Illustration by S.I.R.  Macaisa

“SO, GRADUATION’S coming soon,” Matt said.

“Yeah, it is,” was Carlo’s only reply as they lay there on the rooftop of his house that night. He wasn’t used to seeing Matt so serious.

“What did you want to be when you grow up?” Matt asked.

“What kind of question is that?”

“I’m just curious.”

“About what?”

A heavy sigh escaped Matt’s mouth. “Dreams. I remember dreaming once. I wanted to become a doctor,” Matt said. “Well, that was until I discovered the ten and a half years of medical school that my parents could never afford. And I couldn’t stand the sight of blood.”

“Oh.” Carlo didn’t know how to respond.

“So what’s yours? What’s your dream?”

“I wanted to become an astronaut.”

“An astronaut?” Matt said, stifling a laugh.

“An astronaut,” Carlo replied, irritated that he was being made fun of answering such a strange question. Noticing he had offended his friend, Matt cleared his throat and tried to entertain Carlo about his out-of-this-world aspiration.

“You do realize there has never been a Filipino astronaut, right?”

“I didn’t think that mattered then.”

“Well, it does. Things like that matter. Which country you’re in, how much money you spend studying, how much money you’ll earn afterwards, what others will think of you, you have to think about that when making goals for yourself,” Matt said.

Carlo paused for a while before answering, “I thought we were talking about dreams.”

It took a few seconds before Matt could answer. “Oh, yeah. Sorry, man. I got lost.”

“I know.”

Silence took over as the two boys were left looking at the star-filled sky, which seemed to have moved farther and farther away. – Raydon L. Reyes

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