Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Later

It’s two o’clock. Warren kneels on the sand, barefoot and topless. The sun is oppressive that he can actually grill ham and cheese on his head. He puts a handful of sand on the rectangular platform and then shapes it with water on a bucket. Warren starts on the base, smoothing the box-like formed sand and etching window-like structure in it through the help of a stick. He does it with love, making sure that the castle will not be easily blown by the wind. Every motion he makes marks a drop of perspiration from his forehead, making the sand stuck more on each other. He stands and gets into the cottage to check the time out. “It’s still early,” he said “I asked her to go here when the sun is about to set and the sky is purplish, orange-ish blue.” He was actually about to return and finish the torrents of his masterpiece when the waves forcefully washed it all away, leaving damp unformed sand.

“Well, I guess, this is what happens with sand castles,” he said while making another one, this time, far away from the shore, where things come and also separated. He makes it again with a curl on his lips. “It seems like three o’clock,” he said. He shapes the roofs of the castle, carefully as to not ruin his surprise. He adds water to make it strong and stable. He gathered pebbles on the ground and accentuated the majestic castle with it. He also etched on the sand those words, “I love you, Mariza, as much as the sand on this beach”. To make a sand castle is something challenging and tiring but Warren is determined. He lied down on the sand, feeling every grain on his back. He was so tired that he closed his eyes. He looks at the shore and he sees a lady, barefoot and unpainted nails, walking slowly with the ankle-high waves of the sea. She was wearing something long and with ruffles that looks like a wind chime dancing and flirting with the cool breeze. Her hair was long and silky, something worth touching. Her hands are swaying as she walks, and with every step she takes, Warren feels like he is being gently cradled on the clouds, and a soft rhythm of the harp accompanied by the humming of an angel is what dominated his hearing. He opened his eyes and he immediately went back to the cottage to check for the time. It was six o’ clock. He immediately got all those red, finger-like candles he bought a week before. He also got the bouquet of yellow Tulips fresh from Holland. He returned to the place where the castle stands still. It is the best castle everyone will ever see. He lighted the candles and waited. He practiced saying, “I love you Mariza. Will you be my princess?” He wondered what she will be answering but he thinks that his five years of courting her won’t be senseless after all. He sat while hearing his bumming heart. “What if she says no?” he asks in nervousness. He felt itchy mosquito bites on his legs, arms and back. “Where is she?” he says while guessing what time it was.
She then spoke. Fate… because it rained. Warren stared at the flickering light of the candle. One by one, it went out, until the last one. Before it even loses its light, Warren saw the castle being pierced with each raindrop. He wanted to save it but did not know how. He wanted to get an umbrella but it’s too late. It’s deformed and the message in the sand is no more than scribbled lines of a careless kindergarten, very inscrutable. Warren saw how the glorious rain poured out on his castle, the one he worked on and saved from the angry waves. He cannot understand. “How can something transparent as my tears can ruin the one I’ve spent half a day working?” he asks. Mariza came running and said, “Sorry, Warren. I think I’m late,” and he replied, “I think so, too..”

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