I asked myself what do I miss whenever the holiday season comes. I started reminiscing and none of them are worth remembering. It was either I am in the office working or at home alone. Suddenly an idea has popped up out of my mind.
I was, I guess, 4 to 6 years old that time. Christmas was the happiest time of the year for me. Presents, candy canes, gift wrappers, glittered ribbons, tall Christmas trees, entertaining Christmas lights in different colors and styles were everywhere. Streets were filled with different designs of "Parols". Cousins have visited me to exchange gifts. My heart was full of happiness.
It was the 24th of December. Mom prepared foods that are bizarre to my sight. Foods that could only be seen during my birthdays and whenever we attend parties of my playmates. Mom decorated the house. She had rummaged the curtains she only displays once a year. The house was full of excitement and colors which reminded me that it was not just an ordinary day. Mom played a Christmas song. She held me and we danced like crazy. I saw Mom's heart-pounding joy. I whispered "I wish everyday is a Christmas day"
Pop came home late, I inferred he was drunk. I saw the redness in his face and he was somewhat like mad. Mom greeted him. Pop ignored. I thought there was a problem. Minutes after, I saw Pop screaming. He shouted and gone wild. I saw Mom sobbing. She covered her face so that I would not witness how she cried. Pop continued to shout. He even slapped Mom. At a very young age, I could not comprehend how an impeccable day turned out to be somewhat gruesome. Mom said nothing. She continued to cry while Pop was ranting. I could not do anything but to watch them fighting from afar. I felt so helpless. I felt so despondent. There was a short pause. I heard nothing but the Christmas song being played. Suddenly, a pause was broken by the sound of a falling plates and silver wares. I saw the prepared and cooked foods of Mom scattered on the floor. The place was topsy-turvy. Pop, for the nth time, slapped Mom. She had lost her balance and fell down. I could see Mom crawling and begging Pop to stop. I witnessed her stopped moving. I asked myself "Has she lost her consciousness?"
I saw the bloods scattered everywhere. I witnessed the pain and sufferings. That night was just so horrifying. Tears have fallen down on my eyes. I could not move. I could not think. I could not breathe.
I was awaken by the annoying siren of the ambulance. "What is happening?" I asked someone. Police, bystanders, neighbors, and some relatives were there telling me to just rest. I saw guys in uniform holding something. It was a bed-like thing covered with a white cloth. One by one, they load them inside the ambulance. I looked around. I searched for Mom and Pop. They were not there. I saw my little cousin approaching. She asked me "What did you do? Why did you do that?......." and she was pulled away by her Mom crying. I rested and I slept.
It was 9:30 in the morning when I woke up. I saw gifts and basket of fruits on the table on my left. I saw nothing but the Air Con, a TV set hanged on top of a small window, a big bed to which I was lying, bottled waters and a dextrose thrusted on my left hand. "I am in the hospital!" I confirmed to myself. I shouted Mom's name. No one answered but someone opened the door. It was my Aunt who entered the room. She was crying. I asked her "Why?" but she did not respond. Another man, which I suspected one of the uniformed guys from last night, has entered the room. He said "Merry Christmas!" and smiled.
He asked me if I have had good sleep. I quickly answered "Yes!" and stared at my Aunt. The uniformed guy continued to ask me. He wanted me to remember and narrate what happened last night. I asked where Mom and Pop is. Aunt started to cry and left the room. The guy answered "They are already dead." I did not believe but I cried until I ran out of tears. I asked the uniformed guy "Who killed them?". I was shocked when he answered "You!". "You killed your Father and Mother using this gun" , he added. He was holding a ziploc-like plastic container and inside it was a gun. He started to interrogate me until I began remembering what happened the night before.
"Stop it!" I shouted Pop. "Don't dare get out of your room or you will be in trouble!", he exclaimed. I headed towards Mom and held her hand. Pop kicked me. He pushed me to their room and locked the door. I was so desperate. I knew I had to help Mom. I was aware how painful she feels that time and that she needs me. I looked for something. I saw Pop's gun inside his mini pedestal. I put it inside my pocket and tried to unlock the door. I got out of the room. I shouted "Pop, stop it! I repeat!" He answered "I said do not go out! You little bastard! I will punish you!" Dad then walked heading on my direction. He was holding a baseball bat. He saw me holding his gun. He begged me to put it down. I remained firm. I cried and accidentally hit the trigger. Dad fell down. A moment of silence was finally observed. The only thing I heard was the song being played. "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire....."
16 Christmases have passed by. 16 years of tears have gone dry. It was just like yesterday. I can still hear the painful roars of yesteryears. The perfect yet sorrowful picture of crime is still in my dreams. I can still smell the blood like a breeze. The painful past will never disappear. How many more December 25 should pass? How many more questions to ask? How many more tears should shed? I feel like a corpse. I feel like dead.
20 years of living is like 20 years of suffering. Now, Christmas is about to come. I feel the breeze, I feel the coldness, I feel the sadness, I feel the emptiness. I do not wish for toys, presents, money or anything that money can give and buy. All I wish for is the same Family I used to have and enjoy 16 years ago. This is my grown up Christmas list.