Warning: The story below contains scenes of sex and violence.
Miguel started to have a deep breath as he observed the people walking, selling, and sleeping around San Pedro Street. His inquisitive eyes were staring to those homeless, rugged people sleeping on the public stage and in the benches. His curiosity continued as he observed the “Balut” vendor selling his product while riding a bicycle.
But behind these curious eyes, a revengeful heart is looking for that one person whom Miguel had sex with and is responsible for the HIV virus. This guy named Julius has been Miguel’s sex partner for the past five years. Julius is the park caretaker who is five years older than Miguel. He has been giving sexual pleasures to homosexuals in San Pedro Street at night after his work for the past five years. Julius is a sellable man due to his towering height of 5’11; he has fair complexion with black straight hair and a pointed nose. His sex appeal attracts gay customers both young and old who are looking for sexual adventures.
Five years ago, Miguel was just a grade ten student of Davao City National High School whose curiosity for sex aroused when he was teased by his male classmates that he is still a virgin. Moreover, they convinced him that he should try both female and male partners in order to have a comparison in terms of performance. They even had an agreement that Miguel should bring a sample of the pubic hair of his partners as proof that he really had an intercourse with them. That moonless and cold night when Miguel’s parents were in bed, he sneaked silently out of his house at around 11:00 PM and went straight to Rizal Park. He arrived at the park wearing a blue shirt and denim jacket. The color of his pants matches the color of his jacket. He had a black cap to hide his face among strangers. He sat on a bench near the stage.
“Good evening Sir!” said the tall man who was wearing a black shirt and denim pants.
“Hello,” replied Miguel as he smiled to the man standing infront of him.
“What is your name?” asked the tall man as he sat down beside Miguel putting his hand on his shoulder.
“I’m Julius,” he rubbed Miguel’s shoulder slowly and gave a slight pinch.
Miguel’s heart started to feel anxious as he faced Julius’ tantalizing eyes and voluptuous lips.
“What are you doing here at this hour?”
Miguel was hesitant to answer but since his sexual urge was boiling he was able to answer Julius in a savvy way with a deep tone voice.
“I need somebody tonight.”
The cold wind carried the two hungry creatures in the dark corner of Osmena Park. They expressed their forbidden love under the tall tree that protected them from the curious eyes of the public. Miguel was facing and holding the huge thick tree trunk while Julius was at his back putting his restless hands to Miguel’s waist. Julius grabbed slowly and tightly Miguel’s chest and his masculinity. While he was losing his virginity to a stranger, he felt as if he was in a utopian park because it released all his fears and he was able to express his inner most desires. But Miguel was afraid to look at San Pedro Church, which was, adjacent to their position because he knew that in the eyes of God making love to a fellow man is a prohibited act.
After making love for half an hour, the two rested on a bench at the Centennial Park. Miguel opened his brown wallet and gave Julius P500 pesos as service fee. Julius graciously accepted the amount and kept it inside his pocket. The two were both curious about each other so they had a mild conversation for awhile before parting their ways.
“Why are you doing this?” Miguel asked.
“My salary is not enough for my daily needs,” Julius replied.
Julius has been the caretaker of the parks for the past seven years. He usually trims the grass, does landscaping, waters the plans, sweeps the garbage and maintains the total cleanliness of all four parks. He is just a high school graduate whose parents died when he was young. He lives in a rented house together with his younger brother aged 16 in Buhangin. At 5’11 tall, Julius possesses the sex appeal the female and gay community would admire. He has a dark skin with brown eyes, black hair, chiseled jaws and nice physique. He loves to play basketball and computer games during his free time. He is an open minded person, easy go lucky occasionally, shy and quiet, and has a stage fright. Aside from being a park caretaker, Julius has the skills in fixing electronic devices and automotive machineries. When mad, Julius would just keep quiet and does not express his feelings but when sad, he usually stays in one corner and listens to the music. At 25 years old, Julius still has the desire to go to college and if given a chance to get a degree, he would love to finish a criminology course because he dreams to become a policeman since he was a child.
