Waiting for Maskman

There was a time she wasn’t afraid of rain. She grew up in a leaky house, but a house with space enough for children to run around and entertain themselves, as the adults contemplated about the government, the poor, and people who did not have their same morals and values.

“He bought a new TV! If only he saved that money to buy his family a proper house, they wouldn’t be living along the riverbanks right about now.”

She paused, her curiosity shifting from running after her older cousin Magda, to tall people standing around in a circle. She eavesdropped like a ghost as her uncle talked about the TV-buying man who, with his reckless shopping act, condemned his family to a nearby evacuation center. Her aunts and other uncles nodded.

She did not exactly understand what they were talking about, but it made her run to their kitchen and check up on their own TV. She sighed in relief knowing that it was safe and sound. There was no electricity so she could not watch it at that moment. But when it comes back, she had Maskman and her yaya’s telenovelas to look forward to. At the meantime however, she and Magda had to bond through a different activity and her yaya was mopping the floor.

There were pails in every corner of the big house, but there were puddles too, where pails failed to catch rainwater because it decided to seep through floors instead of the ceiling.

That was where Magda was standing in front of, when she eventually got back to her cousin. There was water creeping on the floor, flowing out the doorway of Magda’s big sister and the eldest cousin’s room. She watched as Magda grinned and beckoned her over. Magda was holding a toy AA battery-powered fan.

Both dropped down the dry part of the floor and lied on their stomachs, inches away from the growing puddle. Magda giggled, pointed the fan towards the puddle and the eldest’s doorway, and then turned it on. Beside Magda, she laughed hysterically and blew as hard as she could, fooling herself that she was helping the fan. They would keep laughing even until the eventual shrieking of the eldest cousin.


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