“His name sounds awfully familiar.” Simon muttered as he sat back on the bed again. Nanay excused herself since she needs to attend the customers downstairs leaving me and Simon. They trust Simon so much that Nanay already treats him like her son.
“Baka naman nabasa mo lang na medical record o baka naiiba lang dinig mo.” I replied, not wanting him to dig deep into Sir Dean’s name. Maybe the two are schoolmates or something. “Himala ah, dumalaw ka bigla. Si Nanay lang pala makakapagpapunta sa’yo dito eh.” I said, raising a brow at him.
A smile flew in his lips and he reached for my hand. “I’m sorry, busy lang talaga.” He said. “Nagselos ka naman agad kay Nanay Teresita. Alam mo namang mahal na mahal .. ko ‘yung nanay mo.” He teased and I ended up laughing.
“Dun ka na nga kay Nanay.” I said as I tried to push him away but he just laughed at me and held my high tighter. I leaned back on the headboard and watched at our hands. For almost a year of being in a relationship, I seldom hold his hand back. He would usually hold mine and entwine it with his but I will not hold back. I’m just not used to it.
“Ah, the owner of our school came back earlier.” He said. Simon has been telling me nonstop stories on how this owner of their school became his inspiration. That man left his family at an early age and supported himself alone in his studies until he reached his doctorate degree. Then he worked his ass off until he saved a lot of money and his rank in the school got up until he finally became the owner of one. “Isang araw talaga, kakausapin ko siya. I will tell him how his life affected mine. Grabe talaga, Maya. Kung nakaattend ka lang nung talk niya dati, pati ikaw ma-aamaze sa buhay ni Mr. Lim.”
“M-Mr. Lim?” I quickly asked.
Simon nodded at me. “His name is Roberto Lim. It’s really ironic na kung sino pa ‘yung Chinese na dapat mayaman, siya pa ‘tong naghirap sa umpisa.” He said.
“Lim?” I asked again.
Simon’s eyes narrowed at me. “Yeah, Lim. Bakit parang hindi ka makapani – Oh! That’s right! He owns PUS too. And if I’m not mistaken, he’s also the chancellor. ‘Yung PUS ata ‘yung unang school na pagmamay-ari niya.”
My mouth gaped. I’m well aware that our chancellor is a Chinese but I never thought that he would be a Lim. I couldn’t help but to think that somehow the two are related. Would that be possible?
“So, how are you feeling? Are you nauseous or something? Kumain ka na ba?” He asked, bringing me back from my reverie. “Hey, are you okay?”
I nodded my head, even if I’m bothered by the things I discovered. “Kumain na naman ako saka pinainom na rin ako ni Sir Dean ng gamot sa faculty.” I answered.
My boyfriend nodded slowly. “Mabait ba sa’yo ‘yung dean niyo? Hindi ka naman inaano?” He asked. My eyes narrowed. What’s with the sudden question?
“Oo naman, Simon. Bakit mo naman natanong?” I asked back and he just shrugged. I could see in his eyes that he still wants to say something but decided against it. “So, how’s school?”I asked.
Simon just give me a smirk and sighed. “As usual. Mahirap, hectic, magulo.” He answered. This is one of the many things that I like about him. Simon doesn’t brag. If he does, he will always choose the right time for it. And if there’s something that happened to him, he will always tell me in a way that he wants to inform me, and not by making me feel like I’ve missed a lot of things in medical school. “Have you ever thought about quitting your job?” He asked.
My brows furrowed. “Alam mo, pareho kayo ni Nanay. Simon, hindi ako pwedeng mag-resign kalagitnaan ng semester. Isang malaking sakit sa ulo ang dala no’n lalo na’t kulang sila sa mga professors ngayon sa PUS. And besides, I need the money to study.” I replied.
“Maya, hindi mo naman kailangang magtrabaho eh. Nandito ako, pwede kitang tulungan. Saka temporary lang naman ‘tong trabaho mo ‘di ba, para makapagbayad ka ng tuition and at the same time, maibalik mo ‘yung pangalan mo sa listahan ng mga Dean’s lister. Pero hindi mo rin ba naiisip na lalo kang mahihirapang makakuha ulit ng scholarship kung nagtatrabaho ka ng ganito?” He calmly stated.
