Author’s Note: Dear readers, I wonder how you felt when you first rode public transport alone?
During one blazingly hot summer noontime, the overconfident son strutted into his house.
“Hi, mother,” he said with a small smirk twitching out of his attempted pokerface as he stood on the doorway.
The mother was sweeping the living room floor when she heard her son. She gave him a very calm look with a very small smile, something that was a very familiar sing to their family.
“E red yur letest blug pust, sun,” she said as her broom sweeps became wider and blew more dust and dirt into various directions. “E dun’t thenk Ah nid tu tell yah whei weh’r trayeng tu titch yah, ‘cuz et sims lahk yah onderstend–Nuh, yah sim lahk yah nou bettah abaht perenting then os, sun.”
The son crossed his arms on his chest as he closed his eyes and fully showed his smirk. Before he could talk, though, a powerful broom sweep got dust into his face, causing him to cough and sneeze. He didn’t let that stop him from delivering his intended reply. “Ahem…no need for you to shout at me, mother, for I shall be leaving immediately. The suitcase over there,” and he pointed to the suitcase inside the house and beside the doorway, “contains all that I will need for living by myself. I was supposed to put the suitcase in a more convenient place, but I forgot to do that, so I had no choice but to go here and risk facing you. Besides, I prefer being direct and honest with people in order to prevent added problems. And I shall be–Cough! Cough! Agh!”
“EF YAH DUN’T WENNE FALLAH THA ROLZ HIR, THAN YAH’R FRI TU GIT ATTA HIR!” shouted the mother as she angrily swept the dust and dirt to her son’s face.
“Alright, alright!–Cough!–I was going–Cough!–to say goodbye already, mother!” The son quickly stretched his arm to his suitcase and tried to keep his balance as he stumbled away from his mother and her sweeps of dust and dirt.
“PROV AHT! PROV YAH SOPIREIARATY UVAH MI AN PERENTENG!” The mother continued shouting and sweeping, standing on the doorway as her son scuttled away from her and the bounds of the house.
“Yeah, I’m better, I’m better, I know better than what she knows…” whispered the son to himself as he walked on a sunlit street, tuning out the distant and continued ranting of his mother.
Suddenly, the son felt like his stomach was twisting and turning and making knots out of itself. That was a very familiar sign for the overconfident son.
As he stepped beyond the arched border between the quiet residential district and the wide road across it, the son stopped and stared at the roads ahead. He moved to a sidewalk as he kept on staring at the streams of motor vehicles and the lines of tricycles in front of him.
“Hey, you over there!”
The son turned to face a tricycle driver who stopped his vehicle right in front of the teenager. The nervous son replied with a silent stare at the driver who was looking at him from his seat.
“You going somewhere, boy?” asked the driver.
“…n-no…” the boy answered. It’s not like I was planning to go somewhere… the once overconfident boy thought. I was planning to make a surprise visit to a friend’s place…but I don’t know how to travel via public transportation by myself…I didn’t expect me needing to research how to do that…Damn it, of course I need to learn that! I always moved around via private transport or walking around with people like my family members! But moving around alone and via public transport…what if I get held up? Or robbed? Or mugged? Or kidnapped? Ugh, but I don’t know how to drive a car…and bugging people for petty stuff has gotten me into trouble so many times…
The tricycle driver, who was once in front of him, had already gotten a passenger and left the boy who had clutched his head with both hands, fell on his knees, and lightly banged his head on his suitcase repeatedly as he realized his weaknesses, his needs, his guides, other possibilities in living life, and other related stuff.
Meanwhile, with the strangely-voiced mother, who had calmed down quickly and finished cleaning the house…
“Hi’ll beh beck suun…” she said to herself. “…Hi dusen’t nou huw tu kumyut…Hi’ll nid tu bi tought kerfully suun…end hi’ll beh beck bay…nuw.”
“MOM, I’M SORRY FOR BEING A JERK, I’M SORRY FOR BEING AN IDIOT, AND I DON’T KNOW HOW TO COMMUTE!”
The humbled son was already kneeling by the doorway, his usually messed-up hair even more messed up and drenched, along with the rest of his head, in sweat.
The mother smiled, turning her face into a somewhat wrinkled form of the face that once turned the heads of so many men who had never heard her voice before. She went to his son and hugged him again. “A’hm elsu surreh fur swipping dest un yah fez beck ther. Thet wez tu match. Eh, end yah lurnd yar lussuns nuw, sun?”
“Yeah, Mom…” the humbled son answered. “Please teach me to travel via public transport and all the related important stuff when we have time, too…”
“Wi well, sun, baht ferst, wash tha deshes ther en tha ketchen,” the mother said with a gentle smile as she let go of her son and stood up.
“Okay, Mom…” The son stood up and wore a gentle smile as well. “…and again, I love you, Mom…and thanks very much again for caring for me…”
“Yar walcum, sun,” the mother said as she watched her son march to the kitchen to wash the dishes. “Yar vereh walcum.”
The mother also chuckled as she saw her son still holding his suitcase while he moved to the kitchen.
And as usual, they went back to doing proper work.