My childhood days were colored with fun and games. My usual playmates were my cousins. We loved to play “balay-balay” under an old santol tree beside the ancestral house of my grandma. We would also ride on our bicycles and play hide-and-seek.Unfortunately, I can’t always play with my favorite pal since he is living in However, if he will have a chance to visit me, we will play to our utmost potential since we both know that the time for us to see each other again is far off.When I stepped on my second year high school, I felt a strange feeling towards him. A feeling that I am sure I hadn’t felt before. When I was younger, I thought that we were of the same age and we will get old together. We will do the same things, in the same manner, in the same time. Conversely, I realized that he got mature faster than I thought he would. He became used to do the things, which I believe only mature people can do. I felt I was so left out. But despite that, I still considered him as my best pal.Within those days, I apprehended that I must act like a full-grown being too. In the same light, during those times, I engaged in affiliations because I thought, that would be my evidence to prove that I am finally a mature person.Unluckily, I suffered stern heartaches because of engaging into a serious relationship. I gave him the love that he deserved from me but it ended up in a fiasco since he can’t even take me seriously. One night, while being emotional about what happened, he surprised me by entering into my room without any permission. Being astonished, I was tongue-tied with his presence. To my surprise, I cannot find the words that I need to say. It’s as if I was left out by a new civilization that I was not able to defend myself and narrate why I acted that way. He approached me by singing “First love, never dies!” I was hell lot intimidated and I couldn’t find any angle to shield myself from such mock. From then on, when we meet at random places, he would sing that song with such intent of irritating me. Still, starting that time, he began calling me “gwapa.” Maybe because he just wanted to take back all the irritations that I felt every time he teased me. I didn’t mind to react at all. Days later, I just found out that we were able to regain the bond that we had before.
Hours became days and weeks became months yet we stayed the same. We still can’t see each other that often but I still considered him as my best friend. I started learning to live my every day life without his presence. But yes! Missing him can never be out of the show.
Until one morning, I was outraged by the news of Lola. “Dodong met an accident. He’s in the Holy Child hospital right now,” she muttered.“Let’s go apo and visit your cousin,” she added.I dreaded the thought of going with her in the hospital. I thought that was just a mild motor accident that anybody else could have ever experienced. “No, Lola. I don’t feel like going. I’d rather stay home,” I asserted. While watching TV, I was disturbed by a beep from my cell phone. It was my brother’s name who flashed on the screen. “Tell papa to come here in the hospital. Dodong is severely wounded and his right ear is incessantly bleeding. Tell him to come immediately before everything is too late.” I was struck by a tremendous shock. I ran straight to Papa and told him about it. I went together with him, without even remembering that I hadn’t taken a bath that day. We instantly drove to Child Hospital and hastily went to the ICU where we caught him half dead and hopeless. I can’t look at him straightly because it seems like we’re now just waiting for his time to bid goodbye.
A scornful sorrow enveloped my whole being. I never wanted to think of entailing hurtful goodbyes to him. I never wanted to be away from him. I never wanted to see him endure the pain. I never wanted to see my aunt and uncle weep because of him. I never wanted to witness the sadness of our whole family. Most of all, I never wanted not to see him anymore, again.
That afternoon, Auntie, Uncle, Fey (Dodong’s girlfriend not her real name), Jade (my nephew) and I were all together called by the physician. Tensions flew through my veins as we entered his office. With a saddened voice, the doctor began to speak.“Are you his sister?” he asked me.“No, doc. I’m his cousin,” I replied.
Series of questions were raised by the doctor and then finally he uttered, “The only chance for him to survive is through a miracle. But like it or not, there’s a big possibility that he will not make it.” His statement was as fast as lightning and as painful as a dagger pierced through the left ventricle.
Tears ran down from Auntie’s face. “Is there anything you could still do, Doc?”
Auntie sat down with a sorrowful face. “We’ll pay you any amount. Just save my son. Please,” she begged.
“Even if you’ll bring him to the best physician, most probably, the outcome would still be the same,” he frankly answered.
We hopelessly went out of his office – all drowning in a river of frustration and reluctance.
All of us proceeded to the ICU and cried our hearts out. I was more concerned of Auntie since it would be her birthday the next day. She sat beside me, crying hardly. Words were but hard to utter. All I could manage to do was cry and share with the whole family the worst summer vacation we had ever experienced.
That day finally came. The sun was still shining brightly. Everything about Dodong seemed like framed hopes. Perhaps, it would be more reasonable to accept his fate.
Happily eating lunch with Fey and my other cousins were me and my family. She blissfully shared their episodes in the past and the things that they once dreamed together. Though she appeared joyful with our forum, I can still see through her eyes the beam of longing and despair.
After lunch, we went back to the ICU, still happy exchanging conversations ‘til we realized that Dodong’s recovery rate, blood pressure and heart rate continued to go down. All of us began to panic.
A physician and two other nurses came in. I went out of the room and prayed hardly, hoping that he would survive and recover. Just then, the doctor came out and announced that he’s gone – gone for good.
Everybody stumbled in great depression, especially Auntie. I could never imagine my once playful cousin has now left us. If only we knew that this would happen, we could have saved him from where he is right now. But time flies so fast. And so does life. His candle has finally melted, leaving us total darkness.
Until now, I can still barely accept the reality. I miss him so much. Waking up each morning while shaking those stresses away and knowing that I will never wake up again seeing him smile at me would seem to drown me in an ocean of soreness
“I remembered your bright smile towards me. The way you tap my back and the compliment you specially created for me each time you see me make my project. I’ll never forget your voice and I’ll especially miss your unique way of calling me gwapa. Too bad, no one could ever call me gwapa just like how you called me.
Now all I can do is just miss you. I am missing every single detail that signifies your personality. But then, I know you’re happy with God right now. And I’m still thankful that He let me experience fond memories with you.”