My rugged black shoes step on the edges of that dusty road. I can feel on my skin the awful warmth of exhaust coming from those random vehicles that are passing by. Even though the cold air is constantly blowing, I feel the terrible scent exhaustion rather than the breeze. The terrible pollution is not surprising when my feet are stepping on a common Philippines high-way road. Iâve been living on this type of environment since the first time I learned to breath. Ah, just the typical road the same as any other third-world country out there.
I look up and see a cloudy sky. I think it is going to rain.Then my eyes turn to my wrist watch. It is sharp six in the evening.
I turn at my back, assuring myself that no one is watching or following me to this one place where I am heading to tonight. My brown eyes look around. I see nothing but the night lights and those random unfamiliar faces. Thenâ
I feel a grain of rain touches my right cheek. I lift up the cap of my stripe red hoodie and walks faster. This jacket feels uncomfortable to me and I canât stretch my arms well. But it is the only thing that I have for tonightâs purposes. It can at least hide my figure. This attire actually makes me look like a guy from afar.
I must reach to that place before this rain gets heavier.
Who I am?
I am just a typical looking Filipino-American. I have that creamy brown skin, I stand 5â7, I have straight black hair which reaches just two inches below my shoulders, I have a lean body, and my brown eyes look fierce. My physical appearance shows that I am simple person who have hidden strong personality.
I continue walking as of this moment.
I stop when I feel something beneath the sole of my right shoe.
I step my right foot aside and when I look down, I see a pen laying on the ground. I bend down to pick it with my left hand. When I hold it in my hand i feel its rubberized body.For a few moments I was standing there looking at the tip of that pen. It seems to mesmerize me.The penâs body was made from fine rubber and it has silver edges. The object looks so beautiful to my sight. It makes me remember of who I was.
I was a writerââ but tonight, that will changed.
Yes, my life is about to change.
My right hand clinches and with pain in my heart, I throw the pen away.
Then I continue to walk.
Now I am walking on this dark road, where the walls are painted with random graffiti. I can feel the rain falling heavier as it slowly soaks the clothe covering my head. I can feel it slowly wetting my black hair beneath that cap.
Geez..the cold liquid falling from the sky made me shiver for a second.
How I used to hate cold weathers. I remember myself before; I used to be freezing even in the slightest cold temperature. Yesâyesâ-I was a weakling.
And so was my heart.
You knowâI used to cry in the slightest emotional pain.
and my heart used to need someone, My body used to need someone to hold me and kept me warmth.
Everything about me is changed.
I woke up one day, totally changed.
I donât know who I am anymore.
I canât feel any chill on my skin from this cold rain that is slowly wetting my jacket and this old denim jeans that I am wearing. The rain feels nothing but like the normal red liquid that runs inside my veins. How can I feel any coldness anyway when my soul is colder than the rain and air that is blowing?
I continue to walk as I feel the rain gets even heavier. My feet feel heavy. Every footstep gets heavier to take.
Let me tell you somethingâŚ
I am about to do a thing that will changed my entire life.
Something, that can help me forget about the pain in my the past. Something odd. Yet challenging
I feel a thing fell on my cheek. Something that is warm. No, it wasnât the cold water from the sky. Itâs from the warmth of anger and bitterness inside me.
I am crying!
My vision turns vague as tears slowly block my sight.
No this couldnât be! I must stop this drama.
I walk as fast as I can. My sight is getting darker and darker with every foot steps. I am trying to stop the tears that are eating my sanity. I cannot let this pain eat me.
I just canât.
I must do this tonight.
This is my last chance to get a good source of money, even though, it is a crucial thing to do. I have no more time for the past, I only need my tomorrow. I donât need anyone but myself and this job.
Finally I reach that place. Yes, that place that I was talking about. It is located at a dark corner. The place was lit by red bulbs outside. The outside is so silent.
No one is around.
The banner on the wall that says âWanted Dancersâ caught my attention.
