MY AUNT LIEZEL
by Cheeno Marlo Sayuno
People are always saying things about how my aunt’s house is by far the strangest house that they’ve seen. The thing is, they don’t know even the beginning of how strange it really is.
My Aunt Liezel is the best aunt in the world for me. She’s the only person with whom I can share all my problems, no matter how personal they seem. I talk to her about my crush, my issues with Mama, and even my being constantly bullied at school, something my own parents never knew. She would tell me to stand up to those bullies and teach them a lesson or two. “Marco, it’s high time you fight them. Use your head to get back at them,” she would tell me.
I visit Aunt Liezel every Saturday, with a few unplanned visits on afternoons when I would run to her house crying because my classmates hid my bag and threw all its contents on a nearby forest, or when they took all the money that I was saving for the upcoming field trip. She would console me. She wouldn’t go to the principal’s office, but I would stop sobbing just after she hugged me really tight. Then, she would make sandwich and juice for me. Then, I would feel better.
People say that my aunt is as weird as her house, but I don’t mind them. You see, Aunt Liezel lives at the farthest house of the street, next to the far-stretching grassy plains. No one really talks to her, let alone walk near her house. People call it a haunted house. When mothers scold their children, they would say refer to my aunt’s place as “The House” to scare them off to death. They say they hear loud cries at night, matched with a reddish glow from the back portion of the house. In the morning, they would see dead stray cats or dogs by the road near it. They go as far as saying that people who stay near the house get sick, become unlucky, or even die. But I didn’t mind.
What I see is this: when I walk to Aunt Liezel’s every Saturday morning, I would see her watering the flowers growing in her garden. The colors from every petal glow like patches of disco lights before the strong glow of sunlight, with drops of water bringing in freshness as they hold on to those petals as long as they could before more sprays of water play along the greatness of the morning. Aunt Liezel would smile, the curve in her lips giving me that certain warmth that no amount of sunlight could match, her blue dress flowing like the stream.
Throughout the course of the day, we would talk. She would ask me about the bullies, and I would tell her how one of them transferred to another school or how one become terribly sick. She would tell me, “only a few more to kill then?” Of course, I would know that she was just joking, and we would laugh it off together.
In the afternoon, I would fall asleep on the sala. Sleeping was especially comforting in Aunt Liezel’s house. In fact, it was more than just that. Every time I sleep at her house, I dream of strange but good things and I feel ecstatic emotions all the time. I would be in this dream sequence that really seems vague because I do not see anything, but heaven was probably the best way to explain it because it feels really good. It’s as if the emotion builds up from one small circle into a peak of fantasy. Waking up, I would see my aunt smiling at me, fresh-baked cookies and a glass of milk on her soft-looking hands.
In the evening, I would bid goodbye to Aunt Liezel by kissing her in the cheek and hugging her of gratitude. I would run to the gate and down the street. People would be looking at me, whispering to one another, parents holding their children closer to them, but I wouldn’t mind.
One afternoon, after having a fight with one of my classmates, I finally stood up to him. This would be a great news for Aunt Liezel. She wanted me to be strong, to fight, to not be stopped by people looking down at me. It was not even the end of school hours, but I hurriedly ran out of the school gate and into her house. This will be a good news to her.
I reached her house panting, liquid of tiredness dripping from my forehead, back, and hands. “I did it, Aunt Liezel, I did it!” I shouted as I knocked the door.
Aunt Liezel did not answer. Maybe, she’s asleep. I kept knocking. “Answer me, Aunt Liezel! I did it! I showed them what I’ve got! I did as you told me!” Sounds of sirens started looming the atmosphere. “Aunt Liezel! Let me in!” The wind blew a soft chill. “Wake up, Aunt Liezel!” Policemen came nearer. Mama embraced me real tight, with me trying to free myself from the chain that is her embrace.
"She’s not coming back, Marco my son. It has been three years."
I continued calling Aunt Liezel. I didn’t mind the stinky smell that is a mixture of blood and sweat all over my school uniform. I didn’t mind the Swiss knife falling from my pocket, the one my aunt gave me a few Saturdays ago. “Aunt Liezel!”
People say that my aunt’s house is the strangest house in town. I don’t believe them. It will always be the one place where I felt that I am loved and not bullied, that I am cared for and not taken for granted. I walked with the police and my mama and papa thinking that. The wind blew, the dry leaves crackling with it as the bald trees shook. I saw Aunt Liezel by the charred window of the burnt house when I looked back, and I started calling her again. “I did it, Aunt Liezel, I did it!”
Posted on Tuesday, 24 September
Tagged as: flash fiction writing prompt writingprompt fiction blogged my aunt liezel