Her name is Jasmine, a 9 y.o girl from Cali who’s been our temporary neighbor for about 3 weeks already when I met her. I’m not so sure about the details I was just startled one morning while I was working to hear the voice of a girl downstairs who’s trying hard to speak in Tagalog. Just thinking out loud, why is it that we find Americans trying to speak Tagalog so cute?? Or even other nationalities for that matter?? :P Is the reaction the same say, a Filipino is trying to speak French?? Will a French find it endearing?? :P Remember Baby Luke singing Bahay Kubo in Youtube?? Anyways I digress, without a warning I heard her walking up the stairs then finding me in my workstation giving me that very warm smile of hers. She then asked about my brother’s whereabouts.
Jasmine: Asan si Kuya Limbong?? (Lem’s household nickname is Lembong. Wehehe. Ssshhh!! And it’s so cute the way she said it, parang Bisaya. :P)
Me: Natutulog pa siya eh. (He’s still sleeping.)
After that she left. Our househelp quickly updated me that she’s the daughter of a Filipina who lives in Cali. The mother is now divorced and slated to marry our neighbor that month, a childhood friend of Lem. Jasmine’s mum and our neighbor apparently met through the net. Which was mind-blowing in a way. I was like pregnant pause, then WOW!! (Note to self: Must be open to new forms of establishing relationships these days. Ditch those romantic spins in tales about caught eyelash and stuff, hahaha!! This is the new era Cassey Cakes!!! Hahaha!!) In any case, it’s still amazing.
Eventually the ‘rents grew fond of her frequent visits in our house. Since I was in the field most of the time I only had few encounters with her. I like that she’s so warm and friendly, inquisitive and frank. Typical American. :P When I learned that she’s gonna stay in her grandparent’s house in Cavite before going back to Cali, I took this picture as a remembrance. I thought I’d never see her again.
Weeks later, one busy Friday morning, I heard that same familiar voice. I was about to leave my workstation to go down but she was already climbing our stairs calling out to me,
“Ate Dang!! Ate Dang!! I missed you!!” Her arms already flung open ready to hug me.
Awww, so sweet. To think I only met her a total of 3 times!! See? Again, my power with kids. Haha!! Knowing how busy I was, she just sat beside the sofa and initiated to fix my messy things. That’s where she found my wallet. The colorful one I got in BKK which I swear, I swear I have every intention of giving to my niece. Aaargh. While she’s rummaging through it, I told her
“Do you like it? You can have it.”
She didn’t say a word. With her head bowed down, she took the wallet and left. :P I didn’t call it as ungratefulness on her part. Maybe she’s so moved by the gesture, I don’t know. Then I got news from again, our help that she is finally leaving for Cali on Monday. I resolved to plan some activities with her before her departure.
So I was surprised last Saturday around 7 AM, I was still sleeping when she came over my room just to kiss me on the cheek. The late sleeper I am, I just pulled up the blanket to allow her to do so. She did without any hesitation (even w/my night cream slathered on my face, yay!!) I barely opened my eyes but I saw her tears then just waved goodbye. And when she left, I opened my eyes surprised to feel tears in my eyes. That’s when it hit me, my little sister's gone. =,(
Funny how some random people touch our lives noh?? Last I heard she's always crying daw. :( I may or may not see her again but I just hope that she grows up to be a pleasant and well-mannered lady. And not really like those described in Katy Perry's California Girls, hahaha!! Bye Jasmine, Ate Dang hopes to see you again someday. =)