It was the year the huge tree at the far back of the school got uprooted from a fierce typhoon. Its roots  got pulled up to one side but not completely, so now the tree lies sideways along a slope. My classmates and I would sometimes ride the tree like a horse, and I fell once and on my way down I had bitten my cheek and spat a teaspoon of blood, nothing serious but enough to scare some of my classmates.

I remember our advisory teacher then. There was really nothing special about her. She taught Science, and once she scolded me of not reciting what I learned in class but what I read from the book. Maybe she thought I was an arrogant prick… or maybe she was just having a bad day. I am guessing she was just out of college then. She was very young, cheerful, and there was a dreamy texture to her laugh that made you turn your head even if you don’t want to.

She was about to be one of those teachers that you get but soon forget. I say “about to be” because that same year, something happened… She discovered my knack for writing.

There was a press congress, a big writing contest, about to happen then and she needed students to join the competition, I am guessing not exactly to win but at least, to lose decently. She told me I was a part of it not because I was good in writing but because I was good in English.

So I started to write… and win… and I never stopped ever… and she started it all. I am pretty sure she had no intentions of plotting my life that time when the huge tree at the back of the school collapsed, but she did.

I saw her yesterday. I sat across her from the jeep and before I even hopped aboard, she was looking at me and smiling. She was wearing glasses now. She had mother’s hands. I know she is already a principal in an elementary school in town.

She asked me what I am up to and I told her I am still writing. She laughed, that dreamy laugh that made you turn even if you don’t want to, and I was suddenly looking back all those years when it all started… when all this started. She said if me writing meant I was not using my college degree, and I nodded. I added that I do not care and I am happy.  She said I really loved writing.

I do.

And no matter what happens, in the story of my life, it will always be her who started it all…

I’m glad.

41 thoughts on “Jessica

  1. Pingback: L.I.T.E.R.A.L #2: Diagnosis? Serious Writing Problems, Need Help « Prinsesa's Anatomy

  2. I love writing,.. that was my frustration ( i did not became a journalist). but i am very grateful with my students whom i know had made it when i pushed them to discover and develop their writing skills, parang dream come true na rin sa akin yon.They made me feel so proud I had made a difference in their life…thanks with this article, JESSICA

  3. gusto ko ‘to! ang sarap tuloy mag-reminisce sa student days ko. although i didn’t have a mentor back then i still remember the fun times i had with my teachers and how they inspired me. sarap din ng feeling to bump into them. the world always has surprises in store for us. 😀

  4. that is that nice story. i envy people who have a “teacher” story. you know, how this or that teacher touched them or turned their life around or, in your case, started something great in you. i have none. haha!

    oh well! anyway, i have always been happy to hear stories of teachers doing their jobs: molding young people to be the best they can be. 🙂

    • really, none? i have a lot of teacher stories, especially in college. my mentor is amazing. i know i mention her here and there here in my blog. i guess i am lucky to have someone to stumble upon what i can do and believe, or be surprised, at what i can eventually reach. 🙂

  5. wow! at writer ka pala nung high school (?). ako rin, nagsimula ako sa mga writing presscon na ‘yan. pero mas maaga ako namulat sa pagsusulat. elementary pa lang, nasabak na kami sa mga presscon na ‘yan. tanda ko pa nga, feature writing ang tinoka sakin. ayun, awa ng diyos, umabot ng nspc. kaso bigatin na mga kalaban kaya di na ‘ko nanalo. haha!

    ang gusto ko sa mga presscon na tulad nito eh ‘yung libreng biyahe sa ibang lugar. sa presscon ko unang nasubukang sumakay ng barko at eroplano. sa presscon ko rin unang narealize na gusto ko pala ang pagsusulat. basta, ang saya-saya talaga ng mga ganitong writing contest. namiss ko bigla ang presscon days ko. haist.

    at napakwento na ‘ko. lol!

    • totoo yan L, pareho pala tayo. nakatikim din ako ng nspc nung high school pero elementary ako nagsimula hanggang college, imagine 😆 kung saan-saan na din ako napadpad at thankful ako dun. libre eh! features at sports writer ako, may panahon na naging news writer din. ang saya ano? nagkita kaya tayo sa nspc? 😛

    • yes madam rosa 😀 whatever happens i cannot rewrite the past and she is forever there at the start of it all. i do not know if that matters to her, but i know it does matter to me. 🙂

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