7 Bullets

Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!

Seven bullets.

Six bullets for the husband and one bullet for the wife directly into her heart.

They were killed near their house where the son was waiting for them. The son actually saw their car parked near them but he never knew it was their car until it was too late. His aunts who just whispered his parents name into thin air because death as usual is always loud in silence.

The son heard the gunshot. He went to the crime scene and saw blood all over the pavement. Instead of walking faster to see his parents, the son walked slowly, taking in everything to what just happened. He held his mother in his bare hands. He embraced her with his tiny arms as if his were big enough to carry someone double his size. There was pity in his eyes. How devastating to see people you love living at their last moments. How terribly beautiful it was to see someone to let go of their final breath. That last tiny whisper of their breath.

Mom,” the kid said. At first, tears were impossible to come out but our love for the people we cared the most are the one who will make us cry. The son cried for his mother. He shouted her name. “MOM!!! PLEASE WAKE UP!” The kid wailed like a lost baby wolf in the wilderness. Howling with tears. “MOM! PLEASE WAKE UP. I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU. PLEASE WAKE UP! No. No. No. Please don’t let go. The ambulance will get here. We will drive you to the hospital and the doctors will cure you. Mom, please, DON’T YOU DARE DIE!” But it was too late when he saw his mother’s eyes turning into whiteness — into the emptiness and uncertain possibilities. Also, he saw his father’s body soaked on his own blood — his ribs were sticking out in his body. A fresh carcass of injustice and violence.

At the hospital, the son waited and hoped that the guy in the white gown could save his parents. He knew it was too late but hoping was the only thing he could cling to.

The guy in the white gown went out from the emergency room where the kid’s parents are being revived and said, “Time of death: 9:13 PM.” When the kid heard this, he begged the doctor to wake up his parents. “CAN YOU PLEASE WAKE MY PARENTS UP? CAN YOU WAKE UP MY DAD PLEASE?” The kid saw in the eyes of the doctor that it was up to no good but he kept begging anyway with tears on his eyes and a voice full of desperation. “PLEASE. I don’t want to be left alone. I want my parents back. I want my dad wake up so please wake him up. Please doctor, please. I want my dad. I need my dad to wake up. Please. I KNOW THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO LEAVE YOUR SON ALL ALONE. SO PLEASE, WAKE MY DAD UP BECAUSE I KNOW, HE DOESN’T WANT TO LEAVE ME. MY PARENTS DON’T WANT TO LEAVE ME. PLEASE.

But it was useless. That day, the kid will always remember that when everything is said and done, people will just be remembered for three things. First, the day they were born. Second, the day they will die. And third, the dash in between. It was the night he lost his parents.

In those white linoleum floor, cold as snow lie the bodies of his parents. In that old firmament turned his parents’ body into a chilling nightmare. His hope for the future was cold as ice.

The son went home hopelessly and helplessly. He couldn’t sleep. He couldn’t eat. Who could’ve be? He was 12 years old back then but the gunshots were fresh in his ears. The gunshot who was named ‘death’.

In the morning of the next day, the caskets of his parents were brought home. Two white caskets and corpses of the two person that he loves the most. Flowers were given by their family, friends, and neighbors as if those flowers would give beauty to death let alone bring back the life of his parents. But NO! Those flowers were sent so they could watch life suffers death like how the little kid watched his parents took their last breath. Prayers were uttered too like a mantra.

The son approached the caskets and the world stopped for him. “Mom? Dad,” but no answer. “Please wake up. Please wake up. Please mom. Dad? Wake up please please please.” An endless pleading but void of response. He couldn’t hear himself. Those “please, mom, dad, wake up” were just words of abandonment to oneself. His last words were inaudible because crying was only his option.

All he could hear were the seven bullets.

Bang! Bang! . . . . . .

Like an echo.

Bang! Bang! . . . . . .

Like how death begs for your life.

Bang! . . . . .

Like a bloodlust of a bloodhound.

Bang! . . . . .

Like the last breath of his parents.

Bang! . . . . .

The last trumpet of Revelation in the BIBLE reveals the Heaven.

It had been nine years since that tragedy. A tragedy of life and death; endings and beginnings.

In that span of nine years, that kid was challenged by life. Being an orphan and teased by other kids. He was at some point depressed and tried to kill himself at the age of sixteen. While holding the kitchen knife he was flooded of his parents’ memories. The overwhelming sensation of being with them in heaven rushed into his mind. But his soul was filled by his parents’ voice. The sound of the same whisper by his mother at night saying how strong he will be and how he would grow into a fine man. His father’s strong arms embracing him during those nights of sickness and lifting him when he’s happy. His parents were dead but somehow, they were embedded into his being.

He put the knife down and cry.

The poverty of his youth and parental guidance made him a better man. He valued education because his parents never finish school. He valued life because the half of him was taken away. His future was taken away from him. Who would be him if they’re alive today? What would be his life? He doesn’t know either. But one thing is for sure, during those years of lonesomeness he was with his parents as a whole being. They were alive deep down his heart.

 

You know what happened to the kid? He’s now 21 years old. That kid was me. Those parents were my parents. It was me pleading them to wake up in their white caskets. It was still me hearing those seven bullets.

Right now, I could still see my mother in her office doing some errands and looking at me with those eyes full of love, adoration, and compassion. Sometimes, I could hear her footsteps on the way to the kitchen to prepare my nightly snacks I always begged her before going to bed. My father’s touch and manly scent still roamed our house. I sometimes wonder if he would still smell the same if he’s alive today. Sometimes, I could hear him begging my mother for money so we could watch movie and visit malls.

I don’t know if they truly left me. They’re there. Anywhere I focus my eyes, I would see them looking at me.

 

I miss them, you know.

I miss my dad’s embrace and mom’s soft whispers.

Those seven bullets took my parents away. They would never attained justice for their death but I would give them justice for the life they left behind.

 

In every bullet, I found myself.

In every tear, I became strong.

In their death, a new life.

 

For this life is like the fireworks cascading in the sky on New year’s Eve. I would always hear loud BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!

About the Author

Remnzar Salumbides
Remnzar Salumbides
Remnzar graduated cum laude from Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU). After completing Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting Technology in MMSU, Remnzar pursued BS in Accountancy at the Northwestern University in Laoag City and completed the said course in 2017. Remnzar is now a Finance and Accounting Supervisor who currently handles three (3) accounts.
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