Thursday, September 13, 2012

Call from an Angel

"Hello"

"Hello. You called again."

"Yeah, is now a bad time?"

"No no, it's just that, it hadn't been long since you last called..."

"Don't you want me to call you anymore?"

"No no, not that..."

"Then what's the problem?"



In truth, there was no problem. If it had been up to me, I'd rather be talking with her than dealing with the crazy people in this household. Mother can't seem to stop yelling, and father just takes it with nary a whimper, whiskey shot in hand. We don't see each other eye to eye, and we prefer it that way; I've grown accustomed to taking an alternative route around the house than to walk past the living room or the dining hall, where my mom or my dad would normally loiter. Like rabid animals, I'd rather not risk it; because like rabid animals, they were bound to snap at anytime. Loose canons, and I'm always the unfortunate target.

"No, nothing really. Say, what was it you called me for anyway?"

"Um... Nothing really. I've got nothing to do here anyway, so I called."

"Is that so?"

Life can be rather unfair. Fourteen years ago, there was a fourth member of this dysfunctional household. Well, soon to be fourth. She was to be my little sister. In truth, I was a little too young to remember, but I remembered it quite well. She was to be named Alyssa, a bundle of joy for my parents, who had remained childless for a time. I was five back then, a  young boy who did not know anything about kids or parenthood. All I was was an excited child who just cannot wait to have a playmate, somebody to share my toys with, to feign responsibility with. But it wasn't to be. She had not even had the chance to see this world, to open her precious little eyes.

"Yeah, it's rather lonely here. That's why I call you often, dummy..."

"Hey now. Well, since you called, anything you'd like to talk about? School maybe? Has that crush of yours ever talked to you yet?"

"Hmph! Foul! Can we talk about something else?"

"Haha, well, think of something else to talk about!"

The calls started three years ago. My parents had already devolved into who they are right now, and the household had started to become a disheveled mess. I had been skipping school, had been with some bad company, smoking, drinking, partying; the regular rebellious teenager life they like to hate in the news but they like to love in the movies. I couldn't be bothered by the dichotomy; the contrasting viewpoints of these adults can go suck themselves. All I was back then, and I hadn't really known at that time, was someone who had been seeking for something. That something had remained a mystery to me; maybe I as looking for attention, for appreciation, for love -- maybe I was looking for life itself. It had been that way for quite some time, until the calls began.

"Hmm, well, how about what you ate today for breakfast!"

"Me? Uhh, well, mom as usual couldn't be bothered to prepare a proper breakfast. She's once again fuming mad with dad over the same dumb things. I tried that recipe you told me the other day, in secret of course. Mom would blow her top if she found out..."

"Aww, hmph! In that case, I forbid you to cook any of my recipes if you wouldn't be sharing them with your parents!"

"Woah, hey! Let's not go there alright?"

The calls had been a life saver of sorts for me. I don't really know how it happened, but soon enough, I had begun to look forward to the calls; I even memorized the times when she would call me. At first we were a bit apprehensive, but as time went by, we got comfortable talking to each other. I found out she was five years my junior, a girl who studies in the same school I used to go in. I haven't really seen her yet; we can't really call each other at school and we really hadn't bothered to set an appointment. We were simply content with the calls, and sooner or later I found my life slowly turning upside down. She'd give me unsolicited advice, which I appeared to hate, but secretly clung on to. She'd share with me some recipes (she says she's a good cook), and would help me with my homework. And yes, I began to attend school again. She had supported me every single day in those three years, and she would call me on my cellphone on each. She had been some sort of a lighthouse in a rough sea, guiding me as I navigated my way through.

And a pretty bright lighthouse at that.

"Ugh, fine, tomorrow. Definitely."

"Is that a promise?"

"Yes, it's a promise."

"Are you sure? You're not lying now are you?"

In truth I had been, but I can't now.

"Fine fine, you caught me... But this time for real."

"Then I'm glad."

I couldn't sleep at all the whole evening. It felt to me that something was off with what she said. Doubt maybe? But she had never doubted me before, not that I've given her any reason to. Was it fear? Fear of what? Or was I simply over-thinking things. Still, a promise is a promise.

And then I received my very first text from her.

"You better live up to that promise alright! Good night!"

Morning came at last, coming earliest to me. My folks are gonna wake up in an hour or so from now, I better hurry up and make do with that promise. It would be easy for me to just lie to her when she asked, but for some reason, I just can't. The shame of lying to someone as genuine as her; it's just too difficult to fathom. Might as well just get this over with. I already know how this is going to turn out anyway.

"Son..."

And here we go...

"Son..."

Can't you guys see I'm busy preparing something for you? I knew this was a bad idea...

"Son!"

"What!"

"Son... Me... Me and your dad..."

"..."

"When we saw you... Getting up early... Son... Son..."

She was crying... And I think I am too...

"We're... Really... Sorry... Son..."

"..."

"We've been selfish... Son... We're really really sorry..."




That afternoon, she did not call. She'd normally call me at around twelve in the afternoon; it's almost one o'clock now and she had not called me yet. I tried calling her, but she wouldn't answer. I  had been very eager to tell her what had happened during breakfast, how after fourteen years we finally shared our first meal and how mom and dad survived without arguing. It would be a long time still before we can mend all the rifts and fractures that fourteen years worth of mutual animosity had wreaked between us, if we even could, but we were determined to try. While no words were said during breakfast, it wasn't as tense as I thought it would have been; invisible as it may be, I'm convinced that what I saw was hearts reconciling, making up for fourteen years worth of anguish and pain.

This would be the second time she would send me a text message.

"Hey, good job! And here I was thinking you'd break  your promise! All jokes aside however, I'm glad, I really am. I don't really know what else to say. Please don't forget me okay? I love you, brother! Tell mom and dad I love them too, alright?"

I wanted to reply, but I know she won't get it anyway. I just said a teary-eyed silent prayer.

"Thank you... Alyssa..."

4 comments:

  1. Awww Alyssa.

    I can't believe the title wasn't a clue about what was to happen..

    Nice work Ryan!

    ReplyDelete










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