December 17, 2014

Growing Old.. With Whom?

Mr. and Mrs. Rivas* were among the most distinguished couples in our town. Mrs. Rivas was a teacher in public school and Mr. Rivas farmed a big piece of land. When I was young, I used to see them go to church together with their children, one of which happened to be my classmate.
As a young girl, I used to regard them as a happy and ideal couple and I thought how lucky their children were. After a few decades, I, myself, grew old. In one of my visits to my hometown, I saw their house. It looked just like the way it was, imposing.
Then I asked my childhood friends about the family. I learned that Mr. Rivas had another, younger, woman and is now living with her in the western part of the town, about several blocks from their old house. Mrs. Rivas, presumably too ashamed of being left by her husband, left town and went home to her family in another province. Their children, including my classmate, are working abroad.
When I heard the story, I suddenly imagined the big house. I can still remember how often I went there to party with my friends and classmates. There was this big soft couch and gleaming wooden dining table. I can still remember wrapping colored papers around bulbs to give the place a dim look, perfect for partying kids.
And now..
As I passed by the old house on my way home, I looked at it and realized how old and sad it was, like a man with no one to grow old with..
*not real names


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