Prologue: Lost And Found

So here it is; the prologue of the novel I used to work on few months ago. Hope to get a chance to continue writing again! So happy to share this with you all, hope you guys like it! Happy reading! 🙂

PROLOGUE

My job as a lifeguard is very challenging but yet I would say.. somehow rewarding. In all honesty, I never really wanted this kind of job. As a kid, I’ve always pictured myself as someone who wears different kinds of corporate attires for work. I imagined myself owning a pad or renting an apartment in a city, working on business plans, attending meetings and conventions, grabbing a cup of coffee on my way to work, and other stuff that a businessman or at least an office clerk usually does. Looking back at it, I don’t actually know if that was what I pictured myself or if that was just the kind of person I wished to be. But who am I to dream about these things? What stupid company would accept an applicant who didn’t even get to finish college? At 30, not making a way to continue studies was still one of my biggest regrets in life– just one out of the hundred. There are so many things I wish I had done during my twenties– things that I wish I had done right.

For the past five years, I’ve spent every single day of my life at the beach. On the evenings, I am always with my best friend, or shall I say my one and only friend, Edward Coleman– aside from Dennis, my dog. We usually spend the night at the resort’s restaurant with a beer, steak and a cob of corn. We never really bothered about the food charges for Edward is the only son of the restaurant’s owner– which automatically makes him an owner, as well. We eat anything we want whenever we feel like it. His dad was one of my father’s close friends back when he was still alive. Mr. and Mrs. Coleman are the most sympathetic people I know. Ever since my father was diagnosed with lung cancer six years ago, they always offered to shoulder some of the hospital bills we cannot shell out. In the end, my father didn’t accept any support from the Coleman family. Not that my father was a complete egoistic person, it is just he didn’t want to deal with treatments anymore; in other words, he wanted to give up on life just like that. Until this moment I still do not know how did I get to handle seeing him lose his life. Looking after him for five months after he was diagnosed was one of the hardest things I have ever dealt with, it seemed as if I was just watching and waiting for him to die. And the fact that I know I didn’t do anything to help him get better still breaks my heart every time it crosses my mind.

It was the morning of May 23rd, and for whatever reason, I woke up an extra hour earlier than the usual; so I decided to go for a jog with Dennis. We roamed along Kennedy drive then to the beach, hang loose for a while, then went straight back home. I got back to the house at exactly 7:16, fourteen minutes before my father wakes up. Just the right amount of time for me to prepare his favorite breakfast– scrambled eggs, pork sausage and slices of tomato on the side. My dad used to do our meals every single day for twenty three years, but when we discovered his disease, I took over most of the house chores and some errands he usually does for I wanted him to feel physically eased and relaxed at all times especially when I’m around. It was my time to give back and help out.

I went to his room instantly after finishing his breakfast; I didn’t find him in his bed, so I left the plate on his table thinking he might be in the bathroom. Shouting, “Dad, your breakfast is on your table.” as I make my way out of his room, I heard him respond “Okay” just before I close the door. I decided to take a nap for a while, my body wanted to loosen up after that wearying exercise Dennis and I did earlier. After a pleasant 2-hour nap I went back to dad’s room to check on him., it was 9:45. “He should be watching the news by now”, I whispered to myself. When I entered the room, my father was nowhere to be found. And his plate of breakfast was still on the table– cold and untouched. My heart started beating fast…. “This cannot be.” I told myself. My body became weak that very minute, and my mind went empty. I rushed to the bathroom to see that my father, has been lying on the ground– lifeless. And for the first time in my life, I felt lifeless, as well.

I struggled moving on with my life without my father. I realized that he’s the only person who was with me through whatever. We might not have the father-son relationship I have always wanted, but he was the only person I trusted in my entire life. And the fact that he’s already gone still breaks my heart. I asked myself every single day for a year, “Was it my fault?” and all signs point to yes. I could have saved his life if only I stayed up the whole morning; if I spared a few minutes to wait for him to get out of the bathroom, I could’ve came to his rescue. But no, I left him alone in spite the fact that he was already weak. I always thought how difficult it was for him to cry for help, if only I was there– if only, if only, if only.

