I can never understand my silence. Nothing seemed so possible especially when all I’ve gone through are quite different from everyone else. I found myself very contrasted from my own surrounding. I can’t help but ask “Why am I so different?” There may be times I find it so unique and made me, somehow, proud of my self. In the contrary, from time to time, I feel left out.
I am an ordinary boy everyone would come to think - a naïve being who is nobody’s concern. And I kind of like it even better. My story began when my parents divorced.
Mom and dad separated when I was at the tender age of sixteen. Being a surrogate parent to my younger brother was a tough duty. I had to stop schooling and had to find a job. I cried so many nights wondering where and how I could find one. Twas a great blessing that I landed one. Working in a mall – mopping every tile, sweeping every corner, and wiping every window – was, somehow, a decent and clean job. I stayed in that company for quite a long time and the management was happy to have me there.
During my stay in that place, I had lots of questions lingering inside me. Of the entire “why” and all the “what ifs” that made me think of doing so much revenge yet my conscience tells me not to. It would be so pathetic of me to do such malicious act. I keep on contemplating and hiding myself from the world I used to and learned to love. I shaped a barrier out of the disasters and of the hatred I feel deep in me. It made me despise the world and the life it gives.
Months passed and soon my fellow schoolmates, my teachers, and my friends knew what I was up to. “I don’t give a damn!” said I. No one cared, I thought, until the rumour buzzed around the whole campus. Upon hearing it, the school’s guidance counsellor called me. She told me that I have to see her one of these days. And without any hesitations, I decided to visit her office the succeeding day.
At the crack of dawn, I prepared myself to everything that might happen. I dressed my self to cloak the infamy my name was carrying - I annihilated my own reputation. On my way to the hall, I noticed that everyone was staring at me. I felt like a candle - bit by bit melting because of shame. I felt so insecured and that I had to get out of this loathsome sight. Every step I took seemed to be a very hard one. Every stride has its own feeling - a feeling of disgrace and of humiliation. Slowly, I sneaked my way into the counsellor’s office. Fear then started to envelop me – as if mortification was going to eat me whole. Her secretary approached me minutes later and told me to wait until I was called. To my surprise, I found the principal and the counsellor looking for me, too. With feelings of dread contained by me, I started to walk towards the conference room. There, everyone else was waiting.
Upon entering, the panel told me to stand at the middle of the room. I found myself cold-footed. Sweat, at that point, was dripping like water from an opened faucet. My body began to shake and feel numb. The interrogation began. There, they asked me to tell them the whole story – the story I always wanted to erase from my young and corrupted mind.
At the occurrence of remembering what had happened, I didn’t help myself but cry while telling them my story – of how dad beat mom up, of how he maltreated us, of how he placed me inside a sack and hang it upside down. Telling them of how he punched me and how blood flowed from my mouth and of how I suffered the pain it caused, of how he planned of shooting me at the head. And of how I began to look for a job to support and sustain my younger brother’s needs. I cried and cried remembering all these things until I could cry no more.
“No wonder it was a necessary thing for mom to divorce dad,” I said to myself.
I told them the information they wanted to hear. Even though my family’s reputation and dignity are at stake, I have no choice but to tell them. Soon, after hearing from me the story that was going around the campus, the panel talked with the counsellor and the principal. They let me out of the room for it was a very confidential conversation. So I walked out of the room with a great sigh of relief. The secretary sat beside me and told me that she knew everything. I just gave her a smile and nodded my head. After the long wait, they let me in again. Now the secretary has to accompany me. She led me towards the room. And with a wonderful smile, she opened the door. I wonder what that smile meant.
The principal, the counsellor, and the panel told me about their proposals. How happy was I upon knowing that the scholarship committee is very much willing to help me pay my brother’s and my school fees and that I have to worry no more.
Years passed and I graduated from college. Yes, growing without parents was a difficult for me. But it didn’t stop me from graduating Magna cum Laude. My brother is now a highly respected lawyer and I, a respected doctor. How thankful was I to the committee, the principal, the counsellor, my friends, and to everyone who helped out. And I began to realize what that smile meant.
Before, I was so embarrassed if everyone knew about my life’s story. Now, I can’t find any reason not to tell everyone else of how lucky I am. Every now and then, those bad memories still haunt me. Now, I fully understand what I feel and what to do with my own silence.