shown to me. With all its beauty and kindness. There was so much peace. Everything harmonized with everything else.

No fear. No grief. No sadness.

No crying. Not even a teardrop.

I could hear it all. I could feel it all. I wanted to scream, “I’m here! I’m here! I’m alive! I just can’t do anything!”

What was imprisoning me?

I spoke to Angeline in my mind again, “Angeline, where are you? I thought we were gonna fly and sing again. Where are you?”

No answer. No answer!

Was she gone? Had she already left me for good?

No! No! No! Come back! Come back!

And then…

Amidst the horrific hysteria…

Tick… tock… tick… tock…

It was time.

Time for what?

Sting… sting… sting…

My cuts, wounds and scratches were burning up.

Why were they burning up like that?

Not good. Not good.

Aaahhh… Aaahhh… Aaahhh…” the angelic singing kissed its way into my heart.

Heart. My good heart.

I must speak to Angeline in my heart. “Angeline, are you happy?”

I would be happy once you let go,” was the reply.

“Let go of what?” I asked.

Baykoy, you’re making our hearts very sad,” she cried. “I promise you, your good friend will appear soon.”

“Ooh really?” I said, unconvinced.

It’s a promise,” she replied. “But first, you have to forgive the angels.”

Forgive life. Forgive magic. Forgive angels.

Forgive. Forgive. Forgive.

It’s life. It’s magic. It’s the angel.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

Aaahhh… Aaahhh… Aaahhh…” the angelic singing delivered its important message again.

If you wouldn’t forgive them now,” Angeline whispered into my heart, “then you wouldn’t have the chance to be happy, and you would also miss all the chances of meeting a good friend and sharing beautiful moments.

“I don’t care,” I replied. “‘Cause they’ve already been hurting me. They hurt me all the time. How could they hurt a little girl all the time like that, anyway? I sat in a funeral van. Jiji was in a casket. You were in a casket, too. Kids don’t wanna play with me. I’m always very sad. I make grandma and grandpa very sad, too. And I don’t know what’s happening to my family in the city. So I’m always very sad. I will always be very sad.”

Once you forgive the angels,” she said, “then you would start feeling happy. And all your wonderful wishes will come true sooner. Even if you’ve forgotten to pray.”

“Ooh really?” I sighed.

Aaahhh… Aaahhh… Aaahhh…” the angelic singing pleaded.

“Aaahhh… Aaahhh… Aaahhh…” I emulated it.

Baykoy!” grandma cried.

Baykoy!” grandpa seconded, cradling me in his strong arms.

I opened my eyes and looked at them. “Aaahhh… Aaahhh… Aaahhh…” I sang.

“Do you hear them again?” grandma asked.

“Who?” grandpa yelped. “Who do you hear?”

“The angels are asking for my forgiveness,” I replied. “That’s how they talk to me. They sing like that. Aaahhh…”

“Have you forgiven them yet?” Grandma caressed my hair.

“Not right now,” I said. “Maybe soon. I don’t know.”

But if I wouldn’t forgive them, then we would have to go to church regularly. I would see the pastor again. I would also see some phony people. And I would feel the pressure of how to master being a ‘show-off’.

I couldn’t bear the thought of it.

As much as I loved our maternal clan for being devoted, I wasn’t born to be a part of it at all.

And as much as I loved some of its great advantages, I could still do the imposed laws in my own time, at my own pace.

Alone.

With grandma and grandpa’s guidance.

My good heart wasn’t influenced by it.

I was born with it, nurtured by family.

Nurtured by grandma and grandpa.

Nurtured by deep love.

Regardless of grief and feeling alone.

Regardless of all the crying and big baby tantrums.

It had made its prestige known.

By the knowing clock. By Angeline.

By the enchanting spirit that had shown me life beyond.

The enchanting spirit that might not have been encountered by anyone.

The enchanting spirit in me.

My grief. My deep sadness.

I was just another kid around.

With a good heart.

The enchanting spirit.

The magic inside.

The angels inside.

Forgiven.

Remember this:

Listen to the enchanting spirit.

Within you.

Your magic. Your angel.

You’ll survive.

— Indomitable —