I parked the car beside Wini’s car. Thank God she’s at home. I hurried to the house and entered the living room. The television was on and a bowl of popcorn was on the table. A tumbler of carrot juice was beside the bowl and a red handkerchief was on the cushion. It’s obvious she’s been here.
“Wini!” I called out
“Winifred!” I called again and was heading upstairs, maybe I could find her in her room
“hey I’m right here” she said behind me. I looked down and saw her drinking a bottle of water
“guess what?” I said, climbing down the stairs
“Kate finally let you sleep with her” she said and moved to the cushion
“what is wrong with you?” I asked, clearly irritated with her guess.
“you asked me to guess. And I did” she stated and sat down placing the bowl of popcorn on her thighs. I huffed and stood in front of her
“I finally met your opposite side today. She was beautiful, kind, sweet, smiley. And you know the most important part, she was HONEST and not GREEDY” I stated out, greatly laying emphasis on the words honest and greedy.
Wini’s eyes flared up and she stood up immediately
“what the heck do you mean by that?” she asked
“it means you’re not beautiful, you’re not kind, not smiley. And most importantly, you’re so dishonest and greedy” I stated and looked her straight in the eye. She hissed and sat down again
“I’m not all what you said I am. I’m just a lady with principles. Something you don’t have” she said and I laughed
“you know I’ve got more fans than you right. I’ve got the ladies”
“and I’ve got the men”
“and most men are not interested in fashion and celebrity life. But the ladies can spend their whole time following up their favorite celebrity” I said and smirked at her. She glared at me and huffed. I know she just said ‘whatever’ in her mind. Crazy sister
“anyway that’s not why I’m here” I said and sat down beside her. I wanted to take some of her popcorn but she slammed my wrist and I pulled my hand away
“hey, you’re crazy” she yelled I brought out my phone “OH my God you found your phone! How?” she squealed
“I called it and a girl picked up and told me she wanted to give it back. Well, we met few minutes ago and she returned it. I gave her my card and she even refused it. She’s such an honest girl” I said and she rolled her eyes
“whatever. The most important thing is that you got it back. So just go and keep it safe”
“from you. I need to keep it safe from you. You’re the reason this whole thing happened” I said and stood up. I grabbed her popcorn bowl and ran
“hey, give me back my popcorn” she yelled as she ran after me. I ran up the stairs and drifted into the hallway and into my room. I can’t believe I forgot to lock the door before leaving earlier.
I hope sister didn’t temper with my things again
I washed my hands with warm water and waited for Eliza to come out. It was so cold and I wished I brought my jacket. Accompanied with the cold was a chilly wind that blew everyone’s hair about.
I rubbed my palms together and breathed out. I saw Eliza coming
“OK Missy” she said and ran to me
“this cold is killing. Why is this side of Manila so cold?” I asked as we began walking out
“you know our side is so congested. All the builders are very close and too much junk. Cold can’t penetrate through all those stuff” she said and I nodded
“this place is so open and the wind has enough room to play around. In our side, it would be blocked by so many things” I said and she laughed
“so how was work?” she asked as we reached the gate
“superb. I got a tip from a customer for cleaning up a wine bottle that fell from their table” I said and screened my little purse for the money. I pulled it out and flipped it in Eliza’s face
“how did you get that?” she asked, beaming with excitement
“stupid girl I just told you” We laughed and I kept it back i
“you know we’re sharing that right?”
“of course I do. But I’m only giving you 50peso” I said and she stopped walking while I walked on chuckling. She ran and pulled my hair. I winced and she hit my butt
“you can’t give me 50 peso only. Make it 100” she said
“I need money more than you do Eliza” I stated
“that’s true.” she pouted her lips and I cracked a silly smile
“okay, give me 50 peso. But next time, it’s gonna be 100. Cause I gave you this job” she said and patted my cheek. I smiled and breathed out. The cold is seeping deep into my skin and I might get a cough. My drugs are finished and I don’t want to buy them now. I have important things to do with the money I get
“hey guess who I saw today?” I asked as I remembered.
