Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Bus # 7

I transferred to a big school when I turned grade one and being a transferee made me even more timid and scared of the people around me and the surrounding itself. Lolo would bring me to school and there would be do-not-leave-me-here-lolo-whining-with-crying-scenarios. Mommy eventually found a school service for me, but still, Lolo would join me inside the fiera just because I asked to.
Finally, weeks passed and I got used to seeing Lolo Boy, the very nice school service driver, and my grandpa stopped going with me already. At age seven, I became friends with the 30-ish Lolo Boy. He would carry my heavy bag through the gate and would wait for me by the exit during dismissal. I felt special.
Days after my 7th birthday, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the country. I will never ever forget the horror I felt then. I was inside the classroom when it happened. We were all crying while praying (I was actually praying for mommy or daddy to come to my rescue but I know they were both at work) and then Lolo Boy came. He carried me just like what a dad would do to his terrified child. 
We had to part ways when I turned grade five. I transferred to a new service that covers the route of the neighborhood that we had moved to. In a school year, I shifted to one service to another and another. I was looking for the father figure/savior in them that I had seen in Lolo Boy. Sadly, the comfort I found in Bus #7 is incomparable. Before I went to high school, we bid our goodbyes to each other, it was the last day I saw him.
14 years had passed and I really never had forgotten about him. The earthquake is the most vivid memory I have of him. It was told too many times to my closest friends and relatives, and he has always the big part in the story.
Just recently, I found Lolo Boy’s son, Alex, on Facebook. He said they’ve been in Vegas since 2002. Alex told his dad about me. He never had forgotten me, too and surprisingly, it was also the July 16, 1990 incident he told him.
I know that day really made a big impact to both of us; it was the bond that kept us together after all this time of being apart. It was the day he played hero to a frightened little girl.
Thank you, Lolo Boy, you will always be the hero I once had in my childhood days. You are my earthquake hero.


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