During school holidays I used to do baby sitting jobs to earn (pocket) money for the next term. That year I was working as a nanny to the 2 year old baby girl of Ensign R. my brother in law’s CO. Mind you I didn’t apply. He saw me aboard his ship, took one good look at me and asked my sister if I could live with them for a time to take care of their first born. His wife was a nurse. He was a young 26 years old naval officer, his wife 28, I was 14.
They are one of the few people I will never regret meeting. One of the corner stones of my (shaken but not totally gone)faith in humanity despite of everything I have been through and experience. I’m grateful they exist.
I was a small town girl, extremely naïve and because of my isolated upbringing, totally and utterly stupid with the ways of the world. Some people took advantage of that. What a shame.
There was this girl Liza who was working as a maid for the next door neighbour. She is ugly (sorry but I can’t put it any other way) as hell, has funny accent and I suspected a lot older than me though I don’t know her real age. Ate Mila (the wife of Ensign R.) cannot stand her and told me to keep away from that woman at all cost. But young ones are rebellious, besides, Liza fascinated me. She knew things I had no idea about and thought her grand.
One night she asked me to accompany her outside to buy something. We ended up with two young guys I never saw before. She told me one of them is her brother and she said they had some urgent family business to discuss. They disappeared into a building across the street, me and the friend of the brother had been told to wait till they come out. But it took a long time so I decided to follow Liza and knocked on the door. She was agitated and talk to my companion in a strange language. The next thing I know I was being manhandled into some passage and being assaulted. When I fought with all my might the boy told me that Liza told him I wanted it. So, why on earth I was fighting with him for? I was shocked! She denied the accusations and said the boy was lying. Naïve that I was, I believed her. She was after all my friend, wasn’t she?
Other time she convinced me to accompany her to her lady friend’s place somewhere in another city. I told Ensign R. I was going to spend the weekend with my sister. That was the first time I lied to grownups.
But where we ended up? In the Luneta Park! Sleeping under the tree on pieces of folded newspaper which dissolved and disappeared the next morning. I had to sleep few paces away from her and this strange looking guy who kept strangling her whole night.
I ended up in a hospital with pneumonia.
The last thing she did was convinced me to run away with her. She told me that my benefactors were keeping me from enjoying life the way it supposed to be, that I had to see the world. She will take care of me she promised. So the next day I left the house without saying anything to anyone and eloped with her. I thought I was free.
We went to this strange looking place which she called boarding house. It got no concrete floor downstairs and upstairs only wooden mezzanine so close to the corrugated roof it was hot as an oven there. There were kids playing and some babies in the play pen. It was not heaven but bigger than where I used to live in the province.
When dark came, women who were sleeping woke up, took a bath one by one behind the house where a big drum of water was standing.
Tables were arranged. Windows closed, multi-coloured lights lit up, music played and people started coming, mostly men.
To my surprised I was forced to sit with a burly gentleman who offered me beer and tried to stick his fingers inside my panties. I kicked the guy and get hysterical, crying and shouting. I was slapped and been thrown out in the streets at 2:00 in the morning. I never saw Liza again.
A fruit vendor found and rescued me from being arrested by the police. Apparently, it was against the law to wander in the night alone if one is a minor. The guy took one good look at me and asked why I was filthy and bruised. I didn’t realize that my lips were bleeding.
He brought me to his sister’s place which was so dark and small full of sleeping bodies almost on top of each other. He said I had to find a place in between there. It was not much but at least I would be safe. Then he closed the door behind him.
The next morning he brought me to the bus station and told me I have to take care of myself because I was such a good looking kid. That if it was up to him, he will gladly marry me in a second. I refused. Like I refused to be married to some naval officer my sister had chosen for me based on financial and social status (having his own house already, good income and solid career etc.etc.) The guy was 30 years old for crying out loud!
Remember when I said I can write books about my failed relationships with women, this is one reason why. I have lots more. But that’s (maybe) for another time…
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