What happened to us?
I just want to be
Happy with you
When you said
That your life
Depended on me
Took shelter in
Talk to me?
He took a small folder from his backpack and, from it, he took out sheets of gray paper cut lengthwise. He handed one sheet with a smile to a fellow jeepney passenger, an old lady with a faintly worried face in deep contemplation. The lady took the sheet of paper he handed and squinted on the bold print.
“How to Build a Happy Family?” she muttered.
“Yes,“ he immediately said back, thrilled with the slight interest the lady took in his leaflet, keeping his smile sweet.
“It’s a campaign by our church to help open up each family member’s eyes to the key to having a happy family,” he continued. The lady was focused on him. “Which is the church’s teachings,” he couldn’t help but giggle. His heart was full of excitement.
The lady let out an “uh, huh.”
“Oh, our church has a website too! It’s written at the back.”
“I don’t do computers, but thank you so much, boy.”
And the lady hailed the jeepney to stop and she disembarked. He was quite pleased with himself about making a conversation with someone about his church service. He peeked into his folder and roughly counted the thick heap of leaflets left to give away. He enjoyed volunteering for their church’s cause, and this month’s campaign was about building families and binding them with the infinite love of God through the church’s teachings. Tomorrow, he would gladly give the leaflets away to those needful people and create awareness about building a happy family. He loved changing people’s lives.
He got off the jeepney, hurried past the stop lights with only three seconds to go.
He walked through a street paving their neighborhood. He was immediately greeted by the foul smell emanating from the nearby estero. People were in their usual routines; mothers were intimately huddled, arms crossed to their chest, some are talking in hushed voices, some are laughing their guts out. Men were at their usual low tables, topless and loudly making love with bottles of cheap liquor. Many had the product they sold laid on tables and carts, mostly hastily prepared snacks, or used clothing sold typically at twenty to fifty pesos each. The noise made by raucous children on the street annoyed him as he passed through a scatter of them playing volleyball. At the background, you could hear the sound of someone pouring their heart out on karaoke.
He went in their house, the rusty hinges sang their screechy weeping as he passed through the half-beaten door. On the nearby table he found a plate of what seemed like delicious food if not for its foul smell. It must have been sitting for at least two days. The house was dark, empty, and the smell of molds and spoiled stuff. He heaved out the leaflet folder from his bag and placed it on the table.
He went in front of a small table where an image of the dark Sto. Niño stood. After lighting a candle, he touched holy child’s face and made the sign of the cross. He said a silent prayer for about a minute, lifted his head, and blew the candle off.
Where is mother? He suddenly remembered to ask.
He walked slowly into the room, though a thin white curtain and turned the light on. He found a figure, sitting at one corner of the room. He slowly approached the figure and whispered, “mother”.
He bent down to pull her up but she would not move. He resolved to bracing his arms around her thin frame.
His mother turned to him, her face, covered with inexplicably dark green and purple patches. Her nose was broken; dried blood the color of earth ran down to her upper lip.
He delicately observed how grave it was this time.
He was suddenly startled by a series of knocks that hit the door. He could tell he was drunk again. His chest throbbed incredibly fast but he remained calm.
“Open the door, you fucking useless whore!”
A thin smirk appeared on his face. He listened intently to the angry rhythm of the knocks like it was music to his ears. He looked into his mother’s blank eyes and said in a hushed voice,
“Kaunting tiis nalang.”
He stood up and walked out of the room and to the kitchen. He took out something from a cupboard. He held it carefully to his back and slowly made for the door, his face, firm and focused. The knocks had gone louder, more violent. For a moment, he thought the door was going to fly in. He tried not to stir.
“What the fuck is taking you so long? Open the goddamned door!”
He opened the door, light peeked, washing over his face.
He stood by door, his hands tightly holding a knife.
In the morning, he would pray for his father’s soul in front of Sto. Niño’s knowing face.
