Photo by Jianzen Deananeas/ THE FLAME


A LOUD burst of laughter permeated the air as the trio walked down the streets. Children turned their heads in shock and the vendors in annoyance. 

Ray stared at his friends and savored a familiar sight. It has been a long time since they have seen each other’s faces again. 

A day out together has been in the plans for some time but was continuously delayed. Luckily, it was nearing the holidays, so they had the opportunity to return home. 

They glanced over the area, a familiar street without the familiar chatter of schoolchildren. Curiously and woefully, they approached the rusted gates of their childhood.  

“I can almost hear Ms. Bonifacio scolding us for being late,” Ray laughed.

On the very same pavement, he remembered his entire class– all huddled over on the ground as they assembled a parol half their size. The times when they chatted as they leaned against the rough, colorful walls were long gone, as were the layers of paint on the walls.

They walked past old, barren classrooms that used to be filled with paper butterflies and pop-up books; but now, it seems that the chalk dust has settled.

Ray then wandered away from his friends and went to a secluded corner of the campus. He stared at the overgrown vines around the rusty metal beams and remembered the time when they tearfully bid farewells after their graduation.

As they walked past the exit door, Ray looked at the place which they once called their little world. He sighed: “It seemed like even our little world was not immune to time.” F

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