For Rent

When my family moved to this house two years ago, we left behind a very dear home in Parañaque City. It was the site of my childhood games, teenage daydreams, and passage into my twenties. For a whole year after our move, some extended family members lived there in our stead so I never felt that the house had passed beyond my care.

This year, my relatives moved out of that old house, and my dad put it up for rent. Yesterday, we met the tenants who would be renting the place and I realized the house was no longer purely mine. No furnishings of ours occupied space in the rooms. The walls had begun to be festooned with pictures of these people, not us, of places we’d never been and of interests we’d never shared.

The tenants seem nice enough. The husband is a British writer and the wife a Filipina; their child takes after his mother in looks but has his father’s forehead and lips. They seem to like plants because they asked us if they could plant some Indian trees on the lawn; this is good news for the house’s badly overgrown grounds. Also, rather than absolutely hating the extremely tall eucalyptus tree that we had planted to mark our property’s boundary (our neighbors like to encroach on our land), Mr. Tenant says he finds the tree’s trunk “noble”!

I think we’re leaving the old house in capable hands, but I’m starting to miss it badly.

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