My short story, Wife, which was first published in Team magazine‘s second issue was published in Cecilia Brainard’s blog. Ma’am Cecilia is actually a family friend who I met at a one-day writing workshop when I was still a student in La Salle. After the workshop, she approached me and asked me if I was “the son of Peque and Madie” and I said “yes” and she told me how she was part of their theatrical guild and they were good friends.
She pushed me to keep writing and published my first ever short story, The Purpose of Malls, in her anthology, Growing Up Filipino. It was my first fiction piece that ever got published and I think it’s my last, really, as I focused more on poetry.
When she heard that I had written fiction again, she asked if I could send it to her so she could put it up on her blog. I got permission from Team magazine and now it’s up on her blog.
Read my short fiction Wife here: Guest Blogger: “Wife” by Wanggo Gallaga (Travels (and more) with Cecilia Brainard).
An excerpt from the piece:
Anyway, Beth can’t speak for me forever so I start talking about the move and settling back into the old house in New Manila. Julia asks me if there’s “some comfort in returning to the house you grew up in now that…” She trails off, unable to say the words. I could register panic in her eyes but none in her forehead. Beth takes my hand and grips it tight. It’s a sign of support, of consolation, a sign of Please-don’t-lose-it-and-explode.
I can only smile as an awkward silence hangs in the air. Julia reaches for a crostini that arrived in a tray with some kind of colored drink, probably juice, and various dips. She chooses the spinach dip and takes a bite.
I could tell her that I am absolutely livid with having to return to that house after all this time away. Papa maybe pushing 70 but he’s healthy and still ruling that house with an iron fist. Mama and I have to wait until he’s left for work so I can meet her at the second floor library to talk about Adrian and cry on her shoulder. The house hasn’t changed at all since I left. Nothing is new. Everything is old. Even the dust.
It’s not my home. Who needs a house that big when only two people live in it? I suppose it has to be that big so my parents don’t ever have to deal with each other; lots of corridors and rooms to hide away in until they eventually come to the bedroom to sleep. In 15 years, Adrian and I moved homes a total of eight times because of his work. And no matter how well he did or how high his paycheck was on the next assignment, we chose to keep our living space small. Cozy. He had to be able to smell the coffee brewing when I was in the kitchen, as I always woke up before he did.
I’m really proud of this piece. I had the idea in my head for a while and then Team asked for a fiction piece for their work issue and I just sat down and did it. It was an enjoyable experience and I really liked how it came out.
I promised myself to write more fiction and I should really get back to it.
Maybe next year when I’m done with all the scripts I’m working on now.