a story I wrote straight after I got the idea, without editing it. it’s kinda inspired by Nate Punzalan’s The Blanket and my imagination while hanging our laundry. enjoy.
Ana lived on the seventh floor, and she was hanging up the laundry on the balcony. Unfortunately, it was a windy day, and before she could put a clothespin onto one of the socks, it flew away and down below to the ground. Aghast, she held onto the railing and watched where her sock landed. It fell on the sidestreet and was billowing with the wind. Frantically, she thought of a solution when she saw a boy sitting on the bench in front of her building. He was watching the sock float on top of the ground and then, he looked up.
“Excuse me!” she shouted. The boy spotted her.
“Can you please get that sock? I’m gonna go down and get it,” she continued.
The boy nodded and yelled back, “Okay!”
Then, Ana took the lift down and walked to the other side of the building where the sock was. The boy was sitting down, but when he spotted her again, he walked over and held out the sock. Ana saw that it was dusty, but took it anyway and said, “Thank you so much!”
The boy smiled and replied, “No problem.”
Remembering that she still had to hang up the rest of the clothes, she told him, “Okay, bye!” After, she walked away.
Some other day, Ana was walking on the side street. She looked up and saw that the sky was covered with grey clouds, and felt the wind let up. She also remembered the boy who took care of the sock for her. She’d just moved into the neighbourhood and didn’t really have friends there, and she pondered about who the boy was and if she’d see him again.
Suddenly, she saw a black cloth flutter down. It turned out to be underwear!
Next, she heard someone shout, and it came from the boy whom she was thinking about.
“Sorry! I dropped that brief,” the boy said. Ana couldn’t help but chuckle.
“I’ll take care of it,” she answered.
“Thanks!” the boy said.
She looked at the brief but didn’t dare touch it. The wind started to carry it, so, in desperation, she flung it to the bench, where it stuck to the seat.
The boy ran to her, and stopped to catch his breath.
“I’m sorry,” he said between heavy sighs.
“Oh, don’t worry about it,” Ana said. “At least we’re even now.”
They both laughed, and the boy, who was blushing, picked up his laundry.
“What’s your name, by the way?” asked Ana.
“Oh, um, Rafael,” he replied. He held out his hand and she shook it.
“I’m Ana. Nice to meet you! I live in the seventh floor of this building,” Ana said, and pointed to the building behind her.
“I live in the fourth floor here,” Rafael replied.
“It’s odd that a boy like you hangs the laundry. Doesn’t your mom usually do it?” Ana asked.
“Oh, she- she’s in the hospital right now,” Rafael said.
“Oh no. I see,” Ana replied, sympathetically. “Why is she there?”
“She’s gonna give birth to my baby sister,” Rafael smiled. “Although, she’s like a couple months early.”
“Oh, my. I hope all goes well! I’ll be praying for you guys,” Ana said.
“Thank you! Well, I better be heading back now,” Rafael said, and he shook Ana’s hand again. “Nice to meet you!”
“Same here. Next time, let’s be careful with our clothes!” Ana replied, and they both laughed and went back home.
A few weeks later, Ana looked out of her balcony and saw Rafael playing with the other neighbourhood kids, while a lady, whom she assumed to be his mother, sat on the bench, cradling a newborn. She smiled, and as she went back to her room, she saw a little doll on top of her dresser. Then, she took it and rode the lift down.
Rafael saw her approaching and he ran towards her.
“Ana!” he cried. “I’ll show you my baby sister, Lusine.”
Ana, pleased with seeing Rafael, followed him to his mother and sister.
“Mama, meet our neighbour, Ana!” Rafael said.
His mother’s face lit up. “Oh, you’re the one he told me about! Thanks for saving his underwear,” she said, and gave Rafael an amused frown.
Ana laughed and looked at the baby. “She’s so beautiful! She looks just like Rafael!”
“Oh, yes,” the mother replied, looking at her youngest child. “She’s a blessing.”
“By the way, I wanted to give this to her,” Ana said, showing the doll. “This was my daughter’s.”
“Oh, my! How wonderful! Thank you so much, Ana,” the mother exclaimed. “How old is your daughter now?”
Ana drew her eyes down. “Oh. She passed away last year.”
The mother’s delighted expression turned into sorrow. “Oh, I’m so, so sorry, Ana.” She touched her hand and squeezed it. “You don’t have to give it to us.”
“Thank you,” Ana said. “And, no, please take it.”
“If you ever need us, we’re just here for you,” the mother said. “My name’s Rosanna, by the way. Please, if you will, sit beside me.”
Ana sat beside her, and they talked into the afternoon. Rafael came and gave her a wreath of flowers and a dandelion. For the first time after she’d moved, Ana felt at home. And, as she blew the dandelion seeds away, she felt grateful for the wind that had brought her this new family.