It was another long day at work. I had an unexpected presentation in the morning. I organized my teaching files the entire day. I administered my final examination to my last class. There were even issues that came in along the way. I was tired. Before I left the workplace, I felt that familiar sadness again, quarter life crisis that is. This time, my struggle is centered to this life changing decision I wrote in a previous blog post.
I walked to the jeepney station that will bring me to the train station. As we were approaching my usual stop, the driver accelerated to avoid the trap of the red light. I alighted almost a block away from my usual path. I was forced to take the unusual walkway to the train’s station. I passed by the pavement of this terminal mall. The area was well lighted and elevated. Between my usual pathway, the elevated pavement was evidently safer. Unfortunately, what I thought as a safer place gave me an experience I will never forget in my entire lifetime.
I was halfway the pathway when I noticed a man running behind a couple. I initially thought that the man was just chasing another person. I never sensed anything serious and threatening. Everything changed when the man started to stab the couple. He started attacking the man. In less than a second, the woman was stabbed at the back of her left shoulder. The succeeding events were no longer clear to me. The only thing I can remember, the woman was already lying on the floor and I was running towards the entrance of the train station.
To be continued
Update as of October 25, 2014
The moment I saw the man attacking the couple, I started to leave the elevated pavement. It dawned to me, the man might be of under the influence of illegal drugs. He might later attack everyone that comes on his way. I was less than a meter away from where the stabbing incident happened. I might be his next target and victim. I ran as fast as I could and I can no longer remember how I was able to reach the entrance to the train station. Before surpassing the mandatory bag inspection, an old lady asked me if I saw the incident. I replied and that’s when I only realized that I wasn’t the lone witness. All my fellow passengers from the jeepney were witnesses and could have been victims to a very heinous crime.
On the way home, I had my own share of panics and fears that came in aftershocks. The first that feared me was the possibility that the man has the intention to look and shut down the witnesses. I was the easiest to reach and recall because I wore a uniform. I pass by the area everyday. On the next day, I’m most likely to pass by the area at the same time. I also thought that since the incident happened within the premises of the mall, there might be CCTV cameras that caught all the witnesses. We might be summoned to become witnesses and I can’t anymore imagine the succeeding events.
As I go to sleep, other thoughts keep plaguing me. This was my first time to witness a crime that took away the life of another person. There were movies, drama series and true-to-life CCTV clips uploaded and shared in You Tube and social media. I was one of those people who felt pity for the victims and at some point, blame to the people who refused to help. My thoughts changed when everything happened right in front of my eyes. I wasn’t able to offer help because I feared for my life. It was my initial response and line of defense. I run away not because of selfishness. I also felt helplessness for myself. How can I defend myself to man whose motive and behavior I can’t understand. All I knew that time was I might be his next victim. These were my last thoughts before I finally fell to sleep.
A few days after the traumatizing experience, I encountered this article from the local tabloid