September 19, 2014
I saw Michael again today after many years. I was out awhile ago because the internet has not been back so once again I had to go to a computer shop (In which I left my account open and god knows what’s going to happen to me). After that, I went to do some errand when somebody called out. And it was him.
“How are you? Still going to school?”
I said yes.
He held out his hand (a gesture indicating I had to pay respect by pressing my forehead to his hand) And then he started talking gibberish again and there’s nothing I could do but nod and say I had to go. Then he told me to take care of myself. I nod again and smiled at him and went on my way.
When I was in elementary school, and there’s no one to pick me up after school, I usually ride home with my friends’ favorite pedicab driver – a guy named Michael who has speech problems, tucks his pants higher than his waist and never forgets to greet an elder. You see, most of the pupils in my school had grown quite affeccionate to him because his behavior is years behind his age and probably his brain is the same age as ours. I guess that’s why he kinda feels connected to us.
Everyday at 4:30 in the afternoon we’d pester him with childish but mean insults. Sometimes he’d even cry to it. But here’s one thing I’m sure of, we never teased him about his condition. And I guess because we were never really bothered by what he is. In some days, especially in a good weather, we’d prefer walking alongside his pedicab while our bags stay on the passenger seat. We’d tease him again by pushing the ride wherein he’d lost control. And then he’d be mad at us. But everything cools down whenever we’d stop by a store to buy some iced candy.
He was never into any trouble, our parents trusted him and we are all friends with him. It’s not like we look forward to him every dismissal, it’s just that after we’re through playing whatever game we could come up with in the school yard, he’s always there. Waiting in his pedicab.