by Izrahmae Suico (The Philippines)
Audio: "Four," read by Izrahmae Suico
A falling star taught her how to wish, but a falling star apple trunk taught her something else. What that is, she still doesn't know, even now. It can only be felt.
It was a windy day, with the sober smell of threatening rain. It was also the season of the star apples. The trees’ double-faced leaves flap in all directions, turning and resisting and letting. And what else turns in the season of the star apple, you ask? It was the girl, turning four.
She had with her a younger cousin, who followed her wherever she went. And it was fun sitting on a makeshift bench alongside the flowerless bougainvillea, eating star apples and sugary star breads.
Her uncle, the cousin’s father, was far across the front yard’s outhouse when the wind caused the hovering trees to break a fat trunk. It cackled first, like a fighter’s knuckles readying for a fracas, before falling sideways towards the girls.
The younger cousin quickly hopped off the bench and was carried by her father to safety. She, on the other hand, struggled to wear her slippers. And the trunk dropped.
She wouldn’t tell you it hurt, because it didn’t. It was mesmerizing, in fact, to look up and have the sky’s sullen light vanish as a firm shadow instantaneously covered the spectrum of her sight. If only somebody else could see how the leaves trailed behind; it must have been a real falling star.
And would anyone believe she saw it in slow motion—the way the trunk broke into two before her, and how she saw slivers of light in the gaps between the cluster of leaves that followed? The ground caught her, too, although softly. She would later know it was because a bed of leaves formed at her back as she descended. She stayed unmoving for a while, awake and unusually comfortable. Her uncle nudged the leaves away, lifted her, and brought her inside the house.
“Por dios, por santo!” Her grandmother mumbled over and over, feeling every body part before shaking her granddaughter’s shoulders and finally kissing her forehead.
“Por dios, por santo!”
As it turned out, she only got a long slash on her right thigh. Nothing else hurt, until her grandmother wiped it with a warm cloth. There, she cried.
Izrahmae Suico, age 17, is a senior high school student from Bohol, Philippines. Growing up with her grandparents, her earliest memories consist of kid parties and rural life. This piece is an account of one of her experiences as a child.
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2/3/23, 12:21 AM
Reading this story was realistic and relatble
2/2/23, 11:27 AM
"I collected little glimpses of the north to hoard away for the future, like treasure" is such a beautiful line!
2/2/23, 11:23 AM
What a fascinating piece!
2/2/23, 5:21 AM
One of my favorite pieces ever published on Write the World!
2/2/23, 4:41 AM
Well done Everett on this powerful piece. I hope you continue to write!
2/2/23, 4:40 AM
Well done Genevieve - what a beautiful and evocative piece of writing!
1/17/23, 2:15 AM
This is so beautiful
1/16/23, 3:52 PM
I love all of it. It’s so real and so many feelings are there.
1/5/23, 6:02 PM
This is amazing. Do not ever stop. That is really inspirational, the whole writing piece made me want to help.
1/3/23, 7:19 PM
This article was absolutely amazing! I am so thankful to live in a country where periods and sex are fairly normalized, but I will never forget to educate myself about the lack of education others have. It pains me to know that in countries like India, girls are still put down about what they where and how they act. It was very brave of you to share your voice, and I commend you endlessly for that.
12/8/22, 7:25 PM
I really love this! I, myself, am not black, but I know of a lot of good black people. Sadly, I will admit, at one time, I used to think of a black community filled with gangs and poverty. But I know now how perfectly capable it is to live together if only we got rid of the stereotype that is so, so wrong. I do hope you accomplish this. This will great for our country.
Sorry but can't share the name
12/7/22, 10:40 AM
Basically I don't know how to react.
All the conservatives should be reading this.........