I woke up last night with a tap on my shoulder. It was my brother, who usually doesn’t bother me asleep or awake, as long as I keep myself out of his territory. My surprise turned into shock when he murmured “Nakita ko sa labas, nakakalat,” and handed me my wallet, IDs, ATM card, credit card, and all other plastic cards which, in their usual state, are inside the black three-fold Marithe Francois Girbaud (fake) wallet which I got eons ago and never bothered to replace. I thought it was just a dream but my cat who sleeps beside me shared some of her fur and got them into my nostrils, giving me a sneezing fit. People don’t sneeze like that in dreams, with body shaking and giving off nasal by-products into the air (eww!). My brain cells spent several nanoseconds trying to process the information and came up with two possibilities, namely: a) I was so sleepy when I got home that night and never noticed that those items were subjected to gravitational pull, and b) some intruder tried breaking in and left those things in his flight. The second option made more sense upon examining our bedroom window. The screen was ripped off from the upper left-hand corner of the window and my bag was stuck in the uppermost opening of the glass jalousie. Only my umbrella and kikay kit (yes, I do have one) were left inside the bag, my USB and earphones were hanging on the edge of the slashed screen.
So how did he do it? (Now, there’s a case of sexism from someone who declares herself a progressive thinker especially when it comes to gender issues.) I usually leave my bag on the upper bunk of our double-deck bed, where I sleep as well. But that night, as was the case since a couple of nights ago, I didn’t sleep there because of the suffocating heat. Instead, I went to the living room and snoozed on the rubber mat.
The bed was positioned against the wall and formed an L with the window. The robber would have an easy time getting hold of the bag by using a meter-long rod and pulling it out, which he did, leaving behind the branch he has probably used in other pilfering endeavors. To his credit, he left the useless (to him) stuff and took only what he could benefit from. I could imagine his dismay when he opened that wallet, thick only with the “loyalty” cards and receipts, a doctor’s prescription, bus tickets, MRT and LRT cards, a list of things to accomplish before I die, another list of books to buy, and the ticket to last month’s Starstruck the Final Judgment. It’s a trash bin really, never put any money in it. He got the last trace of my recent salary though. That last three hundred and seventy-something pesos I kept in my ID case because I’m too lazy to carry my wallet around, and the coins in my purse (yes, even that) leaving behind a peso in it and three 25 cents scattered on the ground.
That was 3:30 in the morning, and after some CSI-ish inferring and some suggestions on how to catch the frigging son of a b (i.e., collecting the fingerprints of the people within fifty-meter radius and matching the samples with those left on my stuff, and “ipakulam natin,” as Kuya suggested), I went back to sleep, fully aware that I can’t get my property back. What annoyed me was his audacity to disturb our peace in that relatively peaceful neighborhood and the realization that window screens can not protect us from the more rapacious breed of mosquitoes.