Soundtrack: Save You – Simple Plan

Chapter 40: Driver’s Seat

Nakabibingi ang lakas ng kaba sa dibdib ko. Ni hindi ko alam kung paano ko nagagawang magmaneho ng sasakyan sa ganitong sitwasyon. Pero wala namang rule na nagsasabing, “Don’t drive when you’re nervous.” Maybe there was, “Don’t drive when you’re having a heart attack.”

My kidnap victim, meanwhile, was still in a trance on the passenger seat. I had no idea how long he would stay that way. Malapit na kaming lumabas sa teritoryo ng Freniere Mafia. I really don’t know if it was mere luck that no one dared to shoot at us. Lumingon ako sa passenger seat. Oh yeah. No one shot us because he was with me. Isang metro na lang at magiging ligtas na kami.

Five. Four. Three. Two. One. I held my breath. I made it. Subalit agad ring nawala iyon nang maramdaman ko ang malamig na bagay na nakadikit sa sentido ko. At hindi ako tanga upang hindi malaman na dulo iyon ng baril. Oh, no! The spell on him was lifted.

“Ang lakas ng loob mo, Leondale,” malamig at walang emosyong boses ang pumailanlang sa sasakyan. I wouldn’t dare look.

“I—I have reasons.” Pilit kong inalis ang kaba sa boses. I thought I was safe because I was already out of the lion’s den. I should have realized that I bought the fearsome lion in the car with me.

“I don’t see through those reasons. I see through your damned stupid acts,” sagot niya. Ugh. How could his mere voice inflict fear in my bones? I was having a feeling that he was going to finish me off here and now. Huminga ako ng malalim. Para akong humaharap sa judgment day. Nakasalalay sa lalabas sa bibig ko ang magiging kinabukasan ko—kung aabutin pa ko ng bukas.

“Bago mo ako patayin, you need to save Montello High. The Elixir of Life is swallowing it whole and we won’t allow that to happen! We’re simply trying to do our best to stop it and—”

“I have nothing to do with Montello High anymore.”

Hindi ako agad nakasagot. Kung tutuusin, wala na nga siyang kinalaman sa Montello High. He quit going to the school already. So why put him back in? Why kidnap a person just to throw him into a mess? When Detective Penber told us the plan, it sounded right. But now… it sounded illogical and childish to me. This time, I know that I stupidly acted according to Detective Penber’s plans. He was playing his f*cking mind chess game again and I was one of his stupid pawns!

I shrugged my shoulders in defeat. “Maybe there isn’t really anything I can do. Maybe… I couldn’t really save it. It’s so stupid of me to rely on chances,” wika ko. The worst part was I took a chance on the possibility that he wanted to save it, too. Which now I know he didn’t. I was wrong. I was just assuming. I pulled the car to a stop and closed my eyes. I was so disappointed with myself.

“What are you doing?” Tanong ni Van. Lumingon ako sa kaniya. Nakakunot ang noo niya na sinagot ko rin ng kunot-noo.

“I’m… I’m giving up,” sagot ko. His frown deepened. Nagulat ako nang bigla niya akong hapitin sa baywang at buhatin mula sa driver’s seat. I was almost sitting on his lap but he moved towards the driver’s seat and swapped places with me. This guy!

Montello High: School of Gangsters (Published under Cloak Pop Fiction)Basahin ang storyang ito ng LIBRE!