I’ve been writing so many things in my notebook, the voice recorder in my phone is on record, all of the lessons make sense but there’s only one thing that doesn’t fit in the equation – his apology.
First of all, I never thought he would say sorry. Well, he never actually said it, he just wrote in on a piece of paper but technically he did apologize. I thought he would talk to me and explain what happened or I don’t know, just talk. Yet for him, it seemed like nothing really happened. When our class begun, he started his lesson like there’s nothing bothering him or what. The only thing is he was avoiding any eye contact with me. I know. What the hell, right?
“Questions?” He suddenly asked, looking at each and every one of his students, except for me. I don’t really get this man. He would lose his nerves, would make a mistake, then he would apologize (informally I must add) then he would treat you like you don’t even exist.
He continued on lecturing without waiting for our answer, as usual. I looked under my table where the paper bag of burger king was. I still haven’t eaten it. I don’t even know what the meaning of it is. If its bribery that I have to keep my mouth shut on what happened between us, then he could have it back. I could easily buy my own burger. I even doubt that he’s the one who brought it here. I should be happy that he apologized but I only got madder.
“Bring your medical journals next meeting. I need to dismiss you early since I have some personal matters to attend to. I won’t be here tomorrow also but Mrs. Ched Garcia will be. Class dismissed.” He said and the students started packing their things and heading out of the door while he was staring at his iPad again. When I saw that the last student is about to leave, I walked in front and placed the paper bag in his table before heading out.
“Ms. Dela Rosa.” I heard him call my name. “Why are you giving me this?”
I let out a breath. “I’m simply returning what is not mine, Sir.” I answered. I pushed the door to go out but his voice stopped me.
“Where do you think you are going?” He asked. “And turn around, I don’t like speaking to people’s backs.” I rolled my eyes and then I turned around. He was standing where I left him with his iPad on the table and his arms crossed. “Now, can you tell me why you are returning this?”
My jaw tightened. I can’t really believe this guy! He’s the one who made a mistake, and now he’s making me feel like I’m the one who made one. “I do not accept such bribery just to hide what someone did earlier. Not to mention that they really crossed the line, Sir.” I said, trying to put it as general as it can be.
“Bribery?” He asked. “This is not bribery, it’s my way of apologizing!” He said.
My brows furrowed. I can’t take this anymore. Sooner or later, he’s going to receive a piece of my mind. Right now, I don’t care if he’s the dean or what rank he is in. He already crossed the line earlier and got too personal with me. Now it’s my turn. “It would’ve been better if you would’ve just said that you are sorry Sir. Because frankly, what you did felt like I just need to accept your sorry in that piece of paper just because you gave me something like that.” I said. His narrowed eyes returned to its normal state. I bet he’s finally getting my point. He looked at the paper bag then back at me. “If you’ll excuse me Sir. Have a good night.” I added then pushed the door open to leave. I rubbed my forehead as started walking. That conversation really drained me. I headed straight outside the campus, not even bothering to take a second look. I just want to go home and sleep this off.
The next day, I got to school at exactly one in the afternoon and entered our class room. Ma’am Ched was already inside, sitting behind the table and was checking some papers. I walked to my seat and before I could even sit, she called me.
“Ah, Maya, could I ask you for a favor later?” She said, and gestured for me to come closer. I walked until I was beside her. “Would you mind assisting me in grading some papers? I’m running behind schedule eh. And I still have to do some of Sir’s paper, you know, since he’s in that situation.” She said and I just heard myself saying yes to the favor. I’m really close to Ma’am Ched and seeing her doing a lot of things despite her age just made me do it.
The lecture went on the whole day, though my mind refuses to coordinate. I still kept thinking if what I did last night was right. Of course it is not! But I just felt the need to defend myself. I’m more worried if I still have a job. He’s still the dean and he still got some power in him, even if I’m the one who’s right.
During the breaks, I would grade the needed papers of Ma’am Ched inside the classroom. She was offering me to go inside the faculty but I can’t bring myself inside. It was already six in the evening and there’s still a stack of papers that I need to do. Ma’am Ched dismissed us at five because of the papers. She said that it was due this Friday and that Sir Dean forgot to fill it up himself because of his tight schedule.
“Maya! There you are!” I heard a voice said and I saw Sir Ryan with his hand on the knob of the door, like he just opened it. “Come on, we got food in the faculty. Join us.” He said.
I shook my head. “I’m sorry Sir but I still have to do these papers. Ma’am Ched really needs them.” I answered. “Give me assurance first that Sir Dean is not in his office and I would gladly go back inside.” I said inside my head.
Sir Ryan sighed and grabbed the papers I was doing. “Come on. I’ll help you with this inside. I don’t really understand why you’re refusing my invitation. It’s food! There’s literally no one who doesn’t like free food!” He exclaimed making me chuckle. This man is clearly the opposite of the man I am avoiding. And I’m guessing that’s the reason why they are the best of friends.
When I got inside, my eyes immediately looked at the office of the dean. I feel a rush of relief when I saw that the lights are off. Good thing he was not present or else I would’ve made up some lame excuse just to bring myself out of there.
I looked back at Sir Ryan and Ma’am Ched who are now exchanging looks. I bet they are thinking that there’s something going on between me and you-know-who. I just made my way to my table and started writing on the papers again.
