It is easy to say “thank you”, “I love you” and “I miss you” but it’s hard to say “I’m sorry” and “goodbye”. Sometimes you want to tell and express to that person how much you appreciate and you value all of his/her efforts but you don’t have enough courage to do it. You will only realize his/her presence the moment he/she is gone.
Today is November 10, 2013. Seven days left and it will be the most awaited part of my life – my eighteenth birthday! I could still recall how happy I was whenever I and my family would be going to a party when I was a kid. I cannot hide the extreme excitement that I am feeling whenever I hear things like those. Most of the times, I would go to my mom’s room to ask what dress should I wear andI would grab my father’s hand and dance with him until I fell asleep.
Many would say that I am lucky because of so many things. I am studying in an exclusive school for girls. I have a loving and very supportive mother, and a hardworking father. Since I don’t have any sibling, all my needs and wants can easily be provided by my parents. I really don’t have anything to wish for. But that was before. Something happened that changed me and my entire life.
It was November 16, 2009 around ten o’clock in the evening. I was on my way to our house when one of my friends suddenly called me and asked if I could accompany him because he will be attending his father’s engagement.
“I know it’s quite late but please…” he has not finished his sentence because I already said yes even if I am not so sure if my parents would allow me to go with him or not.
I tried to call my mom but it’s out of coverage area. I tried to call my dad so I could ask permission but it just keeps on ringing so I texted him that I will be out for a while.
It was passed ten o’clock and I am already with my best friend. His real name is Ralph Enzo Mendoza but I used to call him Enzo. I met him first at school when we were in our elementary days. We started as enemies but we end up being best friends.. Yes. Bestfriends! Maybe because we have lots of similarities and one of those is the craziness in which only the two of us could understand. Aside from that, his father has the biggest share in the company where my Dad is working as the Manager.
“What is it again this time Enzo? I thought we will be going to your father’s engagement?”
“Hahaha! Did I say that Casey?”
“What?! Ugh you fooled me again!”
“Hahaha! It wasn’t my fault. It was yours and even if we will be going there, it was already finished. It started at around seven o’clock and it’s already ten- thirty.”
“Uh- whatever! So what are we going to do now?”
“Hmmm.. Honestly, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just drive you to your house since it’s already late.”
Both of us were quiet for a moment until he opened the conversation.
“How did you know that tonight was my father’s engagement?”
“My dad mentioned it to me last time.”
I tried not to look at his face because he might notice that I am not telling him the truth.
I pretend that I didn’t hear him.
I looked at his face for about five seconds.
“Enzo… can I ask you something?”
“What is it my dear Casey?”
“What? C’me on Casey you can do it.”
“Ah never mind. I hope to see you tomorrow in the party. Thanks for the ride.”
Then I left his car. I don’t understand why it is so hard for me to say that I do appreciate all of his efforts. Maybe because I don’t get used to itand I am not that typical girl who could easily express the things she really wants.
The next morning..
On the side of my bed, I have seen a bouquet of flowers with a message on it.
“Good morning Sweety! I have already prepared your breakfast. I’ll just see you on your party later ok? I love you baby.”
Even if it doesn’t have a name on the message, I could tell that it is from my mom.
I walked downstairs so I could have my breakfast. I was surprised when I went to the living room. There were lots of people coming in and out of our house. Others were greeting me a Happy Birthday.
After breakfast, I checked my phone and I have seen a lot messages coming from my other friends and from Enzo.
“Thank you for the greetings! I can’t wait to see all of you in the party tonight.” was my response to all of their greetings.
As time goes by, people are becoming busier while I was just waiting for the car which would pick me up to the venue.
As I was preparing myself for the party, daddy knocked into my room.
“Casey, my princess, you look so adorable in that pink dress. I could not imagine that the baby that I was holding fifteen years ago was already standing in front of me and would grow into a beautiful young lady.”
“Daddy, stop it. You’re becoming too dramatic again. Hahaha!”
“I am just telling you the truth my princess.”
“Thank you so much dad.”
“Don’t thank me yet.”
