Red brake lights set the road ablaze. Caloy shifted in the driver’s seat, he gripped the steering wheel as the long hell of a queue burned right before him.
“Eto na naman tayo,” he heaved a sigh. He stared at his bag of purchase in the passenger’s seat: a few tablets of paracetamol, vitamins, and food. Everyone’s throat in their house had been sore, their bodies lay with fatigue.
As a firstborn and the only healthy person under their roof, Caloy regularly ran errands. This made him whine and think of his unfinished works and household chores. Involuntarily, he caressed the hanging rosary in the rearview mirror.
He touched the rosary beads one by one and pondered how this looming dread seemed so familiar. How this burden— once was lifted because of possible face-to-face classes, began to weigh him down again.
The queue advanced. Caloy let go of the rosary and shifted the gear into drive, but the car still appeared like it did not move ahead.
“Parang ngayon lang,” he whispered to himself, “akala mo sumulong ka na, pero nandito ka pa rin.”
Caloy gazed at the predicament in front of him and thought about the impending ones. When the last light of evenfall withdrew, he pressed the radio control button to cloud his misery. The radio spoke: “Today, the Philippines records the highest daily tally of cases ever since the pandemic started…” F CZERIZHA KAIZEL S. ADZUARA