My past, present and future - Leo

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March 1990
Sparks of lightning. They just scurry along the dark blue sky. Each drop of the rain reaches its destination on earth. After a storm no stone is left unturned. Everything carries on. Nothing remains as it is. Just as the flow of a river never stops, time moves on and on. The Creator himself is incapable of retrieving the lost moment. But not in my life. I am 12 years old and have been rotting in this orphanage since I don’t know when. Sister Rose once told me, “Don’t worry son. Your day will come too. Be patient.”
All of my friends get adopted and every year I make new friends. Our orphanage has a small playground full of dirt and sand. We play soccer and get ourselves dirty every Sunday. One fateful afternoon as we were playing, our ball went over the fence and onto the street facing the orphanage. Our security guard, Leo, went to get the ball for us. He would always very kind to all of the orphans and helped us whenever we needed some. He reached the middle of the road and got the ball in his hands, but didn’t move. He was too shocked to see the truck drift before his eyes. I ran as fast as I could, pushed Leo away, the ball dropping from his hands, and fell to the ground. The last thing I saw was the horrified face of Leo as the situation made his blood run cold and the last thing I heard was the pop of the football burst under the wheels of the vehicle. The headlights blinded my eyes and that was when I stopped feeling. I don’t think this was the day Sister Rose meant.
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February 1991

My eyelids parted to bring a view of a woman in a white dress staring at me. I realized I was in a hospital room. As soon as she saw my eyes open, she ran out of the room and returned with four people, one of which I recognized as Sister Rose. There was also a middle-aged woman with curly blond hair and another, much older woman with black hair. Sister Rose came over and kissed me on the cheek. After a few hours of conversing with them, I realized I had been unconscious for more than ten months. I was adopted by Leo, which brought tears of happiness to my eyes. I hadn’t forgotten that fateful day. The blond woman was Leo’s wife and the older one his mother.

Life passed normally. The only difference was that I was no longer at the orphanage. I would stay at Leo’s house. But I hadn’t seen Leo since the day in the hospital. His wife (who I now proudly called “mom”) told me that he had got a job as a security guard in a very prestigious company of high standing. But whenever I asked her the name of the company she would turn a deaf ear to my question. But she would love me and protect me as if I were her real son and so I pushed aside all complaints. Not a single day passed without her saying how much Leo loved me and how heartbroken he was to learn that he had to part with me.

March 1991

After a month I got accustomed to my new surroundings. I joined a wonderful school and studied hard. There were many kids in the neighborhood to play with. I slowly recalled all my soccer tactics and strategies. All the toddlers learned tricks from me and all the kids of my age sobbed after I beat them. Once I was taking a stroll on an out-of-the-way road along a construction site. I was feeling very bored that day as all my friends were on vacation. I had my soccer ball with me and was dribbling. It went near the site. I went to take the ball when I suddenly saw an iron bar falling from the sky and over me. I was so terrified my feet were rooted to the ground. Someone pushed me aside and the rod fell down. I fell beside the rod and smiled as I saw a familiar face. It was Leo! I got up to hug him when he started to walk away from me. He started to run. He went along a pavement, around a corner. I shouted, “Leo! Wait! It’s me!” But he didn’t turn around. I went around the corner and found no one but a small stray dog there. It was very weird. Was I hallucinating? Was I missing Leo so much that I was seeing him? Was it someone else I mistook as Leo? I still don’t know what happened that day. But that was just the beginning…


April 1991

I was running on the road, away from a vicious dog running after me. I had stepped on his tail. A man came and scared him away. Leo. He again ran away from me and disappeared mysteriously as before…

June 1991

Joe, my friend, and I, were at a beach. We were making a sand castle when a ridiculously huge wave raced towards us. Everyone started running for their lives away from the shore. A man lifted us both up and carried us away from the shore to a safe place. Leo. Again. You may have guessed what happened next…


This continued… it happened a few times more and then I was sure I wasn’t hallucinating. I was actually seeing Leo and he was actually saving my life. Mom would never believe me whenever I told her. She would say I was seeing things, I was so anxious to see him that my mind was playing tricks.


But one miraculous day she saw him too. It happened just like a year before. I was playing soccer as usual and mom was coming back from the grocery store. My ball went on the street, I went after it, a truck sped towards me… Mom was horrified. Leo came. He saved me like I had saved him. Mom saw him walk away and disappear. She was getting goosebumps. My mom pulled me by the hand and took me home. She didn’t say a word on the way. She had tears in her eyes. I asked her again and again whether she saw him but she never answered.

Finally she gave up and said, her eyes watery, “Yes I saw him. Ok? But it wasn’t him. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you this, son. When you were in coma, Leo was so upset to not see his son wake up that he had a cardiac arrest. The doctors said he wasn’t going to make it. Leo died, son.”





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