Monday, October 19, 2009

No One Need Know

Today the rain fell lightly. It wasn't much of a rain but it was enough reason to open the umbrella. My sandals flapped wetly. I should have thought better and worn shoes when I left home. I pulled Anna into the umbrella while she dreamily walked oblivious to the cold rain pitter-pattering on her hair.
"Come in here, honey," I covered her little head with my hand and brought her in. She didn't say anything. She normally doesn't say anything. Normally she just thinks to herself, murmuring something, or in her happier moods whisper a song, a melody that she caught on TV. Sometimes I wonder what she thinks in that little head of hers.
The rain sang gently on the umbrella. She looked up, "Is the umbrella going to tear?"
"No, dear, it won't. Don't worry; if it tears I will make sure you don't get wet."
She looked at the umbrella. "But I want to go out in the rain!"
"And get sick? I don't think so."
Anna is going away tomorrow and that was my final walk home with her. Her mother will take her to her new school. She is young, yes. She will be alone, yes. But sometimes, things like this happen. Sometimes you've got to just do things that you never wish and hope to be doing. I don't want to talk about why she has to go. But tomorrow she leaves.
And today we went to the dentist's to get some paperwork done so that the school dentist can pick up from wherever her previous dentist left off. Every morning I force her to brush her teeth with earnest. She'd stand beside me in her pajamas, I would be in my boxers and we'd both face the mirror. She follow my every movement as we brushed ("and brush and brush and brush and brush..." she'd say).
"But you're no fun!" she said, putting her hand out in the rain. "I want to go in the rain. Don't you know about the frog who sat on a leaf in the rain and jumped into the pond?"
I smiled. I have a book of poetry with an old Japanese print that showed a frog sitting on a lotus leaf floating on a pond and it was raining.
I watched how the grass trembled as rain fell on them. I watched trees sway gently as rain fell on them. I watched how Anna's skin tingled as rain fell on them. I heard the purring rain all around me.
I felt sad suddenly. This would be the last time I went home with Anna for a long long time. By the time she finish her school, she'd be a grown up. She would have her friends dropping her and picking her up whenever she wanted to get anywhere. This would be the last time I would hear her murmur and sing softly to herself as we make our way back.
My eyes started misting up. So many afternoons spent walking back home from her school and dentist and paino lessons and church...
What will I do now in the afternoons after she is gone?
A fat drop escaped my eyes and fell on Anna's nose.
She looked up. And looked at me. I sniffed back immediately. And looked back at her. Then she looked at the umbrella.
"I think the umbrella is breaking!" she reported, wiping her nose.
I looked up.
"OH YEAH! You're right! We're going to get wet, oh no!"
She smiled. "It's ok! Let's go into the rain!"
I looked at her. Her eyes gleamed with joy.
I closed the umbrella. And folded it. Felt the rain take over my face. My glasses. My body. My hands.
She yelped and shrieked. I picked her up on my arms. She shrieked again and laughed.
I wished for that laughter to remain forever in my mind. That moment to stay as it was forever. That we never reached home but froze in that rain just as we were. That tomorrow never come to pass.
Maybe it wasn't all rain that ran down my cheeks that day. But no one saw it. No one knew it. The passers-by saw a happy father and his happier daughter having fun in the rain. Without a care in this world.
No one need know.


Cheryl Chan said...


i am said...

thanns for reading it.

Navarino said...

something else ran down your cheek. something else flew in your head. something else got inked that day. something else, something else. that something else touched me all the way. Beautiful piece bro. Keep it up!!

i am said...

haha thanks brooooooooooo

Rathiulung KC said...

who is it about? Anna your daughter? haha

i am said...

yeah fictional daughter of course. its kind of story about how parents realise their kids (like it or not) go away from them. and how despite all the pampering and loving and taking care, its only the law of nature that takes kids away from their parents one day. sad, huh?