The days quickly passed and before I knew it Preliminary exams were fast approaching, including my examinations to Sir Dean. After his fever, he just went to his old ways of teaching. He’s still the same professor that I know except that I kept noticing that he now seldom talks to me. But then again, I might be wrong. After all, I’m quite busy myself and I bet that he’s also busy with his studies.
Our lessons became more complicated and I could feel that my knowledge is still not enough. It was not because I didn’t understand the lessons, (They were all well explained!) but because of the fatigue I’m getting from work. The tasks I’ve been doing are already for those full time professors but since we’re outnumbered by the number of students, we part time professors don’t really have any choice. So in the end, I’m always tired during my class, and as much as I want to listen, all of the information just enters my ear and exists on the other.
My exams are still after the examination of the college students. I still have time to review since I will only go to the campus on Monday and Tuesday though I still have my class under Sir Dean. Then there’s still the undying issue of me not going home last week. Even if I already explained everything to Kute and to Nanay, they still wouldn’t shut up and they were always reminding me to go home as soon as my class finish. It was really annoying. They even said that the only thing that could make them believe the whole story is if that colleague of mine went to our house to explain in my behalf. And that would only mean Sir Dean which he will never do in a million years.
“Good afternoon class.” I greeted and I made my way to my table as they greeted back. I momentarily stopped when I felt the room spin. I keep having this dizziness today and I would often feel nauseous. “Class, makikiisod na lang ng upuan niyo. As much as possible, the space must be one chair apart.” I instructed and I heard them move their chairs. I gathered the papers in my hands and started distributing them.
“Ma’am, you look pale.” I heard Roy said as I placed the paper on the desk of his classmate in front of him. “Ayos lang po kayo?”
“Yes, I’m fine. Don’t worry.” I said giving him an assured smile. “Please read the instructions carefully and you may detach the answer sheet.” I said as I walked back to my table, but then the room began spinning again.
“Are you alright Ma’am?” A voice asked me and I saw Edward beside me holding my arm. What is happening to me? “If you want po, I could call someone from the faculty.” He said.
“I’m okay, Mr. Santos.” I said and I used my strength to stand again. I just placed a hand on the long table at front to support me. “Go on. Don’t worry about me. Mauubos ang oras niyo sa exam.” I just said and Edward gave me one last look before he nodded.
I sat on my chair and rubbed my temple. Maybe I’m just experiencing the fatigue from the past days which is actually bad since I have my exams soon. I can’t really afford to be sick now. The remaining days of Sir Dean’s lecture is going to be harder and I will be doomed if I’m absent.
It was a good thing that examinations here in PUS are scheduled based on their weekly schedules. For Monday, I have three classes while I have two tomorrow. The students were the one who decided which of our meetings would be their exam day since we meet twice a week. As they were busy looking for answers in every space inside their brains, I’m reading my notes that doesn’t really make any sense. The voice record in my phone is helpful but I need to find a way to shorten my listening time to those hours of voice records.
After an hour, students began passing their papers. They bid their goodbye and some even asked if I’m really okay. There were only four students answering now – Edward, Roy, Kylie and Harry. When Edward stood up, Roy followed. When their papers are already in my hands, Harry and Kylie followed. “Ma’am, ang hirap po ng exam.” Roy said from his chair as he slung the strap of his bag on his shoulder.
“Mahirap ba? Hindi kasi ako ang gumawa ng exam eh. Departmentalized kasi.” I said as I stood up and the familiar spinning of the room happened again.
“Ma’am, ayos lang po kayo?” Harry asked as I felt someone hold my arm.
“Ayos lang ..” I trailed off feeling so lightheaded.
“Ed! Humingi ka ng tulong sa labas! Bilis!!” I heard the panic in Kylie’s voice. There are now two persons holding my arm as they assisted me to sit. After a few seconds, I heard the door open but I couldn’t open my eyes to look who entered. Everything went black. The only thing I could remember is my name being called by a very familiar voice.
“She’s over fatigued.” I heard a voice saying. “Ninong, could you sub on her next class? You’re free until three, right?”
“Alright Richard. Just keep an eye on her.” The other voice said and then there’s a sound of the opening of the door then it closed.
My eyes started to open and I was welcomed by the bright lights of the room, making me squint my eyes. I propped myself up using my arms but before I could fully sit, someone caught my attention.
“Hey hey, take it easy.” A voice said and I saw Sir Dean approaching me. He placed his hand on my arms to help me sit. I leaned back and realized that I’m sitting on the couch inside his office. Sir Dean came back and sat on the swivel chair he placed in front of me. “How are you feeling?” He asked.
“A-Ano pong nangyari?” I asked. I feel so weak and I feel like I’m going to faint anytime soon. “B-Bakit po ang lamig dito sa office niyo?”
“Ms. Dela Rosa, you have a fever. That’s why you feel cold. I already lowered the temperature of the air conditioning in my room when I brought you here. Have you eaten?” He asked, looking at me worriedly.
“Y-You brought me here?” I stammered again.
I saw a smirk appear on his lips but it quickly disappeared. “Yes. Your student, Mr. Santos came out rushing from your room and bumped into me. He said that you fainted and when I went inside your room, your other three students were in panic since you’re unconscious. I carried you here and told them that you will be fine. How are you feeling?” He asked.
I was so confused at what’s happening and the only thing that’s clear to me is when my eyes met the wall clock in the room. “I’m late.” I muttered and scrambled to my feet but was stopped with Sir Dean’s hand on my shoulders, pushing me to sit down again.
“Ms. Dela Rosa, sit down –“
“Sir, I’m late for my next class.” I interrupted him and still pushed myself up but he overpowered me, or I’m really just weak to fight him.
