I awoke that night to the bumps of the road. Upon waking, I realized that my body was strapped to his. The first thing that I saw was the night sky filled with an assortment of gems and the soothing of the island breeze caressing my bruised face. It is magical and confusing at the same time. Our surroundings are dark and the only light shining on this road is the weak headlamp on this bike. It wasn’t until later on that I realize that I’m on the back of an EX5, my back firmly on the box while my body kept upright by the belt he strapped me in to his. We are not in Ranai anymore, and I am not in a brawl with drunk islanders anymore.
I didn’t want to come to this petty land in the middle of the sea. There is nothing here for me. There is nothing here to see. But he insisted that I come with him. It’ll clear your mind, he said. The sea and the stars will be good for contemplation, he said. But he didn’t tell me about fist-fights and drunk nights. No, he didn’t in the slightest.
“You awake?” he asks in a lowly voice as soon as he heard me groaning. I just answered with an uh-huh. My sides still hurt. These islanders sure know how to pack a blow. But during daytime, they are the most friendly bunch of people in the world. They’ll help you out at anything. Boat rides, shelter. They even offer us lunch on various occasions. Us, a couple of strangers to this little land in the South China Sea. But come nightfall, and come liquor, they’ll get as feisty as an Irish seaman.
“You okay?” he asks again. I couldn’t answer this time, for I am too occupied by the stars in front of my eyes. Oh, how I wish this road will go on forever, and I could look up to the sky for eternity. How I wish my life is as simple as that, and he would always be in front, driving this EX5 on and on. But no, this is a small island. The roads don’t lead to any place other than go around it. And night won’t grace us for eternity, for with daybreak comes the sun.
But for the time being, I’ll drown myself in the stars nonetheless, even if it’s only until dawn meets us again.
26th May 2016