I was riding my motorcycle when I noticed that the gas meter was blinking. I didn’t pay any attention because it always does that, blink. Gas is so expensive that I only fill my motorcycle twenty or thirty pesos worth of gas, and that’s about half a liter, so it barely touched the sensor in the gas tank, that’s why the gas meter is always blinking. (Half a liter of gas usually lasts about 16 trips to and fro my wife’s work place and to and fro the place where I take my afternoon walks.)
I saw the gas meter blinking but I continued on, I was thinking that the fuel was enough to bring me home. Suddenly I felt the engine choking, I revved it up and I got no response, I began to shake my butt (I could only imagine how funny I looked riding a motorcycle while shaking my butt). I was shaking my butt because the fuel tank is under the seat, hoping that drops of gasoline will get to the fuel intake hose to feed the engine, but it didn’t work, the fuel tank was dry as a dried fish. The motorcycle’s engine died. I was stuck in the middle of the road.
Then I saw a man with his wife and two children riding on a motorcycle. They approached me and asked what’s wrong with my motorcycle. I told them that I ran out of fuel. I recognized the man; he was my high school classmate. They were on their way to take their afternoon walks. He introduced me to his wife and children. “Ma, this is George, my high school classmate’” he said to his wife. I smiled and said hi.
Out of kindness and the old times, my former classmate unloaded his family and asked them to guard my motorcycle while we go buy gasoline. Of course Filipino modesty dictates that I decline the offer. I told him to go on his way and that I could manage, but he insisted. So I rode with him on his motorcycle to the gas station, and while we were riding we reminisced about our high school days, we talked about our classmates and how they are doing now, we talked about his family, about my family, I found out that he has a steel works shop, I told him that I am a teacher now and so on. I felt good because the spirit of friendship is still there.
It took almost an hour to buy gasoline because I had to look for a container. I found a used milk can and bought thirty pesos worth of gasoline. We got back to my motorcycle and I was so embarrassed to find his wife and children sitting on my motorcycle while they should have been walking and playing and bonding. It was already dark. I was so guilty that I apologized profusely and thank them with all the sincerity I could muster. My high school classmate and his wife told me that its ok because he can’t bear to see me pushing my motorcycle and that his conscience would kill him if he did not help me. I was touched by what he said. I said goodbye to him and we parted friends forever. I will never forget him.
The thing was all the time we were talking and up to now, I can’t even remember his name!