It was still dark outside when I decided to get up and ready myself for work. It was useless to stay tossing and turning in bed. Sleep had eluded me for days and it wasn't about to make a much-needed visit anytime soon.
I took a shower. I picked up my bag. I took a deep breath as I stepped out of the door.
My phone rang. It was my father asking what's wrong. I would've thought it unusual for him to check on me because he never really did. And then I remembered, in the blurry of a sleeplessness night, I sent an SOS to him. I asked him if we could talk.
I told him that I was on my way to work and that I'd call him when I get back home later that night. I hung up. A few seconds after, my phone buzzed again. It was my mom. She told me that my dad's BP shot up. She told me to spill whatever was bothering me. She needed to re-assure my dad that everything was ok with me.
I gave her the same excuse: I was on my way to work. Yet she persisted. She asked me to stop wherever I was so that we could talk. But wherever I was was in the middle of the street. To my left was a covered court with mid-aged ladies doing their group aero-exercises. To my right were rows of apartments whose tenants were pouring out, joining the dozens of parents with their kids rushing towards a nearby school.
And yet, in spite of the slowly rising morning rush, I stood still. Unmindful of the nameless faces that brushed by, I felt an uncontrollable punch in my gut. Soon, I felt a tear fall. Silence on the other line as I told her what happened. "Ikaw na bahalang magsabi kay Tatay. Baka magalit sa 'kin iyon." And for the second time, I hung up.
Office was same as usual... minus the prescription I got from the company doctor and the division's bosses huddling in the corner and out of nowhere asking me: "What's wrong Darc? You look so sad."
When I got back from the office, my parents were in my apartment. They wanted to pick me up and take me home. It was quite a long drive East. We stopped by a drugstore to buy my meds. All of a sudden my dad said: "Huwag mo kasing seryosohin. Dapat pa-fling fling ka lang." I appreciated his efforts to make light of the situation. I knew it was awkward for him as it was difficult for me.
That was more than a year ago.
Yesterday, my mom told me that my father's quite disappointed with me. Disappointed for being short-fused with him, for being too stubborn, for not following after him to be an Engineer, for getting my heart broken... for not turning out to be the son he always imagined would walk down the aisle one day, get married, have kids.
I totally understand where my dad's coming from. And in spite of that I know we're cool. But what pains me is that I never had a clue that he felt that way. He always put on a strong front, acted nonchalantly as if everything's ok even if they're not... pretty much the same way I do.
I guess I really am my father's son.