Thursday, October 14, 2010

where's her mom?

what's great about this almost graveyard shift i am assigned to is that i get to see life in another perspective. the night perspective. they always say there are day people and there are night people. well, i have had my long chance of having observed day people. now i'm being given the chance to see people at night. the very late night.

about a week ago, i boarded a jeepney on my way to work. it was 10:00 pm. there were already about 7 other people inside. after several minutes of travelling, i noticed that the other passengers were giggling. i looked about and i immediately noticed the reason for their amusement. opposite me was this young girl who was visibly irritating the lady seated by her left side. the young girl, about 14 or 15, was terribly drunk, she could not sit upright, she was trying miserably to hold off her sleep. but she couldn't. she kept on leaning against this lady. the lady was trying to be polite to her by nudging her upright every time she leaned to her, but i knew she can only be patient up to a point. when she couldn't tolerate it anymore she changed seats. as soon as she left, immediately the young one collapsed on the vacated seat having no one to lean against. she almost hit her head against the metal tube framing the front seat. by sheer reflex she was able to hold onto the edge of the seat and this prevented her from dropping to the floor of the vehicle. the driver tried to wake her up when he noticed she's inconveniencing the others. she half-opened her eyes and mumbled something nobody understood.

an older woman at my right side asked the driver, "where is this girl headed to? did she tell you where she's going?"

"no, ma'am." answered the driver," she actually dozed off after she and that other lady boarded my jeep, i thought they were together," he explained.

the old woman transferred next to the girl. she tried to rouse her but she's just mumbling incoherently. "well, you'll have to wake her up!" said the old woman. nobody dared move. not even i. the old woman tried hard but she can't wake the girl up. a couple of blocks soon, she got off the jeepney. "wake her up!!" she reminded no one in particular.

i observed her. a girl of probably 14 or 15. my first thought was, WHERE'S HER MOM? how on earth had she gotten into this? almost nearing midnight. dead drunk with no one accompanying her. where are her family? and her mom,why'd she permit her? night is not for young girls. i remembered mother hen, how she frantically looked for her missing chicks. but this young woman's mother, is she missing her?

i hope she does.

i'm almost nearing my stop and we are the only remaining passengers inside the jeepney. by this time, the girl had awakened and the driver had started interviewing her. they were arguing about the girl's fare when i reached my stop. before i got off, i overheard her saying she had already given 100 pesos to the driver and she's claiming for her change. the driver was denying this. well, this is going to be a long night for both.

i was already walking atop the overpass. i looked back. the jeepney was still there. definitely, the two are still arguing. i stopped walking for a while and watched. after a couple of minutes, the girl alighted from the jeepney. she was shouting at the driver and he was shouting back at her. finally, the jeepney moved on. the drunk girl was left standing alone where she was dropped off. maybe she'll take another ride. wherever she's going. i resumed my walk towards my office building. i just hope nothing bad happens to her. how can this happen to young girls such as she? how can her mother permit this? and her father? but, mainly her mother. mothers are the nurturers, caretakers.

motherhood is not just gender. motherhood is feeling. motherhood is heart. i knew a lot of men who turned out to be good mothers and women who were terrible mothers.

motherhood is not just about gender.

before i walked down the stairs of the overpass, i looked back again. she was still there standing alone.

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