“You should take your afternoon nap so you will grow taller.”
This mother’s reminder had not changed for a very long time. It was similarly expressed when I was a child; today was no different.
A maverick of the new generation, my godchild simply nodded without actually heeding the command. His mother knew the drill so there were no long arguments that followed.
It was I who needed the nap. I would not grow taller even if I wanted to. But, the older one gets, the appeal of a short sleep has always been inviting.
I contradicted the urge when I saw where he was headed. His favorite mango tree beckoned from afar, its ripe fruits looked like bright lights in a greenish background. Plucking out desserts fresh from the source was the best follow up after a hearty lunch.
“Easy,” I warned him, as he deftly climbed from the trunk to outstretched branches. “You might slip.”
He began peeling the fruit while taking bites afterward. Before the minute was over, he had already consumed three, the leftovers falling down the grassy ground.
“Ehem,” I cleared my throat, signalling him that I was still around. I waited for my share.
“Aren’t you going up, Ninong?” he asked in between bites. “It’s better to eat up here.”
“Just drop me some,” I replied, uneasy with the suggestion. I was not taking chances: the tree height was beyond my climbing prowess.
“Are you scared?” he peeked through the leaves. “You are scared.”
“Of course not,” I mumbled, trying to protect my dignity. “You’re already up there so there’s no point of me climbing, too.”
“I guess you will not be eating mango today.” His laughter got to my nerves.
I was about to retreat because I believed him. But before I did I gave him a piece of my mind.
“I guess tomorrow your tutor will be absent.”
One by one, ripe mangoes began falling beside me.