The drive out from that little gem of Berelon was quiet. I was busy paying attention at the signboards for the direction back to the highway while Sean, the stranger that I just met on the way out, didn’t say much other than introducing himself. When I got out to the highway, my senses came back and suddenly I noticed the silent in the car.
“Oh shit, I almost forgot that you are in the car” joked I and gave out a little laugh that didn’t sound real at all. Then I remembered that I don’t know where he’s going, so I asked “By the way, where were you heading to?”
“Back to the hostel, actually” He answered
“Which one is it?”
“Where exactly is that?”
“It’s a couple of blocks from the night market. The one next to the lake?” said Sean with certainty that everybody knows about the famous lake of Berelon.
“The mini man made lake?” I said that because it was really small and useless.
“Yes” He replied with a soft laugh of agreement.
“I actually stay nearby as well” actually it was just one block away from the hotel that I was staying. But, I really didn’t know much about the budget accommodations around here.
“Are you from around here?” asked Sean.
“No. I live quite far away actually. Three hours drive from here. I’m on a vacation, so I rented a hotel room for a couple of days. The hotel is just next to the lake. So, I can send you back to your hostel” and then I realized that I didn’t know the way back to that area. I slowed down the car so I can activate the car’s intelligent assistant and then I called out “Terry”. I explained to Sean that it’s the name I gave to the machine to activate it. The machine gave a few beeps to tell me that he’s now listening. “Show me the way to Fullhouse hostel in Berelon”.
“Found one match, Fullhouse Guesthouse, Three Feet Park, Berelon. Navigation is ready for destination, Fullhouse Guesthouse.” The machine said slowly and word by word, which annoyed me.
“Start navigation” Said I and started driving at normal speed again. “So, are you traveling alone?” I asked, trying to kill the silent that started to grow.
“Yeah. Have been doing this for a while. It’s pretty amazing. I meet people along the way and it’s very challenging. Every people have their own unique story to tell. The unlimited uniqueness of new stories amazed me all the time. Aren’t you travelling alone as well?”
“Well, not all the time. I travel with my family most of the time.” I hesitated to continue “But I feel like I need a change once in a while.”
“Okay” said Sean without trying to drag the topic longer.
I’m so glad that he sensed my unwillingness to continue on the reasons I’m travelling alone this time. But at the same time, I’m expecting him to shoot me back with some other topics to talk about. But he was silent. “What are you doing tonight?” I asked, to suspend the silent that was building up again.
“Hmm, I don’t have any plan yet, actually. But the rain is kind of nice, so I think I will just read on my bed”
“How about dinner? or night market shopping, maybe? I hope the rain is stopping soon.”
“Yeah, sure. Sounds great”
“We should Exchange” Said I while dismounting my mobile from the car computer, activated it, and handed over to Sean so we can exchange our mobile numbers. Sean took off his glasses and take off a small piece of his glasses. “Holy cow, is that your mobile?” I asked filled with surprises. His mobile was about one third of mine, and it was so small that it could fit into his eyeglasses frame. I thought the model that I have is very up to date, probably the smallest in the market. But Sean’s one is on another level of mobility.
Sean nodded, smiling proudly.
“You are really working for NASA, aren’t you?”
“No, not exactly. But yeah, you can say so”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Well, hmm. I’m sponsored by NASA to do a mission. Technically NASA pays me. But I’m not really working for them directly” explained Sean.
“What exactly is your mission?” I was a little paranoid that I thought I’ve just picked up a cyborg or something like that.
“I’m sorry, I can’t tell you. It’s a secret” answered Sean “but I can assure you that I mean no harm.”
“Are you a robot? You do talk like a robot, do you know that?” joked I.
“Do you mean to say that robots talk like me?” replied Sean with the added robot accent like Terry has.
I was laughing and couldn’t really say a word, but managed to say out “Nice one” while trying to keep my eyes open so I don’t hit anybody on the road. His robot accent is really amazing and funny. Funny good.
After we are done laughing, or probably just me laughing, we were silent again for awhile. I thought I might take a break from the unexpected laugh attack that had almost taken my breath away.
“I’m so sorry I can’t tell you what I do” say Sean, “NASA is one thing, and the mission is another thing. I bet we won’t see each other anymore when I leave the country”
“Or maybe we become best friends” said I seriously, but continue playfully with “and I will squeeze the secret mission out of you” I did mean that when I said that we will become best friend. He’s one of the most interesting person that I’ve ever met. He’s working for NASA for God’s sake, what else could be more interesting than that?