“Wilbur Sanders and Eduardo… I’ve forgotten his surname”
“what! You saw Wilbur! My Wilbur! OMG! How! Where! When! What was he doing? Gosh!” she was jumping literally. Like a young girl who’s going to see Santa
“Eliza, one question at a time” I said and laughed at her excitement
“tell me everything Mari. Tell me how you saw him”
“well, I was cleaning the stairs when they both came to the elevator. They didn’t see me, but I saw them. At first I didn’t recognize them fully. Later, I went to clean the hallway to the VIP section, that’s when I saw their faces and recognized them.”
She held my arm and jumped up
“God! Why wasn’t I the one who saw them? I would have hugged Wilbur and kiss him”
“and end up in jail for sexual harassment”
“kissing isn’t sexual harassment” she said and rolled her eyes
“but that’s what they’d tag it.” I said and she let go of my arm
“don’t worry, if I see them next time, I’ll get their autographs” I said and she chuckled
“we need to take a bus home Mari” she said. It means we have to walk faster to the nearest bus station to get into one before 10pm or else we’d walk home
I was so glad when the shares were permanently in our names. Finally we get a share of our father’s company and it proves we’re legitimate children.
Winifred has gone back to her house and that’s a sweet relief to me. Her troublesome character is a thorn in my butt and I can’t sit down in peace.
I looked at my phone and remembered the girl
💭don’t worry. God would reward me
💭you look like a girl. I even thought it was a girl’s phone
I chuckled when I remembered that. Of course I look like a girl. I don’t even have abs because my skin is too soft for all that. I’ve been working out though, I can’t continue looking like miss Will.
So it’s one more week to our birthday and I don’t even have a clue on what to wear. I know Wini won’t let us wear the same thing, she wants to stand out.
I stood by my window and looked through it at the other roof tops. I always loved looking out the window and I think I’m addicted to it.
My phone began to ring and I looked at it, it’s Eduardo
📲so you got your phone back?
📲yes I did. And it’s been one week already, you didn’t even care to know if I found it. And you weren’t even willing to help
I sighed and sat on my bed
📲so why did you call me? I know you called for a reason
📲I always call for a reason. Kate and I are going out tonight and I need you to help me select what I’ll wear.
📲what happened to your assistant?
📲I fired her. She’s too noisy
📲okay I’ll be there
He hung up and I scoffed. Eduardo is just nuts. He just said Good like he’s paying me to do it.
And Kate finally took her eyes off me and back to Eduardo. Those two are dating but Kate has eyes for me. Whenever we’re with people, her distance from me is very clear and she doesn’t even talk to me. But if we’re alone, oh heaven let’s lose. She would touch my hair, trail her finger on my lips, hug me forcefully till I’m out of breath. If we’re sitting across a table, she would raise her leg and rub it against mine. Sometimes she even tries to kiss me
Only Wini knows about Kate’s exuberance. And she sometimes uses it to tease me.
I took a shower and got ready to go to Eduardo’s. I took my phone and entered my car then drove off
It was a hot Saturday afternoon, my day off from work I had made ten raffia mats and I needed to sell them off before my auntie comes back tomorrow. Her fifteen baskets of hand fans are already ready and piled up in her small room. These mats I made are not to be seen by her. I bought some raffia with the 200 peso I was given from the restaurant. Eliza let me take it all because I needed it. I had also taken some of auntie’s own but I didn’t want her to be suspicious so I bought mine and added it up.
Now I’m going to drop some with Eliza for her to sell and the rest, I’m handing it over to Mrs Lang who lives in a big house in Lisa de Sara. She actually works there as a chief maid and she buys the mats for sale in the big market.
I tied my damp, sweaty hair in a loose ponytail. My feet were hurting me because of my worn out shoes. They were no longer comfortable to walk in because it could rip off and that isn’t what I need right now.
