At the age of four, my father would take me to my kindergarten classroom.
Upon entering the classroom, the door would shut behind me leaving him outside. I cried– afraid of the fact that I am alone and too weak to face the world all by myself – I screamed, and pleaded to everyone to let him stay with me. I slapped the door wishing I could knock it down with my little hands– wishing that I could make my way out and see him.
Struggling to calm me down and shut me out, the teacher just desperately repeated these words, “Stop crying. Your father will be back soon. But, he won’t come back if you keep on crying.”
I stopped crying and I wiped the tears from my eyes while keeping those words in my mind.
My father would take me to school every day and I never cried.
He also fetched me. And I was happy.
At the age of 7, my father died.
He could not take me to my 2nd grade classroom anymore nor to any of my classrooms.
During his burial, I cried out. I can’t help but cry, my eyes were pouring tears like crazy. And everything that happened that day just passed like a blur.
Then, in the midst of mourning I suddenly remembered what my kindergarten teacher told me.
And I did, I wiped the tears on my cheeks and stopped the water to form in my eyelids.
“Your father will be back soon.”
I waited for his return.
“But he won’t come back if you keep on crying.”
I did not cry even a single tear since that day.
Anna Marie is currently a grade 11 learner at Ateneo de Davao University, born and raised in the City of Davao.