Summary: ‘Sunlight’ is a short story by Malaysian writer, Lavinia Grace Sebastian.
The raindrops form streams on the window panes, stroking the city with diagonal waves. Nuha is sitting still, her phone plugged in with earphones. The train whizzes over traffic. The distant thunder claps, yet no one reacts.
When the train stops, the doors open and a man gets up. Nuha looks up as he passes. He has a sulk. Nuha looks away. As soon as he leaves, she sees a suitcase on the side of his seat.
It takes her a second to realise what has happened. By then the door had closed, and the train carried on. Nuha picks it up. The train moves, and she grabs a handle before the suitcase pulls her down. On the next station, she gets off and runs. She gets on the train on the other platform.
The doors beep and snap shut. The train goes in the opposite direction. The rain splatters on the glass; the city is in grey gloom. Everyone is looking on their phones.
The air conditioner makes her skin freeze and chills her to the bone.
When the train stops, she bulks through the terminal with the suitcase in her hands. Losing her breath, she stops running, she finally finds the man.
She stands next to him. He is on the phone. He turns around. His jaw drops. His sloppy face lights up with a smile. A smile that breaks through the clouds like sunlight. A kind of sunlight that paints a canvas with joy.
And after that, Nuha is late for her brother’s birthday party, but does it matter? Once the man got his suitcase, the thunder stopped, the breeze eased, and everything gleamed in the sun.
Cover image by Baarast Project / Pexels. The copyright of ‘Sunlight’ belongs to Lavinia Grace Sebastian.