“I am exhausted!” Julius exclaimed.
He brought in the last of the furniture inside their new home. His wife, Cecille was busily looking after their newborn babies. He looked at the happy picture they made and forgot the soreness of his muscles.
“Come here and rest. I’ll get you some refreshments.”
He loves it when Cecille fusses over him. She makes him feel like he’s a king. A rajah. An emperor.
The babies started crying and he went over to check on them. They were handsome little devils.
“Coochie coo! Peek-a-boo!”
The two rascals stared at their father with awe. Their cries of hunger were replaced with little squeaks of curiosity over his low timbered voice. It was so different from the mellow and melodious voice of their mother.
“Julius, stop scaring them!”
“But I didn’t…” he protested as she tenderly gave each one of the babies a kiss and their food.
“You are not so different from your sons, dear. Men are such babies.”
The happy couple sat down and a peaceful atmosphere wrapped their new home. A cool breeze entered, and as Julius and Cecille fed each other food and kisses in between, a blanket of contentment settled in their new home. It was a new beginning, a new life together with their new family.
Suddenly, a resounding crash shattered everything. A huge boulder came through the window, knocking down Julius and Cecille.
Cecille screamed when she saw that Julius was bloody and unconscious, she immediately turned her head to look if their children were unharmed. The playpen fell on its side and the latch opened. They were still in it, though now they were crying for her.
“Ma! Ma! Ma!”
Cecille was pinned down by Julius’ body and as she tried to move and inch towards her babies, she felt pain everywhere. The boulder was no stranger to her. She knew what will happen next. Another one will follow. She knew she had to save her babies.
“Babies! Babies, come to Ma. Come here, come to Ma!”
Every word was said in agony. She knew she had broken ribs and it was getting more and more difficult to breathe, but she had to try to get her babies out of there. She called them out again and as she did, they crawled out of their playpen towards her.
“Yes, babies, come to Ma…I’m here…just a little bit more…”
She hugged them both so tight when they reached her. They were crying but her presence calmed them a bit. Julius was no longer breathing. The boulder came from the window and the impact of it on him was fatal. It was his body that saved Cecille as the boulder rolled towards the middle of the room.
“Shh…we have to be quiet…”
Cecille knew that the next boulder would soon arrive if ever they make any sound. She prayed that they will leave soon. They almost always knew where to look. She could never understand the reason why they have to do this. Destroying their homes, killing their families and friends, making each move to a new place a constant thing. This was their third home.
She wanted to cry but couldn’t. Julius’ death will be mourned later when all is safe. She must have her wits about her to survive this.
“C’mon! Let’s Go!”
“No, wait! Let me try again!”
“I said you can only do it once. If you don’t get to make it fall, you’re buying me an ice cream cone.”
“But you pushed me when I pulled the string! You made me lose my aim!”
“Oh shut up. You know you can’t pull it off. You’re not that good.”
The two boys kept on bickering as they went on their way to Aling Nena’s sari-sari store to buy ice cream. They soon decided it would be more fun to look for anthills, destroy them and maybe torture the ants with water or matches rather than trying to make a bird’s nest fall from a tree.