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Young Blood

Believing in magic

DEAR SANTA,

Eleven years have passed since the last time I wrote you a letter. During those years, the world has changed and the world has also changed me. Before I turn into an adult, I would like to believe in the magic that you represented to me when I was little.

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I always dreamed that on my 18th birthday, I would have my debut. In my dream, my family and closest friends would witness one of the greatest nights of my entire life. My guests would gasp at how wonderful I looked that night. Even my father would shed tears because he couldn’t believe that his daughter was finally a grown-up.

Santa, please bring my father back even for just one moment. But I know that is impossible because he died of cancer when I had just entered high school. While he was lying in his bed in the hospital, he told me he was sorry that he would not be around to witness my life unfold. Now, I envy those fathers who patiently wait for their children when they miss their curfew or even fetch them angrily because they cannot stop worrying.

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After my father’s death, a lot of things changed in our family. My insecurity grew worse. I began to live in my own reality and suppressed my true nature. I developed a fear of rejection. I began to hate myself.  Sometimes, I lose control of myself and become angry. I have grown to hate the people that I love.

I never wanted my life to be this way. I never wanted to desperately seek acceptance all the time. I never wanted to be the child of the woman who decided early in my life that I be given away. But these things have become the foundation of my life and I can’t help it.

It is difficult to accept the reality that the people you love are the ones hurting you unknowingly. Nobody sees me suffer because I don’t want my misery to affect anybody. People often take for granted the things that mean everything to me. I value promises, especially after someone asks me what I want. I can’t bear disappointment.

Families break apart, friends drift way and dreams fade—that is the reality. What happened to the times when I felt that I could be whatever I wanted to be? When the members of our family were always there to support one another? When friendship was something I could rely on?

Is this what growing up is all about? If it is, I want to be a child forever, back in my own wonderland.

When I was in kindergarten, my favorite teacher taught us to be nice to one another, to share toys and not to take what was not ours.  So why must there be wars? Why must we kill other people? And why must we ruin marriages that are meant to last a lifetime?

Maybe I have always looked at the world from an idealistic point of view, but why must I force myself to correct it? Am I bound to an ancient system that requires me to play according to its own rules otherwise I will become an object of hatred?

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Time has slowly drained my youth and I am turning into the person that I don’t want to be. But that may not be too bad. Being detached from reality helps hide the fact that each one of us is miserable in our own way. I want to show everyone that I am better than what they expected me to be but it is taking a toll on my soul. Nobody wants to be weak. I don’t want to be a victim and create my own tragedy. I am trapped in a prison that I created.

Santa, for my last wish, let me believe in you again. Bring back the sense of anticipation of waking up on Christmas morning because I believe something magical happens when the clock strikes midnight. I want to feel like I am where I am supposed to be, with no complications, no problems, even for just a day. Remind me of the times that I was enveloped by the purity of my family’s love.

I know that on the day after Christmas I must wake up from this bittersweet dream. But then I would be reminded that I am supposed to grow up whether I like it or not.

Ma. Angerica Emmanuelle L. Hainto, 17, is a journalism sophomore at the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

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