That freaky Saturday night of May-A A +A
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
COLD as ice was that night of May when I fell like a prey to the trap set up by opportunistic burglars.
It was three years ago, the 28th of May, that I thought I’d come face-to face with the angel of death.
I was on my way home from a night of a birthday hobnob of a dear friend, who was living somewhere along 8th street in Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro City.
It was past midnight when I decided to evaporate from the celebration.
A concerned common friend offered me a ride home since it was quite late indeed but I declined it nevertheless for mundane random reasons.
So there was I standing on a ghastly and eerie pavement intersecting Nazareth and Ramonal streets.
I knew for a fact that being in such areas that late at night was like an open invitation for bad omens that magnet all sorts of negative elements.
But I was feeling invincible then and those misfortunes, I told myself, were but a reality fabricated by media (pun unintended).
A moment later, as I wallowed in my delusions of invincibility, a gang of male youngsters unsuspectingly passed by in a swift.
By then, feeling on the lookout, I never took my eyes off them for a moment not until they were several meters away from me.
I sighed in relief as they gradually disappeared from my field of vision.
But then such an assurance was rather a mirage as in a matter of seconds, I felt my entire body was collapsing.
It was also as if my head was spinning in a slow-motion just like in the movies.
In a little while, I felt something liquid was flowing at the back of my head. It was warm and somehow viscous.
As this fluid was dripping fast and soiling the back of my neck and partly my face, I noticed it was blood.
It was then I realized that my head had been mauled with a hard object.
What followed next, as I recalled, was beyond my complete memory as my cranium was injured and my face down to the hard pavement.
But one thing was certain: in this vulnerable and lucid state, I could have only hoped and prayed that nothing could go worse.
I was wrong!
While half-awake, half-asleep, I heard some indistinct chattering of a small group as I smacked the ground motionless.
My vision at that point was already totally dark but my auditory faculty was perhaps at its sharpest shape as I heard random footsteps galloping like a herd of horses in a swift breeze.
In that whirlwind-like period, I had the hunch that something was taken from me.
And then, I was in a total block-out.
The next thing that I remembered was the sight of a very bright light. It was probably the brightest light I had ever seen then.
“Pupils both equally reactive to light and accommodation,” a husky man’s voice called and a lady’s voice answered, “BP 110 over 80, doc.”
To keep you out of suspense, I realized I was lying in a patient’s bed of an emergency room.
I coughed and asked the nurse for drinking water. She then oriented me where I was, what time it was.
As I rose up to consciousness, everything was becoming clearer like waking up from a surreal yet vivid dream: I had been a victim of a crime.
A little while, my parents were present at the scene.
The attending physician explained that I had to undergo CT scan to be certain I had not sustained serious head injuries.
At the same time, I recall the nurse had kept asking me if I had the urge to vomit.
Being a nurse myself, I knew the reason was to determine if there has been an increase of pressure inside my cranium, which is often lethal.
It was also explained to me that I had a medico-legal case and that I had to be referred to a neurologist for specialized care.
In sum, I had lost my cellular phones, some manager’s checks, cash, professional ID’s and important documents from the bag I was carrying that unfortunate night.
After being admitted to the hospital for few days, I followed up the matter to local police officers, who had done none but to reprimand me for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I also sought legal services to legitimize my claims of what I had lost and filed for affidavit in order to request for new IDs.
Three years had passed, yet justice has not been served in a hot plate.
At some point, perhaps it never will.
Three years indeed, but the psychological turmoil of this adversity still lingers.
And those who did me wrong are still at large.
Anybody out there could be the next victim but I don’t know if we’d share similar fate of surviving its traumatic aftermath.
And I learned my lesson the hard way.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on June 03, 2014.