My alarm in my phone started ringing and I hit snooze right away. I’ve set up four alarms because I know I wouldn’t wake up that easily. It started ringing again and once again I hit snooze. I slept late last night. It was because of Kute. When I got home last night, she was waiting for me to tell my story. And there was something that she told me that didn’t put me to sleep.
“Siguro bunso, panahon na para makipagbreak ka kay Simon.” Those words kept on ringing on my ear like I’ve recorded it or something. It is bothering me. I kept on defending myself that it is wrong, that I should still keep my relationship with him since I am not doing anything wrong. Yet Kute managed to stir up everything inside of me again.
“Bunso, may gusto ka ba kay Sir Dean mo?” She asked and I was mum. “Kasi sa nakikita ko, hindi ka maghahangad ng ganyan kung wala kang nararamdaman.”
“Kute, hindi ba sinabi ko na sa’yo na wala? Saka hindi ba sabi mo rin na baka malungkot lang kaming dalawa kasi ako, walang time si Simon sakin, tapos si Sir Dean .. ano, maraming inaasikaso.” I argued.
“Alam ko naman ‘yung sinabi ko bunso, pero malay mo, mali ako. Ikaw lang talaga ‘yung makakasagot sa mga tanong mo eh. And maybe its time to call it quits kay Simon. Wala na siyang time sa’yo. Hindi ba unfair ‘yon para sa’yo? Alam kong naiintindihan mo na inuuna nya ‘yung career nya. Eh paano ka naman?” She explained. “Alam ko kung gaano kaswerte si Simon sa’yo. Pero Maya, kung nahihirapan ka, don’t you think it’s time for you to realize that you deserve someone better?”
I texted Simon last night. I just said that I miss him and how’s he doing in meds chool. But as expected, I got no reply, no calls even. Honestly, it has been like this ever since I got back from Baguio. I don’t know if he is busy or he just forgets that he needs to call me or even text me. I don’t even know if he is still considers this relationship.
I just stared at the ceiling after I woke up. What is going on with me? I thought I had everything in control yet in a snap like this, I’m completely crumbling down. I have people who I can trust but it feels like I’m being a complete burden to them.
A notification from my phone brought be back from my thoughts. I reached for it and saw a text from Sir Dean. What threw my off guard was the time. It’s already 10AM. I quickly got up from my bed and opened Sir Dean’s message. There are three.
Are you still asleep?
Hey. Are you coming? Niccolo and I are waiting.
My phone started ringing and I almost dropped it. I hit the answer button without looking who was calling. “H-Hello.”
“Maya, where are you? Nasa canteen kami ni Niccolo.” It was Sir Dean. I slapped my head and closed my eyes. I totally forgot that we are going to meet today.
“Ah, S-Sir Dean, kasi, ano, kakagising ko lang? Pwede bang pass muna ako? Kayo na lang muna ni Niccolo? Babawi na lang ako.” I said then bit my lower lip. I think this will be added to the list of my embarrassing moments.
“Kakagising mo lang? It’s already 10 Maya.” He said on the other line.
“Kaya nga Sir Dean eh. Kasi kagabi, inumaga na kami ni Kute sa pag-uusap. Naku, sorry talaga. Babawi talaga ako.” I said.
“Ayos lang naman sa’ming dalwa ni Niccolo.” He said, to my surprise. “But your problem set might not be okay with it. It’s a two paged one. I don’t think you’ll be able to answer and pass it on Monday alone.” He said.
Oh sht. I totally forgot about that. “S-Sige Sir Dean. Ano, uhm, maliligo na ko. Bibilisan ko –“ I stopped when something hit me. “Wait. Why do I have a feeling that you’ve planned this all along?” I asked.
I heard a chuckle on the other line. “Ang alin? Purposely not giving you the problem set last night so that I have a guarantee that you’ll be coming today? Of course not!” He said and then I heard someone laugh. I bet it is Niccolo. “Sige na Maya. Dalian mo na. Sa bahay ka na kumain. I told Manang we’ll be eating.” He said.
“Kung hindi lang talaga dahil sa problem set na ‘yan Sir Dean, hindi talaga ako pupunta.” I mocked.
“Kaya nga pumunta ka na eh. Ayaw pa nito. Free tutorial na nga.” He said and I could hear him smiling on the other line.
“Sige na po Sir Dean, ibababa ko na ‘to para makaligo na ko.” I said putting stress on the word ‘po’. He just chuckled on the other line.
“I’ll see you later. Ingat.” He said and ended the call. I quickly took a bath and dressed up with some random blouse and denim pants. I wore sneakers this time since I’m already late. I quickly grabbed my bag and when I left my room, Kute was sitting again on the couch in the living room.
