Sunday, September 21, 2014

Wazzup Pilipinas Original Short Stories Series: Altered

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The story is all about forgiveness and acceptance. Everyone in this world should accept what someone’s capabilities are. We all have something that ourselves that will make us important in this world. People should be ready to forgive others and forgive themselves. The key to moving on is forgiveness. In order for us to start again a part of us will always have to forgive the things we have done to ourselves and the people who have wronged us.

The story shows the struggle of Sawyer to figure out who he really is. His life in Maxon’s body made him realize what he has in life, why he should be thankful and of course to know his importance in this chaotic world.

e should all know that there would always be someone to lighten your world in your darkest days. That everyone has a role in this world and we live for a certain purpose. In certain moments, our lives could turn around so we should be thankful of every blessing we receive. In some way, we would leave a mark in every life we have come across with.

Here is our original short story for the day. Please read and appreciate.

My head is pounding. This headache, I think is more than a headache.

“Hey another drink!” What did I do last night? All I can remember is that I’m swaying, swaying all the way home. I can’t think straight. My thoughts are a cloud of jumbled words and clouded faces. Maybe this Advil will help me cure whatever pain this is. “Maxon!” Someone said from downstairs. Who the heck could shout that loud?

“Maxon! It’s one in the afternoon!” She shouted again.

“Yeah, yeah I’m coming.”

I still feel dizzy as I make my way downstairs. As soon as I get to the kitchen, I saw a baby. He has these green eyes, eyes so deep and innocent as if he can see through my soul.

“Hey Max! Earth to Max?” Her voice pulled me from my thoughts.

“Are you even listening to me? I said, take care of him ‘cause I’m till night shift, okay?”

“Why would I do that?” I question her. She laughed at me like I’m insane.

“Do you really want me to answer that?”

“Yes, because I don’t want to do what you’re asking me to.” I fire back.

“Do we really have to go through this again, Max? I thought we’ve been past this. She’s gone and he’s here and he’s yours okay? I’m always here for you honey.” What the hell is she talking about whose gone and who’s mine? Hell, I must’ve been so wasted last night I forgot who they are. I heard the door close. What am I going to do now?

After three hours of deciding whether to sleep or take the baby somewhere, I ended up driving and pulling up into a house.

“Hey,” I say to a woman dressed in a plaid shirt and yoga pants. “can you take care of him for a couple of hours, you know, babysit?” She’s a stranger. I don’t even know her name yet here I am asking if she could babysit my son. What’s wrong with me?

“Uh, okay Max. Where are you going?” She asks. Why? Why can’t I remember her name? It feels right. It feels safe with her, like I’ve known her my whole life. But I don’t know who she is. I need to ask her, it’s now or never.

“Hey, can I ask you something?” Here goes nothing…

“What’s your name again?” As soon as the words slipped out of my mouth, she bursts into laughter.

“Are you seriously asking me that question? You’re crazy Max!” She said between her laughs.

“No kidding, just please…please answer me.” I pleaded.

“I’m Sonia, remember? Your friend since we’re 10? What has gotten into you? She playfully punched me in the shoulder.

“Nothing, I must have been so drunk last night I guess the scotch erased my memory or something.” I tell her to lighten the mood. The anxiety I’m feeling is clawing to my skin.

“Okay, whatever Max just stay safe, okay? I’m still worried I know you won’t get over it easily, but time will come Max.” She gives me a reassuring smile. I just smile in return even though I don’t have a clue what she’s referring to.

I’m driving. Driving too fast to nowhere. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I remember her name? I know her. I know Sonya. But why? Why can’t I remember her in my memories? It’s like every memory of them is stolen away by some thief who takes memories away. Maybe I’m still drunk and yet to sober. I’m too drunk to remember anything I guess.

