Chapter 6–The 13th Man

Unwanted Visitor

Fred Vasquez Jr–an occult leader they call The One. His father has spoken of sweeping away lost souls and harvesting those who believe. Family capitalized on importing coconut residuals in Tugboc, Davao City until thirty two years ago. The rising havoc of pro-government opportunists lead to an indecent importing rights. Fred Vasquez was forced to close the business secretly sharing sentiments with rebels of his time. Born with charismatic tongue, he motivated civilian movement varnishing angered spirits with theological intervention. Rebels became followers when he claims prediction of revolution, referring such as God Whispers. Religious group became official as soon as the next woman preceded presidential seat. Preachership evolved into some majestic oracle..and then into business, to no one’s knowledge of course.

Papers are laying aimlessly on the table adjacent to bed. I pause absorbed by missing piece. My hand resumes on last number dialed. It has always been two rings. “Hey,”

“ I need you to find if he has properties rented or owned in Tugboc.” Silence in the background.

“Records from 30 years beyond–” I hate the possibility of not affirming.

“Check emails. Track Phone calls. Give me a call as soon.”It was quick and brief. I didn’t want to hear anything else.

Dominic is a Network Security whiz who went to same school as mine. His demure waxed hair and thick glasses earned prominence in empty cafeteria table. He looked down on competencies of academic Information Technology contending that delimiting skills is a connivance in society. It sounded skewed to me but philosophy is admirable. I entertained the friendship mostly because I need to stay behind the crowd. He’s an asset more than as expected. He never asks specifics of what I do but we agree on terms of psychosocial dysfunction. He finds power in his own while appalled and proud of what I’m able. To him, news is not an accident.

It’s 2 am. Last stick is done and my mouth dries for craving. I stood up, quickly change into nylon sporty pants and low neck tank top. Hair is pulled up untidily set by fingers. Walking steadily through four corners, a bystander turns to me holding a compartment wooden box held onto waist.

“Smoke?” She was begging more than asking. I signaled one while she took from aligned packs. How ingenious.. Box spaces are disposingly divided and walled by cardboard separating set of gums, smoke brand and coins. Few walks from a distraction finally took me to the destination. I found a spot accessible to stagnant road of driving cars. I lit from freshly opened pack and study delicateness of abandoned night. This air is comforting. No one’s watching.

I notice another stranger approving similar mellowed gaze sitting not far from my table. Crossed legs, endearing a small teacup, I am watching an aristocrat dazzling in white collar suit. His eloquence floats like a majesty. At peace with cafe americana, he never even looks at my presence. Hmm..One of the nocturnals. Mind is wandering at the secrecy hiding in between. I want to tie you in bed..see how you beg. Glaring in that direction for few seconds, (not necessarily boggled by his armor), could qualify me among perverted peeping tom. I realize my indecency. His eyes meet mine bewildered, observing gallantly in discreet. I am so damned! I have never been this reckless. Head lowers down busying at the only absolution for embarrassment. Glad I brought my phone.

“Excuse me,” I am staring at a ghost. Perhaps an angel too. Fuck! Why can’t you just leave it! It’s not that bad.. “I noticed you were looking at my..er, direction. Thought you might need MY company.”

Paleness has not pardoned me tonight. “Oh, I thought you look familiar,” I’m relieved to find most common but reasonable excuse.

“Familiar on which part?” Smirk was taunting. But ruggedly disposed. “I’m Hugo.” He reached out an amicable gesture of winning.

“I’m Mikolai,” I had to revive my composure by sounding cold. He takes seat next to me as oppose to appropriate right across. He’s definitely not a stranger. Vaguely enough, his face looks familiar.

“I don’t pick up girls if you’re assuming I’m thinking otherwise. My needs are well taken cared of, “

“Let me guess. You’re engaged? Married? Girlfriend?” I hope I didn’t stress an anxious tone.

His lips curve while swimming those eyes into never-before-seen unsolicited revulsion. My sense.. Why fail me now? His eyes descend unnecessarily focusing on his coffee. Those candid eyelashes resonate like a peacock among avid watchers. Don’t. His rarity is a lot to lose.

“I have a woman waiting in couch right now begging to be by my side.” Ouch. That stings a little.

Silence. Let me stay in silence.

“Tell me about the silence” I don’t know stranger. The greatest sonata of Elena’s teachings–You can’t talk if in doubt. That revels a weakness.

Phone rings, eager to show him I’m more than excited. I didn’t even wait for Dom to talk. “Yes hon. Give me an hour,” Dom giggled. He gets the situation. Probably enjoying his role.

His face stiffens, then moves back offering a hand. Gentleman as he seems, I accepted. His touch. Stirring my being from permanent coldness. I feel taken when he draws closer. Gasping from his mouth tickling every repulsive nerves, “I have a feeling we’ll meet again. Mikolai.” he whispers.. too close I could own his breath.

Stolen. He has stolen my moment from cautious zone. I didn’t even notice he has left. Unwanted visitor. That’s what he is.

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