Daddy got a small pink box from his pocket and he gave it to me. I opened the box and I saw a necklace. That was the most special gift that I have received on my fifteenth birthday and it’s because of two things. First, it was given by my daddy and inside the heart-shaped pendant is a picture of my mom and dad. I turned around so my dad could see it.
“Now you look perfect”, he said.
I cannot explain how happy I was in that particular moment. I hugged him so tight that he could not almost breathe.
“Thank you so much Daddy! I promise to be a good daughter always and I will take care of this necklace.”
“It’s ok my princess. I am willing to do everything just for you. But, I got to go now because there are still things to be fixed in the venue. I’ll see you there ok?”
“Ok dad. I love you.”
After two hours of waiting..finally! The car arrived.
I felt something unusual while we were on our way to the venue. I don’t know why I am having that feeling.
I tried to divert my attention to some other things so I just listened to the music inside the car. As we get nearer to the venue, I started to have difficulty in breathing but I still acted as normal.
One.. .two.. .three..four… five… I have seen a truck coming on our way and not only that, I have also seen a car which is somehow familiar to me. All I could remember is the truck and that familiar car which I have seen before everything turned into black. I don’t know if it was just a dream or it was real.
I slowly opened my eyes. All I can see is a dark spot. I closed my eyes and open it for the second time. Nothing has changed. I’m trying to recall what happened, who I am and why I am in the hospital when I heard a voice coming beside me. The voice is so familiar but I cannot recall who is talking.
“How are you feeling right now?”
“Uh— I’m okay. May I know your name?”
“Just call me Enzo.”
Then I heard that someone opened the door again.
“Casey, I have to go now. Please take care of yourself and I hope that you will be out from this horrible place soon.” he said.
I don’t understand. Why is he calling me Casey? Why am I here in the hospital? Do I really know him? How am I related to him? Those were the questions that entered into my mind.
“I just need to check on your vitals” said the voice coming from my left side.
If I was in the hospital, then probably she is a nurse.
“Uh-excuse me. Can I ask you something?”
“What is it?” said the nurse.
“Who brought me here in the hospital? Why am I here? Why can’t I see anything?”
“Ma’am I’m so sorry but I guess I am not in the position to answer all of your questions. Just wait for the time that you will be out from here and I’m sure you have your friends who could tell you what exactly happened.” she explained.
From then on, I stop asking questions from anybody. Even if I really want to know the answers as soon as possible, maybe the nurse is right. There are right ways of doing things. I guess I just really have to wait for my friends to tell me the whole story-story of why am I here in the hospital. But, why did my friends would tell me what happened? Don’t I have any guardian/parents?
After one week, the doctor finally announced that I can go home already. Enzo immediately went to the hospital so he could fetch me.
“Is it okay if you will be staying in our house while you are still recovering?” he asked.
“Don’t I have a house? Where is my family? Do I have a family?”, I asked.
“Of course you do have a family but they are in a far place right now. Don’t worry, your mom and dad knows me and they told me that I should look after you.”
“If that is the case, then I think I should go with you but just today. Tomorrow, I will be going to our house.”
“If that is what you want, then we will go to your house.”
“Can I just go there alone? Can you just give me a ride tomorrow? I really wanted to go home.”
“Casey, I’m sorry. You should not go there alone. I should be with you wherever you will go.”
“But why? Don’t I have my own life?”
“I guess you’re already tired Casey. Just take a rest today and we will just talk again tomorrow. Let me show you your room.”
I followed him.
The following day..
“Good Morning Casey. How was your sleep?” Enzo asked with a sweet smile on his face.
“Good. But, I am hungry now.”
“Okay. Breakfast is ready my sweety.”
Breakfast is ready my sweety? Why did he called me sweety? I cannot understand what is happening.
After breakfast, I asked Enzo if he could drive me to our house. Good thing he didn’t hesitate to say yes. I was happy because he will be accompanying me.
While we were inside his car, I cannot avoid staring at his angelic face. I thought he wouldn’t notice it but I was wrong.
“Is there something wrong?” he asked.
“Ah..none. I just want to..ah.. thank you for being so kind to me.”
