I remember on my twenty-second birthday, after having lunch with my best friend Marie and went to school just for the attendance, we snuck out from our Obligations and Contract Law class. We were going to get the packed lunch I ordered from Nitz a week before my birthday. My birthday mission that time was to feed 50 random street kids we meet along Morayta, Recto and Quiapo Church. When we were about to finish the task we went to this certain park, where public school kids would gather with brown bagged forties and stolen packs of cigarettes. I had never been there before, but my best friend used to go all the time and she was introducing me to everyone. I forgot most of them, but there was this girl there, Nikki... she smelled kinda bad, and her hair was all tangled. I think she did it on purpose, she called them dreadlocks or something, but it didn’t look so good. I asked where she was from and she said she was born in Davao, but she lived on the streets now. When I asked her why, she said, "got nowhere else to go". Then she shrugged her shoulders, lit up a hand-rolled cigarette and smiled at me like I was the biggest idiot she’d ever seen. I never felt so sheltered, you know? I knew I was going home to my cozy little house, where my mama would be folding my underwear and cooking my favorite dish 'adobo' or some shit. And although my father could be mean as a hell, I still had a roof over my head. But I realized back then how fortunate I was for having not to live on the streets and endure the sufferings, hardship and the whatnot that entails with it.
I wonder if Nikki’s still living on the streets or if she found herself a home. Or maybe home is just a feeling, and it doesn’t matter where your feet are. Maybe wherever you are, that’s home.