There are two oldies seating at the green green grass of home. Remembering the past of their lives:
Alberto and Delia are classmates since high school
They were classmates since they are in 1st year. Delia allows Alberto to show her answers while exams unnoticeably and sometimes she is the one doing the assignment of Alberto. Or worst give him a paper wherein possible answers are written. It continually happens till the finals.
Same routine was practiced when they reach second year. Supposedly Alberto must be in the last section. He is a lazy person instead of studying; he’s wasting his time in nonsense activities such as playing video games or whatever he plans to do. Parenthetically thanks for the effort given by Delia without her maybe he would one of the candidates for failing students.
After the class, Alberto gave the money to Delia that serves as her payment. She take the money but after a few seconds she suddenly said: “I can’t take it anymore “
Alberto felt the guiltiness upon Delia’s voice “I want to stop this” Delia added.
“Are you sure? Why? The payment is not enough? I will double the price. If that’s what you want. “
“No….. That’s not my reason. Just because it’s really unfair and you know that it’s bad. ”
“Ok fine since tomorrow is weekend, I will give you time to think deeply about your decision. When you think about it just text me ”
“ Uhm Bert regarding about the cellphone…….. I…….”
“Why? What happen to the cellphone? ”
(Fearful voice)“We don’t have enough money to pay our house rental that’s why I make a decision to sell the cellphone………………………………………………… I ‘am very sorry. “
Alberto say nothing he just look seriously to Delia with a feeling of disappointment.
Later on he decided to leave.
Delia went home holding a plastic of 1 kilo rice. Her mother saw it and asks her:
You receive your salary already from your classmate?
“Yes Ma” said Delia with a low voice.
“You must save it for your everyday allowance, don’t worry about our expenses I ‘am responsible for that.
By the way there’s spaghetti in the kitchen. I was invited to come on a birthday party in one of our customers. “
“How about you ma? “
“Your brother and I are finished”
Delia move out in the kitchen to eat. Her mother is going to leave but ask a favor to Delia.
“Keep an eye on your brother; I will take all the dirty clothes to Ma’am Betty for awhile”
Her mother’s work is washing clothes she tries to work hard for the benefit of her family. Delia also trying to earn money by way of doing an “illegal way of tutoring”. But this kind of business was concealed. Her mother surely knows that Delia receives money from tutoring her classmates that’s why she has daily allowance.
Meanwhile a proud mother came into Alberto’s room.
“My son, look at your test papers (60/100) I can’t believe it you are now doing an effort to your studies. Your Yaya Jen told me about the improvements of your tests it’s unbelievable to hear you know; but at least I set eyes on this evidence.
Alberto sigh while playing video games. “Mom enough”
“Wait because of that I have something for you…… TARAH your favorite chocolate from Italy and a jacket from New Zealand!!!”
Alberto stop playing online games “Mom thanks….. But can’t you see I’m busy? “
Monday, there was a surprise quiz.
Delia felt pity she knows he wasn’t prepared for that quiz so she tried to show her answers carefully but he’s not looking.
Alberto got 0
On their lunch break, Delia hardly convinced Alberto to have a conversation.
Delia say sorry about her decision to quit and about selling the cellphone.
After all the explanation, Alberto didn’t response. Once again Delia say sorry then decided to leave but:
“Wait” said Alberto
They sit together. Delia discern that Alberto has a problem so she listen in every word which the heart wants to say.
“ I have many possessions in life. I can have them with just a snap. I have mother and a father but it seems like they are invisible. Mom and Dad is in Paris, sometimes in Italy for some business matter. They provide all my needs most especially what I want ONLY if I pass the exams. You know what when I was a kid. I wasn’t send to school from grade 4 to 6 because I ‘am a stubborn youngster that’s why they hire a private teacher instead. One day Dad talk to me told me that I must study in high school and never to hire a private teacher again. He confiscate all my gadgets and removed all downloaded games and he will take it back IF I study well. “
“ So you must thank me ”
“Oh Yes thank you”
Delia became serious and try to comfort him and also express her concern about cheating.
“ Now I understand. I want you to know that I ‘am here whenever you need someone who can listen and talk to. One more is, I would love to help you in your studies; but hopefully must be in a right way. You will cherish your success if you do it in your own sweat.
Alberto really recognized his mistakes as a student and accept the offer of Delia. And that was the start of their friendship. Delia make an effort to help Alberto avoid gadgets every tutorial session and make studies as a priority. She also gave a schedule for study and for games.
