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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

THE LONGEST 24 HOURS

   Shuddering knees, the chilled breeze emphasizes a pending fear....my head going in a trance and images where like obscure shadows of familiar ghost seems to have happened in the past and yet this is on-going, it is indeed happening. This could not be happening...this has to be a bad dream. I can hear her sobs...her tears flooding my mind. "Yona Please..." I can't find the right prayers. 
   As darkness grew even more darker, the more my fear escalates. Where is she?
  Gathering more strength, breathing heavily against as sound barely coming out of my mouth. LORD, you said you will be with me always. I can't complete reciting Psalm 23. I walk with no direction, but hoping to see her along the way. How do you explain to those people that a 5 years old girl had been missing since 4PM, and I can't let the night mature....please I have to beg my feet to stride. We enter, a god-forsaken alley known for its notoriety, hell-on-earth, Oh dear God not this place. Drug deal were done in the streets and these goons approaches us, I tell them "Do you happen to see two little girls?" I go on explaining the detail....But it surprises me that they cooperated and one even escorted me to enter the inner sections. He help me explain to bunch of guys who seems to be quite suspecting as they look me from head to foot. Oh men, I have no weapon in me. They promise to inform me if my daughter happen to enter their territory. I was keep on mumbling to myself, I need to talk to myself....talk to Jesus. I need a verse, a Bible passage....only song of assurance came. As we snake hole after hole and network of passages, A thought just came to me, that two little girl can't make it alive in here.
   The whole Barangay was stirred and thankful for them for their so much care....they stay overnight searching, using motorbike and some had been walking for hours. We reported the matter to nearby Barangays. Some had report seeing them but did not matter to question the little girls.
   A cold itching my nose and jolting pain on my temple. Blurry images finally appears when I took a minute to pray on my room. Browse the Bible but all I could see are jargon's and heliography's of jagged lines. 
   Hours went by and the velvet sky grew even pitch black. I could hear someone crying on my brain, calling me "PAPA". The fever was not imagine anymore but real pinching on my joints and stress muscles. They beg me to take food...but thick bitter paste stays on my tongue. Pacing the house unsure whether I would sit, lie down or walk.
   I'm not sure if I fell asleep but the first ray of dusk mauve color sky appeared. So many what if's trying to decieve me....they maybe cold and hungry out in the open. What if they were taken by....Oh please NO!!!
   I was still hoping someone with a kind heart appear sending Elyona and Nene back home. But none of that occur. Here the devil was once again injecting unpleasant thoughts. I cast them out by whispering "In the name of Jesus!"
   Gathering another strength with a new options, after I posted HELP through websites, I started walking again. Posting on street lamps, street corner, Barangay Hall the re-print photo of Elyona with my contact detail. Talking and explaining to people....My wife took the Barangay near the seasides. My mother take the City Hall of the nearby municipality which is Sta. Rosa City, to report the matter at Department of Social Welfare and Development.
   No time for arguments now. There must be a reason for these occurences. I can't answer them now but there is always A REASON.
   I need to photocopy another batch of posters and I almost scouted every villages in our city. I haven't notice text messages on my phone when I return home. A bright light suddenly shines when I saw the smiling faces of my neighbors that announces, "They're here already."
   Relief showers my heart and my knees buckle a bit realizing that they were exhausted and the sole of my foot numbing instantly. There's Elyona hiding on her mother arms, she doesn't want to look at me. "Where have you been?" or I said something like that, I am not sure. I call her but she bore her face the more deeply in her mother's breast, "I'll just talk to you." and in that she cried out loud.
   Then my mother told me what happen. I can't imagine how two little girl could have walk that far. They said to have reach the seasides cross many villages, bridges and even pass the border of the next city. "We were trying to go to Ashley's house" Elyona mention their intent to visit her cousins. She said its already freezing so they sat on one corner against the wall  near an open field by the shoreline.  Luckily the Barangay patrol saw them, and they said this is around midnight. They turn them over to the policemen who brought them to DSWD in Sta. Rosa
   The whole afternoon we sleep till evening....Elyona embracing me tightly. When I woke up I've realized I haven't take any food since last night.

1 comment:

Autumn Eliza said...

Oh, those 24 hrs must really be longest! I am impressed by the sweet show of fatherly love. God bless Elyona.