Blessed Are You Among Women (second draft)
That her crotch was grabbed with such ferocity, that I didn’t agree with. It’s hard enough for a pretty girl to get by without getting accused of being a slut for no other reason than being pulchritudinous, but to lay your filthy, indigent hands on her cunt just because she “looks like she’s asking for it” is taking things too far. The unfortunate girl talked about here goes yclept Grace, a nubile fourteen-year old with a slim build studying as a junior at my highschool. She has a strong and defined jawline for someone of her age, and I guess that’s what the culprit zeroed in on when he was rating with his friends the girls walking at the annual procession for the Catholic celebration of the birthday of Mary, mother of Jesus. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, this waste of spermatozoa rated Grace as 10+ or muy caliente on the basis of her well-defined jaw which according to interrogation, he deemed as likely strong enough to withstand having his huge cock and balls hammer it’s way in and out of it. Quite a salacious image coming from a ten-year old boy whose testicles I assume haven’t even dropped yet. Further interrogation of the suspect maintains that this is not the first time he’s had a brush with the law, former misdemeanours include pick-pocketing when he was just eight years old.
Now before some human rights activists and other social justice warriors decry the imprisoning of a minor, they ought to understand that the purpose here is to rehabilitate the sinner. The young boy, incidentally, was an orphan and had no one except his drunkard of an uncle for any sort of moral guidance. He calls the streets his home for more than a year already, welcomed by a gang of delinquent minors labelling themselves as “hamog.” Equipped with the rational judgement of a patient with severe Down’s Syndrome, our social justice warriors insist on the malleability of a child’s psyche, and having said this should therefore be spared the rod both literally and figuratively. As a passive Catholic, I neither know nor care about the Church’s stance on this subject, but I don’t quite agree with giving minors a free pass on their criminal wrongdoings as it gives them the wrong impression. You know what they say, give them a finger and they’ll soon take the whole arm. But that’s just me.
I was sweating like a goddamned African in the Sahara Desert that afternoon. My school, run by Catholic nuns, had the celebration of the feast day of Mary on its itinerary for the day. We were to participate in a procession from the school to the Parish church, which distance was as far as I am from my longterm goals, in short, pretty fucking far, and with the sun blazing that September afternoon, I was shit out of luck. Beside me walked Chie, tall and morose and decidedly butch. I turned to her and said, “Thanks to that fucking birthmark on your buttcheek we’ve no choice but to walk around in this heatwave!” Chie replied by flipping the bird at me, very casually I might add. This was our usual routine as friends. We’d hurl insults at each other on the rare times when we weren’t having fun at the expense of other people. We were the school’s “secret” bullies because we don’t actually go around tormenting people, for that requires too much energy, and Chie and I, we’re hella chill. What we do though is talk about people in front of their faces. I remember this one girl at school making fun of me for being fat — she was small and had the complexion of a dark Narra wood, so I retaliated by saying I’d apply varnish to her skin if she won’t shut up (“Barnisan kita diyan, loko ka!”), and she hasn’t bothered me since. Chie, on the other hand, liked to give people nicknames. One time there was this decrepit old nun who shuffled as she walked, her body stooped in the form of a question mark. Ol’ Chich called her “Do The Hustle” after the TV commercial featuring senior citizens shuffling around to that tune. It’s fucking mean, but we’re young, at least allow us to be assholes.
So there we are, Chie and me, and the rest of the students walking solemnly with candle in hand, each step closer to the Church and a respite from the heat. The throwing of insults at each other continued for the sake of lazy entertainment, with the birthmark of bad luck jumping from one buttcheek to a dozen others, including the school principal Sister Gwen. It was better than having no one to blame for our predicament, which was the unnecessary suffering caused by walking for more than an hour under the fiery sun.