You have to take that to Aling Miriam.
She flashed Jamie an irritated look. How many times had she brought up that subject? Pulling her arm off from Jamie’s hands, unrolling her sleeves down, she walked ahead and heaved out a deep sigh. She stopped for a second and looked up as if in search for relief. Dark clouds. They’d been there since yesterday.
Jamie caught up. I’m sorry. But I’m your only friend. If I didn’t know what’s best for you, I don’t know who does.
Thanks for constantly reminding me that.
And she continued walking. Away and fast.
The air was musty. It’s extremely humid and claustrophobic. There was scarcely a source of light. No windows but a small hole on the wall, not even two inches wide. That’s her only gateway view to what’s outside. Not that she’s eager to see’s what’s out there. Or that she wanted to be seen.
She’s accustomed to sweating. That’s one of the things she mastered ever since she could remember. She did not understand comfort. Or perhaps one would not understand what they did not come to know.
She’s looking back at the girl standing in front of her. Her eyes were piercing she wanted to look away. But her figure was one nobody could stray away from. It was not the first instance she came across her. Her eyes bore the exact sadness she saw the first couple of times she saw her. She was naked. Her body’s a work of a thousand unspoken words. She could tell she was beautiful at one point in her life. Misery has worn her down. She’s marred in every way. Body and soul. Mirrors never lied.
Why wouldn’t you love me back?
Because I can’t. Stop this, please. You won’t understand.
Why not? I need to know, please tell me.
I just don’t love you. I can’t.
And she walked away. He was left on his knees, waiting for the clouds to start pouring.
She pulled her dress up and turned from the mirror. She mingled with the dimness of the room, avoiding the thin ray of light passing through the tiny hole on her wall as she walked to one corner and sat down. Tear drops fell to the floor.
Now why would you let a perfectly caring and handsome guy out there in the rain? Not only was that soap opera-dramatic but gravely insane. Have you gone completely crazy? Jamie’s words echoed in the hallway.
You know I can’t involve myself in another relationship. You perfectly know what happened in the past.
You’re scared of what you don’t know. I’d say, go out there, take risks, forget about your past, be happy.
I know what I’m doing.
You don’t believe that.
The sky. Clear, magical. The stars danced with the sound of silence; the trees, grasses, at the slow swoosh of the wind. The moon was at the center, shading everything underneath with its light.
She was thirsty. I have to go find water.
She found herself by a stream, fighting her gasps as she drank dry from the palms of her hands. How she found the stream, she considered instinct. An impulse. Something inside her voiced she’d been there sometime before. Not a very long time ago. Her chest relaxed, her body was relieved of the tremble. The nauseating feeling was gone and she felt she could breathe again.
Clouds passed along the moon, elegantly letting through streaks of glorious light. And she remembered why she was there.
Something was approaching. She could tell it by the low-toned noise from afar. It’s nearing her direction. She trusted her impulse. And her impulse said run.
Now she could hear the growl. And she’s more afraid than tired. She stopped minding her toes wounded and strained. She realized she was barefoot and for probably hours. She tried to keep herself from looking back, but she needed to know how faster she should run.
Then something grabbed her by the neck.
She was pulled back, unable to use her limbs to resist the force. The hands were rough and strong. She could feel her neck being crashed and she was too weak to do something about it. She felt her back cracked when she landed on the ground. Now she’s being held tight by the hands and it made it harder for her to move, let alone fight. Then a voice spoke to her face, the breath was putrid. She opened her eyes and she was terrified as hell.
You’re with me, once again. Thanks for coming back.
She screamed at the top of her lungs. Sweating, she reached for something at her side. She dropped an uncapped bottle and spilled the water from her lamp desk. She’s down on her knees at the foot of her bed. The clock ticked 3:00 AM.
She stood up, undressed herself and faced the mirror. And she could never be more terrified to see herself. She’d never be able to see her body again.