“Mukhang may lakad tayo ah.” She said. “Gigisingin na sana kita eh. Hinahanap ka na ni Nanay sa’kin.” She continued.
“Tinanghali na ko ng gising Kute eh. Saka ‘di ba, may lakad ako sa school? Nasabi ko na kagabi ah.” I replied.
“Kaya nga. Naipaalam na kita kay Nanay pero magsabi ka pa rin pagbaba mo. Medyo marami lang tao sa baba.” She replied. I just nodded and said goodbye, then she spoke again. “Ano lang bunso, wag kang masyadong mag-isip ha? Go with the flow ka lang. Saka syempre, priorities muna ha?”
I nodded again and said, “Oo naman Kute. Kaya ko ‘to.” I said and left. After saying goodbye to Nanay, I quickly hailed a cab. I bet that those two are still waiting for me. When I arrived at the campus, I sent a text to Sir Dean.
Sir Dean, nasa campus na ako. Nasaan kayo?
My phone rang immediately. Sa canteen pa rin. Look for my car. Dun na kami ni Niccolo.
I reached the canteen and saw the black bmw of Sir Dean. I knocked on the backseat and the window rolled down. Niccolo instructed me to sit at the passenger seat.
“Good morning Sir Dean. Sorry late ako.” I said as I sat down. Sir Dean just chuckled and started driving toward their house.
“One hour late. Bagong record ‘yan ah.” He said as he went pass the dormitory.
“Sorry na nga eh.” I replied.
“Kuya Richard! Mamaya na kayo mag-away. Bilisan mo na ‘yung pagda-drive please. Gusto ko na talagang makapasok sa loob.” Niccolo interrupted.
We arrived shortly at Sir Dean’s house. The gates automatically opened. It was the same mansion that I saw. There are two cars that are parked. One Mercedes Benz and the one that I rode on the last time I was here. Sir Dean parked his beside the Benz and got out to open my door. An old lady opened the door before we could even get inside.
“Ricardo, buti dumating ka na. Hinahanap ka ng Daddy mo.” She said. Sir Dean went still for second, then the old lady noticed me and Niccolo. “Ah, bisita mo?”
“Opo Manang. Si Niccolo po. ‘Yung bata po dun sa kinainan natin dati na sizzling? Saka si Maya po. Ah, kaibigan ko po.” He said. “Ah guys, si Manang Fe. She’s the caretaker of the house.”
“Saka taga-alaga na rin kay Ricardo.” She said. Niccolo and I said our hellos and she greeted us with a smile. She’s a really charming lady. “Sige na pumasok na kayo. Naihanda ko na rin ang pagkain. Nasa veranda ang daddy mo.” She said and then she went inside.
Sir Dean nodded and turned around to face us then he scratched the back of his head. “I didn’t actually plan this.” Then he sighed. “Let’s go inside.” He said. We all walked into the familiar hallway of his house. Niccolo kept on saying how big Sir Dean’s house is. Sir Dean on the other hand is awfully quiet. He led us to the kitchen where lunch is served. Then he told us to wait for a bit and walked to the veranda that was just beside the dining area. He was talking to a man that was blocked from my view.
“Tito kain po!” Niccolo said as he placed some rice on his plate after saying grace. Sir Dean looked at us then back at his dad. Then he started walking back to the dining area. A man followed him but the brightness of the sun caused him to be a silhouette for a second, then his figure came into view.
It was Sir Chancy.
“Ah, Maya, meet my Dad. Si –“
“S-Sir Chancy?” I interrupted. A huge smile formed in the lips of the old man.
“Well, if it isn’t Ms. Dela Rosa.” He said and came near me to shake my hand.
“You two know each other?” Sir Dean asked.
“As a matter of fact, yes.” His father answered. “We met when your college had a meeting for the field trip and I had to become your proxy. Nung pinapunta kita ng Japan?”
Sir Dean paused for a bit before he nodded. “Got it.” He said and sat down on the chair beside me. “Why don’t you join us for lunch Dad? Mamaya pa naman ata ang meeting niyo.”
“Hm. Why not?” The older Lim said and sat on the chair beside Niccolo. “O, kumain ka lang Ms. Dela Rosa. Wag kang mahihiya. Gumaya ka rito sa batang katabi ko. At home na at home.”
Niccolo suddenly stopped eating and looked at Sir Chancy. “Tito naman, walang ganyanan. Masarap lang po talaga ‘yung luto ni Manang Fe.” He said and continued to eat.
I was too stunned to talk. No wonder Sir Ryan told me before that all the clues are out and I just have to connect it. But I wasn’t really expecting Sir Chancy to be Sir Dean’s father. I’ve seen it coming that his father would be a big name but I wasn’t really expecting it to be him.
“Maya .. Maya.” Sir Dean called. “Kumain ka na.” He said and he started putting rice on my plate. Then he passed the bowl of rice to his father. “Anong gusto mong ulam?” He asked.