No. No. No. I won’t do anything I’ll regret. I know I’ve done so mistakes in my life and the last thing I need to know is that I’ve been doing drugs. This paranoia is killing me. It seeps through my body just to build a kingdom in my brain. And it succeeded. Before I know it, I’m parking my car in front of a cemetery. I stop at grave with a name of Tally Reyes engraved on its stone. I miss her. I miss her more than anything in this world. I think of her every second I breathe. She’s been the only constant in my life but now she’s gone just like a cloud in the pouring rain.

I go here every day, I remember. Thinking about her face, about how we used to be. We used to be so happy back then. Enjoying our time together, spending every moment like it’s our last. But now as I seat here, it seems like she’s slowly fading away, every memory fading like stars in the morning light. She used to be my everything but now I’m left with nothing. So I pray, hopelessly praying that she’ll come back and help me survive and face this war called life. It feels right yet so wrong. Maybe this was what Sonya and Mom were referring to. That I’m upset and grieving because I lost her. I’ve been doing this for months, this endless cycle of misery. Drinking just to forget, to feel numb about the pain that has been my best and worst companion.

“Sawyer, honey,” a woman called out.

“I love you, okay?” A girl with a blurred face promised me.

“Hey man, nice work at the game today!” Voices. Faces. Obscured figures. Holding me. Saying these things to me. This is real, I think. Voices. More voices. Whirling around my head.

“When will you realize your responsibilities as a man and as my son? Huh Sawyer? Why don’t you try to grow up Sawyer? Come on give it a damn try!”

I wake up, chest heaving. Baffled by the dream that awakened every nerve and every muscle I have in this one confused body. Sawyer? Who the hell is he? Why am I dreaming about him? This has gotten way beyond creepy. Everything felt so real, like it really happened to me, like it actually happened. I could feel it, feel the familiarity of their voices and, it’s comforting. Their words soothe the ache I feel in my heart and my perplexed mind. I know them. I know them all too well. But I can’t figure out their names, and they called me Sawyer! For Pete’s sake I don’t even know who he is.

I need to get out of here. I can’t believe I slept in a cemetery all afternoon and now the moon’s starting to show up. I need to get out of here before I lose what’s left of my sanity.

“Hey Sonia, can I get him now?” I say as soon as I arrive at her front door.

“Of course, let me just get him.” After a few minutes, my baby is with me and I’m starting to walk away but then she asks,

“Max, are you okay?” She smiles awkwardly.

I don’t know. No, I’m not okay. I had a dream about a guy I don’t know and it felt like me. It was so damn real. And goodness, I can’t even remember your name! I don’t know what’s happening to me. I must be out of my mind. My sanity left me and sent me a resignation paper, is what I don’t tell her.

“Yes,” is what I tell her.

“Well, okay Max. Remember that I’m always here for you.” Sonia smiles and I hope that I’ll be here for myself, too.

I’ve been so confused. I know that I’m not drunk anymore. I’ve sobered up and I know it wasn’t just any dream or a nightmare. Heck, why would I have a nightmare when I slept in the afternoon? I’m fooling myself. I know that they’re my family and I belong here but something in my heart tells me that I am not me.

Throughout the drive I thought of all the possibilities that I could know Sawyer. Maybe he was a friend of my mother? A family relative? A classmate in middle school? I don’t know. He feels familiarly strange. I can’t quite fathom any of the questions in my mind right now.

So, I resort to my last escape, sleep.

“When will you realize your responsibilities as a man and as my son? Huh Sawyer? Why don’t you try to grow up Sawyer? Come on give it a damn try!” The man shouted at me. He hits me. Hard. I fell on the floor, roughly tasting the blood from my busted lips.

“Grow up Sawyer!” He shouts.

“Wake up you absurd child!” and then hit me again.

“Wake up!”

“Wake up!” Mom said as she shakes me back to reality.

I’m awake, half alive. I feel so dead on the inside. I feel nothing. I feel nothing but my mom’s warm hug and tears. Tears start to flow from her sad eyes. And before I even realize, I’m crying too. Crying because I’m scared, terrified because he’s a monster. Whoever he is that has been hunting me, I hope he’s gone and he’s not real.

