We arrived shortly at Starbucks somewhere in Baguio. Still, the sensation in my hand doesn’t seem to disappear. I can still feel Sir Dean’s hand entwined in mine even if we’re already a few feet apart. Surprisingly, the café is full at this time of night. Sir Ryan already volunteered to get our orders while we look for a place to be settled.
“Ah here guys.” Sir Dean called us as the table was cleaned by a crew. The table is located at the very corner of the café. The table is long and tall with six high chairs around it. I was about to sit down when I felt a hand grab my arm. “Dun ka sa dulo.” Sir Dean instructed. I just nodded my head and made my way on the chair at the end of the table, near the wall.
Ma’am Ched sat in front of me while Sir Mar sat beside him. Sir Dean sat beside me and moments later, Sir Ryan arrived followed by a crew. He ordered lattes for us and some of the deserts that they offer. Sir Ryan sat beside Sir Dean but before he was finally seated, he took a glance at me and then back to his best friend. “Mabils.” He muttered and I couldn’t help but blush.
“So Richard. Kamusta yung seminar mo sa Japan? I thought it was your dad’s?” Sir Mar asked after he took a sip of his latte.
“It was his originally. Pero may itinerary pala sya for the week. So it got mixed up and he sent me instead to present his study.” Sir Dean answered. “Do you mind if I take the cinnamon bun? For a month all I ate was sushi, ramen and other Japanese cuisines. They insist that I should try their local food. Nagsawa tuloy ako.” He added, gathering laughter from us.
“Go on Brod.” Sir Ryan said. “I’ll take the cake. Maya? What do you want?” He asked.
“Yung sticky cinnamon bun na lang Sir.” I replied with a smile. Sir Dean quickly reached for the plate and placed it in front of me. “Thank you Sir Dean.”
“Richard, does your mom know that you’re already here?” Ma’am Ched asked. They continued to talk about Japan and Sir Dean’s seminar experience while I listen in silence, speaking when they ask stuff. From my observation, I could say that this is not the first time that Sir Dean has done this kind of thing. There’s just something in the way that he speaks that convinces you right away.
I was half way through my food when I felt a hand tap my thigh. I secretly glanced at it and saw Sir Dean’s hand on my thigh, his palm facing up, then he tapped the back of his hand again. I don’t know what he is asking but when I glanced at him, he’s just looking at Sir Mar while their conversation carries on. He tapped his hand again and I don’t really know what to do. So in order to stop him, I placed my hand on his and to my surprise, he entwined them again.
I could feel my heart beating so fast it’s going to leap out of my chest. Why does he make me feel this way? Most importantly, what is happening to me? Using my left hand, I continued to eat my food. And when I thought this wouldn’t get anymore better, I felt his hand squeeze mine then his thumb move back and forth my fore finger, like he’s savoring this moment.
Oh, Sir Dean. What are you doing to me?
I don’t even know if we look obvious to the others. If I was a suspicious person, I would clearly see that the two of us are up to something. I mean come on, we’re using just one of or arms while the other is completely immobile.
I jolted in surprise when I felt my phone ring. I quickly let go of Sir Dean’s hand as I fished for my phone in my bag. I am aware of the eyes staring at me. Without looking for the caller ID, I quickly pressed answer.
“H-Hello?” I said then I gave apologetic smiles to my co-faculty members.
“Hi Maya!” A male voice said on the other line. “How is Baguio? Sorry ngayon lang ako nakatawag. Sobrang busy kasi. Alam mo naman. Bat gising ka pa? Gabi na ah!” He continued.
“Ah, Simon. Nasa labas kasi kami ng mga prof ko. Pwede bang tawagan kita mamaya? Or text na lang kita.” I whispered.
“Sure sure!” Simon replied. “Magtext ka ha? And enjoy your time with them. Mag-ingat kayo.” He said.
