If I Can Turn Back Time

Blankly looking at the laptop, she waited for the three o’clock alarm. Her mind was already elsewhere, even though she still had three hours left to work.

She immediately got up, almost tumbling her desk that held her laptop, and muttered a soft sorry as if air were human. Grabbing her pink towel from the edge of the stairs, she rushed downstairs and looked for something to eat.

Oh yeah, there’s still some ice cream left in the fridge, she thought.

She grabbed a spoon, a green mug, and the caramelized ube ice cream inside the freezer. Since the ice cream was still too hard to scoop, she tried to put it under the sun for a few seconds and then scooped but to no avail. She left the ice cream box on the table, pacing back and forth, waiting for it to somehow melt. Her father was taking a bath that time. She was next in line, and she had to make sure that she had eaten her “brunch” before anything else.

“I know how much you love ube ice cream,” she said. “And I swear, I’d buy you that gallon you wished for . . . if I can just turn back time.”

Somehow, time was on her side and allowed her to devour on her ice cream before her turn in the shower.

Wearing her mother’s blouse, pants, and shoes, she looked at her reflection and realized how she looked like her mother—her brows, eyes, mouth, everything except her nose. She often heard comments such as “you look like your mom,” and indeed, they were all true. Although she often denied it, she knew that she was more like her mom than her dad. Even her traits and characteristics were similar to her mother’s.

“Scold me that I’m wearing your clothes again . . . one more time,” she said, holding up her tears. “And I swear to put them inside your closet this time around . . . maybe if I can turn back time.”

She bought orchids, her mom’s favorite, and two candles for her tombstone. Even though she firmly believed that the dead was just as they were, meaning they couldn’t feel warmth or smell the fragrance of the flowers anymore, she still thought that she would lose nothing for offering traditional whatnots to her late mother.

“I miss you . . . so much,” she uttered beneath her breath as she went looking for another basket of flowers. She remembered the roses her mother kept well in their garden and how happy she was when it bloomed. “You love roses and orchids, don’t you?” she asked. “I would give you another pot if you’d like . . . if I can just turn back time.”

She laughed, realizing how cliche “if I can turn back time” was. But really, it was all she wanted since the day the universe took her mother away from them. She wanted to turn back time . . .

But of course, she knew she could not.

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