In the village where I live, there stands a cream-colored three-story house that didn't have any occupants for the last ten years or so. Not even a caretaker to clean it regularly. It stands one house away from where I stay. A great mystery, it is thus an inevitable subject of neighborly questions. Who owns the house? Where have they been all along? Why leave it to the ghosts and the termites?
I eventually learned from credible gossip that the house is owned by a rich Chinese lady. Her husband (lover?) is a police officer. They had intended to settle in this house but the lady's family objected to the match. They probably wanted a fellow Chinese, as per sacred tradition. Maybe the couple had a falling-out and eventually parted ways, with no one having the stomach to stay in a place that would remind them of too much heartache.
How do people regard this house? Perhaps with envy, perhaps as bad luck.
One day, after Typhoon Ondoy inundated 80% of the metropolis, I noticed some movements in the cream house. For the first time, its lights were turned on. Finally!, I thought. I only saw about three young men who didn't look anywere near like a Chinese woman's relatives. Who could they be? The othre day, one of the men parked himself on the flat rooftop, perhaps mulling everything he has lost recently. The strangers turned out to be evacuees from the flood, people the lady knew.
It's a great relief to see a white elephant finally rescued from the cobwebs and put to good use, in a place where it is unaffordable for many people to even dream of owning one.
I hope to befriend the new occupants. In case a great flood strikes our place, I'll have the three-story house as part of my escape plan.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Posted by R.O. at 8:54 AM