THE STAR AND SKY
I never believed in quack doctors..not so much in faith healers and the like. Not even once did I ever want to visit one. This day, however, is the first in 16 years.
But still, why is the air so musty? Don't they even open the windows? Well, does this dark room have a window in the first place? And is it still morning? I can't tell. I've been lying in this uncomfortable mat for who knows how long and I can barely open my eyes. My lips are so dry and my hands are quivering. High fevers could be so irritatingly frustrating.
That's my Mom. The culprit. The reason I'm here. I wanted to reply but my soar throat won't allow me. I can feel her hands clutching mine. They're so wet. She always perspires a lot whenever she's tense or more often when I make her worry. I assume her face is also sweaty.
I really do appreciate her presence but despite that I still would have opted to go to the nearest hospital. Not here. Definitely not here.
Moreover, this old woman kneeling on my left side is pretty scary. Her stares are so...you know...if looks could kill. I don't think I'd feel any better staying here. The effect might be the opposite.
"How many times do I have to tell you? I'm not a quack doctor?" the old woman finally spoke. And Gosh, her breath stinks.
"Please. I know you can do something." What do I expect from my Mom? She believes these stuffs more than Dr.'s and PhD’s. She has her own reasons though.
"I'm a spiritual medium. Not a quack doctor. SPI-RI-TU-AL ME-DI-UM. Can you not absorb that?"
"Pity my daughter, mada'am. Please."
"Oh I pity you more woman and you're slow brain."
Hey, that's a little over board. This old hag's mean. She just waits 'til I get my strength back.
"Please. I'll pay you double. Triple." Oh come on Mom. Give it a break already. I just wanna go home.
Then the old hag heaved a sigh. I wasn't ready for that. I wish I could've done something to protect my nose. Gosh. How long do I still have to suffer?
"Okay. I'll just go prepare the medicine." WHAT? Before I knew it, the old hag's already in her feet and was walking slowly towards the door. I didn't notice that door before even though it was only about two meters from where I was and I was facing it directly.
"Thank you so much." My Mom sounded very relieved.
I caught a slight glimpse of the sunlight as the old hag opened the door. I think it's still broad daylight. As the door closes, I'm starting to feel worried. What would that crazy fellow give me? I hope it's not something...
Disgusting! What the hell is that? I don't want to drink it.
"Come now, Dear," my Mom encouraged as she lowered the proposed medicine near my lips which I kept tightly shut.
It was a small open transparent vial filled with a suspicious brownish liquid. It resembled murky water and the smell...Oh gosh..the smell...The powers of the senses are at minimum when you're suffering from a fever, right? I don't think I want to know how this smells in real deal. I suppose Mom's used to this though. Like I've said she's got faith in these things.
"Just take this in, Gel. Just this one. Promise. Or else will never be able to go home."
Okay. I just have to swallow this...this..whatever.
I can feel the liquid touch my tongue slowly but it felt like nothing. Maybe because my sense of taste is also at low state. But this is weird. There's nothing to swallow. The moment the liquid hits my tongue, it's as if it evaporates. Weird...Huh?...Something slammed.
The door? Mom shrieked and I could see the now empty vial rolling on the floor. She dropped it due to the shock.
"Mada'am! You frightened me!"
The hag gazed at me and then to the vial.
"I'm sorry, Mada'am? What's wrong?"
"WHAT'S WRONG?! IT'S WRONG!"
Mom's saying something. I just can't contemplate. What's this? My vision's spinning. What are they saying? I can't hear it clearly. Someone said wrong again? What was...
My name is Rigel Cole. I was named after one of the brightest star in the universe. It was decided by Mom whose name was after the star Vega.
I’m currently attending Phils High School. We just transferred in Phils town early this year. Mom got separated from Dad four years ago and we’ve been moving non-stop since then.
My mother doesn’t have a permanent job. She failed to graduate in a course for she ran away with my Dad. She goes on applying as sales lady, bar waitress and the like but in the end she quits. More often though, she gets kicked out. She came from a rich family and our life with Dad was a little well of so she really didn’t know how to play those roles.
Living with Dad was having a blue CRV or a grey BMW drop and fetch you at school. Now…walking is a good form of exercise. Four years ago I lived in a wide two story house but these days a two bedroom apartment is more than enough. Still somehow, I managed to cope. I sort of miss that life but I’d rather stay and be my Mom’s cook than squeeze myself into my father’s second family.
