“You’ll be fine!” Said Frank’s Mother, her soft fingers making final dabs at his face with cotton cloth, “You know some of the other boys going.”

Frank shuffled on his feet. It was hard to argue with his mothers face, her smile beaming down on him proudly, but he could tell her words of encouragement were just an act. He knew she didn’t genuinely believe this was the best for him, but he also knew she was as stuck with the decision has he was. He sighed, looking down the length of the platform. Under billows of white steam, crowds compiled of parents and children all followed the same exact routine; each and every one sharing loving looks and wise words, pats on backs and proclamations of pride. It added to the facade, Frank felt. If each mother and father smiled, waved, and faced the situation with brave joviality, the young boys would stay happy and enthusiastic, with little thought towards their destination. Frank wondered how many of those parents had spent the night in tears, just as his own Mother had. He wondered how many of these parents actually believed in their actions, just as his own Mother didn’t. They are adults, he thought to himself angrily, surely together they could stop this, surely they can’t just let it be this way. His hands clenched into tiny fists; an attempt to distil his rage. He had to be brave, he thought, taking another look at the platform. Behind him, the train driver blew a sharp whistle, alerting potential passengers that its doors were open.

“I love you” Said Frank’s Mother, cupping his chin in both her hands, “You know that?”. Frank nodded and swallowed hard. Behind his eyes lay vaults of tears, locked away, at least for now.

“I’ll make you proud” He said softly, before boarding the train.


This is entry #2 for the WordHigh July Challenge of 30 Beautiful Filipino Words! I decided to attempt to do them each day, as best I could, and when I had the inspiration for this piece decided to just hit the page inking!


12 thoughts on “Timpi

  1. Oh, was he a man forced to join the army? (That’s how he sounded to me) I like how you conveyed the meaning of “timpi” here, Shaun. Frank- trying hold back his anger and tears, and his mother- trying to look okay despite the uncertainty that awaits her son. This is a good start to a thought-provoking tale that is actually happening in real life.

    Quick note (if you don’t mind)
    On the 1st and 2nd to the last paragraphs, I suggest you use the possessive form for “Frank’s mother”. ☺️

    All in all, I enjoyed reading this ons ✌️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The army was always my intention yes 🙂

      I admit I did play with the idea of it actually being him sent off to school, and just having all the fear and worry be figments of Frank’s head. But I felt the army had much more weight. Still, it’s open to interpretation! That’s why I chose to leave it open 🙂

      Thanks for the constructive critique! Grammar is a weak spot. I’ve edited accordingly 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, be it the school or the army, this one’s a great story. Love the imagery you painted with your words. Ha! It’s nice that you’ve kept the story open for us readers to play with our imagination 😁

        You’re welcome, too.


  2. awww. this heartwarming tale reminded me of one my favorite author’s quote:
    “When you look into your mother’s eyes, you know that is the purest love you can find on this earth.”
    ― Mitch Albom, For One More Day

    Indeed in our mother’s eyes nothing is impossible. And in our mother’s presence we can lock our tears and put a braver facade.

    Nicely, nicely told, Shaun! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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