(continued from The Most Beautiful Dress…)
Gabi ng Kabataan was the happiest in Belen’s life. Dressed in the beautiful white gown her mother, Linda, made for her, she felt like she was the most beautiful girl in Banitan. For her mother, she indeed was. The two years she spent in making the dress was worth it. Belen deserves every single stitch of it.
But Belen’s loveliness was outshone by the arrival of Nica who wore the most expensive dress her mother found in another town. Mrs. Ramos, proud ofr both her daughter and the expensive dress, looked at Linda and stared her down. But Linda stood her ground and looked back. The two girls, however, were oblivious of their mothers nor the antagonism between them. They were both enjoying themselves, and regardless of their dresses, they surely would enjoy the night just the same.
Mrs. Ramos’ money and effort were rewarded when Nica’s was announced the Best Gown. As if she was the one who won, Mrs. Ramos waved at everyone and posed for pictures. But her elation was dampened when Belen was announced as the Star of the Night. Unlike Mrs. Ramos, Linda simply asked someone to take Belen’s picture for souvenir.
Finally, the celebration came to an end and Belen and Linda went home tired but happy and relieved. It was over. They learned shortly, however, that it wasn’t over yet. Not for Mrs. Ramos, at least. The rich woman came over to them and offered, yet again, to buy the dress from Linda. Linda was confused, the party was over, whatever Mrs. Ramos needed the dress for?
‘I want that dress…’
But by the look in Mrs. Ramos’ face, Linda felt that she didn’t simply want the dress. She wanted it destroyed. She wanted to buy it and destroy it. And Linda felt that Mrs. Ramos would hound her and offer her money until she wouldn’t be able to resist the amount and give in. But what would happen to the dress then? Linda thought carefully until she came up with a plan.
‘Okay, I’ll sell it to you…’ she answered but not regretfully.
Mrs. Ramos’ face shone with triumph..
‘But… I would make some alterations.’ continued Linda ‘Come to my house tomorrow and I’ll show you the changes I made. If you still want it, then, you can have it and for only half the price you offered.
That was good enough for Mrs. Ramos. Whatever changes Linda would do wouldn’t make any difference. She would destroy the dress anyway.
The following day, Mrs. Ramos arrived at Linda’s house with the money in her purse. She was met by Linda who offered her a seat.
Mrs. Ramos, anxious to get hold of the dress spoke right away..
‘So, where’s the dress?’
‘Are you sure you still want it?’ asked Linda.
‘Very well, then… But before I hand it over to you, may I know what you plan to do with it?’
Mrs. Ramos, confident that she got what she wanted, again, bitterly smiled and answered..
‘I will destroy it..’
Linda didn’t show any expression but simply asked..
‘I don’t want any reminder of my daughter’s loss..’
‘But she didn’t lose. Hers was the best gown of all which means what she wore was more beautiful than the one I made…’
‘If Belen wasn’t wearing your dress, she wouldn’t be the star of the night, Nica would…’
Linda looked at Mrs. Ramos and felt pity then called on to her daughter..
‘Belen, get the dress here for Mrs. Ramos to see…’
Mrs. Ramos smiled expectantly but her smile vanished when Belen showed up with a big box filled with balls and balls of white thread.
‘What happened? Where is the dress? You agreed to sell it to me…’
‘I said… I would make some alterations and I would sell it to you if you still want it after the changes I made…’
‘You… you destroyed it so I couldn’t buy it and destroy it myself..’
‘No. I didn’t destroy it. I changed it.. When we arrived here last night, I unwound it. I undid every single stitch I made then spun it into balls of thread which we have here now. If you still want, I would sell these balls to you. I’d use the money you would pay me to buy new balls of thread to make into a new and even more beautiful dress. I would use the leftover money to buy some food that would last us a few months. But, if you wouldn’t buy these, I would, again, use them to make another and more beautiful dress. Either way, I get to keep the dress, Mrs. Ramos..’
'But you made it for two years.. You would spend another two years making a new dress?'
'No, I spent two years buying enough balls of thread. But making the dress took me only a week..'
Mrs. Ramos couldn’t believe she was outsmarted by her laundrywoman..
‘Now, you decide Mrs. Ramos. would you buy these balls and let me have your money and make another dress or you don’t buy them and leave us alone and in peace?’
Mrs. Ramos couldn’t answer. Buying the balls would be pointless but not buying the balls would mean accepting defeat..
‘Maybe it’s about time you learn to accept that not everything can be bought, and not everything you want can be yours.. But not getting what you want doesn’t make you less of a person. So, you may leave now and let’s forget this ever happened…’
Mrs. Ramos stood up and without a word simply left…
(Original story by the blog author.Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)