Caramel Beer

“You have to go get some cover. This rain is mad.”
Says my brain half filled with caramel beer.

Holding my tiny old umbrella, I dashed across the nearest bus stop. Taking refuge in this lonely roof at 2 in the morning is not my idea of spending my weekend. Not in this rain, not when I know its a hell lot better at home, with my dogs and warm socks. But I dont blame myself for staying out late, that caramel beer is a gem. And I’m just ill with the thought of spending another weekend alone. These after work hours with friends are what I live for nowadays. Oh how my life reeks of freedom.

Staring at the traffic lights, I counted one to sixty and back. I counted each blink of the yellow light as it transitions to red. Very few instances I would stare long into speeding cars, a stray cat or into those tall buildings with lights off.

“Where are the taxis when you need them huh?”
Says my brain half filled with caramel beer and boredom.

I fumbled inside my bag looking for things – Candies? Pepper Spray incase some psycho approached me? My earphones? I cant remember what I was looking for, all I can recall is seeing a familiar car stopping right infront of me. Right infront of my wet converse. Right infront of my folded jeans. Continuously, uninterrupted, almost cynical. For a moment there, my heart and my brain went into their usual 4 second battle, debating whether I run and look certainly crazy or lift my head and summon my perfect catatonic smile. Moreover, my hand continued to look for that mighty pepper spray.

I decided to smile, as I lift my head and met that familiar face peeking thru the car window thats opened halfway. My hand stopped fumbling, and I felt my heart pierced in random spots where I am almost healing. It surprised me how more painful it felt. That familiar tinted window rolled down, where I used to draw perfect sun shapes, where I used to write our names. That car window that is almost always dewy whenever the aircondition fail as we drive our way thru rainy afternoons. That familiar stare. That familiar face angled in a way that he always do whenever he sees something interesting – just like the first time I ask him to watch some real shooting stars with me. He asked me if that’s even possible. I showed him a local announcement from the computer and he smiled. We watched hundreds of meteors radiating from different parts of the night sky. His face angled in that same delicate way as I watch the lights flare up in his eyes.

The rain, as if in purpose, starts to rush down its entirety, as if in rage, as if in absolute fury. Fuckin downpour.

“Hop in.” he said. He started saying things against the heavy rain. I was only able to make out words like “its late”, “squishy”, “same place” out of the long monologue he said. His voice is drowned by the downpour. Better, I thought to myself. Because I dont know what it will be left of me if I hear his voice, if he even speaks my name. He continued to say things I cant understand, as the wind howled and cried. I wanted us, for a moment, to stay that way. For a brief moment, I was lost in the delusion that he and me still existed. A delirium of the past. An old perfectly framed photograph above my desk. A tear-soaked love letter carefully read over and over again. But only for a fleeting moment. As he unintentionally lifted his hand and waved at me to come closer, I saw a flash of gold ring around his finger. I smiled. I knew my time is over. I knew it once before.

“You have to go. “ I said. It sounded as adamant as I wanted it to be. It sounded determined despite of my heart falling apart into jagged little pieces.

He smiled and I know he understood.

“You take care of yourself, please“, he spoke.

“I will.” came out of me in a whisper.

I stared aimlessly on the road as he drove off.

With converse and folded jeans, I walked towards the open sky and let the rain soak whatever’s left of me. I wanted to cry, scream and blame the heavens for everything they let me carry on my shoulders. But I didnt. I dont have to. I just wanted to stand there and let the rain do its wonders. And thats what I did. It felt good.

“It hurts, I know. But someday, you will see this as one of the most beautiful moments of your life.”
Said my brain half filled with caramel beer and hope.

And for that one fleeting, ephemeral moment, I swear I felt the rain tapped gently on my shoulders.

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Published by

Jona Alday

A corporate slave who finds joy in motivating and leading people but ultimately yearns for weekends and plotted vacation leaves. An Engineering graduate who HATES Math. An acrophobic who conquers mountains. A lover of sleepy towns, dawn, poetry, pancit canton and cats.

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