Letter no. 31: Bad News on a Bad Day
Seven in the morning. It’s raining cats and dogs. Six feet were on a race to catch the first train: a pair of Parisian boot, a pair of Crocs slip on and a pair of Converse with dissimilar neon shoelace. Rushing like superman, they were very prompt to save the world, I mean, just their own world. Until a sudden twist of event happened.
It’s seven in the morning, Monday for the record. It’s the rare time of the day when sudden winds became drizzle. Drizzle became rain, and rain became storm. It was everybody’s normal rush hour for work while some were still snoozing to dream. But for the three of them, there’s no space to snooze nor to dream. Everyday is a big day, another day to fill in the boot, rain or shine, they were your regular employee who tops on perfect attendance. They never missed any session nor took leaves in return for hardwork.
Meet Elise, a redhaired twenty-year-old fashionista, fully polished from head to toe. She was an apprentice for a well-known publishing company catering to fashion and style business. She’s your regular hottie who leaves lipstick on a coffee mug and who wears elegant dresses like those models on runway despite the fact that she’s commuting via train everyday. It may seem odd for her to do that, but she doesn’t care if people look at her like an alien. In fact, she loves that, she loves being talked about. That’s her job. She’s not even a model apprentice but a writer apprentice instead. But in the world of fashion, she has to dress up like one.
She was the first to came into the train station that bad day. Seven impromptu, the ticket window had just opened, and she’s the first to get a pass. It was raining so hard on her way that her Lacoste trench got soaked a little bit. The moment she reached the flatform edge of the station, she took out a Pour Homme moisturizer, applied some, checked out her mirror and sprayed some Gucci. She stood up straight, with a folder on her hand, wearing a green tank underneath a trench coat, straight cut knitted pants and pair of Parisian boot, like a girl lost somewhere in strange place. Not too bad as the weather.
After 10 seconds came Kristoff wearing a pair of blue nurse uniform and a pair of Crocs slip on. It’s raining and he brought no umbrella due to time constraints. He couldn’t afford to be late even at least once. His duty would log in the next 15 minutes. He even barely had time to fix his hair.
Kristoff had just passed the nurse board exam last year. First-take, topnotcher. Now licensed. He was a volunteer nurse assigned on a day shift devoting 12 hours of his time with syringe on hand, sometimes a cuff and stethoscope, no day without getting a bloody palms or worst goes round every hospital’s room to monitor the patients. But he never complains. He’s the type who would prefer emergency cases rather than lunch break. There’s one time when he ate three balls of cotton seeing it as a cotton candy. That’s how hectic his schedule was.
He was the second to arrive on the train station that day. 7:10 in the morning. The moment he reached the flatform edge of the station, he couldn’t help but look at his wrist watch while beads of sweat started to form on his forehead. He’s almost late. He stood steadily behind Elise. He covered his nose with a hanky after he smelled the diffused authenticated perfume of the lady. He was having a bad time.
Not so long ago came Dalton. Like the other two, he was rushing, perhaps even faster than them. He was slinging a gym bag, wearing blue Thai tank, a knee-level shorts and pair of Converse shoe designed with neon shoelace. That time, he was on his way to the biggest battle of his life. It’s called Skechers Dance Battle, an annual inter university dance cup. He had a major role, not as a dancer, but as a choreographer of one of the aspiring crews. And he was wanting to see the live performance.
Dalton is a professional dancer. He lives to dance, and dances to live. He’s your typical guy who grooms up like those R and B artists that you see on MTV. He collects headsets and bling bling.
He was the third to reach the flatform edge of the train station that morning: 7:20. Like the other two, his top tank was soaking wet. He stood right after Kristoff. All three of them waiting for the first train to come. All three of them, fetching another day of their career, on a Monday, while the storm was halting outside.
By 7:25, the first train came.
By 7:26, the door opened… but none of the three stepped inside. Instead, they all stepped back, not because the train was full but because a news concerning about their life flashed before their gadgets.
And by the next several minutes, the three of them were caught sitting on a bench, one for one, not minding the series of train passing by. All frustrated and feeling down like the weather.
Do you wanna know what happened Michael?
Here’s the thing. There’s no more client meeting for Elise. She’s just used to waking up early and making it part of her routine to be on time no matter what, but that day she almost forgot, She was fired. Her boss had fired her the day before that morning. She had no work then. She needed not to report to the office at all. She was fired. And that meant more than half of her life.
And there’s no duty for Kristoff. He got a text message from the facility head that his schedule was swapped in a night shift. And he needed not to report to work that time. Frustrating, but at the back of his head, at least he would have more time to sleep back home
And that the Skechers Dance Battle was rescheduled for Dalton. He got a phone call from one of the coordinators that the competition wouldn’t push through that day due to typhoon signal no. 2 in Metro Manila area. That meant his get up would be useless. And wait there’s more, it was rescheduled on a same day his bestfriend would get married. And now he’s torn.
One thing I learned in the case of Elise, there’s a time for everything. It happens to every people everyday. The worst thing about life is when you are in a momentum and a sudden twist of event would stop the rush, where you have no choice but to go on and live. There are things you have gathered effort to build over the years that can be destroyed overnight.
It may not be so bad for Kristoff. It happens to everyone too. It’s the feeling that you are late well in fact you have plenty of time. Life is unpredictable Michael, you’ll never know when it rains.
For Dalton, it’s now a make or break. It’s hard to give up the greatest battle of his life to a once-in-a-lifetime event of his life. And that’s how cruel decision-making can be. Either way can make you feel both happy and sad, and time runs so fast that you have to choose before both come late.
At the end of it all, I guess I only have one conclusion to say.