After my first class, I headed straight to the faculty and charged my phone. I only have two classes today and I would be finish by two in the afternoon. This is my usual schedule during Tuesdays and Thursdays but unfortunately, I still need to be at school because of my evening class. I turned my phone on and immediately dialled Kute’s phone number.
“Hello, Kute –“
“Maya! Aba akalain mong tatawag ka pa pala.” I was interrupted by my sister’s sarcastic tone. “Bunso, nung umalis ka sa bahay kahapon, umaga pa. Tapos ngayon, ibang araw na, umaga na, hindi ka pa rin nauwi? Nagkulang ba kami ni Nanay ng pagpapalaki –“
“Kute naman eh! Teka lang! Mag-eexplain ako!” I interrupted her before the whole thing becomes a novel. She has this tendency to tell me things that she would say and what my mother would say. It’s always hitting two birds with one stone to her. “Ano, nakitulog ako –“
“At kanino naman? ‘Wag mong sabihing sa kaklase mo. Sa mga kinukwento mo, wala ka namang ka-close. Saka akala ko ba trabaho sa faculty –“
“Kute naman eh, makinig ka muna kasi!” I said, as I scratched my forehead. “Sa katrabaho ko, okay? Kailangan naming matapos yung papers nung Dean namin –“
“Eh bakit hindi ‘yung Dean niyo yung gumawa? Ikaw Maya ha, kung balak mong paltan si Simon, ‘wag mo nang saktan ‘yung tao –“
“Bakit naman nadamay si Simon sa usapan?!” I snarled. And I’m now completely aware of the stares that I’m getting inside the faculty. “Kute, kahit hindi kami nagkikita ni Simon, hinding hindi ako mangangaliwa.” I whispered. Then the image of me and Sir Dean inside his car, with his hand accidentally holding mine, flashed in my mind. My cheeks started to heat up again. It’s not cheating right? That was just a mere accident. What am I even thinking? Why am I comparing the events earlier to me and Simon? It’s not really necessary!
“Hoy bunso, natahimik ka na.”My sister said on the other line, and then she sighed. “Basta bunso, umuwi ka agad mamaya, pagkatapos na pagkatapos ng klase mo. Hindi na magkanda ugaga si Nanay kagabi kung saan ka hahanapin. Bakit ba hindi mo sinsagot yung mga tawag ko?”
I bit my lower lip. “Ano, nakatulog agad ako eh. Pasensya na Kute, pagod lang talaga ako kahapon.” I said and left out the part where I still took care of our dean.
“O sige na, sige na’t alam kong busy dyan. Basta uwi agad mamaya bunso ha. Bye.” She said and disconnected the call. I know that she’s still pissed because of what happened. Ever since our father died, she has this sense of obligation to stand as our father too. Even though Kute is a hundred times stricter than tatay, I would not ask for anyone else but her.
As I put the phone down, I saw Sir Ryan standing before my table. He was smiling widely like his lips are going to tear apart. “Richard will be here in thirty minutes. Sapat na yung oras na ‘yun para gisahin kita.” He said with a huge smile on his face. “So what happened?” He asked.
“Sir naman eh. I just helped him. That’s it. I accidentally fell asleep in their library and I think he’s just too weak to go out and search for me.” I answered, trying to be calm as possible even though my heart is hammering so hard because of his sudden interrogation.
Sir Ryan reached for a swivel chair which I think was Sir Mar’s. He placed it in front of my table and sat on it with his chest leaning at the back of the chair. “If Ma’am Ched was here, she would also be doing this.” He said.
“Frankly speaking Sir, I can’t see any importance of what you’re doing. There’s nothing going on.” I defended.
The teacher shook his head. “I doubt that, Maya.” He said and I just stared at him. “Look, he let you inside his house, in their library that as far as I know was off limits, he let you sleep inside their house and if you really slept, it only means that the clothes that you are wearing now are not yours. Am I right?” He asked and I flushed. Is my situation that easy to figure out? “Whose is it?”
My mouth gaped to defend myself again but then I realize that Sir Ryan would probably leave soon if I just tell him the things he wants to hear. “Fine, Sir Ryan, let’s just get this over with. Sir Dean loaned this clothes to me. She said that .. someone named .. Alex would be happy if she saw me wearing this.” I said and shifted my attention to the paper I am doing. I was waiting for him to continue bombarding his questions but I only got silence from him. I looked up to saw him just staring at me.
“I guess Richard already trusts you. He just doesn’t know it yet.” He sincerely said. “He never mentions that name to anyone he just met.”