Wash them with soap and clean water. Apply this twice a day. It’s mashed wild leaves and lamb fat. Don’t skip.
She cringed at the pain as the old woman was putting on a greenish concoction over her neck wounds. Her skin turned numb after a while. Her whole body was.
Alright, turn your back to me please.
It was the old woman’s turn to cringe.
Her back was no better story. Bruises, cuts, wounds swelling on every surface.
She cried tears. She couldn’t hold it longer.
I do not know what to do. It keeps doing these horrible things to me in my dreams. I think it wants me to kill myself to save him the trouble. I fear that no one would ever take me because of these.
Aling Miriam let her cry for a moment.
You have every right to be terrified. It’s an angry demon. A very wild beast. Killing it will not be easy.
When the old woman was done treating her wounds, she poured them cups of tea.
Drink this, to make your nerves relax. It’s not easy, what you’re going through.
She took a sip.
Aling Miriam had to ask, How long has it been going around for you?
It started appearing in my dreams. I was so scared. Alone. I thought at first they were just dreams. but wounds started to appear on my body. I need to get away from it, whatever it is.
Did you not ask for any help? Where are your parents? Do they know?
My mother died when I was born.
And your dad?
I do not want to talk about him.
Then there was silence. The two women sipped their cups of tea quietly.
Tonight, you must face your fear. Demons are dangerous. They’re forceful, greedy creatures that will kill to get what they want. Lustful ones go for women your kind. Scared. Weak. They feed on innocence and pleasure themselves with helplessness. They have their own needs after all. Tonight you must face it.
She could never feel more sorry for what had become of her but she did not want another tear to fall. Before she let herself out of the door, the old lady said,
Some demons need to be faced. All it takes is courage to accept yourself for who you have become, regardless. We all are scarred in many, different ways but we must move forth. Forge that dagger. Sharpen it. Kill the demon and set yourself free.
The old woman’s words echoed in her head. Tonight, she must bravely face her fear once and for all. To put an end to it. She willed herself to sleep with not much ease and it took her long before she found herself lying by the stream once again. It was the same stream she’d been many times in the past. The moon was at the exact position as she remembered. At the background, an eerie silence.
Then a voice spoke beside her.
It’s been a while since you’ve been here purposefully.
She didn’t speak back. She’s afraid, but was trying to conceal it. He was lying next to her, naked.
I waited for so long. Why were you hiding from me?
She remained silent and focused of what she planned to go there for. He stood up in front of her. His silhouette, masking the light from the moon.
Then he advanced on top of her. He kissed her ears gently.
I have you now my baby girl. Everything’s alright. Ssshh.
Then his hand landed heavily on her face. It was all so sudden. Dizziness danced inside her head, she couldn’t make out anything. She felt his hands wildly run through every part of her body.
He was squeezing her breasts so hard she felt they were being crushed. His smell was suffocating. The grease all over his body was sticky and seemed to be binding them together so she couldn’t move.
She let out a faint cry when she felt him inside her.
You’re mine now. Completely mine. You will never go back. Not to the men you fantasize you’d have. You’re one silly whore. I’ll get inside of you to till you become mine.
It was long process of pain and lustful longing. Blood and dust. Sweat and everything mixed with the humid air of the night; the moon was the only witness to the terrible fate she succumbed to. Her whole body was painful. She’s bleeding and sweating at the same time. He kept slamming her bruised and wounded body in every direction.
He made her bend over. Her face rubbed against the soil and sharp, small rocks. She’s being held by her two arms stretched towards her back, her bones were breaking. She couldn’t take it anymore. The pain was outrageous.
He’s reaching his peak and so he continued with his thrusts. Faster and faster, he let out a loud cry.
She’s tired, almost lifeless. For one second, she thought she died.
I can’t. Not yet.
He turned her around, laid her on her back on the dirt. He looked right towards her eyes. The fright all came back to her. She recalled her purpose for letting him used her completely.
