TIME was neither here nor there. It did not even matter.

She was standing there, her back to me, still in her hospital clothes – a figure of such ethereal presence that I wouldn’t dare come near her. The wind was blowing softly, steadily, ruffling the hem of her skirt. I couldn’t tell what she was doing in her peaceful stance. Awkwardly, she spread her arms, ready to fall into abyss. By that time, my curiosity overrode my fear and I made my way toward her.

The fact that I was just there, stealthily watching her from afar made me sick to my stomach. I watched in horror as she stepped up on the building’s narrowest fringe, looking back at me and even mangaing a smile, but nothing was ever more sinister.

I pulled all my strength in lifting my arms, to grab her— away from the abyss, away from death’s embrace.

But then, fear locked my limbs and binded my every movement. I stood transfixed as the figure plummeted into the hands of death. I wanted to scream, but I could not even utter a single whisper.

She is flesh and bone like me. My bones called out to her and I followed.

Wild noises pierced through my head as I found myself jammed amid a group of strangers, some of them elbowing past me. Minutes away from being trampled to death, I shut my eyes. I hoped to see her there, arms wrapped tight around me, shielding me from the maddening chaos. But she wasn’t. Somewhere, a long beep reverberated across the room. I drew my breath.

Magna Carta, nasaan na?

The sudden burst of light was almost blinding. Gently opening my eyes, I was relieved to see a familiar face. Still, I couldn’t save her from the chaos.

“Mom,” I whimpered. It was exactly 7:30 in the evening. Mika Rafaela A. Barrios


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