Missing in Action

A distant ringing penetrated my ears. My right hand reached out reflexively, groping for something I couldn’t quite put my mind on yet. I was half asleep. The sound of water pattering intensely on the roof accompanied the ringing that now felt closer. I wanted to plunge back into unconsciousness but unfortunately, my hand already found what it was looking for.

It was my 6:30 alarm ringing, no wait, blaring on a cold and rainy sembreak morning.

Why on earth did I turn on the alarm when it’s already my sembreak? Probably just turned it on accidentally? Maybe because I wanted to fix my screwed body clock?

Here are my answers:

  1. I turned my alarm on because I was going to tell a few dear people to take care and enjoy the day. Why did I have to do that? Because I wanted to, because it was the only way I could at least involve myself in the very significant reunion I was apparently missing. Lonesome look, please.
  2. No.
  3. Somehow true, but still, no.

So, after turning the siren off and gathering my scattered self, I keyed in my words on my decrepit cellphone and sent the messages. Afterwards, I sighed and buried my wilted face on the pillow. I thought, “I should wake up tomorrow.”

Unfortunately, despite what I thought, I woke up around 10 am of the same day. Instinctively, my hand reached out for guess what, my cellphone. There was a single text from Roi: “Dadaan kami diyan. Labas ka.” My eyes racked the little space for the time: 7:49 am.

Kill me now, please.

After throwing tantrums downstairs, I drank coffee and spent an hour binging pointlessly in the virtual world. Then mom arrived and dragged me outside. I practically battled the rain in a summer dress.

Nokia Care, Krispy Kreme, SM North Edsa Department Store, National Bookstore, SM Cubao, Alimall and SDS Medical Center stops, the whole while the rain continually sloshed, fierce.

Being at home after combing so many places in the span of 6 hours is gratifying. Home promises a haven of dryness and warmth, of love and never having to be alone.

Today, a day after the reunion I have unwillingly missed, I weaved across Facebook and found the pictures so awesomely taken yesterday. (I was amazed by the underwater pictures. My mouth was gaping open in awe.) A few ounces of desperation, loneliness and hopelessness are honestly involved here: just by looking at the pictures, I felt as if I’ve been there too, with them.

I saw the changes that have occurred in just a matter of months. From the college crowning glories to the maturing bodies, these changes spilled forth from each picture I saw.

I suddenly felt the urge to cry and before I could even think about it, tears were already pooling at the edges of my eyes. Darn it, talk about sentimental.

These people, they mean so much to me. Words plague me everyday, but the mere utterance of “AOM” can render me speechless. They are a family, my family.

So, see you next reunion, eh?

AOM (c) Claudine Dela Cruz
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