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Andoy’s Bestfriend

 I  LOVE this story.

Somewhere in Milaor, Camarines Sur, there lived a  fourth grader boy who would follow this route to school everyday: He has to  cross the rugged plains and cross the dangerous highway where vehicles are recklessly driving to and from.

Once past this highway, the boy  would take a short cut, passing by the Church every morning just to say Hi  to God, and faithfully say his, “Magandang umaga po” in Bicol dialect. He  was faithfully being watched by a Priest who was happy to find innocence so  uplifting in the morning,

 ”Kamusta, Andoy? Papasok ka  na?”

 ”Opo padre … ” he would flash his innocent grin, the priest would  be touched. He was so concerned that one day he talked to  Andoy.

 ”From school…”, he advised “Do not cross the highway, you  can pass through the Church and I can accompany you to the other side of  the road…that way I can see that you are home safe….”

 ”Thank you  father …  “
 ”Why don’t  you go home … why  do you stay in this church right after school?”

 ”I just want to  say  ‘Hi’   to my  friend, God,” and the  priest would leave the boy to spend time beside the altar, talking to  himself, but the priest was hiding behind the altar to listen to what this  boy has to say to his heavenly FATHER.

 ”You know my math exam was  pretty bad today, but I did not cheat although my seatmate is bullying me  for notes… I ate one cracker and drank my water, Itay had a bad season  and all I can eat is this cracker. Thank you for this! I saw a poor  kitten who was hungry and I know how he feels so I gave my last cracker to  him … funny but I am not that hungry. Look, this is my last pair of  slippers …I may have to walk barefoot next week, you see this is about to  be broken… but it is okay….at least I am still going to school…. Some  say we will have a hard season this month, some of my classmates have  already stopped going to school …. please help them get to school again,  please God?

….Oh, you know, Inay hit me again, it is painful, but I  know this pain will pass away, at least I still have a mother…. God, you  want to see my bruises? I know you can heal them…. Here… here and ….  oh …blood ….I guess you knew about this one huh? Please don’t be mad at  Inay, she is just tired and she worries for the food in our table and my  schooling that is why she hits us….Oh, I think I am in love … there’s  this pretty girl in my class, her name is Anita … do you think she  will like me? Anyway, at least I know  you will always  like me, I don’t have to be anybody just to please you, you are my very  best friend! Hey your birthday is two days from now!!! Aren’t you excited?  I am! Wait till you see, I have a gift for you. but it is a surprise! I  hope you will like it! Oooops, I have to go …” then he stood up and calls  out, “Padre, padre, I am finished talking to my friend …. you can  accompany me to the other side of the road now”

This routine happens  everyday. Andoy never fails. Father Agaton shares this every Sunday to the  people in his church because he has not seen a very pure faith and trust in  God, a very positive look at negative situations.

One Christmas day,  Father Agaton was sick so he could not make it in the Church, he was sent  to the hospital. The Church was left to 4 manangs who would chant the  rosary in 1000 miles per hour, would not smile and would always find fault  in what you do, they were also very well versed in cursing if you irritate  them! They were kneeling, saying their kilometric rosary when Andoy, coming  from his Christmas party,playfully dashed in.

 ”Hello God! I  ……”

 ”P—-!! (a curse) bata ka!! Alam mo nang may nagdadasal!!  Alis!!”

Poor Andoy was so terrified, “Where’s Father Agaton? He is  supposed to help me cross the street … and to be able to cross the street  I will have to pass by the back door of this church. not only that, I  have to greet Jesus. It is His birthday, I have a gift right here…. “  Just as he was about to get the gift out of his shirt, the manang  pulled his shirt and threw him out of the church. “Susmaryosep!!! (does the  sign of the cross fervently) Alis kang bata ka, kung hindi matatamaan  ka!!!

So the boy had no choice but to cross the dangerous side of the  road in front of the church. He crossed. A fast moving bus came  in.

There was a blind curve. The boy was protecting his gift inside  his shirt, so he was not looking. There was so little time. Andoy died  on the spot. A lot of people crowded the poor boy, the body of a lifeless  young boy …

Suddenly, out of nowhere a tall man in a pure white shirt  and pants, a face so mild and gentle, but with eyes full of tears… He  came and carried the boy in His arms. He was crying. Curious bystanders  nudged the man in white, and asked,

 ”Excuse me sir, are you related  to this child? Do you know this child?”

The man in white, His  face mourning and in agony, looked up and answered,

 ”He was my best  friend . ” was all he said. He took the badly wrapped gift in the bloody  chest of the lifeless boy, and placed it near His heart.

He stood up  and carried the boy away and they both disappeared in sight. The crowd  was curious …

On Christmas Eve, Father Agaton learned of the shocking  news. He visited the house, and wanted to verify about the man in white. He  consulted the parents of Andoy.

 ”How did you know that your son  died?”

 ”A man in white brought him here.” sobbed the mother.
 ”What  did he say?”
 The father answered, “He did not say anything. He was  mourning. We do not know him and yet he was very lonely about our son’s  death, as if he knew our  son  very well. But there was something peaceful and unexplainable about  him.
He gave me my son, and then he smiled peacefully. He brushed my  son’s hair away from his face and kissed him on his forehead, then he  whispered something…”

 ”What did he say?”

 ”He said to my  boy…” the father began, “Thank you for the gift …. I will see you soon  … you will be with me…” and the father of the boy continued, “and you  know for a while, it felt so wonderful … I cried, but I do not know  why….all I know is I cried tears of joy …. I could not explain it,  Father, but when that man left, something peaceful came over me, I felt a  deep sense of love inside … I could not explain the joy in my heart,  I knew my boy is in heaven now but…tell me, Father, who is this man that  my son talks to everyday in your church, you should know because you are  always there … except at the time of his death ……”Father Agaton  suddenly felt the tears welling in his eyes, with trembling knees,  he murmurred, ” … He was talking to no one …… but ..  GOD….”

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