Your mom and I love you. Very much.
His mouth to her face, she could not stand the sour stench of his breath.
I will not let you feed on me again.
Lying down, she reached above her head in desperation. She caught something and took it with both her hands. In an instant, she managed to sit on top of the demon and pointed a dagger towards his neck.
I will kill you. You have inflicted me with so much pain and I couldn’t let you take control of my life, she heard herself say.
He flashed her a grin. You can’t do that. You’re too weak.
Her phone rang. She picked it up. It was her mom.
Your dad died today. Her voice couldn’t hide the sadness.
She’s quiet for almost a minute, her mom had to check if she’s still on the other end. She didn’t feel compelled to speak.
Aren’t you going to ask what happened to him? He’s still your father.
What happened to him?
He was killed in the prison by one of the guards. It was because of a little argument, it cost your father his life.
Serves him well. I often dreamed of his death.
Whatever he did to you, it doesn’t matter, not anymore. He was your father, and he’s dead. What he did to you was all your fault. Show some respect.
She had to hold her tears back.
I did not get my share of respect from him and I don’t care if you loved him, but he was sick and he deserved death and suffering more than anyone in this world.
With that, she hung up.
On the other line, her mother was devastated. She lost a daughter more than she lost a spouse.
She had to fight though his piercing look.
You cannot kill me. I am a part of you now and forever will be. You are scarred and broken and weak and nothing can ever fix you. Not even that dagger. Submit yourself to me, like you always did.
The dagger vertically thrust to the demon’s neck. She pulled it out and thrust it back. In and out, she repeated the process until the neck that connected the head from the body was almost entirely mashed. The demon laid lifelessly marinating in his own filthy blood.
Then she let go. And let herself free. She now must. All was over.
In her room, She woke up with eyes widely open. She realized she’s soaked in her own sweat. She blindly turned her lamp on and reached for a bottle of water on her side desk. She drank all that’s in it and continued running after her breath.
The nightmare was over, at last.
She stood up, undressed herself and looked at the mirror. She never thought she’d see the girl again. And this time, she bore a bit of peace in her eyes and a stance that of a woman. She brushed her hair back. She felt warmth. And finally, a bit of comfort.
Tonight was when she would never have to face her demon again. She looked down, held her belly, and whispered goodnight. A few months from then, she would give birth an angel who would completely free her from her past.
Walk on, you
your soul is
you skinned your
in night time
never killed you
yet left you
it broke you
from the inside
it had you
your hair falls
to our bones tightly
to a cadaver
your feet are
as the other
your eyes are
no one bothers
are a dying
your stench disrupts
like a hungry sword
but in your
a tinge of gold
as another second
is a terrible waste
to cause you pain
take my hand
Let’s walk away.
Talking to one’s self is more so listening than talking. Talking to one’s self in public, however, is creepy and potentially dangerous.
It gets more frequent everyday – I more often catch myself speaking alone and it freaks me out. I know my mind can be so active at times and that my brain could not shut up especially after an overwhelming situation. But everything to me is overwhelming and I am just a thin hair away from being out of control.
Speaking to myself, for the longest time, seems a bit normal to me. I’ve been doing it, consciously or not, since childhood. I was not the active type – I was quiet, timid, and alone-in-the-corner kind of kid. I did not have many friends. I dislike (or fear) people. Every day I made it a point that I’d made the most minimum contact to people possible. I was the only child, having no one but my mom to grow up with. My everyday routine consisted of waking up for school, going home after school, finishing my homework on my own and watching TV alone in between. It’s not that anybody forced me to be a loaner; some people thought I grew up that way because my mom never wanted me out of the house and of her sight. It’s been more so a choice since I was ignorant of the whole world and did not have to think of anything serious. And I just did not want to play tag and get all sweaty and stinky, and likewise, I did not get bullied or hurt by any stupid kid whatsoever. Reading and TV-watching were two of the activities that let me use my imagination. Since then, I loved making up stories, and have to say that it was difficult for me to draw a thin line between creatively making up stories for the purpose of making art, and actually lying. I did not have too many fellow kids to share my stories with so I tended to share to the most faithful companion that I had – myself.
