I always take the bus on the way home and that day was no different, mainly.

Halfway through the ride, as I was enjoying the mellow music plugged in my ears, raindrops stained the clear window I was staring through. I felt a rush of panic as I recall that I left my umbrella at home in a quick leaving.

129… 128… 127. The numbers on the road posts were quickly passing one after another. As I was feeble at remembering places, these numbers were the only sign I rely on to know where I am. As soon as it gets to 1, that’ll be my cue to get off the bus. Unfortunately, I’ll be there very soon and the rain had only gotten worse. By the time the bus reached 26, the skies were fully covered with dark and heavy clouds. At 10, I finally gave up hoping and decided to run to the nearest shade and let the pouring pass. So reaching number 1, I got off and ran.

I stood in front of a closed store building while drying my hair with a handkerchief. As I wipe my face and look up the sky, I knew I was going to be here for a while. A relaxing piano piece played next on my phone and as I was about to grab the device, another bus parked and unloaded the rushing passengers. It might have been the combination of the cold, heavy rain and the calming music in my ears that I have found myself falling in a trance with the flow of people getting off the blue bus parked a few feet from where I was standing. My vision soon blurred out as my mind occupy my consciousness with a memory from two and a half years ago.

I was standing at the very same spot, soaked and exhausted from a long day at school. I considered unfortunate for having a busy day combined by a painful stuck-in-traffic scenario to be sealed by a strong storm. I had no umbrella and I was stuck in the sea of people as desperate as I was to take shade at almost midnight. Adjusting to college life was exhausting and by this point, I was ready to crack and fall in tears.

It was then that I received a text from my boyfriend, now ex. He asked me where I was and as I was typing my response, I heard a familiar voice that sent a wave of warmth throughout my shivering body. I saw his tall, rugged body making its way through the hassling crowd. I wanted to run and embrace him with all the strength I have left, but I was too surprised to move and all I could bring myself to do was greet him with a teary eyed but smiling face. I felt a strong urge to kiss him right there and then to show how much it meant to me that he came, and yet I chose to remain with a tired composure. He carried my bag and held me tight as we venture through the rain, together under one umbrella.

Soon I found myself sitting beside him inside a jeepney. I felt my body relax as he wraps his arm around me. I remember resting my head on his shoulder while thinking, ‘this is it. I can just melt in this warmth all night.’ As it was crazily traffic and the vehicle kept going and stopping, I had a hard time getting a rest as my head bumps at every break. He probably felt my pain for he placed his had on my head to keep it steady and whispered that I get some rest. Hearing his soft, loving voice put my racing heart at ease. Feeling safe right there and then, I dozed off.

HOOOOONK. The sound of the bus awoke me from my flashback. The blue bus had just left and this time, a white one with red letters replaced it in its place. It was at this moment that my eyes started to get misty.

I was staring at the passengers unloading and kept hoping that one of them will be him. I was starting to imagine him holding an umbrella and offering to share it with me wearing his most charming smile I’ve missed so much. I kept hoping and praying. It didn’t even have to be until I get home. Even just a few seconds of being next to him and I promise I’ll make up my own excuse to part ways, just so I wouldn’t have to cry in front of him because of how much I terribly miss him. I can settle with that… But for course, he wasn’t one of those passengers. This isn’t a movie or a story, and even if it was, he wasn’t meant to share that scene with me because he belongs to some other heroine.

At this thought, I wiped my tears and ran out the rain, struggling my way through the strangers following the flow of people. I was able to take another shade at a small street-side eatery. It was then that the rain started to ease. I looked up to a slightly brighter sky before looking back one last time at the bus unloading passengers.

I imagined him getting down, holding an umbrella. Seeing me did not make him call my name with his loving voice. Instead he offered to share the umbrella with a straight, emotionless face like he was complying to a social norm and nothing more. I will act hesitantly to take it and cover my gleeful heart with a small, pretentiously forced smile. Then we’ll share small, casual talks that friends and acquaintances normally share with smiling faces, not these obligatory little smiles we’ll both wear to make each other feel how uninterested we care at whatever each other says. Then when that 15-25 ends, I will thank him and he will reply with an obligatory ‘you’re welcome’ statement. He’ll jokingly ask what could have I done without him, to which I’ll respond with a laugh and bid goodbye.

But the moment I turn around, my smile will face. With the cry of my bleeding heart, I’ll answer in whisper…

“I would’ve ran through the rain in tears.”

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