I was standing on my roof surveying all that I can see when I noticed that the Sari-sari across the street was not open anymore. Then it occurred to me that I couldn’t remember when I last saw it open. Bankruptcy would normally be my first guess. I was soon joined by Mayang as she joined me on the roof. And I foolishly pointed out my observation to her and asked the why of it. Then a quick thought jumped to the front of my brain: “PAUL REMEMBER, Curiosity killed the cat”
People I should know better, if you really don’t want to know the answer, never ask the damn question. But I already had.
(First: All names have been changed to protect the guilty.)
It appears that Roberto’s wife was the one to be the one that ran that store. Roberto the wife and three small children live with Roberto’s sister and brother-in-law in the very small house across the street. Well it seems Roberto has gone to Dubai in the UAE to better provide for his ever growing family, and someday be able to own his own house. (I can respect the man for that.).
Roberto’s wife (According to rumor) is prone to disappearing for a few days at a time. And as a man I’ll tell you she will never win the local Mrs. Barangay Beauty contest but when she does disappear her three small children remain in place at the old homestead in the care of whoever is there. (I shook my head with a look of disapproval and made that tusk-tusk sound that is required in times like this) They called Manila to her mother’s house but the mother will cover for her and say she is there but at the market, when in fact she is in the wind. (No regard for the three grandchildren?) Or the same at a Cousins house in Pampanga. But if the truth be known she was really in Olongapo City at a gentleman’s house. How this tidbit of information was discovered I was not informed but in stories such as this I shook my head, with a look of distain as it is my duty in times like this…
Then I find out while standing on my roof patio, that there is more to the story. It is turning into a TeleNovela and I find myself being drawn it to the plot twists and the convoluted story line. But there is more!
Roberto (Remember him, the cuckold guy in Dubai) He found out what was going on and was burning up the satellites talking to his sister every day. I push the pause button and wander off to get a beer, but am drawn back to the ongoing saga unfolding in front of me. “As the Jeepney Turns” “The Young and the Useless” ‘Sari-sari Intrigue” Dear lord I’m addicted! I must know how the story turns out.
Roberto’s sister, her husband and various other family members, assault the house of ill repute in Olongapo City to confront the wayward spouse. This part of the story became sketchy, with a lot of blank spots, making me angry that I was not invited to the party. There was no violence as far as I know, albeit the Tagalog was reported to hit ear shattering decibels, but I have no proof, this is all conjecture, as told by one party to another party and so on. Some valuable facts could have been lost in the retelling.
The ending as I know it. Wayward wife no longer lives on our mountain; she now has her children back with her. The husband Roberto is still an OFW, all the worldly possessions are held for Roberto’s return, the Sari-sari is double padlocked and all items are going out of date. Peace and tranquility is now restored but with far less people sharing the small domicile across the street and the story is rehashed every night during the Purok Gossip Hour.
I still go out onto the roof patio with a cold beer and wonder the next time how I could have better rephrased the original question. I came up with: Mahal, with that Sari-sari closed, where can I buy those little 6oz bottles of Coke that I like? Because that was what I was really wondering when this story started.
As with all stories or soap operas the person comes out of the coma, or was found floating on an iceberg. She (Wayward wife) hath returned. All is forgiven and back to normal and now I’m informed that the couple were never married in the first place.. I’m back on the roof with cold beer thinking; “Damn I love a happy ending.”