OK, so I have forgiven my juvenile and seemingly deranged self who grew up (or at least tried to) fairly normal. But now that I’m on my early adulthood, I felt so compelled to set standards for how myself should act. I only have one rule anyway: everything my whole body does should be something I know and approve of. I know that, naturally, the whole body and mind should work as one unit, a system of complicated components but is naturally capable of functioning harmoniously. But I find this notion hard to carry out a lot of times – it becomes more ideal to me than natural. Over time, I’m finding my mind and body so apart from each other that they both have their own sets of interests. I feel like being in between situations when I am chasing one part of me crossing a dangerous street while grabbing the other by the arm as it attempts to roll down a bushy cliff. And one clear sign of this problem is me speaking alone, not only to myself when I am alone, but also, and it’s becoming more frequent, when I am out and with the company of several people. Sleeping is also an avenue for me to speak to myself. My mom, and Joan (my wife-to-be) would make fun of me when I wake up, showing me how I had been as I was sleep-talking, and I would laugh with them at the situation, but deep in me, I am scared. Joan calls it paranoia; I call it an honest-to-goodness fear of losing control.
When your body does something your mind does not know of, it scares you. I remember catching a documentary on the Crime Investigation channel about this woman who was violently killed by her significantly younger fiancé subconsciously while they were making love. The intercourse was a bit violent; they wanted it a bit sadomasochistic so to speak as it gave them the thrill; but at the night of the murder, the violence had gone way too far. The woman was strangulated to death. The young man, her fiancé, came to the police saying, “I might have killed my wife.” It was later found, through the medical investigation the young man went through, that he killed his fiancée while he was sleeping. This scared me a bit as I have been found doing something else too while sleeping. I only did as much as speaking while sleeping but I this had me thinking: if speaking is a physical activity and it’s something that I often do while asleep, then It’s not impossible for me to learn to do other things while asleep; and what those things could be is something I’m afraid to know.
I have a book or two that talk about psychological imbalances and psychiatric diseases, or whatever the right terms are; the topic always fascinated me, and it’s more than about learning the matter, it’s more so about wanting to know and understand myself. I never finished reading them, perhaps because I am depriving myself of the idea that would confirm my thoughts of me being potentially a basket case. I kept on considering the idea of getting professional help, from a therapist perhaps, but I am embarrassed to do so, or maybe it’s just a bit early to seek help from one when the signs are just too insignificant for other people. For now, I’m finding comfort in the thought of having a companion, who I can always rely to in times of feeling irrationally needy and the one who would always listen to me when I need to speak. Joan is my unpaid therapist and a very patient one. Many times, when I get stressed and upset, she goes to me with the desire to make me feel better in any way she can and I could not be more thankful. A hug, most of the time, suffice. A warm talk often brings me back to my senses, reminds me that I am alive. She never fails to make me find the connection between the seemingly insurmountable gaps my mind and body separate themselves with. I think a guy like me, (the not-quite-crazy-but-getting-there type) only needs somebody to talk to and help us get out of whatever kind of cage our childhood or whatever the situation we had to go through built to surround us forever. And for now, having Joan’s company, her selfless care that became a refuge at my disposal is reassurance enough for me. Losing that refuge, however, is the fear that I reserve for tomorrow.
