Rafa

His name is Rafa, and he’s been a part of the family for as long as I can remember. He’s my playmate, and my bestest friend. I don’t think he ever got tired and that’s why he is always very fun to play with!

Not everyone felt the same way I did. Sometimes people would find him scary. I don’t get why people get scared of Rafa though. I would always get sad whenever they brought Rafa somewhere else (usually away from us) when he would get “scary.” I remember when we were all playing around, Rafa, Jane, Toph, Miguel, and I were running around and having fun. Rafa got a little bit too excited I guess because Jane got hurt! Her mom came running at us, screaming at Rafa, worried about Jane. She went to the hospital that day and Rafa was punished for that – they did not allow him to sleep with us. It was not fair though! It wasn’t Rafa’s fault! We were all just having fun and that was just an accident, he didn’t do it on purpose. He didn’t mean it, I mean, why was he punished and not me? I cried and protested that if Rafa was punished, all of us should be too!

After that little incident Rafa didn’t really bother anyone anymore. He was still the same best friend though! Jane was okay too (it was just a small scratch, her mommy just got scared, everyone’s okay). All of us started playing again, just like old times. Except, this time there was always a grown-up watching over us.

Rafa sure does grow quick! He even started running around and playing with this certain girl more often. We tease them to each other because we think they like each other. I think Rafa got mad at us for teasing him because he went missing for awhile. I didn’t mean to make my best friend mad, I really hope he returns home soon. The next morning though I finally found him! He was with my parents – they must have looked for him all night! Rafa wasn’t alone though! He brought a very small friend with him, Mommy said his name was Drake. I was happy that Rafa went back and I was also happy he brought a new friend!

Rafa did not play with us that much anymore after he came back home with Drake. I felt sad at first, but then Drake was just as energetic as Rafa was so the two of us, with Toph, Miguel, and Jane continued to play. Rafa sat by the side and just watched us. Rafa took care of Drake all the time, it was obvious Rafa loved Drake like my Daddy loves me. Whenever Drake would get hurt, cry, or feel sad, Rafa was always there to comfort Drake. There would still be times when all of us (even Rafa) would play together. After all, Rafa was still our best friend.

Why is Rafa growing old so fast? Whenever we’d play and run, Drake (who also grows so fast!), was the one that would join us most of the time. Rafa usually sat all of our games out. Before, he would sit our games out and not play with us only from time to time, he wouldn’t do it as much as he’s doing it now. Maybe he’s mad at us? My family brought home two new friends we played with – Joey and Gina. Maybe Rafa got jealous that we played with them a lot? Even Drake started playing with them a lot more too.

It did not take long until Rafa was okay with us all playing together while he sat by the side and watched us. Maybe Rafa was getting too old to play with us… After awhile my parents said he really was getting old already (I got scared because what if that happens to me)! I know Rafa still wanted to play, I know he was just itching to play, but he was too old, and his legs were too weak. I tried to help him out, but it was not working. So I sat beside my best friend and we watched our other friends play instead.

Going home from school, I was thinking, “I’m gonna sit beside Rafa again today and we’ll just talk and laugh and watch our friends play! That will make him happy!” When the school bus dropped me off at my house, I ran directly for the door. I got ready to throw my bag to the couch and got ready to say hello to Rafa. Every time I would go home from school, Rafa would always be the first to welcome me home, he’d jump on me and shout – I knew he missed his best friend. Today I wasn’t greeted by his shouting. My Mommy was  there, and she told me what happened to Rafa, how he got very sick while I was at school. I don’t know what to feel, all I feel like I can do is cry. Drake did not even know what happened. He was still out back playing with Joey and Gina. Mommy said that Daddy was bringing Rafa home – they’ll bury him in the back.

When daddy got back home, Drake ran towards him (like he always did) and, instead of the usual greeting, Drake started to whimper and then cry. I don’t know how, but he knew. Daddy dug a hole in the back, near the big pot that Rafa and Drake almost broke when they were playing around this one day. Drake was seated there, on the grass, just watching my parents bury Rafa. I still couldn’t stop crying, I hugged my mommy and asked her why Rafa had to leave me. “It’s a part of life, baby. He’s in heaven now and he’s running around with the little kids there.” I guess she’s right. Rafa kept me company all his life and never failed to make me laugh. Maybe it was time for someone else up there in heaven to play with Rafa. He’s gonna be someone else’s new best friend.

It’s obvious that Drake is hurt the most. Rafa was his dad and now he’s gone. There are times I see Drake and he’s just on his belly, whimpering, not wanting to play with us anymore. I think I even saw him sleep outside, beside the grave of Rafa one time. When I asked Mommy why Drake was acting this way, she just said that he misses Rafa. Mommy told me we could always tell how Drake felt based on the wag of his tail. It did not have that kick it used to have, that spark.

For two weeks, Drake was like this. Joey and Gina did not really know Rafa that well and so they continued to play, unbothered. Then out of nowhere, there was a new little guy! Mommy said he lived a couple of streets away and he found his way to our house. One day, this little guy just visited and Drake got that spark he once had. The two played all day long – they played with Joey and Gina too. After that day, the little friend who visited would come from time to time, he would visit once in awhile. Daddy and I, while watching them one day, noticed that Drake and his new friend were not playing as much anymore. Curious, I asked Daddy if Drake and his friend were fighting. Daddy said that he visits while I’m in school sometimes and Drake doesn’t really play anymore because he’s getting old already.

One Saturday afternoon, while I was talking with Mommy and Daddy, we hear a scratch on our door and see that the little guy is there. Drake is old and tired but that little guy still wants to play! He’s fun to play with and he keeps Drake happy. The little guy went in, played with Joey and Gina, then lay down on his belly with Drake. The two just watched Joey and Gina play until the owner of the little friend of Drake came by (we ended up becoming friends with the owner) and motioned for them to go. I won’t ever forget what he said.

“Rafa come here boy! It’s time to go home!”

__________________________________________

This is a true story I tried to tell as creatively (and precisely) as possible! I hope you enjoy. Again, I’m reserving whatever and all rights I’ve got over this short story 🙂

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