Friday, May 11, 2007
I've often imagined meeting him on a day like this.
Halfway to my next stop, the rain poured. I forgot to bring my umbrella and I started to worry that it would not let up by the time I need to go down the bus. When I reached Philcoa, fortunately or unfortunately, the downpour has lessened to a drizzle. Not strong enough to drench me, but not harmless either.
Upon alighting the bus, I ran. Up the stairs of the overpass, hurrying, clambering, as much as my sore back could manage it. There were so many people avoiding large puddles, zigzagging this way and that. Some of them carried umbrellas, blooming multi-colored mushrooms of the city. Some of them were like me, umbrella-less --- half-frightened the skies would open up to play a cruel joke and drench us to death.
An old woman veered towards me to avoid a muddy spot and I had to move closer to the edge of the bridge. My altophobia kicked in and I suddenly felt cold nausea clamp upon me. For half a second, I was really afraid I'd lose my balance, topple over the railing and crash to the busy avenue below. But before I can even imagine it, another scene popped into my mind. A hand from behind me reached out to steady me, and a soothing voice asked me, "Are you okay?" It felt so real that I whirled around to check if somebody was really there.
But, of course, nobody was.
Although disappointing, the event did steady me. Once sure of my feet, I moved on again. I got into an FX and rode to Manila. This incident could easily be forgotten, if only I can let go of the what-could-have-beens.
I imagined meeting you today. You were there on the bridge and you made me feel safe. Another dimension of this world might have played out differently. Somewhere in this multiverse, maybe you did reach out to help me. Maybe you did ask if I was okay. Maybe you asked for my name and gave me yours.
I will think of these possibilities and hope that the day I meet you in this reality is at hand.