“I’ll be uploading an activity later in the school’s online class. I’ll be dismissing you early due to matters I must attend.” The Dean said. It is exactly 7:30 and he really did keep his word. “Class dismissed.” He said. With that, all of the students started clearing their desks.
“Ay, Maya.” Eds called. She has been one of my few friends in this class. Like me, she is also a part-time professor but in another university. “Congrats nga pala for getting the highest grade dun sa problem set natin. Ang galling mo pala sa genetics!” She greeted.
“Nako Eds, magaling lang ‘yung nagturo sa’kin. Hindi ko rin talaga kasi maintindihan ‘yan nung una eh.” I replied as I placed my things in my bag.
“Buti naman nagkaron na ng time sa’yo ‘yang boyfriend mo! Hay, mga lalaki talaga oh.” She quickly replied.
“Ay ano Eds, hindi siya ‘yung nagturo sa’kin eh.” I replied. “Saka, ano, break na kami.”
“Omg! Are you serious?” She gasped. “Well, I can’t really blame you. Masasabi ko pa ngang tama ‘yung desisyon mo eh.” She continued. “Anyway, sinong nagturo sa’yo?”
“A friend.” I shortly replied but I think it’s still a giveaway since she teasingly looked at me.
“Fine. Pero Maya, kung pwede lang, pwede ba kaming magpaturo ni Emman before exams next week? Alam mo namang mahirap si Doc Santelices magpa-exam. If pwede sana, sa friend mo na rin.” She said.
“Nako Eds, titignan ko ha? Busy din kasi ‘yon.” I just replied. She thanked me and then left. I wonder what their reaction would be if they found out that my tutor is actually the one giving the exams. I bet they would freak out.
I was the only student left inside the room and Sir Dean is still at front, sitting on the table like he was waiting for something. When the door clicked after Eds left, he stood up and met his gaze with mine.
“Shall we go?” He asked as he swung the strap of his backpack to his shoulder.
“Hinihintay mo pala ako Sir Dean. Sorry, medyo nagkakwentuhan kami ni Eds.” I replied as I made my way to the front.
“Ano bang pinag-usapan niyo?” He asked.
“She just congratulated me for getting the highest score dun sa problem set.” I humbly replied while Sir Dean smirked.
“Magaling ‘yung nagturo sa’yo eh.” He proudly said.
I quickly slapped his arm at his remark. “Ang yabang talaga nito.” I said. “Kaso, ayun nga ‘yung problema. Nagpapaturo sila sa’kin. Pero sabi ni Eds, kung pwede raw, dun sa tutor ko magpaturo.” I explained. “Hindi ko lang alam kung papayag ‘yung Dean na mag-tutor.”
“That would actually be complicated.” He replied as he scratched the back of his head. “It would be unfair to the other students if they found out. Marereport ako. And eventually, my Dad would be mad.” He explained and I nodded. “Why don’t you teach them what I taught you?”
“Mas malinaw ka kasing magturo eh.” I said. “Hindi bola ‘yan ha.” I added.
He smiled back at me and then he sighed. “Is it important to you na maturuan sila? Your friends I mean.”
I nodded. “Oo, in some ways. Kasi sila lang dalawa ‘yung naging kaibigan ko talaga throughout my masters. Lalo na si Emman. Kaibigan ko pa sya nung bs bio days ko. Minsan nga nakikitulog pa ko sa condo non kapag may mga activities kami.”
“You slept in a man’s condo?” Sir Dean quickly asked and his brows are now furrowed.
“Oo!” I replied. “Ay technically hindi sya ‘man’, Ricky. Emman’s gay and he’s a close friend ng family ko.” I explained.
Sir Dean seemed to sigh in relief. “Okay, I will try to fit in my schedule kung gusto nilang magpaturo –“
“Ay nako Ricky, kahit wag na. Aabalahin ka pa naming. Alam ko namang busy ka rin.” I interrupted.
“Susubukan ko pa lang naman, Maya eh.” Sir Dean argued. “And I’m not doing it for them. I’m doing it for you.” He said with a smile and then walked away, leaving me and my fluttered heart. “I’ll be in my car. Mamaya-maya ka sumunod. I’m sorry but I can’t be seen yet with a fellow student.” He said and left the room.
I leaned on the table and placed a hand on my loudly-beating heart. Why is he being so nice to me? Was there something that I did? Him offering tutorial for my class tomorrow is already a big deal. He even dismissed the class early for that, so I could go home in time.
Could it be that ..
“Haayy Maya. Wag muna. Erase erase. Wag ka munang mag-assume at mag-conclude. I-enjoy mo na muna ang nangyayari sa paligid mo. Priorities muna tayo ha?” I spoke out loud to calm myself. I’m starting to get paranoid again.
The tutorial went right away as soon as we arrived in his house. I took every pointer that I could as Sir Dean kept on writing a lot of things in the white board that I didn’t notice that was there before. He discussed the idea of central dogma, what it is for, the perks, the parts, and now he is starting to discuss the three major phases – DNA Replication, Transcription and Translation. Even though I was told to only discuss the first phase, Sir Dean insisted on teaching the rest since I should also be prepared.
