Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Jingling Bells

Jingling bells jingling bells
Jingling all the way…

Little Ben sang with great exuberance, his little fingers slightly tapping the car’s window, a little drum hanging around his neck. The driver waved his hand without looking at him.

His eyes lost sparkle, his shoulders fell and he quietly moved to the sidewalk as the light turned green.

After a few minutes, another red light. Little Ben instantly leaped as if not feeling the cold wind wrapping him, creeping into his tattered clothes.

Jingling bells jingling bells
Jingling all the way…

He hopped from one car to another, continuing to sing the same lines. People kept shooing him away but he sang anyway. Some were amused but never gave him anything.

A lady tossed a penny from the window. Little Ben’s eyes widened with excitement as he thanked the old lady.

Upon realizing how long he’d been roaming the streets, little Ben slumped into the sidewalk.

“One…two…three…one…two…three…” He silently counted as if he knew exactly how to.

Suddenly a girl, about 4 years old, appeared behind him.

“Kuya…” she said in a soft whisper.

Frightened, little Ben hurriedly hid the coins he saved from that day. “Oh Sarah, it’s you! I told you to wait for me at home.”

Tears welled up in Sarah’s eyes. “Kuya, I’m hungry…”

His throat tightened and realized that they hadn’t been eating anything for three days.

“Don’t cry… Look, 1-2-3-1-2-3! Kuya earned much! We’ll eat something special today.” He managed to cheer his voice up.

Little Ben left Sarah near the bridge and got themselves something for that day. Then he ran back to their home where she left Sarah and hurriedly climbed down. The pile of cartons was already set. Sarah was already sleeping quietly at the end waiting for him.

“Sarah, wake up…” Little Ben shook her softly. “It’s time.” He said with a silent excitement.

The two of them watched the different colors of fireworks appear in the sky, eating bread and a cup of warm noodles. “Merry Christmas Sarah…”

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