Prose and poetry

Nine PM on a rainy Thursday

My shaking hands held a dingy, pale blue umbrella.
 
Philcoa! Mga Philcoa, babaan na!
Staggered off the jeepney, mumbling an apology to the lady whose shiny red vinyl shoes I stepped on.
Looked at my watch. It was already 9PM, yet the street was alive and bustling with activity. Vendors trying to sell more fruits and faulty umbrellas before they pack up for the night. Students and employees elbowing each other, running to board a jeepney, in a rush to get home and rest their heads on their comfortably warm beds.

Me, I was standing still as a statue. Staring straight ahead, into the numbness and nothingness that has seemingly consumed me. All around were the lights of fast food signs, and headlights, and brake lights, and every other kind of light, yet I was in a much darker place where superficial illumination could not reach.
The only thing I felt at that moment was the cold. The stinging breeze on my face—the stray raindrops on my feet—the metal of my umbrella—nothing was so real to me at that moment as the union of metal and plastic of the umbrella, keeping me safe, somehow, from the elements.

Ela is a twentysomething who is constantly getting stuck in self-destructive behavior and bouts of low self-esteem. She struggles with depression and writes to relieve herself of her feelings. Sometimes she even blogs about other things like makeup and positivity. One of her pieces was published in the Inquirer Young Blood in October 2017. She likes cats, dogs, and sometimes even people.

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