Proof Enough for Joe

April 21st, 1895 was an unusually muggy night in the little round house at Talisay. Two lovers tossed and turned in their sleep, the events of the last two nights still fitfully weighing upon their receptive minds.

Josephine woke to the sound of shattering glass and bolted forward in the bed. On the table by the door a lantern was burning brightly.

“Who’s there?” she whispered.

The man lying next to her stirred and reached for her, still in a half-sleep. Finding his hand on an empty pillow, he opened his eyes and saw Josephine silhouetted against the brilliant lamp.

“What is it my darling,” he asked, rising to her side, “is it happening again?”

Josephine nodded and tears flashed in her eyes, “I think it’s my father ... Oh Joe! I think he’s died and it’s all my fault! Father?”

The house was silent and Josephine sat staring at that lamp, thinking about her adoptive father. She thought it was only for effect that he put the razor to his throat. But how he begged her when she left him to come back to Dapitan; a moment filled with what seemed an eternity of tears and recriminations. How he sobbed.

She came back to the present when Joe nudged her, “Keep talking to it! Find out!”

Josephine crossed herself and cleared her throat before speaking.

“In God’s name, I ask you what you want …”

There was a slight pause before the teapot, saucers, and cups flew off the washstand in a high arc and showered down on Josephine.

Two years later, Josephine Bracken mourned again. This time for the loss of her “Joe” - Jose Rizal, the nationalistic spirit behind the Philippine’s revolt against its Spanish masters, who came to recognize with her “the immortality of the soul.”

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