I entered the elevator and pressed the floor number. Magsasara na ang pinto ng elevator nang lumitaw si Tristan. He came running towards the elevator. I quickly pushed the open button.
“Thanks.” Sabi niya nang makapasok siya.
“9th floor right?” Tanong ko.
“No, I’m going to the same floor you’re going to. I need to talk to the big boss.” He said.
“Kamusta naman katrabaho si Phoenix?” Tanong nito.
“Ok naman. He’s very… professional.” Sagot ko. Sa loob ng isang linggong magkatrabaho kami ni Nick, he really treated me like a normal secretary.We don’t talk to each other unless we have to.Nag-uusap lang kami kapagmay ipapagawa siya sa akin.That’s supposed to be a good thing, right? Pero I guess I’m just not used to it.
“That’s good. Do you like working with him?”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“Do you still love him?”
Gulat na napatingin ako kay Tristan. “What kind of question is that?”
“Chill. I was just kidding.” Natatawang sabi niya.
“Loko loko ka talaga.” I smiled at him.
Nagbukas ang elevator.Inakbayan niya ako. I didn’t find it weird because Tristan used to be my friend too. Alam kong walang ibig sabihin ang pag-akbay niya sa akin.
“Hey, dude.”Sabi ni Tristan pagpasok sa office ni Nick.
Nag-angat ng tingin si Nick mula sa files na binabasa nito. Sandali siyang natigilan ng makita kami. Hindi ako makaalis dahil hindi tinanggal ni Tristan ang kamay sa balikat ko.
Nick stared at me with cold eyes. “Make a coffee.”
“Excuse me.” Sabi ko kay Tristan. Tinanggal niya ang kamay sa balikat ko. I went to the counter to make a coffee.
“Damn! You’re one lucky bastard for having a hot secretary. Anyway, bakit mo ko pinatawag?” Narinig kong sabi ni Tristan.
“Kailangan mong puntahan ang bagong mall na ginagawa. Check if they’re doing everything right. I would do it myself but I’m really busy right now.” Sabi ni Nick.
“Alright. Can I take Cassie with me?” Tanong ni Tristan.
“So?” Si Tristan.
“Don’t you have your own secretary?”
“I like yours better.”
“I need her. Marami akong ipagagawa sa kanya.” Sabi ni Nick.
“Pahihiram ko secretary ko sa’yo. Mine’s an expert.”
Lumapit ako sa kanila para ibigay ang coffee ni Nick. Inilapag ko ang mug sa desk niya.
“Whatever. Ask her if she wants to go with you.” Nakatitig sa akin si Nick habang sinasabi niya iyon. He looked at me like I did something wrong.
“Can you go with me, Cassie? Please?” Lumabi si Tristan.
I looked at Nick. Agad siyang umiwas ng tingin.
“Sure.” Sabi ko. I thought it would be impolite if I say no to Tristan. “Well, if that’s ok with Mr. Cordova.”
“Just call my secretary if you need any help.” Sabi ni Tristan kay Nick. Then he turned to me. “Let’s go.”
Umakbay ulit siya sa akin atlumabas sa kwarto.Bumaba kami sa parking lot at sumakay sa kotse niya.
“I’m hungry. Let’s get something to eat before we go there.” Sabi ni Tristan. We went to a restaurant and got something to eat.
“Didn’t Phoenix tell you that the company’s going to have a social event?” Tanong ni Tristan.
“No. I don’t think I need to know anyway.” Sabi ko. Ang social event ay para lang sa mga empleyadong matataas ang posisyon, mga investors o mga sponsor. I’m just his secretary kaya hindi ako kasali dun.
“Ngayong alam mo na, you’d have to go with me to the social event.”
He cut me off. “You can’t say no to me.”
“C’mon Cass, huwag mo naman akong ipahiya.”
“Tristan, I can’t…”
“Kapag hindi ka sumama sa social event then I’ll have to go to your house and I will not leave until you come with me.” Sabi nito.
Kapag pumunta siya sa bahay baka makita niya si Miggy. Hindi niya pwedeng malaman ang tungkol sa anak namin ni Nick.
“Sige na nga. I’d go with you.” Napilitan akong pumayag.
“Let’s go.” Sabi ni Tristan kay Cassie. Muli itong umakbay kay Cassie at lumabas na sila.
