January 26, 2004

Going Home

January 26, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

<insert disclaimer here: mostly fiction>

By the way, the idea for this story came from a friend. The original
version is PGP-encrypted to myself below. If you want a copy of this,
send me your public key and I’ll ask the original author. ;)

Here’s an experiment – first person and third person. Guess which one
was written first and say which one you prefer.

Going home (first person)

I was quietly reading a textbook in the lobby when this crazy friend
of mine snuck up on me and went “Boo!” almost in my ear. Nearly fell
off my seat. Glared at him, but he just laughed.

“You’re still here? Classes were dismissed two hours ago.” He raised
an eyebrow.

“Project – had to stay late. My carpool left already. And you?”

“Library. Hey, how are you going home?”

“I just called my dad. He’s picking me up.” Rush hour on a payday
Friday. My dad was going to have to get through at least two hours of
bumper-to-bumper traffic to reach school. He hated traffic, but I knew
he’d come for me. My family never liked the idea of my commuting
alone.

“It’ll take hours for him to get here. I can commute with you, you
know.” He had travelled this route before – the jeepney to the bus
stop, the bus to Ayala/LRT/Leveriza, the short walk to my home.

“But it’s out of your way,” I argued feebly. As if that would make a
difference – he’d won this argument before, even though I pointed out
that going to my house meant commuting more than thrice the distance
to his house, and there was the matter of the lonely commute back. I
didn’t really mind. I had a hard time staying awake on the long bus
ride home, and sleep was dangerous for a girl on public
transportation. Conversation kept me up and made the trip bearable.

“I like the company. Besides, it looks like it’s going to rain and you
don’t have an umbrella.” He proudly unfurled the checkered umbrella he
always brought to school. The umbrella was barely large enough to
cover us. The last time it rained, part of my physics textbook got
soaked and I spent an hour carefully drying the pages so that they
wouldn’t stick together.

“Well…” I eyed my still water-stained textbook gingerly.

“C’mon! If we hurry, we can make it to the bus before it starts
pouring.” He pulled me by the arm. Surprised, I pulled back, but his
grasp was firm and my hand fell into his and of _course_ we both
blushed and pulled back when we realized what just happened. Nervous
giggles.

“Hold on a sec.” I slipped my hand inside the bag and fingered the
crisp folds of the brand-new umbrella. I bought it yesterday – the
smallest umbrella in the store, perfect size for just me and my books.
I looked at his umbrella and remembered crowding under it in rain that
drowned out all sounds but our laughter.

I let go of my umbrella and brought out the phone instead. “Let me
tell my dad.”

Going home (third person)

She was so absorbed in the textbook that she did not notice the boy
sneaking up on her until he said “boo!” almost in her ear. Startled,
she nearly fell off her seat. She glared at him in a disapproving
manner and he laughed.

“You’re still here? Classes were dismissed two hours ago.” He raised
an eyebrow.

“Project – had to stay late. My carpool left already. And you?”

“Library. Hey, how are you going home?”

“I just called my dad. He’s picking me up.” She looked at her watch.
It was rush hour on a payday Friday. Her dad would have to fight at
least two hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic to reach school. He hated
traffic, but he would come for her. Their family did not think it was
safe for her to go home alone.

“It’ll take hours for him to get here. I can commute with you, you
know.” The boy had travelled this route before – the jeepney to the
bus stop, the bus to Ayala/LRT/Leveriza, the short walk to her house.

“But it’s out of your way,” she argued feebly. She knew the trip would
be more than thrice the distance to his house, and there was the
matter of the lonely commute back. A token protest; he had won this
argument before. Besides, she had a hard time staying awake on the
long bus ride home, and sleep was dangerous for a girl on public
transportation. Conversation kept her up and made the trip bearable.

“I like the company. Besides, it looks like it’s going to rain and you
don’t have an umbrella.” He proudly unfurled the checkered umbrella he
always brought to school. The umbrella was barely large enough to
cover them. The last time it rained, part of her physics textbook got
soaked and she spent an hour carefully drying the pages so that they
wouldn’t stick together.

“Well…” She eyed her still water-stained textbook gingerly.

“C’mon! If we hurry, we can make it to the bus before it starts
pouring.” The boy pulled her by the arm. Instinctively she pulled
back, but his grasp was firm and now her hand was in his. A pause -
and then both reddened and hastily dropped their hands to their sides.
Nervous giggles broke the tension.

“Hold on a sec.” The girl slipped her hand inside her bag and fingered
the crisp folds of the brand-new umbrella she bought yesterday. It was
the smallest umbrella in the store, just enough shelter for her and
her books. She looked at his umbrella and she remembered crowding
under it in rain that drowned out all sounds but their laughter.

She let go of the umbrella and brought out her phone instead. “Let me
tell my dad.”

Original

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