Who is Maria Clara?
Touch Me Not
by: Regine Cabato
She fancies herself a regular Maria Clara
who is the most popular girl in the school
with a lovely voice and an even lovelier face,
hair cascading down and around it like waves.
If perfection had a personification, she would be it.
Prom Queen. Theater Guild. Choir’s leading voice.
But it stands to be debated (perhaps the Student Council
and Parliament could be of service here) as to
whether or not her man is lucky to have her –
or if she is lucky to have her man.
What is he so busy with anyway?
Why does he not hold her or kiss her on the top
of her head or throw pebbles at her window or
text her ‘Good morning!’ anymore?
He fancies himself a regular Crisostomo Ibarra
the best male role model,
the one every boy wants to be.
President of the Council, Grade-A student,
school paper correspondent, jock. maybe it’s all gotten
into his head so much so that he neglects his sweetheart.
Obviously he does not see her dying inside.
Obviously he does not notice there are also
many other eligible men for her; even worse,
there are many other secret admirers
(stalkers, if not as good-looking) who hide behind
doors and walls and cubicles, always watching,
ever so keenly, waiting for the right moment of breakdown –
the perfect opportunity.
Obviously he does not realize that the demands of the youth are many
and one of them is flesh.