My Cavite City meeting finally ended. I was tired. Instead of dropping by the office before going home, I decided to head straight home. I took a nap in the car. Told the driver to wake me up when we’re near so I can grab some food.
There was no update from Irish when I finally checked my phone, and it was already close to 8pm.
When I finally arrived in our condo, I felt a bit more energized as I enjoyed what was perhaps a 45 minute nap.
Surprises of surprises: Manang, Irish and Ed were all in the dining area.
Irish stood up to greet me with a kiss.
“Good evening sir.” Ed in his usual polite tone.
“Kanina pa ba kayo?”
Irish took over the conversation. “Actually, kararating lang din namen. Na-late ako in seeing Ed dahil tumagal supplier meeting ko. So imbes na mag-dinner kami sa labas, dito na lang.”
“Kaya ko sinabi ng don’t call muna, because I had a hard time booking sa Grab.”
Manang got busy arranging for my plate and glass.
“Beer po ba sir?”
“Yes please, Manang.”
Irish and Ed don’t look like they came from an intimate place. I was wondering what’s up with their having to meet, without me.
We shared a few laughs and updates habang kumakain. Then Irish calls out the while elephant in the room.
“Hon, Ed wants to tell you something. Yun ang reason he wanted to meet me first, kase tinanong niya ko how to go about this.”
“Wow, that serious? Kailangan ka pang tanungin?”
“Oh Ed, ayan na, sabihin mo na.”
“Sir pasensya na po kung inabala ko pa si mam Irish. Nahihiya lang po ako magsabi sa inyo ng diretso.”
“Gusto ko lang pong magpasalamat sa inyong dalawa. Sa lahat lahat. Maga-abroad na po kase ako, sa Monday po ang alis ko. Nakakuha po ako ng work sa isang spa sa Dubai.”
“Oh, congratulations! That’s good news for you, Ed!”
“Thank you po sir.”
“At dahil po doon, gusto ko lang po sana kayo bigyan ng simpleng pasasalamat.”
He then digs into his backpack and hands me his gift, nakabalot sa newspaper kaya di ko makita.
I took it from his hand started to open it.
It was a decorative wooden spoon and fork with Lance and Irish wood-carved on the handle.
Irish goes, “Aww, it’s so cute!”
“Uncle ko po sa probinsya ang nag-ukit niyan.”
“Thank you Ed. We’ll hang this sa office namin.”
“Oo nga honey, doon sa likod ng office chair ko bagay yan!”
“Salamat po sir at nagustuhan niyo.”
I learned through the dinner that Irish took a Grab ride from her supplier meeting to home, and then she instructed Ed to proceed to our condo. That means sa bahay na sila nagkita, and immediately had dinner. It was clear to me they have not hit skins.
“Ed, may sasabihin ka pa, di ba?” Irish egged him on.
“Naku mam, sir, sobrang nakakahiya po. Pero wala po akong ibang malapitan. Kailangan ko po kase ng limang libo. Iiwan ko lang po sa mga parents ko, habang naga-antay sila ng unang buwang sweldo ko sa Dubai. Wala po kase silang pang gastos sa pang araw-araw.”
Kind of melts my heart. Five thousand lang, isang buwan nila pagkakasyahin.
“Are you sure Ed na kasya ang five thou sa kanila for one month?”
“Ay sir, kasyang-kasya po yun sa probinsya. Libre naman po ang bigas namin.”
I looked at Irish and I can see sympathetic concern on her face.
I forked out five thousand bucks from my wallet and handed it over to Ed.
“Maraming salamat po sir, mam. Malaking tulong po ito. Ibabalik ko po sa second month salary ko kung ok lang sa inyo?”
This is a guy who has fucked my girlfriend a number of times, yet was still so polite.
“Ed, don’t worry about it. Kung kailan kaya mo na, bayaran mo lang maski unti-unti lang.”
“Agree, no big deal yan Ed. Pag nakaipon ka na, dun mo na lang ibalik.” Irish added.
We resumed our dinner then Ed talked about how he applied for such job in Dubai. Turns out he knows a fellow therapist from a spa he worked with a few years ago. He was referred by this guy and he went through the screening process. He even shared with us na bading ang nagha-hire. Pinaghubad pa siya dahil kailangan daw makinis ang mga masahista nila. Alam naman ni Ed what that means. Pero nung napansin daw na naiilang si Ed nung sinubukang hawakan siya sa puwet at burat, hindi naman daw siya pinilit at sinabi lang na bumalik siya with the requirements the following week.
It was close to 1030 pm and I was starting to feel tired. Irish looked sleepy na rin.
Ed suddenly made an offer. “Sir kung gusto niyo po, massage ko kayong dalawa ni mam, para bawas na po sa utang ko.”
Nagkatinginan kami ni Irish.
To be continued…