The sky turned orange, and the sun was coming out. I stretched my body in front of our window. Grandma and I will sell fish again so that I have money for school. This is our routine every day after I go to school.
"Grandma, I'll just sell fish outside the house," I told her when I saw her coughing.
She shook her head and smiled at me. "Okay, just come with me. It's better to have exercise than nothing. Come on!"
I immediately snatched the fish basket from her hand. I put that on my head while the other was in my hand. We were walking towards the fish market.
"I'm annoyed with your grandfather. I said he'd stop fishing, and we'll have vegetables in the backyard, but he's stubborn. Look at him now, and he's sick. "
I just took a deep breath while listening to what she was saying. I was chilling in the cold breeze, but I ignored it. It was so early in the morning.
Many people were already choosing in the flea market, so I quickly placed our fish.
"Grandma! Sit back there! "I said while placing all fish.
As before, some don't want to buy as much when grandma sells because she is a famous witch here, which is false.
I also ignored the stinging looks of the fish vendor next to us. I don't want to understand them anymore because I'm here to sell fish, especially since I have classes later.
"Come in, customers! Low price and fresh fish! Buy now!" I repeatedly shout to grab the consumer's attention.
At five o'clock, there still need to be buyers. I saw grandma already asleep on my back in the long chair. I took the blanket I was carrying in the bag and put it on her. I hugged my grandmother and caressed her hair.
It pierces my heart to see her sad face. If only I could suffer. Because of me, they sell fish so I can go to school. Can I find a part-time job?
How come people hate me here? I've been ridiculed and insulted since I was a child. It's because of my long and curly hair. It's also because my dress is always so old.
I looked at our fresh fish, but no one was buying them. Then those next to us who was still yesterday but that was still exhausted. People again now.
I sat down in the chair and lowered myself.
Let's just be patient, grandma.
My sleepy eyes widened as I saw a car stop before our seat. This one will buy!
The people next to us started making noise, but to my surprise, the car driver went straight to our vendor.
"How much is everything?" the man from the car asked, stuttering. Hmm, weird. And he is not even looking at me. It seems he is scared to look.
"All of this?" I wondered. He nodded.
"Yes, all of that. P-Please, hurry up."
I was confused and wrapped the fish because he said he would buy all of it. I smiled because we finally ran out of stock in one store, and eventually, I could go to school this early!
"Three thousand in total! Thank you!" I smile at him, but he doesn't glance at me. He handed me the money. Our palms barely touched. He didn't seem to want to stick his skin to mine. Weird! I took it and gave him the big plastic fish.
"Thank you so much! Come again!" I shouted at him, but he left without looking back.
I'm still smiling as I look at the car I remember. The color, the plate number, the collision with the man vendor yesterday, and the mystery man smiling at me!
I covered my lips when I remembered that car was from yesterday! I looked at the money in my palm and saw it was over three thousand. I took a deep breath and counted it.
"Oh my god!Ten thousand pesos? "I shouted sharply.
"Oh, the man bought it! I'm sure he conjured that up!"
"You guys! Don't fuck with that grandma and that girl! They are witches. "
"Yeah! Don't buy that fish! It might be poisonous!"
I was just stunned, holding the money while my heart was pounding.
Even in class, my mind was floating. But it's also good because I can answer my teacher's questions well.
By the way, Seth and Karina were one of my classmates. I always see them looking at me and grinning. I always see Seth staring; if I get caught, he avoids it and blushes.
Why is he blushing?
Someone gave us an exam of up to fifty. I was thoughtfully answering when someone threw a piece of paper at me.
I looked at them and saw one of Karina's friends.
"Just do not mind it." Kaira next to me whispered.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I answered my paper, but they threw a piece at me again! In annoyance, I picked it up.
"Miss Batungbakal, cheating is not allowed inside my class!" I was startled by Ma'am Ruiz's shout at me.
I picked up the paper and looked. Does that contain answers from Karina's name?
"I - I'm not cheating, miss!"
