Paper Boats and Tragedies

This is a piece I’ve written a year ago for our feature writing exercise in Journalism. I think that this is the only decent article that I’ve written for that class.

I used to like class suspensions when I was I kid, because to me, a class suspension is synonymous to a day of fun and play. But, as I get older, these class suspensions become atrocious to me. Watching the furious winds beat down the trees or roofs struggling to pull away from the beaten-down houses, is depressing. It is even more depressing to hear or watch news about landfalls, floods, evacuation centers, and casualties. A class suspension is really synonymous to tragedy. But, there is one important day when I temporarily disregarded this horrible truth.

We are mildly surprised that the mayor announced class suspension when there is actually no rain. There may be rain, but it falls then it stops falling again. Because of this, even after protests from my father, my mother and I went to the mall to accompany a relative. It was 2 in the afternoon when it started to rain really hard. We decided to stay near the gate of the mall and wait hopefully for the storm to stop. It was windy and unpleasant, and it seemed to be so determined to keep pouring more acidity.

I was unmindful of anything and I kept staring at the pouring of raindrops while my mother and the relative kept chattering behind me. I noticed a waterway at the edge of the steps, like a small river. I reached for a paper from my backpack and folded a paper boat. I placed it on the water and watched it sail away. I followed it with another one, then next. I stopped when I sailed six.

When I was young, I used to play that with my friends whenever it rains, whenever announcements say that kindergarten classes are suspended. We were innocent and oblivious. We did not know tragedies and landfalls. We just knew about play, curiosities and fun.

Maybe I had a temporary fun sailing the boats, back at the mall. Maybe I even temporarily forgot about shipwrecks, because of storms. One thing I am certain about is that there is a thick line between fantasies and realities. There is a thick line between paper boats and tragedies.


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