I was late for our supposed meet up for our Research. We were supposed to meet in LMBTC by 9 am. I woke up at 8:43. I received messages from my group mates like, ‘Don’t forget about the wood pieces and the amplifier (which I did not bring because it made my bag heavier and I couldn’t handle all the weight because of my knee).” and, “Kuya ‘person-assisting-us-in-the-university’ is going home. He asked if your sister could assist us instead.”
So I woke my sister up to ask her if she received a message from Kuya ‘person-assisting-us-in-the-university’ about the assisting issue. I told her what we were supposed to do. The audio generator. The tweeter. The frequency we need. But she didn’t know how to use the audio generator. She got up and logged in on her Facebook. She chatted with her classmates, asking if they knew how to use this machine. I waited for her decision of assisting us for almost thirty minutes. Because I was tired of waiting, I went down to our kitchen and decided to eat breakfast. After a while, she called my name and told me that she found a classmate who knew how to use the generator. She added that it has to be now because her classmate wasn’t staying all day at their school. I texted my group mates to head to the university already and I’ll just catch up. I took a bath shortly after. Then headed to the university. (My sister was also going to her school but she told me to go ahead.)
The sunlight was killing me. (No, not literally.) I waited for five minutes for a jeep or a multicab. But there was none. So I rode a pedicab to get to the old town’s library where the vehicles were usually waiting for passengers. This pedicab driver, apparently did not hear me say, “Ha sakayan hit mga jeep (to the loading area of the jeeps).” He instead took me to the gym.
“Umm…ha sakayan han mga jeep (loading area of the jeeps).” The driver thought I said gym. I was sort of irritated because I was already late (not his fault but mine) and he was not helping. I dismissed that irritation. I finally rode a jeep to get to BIR where I was going to take another ride to the university.
I was sitting near the entrance of the multicab (the ride I should take to get to the university), and waiting for couple of minutes until the vehicle was full. So I sat bored there while the heat was making me sweat, a lot. I stared at the people hopping in the vehicle and at the people just passing by. Suddenly, someone caught my attention. She was a woman. She was carrying a baby. Or so I thought was a baby. ‘The baby’ looked like a baby because she was wearing those baby clothes and she was I guess, one feet and a few inches tall. The first thing I noticed was that the baby had unusually long legs. The woman was carrying the baby in some kind of like uncaring way because the baby’s body was in V-shape when she was carrying it. At first I thought, she couldn’t be the mother if she would be carrying that baby like that.
The woman asked if we could move farther because she would have a difficult time to get to the other end with the ‘baby’ she was carrying. We moved. That’s when I saw what the woman was really carrying. It wasn’t a baby. That was my first guess. She probably was seven years old (that’s what I guessed). But there was something wrong with her. Her face looked up to me and the person sitting beside me. My heart raced. It wasn’t something I saw everyday. Her eyes were big and sort of bulging. Right beneath her eyes was sort of, I guess, some kind of wound. Her arms were looked like broken. They were like somehow distorted, and so was her feet. I didn’t know why my heart beat was faster. Was it because I was scared of how she looked like? Or was it because I was scared of that look in that girl’s eyes?
There was a glint of innocence in her eyes. I couldn’t help my expression. My face, I knew, was the usual when I felt sad. That kid wasn’t well. The person sitting beside me, who was sitting exactly next to the woman, sounded like she was disgusted or something. But a while later, she actually started conversing with the woman. I heard the girl’s story.
She was twelve years old. (I was surprised.) She couldn’t stand properly, much more walk. She couldn’t speak. But she knows how to remember people. She would react to the familiar voices.
I didn’t get to hear what she was sick about. But for the thirty minutes I was sitting there with that twelve year-old, I was feeling sympathetic. I felt the desire to help her in some way. I felt a flame burst in my heart. I wanted to help her, rid her off of that illness. But how could I? I had nothing to offer to her but prayer. Then, I thought to myself, “Why did this happen to her, God?” I realized the answer could be something I will never understand. God’s thinking is way too unfathomable for me to understand. God has planned it. That’s my best guess. But why? Now, I don’t know. I could only guess that it may be a challenge to test their faiths. But then, maybe, God has some other things in his mind.
That whole thirty minutes I couldn’t think of other things besides I really wanted to be a doctor. A specialist in cases like that of that twelve year-old. I was filled with that much desire. I was never eager to help.
Kuya means older brother. Multicab is a vehicle like a jeep, only smaller.