14 months ago
Oh dear. No! This can’t be. I can’t be late! Oh my gosh! I can’t afford to be late. At least not today! It’s Friday, the last working day of the week and it’s the second to the last day of the month which means that it’s also the last day for perfect attendance incentive. We employees are entitled to get two thousand pesos additional if we arrive at the office at least fifteen minutes before 9am for the whole month of August. It’s a special incentive project initiated by the HR department in celebration of E-LITE Publications 10th year in the business, and it was also a way in hopes of lessening the tardiness among employees. Two thousand pesos is already a big thing! At least for someone like me who’s really keen on saving up for an upcoming trip to Singapore! It’s always been a dream of mine to go on a trip with my college friends. Though my parents can afford to pay for me, this time I really want to use my own money this time especially now that I’m officially a part of the working force. Thank goodness to Cebu Pacific’s
promo fares. For starters like me, it would be very helpful for my budget.
I was almost out of breath when I reached the line at the elevator. The elevator was currently coming down from the 20th floor. Good thing the elevator service in our building was quick. I was third on the current line, and when I glanced on my watch, I breathed a sigh of relief as I still had 10 minutes left before the cut-off.
” A familiar perky voice said behind me.
“Oh, hi Eunice!
” I greeted back brightly. “Ikaw lang pala.”
Eunice is one of the few people I would consider as my friend here in the company. She made me feel welcome and at ease ever since I started working here three months ago. She belongs to the Training Department, which just shares the same room as the HR department , so you could say that we’re kind of neighbors to one another in an office setting. She’s two years older than I am and she’s been with the company for almost two years now. She was the Training Officer, while I was the new HR Assistant.
After that short exchange of greetings from Eunice, a familiar fellow walked up behind her and covered her eyes.
“Oh my gosh. I can’t see.
” Eunice gasped in surprise and I just wanted to laugh at the moment. I wasn’t even surprised anymore.
I glanced up the person covering Eunice’s eyes and he gestured for me to keep quiet.
Ha! Typical Luke
. I just shook my head at him as if to say whatever. He works under the Sales Department, and he happens to be Eunice’s boyfriend for one year.
” Eunice asked knowingly as she felt his hands on her eyes. “Get your heavy hands off of my eyes!
” Of course, how could she not recognize her boyfriend’s hands? Haha!
Luke laughed and did as he was told. He then cupped both of his hands on Eunice’s cheeks as he gave her a kiss on the forehead.
“Ooh. Get a room.
” A male’s teasing voice came from behind Luke who then turned around to face him.
“Ay naku. Nandyan na naman ung epal.
” Eunice said in mocked bitterness with a grin.
” Luke retorted jokingly back at his friend with a light punch on the shoulder.
” The new guy grinned as he and Luke high fived one another.
Oh, it’s that guy. He also belongs to the Sales department with Luke. I know him by face but I don’t remember his name. He’s a little shorter than Luke but taller than Eunice and I. He has a fair skin and chinito
eyes. He’s quite good looking I must admit but no, thanks. I’m not really interested. It’s not that I’m judging a book by its cover but actually, I have a big feeling that he’s a jerk, and I don’t really like him. We’ve already been introduced once (by Luke and Eunice) during my second week in the company but I guess it was just done out of formality because we never really greeted one another whenever we would cross paths. I believe we even forgot each other’s names.
Okay, I have a confession. Actually, I often see him around. I see him a lot in the clinic, which also shared the same room with the HR and Training Departments. He was always talking to Clarisse, the pretty company nurse, and not that I’m a meddlesome person but I think they kind of have a thing. They seem…intimate. Or they’re probably just really close. I don’t know. Don’t care. There would also be times when he’s lounging with Luke at the Training Department where Eunice’s office is.
Anyway, apart from that, I saw him a couple of times within our neighbourhood. No idea if he lives there or just visiting a friend, but I rarely saw him there before. Though I’m a really nice person, I felt hesitant to greet him first. He looked like a total snob. I know he saw me too because our eyes met. I tried to smile at him, but he just looked at me with that snobby expression of his then looked away. I’m not sure if I should have smiled more but it doesn’t matter because I don’t think I’ll ever do that again. If he doesn’t like me, then fine. His stoic expression makes it seem like the problems of the world is on his shoulders. And sorry, but I don’t do bad vibes.
