It was sometime in 1990. My father was about to close the billiard hall for the night and I was helping him pack up. My mother was behind me sweeping the floor with an old broom.
Then, a man materialized out of.. I really didn’t know, and begged in a husky voice.. ‘help me..’
He was clasping his belly with his hand. From it seeped the darkest red fluid I ever saw. It was blood. I froze. I couldn’t move, but when I heard my mother yelled at me ‘get inside!’ I ran and didn’t come back.
My father ran to call for help, the police station, the health center, the barangay hall, but it took almost an hour before the injured man was taken to the nearest hospital. We soon learned that the man passed by a group of drug addicts in the dark and was stabbed by one of them. He ran for help until he came to our billiard hall which was the only open place that night. Fortunately, the suspect was caught and eventually jailed. Unfortunately, the victim died.
Somehow, our town learned a lesson from that dark night, additional street lights were put up and police officers patrolled around the town every once in a while. Though it was sad that it took one innocent life before the town learned to be more vigilant, I guess we just had to learn to accept that.