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March 7, 1942

HQ, MIS, Bataan

Went to her after sunset. Major Javallera said it was o.k. “Spend your furlough as you please but after that back to work,” he said. “How is your thigh?” he asked. I said the wound was healing fast as it was only superficial.

Sat on the grass under the cenniguela tree under the moonlight. Plenty of stars and the sky was blue and the night was beautiful.

I recited some of the poems I learned in school and she recited “Sonnets from the Portuguese.”

She was still wearing the same shorts and I was still wearing my dirty uniform but we both did not mind because we both knew this was war and we had very few clothes.

She said that two big pieces of shrapnel fell inside their shack after hitting a tree. She also showed me a piece of a machinegun bullet.

She looked beautiful in the moonlight with the wind blowing against her hair.

Again I told her that she was very nice to me and that she has made me forget a lot of the hardships of this war.

Again she asked if that was all.

Again I was silent because I really did not know if that was all.

Then I don’t know how it happened but as we lay there on the grass I turned around and kissed her on the lips and she kissed me back and then she said I must not do that again because she….

I said “Because why?”

“Because,” she hesitated but I think it was the truth “I am married to that fellow from San Beda who is now in America.”

I told her why she did not tell me before and she said that she wanted to tell me but she did not get to tell me and that she just did not know why she did not tell me.

I was silent for a long time because I had so many thoughts in mind and I could not decide whether to apologize or to get angry so I just kept quiet.

She was silent too and U could hear her breathing but she did not move from where she was lying in the grass beside me and I could feel her arm against my arm.

The sky was very beautiful above and the clouds would cover the stars and the wind made noise as it moved the leaves of the cenniguela tree. The leaves that were fried by the sun fell on the ground beside us whenever the wind blew the higher branches of the tree.

When I was going to stand up to return to the HQ because it was getting dark and besides I did not think it was proper to stay there anymore, she told me to stay where I was and she said that she was sorry.

I told her that there was nothing to be sorry about and I told her that I had a girl friend in Manila too and I hope she…

She stopped me and she said for me not to say what I was going to say because she knew it already and it would not make her feel well.

Before leaving I shook hands with her and it was quite long and then I told her I would not be able to see her any more because my leave would be over and there would be many things to do.

When I said goodbye, she opened her arms and pulled me and kissed me and she said goodbye, and she smiled.

She said: “When boys try to kiss me, I don’t slap them. I tell them I am married and that stops them.”

She smiled again.

I’ve got to admit that when she smiled and said what she said I felt like a child but I guess it was all due to the moonlight and the stars and the wind and the cenniguela tree and the sound of artillery in the front and of course her tempting way and that lovely smile and smooth complexion.

Or maybe its because I’m a dumb-cluck.