CHAPTER 1 LAINe Series: JEW & DREI
“I want to thank you for such a wonderful time we had, I must say that I really enjoy your company and I hope you feel the same, but the thing is I don’t think.. that we two perfectly fits with each other, instead can we be just… friends?”
OUCH… a Mans’ heart tore into pieces because of her lines. What else is new? Meet her Jewish Mari Favela, a play girl and sometimes addressed as a whore by every woman envy of her stunning lifestyle plus the fact that she’s been visibly seen going out with the entire eligible bachelor in town.
“No, Sweety, please let’s work it out, I will do it perfectly for you this time around and I never do things against you” nagsusumamong pakiusap ng lalake sa kanya after she said to him her final words of breaking up.
At the back of her mind ‘blah blah blah… same old lines that I heard every time the date expired.’ Jew wakes up with a bitter sweet smile on her beautifully sculptured face while remembering last night. Her hazel brown eyes with thick eyebrows that could melt every man’s heart in just one look were not even still awake at that moment. Everything was made perfectly for her, a woman of richness, glam, charm and brain except that there is something missing inside her. A lot of times pa nga na napagkakamalan siyang isang modelo sa mga events kung saan ay siya ang event coordinator. For three years she’s been working for AIM Fashion Inc., the top fashion company in the Philippines owned by her Auntie Heather – a popular model of 90’s & now turned to be a stylist fashion guru.
“Ahh what a morning?” while washing her face. She still can’t cope up with what had just happen last night with her and Joseph whom for the record is the fourth guy of the month that she had dumped. So it’s the new millennium, hindi na uso ang lalake lang ang may K to collect and then select! ‘Woman like her can do the same’ ang motto niya. Yes, her looks is so deceiving that she can even launch thousand of ships like Helen in the movie Troy. Ano ba naman kasi ang magagawa niya if all the eligible men were running after her?
“Girl, hot tea you like?” maarteng alok sa kanya ni Mosh while entering her room.
“Am I that lame Moshing?” while looking at her self reflection in the mirror.
“Ha..ha..ha.. Why? Feeling that karma is on its way?” teasing her while sipping the cup of tea. Tiningnan lang siya ni Jew ng matalim. “Girl cheer up, you naman kasi eh! Joseph is more than like perfect goody goody man! and you stupid blown her away just like that!? And besides diba three days pa lang kayo together, di mo man lang pinaabot ng one week, malay you, he is the one..” kinikilig na tukso nito.
“Darn shut up!” putol niya rito “That’s precisely the point kaya hindi siya nakaabot kahit man lang sa expiration date. I realized that I’m hurting a real good man, hindi naman ako ganun kasama to make him believe that I do feel the same way for him.” maktol niya.
“Then I guess you should be careful next time on hurting others, be afraid on your own karma dear, try to settle with someone that would be your -” Tumingin pa ito sa alapaap at parang nagbibilang kuno “Oh well someone that would be your pang number 62.5 na fling and eventually your last na rin sana” patuloy nito.
Natawa naman siya sa mga pahayag ng mahaderang kaibigan “Sino naman yung ika .5?”
“Shinoh fa eh di si fafa Joseph diba three days lang kayo and it ends last night kaya .5, I hope it does ends there, na reach mo namana ang quota you two weeks before the end of the month, madir naka apat kana dahil pinagsabay you si Val & Brady” tukoy nito sa naka fling niya sa Bohol ng mag organize sila ng wedding ng anak ng Congressman doon. And its true na pinagsabay niya ang dalawa, at night she’s with Brady and morning with Val, clear naman sa dalawa that their just enjoying each others company, mga liberated naman ang mga ito dahil nga laking US, mind you mag best friend pa sila. Napailing na lang siya sa mga naalala.
“AIM Fashion Inc. got the bid for the upcoming Ford launch, the US base Ford CEO will attend so there’s no room for mistake only for perfection, we only have four weeks to make our arrangements and I want you Jewish to handle this event.” Pinal na pahayag nito sa pamangkin habang nasa conference room sila ng buong team.
