4 How much are you?

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Bree POV

On the seventh day of the two weeks alloted for me to convice him into marriage, my efforts are still futile. Hindi ko na din maisalba ang pride ko at unti-unti ng lumalambot ang paninindigan ko. I am desperate. One week na lang ang palugit ko at hindi pa rin natitinag si Clyde sa pagtanggi niya. Mukhang wala talaga itong interest sa kundisyon ni Daddy, sa akin o sa kumpanya.

I called him at the intercom and told him to set up a six o' clock dinner reservation at a fancy restaurant and I ask for his presence there. Kailangan ko na talaga siya mapapayag. Desperation is making me feel more anxious than before. I don't want to lose the company that me and my father worked hard for. This company is my father's sweat and blood. And this is the only legacy my father passed onto me that I want to keep. I don't want to lose it. I'll fight for it 'til the end.

Magkaharap na magkaupo na kami ni Clyde sa pina-reserved niyang seat sa isang mamahaling restaurant pero hindi ko pa din masimulang kausapin siya. I ordered food for us. He looked confuse when the food arrived because it was only the two of us there, walang ka-meeting. Walang dumarating. He even glances at the door for a sign of people's arrival but no one came. I just told him to eat.

I cannot chew my food well, samantalang derederetso lang ang pagsubo at pagnguya ni Clyde. He even looked like he is savoring his food, while mine taste bland and unappealing. I gave up eating by the time that Clyde is also finished with his food. And now he is eyeing me like I've grown two heads. I want to slap his silly face but I restrained myself. I'm trying to think of how to open up the topic of marriage when he finally asked me with his troubled expression.

"Ma'am sino po bang ka-meeting natin?" Anito na inaayos ang recorder, pen and paper niya. But I find his actions unrealistic. Alam kong alam na niya kung para saan ang dinner na ito. But he just want to act all innocent.

"Actually Clyde, this meeting is for us. I wanted to talk to you." Mahinahon kong sabi at direktang tinitigan ko siya sa mata. I knew he had it coming when he just lean on the back of his chair with a hint of a smile on his lips.

"We can always talk at the office Ma'am. 'Di mo na ako kailangan pang i-date." Pabiro na aniya na nagpataas ng kilay ko. The nerve! At napa-mantra ulit ako ng maghapon kong mantra.

Relax when talking to him! No sneering comments! Relax!

I released a deep sighed and looked straight at him.

"Clyde, I still think that we need to get married for the sake of the company. Think about it, three years! It's just three years and we can be separated after that!" Mahinahon kong sabi na nagpabuntong hininga sa lalaki. Ang itsura nito ay animo'y nahihirapan sa sitwasyong pinipilit ko sa kanya. Na para bang luging-lugi pa siya sa akin.

The nerve of this nerd!

"Ma'am kasi... hindi ho sa nagmamalinis ako pero sagrado ho ang kasal para sa akin. Pakakasalan ko lang ang babaeng habambuhay ko na pong makakasama.  'Yung taong mahal ako at mahal ko din. 'Yung taong liligaya sa piling ko at hindi po kayo iyon." Mahinahon ding sagot nito na nagpatulala sa akin. Tinitigan ko siyang mabuti. Mukhang nagsasabi ng totoo ang malamlam nitong mata at seryoso na ang mababanaag sa kanyang mukha.

Ngayon ko lang napagtanto na maganda pala ang mga mata nito na parang kang nilalambing kapag tumitig. Dati kasi ay laging repleksyon lamang ng ilaw ang tumatama sa salamin nito kaya hindi ko makita ng maayos ang mata niya. Pero ngayon na magkatapatan kami at nagkakatitigan ay kapansin-pansin ang malamlam na mata nito na may malalantik na pilikmatang nag-contrast sa chiseled jaw niya at straight pointed nose. Ngayon ay pansin ko din ang tuwid at makintab na buhok niya na ang nakasira lamang ang napaka-nerdy na ayos niya na banat na banat sa kanyang anit na akala mo'y natapunan ng sandamakmak na gel. Napababa ang tingin ko sa katawan niya. He looked buff enough with his straight shoulder and wide chest, kahit na laging nakasuot ito ng polo na maluwag na may pagka-baduy ang kulay.

Really? Who would wear a brown stripe polo?! Ewww...

Pero kahit na baduy at lagi itong may suot na eyeglasses ay may dating din pala ang lalaki. I didn't know that he looked pleasing enough to the eyes. Nakatitig din sa akin si Clyde at animo'y inoobserbahan din niya ako. Napakurap ako para lang manumbalik ang kaisipan ko sa sitwasyon kung bakit kami narito at magkaharap. I determinely looked at him again.

"Clyde, if I pay for your services would you do it? I'll pay you six million for the three years of marriage." Buong kumpyansa kong ani sa kanya, walang kurap na nakatitig pa din ako sa kanya kaya kitang-kita ko ang pagbabago ng mukha nito. Mula sa maamo at mahinahon awra ay naging animo'y nainsulto at nagtitimpi ng galit ang mababanaag sa mukha niya. Napatulala ako roon.

"I'm not for sale Ms. Montecillo! Huwag niyong insultuhin ang pagkatao ko." Madiing sabi nito na ikinabilog ng aking mata sa pagkabigla sa reaksyon siya.

What the heck!

"No...no... no... Don't get the wrong idea here. It's not like that Clyde..." tarantang bawi ko.

Shoot! Now he thinks I'm offending him.

"I'm not buying you, all I'm saying is... can you consider being married to me for three years as a well paid job? And I'm paying two million a year for your service?" I persuasively said but I heard him chuckled. Then he looked pissed off again. His eyes says it all as he sharply stared at me.

"That's the same thing Ms. Montecillo! My answer to your proposal is still 'No.' It will save you time and effort if you will only accept it. I'm sorry but if there is nothing else, I have to leave you ma'am. It is way past my working hours. Goodnignt Ma'am." aniya habang tumatayo at mabilis na tumalikod din siya at walang lingon-likod na lumabas ng restaurant.

Naiwan akong tulala at nakasunod lang ang mata hanggang sa mawala siya sa paningin ko. Nagngingitngit ang kalooban kong ibinigay sa waiter ang credit card ko at ng maibalik na sa akin ito ay nagmartsa ako palabas ng restaurant. Halos bumaon ang takong ko sa padabog na paglakad papunta sa parking kung saan naka-park ang kotse ko. Malakas na sumigaw ako sa sobrang inis ng makapasok na ako sa loob ng kotse ko. I even slammed my hand to the steering wheel of my audi in frustrations.

Daddy how can you be so impossible! The guy you wanted is made out of stone! And that nerd has the nerve to turn me down?! He turn down Bree Montecillo?! Ugh...  How dare he!

Bossy Bree Tahanan ng mga kuwento. Tumuklas ngayon