It’s thirty minutes past five in the afternoon. I was trying to elude the tense air that was trapped inside our house, while reading the July edition of Reader’s Digest when suddenly I sensed some movement from the environment outside. The once calm wind turned into a batch of strong gusts, bringing along some leaves from the trees standing tall in the neighborhood. Droplets of water started to pour afterwards. After a long time, finally, the thirsty ground gets its well-deserved drink.
My concentration on reading the book was diverted all of a sudden. I turned my eyes on the window pane, and watched the raindrops falling gently from the sky to the pale ground. As the rain got stronger, my mind took its opportunity to break away from reality.
The events were still fresh in my memory. Though it has been a long time since that day, somehow the rain reminds me of you. Maybe because it was also raining the last time we met, or something else. Just like chances of bumping a moving vehicle during a rainy day, we stumbled upon each other at a then slippery sidewalk somewhere in the busy, flooded streets of Manila. As I decided to get cover under a waiting shed and try to see if the sky stops crying (and also to fix my soaking umbrella), suddenly a female voice managed to slither its way through the night’s brittle air.
“Uy, pwedeng pasukob?”
The typical me strikes back. The statement that you uttered actually shocked me. The words took minutes to travel through my nerves and register in my brain. With the thought that I wasn’t able to hear what you said, you opted to ask me again, this time with a raised pitch – though still wearing your wonderful smile.
“Ang sabi ko, pwedeng pasukob?”
I was still in doubt though, but after looking around, I noticed that we were the only ones left in the waiting shed. Your innocent face seems to be tired from the day’s activities yet your beauty still shimmers. Your uniform was obviously soaking wet, perhaps after running under the rain-filled sky until you reached the shed. Such a pitiful sight for a woman like you. The sky still goes on doing its job of touching the ground with its glittering pearls. And with you, a stranger this beautiful asking me, I would then be more than willing to share my umbrella.
“Sure. San ka ba pupunta?”
“Pahatid lang ako sa kabilang side, sasakay kasi ako ng LRT pauwi eh.”
“Okay, sige. Tara.”
I held my umbrella with my sweaty hands and we walked along the then flooded street of Faura. You smiled at me, and I almost dropped your bag in surprise. It’s the usual situation whenever I’m with a girl whom I do not know yet. I was always conscious about my movement, I was always trying to show that I’m not nervous. Every minute, every step seemed like forever. Nevertheless, I was afraid, in a way. Relieving the thought, I decided I’d just walk with you until the station and my job is done. No questions asked, it’s just for the sake of being a ‘gentleman.’ But since that day, I felt comfortable walking alongside you. My sweaty hand stabilized unconsciously, and as time passed by, I managed to establish better communication with girls other than you. Hindi na ako naiilang.
As we reached your destination, sadly (I guess only for me), we had to part ways. If only I could walk with you until your home. If only I could walk with you forever. If only we could talk about something. But no. I had to give you your things and decided to wave goodbye to you. Thank God that I brought my umbrella then, and I met you. That’s more than okay for me. I even had a chance to know your name.
“Uy, dito na lang ako. Thanks sa paghatid. Ako nga pala si Raine. Ikaw, ano nga pala name mo?”
“Thanks ulit ah. Thanks talaga.”
“Wala yun. Anytime.”
That’s it. Raine. Perhaps a name after the weather the single day that our paths crossed. A name that will always be stuck in my mind whenever the sky cries. And as I stepped out of the house to feel the rain today, I couldn’t help but remember whatever happened. My old self disappeared. You started it all. You were the one who changed me, though I didn’t have the chance to thank you. Well I’d be contented with reminiscing those moments, knowing that I only have the slightest chance to meet you another time. I was just thinking if you still remember me, the next time we see each other. I doubt it though, if ever that next time comes.
I miss you.