Are you there?

I ask him that question everyday.

“Are you really there watching over me and Mama? Can you see me? Do you know how much I love you?”

Maybe today, I have found the answer. I believe now, today, that Papa is trying to contact me. Ever since when, I don’t know. When I started dreaming again? When my gut feel started feeling certain about some things? I don’t know. When my mind started seeing him and knowing he is around even if he isn’t existentially present? When I was throwing him questions as usual, but started hearing the answers?

Last night, I opened the bedroom door to go downstairs to get a drink of water before going to sleep. Cool air brushed against me. I wouldn’t have minded that if that’s common. Cool air greets me when I go ‘in to’ the bedroom, not when I go out because air in the stairwell is always warm. I didn’t mind it.

I went into the bathroom and a little brown moth was fluttering around me. I talked to it. Moths, I always mind, because every time I see one when I’m alone, somebody I know dies. I told it “Papa, if that’s you, don’t take Mama yet even if I know you miss her terribly. Take me too if you should take her coz I’m nothing without her.”

I went to bed and covered myself with the blankets. I don’t usually mind the cold air from the fan as it blows against the blanket, but last night there was that feeling that the blanket was being wafted by hands, not just by wind. I saw in my mind that if I remove the blanket from my face, I would see Papa. I slowly did, but alas he wasn’t there.

I started talking to him as usual. It normally ends up with me sobbing and my pillow drenched, but last night I felt happy. Talking to him last night felt like I was walking with him, enjoying the silence, under the shade of many old trees during a lovely summer afternoon. I can’t remember the things I asked – what I do remember is that the answers came faster than my mind can form the questions. If it was God giving me the answers, or Papa, I would never know – all I know is they didn’t come from me.

This morning I was still asleep or half-asleep. I heard my phone beep – a text message came in. “No, wait, did I really hear it, or was that a dream?” I heard myself think. A few seconds after – or was it some minutes (I don’t know if I fell back to sleep) – I heard a clear and loud beep this time. Now I knew this is a real text message. It was so weird because the real beep sounded like an echo of the dream. I woke to check my phone. I was right. Only one message came in, not two. I indeed just dreamt the first beep.

I got to work a little of an hour ago. While I was checking my mail, an unknown landline number called my cell phone. I fear unknown numbers. They are usually good news, bad news, or sales. I picked up and curiously said “Hello?”

<static in the line> “…from… could I… ?”

“I’m sorry, the line is bad, I can’t hear you clearly.”

<more static> “I’d like… ask… Eduardo Rodriguez…”

My ears perked up. Papa? What does she need from me? Is she one of the people of our past that I’m protecting my Mama from? Has she found me?

“The line is bad. I’ll call you via your landline.” I heard her agree so I dropped the line and immediately dialed her number through my phone office. My heart was pounding.

Another woman answered, not Abby, the one who called me. I was transferred to her.

She introduced herself as being part of Abbott laboratories. I gave a sigh of relief that it sounded like a random sales call. She asked me how I was related to Papa and if he was still using Glucerna because he may be interested in a discount they have right now. I curtly informed her that he is my father and has just recently passed away. The mention of Papa’s name from a strangers voice… me being asked how I am related to him… it felt like he was so much alive… it felt something was off…

She offered me her condolences, apologized for the inconvenience, and ended the call.

I just sat there staring at the phone.

“Papa, no one ever contacted me about you… You never made me your contact person, nor used my cellphone number as your means of contact, ever…”

I quickly pressed Redial. When Abby picked up, I introduced myself quickly and asked “How did  you get my number?”

“Baka po tumawag na po kayo dito dati or un ung nasa contact info ni Eduardo Rodriguez po.”

I thanked her and replaced the receiver. I won’t get anything out of her.

But what was amazing was that Papa never uses my cellphone number for his contact info. He hardly even memorizes it. With two landlines in his law office, a telephone number at home, and the cellphone of our driver which he uses as his mobile sometimes, mine is out of the question. Take my word for it – he NEVER made me his contact person or used my number in the 31 years I have been with him.

The first thing that came to mind is “Papa wants to tell me something. Papa is trying to contact me.”

But what about? Is something big going to happen? I hope it isn’t bad. Is he trying to show me that he’s watching over me? Is he trying to answer my long asked question if he is around or not?

Pa, I love you so much and whatever it is, I’m glad to know you’re there.


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