Sunday, August 7

Afterglow

by GHEMARIE C. LABSAN

photo by RAINIEL ANGELYN FIGUEROA/THE FLAME

I TURNED my laptop off. I was rubbing my forehead as I heaved a sigh. Another Zoom meeting would have made my knees buckle. 

Suddenly, I heard a tapping on my window followed by a pitter-patter on the rooftop. Why was the sky the darkest it had been in years? 

There was a time when the sky blushed in vibrant gold as I joined the Welcome Walk during my freshman year. As deafening cheers filled the air, I could not stay still when I entered the Arch of the Centuries. I chuckled when my blockmates whispered about how we should never pass out of the Arch or else we would not be able to graduate.

I thought of an afternoon in Dapitan, craving the taste of Mang Tootz’s turon and Angkong’s siomai that kept me going whenever I ran out of fuel. I thought of a breezy day in Lover’s Lane, and how hands could freely clasp while being surrounded by paved walkways, swaying trees, and stone seats. I thought of late-night travels from España to my home. The lights gleaming from the Main Building used to illuminate the streets I walked on. 

When I opened my window, I smelled the petrichor in the air. I long for the day when gray clouds would finally pass and the sun would settle. When I thought of UST, I longed for the afterglow. F

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