A May Day Eve Review
The story took place with a flashback in the late 1840’s, where Men and Women are partying one night. All the women were dancing and all the men were drinking. The elders told them that the dancing should stop at 10 o’clock. For it was May and the witches were roaming around. All the guests were ready for departing. The women went up to their rooms. And the men were drunken and can barely move.
Then there was this woman named Anastasia, a woman who was believed to be a witch and believes in superstitious beliefs, who told a story to the girls about a ritual involving a mirror, wherein if you said the chant whilst looking through a mirror, you’d be able to see your future husband, and if not, the devil. Agueda being the curious woman she is, tried the ritual. And soon after saw “the devil”. And it was a guy named Badoy, who fell in love with Agueda. Then Badoy and Agueda got married.
And many years later on one May Eve, a young boy was doing the same ritual on the mirror. Badoy saw this, and immediately interrupted the boy, which turned out to be his grandson. Badoy grew curious to where did his grandson hear about this ritual. The grandson said that he heard it from her Grandma, Agueda, however Badoy later discovered that he was being described as being “the devil”. In return, Badoy told his grandson that when he looked at the mirror he only sees “a witch”.
Badoy ponders on love that had been lost. Then it was later revealed that they had a “bitter marriage”, which began in the past during one May Day Eve in 1847. Badoy forgot how much he loved Agueda through the years and was unable to mend their broken marriage because their love was just built on a superstition, just a raging passion, and nothing more.
A story with an unexpected turn of events. I was unable to understand this piece in one read. Though once I understood what it really meant, “a tragic tale of love found and love forgotten”, it was heartbreaking. Although it may be hard to understand, I really liked the style used here by Nick Joaquin. It was really unique. He made the story complicated in a way that it would capture the reader’s attention. And I appreciate him for giving a story that felt unclichéd. That these things really do happen and love isn’t something you just rush into.