I was on my way home, just several meters away from the office. Compared to before, I probably looked more decent and dignified. I walk with confidence and an air of being street-smart now, because loved ones would tell me I looked easy to fool, that I was naive. True enough, I could be. I was. So good friends before told me too to be more assertive.
At a time when I have more faith in myself, and even believe in my own loveliness as I am and not with how society measures it, I guess there was a time to be tested.
With my tiny lunchbox in my hand and a red umbrella in the other, in a black cardigan given to me by my loving parents, I passed by my usual way; when I reached the area where there were big unkempt trees and a dirty gate, there was a group of male bystanders (erm, bysitters (?) because they were sitting on the sidewalk) in front of a small barbecue spot. You know how you put a simple grill at the sidewalk – that kind of barbecue spot.
Because I felt that something rude might happen, given our culture today of how people view women, I continued to stride on and rub my nose, as if I was nursing a cold. So that I would look discreet. So I would be unnoticed.
But I heard it.