“Maya, look at me.” He commanded and my head flew quickly to meet his gaze. I suddenly felt conscious on how his face is just in front of me. “I do admire your dedication to work but I already told Sir Mar to act as a substitute. You need to rest.” He said.
“Eh Sir –“
“Do I have to repeat myself? You’re sick, Ms. Dela Rosa. In fact you wouldn’t even let me do anything when I was the one who’s sick.” He said and I finally gave in after that. “Now, answer my questions and be a good patient. Have you eaten?” He asked. I shook my head. “Breakfast?” I just shook my head again. I stayed up late last night and woke up late this morning. I only grabbed some left over pandesal and ran outside to go to school. “Bakit hindi ka pa nakain?” He added another question and I found myself mum. Sir Dean stood up from his seat and grabbed something on his table and sat back on the chair. “Here’s my lunch. You can have it.”
“But Sir –“
“Take it. There’s a sandwich inside. I’ll just ask Ryan to get me another one.” He said and stood up to make a cup of coffee. I opened the paper bag and sure enough, there’s a Tupperware where a clubhouse sandwich lies inside. “I made you a cup of coffee. I put creamer in it. I have a feeling you’re not a fan of black coffee.” He said and placed it on the table beside the couch.
I felt myself blush. It’s different when Sir Dean pays this kind of attention. I was used to our distance that will not be less than a meter. Having him this close is just .. just not normal. “Ah, Sir, kumain na kayo?” I asked.
He looked up as he sipped his own coffee. A smirk made his dimple visible again as he shook his head. “Go ahead. Don’t worry about me.” He replied.
I bit my lower lip. “I’ve said that a lot of times to my students earlier and I ended up unconscious. What are the odds that it might happen to you, too Sir?” I said and his smile got wider. “And besides Sir, drinking coffee with an empty stomach just makes you produce more hydrochloric acid, making you more acidic? Kayo bahala, Sir, baka magka-ulcer kayo.”
I heard the familiar sound of his chuckle and my heart doubled its rate. He seldom smiles and he just laughs in the most unique time there is so watching him like this is like gold. “I’m pretty sure that I’m still far away from having ulcer. Nevertheless, I’ll take my chances.” He said.
I smiled and decided to divide the sandwich into two, ending up with two unequal parts in my hands. I raised my right hand to give him the bigger one. “Sir oh, hati na lang tayo.” I said and he just looked at the sandwich in my hand. “Dali na Sir. Hindi ko po kakainin ‘yung akin kapag hindi kayo kumain.”
He just sighed and shook his head. Then he reached for the sandwich I’m holding with my left hand. “I’ll take this. You’re the one who needs food.” He said and bit the sandwich in his hand. “Do you have your medicines?” He asked.
I nodded my head. “I have it in my bag. I’ll just get it.” I said and attempted to stand up to get it from my table but he held out a hand at me.
“Stay. I’ll get it.” He said and opened his door to go outside. He came back just as quick as he left with my bag on his other hand. I reached for it and then looked at that little pouch inside but it was not inside.
“Do you have it?” He asked as he took a sip of his coffee and sat on his swivel chair in front of me. I shook my head and he just laughed. Then he stood up and opened a drawer from his table. A familiar pouch was on his hand as he sat on the chair again. “I’m sorry. You left it here when you and Ryan had lunch.” He said and I just narrowed my eyes at him. “I guess it’s now my turn to play nurse, though I would like my role to be the doctor.”
I chuckled. “You don’t need a role Sir. You clearly are ready to be a doctor.” I said and he just smiled at me.
“Thank you. I needed the ego boost.” He said as he handed me the medicine. Since I was so weak, instead of reaching for it, I ended up bumping his hand and with Sir Dean dropping the medicine. I reached for it but I guess he did too since his hand was on top of mine when I grabbed the medicine. “Ah, I’m sorry –“ He stopped abruptly when he looked at me. His eyes found mine as we shared this close distance between our heads.
I was about to look away but I can’t bring myself to. It’s like there’s this force field and I’m just stuck looking at his eyes. I could also feel my heart beating so fast. Even he couldn’t look away then slowly, I saw his eyes shift on my lips. It lasted for a second, and then his eyes found mine again. I found myself shifting my eyes to his lips. It was slightly parted like he can’t breathe properly.
The sudden knock on the door caused us to move away from each other. I grabbed the medicine and gripped it tightly with my hands as he stood up and waited for the person to come in. “Hey bro, do you need another sandwich? I bought two – O, hey Maya.” Sir Ryan said as he took a seat on the chair in front of Sir Dean’s table. His eyes stared at us and they narrowed. “What’s up? Did I interrupt something? Bakit parang namumutla kayong dalawa?” He asked.
“Ah, M-Maya’s sick.” I heard Sir Dean answer and then he grabbed his chair and pushed it before his table.
“Yeah, Sir Mar told me.” Sir Ryan replied. “Is she better? She still has classes today right?”
Sir Dean looked at me, causing me to look away. I now couldn’t look at him without remembering those moments that we shared earlier. It’s just way too personal and way past being work colleagues. I just took the medicine from its foil and reached for the bottled water and drank it. “She’s still has a fever.” I heard Sir Dean say. “I’m taking her home.”
Because of that, my head shifted at him with my mouth gaped. “P-Po?” I muttered.
The two men stared back at me. “I’m taking you home. Ihahatid na kita.” Sir Dean said.
“Pwede naman po akong mag-commute.” I replied.
“Maya, you’re sick. It’s dangerous.” Sir Ryan said. “You better go with Lim. It’ll be safer and it will not cost you a thing.”
I bit my lower lip. This is definitely happening.
A/N: Thank you for all the greetings! Babawi na lang po ako sa susunod. Medyo madami pa po kasi akong gagawin kaya di afford ang double treat. God bless!!