Like opening beats of a lively music, the first few drops on the tin roof echoed inside the house. It even introduced to my mind a vision of someone tap dancing merrily up there.

When the concentration of the downpour continued, the noise barrage sounded like rapid fire of bullets trying to pierce through, giving me a nightmarish realization of what was it like in the war zone.

I was a bit startled when I heard a soft knock on my window. In such bad weather, who would have braved walking in the rain?

“Ninong?” called out the familiar voice. “Are you asleep?”

I often told him that when my window was closed, I was either asleep or out in the field. Since it was raining, he immediately concluded the other alternative.

“What are you doing out? It’s dangerous for you.”

“Father is with me. We were visiting someone down the road when it rained.”

Almost instantly I was relieved. I had to accompany him back home if he was alone.

“Why did you pass by? Do you need something?”

“I told Father about our conversation earlier.”

“And?” I was expecting him to relate another tall tale his father fed him.

“He told me the truth. He courted Mother for almost five years.”

Aha! That’s more like it. My kumpare probably got himself on the spot, too.

“How did you make him confess? Your father is as slippery as an eel.”

“I told him I will ask Mother about it. He said no. That’s it.”

“Why are you telling me this now? Can this wait till tomorrow? You should go home.”

“I sensed earlier that you know something but you won’t say it. You are protecting Father, don’t you?”

I closed the notebook I was writing on, stood up and headed toward the door. Outside, I could see him wearing his raincoat. His father nodded to me from outside the fence, wearing a larger one but similar in color and make.

“There are a lot things that you still have to learn. When you are grown up, you’ll understand that some things are better left unsaid and things that needed clarifications. But for now, enjoy your childhood.”

He beamed brightly. That innocent joy I also possessed when I was his age often made adults wished they were back to their childhood. It was precious.



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