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  • It was to the left of the street lamp that the girl and the boy were huddling like matchsticks whose heads well up with unfamiliar desires they neither owned up to nor named yet. The bulging awning above them could collapse anytime with its collected rain. She shifted her feet frequently so that her starched, pleated skirt (the color of the Virgin’s veil at the church) would not brush too closely against his knees.

    There was a brief moment when she wished the rain would pour altogether, rendering awnings, starched skirt, newly-shined shoes, poplin blouse and collared shirt useless. The wait was insufferable.

    She was buying DMC yarn numbers _ and _ , red and black, no, red and violet. He was on his way home, he spotted her, asked about the day's Shakespeare — was it Sonnet 29?— when it started to pour. The stall of embroidery yarns was a collapsible, mahogany briefcase lined with colorful loops and spools, the vendor threatened to clap it shut anytime soon if she didn’t make up her mind. “Storm signal no 2!” the vendor said, meaning close up shop.

    It would not have mattered:
    the cross stitch project would have been tossed
    into the Home Room basket
    with the Nancy Drew books and diaries that go,
    ”Today Mr. CrushOftheNation and I …”

    Fifteen and quite well-bossomed,
    the rain and the crowded umbrellas held the key
    to her next page: should he
    or should he not
    be her first kiss and love?

    endnote: The high school I went to was on Paz Street in Manila. *I love the 1964 movie, “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg” and its theme: "I Will Wait for You" The Franco-Spanish mix-up in the title of my story is deliberate

    photo courtesy of wikimedia commons creator Roland Godefroy under creative commons Parapluies de Cherbourg
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