Apathy – A passive lifestyle: Part I

Apathy – A passive lifestyle: Part I

I went to church on Independence Day. Yeah, I love my creator like that. I arrived early, with my family, despite the threatening signs of rain, for the short prayer meeting. Soon the rain began its torrential descent onto the roof. We were already beyond its reach or sight; the tinted, sound proof windows prevent any external distraction. But someway somehow the rain managed to find me right at where my brother and I sat. The roof started to leak. It started with the trickle and then the heavy single drops which gradually gained volume, momentum and consistency. The single cushioned seat which bore this wet burden was sipping the fresh water. My brother was first to noticed this, to which he drew my attention. No one else seemed to have noticed and even if they had, showed no indication.

I should probably give a more picturesque view to the environment. It was during worship or the beginning of prayers. If you’re a perpetual church goer, you most likely would agree that at such times the line between worship and prayer is virtually blurry and you can’t really tell the difference between the two. Let me not digress any further. We chose to sit at the top floor, consciously trying to create as much distance between ourselves and the deafening speakers. So we were surrounded by a sparsely seated few (about 57 souls) at our hideout. No one could ever hear a drop of water in the chapel unless it was louder than the screams of the demon-possessed. So it was only left to the eyes to notice. Everyone was involved in communing earnestly with God and none could be disturbed.

Thanks for the patience. Now back to the main issue. Seeing that the rain, desperate for my attention, was two rows of seats in front of me, I could not ignore it. The rain won. It was no more a single seat but two which were taking the heat from the roof (about 3 meters high above). My brother thought it best to let the chairs get soaked to prevent the water pouring over and reaching a wire running across the floor much further ahead. He headed for the mess and positioned the chairs to better receive the water. Another waterfall broke loose along the same row of seven seats. He fixed the chairs better so they could get well soaked. I’m sure he was attracting a few confused looks even though all this was at the back rows of the church. Still no one made a move to right the ‘wrong.’ Prayer continued and so did more new rain leakages. There were now three major leaks with several streams. The growth was exponential.

Then a lady, maybe middle-aged, with some sense of urgency, walked from our right and cleared the area where water fell, relieving the chairs from their predicament. Now the tiled floor suffered. I didn’t wait for her to complete her intentions when I rushed down stairs to look for some plastic container to prevent potential electric conduction and mass shocks through the water. My brother was in support. By using the chairs as a make-shift absorber, he was buying time. It would be easier to dry wet chairs than have water near the electricals.

I rushed down three flights of stairs hoping to catch sight of janitor tools. They really hide their dirty laundry well. At the ground floor I made a quick assumption of where the store room could be, took a peak through the slightly opened door and saw what I needed—several containers. I opened the door to reach out for them when I realized I was not the only inhabitant of the room. They were having a friendly chat, the boy and the girl, clad in orange polo shirts labelled with their cleaning company’s name. Their facial expressions…? Light shock, confusion and that “ah well…let’s be silent, he might go away sooner” look. Nothing new… I asked for the tiny buckets my hands already owned, made a feeble attempt at explaining why–they didn’t give a damn–I left.

Our top floor hideout had gathered crowd. But new comers were sure to avoid seats near and around the water. I placed the buckets where the leaks were greatest and continued my plea to divinity. The buckets were not wide enough. The tiles took too did well to load shed the water across a wider area. Few minute later I went down to the store, now with confidence since I was certain of the location and the occupants. I asked that one of them followed me to see something interesting in the chapel hall. With much reluctance the boy followed. I showed him the mess-turned-pool-turned-lake now making a slow sturdy descent down the terraced step-like floor. He quickly rearranged my buckets to new water dropping points and left. I thought he was going to suit up and call for back up. Time was the arbiter now…

The Zone

I just stared. I liked the way he smiled intermittently when he spoke of his annoying little brother. I thought his gestures were cute and the way he hardly kept eye contact was teasing—what was he hiding? He spoke while scribbling what seemed like the outline of a nude lady on his notebook. His whispering stopped abruptly and so did his sketchy artwork. Something had broken the peace of my surreal experience. I didn’t realize I was smiling sheepishly until I turned swiftly to the left, seeing the crossed look on Dela’s face as if expecting me to say something. The rest of the class giggled.
Nudging me into a better sitting posture he whispered what I later came to know as an answer to the question Dela had asked. I was lost and this was not the first time. With an elaborate shrug, the lecturer moved on. I was mortified. maybe I should stop sitting next to him or shouldn’t have chose the same classes in the first place. What was I thinking?
Then I remembered my pen had a use. I picked it up, held it over my blank page and stared at the PowerPoint slides projected on the screen in front of the class. It was an hour into the class and everything looked so foreign that I almost forgot the class I was in. But hey! I couldn’t wait till it ended. After all Cyprian and I could hang out after this class since it was both our last for the day.
Mid semester zoomed in and I watched the components of my final grades play the downside of a roller-coaster. On the other hand we were closer friends now. That was important. But every thing changed when he asked me out. It was so sudden and out of the blue. I could not get a word in edgewise after his question. I was in my own panic world now and could only see his lips mouth out words as the walls of the restaurant closed in on me. speechless.
“I think you’re a great friend,” I replied with a smile. I sounded like a broken record making a last attempt on the last four beats of a song, “…and I don’t want us to mess up this special friendship.” He seemed crushed but his smile did not waver. I beamed with a much broader smile while my insides screamed at me, “You just friend-zoned your longest crush!” What had I done?