“I’m not against people working.” He interrupted. “I just find your situation very .. inconvenient. Teacher ka sa umaga tapos sa gabi, estudyante ka, tapos kailangan mo pang makakuha ng mataas na grade para sa scholarship. Sinasabi ko pa nga lang, nakakapagod na eh.” He said, adding the last line with a smile. I just sighed and leaned back on the bed. I know that he is right. It’s just the prelim term yet I’m this exhausted. Quitting my job would be the easiest way there is but then, since midterm will be next, maybe I could try again and be better than what I did during prelim.
“I can’t quit. They need me. Ganito lang kasi ‘yan, Simon. I’ve made a lot of mistakes during this term. Ang kailangan ko lang gawin, maging mas magaling at mas maagap sa mga gawain kaysa sa prelim term. At nararamdaman kong hindi ako magiging ganito next term.” I said and I lifted my right palm. “Promise.”
Simon sighed and grabbed my right hand and enveloped it with his. “I just want you to take care of yourself, Maya.” He said and then his phone started beeping. He let go of my hand and took the phone out of his pocket. “Crap. I need to go back, Maya. ‘Yung thesis kasi namin –“
“It’s okay, Simon. Lumakad ka na.” I said with a smile. He just nodded and quickly went outside without saying goodbye or anything. “I love you.” I whispered in the wind.
I eased myself on bed and laid on my side. I know for fact that Simon and I are drifting apart. The two of us started out as best friends and I do wonder if we’re only good as being friends and not as a couple. If only the both of us could have more time, maybe I would not be thinking about it right now. I decided to close my eyes to sleep. I do hope that I could be better later.
“Maya. Maya, nak, may lugaw ako ditong niluto. Kain ka muna.” I heard my mother’s voice as I felt my shoulder being shaken. “Ang taas pa ng lagnat mo o.” She said. I tried to open my eyes and saw that it’s already dusk. I put all of my strength in my arms to push myself up and found myself weaker than the last time. “O, dahan dahan lang.” Nanay said and helped me to lean back on the bed. She reached for the porridge and lifted the spoon to feed me.
“Nay, ako na po. Magpahinga na po kayo kasi alam kong mamaya-maya lang, marami na naman customers na kakain.” I said and grabbed the bowl from her hands. “Wag po kayong mag-alala sa’kin at mawawala rin ‘to.”
Nanay massaged her temple. “Hay, kung hindi lang totoo ‘yang sinasabi mo, hindi kita iiwan dito eh.” She said and placed a hand on my arm. “Kumain ka ha? Dun lang ako sa babae. Itext mo na lang ang Kute mo kapag may kailangan ka.” She said and stood up. She took one last glance at me before she head out.
I groaned as I stared at the bowl of porridge in my hands. I don’t really have the appetite to eat. I placed the bowl on the bedside table and laid back on bed again. My phone started ringing and I answered it with my eyes closed without looking who called.
“Have you eaten?” The voice on the other line said. I didn’t bother to look at the name and I just assumed that it’s one of my guy friends. His voice is familiar but I couldn’t distinguish who it is because it’s quite different when you hear it from the phone.
“Not yet. Nanay gave me a bowl of porridge but I don’t want it.” I mumbled.
“What do you want to eat?” The mysterious man on the other line asked.
I found myself smiling at his question. “Jollibee.” I answered. I don’t care if I sound like a sick kid. It’s what my taste buds want and it would probably be the only thing I would eat right now.
I heard the person on the other line sigh. He made a sound like he was going to say something but he stopped abruptly. “Okay.” He said instead. “Go back to sleep.” He added and the line went dead. His voice alone is like a lullaby that I found my eyelids closing against my will.
“Maya. Gising ka na muna.” I heard my sister’s voice and I just groaned. “Bunso, gumising ka muna kasi. Hindi ka pa nakain o.” She continued.
“Pasensya na, Kute. Matutulog na lang muna ako. Pasabi na lang kay Nanay ayaw tanggapin ng tyan ko ‘yung lugaw.” I said with my eyes closed, not bothering to open it.
“Bunso, gumising ka nga muna, may bisita ka.” She said as she continued to poke my side.
