You Can Be My Cinderella
SETTING: A classroom in CAL, UP Diliman
The class is a comfort zone as usual. Everybody feels like this scene is some European-like masquerade celebration. Everyone’s chatting to each other, and all, as the time goes by. Our professor clad like she’s about to appear in Oprah sits nonchalantly on the side with a smile plastered on her Olay-pounded face. Ladies and gentlemen, this is A Class.
And where am I? I sit here observing everybody.
It bores me, amid all of this carefree feeling, I still have a jillion academic work to do. I want to find some time to rest, but I feel deprived. I feel like wearing an orange pajama queued in some death row.
And so finally she enters. And slowly, my eyes stupidly twinkle as if to make an impression of a public sneak peek to my inner niceness. But shit, it’s so fake.
She’s stressed, apparently. With the class still in a non-class ambiance, she walks and walks around phoning someone. It’s her boyfriend again, I ponder.
After that five minute call, finally she comes over to our just congregated chamber group to talk about our presentation. We are doing Cinderella, and I’m doing a rather challenging role Ma’am herself recommended me to portray: A (Gay) Fairy God…father. Flattery or humility? I have no idea.
But still, I’m excited to do our modern Filipinized version. I’m so happy to see her as Cinderella. That simple, innocent yet gorgeous charm. It’s so… her.
Strangely, she inhales and exhales, then she goes “I’m not doing Cinderella.” I frown with everyone else as she breaks the news. She shatters my illusion of seeing her in a very appropriate role. No you can’t, I argue. She starts narrating that this chamber theatre could ruin her relationship with his beau. “Mawawalan ako ng boyfriend,” she debates.
She further discloses that her guy really was irate at the point when he read the script and found a kissing scene.
Hello? It’s theatre, it’s not reality. The group’s Prince won’t be any nearer to her lips like one inch. Our Prince isn’t some annoying bastard anyway who’d take advantage. The boyfriend daw proposed an untimely break-up. Go ahead! Narrow-mindedness, I reflect.
And so, the boiling question is, “Who gets to be Cinderella?”
She walks out of the class and I follow her. She vents continuously as I nod and occasionally say, “It’s okay. Yeah, it’s okay.”
Personally, I’m not allowing her to quit the role with such petty reason. It’s acting but…
I say to her that I completely understand and we both go back to our group and talk about the casting reformat. In the end, she gets to be the other stepsister. Meanwhile, I’m still sinking in disappointment.
Then we all decide to photocopy the script. The machine was three floors below. I volunteer to accompany her do the task. I feel aloofness over her because of that decision. I REALLY want her to be Cinderella.
Finally, we reach the photocopier. The place was quiet, only a few people were passing and I find it unusual. I ask her the real story and she divulges every detail of it. She finally declares, “Stressed na stressed na ‘ko.”
“Do you really want the role?” I ask aiming on a nangongonsiyensya appeal.
“Okay lang sa ‘kin kahit ano,” she answers.
With confidence, I pronounce, “You know what, I really imagined you to be Cinderella.”
Her eyes sparkle as she apologizes.
Suddenly she feels a reflex by positioning her arms as if to hug me. As of this moment, she’s haggard and might be feeling too tired to hug everyone else in the class.
The moment she raises her arms, she slightly withdraws from tiny inhibition so I actually spread my limbs such that she comes rushing to my chest. She isn’t crying but she’s so full of dilemmas I can never list down in one night.
She then mumbles words which I never understand.
But let’s make it clear, she has a boyfriend in his late twenties. He’s a lawyer. I bet he knew everything about stealing… one’s heart.