“Yes Ma’am” pormal niyang sagot dito dahil nasa working zone sila, ‘It’s always a yes never say no’ yun ang natutunan niya dito over the years, confident siya sa sinagot niya because she knew she is really good, maraming beses na niya iyong napatunayan sa kumpanya dahil ayaw rin naman niyang sabihin ng iba, na kaya lang siya nasa posisyon niya ngayon eh dahil pamangkin siya ng boss. Besides her Aunt was her only relative here in Manila ever since her parents got separated. Well actually her Mom died due to a car accident when she was just sixteen dahil na rin sa pambabae ng daddy niya and how he hated more his Dad ng iwan siya nito sa Aunt Heather niya na kapatid ng Mommy niya just to live in California with his other woman, magsimula noon ay wala na rin siyang pakialam pa dito o kung nasaan man ito.
“Good! Anyway Mosh I want you to handle the shoot for Star Magic Catalogue for MAG launch next year, Ms. Mariol called me and the artists schedules were sent to your e-mail, the shoot will be as soon as next month, but still you can help out Jew’s team for the Ford launch, I’d just want you to prepare this early for the concept.”
“Noh problem Madam, I love this shoot, it’s going to be fantastic. I’ll just be the one who will personally contact Ms. Mariol after the meeting then” he smiled.
“Well I hope you love your job enough so there’s no reason to flirt with the other artists most especially the boys” mariin na pahayag nito na ikinatawa naman ng buong team.
“Ugh, I’ll try my resistance over temptation but I won’t promise a thing” pabiro naman nito na lalo lang ikinatawa ng lahat dahil sa kalandian niya.
“It will be a busy month, I hope nothing goes wrong” she sighed, after the meeting silang dalawa na lang ng Auntie nya ang natitira sa conference room.
“Well I really engaged you to this because I still have high hopes that this project will make you more busy, as in super busy to the point na wala ka ng time to go out and date another lost soul victim.” Birong totoo nito.
Na ikinatawa naman niya ng malakas “Ha ha ha Auntie, tell me you’re not serious with that statement” still laughing but this time faking it.
Napatawa na rin ito “Seriously iha, when will you stop? Yes your dad is a coward pig, we all know that! but still it does not mean that every man in town is the same as he” mahinahong paliwanag nito. “O baka naman si Michael pa rin ang iniisip mo?”
Biglang namutla ang mukha ni Jew “That’s a close story Auntie” saka sumeryoso ang mukhang binaling na lang sa mga catalogues ang atensiyon niya.
“I’m sorry iha” hinging paumanhin nito, She should never say the name sa harapan ng pamangkin.
Tumango lang siya saka ngumiti lang ng mapakla dahil ayaw niya ng maungkat pa ang nakaraan.
“Well then, I’m going this early dahil may play si Tricia sa school” tukoy nito sa six year old daughter niya. “Want to come?”
Umiling siya “Gusto ko sana Auntie kaya lang may two meetings pa ako with the other clients eh”
“Okay, you said so” sabay naki-pag beso dito. “Basta this weekend don’t forget yung lunch mo sa bahay, na mimiss ka na raw ng mga kids.”
“Sure Auntie, I’ll make up with the kids, promise.” She half smiled.
“Sister I don’t know!” mocking at his phone. “Malay ko ba naman sa kabaliwan niyang kakambal ko noh, wag mo na kasi siyang pilitin, lalo lang yun mag iinarte” nauubos na talaga ang pasensiya niya dahil sa tuwing may gagawin o worst hindi gagawin ang kakambal niya eh siya ang ginugulo ng Ate nila.
“Adrian, please!” shouting at him.
“Ate it’s Mosh, my god” maarteng pagkasabi pa niya.
“Basta I want Andrei to come home, I don’t care what it takes, get him from Bahamas and if it’s needed kaladkarin mo siya sa airport pabalik dito.” She almost shouted. “Ito na nga lang ang pakiusap ko sa kanya eh, ikaw kasi kung tinutulungan mo ba ako sa pag mamanage ng business natin diba, parang ang layo ng Makati sa Quezon City- .”
“Heep- ako nanaman?! Ate your sobra na talaga sa pagiging dominant huh!” Naiirita na talaga siya “What have you eaten this lunch to come up with this idea na pauwiin siya, alam niyo naman na matigas ang ulo nun, sayo nga ayaw sumunod sakin pa kaya?” while pouting his lips.
