THIS IS LUCAS finally having the time to resuscitate this blog. I haven’t been able to update because I voluntarily gave away my laptop in exchange for a portable media player. Well, my Tita needed it more than I do. It’s just frustrating not being able to vomit words straight into a computer. And thoughts easily dissolve into thin air when I attempt to put them into writing using pen and paper. Luckily, I’ll get my laptop back after two months. Besides I have all the time in the world. Oh wait. Time doesn’t exist in my world, does it?
Halloween was still Halloween. I mean it’s always fun to have a family gathering in a cemetery, meet up with friends, and scare people with hideous masks. But ‘fun’ was not the right word to describe what happened the day before Halloween. It was ‘terrifying’. My father was caught up in a bad car accident. He was traversing the length of SLEX, when one of his tires exploded and a bus crashed against his car straight into the driver side. I was at my grandmother’s house when my sister told me the terrible news and added that my father refuses to get medical help insisting just to stay at home. I was suddenly reminded of those exaggerated dramatic scenes in telenovelas where in a protagonist dies in someone’s arms, bleeding, saying his last words. In a flash, I filled a bag with medical supplies I could use and went home.
My mind was racing, moving on a flash-forward, with images so revolting that I felt nauseated. It was one of those moments when I could actually say that I am scared. I couldn’t deny it because I could see it on my own eyes when I looked at the rear view mirror. And once again questions attacked the last remaining part in my head that could make sense of what’s happening. I tried to block them away. I saw years of regret in front of me and billowing unspoken words that had made a gap between me and my father. That was when I said to my self—He can’t die.
I saw the wrecked car as we got near to our destination—severely damaged with an enormous dent that practically bent the car from the middle. A total wreck. No one could’ve survived this. The car finally stopped. Breathe Ron. Clear your head. Don’t panic. As a nurse, trying to save someone’s life is challenging but when someone personally significant to you is involved, it’s a whole different story. It’s very hard to compartmentalize the personal from the professional stuff. But as a medical practitioner, you’re not allowed to panic or make mistake because whoever needs your help, that person's life is at stake. No room for mistakes. And the more reason I got scared. I broke into a run, my heart hammering my throat, and my lungs mimicking a brown bag being used by someone suffering from acute hypercapnia. And then it hit me. How did he manage to go home. Refusing medical help?—that is so stupid?!!!
I arrived at the threshold frustration and fear churning in my gut.
“Ano, Conicks?” I heard my father say my weirdest nick name, with a crooked smile that practically said ‘Whew! That was close.’
Relief rushed over me like cold water in a very hot summer day.
“Akala ko mamatay ka na eh!” I exclaimed feigning the urge to bang my head on a wall. My father survived a car crash with just a few shallow scratches, cuts, and a sprained wrist. I insisted that he get himself checked by a physician. He still refuses till now.
Stupid. We both are.