Crying because this hug is the most soothing way to comfort me. A simple hug. This small act of kindness from humans that makes me feel that it’s okay. It’s okay to break down from holding on for so long.

“It’s okay. You always have that nightmare since he died. And I just don’t know what to do to make it stop.” she sniffs.

“I’m okay Mom. I’m okay.” No you’re not.

“I love you, okay?” I say and she hugs me again.

After my emotional breakdown which caused me to have the best hug I’ve received in my entire existence, I decided to take my son to the park.

“Mom, can I take him to the park?” I point to the baby sitting on this baby chair too small for him to hold onto.

“Yeah sure, that would be nice. You know, a father and son bonding sometimes?” She smiles and I can’t help but smile back. I called Sonia earlier to know if she want to go with us and she happily agreed.

As we make our way out, I noticed a picture hanging on the wall. It’s a family portrait with Mom and I with my father?

He’s not the one in my dreams. The one who hit me and said those harsh things to me. His eyes look so gentle. No. He’s not my dad. But if he really is, then who was the one in my dreams?

The park is too crowded. Perhaps because it’s Saturday and time must be shared with no other than your family and friends. After a finding a spot for us to sit I tell Sonia that I’m going to buy some food.

“Okay make sure to buy food for Tyler!” she shouted. Tyler. My boy.

This is a one hell of a crowded place. Too crowded to be called a park. But then again maybe I’m just exaggerating since I haven’t been to a park in years.

I try to push away the thoughts from my mind and also the people I encounter and as I cross the road, someone grabbed my arm and said,

“Hey, wait.” a stranger said to me. I was about to look away but then someone caught my eye. I saw me. Walking and stopping beside the stranger looking directly at my eyes and I stop and look at me, me whose looking directly to the stranger.

Then something hit me. Hard. Hard enough for me to fly and I think I’m lost in thought. Then comes the pain. That soul-ripping pain clawing through me from the indside. But at the same time I feel nothing. This must be the feeling of dying, I think. The feeling when you’re feeling everything, every nerve awake, but still feeling nothing, still feeling numb. Give up, my mind says. Get up is what my heart said.

Then I close my eyes.

I blink. I blink fast. This light is killing me but then again, how can it kill me when I’m already dead? Then it hits me. The sudden realization of knowing what mess I’ve left. The people I left. Mom. Tyler. Tyler, my son. He has no mother anymore. He can’t lose me. He can’t.

Just as I’m about to say something, a voice stopped me.

“This is your second life. Live it. I hope you learned a lesson or two in this delusion. You do not have to worry. You don’t have to be afraid of what’s going to happen next. The moment you tumble out of this dream, you’ll be alright. The confusion will be finally over, I hope. No more questions, queries, inquisitions or buts. Second chances in life are too often given that we just take it all for granted.”

I’m lost. Lost in thought and lost in life. Another life. Another chance has been given to me. Without any hesitation, without any second thoughts.

“Second lives are not given to people who don’t deserve it. If you really think that you deserve it then think again. We all think that this life has been an endless struggle to us. We tried so hard to survive and we do everything we can to live. But do you really understand what living in this circular astral body that we call home?”

I don’t deserve this. I don’t. But I’m willing to try to live. Live my life as I know it should be.

“There’s a saying that Heaven can be found in the most unlikely corners. We can find a heaven within this earth. A blissful peace in knowing that we can live through the day and we can see what tomorrow brings. We all have lost someone but it doesn’t mean they’re gone. Life goes but love doesn’t. It stays in our hearts and the depths of our soul. So buckle up ‘cause you’re going on the ride of your life.”

A mirror appeared. I look at it and I see me. The real me. Sawyer. I’m Sawyer. I’m not Maxon. I’m not Tyler’s father. I’m not Sonia’s friend. I’m me.

Then I’m falling, falling an endless downfall. And I embrace it.

I open my eyes.

And I'm changing my life forever.

Contributed by Mary Angela De Guzman

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