I had a coworker who habitually drop names in the middle of a group conversation which didn’t bothered me as it was a welcome invitation for me to belong in her life including befriending her friends. However, of all the names I’d hear, only one gets stuck in my head. Nikki. A neat and simple name, never had I ever heard of such. There’s fluidity and ease in saying and remembering it. From stories I’d hear she sounded witty, happy and gay person my curiousity about her grows each time I hear her name, Nikki.
I met Nikki when I needed help for some documents at her office. She was beaming with smile as I introduce myself requesting assistance with my papers. Her accommodating attitude was analogous to the ease in saying her name, simple and generous. Towards the end of the year our initial hi and hello acquaintance grew when she married a guy hailing from my hometown, Zamboanga City, a town she’s never been. I would chanced her on the hallway outside her office, we’ll have a five-ten minute quick, concise, brief account of her trip or vacation with her husband, then we’d go our separate ways.
One day as Nikki and I bumped into each other, our usual way of meeting, I casually mentioned my desire to buy a house for my parents. It wasn’t a personal desire actually but around February my father wrote me a letter, something he’s never done before, a letter I never realized would be our last means of communication. Three months after I received that letter he died, a victim of a hit and run accident.
Having been employed for more than five years my father knew I was entitled to housing benefits from work, which was the nature of his letter to me. When I spoke about this to Nikki, she instantly jumped as if she’s been waiting for me because in her hands is a treasure map exclusively meant for me. It turned out she had a connection with a realtor/developer who had housing program in my hometown. The rest is history so they say. I signed my mortgage documents in March by May or June the house was ready for moved in. My father saw the house and I knew it made him happy but I was sad he never had the chance to live in it.
Even when my father didn’t have the chance to enjoy his children’s success, I had the advantage to show my affection to him. It wasn’t the house. Growing up I remember him always away from home working, supporting and taking care of us financially. He is the head of the family, breadwinner, superman. He takes care of himself. His mortality never crossed my mind.
In one of Nikki’s trips in April before my father died she volunteered to hand carry a package to my family. I took that opportunity by sending a pair of pants and shirt for my father as a present, though not his birthday, but a way of showing him my love and gratitude, never realizing it will be my first and last personal deed I’ll be doing for him. He died wearing the blue shirt I gave him.
Nikki learned about my father’s death and the blue shirt he was wearing. She obviously knew she help me, but what she was unaware of was one precious thing I’ll never forgot as long as I live, of being instrumental in showing my love and gratitude to my father even with a simple pair of pants and shirt.
I rarely saw Nikki after that, I heard she was reassigned to another division while I was reassigned on field. And our paths never crossed again. Do I believe in fate or could I control my destiny? Some things are just meant to be.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Que Sera Sera.”