THE WEIGHT of the sea seemed to settle at the pit of my stomach, and for the first time in a long while, I felt substantial. As I stood by the coastline watching the water steadily ebb and flow, the wind gently brushed against my face as if consoling me that at the moment everything was still fine.

In the periphery, I noticed two kids sitting silently, separated by an invisible distance neither measurable from east to west nor north to south, perhaps charting their own personal waters. Their hair bounced in the wind, and I could imagine it trying to console them as it had attempted to console me—but as to whether it had been successful or not, their faces gave nothing away.

My gaze turned back to the sea, and as if on cue, at a physically unreachable distance, lightning struck. The gush of the wind suddenly grew strong as if urging us to move away. Patches of dark clouds soon loomed within my field of vision.

I glanced at the kids. The girl had gotten up and seemed to be convincing the boy to get up too, but it was only as she dragged him away that I realized—elsewhere yet closer, it had already been raining.

I gave the sea one last look. The lines separating the calm before a storm and the eye of the typhoon was much vaguer than I thought, it seemed. MARIA ANTOINETTE A. MALICSE

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