Today is the day, three banal years had passed, time to listen to her last words. The Walkman was in my hands, I plugged in the earphones into it, and it did not turn on, I forgot to charge it. I need to make a stop in the next nearest town which was couple hundred miles away from here, and charged it up. Why did I forget… I scratched my head as I get onto my Harley, revving it up to get the rest of the journey started.
The road was meandering, making the ride bumpier compared to the past two trips. My biological clock beckoned me with a yawn as time approached midnight, I was exhausted physically and mentally due to the issues of the past which triggered the overthinking part of my cognition. A fringe of arid and stale air brushed through me as I continued on the road, it was not a counterfeit, I was not hallucinating. I hit the brakes but to no avail, my vision turned blurry, changing my perception of the one-way road in front into a fork road. My intuition took over my cognitive sense, I swerved to the right for no apparent reason. My Harley was accelerating but I was still in control, I needed to stop it before it turned into a loose cannon. I thumped my feet intermittently unto the tarred road and clicking the brake gear as fast as I could simultaneously in effort to slow down and eventually to stop my Harley.
Another fork road appeared in front of me which was not there in the past two trips, I halted my actions and took control of my Harley, manoeuvered it to the left this time, resuming with my effort to stop it after turning, hoping it would stop before plunging myself to my death. If worse come to worst, leaping out of my Harley would be my last resort. I kept pressing on to pull over, the subtle change in the atmosphere might have affected my ride. I concluded in my mind while formulating a less dangerous way to stop this thing.
The red light indicator was flashing vividly, my Harley might finish off its fuel and put this death toll to a grinding halt, it gradually decelerated, the dry night air tuned down its frequency of hitting me. I got out of my Harley, slumped into the sombre, hard-tarred road. I caught my breath as it was going to be broken by the repeating tension that was applied to the tendons of my leg which nearly ripped the muscles of my leg apart. I skimmed the surroundings with the lowly emitting light by my Harley, it was covered with greens and nothing else more. Precariousness and vulnerability haunted me, prompted me to move, to get the hell out of here.
The savvy of not being in a common territory struck me, my fight and flight response was activated, a surge of adrenaline pumped into my blood stream which assisted me in pushing my Harley following the undulating path to the small town which would come into view if I continued on with this path. Feeling of doubt and insecurity accrued as I pushed my way through the dead of the night. A miniscule, distorted figure emerged out of nowhere which was on the side of the road, immobile, stationary.
I advance with great caution, afraid of it being an ambush of some sort of peril. As I was drawing closer to it, the picture of someone familiar, too familiar, came into my sight. It was her, the ceased Teressa whom I loved profoundly, and left me a message which would unravel itself a couple miles after.
She was sitting on the ground, meddling with some tools to fix her ride which was a facsimile to mine, I got beside her, “Do you need help, little miss?” I extended a helping hand to her.
“I got this.” she replied sententiously and continued mingling around with her Harley.
I parked my Harley next to hers, went to get a torchlight and my toolbox,”Lemme give you a hand.” I went beside her, she turned to me in weariness, but her indistinguishable features were recognisable, I knew how she would look like even from far. She gave space to me, I analysed her Harley, deja vu, my bike also experienced the same breakdown a few years back before her demise, I paused for a brief second, forming a conjecture about everything that was happening at this instance. It did not make any sense. I glared at her, making sure it was her, it was indeed her, but doubts kept filling my head. I refocused unto fixing her Harley, I gave it a tweak, and the engine revved up as it was ready to go.
“Wow. Thank you, sir.” she gave a pat to me, it is her, what are you thinking? I recorroborated. “Do you need a lift to the next town, sir?”
I looked back at where I place my Harley, it was gone, disappeared into thin air, “Err.. Yes. Sure.” I stammered, punctuated with uncertainty and confusion. Things were happening illogically.
“Come on.” she prompted me, “If we are quick, we may catch the sunset halfway on the journey when we passed the brown canyon. It would be stunning.” she exclaimed.
I embarked, she fastened on a safety helmet, “Do you mind if I grab your waist…”
“Certainly not. Just don’t fall off.” I grabbed her waist, resisting the urge to lay myself unto her slender back, “Hold tight.” the engine roared into life, the swift wind brushed passed me, my body deliberately stuck unto her back, I felt her heart beat against her spine, into me, our pace of beating synced miraculously, my trousers tightened, I held her closer into my cradle, it was as if she was alive at this very moment, I was reluctant to let her go, I cared less about how she thought about me because I knew it was definitely her.
Minutes passed, hours swayed by, I disregarded the aspect of time, I kept my possum-like posture throughout the ride, she did not uttered a single word, neither did I. The flow of the ride felt interminable, but it decelerated as I was enjoying it. “Sir, can I know your name?” she asked in a stranger to stranger tone.
“Jason.” I raised my tone to overcome the blowing of the air.
“Mine is Teressa.” my heart did a somersault, it left my jaw dropped.
“What… the…” the air eaten away my words.
“Nothing.” I lifted my head up, noticed a badge gleaming from the bottom of the dashboard. It was a police badge, from New York. “Did you get that shiny thing from a souvenir shop?” I asked.
“I got it from a police HQ in NY, I’m a cop.” the ceaseless wind filled up the silence which was overwhelming. “Look, the sun is up and kicking.” She pointed to the canyon, to break the awkwardness that was conjured just now.
The dawn kissed the horizon of the canyon, contours of light radiated to paint the sky with faint blue and a tinge of gold. “Wow.” I said wondrously. “What’s your favourite quote?” I asked randomly, but having the intention to affirm my assumptions.
“I hold no quotes. Hope is the only thing I acknowledged that pushed me through the toughest times of my life, acting as something that I could cling unto even I was in a bedraggled wretch situation.” The deceased Teressa’s shadow cloaked her, she was my Teressa, every single word in the answer, even the tonality was a facsimile to her, my Teressa.
I pushed myself away from her, she turned to me, smiling exuberantly, the smile that could light you up inside out, the most beautiful one she could muster. She was diluting into the air, turning into an apparition that was gone in a heartbeat. I took control of the ride to prevent myself from crashing to my death. It can’t be. I thought. My body did what it was supposed to do, taking over the wheel responsively. The facade of the town of her memorial site emerged in my vision.