Halfway through the procession we’ve run out of things to say — Chie was playing with the wax on her candle, while I was running out of breath, a brief thought crossing my mind about laying off the cheeseburgers and getting an exercise, but nah, I was too hungry for that shit. Walking in front of me was my other friend Reena who was arm in arm with her new best friend Jan (I’m not jealous at all, mind you) and they are being generally annoying with their giggling and shit. We passed by McDonald’s, which was the five-star cuisine haven for pecuniary-disadvantaged people, a.k.a. non-working people, a.k.a. full-time students, a.k.a. full-time students with cheapskates for parents. I wanted to go in for an order of chicken nuggets, however the teacher’s beckoning us to walk faster. A fatty ain’t got no relief. However, I was too tired to walk faster, and apparently Chie was too. Reena and Jan, being very much of the goody-goody type, quickened their pace according to the demand. I vaguely recall Chie commenting that the two probably were on the verge of defecating (“natatae”), hence the speed.
I checked my wristwatch. It was already 4pm and good Lord is it ever hot! In front of us, replacing Reena and Jan were three girls not from our batch but were familiar-looking enough. I recognized the girl to the left and directly in front of Chie to be a lass named Grace. She was quite popular in school; a heartthrob sought after by boys and lesbians alike. I did mention her jawline, didn’t I? But other than that, her long legs were fine too. I glanced at Chie and knew right away that she was checking her out.
We stepped onto a long waiting shed beside a building. Some distance away were a group of young boys no older than eleven or twelve clumped together and guffawing over God only knows what. It made me self-conscious all of a sudden and reminded me from experience that children are the harshest critics of them all. They wouldn’t hesitate to point out your flaws straight to your face, this being the reason why children are being sold into human trafficking. Alright, I kid about the last bit, but you get the picture. Anyway, the boys were still laughing when one of them, the shortest, stepped forward in our direction. With probably the most sinister grin I’ve seen on a child on all fifteen years of my life, he stopped in front of Grace and did what he did.
I saw his hand curl into an upside down C to cup her crotch. He grabbed her cunt with such intensity it’s as if he wouldn’t let go. Those were my words later at the police station, where Chie and I gave our statements alongside a weeping Grace and one of our teachers comforting her. Earlier during the episode, Grace was too shocked to even move. It was Chie who shouted “gago ka!” before Grace’s friends pushed the little boy away and slapped him on the face. Having come to her senses, Grace grabbed the boy by the shoulders and shook him hard. “Tarantado ka!” By this time I ran forward, in spite of being tired, to call on the teacher. We rushed back to Grace and found the boy surrounded by Chie and Grace’s friends. Grace was hysterical alright, and I couldn’t blame her, but something in me clicked. I snuck a look at Chie to see if she feels the same way but as usual her face was sullen.
The boy was still smirking and making gyrating movements with his crotch. Then he formed his left fist into a circle and jerked his forefinger in and out of it. He honestly looked fucking retarded. The teacher seized the boy by the ear. “Kabata-bata mo, bastos ka!” It all struck me as comical. Stifling my laughter, I followed them to the police station which was not far from where we were standing.
As I gave my witness’ account to the police, I had to try my hardest not to let out an onslaught of sniggers. Sure, it was an unfortunate incident, and one which calls for a normal person to be outraged, especially because of the age of the culprit, but the image of the boy curling his hand to grab Grace’s cunt reminded me of Karate moves for some reason. “Hiiiyaa!” Well, he didn’t actually shout that, but you get the drill. Furthermore, his subsequent action of thrusting his hips forward and backward like a maniac was hilarious as hell. In a retarded kind of way, of course.
Suffice to say, nothing came out of the case. The boy was too young to be charged with sexual assault, and Grace despite of the embarrassment it caused her, eventually moved on to other things.
Back when we were at the police station, and Grace was cussing like a construction worker at the boy, I lent a hand to calm her down, all the while snorts of laughter erupting momentarily from my nose. When we went our separate ways and I was left alone with Chie, she abruptly smacked me on the head and scolded me for not controlling my laughter. I rubbed the spot where she hit me. “Dang, I can’t help it.”
Chie and I walked to the Church moving our hands in imitation of Bruce Lee and other karate greats. The people looking at us probably think we’re crazy. But who cares. Shit happens, crazy happens. And in a tacky Chinese accent we exclaim: “I fight for honor!”
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