Owing to Delia’s tutorial, Alberto turn out to be a good student. He passes the exam or quiz without a cheat sheet and he is the one making his own assignment sometimes with the help of Delia. Incredibly he was included at the top 10 (rank 10) while Delia is Top 1 at their class. In gratitude, Alberto still paying Delia- though she is timid to receive the money but he said must take it for appreciation.
At this time they are now third year students. Alberto was persuaded to be a good student through the help of Delia. He learned to balance between study and games.
At the second quarter Alberto was tempted to back into old ways. And that is under the influence of his new friends. They are transferees but they are in the last section. Mario –one of the transferees is Alberto’s classmate in Grade 3.
One afternoon Delia reminded Alberto to review for tomorrow’s quiz.
Mario make a request to have a review into Alberto’s house. Alberto hesitated at first but changed its mind. But instead of reviewing the lessons, transferees started to do their hidden agenda:
*play online games
Tomorrow morning the quiz start
11:45 am –(Alarm clock ringing) Alberto turn off the alarm clock, get his cellphone and saw many received messages from Delia. He was stunned after he saw the time he wake up the transferee guys.
After the class/quiz………… Lunch Time.
Delia tried to call Alberto again. But he’s not answering
Alberto go back into a lazy student again. He enjoyed the bonding/companionship of the transferee guys and was totally blinded until he done something that cause into suspension.
That time they were 4th year Alberto was send down into last section where transferee guys are there.
They were caught in the act looking at the sheet of paper in which answers are there.
Delia feel sorry and also upset on what happen. She tried to talk with Alberto convinced him to avoid those guys.
“ Stop watching over me and don’t tell me what to do……. you’re not my mother. If this is what I want in my life you don’t care. “
Delia was hurt she go away with tears in her eyes.
Their lives entered different kind of roads. One is Road to Success and one is Road to Failure
Delia study hard to be a consistent top ranking student. She graduated valedictorian and receive scholarship in college. Unlike Alberto he chose to be a wayward being he didn’t graduate together with his friends.
Delia took Business Management in college she studied very well and later on given an opportunity to work abroad right after her graduation. Her life was changed because of hard work and determination.
With the help of a businessman, Delia was offered to manage a business. The businessman was impressed then after 10 years, Delia invested money to start her own business. Her life became successful until she got her own family.
Many years passed, Delia turns 69 years old she go back in the Philippines to visit her daughter who was also handling a restaurant business. Her daughter is also generous she’s helping 2 foundations one is the orphanage (DSWD) and the other one is Home for the Aged.
“Mom I will go to the Home for the Aged tomorrow you want to come? “
“Yes but let’s visit your dad first ”
“Ok mom I have to go,……….. Lenie? “
“Yes ma’am “
“Please take good care of Mom; I will go to shop now”
“ Yes Ma’am”
Tomorrow morning Delia and Lily went to the cemetery. Delia offer a prayer and flower into his lost husband then after that they move out to the Home for the Aged.
Oldies are very glad because of many donations they received. That’s why they present a special number in return. Lily step into the stage to say thank you and to introduce her mother.
“That was a wonderful presentation thank you so much. I always love to come here because of your smiles and very kind approach. You’re like parents to me and I’d be glad to call you mommy and daddy. By the way it’s her first time here and I want to introduce my precious mother Delia Benjamin. “
Crowd applauded except an old man.
While Lily is distributing food to the oldies, the old man with a cane came near into Delia and tries to ask something:
“Gogogooood Momoooorning Ma’am “ the old man can’t speak very well because he has a stroke.
“Good Morning “
“May I know your complete name please?”
Delia was hesitant to tell her name at the beginning but after a few second she replied “Delia Abad Benjamin “
The old man suddenly shed tears and Delia doesn’t know why.
“I ‘am……..I’am ……….. Alberto Santos Jr “
Delia was surprised and suddenly embrace his long lost friend.
Delia is curious about what happen to Alberto and some information she found out that Alberto’s life was really wasted. When he was in college his parents died because of plane crash and their business was bankrupt. All his money was consumed because of gambling until no left in the bank. His life that time is miserable he experience to be a beggar and was influenced to take drugs.
After she heard all those things she felt sad but later on decided to help his friend. She gave money for the therapy of Alberto. His recovery was sustain little by little with the help of the medicine.
Back to the present…………
“Thank you for helping me…………..despite of what I’ve done………….. You still lend a hand even though I became rude. “
“Forget about it………… we are not perfect. We commit mistakes but most important is you learned a lesson from it and you repent. Atleast you changed and willing to start a brand new life with hope and faith with God. “
“Yes you are right. “
And so it was. Their friendship carry on until the end of their lives……………