My brother messaged me tonight.
He is seventeen, too-cool-for-highschool, and too-male-to-hang-out-with-sis. He is that most of the time. But when I’m home, he asks me to go to his school after his class and we go eat pancit batil patong together. He tags along to dinner with my friends and while he is silent the whole time, we chat it up at home. We buy halo-halo and fishball and get a bit
fatter less thin when I’m home.
A couple of times a week, I forward a meme to him and we share HAHAHAs. Once in a while, he sends me a PM to ask for help on his homework or to rant about school. Once in a blue moon, he talks to me about girls and I talk to him about guys.
My brother is 17 and I’m still coming to grips about the fact that he’s no longer a kid. Soon, he will be 18, and then I’ll have an 18 year-old baby brother.
I have finally discovered lipsticks. After years of authentic no makeup (read: oily) look, the lab-made colors are making their way to my face. I have been promoted from using tinted lipgloss to real, glossy/matte lipstick.
Imagine my delight last week when my fashione friend gave me Colourpop matte lipsticks in nude/pale red (Beeper) and old rose (Clueless). With the excitement of a kid with a new toy, I proudly showed them off to my mom and my sisters. I stayed in front of the mirror, smiling, puckering my lips, indulging in a rare vanity.
But tonight, my face is devoid of chemicals. Because I have proven again and again that I am at my ugliest when I get off the bus after 10 hours of travel, I don’t even bother putting powder or lipgloss on whenever I leave for Manila. My face is scrubbed clean after my usual pre-trip bath. As I run my hand through my wet, short, newly-trimmed curls, Mama looks at me and her lips curve into the gentle smile that only mothers could wear. She tells me softly, “Alle mas gwapa ka lagapa nu awan maski anni ta mukha mu, neng.” (You still seem prettier when there’s nothing on your face, my child.) I have never felt more beautiful.