Lily: The Crestfallen
A short story By: Bashilona
I was awakened by a loud screech coming from my right side. I opened my eyes and saw my black kitten busy ripping my old sketch papers. I sat up and enclosed him with my two palms. He squirmed to get rid of me so I let him go. I watched him got out from my room and stumble away with my doormat before running downstairs, then suddenly I felt sad. There are things that even though you want them to stay, still they need to leave you and all you can do is to let them go. I slapped myself mentally. What am I thinking?
I stood and fixed myself before going downstairs, but before I left my room my eyes darted to the calendar hanging above our family picture. It is 25th of May. I took a deep breath but there's something on my throat which made me hard to swallow. I went downstairs and the rowdy chant coming from our television welcomed me. As I entered our living room, I saw the broad back of my father. His back was facing me. He is watching again his favorite football team.
"Lara tapos ka na ba riyan?" Dad asked.
"Malapit na, konting dressing na lang." Mom answered from our kitchen. I bet she's cooking again. I was going to approach Dad and hug him from his back when suddenly his phone rang. He answered it immediately.
"Good morning Sir, may balita na po ba?" Dad asked his caller. My brows creased. I sighed. I turned around and walked towards the kitchen. Maybe, I better give Mom my morning kiss first. Dad can wait. Besides, he's busy talking to someone on the phone.
When I was on my way towards the kitchen I smelled the aroma of my Mom's kitchen perfection. As I reached the entrance, I saw her dancing smoothly in her own rhythm as she prepared the plates on our dining table. I laughed silently. My Mom is my epitome of beauty. She's pretty. I always adore her in every way. I was going to walk towards her when Dad entered roughly on our kitchen and I stumbled. Dad! You forgot how big you are huh? Well, he seems blind for not seeing me here either, I bet he's getting older already. He got some eyesight issue and it's bad.
He sat down immediately and I saw how the smiling face of my Mom turned into a frown when she saw Dad's expression. She sat on the chair facing Dad. Seriously? Didn't they notice me? I was going to call them but Mom started to talk and following words she uttered make me confused.
"Sino 'yung tumawag?" Mom asked. Dad looked away and pointed his attention to the food in front of him.
"Si Sir Morres." Dad said.
Morres? Is that the police living in the nearby house? With what Dad told Mom, her eyes started to water which made me wonder. I walked towards them and sat beside Mom. I was going to pat Mom's shoulder when she confronted Dad.
"Anong sabi nila Gian? Ano na ba raw ang balita?" Mom asked. Dad didn't look at Mom. Instead he shook his head as a response. Mom gasped.
"B-bakit wala pa? Mag dadalawang buwan ng nawawala ang anak natin, Gian. Hindi pwedeng hanggang ngayon ay wala pa rin. Anong klaseng pulis sila?" Mom blurted.
My brows knitted. Anak? I am the only daughter of them. I don't have any siblings either. As far as I know, my parents are faithful to each other for me to have any siblings on both side. What does Mom mean? Wait! Me? Gone? Since when was I missing? I didn't leave them.
"Hindi mahahanap ang taong ayaw magpahanap, Lara." Dad said coldly.
"Pero she's our daughter Gian. And if there's anything that might happen to her, sisisihin ko ang sarili ko!" Mom said while fighting the urge to sob, but by the looks of her, she's in the verge of bursting it.
Silence coped between them. Then in just a moment, I heard Mom's sobbing beside me and that's the most painful thing to hear.
It hurts to see and hear your mother crying. It is the worst scene that a child can take. It's like crumpling your inner self without you knowing. But, really, what is happening?
Dad finally look into Mom's eyes, and I gasp silently when I saw how teary-eyed Dad was.
"Lara, she's also my daughter. Pero ..... Pero Lara, alam nating dalawa kung bakit siya nawawala. She even left us a note right? Lumayas siya, Lara. Lumayas siya." Dad's voice broke as he said that last two words. Unknowingly, my tears started to fall on their own.
"Dad!" I called out.
But they seem deaf for not hearing me. They didn't even give a glimpse on me.
"Did we do something wrong? May mali ba sa pagpapalaki natin sa kaniya? Ever since I gave her anything she wanted. I love her Gian. Pero bakit kung umasta siya parang ako na ang pinakawalang kwentang nanay sa mundo? It hurts for a mother to see her child growing up the way she didn't want her child to be." Mom said.
"We didn't do anything wrong. Even me Lara, napapaisip ako. Nagkulang ba ako? Naging strikto ba akong ama sa kaniya? She's our only daughter, yet as she grew up, I tend to forget who she is to me. The way she acted and talked back to me, it seems like she's not the sweet little princess of mine anymore. Then, as I read the note that she left, there I realized what's wrong. Sobra akong naging tutok sa trabaho na nakalimutan kong may anak akong naghihintay na bigyan ko man lang kahit katiting ng atensyon ko. That is painful for a father like me. Ang mabigyan siya ng magandang buhay lang ang gusto ko, pero ang hindi ko alam dahil sa hangarin kong iyun, nawala sa akin ang taong pinanghuhugutan ko ng lakas para magpatuloy." Dad said. He's so strong to keep himself from sobbing when his tears already fell on their own.
I stopped myself from sobbing. What are they talking about? I didn't leave them. Rebelling against them is not on my vocabulary. And note? When did I leave them a thing like that? I clasped my mouth because I can't take it anymore. Seeing them both crying hurts like being imprisoned on Akhlys home in Tartarus.
