Some people tend to get excited whenever their mom called them. Some would even jumped in joy and wouldn't hesitate to picked up the phone. But not everyone does. And I belong to the percentage of those people who weren't happy.
Want to know why? For some instance, they like to control my whole damn life and take advantage of it. I sounded rude I know. But curse me to hell for thinking like this. This is what they made me feel all the time. I know I should not feel this. Not with my parents and family. But I can't help it.
"Our bills for this month were already sent this morning. When are you going to send us your salary?" She asked on the other line.
Why did I expected that they would ask me to come home instead of asking for money? I should have known.
"The cut off were moved next week. Please bare with me this week. I haven't had any cold cash with me right now" I told them in a pleading tone.
As much as possible, I refrained my self from raising my voice and lashed at them. Afterall, they were still my parents amd I'm only their son. Yep, just their son.
"When will it be then? The grocery you bought us last week were almost used up. We're you trying to hold off your money on us?" She impatiently inquired.
Ah, here we go again with the same scenario from before. They want me to give all my income so they can spend it on themselves. Sure, I've taken the responsibility of providing for them. But could they be at least spend it wisely?
"I promise, next week mom." I toned my voice down so they won't know the rising anger building up in me. This is really fucked up. So fucked up I don't know how to respond without being rude.
"You better give us all your salary. Your sister and I need to have our monthly beauty treatment. You're stressing me out you good for nothing son!" She yelled at me at the phone. And it actually took all of me to stopped myself from talking back to her.
"Fine." I hanged up the call never intending to listen to another words she would say. It irritated me to hell.
Seriously, can't they ask me how was I first? Were they not interested on knowing how I've been? A simple greeting of 'how are you?' would be fine. But can't they ask me nicely?
I've been trying all my life to prove myself to them. I have taken the liberty to share their obligations and responsibilities to us because I'm their eldest son. I have turned my back on things I wanted just to follow what they asked me to do.
I do whatever it is they told me to do. I gave up my dream of becoming an engineer because they thought it was a hard course for me and they fear that I would fail the licensure exam and wouldn't make it. Very supportive really. They made me took business administration since it doesn't require to take exams before I could work. This is why I ended up on having a job as a marketing assistant on that forsaken company. I am far from being happy. Far from my passion. And far from what I want my life to be.
I shouldn't be complaining though. I volunteered for this. To make them proud. But there was never an assurance that if I do what they want, they would be proud of me. Especially if they weren't appreciative enough of my sacrifices.
What does it take to feel like a family? To feel like I'm in somewhere I belong? To have a place I can call home?
What should I do?
It took me a couple of minutes before I composed myself. I'm not letting anyone see me in this state. So helpless. So dull. So lifeless. So broken.
With that in mind, I hopped on my bike and sped off to some place I knew I could calm myself with.
'Aling Pacita's Lomi House'
There's only two things that could actually comfort me from my problems. One is the food. Which I believed was also the medicine of others to cure their stress. And the other one is this woman across the street who's been giving away free burgers to the street children. So sweet. Like she always was Always is. And always will be.
"Hey Cass! Mind joining me for a dinner?" I shouted at her and point at the eatery behind me. She looked around and beamed at me when she spotted me in the front store.
As soon as she finished doing her thing, she crossed the road eagerly while she's leaping from one foot to another. She was humming a tune, foot skipping like she was making a music video as she approached me.
"How have you been?" She asked me first while looking at the eatery behind me. Her eyes looked like it formed a heart shape whils looking at the menu. This woman knows her priority. That I could tell by the way she looked at the food on the counter. It was too funny and refreshing to see her like this. Her smiles can really brighten up my dull tiring day.
I chuckled at my thought when I noticed her shifted her gaze on me from the food. It was then that I realized she was waiting for my reply.
"Well, not really fine. But I can manage. I think." I trailed off. She rolled her eyes at me mimicking my tone and exaggerating it a bit. I laughed to her childishness. Looks like she doesn't want to have a depressing atmosphere.
She nudged at my arms after she told the lady in the counter her choices signaling me to order my chosen food.
We decided to sit at the far end of the eatery near where I park my bike. I noticed another man parked his bike not far away from our location with his back rider in a tow. The guy was looking around the place like searching for something. I diverted my gaze from them. They must be looking for an available table.
Cass grabbed my hand all of a sudden then slam her palm on top of it. She grinned at me. Stunned by her action and the stinging hand, I raised an eyebrow. Her grin turned into a devilish smirk. Damn, she got crazy again.
But then something clicked on my mind. Like an old film playing the same scenario over and over again. Two kids playing. Doing the same thing Cass just did on me.
Cass was sitting beside me and our other elementary friends forming a small circle. Both of our hands laid in the center stacking up.
