Luningning sweet revenge—-2
Then the window would be rinsed with vinegar water and shined with old crumpled newspaper. The finished result was a spotless glistening window. She would then climb down, move the ladder again to the next window and repeat the process. During the long afternoon, she never said a word. She silently did her work, lost deep in her own thoughts and feelings of shame and humiliation.
“What’s the matter, baby?” Mama asked her. “You been so quiet all afternoon.Are you sick or something?”
“No, Mama, I just feel a little down. I be okay in a little while. She forced herself to smile at her mother as she moved the ladder to another window. “I guess I been studying too much in school, that’s all.” Mama looked at her with loving concern and decided that she had better keep a closer eye on her only child. Maybe she was coming down with something. It just seemed that as soon as children got over one sickness, there was another waiting to get them sick all over again. Yes, she decided, I gonna keep my eye on her. I sure don’t want her to come down with nothing. That child just so precious to me!
Finally, the upper windows were all finished and glistened in the late afternoon sunshine, not a speck of dirt showing on any of them. Luningning thankfully began to put everything away. The soap and the ammonia went under the sink and the vinegar was placed back in the big pantry where it belonged. Mama beamed a big white glistening smile of pride at the fine job her little girl had done.
Mister Calderon came out and admired the fine finished work and fished a five hundred pesos bill out of his pants pocket and handed it to a dumfounded Mama. “Here, Clara, give this to that sweet and hard working daughter of yours. This is just a little token of my appreciation for her fine efforts. Why I bet you’re real proud of her.” He turned and went back inside the house leaving a thunderstruck Mama behind, staring at his retreating back.
“Why, what come over that man? He never done nothing like that before.” She looked at her approaching daughter and then back at the door Mister Calderon had just gone through. A faint suspicion started to form in her mind. Immediately, she rejected such a foolish notion. Her Luningning was a good girl, she wouldn’t do anything wrong. ‘Specially with no old fat man like that Mister Calderon. Yes! My Luningning is a real good girl! She repeated it to herself, over and over again. Her Luningning just wouldn’t ever hold or do anything with no old man.
“What Mister Calderon want, Mama?” Luningning asked as soon as she was close to her mother.
“Why, I don’ know what all that was about but he give me this here five hundred bill and said it was for you for doing such a good job! Why he get so generous all at once? That man usually make a centavo bend, he hold onto it so tight!”
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