The last ride

It was 1 in the morning when I got the notification. Just a short drive. It’s been a quiet night; hopefully it will be more productive once I got one going. From the name, it was clearly a girl, going from a club. The thought of future cleaning I might have to do in the case of someone vomiting doesn’t really bother me much, especially when it’s the first customer of the day.

I drove pass by the front door, parked slightly behind a curve just outside of the club. It’s still pretty early, for the place. It’s only been 1:15 and there are still crowds lining up to enter and music blasting through the small door in front.

I saw her left the building along with her friends, happily waving each other goodbye for the night. She looks young, 20 or so, I don’t know and frankly, I care little about it, she’s clearly old enough to enter it in the first place. That’s good enough.

“Sorry, did you have to wait?” She asked. “No”

We left the area, driving slowly but steady out to the main road among the almost nonexistent traffic. She tapped me by the shoulder and asked me to stroll around the city for awhile. There’s nothing wrong with taking a ride, and I felt like maybe I need some midnight air too.

“Just felt like seeing the sceneries one last time” She whispered under the dark reflection of the driver’s seat mirror. So we drove around the city, aimlessly for quite some time. No small talks, no glances, just the sound of the engine revving accompanied by the late night talk shows and soothing music played along the breaks and interventions. We’re at the part of the town that was ‘asleep’ in. In the morning it would be bustling with businessmen, workers and traffic. A congested mess of people obliviously living their own world.

It was 1:40 when she spoke again. “Are you okay with just strolling around?”
Not sure how to respond to that. She’s paying, and it’s not like there’s any other visible customer around. It’s almost 2 in the dead of the night, in the middle of the city. I replied the best and shortest way I could. A simple ‘no’. It wasn’t the like of me to strike up a conversation but as a driver, I have come up with a habit to just blurt out with random, generic questions.

“Had fun just now” I glanced on the window back to see a reaction. She smiled, with a little dimple on one side. Just one. That cute little imperfection that would captures anyone ever had the pleasure of seeing it.

“We had a farewell party” “It was for me” she continued. “I have a flight tomorrow and I feel like saying a proper, happy goodbye”

“I see, for work? Or are you still studying?” I replied. “No” She stared long into the distance and suddenly, her eyes were glistening from the flashes of passing streetlights.

“I’m actually going for an operation” She said, taking her view away from the mirror. I could sense from her voice she’s holding herself from bursting into tears. I kept quiet for I had never been in such a situation.

“It’s for my heart. They said I have little chance of surviving but they didn’t give up. There’s a new technique somewhere in Europe” She held back a little and shut her eyes. She took a deep breath and smiles. “I told my friends I’m going for a trip”

“I just didn’t tell them that the destination is heaven” She laughed.

And in the darkest of nights, I find myself tearing up. The air turned colder and silence soon overtakes the room again. That night, I sent her home with a heavy heart and it kills me as the way she talks as if she had lost hope of it. I couldn’t, for the life of me to even drive properly. That was the first and last customer of the day. I went straight back home crying. And I never heard from her again.

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