I didn’t want her to go with Tristan. I was kind of hoping she would say no when he asked her if she can come with him. I got back to the files I was reading. Binalik ko ang atensyon ko sa pagbabasa ng files. Ano na kayang ginagawa nila ngayon? I shouldn’t have let Cassie go with him! I know Tristan so well. He’s a lady’s man! Paano kung mahulog si Cassie sa kanya? Goddammit! Stop thinking about them Phoenix! Marami ka pang gagagawin! Focus on your fucking job!
Humugot ako ng malalim na hininga at napasandal sa kinauupuan ko. I threw the files on my table. Screw this! Susunod ako sa kanila. I quickly got to my car and drove off. This is insane Phoenix! What the fuck are you doing? Huwag mo sabihing nahuhulog ka na naman kay Cassie. You can forgive her but you can’t fall in love with her again. I want to fucking smash my head on the steering wheel.
“Good morning, Mr. Cordova.” Bati sa akin ng engineer nang makarating ako doon.
“Have you seen Tristan?”
“Mr. Zamora?” Tanong nito.
“Yes, where is he?”
“I haven’t seen him anywhere near here, Mr. Cordova.” Sagot nito.
“Shit.” I cussed under my breath. Where the hell did they go? I took my phone out and dialed Cassie’s number. The phone just kept ringingbut no one answered. The same thing happened when I called Tristan.
Halos isang oras akong naghintay sa construction site ng dumating sila. Look at them!Theyare laughinghappily like a newly wed couple.
“Where the fuck have you two been? I’ve been calling the both of you for one fucking hour and no one bothered to answer the phone!” Hindi ko napigil ang inis ko.
“You mad, bro? Geez, you should take a chill pill.” Natatawang sabi ni Tristan. “We just got something to eat.”
“Bakit hindi niyo sinasagot ang mga phone niyo?”
“I left my phone at the office.” Sabi ni Cassie.
“Same here. What are you doing here, anyway? I thought you were busy with something.” Sabi ni Tristan.
“I’m done with the files.” Sagot ko.
“Ok then, let’s get down to work.”
We went to check the construction site. Buong araw kaming nandun at sa buong araw na iyon silang dalawa lang ang magkausap. I almost feel like I was invisible. I wish I could talk to Cassie like the way Tristan does. I wish I could joke around with her like Tristan jokes with her. We see each other everyday yet I can’t even talk to her. I want to but I don’t know how. After all the things that we’ve gone throught, after all the things that happened… I don’t know what to say to her.
“Why are you so quiet?” Tanong ni Tristan.
“Cause I have nothing to say.” Sagot ko.
Nagkibit-balikatna lang ito.I’m pissed off right now. Really pissed off!I want to pull Cassie away from him.
Madilim na ng magdesisyon kaming umuwi.
“Time to go home.” Sabi ni Tristan. “Tara na, Cass.”
“Sa akin sasakay si Cassie.” Sabi ko. Hindi na ako naghintay na magsalita siya, I grabbed Cassie’s hand. Hinatak ko siya papunta sa kotse ko at isinakay. I got in my car and drove off.
“What were you doing?” Galit na tanong ko.
“What do you mean? I didn’t do anything.” Sabi ni Cassie.
“You were flirting with Tristan!” Hindi ko napigilan magtaas ng boses.
“I wasn’t flirting with him! Palibhasa, ang dumi-dumi niyang isip mo!” Tumaas na din ang boses niya.
“I don’t want you anywhere near that bastard again! Do you understand?”
Hindi siya sumagot. Inihinto ko ang kotse sa gilid ng kalsada at humarap sa kanya. “I’ll remind you who owns you.”
I grabbed her head and kiss her lips. I slipped my tongue between her soft lips, teasing the inside. She quickly responded to my kiss. Pumulupot ang mga kamay niya sa leeg ko at nagsimulang gumalaw ang mga labi niya. Fuck, I miss her lips.
I cupped her breast and squeeze it. She moaned softly into my mouth. I start unbuttoning her blouse. He stopped my hands. Humiwalay siya sa halik namin at itinulak ako.
“I’m sorry. I just… I can’t do this here.” Mahinang sabi niya. She fixed her blouse.
Napasandal ako at napabuntong hininga. I guess I’d have to drive with a boner in my pants. I started the car. This is going to be a long ride.