[02] Deal or No Deal?

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MAVIEL

WAIT A minute. Buffering pa ang utak ko. Tatanggapin nila ako bilang part-time worker sa cafe kung papayag akong sumailalim sa detective training?

Hindi ko makuha kung ano ang correlation ng pagiging cafe staff at detective. Parang kasing layo ng buwan at Earth ang koneksyon nila. Dahil ba matalas ang senses ng lalaking 'to kaya gusto rin niyang magkaroon ng gano'ng skill ang tatanggapin nila?

"I can read your thoughts all over your face." Nag-drawing siya ng bilog sa harap ng mukha ko. "Hindi ko pa pwedeng sabihin sa 'yo kung ano ang kinalaman ng pagtatrabaho sa cafe at ng pagiging detective. I will only tell you if you accept the offer."

I shook my head slowly. "No matter how hard I try to think about it, I can't connect the two dots. Mas mabuti kung ise-share mo na sa akin ang sagot para magbago ang isip ko."

"No assurance, no answer," nakangiti niyang tugon bago muling uminom mula sa kanyang bottled milk tea. "Telling you about it would be tantamount to revealing our cafe's secret."

"I appreciate the offer, but no."

"Eh?" A look of surprise was plastered on his face. Did he expect me to accept a suspicious deal? Mas mapapadali sana ang usapan namin kung ibinigay niya ang hinihingi kong sagot. "I thought you would agree."

"This must be the first time that you misread my mind." Ako naman ngayon ang napangiti. "Ayaw kong pumasok sa isang deal nang wala akong kaide-ideya kung ano ang papasukan ko."

"Shame." He pursed his lips, looking disappointed by my answer. He may be a charming cafe employee, but he failed to convince me this time. "Wala akong magagawa kung ayaw mo. Ayaw naman kitang puwersahin. See you around!"

That's it? Kumaway siya at naglakad palayo sa akin, ni hindi na nagawang lumingon pa. I thought he would try to be more persuasive upang magbago ang isip ko. But he gave up immediately. What's the deal with him?

May other options pa naman ako. Their cafe is not the only establishment na pwede kong apply-an para sa aking part-time job.

I spent the rest of the day asking nearby fast food chains if they were accepting part-timers. They seemed interested in me at first, but once I introduced myself, they instantly turned down my application. Nakakapagtaka nga na nag-iiba ang atmosphere at mood ng manager kapag nalaman na niya ang pangalan ko.

Out of ten establishments, everything was crossed out except for one: Moriartea Cafe.

Tinurndown ko na ang offer kanina. Nakakahiya naman kung pupunta ako roon para magtanong kung pwedeng mag-apply. That guy earlier would only laugh at me. Sa dinami-rami ng mga pinuntahan ko, sa kanila rin pala ang bagsak ko. My pride couldn't take it.

I was walking along the sidewalk of the campus, kasabay ang mga estudyanteng palabas. Palinga-linga ako sa paligid dahil baka may makita akong WANTED: PART-TIMER na nakapaskil sa mga poste o sa signage ng mga establishment dito.

"I admire your persistence."

Napatalon ako sa gulat nang may bumulong sa likuran ko. Paglingon ko, bumati ang nakangiting mukha ng lalaking taga-cafe. Like earlier, may dala-dala siyang bote ng milk tea. Did he buy a new bottle o 'yon din ang iniinom niya kanina? Well, it did not matter.

"Let me guess..." His hazelbrown eyes squinted slightly and he tapped his finger on his chin. "Ni-reject ang application mo sa mga pinag-apply-an mong establishment, tama?"

"How did you know—"

"Gotcha!" His right forefinger drew a spiral shape on my face. "Don't be surprised. Your face hinted as much. And your reaction confirmed my deduction. The human mind is so predictable."

MORIARTEA (Series #1)Tahanan ng mga kuwento. Tumuklas ngayon