Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
As he looked at the clock sitting on top of the piano, Detective Raines let out a slow sigh of annoyance. He had been on the phone with this particular client for more than two hours already, yet to him it felt like they’ve barely started.
It was supposed to be like any other journey home. Four of us were on the left side of the bus. Ann and Lyn were seated in front of me and Mary. Paul was seated opposite me on the right side of the bus, beside the window. On his front was Joy and Marie. It was raining outside, and traffic was making our trip very slow. The girls in front were busy with their conversation. Ken was listening to some music on his mobile phone, and so was Mary who was staring only at the window . I think the only conversation we had was when she told me the reason why she wanted to transfer seats. And as casually as it had started, I naturally ended up sitting again by myself. It seemed that nothing else would happen that night. Joy was the first to depart from the bus. A few meters ahead (and a lot more minutes spent waiting), and Marie left the bus as well. Someone sat down beside me, and it seemed to me that it was only a matter of time before I bid the others farewell and get down from the bus.
The next chain of events are somewhat hazy to me, and there was some time before I could believe that they really happened.
There is a judge who is facing a lot of heat for his decision to inhibit himself from presiding over the trial of a multiple murder case, wherein one of the suspects is a member of a prominent political clan. There are some who say that he was a coward, and some who openly suggest that he should resign from his post. There are some who understand and respect his decision, and there are also those who pretend to understand, but will then proceed with saying that the judge should still have continued with handling the case.
Risk. Duty. Fear. Bravery. Safety. Integrity. These are just some of the words that I’ve heard over the news reports. I find instances like these amusing, because there is always that certain group who will come riding on their high horse, brandishing such words as honor, duty, courage. They couldn’t care less that the judge feared not only for his life, but for the lives of those closest to him. For them, the judge should have upheld his integrity as a member of the Judiciary, and put aside any thoughts of fear. Death threats, whether or not they will be carried out should not be a deterrent from performing one’s duty. It is always, always easy to say things like that. Especially, if you’re not the least bit involved in any way.