It's All About Wednesday

❝ It all started and ended with Wednesday. ❞

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4. Tree Top

Papou has come to visit me. “I met Wednesday today.” I tell him. Papou hovers by my bed. “She’s at your funeral.” Papou smiles, that kind of smile where his eyes thin down into slits. He doesn’t look sick now. He still looks old but the usual tiredness that hid in the crinkles of his face had disappeared. “Would you like to meet her, Papou? I’ll be seeing her again tomorrow.” “You seem very fond of her.” “I guess I am. But, I don’t feel right about it.” “Why is that so?” I sighed and I shrugged. “I just met her twice and yet she makes me feel… different. And I think it’s wrong.” “You always feel different. Why does its strangeness makes the feeling wrong?” I looked down at my hands. “I don’t know.” “Maybe you feel new to the feeling itself. You grew too much detached in life that you forgot how to live.” He says. “I know how to live and I’ve lived too much and I’ve done a lot of getting by.” “And what have you learned?” I narrowed my eyes at him. “To still live and get by.” I realized that my grandfather was right about me being too far away from life. I was too far away that I forgot my way back. I was different and I made that as an excuse to exclude myself from people. And now that Papou’s gone, I am all alone thinking that nobody cared when all along it was me who stayed away. I like to believe that I see the world differently, that people wouldn’t understand me like Papou does. I had this commotion inside my head for years. I was afraid of letting someone in because they might not understand. The enormity and strangeness of the feeling when I’m with Wednesday scared me too. It was the upbeat of her personality that radiates into me like the rays of the sun. I was scared that if I might get too close, I might get burned. Papou grins back at me and I was surprise to see his teeth had grown back. They were white and visible—at least to me. “Then, if that’s the case I’d like to meet this girl.” *** From a far as I walk my way to our meeting place, I could see the peak of the golden shower tree. Papou walked beside me. He talks about how he likes the feeling of drifting. He said it was like being lifted into air and null gravity. I told him that he’s not even “drifting”, that his feet were still on the ground. And he tells me smartly that he meant the words metaphorically. If you were able to see drifters like Papou now, you’ll find him as an ordinary old man walking along side with his fifteen year old grandson. He doesn’t wear blood stains in his clothes or walks like a zombie. He looks as normal as any living person, only that he’s no longer breathing. Drifters don’t look like the persons they were when they died. Papou told me that when I was eight. Drifters would always look the way they once were. Peaceful and free and yet drifting. “Were you able to see the light, Papou?” I asked him. “Yes, I did.” He answers. “Then why didn’t you follow it?” He smiles down at me. “Because I still have to watch my grandson.” When we arrived at the spot, there was no Wednesday. “Maybe because it’s a Thursday.” Papou jokes but I ignored him as I searched the place for her. “Psst!” I turned around to follow the sound. “Psst!” I looked up and there, from a thick branch of a tree Wednesday sat. “I thought you’re not coming.” She says. “What are you doing up there?” “Come up here!” she shouts down at me. “Can’t you come down instead?” I said as I looked at the branches. The thought of falling from a tree that would cause me my death doesn’t sound so noble. “There are a lot of interesting things up here than down there!” she shouts. “Come up here, I have no plans coming down yet anyway. You may grow roots down there if you want.” I hear her giggle. I turn to Papou and he shrugs at me. So I start to climb up the stupid tree. “Are you sure about that?” Papou asks as I climbed my second branch. I grunted. “I guess I am—but not until I die.” I reached Wednesday at the top and she claps her hands. “Bravo! Brava! You’re alive!” “Please come down with me.” I told her as I tried to maintain my balance on a branch. She narrows her eyes at me teasingly. “Somebody’s scared.” “No I am not. It’s much safer down there. You might fall up here and break a neck.” She giggles. “Somebody’s concerned.” She clicks her tongue. “Be careful. You might fall off and get hurt in the process.” I ignored her even though I have no idea what she’s talking about. “Please come down with me.” “Just look.” she tells me as she looks away and watches the fields. “Wednesday, please?” She turns to me and smiles. “Okay, I will. But you have to look first.” I sighed rather loudly, no longer hiding my annoyance. “Fine. But we’re climbing down afterwards.” She grins at me then she taps the space beside her. I tried again to balance myself so that I could make my way to sit beside her without falling. From where we sat, we could see the whole place. The public cemetery at the west, the town at the east and a lonely, distant road at the north. The sun blazed its brilliance on us and the heat made it warm enough to make me feel that I am alive. I looked at Wednesday beside me and she’s closing her eyes—feeling again. I wonder what is running in her head. I wonder what it feels like to just sit here and feel the warm of her hand. I wonder what it would be like to make her smile and hear her giggle. She turns to me, plastering her trademark smile. “Will you sit here with me?” “I am already sitting here with you.” I said. “For a little long while.” She whispers her request and I held her hand as an answer. I looked down to see Papou smiling up at us. He gives me a nod before drifting away. Maybe today isn’t the time to introduce her. After all, we’re far up in a tree. As I held her hand in mine, I felt that heat again. That certain connection between us that is surging through our hands sending me the incandescence of most feelings. And that is when I saw the number on her wrist. I asked her about it and she shrugs off by saying “Nine more days left.” Papou stood by my bed that night as I watch the calendar from my bed. I hate to count but there are nine saddening days left. With a very heavy sigh I let out the words my heart couldn’t afford to say. “I don’t want Wednesday to end.”
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