I sat still, with my hand in the air and holding the money. I was surprised at her behavior. Maybe she isn’t really as innocent as I thought. I looked back but she was no longer in sight. I shook my head and dropped the wallet and cash on the other seat. I started my car and drove off. I couldn’t drop her off because I’ve heard of how dangerous her side can be and how they can do anything to get money
Also, those guys are capable of doing anything. If I have some unfriendly foes there, who may not like me or my lifestyle, they can throw stones at my car.
I couldn’t risk my life and go there though I felt bad. On the other hand, Marigold was glad I wasn’t going to drop her off. I didn’t know why she somehow feels timid around me. I’ve noticed it, she doesn’t really like me and it’s quite obvious she’s not my fan. But I somehow like her personality, she looks like a stubborn and crazy girl. At the same time she looks decent and hardworking. Or maybe I was just seeing her that way because of the first impression she created. Maybe that’s why I just like her
It was just about twenty minutes past nine in the evening, I didn’t want to head straight home so I decided to go and see Eduardo. I drove to his house and went inside. I saw a blue handbag on the sofa and I asked a maid who owned it
“it’s for Kate sir” she replied and I nodded. I contemplated whether I should stay or go. Because I might be intruding on their privacy. Eduardo and his so called girlfriend might be doing some business and it won’t be nice for me to stay.
I turned to go when Eduardo called me. I looked at the stairs and saw them walking down, with her arms wrapped around his left arm.
“hey” I hailed
“what brings you here by this time?” Eduardo asked like I was his employee who came to his company by 12 midnight
“just decided to check on you. I heard you were busy so I was just going” I stated
“I’ll just excuse you both” Kate said and kissed him on the lips. The kiss was getting too long and intense and I had to clear my throat for them to stop. She gave me a slight seductive look and walked away. Pretender
“so are you still going or you’d stay?” he asked as he walked to the sofa to sit
“I’m still going. Don’t wanna trespass” I said and he chuckled
“good night then” he hailed
“good night” I replied and left.
When I arrived, I saw Wini in the living room
“why aren’t you in your house?” I asked her
“cause we have to talk. What are we settling to wear. I have a few designs already and I want us to pick them together” she said and brought out her iPad, I sat down and she sat beside me and began to operate the phone.
I twirled a thread of my hair around my index finger and bit my lip. I was remembering Marigold. Weird girl.
She looked so funny when I honked my car at her. She looked scared and it was funny. I chuckled quietly and rested my head on the head of the cushion chair
“what’s that for?” Wini asked looking at me intently.
I was smiling and didn’t look at her “what’s what?” I asked in return
“the chuckle and the weird smile” she replied and I looked at her
“nothing” I replied, still smiling. She huffed
“whatever” she cooed and I chuckled again
“just show me the designs already and if I don’t like them…”
“you’ll design it. I know!” she butted in, cutting me short
I closed my eyes as I picked up a brown handkerchief from the soapy water. The feel of it was like a piece of clothing dipped in snail slime. What the heck does Monalito use this hankie for? To blow his nose? I shrieked my face and gave a little squeal as I washed it. I hate the feel.
I dipped it back in and washed it again. I opened my eyes and breathed out. Everything about this man disgusts me
I succeeded in washing it totally and was very surprised that it was actually cream colored. Cream turned brown. God forbid!
I rinsed the handkerchief in the second bucket and wriggled out the water then dropped it in another bucket of wet clothes though there was no water
The next piece of clothing made me shout and release it back into the water.
It was his underwear. A big female underwear.
I know it’s not for my auntie because it’s too big and large. And it’s so dirty
Why would a man be wearing a girl’s underwear? Ugh I hate Monalito
“any problem?” I heard auntie Denny’s voice from behind me. I looked back
“nothing ma’am” I replied and began to wash the underwear.
“hurry up and wash those. You have to go to the market and get some food stuff.” she said as she walked past me to the tree that stood in front of me She was smoking and I wasn’t surprised. Nothing surprises me anymore. I always suspected she now smokes since she got back two weeks ago And she has been collecting money from my salary. Anyway, I’ve really been saving up.