I sighed. I don’t really know what Sir Ryan wants me to expect or to feel. I find it too impossible for that man to trust me overnight since there are more days that I spent on hiding from him. If I were in Sir Dean’s place, I would not trust a person whose hobby is to avoid him. But then, he’s completely different last night. “I find that very hard to believe, Sir.” I replied.
Sir Ryan pushed his chair until his arms are on top of my table. “Maya, were you the one who found his bar pin?” He asked and I nodded. “So you already know what Richard’s true name is?” He asked again with his voice low, like he’s hiding something.
I nodded again. “Richard Lim po ‘di ba?” I asked back.
A smirk appeared on his lips. “See? He trusts you!” He exclaimed.
“Sir, hindi naman po ata sukatan ‘yung pangalan –“
“Maya, in the whole campus, he is known as Santelices.” Sir Ryan interrupted. “In this very room, there are only three of us that know it – Me, Sir Mar, and Ma’am Ched. That’s how careful he is in his name. And only the three of us know where he lives, and what the real deal with him is.” He stated.
I just stared at Sir Ryan. There’s more in Sir Dean’s mysteriousness? “If Sir Dean trusts you, don’t you think it’s just normal for him to trust another person?”
The man in front of me just shook his head. “I’ve known Richard since we were in college and I’ve been his best friend up until we took doctorate degree. Ma’am Ched is a family friend of them and Sir Mar is one of his father’s kumpadre. If you’re going to be lined with us, Maya, you could just imagine why I’m making too much of a deal out of it.” He said and that made me realize his point. “And I doubt that it’s just because you found his bar pin. He could easily say that it was his classmates’ or to a friend’s.”
I’m completely speechless. Did I actually gain his trust just like that? My mind drifted off to that moment before he admitted that he is Richard Lim. I saw the look in his eyes like he is wondering if what he’s about to do is the right thing. But in the end, he still said it. I opened my mouth to defend myself again but I couldn’t say another one. “So what should I do, Sir?”
Sir Ryan just chuckled. “Masyado ka namang seryoso, Maya. Just do nothing. Things will be better now that he trusts you. Natakot ba kita?” He asked and chuckled again. “I’m sorry. Nagulat lang ako nung bumaba ka dun sa sasakyan niya kanina.”
“Eh kasi naman Sir eh, may rule daw siya –“
“I know about the rules, Maya.” Sir Ryan interrupted. “And I bet its driving you crazy thinking what it’s for.”
I nodded, guilty. “Alam niyo ba kung para saan Sir?”
He chuckled again. “Of course, but I can’t tell you. I’m pretty sure Richard will tell you when he feels that the timing is right.”
“Bakit sobra namang makapagsikreto si Sir Dean?” I suddenly asked.
“You’ll find out soon.” He said. I rolled my eyes, making him laugh. “He already said that to you didn’t he?”
I nodded. “Couple of times.” I said. “Pero Sir Ryan, sino po si Alex?”
“Ah, Alex is Richard’s –“ he abruptly stopped when the door to the faculty opened like someone banged on it. Both of our heads looked at the door and saw Sir Dean going inside. He leaned on the wall for a second then he continued walking, stopping at Ma’am Ched’s table and putting his hand on the chair to support him. From my point of view, he doesn’t really look well.
“Meeting at three.” He said, making the other professors inside the room to take a look at him. It was the monthly meeting for our college and I know that he’s just reminding everyone about it, but his way of reminding is not really a good one.
“Sir, are you alright?” Sir Ryan asked when Sir Dean was about to walk past us.
Sir Dean nodded and looked at me then goes back to Sir Ryan. “Uhm, could you grab me some lunch Ryan? I haven’t eaten yet.”
“Sure sure. You look pale though. Anything else Sir?” Sir Ryan asked as he returned Sir Mar’s chair.
Sir Dean shook his head as he opened the door to his office. “Advil please.”
“Ah, wag na Sir Ryan. I have one here.” I said and he just nodded. When I looked at Sir Dean, he already entered his office. I sighed. He should’ve just stayed at home. I reached for my bag to get the pouch where I keep my medicines and knocked on his door.
“Sir here’s your –“ I stopped when I saw him sleeping soundly on his chair. His head was leaning back on the chair with his eyes closed. “Dapat kasi hindi na pumasok eh.” I muttered as I placed the pouch on his table.
I know that it’s rude to watch someone sleep, especially if he’s not really a close friend. He looks so tired. I lifted my hands and carefully removed his eyeglasses. He stirred a bit, making me hold my breath, but he didn’t wake up. I went to the corner of his room to make him a cup of coffee and grabbed a bottled water, placing them both on his table. Sir Ryan should be arriving soon with his food and I bet Sir Dean will just roll his eyes at me if I made him take his medicines first.
