Ago (Ah-go) watched the water slowly run towards the end of the bittermelon row. When he was finished watering all the rows, maybe he would drive to the Senior Center for lunch. The food was okay. The best part was talking with his friends.
Someone was bound to ask him about Song. "Have you heard from her?" "Where is she now?" Although it has been weeks since she left, a few of his compadres still shook their heads in disbelief that his single daughter was criss-crossing the United States in her small yellow car. Young, unmarried women don't do that, according to them. Not in the Philippines. Not even in the United States. "Times are different," one friend, usually Danny or Pablo, said. "Song is tough and level-headed. She can handle trouble."
Level-headed, yes, thought Ago, pulling up a weed between the vegetable rows. Tough? Her mother, the Old Lady, thought Song was tough because she talked back. He didn't see it that way. Song defended her actions. Maybe that was a sign of toughness. He preferred to not think any harm would come to his daughter on her trip. Ago moved the water hose to the last row.
At the beginning of May, Song came home for a visit from college. "I'm going to drive across the country with a girlfriend when school is over," she announced. "We're going to New York where her family lives. Be back sometime in July."
Ago and the Old Lady did not want her to go, but they had no say about it. Song was 20 years old. Her life was already hers. She was living on her own in San Francisco, working while going to school. She had shown herself capable of taking long drives by herself to see her friends in Southern California. And, last year, he saw for himself how she took care of things when the two of them traveled to his home town in the Philippines.
Still, Ago worried about his daughter, hoping the best for her every moment. Maybe he would skip the Senior Center today.
"Hello! Hello! Daddy are you out here?"
Ago stood. Could he believe his eyes? He ran towards the house, calling, "Song, is that you? Are you home now?"
I'm trying something new -- drafting very short shorts of fiction, personal memoirs, or a mixture of both. All random stuff until something shows itself, if it does. I'm not sure if it'll be a regular feature. For now, let's just see what happens.