Monday, December 13, 2010

Act 9: Childhood

Today, me and my family went to my tita's house because tito just got out of the hospital after a major operation. He just lost his gallbladder.

Whenever I hear about operations, or anything that has something to do with blood, or with pain, I always remember my experience during a car accident I had three years ago.

It was when my dad fetch me from one of our organization's big events which was located in a popular parking space in the university. It was sponsored by a famous magazine for teenage girls and young ladies.

That time, a modeling slash fashion show was being held when it suddenly rained. But like what they say, the show must go on, so even if the models were already soaking wet, they continued strutting their stuff on the catwalk.

It was such an ordinary day for me, but never did I imagine that something unexpected would happen.

My dad was driving that night and most unfortunately, he was a little drunk as the rain continued to pour heavily on the streets of Metro Manila.

We were driving along this dark avenue as we both listened to the radio in the background.

I tried to reach for the Law textbook that I bought from this popular bookstore and checked its contents when all of a sudden, I heard a loud bang and everything went black.

I woke up from the noise coming from people shouting incomprehensibly in the background. I tried opening my eyes but I saw blood on my arms which made me shut them again and stay that way as I was being pulled out of our totally wrecked car.

I never imagined that I just came from an accident for I never really felt any pain whatsoever. I was just listening to the sound of the ambulance and the movement of the van as we probably head to the nearest hospital.

I never had any recollection of the accident or how it really happened. I just know that we had a car accident, but I didn't know what caused it.

I kept my eyes close but I'm not asleep. I'm actually in between the state of being conscious and being unconscious.

At first, I thought I was just dreaming and that nothing that was happening is true, but after seeing the blood, I realized that what happened was real.

The first thing I did back then after being properly transferred to a hospital bed was to check my arms and legs.

Of all the things I'm really afraid of back then, it was to lose either of my limbs.

After checking that all four are intact and that I can move them, I felt relieved and that's when I fell asleep.

A lot of things happened after that. I decided not to tell any of my close friends, but for some reasons, Danny and Rina (another one of my crazy college friends) came to visit me in the hospital the next day after my operation. I wondered how they learned about the accident, but they were there and I was really glad to see them.

I heard both of them cry and sob as they held my hand. I never really know how I looked like but all I know is that my whole face was covered by a thick bandage.

I told them I was worried that I might look like shit after not being able to take a bath for two straight days and that I'm afraid they might be crying because they can't stand how I smell. They both gave a weak laugh as I tried to break the tensed air surrounding us.

Kuya BJ and Enzo never knew what happened to me. I never told them. I even warned my mom not to tell them. I don't want to bother both of them, and after the drama that happened between me and the both of them, I don't want them pitying me for what happened.

None of them knew what happened to me even after I was released from the hospital.

Now, as I sat on the garden by the veranda of my tita's house, I felt the rush of cold breeze. It was so serene, so calming. I would've wished someone is there beside me savoring the experience.

I tried to erase all the memories of the past in my head. I just closed my and stayed there for a while. Aside from the sound that the wind is making, it was quite silent and that silence is what I've been longing for all this time.

I wish I could just stay that way forever. Not thinking of anything. No problems. No pain. No nothing. Just me and the wind. Being one with nature. Feeling light. Being free... I wish it would last forever. But like what the old adage said, nothing truly lasts forever...


That afternoon, my tita invited us to go to the Annual Christmas Display in Greenhills Shopping Center. Although I know we are all too old for such things, I felt a little bit of excitement knowing that I'll be able to watch it again.

When I was a kid, me, my dad and my mom would usually roam around Cubao during the Yuletide season. And during that time of the year, there's always this Christmas presentation in C.O.D. (a known mall in Cubao) which I really liked watching.

I would often climb the back of my father just to be able to see it. I would be amazed at the moving mannequins and the nice music. Even if I didn't really understood the whole story that time, I know I felt happy for I saw again Santa Clause and Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.

My eyes grew wide with delight as I follow the moving characters. For me, the display was always like fireworks.

As I try to make my way through the crowd trying to find a good spot to watch the display, my mom, dad, my tita and my cousins followed suit.

I heard the same introduction from the mike and a lot of memories came flooding in. I was again the same 3-year old boy who once climbed his father's back just to see the presentation.

As the show started, a lot has changed already. Of course, I now could already understand the story, and I can't anymore climb the back of my father. Instead, I just stood beside him as we both watched the show.

I glanced at my mom and she also looked at me with a smile in her face. That smile of my mom made me feel secured. I'm again that young rascal who kept on running the whole time we were in Cubao.

Then I thought to myself, I hope I can forever be a child. A kid who never needs to carry a lot of burden. A boy who never needs to face tough challenges and problems.

I hope I can forever be a kid who doesn't need to experience heartache. I hope I can forever be calmed down by a rub in the back and a piece of lollipop.

I held my mom's hand as we watched the display, and during that very moment, I just felt at peace with the world.