Trace of Ink
By Zale_Valrez
Date: June 2, 2022
Ch. 8Motor Ride

Chapter 7: Motor Ride
She unconsciously took a huge gulp and sat in the most proper as she can.
"Do you have something to share, Miss and Mister?" she asked. The teacher was eyeing them both with a serious expression. Her huge thick-lensed glasses failed to hide the annoyed look in her eyes.
"Nothing, ma'am. We're sorry," Fera answered in her low voice.
"You sure?" the teacher asked in monotone causing the tension to elevate more than it had been. She wasn't pleased with all, her wrinkled face was more than evident.
"Yes ma'am." They answered in unison.
As the teacher proceeded to the topic, Fera somewhat lose a huge problem or survived a fatal battle.
After class, she found herself walking home alone on the roadside. A bicycle and a few motorcycles passed her. Some with spacious vehicles offered a ride but Fera gladly declined.
She was pleased with their generosity but she just couldn't trust anyone. She wasn't the one who trust easily.
Nick on the other hand had a motorcycle too and offered her a ride.
"I'm fine."
"No, I insist. Your foot is wounded, I know." He said while handling the helmet to Fera.
"That's a suicide, I rather hurt my foot from walking." She shamelessly judged the vehicle with two wheels.
"You hadn’t ridden a motor before?"
"Do you mind?" She asked, her dead expression was replaced with an annoyed one.
"Whatever, just take it." Pertaining to the helmet but Fera stepped back. And Nick was fast to catch and pulled her hand. He put the helmet on Fera and locked it.
"What the hell is this?"
"A helmet."
"I know!" Fera exclaimed and tried to take it off. Nick went down from his motor and lift Fera. He placed her on the motor and climbed on too. Fera panicky hold on the motor.
"I'm telling you, Nick. This is will kill me."
"Chill, you'll be fine." And he kicked something on his right foot and the motor tilted a bit. She accidentally let out a small squeal that made Nick chuckle.
Fera tried to went down but before she could move her foot, the motor moved forward and stopped. Fera crashed into Nick’s back and the impact made Fera's head flare.
"Nick!" she grunted and slapped his back.
"You were too far, hold on to my shirt." Nick oddly found comfortable with her despite her attitude.
She instead holds on to his backpack. Nick was ready to argue when a four-wheeled vehicle passed them, Fera saw the teacher and the girl again. It was them who were talking around lunchtime.
They followed slowly while Fera was tightly holding his bag. Not wanting to fall, the ride was slow but terrifying for Fera.
"You better bring me home alive, Nick," She warned him.
"Just calm down, I got you." Fera was taken aback by the term he used. It sends something unknown to Fera's end. She had gone more nervous but not because of the motor anymore. His words were something she couldn't explain. It made her feel awkward during the entire ride, she was just looking at her hands, tightly holding on to his bag.
Her stares went to his broad shoulder up to his black hair. She awkwardly looked away and her cheeks started burning.
She completely forgot that she was riding a motor and was overwhelmed with the sudden strike of unknown feeling.
He stopped in front of their apartment, and Nick offered his hands to help her go down from the motor.
"Are you alright?" he asked. He noticed her odd silence. She only nodded and started walking to the stair.
He parked his motor in their garage and followed Fera.
"Hey," Fera jumped when she felt someone touch her shoulder. Nick took his hand back and felt guilty. "I'm sorry, I thought you can handle the ride, I didn't expect you're scared of those kinds of rides, I should have driven slowly."
"I'm alright." She stepped back and continued walking.
"No, you're not. I'm sorry, I won’t force you next time. I'm sorry."
"I'm good, Nick. Don't mind me." She spoke and stuck her key then open her door. She never dare to look at Nick and entered, she instantly closed it. This time she securely locked it.
She dropped everything on the floor and went straight to the bathroom room. Turned the shower on and closed her eyes while letting the water trace down her body.
'What are those feelings?
I may be flattered by his concern and generosity.' She thought and finished showering. Walking to her kitchen, she heard a low knock.
She went to open it and Nick’s face came into her sight. "Why?"
"I thought you haven't eaten dinner." And Nick showed a place of food.
"For what?"
"A peace offering. I know was being dumbass this day. From ruining your morning to the ride back home." She opened her door wider, and his face immediately lit up.
"I am fine, seriously." She spoke and went to her dining corner.
"You were oddly quiet, I was expecting remarks or curses after climbing down."
"Maybe you just don't know me that better to expect my actions." That made him shut his mouth.
"Maybe, how's your foot."
"Gotten better." Fera was tasting the food and it was great. 'He is indeed a good cook.'
"I just realized, was Fera your only name?"
She froze upon hearing his question. She put her spoon down and look at him.
"Why did you ask?"
"I can't search you on social media." Fera raised her left eyebrow and started eating again.
"I'm not into social media, I don't care if you've eaten by the way." He chuckled seeing Fera back in her usual attitude again.
"I already did," he answered.
"Good, and you need anything else?"
"I just thought that you might need a social media account."
"You're not ready for this, Nick." She was eating with a straight face. The usual expression but her warning made him realize that she had an argument to start.
"No one was ready, but I don’t mind."
"I would love to start from the purpose of social media, the main purpose is to socialize, isn't it?" Nick nodded in response. "Do I look sociable?" a wide smile crept on his lips.
"Second, people share their lives. Posting pictures, updates, achievements, and everything. Correct?" Nick nodded again.
"Why would I update them on what is happening in my life? Does anyone care? Would anyone be pleased to see my current status?" He was nodding continuously, amused by her opinion about social media. It was totally against the world's choice.
"I, myself wasn't fun of social media," he spoke that making Fera roll her eyes.
"I was expecting a good argument, is that all you've gotten?"
"Social media is to socialize, correct. But these online platforms were usually a tool for entertainment. These save numbers of teens from an imperfect world. They most likely found entertainment in social media.
Socializing wasn't just hanging around and talking something to barge off. They can talk to someone about their problems. Sometimes it's better to talk to a stranger that couldn't judge your whole being.
Sharing lives, pictures, and achievements. Wasn't bad at all, your achievements can be an inspiration to someone, your story might help someone and your post might enlighten someone. It wasn’t showing off, it's sharing something you're proud of." Fera drank her water before answering.
"Talking to strangers won't help my problem, and posting, hate comments won't feed you to survive every battle you face. Posting is luring insecure people, and they would stick their nose onto someone's life," she spoke fiercely.
"Their opinion will never matter if you know yourself better."
"Then why post it? I rather choose my pictures to be in a photo album not to be in someone's gallery on their mobile phone."
"I rest my case." And Fera smile in triumph, she won. "I should have prepared for that."
The day ended with Fera having a sweet smile on her face. Feeling proud of her win. The next day was still a cold morning, in the Philippines we only had a wet and dry season. Fogs had invaded the whole place.
She was panting and clutching her jacket. On her other hand, she tightly holds her umbrella. Tiny drops of rain were continuously falling while she was walking to school.
To her surprise, Nick had already been in school at she got there. She saw his motor in the parking area.
'Something is up, I guess,' she thought while carefully hitting the hallway. As the class started, his usual spot was empty.
'Where is he?' she mentally spoke. She was taking notes, and her hand was itching to reach for her phone in her pocket.
Eventually, she realized. That would be useless, she had no contact number for Nick. 'He's old enough to be well breathing.' Convincing herself was quite tough but gladly managed to sit still and pretend to listen to the whole discussion.
Her tiring classes had been cut by the break time. She secretly walked to the parking lot and she hadn't found his motor anymore.
'Where are you Nick Kingston?'

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