“while I was away, did you see Monalito with Mrs Ralba?” she asked as she turned back towards me
Mrs Ralba is Eliza’s mother
“no I didn’t. I didn’t even see her up to two times” I replied
“if you see them together, you must tell me” she ordered and I nodded. She walked inside and I heaved a sigh. I really have to finish up. I’m tired of washing stinking clothes and I also have to get to the market.
In about half an hour later, I was done and ready to go to the market. She gave me money and I hurried to the market here in Tondo.
I got all the things she wanted and I returned and gave it to her. I went to my room, bathed and laid down on my bed facing the black dusty ceiling.
All my thoughts were centered around one thing; university. I just wanted to get into the University and leave this place. I would be on my own and won’t be getting beatings from a druggie aunt. Even at my age the lady still hits me. It’s frustrating. She doesn’t even know that I could get married already
The thought of marriage made me start laughing. I’m still too young for marriage. If I was in the USA, it would be okay for me to get married to the man of my dreams but here in the Philippines, even a 30 year old woman is still single e.g auntie Denny. It’s normal here. The only people who get the life everyone wants are the rich people. They live in luxury and can decide to settle down whenever they want to
I turned around and laid on my tummy. My arms were crossed on the pillow and I gently placed my head on them
I was beginning to drift to sleep when I heard my name in whispers. I lifted my head and heard the whispers from my large window. I lifted the old rug that served as a cover to the window
“Eliza” I whispered
“hey, take. I got the forms already” she whispered back and brought up a paper
“really? Wow” I exclaimed as I took the paper from her. It was a bachelor’s degree form
“do you have a pen?” she asked and I shook my head
“here, take mine. I’ll find another one to use” she said and stretched me her pen
“make sure you fill it before tomorrow. I’ll go back to the school and summit it tomorrow afternoon. After then we’ll have to get ready for the intake exam”
“okay then” I replied, looking at the paper
“are you hungry? You look pale” she said and I looked at her Of course I’m hungry. I only took banana pudding this morning and it wasn’t even up to five spoons, and it’s already evening
“I’ll get you something now. Don’t leave the window” she said as if she read my thoughts. She hurried off and I sat back on the bed. I looked through the form. It was just the basic information about me and information about what I want to study. It’s definitely Computer Science. I love computers so much.
I took one of my old high school textbooks and kept the book inside. I waited for Eliza and few minutes later I heard her whisper again.
I lifted the rug and she was carrying a plastic plate
“it’s noodles and fish. It’s spicy so get a lot of water” she said with a smile. I took it from her
“thanks” I appreciated and dropped the plate on my bed. I brought my own plate and transferred the food in. I gave the plastic plate back to her
“bye, make sure you fill that form” she said and I nodded and waved at. I sat back on my bed and looked at the food then stood up and walked to the door. I took my huge stone and blocked my door so my aunt won’t just burst in on me
I finished up from work and walked towards the bus station alone. Eliza is sick and couldn’t come to work. I had my hands dipped into my jean pockets as I trekked down the lonely pedestrian way with street lights shining against the ground. I looked up and saw Wilbur leaning against his car with his hands crossed and he was staring at me. I stopped in my tracks and met eyes with him. I sighed.
For the past one month I’ve been quite relieved, thinking I’ve finally been revoked off the curse of seeing him and now I feel that was just an act of chance. Though, about two weeks or so ago, Eliza won’t stop ranting about their birthday party and how exclusive it was. I got so bored and a little jealous at the things she described were in the party
There was no where else for me to dodge through and escape Mr Sanders. I couldn’t go back and I didn’t want to cross to the other side of the street. I just had to keep moving forward
I reached him
“good evening” I greeted
He stood straight
“Marigold” he called with a still voice
“sir” I answered
“Wilbur or Will” he corrected and I just nodded
“how are you Gold?” he asked
“I’m fine. I really have to go now. Good night” I said and began to walk. His car was standing by the edge of the street and he was standing on the pedestrian sidewalk. The only way I could walk away is if I walked past him.
I braced up and took bold steps past him only to be pulled back to his front. I had to look up at him, he’s taller than me
“I’m dropping you off” he said and beeped his car. His hand was tightly gripped unto my wrist and I was surprised that he even had strength for that. He seemed like a powerless freak to me
By the time I was done fantasizing about his tight grip, I was already in the car.
