There was once a jam-packed jeepney with a 22 sitting capacity inside and another one chair placed in the middle for another two passengers. It has another two passengers sitting beside the driver in front. The jeepney runs 12 kilometers away from the terminal. It journeyed the dust-filled road that brings passengers to four different places in one and a half hour or less. It played a loud music that reverberates inside it.
It was maneuvered by a somewhat 30 year old driver with his young conductor hanging outside. They have different roles to play. The driver, the one in front of the steering wheel was the head. The lives of his passengers were in his hands. Then, there was his conductor. He is the one in charge of the passengers’ payment. He is the eyes of the driver. He knows who does or doesn’t pay. Both of their life depends on each other.
Aside from the two mentioned, there were also the jeepney’s passengers. Each of the 26 people in the public transportation has their unique character. They were young to old. Some represents innocence, boredom, happiness and tiredness. Each portrays different views and feelings; feelings connected to happy day, successful work and even not so good ending. But most especially, these people, deep inside their quiet glimpse and action have an exceptional story to tell.
Among the stilled passengers was a 20 year old girl. She was the eighth passenger who occupied the third seat at the left side of the jeep. She sat immobile while her head hovered side to side, back and forth. She twinkled whenever necessary. Just as the jeepney reached the passengers’ maximum capacity, her left eye formed some crystal-like droplets. She hurriedly reached for her handkerchief, wiped it and continued to drift side to side again.
Ten minutes passed. It was already 4:35 in the afternoon. The jeepney was set to go. Few inches away from the terminal, the girl suddenly run out of control. She can’t hold back her tears longer. Her eyes showed sadness and defeat. She covered her whole face with her blue handkerchief. She laid back. Overflowing tears showered her face. Sobbing was the only way she thought she could escape loneliness and frustration. She was like that for ten minutes. She let herself be free of all the worries and doubts she had felt for almost a month now. She released her fears, confusions and tiredness. Right inside the jeepney, she had questioned her talent and determination. She lost her hope. She had embraced cowardice.
All was blank .Music played loud but faith provoking sound. The lyrics uplifted her spirit. She revived her feelings. Tears stopped. She wiped the remaining signs of it. She looked around. Most of the passengers were asleep. It was a good sign. No one was looking at her. She had taken charge of everything. She was proud of herself though minutes passed and she had become a slave of her own predicament.
It was done. She had admitted that the strongest person in the world needs to weep also. She accepted that people were also weak and the same goes for her. But she thought it will not ruin her dream.
She remembered the jeepney. She had chosen a good companion. It was the quiet listener of all her disappointments. It was also a good secret keeper. Right inside it, she had become a lonely lad, a girl who thought of giving up her dream but chose not to. The jeepney was the only witness of her ten minute weakness but also the living witness of her coming back to life.
This was the story of a jam-packed jeepney. Inside it was a girl, a girl who once sat still and chose to cry silently.