04 Mayo 2012

Hollow Bones

By 15, Sonia was used to the early-morning hunger, comfortable and dependent on its persistent clawing to wake her up every morning. Impressively regular and exact, she felt the first warning grumbles everyday at exactly half-past five in the morning giving her ample time to ready herself for school. That particular morning, Sonia left for school ravenous and eager for mid-morning recess period to wolf down a sandwich and though her stomach settled nicely after three glasses of water, she felt a distinct and unruly hunger that refused to ebb away.

In class, Sonia, first, felt light-headed. The harder she tried to concentrate, the more her thoughts escaped and she struggled to understand the lessons. The sensation was akin to a large, airy room. Stranded in the middle, Sonia looked up at the vaulted ceiling, her arms outstretched towards the blue sky, embracing the clouds. It was summer, summer, summer, she mumbled, scribbling down notes and hanging on to her teacher's every word. 

"Sonia?" Teresa shook her awake. She had fallen asleep and didn't hear the bell release them for recess. "Are you okay? Namumutla ka." Teresa bent over her, feeling first her pulse and then laying a heavy, brown hand on her forehead. "Hindi ka naman nilalagnat." Teresa, like all the other girls, felt obliged to exercise their maternal feelings and skills early on and even now, Sonia felt Teresa reform her face into a passable replica of her own mother's worried scowl. "Masakit ba ulo mo?

Sonia stood and shook her head. The ground was a thousand feet below her and her narrow vision seemed cramped with color, shapes, Teresa pressed close upon her like a moist cotton cloth. "Gutom lang siguro," Sonia said, although she had never felt lighter, less substantial somewhat. She tried to walk but she found she could barely land on her feet, her bones had somehow become hollow. 

It happened quickly, before she could cry, because somehow her bones had been hollowed out by all her unanswered hunger. It must have been the acid that melted that marrow in her bones. What did it matter? Sonia found herself floating, light as a feather, her shadow three and a half shades lighter, just as she was. She floated out the window and was never found. 

An interpretation of Sarah Geneblazo's The Immortal Bird

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