Okay. Enough of the family issues. I just can’t help thinking about it most especially on these rainy days wherein…I don’t have an umbrella and my cell phone’s busted. It’s a good thing there’s a waiting shed here.
That’s the guy sharing the shed with me. He’s been humming for quite sometime now. He’s not of any help though. I heard him cursing about loosing his phone. He’s holding two folding umbrellas – a pure blue on his left and a pure white on his right hand. I’d fancy borrowing one but he seems to be waiting for someone. He keeps on checking his watch.
“Oh crap! They’re not coming!” I heard him say. He stomped hard on the bench which made it hard for me not to look his way.
He noticed and glanced back at me in a what do you care? sort. I had to look away quickly. I can still feel him staring at me. I just simply fixed my eyes on the pouring rain and pretended like he didn’t exist.
“You don’t have an umbrella?” I was surprised with the question. I turned back to him but didn’t answer.
“Here.” I was completely stunned when he offered the white umbrella.
All I said was “Huh?”
He looked at me with a strange smile. I composed myself and just as I was about to say receive the umbrella…
“What the – “ I was shocked when he pulled it away.
“I made it a rule that my kindness and generosity to a stranger only lasts for 5 seconds.”
I didn’t know what to say.“Bye.” He opened the blue umbrella and left.
I was totally appalled, shocked, embarrassed, and most definitely Mad!
I glanced back at the departing figure and to my utter hatred, he opened the other umbrella. Was he trying to mock me?
Oh! I’m gonna make him pay for this. He should pray I don’t meet him again. Or else..or else.. Gosh! He is such a jerk!
“JERK! I’ll never forget this! And your stupid face!”
The rain never stopped and I had to run my way home. The next day, I woke up in a daze and a high fever.
Yes that was what happened. Damn! There are a million dreams. Why that?
My sight’s still shaky. My head feels heavy and so does this blanket. I feel like its pressing on my entire body. And why is it so big? Even the bed seems a little too large.
Is this my room? I can smell my favorite fabric conditioner. There’s my desk. My school books are also on the floor. But it’s so weird. My room appears wider than the last time I saw it.
“Mom? ‘You there?” Where is she? What happened? And the old hag? Yes. The hag. Where are they? Why am I here?
This blanket is really so heavy. I’d better change it later. That aside, why do I feel a little hairy? And what’s this sharp thing in my hands?
“(Gulp)” I’m starting to feel nervous. Yeah. This is weird.
“Stupid blanket.” Do I have to crawl out?
“OUCH! That fall was hard. What the – ” Hey this can’t be happening? Why am I shorter than the bed? No way. Mirror.. Mirror. I need mirror. It’s behind the door. Right.
“Wait a minute. Did I just - ?” Good heavens. I’m walking on fours! And my hand?
“MY HANDS! MY FEET! No way. NO WAY!
The mirror says it all. This can’t be.
I’m no longer 5 ft 3. I’m not even above a foot. I don’t have hands. No feet. I have paws and claws…
“AND WHISKERS! AAAHH!!! Wake up Gel! WAKE UP! NO WAY! NO WAY! AAAAAAAAHHH! I can’t be a…..A -”
The door creaked open.
“MOM! Gosh you look so tall! Help me! MOM! HELP!”
“Geeze. How did this get here?” She picked me up like I was weightless.
“MOM! What are you doing? Mom! STOP IT! Put me down! MOM!” I screamed as I struggled from her grip. She was pulling a certain part at my back. Like what you really do with cats but she’s doing it the wrong way. It hurts.
“And such a noisy feline indeed.”
“Mom! IT’S ME GEL!”
She ignored me and opened the door. She’s going to throw me out.
“NO! PLEASE MOM! IT’S ME!”
Still no response from her. As she pulled open the gate, someone suddenly appeared out of the dark alley.
“You hate cats, ma’am?”
It was a lad who seems to be of the same age as me. He was sweating. He seemed to have run for miles but he couldn’t have gone jogging. His jeans and white shirt don’t seem fit.
His black was hair cut neatly like the ones in the military. His eyes were as black as his hair and he had a peculiar smile which oddly seemed to be directed to me.
“If you’d like I’d gladly adopt her. By the way, I’m Sky Farel.”
There again with that smile. My hands – paws – clenched as I recognize this stupid face and the pure blue and pure white umbrellas.