This is a story about Mr. Architect.
Mr. Architect was a frog. But, he was no ordinary frog—he was an architect.
One day Mr. Architect scouted the hills of Busay. He was trying to renovate his home and thought that this time, it should look like a human’s lair. He figured, that the most human’s lair of all human’s lair were the houses of Busay. Why you ask? I don’t know, he just does. He hopped from one house to another and stopped when he saw the perfect one! It was a bungalow by the mountain side and it had something all of the houses did not: rain. It was a house of never-ending rain!
“Why, this is delightful!”, cried Mr. Architect, “I must know why this is attainable!”
So everyday Mr. Architect kept visiting this house, studying its exterior, and writing down every detail about it. On the third frogday, he was done. The entire blueprint was in his hands and he was now ready to go home. But just when he was about to start traveling, something occurred to Mr. Architect. He thought that if he was to explore the interior as well, then it will be the best house of frogtopia!
His plan was simple and he only needed 18 froghours.
# # #
I woke up late. Pee. I need to pee. I go out of my room where dad greets me a good morning. He tells me to be careful on the way to the bathroom (which was outside) because our water drum is spilling again have made the concrete floor slippery. I already know that and that’s nothing new. I can travel to the bathroom carefully with my closed—which is what I’m doing. Morning pees are therapeutic. I go back inside and tell dad I’ll sleep some more, he nods but stops me to ask the silliest question: “Were you the one who set the frog free?”
I throw the right answer: “What?”
“There was a frog who got in. When I left to jog, he was still inside. I came and never saw it again. Did you set him free?”
I am recalling the last time I saw a frog. I saw one under the steel bar frame under the water drum, but it was not this morning. This was my first pee of the day. “Nope. I think I saw him last night, though. He was cute.”
“Dang it. I arrived and saw his pee but I couldn’t find him. I don’t know if he’s still here.”
With an assuring tone I tell dad that the frog will show up eventually. Knowing that I have alleviated his worry, I go back to bed.
# # #
Mr. Architect was astonished by the house’s interior. This was the first time he had been inside a human’s lair and his excitement had caused him to pee uncontrollably.
# # #
I wake up the second time around and thought this time, I should eat. Now I don’t know if my sister and I are in-sync out of nowhere she comes bursting in my room. She sits on the edge of my bed and is carrying a hairbrush.
“You should eat. Lunch was delicious,” she says while brushing her hair.
“What was it?”
“Fried pork,” she pauses to think then says, “Wait, he also cooked paksiw. But it wasn’t that sour so I like the pork better.”
“Was the pork sour?”
“Of course not!”
I get up and head to the kitchen and start eating. I am hungry. Dad was in the living room. I ask him if he found the frog already. He says no and scratches his head. Then he starts explaining to me everything again. Our house is small, but for a frog, he could have hidden in any corner so he can be anywhere by now. “Although, if he is still here, I would have heard something thud by now,” dad says.
I stare at him with an assuring nod.
# # #
If there’s one thing Mr. Architect values the most, it is sleep.
In fact, the reason why he needed 18froghours inside the house was because he wanted to experience the level of its comfort. Humans don’t know much about frog sleep patterns and that is because they fail to entertain the fact that frogs are lucid dreamers—they are. From the moment they are hatched, their DNA already tells them to lucid dream. As of today, there has only been one recorded history of a frog who didn’t lucid dream, and he is the reason why some scientists assumed that frogs don’t sleep at all. His name was Bob and he spent his entire lifetime awake. Legend has it he was the Messiah and received messages from the gods. Some frogs say he was just sad and crazy. Mr. Architect thank the gods every day for not choosing him. He loved lucid dreaming and this is why Mr. Architect loves to sleep. In his dream, he is planning the renovation of his house. It was all coming together and he can’t wait to do it in real life.
# # #
“Have you seen the frog?” “Nope.”
“Can you hand me a flashlight?” “He could be inside one of the shoes.”
“Mira, did you see a frog?” “I already checked my room, no.”
“We should be hearing him move.” “Leave the door open just in case.”
“Do you think he’s okay?” “What if he’s an architect trying to case our place because he wants his house to look like a human’s?
“This is driving me crazy.” “When was the last time you saw him?”
“Maybe he got stuck.” “Maybe he went out and I didn’t notice him.”
“I am looking everywhere.” “I hope he’s okay.”
“What if he’s dead?” “Then I think we need to wait for the smell.”
# # #
Mr. Architect woke up on time but he forgot the fact that humans sleep during this hour. All three humans were in different parts of the house. The patriarch—the one that let him in—was already sleeping. Both female offspring were on their phones. Mr. Architect took a risk with the older female offspring, only because she wasn’t wearing earphones. And if he recalled correctly, this was the one who called him ‘cute’. He planned in introducing himself properly by jumping on her bed and explaining his true intentions.
This is when Mr. Architect had a problem because he wasn’t sure how to do it without scaring her.
# # #
I hear a thud under my bed. A second one. Then a…
No freakin’ way. I don’t even have to peek to know what that is. I call my dad. No answer. I call him again.
“He’s sleeping! Be quiet!”, my sister screamed from the other room. I ignore her. I run to my dad and wake him up.
“I found him! He’s under my bed!”
Dad gets up. I run back to my room and squint my eyes under my bed—there he is, the frog. My sister runs to my room and asks where he is. I pointed and we both looked at him.
“It’s okay frog, we won’t hurt you. We’ll help you get out.”
# # #
Mr. Architect didn’t want this human to touch him because a human’s touch makes him want to urinate.
# # #
“He just peed on me!”
My sister and I manage to lead him out of the room. I want to calm him down but he looks terrified. He hopped behind the fridge and behind the washing machine, which is a really hard place to reach him.
My dad tells us to open the door.
# # #
Once Mr. Architect saw the door open, he immediately hopped outside. The older female offspring followed him. She scooped a bucket of water from the pool that catches the never-ending rain and splashed Mr. Architect with it—he was grateful for this.
After making sure he had everything he needed, he took one last look at the house and started his journey to his soon-to-be human lair.
# # #
“I need to write this down.”