I placed my hand on his forehead, and I felt that his temperature has gone up than it is earlier. Then I placed the back of my hand on the crook on his neck to double check. I jolted in surprise when I felt his hand touching mine again. “I told you, I’m fine.” He muttered as his eyes started to open.
“Ah, g-gising pala kayo Sir. Good afternoon po.” I said as I continued to eye our hands.
“I was but I still haven’t fallen into deep sleep.” He said. “Where’s Ryan?” He asked and looked at me, his hand still holding mine.
“Nabili pa po ng pagkain niyo.” I replied.
“I bet Ryan was asking you questions earlier. Don’t mind him. He always does that. He thinks that it’s his job to be my big brother, that’s why he interrogates people I usually talk to.” He said.
“Baka po takot siyang mapaltan bilang best friend niyo.” I replied.
I wasn’t expecting it but Sir Dean laughed again, making me smile. “You know, sometimes I think of the same thing! Parang ingat na ingat siya dun sa titulo niya.” He said and with that I started laughing too.
“Aha! I spoke too soon!” A voice made our heads look at the door and saw Sir Ryan standing before the door. “At may pahawak-hawak na agad kayo ng kamay ha.”
Sir Dean and I looked at our hands at the same time. His left palm is touching my right one and it really looked like we were holding hands. We quickly let go of each other’s hand and looked back at Sir Ryan, who is now smiling widely. “Ryan –“
“Lim, I do smell something fishy.” He said.
Sir Dean groaned. “Just give me my food Molina.” He said and Sir Ryan chuckled as he placed the paper bags on the table. “Bakit ang dami?”
“Hindi pa kami nakain ni Maya eh.” He replied. “Dito kami kakain, ‘wag ka nang umangal.”
My mouth gaped but I actually find the whole situation so amusing. This is another side of them. I’ve known Sir Ryan as one of the teachers who truly respects Sir Dean, I never thought that this side of them still exist. “Maya, what are you waiting for? Grab one here. Don’t let this opportunity pass by. Libre ‘to ni Lim.” Sir Ryan said.
I chuckled and grabbed one Tupperware from the bag. I sat on the chair in front of Sir Dean’s table while Sir Ryan sat on the chair opposite of mine. “Maya, it’s free to laugh. Ganito lang kami ni Lim kapag walang nakakakita sa’min.” Sir Ryan said and I chuckled. “You were not expecting this were you?”
I shook my head. “Eh kasi naman Sir, parang respetado kayong lahat sa labas.”
“We are. That’s why we only do this when people are not watching us.” Sir Ryan said again. “Nilalagnat ka pa ba?” He asked Sir Dean.
Sir Dean shook his head but I spoke. “Yes Sir. Mas mainit nga siya ngayon kesa kanina eh.” I said.
“Believe it or not, she’s my nurse, Molina.” Sir Dean said, making me flush while Sir Ryan chuckled.
“Ito naman, nag-aalala lang sa’yo, Lim.” Sir Ryan said. “And Maya, please do take care of your ‘Sir Dean’. Bibihira ‘yan kumain at matulog. He’s literally sacrificing his life for others. Baka una pa ‘tong mawala kaysa sa pasyente niya.” He said and I laughed.
“Sobra naman kayo Sir. Pero naiintidihan ko naman po si Sir Dean eh. Mahirap naman po talaga ‘yung ginagawa niya.” I said and Sir Ryan gave me a teasing smile.
“You do call me Sir Dean. Akala ko namali ‘yung dinig ko kanina.” The man behind the table said.
“Ah, ayaw niyo po ba? Palitan ko na lang Sir Richa-“
“It’s okay. It’s just that you’re the first one who calls me like that.” He said and started eating again.
“Sabi na’t may naamoy ako sa inyong dalawa.” Sir Ryan said and I frantically shook my head.
“Nako Sir, wala po.” I defended. “Friends lang po kami ni Sir Dean, kung friends ngang talaga. Saka may boyfriend po ako.” I said.
“May boyfriend ka?” Sir Ryan immediately asked. From my left, I suddenly heard someone coughing. My eyes shifted and saw Sir Dean choking on the food he was eating. I quickly opened the bottled water and gave it to him.
“O anong nangyari?” Sir Ryan said as he placed his food on the table.
“It’s nothing, it’s nothing.” His best friend replied. “It just went down the wrong pipe.” He said then continued to drink the water. His eyes shifted on me for a second and he immediately looked away.
What did I do this time?
A/N : Sorry if the chapter is boring or something. I’m experiencing writer’s block. I managed to finish this one because of of the suspension of classes. Ingat po sa lahat! God bless 🙂
Maraming salamat po sa patuloy na pagsubaybay sa blog na ‘to!