I Did Not Run for Coffin
Justice. Not Coffin
Here I am lying, with make-up on and a little bit of pink lipstick. My eyelashes are as dark as my nightmare. My cheeks are too pale for my dreams. It seems like I’m just sleeping. It’s my sixth night here, here in this white box, half open, half closed. I am wearing the best barong with brown shining pants I’d never wear in my entire life. My mother brought it for me and that makes her weird. But all of these things are not my desires, not even my pleasures. I need justice; this is not me lying down for nothing.
It was a gloomy night back then, a night when even the stars can’t shine. The moon is half-naked so I can’t see the people around. The shadow of the lofty buildings, here in Manila, block my vision. People around me appear to be in despair; looking for nothing, asking for something. They walk a moment, stop, then continue walking. This is how I spent the night going home that day. I shouldn’t be on this street corner of our barrio for mother prohibits me all the time. Father said once that a teenager like me should not be seen walking in this corner because addicts are around. You can’t see them, but cops can see you. Ironic, right? Of course I’m aware of the war on drugs. I’m aware, and I know you are.
The clock reads 7:31 in the evening. I know it’s still early but I have to be home. I have lots of projects to do and chores to finish. My little sister is waiting for her Spanish bread, it makes her happy. I walk a little bit fast and suddenly positioned my bag in front of me. As I walk around the street corner, I can see some adults sitting beside the lane. The smoke of their cigarette touches the tip of my eyeglasses and the smell of their alcohol seeps into my nose. I can hear them laughing and cursing. It is not just a curse, it’s a habit.
I glance at my cellphone, it is quarter to eight, I walk calmly, but mother doesn’t like this. After a while two cops approach me. I feel afraid so I stop to show innocence. Actually, a certain happiness draws across my face for I want to be like them someday.
“You’re a drug pusher” one of cops whispers. We’re so close that I can feel his gun touching my upper shoulder. I was in despair; I don’t know what to do not even a single step.
I managed to answer, “No Sir, I’m not, I am on my way home and my parents are waiting for me, my sister is waiting for her pasalubong, I must go”.
They told me to run or else they will shoot me. That moment I can’t talk, I can’t move my body. I wanted to sing but what song? I wanted to cry but how? I wanted to fly but they cut my wings. I, an innocent teenager ran but ended up lying. Yes they shot me, they shot for the honor they are standing for, and look where I am. Blood and blood, I can see my blood touching the ground. The Spanish bread scattered around, yet I can feel my bag still hugging me. My head kissed the lips of the street. Lights out, heartbeat stops.
And here I am lying, with make-up on and a little bit of ruddy lipstick. I am wearing the best barong with brown shining pants I’d never wear in my entire life. My dreams have faded, my life has ended. It’s my seventh night here, here in this white box, half open, half closed.
They are all coming to my wake but coming here is no sympathy. I hope this teenager lying inside this white coffin will bring vision to all the blind. I didn’t run because they told me. I did not run to become the President of this country. I ran to stop them doing this. I ran because I need justice; this is not me lying down for nothing.