Write a post that includes dialogue between two people — other than you. (For more of a challenge, try three or more people.)
Photographers, artists, poets: show us a GROUP.
There were only about ten of us, with three in the front pews and the rest of them sitting in the back of the church, paying their respects for a woman they didn’t know.
The priest was nowhere to be seen, probably putting on his vestments in the back room. Somebody coughed.
“Does anyone know how old she was?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” replied my aunt, Sonia. She turned to look at her youngest sister, Linda. “How old was she? Do you know? She took care of you the longest.”
“I don’t know,” answered Linda. “But she was old.”
“Does her family even know she died? Like, do you think they’re back there? They should be sitting in the front with us,” I said.
“Maybe eighty,” Linda said, although it came out like a question. “Maybe seventy five?”
“She liked her cigars,” said Sonia.
“She loved to roll them herself,” Linda added. “Remember how mamang would buy her the tobacco leaves from the market and give it to her -”
“And say, now, ‘Trudis, this is bad for you’ -”
“And mamang would give it to her anyway. Same thing every time.”
Both sisters chuckled. Behind us, someone cleared his throat.
“Maybe we should lead the prayer,” said Sonia.
“Where’s the priest? He should be here.” Linda said. She turned to me. “Why don’t you say the prayer. Our Father, maybe.”
“Why don’t you lead it, tita?” I asked. “She was your nanny till she died. She’ll probably like that. Besides she hated me. Always told us kids to scuttle off.”
“She was eighty-five,” said Sonia. “She never really told us how old she was. Did you know when mamang told her that she could retire, she went home but came back to us because her own family didn’t recognize her anymore?”
Linda nodded solemnly. “She took care of us for over forty years, didn’t she?”
Sonia nodded. “We sent someone to her family to let them know she died.”
“I don’t think they’re here,” said Linda. “You really should start with ‘Our Father’, Sonia. Everyone’s waiting.”
Sonia started with the first few lines, her words soft and then slowly fading till she stopped suddenly. It was our turn to say the next set of lines that began with “Give us this day our daily bread…”
“What’s next?” Linda asked me as she nudged my shoulder.
“Shouldn’t you know it? You go to church all the time.”
“That’s right. You became an Adventist -” Sonia said.
“For a boy,” added Linda.
“I did not,” I retorted. “Besides, we broke up.”
“Where is the priest?” Sonia asked, looking around.
“She was close to ninety,” Linda said thoughtfully. “I’m sure of it. Yes, probably ninety.”