This is my entry for nonfiction prompt #13: HERITAGE
I remembered standing in front of the rubble of our old house.
The nipa roofs were filled with holes as the leaves withered and became brittle under the alteration of the scorching heat of the sun and the pouring heavy rain it had battled for years. The protection on our heads, which I once thought was strong enough to protect us, could no longer cover us.
The four pillars of the house that were made from the trunk of the mahogany tree had been feeding termites, and the bamboo walls had been turned into powder by other wood-eating insects.
I left the place when I was sixteen and returned after a decade. Everything had changed, but not the memories.
There, at that very place, I had a glimpse of my childhood. Even though most of the house had succumbed to the natural agents, it still vividly showed me who I used to be.
Some parts of the fallen bamboo walls on the ground crumbled under my feet as I walked to the area where my room used to be. Tears welled in my eyes when I remembered the first time I locked myself there, for I couldn’t remember how long, just because I didn’t want to be disturbed while reading the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone novel. It was the first time I fell in love with Harry. I could almost re-live the moment. My heart skipped at the idea of comparing Harry with my childhood crush.
I smiled at the realization that it was also then when I had experienced migraine for the first time, only because I had to read in my room with dim lights, so my parents wouldn’t scold me for spending late nights reading just to finish the book.
Sufficed with the bittersweet memory, I moved to the next room. It used to be our receiving area, where most of our visitors would stay. It was also where I got jealous of Billy, our youngest sibling, who was just a few days old. I must admit, I was over the moon when he was born because I prayed for a long time to have him. However, when Mama and Papa brought him home from the hospital, I couldn’t help myself but envy him because of the attention he was getting from my parents and other relatives, as well as friends.
Being the eldest child made me feel left out because a new baby was born, and my eleven-year-old heart couldn’t handle the stinging jealousy, so I walked out and cried under the coconut tree in our backyard.
Remembering the coconut tree, I stepped out of the ruins and visit my best friend—the coconut tree.
Seeing it taller than it used to be made my tears fall. The coconut tree became far taller than me, and I could no longer reach its leaves unlike I used to when I was a child.
I sat on its protruding roots and gave it a tight hug, even though I couldn’t hug its entire circumference. Fortunately, no one was around when I did that, because if anyone had seen me doing it, I would’ve been labeled insane.
“I’ve missed you,” was all I could say to it. I leaned on the coconut’s trunk as if it was a real person and began reminiscing the secrets I’d shared with the palm tree.
It was the sole witness to how I struggled as a kid being bullied at school. It was my confidant when I need someone to listen to me because I didn’t want to open up to other people about my feelings, growing up as a teen.
“Thank you for listening to my rants and pains,” I said before moving to the rice fields.
As the icy breeze kissed my cheeks, I saw my nine-year-old self sitting on the division of the field—a piece of space on the field that served as a pathway where we could walk.
I used to sit in that area with my friend Rhocelle every afternoon, after class, to talk about our dreams for the future. I would tell her that when I get older, I would purchase the field in front of us and build our houses there.
I chuckled at the idea that I had dreamed of building an establishment at that place, so we didn’t need to travel to town just to buy goods and food.
“I missed the old times. I wonder how and where she is.”
I filled my lungs with air and breathed in longing. Longing for my friends, and my young self’s dreams. How I wished I could go back in time and fulfill those dreams. I wished to revisit the past once again, so I could be with the people I no longer spend time with at present.
I will always go back to this heritage no matter how old I get because this is the place where I could be one with my past. The past I have been desiring to go back in since the day I left our province.
Seeing the rubble of our old house, I smiled at the realization that my young self had prepared me for the present I am living in now.
A part of you is still attached to your old house and will always be.
All those fond memories, enough to make one cry.
This is a moving tribute to the past, and tearful nod to the passing of time. Buildings, trees, places hold memories. They represent experiences that will never return. The house may fall, and the tree may one day not be there, but the memories will always be yours.
You evoke very well the emotions of your youth. We feel them as you did. This nostalgia, painfully sweet, is a universal experience. As you look back at your childhood we recall our own. That you are able to do this to your reader proves the strength of your piece.
There are a few grammatical errors which do not belong in such a wonderful story :) Your story soars, but would soar even more without these errors.
Thank you for sharing this with us, @idlemind. You are a powerful writer.
@theinkwell Thank you for pointing out the grammatical errors. It was the first time I received this notification, perhaps I overlooked those while writing. I wasn't able to proofread well because of exhaustion from work. I'll check and edit those errors. Thank you for appreciating my work again. 😊
It's funny that those errors weren't noticed by Grammarly. Hahaha
Gotta be more careful next time. 😊
@spaminator Thank you for insulting me with a downvote. Keep downvoting my comments. I hope it makes you overjoyed. God bless!