The Accounts

The Official Student Publication of University of the Philippines- College of Management, Iloilo City

The Demon in the Wild

We were in the roof top, with wind touching us, and with noise from below destructing our concentration. We were in a circle, with hands holding each other and eyes tightly close.

Sharing is good. It makes us more bonded with those we share our concerns with. But in my case, sharing seemed to be obsolete.

The girl before me was crying hard and harder while she shares something that makes her sobbed. And while she’s talking, I was thinking of what to say. I know I need to say something. So I think and think. It seemed to me that I have no concern at all. But deep inside me, I know that I am just denying to myself something that disturbs me.

“Nong Rye, say something,” Kat, the one facilitating the sharing said.

I kept silent. Something in my mind is running yet I don’t know how to start. After a minute or two, Kat again spoke the same words.

I need to say something. I need to share. I need to open up. I need to release something that bothers me. But then, the question is how?

“Nong Rye?”

Then I finally shared.

“It happened when I was in my first year in college. I have to go home…” I am studying in a school miles and miles away from home. “I have to go back home because my father died!” My grip to the hands tightened.

On my mind is the face of the demon. Smiling, carrying his shining weapon, ready to slice anybody.

With my calm voice, I continued. “My father was not sick.”

Then, my sweat run down my cheeks trying to mixed up with my tears that were slowly forming in my eyes. Yet, my tears suddenly evaporated while my sweats were still on there way down. My tears faded leaving my eyes burning as I forcefully close them.

The demon on my mind slowly smiles showing his white teeth that complements with his shining silver weapon. It shines as it swings very quickly towards its destination.

Then I opened my mouth… “My father did not just die.”

My sweats are all over me. I tightened my grip hoping that the weapon would be avoided. But the silver weapon, eventually, reached its destination. It was a success.

“My father was murdered!”

And the demon ran while laughing as I chase my breath. Then, I was shouting. I was shouting not for the demon to return and fight me. I shouted because I cannot do anything. I feel so useless.

I loosened my grip.

Then, the friend after me shared his story but I was not listening. I was running away. Tears totally disappeared and it left my eyes red. The next told about her family and their problems but I was still shouting silently, trying to escape. I am running yet I am helpless.

The demon had already vanished into the wild, his home, yet the whips of his weapon are still there. His laughs are even louder than the voice of a friend sharing about the people she hates.

I am still running, catching my breath wanting to shout everything out loud. There were greed and vengeance but I don’t have them. I am helpless like an animal waiting to be slaughtered.

Then they talked and talked but all I can hear were laughs materialized by the children playing games below us. They were not devils but the demon also plays games, a game where you may win or lose. But it is hard to beat the demon.

Kat was done sharing a segment of her life, all were done.

Slowly, we freed our hands as mine shake with perspiration. Slowly, my eyes opened. The demon was not there, he was in the wild. Then, I shouted. I shouted even louder trying to ease myself.

I took a deep breath.

I was back to the reality. Yet, I know the demon did not disappear at all. He is just in the wild living his life eternally. With his shining weapon, he immortalizes every side of his dirty dark cell.

Filed under: Fiction, Short Story, , , ,

The Equation of Life

While some people are born gold, some were just clay. Clay, that when it falls to the ground, will eventually be part of it with out even being noticed. Later will be stepped, flattened, broken. Soil that nobody wanted to touch except for the naive children who will soon be scolded by their parents for having their hands dirty. But being gold is everybody’s dream. Gold shines and glitters. It is so precious that everyone wanted to touch, yet only few are given a chance to hold. Envied are they to have them!

When I was a child, I used to believe that everybody is equal. No matter how rich one is and how poor others are, they are still on the same ground. I went on by comparing people, one by one. A farmer to a policeman: a street vendor to a government employee… I realized that though the first has this while the second lacks, the latter also has that that the former does not. So I settled, convinced that everybody is indeed equal. But not when a particular idea crossed my mind. It was the comparison of a business tycoon with billions and trillions or even n-llions of assets and a beggar wearing a patched dirty rag living on a flattened hard paper he called home. That’s unjust. The tycoon has all while the beggar has none. That’s inequality!

I lived in a country with so many people living below the poverty line. I, myself have seen them suffer living their everyday lives, full of problems being poor. Once, I was in our home when I heard someone shouting for help. My mom and my aunt immediately went to the house of my screaming neighbor to check what was happening there. Later, I learned that the husband was suffering from a severe pain in his stomach. The wife and the concern neighbors don’t know what to do. Yet, they did not rush him to the hospital. There was only one reason behind: They don’t have money! If he happened to be rich, he would not suffer. He will be enjoying the most advanced medical treatment in the world. Lying in a soft bed, he would just wait until the painless medical procedure is over. After several hours in a pleasant smelling room in one of the most expensive hospitals in the world, he can then go out. Well again! But he happened to be a character in a totally opposite story. Thus, he must endure the pain no matter how intense it was until his body finally takes its action. That is, becomes numb.

So, how come some people still believe that life is fair? I went back to my thought being one of the people believing to the evenly distribution of possessions by the One who created us. I went further on comparing people, one by one. An achiever to the one defeated. A millionaire to a peasant…

Are richer people luckier than or just as lucky as a beggar?

One occasion, I walked around the town with my family. I was looking at different people, all were distinct. They have diverse color, height, and size. Faces vary as I look from one to another. Wearing different kinds and types of clothes, people were moving to different directions with various speeds. They were heading towards their desired place. Some do it alone while others walk with their friends, family and loved ones. Though many are going to the same direction, everybody has the right to choose which way to take. While walking, I noticed an important thing: Not all the people who wear elegant dresses wear a smile. I also saw an old woman with wrinkled face and burned skin. She was toothless. I knew it when she laughed out loud.

This experience is more than just a walk. It’s a reflection of life. Through this, I realized that in going to our destinations, it does not matter which way we take, how fast we got there nor how we got. It does not even matter if we really reached that place. What is important is how we enjoyed our journey. We should not envy those who ride car but we should on those who walk slowly, savoring every minute they have, smiling on every humorous things in town.

A magnate is equal to a simple beggar because they both have the choice to be happy. Like all of us, their life is not measured by wealth, honor nor power but by happiness. Life is measured based on how you enjoy your stay on earth. And happiness is the equation of life.

Filed under: Dugong Bughaw, Essay, Short Story, , , ,

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