False Victory


The summer heat urged me to steal as it continuously made sweat trickle down my back. As the raging ball of fire governed the skies, its rays hit the enticing bottle of Sprite that was perched on the counter of the sari-sari store across the street. I could not help but be drawn to it.

Daydreaming about the fizzy drink’s sweet taste made the bottle seem to gradually inch towards me as it effortlessly pulled my gaze.  My thirst needed quick quenching, and the longer I stared at the Sprite bottle from afar, the more stealing plans I devised.

Unfortunately, my scheming halted at the sight of Paolo, my long-time rival. He arrived panting on his bicycle at the far end of the street while clutching a woman’s purse— his snatch of the day, perhaps.

Even from the distance, I sensed Paolo’s similar goal of stealing as he intently eyed the drink. 

Instinctively, I charged towards the store with a hand above my forehead, shielding my eyes from the sun.

I ran faster as Paolo swiftly pedaled in the same direction. My parchedness increased but I refused to be defeated. To my dismay, he arrived first.

Loser,” he smugly mouthed before grabbing the drink. 

Just as I was about to wallow in frustration, I squinted as my eyes darted to the drink.

I smirk upon realizing how Paolo bore no triumph after all— the bottle was empty. TAFFY ARELLA M. BERNALES


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