Yes, I am about to step in on a place where not even in my worst nightmare I would want to see, a place of those people who sell their meats for living to those flesh who are hungry for sex. I turned my eyes toward the doorâs direction. I walk forward to reach for that wooden door. My eyes read the cardboard pasted on the door that says âWE ARE OPEN AT MIDNIGHT.â
I pushed the door and stepped in anyway.
Heck, Patrick told me I should come at this time. I donât need to wait until midnight.
I need to get a job, one way or another, and I am ready for this.
When the door completely opens I see nothing but vastness of a huge room. There is a center stage where a red bulb is glimmering at the center ceiling. The place have random tables everywhere. In each table are set of bottled beers.
I step in.
No one is here.
My heart beats faster.
Something is odd.
Somethingââ is not right.
âCubol.â I heard my last name called by baritone voice of a man from my back. It made my heart jump with a sudden fear. When I look at my back, I see an old man, around fifty years old, with a clean-cut white hair, brown eyes, and mustache above his upper lip.
âPatrick told me that you are looking for a job.â The old man say as he slowly walks toward my direction.
The man stop a meter away from me. He is standing there, calmly, as he looks at me with cold stares. âAre you ready for something that will change your whole life?â
âYes, I am.â I respond plainly with no emotions or anything in my face.
The old man looks at me, scrutinizing me from head to foot. âRemove your jacketâ
I heave a sigh. I know this is going to happen. I hold the edges of my jacket and then remove it. The sleeveless cut of that brown racer back top exposed the skin of my arms.
âI already told you she is physically fit.â I hear Patrickâs voice from somewhere. Then there, I see Patrick in his rugged denim pants and V-Neck blue shirt, standing a few meters away from us.
The old man turns to Patrick then say, âWell thenâ she is yours to judge.â The old man starts to walk away from us. âAnd Patrickâ-tell her that her cold eyes should have a life. Her stares can ruin her on this job.â
Patrick nods then he gives me a warm, friendly smile. I smile back, or at leastâI tried to. After all I owe him this âfuture jobâ. âLetâs go?â Patrick say, moving toward to that doorâs direction.
âWhere?â I ask as I wear my jacket back. Was that it? No more âjobâ interview or anything?
He turns to me and smiled again. âDonât worry you are already accepted.â
âBy who?â I asks again. I am following Patrickâs steps now.
âBy meâ He respond quickly.
Patrick is a friend of mine. He has those set of brown eyes. He stands 6â1 and has a masculine appearance. He also have that friendly face that hid the true colors of his job.
Patrick steps out from that place, followed by me. âSo starting tomorrow, I will be your handler and you will be working under my supervision.â He turns to me, looking straight to my eyes. âAre you ready for this?â Patrick ask me as both out feet landed on that muddy road.
So the rain stopped leaving some moist on the ground huh?
We slowly walk together away from that place.
After a few moments I stop walking.
Patrick stop too.
My eyes looked around.
I must show to this man, that I am worthy for this job.
Then with all courage I remove my jacket and threw it on the ground.
I stares at Patrick, he stared back at me. âWhat âwhat are you doing?â Patrick asked, his eyes are wondering.
I donât have to answer him.
I let out a deep breath thenâ-
With one quick move, my body spins in the air. All of a sudden my right foot swiftly strikes on the empty airy space and it lands at Patrickâs right jaw. I hear the sole of my rugged black shoe cracked as I kicked Patrick as hard as I can. Patrick fell on the ground, holding his right jaw.
His face is in pain.
I fell on the ground too. I feel on my hands the wet soil on the ground. I am gasping for breath. That kick took a few ounces of my strength. I look at Patrick who is on the ground , looking at me, with that physical pain on his face. Then I say in a mocking voice, âI think Iâm ready.â
The pain on his face slowly disappears and it is replaced with a smile. âI think you areâ-âhe nodded. ââ andâ-I think I just fell in love.â He got up from the ground then walks closer to my direction and hand me his right hand, helping me to get up.
I smiled back at him and take his hand. âStop it. I heard spies donât fall in love.â I then, chuckled.
He chuckles too as he hold my hand, helping me to get up, then he says, âWelcome to the Squad, agent Cubol.â