Five Candles

16 October 2012, 05:00 am

A red manila envelope would define her future – inside it were cases and documents required for her to take the National Board Examinations. For four years she protected it from typhoons, earthquakes, and the clumsy version of her self. For years it was safe, that is. Until now.

17 October 2012, 11:17 am

In a cloud of Desperation (or maybe of Superstition) she sought the assistance of a card reader. No, not that computer – related thing; that real, breathing, intimidating Card Reader who smokes not a mixture of special herbs harvested while naked on the thirteenth hour of the full moon, but rather a popular brand of cigarette. The cigarette-smoking Card Reader asked her to make three wishes, and after much shuffling and decking told her that the cards said yes to all three. And more importantly, that the lost thing could be found only within the home. She left, maybe even getting what she unknowingly sought then – Hope. Or maybe its dregs. Nobody could tell.

17 October 2012, 06:54 pm

The house was turned upside down and six people were bathed in dust, sweat, termites, and ant droppings. No red envelope was found. All of Hope’s dregs the Card Reader provided was blown with the dust. And in her room, she collapsed.

***

She  asked for everyone’s help but one. That one who never disappointed her before. The  One who never leaves, who always hears.  In that point  where Hope’s absence was so strongly felt, where she could finally see a part of the future she pictured dissolve in the big screen of her mind, she asked for help. Begged for it in fact; for the kind of help wherein   one acknowledges reality and merely asked for strength to accept it. She begged for  Hope, to be never left alone. The whole phenomenon  may be true only to her; the closest picture that her mind could offer us was in that precise moment, she felt embraced. Comforted. At peace. That’s when true tears came, and this time, not for Sorrow.

17 October 2012, 08:43 pm

The Church of the Black  Nazarene  is situated in the busiest section of the city. Rich, poor, young, old, with shoes, without – everyone passes there, each dropping a prayer or two. All were heard. All were answered; and if an answer was received, it is now a question only the intended recipient knows how to answer.

In that place, five candles were lit. The light was warm. It lasted.

18 October 2012

Back to the routine, the usual grind, one could only try to act “normal”. She went to buy the daily dose of caffeine at the nearest grocer. there, she asked the guard a question so randomly one could suspect she went there to ask and not to buy.

Hi! Did you happen to see a red envelope? Maybe it was left here?

He then turned to look at something partly hidden behind a helmet placed next to the coffee machine. It was something red. Right then, the question was answered.

***

That afternoon back in The Place,  five candles were lit. The light was warm. It lasts.

Some of your people there in Babylonia are fortunetellers, and you have asked them what will happen in the future. But they will only lead you astray…I will bless you with a future filled with success, not of suffering. You will turn back to me and ask for help, and I will answer your prayers.

Jeremiah 29:8,11-12

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