I left our house after a year and asked Mr. Coleman if I could rent the lodge near the beach for some time. I wanted to leave home for the time being; I wanted my mind to be unfilled with grief and guilt, and it won’t happen if I stay behind the house. I wasn’t planning on leaving for good; I wanted to simply free my mind. Ed straight away went along with me to the lodge. The place was nice; it was not that big, but it was enough for a single person to live in. It has a mini bathroom and kitchen, an old wooden table for two, a small cabinet for clothes, and a bunk bed. The place seemed new after all.

“You can stay here for as long as you want, dad wouldn’t mind at all.” Ed said.

“Tell him I said thanks. I owe your family a lot.”

“No worries. Why did you decide to move here, anyway? I mean, you have a house all to yourself.”

I really didn’t want to move out, my dad left all his possessions to me; his savings, the house and everything in it. But for some reason, I just cannot seem to find a way to get back on track again. My father was 55 and I was 24 when he left– old enough to start my own life. But after my dad died, it seemed as if he took my aspirations and fortitude with him. At the first few months, I tend to imagine how life would be if my mother didn’t leave. How different would it be to have her by my side as I grow up; how different would it be to have a “mother”. I never get to hear anything about her from my dad. When I was still a teenager, I remember asking him some basic stuff about my mom like what her name is, where she lives, is she still alive etc. but he always responded with “Your mom left us because she didn’t like the life she was living. That is all you need to know.” After that, I could easily sense the feeling of despair in his eyes. I never really bothered asking him about how he feels about it, for I know that it will just remind him of all the bad things my mom has done– to him, to us.

Instead, I tried looking for information by myself. In my junior year in high school, there was a week where I immediately went home after class dismissal, only to try to investigate information about my mother while my father was out for work. I used to look over his things, evidently without his permission. I accidentally found this medium box hidden under his table inside his room; an old treasure box-like wrapped in a small yellow blanket, latched with old, dirty ribbon. I have never seen that box before, and I have no idea what’s inside it. It got me curious as to why my father wrapped it, and hid it (placed, rather) under his table. I opened it purely out of curiosity and all I saw was a couple of sealed envelopes addressed to Melinda Tarlov but without any address. There were also some photos of two ladies inside the box; not sure if one of them is my mother, but I find both of them really beautiful. There was this photo of my dad with the other lady taken at Key Largo beach sometime in 1983; his hand placed around the lady’s waist, and the two them seemed really happy at that moment. In my twenty four years of existence, I would say that was the only time I saw my father smile like that, and it got me smiling, too. Looking at the photo, I began to think that this lady might be my mother. I didn’t see any resemblance in our looks, though; but a lot of people have been telling me ever since I was a child that I look exactly just like my dad. During that night, I thought about asking my dad again about my mother, but I didn’t want to see him looking forlorn again. Again, it left me pondering on the mystery of my mom, but this time I was wishing for one thing– to meet her.

I continued working at the Coleman’s as a lifesaver the day after I moved to their property. It was a usual day for me at the beach; scorching weather, children running everywhere and women in swimsuits. It was the third week of summer, and the beach looked extra packed that afternoon. I forced my mind to wander off for a second, then a lady in a long blue beach dress came up to me and asked, “Excuse me mister, pardon my ignorance but are there sharks out in that water?” pointing at the ocean, I smiled and replied “Not in this place, but some do. Prolific areas include almost any around Australasia, South Africa and some places in the Eastern Coast of the USA.” The lady looking all shocked and somehow confused “..but Florida is in East Coast” that made me chuckle a little, “Shark attacks happen in Florida waters, however they are extremely rare considering the number of people who enter Florida waters each year. Besides, sharks can’t go near the shore so no worries.” She bit her lower lip and gave a nod in return, “Thanks for that info.” She smiled then turned away. I went back to my zone and took my seat, but just before my butt touch the chair I felt tap on my back.