I didn’t mean to say those words..Uh. No! That’s not what I mean.. I just don’t want him to misinterpret the way I looked at him.
“Is that all?”
“Yeah, I really just want to thank you for everything.” I said with full conviction.
“It’s okay. You’re like a sister to me.”
Since I cannot find any words to say, I just smiled at him.
“Casey, wake up. We’re already here in your house.”
I rubbed my eyes with my hands then I went out to his car.
“Is this really our house? Why is it too quiet? Where is mom and dad? You told me they were in a far place. Why don’t you call and tell them that I am already home, or if you want just give me their number and I’ll be the one to call them.”
We enter to the house. Even if I could not see it, I could tell that the house is so messy. I touched the window pane in the living room and I felt the dust in my hands. I sat on the sofa and I wondered why it was covered with a cloth.
Maybe Enzo noticed my reaction so he tried to catch my attention.
“Casey..I’m so sorry.”
“Sorry for what?
“Sorry if I haven’t told you the truth. “
“Huh? What do you mean?”
“I really don’t know where exactly your parents are but I’m sure that they will always guide you in every decision you make.”
“I don’t understand. What do you mean you don’t know where they are? I thought they asked you to look after me.. Why don’t you just tell what’s going on?”
“Are you sure you are now ready to know the truth?”
I was not actually sure if I am ready to know and face the truth. I feel nervous and my heart starts beating so fast. I still tried my very best so he won’t notice it.
“It was your fifteenth birthday and everybody was busy in preparing for your party. It was already four o’clock in the afternoon when you were on your way to the venue. You did not go with your parents because both of them are busy preparing different stuffs and surprises for you.”
He paused for a while to see if I was listening attentively. I could feel the weakening of his voice.
“Go on. Continue. I’m listening”I told him.
“While you were on your way to the venue, the car which your parents used was caught in an accident. A truck went on the lane wherein the car you used was on the same location. Just as soon as before the truck reached your car, your dad decided that they would rather take the risk of being hurt rather than you. You were supposed to be caught in the accident and not your parents. They were unconscious when they were brought to the hospital. The same with you, you were also unconscious for almost six months. Even if you weren’t hurt that badly, the doctor said that there was a fracture in your spinal column and some debris has entered into your eyes and that is the reason why you cannot see anything except for a black spot.” He tried not to cry in front of me while he was telling me the truth.
I don’t know what to feel upon hearing those words from Enzo. I AM ALREADY BLIND. But there is still a big question in my mind..
“Where is mom? Where is dad? What happened to them?”
I keep on telling to myself that they are both in good condition, that I will be seeing them soon.. I tried not to cry but tears suddenly fell from my eyes upon hearing the words which broke not just my heart but my entire being.
“Casey, I’m sorry. They didn’t make it. They were in a state of comatose for three days and after that, they left the heaven to abode. I’m so sorry.”
I told myself that I shouldn’t cry because I know and I can feel that what Enzo just said was not true. They won’t leave me alone.
“Casey..it’s okay. It’s okay to cry” he told me, leaning a little closer.
Poor Casey Lisher Tan! She can no longer see anything because she’s blind and worst; her parents have passed away on her exact birthday. I feel so helpless. I want to shout. I want to cry until all the water in my body would gone dry. But what else can I do? They already left me and even if I cried a river, they will never be back.
“I forgot to tell you.. I have seen a necklace in your car. Is this yours?”
He handed me the necklace. I opened the heart-pendant shaped. I felt something glossy like a picture inside the pendant so I took the necklace.
I tried to absorb everything that happened on my fifteenth birthday and with the help of Enzo, I could now recall everything even the promise that I made to my Dad that I will keep that necklace for the rest of my life.
That painful experience happened three years ago and I have learned so many things through that experience. My perception of life changed. I realized that we don’t have to live forever, we just have to LIVE. We should not fear death but fear a life unlived.
Until now I could not believe that mom and dad already left me for good. But I know that in God’s perfect time, we will still be seeing each other again. It may not be too soon but it will happen. I know..it will happen.
Author: Song Hyun Ah aka CallMeRiina
Originally posted in Wattpad last July 31, 2015