“Okay. Sige na Simon, nakakahiya kasi sa kanila. Text kita mamaya. Promise. Bye!” I quickly said and ended the call immediately. When I turned back to my professors, they were all smiling at me.
“Uyyy! Boyfriend mo ba ‘yan Maya?” Ma’am Ched teased. I gave her an apologetic smile and I just nodded my head.
“Ano ngang pangalan nya Maya? I know you mentioned it before but I haven’t heard the guy’s name. Or nabanggit mo, nalimutan ko lang.” Sir Ryan asked.
“Ah, Simon Corpuz Sir.” I answered.
“I think I had a Corpuz once in my students. It was a long time ago though but maybe that is your boyfriend.” Ma’am Ched said. “I can’t remember what he looks like but I can remember that he is a bright boy and he wouldn’t shut up about his ambition which is to be a doctor.”
I chuckled. “Baka nga po si Simon ‘yon. He’s pursuing med school naman po Ma’am. And he is working very hard po to the point na minsan nalilimutan na niya yung tao sa paligid niya.” I truthfully said.
“Well that is understandable naman ‘di ba? Pag kasi nagdecide ka na mag-dodoktor ka, parang nag-decide ka na rin na pumasok ng seminaryo. It’s really hard.” Sir Mar said. “He’s lucky that he’s got you Maya. He would be a fool if he let you go –“
“Uhm, it’s getting pretty late.” Sir Dean butted in. “I guess we should head back to the hotel.” He further said.
“Lim, ang kj mo na naman eh. Minsan lang tayo mag ganito!” Sir Ryan explained.
“Sorry Ryan. Medyo jet lagged pa kasi ako. I haven’t got a decent sleep and this day kind of drained me.” Sir Dean said. “Perhaps we can do this again some other day? Ako na ‘yung taya.”
His best friend just sighed. “Alright. You owe us. But you have a point, too. Its past midnight na. Maaga pa tayo bukas.”
Everyone agreed and we all got up and headed outside. Sir Ryan and the others are looking for a cab and as they are doing so, I quickly sent a text to Simon.
Pabalik na kami ng hotel. Sorry kanina ha.
Before I could slid the phone back inside my bag, it beeped.
No biggie. Ikaw pa ba? Anyway, ingat kayo. I need to sleep. I got a big day tomorrow. J
Okay. Goodnight Simon! Goodluck bukas! Kaya mo yan!
Yes. I’ll be positive! Just like you! I really need to go. Goodnight Maya.
His last text made me smile. It’s like Simon is trying to pay me back for the times he is not around. I really hope that he’ll do this more often.
“Maya! Let’s go!” Sir Ryan called, pulling me back from my reverie. To my surprise, he slid on the second row of the car. I quickly followed them and saw that Sir Mar and Ma’am Ched are occupying the space beside him. “Hop in! Dali!” Sir Ryan said.
After I closed the door, the cab immediately sprung into motion. “What’s the itinerary tomorrow?” Somebody asked and to my surprise, the voice came from the passenger’s seat.
“Tour sa umaga then by afternoon we’re already leaving Lim.” Sir Ryan answered while he is checking his phone. “Why?” He followed up.
Why is Sir Dean sitting at the front? I couldn’t help but wonder. I thought we are in good terms and then what happened? “I have exams the next day. I think I’ll be leaving early.” Sir Dean replied. “I already texted the pilot. He’ll be here first thing in the morning with the chopper.”
“What’s with the sudden decision, Richard?” Sir Mar asked. “Parang kanina lang ang ayos ng usapan natin. Ba’t parang nag-shift ‘yung mood mo?”
There was a moment of silence for couple of seconds until Sir Dean answered. “I forgot that I have more important things to do Ninong. I got preoccupied.” He simply said.
“Sir saying ‘yung mga activities for tomorrow. Last day na naman po Sir. Kung gusto niyo Sir tulungan ko na lang po kayong mag-review sa bus pauwi.” I said, trying to convince him.