“Did you understand?” He asked and I nodded. I do understand. I just hope I still understand everything tomorrow. “How about this?” He asked as he walked towards me and stopped when he’s finally in front of me and laid the marker from his hand. “Go teach me the process of central dogma.” He said. “I won’t take buts. You need this.” He said.
I sighed and grabbed the marker from his hand. I walked in front and erased all of the things that he wrote and then I started talking. I didn’t exactly say everything like Sir Dean, but I incorporated my own style to what I learned. I could see the look of satisfaction on Sir Dean’s face as he watch me from the couch, where I was sitting earlier.
“Maya, letter C is Cytosine, not Cysteine. Cysteine is a sulfur-containing amino acid. Cytosine is the nitrogenous base.” He corrected at some point. I took a mental note of that. And I know for sure I would remember it because it was corrected.
After my discussion, Sir Dean walked to the board and laid out his palm. I gave him the marker and he took the lid off. “Here’s a DNA sequence. Kindly perform the three phases of central dogma.” He said and went back to his seat. “Please include the enzymes and where the process undergo.” He added.
I erased the writings on the board except for the sequence. I started writing down my answers and in a short amount of time, I already finished answering. “Tama Ricky?” I asked.
“It’s correct.” He said as he raised a piece of paper where his solution is. “Okay, trick question. What chemical bond would be broken in the process of replication?” He asked.
“That would be the hydrogen bond since it is the weakest bond.” I confidently answered. He continued to ask five more and after that he stood up.
“I think you’re ready.” He said with a smile. “Papasa ka nang Professor for Genetics.”
“Magaling ‘yung nagturo eh.” I replied and he just chuckled.
“You better nail that discussion tomorrow. If not, mapapahiya ako.” He replied. “Let’s go downstairs. I think Manang prepared dinner.”
I nodded and took a time check on my watch. It’s already nine in the evening. “Ricky, pwede bang umuna na muna ako? Gabi na kasi eh. Magre-review pa ako kasi may long test bukas sa’yo ‘di ba?”
“Kumain ka muna bago umuwi, okay? I don’t want you passing out sa byahe.” He said. “Besides, I could always cancel the exam if you ask nicely.” He said with a teasing smile.
“Ay, sobra na ‘yan Ricky. Unfair na talaga sa iba.” I replied.
“I know. I’m just observing kung kakagat ka.” He said and laughed. “Now I know, hindi ka talaga user.” He added and I just laughed. “Tara na nga sa baba. I think Dad’s home also.”
I was texting Kute as we made our way downstairs. I told her that I’m with Sir Dean because I needed tutorial for tomorrow’s class. And do you know what her reply is?
Sige lang bunso. Akong bahala kay Nanay. Enjoy kayo ng manok ko. And she added a wink emoji.
“You know, I prefer the RNA bases compared to the DNA.” Ricky said out of the blue.
My eyes narrowed at him. “DNA bases are A,T,C,G while RNA bases are A,C,G and T is replaced by U.” I muttered. “Anong meron don Ricky?” I asked back.
He turned around and faced me with a smile. “Because it has ‘U’ in it.” He said and without waiting for my reaction, he started walking to the dining area.
“Ang corny ha.” I said loudly, enough for him to hear it. But yes. Kinilig ako.
“Kinilig ka lang eh.” He replied and I just blushed. “Ay Dad. Good evening.” He said when he got in the dining area. “Maya’s here.”
I rushed to the dining area and saw Tito Roberto seated with a newspaper on the table. I guess reading runs in the family. “Ay Tito, good evening po.” I said and reached out for his hand for a mano. “Sorry po sa abala.”
“Napapadalas ka ata, Maya.” He said with a smile. “Umupo ka na. Kakain na tayo.” He said.
“Kape, Ricky?” I asked. He was about to say no but then I interrupted. “Okay lang, pambawi ko man lang sa’yo.” I said.
“Alright.” He said. He backed his chair to stand up.
“Dyan ka na. Alam ko na naman kung saan nakalagay ‘yung tasa. Tutulungan ko na rin si Manang.” I said and went to their kitchen.
“It’s okay, Maya. Sabel and Doris came back.” Ricky said.
“Ay Ma’am, ako na ho dyan.” A woman appeared from the other side of the kitchen. She has a full-on bangs. “Oo nga po, Ma’am, umupo na po kayo doon.” Another said. This woman is shorter than the one with the bangs.
“Ah, hindi na. Sige na, tulungan niyo na lang si Manang Fe. Ako na lang dito. Kape lang naman.” I replied with a smile. “Parang hindi ko kayo nakita nung mga nakaraang bisita ko ah.”
“Ay Ma’am, ako po si Sabel, itong may bangs po ay si Doris.” She replied. “Nasa probinsya po kasi kami nung nakaraan. May kinailangan lang pong asikasuhin.” She said.
