Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Offer from The Governor #OFW9

The Offer from The Governor #OFW9

Edward was the one I enjoyed being with, for it gave me freedom to revealed something deep down in my heart. He was there for me to listen whatever I wanted to say, whatever I wanted to do with my life at the moment. He suggested working again in the restaurant. I hesitated at first, but my hopeless situation told me to accept the job. I felt down and out, I missed her.

Danielle’s parents met me at the Sugarland Hotel to talk it over about their daughter Danielle. I went directly to the place, asked information in the counter, and sat in the lounge. I felt some doubts within me, that I couldn’t explain. Is it I am afraid, afraid for what? Fear..? Fear of rejection? Or I was not ready to meet them face to face?

Mr. Gustilo was the governor of the Negros Island; a high ranking official in the Sugar Industry with lots of influences in the political arena and a wealthy family in the south of the island. As what my investigator Mr. Rudy Neri reported; Gustilo family had a private army on their stead to support them politically and privately. He was the elected governor of the island. A wealthy and powerful one!

I walked slowly inside the elevator, went at the second floor of the building and found room 201 at the left side wing. In the front door, I started to ring the doorbell. Two uniformed men welcomed me inside, brought me to a naked room with small table and two chairs. They seated me in a chair facing the wall and left. In a few minutes, I heard the door knob moved slowly and felt somebody enter the room. I didn’t move a bit, still facing the wall. I smelled his perfume, he tapped my left shoulder and sat in front of me. He looked at me squarely, eye to eye, but I maintained my posture trying to be brave, responsible and a gentleman. He extended his hand to me for handshake. I accepted his right hand and said, “Good morning Governor, nice to meet you.”

Still, he hadn’t said a word; he moved slowly, called his men and faced me again. My stomach squirmed with fear, even my eyes kept on rolling in every direction.

“I’m Mr. Gustilo, father of Danielle. I wanted to talk to you about my daughter. You know, there’s no secret of Danielle that I didn’t know of. Even you, I knew you all along. I love Danielle, she’s my only child. As a father, I’m willing to give all what she wanted in life. I think you know me as a political leader of this island. With my social status I cannot divulge my daughter’s relationship with you. I wanted this to be…a secret matter.”

I was listening, watching him; his forehead, eyebrows, eyes, nose, lips and his facial expression. My mind kept on wandering what will be the outcome of marrying her daughter, or, marrying Ayah Isabel? Suddenly, a uniformed man entered the door, put the black bag on the table and left. Mr Gustilo looked at it, me too, my eyes on the bag in front of me. I glanced halfway across the room but settled to face Mr. Gustilo instead. His eyes met with mine, knowing that I fully understood what he wanted me to do.

“Marc, I want you to take this bag, it’s full of money, but I want you to marry Danielle. This money is nothing to me but it can help you in any way you want, to start a new life with Danielle. Take this money and marry my daughter…”

I was amazed by his action, the conversation that I didn’t imagine beforehand. Shocked by his action...agitated, I edged a little, then straightened my sitting position. “Mr. Gustilo, your daughter knows about this meeting?” I asked coming from my shrilled throat.

“No, she’s nothing to do with this, besides she’s in the farm right now. Do you like to visit her?”

“Sir, to tell you frankly, I’m surprised by this event and I couldn’t decide right now. Would you please give me some time to think it over….in a week’s time, Sir?” I saw him, his facial expression changed.

“Okay then Marco, we’ll meet after a week, same place, just asks the hotel’s information counter for our meeting schedule. Thank you for your time and nice meeting you.”

I left the room feeling exhausted and tired. I sat down in the hotel lobby to compose myself. A few minutes later, I went home. With a heavy heart, I went to the kitchen, checked the fridge, opened a bottle of beer and drank, bottom’s up. I opened another one, for leveling up with what I was thinking. It really bothered me; why I had to decide this way? Why on earth I had to choose between these two women? And, why it’s happening to me? What’s important to me...Money? Family Life? Comfortable life?....Or being me?....

