When You Least Expect It

Photo: Courtesy of  Pauline De Leon  (GVOM)

Photo: Courtesy of Pauline De Leon (GVOM)

There it was, that moment when the world stops; the air you breathe freezes, cars racing on the streets come to a halt, and you’re halfway to complete a step, one foot hanging in space. No words are spoken; the cats and dogs keep from fighting as the barks are refused attention midway. The only sound heard is of your heavy breathing, your heart thumping and your mind exploding in thoughts.

Bam! A flash of your immediate childhood and then of your rebellious teen. Flashback to your first night out with whoever then you called friends, your first sip of alcohol and the consequence of the influence. The vomit on your hand, the vomit on theirs and a massive headache in the morning. Memories back to when your mother slapped you across the face, threw you out with all the clothes she could muster to throw at you; walking down the street with only the clothes your mother threw and a few cents for the bus ride to nowhere. 

Stop. Now all you hear is a big thud but see no motion around you. Your eyes start to flicker & you’re back when you had that first sniff of coke, when you popped that K, your first blunt, when you lost your virginity, when you hit a wall and then a face, so hard, your knuckles bled.

Stop. You had the best birthday celebration last year. Familiar faces yet unknown people surrounded you. They all claimed they loved you. Just 6 months ago, they turned their backs on you. Detached, you kept yourself on that high horse, held your head higher than you could ever remember and decided to live on. Although, the thought of that steel of knife and the fresh breeze of air from the balcony ledge seemed so enticing and was just so inviting. You were at the edge of that plank of wood, so close to a free fall.

Stop. Just last week, you got the job you wanted, your relationship with that specific other was finally going uphill; you think this is it, you can finally be happy. This could mark the beginning of your life turning out for the better. This could actually be when you can finally start to live. Just yesterday, your mother called to say she loves you. You both apologized and cried on the phone. But you wept to sleep feeling guilty still. You wept to sleep thinking, if she hadn’t called you, you never would have called her.

Stop. Just this morning you were in church thanking Him for how everything turned out, and for the many blessings he has placed upon you. Just 5 minutes ago, you were walking back home to your bastard son with a can of milk in hand. That boy you thought you hated so much, who took so much of your hopes and dreams, took so much of your life. But you never actually let him stop you from doing what you want. He was just someone to blame; that lingering thought.

Stop! Swoosh. Scram. That only took 3 seconds of your life. The music of life is back on. The sound of dogs barking and a can rolling; that’s all you can hear. The cars start to pass you, the noise of their engines your last memory. Red spots as you gaze upon your left hand, the first thing you see, and a car on top of you, the last. 

And so the world decided to set things in motion, but unfortunately the air has been made frozen for you eternally.

Death comes so easily and you leave behind people and thoughts as easy. In the next few minutes, you’ll never know what life could throw at you, or when life could throw you and puts an end to the music of your breath.

Cola Paclibar