“One more question Sir, have you seen a shark before?” the same lady again. “In pictures.” She chuckled, but then gave me a serious look in a flash. “Just kidding, no I have not. And you?” I continued.

“No, and I don’t want to see an actual one. But, uhm, do you mind if I ask your name so that I could, uhm, report you to the head of department just in case a shark shows up right in front of me?” The lady I’m talking to seems like the same age as me but why does it feel like I am conversing with a kid? Was she even serious when she said that? “Zach, people know me here as Zach.” I replied, still. She took her phone from her purse and I could see her fingers typing in my name– she must be serious about this thing. “Your name must be Zachary.” she said.

Yes, Zachary Parker. My name is Zachary Parker.” I replied.

26 Comment

  1. Wow! interesting story.. prologue pa lang ah. looking forward to the next! parang kalyeserye to.. kaabang-abang. 🙂 Thanks for this Maine! keep it up! 🙂 -waving from Singapore

  2. Katherine Sacristan says: Reply

    Enebeyeen, may bago na naman akong aabangan. Keep it up Meng, napaka talented mo talaga. Newei, gawa ka naman ng cover ng I was made for loving you. I love you so much na dumating sa point na parang ako ang nasasaktan sa ibang nababasa ko. Please email me if you want some random kausap. Feeling ko tuloy matagal na kitang kakilala.. 🙂

  3. Warm, witty, and entertaining (the shark thingy hahahaha!)..
    as satisfying as a cup of coffee on a chilly night .. that’s all I can say, you’re indeed a very talented woman! where do get those words I mean (san mo hinuhugot yang story na yan? deyym) anyway, keep on working on this novel.. Seriously it’s really good *two thumbs up*

    PS. I have new favorite author now.. fyi, her name is Nicomaine Dei Capili Mendoza (oh complete name para bongga! lol)

  4. Alec Rafilo says: Reply

    Really? you are such a brilliant lady now i’m intrigue what will happen next? Please continue tho you have a busy schedule because your story is refreshing and interesting to read . Congrats! by the way 🙂 God Bless 😀

  5. Jen says: Reply

    Brilliant stuff.congratularions for having an amazing imagination inspite of your busy schedule you manage to write this.the writer in you.keep it coming I’m looking forward for the next chapter.

  6. waa. im very sure someday this will become a movie that everyone will be waiting for. Woah! So excited for that! You’re so gifted Meng! You have so much of worth thanking for.I’m praying that you always have your time. Godbless!

    Lihim na tagahanga here!
    Letters have Letters! We love you! Stay humble. 🙂

  7. Brilliantly done well! Very interesting story, Nicomaine Sparks 😉 heheh. I’m looking forward for the next chapter! Stay blessed and have an awesome day!

  8. REFernandez says: Reply

    You asked if its a yay or nay? BIG YAY!!! Continue please. Gripping! Enthralling! you got me reading again dear.
    I love the wit, the pacing, how u describe ur characters and the settings (ang gara! imported! Florida pa more! hehehe) Kidding aside, indeed you are a formidable storyteller. While reading you made me feel like i was right there with Zach when he lost his father.
    Keep writing please.
    Cant wait for the name of the “lady in a long blue beach dress” 🙂 I love her first banter with Zach.Im curious if shes a blonde or brunette.Weird ba na tanong? hahaha

    #labyuNicomaine

  9. bagong aabangan nanaman…
    ang galing mu tologo ate meng ..
    🙂

  10. Please write some poems again. You’re an amazing poet, dear.

  11. MIE says: Reply

    Way to go!! Love reading the prologue of your novel…the story sounds really interesting and well written like a pro (promise, ang galing!). I feel as if I am actually holding a book and reading it while sitting on the sofa with my feet resting on the table. Keep it up Maine and hoping for the continuation of the story. Bitin mode ako! 🙂 God bless always!

