It was almost time for a good night sleep, but for a medical student, it’s crunch time to inhale all that is left on what to know to survive tomorrow’s exam. Until my phone buzzed loudly, and an international number appeared on my screen. I knew it was my sister calling from the other side of the planet.
She was in London that time for work, and she habitually connects with me whenever she’s bored, or has some irrelevant news to share. It still marvels me how technology has made the world becomes smaller, that although we’ve been miles away from each other for quite some time, I felt that our relationship grew stronger. Perhaps, what they say is true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. We got a little bit clingier; although we don’t annoy each other at home anymore.
I, on another side, was alone in my dorm room, cramming, when she called. But I was excited to hear from her too because it was her first week in London that time. I was excited to learn how was the weather in London, and how she’s keeping up with her outfit, if she has seen lots of eyecandy Brits around, and how every beautifully built architectures took her breath away. But when she uttered her first two words, I knew that something was wrong.
That was the time I learned that her husband was cheating on her.
That was one of the very moments when you don’t exactly know what to feel. It’s one of those very moments when your heart shatters not for yourself, but for someone else, and you just don’t know what to do. But one thing is for sure, I was very worried for my little nephew, Grean, who was almost 5 years old that time.
I listened to her, and she shared some snaps as proof of how much of an asshole the man was. My initial reaction that time was just to travel all the way home to see my nephew, and give him a long warm hug, making him feel he has me no matter what happens.
I was so mad. I wanted to punch that man in the face. I wanted to shave that woman’s head. I wanted them to suffer all the consequences they did to my sister, and to my little, innocent nephew. My heart was so broken for both my sister, and my nephew.
We had quite a long pause during the call. I was stunned as well with the news and unsure of the right words to say. I let myself listen to her breathing and her sobbing, and a few minutes later, she spoke again. After I let her vent out, I asked “What do you want me to do with him?” But as a strong woman that she is, she said in her own tagalog words “Let him be. I’ll handle this. I can do this.”
I have always admired how strong and brave my sister is. I remember when I was little, I was bullied by some old lady in the neighbourhood. I went home crying, and she whispered “ I’ll handle this. I can do this”, and immediately ran to speak to that old lady. That moment, I knew, that there’s a brave woman inside her pretty face, and that I matter to her just as much as she matters to me.