[01] A Cup of Tea

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MAVIEL

TODAY, FATE played a trick on me.

Wanna know how? First, I woke up late for my seven o'clock class because my alarm did not go off. Bago ako natulog kagabi, sigurado akong sinet ko 'yon eksaktong six o'clock.

Second, I forgot my ID card kaya hindi ako kaagad pinapasok ng security guard. I had to write my name on the logbook of students who forgot their ID's. Narumihan na tuloy ang malinis kong record sa Office of Student Affairs.

Third, pinalabas ako ng Logic professor namin dahil late ako ng fifteen minutes. Ang mas lalong nakahihiya, papaupo na ako sa aking upuan nang tawagin niya ang pangalan ko at utusang lumabas. I never felt so embarrassed in my life!

Doon na ba natatapos ang kamalasan ko ngayong araw? Nope! Far from it. As they always say, when it rains, it pours.

Habang hinihintay kong matapos ang morning period, I went to a cafe a few blocks away from the campus. It has a weird name, Moriartea Cafe, but its ambiance is perfect for those who want to have their morning drink before facing the rough day.

Upon entering the shop, dumiretso ako sa counter kung saan nakangiting bumati sa akin ang kanilang staff. Ilang minuto rin akong tumingala sa menu, tinitingnan kung anong pwedeng bilhin. Ilang beses ko na ring narinig ang tungkol sa shop na 'to, but I have never been a customer.

"Chamomile tea, please," sagot ko sabay bunot ng pera sa aking purse. I always allot an extra budget para sa ganitong expenses. Minsan lang ako pumunta sa mga cafe. Hindi ako katulad ng mga socialite na ginagawang tambayan ang mga ganitong lugar araw-araw.

"Fifty pesos only, ma'am. I received one hundred pesos!" sabi ng cashier na may nameplate na "Sigmund." He was a spitting image of a younger version of Benedict Cumberbatch with his curly hair. A smile as bright as the morning sun was plastered on his face. Nakaka-good vibes.

Lumikha ng "Ding!" na tunog ang cash register kasabay ng pagbigay niya sa akin ng sukli. He gently handed over some bills and coins. "Here's your change. Enjoy your tea while waiting for your next class!"

"Thanks—" My smile froze and my face flashed a curious expression as I stared back to his coal eyes. I never said anything tungkol sa susunod kong klase kaya paano niya nalaman? "What did you just say?"

"Enjoy your tea while waiting for your next class," Sigmund repeated, his smile still unfading across his lips. He seemed charming yet suspicious. "May mali ba sa sinabi ko, miss?"

Napakurap ang mga mata ko. Kilala niya ba ako? Nagkakilala na ba kami noon? "How did you know that I'm waiting for my next class?"

"Obviously, you are late for your first class," he answered casually, resting his elbows on the countertop. "Nandito ka sa cafe para magpalipas ng oras. Six out of ten, students stay here until it is time for them to go to their classes."

"Obviously?" I repeated. How could that be obvious?

"Take a look at yourself, miss." His right hand motioned to me. "Hindi maayos ang pagkakalagay ng necktie mo at hindi rin nakabutones nang maayos ang blouse mo. Those are signs that you were in a hurry, probably because you woke up late. Then your professor didn't allow you to enter the class so here you are. Am I right?"

Napatakip ako ng dibdib sabay tingin kung nakabutones nga ba 'yon. I immediately buttoned my clothes dahil sumisilip ang aking undergarments. Nakakahiya!

But how in the world did he know about that? Meron ba siya extrasensory perception?

"Kailangan mo lang maging observant sa mga bagay-bagay na nasa paligid mo," he said with a wink. "That's the first step to the science of deduction. Observe then deduce. Pretty simple, right?"

MORIARTEATahanan ng mga kuwento. Tumuklas ngayon