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Story Flow of the Story How My Bother Leon Brought Home a Wife

  • Date Submitted: 01/27/2011 03:37 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 86.3 
  • Words: 2726
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By Manuel Arguilla

She stepped down from the caretela of Ca Celin with a quick, delicate grace. She was lovely. She was tall. She looked up to my brother with a smile, and her forehead was on a level with his mouth. “You see. Baldo,” she said and placed her hand lightly on my shoulder. Her nails were long but they were not painted. She was fragrant like a morning when papayas are in bloom. And a small dimple appeared momentarily high up on her right cheek.

“And this is Labang of whom I have heard so much.” She held the wrist of one hand with the other and looked at Labang who never stopped chewing his cud. He swallowed and brought up to his mouth more cud and the sound of his insides was like a drum.

I laid a hand on Labang’s massive back and said to her, “You may scratch her forehead now.”

She hesitated and I saw that her eyes were on the long curving horns. But she came and touched Labang’s forehead with her long fingers, and Labang never even stopped chewing his cud except that his big eyes were half closed. And by and by, she was scratching his forehead very daintily.

My brother Leon put down the two trunks on the grassy side of the road. He paid Ca Celin twice the usual fare from the station to the edge of Nagrebcan. Then he was standing beside us, and she turned to him eagerly. I watched Ca Celin, where he stood in front of his house, and he ran his fingers through its forelock and could not keep his eyes away from her.

Maria, my brother Leon said.

He did not say Maring. He did not say Maryang. I knew then that he had always called her Maria, and in my mind I said—“Maria”—and it was a beautiful name.
“Yes, Noel.”

Now where did she get that name? I pondered quietly to myself, thinking Father might not like it. But it was only the name of my brother Leon said backwards and it sounded better that way.

“There, is Nagrebcan, Maria,” my brother Leon said, gesturing widely toward the west.

She moved close to him and slipped her arm...


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