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In the late evening hours, I was seated at the firm surface of my bed. I can’t go back to sleep; in louver, I waited until the ultimate sunlit peeped through the slats. That moment I was in so much anguish that made me starry-eyed. In a flick, my thoughts desired to see the distance place where moments of loved ones dwell. Even if it was an intermission, I welcomed it all in alliance with my deep longing for the happy occurrence. My heart was in the clamor to see them all; my eyes sparkled with pleasures for all the fine senses of deep affection. While time held its breath, gave way to reunite me with the past.
It flew me back to the time where I was seated with other small children maybe aged 6 or 7 and where a lady teacher believed she was holding a stone whisperer will always know of whatever hidden mischievous events inside her classroom. Magic, then introduced into the innocent mind. There was even a garden wherein a dwarf statue was changing position from time to time. It was a blossoming superstitious belief that resided on every child.
Then there was strong nostalgic feeling that turned back those times where I spent playing outside the house; I was playing glass marble games by putting it into small holes just by pressing it between the index finger and the thumb while flicking it forward. I was a kid proficient at hitting my opponent’s marble even 4 to 5 feet away. As time moved freely, I was brought into the scene where I was playing the game of kick called “sipa” in the Filipino language–made of a washer with colorful threads or plastic straw attached to it. I was wearing a good pair of rubber shoes tossing the sipa upwards and catching it to avoid touching the ground; I had to count the required number of times in tossing the sipa, and then hitting it as far as it could, away from the opponent to let them chase and catch it by their foot. At the gyrating movement of the surrounding, I found myself holding a hand span of teks playing cards running away from other players who will be asking a share of some of my teks playing cards. At another scene, I was trying to rescue a captured teammate from another base and trying to secure also our base from an intruder in what was called “catch and own a corner” or “agawan base” game in the Filipino dialect. I have won and lost many games but with all of these; I have found new friends until the play mats have been folded and kept in the corner when childhood moments escaped while running uncomfortably to more mature roles.
My eyes winked and suddenly brought me back to high school days, where I was under the heat of the sun practicing military marching cadence; in those proving stamina; I was able to win discipline and endurance; all the nearby barber shops were too occupied to attend those cadets that need a haircut. I was a frequent visitor to the library where researching was done since there was no internet during those periods. I spent many times in reading and writing researched information and staying late in the evening reviewing notes. Time was so generous that showed events where I was clinging at the back of jeepney to bring me to school and sometimes walked briskly from house to school when traffic was worst during those times. The moment was splendid when it showed me bringing my lunch to the school and eating at the riverbank with trees in the background. I did not go far in finding a university; at the same location as the high school was where I attended my college. There was no escape from a tumultuous life in university life, that even in a more mature life, I was not spared from bullying where an English teacher made me stand up in the class alongside with a classmate and asked somebody to tell comparison between us. It brought humiliation where I found it hard to forget. Somewhere during the last school year, I got sick and decided to stop–to give way for minor stomach operation. It was that reason that I graduated in the span of 5 years and did not join the graduation rites.
As time slipped away, I was on a night shift job working in the bank, reconciling data and went home the next morning. Then I saw myself doing most of the time a clerical job, data controlling and data encoding, until I found a permanent job in the government which I served with sincerity and later got married and settled down. The most treasured part was seeing traveling with my wife and son together with other family members. I treasured the moments playing with my little son, discovered fun ways to talk to him even in a long distance communication. It was charming to see moments sharing a pleasurable life with my wife that can turn my life around with her loving and caring nature. Time expanded showing more details of my devoted mother for the untiring and loving care. Time traveled extending up to the most critical decision of my life– to work in foreign land embracing different customs and cultures. Strict compliance of the law had fortified and fine-tuned my personality. Every day, I resided in the virtual world, where communication had settled on the internet. The life outside the home country was like rituals: going to work, calling family, remitting money, and working again to earn a living. The sickness I tried to avoid that’s why I strived in healthy living.
Over time, back again inside the room, small and big details which in a quilt of patchwork would tell someone I have memorable memories. The years spent living in the foreign land was like being poured out from my safety dwelling that’s why big changes happened with my body: grey hairs prevailed, memory lapsed, unexplained body pain, stress, homesickness, and loneliness were altogether engendered my body to deteriorate.
While the surrounding snoozed quietly in the evening ceasing the entertainment in how the crowd moves about where only a few won the highly coveted spot of life. I no longer own the time–the time to communicate with loved ones, no longer to play a role with the community, to wake up at dawn, no longer had to rush for work and jostled with the crowd for business appointment, no longer to worry the threat of suicide bombing in a crowded place. The sad thing was, I could not touch and feel anything around me, and I felt like a spirit got stuck in the earthly dimension and among the jinn’s world. Many thoughts flooded my mind. How could this be happening? I have still so much to do, am I now an earthbound ghost? Now, I feared more than anything else of being secluded with my loved ones; I don’t know how to accept that I was dead. I am still obliged to nurture my little child, to grow old with my wife, and see to it that they will be alright. Who will help me accept the last episode of my life? For the last time, I tried to hold my mobile phone to call my family but my hand just passed over the tangible thing. I saw the light pulling me; I needed to decide whether to pass into the light or remained stuck in the earthly dimension. I decided to remain earthbound spirit in search for someone who is sensitive to spirits and could help me understand about death.
I remained calm, cried sometimes, moved around and learned what a ghost could do. Then the rain came pouring down; someone knocked on the door, it was a child looking for shelter, tried everything to get his way inside my house until he found a way to get inside. Suddenly I met him and probably saw me passed by him. “Do you live here?” The child asked.
write by Celina