Saturday, January 10, 2009

Witness

Four guys. Ski masks. Lead pipes. A black car, parked just inside the entrance of Fine Arts. A pudgy male victim, with a torn black shirt and a slightly bleeding head.

Me, in an ikot jeep that slows down as the driver, interest piqued, watches the goings-on with a look somehow akin to wonder on his face. My eyes taking in every detail - the broad shoulders of the assailants, the shiny finish of the getaway car, the car's plate number, one of the assailants taking off his ski mask behind tinted windows as the car smoothly slithers past us and away, never to be seen again, perhaps.

I took note of things that might have been helpful, if I had decided to go to the police. What the assailants were wearing. How tall they might be. The color of their skins. The car model and, yes, the plate number. I don't remember the exact time or date, but I could ask my classmate; I was on my way to meet her when I saw the whole thing. I wouldn't be able to identify the four guys - I was too focused on the victim, watching them pummel him as if I were in a dream, unable to move or look away - and the car probably belonged to someone else who would deny ever having a part in it. I remember what one of the guys was wearing, though - a blue- and white-striped polo shirt, and denim pants, just like the others. Bits and pieces. Nothing that could really help, but I saw it. I was there.

Maybe I'm writing this down to convince myself that I really did see it happen. I was already looking out the window when I saw these four guys running in front of Fine Arts, surrounding a fat guy, hitting him with slender pipes and grabbing his clothes. I was thinking, hey, what are they doing? They can't really be trying to hurt him, are they? Those must be rubber sticks or something. The fabric of the fat guy's shirt ripped; I thought, no, this is real. Since the four were running, they couldn't land a good hit, but one of them stood still for a moment (or did I just imagine him doing that?) and hit him with what must have been a solid crack on the skull, drawing blood. Then they were at the driveway, the four running for their car as a security guard came running and shouting. In the back of my mind I was aware of relief as I started to register what I had just seen. The fat guy was lucky. Apart from the bloody head (which wasn't really bleeding much, from what I saw) he had gotten away with just a torn shirt, and maybe a few scratches when he tripped and fell. He was lucky, I thought. He's okay.

It took me several minutes to think that maybe they had just mistaken him for some other guy, since I had never heard of anyone with ski masks and lead pipes attacking someone in Fine Arts; they were always at AS, NCPAG or Engineering, or even right outside a dormitory like Molave. At least one guy had been killed by getting mistaken for someone else. A few days later I thought, maybe they had gotten him somewhere else, if they were really serious about it. Maybe he wasn't really lucky.

Now that I know this, I wonder what I'm supposed to get from knowing that it really happened. Or what I should have done, even if I was sure that what I had to say wouldn't have helped much...and there were many other people who saw, many students at Fine Arts who were watching with dazed expressions while someone who was probably another student was attacked right in front of them. Other students like me. What would they have done? What did they do? They might even have known the fat guy. Maybe they talked about it or blogged about it (I never looked, or thought to look), maybe it will be reported in the year's first Collegian issue. Maybe no one will even remember that it happened. Except for me, and maybe you, if you believe me.

5 comments:

Rich said...

That guy was almost killed in the middle of the day. I wonder, if some freak guys will plant a bomb inside UP, will they succeed? ...

tina said...

hanep sa english :D siguro, kasi ndi naman mamomonitor yun... kaso sino naman ang mambobomba sa up, at bakit? o.O mas madalas pang mabomba ang mga mall...

Sting Lacson said...

nagta-tagalog ka pala tina e lol :)) dapat talaga pumunta ka sa pulis, wala pang isang oras yun.

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Rich said...

Hayaan mo na ang english ko Tina, alam mo naman minsan lang yan sumusulpot e.

Tungkol sa bombang UP,.. Naitanong ko lang naman. Napaisip kasi ako kung gaano ba kahigpit ang security sa UP. Hayayay.