“Sige po Ma’am, tulungan na po naming si Manang Fe.” Doris said with a huge smile on her face and she kept on pulling Sabel’s arm into the room. As they descend, I could hear their voices muttering, “Girlfriend ‘yan ni Sir!”
I just shook my head. Do people really think of me and Ricky as that? We’re just friends, and on top of all, he is my boss. I put the two cups of coffee on a tray and carried them to the dining area.
“Tito, pinagtimpla ko na rin po kayo.” I said as I placed the coffee on the table.
“Nag-abala ka pa, Maya.” He just said. “What about you? Bakit hindi ka nagtimpla ng iyo?” He asked.
“Mamaya na po sa bahay. Baka po mag all-nighter ako gawa po nang long test ni Ricky.” I honestly said.
“Itong si Ricky, bakit mo naman pinapahirapan ang mga student mo?” Tito Roberto said to his son. “Tapos niyaya mo pa ‘tong si Maya sa bahay.”
“Dad, Maya needs a tutor. She’ll be substituting tomorrow for her most hated subject.” Sir Dean replied with a smile. The story went on again on how I accepted a class without asking what the subject is.
The food was served a few minutes after. I wonder why they have three helpers. Ricky and Tito Roberto are the only ones that live here. Well, I suppose so since they are the only ones that I see in this house. Then there’s the room with a woman’s clothing. I think her name is Alex. And where is Ricky’s mom? Is Tito separated?
That’s when I realized, I know nothing about Sir Dean. There are all this secrets but even though he let me inside his life, I am still not inside.
“Have you met them, Maya?” Tito Roberto asked.
“Ay sino po, Tito?” I replied. I was busy having thoughts that I had no idea what the topic was.
“Sina Doris at Sabel.” He replied. I nodded as my answer. “They are relatives of Fe. Nung .. nung buhay pa ‘yung Mom ni Ricky, we hired them. Eh napapalapit na rin sa’min kaya I asked them to stay kahit na walang masyadong ginagawa sa bahay.” He said. So that’s why. “They are actually studying here in PUS. Both in culinary. Kaya masarap ‘yung mga luto.” Tito continued.
“Pero mas masarap ‘yung luto ni Maya, Dad.” Sir Dean joined in.
“Fe told me!” Tito exclaimed. “Nako, Maya, next time. Uuwi ako ng maaga kapag magluluto ka. Ligawan mo na kasi Ricky.” He added. Both Sir Dean and I went still while the older Lim seemed unaware of what he just said.
“Ang tahimik mo na naman.” Sir Dean said as he stopped on a red light. After dinner, he offered me a ride home and since it’s late, I had no choice but to say yes. “Ayos ka lang ba?”
I just nodded with a smile. “So .. your Mom passed away?” I asked. “It’s okay kung hindi mo sagutin. Sorry, personal ata.” I quickly added.
“It’s okay.” He said then changed gears to drive. “It was years ago.” He just said. Then he didn’t add anything after that. We enjoyed silence until he stopped in front of our house. I was about to get off his car when he called my name.
“Uhm, listen. R-Ryan told me about you and Simon. And .. and I’ve been thinking about what Dad said during dinner, about courting you –“
“P-Pero teacher kita Ricky.” I interrupted. My heart is beating so loud. I can’t believe he’s bringing this up right now.
“Yes I know pero –“
“And I don’t really know who exactly you are.” I continued.
Sir Dean took a deep sigh and nodded. “Yes, I know. But still, you asked for coexistence. And I am asking for one right now. Gusto kong mag exist tayo as .. as tayo, without labels as teacher and student. And I’m not going to court you. Yet. Pero please give me a chance na maipakilala nang buo ‘yung sarili ko. I know that you feel like you don’t actually know me. And I want to change that. I will try my hardest even though I am finding it difficult to open up. I .. I am sorry that I haven’t told you that my mom passed away. Si Dad pa ‘yunag nagsabi. And .. and there’s a reason for that.” He explained and I could see it in his eyes that he is putting so much effort in trying to tell me all of this. “Can you please give me a chance?”
I looked at him and he looks so honest. I could see it in his eyes that he really wants to do this even though there’s something that is holding him back. I took a deep breath and gave him a smile. “Deal.” I said and a smile formed in his lips. “Gusto ko pang makipagkwentuhan Ricky kaso kailangan ko pa talagang mag-aral eh.” I said.
“I understand.” He replied and with that, I opened the passenger door and got out of the car. “Goodluck tomorrow, Maya. And thank you.”
“Thank you rin Sir Dean. Ingat ka.” I said. “Maybe we could celebrate tomorrow after your class? Or mourn. Depende kung anong magiging resulta ng lecture ko. Libre ko.” I said before he could even leave.
Ricky gave me a smile. “I would love that.” He replied. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” Then he left.
I might be gone for the weekend pero itatry ko pa rin pong magsulat. Peroooo baka po by Monday ang 27. Thank you po! Have a great weekend! Happy father’s day po sa mga daddy and hubby niyo!