“Mag e-expand na naman ang firm so I need a companion, I need someone who will manage here at ako sa branch natin sa Australia. If it’s not just far from the word impossible at pwede ka, abay milagro! Why not? di sana hindi ko na kailangan makiusap pa kay Andrei.” Sarkastikong pagkasabi nito. “Anu ba naman kayo, this is not just a business, it was the last memory we had from mom and dad, and unto my last will power, I won’t stop until our company is number one.” Sabay off nito ng phone.
“Hmf nakakainis na talaga, imbyerna tarush ang mga kapatid ko” Then nag ring nanaman ang phone niya, his kambal.
“O?” singhal niya sa phone “Mind you Drei hindi pa ako maka move on kay Ate so give me a better reason why you’re keep on refusing to come home!” as if commanding his brother.
“Drop it Adrian, I don’t have so many time to waste – ”
“Hoy Mister” putol niya rito “ -at bakit so precious kaya ng time ko – ”
“Mosh please ako muna” Napatahimik na niya ito sa wakas sa kabilang linya, nakokornihan man siya sa alias name nito eh he still needs his help. “Basta the plan is to make good impression with Ate para hindi siya masyadong mag hysterical, you’re the person in charge – ”
“So you don’t have plans nga na umuwi?!” hysterical na tanung niya. “Anu ka ba naman, holy cow, ang dali-dali na nga ng pinapagawa ni Ate sayo eh and besides, may sarili naman tayong business bakit ba nakikisiksik ka pa sa business ni Justin -”
“Hey half of this were my investments” tukoy nito sa hotel na minamanage nila ng pinsan niya. “Crap, now look who’s talking? And you, your just within the boundaries of Manila and still can’t contribute a thing to the business. Why don’t we just trade in places I’m sure you’ll be happy within Ate’s rules by then.” Nayayamot na singhal niya sa kakambal.
“I almost cried dear, okay okay enough” panunudyo pa niya rito “Even though my sympathy is on you because I understand why you’re reacting that way, but still, Ate needs you, umuwi ka na lang kasi please, pagbigyan mo lang siya tutal naman its been eight years ka na rin naming pinagbibigyan na tumira diyan, I think its time na kami -”
Nakakalokong tawa ang pinawalan niya. “Selfish ka talaga, kung ikaw nga na almost an hour away eh hindi man lang magawang i-manage ang business natin tapos ngayon-”
“Makati is far from QC noh, traffic kaya!” dagdag pang aasar pa niya.
“Yeah right na parang nasa kabilang street lang ang Bahamas dammit!?” mariing pagkasabi nito sabay off ng phone.
“Oh my god… grrr irita ang beauty ko… no one can hang me on phone twice just like this… whizet talaga.” Napabuntong hininga ito habang nagpupuyos pa rin sa inis. “Fine, care my ass!” singhal nito at nagsimula ng paandarin ang kotse.
“O anung drama yan?” Tanung niya kay Mosh ng madatnan niya itong sambakul ang pag mumukha, napaka gwapo talaga ng bestfriend niya, kung di niya nga lang alam lahat ng lantarang kabadingan nito at panglalake na rin eh baka matagal na niya itong napikot.
“I’m sick!” Maarteng paawang sagot nito.
“O why, may fever ka?” Sabay salat sa noo nito. “I think your okay, you’re not even warm”
“Well actually soon to be sick pa lang ako” he sighed.
Sabay hampas niya rito ng unan “Sira ka talaga” saka pumunta sa fridge para kumuha ng yogurt.
“Anyway where have you been? Past two a.m. na ah, don’t tell me you get yourself a new prospect na agad ha!?”
“Well not at all, I realized that I will be busy with the Ford launch so I decided for a while not to entertain anyone. I want to give myself some break.” sabay umupo sa tabi ni Mosh at hinilig ang ulo sa may dibdib nito.
“Hoy bruha ka, wag mo nga akong i-seduce” Biro nito na parehas naman nilang ikinatawa. “Anyway my twin brother is coming home, well hopefully!” Sabay taas pa niya ng kilay.
“Hopefully!?” takang tanung niya rito.
“Well my chevalung Ate is the one insisting na umuwi siya to manage the company, kaya lang nag aarts pa eh.”
“Bakit naman? I think its about time for him to manage the business, nahihirapan din naman si Ate Julia, just imagine after long years na siya lang mag isa ang nagmamanage ng company eh now niya lang hiningi ang tulong ng kakambal mo.”