Rowena was one of those girls Jonathan admires. Or perhaps, admiration is a little weak; he thinks of her almost every lunch break is over, that’s after Rowena gets off of her table at the corner of the office pantry. He spends his breaks staring at her as she eats her daily Kare-kare; he imagines her walking to his lunch table, grabbing him by the collar, wildly kissing him with her bagoong breath. As she eats, he looks at her lips and takes note of its every move. He could die when she chews. There’s just something about her mouth. He, at times, would find his jaw hanging open, thinking of himself being the meat she puts inside her mouth. He could be in love. Or just salivating. You have to give it to the girl; she’s got the kind of body existent in every guy’s delusion, the kind all the nosy women at the office wanted to strangle her because of. Rowena had just been with the company for less than a month. She left her previous employer for an undisclosed reason and the jealous women, counting Jody, were itching to know what kinds of skeletons were in her closet.
Rowena’s just a little conservative, or to most guys at the office, weird. Every day, even during hot summer afternoon shifts, she would be wearing long-sleeved, turtle necked blouse on top of a pair of black pants barely showing her ankles, and gloves. OK, so the girl dresses like suman, but there’s just something sexy in her, and like the food, you have to peel the covering off of her to have a taste of the sweet, soft surprise inside. Jonathan thinks she could just be the girl he’s been waiting for the past 5 years or so. He had just recovered from a hurtful break up. It was something that scarred him forever and no matter how many tempting girls his best buddy Freddie had introduce to him, he could not find the one that he felt compelled to spend time with. Now that Rowena became a part of the finance team not over a month ago, he felt ready to fall in love once again. Contrary to the image he represents, he’s a sweet romantic guy longing for true love.
Jody was seated opposite Jonathan. On his peripherals, he could see her eyes noticeably fixed at him and it was creepy. Jody was creepy. She’s that girl who buys him food every day and checks on him during breaks to see if he eats it. He had to dump the food as he thinks it’s mixed with gayuma or something. He remembers her professing her love to him by rather embarrassingly asking him if he’d like a night with her in Sogo. He turned him down several times in past year alone and for good reasons. Jody was not his type, nobody else’s. Not because she’s fat and her face was covered with layers of zits, or for any superficially discriminating reasons. The guys just did not find her one-night-stand offers enticing (yes, she asked 8 out of 9 guys to Sogo; she would have asked the ninth guy if it wasn’t the janitor who was diabetic and suspected gay). For the guys at the office, if you had to portray the role of a corporate slut, you must have the physical requirements of being one; otherwise, do not even think about buying micro-minis. Rowena had to present to a group of finance officers in a meeting that afternoon. Getting in the conference room was such a torture. If Jonathan didn’t know Rowena would be gracing the boring meeting, he did not know where to heave out the motivation to come. He just could not stop staring at her, ignoring what she was presenting about. He almost asked for more time when the meeting adjourned after 3 hours. They have been dating for three weeks now and it’s all rainbows and butterflies. He finally had the courage to ask her out, and as it turned out, she likes him too.
Jody approached Jonathan on his cube after the meeting. He’s exhausted, his eyes, all teary from the three butt-bruising hour meeting, but he could see her face all covered with cheap make up and not doing anything to hide her fuzzy zits. “Stay away from her!” was what he could make out of what she said. “The girl is a freak; she’ll do you nothing good!” I know where this would all come to, he said to himself. “Alright, Jody. I have to finish a report tonight and I will potentially stay in front of my computer until at around 2 AM. Go ask Freddie out this time, OK?” he politely said, pointing at Freddie, at the cube opposite his. “You have to be ashamed of yourself, Jonathan. I am not here to ask you out, not that I’m not going to in the next few days, but I was just saying that Rowena is a freak and you have to stay away from her, or at least stop staring at her when I’m around,” Jody blurted out with such emotion. This is one of the many times Jody attempted to talk him out of asking Rowena to a date. She really was pathetic and he felt bad for her. “What do you have against the girl? She’s been nice to everyone and to you especially even after you accidentally poured hot cappuccino to her hair. Leave the girl alone, will you, and please stop asking me out?” “That’s just hurtful, Jonathan. But I’m not quitting until you come to your senses. Rowena is a freak, a monster! I saw her at the washroom with her body all hairy. Stay away from her, she might kill, or worse, eat you alive.” It was just a sad attempt by Jody, Jonathan thought. She really was desperate enough to come up with such absurdity. “Yeah, it’s the rumor you’ve been trying to spread, and it’s ridiculous, not to mention desperately funny.” He could see the hurt in Jody’s eyes and he felt bad from having to say those words to his face. He tried to grab her arm to stop her, but Jody ran away, obviously upset. They did not hear from her since. Everyone barely spoke about her and nobody really showed care. The guys especially enjoyed the peace of not being annoyed every afternoon by sick sexually abusing offers.
