Driver turned the car key on; ignition started, pedaled onto the gas and hit the accelerator. We glanced back at the line of stores selling home made delicacies and homemade cleaning supplies; it was our last stop for eating, the next stop would be the occasional toilet stop.
We drove silently as my GF browse on her mobile phone. The sun started setting on the west with its last rays of the day magnificently spread across fields of flower. The lake along the road still basked in the sun and flashed back light wildly. She put her phone down as we accelerated up the hilly road. The hamper where we put chandelier and portable gas cylinder rocked against each other producing a clank.
“We forgot to buckle it up, I’ll get it.” She said kneeling on an upholstered seat and reached for the hamper. It took a while for her to transfer the hamper to car floor wedging the gap between seats, however I wanted her reaching for it forever as I enjoyed watching her and she caught me. The bumper crashed the hillside parapet knocking off rocks and rolled to the lake. She dove toward me while the driver quickly maneuvered the steering wheel backing away from the parapet. She found herself between me and the back seat and look into my eyes, mesmerized by the intensity of fire building up on me. This is the second time we got this close from the time we met. We heard rocks splashing onto the lake.
Tidying herself back to seat; she inhaled deeply and exhale was my only response. She thought I was extinguishing the fire that was building on me. “The fields take my breath away from this point; and the lake is sparkling; the air is filled with aromatic blossoms. This calls for a celebration.” She said reaching again for the food and Pepsi in can we bought from Lugaw stop. She knelt on her seat, head buried onto the back seats obviously flaunting her glutes. She handed me a sparkling flavored water and siopao from 7-11. We toast with an awkward clink and clank of metal against the glass. “Cheers for the breathtaking view of ” she said marveling the vast flower fields which was more beautiful even the sun set in.
We travel through the night and reached another stop after long hours of curling in a cramped space. The Eatery being one of the official stop for all travelers is famous for its lutong bahay. We decided to eat Bangus paksiw and beef stew with rice and gulped down Pepsi so we stay awake. The lady in full red lipstick served us and greet the driver and we took notice of the special attention she is giving to the driver and we heard them saying casual sweet nothings to each other; the driver’s mother interrupted “Why are you wearing lipstick in the middle of the night.” “This is to cover my pale face and I also wear concealer for my eyebags , you don’t like to be served by boring and zombie like waitress in the middle of the night, do you.?” She snapped back knowing that the mother she didn’t know only wanted to shed light on the hocus pocus going on entertaining drivers and travelers after midnight. The other passenger sensing the tension commented on the wall with all the pictures of celebrities who dropped by their eatery with scribbled messages on it and we read through boring messages (like someone was here) just to cut the tension and divert their attention, the waitress joined in and jovially told us of her encounter with famous celebs. She’s in every picture so she can’t miss to regale us with such enthusiasm in the middle of the night. She told us of the famous Pantabangan bridge and we decided to also check it out few kilometers drive away.
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