After telling Harvey to meet up with me, I go to the Lukes for verification. Since they are mechanics, I wanted to confirm if indeed the cost of a repair could be that huge as Harvey stated. After stepping foot on the floors of the greasy seeking workplace filled with different vehicles, I move towards a man beneath a car.
"Hi Luke", I greet one of the Lukes whose feet are the only visible aspect of his body, as he has the remaining part underneath a vehicle.
I then mention my main reason for visiting him by saying: "I wanted to verify something."
"Sure whats it?" he asks as he rolls forward on a board with wheels underneath.
"I want to know this. Can the cost of repairing an SUV sum up to twenty thousand dollars?" I ask the very question bothering my mind.
"Twenty thousand dollars? Yes it can", he replies. After which the shock on my face moves him to ask: "Why is there a problem?"
"A problem? Not at all", I deny.
"Thats good then. I thought you had a problem; your facial expression was not so great when I replied your question", he says.
"Ah, I was just a little shocked, thats why", I reply as he takes off his greasy smelling gloves which perfectly define his profession and status quo.
"So is that all you came here for?" he asks.
"Yes, thats it. Thanks for your time", I bid goodbye and take my leave. However, I soon return and ask: "Is the highest price of repair twenty thousand dollars?"
"Not exactly. It depends on the type of damage. But with cars with internal damages, their cost of repair can sum up to two hundred thousand dollars", he replies.
"Twenty thousand dollars?" I ask back shocked.
"Thats right. We recently repaired a car with an internal damage. The condition of the vehicle was so bad that after fixing all the damages, the cost summed up to two hundred thousand dollars. In fact, initially, we thought it would cost less than that. We were thinking around forty thousand dollars but as the vehicle stayed in the shop longer than assumed, we realized that there was more to be done, hence the cost got to such a high price", he explains in details.
"Wait a minute, are you saying that if the vehicle stays in the mechanic shop for a long period of time, then the cost of damage repairs might increase?" I ask out of curiosity.
"Exactly. We have been experiencing that lately", he replies. I thank him for his time and patience and take my leave.
Once I get to the bakery where Juliana had taken cover for me, I enter a room meant for staff only and scream like a crazy woman. Fortunately, no one was at the bakery at the moment. Juliana who heard the noise quickly rushes in to see whats happening.
"Mia, is everything okay?" she asks. Instead of giving her a reply, I run my hands crazily through my hair, disorganizing the arranged beauty. Shortly afterwards, I start laughing loudly as I think of the debt I might have to pay if the car stays for longer periods in the mechanic shop. What makes me laugh the most is that despite being the debtor, I talked to him like a lender. Finally, I speak up as I hit my head against the wall.
"Juliana? Juliana? Juliana?" I call like a freshly chosen psycho.
"Whats the matter Mia?" Juliana asks, definitely worried about my condition.
But instead of giving a reply, I start laughing yet again. Then the tears follow.
"Juliana, what should I do?" I ask in a teary laughing manner.
"Mia, whats going on? Are you really okay?" she asks.
Finally, after sobering up despite not drinking, I ask for my best friends opinion.
"Juliana, what do you think? If you were in his shoes, would you have forgiven me?" I ask.
"Well, let me see. So you caused a damage to my car and afterwards indirectly called me a swindler. Then you texted back our meeting location as if I am owing you. Wow, combining all these crimes together, I will make you pay twice the amount for fixing the damage", she replies honestly. Maybe too honestly for my taste. I needed someone on my side at the moment and not the truth.
"Pay twice the amount? Do you think he might let me do that?" I ask.
"Yeah girlfriend. You know how rich dudes are. Just pray for the Lord to touch his heart. Maybe he might have a change of mind", Juliana advises.
I know that she just said that for saying sake, but after I left the bakery to meet Harvey, I made a stopover at the church.
Amidst the front seats of the churchs hall, I went on my knees and made a silent request to the Lord.
However, as I was scared of future events, someone was excited about future events.
Harvey standing before a mirror, holds a tuxedo in his hands, putting it across his torso down to his waist. He asks himself: "Will this give me a good appearance?" "Yes it should", he answers still talking to himself.
"But isn the colour too dim?" he asks himself upon which he replies to himself, saying: "No, its okay. Im sure she will love it."
Once I leave the church, I head for the coffee shop where I will be meeting Harvey. After entering the shop, one of the waiters attends to me and directs me to Harveys already booked seat. Upon reaching there, I see a man standing before me, his back towards me, with his hands in pockets.
"Excuse me, are you Mr SUV?" I ask upon which he answers: "Miss Motorcycle, guess you finally arrived."
