Beneath the Searing Light

Photo by Catherine Dabu/The Flame

He stood at the shed, waiting for his ride. Sweat dripped from his forehead as he looked at his watch. Tapping his fingers, he sighed, “Pahirapan na naman.”

He felt a vibration from his pocket and instantly knew he would be scolded again as he saw several messages from his boss.

Nothing to do now but to anxiously wait, like his fellow commuters who were already flocking the street. 

Numerous vehicles passed by but not a single jeepney came. 

After a long wait, he heard a loud honk—finally. 

People were rushing to get inside. He tripped, barely making it to sit in front. 

He snatched a few coins from his pocket and handed it to the driver. To his dismay, the driver said that it was not enough. 

Taas-presyo na naman ang krudo. Pasensya ka na, hijo. Pahirapan ngayon.” 

He fished out two more coins. 

The jeepney was barely moving. People were whining left and right.

He wiped off the sweat on his forehead after looking at his watch.

The jeepney driver was in a pale state. He offered his water bottle but the jeepney driver declined. He insisted, but the driver shook his head. “Huwag kang mag-alala, hijo. Dala lang ito ng mainit na panahon.” 

The trip became silent.

The vicious wind embraced him as they parted ways. “Ingat, boss!” he said to the driver. F TRIXCY ANNE B. LOSERIAGA

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