I had a deep, 2-inch gash on my arm and a 1-inch wound on my abdomen. The pain in my gut throbbed a little but the arm hurt like hell.
There was a commotion at the entrance of the emergency room and the nurse attending to me suddenly rushed away. They brought in a young boy who was kicking and screaming. From my angle on the bed, I couldn’t see clearly what had happened to him. I asked a passing orderly what was up and he said, “Oh, he got stabbed in the back,” and he said it in such a way that made it sound like I was just asking about the weather and him replying that it was raining outside.
It certainly put my own troubles into perspective so instead of complaining about the lack of attention, I just waited for someone to come back to me a little later.
The taxi driver then came back towing along my girlfriend and her mother (later to be known as my wife and mother-in-law) and they were understandably worried as they saw me. They arranged to have me transferred to a private hospital where I was confined for a few days because the doctors there wanted to confirm that I had not suffered any internal damage from the wound on my stomach, and it turned out that there was none. The knife happened to just nick the fat but didn’t slam into anything important.
After I was discharged, I went back to my dormitory where I was greeted by some pretty amazing stories:
“Hey, we heard you got attacked and that you were in near-death condition.” Ummm, not really.
“Hey, we heard that someone stabbed you and left you for dead and got all your belongings.” Nope, they didn’t get anything at all except that one guy who who probably got a big bump on his left temple.
“Hey, we heard you got attacked by 10 men and that you used kung-fu to defeat all of them.” This was the best one ever.
So what are a few things I learned from this encounter?
- Fats are useful, people. Don’t lose too much of it. They may come in handy some day.
- Sometimes, it’s useful to trust your gut. I still cannot explain why I felt the way I did a few minutes before the attack happened. There was just this imminent sense of danger that my body somehow knew before my brain could understand what it was.
- There are good people all around. That taxi driver, for instance, who broke the stereotype of Manila taxi drivers by being helpful and going beyond the call of duty. I learned that he not only called my girlfriend, but went to their house and offered to lead them to me as well.
- People can and will make up stories about you and there’s very little you can do about it. Live with it. Laugh at it. But you can only do that if you know who you really are inside.
Originally published in Sunstar Davao.
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