I don’t even know how I got here so fast. He must have pulled me into the car the same way kidnappers abduct people so fast
“Tondo right?” he asked as he buckled his seatbelt. I didn’t answer. I didn’t want him to drive me home. I didn’t want to see him. I don’t like him at all. I feel like he’s crossing his boundaries, acting like a humble celebrity
He started the car and I buckled my seatbelt and rested my head on the seat headrest.
“why don’t you like me Marigold?” he asked as he took a turn into the street.
I didn’t answer that question
“you’re not going to answer?” he asked after about two minutes
“Will I’m tired and hungry. I have to reserve my strength for important things” I replied and I saw him grinning but I won’t ask why
“it’s the first time you’re calling me by my name” he said and I literally rolled my eyes
“I see you’re not really into love of entertainment or fashion” he said and I didn’t answer. He’ll be the only one talking to himself today
Since I didn’t answer, he didn’t talk anymore. He just kept driving and that gave me room to check his car out. It was a smooth and clean car. The interior was grey in color. Everything including the seats were grey. The only thing that were either black or wood brown was the plastic or metal part of the car which included the door handles, the gearstick, the dash board, glove box and all the other stuff that I can’t mention.
Inside the car was actually warm and cozy. I even wanted to fall asleep in the car because of the sweet ride. It’s been years since I sat in a car like this.
“are you really hungry? Should I get something for you to eat?” he asked and I shook my head
“no, thank you” I replied and just at that moment, a great yawn of hunger fell on me and I yawned widely. You need to see the embarrassment I felt. My cheeks burned bright red
“I’ll take that as a yes from you” he said and stopped the car. He unbuckled his seatbelt and stepped out of the car. I wanted to open the door but it was locked and wouldn’t open. I huffed out air and leaned back. I saw his phone and I picked it. It’s no longer an iPhone 11. But it’s still an iPhone.
I turned on the screen and it was a beautiful picture of him and his sister. They’re so cute. Look at their smile. They must be really lucky.
I looked out the glass and saw him coming back with a white bag. I quickly dropped the phone and began to play with my fingers. He opened the door and sat in then placed the bag on my thighs
“I hope that satisfies you” he said and I smiled. A smile that quickly vanished as it came
“thank you” I said and he started the car and began to drive. The tantalizing smell from the bag hooked my nostrils and I couldn’t wait to know what’s inside.
After a while of silence, I could see the slums right in front.
“you should stop here. It’s not safe to keep going” I said and he stopped the car
“thank you for the lift and for this” I lifted the bag and dropped it. He flashed a smile
“you’re welcome. Have a nice night rest” he wished me and I nodded and unbuckled the seatbelt. I opened the door and stepped out, I waved at me and closed the door.
Why did I even wave?
I watched his car zoom off. I began to walk into the hot and clustered environs of Tondo..
“hey Mari, what big bag is that? Bring it here!” someone yelled from a beer joint. I looked at the men seated around the table all looking at me. I recognized the voice to be Randy’s
“it’s all bottles Randy! Bottles!” I yelled back and laughed. They laughed too and I hurried in. Everyone was still at their business. This place doesn’t close down until midnight
“Mari! Tell your auntie to give me my money tomorrow!” another person yelled.
This is my usual routine when I’m going back home from work
“okay I will!” I yelled back at who-knows-who. In this place, you’ll hear voices from people who you can’t see. They’ll see you but it would be hard for you to point them out of the plenty people around. The best thing is just to reply and head on
I reached my house and sauntered to the side of the house, where my room is. I gently dropped the bag on my bed and went through the front door. Auntie Denny was taking her drug (cocaine) and I locked the door and walked gently to my room. I closed my door and blocked it. I removed my jacket and sat down then opened the bag. I brought out a pizza box. Oh swell!
The rest were takeaways of some sort of food that I don’t know but seemed delicious.
I was so happy as I opened the box and inhaled the aroma. I took a piece without even caring to wash my hands. As I ate, my head was spilling out stars of different colors.
The question he asked me earlier came back “why don’t you like me Marigold?”
“why don’t I even like him?” I asked myself. I don’t even know why I don’t like him. But I don’t like him.
If I don’t like him why I’m I eating this?
I’ll eat it. Who cares about who bought it?
To Be Continued