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Dear Daddy

You yelled at me yesterday and mom was crying and she covered my ears. It did not work. I heard all of it.

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Dear Daddy,

You yelled at me yesterday and mom was crying and she covered my ears. It did not work. I heard all of it. I think you thought I didn’t understand those words but I do because I heard them all on TV. I don’t know what I did wrong. You were super mad at me. I was trying not to cry because the last time I cried your anger got even worse.

I was remembering my superheroes and how I could be as strong as them but then I thought of the Incredible Hulk and he reminded me of you! When we were watching I asked you what’s wrong with him and why he’s always so angry and you told me that he just needed more love and that there was just too many baddies around him. So I thought that’s what was happening with you. You told me that in a comic Spiderman was able to calm him down with a joke but it looked like it was a bad time for that.

That’s why I ran from mommy and gave you a hug instead. I don’t know what happened but it worked because you stopped shouting. You even cried and hugged me back. I asked you why you were crying but you just hugged me tighter. I don’t understand what happened, but I was glad you weren’t angry anymore. I hate it when you get angry, Daddy, because you say the meanest things. Mommy tells me you don’t mean any of them and I want to believe her.

I love you daddy. I love that you buy me toys and play with me even when you’re busy. I love you because you carry me on your back even if I’m too heavy to get carried. I love how we always watch superhero movies. I love Spiderman, Superman, Wolverine, Captain America, and that guy with an eye patch like a pirate. He’s awesome too!

But you know what dad? You’re actually the real hero above them all! When I ask you things, you always know the answer. You’re even better than Professor X! I woke up one time at the middle of the night and I saw you were still working. I heard mom shouting at you for working too hard and sleeping very late. I know you do it for us. For me that’s just as cool as running faster than the speed of light! Sometimes I get nightmares but then you come to my rescue and they all go away! You’re my hero dad! We can fight side by side and go on adventures (mommy can come too)!

Happy Father’s Day Daddy!

Your sidekick,

Sam

Photo by Denise Sabio

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Literary

Confession

It creeps up on me when I eat, when I am sitting in the living room, when I am about to sleep.

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Artwork by Patricia Jardin

To rest is a sin.

In the quiet moments of this new sheltered life, I have come to accept that there is a small dark corner of my mind where all the dates of the calendar are marked. From the first week of April, to the last week of May—it’s all there. It is a small dark corner. It creeps up on me when I eat, when I am sitting in the living room, when I am about to sleep.

This small dark corner reminds me everyday of what’s about to come. I explain that I’m not ready, that I need more time, that this is new territory and I haven’t taken a step further since I came here—it doesn’t listen to me. It tells me to get to work. It tells me that this is my priority, this is what matters the most in this worldwide pandemic. It forces me to listen, to do as it says, to be its puppet to be controlled with the numbers controlling my arms and legs.

But this is just a small dark corner of my mind. There are other corners. Much bigger corners.

To rest is a sin. 

I have yet to be forgiven. 

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Literary

Little Bit of Paradise

You try to breathe in the catastrophe as your thumb keeps scrolling and scrolling and scrolling until the end is reached, leaving a deep void that makes you unable to speak or act.

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Artwork by Patricia Jardin

You wake up to the sight of your room’s white ceiling. The summer heat makes your skin sweat immediately. Piled up papers stare at you from the corner of the room along with unpacked belongings from the dorm––ah, yes. You are home––earlier than expected but still, you succumb to this little bit of paradise.

You breathe in the familiarity of your bed sheet’s smell, let every caress of the fabric give comfort up until you check your phone.

Three hundred thirty-nine new cases. The death toll is now at 704. Recoveries at 1,842. The total is now at 10,610.

This little bit of paradise began to crumble from the inside. Like a volcano nearing to erupt. The summer heat began to burn not only the skin but also made its way into bones and flesh. Piled up papers began to yell, screaming for a continuation. Gentle caresses became tight grips with nails digging deeper into full palms.

You try to breathe in the catastrophe as your thumb keeps scrolling and scrolling and scrolling until the end is reached, leaving a deep void that makes you unable to speak or act.

You see posts from people staying up in their ivory towers while waving their flags of toxic positivity for all to see. You grit your teeth in disgust. The screen refreshes, showing heroes and people trying to survive from exhaustion and hunger.

This little bit of paradise of yours completely crumbles, leaving traces of guilt, fear,  and anger, all in one.

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Literary

Finding Courage

In this time, praying has become a refuge. There is solitude in knowing that you are being heard and that what you are feeling and thinking are valid.

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Artwork by Patricia Jardin

It’s nice to wake up with the thought of having food served on the dining table for the day. When you know that you have a home, your family beside you, and wondering what you will do for the rest of the day. Make Dalgona coffee? Bake? Read? Watch a new TV series? Finally finish your school work?

Watching the news has become a staple in the household. Seeing the cases increase, people helping one another, our frontliners making things easier for us, and the struggle of the people trying to make ends meet despite the difficult situation. Suddenly, watching the news brings tension, stress, and anxiety. 

In this time, praying has become a refuge. There is solitude in knowing that you are being heard and that what you are feeling and thinking are valid. It is okay to be scared in times like these but know that these too shall pass. Courage is hard to find these days but waking up and getting out of the bed is a progress. I hope you find the courage to go on day by day.

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