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Fourteen holy beads from five
different albularyos across the region wrapped my arms. They said it will help
fending off the evil; I think I look like a 17-year-old has-been with the
tendency to throw peace signs with both my hands in the air. My grandmother was
disgusted of me for I am weak. No matter how many times she’d dragged me to
kneel down the pews and forced me to throw who-knows-how-many Hail Maries, the
desolation still lingers inside like an infinite warmth of a fifty-day-old

I had to try the incantations in
Latin, in my struggling Binisaya, and in English. Four words: it did not work.
I can still hear the sound of the monster gnawing on my bones. I can still hear
the husky voice of the devil whispering to me to kill myself.

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Grandma’s probably right: I wanted
to kill myself because I am lacking of something she is so abundant with. I am
weak for I lack faith.

It went on for days. Every morning I
would hear chains being dragged on rough asphalt, ungraspable whispers cutting
through the cold. At night, I would feel its hot breath jolting down my spine,
its furry hand around my neck. I wanted to die every night.

Before momma left, I’d get the cold
response for speaking out the pain. She’d laugh at me whenever I bring up the
creep to her face. She would make a joke out of it and embarrass me, but most
of the time she would only shrug her shoulders and smoke her cigarette. It’s
weakness to fell pain I guess.

14th of June, in the year
of our Lord 1993, I decided to outrun a truck plated 6842GHP carrying
perishable goods and running a flat 110 kmph. I was in the prospect of reaching
the other side when it felt light right before I reach the middle.

I felt light and I’m sure it’s not
because of the scattered beads that came off my arms.

It just came to me that all those
prayers were answered.

Grandma and Momma must be so proud.
I think God has already accepted me.

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