Remembering the time they first met

By: Raymund Fernandez February 06,2016 - 11:29 PM

There was a particular way they both entered into each others’ lives. And as is often the case with these things, they hardly noticed each other until they were finally there. They entered into each other’s lives like shadows. Or, if you will: on a bright hot sunny day, a shade, under which shade, to cool one’s self.

But they might have crossed paths long before these things came to pass.

He recalls one such bright hot sunny day. He was still in his late teens. After playing basketball, one afternoon, with his friends at their clay basketball court in the yard, he walked off by himself to the store some distance away. It sold the coldest soft drinks in the neighborhood.

He must have been quite dirty-looking and certainly sweaty. But he did not mind. He did not mind looking like this in his late teens: rough, listless, street-smart and dirty. This was how his friends looked. This was how he looked.

The little girl might have been only a little more than three years old. She was not small. Rather a bit tall for her age and rail-thin. He hardly noticed her. And she might not have noticed him at all, had not the bottle of family-size soft drink slipped from her hands and crashed to the cement sidewalk in an explosion of fizz and glass. Even as her dominant left hand went racing down through space in a doomed attempt to catch it.

These seemingly random motions in space, of sidewalk, exploding bottle and a little girl’s left hand cannot help but end in some small disaster. There must have been the collision of soft flesh and some anonymous shard of glass. It left a gashing wound in the little child’s left hand; an incision seemingly surgical and running the distance over the fist-side of her hands between the joint of her pointing finger down to the base of her ring finger. Blood spurted from this wound and dripped quickly onto the broken glass on the cement; and into the attention of the rather dirty-looking young man drinking his coke and smoking a cigarette held by the thumb and index finger of his dominant right hand.

The young man may have been schooled by Jesuits. Or why would he offer immediately to help? Even if he would be, of all the witnesses present, the least qualified to treat the wound by any measure. The situation of his hygiene should have disqualified him immediately. Indeed, as the event progressed, the little girl’s guardians living just across the street, came to rescue her. The young man eased himself from the crux of this event and walked back the short distance to his own home.

He made no surmise at all if the girl would have been brought to a hospital, her wound sown up and healed, so the world may go into its predetermined trajectory. He forgot all about this event. Years went into years, his days running into the days that eventually bring him roughly two decades thereafter. He became older and much wiser. He outgrew backyard basketball. His playing friends went out into the world; while he, himself, became a teacher and began taking regular baths.

And when it was time for him, he got married, at first informally, and then a bit later, in church. He married a woman that he loved and who loved him back with a quaint and palpable sureness. And he would have been mistakenly certain where he met her the first time: the round figure for day and date, the rough idea of which classroom was it where they first held hands. The later dates of their lives would be much better remembered for their exact details. She was 15 years his junior. But how long would it take before they would come to know every story behind every scar their bodies carried?

“I once lived here. Did you know?” She said to him, when finally she went to his home for the first time. The backyard court was, by then,  gone; replaced by other fields, other sports.

“I lived here one summer with my cousins. And I remember that summer because that was when I got this,” she pointed to a long scar on the fist-side of her left hand.

And only then did he remember that seemingly unimportant bright hot sunny afternoon, which only now offered a reason for him to remember a particular bright hot sunny afternoon in his life, roughly two decades before. He thought to himself how large her little hands had become. But he was in a sense spiritually dumbfounded. And all he could think to do was ask: “Do you remember the young man who helped?”

“No! Not at all,” was her quick and honest answer.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: basketball, love story, random
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our regional newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.