My brave heart is crying

9 Jul

Now he’s free. Roaming around again like a hungry dog, maybe eyeing for his next victims.

The thought of him eyeing for another helpless being crushes my heart, letting me draw back to that very morning his demon played over my innocence. I was like a li’l baby then, sleeping silently, letting myself have an ample sleep and rest from weekend-long activities.  I was drawn to sleep, my spirit wandering in the serenity of my dreams. Unknowingly, I was already being victimized by an evil whose only goal is to feed his lust and fill his jar with broken innocent hearts and angry souls.

That very hour, I wanted to kill him with my own hands, like he did with his hand on my breast, playing it as if his own little toy. I wanted to crush his face like he crushed my heart when he took advantage of me.

But I can’t. And I won’t.

This painful experience took place in a bus, on my ride back home from a training camp in Ilocos Sur. Since there is no direct trip from Vigan City to Nueva Ecija, where I live, I had to take a cutting trip taking Villasis, Pangasinan as my first stop. At 4 am, just before I reach Villasis, 10 minutes to be exact, I felt something hard pressing on my right breast and eventually moving in circles for seconds. I was awakened by such pressing and circling motions happening on top of my breast. And to my great disgust, I found the man sitting right next to me doing this pervert, disrespectful, taking advantage act.

I did not shout nor slapped him instantly the moment I learned what he was doing. I only looked at him sharply in the eyes, letting him know I have been awaken by his lustful play. I did not, because I know minutes from then, I’ll be stepping down from the bus.

Ten minutes seemed to be forever. I battled with myself whether to just let it pass or should I slap him and let him know he can’t go away easily. I chose the latter.

The bus stopped. The driver motioned me to go down. But before I did, I slapped him hard on the face and told him, “Sana naisip mong babae rin ang nanay mo! (You should have thought your mother is also a woman like me!)”

I wasn’t aware then that we had our stop just in front of a police station. And with the concerned look from the driver and the chauffeur, they helped me call the police. And with the market guards around, they picked the pervert man and put him behind bars.

I didn’t know anyone in that place but I was determined that no matter how many hours it would take me, I won’t let that perv go away easily. I filed a case and he was made liable.

After receiving the copy of the case I filed, I went home with a victorious heart and tearful eyes.

On my ride back, I started to cry. I cried because I thought of that man’s wife who was crying and begging in front of me to forgive his husband and settle the case amicably instead. I pity her for having such kind of man. I also thought of their children. Is it possible he has harassed them, too? I hope not, but I can’t convince myself that he didn’t. I cried because I thought of the other girls he might have played his lustful hands to like what he did to me. I cried because I know how such anguish feels. I cried because I thought of those women who were also victims of sexual harassments but only conceded to their friends, to themselves, or to their journals alone. Then the case is forgotten, leaving the offender guiltless and busy making his list of victims longer.

Now that he has bailed out, I am crying again, my heart is being crippled with the thought: How many more children and women are to be abused now that he is roaming free? And how many more men are there on the streets, in the bus, in the school or in the office, or anywhere, who is just like him, eyeing on their next victims? How many more women are still unable to distinguish the assault and violence made on them as violence of their rights?

And how many of us can really fight these demons around?

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