Now, though, words come out of them out of the blue. The other day, when Ulap saw me coming down the stairs dressed up to go to a meeting, she said, “Alis.” I was holding my dirty coffee mug and cereal bowl, so she led the way to the kitchen, saying “Hugas.” By that time Dahon has already appeared, and as I was washing the mug and bowl at the sink, she clung to my leg and said “Sama.” That’s the first time I heard those words from them!
I explained to Dahon that I couldn’t let her come with me, but of course she was still insisting. So the yaya distracted her with some flash cards, and I sneaked out as they were busily hunting up letters. I wanted to avoid a dramatic farewell scene. I waited so long to hear them talk, but I was not prepared to hear “sama” wailed repeatedly.
I wonder if I will ever be.