Yondie, You’re Dozing

It’s twee and silly, but enjoy the moment while the storm rages.

Photo by Amber Wolf — Unsplash

[oh God this thing is embarrassing]

The cold air caused by the uncaring and unceasing storm made the two of us comfortable, if a bit bored. I pretended to sleep on the couch and she was paying attention only to the sound coming out of her earphones. I told her not to use her phone since the power was out (and most likely won’t come back anytime soon), but I couldn’t really blame her if she wanted to stifle her boredom that badly.

The rain crashed into the roof. The wind blew with such ferocity that it produced a grating high-pitched whistle from time to time, although the noise was muffled because of all the boarded up doors and windows. I guess the meteorologists weren’t kidding when they said that Yolanda was going to be that strong. My dad’s in Tacloban for a work trip (stranded, unfortunately), so he’s probably in the downtown area, where the buildings can withstand the rain and wind.

I’m kinda glad he isn’t here, though. He’d let me sink in a pool of my own blood if he found out that I’ve been taking a ladyfriend home.

“It’s getting kind of dark,” The girl said. True enough, the sun was setting, and the few rays of light that entered the house began to escape.

“I’ll get the Coleman, then. Dad probably hid it somewhere in the attic, so I may take a while.” I took my phone out of my pocket and turned on its torch. “You know how my eyes are.”

“I’m more worried about the fact that your house has a damn attic,” she said, taking off her earphones. “How decadent can your family get?”

A charming question. “Not decadent enough to get an emergency lighting system. I’m just gonna get the Coleman now.”

“I prefer a candle or two, though.”

“Uh, why’s that?”

“It sets the atmosphere, like a book from the Romantic period.”

“You’ve been reading Frankenstein a bit too intently,” I said. “You keep banging on about vivid, over-wordy imagery and shit. Your pretentiousness just gets me sometimes. It really does.”

“It’s not like you would understand; you haven’t read a proper book in your life.” She giggled. “Is Frankenstein really the only book you know from the Regency Era?”

I smiled. “Music is for the soul; books are for dorks like you. I’m just gonna get the candles now.”

I headed towards the kitchen, holding my phone up like a proper torch. It was only a few steps away, and soon enough I began to open up the cupboards. I’m fairly sure that’s where we stock our candles, if we have any.

No luck. All I could find was the old lantern that I haven’t seen in years. Unlike the Coleman, it had a distinct lack of LED lights, instead having a barely visible wick encased in glass. Despite that, I could still remember how to use it properly. I checked it and surprisingly, it was still filled with kerosene. Right next to it was a matchbox, also quite aged and most likely unreliable.

I lifted the glass casing and lit the wick, adjusting the flame’s intensity with the control knob. After putting back the glass case, I headed back to the living room.

“Sorry to ruin the atmosphere but-” the girl was on the couch, sleeping peacefully.

Careful not to wake her up, I placed the lantern gently on the coffee table. I guess it’s only natural for someone to sleep when they have nothing to do, but did I really take that long light a damn lantern?

Her phone was on the table, and with nothing better to do, I picked it up. She was apparently listening to the radio, despite the fact she probably wouldn’t pick up any stations with the power out. Was she worried about her family in Hernani? I didn’t think she liked her folks all that much, though, if she decided to go to some guy’s house miles away during a storm.

I don’t know why I did it, but I put on the earphones and started scrubbing the digital dial in the radio app, looking for some form of sound other than static to crop up.

I got bored of doing that after a while, and my thoughts began to wander off as my heart — for some strange reason — sank. The uneasy feeling didn’t fade.

I tried to shrug it off. We’ll all be fine.

Written for Letran Bataan’s literary portfolio. I’m not particularly proud of this piece, but it might be worth something to someone who was affected by Typhoon Yolanda.