"I miss her Gian. I miss her sweetness. I miss how she gave me her morning kisses. I miss how she clanged to me when she needed something from us. I miss her braiding my hair. I miss her a lot. I miss her."
Hearing those words from my mother makes me whimper. I can't take hearing any words from them anymore. I was going to stand when Mom stood abruptly and looked at Dad intently.
"I miss our daughter. Kaya't kung hindi man siya mahanap ng mga pulis, ako mismo ang maghahanap sa kaniya." Mom strode away from the kitchen.
"Lara! Hey!" Dad called out as he followed Mom outside. I was left there dumbfounded. Without any words, I followed them as well, but they're already outside.
I was on our living room when I saw a violet paper properly folded beside our family picture. I picked and opened it up. Then there I saw the reason behind all of these.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I'm sorry. I'm sorry for being worst. I'm sorry for messing up everything you dreamed for me. I know, well everyone knows how much you love me. But it seems the breeze of the wind suddenly changes. You ditched me for your work and career. I thought, I am the only one that you love but I was wrong. You went home from work without even glancing and checking on me if I'm still awake. There's no goodnight kisses from the both of you anymore. You forgot weekend trips for client meeting. You forgot accompanying me on our family day at school for your hectic schedule. You forgot your own daughter for your own reason. I became worse. You even scolded me for that, but I'm glad for it because for being the worse, you noticed me. I dropped out of school, went to several clubs every night. At first, I was hesitant to do such things, but I was hurt enough for me to refrain from doing those things. I'm sorry if I disappointed you, but I was just your little princess seeking for your little attention. You get embarrassed because of me. You're a good person and having me as a daughter is shameful on your part. I'm proud of being your daughter but I'm not proud of being ashamed by my parents. So maybe, just maybe, putting some space between us will make things back to its finest. Leaving the both of you alone makes our family at peace. Mom, Dad, Sorry. Sorry for giving you your worst delimma, that's why I'm doing this. I'm doing what's good for all of us. I may be the worst daughter, but I'm leaving you for the better because I love you till forever. But for now, Goodbye.
As I finished reading the letter, I heard a loud screech outside our house. Then, reality hit me. I immediately dropped the paper when my phone rang.
I answered it.
"Lily? Nasaan ka na ba? Ikaw na lang ang hinihintay dito. Don't tell me kahit dito magiging matigas pa rin iyang ulo mo? Lily, huwag mo naman ipagsawalang bahala ang Mama at Papa mo. Kahit sa burol man lang nila, magpakita ka sana."
The pain started to remind me. It's May 25. It's been five days since that day happened.
"Yes Tita, I'm on my way." I said then ended the call.
I looked at my parents picture in front of me. By that, my tears started to fall on their own. I cried silently. They died because of me. They died because of loving me.
That scene was their last moment here in our house. I can madly picture it out based from what my relatives said to me. The moment before Mom went out searching for me and Dad calling her from behind, trying to stop her. But, mom was driven by her emotions that she drove Dad's car away, leaving Dad on the street wailing to stop his wife but because of his undying concern to his wife, he didn't notice the big truck that is coming on his way. My Dad died, hit by a truck. While Mom died on a car accident. She crashed on a post without her noticing it. She's occupied with her thoughts that she went driving the wrong way insanely.
I was having my happiest hour during that time. Dancing with people whom I knew for only a minute. Lauging so loud while drinking so hard. But a phone call coming from my aunt took me back to sanity. She told me what happened to my parents. She told me everything.
I picked up my parents picture and caressed it.
"Its been five days Mom, Dad. But still, it's hard for me to accept that we will just end up like this. I'm sorry. I should have done better than that. I should have stayed by your side. I should have been the sweet little Lily you ever loved. I shouldn't get tired understanding the both of you. I love you. Yet, it's too late and I blame myself for that. Kung hindi lang sana ako nagdamdam. Kung hindi lang sana ako nagtanim ng sama ng loob. Kung hindi lang sana ako lumayas. Kung inunawa ko pa kayo ng lubos. Kung sana ... Kung sana nga lang ganoon ... I hope I can bring back those time and change it. But I can't and it hurts. It hurts to go there on your funeral and bid goodbye when I'm not ready to let the both of you go. I'm sorry and I love you. "
Then I finally decided the thing that has been on my mind for the past five days. I took the white plastic bottle inside my pocket and opened it. I put all those white small medicine in my palm and put them into my mouth.
But before I can swallowed it, my black kitten appeared before me --- looking at me. As if saying that, "You're so weak and immature Lily. There must be better things to take rather than that. "
I sighed. I spit it out from my mouth and took my kitten, tangled between my arms. He's the first gift of my parents when I was still seven years old. My kitten's right. There must be another way. But it may be hard to know what it is. This is the problem of being attached to someone we love. When they leave you, you feel lost. And I'm lost. But reminiscing my moments with them and hugging this kitten doesn't make me feel lost already. Instead, I found my strength to go on. My parents, even anyone, doesn't want someone to dwell on our past. Even though how much it hurts, still the past is not worth staying for, thus remembering it, is what's really we just should do -- because what matter most is the present and the upcoming future. Just like what Lauren Oliver said on her book Delirium, "If you hear the past speaking up to you, feel it tugging up your back and running its fingers up your spine, the best thing to do - the only thing - is run."
So we must run, not because of being coward but we are brave enough to conquer what's next when the past is still dragging us behind.
I put down my kitten and started to walk upstairs. There's not enough time to get into drama, I have an important funeral to attend to and that's how moving on starts.
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