I slept the whole afternoon, when I woke up darkness crept in the face of the earth. Thinking something exciting, I took a bath, dressed ruggedly; grabbed a taxi cab heading to Edward’s place. Beside the Riviera Café & Restaurant, I purchased a bottle of cough syrup in the pharmacy store, put in my pocket and entered the restaurant going straight to the comfort room. I looked around for intruders of what I was doing inside the cubicle. Negative. I opened the cough syrup bottle, gulped the contents at once, and threw the empty bottle at the waste bin. I hurriedly walked towards the dining area looking for Edward Ramirez.

“What’s the matter friend? Are you alright?” Edward asked.

“Quick…quick, hurry!! Give me a slice of lemon..go..go..,” I commanded Edward and provided me a slice of lemon and I sucked it like a baby, closing my eyes, and felt comfortably. “Boss Edward, could you please give me two shots of espresso coffee? Charge to your account, I’ll pay you next week? Then, a cup of Americano coffee afterward? Please…”

Edward looked at me angrily. He knew me too well why I ordered this way.

“Marco, no problem for the coffee…not again my friend---for that stuff…. Why, what’s the problem?”

“Isn’t it payday today? We’ll paint the town red my friend!! I’ll wait for you, okay? I have something to tell you tonight, a big one!” I exclaimed.

“Okay Marco, takes your seat, be calm and have your coffee. Wait for me friend.”

I positioned myself at the corner of the dining section camouflaging for customers. I started to drink my two shots of espresso instantly, then, slowly consumed the Americano coffee. Within a few minutes, I felt contented with the chemical reaction of the cough syrup onto my system. I waited Edward until ten in the evening.

We left the restaurant together, hailed a taxi cab headed to our favorite disco house. The moment we were inside, the music banged with my energetic and spirited self. I danced along the hallway, while Edward kept on holding my right arm, telling me not to make a scene. We seated near the wall facing the dance floor; a suitable place for us to view the whole dance floor and the people.

Edward ordered a bottle of Jose Cuervo Tequila, plate of beef steak and a plate of tuna kinilaw.

“Waiter, please lots of sliced lemon….and salt too.”

“Yes sir got your orders, anything else sir?” The waiter asked.

“Ohhh, by the way, may I know your name? You’re new here?” Edward asked.

“My name is Joel Castillano sir...I’m new here. This is my second job as a waiter after graduating from the University of Negros Occidental. Tried to find a job with my course but failed. So, I’m here working, waiting for my good luck to come”

“I see...me too worked in a restaurant for a long time now; living alone…I’m separated from my wife with two kids. Nice meeting you Joel. Visit me if you have time at Riviera Café & Restaurant in Mandalagan.

“Okay sir, I’ll get your order now. Thank you!”

“Okay, Joel could you please give us bowls of hot soup too?”

“Yes sir…okay.”

Edward asked me if I wanted to eat white rice to pacify my stomach. I nodded negatively. My head's spinning and felt like floating together with disco lights.

“So, what you want? Kinilaw and beef steak only?”

“No I want to dance, the music’s good!” I said and stood at once, went to the dance floor and started dancing to the beat of the music. I felt the earth move under my feet, the lights were moving in different direction and beads of perspiration falling down the floor. My energetic stunt began to slow down when the music stopped. I held on the dance floor railing catching my breath. I stood there for a few minutes and finally released a loud shout, “Wheeeewwwww, great!!!!” I saw Edward approaching to where I stood, pulled my arm and took me to our table.

“Hey Marco Fernando, what are you doing? People were looking at you. Behave my friend okay?"

I only nodded, started to pour a shot of tequila, with salt and sliced lemon, and three slices of beef steak. Then, I ate the kinilaw and gulped a bowl of soup. I was satisfied and contented that I asked Edward to order for more.

“What? Slowly Marco, I’m not rich enough to order for more…”

“Hey..hey Edward my best friend…next week, I’m rich…a rich man!! We will paint the town red!! We’ll go shopping, swimming, drinking…until the end of the world!!!...and…and..we’ll buy everything…as in anything!!! I shouted at him.

