In the Philippines, the country where I came from, marriage conveys reputation and character to the bride; moreover, it brings honor to her family.
My whole life turned topsy- turvy when I got pregnant during the last four weeks of my senior high school.
Everybody expected me to graduate valedictorian. Miss Laurel, the Student CouncilModerator, presumed that her trusted president would receive “Leadership Award”.
However, pregnancy cannot be hidden. The very first person who found it out, my mother, cried in silence with so much burden and dismay.
“What have you done?” she burst into tears.
“I’m sorry.” I did not know what to say.
What happened to me terrified me too much. I could not continue to go to school day-by-day and cover my growing belly. I went to see the Guidance Counselor first thing that morning and I confessed myself.
“What?” she exasperated. “You will lose everything you worked hard for. Think about the 100% college scholarship, medals and awards! Where is your pride?”
I couldn’t do anything but let my tears fell down my cheeks. I felt like it was the end of my career. I marched home with a crushed spirit and so much anguish. The lady counselor suspended me for the rest of the school year.
The bad news spread like hot air inside a balloon ready to deflate. People in every corner of our little town talked about me. My brothers and sisters disrespected their used-to-be honored big sister.
“She is a disgrace!” I heard one of my sisters tactfully state.
“You brought humiliation to our family!” seconded by my angry brother.
About my boyfriend, he vanished in thin air since I slapped him on the face really hard when he told me to abort my baby.
“No way!” I painfully exclaimed. I couldn’t believe I fell for the most awful, most irresponsible person I have ever known.
Despite all the intimidation and judgment, I stood high and tall. A lot of things depressed me terribly; however, I bit the bullet and I endured the torment and bravely faced the world.
Nine months later, I gave birth to the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my whole life….my baby. All the misery, worries, and pain in my heart faded away all of a sudden. I had been stepped on, criticized, and badly castigated. On the other hand, I learned how to be humble, to courageously adapt into the different, hard situation.
“Thank you Gracious God…” I muttered with a sigh.
Now, I have something to be proud of. I might have lost the fame, school awards and honor, yet a part of me lives well-formed and very healthy. On top of that, I turned out to be a strong woman who believes that everything happens for a reason. What more can I say? Every time my world flips up-side down, I have this little thing named Rafael, who runs around the house, chatters a lot, but most of all, makes me happy when I feel lonely. I love him so much!
When I get home from a long day of work, he will open the door, with arms wide open and a happy face, cheerfully screams, “Mommy!” His small voice makes my entire world feel blessed.