For the next four years, Miguel and Julius have been seeing each other at the parks of San Pedro Street every last Saturday of the month. Their relationship had deepened a lot that it came to the point that Julius doesn’t want to accept any payment from Miguel because he felt that Miguel is not anymore a customer but a special friend. Before doing the forbidden love, the two would eat “balut” or “kwek-kwek” from a street vendor nearby or a drinking session in a karenderia at the back of the city hall in Magallanes Street. It was sad to say that Miguel’s innocence would made him ignorant to the rising cases of HIV infected youth in Davao City. Such alarming cases will make a person be more cautious or even practice abstinence in making love to a stranger but the two were never bothered by this horrifying statistic released by City Health Office of Davao City.
After five years of lust and forbidden desires, Miguel decided to have a HIV test in Southern Philippines Medical Center and in turned out that he is positive to the said virus. This made the young victim revengeful and depressed because he was expecting that Julius had always been free from all of these diseases and viruses. From the hospital, he immediately went straight home and lied on his bed. He hid the result on a drawer inside his closet fearing that his parents might discover his real health condition.
That night, he waited for Julius at the back of the Jose Rizal monument. They did not have any appointment so it was shocking for Julius to see his loyal friend. When Miguel saw Julius walking at the center of the said park, he immediately called him by whistling. Julius recognized the calling and ran straight to the monument.
“What are you doing here it’s not yet the last Saturday of the month?” Julius asked.
“I need you tonight,” Miguel answered with a tiger look.
“Where do you want to do it?” Julius smiled.
“Osmena Park,” replied Miguel who gave a slight smile.
“How’s your day?”
“Not fine,” replied Miguel as he touched the small knife on his side pocket.
“My death angel woke me up this morning and gave me a bad hair day,”
After the conversation the two went to Osmena Park and hide themselves behind a huge tree. The park was empty with people that only the trees and plants were sleeping in the area. Julius ordered Miguel to turn back so that he can start his session. As Miguel was slowly unbuckled his belt, he got a small knife from his pocket and swiftly stabbed Julius ten times to death. Blood came running from Miguel’s hands and immediately he cleaned it using his blue handkerchief. Julius lied dead on the ground while Miguel vanished from the scene bring the bloody knife with him.
Miguel did not go to the park for a year until the murder he committed subsided. He focused on his studies specially his thesis that was giving him sleepless nights and a lot of library work. Between his library research and encoding the document on his laptop he also had time reading all the newspapers of Davao City such as Mindanao Times, Sun Star Davao, and Mindanao Daily Mirror for the latest update of the crime he had done. His conscience was killing him as he saw the picture of the dead body of Julius being recovered by 911. As he was reading the news report, the San Pedro Police station could not find any suspect due to lack of witnesses in the crime scene.
After defending successfully his thesis, Julius graduated in college. A day after his graduation, he visited Quezon Park at around 9:00 PM but avoided Osmena Park. There, he sat on a bench facing San Pedro Street. As he was reminiscing the past with guilt, a lady with a sexy outfit sat beside him.
“I know who you are?” the lady said.
Miguel just ignored the lady who had a very red lips and wavy long brown hair. But the lady did not stop Miguel on starting a conversation. She looked at the young lad.
“I saw you killed the park caretaker,” the lady said.
“You did?” Miguel was shocked and immediately looked straight to the lady.
“Yes, it was Saturday evening; you were having sex at the back of the tree at Osmena Park.”
“But there was nobody there at that time,” Miguel added.
“I was at the comfort room when the two of you arrived and when I was already at the CR’s entrance I saw you left the caretaker lying on the ground.”
“Did you tell the police?”
“So what should I do so that you won’t tell the police?”
“Make love with me,” the lady said as she caressed slowly the young man’s arms. Afraid of being arrested by the police, Miguel concurred to the lady’s request in exchange of not disclosing the crime he committed to the park caretaker.
The two entered at the “My Hotel” Hotel just a few blocks away from the park. They had a conversation before granting the lady’s request.
“By the way, what is your name?” asked the lady.
