He has always hated getting his feet soaked in the rain. The feel of cold water seeping through his sneakers, socks, and then trickling in between his toes is one of his major peeves.
But tonight Dante doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, he doesn’t seem to even notice that his white sneakers and socks have now completely surrendered to the intrusion of dirty rain water. That, for almost fifteen minutes, his feet have been cold and soaking wet.
There he stands, right across the barangay hall, at the street corner where the pot-bellied MMDA officer takes his post every night. Apart from the steady heaving of his chest, Dante is motionless. And drenched—with no umbrella or jacket to fight off the heavy downpour.
“’Toy, baka sipunin ka n’yan,” the pot-bellied traffic enforcer shouts out, taking two steps to the side of the unprotected figure in the rain. “Tingnan mo ako may kapote. Solb na. Yun nga lang, di ako maka-yosi…”
The officer pauses, awaiting a response. He doesn’t get any. On a different night, Dante would have engaged the officer in small talk, perhaps even good-naturedly joke about his pot belly. But then again, on a different night, Dante wouldn’t have been there in the pouring rain. Neither would he have endured even for a minute the uncomfortable feeling of cold feet.
*To be continued*