I met Mita two weeks ago. I would always take the same route going home, walking from the MRT station, but that day I decided that I might as well try something new. I was surprised to find her on the street, she was sleeping on some dirty newspapers and there was a puppy lying next to her. She couldn’t have been more than six years old. The puppy woke her up and she saw me. She walked up to me and said “mano po” taking my hand to her forehead and I tried to find something to give her, but my bag only had my sketchbooks and pencils. I told her that I couldn’t give her anything then and she said “Ok po, have a good night po!” with a radiant smile. I promised her that I would be back and give her something the next day and she smiled and gave me another thank you.
That’s how I ended up going here every day. I always make sure Mita has something to eat before I go back home and she’s nothing but smiles. I asked her why she was alone and what happened to her parents, and she told me she didn’t know. She had always lived her life on the street, but that didn’t matter to her, she could always count on the kindness of strangers to help her.
Today I asked her if begging was enough for her, if she had something to eat every day. Mita told me that there were times when people just walked by, they always pretended not to see her and that would make her sad sometimes, but there was always her guardian angel to help her.
She told me there would always be this kind angel that left her flowers every time she slept. Mita enjoyed how pretty they were, but there were those days when she had nothing to eat. She told me they tasted like sweet fruits, like a mango. My heart broke a little after hearing that, I don’t think this is the way things should be, no one’s life should be like this. I gave her some Jollibee take out and told her I’d see her tomorrow. Mita’s “Thank you Ate.” Always came with a giant smile. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that.
The next day was senseless. I was walking home at sunset and there was a policeman blocking off the area of the street where Mita was. I don’t think I stopped crying as I heard the news. She was trying to save her puppy and pushed it out of the way of a taxi. She didn’t make it. The policeman asked if I knew her and asked if I knew her parents. I dried my tears and told him what I could, but there wasn’t much that Mita let me know.
I stayed at the corner for a few hours. It was the least I could do for her. Her spot still smelled like flowers and I said a prayer for her while I was there.
I took one last look at the place that I met her and saw there were flowers there. I know that I won’t be able to forget the girl with that smile. Someone else must have known her because I could hear a voice calling her name in the distance. I said my last goodbye and walked back home.