Thursday, April 16, 2020

Password to your Heart - CHAPTER 1

His Name is Evan

December 16, 2008

ILANG minuto nang nakatitig si Celine sa harap ng monitor ng kanyang laptop. Ilang ulit siyang nag-refresh at ilang ulit binasa ang laman ng Facebook private message na ‘yon.

I’ll be in Manila next week. Just for a few days. Hope we can have dinner.

Hindi niya napigilang kiligin dahil kung may isang mensahe siyang inaabang-abangan, iyon ay ang tinitingnan niya ngayon. She could feel her face become warm and she just had to cover her mouth when she gave out a loud giggle.

He’ll be here, and he wanted to see me again. After all this time. Dahan-dahang napasandal si Celine sa kanyang kahoy na upuan, nakatingin pa rin sa laptop. It has been what, two years? And now Evan wanted to see her. Again. Nanlalamig ang mga kamay niya at nanginginig dahil sa sobrang kaba at kilig. Ano nga ba ang isasagot niya sa message na ‘yon ni Evan?

Hi, how are you? I would love to have dinner!

At pagkatapos niyang i-type iyon ay mabilis rin niya iyong binura. Ano ba naman ang iniisip n’ya para tanggapin ang imbitasyon na iyon ng dati niyang boss?

Pero, ito naman talaga ang matagal mo nang hinihintay, diba? Oo, pero, ano ang mukhang ihaharap niya sa binata pagkatapos niya itong padalhan ng e-mail na naglalaman ng confession of her undying love almost six months ago?

Napapailing na isinubsob ni Celine ang kanyang mukha sa laptop. This is it. This is the result of her madness. This is the end of her. Muli, tiningnan niya ang message ni Evan. Dalawang bagay lang naman iyon – he wanted to see her because he feels the same way, or he just needed to tell her to stop whatever feelings she has for him dahil wala iyong patutunguhan. After all, Evan was her former boss – and he’s just too good for someone like her.

~~

CELINE met Evan online, a year ago. She was busy working on an entertainment article, which was nearing its deadline when she suddenly received an anonymous message on YM.

Evan (07/24/2004 7:52:57 AM): Good morning.
Celine (07/24/2004 7:52:59 AM): Who is this?
Evan (07/24/2004 7:53:11 AM): Hi, I read your website and learned that you are offering writing services.
Celine (07/24/2004 7:53:15 AM): yes, that’s right.
Evan (07/24/2004 7:54:37 AM): I was hoping that you could work for me.

And it all started there. He needed to maintain several blogs about several different stuff and basically, he wanted her to write articles for his websites. She agreed for two reasons – he offered high compensation (compared to the other clients she used to work with) and he’s really cute – that is according to the pictures posted in his blogs and on his social media accounts. He’s got this Jason Lewis appeal in him - with his unruly brown hair, his blue eyes that could look deep into a woman’s soul, and his bristly mustache that made him look as if he’s nothing but trouble.

Oh, just what she fancies in a man.

~~

Evan (08/1/2004 6:34:55 AM): Good morning, Ms. Celine.

Halos mahulog sa upuan si Celine nang biglang lumitaw ang message na iyon sa laptop niya. Kinailangan pa niyang lapitan nang husto ang monitor para makita ang picture katabi ng pangalan ng binata doon sa chatbox.

At pagkatapos ay gusto na niyang himatayin. Evan looked so formal yet so charming on that photograph. He’s wearing a suit, and stylish eyeglasses. She could melt in his smile. Pinilit niyang pakalmahin ang sarili bago sumagot sa message na ‘yon.

Celine (08/1/2004 6:36:17 AM): Good morning, sir.
Evan (08/1/2004 6:36:42 AM): How are you?
Celine (08/1/2004 6:37:04 AM): Fine sir, thanks. By the way, the articles are done. They just need a bit of proofreading.
Evan (08/1/2004 6:37:15 AM): Impressive. That’s good news.
Celine (08/1/2004 6:37:41 AM): Thank you, sir.
Evan (08/1/2004 6:37:47 AM): By the way, is that really you in your picture?

Kumunot ang noo ni Celine. Bakit napunta sa picture n’ya ang usapan? Ngayon lang nagtanong ng hindi tungkol sa trabaho ang boss niya kaya medyo ipinagtaka niya ‘yon.

Celine (08/1/2004 6:38:19 AM): Yes, sir.
Evan (08/1/2004 6:38:24 AM): Really?

Muli, kumunot ang noo niya.

Celine (08/1/2004 6:38:32 AM): Yes, sir. why do you ask?
Evan (08/1/2004 6:38:38 AM): You look great in red.

Boom! Daig pa ni Celine ang tinamaan ng pana ni kupido. Why does he need to say that? Pero siyempre, hindi naman niya p’wedeng itanong ‘yon sa boss niya. At hindi rin niya alam kung ano ang isasagot do’n. Nanginginig siyang nag-type -

Celine (08/1/2004 6:38:56 AM): You’re funny, really, sir.

And then there was a pause, longer than the usual. Akala ni Celine ay nagalit ito, or naoffend.

Evan (08/1/2004 6:42:33 AM): No, really. Red is a great color on you. I’m not saying that it’s the only color that looks good on you. I’m sure that you’re attractive on whatever color your wear.

She wanted to faint. Seriously! Celine has no idea why on earth is Evan talking about what color suits her. Nanliligaw na ba ito sa kanya? Ang bilis naman yata!

Ha! Ha! She wished.

The following days were typical – they chat about work, about how good her articles are, and his future plans about his business. Gano’n naman palagi – pormal si Evan at seryoso kapag trabaho ang pinag-uusapan kaya nagugulat na lang si Celine kapag may mga pagkakataong nagbibiro ito o may iba itong mga bagay na gustong pag-usapan.

At habang tumatagal, lalo siyang nai-inlove kay Evan. Sino ba namang hindi? Evan is not only a successful businessman, he’s also someone whom she could talk to about everything under the sun. He knows about sports, entertainment, literature, history, technology – everything. Kaya minsan, inaabot sila ng ilang oras kaka-chat at kailangan niyang i-adjust and schedule n’ya para do’n. Na hindi naman niya pinagsisisihan.

Evan (9/16/2004 1:42:38 AM): Wow, didn’t notice the time. It’s almost 2AM there, right?
Celine (9/16/2004 1:42:41 AM): Yes, sir.
Evan (9/16/2004 1:42:49 AM): Really sorry. I shouldn’t be taking much of your time.
Celine (9/16/2004 1:51:03 AM): No problem, it is always fun chatting with you.
Evan (9/16/2004 1:51:16 AM): Same here. I enjoy chatting with you, Celine.

Naka-ilang beses na bumuntung-hininga na si Celine. Hindi niya p’wedeng itago ang kilig at excitement sa tuwing ka-chat niya ang boss niya. At sana, wala itong nararamdamang anupaman, sana ay hindi nito napapansin ang lihim niyang pagsinta rito. (O sana nga ay mapansin na siya nito, ha ha).

Evan (9/16/2004 1:51:20 AM): You aren’t sleepy yet?
Celine (9/16/2004 1:51:34 AM): Nope
Evan (9/16/2004 1:51:41 AM): Why?

Why, o why? Sir, because of you, kung p’wede lang niyang sabihin.

Celine (9/16/2004 1:51:46 AM): I had too much coffee earlier, i think
Evan (9/16/2004 1:52:01 AM): Coffee addict as well?
Celine (9/16/2004 1:52:10 AM): Yep
Evan (9/16/2004 1:52:13 AM): Hmm, we’ve got something in common.



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