Like the Rain
an adaptation of Noni Queano's "Strange How the Slow Rain" Elena is seen inside a nipa hut, staring outside the window. It is raining. Artemio comes in, soaking wet. ARTEMIO Thank god you’re here. You okay? You look cold, I left a jacket here last time, hang on. ELENA Where’ve you been? ARTEMIO The fields. Got caught up. Harvest season. There’s this coconut tree I was tring to climb - ELENA You were with her. ARTEMIO Yes. (pause) I never promised anything, Elena. ELENA To me, that is. ARTEMIO We’re here now. ELENA How are the carabaos, Artemio? ARTEMIO Still grazing. My son, Claudio, he was riding at the back of one just this morning. ELENA Proud daddy moment. ARTEMIO Yes. (pause) How is Sarah? ELENA Good. She’s been breast-feeding well. She’s with her father. ARTEMIO Strong rains, huh. You sure you’re not cold. ELENA I can trudge through the rain, Artemio. Do not mind me. ARTEMIO Sorry. I always remember you as that pretty girl I’d always pass by in school. ELENA You should have married me back then. ARTEMIO I would have, yes. But, Prostacio - ELENA Prostacio, indeed. ARTEMIO He had the biggest crush on you. He could talk about all the times you’ve looked at him and he’d blush. ELENA Little secret. I never looked at him. I looked at you, he was just beside you. ARTEMIO He’s moved to the city. ELENA Indeed. I saw him a few months back. He came for a visit when Tito Sergio was sick. ARTEMIO Alas, I don’t remember. ELENA You shouldn’t. When he was here, you were recovering from the coconut that fell on your head. ARTEMIO That was long ago. ELENA Indeed. He tried to find you but I told him you were dead. ARTEMIO Why? ELENA To not complicate things. ARTEMIO Elena - ELENA Artemio, do not. Prostacio is not important, he never was. Let him live his life in the city. ARTEMIO What of our children? My Claudio, your Sarah? ELENA Sarah has her father. Claudio, a mother. ARTEMIO Sarah’s too young. ELENA She’ll survive. I did. ARTEMIO I think of Claudio whenever it rains. I wonder if the wetness would make him sick. ELENA The wetness would make him strong, Artemio. Strong like you. Strong like me. Like we’ve become. ARTEMIO And the farms? ELENA Leave them. Perhaps someday when it’s safe, we’d come back. For now, it’s us. Just us, you know, Artemio? ARTEMIO Yes. ELENA I’m scared. Thunder rolls and a flash of lightning is seen through the window.