A Walk to Ponder


I was doing this purposeless afternoon wandering for the second time today just to kill some time and free my mind from all other things. I planned to go to the public market on foot — a 3 mile distance from the room I’m renting. Just as I was walking seriously, finding for anything interesting –street children playing, a mother staring at her kids in hunger and in the cold, children dividing the coins they get from caroling the jeepneys– there was, amidst the chaos of the city, a girl trying to commit suicide.

I don’t know if she really wants to die. But I’m sure she’s depressed. She was walking with shoulders down, with a backpack and still in her school uniform, on the road. What is she trying to do with herself? Get killed? She was too young for that.

A jeepney almost hit her and she didn’t even care. She was dumb. She was not crying at all. Poker face. And here I was, just watching the events unfold.

I was way ahead of her now as I was maintaining a steady pace. I thought of approaching her but my current sullen mood won’t allow me. How can a depressed person cheer up someone who is depressed? As more and more jeepneys passed by, majority of which shouted “Inday, padaplin!” (Move aside, little girl!), I held my breath. I was sweating cold beads of water. Those are not because of the physical exhaustion from walking.

I was worried. It’s six in the evening. The sun has set and it’s rush hour. Peak hours for vehicular accidents. I stopped and waited for her. Walking along her, I tried to start a conversation.

“You are walking in the middle.” Remembering my previous lessons in psychiatry never to ask the word “why” as it is untherapeutic. She didn’t even looked at me. I looked into her eyes and saw deep remorse, cluttered thoughts,and un-ironed ideals. This girl needs help. 

“It is dangerous to walk in the middle of the street.” All I could do was present to her the reality she is obviously not minding. We are near the market now. I felt relieved because the vehicles are slower in this area of cluttered people. I walked fast ahead of her and bought bread in a nearby bakeshop.

I was planning to watch for any untoward signs of actual suicide. I continued following her. This time, maintaining a safe distance not to illicit suspicion on her part. I am a good stalker in real life! Not just on facebook.  No I wasn’t. I was careless enough to be far away when she reached the intersection. I’m not wearing my glasses this time and the night is slowly blinding me. I tried to turn right but it turns out it was not where she went. I circled the block hoping to see her still alive on the next corner but I was disappointed.

She was not there. The crowd of people and the possibilities of all other exits swallowed her. I gave up.


That’s when I prayed for her. I’m glad there’s no commotion, as if someone was hit by a car. Just the buzz of the busy market.

May God bless her. May she realize she is loved. May she value life.

And that’s when my personal inner conflict subsided. I don’t know if God used her to teach a lesson for me or was it the other way around. All I know at this moment, I am at peace.


Here I am now, writing a blog post, for the very first time in an internet cafe. Despite the noise, I’m amazed I still did this. Good night!

3 thoughts on “A Walk to Ponder

  1. Sigh. I’m having goosebumps! It was a gripping and insightful read.

    You could have done more, that girl needs help but of course you can only do so much so I find your intervention just perfectly enough so as not to appear intrusive. Good job, all in all.

    Your reflection in the conclusion is admirable. You are indeed at peace. Way to go, bro!

    • i’m glad there’s at least one who think I did fairly good. I could have been more aggressive but I was afraid to be accused of, you know, what might other people see the situation as it is. baka akalain rapist ako. hahaha naawa lang talaga ako sa bata. at takot na baka multuhin niya ako.

  2. Pingback: Was it a test? | A walk to ponder « realdale

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