It was a hectic day for Robert Bensy. He's been managing the business inherited from his father, Arthur Bensy, one of the illustrious businessmen of his time. He owned a steel company in Hongkong and a distribution company in the
She preferred to stay in the
"Diana…", suddenly a voice broke from her long thoughts. Emily, her executive secretary. She's been with the company for about three years. She is very efficient.
"Diana, your husband just called… he told me that he'd be coming…"
"Yeah…I hear it…thanks…."
"What have you been thinking about? Is there a problem?"
"No…just a short plug for a bit of a problem…."
"Thanks, Emily…I can manage….just leave me alone.."
"Okey…just call me up when you need me, okey?"
"Yeah…yeah…I know…ups!..wait a minute, can you call Mr. Cervantes to postpone our business meeting at 3 p.m., I need to do something…"
She's been contemplating back the days of her childhood…reminiscing the past is oftentimes her cause of depression when Lito, her youngest brother keep on asking money from her.
Lito's been pestering her and she is becoming impatient. She'd like Lito to continue his studies at the University of the East. But, he preferred to hang away with his friends. Many times, she is trying to blame her parents about the attitude of her brother, but they could not do otherwise. One thing that she likes her brother is his being submissive and silent everytime that she taught her something for his own good. He just smile and shrug his shoulders and say, "okey…if that's what you want me to do, I promise to do it…" then she gave the money afterwards.
The phone rings. She don't know how many minutes were it's been ringing. She stood up and stretch a little then picked up the phone.
"Mommy…." Rutler's voice is cute in the phone, as she often said.
"Yes?....hello Rutler…what've been doin', ha?"
"I played with my friends…"
"What kind of ball game this time?..."
"Oh, soccer…you know I love soccer…"
"Yes…that's why I'm having fun with my teammates…we'll be playin' two weeks from now…so, we keep on practicin'…is Dad called you up?
"He left just this morning to visit you…I refused to come because of this game. When he arrived, tell me him I'm okey…"
"Well…yeah… I'll tell him…"
"Hey, Mom….are you comin' during the games?...you will miss it if you wouldn't come…"
"Of course!... I will… you know that…"
"Yeah…okey…I hope Dad will come too."
"I'll try to drag him…." She laughed.
"Yeah…I hope you could…"
There had been a lot of times that Robert was not able to come for the games and Rutler is trying to reach out and make the best for his Dad's attention. But, Robert is very busy for his business. The Hongkong business is booming after a few years of sluggish activity and Robert would not want to miss every inch of opportunity that comes his way. He needs to take advantage of it.
After it's formal turnover to the Chinese communist government, Hongkong remained democratic in principle and infrastructure projects is widespread making his steel business in high gear. This is great opportunity, he thought.
The door opened, Robert cheerfully came in wearing a wide smile on his face.
"Hello, honey…how's day to day?...hmm?..." He kissed her on the forehead.
"It seems that your business is fine…."
She is silent.
"Hey, what's wrong?....
"Nothing?...." He smiled. "…if nothing's wrong, what makes your face crumpled like scratch paper on the weeds?" He laughed.
"Now…now, come on….I'm here….it's been long time, you know…" He grinned.
She smiled, "Cut that craft….we're old already…"
"Oh yeah?....nah….nah….can't accept that…we need to go now... your favorite place is waiting….
"Come on…I'm not in the mood today….I get plenty of headaches…"
"Okey….I'll wait for at the house…" paused and turned, "…and don't get late…"
"Okey…I'll be on time…"
Robert went out of the room with a grin and a smile. He winked.
She is calm and felt something as though the day had turned out the light refreshing a doomed day. She don't understand.
Robert though has been very busy, he sees to it that every two weeks he comes home in the
Diana is still sitting at his office looking outside the vast horizon. The sun is setting and the streets are busy. She closed her eyes. The past is coming back.
Diana was invited to speak at a luncheon meeting. Businessmen from all over the Bicol Region are also invited. The surprise came when Robert was called up to render his own speech. Robert was surprised.
He went forward towards the rostrum with the sterling lively hand clapping all around him. Diana stood up clapping. She felt the tremendous feelings of being elated in an occasion like this. Many times, this happens. But today is different.
Robert extemporaneously highlighted the marks of acumen in the business world when dealing with the latest problems being encountered of many businesses. Diana felt proud of her husband. He seemed flowing with a flood of ideas. As the speech was near to end, Diana knew that Robert will ask her to stand to introduce her. It was all the time like this.
Diana sighed in relief. After all, her husband was very generous give up many important deals for his life just for the cause of charity. He's planning to put up his own charitable foundation in the
She had to initiate something to surprise her husband. She needs to do more for her own family and for her own people. She would love to help them to rise above poverty. She needs to do better to make everyone see what she can do. It takes only one for herself to make the best and she is taking the risk…
"Diana….Robert is calling up again…he's waiting at your favorite restaurant…."
