At age nine and growing up in Besao, a village nestled at the side of the Cordillera Mountains in Northern Philippines, my friends and I would gather in the evenings to exchange stories, or just chat, gossip and plainly just have fun childish stuff. Having nothing else to do in those times and side of the globe - no video, no TV, no movies, it was just about the only fun thing to do. Nothing biggie either, we just sit on some polished stones used as pavers in someone's front yard with our sheets or blankets wrapped around us - climate was never hot that I know of in those days-and enjoy the evening.
So one evening, it was full moon, my friends: Anna, Patricia and Nena gathered at the yard of this vacant house. The usual thing, chatted, laughed, gossiped, giggled and wildly dreamed about life. I recall, perhaps we were not into boys yet, as I don't think we discussed boys, and crushes, and the mystery of sex.
In the midsts of all the hoop-las, this girl Nena fell asleep and snored like a pig. I remember asking my self how could she sleep through this. I myself wanted time to stand still. I was having fun. And she was sleeping.
Time came when we had to each go home as the following day was a school day and we knew better not to spend all night having fun-we could easily do so. To punish Nena, we decided to not wake her up and leave her.
At home, I could not sleep thinking of her. There's this bolt in my head to do something. So I got up and walked back to the place. It was still moonlight, the sky was clear and the air was fresh. It was weird, almost had an aura on me.
When I reached the place, Nena was in the same position we left her - vertical, her head against the galvanized iron wall of the house, snoring. I woke her up and told her what we did. She was a nice girl, did not get mad. In fact to this day, remembering her, she has a lukewarm personality-not the kind who can get upset. Or perhaps she was mad but kept to herself.
Of course I was able to get to bed and sleep after wards.
Years rolled on like sea of oats, and we all became adults, with children. I left the place after becoming a nurse to live somewhere, same place I remember we talked about that evening. Anna became a successful businessman and later on as an adult went back to law school. Patricia got married early, never left the place and had eight children.
Whatever happened or happening to us? Patricia died early, I believe at age 43. Anna died before she reached 50 and never had a chance to pass the bar. Nena is successfully living with her family at the next town and working as a government employee. And for me, retrospectively, I am glad my conscience bothered me.
Now, here's yours truly putting our story...in print.