The rush hour began and riding a jeep on the other side of the road will cost more, I always thought. I started walking like I always do so I could find a jeepney that has enough space for me to go home. The dark and crowded sidewalks felt heavy with the exhaustion I had for the day.

“Stop crying! Hala naay police oh,” a mother hushed her little child for not buying him a lato-lato on a busy sidewalk. I looked at the bright distance where the mother’s eyes were fixed— two men in uniform laughing at each other. The child’s face showed no fear and continued his loud cry that joined the noise of numerous vendors selling toys, street foods, and fruits. The mother insisted that their jeepney fair was the only thing left in her pocket as she tightly hold a huge red plastic bag filled with noodles and uncooked rice. 

As I passed them, I overheard a worried voice from a person walking beside me, “Nak, uli ug sayo kay naa na pud gilabay sa daplin.” My feet stopped. An old jeepney’s loud horn startled me when I was about to turn my head. I raced with the waiting passengers and hurriedly went inside the vehicle before it turned into a can of sardines. I quickly looked outside but there was no sight of him, nor the policemen in the distance. The light inside the jeepney was enough to see the clock’s hand pointed at ten from the man’s pale wrist sitting beside me.

By Shinnen Cahandig

Shinnen Cahandig was born in Bugabungan, Upi, Maguindanao, and currently resides in Davao City. She is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Cultural Studies. She likes to crochet and make digital artwork.

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