Monday, May 25

Refresh

photo by FRANCES MARIE G. IGNALAGA/ THE FLAME

THE gray dinosaur glared at me.

Its dead white eyes stared at my distressed face. My brows furrowed. For the past ten minutes, I have been helplessly pressing Ctrl and F5. To no avail, the screen looked the same.

I pressed the spacebar and the dinosaur sprang to life.

Tap.

My body tensed, I should not be having fun when my grades waited for me in fiery orange and red.

Tap.

I can only see my school work heading into one direction — failure. Online classes have been gnawing at my brain for days but so did everything else.

Tap.

I narrowly missed a pixelated cactus. I bit my lip and the space bar clacked as I frustratingly attacked it.

Tap.

The pace of the game accelerated. I could feel my pulse pounding loudly. It was like the world; one moment everything was alright, the next, everything changed.

Then it became quiet.

Tap.

All of a sudden, birds started swooping in. With each increasing tap, I was reminded of rising numbers of confirmed cases and deaths. In every second, someone’s life was slowly ticking away along with another health worker’s energy and will.

Tap.

The setting changed into nighttime. It was dark and uncertain, much like the future. No vaccine, no cure — a country that showed inconsistent leaders and confusing regulations. There are only the empty eerie streets, the hungry, and the dying bodies.

My finger slipped. Game Over.

Once again, I pressed Ctrl+F5 and waited. MARIA PAMELA S. REYES

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