"He Who Remains"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD
"I wouldn't want to be that guy in there" one janitor said to another.
"Let's get out of here and I'd tell you..."
I hear them. They constantly mutter how sorry they are , how they feel my pain. How they know how I feel.None of them do but they still claim it anyway.
In the corner my uncle sits in a drunken stupor , muttering things that no child should hear. The children don't seem to mind him as 3 or 4 of them run passed by him.
In one of the pews my balikbayan Aunt tries to stay immaculate as she waits for her foreigner husband to pick her up. She keeps on glancing at the big watch that she always forces us to look at. I'm not sure if its hands are moving.
In another corner two other aunts seemed to be locked in a heated discussion. They were whispering to each but you could easily read their body language. One was more threatening than the other but the other refused to back down and whispered back with equal ferocity.
The children just kept on running around and around the chapel , laughing merrily without a care in the world. One would stop to look at the pews once in awhile or to look at me oddly then they would resume their endless jokes and laughter.
In the middle of the room lay my mom and dad. Their coffins alongside each other. They were inseparable in life and now even their bodies refused to be away from each other. Of course I was the one responsible for that. They kept looking at me with those accusing eyes.
I just keep quiet and sit still.
"So they were on a family trip?"
"And he's the only one who survived?"
"Yup , the whole family gone in one accident"
"You're right I really don't want to be like that guy in there"