Poppa’s Home

Papa's Home
Photo by Fancycrave.com

Neither Hale nor Chantry knew their Papa was coming. Nobody told them. Everyone was cooperative.

When we heard the dog barked and saw Hale entered the gate of our apartment accompanied by Nikko, Erwin hurriedly ran toward our room and tucked himself under a blanket. Hale didn’t have a hint so it should be a successful surprise for her in the end.

She reached the front door of our house. Nikko got Chantry with him to bring her to Mamuu’s house. “Kunin ko po muna, Ate Chert. Wala na kaming laruan,” as how he phrased and described Chantry.

As soon as Nikko left, Hale asked me “Is Papa here?”

To my surprise, I snapped “no”. Then, she refuted “But why is Papa’s bag here? See, that’s Papa’s bag.” She was pointing at a red luggage parked before the stairs near our front door. “Oh no,” I quietly cried to myself. This is a huge luggage obvious for Hale to notice. Why didn’t I or Erwin realize that!

As I was taking her school backpack, I was also thinking that I should answer immediately because causing too much delay or denying her with one or giggling a bit, was similar to breaking a stop button on her endless inquiry. She will never stop questioning, will never stop nudging, without satisfying her with a convincing answer.

Ironically, not a good liar myself, I quickly thought of a good lie. “Well, Mama’s leaving to New Zealand. Remember, I had been telling you about that? That’s my luggage I have prepared.” Our conversation was diverted to New Zealand. I painted a story so effectively making her forget more about the luggage and her idea of Papa’s presence somewhere hiding in our abode.

Without wasting too much time, I invited her to follow me upstairs toward our room. Obediently, she followed.

I opened the door while I was behind her and she saw someone hiding under a blanket on our bed. Uncertain and anxious whether to get in, she looked up at me. Before I could even describe and understand the look on her face, I giggled. Boom! I can never be a good actress.

She hurried toward the bed, pulled the blanket, and blurted in a manner of joy and excitement “I know it’s you, Papa!”

Erwin fought and grabbed firmly the cover. After a few seconds, he finally gave up. Unstoppably, like what you see in telenovelas, they laughed and hugged each other. This 5-year-old child obviously knew who was in our house.

Witnessing this scene unfold before me is the best part I’ve ever seen for the past 5 months since Erwin was away. Five months of long wait is over. It’s like part of both of us are whole again. The best two weeks are yet to come.

Welcome back Papa!