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Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:49 am

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It has been 2 months since I haven't seen my uncle Jared. He is a very happy man and very contented with his life although he only lives in apartments and only has money not more than 50 dollars. Well, except when he finds a job, he would earn more money but it wouldn't be enough because he'll spend them on church offerings and alms other that food and bills. Unfortunately, he's always getting fired because he's more like a hyper clown than an orderly employee.
He would only visit my house when he's just been fired or when he misses me, his favorite 12-year-old nephew. Usually, I would see him every month but this is the 1st time that he haven't visited for 2 consecutive months. I decided to write him a letter.

"Dear Uncle Jared,

Why aren't you here uncle? I already miss you so much. I'm so excited about what would be your new stories, and I'm also excited to tell you my stories. You know, I tried my best to follow your advice and hopefully, the bullies stopped bothering me. Maybe they got tired of teasing because they're not getting any reaction. Though the bullies are gone, I still have one problem: Mom and Dad are fighting again. I bet it's about money, just like what their past fights were all about. I don't understand why they still want more money although we're already quite rich. I just wish that they'd be like you: contented on what you already have and living the world as it flows around you. That's all I want to say Jared. I hope you'd be able to visit soon.

Your nephew,
Chris Jhay "

I mailed the letter all by myself because I wouldn't want Mom and Dad know that I'm communicating with him. It's because they don't like him that much 'coz they say he's dirty, untidy, and smelly. But when he's already in the house, they couldn't do anything other than smile and laugh along with his jokes. They think he'd hurt them if they don't ride along. Such hypocrites.

I waited patiently for his reply and tried my best to ignore Mom and Dad going stressed and troubled all the time. After two weeks, I finally received it. The letter said that he wrote on February 21, a week after I wrote, and it took another week for the reply to come to me.

"My dear lad CJhay,

I really like the fact that you bothered to write me a letter, though you could've just called me with your mobie. I'm just a city away from you, but I still apreciate the effort. Thankies. Anyhoo, I'm sorry if I'm not able to visit. I'm having some troubles right now, and I can't promise that I'd be able to visit you soon. I'm sorry about that, but it's the truth, son. Sometimes the truth hurts. Well, try to understand your parents, because you don't have a clue of what they're arguing about. Maybe it's not really about money at all. Actually, oldies are normally stressed like that, unlike us hippies that can dance all night 'til we drop and have fun. Once again lad, I'm sorry, and I'm glad the bullies are gone. I hope you understand.

Jared "

At the end, I just stared at his signature on the top of his name. I followed the big hoops and loops as I thought. I was glad and frustrated at the same time. Glad that I know that he's fine and I was able to talk to him, and frustrated that I wouldn't be able to see him for a longer while. I tried to understand, but something in the corner of my brain that's screaming, "THIS AIN'T RIGHT! IT'S UNFAIR!"

I almost jumped when my door suddenly opened. I shoved the letter under my pillow and turned to Mom. She looked horrible. "Would you please knock first before you enter? This might be your house but this is my room!" I blurted out, ignoring her terrible state. She flinched a little bit but managed to say sorry. She went in and sat on the sofa so she's right in front of me.

"I have bad news for you son." she said.
"What? That you and Dad are divorcing? That's good news for me, Mom. I'm tired of both of you. If you'd make me choose between the two of you, I'd choose Uncle Jared because his purpose in life is to live healthy and not to have all the money in the world." Mom didn't know if she would grimace, frown, or glare, so she just looked down at her feet.

"No, Chris, we're not divorcing. Yes, we were fighting but that time it was not about money. It's something else."
"What? A car? A house?" I said brusquely. If Mom was normal, she might have slapped me but no, she reached for my hand soothingly.

"Chris, we were talking about whether we'd visit your Uncle Jared or not."
"What? Then we go! Why does it need to be talked over? He is Dad's brother so why do you need to hesitate?" I brightened up and stood up. Mom sulked a little bit.

"Because it might not be good for you if you'd see him like that."
"What 'like that'? Why would it be bad for me? You know I love him so why do you look like you're trying to take him away from me?"

"We know you love him and we would never take him away from you. But someone just did." Uh-oh. I don't have a good feeling about this.
"What do you mean, Mom?" a lump formed in my throat. Mum glanced at my face, looked at the wall, at her hands; she looked everywhere, but never in my eyes.

"Your Uncle Jared's dead."

Suddenly, you can hear that high pitch sound because it was too quiet. I slumped back to the bed. No. No. She should be joking. "Stop that. I'm not joking with you." I told her, trying to laugh at it. But she didn't laugh. Cliche, huh?

"I know it's hard, son. It's hard to accept the truth. But we need to, even though it hurts. I'm sorry son." I was still in shock so I let Mom hug me. She didn't make soothing sounds because she knows that they would just irritate me.

Something suddenly flashed across my head.

"Mom, since when have been he.... dead?"
"Uh, last Thursday. He died of leukemia." Gee, thanks mom. You shouldn't have added the last part.
Thursday. February 20. A day before he wrote the letter. "Mom, are you sure it's Thursday? Not Friday?"
"I'm certainly sure. Why?"
"Nothing." she continued stroking my head as I thought. I felt shocked, confused, and amazed all at the same time. How is this possible? His signature was right there, so the letter couldn't be faked, plus he's sort of a perfectionist about written things and would never make a little mistake like this.

Probably you're thinking that his ghost wrote the letter for him. It can't be. That's nonsense.



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