Rowena’s laugh echoed in the restaurant as Jonathan sliced his steak.
“A freak? Did she mean it figuratively?”
“I know, can you believe how desperate the girl was? She thought you’re some monster.”
“I would not blame her. What kind of girl would not fall for you and not be as pathetic?”
“I can just imagine you having 8 legs, each with black stockings on. Strangulate me with your web later, will you?”
After the dinner, they went home to Rowena’s pad somewhere in Ortigas. It’s a quarter after 11 PM and they decided to have a drink. The night was beautiful, the moon shone through the windows and the room was washed with such romantic air. The two kissed; it was their first. Jonathan did not expect he’d be as gentle of a man waiting for their first month for their first kiss to happen. He truly was in love, and this time, it’s more than just about screwing another gorgeous office mate, he felt that true love had dawned at him.
And so they kissed for half an hour. Every minute was to cherish. He felt he waited long enough so he started running his hands on Rowena’s chest. He tried unbuttoning her turtle neck but she moved away.
“What’s the matter?”
“I don’t think I’m ready.”
“That’s bull, come on now, honey, I waited long enough.”
“No, Jonathan, please.”
Jonathan became aggressive. He held Rowena’s arms away from her body and kissed her on the neck. Rowena let out a faint cry as he wildly tore her clothes off. Night clouds covered the moon, blocking its light from passing through the windows. The room was dark and cold and Rowena moaned as Jonathan was kissing her on the neck. It was just hard to unbutton her blouse, but when he finally was able to, he was surprised to taste blood on his lips. He had to stop for a minute. His lips were burning, it’s pricked by something on Rowena’s chest. He tried to get up and off of her chest but he couldn’t. Then something seemed to have stabbed him at the back.
He woke up after a few hours. He couldn’t move. His head was light and he felt nauseous. When his eyes fully adjusted to the light, he realized everything was upside down. Then something was approaching him and his vision became wriggly. He looked to his left, and a fat body was covered in white thread-like something. Its head showing and he could recognize the cheap make up and zits. He tried to move but he couldn’t, he looked at his body and he was covered with the same white element and he’s stuck. Then that’s when he heard footsteps coming to him. Pairs of long hairy legs came to him, attached to an abnormally huge segmented body.
“You enjoy your lunch my sweet ones. Mommy will be back in a month with some more.”
With that, Jonathan believed he fainted. He would never find true love.
I mean, it just beats all charity work Oprah and Brangelina had been claiming they enjoy to do – nothing’s just more fulfilling than an ipis (cockroach) looking you to the eye and begging you for mercy and you can go right ahead and be like “You should have thought better than jumping at me you filthy hairy bitch, you deserve death better than Justin Bieber.” To some pro-life activists, they may see this differently and once again, these judgmental hypocrites may call you “the bad guy”, killing what god created, or to Hindus – killing your long dead grandpa, grandma, or whoever close to you who may have passed away and would have been enjoying their reincarnation by then. I mean, seriously? So I am the bad guy, and not the ipiswho just, for some deranged
reason, jumped at an innocent guy, trying to take a crap at peace, scaring him to almost shitting along his guts? I believe in co-existence, and trust me; I have been trying so patiently to co-exist with these freaks – you know, ignoring them as they conveniently walk on a surface of your own property, say a keyboard, TV, etc. Even as they sneak at night, double dipping at your food. I didn’t do anything and for years. The helpless me screamed inside my head like a prisoner of some war. But those days were over – oh yeah, you hear me, ipis– it’s O-V-E-R. And the end began when my mom started talking to our neighbor, Kris.
