To pass the time and to keep my head far away from remembering the past two weeks, I tried to count the towering palm trees lining the highway as I traveled to a very far place – another one of my attempts to keep myself preoccuppied from moping in my lifeless state.
But they seemed to blur by too quickly as I lost count at 43 as the driver reveled in the early morning route and simply enjoyed the absence of too much traffic. It also lacked the untimely road reconstructions our city was recently notorious for.
As the car drove farther away from all the memories of what had been and what could never be, I gradually got the hang of breathing and thinking of anything else.
I decided to look far ahead and stared blankly at the longest highway I have ever seen, trying to detach myself from any reminder that I was made a fool in the short span of two weeks.
Jeepneys tried to overtake my ride and I faded back to one night, in that almost midnight downtown of the city where we rode a similar jeepney, with the smell of too much cheap rum and pineapple juice oozing from our breaths.
And I was taking you home.
And you were taking me with you.
And that was enough.
I thought long and hard about that very first night and as far as my memory serves me it only felt the way I wanted to feel on our jeepney ride home. Clearly, we were drunk and broken and missing but above all that we felt safe. We felt right.
People kept hopping in and out of our ride, seemingly going about their late night routines just like all the overworked and underpaid. But not us. Not in the slightest. The lights from the lightposts faded to a blur as I wrapped my arms around your waist, while you leaned in to my chest and breathed down my neck, murmuring all these used up storylines I was bound to forget.
We stepped out from the ride and felt the piercing looks of pedestrians drilling our backs. But we didn’t care, we didn’t mind. I took you home and let’s leave it at that. And I then it dawned me that a highway ride like that was way too short and needed work. Just like us eventually.