“Ay Sir Dean ako na.” I said and I reached for the plate of fried chicken. “Sige na, kumain ka na rin.” I said.
“Now you know who my father is. I guess you can understand why I’m keeping my surname a secret.” Sir Dean said.
“Hindi pa ba niya alam, Ricky?” Sir Chancy asked. But what caught my attention is the name. Ricky. “Actually Ms. Dela Rosa, maarte lang talaga ‘yang anak ko. Pwede naman niyang gamitin tapos sabihin na lang niya na malayo akong kamag-anak.”
“Dad, it’s different still.” Sir Dean replied then he turned back to me. “You’re awfully quiet Maya.” He said.
“Ah, ako? Hindi. Ano lang, nagulat lang ako na si Sir Chancy pala ‘yung dad mo, Ricky.” I said and a huge smile just crept on my face when I said his nickname. He looked at me with the same amusement in his eyes.
“Don’t you dare use that nickname, Maya. I’m serious. Lalo na kapag nasa labas tayo.” He dared.
“Bakit? Ang cute kaya ng Ricky!” I replied. “Sir Chancy, okay lang po ba na tawagin ko si Sir Dean na Ricky?” I asked his father and he quickly gave me his permission. “O ‘di ba? I have permission.”
“Dad! Do you really have to?” Sir Dean exclaimed to his father but I can clearly see that he is on the verge of laughing.
“Oo naman! Ricky, it’s one of the consequences of not using my surname when you’re in campus.” Sir Chancy played along. “And please, do call me Tito na lang, Ms. Dela Rosa. And can I call you Maya?”
“Oo naman po Tito!” I replied with a smile on my face. “Pero ang cute talaga ng Ricky eh.”
“This is all your fault Dad. Now she can make fun of me.” Sir Dean said making his dad laugh.
“Dapat pala matagal mo nang dinala rito si Maya eh!” Sir Chancy said.
“Ay tito, nauna pa po si Ma’am Maya na makapunta rito sa bahay niyo eh.” Niccolo butted in as he continued to munch on his food.
“Ha? Kailan?” He asked.
“She was the one who took care of me when I was sick.” Sir Dean, Ricky rather said. “That was when you had a business trip in Singapore and Manang went home to take care of her daughter.”
“Oh, I see.” Tito Roberto said. “Naikwento nga ni Fe na nagkasakit ka raw at wala siya para alagaan ka. Well, I do hope that he is not that much of a burden, Maya.”
“Tito, ako pa nga po ata ‘yung burden nung gabing ‘yon eh. I fell asleep po sa library. Umaga na po ako nagising.” I answered and I bit my lip. I think it was too soon for me to tell that story. Tito Roberto and Niccolo looked at each other, then smiled.
“Mabilis pala ‘tong anak ko.” Tito Roberto remarked.
“Dad, stop. Please. Can we just eat?” Sir Dean shyly asked.
“Magkwentuhan na lang kayo Kuya Richard, para nasosolo ko ‘yung pagkain.” Niccolo said as he forked another piece of chicken. The two Lim just laughed at him. The rest of lunch was just filled with banters, mostly because I’m mocking Sir Dean of his nickname. After eating, Tito Roberto said his goodbye. We are all in the living room to watch a movie since Niccolo asked for it but he fell asleep before the movie could even reach the middle.
“Tignan mo ‘tong bata na ‘to. Magyayaya manood ng movie, tutulugan naman pala.” Sir Dean said as he turned the television off.
“Hayaan mo na Ricky, puyat ata eh.” I said.
Sir Dean narrowed his eyes at me. “You’re still using ‘Ricky’ even if my Dad already left?” He asked.
“Oo naman! Bagay kaya sa’yo.” I mocked.
“Ah ganon. Bahala ka sa problem set mo.” He said and started walking away.
“Sir Dean!” I called but he kept on walking away. “Sir Dean naman eh!” I started running until I grabbed his arm. “Masyado ka namang pikon.” He kept his mouth shut and his eyes doesn’t meet mine. “Okay fine, tama na ‘yung Ricky. Back to Sir Dean na ulit.”
Sir Dean looked at me and winked his eye. “I was just playing. Pwede na siguro akong artista.” He said and I laughed so hard.
“Ewan ko sa’yo Ricky.” I said and he just sighed.
“Sige na. You win. You can call me Ricky but please, sana kapag tayo lang dalwa okay?” He asked and I nodded. “Let’s go to the library nang maturuan na kita.” He said as he put his arm on my shoulder. My heart fluttered with what he did. But even if it did, there’s a word that popped in my mind. Coexistence.
Medyo napasarap po ang pagttype ko haha! Salamat po sa paghihintay!