He then turns around slowly, first I get to see the neatly pressed tuxedo hes wearing before gaining a glimpse of his face. That part of his body was the brightest, as if specially carved by an expert, there was no fault I could detect with it. He had the face of a god, the physique of an athlete and the charisma of the sun.
"Please take a seat", he tells me with a smile on his face. If he was expecting that to calm my nerves, then he got it all wrong. That smile was scarier in my eyes than the debt I owed.
After I have taken a seat, he says: "Hi! I am Harvey Asphalt."
"Mia Markings", I reply though I wasn expecting this kind of introduction.
"So can I call you Miss Markings instead of Miss Motorcycle?" he asks innocently.
"Yes, thats right", I reply with a shaky voice.
"Umm… Miss Markings, I am really sorry for speaking to you the way I did over the phone", he starts.
I start wondering: "Why is he apologizing? Wasn I the harsh one? Whats his motive? Is he trying to make me feel guilty? Or is he trying to seem like a nice guy? Is it because I am extremely beautiful? Or does he want me to lose guard so that he can exercise a well strategized plan on me? Which of this could be the reason for his apology?" These thoughts run quickly in my mind than a tape being played.
"Miss Markings?" Harvey calls my name and snaps me out of my thoughts.
"So what do you think?" He asks.
"What is he talking about?" I ask myself since my mind was wondering elsewhere.
"Were you saying something?" I ask back.
"Yes, I said as payment for how I spoke to you earlier, I want you to decide how you are going to pay back your debt", he says.
"What?" I ask surprised since I wasn expecting such an answer.
Now he scares me more as he was doing the direct opposite of what I was expecting him to do.
"So what do you say?" he asks.
"I will think about it and get to you later", I reply in a dignifying manner. I was never going to allow him to take me for granted or someone pitiful.
"Thats fine then. By the way, since we are here, do you want a cup of coffee?" He asks like the gentleman he truly is.
"No, I am fine", I reply.
However, when his cup of coffee arrives, I started craving for a cup as well. Hence I start coughing intentionally.
"Miss Markings, are you okay?" he asks out of concern.
"I think my throat is too dry due to the weather", I reply holding my neck whilst massaging the area around my throat.
"Should I get you a cup of hot coffee?" he asks.
"Well, I am not in the mood for one but I guess I have no other option than to…" I start coughing before completing my statement.
"Don worry. I will get you a cup of coffee", he says.
"Yes, exactly what I want", I say in my head as he nearly sprints to get me a cup of coffee.
"Stop right there young man", an old senile voice says.
It was an old woman sitting near us.
"There is no need to get her a cup of coffee", she says before adding: "The best treatment for sore throat is green tea. The freshly brewed one. Go and get her that."
"What? Green tea? No, I can drink that", I mutter to myself but before I can tell Harvey that I am fine, he already leaves for the green tea.
Shortly afterwards, he arrives with the green tea. "Make sure to drink it all", the old woman advises.
Now everyone looks at me as I hold the green tea in hand. I slowly lift it up towards my face and take a sip which I soon spit out. I had heard of the bitter taste of green tea but wasn expecting such bitterness.
"Young lady, what are you doing? Did you just spit out the tea? This is why you young ones never grow healthily. Drink it up in a shot and youll be fine", she says.
"But I am not sick", I say in my head. However due to her strong persistence, I gobble it down and drop the empty ceramic cup.
As if I had accomplished a mighty feat, everyone starts clapping for me.
"How do you feel?" the old woman asks.
"Bitter and maltreated", I reply in my head however say aloud: "Better, I feel better now. Thanks grandma."
"Don thank me. Thank your obedient boyfriend who cares so much about you. You took look great together. I hope I live long to see you happily married", she says in a prophetic manner.
"Grandma, shes not my…" Harvey starts explaining but is cut short by the old woman who says: "Whether she is currently your girlfriend or not, I know that you two are a match made in heaven. Make sure to love each other, and don allow any meager issue to separate you. For you are a powerful force when united but a weak vase when separated."
After saying that, she leaves the shop.
Scene: Mia at the church
"Lord, I know that I haven been regularly paying you a visit, hence its not surprising that I now have a debt to pay. But Lord, you know that I ended up with that debt because of my kind nature. So please, for once, can you show me mercy and help me out?" I beg the Lord in prayer.
Then I continue saying in prayer: "But Lord, if Mr SUV decides not to let go of the debt, then, please let your angels descend from heaven and whip him, not just with canes but with iron rods, torture him till he changes his mind. That annoying spoilt brat, if only he will fall down like a wall."
Simultaneously, at that moment, Harvey who entered the coffee shop slips as they had just mopped the floor. He is thrown into the air by the slippery floor before hitting his back against the hard floor with a loud thud.