It was way past 10:00 pm when I came home from a grueling day of schoolwork and extracurricular activities. The wind was rustling about overhead as I paced through the door of our humble abode. I moved towards the nearest couch and plumped myself to rest. Defeat and exhaustion filled my frame as I laid back against the soft cushions. I was about to close my eyes when I remembered our Hematology project which was due the next day. I stood up and set out for the personal computer situated on the other side of the room. Just then, my brother Michael dashed out of his room and went straight at me.
"Ate, can you help me with my assignment? It's about the seven wonders of the world," he blurted out while staring at the paper in his grasp.
My brother's words did not seem to filter through my mind at first. My attention was so riveted at the computer screen that my brother had to nudge me and pull the tip of my blouse just to get my attention.
"Look, not right now! I'm very busy," I yelled while ticking on the keyboard.
"You're always busy! You're always like that!" he wailed back as he turned on his heels and stomped back to his room.
For a moment, Michael's words fiddled in my mind. I felt a twinge of guilt as his words lingered in my thoughts. But the urgency of my work seemed more important to me than my brother's. I sighed a few times and continued to polish my school work.
The next day, I went home late again. I went straight to my room and quickly changed my clothes. When I was about to turn off the lights, I heard a pounding noise on the door. I went to see who it was. It was Michael.
"I know you are busy but there's something I want to show you," he began. "I was just wondering if my classmate was right when he said that my assignment was wrong."
Without saying a word, I snatched the paper from him and pored over his written assignment. I really did not care what he was saying. All I wanted was to get rid of him and finally get to rest. Suddenly, my eyes widened in surprise as soon as I saw what he'd written. There, he wrote in gothic letters:
The Seven Wonders of the World
I froze dead on my tracks as the words registered in my brain. I could not believe what my brother just scribbled on paper. I was completely transfixed. How could such an innocent little child fathom such things in life, I thought to myself. As I was trying hard to push back my emotions to the farthest recesses of my mind, I did not notice that tears were already swelling up in my eyes and started flowing down my cheeks.
"Ate why are you crying? Is it really wrong?"
"No, baby brother, it's not. This is the other set of answers most people do not know," I said as I whisked the trickling droplets from my cheeks. I hugged him tight then gestured him towards his room. He did not say a word and did as he was told. I paused for a while and thought for a moment. Then I closed the door and went to sleep.
© 2005 Rachelle Arlin Credo. All rights reserved.