My mom seldom makes friends. Whenever she does and if it does not work out in two days, she keeps this never-ending grudge towards that person who may have wanted to make friends with her but did not just passed her standards – may the reason be that you talk too much and she thinks you back-stabs her or that you always ask what the ulam (dish served with rice) is comparing it to yours, making them too nosy, etc. etc. (thinking of it, there’s just a whole new article dedicated for that subject). OK, so one day, as mom tells me, Kris loudly knocked on our door early morning. My mom was like, I haven’t even contemplated on how bad my morning breath was and there she was, waking everybody up at break of dawn. She was carrying these catalogs and smiled as she them over to my mom. “I don’t have my glasses to read them, what the hell are these?” “Oh I am your Avon lady now. Go on, choose your color.” Kris said as she opened the catalog and pointing at cosmetics and the clowns who were wearing them. My mom’s eyes grew wide, “No, I’m good with my 11-peso Magic Lipstick.” Seven more pages and an annoyed smirk after, my mom seemed to have won the battle of who-walks-out-of-the-house-first-or-so-god-help-her. Kris disappointingly got out the house with her catalogs, but when mom glanced at the table for her coffee, she saw one of her catalogs left. It wasn’t anything similar to those having those sticky cosmetics, and mom found it rather odd that it was of household products such as all-purpose toilet cleaner, air freshener, glossing furniture spray, insect sprays, and all that – those products are being cataloged now, aren’t they? My mom’s eyes, blurry for not having her glasses on, stopped at one product: Insect Sprays. Bottles containing a chemical that kills insects; ones that lets you kill in a few seconds; ones that give you freedom to exist without feeling insecure; ones that we badly need to arm ourselves from those insidious flying freaks.
It was an absolute nirvana for me seeing the bottle sitting at the table one afternoon. I could not help it but run to my mom, who’s all sweating from washing my unmentionables, kiss her, and with an emotional stint, I whispered to her ears: “Thank you.” It was the glorious moment of my life’s history. Finally, a weapon of destruction; a bomb that will bring Armageddon to that cave-like hole on the bathroom door where all the freaks of all freaks hide and plan their daily viciousness. I just could not wait to use it. So at a split second, I run to the god-forsaken bathroom bravely swung the door closed, and pointed right at the growing hole where you would see the ipis would get out of. With my game face on, determined to kill, I sprayed right through the freaking door whole, with a loud battle cry. No, they unfortunately did not come out as I expected, but if they did, I was ready with one absolute mission: to kill them all. These guys made me curl in fear in toilets, bathrooms, or places where you have to be half or fully naked, and you could not exactly get out as quickly should they attack you. They’re stealthy; they would attack you at your weakest. But I would not go anywhere those places unarmed. I could only be thankful to Kris for that day she obnoxiously knocked at our door that cranky morning. Some people just fulfill their life’s purposes before their 40’s and I’m glad for Kris for being able to do so. We’ve never have bought any of these chemicals before due to mom’s profound hate of their smell, second to mine during sweaty summer days, so we never got the chance to appreciate such wondrous product. I was like “Where have you been all along?”
The day following, after my grand attack to the ipis territory, I saw a pile of ipis cadavers on the bathroom floor. And I almost cried as I tasted the Baygon-smelling air of success. From then, I knew that I would never have to be scared again. And no one would ever have to be. To those who share my traumatic story about how I was abused by those stealthy freaks, here’s what I can say to you: your neighborhood may seem unfriendly and quiet, but there would always be someone like Kris who would one day alarmingly wake you up before dawn, extending their money-making help.