‘the stop’

Last night will be among the craziest nights that I will not easily forget.

I swear.

 

Thursday was almost a perfect day- work, people. I was just counting a few hours before it’s 6 and the day will be done. Until we were told that we have to work overtime because client hastily needs the files.

What?

Not tonight.

See, I had previously planned to leave work at 6 pm so I could meet my friend who comes home from her island workplace once a month. The last time I saw her was my birthday a month ago, so I was kind of excited to make ‘palibre’ again.

But the universe is, sometimes, hard to spell…

Cut the story short, I cancelled the date. And I was so so disappointed.

 

But life MUST go on. So I stayed, worked on what I had to do and waited patiently ‘til its 10 pm and I will be out of here. I was too sleepy though because I woke up at 4 am. (I do this daily so I could report on time. Shift starts at 6 am and I have to catch the first bus or jeep, or else I will be doomed to tardiness— a curse I am trying to evade.)

Back to last night, I almost flew to the tricycle and then to the bus so I could already reach home and sleep like ice in a fridge.

But before I can do that, I first need to pass through a throng of people racing to get a spot inside the lone bus that could send the weary spirits to their warm beds. Fortunately enough, I got a seat, only it was far off at the back. But I was thankful that at least I didn’t need to stand for the next 30 minutes or so.

I managed to stay awake for the first 5 minutes of the trip but my eyes have shot involuntarily in no time. And I gave in to the temptation. Good thing, I would forcibly open my eyes once in a while to glance at the window to see where the bus is already.

I was also happy that there were two guys on board who will take off in ‘the stop’ as I will. Di ko na kailangan pumara, tsaka malalaman ko kung kailangan ko na bumaba.

And then I went back to my intermittent nap. Five minutes before I reach ‘the stop’, I woke up again and realized I was near home.

But my eyes were out of control. You know the feeling when you want to wake but you just can’t? The webs in my eyes made everything look blurry. And then they closed again…

The next time they opened, tragedy was there to behold.

Bearing all the worries in the world, I looked at windows, right and left. The fast-running bus has passed by ‘the stop’ and I am— where am I? Panic.

My systems immediately reacted and so I stood up, Para po. I said it twice. And the bus stopped, it spit me like a gum and I am going home. I just don’t know how.

I started walking while looking around amid the darkness of the Thursday night. Past 11 pm. Here I am alone, and sleepy like the woods that lie beside the road.

Soon enough, I realized that the bus loaded me off at the next barangay from ours. That brought me a slight relief but the distance that I had to walk, with my heeled black leather shoes — it was not a joke.

I texted Mama. That was my last piso load. She did not reply. But I know she is worried.

In cases like this, all you can do, really, is move on. In my case, I cannot afford to wait for any vehicle to pass by this time of the night and bring me to ‘the stop’ where I supposedly need to stop. The poor barangay is a bit laid back, people and cars sleep at 8 pm.

So my feet started to walk faster than it could. I am not good in Math so I don’t know how far I walked. The only thing that figured was that I could go home soonest. Mama and my sister met me halfway, feeling sorry for my misfortune.

The end of this story would be:

My feet are extremely sore. I am extremely tired. I dived to my bed and send myself to sleep, wishing it was all a dream.

 

Epilogue: I was late the next day.

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