In response to Word High July the snippet below is inspired by the Filipino word ‘tinatangi’ or ‘special someone’.

Image taken from Buzzfeed: “36 Of The Most Beautiful Words In The Philippine Language”. All credits goes to them.


The fire was almost down to embers by the time Dennis cracked open a beer for everyone, and after a long day of bush walking the almost cold lager was welcome. Irene accepted hers with a smile and sat back to watch the stars. The night sky was as beautiful as any Irene had ever seen out in the bush and she wished, as she must have done a thousand times a day for the last eight months, that Adam could be with her to see it.

It made her so angry sometimes; hadn’t he promised a long and relaxing retirement together after all those years of long hours and sacrifices? But cancer didn’t care about promises, about a life built together and the plans people make. So Irene was forced to fill her days with walking clubs and coffee meetings and nights alone in a house too big for one.

“Have you heard it yet?”

Irene blinked and found her three companions watching her.

“Sorry Den, miles away. Heard what?” she replied.

Dennis tutted and waved his phone in her direction.

“The signal, the one those alien life people recon comes from outer space. It’s all over the internet.”

It was all over the newspapers and the telly too. Irene might be out of touch, but she knew the signal had at least been found. It was just the listening part she hadn’t quite gotten round to. She shrugged slightly and turned her eyes back to the stars. Dennis mutter something almost inaudible and then an odd, modulating sound filled the night.

Heart quickening in her chest, Irene thought for a moment she heard tapping in the strangely mournful notes. The same off-rhythm tap tap-tap that Adam used to make on Sunday mornings while the radio played and she made breakfast. So infuriatingly out of tempo to her musician’s ears and a sound she hadn’t even thought to miss until that moment. And it seemed that the stars grew a little less distant and a little less lonely for every second that she listened.


9 thoughts on “Tinatangi

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