“Hey, taga-Four Seasons Village ka rin pala.
” Mr. Snobby Dude called to my attention just as when I was about to look at the other side.
I did a double look around me to make sure that he was actually talking to me. And apparently, I do live in Four Seasons Village so I guess he’s really talking to me.
Okay, that’s surprising.
“Uh, yea. I am.
” I answered back politely.
“Me too! Wait, what’s your name again?
” He asked again, his eyebrows furrowed as if he was trying his best to remember.
Ha! I knew it. I’ve been here in the company for three months. Our paths have crossed for a lot of times, but he didn’t know my name. Well, so did I. Haha!
I noticed Luke and Eunice exchanging looks, but I don’t know what that meant as I just saw it from my peripheral view. It was probably just my imagination so I ignored it.
“Casey. Casey Lejano. And you?
. So that’s his name.
“What street do you live in?
” He asked again. Luke stepped sideways as Kean tried to lean a bit forward.
“Really? I live in Winter- Pine Tree.
” Kean said amusedly.
Oh okay. So we really live in the same village. And wow! His street is just three blocks away from my street!
“I see. It’s a very small world then.
” I remarked, sounding amused as well.
Now there’s just one thing I’m curious about. I just want to confirm something. “How did you know that I live there?
“Actually I saw you a few weeks ago for a couple of times but I just didn’t know how to approach you.
” He explained with what seemed to be a genuine, warm smile, two deep dimples emerging from the two corners of his cheeks. His chinito
eyes were also smiling, making it seem like his eyes have disappeared.
Okay, so it’s true that he really saw me, but I guess he didn’t mean to ignore me. His aura kind of lightened up for me, especially after he smiled.
So…now that it’s all cleared up, I hope this could be a start of something new.
The rest of the day felt as if life was on fast forward mode because it’s almost time-out already! Everyone’s excited because it’s a Friday, and since it’s the end of the month, it also means hello payday!
It’s already 5:30pm on the clock and in thirty minutes we’ll be free. Surprisingly, I did not have much work for today, compared to the past few days, wherein I had to do some overtime as well. I assisted in processing some of the insurances and loans. I also did some routing and well, most of the time today I just did some filing of important documents, such as the leaves and certification, and then the updating of 201 files.
Ah, I just couldn’t wait to get home and catch up on some sleep. Or well, maybe catch up on some episodes of Once Upon A Time
or How I Met Your Mother
. I just wanted to relax.
” Eunice sounded ecstatic as she came on my desk.
She’s so hyper as always.
“Hey, what’s up?
” I asked as I closed the 201 file cabinet.
“Are you doing anything after work?
“Hmm…none naman. I’m just gonna head home. Why?
“Oh! That’s great then. You’re coming with us for dinner.
” She said convincingly, as if she wouldn’t take no for an answer.
But wait, by ‘us’, did she mean she and Luke? Oh come on!
“With you and Luke? Well…thanks for the offer. It sounds great but I don’t want to be a third wheel between the two of you.
” I attempted to decline but Eunice doesn’t seem to give up that easily.
“Gaga! You won’t be a third wheel.
” Eunice laughed. “There’s gonna be four of us. Kean’s coming too.
I just mouthed an “oh” in response.
“So, it’s just dinner, right?
” I asked, but for some reasons, I suddenly felt stupid for doing so.
“Well, unless you want to drink too.
” Eunice teased.
“Oh no no! I don’t drink.
” I laughed. “Dinner’s fine.
The four of us--- Luke, Eunice, Kean and I--- went to Bonifacio Global City to grab some dinner. We ended up going to T.G.I.F, which was totally fitting for the theme of the day. It was a great dinner overall, but being the newbie in the group, there were times when I felt awkward. Being awkward is in my genes apparently. Besides, I’m only close to Eunice, and though I get to talk to Luke at times, their bond is still different, and especially there’s also Kean. So, it’s like three vs. one.
