Of Colored, Dignified Tongues Conference:

Two Prompts:
"Mischief" and "Trauma"

Jean Pada

Image: Jean Pada


The stars are shining as the sky's blanketed: dark. Overwhelmed by this sweet summer breeze as I hear the dogs bark. It's supposed to be a simple night full of laughter. Good vibes, good friends, good food, and go home right after.

The phone rings, message from a friend to a big brother. I should have known that this ring symbolizes disaster. But as teenagers, we were too ignorant to care for danger. So we hop in the car, music on blast, wishing that this moment would last.

We enter the room with positive energy, hands touch as we greet friends.

The room's big and dark. It's late at night, two groups. This combination: a clue for trouble. Then there's commotion, bottles thrown, fists connecting with faces and concrete painting with blood. Now don't get me wrong: I come from a good family and I do well in school. This is just an incident. An incident: society's perception.

Not all teenagers are fools.

Image: Jean Pada. The poem below is dedicated to his sister.


A place meant for happiness and family had just been struck by sadness and agony.
The house filled with people yet it felt empty.
Silence had dominated, this place ain't no longer happy.

This place left in ruins, as if it was just hit by a typhoon.
The echoes from tears dropping roaming around the room.
The floor flooded, each step causing a ripple.
The room filled of unsolved riddle.
That's what mom and pops describe it when it happened.

Now every time I close my eyes at night, an image of a girl appears: what a pretty sight.
You will always be permanently tatted in my heart and mind.
I promise to say goodnight from time to time.

Jean Pada participated in the Of Colored, Dignified Tongues: Writing Conference in Spring 2013. He is a Balboa High School student and part of the Pin@y Educational Partnerships community program.