I leaped out of the bed, startled,” Who is it??” Someone’s knocking. Shit, I’d better wipe these stupid tears in my eyes.
Oh, were you sleeping?”, I opened the door and it was Teresa, my landlady. She’s also from Manila, and she’s a nurse at UCSF, too. I pretended that I just woke up, hoping that the jet lag excuse would still work. She handed me noodles, pancit. I smiled and said thank you, and I closed the door. I just looked at the food, it smells good, but I don’t have the urge to devour it. Food has no taste anymore; I just eat because I need to. Oh, well, I need to be busy. I prepared my clothes for tomorrow. I really don’t know if I will be on my scrubs going to work, or should I wear a skirt and a blouse, like the office type attire. I could easily change to my scrubs if I need to; anyway, I’m sure we have a dressing room or locker over there. I also prepared my satchel, this new leather bag that was a gift from my aunt.
Notebook, check. Pens, check. Stethoscope, check. What else do I need? Water bottle? Lunch? Oh, my wallet...and I only have $60 left. I need to open up an account soon. Tomorrow perhaps, after the resident’s orientation. Shit, I forgot to ask my mom for money. My paycheck is coming in 2 weeks, and I don’t think 60 bucks will last that long. Oh, wait, what is this...wow..I found two $100 bill in my bag’s pocket!!! Gotta love my auntie Beth, my saviour!!
So everything is ready for tomorrow, except me. Do I really want to do this? Can I do this? Actually, I can hardly believe that I will be a surgeon. I barely passed my anatomy subject!! I am more of a research kind of person, I should’ve applied in pathology. Or in anesthesia, so I could just be inside the OR. Hmm, if I get kicked out in surgery, I’ll look into patho...forensics, maybe. So I’ll just deal with dead people who will not say and do anything to hurt me. Hahah, and if they did, I’ll just cut and remove their internal organs..!! Ugh, I’m really in the wrong department...I am doomed tomorrow. I hope I can sleep right now, I need to rest. I’d better turn off the light, that might help. I lay down, another sigh, and I closed my eyes. I don’t want to think of anything tonight....
I can’t concentrate, I am tired of reading this OB Beckmann book. I read this twice already, I don’t care anymore. Oh, I hate exams!! I just miss Chris...I wish we could spend more time together. I rarely see him, we only see each other like once a week!! That is what I love about him. He’s not demanding, but I love it when he becomes authoritative, as I am required by him to be at home by 6pm, everyday, after school. By 6:30, he calls me to check on how my day was, and how was his. He also never fails to tell me where he’s going, and when he is somewhere, he always gives me a call to reassure that he is safe. It’s a routine, he never fails. He’s kinda structured, he tells me to call him at a certain time, usually after 10pm. I guess it was his upbringing, and him being the eldest, he needs to be. He’s actually the one who is already running his family’s sack business. I wonder how he does that, juggle school and business. Chris is also graduating in law school.
Wait, what time is it already? No phone call from him, it’s already 9 in the evening. He should be home by now. Is he ok? He’s just 20 minutes away from my house, so he should be at home by 7:30 after he dropped me off. Maybe he fell asleep, maybe he was tired because he drove from Tagaytay? Oh, well, I’ll just wait until after 10 o’clock...Wait, i think it’s kinda late to call him. What if his mom answered, she might think I’m rude calling Chris that late. Man, I am in a dilemma here...should I call or not?? Well, he is my BOYFRIEND, and I am worried sick ‘cause he did not call me yet. Oh, what the hell, I’ll call him..!!
“Hi, can I speak with Chris? “ thank God, it’s not his mom. I think this is their maid, Lucy.
“Sir Chris is not here.”
OH MY GOD! Where is he? Is he alright?? “He’s not yet there??”, I asked.
“Yes, they’re not here.”
“They?”, oh, he went out with his family for dinner. It’s Friday, anyway, but why did he not invite me? I was already with him earlier. It’s not as if he introduced me formally as his girlfriend, I am always his “friend” when it comes to his family.
“Yes, Sir Chris and Ma’m Pinky.”
Wha? “ Who?”, oh, a visiting cousin??
“Oh, I’d better go, Marian is crying.”
I heard a wailing child in the background. Oh, I guess Chris is busy with the visiting relative, that’s why. “Oh, thank you. How old is Chris’ niece Marian?, I asked, curiously. I want to get to know his family, my future family, as well.
“Huh, niece?? No, Marian is Sir and Ma’m Pinky’s daughter! They’re out for their anniversary. Ok, gotta go!! Bye.”
CLICK. There is silence on the other end. Just SILENCE.
DIT..DIT..DIT..DIT..DIT....Oh, I forgot to put down the phone.
What did she say?? Did I dial the correct number? What the hell is she talking about?? Anniversary? Daughter? DAUGHTER??? It’s as if the world has stopped. I cannot think, there’s only the conversation that keeps repeating on my mind. Over and over. Sir Chris and Ma’m Pinky. Sir Chris and Ma’m Pinky..Chris..Pinky..Chris..Ma’m Pinky...
There were no tears in my eyes, I wonder why. I stood up, got out of my room to get water. I heard my mom say something but I did not listen. I went back to my room, closed the door and turned off the lights. It’s dark. The only light I see is coming from the streetlight outside. I closed the blinds. It’s total darkness now...just like what I feel in my heart. I felt something, an ache that I haven’t felt before. I don’t like this, this is new to me. I feel so lost. I feel tired. I feel....EMPTY, numb...I opened my closet, and just shoved away all my neatly stacked clothes over to one side. I sat, closed the closet door, and I curled up like a fetus, and buried my head in between my knees. I want to scream, to wail loudly so my pain will go away. But I just grabbed a shirt, covered my mouth and cried.
...RRRIIINNGGG....RRIIINGGG...Oh, shit, what time is it?? I looked at my cellphone, it’s 5am. Better turn off the alarm, don’t want to wake the whole world with this stupid ring. I hate my dreams. That was more of a nightmare, actually, and yes, I woke up crying again. Ok, I’d better get ready, I don’t want to be late for the hospital orientation. I need to give them a good impression of me. This will become my new world, anyway, for now...
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