However, I had to give them the credits for making me feel comfortable. Maybe it’s too early to tell but Kean is not really as bad as I originally thought him to be. He seems…friendly and whenever Luke would make me the subject of the joke, Kean also would join in on the teasing. And surprisingly, he didn’t seem to be trying so hard.
After dinner, we went to Jamba Juice
to have a “healthy dessert”, as Eunice had put it.
“Miss HR, libre naman diyan.
” Luke said teasingly yet again. This guy just really likes to annoy me like how a big brother would annoy his little sister.
“Onga. Since your assigned lang din naman in handling our payrolls.
” Kean chimed in.“Kapal mo talaga, dude. Libre ka agad, ngayon mo lang kinausap ung tao.
” Luke told his best friend with much honesty that Eunice and I laughed out loud in response.
“Nahiya naman ako sa iyo. Parang ikaw di mahilig sa libre.
” Kean retorted back with a guilty grin.
“Hep hep! Magsitahimik nga kayong dalawa, or else I’ll give you two a memo for behaviour misconduct.
” I threatened jokingly but still made them speechless for awhile.
We all laughed afterwards though, and I still didn’t treat them as well after telling them I won’t be responsible for their salary disputes in the next payroll day.
“How do you go home from work?
” Kean suddenly asked as we stood up from our chairs, preparing ourselves to go home. Surprisingly, it’s been a fun, long night. It’s almost 11pm now.
“Um, I take the cab.
” I replied, after taking the last sip of raspberry juice from my cup.
Kean looked at me wide-eyed, as if what I said was something out of this world. “Seriously? Just by yourself?
There’s nothing wrong with that…right?
” I said casually.
“Have you tried taking the jeepney or FX?
“Nope. I don’t know the way that much eh.
“How much are you usually paying from Taguig to Ortigas?
He flinched at the mention of the price. “That’s quite heavy on your part.
“Yea. I guess so, but I don’t have any choice. Plus, it’s the easiest and fastest way to go home.
On the way out, Luke and Eunice were walking with their arms linked in front of us, while Kean and I were walking behind them in silence, with some distance between us.
“If you want, let’s go home together.
” Kean said all of a sudden that I nearly tripped on my steps.
But thank goodness, I didn’t.
” I asked him, and I bet I looked dumbfounded infront of him.
“Sabay na tayo umuwi so you can also save up on your fare. We’re living in the same area anyway.
I was at a loss for words. Okay, I wasn’t really expecting that. Not that I’m putting any malice to it, but I’m not really comfortable with the idea. Because first of all, he’s a guy--- a guy I barely know at that---and I have trust issues with guys. I’m not used to being with other men other than my family members. Second, I’d really feel awkward to be left alone with him because I’m awkward with people I’m not close with. It’ll feel different without Eunice and Luke. Lastly, well… it just leads back to reason number one.
Well, I know he meant well with the offer, and it was a very kind thought of him. However, I’m not really comfortable…yet.
“Ah…eh, ikaw. Be my guest.
” I said vaguely. I didn’t want to say straight out no because I didn’t want to be rude.
For the meantime, let’s just see what I could do about this.
” Eunice suddenly said in a high pitched voice. “Aww, I’m really craving for some Original Glazed donuts right now!
We stopped on our tracks as we passed by Krispy Kreme. Then an idea suddenly came into my mind. Hmm… I think I already know how I can escape this impending awkward situation.
Again, feel free to leave your theories.
Chapter 2 is coming up soon.
The story can now also be seen on Wattpad. CLICK ME
Now I'm getting more curious na talaga haha... what happened kaya hehe...
I can really relate to Casey hehe. She's like a fiction version ng sarili ko... how I see the story kasi is close sa isang personal experience char
Pero anyways, ang ganda ng real prologue haha. Keep up the good work
Well, here's the how it all started, and more will unfold in the coming chaps.
Thanks for reading!
You're back baby dongsaeng <3 <3 Super loved the writing. Alam mo yan! You're in your element. Kumbaga you're home. Keep up the good work <3 This unnie is very proud of you :">
Yes unnie, I feel like I'm back home!
Iyon lang, parang ghost town pa rin talaga.
Haha! Thank you unnie! :">