My body shook to the point where it ached. I felt numb all over. Nothing felt real anymore. How I didn’t want it to be real. The cold wind brushed against my body when the door opened. I had not a single piece of clothing on my body. There was only the blindfold that covered my eyes and a rope that bound both my wrists together.
Warm hands wrapped around my waist. I flinched. I feel disgusting everytime they touch me. Ayaw kong hinahawakan nila ako. They made me do disgusting things. They hurt me.
The hand guided me down the sudden drop. I was now out of the car I was in. Even if I couldn’t see anything, I knew I had been in a car. He tied my hands and drove for hours and hours before I heard the engine stop. Tears began to drip from my eyes, dampening the cloth that covered my eyes. The soles of my feet touched something wet and sticky. Mud?
I was held captive for days. Tied, used, and tortured repeatedly. And I never even saw their faces.
Was he going to kill me now? Was this the place where he was going to bury my body?
He placed me in front of him and we walked while he held me by my shoulders. Then we stopped. I heard the clicking of something behind me. It was a gun. I knew because I’d been in a shooting range with my Dad.
More tears streamed down my face. Hindi na ako natatakot mamatay. They’d done things to me worse than death. I remember begging for them to just kill me, to just end it all. I felt relieved now, soon I’d be out of my misery.
I thought of my family. My Mom and Dad, my siblings. There were so many things I regretted. Sana niyakap ko si Mommy at Daddy bago ako umalis. I wished I could have hugged them more. I wished I could have said I love you more. Sana nakinig ako sa kanila.
Madaming sana ang tumatakbo sa utak ko pero huli na ang lahat.
I felt warm breath breathing in and out behind my ear. “Takbo.”
His voice was deep and throaty. Suddenly, my heart stopped beating.
“Tumakbo ka at huwag na huwag kang titigil. Kapag nahuli kita babarilin kita.” He warned and then fired a shot. Napaigti dahil sa gulat ng marinig ko ang putok ng baril. “TAKBO!”
Adrenaline kicked in. My legs began to move. I ran. Hindi ko na inisip kung saan ako pupunta. Gusto ko lang makatakas. Gusto kong makawala. I ran even though I couldn’t see where I was going. I ran as fast as I could. I ran and I ran until I could no longer feel my legs. I lost track of time. I could be running for hours and I wouldn’t know. I just wanted to get away from the monsters who had hurt me. And so I ran even faster. Exhaustion chased after me and it caught up. My legs gave in and I blacked out.
Hingal na hingal na napaupo ako sa kama. My heart was beating a thousand miles per minute, even though it was cold I could feel beads of sweats on my forehead, my body shook like a leaf.
“It was just a dream. Calm down.” I tried to soothe myself with those words.
I hugged my folded knees against my chest and rocked back and forth. It was just a dream. It was just a dream. It was just a dream. They can’t get you now.
But no matter how hard I tried to comfort myself I still ended up crying. I buried my face into my knees and cried as horrible memories began to assault me again. I took shallow breaths as fear choked my throat. It made me want to crawl out of my skin. I felt dirty and disgusting.
I was found in the middle of a plantation by a farmer and his wife, still blindfolded and my hands tied together. Dinala nila ako sa bahay nila at dinamitan. When I regained my consciousness, they helped me contact my parents. Dad cried angry tears when he found out about what happened to me, he swore he’d kill whoever did those horrible things to me. Mom broke down. Hindi ko makakalimutan ang mga mukha nila at ng mga kapatid ko habang nakatitig sa akin. There was nothing in their eyes but sadness, pity, and anger. Sinubukan nilang hanapin kung sino ang gumawa nito sa akin. But it was done so flawlessly. They found no clue, no trace, no witnesses.
I rocked myself back and forth over and over. Sana pinatay na lang nila. This was worse than death. Paulit-ulit bumabalik sa isip ko ang kahayupang ginawa nila sa akin. Sometimes I just want to hit my head on the wall really hard, hoping I’d forget all these. I didn’t want to remember anymore but some memories are stronger than what we want.