Monday, July 22, 2024

Sunburn

By Asherah Rojo | The Sillimanian Magazine

Books, coffee, papers, and blue light.

Nicole sat on her desk chair like a shrimp, dressed in her pajamas which consisted of a large shirt and loose shorts. If she looked in the mirror, she might’ve convinced herself that she looked like a female version of Adam Sandler, but without the humor nor the net worth. 

“What time is it?” She got up with a yawn and pulled up the blinds of her room when suddenly, the sunlight pierced through the window. She fell backwards, hissing like a vampire.

“I was up the whole night? Wait no, I slept at 12, then woke up at 3, then slept again, then woke up at 9.” She scratched her head. If she didn’t have her phone it would have been impossible to make sense of time, and consuming black coffee the entire day didn’t do her any better.

Her mind raced. Every thought was like a fly buzzing inside her head. These past stress-filled weeks made her tired and numb. She often ate irregularly, lived on instant noodles and Foodpanda, barely talked to anyone and went nowhere besides the laundromat and the water refilling station. Only now that she’d seen the light had it dawned on her. 

“That’s it! I’ve had enough!” With newfound inspiration from the glimpse of the sun, she stretched her limbs, took her phone, and called her friends. When they picked up, they bombarded her with questions like, “Where have you been?”, and “Are you okay?”

“I wasn’t gone for a decade guys.”

“It felt like it, Nic!” 

“I think you need to go to church. It’s Sunday. You need—”

“I need a beach! A resort! Escaño! Northpoint! Valencia! Siquijor! Wherever! Save me from Taxation!” She cried out dramatically. Sure, her studies were everything to her, and her mind was set on becoming a CPA lawyer. Law was her passion, and accounting was her playground, but this lifestyle? It was draining.

“Road trip this lunchtime then?”

“I’ll get ready!”

Soon, they were honking out her window. In post-haste, she ran down the stairs, got into the car, and the second-year party vroomed away by the deep blue sea. With the windows down, playing Dominic Fike’s Sunburn album, she welcomed the salty air with pleasure. From lunch at Moon Café, afternoon at Liquid Dauin, and lastly, a late-night stop to Kantahanay at Northpoint, she hadn’t felt this free in a while.

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