"It's obvious! Now get out of my class! You're zero in our quiz today! And for punishments, you'll clean the whole room!"
Karina and her friends laughed, and I saw Seth look badly at her.
"I didn't cheat, Miss Ruiz." I calmly said.
Her eyebrows rose, and she crossed her arms over her chest. "Based on your face, you're not telling the truth, miss Batungbakal."
I chewed my lips and answered her.
"Okay, miss, I'll clean the room, but I have a condition. As a victim of the helpless in life." I looked at them and raised an eyebrow.
"I have the right to prove that I'm not lying. I'll clean the whole room, but I hope you allow me to retake the exam. I'll prove that I didn't cheat, miss.And also punish the one who plotted it against me. I struggled to sell fish, so I have money to go here, so it's very unfair to me, miss. Excuse me. "
My tears rolled down my cheeks as I exited the classroom. I looked up so it wouldn't fall. They don't deserve my tears.
I was stressed because I had an exam I had missed. I'm disgusted because I didn't get anything right as an innocent. I'm unhappy because I want to be able to finish like my grandparents dreamed that I could graduate from a private school, but it's hard.
"I told you. Don't fuck with my life, Angelica." Karina smiled at me as I swept the classroom floor.
"Nobody wants to fight you, Karina. You're making your illusions. "I said without looking.
I did the cleaning even though I was not at fault. I accepted as long as I retook the exam and proved I was not cheating.
"Please just leave Karina!" Kaira butt in. "What else do you want to show? That you're beautiful? Oh yeah, right! That you are rich ?! We don't care! But if you try to be beautiful like Angelica, sorry, that's what you can't get because you're bad she's beautiful and kind! While you are Insecure! -"
Karina grabbed Kaira's hair. Oh, My God!
"You frog!!!" Karina shouted.
"Ugly behavior, stupid! Stop that-Aw!"
"Heck, that's enough!" I stopped them, and Karina suddenly let go of Kaira's hair. I held Kaira by the shoulder.
"Kaira enough. "
"I will make your lives miserable! You are ugly! You look like a dog!" Karina shouted at Kaira.
"Yes, I'm a dog! I admit I look more like a dog than you, a dog that is trying to be human!"
"Kaira." laughing at my rebuke. Karina left in anger. Kaira fixed her look that was messed up.
"It's annoying because she's insecure! I'm mad about what she did to you!"
I took a deep breath and picked up the broom, and I also took Kaira's broom and handed it to her.
"Let that be. It's important that after we're here, I take an exam. "
"I feel sorry for you, Angelica. You know what? You don't deserve this. I'm confused."
"I feel more pity for them. The people are like that. That lack of attention and understanding so they feel more pity."
I got home at six o'clock. Because I even took the exam, and the faculty's teachers asked many questions about why I was being punished. I told the truth. I said I was not at fault. Many also preached and got mad at ma'am Ruiz.
I could already see the stars as I was getting off the tricycle. That night my grandmother might be worried.
I was stopped when I saw a car not far away. My heart pounded. I hurried into our house, which was old and large. It was the house of the grandmother and grandfather of their time of grandma. It's not as pretty as it used to be. We take care of it so that it does not break.
Grandma had wondered earlier why I gave so much money. I just said that's all we earn from selling fish. I only took five hundred pesos there.
"Angelica, It's already late at night." Aunt Elisa was worried about me. I kissed her first.
"I'm sorry, aunt, I took the exam and cleaned up. Where's Grandma and grandpa?"
"Oh, that's it! Dad was taken to the hospital! I'll go there!"
"What?!" I was confused, and I couldn't get dressed. We left the house immediately for the hospital. I pray that grandpa is okay.
"A-Angelica." Aunt Elisa called me. We are on a tricycle.
"Don't worry, aunt. Everything will be fine."
She took my hand, and she smiled at me. I saw her tears fall.
"Whatever happens to Dad, forgive him, Angel. Forgive him. Only then will Dad have a good rest."
My lips parted as my heart pounded. What does aunty mean?