Million Shades of Life: A Box of Takoyaki

I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason. Reasons that we may or may not understand. Reasons that we may never discover until we die. Reasons that we may or may not see even when it's staring right into our faces. It is a tiny piece of miracle that we refuse to acknowledge because we may deem it  not valuable. It is like a small drop of rain that can't even rival your sweat during a scorching hot summer day. A small speck of dust fluttering with the morning breeze that will disappear even before it hit any surface. It is like a passing thought of hope in the midst of great tragedy. No wonder why the wise guys call us blind. 

I'm gonna share a simple story that had happened not more than two hours ago. It is nothing out of ordinary. It is something that you will normally dismiss and you may not even waste a couple second of your life to think about it.

As I made my way home, I stopped by a takoyaki stand and bought two take-out boxes, each containing four pieces. I bought two boxes thinking that one may not be enough for I was so tired and hungry from the work. The scenario I had in my mind - the moment I got home I will devour those boxes of takoyaki, clean myself and then sleep. However, twenty-three minutes after that wonderful thought, I found myself handing out the other box to a boy who had been sitting in corner of the street beside a fastfood. 

Taking my story 5 minutes earlier, I was walking down the dirty street of Aurora Boulevard to get to where the jeepneys bound to the direction of our barangay are parked. It was then that I happen to passed by a kid who has been sitting for God-knows-how-long on the side of the street.

He was not the usual dirty and rude street children that you often see on the street of Metro Manila. He's a little cleaner and you would think that he was just an ordinary kid sulking in the corner, until you see his feet. His feet were very dirty and he had no sleepers. With his pathetic expression, he was looking at his fingers as he seemed to be trying to make cracking noise by bending them towards his palms. 

I walked pass by him hesitantly. I know in my heart that I should not ignore him. But my stay in the city for a year conditioned my mind to think that this kind of scenarios are pretty normal and that I couldn't do anything about it. Yes. I do help them sometimes, but those times where mostly when I was still new to the big city. As time pass, "sometimes" was reduced to "occasionally". 

However, I always have soft spot for kids so I took three steps back then started to walk towards him. When I stopped on his front, it took him a few second to look up. He stared at me with his innocent clouded eyes and gave me wondering look. I asked him "Boy, gutom ka?" then offered one box of takoyaki to him. He nodded hesitantly and took the box. For a split of second he looked at me then immediately bowed shyly and mumbled a thanks. I left him and hurriedly made my way to the jeepneys.

I really wanna cry at that time. If you ask me why, my answer would be a loud "Why the hell not?"  I know why I wanna cry but I'm not sure if I could explain it in a way that you could understand. "Mixed feelings" is the overrated description.

I know it seemed a very small thing. But I bet, for that kid, it isn't. Yes. It may be just be a box of takoyaki which is worth not more than thirty pesos. It is a box of an innocent shy yet thankful smile of a kid who probably most likely doesn't have a home. 

Honestly, I do not pity him. In fact I admire him. I, who have been fortunate enough to be born with a roof above my head, fortunate enough to be fed and clothed. I did not experience the harshness of the world in a way that he did so I will not fully understand his pains. My mind could perceive the reality of his life but it cannot grasp the thought and the feeling of being in that kind of reality. I could just shrug it off and say "That's life." But a part of me keeps saying " Is it how it should really be?" 

Looking back I wish I would have sat and ate with him. I could have asked his name. But I didn't have not the courage to do so. Maybe the reason why I wanted to cry is because, despite of my half-assed kindness, he returned it with a small yet thankful smile that I rarely see on the faces of the people I see in my daily life. He wore a hesitant yet sincerely thankful expression. It is an expression of someone who rarely experiences kindness from others. It reminded me of a part of myself and the people who taught me how to be kind by being kind to me. 

Maybe the real reason why I bought two boxes is not because I was as hungry as I thought. Maybe, I bought two boxes so that I could give the other one to him. Then in turn, I would be reminded of important lessons in life that I somehow forgotten. Whatever the reason is, I believe that something beautiful had happened tonight.

Enough of the blabber. I should sleep now.

Author: Million Shades

Anonymity gives me the freedom to write about everything.

Million Shades currently keeps a blog called Million Shades of Life.

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