It was a bright sunny day in the fields of Manila. The fresh scent of pandesal as it was rapidly being devoured by the local customers was a plain sight I was fond of seeing everyday. As I was walking into the place where I’ve been accepted for a summer job, Jamaica happily called me out while walking towards my initial trajectory. “Going to the Institute of Biochemistry for your summer job?” she asked. I nodded, happily walking again as I was already nearing the institute I was working at.
Jamaica, or Jam in short, fell into confusion as to why she constantly gets ignored so she followed me whilst being annoying and persistent of getting my attention. “What do you want?” I exclaimed. “I want you to notice me, is that even a difficult thing to do?!” she replied. “You’re wasting my time, I have to maintain my good standing and good impressions of the superiors over me, or else I wouldn’t be able to graduate. Please understand my situation.” I exclaimed with pure anger. “Was it the one time I messed up things for you? That one event where the superiors got angry at you for that one mistake I did? Come on, the superior let you out with a warning and I, myself, apologize to you. Besides, we’re going to the same institute anyways. Why not let me come with you?” she finally exclaimed.
I continued ignoring her until we arrived at the institution. One of our mutual friends caught up with us and sensed the sheer anger and feeling of disbelief beyond my face. It was James, my childhood friend whom I used to hangout with. Coincidentally, he goes to the same institute as Jam and I do. When his face entered my peripheral vision, I somehow cooled down. James finally steps in and asks “Hey, Sol, something seems to be bothering you? Is this that one kid who messed with you the other day?!”
“No, it’s n-nothing” I humbly exclaimed. Jam , who was standing a few feet away from us, butts in to our conversation and explained “It was me. I made him feel this way and he’s been griefing about it. I could see it.” James asked “Well, what did you even do to him?” Jam replied “He got called out by our superior for something I was responsible of. I tried reasoning out our superior if I could, instead, take the warning garnered upon him but our superior has already made up his mind and warned Sol that if Sol ever does something foolish again, his card would not be signed which consequentially would prevent him from graduating. I apologized to Sol but he just won’t accept my apology.”
In my defense, I exclaimed “You apology wouldn’t change anything. I’m trying my utmost best to try and graduate as early as possible. I’m the son of a farmer and a housewife and any chances of ruining my scholarship would mean death for me and my family! I’m sorry if I act this way but please do understand the situation the people around you are facing.”
After this commotion, all three of us headed into our respective offices in the institution, with the sadness visible in Jam’s facial expressions, the feeling of confusion in James’s mind and the feeling of helplessness and injustice in my eyes.
At the end of my shift, I walked into Jam and James talking by the entrance of the institution. James stopped me and asked if we could have a talk at a nearby coffeeshop. I accepted their invitation and headed straight away at the coffee shop.
As James was ordering at the counter, Jam and I were left just by ourselves at a nearby table. She took the opportunity of telling me that “Sol, we’re on our 11th year of highschool, doesn’t time fly by so fast. We need to cherish the remaining time we have left and make memories, memories we could never forget.”
At that line, I thought to myself “What have I done? She’s been there for me ever since nursery and middle school. She stood as my friend, sister, and maybe even a mother to me. I shouldn’t have been treating her this way. Maybe I should change. Maybe I should change for the better.”
These realizations I made for myself really did help me. It helped me grow and learn more as a person. After finishing our summer jobs. We went on our normal lives and graduated with high honors. The memories we’ve spent after our summer jobs would truly be unforgettable.
My summer vacation is pretty unique. It isn’t your typical “have fun at home” type of summer. It was summer filled with lots of drama and lots of hardships and realizations. It was a summer vacation that I had to spend in a box-shaped office working from 8-5 everyday. Nevertheless, the experiences I’ve gathered from this summer vacation would truly help me in discerning life choices and the experiences I’ve gathered here might not be good, but it at least would make a good story.
This short story was written during the Young Authors Competition on April 13, 2019 held at UEC Batangas City.