The Name of the Brotherhood

It was like any ordinary evening in the seminary, just after supper. The seminarians were leisurely relaxing. The studious ones spent their free time in the study hall. Others went to the chapel to visit the Blessed Sacrament. Still others preferred watching the PBA game on TV. But not for Nick, Rene and me who had something else in mind. We had earlier agreed to spend the evening somewhere else, on the roof garden, to do something else, an initiation rite.

I cannot recall how we came up with the idea. But the initiation was the first move towards solidifying the triumvirate. Call it a clique stemming from an adolescent craving for belongingness. We wanted to call it a fraternity. Ok, it was a fraternity but one thing was sure. We never planned to do anything illegal. Honestly. We just wanted to strengthen our bond of friendship.

So while everyone was busy doing his own thing that evening, we were also doing our own at the roof garden. And the timing was perfect because the place was quiet and dimly lit. Nobody was there, not even Gene who was a regular visitor. Only the stars, the moon, the fishermen’s lantern in a far off distance, and the electric lights from the city were sole witnesses.

Rene acted as the leader as he explained the mechanics of the initiation. There was no hazing of sort. Only some rituals of commitment to the so-called fraternity or brotherhood which I cannot recall now how it was done. The ritual did not take us long. Perhaps only about twenty minutes. We ended with a commitment to keep the fraternity a secret, even to our classmates. (In fact, we did, until right now as I write this.) As a sign of our new-found secret brotherhood we had a special handshake that we used whenever and wherever we meet.

That evening happened when we were in second year high school. I doubt if we were ever serious about what we did that evening. In fact, we never bothered to renew the ritual. But what would last after that quiet evening at the roof garden was the special handshake and of course the friendship that would continue even when we parted ways after graduating from high school.
By the way, we never even had a name for our group. (soc)