“Miguel, how about you?” replied Miguel
“Joanna,” she smiled.
Joanna is an 18 year old sex worker who regularly stays either at Quirino Avenue or San Pedro Street for customers. Joanna is an attractive lady with white skin, long wavy black hair and a height of 5’4. She loves dressing, occasionally smokes and drinks, and making herself presentable all the time. Behind this outer appearance lies a God fearing woman who loves to sing in a karaoke bar, and taking a dip in a beach or pool. She throws things when she’s mad and suicidal by lashing her wrist when depressed.
Problem started to arise as Miguel did not use condom for protection. Amidst the warnings and public dissemination of the increasing victims of the said disease, some youth were not responsible enough and not practicing safe sex and Miguel is one of them. As the dawn started to wake the city, the lady dressed herself, fixed her appearance infront of the mirror and left Miguel on the bed sleeping. Miguel woke up at around 9:00 AM and found himself alone in the room but he did not even care where the lady went. The young man fixed himself and went to Jollibee in Bolton Street to have his breakfast.
Miguel ordered a burger, French fries, spaghetti and pineapple juice as his meal. He seated near the glass window seeing the jeepneys and people passed by before his lonely eyes. The fastfood chain was in joyous mood due to the music being played by the store management. There were few customers at that time that two of the service crews were sweeping the floor while the other was cleaning the glass windows. Suddenly, a woman who happened to be the nurse working at the HIV testing center of Southern Philippines Medical Center saw Miguel and approached him candidly.
“May I sit down, I have something to tell you?” the nurse said.
“Aren’t you the nurse at the HIV testing center?”
“Yes I am. I know this is very unethical in my profession but I need your understanding on how I feel on this situation. I want to give you something.”
The nurse got a half sheet paper from her bag and gave it to Miguel by sliding it slowly on the table. Miguel stopped eating and read the paper silently.
“This is impossible!” exclaimed Miguel whose eyes were glowing and sparkling with joy.
“I’m sorry it was my fault. I will wholeheartedly accept any legal complaint against me for negligence,” said the nurse in a sorrowful voice.
“Why should I do that, thank you for this information” smiled Miguel.
Without hesitation, Miguel hugged the nurse tightly with the highest gratitude. The incident caught the attention of the other customers and staff that made the two laughed and decided to leave the place immediately. The nurse went to her work while Miguel decided to go to San Pedro Church to have a solemn moment.
The tranquility of the place and the colorful design of the stained glass of Jesus Christ and his apostle on the windows made the church a suitable haven for those who are seeking refuge. Miguel entered the worship house with remorseful heart, he looked for a place that he could talk to his god intimately. At the Jollibee, the nurse gave him the correct HIV test result, which was, stated that he is negative of the said virus. The nurse acknowledged that she mistakenly wrote the wrong names of the patients on the test result. Instead of writing the name of the patient who is positive, she encoded it with the patient’s name that is negative. The nurse admitted that she still had a hangover due to a birthday party she attended the other night that resulted to delusional thoughts.
Out of the blue, Joanna who had made love to Miguel the other night appeared and sat beside him. She behaved properly and talked to Miguel in a low voice.
“What are you doing here?” asked Miguel but facing the crucifixion of the cross on the altar.
“I came here to say thank you for helping me fulfilling my bucket list,” Joanna replied who also faced the altar.
“What is your bucket list?” asked Miguel with a confused face.
Joanna got a paper from her purse and gave it to Miguel. In curiosity, the young man read the small paper, which was, stated that she is positive with AIDS. It was a jaw dropping test result that made Miguel annoyed and faced the woman with sour expression. The lady just smiled to her victim.
“My final wish in my bucket list is that I may be able to spread my disease to young man like you,” answered Joanna looking straight to Miguel.
“But why?” exclaimed Miguel as tears started to fall from his eyes.
“I just want to have my revenge to a stranger who gave me this condition,” she answered.
The Joanna smiled, got the test result from Miguel’s hand and walked away. Miguel was in a sudden shock and desperation as he realized that his life has already a deadline. He covered his face with both hands and knelt.