- Friday, April 20, 2007

Just Like

Light penetrated the glassy window, peeking into the old little library within the three-century-year old cottage with curiosity to discover more and familiarity of the furniture placings. It blinked and blinked, twisted about, trying to look at every angle of the room so that questions within its mind, if it ever had one, would be answered somehow or rather.

Slowly, like a descending dove, it landed on the surface of the floor gently with thin bony legs perfect for a ballerina dancer; its hands running past the thick dusty books tenderly, careful not to injure anything yet warm enough to heat the covers and brown pages. Its eyes scanned around, recalling every incident happened in this particular library, the emotions that haunted the area, the memories that partied every moment, and the intense nostalgia that surfaced everytime a descendant of the 'Hendersons' enter this site.

It walked slowly, gently enough not to hurt the wooden floor. Its transparent body roamed the room like a ghost, smiling at every dust as if capable of communicating, perceiving every possible thought of the events happened here. But until an extend could it only walk to, and beyond that lies an emerging rage of immense evil incomprehensible to the innocent, and to attempt touching it would be all hell break lose.

A crack sang from the door as it slowly opened, chorusing in unison the entrance of a young polite and rich lady, a descendant of the Hendersons, named Helen Henderson. She wore a formal jacket, dark green and elegant, with a black silk shirt hiding behind, a short knee-length green skirt and a pair of Prada shoes. Her hazelnut eyes looked about the room, and soon welling up with tears. She didn't march in quickly, but slowly, as if a ghost materializing before its victim for enjoyment seeing him fear.

Motioning to the stack of old books, her left arm brushed the rows of books, put together orderly. Each time her hand feels another book, a new memory shot into her, a mixed feeling of nostalgia stirred within her, and each time it intensifies. These books weren't of normalcy; they were extraordinary. Though memories haunted her, she willingly accepted them for she was who was due to their existence; they shaped her. Slowly, the memories within her mind started flashing, dancing in mockery and in care. It was as if a shiny mirror repelled the image into one's vision, enabling one to feel the dark emotions within the reflection's eyes.

Her eyes diverted to the surroundings. Everything seemed wanted and unwanted, perhaps it was the light's presence, accomplanied with dancing dusts that hit at each atmospheric molecule around. The wooden smell still filled her olfactory senses and embraced her with joy at the knowledge of her return. They whispered to her ears, "Ah, what pleasure!" She shrugged.

Suddenly she stopped her movement, her spine was flushed with horror, her eyes shook with tremendous fear, her fingers trembled. Without the need to look, Helen knew what it was. She wouldn't call it a book because it didn't have any look of a book. It was binded when gray colored binds and brownish A4 papers each colored with simple strokes of crayons and Luna color pencils. She wasn't amazed that this scrapbook was here, in fact, she found it funny. A tear rolled down her face. She gasped.

"Honey," Helen heard a man's voice. Was it her or was it real, she couldn't determine. She was somehow confused. Perhaps, she argued, she was still stuck in the past, or perhaps, she let the past drown her, and consume her inside out. Then, this instant, she realized that she was in her memories, standing aside looking over a man of great love and compassion with a chubby little girl on his thighs.

"What are you doing here?" He asked with a gentle loving fatherly tone. The little girl glanced at her father and smiled, then pointed to the little scrapbook. She nodded her head and then jumped off her father's thighs onto the floor so that she could gaze into the man's eyes.

"Pa," her cute girly voice echoed within the room, "this is your birthday pressie. Me me drew for you this." She handed him the book slowly with care and said, "Nice?"

The man chuckled and took the scrapbook from her hands, and opened the first page. "My papa's name is Harold Genior Henderson." He tried to mimic his daughter's voice, but failed, as what seemed to the overlooking Helen who chuckled with tears. "I love him a lot, a lot, and a lot. x100000000000000. I will share my cake with him if he call me goodie girl. Or angel. But I won't let him play with my barbie doll. They are not for boys." Helen chuckled again, this time she started to sob painfully.

The little girl smiled with pride. "Yes! I mean it, papa. Don't touch my barbie."

Harold held up his hands in protest with a smile, "No, I didn't!"

"Yes, y-y-you did! I can prove it. I really can."

"Ah. Then how?"

"Your hands are dirty. See! Unless you touched your poo!"

"These are the greasy oil, darling. Not poo. And they leave stains you see." He giggled.

"But I call my barbies Poo, Boo, and Too. They are cute names, you have to agree!"

"I didn't touch poo or Poo. I touched Loo, my greasy oil. Maybe you're saying this because you kicked my darling car, did you? It got so frightened til it wee-wee-ed. Did you?"

She looked at him with fear, as if he guessed correctly that she did. Then she covered her face with her little meaty hands and sobbed. "Now, now, honey, what's the matter? Big girls don't cry suddenly." Her father said, touching her arms.

She continued for a moment and then took her hands away, revealing a smile. "Lousy papa. I can fool you." And then gave a loud long laugh. Harold, of course, giggled along with her, since he knew that time wasn't much.

That night, Helen recalled, the sound of an ambulance screeched throughout the neighborhood and stopped at her cottage's doorstep. The whole house was upside down - the maids were running, trying to get warm water; the menservants were helping to carry Harold; Virginia, the little girl's mom, stormed in and out of the room and house panicky. Though Helen couldn't understand what happened back then, and often questioned her mom where her father is; she could understand it now, perfectly.

Harold Genior Henderson was dead. Her father died. That night after the evening when he spent time with her laughing and giggling, then choking together with tears in their eyes yet still generously laughing over some little joke.

Helen sobbed and smiled.

She opened the scrapbook within her hands and stared at each picture - the one with a barbie doll she named Poo, Boo, and Too; the one with her cute tiny father giving her a rose, as if he was her boyfriend; the one with her kicking her daddy, because he touched her dolls; the one he smiled happily, but smile rather distorted.

Her tears fell onto the book as she covered her nose and mouth with her hands.

Time passed with her sobbing and chuckling as she ventured into the deep memories that encircled the room mysteriously. It was fun and painful, but she wanted it to occur. It was the meaning of life to her as she saw it slip past her hands, and when it was done fleeing, she would get to see her father and jump onto his laps and tell him again, "Father, I love you." If ever she could prepare a speech for her father, it would be the shortest one ever spoke ever written. It would just consist of few words - "I love you, papa. I miss you too."

She imagined running into her father's arms, and hug him tight, never to let him go again. But she feared that he would disappear, right in her arms, and turn into ashes and sand. And maybe right then, she could understand the meaning of gaining and losing someone you cherish simultaneously - just like what Harold used to write in one of his diaries.

Just like what Harold used to write in his diaries, that he loved his little girl, his little princess. Just like what Harold used to write in his diaries, that he cared for his little girl, his little princess, his little angel. Just like what Father used to write in his diaries, that he would never leave nor forsake his little girl, his little princess, his little angel, his little Helen Henderson.

Just like what Father used to write in his diaries...

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