The little boy

The day passed by in a snap, gone instantly like a bubble, I was too oblivious to the breeze of time. I looked up at Mr. Clock, hanging at my pure white wall, saying it’s now 15 mins past 10 in the evening and I forgot to have dinner! I’m on a lean diet though so I shrugged but then I realized I haven’t had lunch too, occupied with work and the book I was reading. Wearing my sweat pants and comfy white shirt (my favorite), I grabbed my car keys in a haste to go on a drive thru in McDonald’s for some nuggets and fries. Oh well, shit day! I mean, cheat day!

Then this happened:

I was driving at 60, traffic is not too bad, when a shirtless little boy with a belly that is somewhat bigger than his head, probably around 4 or 5 years old, I couldn’t really ascertain, suddenly crossed the road I have nearly killled him! Thank God for my quick reflex and clear eye sight I have rapidly pressed the brake and that saved me from being a criminal. My adrenaline levels are so high I was so sure of it but at that very moment, I freezed and almost forgot to blink—I didn’t know what to do. My hands became sweaty, glued to the steering wheel, never want to let go. But i had to let go and get out. As soon as I did, I saw the little boy’s parents; his mother was scolding him while he shrieks, and his father, apologising to me.

“Is he alright?” The only three words my mouth could release.

“Yes, Ma’am.” The father replied.

I was shocked with what happened, like who wouldn’t? My body turned a little numb due to some thoughts appearing in my head: a boy that’s hurt, seeing him covered with blood and most probably… lifeless. Thoughts that have made me feel like I have stolen his chance to see the beauty of life, that feeling that I have taken away a life of an innocent being. Almost. But I didn’t. So I went back to my senses and talked to them. The father said they live under the bridge, just across the road where I almost hit his 8th child. They have nine children and they’re expecting the 10th, his wife due in three months. This is not like something new to my ears and my eyes (because homeless large families are common in the Philippines) but there was a deep pinch in my heart that came maybe from the sincerity of his voice as he speaks, and the laugh and giggles from the rest of the kids, enjoying themselves—despite the fact that they haven’t eaten, like I. But unlike me, they don’t have enough to buy for what they need. Hence I brought them to Mcdonalds a few meters from the road where we talked and gave the father a 500 peso bill before we parted ways. It felt right, although I know it wasn’t right—giving a man a fish instead of teaching him how to fish, ain’t that how the saying goes? But how can you lecture someone to work hard if he can’t even read or write, and is only limited to special skills of making tons of babies? Sigh. I wish it’s not like this but this is a freakin’ face of reality.

A few nights later, when I was driving again on the same road, I saw a red sedan, surrounded by a handful of people, a few feet away from the spot where I almost hit the little boy. I pulled over to check what’s going on and there I found the same family I encountered last night, looking naive and innocent, and the “almost victim” this time was their 7th child, a couple of years older than the one who performed the same act the other night.



(Photo courtesy of Google)