The rain still had not stopped. It was already getting dark and my phone’s battery was critically low. I sat, annoyed and wet, inside a small rundown waiting shed a town away from my apartment. I would have been alone if it weren’t for another girl on the other edge of the concrete bench.
The girl had a slender physique and long straight jet-black hair that covered the side of her face. I could have sworn her ears were long and pointed. In the dim light her skin glowed and it was almost translucent. She was wearing a summer dress, as it was summer. But weather was always fickle.
“Ang tagal matapos ng ulan,” she spoke, breaking the rhythmic tapping of water on asphalt and metal.
“Huh?” What a stupid reply!
“Maliliit na patak ng tubig, sinasalo ng simento at bakal,” she said as she stared intently at the curved edges of the rusty roof. She turned to me and for the first time I was able to see her face–for the first time, I was able to gaze upon her eyes, gray, like the rain clouds. She was crying.
She wiped her eyes.
“Paano kung tao yung tubig? Bawat patak ay iisa. Isa-isa silang nahuhulog at umaasa sa ilusyong sasaluin sila.” I was confounded. I did not know what to say back, but I couldn’t let the conversation drop either. I was too mystified to allow that.
“But the cement and metal catch them, don’t they? You said so yourself. Every drop that falls get caught by something,” I tried.
She looked at me with surprise. It was clear she did not expect a reply and immediately I regretted I gave one.
“Di ka ba naaawa sa kanila?” She almost sobbed. Then there was thunder.
I did not know what to say. I fumbled for words and only found shame. But she smiled and I felt calm and warm, as if the cold did not matter.
The bus finally came but I did not want it to be there. I wanted to stay with this enigmatic girl.
She disappeared. I did not know how because I was certain my eyes did not leave her. But she disappeared.
I thought she might have gotten inside the bus and in panic, I climbed up inside. I searched for a face with gray eyes but I only found myself sitting at the back of the bus, disappointed.
The bus started to move. There was no point in going back.
The cold started to get to me. I hugged myself and rested my head on the windowpane, examining the drops that fell on the glass. I saw each of them fall, splatter violently on the surface, only to merge later on with other deformed droplets. Just beyond the windows, up above, the clouds were gray, almost translucent.
“Umiiyak ang langit,” said a little voice. It was a child sitting beside me. I had not noticed him earlier. He was wearing a denim jumper over a plain white shirt. He had beautiful eyes that reminded me of the girl in the waiting shed.
“Yes, I guess so,” I replied.
“Tulad ng babae kanina,” he said with a smile.
I froze. “Are you here alone, kid?” I said, with a gulp right after. And then it happened again–my vision failing me. The child had disappeared.
Born in GenSan and raised in Polomolok, South Cotabato, David Jayson B. Oquendo is an incoming third year in MSU-GSC, studying BS Electrical Engineering. He is a fan of literature and of rain and of other things that get wet.