The Shine Journal

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Waiting for Agua De Mayo


Aubrey Graze Pareja

Two hundred thousand years later, she still stands at the edge of what had been once a sea. Whoever said that souls live forever was right. Especially a soul waiting for a promise that will be fulfilled-- but only if the rain will come in May.

More than two hundred thousand years ago, a young man went to the city to look for his fortune, leaving behind a promise to a young woman that he would be back when Agua de Mayo, the first rain of May, came. It is said to bring lovers together when they dance in it.

Storms raged in January, water flooded the streets in February and the sun shone hotter and brighter when March and April came. May dawned cloudless, but as she told herself consolingly, it's only the first day.

Thirty days of May passed, hotter than ever. People heard news of floods in Pakistan or hurricanes far west, but Agua de Mayo never came. There was no dancing in the rain that year for lovers. Rain poured in June, but the young man's promise was hitched unto the first rain of May; and so, he did not come.

The woman’s hand turned wrinkly and veined. Lovers forgot how to dance in the rain, but she never did and still, she waited.

The man found his fortune and fortune clouded his memories. The May rain never came to the city either. With nothing to remind him, he forgot Agua de Mayo; he forgot dancing in the rain; and he forgot the promise he made. After some years, he married a colleague. From time to time, he wondered why he could not give his heart fully to her. But having forgotten the promise he'd given to another, he could not come up with an explanation, and he could only wonder at the phantom hole he felt in his heart.

Time found the woman at a beach, where a home for the aged and lonely was perched. Every year, every day of the fifth month, a kind nurse would wheel her to that place. She would fix her eyes on the sky; but it was always a taut fabric of blue. Every year, May would come and go, and each would be drier than the last.

And then one day, she fell asleep in her chair at the beach. The woman who woke up was once again young, the wrinkles and veins gone. She watched while they carried her body away. A pathway opened up to where immortal souls go, but she turned away.

Meanwhile, the man went to grow old without understanding why he felt empty. When the pathway opened up for him, he eagerly went through it, hoping to hear the music that only raindrops of May can play. He knew not of the ghost of the woman at the edge of some sea, waiting for him; and would still be waiting, even after two hundred thousand years

Motivation:I am fascinated with the idea of immortal souls. But what about one who refused to move on, because she is still waiting for the one she loves-- who may never come back?

BIO: I'm a computer programmer in a bank here in the Philippines. I write short stories and poems as a hobby. I blog at: http:\

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Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

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