Outside the Window

My friend, Leia, bet that I would only last about four to six weeks at my parents’ house before I start missing my apartment in Manila. I just smiled and agreed with the probability. I hadn’t been home since the beginning of the lockdown in March and we had this conversation in November before I finally made my gutsy 12-hour solo drive to the province. I was anxious to see my family, especially my nieces. If the pandemic did not happen, I would have been home in March for Maxene’s birthday, in June for my and my mother’s birthdays and in August for Ella or my father and brother’s birthdays. Covid-19 ruined all that.

By July, I was able to get my driver’s license and I was determined to buy a car so I can drive home on Maxene’s first death anniversary. This was in October and I figured I would have enough time to practice driving before I carry out my crazy idea. A few days before the trip, I got a call from my brother that one of his friends needed a ride home and he offered to drive. The catch was, we had to leave the next day. It was impossible since I still had to get my travel documents and Covid testing had to be done within 72 hours of leaving. I was back to the original plan, but floods from recent typhoons blocked roads to our province so I ended up postponing my trip.

After another month or waiting and preparations, I was finally able to go home. I knew it was a big risk to drive that far alone for a new driver. My desire to be home was far greater and I had no time to get intimidated by the idea of things going wrong along the way. The only thing that worried me was that I did not get any sleep. How can I when I usually sleep at 2 A.M. and I had to leave at 4 A.M. to avoid traffic? All I could do was pray that everything will go well and that at the end of the day, I will be with my family after eight long months! So, with my Spotify Kdrama playlist, I set off on my first ever solo road trip.

It’s been a month since I got here. Before I came home, I was excited at the prospect that I would be able to at least run by the pier in the mornings. I imagined myself sitting on the park benches by the sea sipping coffee, just enjoying the sea breeze and view of Mt. Mayon. On the weekends, my nieces will have playdates and I will take lots of photos and videos. I also looked forward to visiting my cousins’ beach resort that boasted the calmest of sea waters and that splendid view of Mt. Mayon. I had hoped I would finally work on the rooftop garden that I always daydreamed about.

Once I settled in, I realized most of the things I imagined doing would have to stay just that – an imagination. It’s typhoon season and the rainiest of days in my hometown happens in December now. Since I arrived, four or five days in a week would rain. The last time we had a fine weather was last Sunday and we did get to visit my cousins’ beach resort. I had an amazing time! It was my first time to kayak through mangroves and out in the open sea. I was mighty proud of myself. Towards sunset, the sky cleared enough to reveal Mt. Mayon and its perfect cone. It was a lovely sight, and the reason why I say my hometown is one of the most beautiful in the country.

Now a week later, I look outside the window and all I can feel is despair. It’s been raining the whole week again. The only other achievement I’ve had since coming home is expanding my K-drama watchlist. There has been no running by the pier and no rooftop garden. I think I’m close to running out of dry clothes too. The relentless rains are drowning my best laid plans.

But even nimbus clouds have silver linings too, don’t they? Watching every beautiful K-drama made me think of the amazing screenwriters who told their stories. Writers are amazing creatures. Something in the rain made me want to write again. It is said that if you really want to be a writer, you have to write everyday. Write whether you feel like it or not. It doesn’t matter if I produce total garbage or a masterpiece. Just write.

Whether it’s sunshine or rain I see outside the window, I will write.

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