She prepares for what she would wear the next day. Visitors are coming. Then loudly she declared “Mama I don’t have anything to wear tomorrow”. Mama said, “not possible, you have a lot of clothes. How about this one, this suits well with your pink jeans? No, I don’t like it”. And it went on and on. The next day her clothes were out of the locker, scattered on the floor, after she finally made her choice.
Her name is Jane. She always looks charming. She dresses up well. She puts ribbons on her hair. She smiles. When it was time for the children to be in front for a dance presentation, she dances with her best. A happy lovely child.
She came to batang pinangga a month before she turned six. She was different. She could cry very loud. She easily picked a fight. She would take toys from the other children and hid these. She made sure that one noticed her when she was crying.
She arrived with her older twin brothers. When she threw a tantrum her twin brothers would try to pacify her. But she would ignore them more and cried even louder. The children called her “ginger”, for the rough skin on the palm of her hands and her rough large feet. And she would cry more.
Jane and her siblings lived under the bridge with their mother as a street family. The mother worked in an eatery by washing plates; the mother would tell Jane to dance so that the amused diners would toss her some coins. Jane’s dancing had become the way to earn extra. Their mother was later involved with illegal drugs.
And this time, among the crowd of children we have to call her name to know that she was there. She no longer cries (maybe occasionally but softly now). The other children love her for she does not get angry even when called “ginger”, she just laughs about it. The girls said they like to be friends with Jane. Then I heard her reprimand her brother Jerome who was late in coming home from school. “What you do is not nice, Kuya, do not do it again!” Then she tickled him and they both laughed and hugged.
If we see Jane greeting us with her smile and a hug, there’s nothing more beautiful than that.-Butch