Sep 29, 2010

Chances (Chapter Nine)

IX.  Road Trip

Still two years ago...

Devon and James were both asleep when the bus suddenly halted.  James woke up and saw then bus conductor and driver getting off the bus. The bus has stopped several times already after it left Manila. It was almost  lunch time, but they were just a few towns away from Tarlac City.

Aside from the fact that a turtle is faster than the bus, the traffic was heavy.  But James was not worried. The bus stopped three times already and it still continued with the trip. Devon was sleeping soundly beside him. They had the greatest conversation earlier.  And decided to get some shut-eye since both of them were unable to get some  good sleep last night.

James noticed the conductor getting back on the bus and loudly announcing.  “We can’t continue anymore. We would be transferring you to the next bus going to Baguio.”

There was a loud buzz among the passengers.  The conductor continued to explain the situation to the passengers.  The dismayed passengers are now angry. James grunted.  Talk about comfortable ride to Bagiuo, well the good thing is that I have company.  

James looked at Devon. She looked great when asleep. Well she looked great even when awake, thought James. She shook Devon awake and told her, “We will be transferring to another bus.”

“For real?” Devon asked.  She wearily stood up and picked her things. They got off the bus.  She saw hoardes of passengers sitting on the side of the road, patiently waiting for the next bus going to Baguio.

It was almost noon and the sun is high and hot. Devon took out her umbrella and pulled James under it. 

The first bus passed, but it was too full and only a few of the passengers were able to get in. Both James and Devon decided to let the older passengers get into the second bus.  

James looked at his watch, it was already past one o’ clock, we were supposed to be somewhere near Baguio now, he thought.

Devon saw him looking at his watch, “I think you should call her.”  James looked at Devon, puzzled.   “Your girlfriend!”

James was surprised with what Devon said. They have been on the road the entire morning and they are standing here for almost two hours already and he hasn’t thought of calling Allie. 

He guiltily got his phone and dialled Allie’s number. She answered on the first ring. “Where are you,” Allie greeted.

“I’m still in Tarlac. We will be transferring to another bus,” James explained. 

“What,” Allie said.  “That’s why I wanted you to take the plane instead or use your car to get here.”

James shook his head. “I’m alright. I’ll call you again later.” He got off the phone and looked at Devon. “Satisfied?”

“I didn’t say anything,”  Devon reacted.

“Let’s eat,” James suggested and started to cross the road.

But Devon went against it. “The next bus would be here soon. We don’t want to miss it.”

“I’m hungry and I’m eating. Are you coming with me or not,” James said hotly.

Devon looked so undecided.  She finally raised her arms and dragged her bag behind her.  “You got me. Food is my biggest weakness. Let’s make it quick.”

James laughed at grabbed Devon’s bag. He carried it with him until they reached a small carinderia on the other side of the road.

****

Like what Devon predicted, they missed the bus. They were the only passengers left on the side of the road.  Their original bus was already towed away. And it was almost three in the afternoon.

“Argh James,” Devon said angrily.  She was trying to keep herself from strangling the  guy standing beside her. “I told you, we’re gonna miss it.”

“Well, it’s not my fault,” James said defensively. “You ordered another cup of rice.”

“What?” Devon reacted loudly.  “You’re the one who insisted on eating. You just have to have another bowl of sinigang, even when you already ate your first bowl.  And it is not an extra cup of rice, it’s only half of a cup!”

“What’s the difference,” James answered laughing so hard.  “We missed the bus. The next one is taking forever.”

Devon got her phone and started replying to the messages sent by her officemates. They are all worried, Devon furiously thought.  And it is because I agreed with this idiot beside me. Well, a good looking idiot.

“That’s it,” said James. He was looking at the sky and saw the dark clouds gathering. “We are not staying here until it rains. We should go back to Manila.”

“I’m hitch-hiking,” said Devon.

“What?” James asked loudly. “That’s dangerous. You don’t know who’s gonna pick you up,” argued James loudly.

“Don’t shout at me,” Devon snapped.  “I need to be in that conference.  I will be making the company presentation tomorrow night. I have to be there.”  Devon looked at James’s angry face.  “You don’t have to come with me.”

“Oh, I’m coming with you. Somebody needs to keep an eye on you,” James retorted. Devon waved her hand on the first car that passed them.  “Are we really gonna hitch-hike? There can be robbers out there.”

“Not everybody would steal your wallet, Mr. Peid,” exclaimed Devon.

Devon raised her hand and a battered van stopped in front of them. “Need a ride?” asked a clean looking man inside the van.

“Yes we do. We need to get to Baguio but everywhere with a bus station would be fine,” said Devon.

The man motioned them to get into the van beside him. James was not comfortable with this idea, but Devon has already got into the van, and he has no choice but to follow.  Immediately, after getting into the car, the rains started to pelt the van.

Devon started to talk with the driver, but the driver was very quiet.  After an hour of driving, James felt something was wrong. The man turned left, James thought, I thought the way to Baguio was straight until you reach La Union. And this is  definitely not La Union.

“Uhm, where exactly are you going again?” asked James.

“To Baguio,” said the driver shortly.

“But why do you to make a turn. Isn’t the way to Baguio supposed to be a straight one, until reaching La Union,” said James.

The driver pulled the van on a stop on the side of the road in a middle of heavy rain. He took something behind his back and Devon shouted when she saw it was a gun.

“I am so sorry,” the man said while pointing the gun at them. “My daughter is sick and in the hospital right now.”  He pointed the gun at the two and collected their wallets, cellphones, everything valuable in their bag,  and even James’s watch and Devon’s necklace and earrings.

James was thinking of ways on how to get the gun from the driver, but he was pointing it so close to Devon that he does not know how to manoeuvre. After collecting their valuables, the man continued to drive and dropped them off at small vegetable and fruit stand at the side of the road.

It was still raining they were standing lost on the side of the road. James shouted at Devon, “I told you, there are robbers out there!”

Devon defended herself, “Well he looked nice. You did not even thought he would rob us.”

James raised his arms and looked at the heavens, “Why do I find this woman so impossible!”

Devon slapped James back and started to walk towards the small fruit stand.  She started to talk to the woman standing behind the stall.

“Can you please help us?” asked Devon slowly. “We got robbed and we don’t have anything on our pockets.  We need to get to Baguio tomorrow.”

The old lady looked at Devon and then at James. “Well, there’s a jeep that goes to Baguio every morning.  It leaves at four in the morning.”

“Tomorrow?” asked James. “We don’t have any place to stay.”

The old woman looked at James. “Are you married?” James looked at Devon and was taken aback by the question.  “Cause if you are, you can stay here tonight. I don’t like an unmarried couple staying on my stall.”

Devon shook her head immediately, “Yes, we’re married. The robber took our wedding rings.”

The old woman looked at James, she looked a bit doubtful with what Devon said.  James nodded and placed an arm around Devon. “We’re newly weds,” added James.

“I’ll let you sleep on the other room,” the old lady started to get into the small hut behind the stall. “Wait, I have my eyes on you,” she reminded Devon and James.

2 comments:

xReJeAn said...

ahw..!! chapter 10.!!!

starofmyshow said...

Ugh! Can't wait for the chapter 10. ♥ btw, I love your blog. SOOOO MUCH!

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