Here’s the thing – my brother and I, we never fight about money. We just don’t. In fact, we haven’t fought in years. If we have money, we’re grateful, if we don’t, we look for ways to make ends meet. But we never keep a checklist of who spends more and who earns more. Never.
Yesterday, after my morning classes, I came home for a nap. Cooked lunch. Napped again after lunch. Was awoken by Jerry knocking on the door. We talked about money. Got into a little fight about cinema tickets and who pays for who. He said something about bakit ako ang magbabayad and I said something along the lines of pagod na ko maghanap ng pera para sa iyo. Lines we never say to each other.
But he has a lot of thesis fees to pay, amounts we can’t afford. I have a lot of school work to do. We’ve exhausted all collectibles. We barely even see each other these days. We’re becoming people we are not, sending memes and gifs and stickers that say “i’m dead inside lol”. I wonder if first year college Krizia and Jerry had this coming. That there will be days we’ll raise our voices a little and maybe sulk a little and maybe after he slams the door on me I’ll take another nap. The kind you take kapag masama ang loob mo.
I woke up in a daze. Hoped the tiny argument didn’t happen but it did. Nightmares happen in real life more often than they do in my REM sleep.
I am confident we don’t hate each other. And that we don’t mean the things we said. But in the past days I’ve been stuck, once again (na naman kriz? you better believe it. I can see all of you shaking your head in frustration). It’s hard to not think about the future. It frustrates me every day. Like the future is 4 weeks away. A tangible crossroad.
I’m afraid we’ll fight over bills, as adults. Who pays for what. I don’t ever want to become like that. I grew up in a household where every peso is accounted because a peso wasted can mean you’re gonna eat salt and rice tomorrow. Ever since I started getting paid for words I write or websites I make I made sure I never felt entitled to money I earn. I give it to my mom. I spend it on my friends. I buy my brother comic books that are insanely expensive. Money is a quiet demon. I know it has created deep fissures in my family. It is still the number one fear of my mother. So I make it known to money that it has no hold on me, or my brother, not in this household, nowhere nowhere nowhere.
An officemate once told me, even in full time ministry money is not a problem, because God pays for the things we need. The bills and the utilities. Nobody who trusts the Lord is ever put to shame. I believe that. I hold on to that.
I watched a movie on my laptop last night. I paused three-fourths into it and went out for a walk. Went to a 7/11 and paid for iced tea with my wrinkled up bills. Very vivid memories of the past rushed to me, mostly bad. I sat there with my iced tea, Beyonce singing over me through the speakers – i don’t want a broken heart, i don’t want to play the brokenhearted girl – she said. I wonder if the rumors about my future are true. I wonder if i’ll become a puppet or if I get to play the cards. I wonder which parts of my history I’m gonna repeat. I wonder why I am the way I am. Why I am not the way I should be.
I’m afraid I’ll feel the same way every year. I’m 21 now. I don’t want to see myself in the same spot 10 years from now.
I bathe in 7/11 neon lights, 2008’s best pop hits, and hope for the best. My Lord will not forsake me. I just wish I had enough faith – or bravery – to believe it without abandon. Because my eyes don’t look forward anymore; a skill or lifeline I desperately want to learn again.