“No.” He coldly answered. I thought he was going to say something more afterwards but the silence continued.
We arrived shortly at the hotel. Me, Ma’am Ched and Sir Mar are already in the elevator. Sir Mar’s hand is on the latch since we’re waiting for the other two. Then Sir Ryan gave us a sign that we should go ahead without them. Sir Mar simply nodded and let the doors of the elevator close.
“Ano na naman kaya ang problema no’ng si Richard?” Ma’am Ched suddenly said. So there is a problem.
“I really don’t know. He was fine earlier then he just snapped like that. Ang bata nga namang ‘yon. Grabe kung mag-flip ‘yung mood switch nya. Good thing Ryan’s already on the top of it.” Sir Ryan answered.
I just kept my mouth shut. What is happening? Did something happen with his family? In his work? Or in his studies? I really don’t know what to think. The ping from the elevator brought me back from my reverie. Sir Mar bid his goodnight since the three of us have rooms in the opposite hallways.
“Maya, hindi ka pa ba papasok?” Ma’am Ched asked. I was just keeping my attention to the elevator, worried about Sir Dean.
“Uhm, mamaya na po Ma’am. Hihintayin ko na po si Sir Dean, baka po may maitulong ako.” I politely answered.
Ma’am Ched nodded. “Just don’t stress yourself too much in his problems. Being Richard, it’s really hard. Uuna na ko okay? Nagkakaroon kasi ako ng migraine kapag kulang ang tulog ko. Goodnight Maya.” She said and closed the door behind her.
I sat on the floor near our room. I wonder what happened between Sir Dean and his best friend. I wonder what’s up with him. I really do hope that I can help him even in the simplest thing there is.
After a few minutes, I heard voices coming from the elevator. It’s them. Sir Ryan tapped Sir Dean at his shoulder and went the other way. Sir Dean looked so lost. He has his hands in his pockets with his head bowed. He’s walking slowly towards our room. And when he looked up, he halted when he saw me. My heart started to beat so fast. Sir Dean continued walking and did not even bother to stop before me.
“Why are you still outside?” He asked coldly when he stopped in front of our door.
“I’m waiting for you Sir.” I simply answered, then we shared silence. “Ah, Sir ano po bang nangyari? A-Ayos lang po ba kayo? Sa studies niyo po ba?” I nervously asked.
Sir Dean inhaled deeply and sighed. “Listen, Ms. Dela Rosa.” He said. “I am sorry if I offended you. I am sorry for holding your hand in the car and in the café. I know I crossed the line knowing that you .. you have a boyfriend.”
“S-Sir wala naman po dapat ika-sorry –“
“I tried making a move and I forgot that you’re already taken. I snapped because I couldn’t face that reality. I mean no disrespect. Please do excuse my behavior earlier. It’s all my fault.” He interrupted. I couldn’t bring myself to speak. So the whole reason for this is because of me? I wanted so badly to argue that I don’t need his apology. But he made it clear that he should be. But why is it that I feel like there’s nothing wrong with it? That everything that happened is wrong but there’s no harm done?
But I guess I am wrong.
Because clearly, someone got hurt.
“You should sleep. You’ve got a big day ahead of you.” Sir Dean continued and for the whole time I realized that while he was saying those things, he never looked into my eyes. “Goodnight.” He added and went back inside.
I was left outside feeling like my heart carried something so heavy. I want to cry but my eyes doesn’t seem to hear my heart. I stood there like an idiot. Then after a couple of minutes, my courage made me enter our room. Sir Dean is already past asleep in his bed while Ma’am Ched is curled up on the other bed.
With a heavy heart, I stopped at Sir Dean’s bed first. I placed my hand of top of his. “I’m sorry Sir Dean.” I whispered. Then I stood up and put myself to sleep.
A/N: Kaway kaway habang sembreak! Hahaha. Slowly but surely po muna ako. I don’t know when the next update will be. Sorry po!