AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is the updated 2022 version of Chapter 01. If you are re-reading this part, you may observe some changes from the previous version.
CONTENT AND TRIGGER WARNING: This chapter contains references to trauma that may be upsetting for some readers. Please be mindful of this sensitive theme and other possible triggers. Remember to practice self-care before, during and after reading.
WHAT WAS supposed to be a two-hour drive from Manila to Pampanga turned into a three-hour trip. Sobrang bagal ng usad sa EDSA 'tapos may naaksidente pang sasakyan sa northbound lane. We had no choice but to endure the slow-moving traffic and waste our precious time on the road.
At five in the afternoon, we finally reached Angeles City. Compared to the busy streets of Metro Manila, this city did not have towering buildings left and right. The road was not as wide as EDSA, and there were no long queues of vehicles stuck in traffic.
The car pulled up on the side of a three-story apartment. I looked out the window to see the whole place. May pagkaluma na ang exterior design nito at mukhang ilang beses nang ni-renovate.
"Nandito na tayo, ma'am," sabi ng driver pagkapatay niya sa engine ng kotse. May pinindot siyang button sa side door panel at may mahinang click akong narinig mula sa pinto sa gilid ko.
Halos sabay kaming lumabas ng sasakyan. He opened the car trunk and pulled up my pink luggage. Kukunin ko na sana 'yon mula sa kanya, pero nag-insist siya na buhatin niya. He carefully placed it in front of the apartment's black gate.
"Thank you, manong," I said with a smile.
"Walang anuman, ma'am," tugon niyang may pilit na ngiti. Ilang oras din ang biyahe kaya siguradong napagod na siya. 'Tapos magda-drive pa siya pabalik sa Manila. Siguradong gagabihin na siyang makabalik dahil sa matinding traffic. "Mag-iingat po kayo rito."
Muli siyang pumasok sa kotse at ini-start ang engine. I watched as the car drove away and disappeared from my eyeshot. Mukhang matagal-tagal pa bago ko muling makita ang sasakyan na 'yon.
Humarap ako sa apartment at ilang segundo 'yong tinitigan. So this is going to be my new home now, huh?
Seconds after I pressed the doorbell, the gate was opened. Bumati sa akin ang isang middle-aged na babaeng abot hanggang balikat ang kulot na buhok. May ilang gray hair strands na siya at may wrinkles na rin sa noo. She beamed a sweet smile at me as our eyes met.
Meet my aunt, Martha Henson, ang may-ari ng apartment na titirhan ko sa mga susunod na buwan.
"Oh, Lori! Kanina pa kita hinihintay!" Niyakap niya ako nang mahigpit, sa puntong halos hindi na ako makahinga bago siya nakipagbeso sa akin. It had been a long while since we last saw each other. Apat na taon na yata? "Kumusta ang biyahe?"
BINABASA MO ANG
Project LOKI ①Mystery / Thriller
Join Lorelei and Loki as they unravel the threads of mystery, unveil the masks of evil intentions and put together the pieces of the puzzle in their adventures. Looking for VOLUME 2? Read it here: https://www.wattpad.com/story/220978938-project-loki...