i found an Angel when my car broke down

Posted: November 16, 2010 in RÅnÐΦm Th☺üght§

It was around 8 in the evening, after jogging for an hour, I was on my way to buy some food I was craving for, when my car died. Being in the lax mood that I was, I worried but did not really take things seriously.  I sat on the driver’s seat… staring at the road blankly. After a few dials to my mechanic, and a few txt messages to my mom and my friends nearby, I gave up. And for a moment, I was not thinking of anything…

Sometimes, I love the passive side of me… choosing not to worry although that night, I might have to be absent or late for work. I looked at the window to my right and there was this little girl, staring at me. It irritated me… The look on her face was as if she wanted me to move forward because she was waiting for someone. For about 10 minutes, we exchanged glances or stared at each other. After a while, she went to the driver’s side of the car, next to me…

“Are you waiting for someone ‘Ate’?” (Ate: a callout for older sister)I said

“No. My car broke down.”

And with a very worried face,a lot worried than mine), she said “Oh, why? Where do you live? Do you live far from here? What are you gonna do?”

This little girl surprised me… maybe she was really worried… or maybe she was just one pesky little kid..

“Do you know of any mechanic in here?” I asked. “Yes…” and the conversation went on, as she agreed to go with me and look for a mechanic.

When I first stepped down from the car, she said in a very hesitant manner and a very soft voice, “Te, babaye ka te?”

The girl was asking me if I was a girl… but funny enough, she was calling me Ate. I could almost burst into laughter! But I stopped myself and told her in a somewhat angry voice, as if I just swallowed hard an insult, “Why?! What were you thinking? Duh, I’m too pretty to be a guy!” …And the girl’s face changed… it was priceless! lol.

Some people call me “sir” by mistake, in parking lots, drive throughs, restaurants, etc.. especially when I’m wearing a bonnet, or when I have my date beside me. Everytime it happens, I just smile. It’s funny how it sounds funnier to me, and not flattering at all. So I just smile and say “It’s okay”, after hearing the apology or the “Oh, I’m sorry ma’am”. And my friend and I would then joke about it.

It was the little kid’s innocence and her bravery to ask me the question that amused me. By calling me Ate, she thought I could be more likely a girl. But she still asked. And the look in her face was really… funny. She was scared. LOL. And that was just the start of the funny conversation I had with this kid.

We first went to the repair shop ahead. After finding out it was closed, we went our way back to a farther repair shop. While we were walking, I took her place in the danger side of the road. She wrapped her left arm around my right. This girl is acting as if we’ve been friends for long… really, kids have a way of overwhelming you in their own little way without them knowing it.

After a period of silence, she asked me, “Unya Te… suhulan ko nimo Te?” (“So… will you pay me for this Ate?”). I was kind of unimpressed but continued the conversation, and without hesitation, I said, “Yes of course.”

“How much Te?”, she asked back. I was still gonna give her money without being asked, but everything’s clear to me now… she was expecting something in return.

“Well, how much do you want?” and after a few seconds, she said “Uhm… dili pwde baynte Te?” (“Is 20pesos too much Te?”). I heard a sense of shame and discomfort in her voice, as if she thought 20 pesos might be too much for me. My heart half-melted. I almost forgot how much 20pesos meant to a kid… or maybe to many unfortunates.

“Of course”, I said, happy-knowing I only had a few hundreds on my wallet. “What are you going to do with the 20 pesos?”

She said she had to buy a project for school: Philippine Scenery Chart and it cost 35 pesos. Her mother had 15pesos and she just wanted me to add 20 pesos… poor kid. And we kept talking and I just kept on laughing on the innocent statements she had to say or ask to me.

Luckily, the vulcanizing shop we went to had a mechanic who was willing to help.  After a friend arrived to keep me company, I decided to let the kid go. This 10-year old kid stayed with me even though she knew her mother might scold her. Seeing her mom, she hurried back to where I parked, when we were a few meters away from it. That night, I gave her 50 pesos… and her face lit up. I demanded she use it for her school. And she nodded, as if trying to convince me, she would.

The car was fixed — it only had a loose battery connection. Thank God I did not have to spend for more than a couple of hundreds!

That night wasn’t too bad after all… and for the first time after a long time, time itself seemed to slow down. With that little girl, it did. Later that night, I went to work with no stress, as if I had not woken up early and jogged that afternoon. ;p

o+ & kid




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