“Pasabi na lang kasi Kute na may sakit ako at nagpapahinga. Saka na lang dapat siya bumisita.” I irritatingly said. Why do they need to wake me up just because of a visitor? Can’t I just rest for the day?
“It’s okay. I’ll leave it here.” I heard a man’s voice. My eyes opened quickly when realization hit me to whom the owner of the voice is. On my side, Kute is standing with none other than Sir Dean. His hand is holding a two paper bags of the famous fast food chain and both of them are staring at me. “Good evening, Ms. Dela Rosa.” He said with a smirk. My eyes went wide and a rush of adrenaline flowed in my veins. My hands immediately went to my face, checking if I look alright and as I push myself up to sit, I was fixing my hair. “Hey, take it easy.” He said and quickly went to my side and assisted me in sitting up.
“Nay, Nay!” A small voice entered the room, it was my nephew, Cho. “Nasaan na raw po ‘yung extrang plato sabi ni Kuya Lino?” He asked.
“Ay, bunso, Sir, maiwan ko muna kayo. Ang daming tao sa baba eh.” My sister said and quickly went outside with her son. Sir Dean and I were left inside the room with the air of silence joining us.
“G-Good evening po Sir.” I greeted with an unsure smile. It’s already weird having him in my house and now he’s here inside my room. “N-Napadalaw po kayo.”
“I brought these.” He said and lifted up the paper bags he was holding. “I called earlier. You said you haven’t eaten yet because you wanted this.” He explained and placed them on the bed and sat beside it. I burrowed my face in my hands because of embarrassment. It was him who called and I have no idea! And to top it all off, he still did what I requested and delivered it in our house! “Are you okay?”
“I’m sorry Sir! Hindi ko kasi alam na ikaw pala ‘yung tumawag. Dapat hindi niyo na sinunod.” I said without removing my hands. “Hindi ko naman po sinasadya na mautusan kayo.”
I heard him chuckle. “It’s okay. I’m on my way home anyway.” He said and released a deep breath. “You haven’t eaten still? Ah, kung sabagay, tulog na tulog ka nung inabutan kita dito.” He said with a smile.
I laughed and helped him in removing the foods inside the bag. “Pero seryoso, Sir. Sorry talaga. Hindi ko talaga alam na kayo ‘yung nautusan ko. Nakakahiya talaga Sir. Babayaran ko na lang kayo.” I said. “Teka bakit parang ang dami naman nito?” I added when I noticed that he bought a burger, spaghetti, chicken, fries and almost one of each category in the menu.
“Hindi ko naman kasi alam kung anong gusto mo eh. I was trying to call you again but you didn’t pick up. I assumed you were sleeping.” He said.
“Sir naman eh. Kahit burger lang, maligaya na ko.” I said as I grabbed the champ he bought. “Baka gusto niyo rin ng burger Sir.” I said.
Sir Dean just stared at me. “I know what I want.” He said and I halted, not just in moving, but also in breathing. It’s like he’s trying to say something more. He broke the eye contact and reached for the spaghetti. “Ah, and its Richard to you. We’re outside the school after all.”
“I refuse Sir. You’re still my professor and even if I graduated and if by all means got my doctorate degree, too, I would still be calling you Sir.” I said with a smile. Sir Dean just stared at me a fraction longer without smiling and nodded.
“But what if something happened? Something life changing happened? Would you still continue to call me Sir?” He asked.
“Hmm. Maybe. It depends on how big that something is.” I answered. He gave me his breath-taking lopsided smile again and nodded.
“You better remember what you said Ms. Dela Rosa. I’m looking forward to that something that is bound to happen.” He said with a smile and continued to eat. “Kumain ka na. I don’t want you getting sick anymore.” He added and I felt like a chord in my heart was plucked. What does he mean by that?
A/N: Ito lang po muna sa ngayon. Nagsasabay-sabay po kasi yung mga projects, last week po may field trip tapos next week exams. Magpapakabusy po muna ako sa buhay ko. Hahaha. Aabsent po muna ako ng saglit. Thank youuuu!
p.s. sensya na po sa typo. ngayon ko lang nabago haha. 8/27/14;10:53PM,GMT+8