It was one hell of a game. Whoever cries or give up first loose and have to do a dare. We called this game 'ketchup'. It is where you slap the hand below yours and the rest will follow.
It hurts for a kid. But that's the fun in it. I always make sure that I'll be the one slapping Cass' hands. Because if it were the others, I'm not sure how hard they would slam their hands on hers. I controlled my force whenever it's my turn so that I wouldn't hurt her that much.
We were playing until one decided to reverse the order of our stack. Cass will be on top of my hand. And that would mean the person next to her would have the luxury of slapping her hands as hard as they can. We were on our 7th round when I rubbed my eyes and decided to give up just to stopped the game. I couldn't help myself from flinching every time it was Cass' turn to get slapped.
Since I gave up, I need to do the dare. I walked up in front of the class and dance. It was embarrassing but it's better than seeing Cass' hands all red. After playing that game, I always kissed her knuckles and the back of her hand trying to soothe the pain. She would laugh afterwards remembering my embarrassing moment.
Good old days. We started playing the same game again and people looked at us mouth opened. Probably not expecting what we we're doing. We were having a good time when our food arrived. And like what I always do after playing the game, I kissed her hand muttering my small apologies.
She didn't mind it though. In fact, she ignored it. Her eyes lighten up as she stared at the mouth watering food in front of her. I fished my phone and took a photo of her. She really looked like she's having the moment of her life. Crazy brat.
We ate our share and as I finished mine, she stood up. I waited and watched her walked towards the counter. I face-palmed as soon as I heard her order another set of food again.
Ah! The bottomless pit I liked to call her stomach. I took multiple pictures of her while waiting for her to finish. I miss this.
I miss watching her stuffed her food on her chubby cheeks. I miss laughing my ass off with her. I miss teasing her. I miss annoying the hell out of her. I miss all those little banters and little fights but would eventually stopped after I hug her.
How did I endured not talking to her for three years? Maybe I was too blinded with love. Maybe. Yep, maybe.
I miss my bestfriend. And I really wanted to make up for the lost time.
Not too long and she's done eating. What a monster. We paid for our food and walked towards my bike. But before we could reach Bumblebee, an unthinkable happened.
Someone grabbed her from behind. A hand around her chest and a knife pointing on her neck. I paled from the sight.
"Don't move and give us all your money!" The guy from before demanded. I couldn't move. Cass on the other hand was too calm for someone who's being held up.
Another guy approached us and shouted at people in the scene to never interfere. I searched for my phone and wallet when someone from the crowd shouted. The guy moved and the next thing I saw proved how insane Cass was.
She reached for the guy's groin and squished the living daylights out of him. She pushed away the arm with a knife and jabbed the guy's face with her elbow freeing herself from being captive. The other guy looked stunned at the turn of events and I took that as a chance to punch him in the gut. I punched him again and again until his arm moved backwards as if searching for something. He was about to stabbed me when I felt my back hit the ground.
The sirens from a police car filled my ear. But all I'm seeing was Cass standing from where I was moments ago not moving and holding her stomach. Fuck it.
I was beyond mortified. I felt as though the time stopped at this very moment. My eyes went wide. A surge of panic rose through me and coursing throughout my entire body. I'm at loss for words.
Move. I told myself but I couldn't. My heart raced, pounding from fear. Like any second it would burst right out of my chest.
Move. My mind went blank. Still couldn't wrapped my head around what happened. Still dumbfounded.
Move. I couldn't find my voice. My throat felt dry . Like I just drunk a whole cup of cinnamon powder. Like a whole field of land having the water sucked out from it.
Move. I caught my breath. My body went rigid. Like all my ligaments and joints were locked in place. Like a doll waiting for his key to be turned before dancing.
Come on, move!
People were screaming while I'm still here. Still in my very own nightmare.
How did things turned out this way? We were just talking a while ago. We were just playing our game. We were just having fun. We were just eating to our heart's content. We were just walking away from a tiring day. We were just being ourselves for a minute. We were just catching up for the lost time. We were just by with each other. We were just us.
Sitting still. I don't know how many minutes had passed. Until I found my voice. My body getting up and I run towards her figure with all the strength I gathered.
"CASS!" I screamed at the top of my lungs. Like our lives were depending on it.
Policemen jumped in action. Subduing the two criminals. On lookers having their phones up in the air. Flashes everywhere I look. Taking videos and pictures of the chaos instead of helping us much to my dismay.
Fuck it, Cass. How could you do this to me?
I'm your knight, and I'm the one who should do the saving. You're the princess in the tower. You're the one I need to protect. You're my damsel in distress.
But why in the freaking hell would you get your self stabbed in my place?