imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

Malas!

Here’s a story to warm your pandemic days, fellas.

There’s this story stored at the back of my brain that now, I needed it to come out to at least, brighten our pandemic days. All the news spread all over the dailies and televisions are grim and morbid ones. As we try to wrestle with the deadly virus day in and day out, I think it’s worth flashing our smiles once in a while to show we are alright, I mean still safe from Mr. COVID-19.

If you can still manage to smell and taste, then you are alright.

But can you still manage to smile and laugh?

Is your day today suerte or malas? (lucky or unlucky). Wait ‘til you get home from work or say, ‘til your day is over, before you answer the question.

A man who had been saddled with a string of financial problems the last 3 months decided to consult a local but popular fortune teller in order to know what other malas (bad luck) would befall him in the coming days or weeks.

“I have had enough of these bad lucks. I want to bounce back and look forward to better days,” he mumbled to himself.

So, one morning, while driving to his office, he made a left turn to the house of Lakay Pedro, the Hermit, a well-respected soothsayer in town. Lakay Pedro became popular with the young boys and girls who regularly paraded to his house regarding their love affairs.

Of course, with a modest fee.

Sporting a long white beard and toting a weird-looking cane, he welcomed the man by saying: “Ah, I could sense with my 3rd eye that you have big financial problems and you came here to know what else are in store for you.”

The man nodded in agreement. This man is really good, he said to himself.

After a short interview, Lakay Pedro dropped 3 rice grains into a water-filled copper basin. Then, he took the man’s right hand and dipped it into the water. Then, he opened the man’s wet palm and examined the fissures marks.

“I could sense your woes are not yet over. Today, you will meet an accident or a bad luck, so be extra careful,” he said.

“What??!!”

“The 3 rice grains tell me so and are reflected in your palm. You are almost financially depleted but today, you may yet experience another malas! My predictions never falter, he said.

After handing Lakay Pedro a couple of violets, the man started to get cautious on everything he passed by.

Before walking to his car, he looked around to see if somebody might try to harm or kill him.

“There might be hold-uppers lurking by,” he said.

While driving to his office, he drove extra careful taking into consideration the Land Transportation Office’s (LTO) slogan of the month: “Drive defensively.” He gave way to overtaking vehicles as he drove very slowly. Once, a big truck came speeding by, honking loudly its horn. Defensively, he went to the highway shoulder.

“That’s driving defensively,” he said, congratulating himself.

Upon arrival at the office, he was careful enough not to step on anything slippery like banana peelings or else, he might slip down and bash his head off the concrete floor.

“Extra careful, baby” he said.

  Climbing up the stairs to the 2nd floor, he saw to it that his steps were sure and precise. He grasped the stairway railings tightly while walking up, otherwise, he might get outbalanced and fall down.

Mahirap na,” he said.

Throughout the day, he did not entertain clients directly. He ordered his secretary to do a little background check up by instructing each client to fill in a biodata, and while his secretary was entertaining the clients, he secretly opened their (clients) Facebook accounts to have a peek at their “personal abouts.”

“I have to be extra careful today says Lakay Pedro, so, I have to,” he said to himself.

His office day ended normally.

But before going home, he dropped by the main CR to fix himself. He saw to it that he would not slip on the wet floor. He was also very careful in switching off the CR lights before going out, otherwise, he might get electrocuted.

Before driving home, he dropped by the barber shop.

“Be careful not to hurt my scalp. Careful also with my ears, you might accidentally hurt them while cutting my hair,” he cautioned the barber.

“No worry, sir. I’ll be extra careful,” the barber replied.

“You should be,” he said. “Tetanus is deadly.”

From the barber shop, he decided to buy fish at the grocery mall. While climbing up via the escalator, he stood at the center. He was aware that most escalator accidents occur at the side edge. Lately, a security guard had to cut the bottom hem of an old woman’s gown which was “eaten” by the escalator fissure edge. The woman could not free herself no matter how she tried to pull up her gown. Luckily, a nearby security guard came to the rescue.

Inside the grocery, he became extra suspicious of all the people inside, especially the men. They might be hold-uppers or criminals just taking their time to rob the cashiers!

“There are lots of incidents like that in You Tube, one like that might just as well occur now!” his mind shouted.

He thanked the high heavens that he was well and good while driving home. It was getting dark so he drove very slowly to prevent any occurrence of accident. His wife had arrived earlier that afternoon from her job as a secondary public school teacher.

He called up his wife to check if everything was okay at home.

“No worry, darling, everything here is okay. I even have a surprise for you,” she said.

Upon arriving home, he offered a short prayer and thanked the heavens that Lakay Pedro’s negative vibrations did not come true. His day was not malas, as the old man said. He did not meet an accident. He was safe and sound.

Again, he congratulated himself.

“Here, we shall have sinigang for dinner,” he said as he handed his wife the fish he bought at the grocery mall.

“Wow, thanks darling, she would be very delighted,” she said.

“Who?” his forehead wrinkled.

“Come over inside.”

His face went sour. There, sitting on the sofa with a big traveler’s bag between her legs, was an old woman smoking her tobacco with the burning end stuck inside her mouth. She was puffing smoke all over the sala.

It was her mother-in-law!

“She said she would be staying here for a month,” her wife said.

“Whaaatttt???!!!”

Before he collapsed, the words of Lakay Pedro rang again all over his ears: “Today, you may yet experience another malas! My predictions never falter!”

Then, everything went black.