It was bound to happen. After visiting two malls to canvass the price of a sofa that could double up as a bed, we finally picked one that was modestly-priced. Problem was, we still had places to visit that day and couldn’t go around lugging that thing with us. So, after paying for it, we left word we’d just pick it up in the evening before the mall closed.
Being a Sunday, we had gone to church earlier, had lunch, paid for the bed, and then spent the rest of the afternoon at the family compound (which we call the mothership) to visit my dad. Near evening after dinner, we did a little shopping for gifts, and returned to the mall to pick up the bed.
Being double-sized, we of course had foreseen that the dang thing could not fit inside the usual sedan-type taxis. So, we waited for one of those bigger cabs, with a wider back compartment where it fit easily, and then sit us three comfortably up front in the passenger side. Not easy to do, as we later found out.
Four things. The mall was closing. We had to wait outside on the steps, along with the rest of the Christmas crowd that was also waiting for rides. Then, it being the rush hour, taxis were difficult to find.
And lastly, it began to rain. Hard. After about an hour, a good-hearted driver in a small cab was finally willing to try fitting the three of us and the bed. To no avail. With no minute to spare, and the rain falling harder this time, we decided that mum and son go on ahead and take the cab. I alone could wait for that bigger ride.
After a while, the whole block had become empty because of the rain, except for the lone man on the sidewalk, with an umbrella and a bed. Makes a pretty picture.
Another hour had passed when I at last decided to sling the bed onto my back by its tethers, and move to another street further away from the mall. A police car passed by, briefly stopped, its inhabitants curiously eyeing me, then smiled and moved on. I had thought ‘did I have the bed’s receipt on me, or did I leave it with my fam who went ahead?’ I would have had a lot of explaining to do, had the dynamic duo stopped and asked questions.
Another half hour by the curb, and still no empty taxi in sight. The rain had intensified by then, but I walked another block, this time next to Apo View, hoping to hail a big enough cab. Not successful there, I finally decided to walk the whole length till I reached the hospital. Surely, I’d catch one there. Totally drenched (and almost drained of hope), I consumed another full hour, before the perfect taxi pulled up and took me in. The driver later said that he was already headed home when took pity on me, standing by the curb with my baggage.
Only a single thought played in my mind as I settled in the front seat. The image of walking in the rain with someone dear may be romantic, just like in the song, but my walk has got to be a first in any book. The things I do for love.