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!