Yaya sally’s vegetables
Zaida Marie A. Tambis (The Freeman) - July 21, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines —  I hate it when Yaya Sally forces me to eat vegetables. She deliberately puts some okra and “kangkong” on my plate, and I glare at her when she does that. I don’t like anything green and leafy. I have no problem eating fruits for a snack but I think fries taste a lot better; they’re my favorite. They taste best when paired with sundae.

This morning, I was so happy to see bacon on the table. I told myself to be quick in the shower so that I could enjoy my breakfast. I got very angry when Yaya Sally placed only two strips of bacon on my plate. She then placed some sautéed spinach and “ginisang ampalaya” beside the bacon strips.

I crossed my arms and told her, “I’m not eating that. If you don’t remove them from my plate, I will not eat breakfast.”

She spoke calmly to me, “Lowell, vegetables are good for your health. You should eat more of them.”

“No! You eat them yourself if you love them that much,” I said as I ran upstairs and slammed the door.

The school bus came so I had to leave without breakfast. I was not slightly worried though. It was for the best because it was a chance for me to buy fries at the school canteen.

I didn’t know how I felt when I learned that Yaya Sally was fired by my father that morning because she allowed me to go to school without eating anything. At dinner time, I thought I could hear her voice coaxing me to eat the vegetables on my plate. I was always rude to her, but now that she was gone, I missed her.

I absent-mindedly went inside her bedroom. It smelled of her. I smiled as I went through some of the things she left behind. I found a small notebook. It had mostly scribbles of numbers, something about money. Some pages had notes like “cook asparagus for Lowell” and “bacon not good for Lowell’s health.” That last line brought back the memory of that last morning with her. As I scanned the rest of the notes, most pages had my name on them. Yaya Sally was thinking a lot about me. She was always there for me. She loved me like her own son. 

I went to my parents’ room and asked them to hire her back. I told them that it was my fault why I left without breakfast. I showed them the notebook and begged them to have Yaya Sally back for me.

I did not stop begging until my father got his phone and dialed her number. I heard her on the other line, “Okay Sir, but on one condition. I want him to eat all the vegetables I will prepare for him.” My dad looked at me and I gave him a very big nod. I promised… and kept my word.

YAYA SALLY
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