Wednesday, February 18, 2004


His bony cheeks take over most of the space in his thin long face. Two naive eyes rest awkwardly underneath the shade of his two thin eyebrows. A genuine childlike smile is permanently glued on his lips, revealing his teeth and pinkish gums. Exposure to the heat of the sun has turned his hair yellowish with twisted ends and his complexion was dark brown with spots all over.

He used to work at my office as a cleaning boy. I felt the passion to know him at the very first time I laid my eyes on him. I asked him his name. He spelled his name, instead, EN-GEH-A-DEH-I-EN-O. He spelled it the way my child did when she first entered Kinder Garten. I knew that we both would develop a good friendship.

As time goes by, he dropped by almost every morning to my room, just to make sure that he could be of any assistance. I began to rely on him for most of my errands. He had been in charge of almost everything, my phone bills, electricity, the kids’ school uniform, and even all my private documents. I told him that honesty should be his middle name; he looked at me with a puzzling gaze.

There had been so many times that I asked him to do a thing and he came back to me with a different thing in his hand. Though I almost exploded in anger, the baffled look in his eyes chocked me to silence and I was under his magic spell again.

One day he came to me, telling me that he’s out of his job. I was rather busy with my work and told him that I was really sorry for what had happened to him and dashed out of my room to catch up the next meeting that I had to attend. The meeting lasted for hours and finally ended around 7 o’clock. I walked back to my room feeling horribly tired. He was still sitting in my sofa, and staring straight to my desk. I felt so ashamed of myself for ignoring him. Everything turned to be so heavy. My heart was burdened with tons of guilt. I haven’t got a chance to express my apology when his eyes met mine. They were like pools of tears loaded with sorrows. His lips were trembling when he asked me: “What do I have to tell my wife and kids?”

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