Chapter 6

ANGELA held her bag near her chest. The dark night sky was threatening to pour rain today if she’s unlucky enough, what supposed to be just rain showers might bring her thunderstorm and worse, flood, just like what’s happening to her life.

She heaved a sigh as she got off the bus slowly. An impatient passenger behind her shouted at her to get off faster. But, her knees felt weak, and she’s starving.

“Such an idiot!” The woman with large loop earring and gold necklace hissed at her. “You’re wasting my time!

“Hey, Madam, stop freakin’ out here, you’ve gotten off the bus, what’s the matter with you?” The bus driver intervened. “Leave the girl alone.

The woman glared at the two of them. “Fuck off, morons!

“Yeah, we’ll do that later, granny!” he shouted back, and then looked at her. “You okay, babe? Did she scare you?

Angela hesitantly looked at him. “T-Thank you…”

“One quickie is enough, baby…” he said and wrapped his arm around her waist. “I’ll pay you—”

“No…” she refused and stepped away from the man, but he’s quick to catch her arm. “Don’t touch me—”

“You didn’t pay for the bus fare, little tramp,” he told her, and then looked around the deserted streets. “And, I saw you stole that old woman’s wallet.” His hand went down under her shirt and grabbed her brassiere.

Angela squealed when he squeezed her breast. “Get off me—”

“I’ll bring you to the police for stealing,” he whispered in her ear. “But, if you give what I want, I’ll let you go off your way.” He removed his hand and showed her the wallet that she took from the woman. “You’re such a beautiful whore…”

The rain poured, and the few people around the open bus terminal in front of the Post Office hid on the sheds towards the park, leaving her and the driver alone in the dark side of the street. The shadow of the bus cast at them, making them unnoticeable to people.

“Come on, we’ll be quick.” The man urged her to climb back inside the bus. He grabbed her arm and squeezed it tightly. “You choose, inside the bus or inside the police station?

Angela didn’t speak. She stared at the awful image of the man. “You’ll regret doing this to me.

“I guess I won’t.” He pushed her towards the bus door. “Go at the back.

Angela’s knees shook as she walked towards the bus end. She bit her lips to fight her tears, but her chest just tightened. She never thought this would happen to her. She escaped the human trafficking syndicate at Olongapo, but her fate brought her to this horrible situation.

This is all because of her mother—her own mother that sold her to repay her debt in gambling. What a tragic life she has? She wished to be dead, but she can’t… she can’t just let the child in her tummy suffer.

“Turn around and lift your skirt,” the man commanded.

“I-I’m pregnant…” she pleaded. “Please, don’t do this to me.

“Pregnant? Do you think I’ll buy that?” he pushed her to the seat.

Angela lost her balance and fell on the seat. The man quickly got on top of her. She tried to scream, but he covered her mouth. “Please! No!

“Fuck, quiet!” He slid his hand under her blouse and groped her breasts. “Hmm, so soft.

“Please—” But the man continued molesting her. “Please, stop!

He lifted her blouse and exposed her breasts. “Fuck, these nice tits shouldn’t belong to a whore,” he commented and licked her tips alternately.

Angela screamed again. “Help! Help—!

“Shut up, or I’ll hit your stomach? You’re pregnant, right? You’ll lose your baby if I hurt you,” he whispered as his hand ran down her legs. “Your skin is so soft.

Angela shut her eyes and cried. “No, please…”

But the man ignored her pleadings. He sucked her nipple while his hand worked its way up to her underwear. He slid his finger inside and pushed it through her opening. She cried in pain and tried to push him, but he just pressed himself harder on her.

A loud thunder rumbled, followed by heavier rain. The sky seemed to be crying for what was happening to her, but what the rain can do? She screamed and cried for help, for whoever behind the clouds that people say can hear their prayers. But, still, nobody rescued her.

“What are you thinking?

Angela blinked twice, and the nightmares from her past vanished. She looked at Meera and smiled. She then remembered the rainy Sunday morning that she found her sitting on the sidewalk, protecting her bump from getting wet. Angela must admit, she was praying for her death by that time. She was ready to give up her life because nobody cared for her, even her own mother neglected her. And, for chrissake, she just turned twenty back then. She laughed bitterly, she was raped on her birthday.

“What’s with that look?” she asked, brows furrowed. “Don’t tell me you’re reminiscing those days again?” She shook her head. “If you’ve just let me kill that bastard, you won’t feel like that anymore—”

“Meera, I can’t take that in my conscience,” she replied. “And, besides, you’ve given him a lesson that he’ll carry for the rest of his life.

Meera laughed. “Of course, Lando broke his legs.

Lando is Meera’s childhood friend. When she told her about the bus driver that raped her inside the bus, Meera immediately took action. She and Lando went to the bus terminal and looked for the man. When they saw him alone behind his bus again doing something immoral, Lando hit him with a paddle until he fell down. Angela thought he was dead, so she told them to back off. But, Lando kept hitting the man’s legs.

After a few days, somebody from Lando’s troops told them that the bus driver wasn’t working anymore at the bus liner because he can’t walk. Somehow, Angela felt a tiny satisfaction inside her heart. Since then, she yearned for that feeling. She didn’t expect that taking revenge on the ones that have hurt you can bring satisfaction to her.

“What’s your plan?” Meera asked. She passed the laundry basket full of dirty clothes. “You’ve got to move out from that job, Angela.

Angela didn’t reply. She doesn’t know where to find a job that could support all her daughter’s medication. “Clyde told me to—”

“Wait, what? Clyde?” Meera scowled at her. “So, you’re calling him on a first name basis now?

Angela rolled her eyes heavenwards. “Meera, that is not the problem right now.

Meera pouted her lips. “Okay, since you bought me a new set of a dinner table, I’ll let you pass this time.

“Whatever,” she said and continued on what she was saying. “Doc Clyde advised me to prepare for Aleli’s new set of drugs for maintenance, and those brands were a little expensive.

“So?” Meera asked. “I don’t like where this conversation is going—”

“I will quit dancing, but…”

“But what?

“I have to join the bidding to get big money,” she said and sighed. “I never participated in the bidding, but—”

“No, Angela,” Meera disagreed. “You didn’t escape your mother’s wrongdoings to you just to get yourself to be involved again by that gambling.

“But, this is the only way that could help me in Aleli’s meds—”

“There are other ways, Angela—”

“Yes, there are, but it will take me decades to earn enough money.” She looked down at the laundry baskets and sighed. “Meera, this is the reality, and I’m willing to face it. I’ll do everything for Aleli. Otherwise, we’ll die.


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