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C3 Papers

I glanced at the sky above me. The combination of white and blue clouds was now matched with yellow to red hues, the sun falling down the east where green, high mountains are peacefully resting. The incoherent wheezing of birds on the branches of the trees didn't make my ears hurt but rather hear a lullaby. Dried, fallen leaves from the trees sounded as it crashes against my shoes, making me dart my eyes at the road.

"Mommy! Daddy! Look at what I found!" A small, happy voice from a cute little boy not far from me is waving his hands. He was holding a watch, smiling from ear-to-ear, and running towards a chubby man with a round stomach.

I tilted my head.

"Mommy! Look how fast I can swing! Look! It feels like I can fly!" The harsh and continuous grating of a rusty hammock lies a laughing little girl. She has pink pigtails on her hair, the orange light from the falling sun hitting her porcelain skin, her eyes narrowing and head leaning back as her feet dance with the sway of the cradle.

Their mom and dad are sitting side-by-side on the bench, while I was standing between the gaps but a bit far, just enough to see their facial expressions.

But all of them seemed familiar, although their faces are blurry, this scene in front of me reminds me of something I saw somewhere but wasn't able to remember.

I smiled. The sun is about to set, but I am still here. They were now fixing the blanket that they used earlier, the mom of the two kids wiping their sweats away from their faces and then gets another towel to put behind their backs.

I admire how lovely they are. The man and the woman looked so in love with each other that it overflowed, making their love reflect towards their child.

They looked so happy, I said to myself. But my eyes widened when I saw a truck approaching the road they are crossing. I immediately ran towards them while shouting that they should stop and run backwards, but they seemed like they are deaf and then the next thing I knew, I am already screaming as I found the dead body of my parents lying on the ground.

"Miss!" A man's voice woke me up from my slumber. I opened my eyes as I gasped for air and tilted my head from side to side, roaming my eyes on the whole place as I searched for the dead bodies.

"Uh...Miss?" I shifted my gaze to the man at my side. His right arm was placed behind the seat in front of us. The look in his eyes told me that he was confused about my sudden demeanor.

He pointed at the seat beside me. And that was when I had been reminded that I am inside a bus.

"Can I seat here?" He asked as he glanced at the other occupied seats.

My eyes darted at him for some seconds. The same man that I met last week is the one in front of me. Or am I wrong?

But those pair of amethyst eyes are unique enough for his features to be etched on my mind.

I envy how it looked so calming, how it was far from the chaos hiding behind my orbs. I tilted my head to the side and glanced at the road.

Other than the small bumps and the sound of the aircon, the whole bus is silent. I closed my eyes as the lights behind the glass struck it.

I hugged myself and leaned the side of my forehead on the glass, thinking of things as to why those dreams are hunting me.

Was it because I didn't visit my parents' tomb for months? Maybe they thought I am already forgetting about them, or maybe because they are reminding me of my goals.

I closed my eyes and tried to remember the face of my brother, Terren. I don't want to forget about how he looked like when our parents are still alive.

And then I remembered how Terren changed.

The fifteen-year-old Terren Del Mariano is just someone serious and stoic. He used to tell me everything he wants to say, but now, I just know that he had been miserable.

"Miss..." I heard the same deep voice booming next to my ear.

"Miss..." My eyes remained close when I felt his hand shaking my shoulders.

I heard him sigh and stopped what he was doing, then some muffled voices.

I once again, opened my eyes when I felt him get out of the seat and the next thing I knew, I am the only one left on this bus, with a paper placed on top of my bag.

"What the hell?"

I opened the folded paper. It was actually a bus ticket, but there was something written on top saying, "At the back" so I flipped the paper and saw some letters and numbers scribbled on it.

"Miss, you got a loan under me. You pay me the next time I saw you. Yes, you need to feel grateful."

"And you have a drop of saliva falling at the side of your lip, haha. >:D"

I crumpled the paper, wrinkling my nose as I checked if what he said was true, only to find out that it's not! And I am not a messy sleeper!

I greeted my teeth and stood up when the bus stopped. I would be scolded and would have a daily income decrease if I would be late for thirty minutes!

And I even got a loan from someone I don't even know!

"Tayla! You are late! Go inside the staff room and change! We've got a lot of customers!" The manager of Talk and Chill Bar yelled.

I nodded and did as what he said, tying the apron at my back as I entered the jam-packed place.

I sighed and reached for the order papers and was about to go to the left-wing when I saw a hand raised at the beginning of the right-wing and that hand is from the same man with amethyst eyes.

My heart skipped a beat. The same thing that happened the first time I saw him here reminded me that I need to be careful. I don't want to be embarrassed again, so I just shook my head and pretended that I didn't saw him, dragging my legs towards the left-wing when I heard his voice.

"Miss! I will order!"

I can just pretend that I wasn't able to hear him because of the noise from the stage, but Ella is glancing at me from the left-wing, her lips are pointing at the man behind me, making me sigh and turn towards the man.

"What is your order, sir?" I politely asked.

Why am I even avoiding him? Sure it's not about the loan that I got. I just don't want to see his eyes and his whole face.

He smiled at me from ear to ear as he scanned me from head to toe. His arms were crossed, back leaning against the seat and legs spread apart.

"Hmm..." he put his hand under his chin and glance up the ceiling. But before he can even tell me his orders, I put the exact amount of money that I need to pay.

"I believe you are the same person from earlier, thanks for paying for me, but this is my money. Now, can I take your order?"

His eyes immediately darted at the money on top of the table, and then he glanced at me with his amused eyes.

"Woah, I am not asking you for that payment right now. Keep it for now." He laughed and pointed at some things on the menu on top of their table.

This man is a fool. Why did he even glance at the ceiling when he knows there is a written menu on their table?

"I don't accept help from the people I don't even know, Sir. Excuse me," I uttered and placed the order slip on the counter and then went back to him with the tray.

"For a waitress, you are rude." He remarked.

I refused to look at him and just focused on putting the plates down.

"I will just remind you that you have a loan from me. You will need to pay me back once I–"

"Sorry, but didn't I give you the money earlier? I don't remember requesting a loan and I believe it would be bothersome." I furrowed my brows, losing my patience for this customer.

"I didn't take your money!" He chuckled and pushed something towards me, and there I saw the fifty peso bill I gave him earlier.

"Why are you so grumpy, Miss? And we met three times, aren't you thinking that it was destiny?"

The look on his face told me that he finds this humorous. But I got no time to laugh with him for I am inside my work.

Destiny my ass.

"Oh? You are the singer the last time we are here, right?" A man from behind spoke.

I slowly turned my head at the side, and the same nerdy-looking boy's warm smile welcomed me. He was again, wearing a loose shirt.

"Auton, why did you order something you know I don't eat?" The nerd sat beside the one with the man bun's hair, whom he pertained as Auton.

"And hey, you ordered the most expensive ones? Too much for a parsimonious." He chuckled. I excused myself and checked his orders.

I lazily turned the door of our house open. This was the last and the hardest thing that I would do as an ending for my day. I would go inside this house and will have to endure the ugly faces of the people inside here.

I strode the way to the room I am occupying and did my daily routine–adding money to my savings. But as I opened the brown envelope, I found nothing but a bunch of elementary papers.

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
Page with