“Well dear may pointer ka diyan, kaya lang my brother is a different scenario. He wanted a life away and alone, that’s why he decided na sa relatives na lang namin sa Bahamas mag stay after our high school grad. Besides I understand him because among the three of us, he is the one who were so affected of what happened with our parents’ talaga kaya it’s hard for him to come home.”
“Although I know how it hurts, but I think your brother should take the courage to be home.”
“I don’t know, hindi rin niya kasi maiwan ang Hotel Resort business nila ni Justin, yung cousin namin sa Bahamas kaya siguro yun, ay speaking of that resort my gosh best, so nice talaga, may hot spring at the back of the hotel, white sand beach in front, hay naku – ”
Her eyes rolled “Bakla you’ve said that twenty times already” halos inaantok na nga siya kaya napahakay pa.
“Ay naku super beautiful naman talaga that place, ikaw kasi kung hindi mo inuna yang panlalake mo sa Sweden eh di sana sumama ka sakin sa Bahamas last vacation, kaya naman hindi ko rin masisi ang kambal ko, that’s almost the perfect life he had ever wanted tapos sisirain lang ng kapatid namin dahil sa mga ambi-.” Sabay tingin sa katabi. “Hay naku tulugan ba naman ang pag speech ko, hmf… chaka ka talaga.” Sabay buhat niya rito at dinala sa room nito. “Pagbuhatin ba naman ang beauty ko, harush.” Nasabi na lang niya habang nilalapag ito sa higaan nito.
Morning at AIM building
“Demi can you contact for me the Zion Marketing, just connect to my line” utos niya sa kanyang assistant. Almost eight p.m. and still nasa working mode pa rin siya.
“Right away Ma’am Jew, by the way someone sent this for you” sabay abot ng bouquet of red roses sa kanya.
Kunot noo naman niya itong kinuha. “Kanino raw galing?” while reading the card.
“Girl I’m ready to go home” he said while entering the office and notice the roses “Hey kanino naman galing yan?” mahaderang tanung nito.
“Well it’s from Joseph.” She sighed
“OMG, he’s not making suko pa rin sayo, I knew it, he’s the one for you, what did he say in the card?”
“Asking me out for dinner.” Wala namang kalatuy latuy na sagot niya rito saka umupo na sa swivel chair ng kanyang desk.
“O why that kind of face? Ay halatang masaya ka, girl i-hide you at super obvious?!” Which is the total opposite of her reaction na halata namang wala siya sa mood.
“I thought we already understand each other.” Sabay sandal sa swivel chair nito.
“Wow bago yan ah, Jewish Mari Favela, afraid sa dinner date!?” emphasizing more on the last word. “Why a sudden change? Afraid you na baka na overfall na sayo si Joseph and you can’t stand that? Ganun ang drama?”
Tiningnan lang niya ito ng matalim dahil sa patuloy nitong pang-i- interrogate sa kanya. Mabuti na lamang at pumasok ang assistant niya at sinabing nasa line na ang Zion marketing. “Thanks Demi,” Sabay angat ng telepono “ Yes Good Evening sorry to call this late, I Just wanted to confirmed the -” she look at Mosh commanding him to leave the office, buti naman at sumunod agad ito.
NASSAU, BAHAMAS is the kind of place he cannot afford to leave. From the terrace of the hotel he can clearly picture on his very eyes the perfect paradise. Eight years of his life, he dedicated to this place, from college where he graduated with flying colors in Bahamas University with a degree of International Management Relations unto now his present career of managing a hotel resort business with his cousin and its live in partner.
“What’s wrong Drei?” ang tanung na nagpabalik sa kanyang pag iisip sa reyalidad.
It is Evelyn, live in partner ni Justin and a good friend of his. Pure Bahamians ito, meaning ay isang Black American, but still ang kulay nito ay hindi naging dahilan upang hindi makita ang natural nitong kagandahan at kaseksihan that’s why baliw na baliw rito ang pinsan niya. A bit ay marunong din itong magtagalog dahil almost four years na rin niya naman itong nakakasama at tinuturuan nila ni Justin about Filipino ways. For him she was like more than a sister dahil na rin siguro six years older ito sa kanya, she can easily say what she want over him at halos alam na nito ang autobiography niya. Mahilig kasi itong makialam lalo na pag tungkol sa lovelife thing, weird but this woman believes in happy ending, destiny and everlasting love. Kinilabutan na siya sa mga naalala kaya -.