“Hey Marco!! Stop it…stop!! What’s your problem my friend? Edward angrily asked. “What happened to you? You’re crazy? You don’t have money in your pocket….” Okay..let’s go!” Joel, bill please…how much?”

“One thousand and five hundred pesos sir.” Joel answered.

“Here, two thousand pesos, keep the change.”

“Thank you sir.”

We left the disco house, headed to Edward’s boarding house. I sprang my body on a sofa to sleep when we arrived. Edward brought me to the bathroom, pulled my clothes off and opened the shower. The cold water began to absorb my drenched flesh and soul, felt the freshness of morning breeze regaining the normality of my being. I dried myself at the sofa without toweling the excess water on my body.

Edward appeared in my view coming from the kitchen, holding a bowl of hot water, hand towel and a brief. “Marco, here, put on your brief...who are you Pinoy Tarzan?”

I silently immersed the hand towel in a bowl, squeezed it, and rubbed all over my body; starting from my face down to my toes. I felt relived. Edward gave me food to eat while he seated himself in front of me.

“Are you alright now? What’s your problem? Tell me. If you’re acting like this, I knew you have. What is it? Tell me...so that I could give you...solutions. Come on tell me?”

“You know what? Yesterday morning, Governor Gustilo met me at the Sugarland Hotel, offered a bag of money to marry her daughter Danielle...and I can’t decide who, what, or why! With my battered situation right now...I think...I have to accept the money...but...”

“You didn’t accept the money? Why?” Edward bolted from his seat and held me on both shoulders. “Marco, that’s blessing from heaven! I mean, that’s your opportunity...grab it Marco Fernando! Ohhh…friend...my best friend...!!! Edward exclaimed. “So, when will that be? Next week?”

I only nodded blankly, looking at him expressionless. With that large sum of money, I could help my friend and family. But how? That sum of money too, was the payment of my freedom, payment of my soul, a marriage to Danielle. Marrying with her means comfortable life? Where’s she right now?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other business blog:SHOPPING eMALL Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.

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  1. Notice from the Author: Just click the + sign at the topmost portion of this page, and your comment link will appear here. Thank you

  2. I wonder if he'll choose love or money but I hope he goes for love.

  3. Reads like a bestseller in the making. Can't wait for the next installment!

  4. Actually I don't know what to say. I am speechless. This story reminds me of Philippine's teleseryes, which most Filipinos love.

  5. Nice! You know this should go out into paper prints and ebooks online. Have you thought of developing it further and turn it to a book or something? :)

  6. wow!! what a test that was..I really hope he didn't take the money

  7. Rudy Neri sounds familiar to me. Is this Rodolfo Neri of La Carlota. He was once a President of KBP, Bacolod Chapter. He was blocktimer announcer of a local radio station in Bacolod.

  8. Such an interesting story...couldn't wait for the continuation...

  9. Choosing money over values or character is always a tough situation to be in.

  10. I was wondering what the governor offered in the title, have you personally experienced it already?

  11. The decision on whether or not to accept the money or wealth of fortune is really hard. Of course, there are consequences that are uncertain.

  12. That is such a great chapter and I can't wait to see the next one. when will you post it? :D

  13. That is such a great chapter and I can't wait to see the next one. when will you post it? :D

  14. What a beautiful story... It feels like I am in cloud nine of love. :)

  15. Money over your principles, hmmm, I want to know your decision.

  16. couldn't say more. you got a talent there. i thought the black bag would be something to cover your face and start the vhong-bogan thing.hehe

  17. This is sounds so exciting. THe Dad is so generous.

  18. this would be a nice compilation of stories you got her to be exposed to those people who loves reading! great job with this one! waiting for some more!

  19. Yeah! it's really hard to choose between money and love. I think it depends on the individual's situation.

  20. I think it would be difficult to get the money as it could give him the wrong reasons at love.

  21. This is pretty interesting, I am wondering what's holding him not to accept that seems to be a win win situation for him.

  22. This is an exciting story. I wonder what will happen next.

  23. Gaaaah! You left us hanging. I want to know what will happen next. Which will be a better choice?


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