When my older brother fell in love and decided to get married at the age of 25, I was relieved that he could finally start his own family. Despite being a special child, he was fortunate enough to finish college and so it was one of his greatest achievements. My parents were proudest during his graduation day, and we had a grand celebration after that.
Sadly, they died one after the other and we were left alone to fend for ourselves. The good thing is that they left us with a big house and some properties enough to help us with our daily needs.
Since there are only two of us, we decided to share the house. The newly weds occupied my parents’ bedroom, while I remained at my room. My brother’s wedding was actually moved several times because of disagreements over the wedding venue until out of confusion, only an uncle was able to make it. But, it was good enough since my mom’s church members made it happen. There was enough food for everyone and so it was like one fairy tail wedding where they were supposed to live happily ever after.
Or so we thought. Barely a month after they were married, my brother’s wife craved for “tambis” and “makopa”. I was surprised because I was not aware that she was pregnant. When I confided this to my aunt, she said that maybe they had pre-marital sex and when she got pregnant, they decided to get married. Like everyone else, and those before them, it happens that the woman gets pregnant first. Okay, she had a point.
One time, my aunt invited us for a dinner at a classy restaurant to celebrate in advance my older brother’s birthday. We were all seated at the long table, when my brother’s wife stood up because she felt like vomiting. My brother was quick to stand up and to accompany her to the lavatory. My aunt laughed and said that like everyone else, a pregnant woman always feels sick and vomits any time of the day. Surprisingly, when she came back she had a very good appetite and ate a lot.
As days went by, my brother’s wife became very demanding. She asked him to go out at 11 pm. to buy Dunkin Donuts. She woke him up at 4:00 am to buy “saging tundan” at the Pala-o market. She asked him to go to (of all places) Timoga to buy “lechon” at 8:00 pm. Then, she developed the habit of touching my brother’s cheek at night, much to his dismay because he could not sleep.
When I asked my aunt about it, she just laughed and said, just like everyone else a pregnant woman becomes irrational. “Nangala lang na” she explained. After a month or two, her cravings will eventually subside.
Anyway, my aunt called us again to join them for a dinner at their house. I always liked going there because she cooks really well and I just love her “humba”. We had a hearty meal that night, and as expected, my brother’s wife enjoyed eating “humba”. She must have been overwhelmed by the “humba” because she told me “hala oi, lami kayo ang humba, ni lihok god akong tiyan hihihihihi!” Out of curiosity, my aunt asked her how many months she was pregnant. She hesitated for a while and said she wasn’t sure but that her “mananabang” said 3 months. What, her embryo inside her moved after eating “humba”? “Agad-agad?”
I was washing plates one afternoon, when I noticed a Modess napkin inside our trash can. I became curious because if my brother’s wife was pregnant, then who could have been menstruating? Suddenly, my brother’s sister-in-law came out of their room. She said she just dropped by for a visit but could not stay longer because her father was to meet her at the mall. So, I presumed that the Modess napkin was hers. But then, I saw more napkins the following day.
I asked my aunt if there is a possibility that a pregnant woman could menstruate. She started to wonder, too, and decided to check it out in the house. To be sure, she conducted a pregnancy test for my brother’s wife. I was right from the very start. It turned out to be negative. But, when my aunt told her about the result, she insisted that she was pregnant because her “mananabang” told her so. “Dili lagi ka buros”, my aunt said. But, my brother would listen only to his wife. “Nag ingon god ang mananabang Auntie nga buros siya”. He was himself, expecting a baby and looked forward to her wife’s delivery.
What worried me was that my brother might not be able to take it, if she indeed, was not pregnant. Being a special child, he has an attitude problem and tantrums. So, I do not know what he will do if he realizes that his wife only fooled him.
Out of exasperation, my aunt told me that it was best to wait for any development. If her tummy grew bigger each month, then we could have been wrong. But, she said she was sure that my brother’s wife was not pregnant.
But just two days later, my brother’s wife called my aunt to inform her that she suffered from miscarriage. “Ha, unya kusog ang imong bleeding?” my aunt asked her. “Dili man te, tama tama ra te”, she replied. If she indeed, suffered from miscarriage, her bleeding should have been continuous and she could have suffered from abdominal pain. So, my aunt told her, “ayaw ka guol, gi dugo ra ka”. She then advised my older brother to send her to the hospital for a check up.
The next day, my brother’s wife called my aunt again. “Te, wala na gyod te. Negative na gyod. Hihihihihi!”. “Ha, unsay negative?” my aunt asked. “Na kwa-an gyod ko te”. “Unya, gi raspahan ka?” my aunt asked again. “Wala man te. Negative gyod te.” It was queer that she managed to laugh when she was supposed to have suffered from miscarriage. In her irritation, my aunt said, “Nah, di gyod ka buros oi, wa gyod ka na buros”.
Unfortunately, she seemed to be oblivious of the fact that she was not really pregnant. She merely said, “love pa ko nimo te? I love you te! Hihihihihi!”. My aunt sat down quietly, wondering what the future lies ahead for my older brother and his wife. Who wouldn’t, if her parting words were, “I love you te, I love you te! Hihihihihi!”