Goodnight, Goodnight Chapter 1

“Is that all Mr. Lim?”

“Yes. Let’s continue tomorrow.”

Here I am, always busy at work since my parents insisted that I should now run our company. My father is now retired and so is my Mom. I’m living separately from them. Because I believe that people will make fun of me if they found out that the famous Richard Lim is still living with his parents. Yes, I am living alone, with the exception of Manang Fe (she’s been my nanny since birth and my mom told her to look after me) and Doris (a maid, so Manang Fe would not get bored because I’m not always home). I’m still single even though a gazillion of years already passed. I know I’m quite, dare I say this, old but I don’t know, I think I’m still looking for her.

I’ve always thought that being a CEO is taking a toll on me. People always find me scary, serious and they think that I’m always making them feel inferior. That’s why I found dating difficult. Whenever they hear that I’m a CEO they suddenly shift into this person who they thought I would like, but I do not. Could I ever get a chance to be just a simple guy named Richard?

 

I’m now driving home from work. And when I got home I’ll do more work. See how fun it is?

“Ricardo, kumain ka na ba?” bati agad ni Manang Fe pagkababa ko ng sasakyan.

“Kumain na ho kami sa opisina eh. Kayo ho ba ni Doris?”

“Ah, hindi pa. Uuna na kami?”

“Sige ho. Tara na Manang Fe, lalamigin pa ho kayo dito sa labas.”

We went inside. I live in this big house. Which I often think is always too big for me. I think I should find her, eh?

“Ricardo . . “ Manang Fe called me bringing me back from my thoughts. “Pwede bang itapon mo yung basura? Mabigat kasi eh. Masama ata pakiramd

am ni Doris.”

“Sige ho Manang, magpapalit lang ho ako ng damit.”

After I changed my clothes, I went downstairs to get the trash bag. I went outside to put it in the trash bin but I couldn’t see it. Itatambak ko na lang sana sa tabi . .

“PSSST! Bawal ‘yan!!” may sumita sa’kin. Lumingon-lingon ako para makita kung sino yung nanita na ‘yun. “Dito! Huy!” then I finally saw her.  Nakaupo siya sa bench sa labas ng kapitbahay ko. “Ayun sa kabilang kalsada yung basurahan. ‘Wag ka dyan magtapon!”

Nakita ko nga yung trash bin sa tapat kaya tinapon ko na yung basura. “Salamat.” Sabi ko.

“Wala ‘yun.” Sabi nya. Tumawid na ulit ako. “Pagod ka na no?” tanong ulit niya.

“Ha?”
“Sabi na eh, pagod ka na. Masyado bang mahigpit ‘yung amo mo?”

“Excuse me?”

She laughed at me. “Hay nako, Kuya pagod ka na nga talaga. Upo ka muna dito, oh.  Pahirap ba boss mo?”

Boss ko? As far as I know, I’m the boss here. But then I realized, it must be because of what I’m wearing. Naka white t-shirt lang kasi ako and a grey pants (pantulog ni Sir Chief!). Akala niya siguro . .

“Hay nako, itong si Kuya, napipi na.” Sabi ulit niya.

“Uhmm, hindi naman sila istrikto . .” sagot ko. Siguro bago lang siya dito, hindi niya ko kilala eh.

“Ah, Maya dela Rosa nga pala Kuya.” Sabay abot niya ng kamay.

Nakipag-shake hands ako. “Richard.” Tapos umupo na rin ako dun sa bench.

“Richard . . ?”

“Richard lang.”

“Naks, ayaw sabihin ang apelyido. Bago lang ako dito eh. Pinsan ko yung nakatira dito.” Sabay turo sa katabing bahay.

“Ahh, kaya pala ngayon lang kita nakita. Anong ginagawa mo dyan? Bakasyon?”

“Oo. Saka dito na daw muna ako manirahan habang nag-iipon ako para makabili ng sariling bahay. Alam mo ba? CPA na ko! Kanina lang nilabas yung resulta. Pasa ako sa board exam!”

“Ahh. Congrats. Eh bakit ganun?”

“Bakit ano?”

“Bakit parang wala ka sa mood para mag-celebrate?”

“Ha?”

“Eh kasi, you look sad even though sabi mo nga, CPA ka na.”

“Aba, si Kuya marunong mag-english.” I can’t help it. Nahihirapan pa rin akong mag-tagalog. “Ehh ayoko sa loob eh.”

“At bakit?”

“Hay nako Kuya, mahabang istorya.”

“Makikinig ako.” I don’t know why I said that. Gusto ko ba talagang makinig?

“Sure ka? Nobela ‘to.”

“Try me.”

 

For the next hour (Yes, an hour) nagkwento si Maya tungkol sa buhay niya. She really lives in Cebu at nandito siya sa Manila gawa ng board exam niya saka para makahanap siya ng trabaho. She lives with her mother, her grandmother and her older sister. Her father died due to cancer and it’s her father’s dream for her to be a CPA someday. Hindi nya talaga ka-close yung mga pinsan nya next door, that’s why she looks lonely and also, misses her family. She also said na kahit na mukhang mayaman yung mga pinsan nya eh hindi siya itinuturing na pamilya dun. Utang na loob lang daw mula sa tatay niya ang dahilan kaya she’s staying here.

 

“Kaya pag nakaipon ako, aalis agad ako dito tapos lilipat ako sa apartment o kaya bibili ng sarili kong condo tapos dun ako titira. Pag nangyari yun bibisitahin mo ko ha?” sabi niya sa’kin.

Inabutan ko siya ng panyo. She’s already crying.

“Ay, salamat Kuya.”

“Richard ang pangalan ko, hindi Kuya.”

She laughed. “Salamat Richard ha, gumaan tuloy pakiramdam ko kahit papaano.” Sabay buntong hininga. “O sya, baka hinahanap ka na nung amo mo. Magalit pa sa’yo. Lakad na. Next time ulit?”

“Sige, next time ulit. Good night, Maya.”

“Good night din Kuya! Ay Richard pala!”

I smiled at her. Finally, someone granted my wish. I’m just Richard.

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