Goodbye, Rain

Image Description Anj Jimenez (Missbulilit)   |   12 December 2018


Whenever she comes, it's raining.

Sa bawat araw na pumapatak ang ulan mula sa kalangitan, paniguradong darating siya sa coffee shop. And I don't exactly know why she comes in here crying and only when it's raining.

The first time I met her, she was sitting outside the shop and yes, umiiyak siya. That was more or less, eight years before now. She was so young and I didn't know what to do. Mabuti nalang at may dala akong sweet bread noon na ihahatid ko sana sa kabilang shop kung saan may nagpa-special delivery. Iniabot ko iyon sa kanya, nagbabakasakaling tumigil siya sa pag-iyak.

She grabbed the paper bag and ate the sweet bread it contain. Ang iyak niya ay unti-unting naging mga hikbi na lamang. Katulad ng ulan na tumigil, nawala rin ang luha sa kanyang mga mata. Saya ang nakita ko sa mga mata niya matapos matikman ang sweet bread na specialty ng coffee shop namin ni Dad.

At simula noon, tuwing umuulan, dumarating siya.

Pasara na ang shop nang dumating ang iyakin na si Maia. Si Maia na eighteen years old na ngayon at itinuring ko ng nakababatang kapatid. Tulad ng mga maulang araw, papasok si Maia sa shop at uupo sa paborito niyang pwesto, sa upuan at lamesa sa tapat ng cashier kung saan nakikita ko siya. Basta umulan, kahit patak lang, maaasahan kong darating siya at maaasahan niyang papapasukin ko siya kahit magsasara na.

"Ano ang nangyari?"

Dala ko ang natirang sweet bread na naging paborito na niya sa tagal ng panahon. Subsob ang mga palad niya sa kanyang mukha. Paniguradong malungkot na naman siya.

"Nag-aaway..." Malungkot niyang sagot.

Noon pa man hindi klaro kung sabihin niya sa akin ang mga dahilan kung bakit siya malungkot. Palaging self-explanatory. Hindi na ako nagtanong pa, ayaw kong manghimasok sa buhay niya lalo na kung hindi naman niya hinihingi ang opinyon ko. Ang mahalaga narito ako upang bigyan siya ng sweet bread. Sa ganoong paraan, tumitigil ang ulan na nagmumula sa mga mata niya.

"Maia, I was thinking of adding another dessert for summer. Any suggestions?" I asked bothering her as she eats the sweet bread I gave her.

"Kuya Liam, sure ka po ba sa pagtanong sa akin?" Tila nagulat at nagtaka pa siya sa pagtanong ko sa kanya. I mean, why won't I ask for her suggestions? She has been my number one fan since that rainy day eight years ago.

"Yeah," I nodded.

Huminga siya ng malalim bago sumagot. "Hmm, something sparkely with fruit of course! Kakainin ko 'yun. Basta ikaw ang gumawa Kuya."

I didn't answer right away. Not because of what she said, but because of the crumble she had on her face scattered all over her mouth.

"S-sorry kuya, sobra na naman ako. Masyadong childish at hindi bagay sa coffee shop." Maia said as she bows her head in shame.

"Bakit ka nagso-sorry?"

"Ang weird lang kasi ng suggestion ko." She smiled sourly.

I leaned onto the counter and reached for her head. "Hindi naman masama ang request mo," ginulo ko ang buhok niya. "Your kuya Liam can make it work."

I went to the kitchen and started creating her request. Sumunod siya para panuorin ako kung paano ko gawin ang request niya. As far as I remember, this is the first time she went inside the kitchen.

Soon after, I asked her to sit back to her table as I assemble the summer dessert she suggested. She was staring at the window as I get out of the kitchen. Hindi ko napansin na malaki na rin pala ang pinagbago niya simula noong una ko siyang makilala.

"Your order is served."

I put a tall dessert glass onto her table with its matching long dessert spoon. The dessert is composed of my signature sweet bread crumble at the bottom and on top of it was a spoonful of white fluffy mousse. Next was the fruit she specifically requested consists of diced kiwis, strawberries, and mixed berries. And on top, the berries were sprinkled with powder sugar and sprinkles.

"Nakuha ko ba ang gusto mo?"

Sandali siyang natulala sa dessert na gawa ko ngunit ilang saglit pa ay malawak na ngiti ang nakita ko sa mukha niya. "Yes kuya, but this looks better than I imagined!" She grabbed the spoon and started eating.

It makes me happy when I see her happy.

"Ang sarap nito kuya Liam!"

"I know," I made it a point for her to see me straight in the eyes. "And it's all thanks to you,"

I saw her eyes widened and I liked it. "Ikaw ang dahilan kung bakit ko nagawa ang dessert na yan, and for that I thank you."

I smiled but she didn't. She was tensed all over.

"...Liam, I..."

I heard her say but it was just an undertone.


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12 July 2018