Writing 101, Day 12: I wished I asked “How are you?” when I had the chance

Today, take a cue from something you’ve overheard and write a post inspired by a real-life conversation. Revisit a time when you wish you’d spoken up, reminisce about an important conversation that will always stick with you, or tune in to a conversation happening around you right now and write your reaction.


One evening, I heard my dad talking to someone over the phone. After their conversation, I asked him who he was talking to. He said it was my cousin, who just got a job at the airport in Tacloban City, Leyte. He referred my cousin to his friend who works as Engineer at the airport, and now he was advising him to work efficiently and be kind to his colleagues. My cousin had been unemployed for a couple of years and if I’m not mistaken it was his first job ever. And he just started working on October 1st of last year, 2013.

Anyways, upon knowing that it was my cousin, I suddenly missed him. He is the youngest son of my mom’s eldest sister. He’s a little bit shy but he smiles all the time. He has a sense of humor and he cracks some jokes oftentimes. He’s nice and kind. He is four years older than me but we were close especially when I was in high school. Sometimes he would refer me to his guy friends and would tell them that I had a crush on one of the guys. He’s so funny.

I haven’t seen him for a long while. The last time I talked to him was during one of my vacations in the province while on semestral break.

I felt excited for him that he already got a job. I wanted to ask him how he is and have some sort of catching up over the phone so I asked for his number from my dad. I got it. I don’t know what came up that time, maybe I did something else or I was called by my mom, until I totally forgot about texting/calling him.

Tacloban Airport is covered by debris after powerful Typhoon Haiyan hit Tacloban city (courtesy to the owner)

Tacloban Airport is covered by debris after powerful Typhoon Haiyan  (courtesy to the owner of this photo)

Fast forward, November 8, 2013, came Typhoon Yolanda (typhoon Haiyan), which was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded. My parents were both in Tacloban that time. We were so worried. Thank God, we heard from them five days after the typhoon. They were very fortunate to have survived from that deadly calamity. But my cousin, who was working at the airport, had never been seen until the authorities found his corpse with his ID, near the airport four months later.

I regret that I wasn’t able to catch up with him while he was still alive. I wished I called him back right away when I got his number from my dad. I wished I was able to talk to him and ask him how he was and his new job, or if he had a girlfriend or had a new crush, just like our normal conversations when we were teenagers. But it was too late. I never got the chance to see and talk to him again.

Life indeed has full of uncertainties. We never know what will happen later or tomorrow.  My cousin was only 32 and he was barely a month at his first job. We all thought that it was a good start for him. Little did we know that he was already off to a new beginning, in heaven.


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