“Catherine!” I woke up in shock. My whole body was sweating when I woke up.
"I've been waking you up for a while," my aunt says. I turned to her.
"I'm sorry," I just answered and immediately got out of the mosquito net.
"It's up to me to put that away..." my aunt pointed out where I was lying. I shook my head.
"No aunty! Let me fix it on my own," I said.
It would be embarrassing if she had to make my bed fix. I hastily put it away, then I immediately faced my aunt who was watching me intently. She reached for my hand and squeezed it gently.
“Is it still like that?” she asked meaningfully. She refers to my bad dream. I just nodded.
"I'm fine, Aunt," I just answered even though the truth is I'm not. I'm having a lot of troubles with it whenever such a vision comes back to my mind.
"I'm worried about you. Since you turned twenty a year ago, you've always had nightmares," my aunt reminded me. I shook my head and smiled sparingly.
"I'm fine, don't mind me." I went down the stairs first, and my aunt followed. I went to the kitchen to wash up my hands and immediately sat down at the table. My aunt also sat next to me.
"You must hurry up because you might be late for work," my aunt warned. I nodded and started eating.
While eating my breakfast, my mind was filled with many thoughts again. I have a simple life. I only finished high school in my studies because my aunt could no longer finance my college tuition fee. She was the only one left with me, the only one who raised me since my mother left me. As for my father, my aunt does not know him.
My aunt Nely works as a maid in the Zoldic family. I don't know anything about the Zoldic family, except that my aunt, my mother's sister, is their maid.
"Auntie, where are you working again?" I asked suddenly. I'm curious to know again. She stopped eating and immediately drank water.
"In what... In..." she said restlessly and can't even continue her words. My eyebrows immediately furrowed.
"Where?" I asked again. I've been wanting to know where she works for a long time. All I know is that she has been serving that family for a long time. Apart from the fact that she was still riding a boat across the other village, I don't know anything else. My aunt is very secretive and I don't like that.
"Why are you asking, my child?" she asked me back.
"Because, maybe, I can visit you there. Because In a week, it's becoming more frequent that you don't come home early. Remember, you're crossing the other side of the village and that's not a road, that's a sea, that's my reason."
It made my auntie Nely laugh.
"Stop worrying about me Catherine. Next time, I'll take you there, at the right time," my aunt answered meaningfully and as if her tears were about to falling down her face.
"Are you crying?" I confusingly asked. She quickly shook her head at my question but immediately burst into tears and suddenly hugged me tightly. I was shocked by my aunt's behavior. I just rubbed her back gently even though the truth is I wanted to ask her why. She loosened her grip on me and quickly kissed me on the forehead.
"One day, I hope you can forgive me, Catherine. But for now, don't focus on this," she pleaded.
I couldn't do anything but nod. My mind is full of questions but just like my aunt asked me not to think about whatever she wants to convey to me. I didn't force her.
We finished the meal in silence. I got ready to go to work.
I work as a History Teacher in a public school. I know, I didn't complete a single course but because of my passion for History, I got in as a temporary teacher. It's not regular, but it's fine with me as long as I can save up money from it.
"Aunt Nely! I'm leaving!" I shouted.
My aunt just waved at me. I immediately boarded a Jeep to the school I attended. It only takes a few minutes to get to my destination. When the Jeep I rode to the school stops, I immediately got off.
"Teacher Lumibao..." the children called me.
"Oh? How was your day?” I asked.
"It's fine ma'am," answered by one of my students. I just messed up with her hair and it quickly became frizzy. I laughed sparingly. I forgot that they are young adults already. I teach first year high school. They carried my things one by one and immediately entered the classroom.
"Mrs. Catherine Lumibao?” the principal of the school I attended called me.
I nodded slowly even though I was confused why she suddenly calls me. My knees were shaking because of my nervous. I hope this is a good talk.
We went to the principal's office. While we are inside in her office. I was still hesitant to sit in front of the principal.
The principal took a deep breath.
"I'm not going to make an excuse anymore, Catherine. I don't want to do this, but this is your last day teaching her in our school...”
I gasped at what I heard.
"I'm sorry Catherine if I have to do this. We received a summon from the higher office and an issue has spread to them that we hired a teacher like you. A person who don't even have a license to teach. We already found someone that will replace you tomorrow," the principal said and sadly walked in front of me.
I have nothing else to say. I feel like I lost my tongue because of what I heard. “Catherine?” the principal snap at me. I swallowed quickly and smiled sparingly. "It's fine. I know you are only following the policy," I answered calmly.
The truth is that I want to cry because of my frustrations.
"I'm really sorry Catherine..." she apologized again. I shake my head and bittersweet smile.
"Can I just not teach today? I don't want to give my students a false hope. I don't want them to expect and tell them the bad news myself. Please?"
She nodded sadly and handed me the envelope. I guess this is my last paycheck. I took the envelope and bowed in respect. I left the office speechless. I also calmly took my things from my class and didn't bother to say goodbye to them. I can't say goodbye to the children. I spent almost a year with the children and it hurts me. I quickly headed to the Jeepney stop area and got into one of it. I still hold back myself from crying. When I got home, tears immediately fell from my eyes. I sobbed. I guess my fate is unfair to me now. I don't have a job anymore, this will definitely make my auntie Nely sad. I quickly wiped the tears from my cheeks. I immediately moved to change my clothes. I have to find another job. I don't have time to sit and watch my day gone without doing nothing.