A cup of coffee was handed to me. Ma’am Ched then grabbed the papers that were done. A few more papers left and I can finally go home. It was already seven thirty in the evening. I honestly thought it would be done earlier but I got engaged on Sir Ryan’s witty stories and with Sir Mar joining him, I was completely distracted from my papers. “Maya, Maya.” I heard Ma’am Ched called me with a worried tone. “I’m sorry but I need to go. Naaksidente raw ‘yung anak ko. I hope you can manage. If not just leave them on my table. I’m really sorry but I have to leave.” She said and you could really see the fear in her eyes.
“Sige po Ma’am. Ingat po kayo. Sana po ayos ‘yung kalagayan ng anak niyo.” I calmly said hoping it could affect what she is feeling right now. She just gave me a small nod and quickly headed outside.
“It’ll be fine Maya.” I heard Sir Ryan said and gave me a reassuring smile. I just nodded as I stood up to place the stack of papers on Ma’am Ched’s table. I’m finally done for the night.
“O good, you’re done. Ihahatid na kita pero baka sa sakayan mo lang. My wife’s waiting for me at home. It’s date night and I’m running late.” He said.
“Kahit mauna na kayo Sir. Baka magalit si misis.” I said as I grabbed my bag. The telephone on Ma’am Ched’s desk rang and I grabbed it since I was the one nearer.
“Good evening. College of Science. How may I he –“
“Could you please check if I left my medical journal in my office?” The voice on the other line was a man’s. A sick one.
“I’m sorry, who is thi-“
“Ma’am Ched. It’s Richard. I’m sick. I can’t really go back in my office. Could you do me a favor and bring the journal here? Sa bahay I mean. I have exams tomorrow and I need to review that journal.” He interrupted again. I was momentarily shocked. “Please, please, I really need the journal. Wala akong mautusan dito sa bahay. I was going to try asking Ryan but it’s his date night with his wife.”
“O-Okay.” I stammered.
“Thank you.” He said and the line went dead but I still haven’t brought the phone down. He finally said those two words I’ve wanted to hear him say. Then everything sunk in.
He thought I was Ma’am Ched.
And I need to bring his journal to his house.
Someone please shoot me now.
“Who was it?” Sir Ryan asked and I forgot that he was still there. His bag was slung on his shoulders and looked like he really wants to go home.
“Si Sir Dea- S-Santelices po.” I answered. I bit my tongue to prevent that ‘Dean’ to come out of my mouth again.
“O, what does he want?” He asked.
“He left his medical journal here and he wants me to bring it to his house.” I said as I slowly put the receiver down.
“Really? He asked you to do – Oh, he thought you were Ma’am Ched, right?” He asked and I just nodded. Then he rubbed his head. He sighed and went inside his office and was holding the journal in his hands when he came out. “Come on. You need to bring this. I’m afraid I just have to bring you there. Papagalitan talaga ako ni misis eh.” He said and got outside as I followed him.
I thought that we were going to the parking lot but I was surprised when he just kept on walking at the main road of the campus. “Maya. Come here.” He said as we were half way down the road. “There’s the dormitory right?” He said, pointing at the dormitory not far from where we’re standing. “Beside that building, there’s a house. Actually, I’d like to call it a mansion.” And that made me look at him in surprise. “He lives there.”
My mouth gaped. He lives inside the campus? Just who is this man? “I really need to go. Don’t worry about being alone. There are a lot of security guards doing their rounds at evening. Even their house has some guards. So I’m confident that you’ll be safe.” He said. “Good night.” And walked back to go to his car.
I found myself staring at the road ahead of me. I took my time in walking then I remembered how late it is and he still needs to do some review and to top it all off, he is sick. Even if I’m mad at him, he’s still a human that has their own issues that really needs my help right now.
After a few minutes of walking, I finally reached my destination, and Sir Ryan was right – it is a mansion. The house is so big and it was surprising that it is well hidden from the school premises. An electronic gate was there and when I pressed the door bell, his voice spoke from the speakers.
“The front door is open. Could you please bring it to my room? I just feel so dizzy right now. First door on the right upstairs.” The voice said and the gate automatically opened. I slowly entered the house and was amazed by how big it is. The lights are off but since the windows are all big, the moon illuminated the whole floor. I got up the stairs careful not to wake anybody. But after a few steps, I learned that there’s no one inside the house, except for him.
I opened the door to what I hope is his room and saw him lying in his bed, with the thick blanket that he was clutching so hard. His eyes are closed and looked like he is in a deep sleep. I made my way to his bed side table and placed the journal there and started tiptoeing to leave. But I can’t. I was already half way the stairs when I got back inside. I cautiously got near him and placed my hand on his forehead to feel the heat of it.
“Ang taas ng lagnat.” I muttered. He really feels hot under my hands. I sighed and got outside his room, only to lean back on the wall. He’s alone in this house, with no one to get him medicine and food. He’s obviously not going to heal without them. I sighed again and pulled out my phone from my pocket to text Kute.
‘Kute, male-late ako ng uwi. Marami lang trabaho sa faculty.’
A/N : I know I know, I promised a double treat last time. I was doing chap 7 but I deleted half of it, thinking the plot was ‘all too soon’. I was planning to type last night but got home late from school and was so tired. I hope I finish chap 8 before evening for a double treat since I still have exams tomorrow. 🙂