  12. Marilyn Gutierrez says: Reply

    Hello Maine,
    I did enjoy reading the prologue of your story. Have you thought of a title yet? I am quite intrigue with Zach’s mom and I hope you can have a chapter about it, the mystery that haunts Zach about her and why she really left him and his dad.
    Your prologue seems to unveil series of mysteries about relationships that will have an impact on who Zach is and who will he be in your story. I would say that you are starting it quite well. It offers curiosity and this is what a prologue is all about.
    Carry on, Maine. I am looking forward to see how you develop your story.
    Way to go!

    1. Marilyn Gutierrez says: Reply

      Oops! Sorry. Lost and Found is the title. Got it! It could mean a lot of things for your story. I like it as it is short and common but triggers one’s desire to know more.

  13. Ewikai says: Reply

    You are so good with words. Naka-capture mo talaga yung imaginative mind ng interested readers. Just continue in what you’re doing now if you have the time. Kasi hindi naman forever na sikat (if you know what im trying to point out). Wag kang magstop sa pagiging “it girl”. Expand your horizon chos! Hahah! Labyu! Mwah!

  14. May God forgive you.

  15. Joel says: Reply

    You may think you’ve got a long way to go, but you need to look back at how far you’ve already come. You may not be everything you want to be but at least you can thank God that you’re not what you used to be.

  16. Florabelle Cunan says: Reply

    Hi Maine! I enjoyed reading this. Can’t wait to read the next parts. Isa ako sa unang bibili nito if you publish it. You are really a very good writer. More power to you, God bless you always!

    1. Manilyn Layson says: Reply

      Ako din! I’ll buy her future novel or any published books too! Ang galing ng pagkakasulat niya eh..like a pro. She’s very talented…nakaka-inspire!

  17. Florabelle Cunan says: Reply

    Hi Maine! I can’t continue reading your current entry (Dec 31). An error message appears when I click continue reading.
    Anyway, I will try again tom.
    Have a good night sleep.
    God bless!

  18. Amor Medina says: Reply

    Hi Maine! Nice to know we’ve got another thing in common, budding authors we are. Hope to see this story in its completion soon! I’ ll be one of the first to buy, promise. You really have a way with words, so please continue weaving intresting tales and heart-felt poems. Will hate to see a great talent put to waste if not. God bless and know that you will always have a fan in me. Continue inspiring us!

  19. france says: Reply

    Hi, I was reading your latest blog entry 12/25/2015. I clicked the “continue reading” button but the blog doesn’t load and says Page not found. I really want to finish reading what you have written. I’ve been following your blog and I think it’s really interesting. I hope you can fix this. Thank you!

  20. I am looking forward for the continuation of this novel. #Eggzoited

  21. Josephine says: Reply

    Hi Maine! I hope you can find time to finish the story & publish it. It seems like a good story.

  22. Nora Azul says: Reply

    Maine do find time to finish this piece. Bitin eh! Very Nicholas Sparks ang dating. You are such a talented girl. There is so much between your ears. You are a rare breed!

  23. iamNikolaevna says: Reply

    Patiently waiting for the next update of this story! 🙂 Good thing your blog is accessible in our office so i was like checking it everyday. They say you cannot have it all, unfortunately you were born. So proud being a Bulakenya because of you. <3 🙂

  24. Manilyn Layson says: Reply

    Nabitin ako!hahaha
    Ano ba yan…
    I want more!
    Grabe ka…ang bait ni Lord sa’yo…ang perfect mo! Okay exaggerated ng slight.hehe You are closer to perfection!
    Wow! You made a very interesting prologue. Parang ang sarap mong kulitin para i-continue na ang story. At first I thought, the first person narrating was a female.haha You got me there…nakarealized nalang ako sa “father-son”lol. Wala na akong masabi Meng, iba ka talaga. Kahit sa sulat mo nakakadala eh. Ang galing lang… I’m so grateful you entered showbiz at nakilala ka namin. I will always be your fan, no matter what happen. Just take good care of yourself always para mas marami ka pang mapasaya katulad ko. I’ll take good care of myself too para ma-witness ko pa ang forever love story mo.
    Ako nga pala ang isa sa mga formerly depressed-suicidal fans mo na very happy and optimistic na ngayon. Once again…THANK YOU!

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