Emily smiled when she saw her employer already dressed up for the occasion.
"Oh my…oh my….you look so beautiful! I'm sure Robert will be surprised…look at you…"
"Hey, stop that ….I've doing this for quite a long time already and now, you're surprise seeing me like this?..."
"Yeah…yeah…it really is surprising…"
"Okey…okey…surprising…surprising…I have to go now…take care of the office. Tomorrow, I'll be late…"
"Okey…I know it…" Emily smiled. She knows her boss quite a bit. She knows her tantrums.
"Got to go now…remember, he's waiting…" she teasingly smiled.
"Yeah…just leave me alone…"she smiled for the tease.
Emily is her bestfriend and a confidante'. She is efficient and a good business negotiator. Last year she was able to close a half million distribution package for the company. She was separated from her husband for almost a year now and singly raising her only son, Andrew, now thirteen and studying in a
Andrew and Rutler have been close friends always competing each other in sports. Andrew love to play basketball and softball while Rutler seems to be on a hype with every ball game he could possibly play. Rutler is athletic than Andrew.
"Oh…I almost forgot…maybe Robert's been waiting for me…got to go…" Diana said to herself.
She's been thinking a lot these past days because of her own family. She could not take a bitter pill to relieve the pain that she felt deep inside her. She needs to go because it's been a month since she last went out a date with her husband. Besides, a lot of business problems came up. May be she needs the advice from Robert, sort of, she thought.
Traffic at three in the afternoon is both amusing and irritating. Amusing because those people who are trying to beat the time for home and escape the traffic, unexpectedly stuck up with others who were also thinking the same thought.
Coincidence? No. She thought. Irritating because you could see the line in a highway where your place in queue is last.
Anyway, Diana thought"I know of some short cuts to beat the traffic…" And she did.
For almost everyday that she's been driving, she learned to read the map of Metro Manila and marked short cuts to certain places that she frequently come. From her condo to the office, from the office to certain clubs and parks. Everything was in place, so, she don't have to worry about the traffic.
Robert was all in smile seeing her coming to the restaurant. This sumptuous place is a favorite among elite class. They enjoy romantic music played by an unknown pianist. He is an expert, Diana usually say. She remembered the first time she met Robert at this place. There was a rain and all is wet.
Robert ran swiftly to take refuge from rain at shed of the park. He was already soaked with rain and shivering cold. She parked the car and see Robert in a distance. He smiled shyly at her. She offered the umbrella and they both went inside the restaurant.
Friendship started. Not a long time, Robert proposed. She accepted. It was very short a time, but, Robert was determined to marry her after a short courtship. Her mother never consented of allowing her to get out with Robert but Diana insisted.
"Hey…what're you thinkin' about? It seems that your mind is flying away and I could not even catch it…hmm?" Robert touch her hair gently.
The usual way Robert express his sympathy to the wishful thoughts of his wife.
"I'm sorry…it's just that I got a lot of thinking to do about…what time did you come here?"
"I'm here at two, a few minutes I took a bath at the hotel."
"Why?...didn't you come home?"
"I don't have the key…"Diana smiled, "Oh!...I'm sorry…I forgot to give you the key. I thought you had one."
"I left it at the
Robert sighed. Emily was astonished as she looked at the face of her husband. It was the first time that she saw him that way. Robert explained that he just came from a meeting before he traveled to the
"Hey…" Diana called out, "...still thinking?..."
She just came from the women's room refreshing her good looks. Robert was stunted by the splendor of beauty he saw in Diana. She saw her wearing a queenly dress and a crown. Was he dreaming? What’s the meaning of all these? Robert thought. Was he hallucinating?
"Oh, I'm sorry…where you've been?"
Robert looked at the young man at the far end of the bar. He was caught by Robert glancing at them. The young smiled and moved to another table and take a seat there, sipping his glass of wine while looking at the pianist playing one of Beethoven’s.
"Do you know that man?..."
"No…why?" Diana asked.
"He's been observing us. I just wonder if you know the man…"
"No…would you like to let him come to our table?"
The man’s look was stern and mysterious. Robert felt there is some power that wanted to control his thoughts and emotion. Or, he was just consciously worried.
"Robert….it's better that we go now. It's getting late. I need rest…"
Robert stood up and look at the far end where the mysterious man was seating. He’s gone.
But as he walked with Diana, the looks of that man never left out of his imagination. He seemed to know him, but he can’t remember. It seems that there was some familiar thing that flashes back to his mind.
Something of old, something remote.
Diana was just looking at his husband. She doesn’t really mind what is happening around. She just walked together with her husband. Soon, we’ll be home, she thought.