I was distracted by the lyrics I heard on the radio, “I’ve been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me”. Thought I heard it wrong. LIke, what does the “me” mean? But when I searched for the lyrics, the lady made sense pala.
I have a name for each stranger I see. Like the girl I’m staring at from the rearview mirror, Ate Melody, she does her makeup so effortless while we’re on the road, not missing a spot nor a stroke. She’s amazing. Ate Lou, the lady beside me, she must be tired from preparing breakfast for her kids. She’s been sleeping on my shoulder half of the ride. Jay, the guy behind me, he sneezes like a girl. He’s cute though. I can’t quite hear the sounds from his earphones but it could be some rock music. Kuya Val, the guy next to Jay, oh, he’s feeling good. He’s not gonna see his boss for two days. He’ll meet his friends tonight for a drink or two and oh, he feels so good. Kuya Paeng, the driver, another positive vibes influencer in the group. He must’ve won a bet from last night’s game, I can see the smile in his eyes under his sunglasses. He even gave Kuya Eric, the security guard, twenty bucks - doubling the fee. Atty. Gomez, the man sitting way back of the van, he seems agitated on how he’s gonna face his client, even annoyed because his wife took his car without his permission, plus the air condition can’t reach him. And the girl in the corner, me, staring at these people behind my sunglasses, making a story out from the faces I see - call me Tala, that’s not my name either. Honestly, I forgot what it means in our language but it sounds the perfect name I could use today. But that’s enough about me, can’t write a story out from Tala. She’s so blank. She tilts her head, looks around, types on her phone the whole travel going to work, looks away, then types again. I wonder what would a stranger make a story about me. Oh, wait, maybe I just did.