Kapalaran By Cole Rabano

The warm, brisk December air hit my face. The year was 1941. The cool, invigorating air was blowing through my dirt brown hair. My sewn up burgundy colored dress that had once been my sister’s was flowing in the wind like a dancing flame. Opening my mouth, I pretended to scoop out the snow white coconut meat and drink the milk that would extinguish my desert dry throat, only to learn that this was a fantasy, a dream. My eyes felt like they were the glistening sun in the deep blue sky, but as good time’s start, they eventually have to end.

My feet refused to move from my dream land of green amethyst colored palm trees amidst a tropical breeze. I slowly shuffled to the shack that was like a prison. There was no door. One light dangled from the ceiling like a limp arm, and our most expensive thing was a chestnut colored radio. I crawled to the small round table. Sitting in a bowl were rice balls, basically rocks that only thawed out if you kept them in your mouth. But I did not complain, otherwise my mom and I would end up getting the metal coat hanger. But instead, my hand seemed to drift to the radio. I slowly turned the knob, not knowing this was the beginning of a nightmare.

My favorite program, the “Green Hornet”, was on. Instead of a deep voice, I heard a man talking in fear, fast but strong, “Attention! Pearl Harbor has just been brutally bombed this morning. I am in a search plane right now. All you can see is black an...’’ I must have been in a trance of some sorts because my mom ran over and turned off the radio. She started crying wistfully. My dad had been serving in the U.S. army and he was in Pearl Harbor.

I still remember my dad and I going into the aqua marine waters that sent a tingling sensation through my feet and into my fingertips as I played, laughed and enjoyed my worry-free life. But then there was my mom, an insecure piece of work who stayed in the shadows. Sometimes I have the same obscure look on my face when she sees me. Scolding me, I wished that my mom would someday give me a smile or a hug. My dad, on the other hand, was muscular, brave and always would tell tales of when he was young and whisker-free, looking into the amethyst green jungle with wonder and curiosity. Until that fateful cool day, the clouds were low and the sky was a deep gray. I stared into the sky as my eyes fell to the brick wall, not knowing what wonders lay ahead.

Then there was screaming coming from the shack, “What are you talking about! You’re joining the army! Now you’re deciding to be all soldier boy?’’

My dad’s voice yelled out, “It’s for the cause Maria!’’ My eyes turned glossy with tears, not listening to the rest. Instead my dad, all of a sudden, didn’t look as strong as he once was. He walked away, wearing green pants and a dirty blue shirt, retreating into the orange sunset haze.

Something broke all of our thoughts; a screaming engine that sounded like a roaring lion soared over our house. My mom said, “Stay here!’’ She ran outside and moved cautiously. When she turned her face towards me, her look was obscured with fear. She screamed and motioned me to run. I ran outside to see multiple craters and rocks scattered all over the place. She and I sprinted to the shelter which was in a tunnel. When we finally got there, I looked back and saw a cylinder no bigger than a crate tumbling down towards the house.

In the shelter were some of my fellow villagers. One dragged himself over to greet us. I knew what I had to do, what my dad would do help them. I said to myself, “ This one’s for you dad.”

I ran outside toward the house, as another cylinder fell from the sky. Suddenly, all that was left were memories and pale eyes, as we stared into flames and oblivion.

My mother's tears rolled down her face like stones, not because of the house, but the fate that she was about to see set before her. I looked into the distance and saw blood red dots in the center of a blank white sash. I knew what it was. The Japanese were here. My hand motioned for my mother to go down. Before she could say, 'No', I latched the door shut.

Two men stood before me with sly smiles and steel eyes. I’m Linda and I am a prisoner.







--To be continued…

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