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Silid (The Room)
Kris Diaz Uy
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|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (2)
Silid (10 Min Play) (Plays) Original Version of Silid in Filipino. [2,372 words] [Literary Fiction]
Six Feet (Songs) - [114 words]
Silid (The Room)
Kris Diaz Uy
One morning, Julio was in his room, nailing up plywoods to cover his window. He heard a knock on the door. It was his mother. She asked if he could accompany her to the grocery.
“I’m busy” Julio said simply, without so much as a glance at her.
His mother stared at him, and then at the plywoods that now covered half of the small lonely window in his small dark room.
“How long are you going to keep isolating yourself like this?” she asked, a tired frown on her face. “You’ve been acting this way since that Patrice left you.”
Julio never bothered to reply. Instead, he continued working on his window while his mother left his room, slamming the door behind her.
The next day, Julio received a visit from one of his friends, Emmanuel.
Julio’s lying down in his bed, staring at the ceiling while Emmanuel tries unsuccessfully to convince him to go out for a while and forget about Patrice. “C’mon man, you can’t stay here forever!”
But Julio wouldn’t even listen. It was as if there was no one in the room.
He simply continued to stare at the ceiling as if it held all mysteries of life.
Seeing that his efforts were useless, Emmanuel left Julio to himself.
Soon after Emmanuel left, Julio fell asleep only to be woken up moments later, by a man standing over his bed. A man dressed in white.
“You can’t leave your room yet,” the man said, “you’re not ready.”
Julio looked up at this man curiously, wondering who he was and where he came from. But he didn’t bother to ask. To Julio, nothing else was significant. He didn’t care who this man was or what he was doing in his room. All he could think was Patrice.
As if drugged, Julio closed his eyes and went back to sleep.
The next day, Emmanuel came to visit him again. This time, he brought someone else with him. And as always, Julio was lying down on his bed, still staring up as if in a trance.
“’Ey Julio, want you to meet Amy.” Emmanuel said, lightly pushing a petite girl towards him.
“Hi Julio..” Amy said, playing with the corners of her short blue skirt. Julio looked at her…but did not even notice the plunging neck-lined white shirt that she was wearing.
“You look lonely.” Amy continued, “You want some company? Emmanuel can leave us here…”
“Yeah, I could go out and come back in a while…if you want.” And without waiting for a reply, Emmanuel left the room.
Julio, still lying in bed, decides to get up and reach for the box of cigarettes on his study table. He passes by Amy without even a glance at her direction. He lights up a stick and puffs.
Amy, trying to get Julios attention, sits down on the edge of his bed. She bends slightly forward, knowing very well that her bust was in full view.
“Come sit beside me..” she said and smiled sweetly.
Julio looks at her, but doesn’t move. His face was expressionless. He continued to smoke.
So instead, Amy stands up and walks slowly towards him.
Standing only inches from his face, Amy reaches for the cigarette from Julio’s fingers and takes a puff.
Still no reaction from Julio.
“Emmanuel told me about your girlfriend…”Amy starts to whisper in his ear. “but she’s gone now. I’m here to make you forget her…”
Suddenly, Julio’s face turned to rage.
He grips tightly on Amy’s right arm and drags her to the door.
“Patrice is NOT gone!” he shouted through clenched teeth. And with that, he shoves her out the door and slams it hard.
He then leans his forehead on the door, breathing deeply as if he had been running.
“She’s not gone…” he whispered to himself, “she’s not gone…”
Someone spoke behind him.
“You can’t leave this room,” a man said, “until you’ve come to grips with reality.”
Startled, Julio turns around, his eyes wide open. He sees the same man dressed in white.
“Leave me alone!” Julio utters harshly through clenched teeth. He rushes towards the study table and sits down on the chair opposite. He buries his head in his hands and continues to himself… “she’s not gone….she’s not gone…”
Months later, Julio receives his next visit. This time, it was Patrice.
“Julio…Julio it’s me..”.
Patrice sits at the edge of the bed, looking down at Julio…calling out to him to look at her.
Julio didn’t even hear her. He was still lying in his bed, staring straight up at the ceiling. It was a routine he had developed over the months that he had isolated himself in his room.
Patrice gently lays a hand on his right cheek, and softly makes Julio face her.
“Look at me..” she whispers, “it’s me, Patrice. I’m here now….. ”
And with that, Julio finally looked up….
and saw no one there.
Tears rolled down his eyes as he sat up in bed.
Patrice was never there…she was just a beautiful, wonderful memory.
Julio stopped sobbing and looked around him.
He wasn’t in his room anymore.
Everything was a blur…
A man dressed in white approached him again. “Julio, it’s been two years” he said. “You must accept that she’s dead. We’re here to help you till you get better…till you come back to reality.”
The man then leaves the room
Frowning as if in deep thought, Julio looks around him…
and finally sees through the blur…
He is in a white room. No table, no chairs, no TV.
Only the bed that he’s sitting in.
He looks at the window. No plywoods, only bars.
And finally, understanding overcame him.
He was flooded with realization…realization that he had been living a dream.
Peaceful tears fell through his expressionless face again, as he realized…
This isn’t home…this is a mental institute.
There is no Patrice….she’s dead.
And with that, he continued to cry….alone in this white room.
He felt acceptance. Acceptance that nothing would bring her back.
She was gone.
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© 2004 Kris Diaz Uy
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