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He Must Be All Better Now


I have lived in San Andres since I was 2. It's a pleasant and peaceful place where neighbors knew each other and looked after one another.

We moved to this house when I was still a high school sophomore. One of our neighbors was a family from India consisting of the parents, along with their son and daughter. They seemed to be quite well off and seemed generally happy. Many years passed and the next thing we knew, the wife, son and daughter left the man of the house. Rumor has it that he had a drinking problem. Since then, he lived in poverty, often going around the neighborhood to borrow money for food. The neighbors, knowing him to be a good person, would almost always help him out. More years passed and the Indian man (whom we affectionately call "Kabayan" --in Filipino, this means "fellowman") became sick. He would often be hospitalized, through the help of his immediate family and friends.

By this time I had graduated from college and was already working. Kabayan and I have been good friends ever since and I would always smile, say hello whenever I saw him. It was the month of October and I was talking with a friend on my cell phone. I saw Kabayan waving at me from our gate and I motioned for him to wait for me while I wrapped up the conversation. Once I was done, I approached him and he meekly asked me if he could borrow some money. I gladly did and he incessantly told me that he'll pay me as soon as he came back. I told him that it was a gift and he really didn't need to pay. At the time, I didn't really understand what he meant.

It was now almost New Year's Eve. I was at home and I was about to close the door. I looked outside and I saw Kabayan, wearing a white shirt, as he turned around the corner. I was happy to see that he looked healthier and had a new haircut. Another week passed and I went into the store next door. As I waited for my stuff, I plainly asked the storeowner if she had seen Kabayan. I was surprised to see a weird look on her face. She then asked me if I was not informed. I sat dumbfounded as she told me that Kabayan had died around the last week of November due to the liver problems he has been enduring. I told her that it couldn't be because I have just seen him walking by a week ago. She went on to tell me that Kabayan had borrowed some money from her son so he could get a haircut. He died the next day.

As I looked back, I then realized that when I saw him he seemed dazed while he walked. He seemed to be staring blankly at something. Maybe he was concerned about the promise he made (in India, people do value the promises they make). I then whispered that he didn't need to worry about the money because like I told him, it was a heartfelt gift from me to him. I never saw him again.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Fuchsia, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

kristina_marquez (1 stories) (26 posts)
11 years ago (2013-05-07)
Hi Fuchsia,

This story may have been published since 2011 but I still find it remarkable. It's very generous of you to share your blessings with "Kabayan". Wherever he is right now, I'm sure he is happy. He's lucky to have a good neighborhood like yours.

Best regards,

Kristina =)
Fuchsia (5 stories) (64 posts)
13 years ago (2011-03-14)
[at] Chelsea27: Hi chelsea! Wow, small world isn't it? Yes, sadly, he has. Some people say that his liver gave up on the poor guy. It's great to meet you... 😁 ❤ ❤
chelsea27 (1 posts)
13 years ago (2011-01-13)
I used to live in Singalong St., Malate Manila, it was near San Andres where you lived, my grandfather is an Indian,too,we sell Indian goods in random Indian friends/clients.Kabayan and his family used to be our client, it was sad to hear that he already died...
Fuchsia (5 stories) (64 posts)
15 years ago (2009-06-04)
Thanks, James! And you seem as regal and mild as your name... 😁 Thanks for reading and appreciating my story! All the best to you! Blessed be. 😉
Fuchsia (5 stories) (64 posts)
15 years ago (2009-06-04)
It's my pleasure to share it with all of you! Thanks Tonith for appreciating my story... Blessed be! 😁
JamesRobiscoe (419 posts)
15 years ago (2009-06-04)
Fuchsia--A wonderful flower, a wonderful color, a wonderful name, and you seem as cheerful as them all.
A German proverb says "Charity sees the need not the cause." How good it is to hear that compassion is a universal action.
Tonith (1136 posts)
15 years ago (2009-06-03)
It was nice of you to do that for him. It must be a good community to have that much compassion for someone with a drinking problem. Apparently this man with his problems was still respected by many. So you believe you saw his ghost? You very well may have. Hope he was not confused as to being dead. Maybe he just wanted his final goodbye to someone who had been kind to him.
SpiritMagnet (guest)
15 years ago (2009-06-03)
It must have been a beautiful experience, thank you so much for sharing. It's nice to see posts like this once in a while instead of always being so afraid of the afterlife and those in it. Take care and blessed be.
Fuchsia (5 stories) (64 posts)
15 years ago (2009-06-03)
Me too, Necropolis_Seraph! While it was really both sad and surprising that he passed, I was also relieved for him. He was one tough cookie who was in our community for a reason, I guess. I am just happy that he is now in God's eternal care.

We never heard from his family again. Only his fellow Indian friends were there to arrange his funeral for him. Our neighbors kind of miss him though but we are all happy that he's no longer sad or in pain.

Thanks for taking the time to read my story. 😁

Take care always!
Fuchsia (5 stories) (64 posts)
15 years ago (2009-06-03)
I wish you all the best too, Kim! I guess there really is more to Life than just the daily chores and routines and that going out of your way to help/make someone happy isn't a bad way to spruce up your day! 😉 GOD bless you & your family!
Fuchsia (5 stories) (64 posts)
15 years ago (2009-06-03)
You could just imagine, Jennifer40! I was truly dumbfounded because he looked very real at the time. It was only after I found out that I was able to realize that he was in a sort of a dazed, trance state at the time I saw him. I am happy that he's no longer in pain nor is he sad now... 😁
Fuchsia (5 stories) (64 posts)
15 years ago (2009-06-03)
Thanks, Surya! It really feels good to know that I was able to help him even at such a small and humble gesture. I wish you the best in everything! 😁
Necropolis_Seraph (6 stories) (64 posts)
15 years ago (2009-06-02)
Really sad story. Wonder what happened to that family. Didn't the family (wife and children) even bothered to come back for him for his funeral or something? Well, at least all his hardships, in battling his disease as well as with the disappointments in his life, are over. Let's just hope he is happy wherever he is. ❤ 😊 ❤
KimSouthO (27 stories) (1960 posts)
15 years ago (2009-06-02)
Thank you for taking the time to share such a heart felt story! He was blessed to have such neighbirs as you and the others.

Hopefully he is at rest now.

God Bless!
Jennifer40 (20 stories) (202 posts)
15 years ago (2009-06-02)
Wow, that is a great story. You must have been shocked to learn of his passing after seeing him earlier.

Jennifer ❤
Surya (39 stories) (867 posts)
15 years ago (2009-06-02)
What a sad story. Kabayan must have been so unhappy after his family walked out on him. Yes indians do have a thing about keeping promises and you know what, you gave him peace and helped him move on without any unfinished business.

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