I dragged the big sack of mats to Eliza’s shop. She was attending to a customer when I arrived so I had to wait.
I looked into the street and saw Monalito coming. If he sees me with this sack then I’m doomed. I quickly hid under the high table that was covered with a brown wrapper. My sack was with me and I secretly prayed the gross old man wouldn’t stop by at the shop.
Eliza bent down after the customer left
“why that?” she whispered
“Monalito” I replied back in a whisper
“hey you. Give me some pineapples” that was the froggiest voice. Monalito sounded like a car with an engine knock but still being ignited by the driver.
“how many Sir?” Eliza asked
“two. Tell your mother I would pay her when I see her” he said
“sir, why don’t you just pay me now? You don’t have to see her first” Eliza protested
“stupid girl. Give it to me” he yelled
“I’ll give you only one” she said. I didn’t hear his voice anymore.
“Mari, you can come out. He’s gone” she said and I stood up and sighed
I told her why I was there and that she help me sell half of them and I’ll go and give Mrs Lang the other half. She agreed and I left to Lisa de Sara.
As I entered the street, a fast car drove past me with high speed and clumsy me, I fell down. I was frightened because I didn’t hear the sound from behind me and then suddenly something just flew past. I wasn’t even concentrating
I looked up at the car that had stopped and was reversing. I rolled my eyes, did the driver think he knocked me down.
I stood up and picked up my sack and a mat that had fallen out. The door to the car opened and the first thing I saw was a pair of big, purple and white sneakers. The person stepped down and I looked at his face. Ugh! What’s with me and Eliza’s celebrity crush.
“sorry are you hurt?” he asked looking at me and my sack. I feel embarrassed now. My shirt is torn at the collar and my shoes are worn out, even my sack was torn
“I’m.. I’m okay… Thanks” I replied, not looking at his face
“aren’t you the girl who helped me with my phone?” he asked
“yes” I simply reply.
I pulled my sack over my shoulder
“thanks for driving back to know if I’m okay” I said and started to walk
“wait… What’s in your sack?” he asked looking at it
“woven mats for sale” I replied
“I want to buy them. I might need them for an upcoming movie” he said
“OH. Okay” I dropped the sack
He stepped down from the car fully, he had been standing with one foot on the ground and the other in the car then his hand resting on the door and the other on the car itself
I didn’t want him to come any closer to me. I’m sweating and I might stink
“how many are there?” he asked, not moving from the front of the car
“five sir” I replied and he chuckled
He moved to the back of the car and opened the trunk.
“you can put them in without the sack” he said and walked to the car. I arranged all five of them neatly and stepped away from the car
“here” he handed me two notes
“thanks for helping me with my phone” he said then he brought out one more note and gave me “and that’s for the mat” he said
I looked at the money and my eyes widened. Each peso note is two thousand. That’s Six thousand peso in total. No way I can’t take this
“no, no I can’t take this. Please take it back” I protesting, shoving the money back into his hand
“what are you saying? You’re not gonna take it? It’s just appreciation.” he said looking really surprised
“but it’s too much” I said
“it can buy you new clothes and better shoes. Keep it, you need it” he said and gave me back the money. I sniffed cause I felt tears coming, I suddenly feel pitiable
“what’s your name?” he asked
“Mari…Gold” I sniffed
“Marigold?” he repeated and I nodded
“it’s nice to meet you Gold” he said and returned to his car. His trunk had closed on its on and I guess it was supposed to do so
“what’s your name?” I asked and his face widened
“you don’t know me?” he asked with surprise and I shook my head. Totally pretending. Well, if it wasn’t for Eliza I wouldn’t have known and when I was living a comfy life I wasn’t interested in Philippine movies. It was totally American action movies I watched.
“uhm… Well, I’m… Wilbur. You can just call me Will” he said and I nodded
I lifted the money “thanks for this”
He smiled, entered the car, shut the door and wheezed off.
I looked at the money and smiled. What in the world I’m I going to do with six thousand peso.
To Be Continued