I tapped my foot against the marbled floor habang hinihintay na papasukin ako nina mom sa ceo's office. Anong oras na, and I was guessing na may kumakausap lang sa kanya kaya hindi ako makapasok pa.
Pinagtitinginan na ako dito ng mga employees but I didn't care. Alam kong kahit na late akong papasukin ni mom, at least I came on time.
Bigla naman akong kinabahan nang makita ko yung secretary ni mom na lumabas sa office at nagkatinginan kami. Medyo nagulat ako nang nakita ko na may tao sa likod ng secretary, seeing Claudia. Claudia Han, childhood friend ko along with Maureen.
Nag umpisa na silang maglakad papunta sa akin, and I locked eyes with Claudia. She gave me a small smile and nag bow so I did the same. Umalis na siya at nagkatinginan naman kami nung secretary.
"The ceo is already requesting your presence, Ms. Chienne," sabi nung secretary, and I smiled before following her inside.
Nanginginig yung mga kamay ko habang nakatingin lang sa marbled floor as I walked slowly behind the secretary. Ano kayang pag uusapan namin, will they remind me of the ceo thing?
Nang magsalita si mom, tsaka lang ako nagising sa katotohanan na naiwan na ako sa loob at nasa tabi na ni mom yung secretary niya. When I turned my attention towards her, I was surprised when I saw dad standing next to her other side.
I bowed at them at nakatingin lang sila sa akin. Hindi nabawasan ang kaba ko. In fact, pakiramdam ko pa ay mas kinabahan ako. If only Joon was here. His hands calm me down, whenever he closes his around mine.
"So, you already graduated. Good thing. And you probably already know about what's your next chapter, am I correct?" Tanong ni mom, and I slowly nodded my head.
Ako na yung papalit na ceo sa Korea Branch, tapos aalis na sila sa ibang bansa para magfocus sa branches dun. Yun lang naman ang napag usapan namin.
"Yes, mom, dad. I will be the next ceo of the Korea Branch of the company. That was what we talked about," sabi ko, and umiling naman sila.
"Actually, no. That thing changed over time. Hindi ba nakarating sayo na sa Japan na branch na ang hahawakan mo? Claudia is waiting at the lobby right now dahil sabay kayong pupunta ng Japan pagkatapos na pagkatapos nito!" Sabi ni dad, and I widened my eyes.
"Japan? Hindi po nakarating sa akin yun! And ngayon ako aalis? Paano po ako makakapagpaalam-"
"Right. You have a boyfriend. Chienne Euna Kim, we never raised you to be in a relationship with a rapper! Of all people, a rapper? What are you thinking? A rapper and a ceo/lawyer? You are disgracing our family name," sabi ni mom, and I looked down.
Naramdaman ko yung paghapdi ng mga mata ko. Anong gusto nilang iparating? Na kapag ceo na ako, kahit na nakagraduate na ako ay hawak pa din nila ang pagdedesisyon ko sa buhay? Akala ko ba sa Korea lang ako? And what are they implying about Joon?
They even made Claudia wait outside for me para hindi ako makatakas sa responsibilidad na to!
"But mom, dad, I already graduated and I can think for-"
"Nonsense! You are never talking with that boyfriend of yours ever again, ever again! Give me your phone, hand it over now," sabi ni dad, and I flinched at his sonorous voice.
"But d-dad, I-"
"Chienne! Hindi ka na high school. At mas lalong hindi ka na bata. Kaya dapat alam mo na dapat sa ganitong oras ay hindi ka na lumalaban pa at dapat na sumusunod na lang. For Jesus's sake, Chienne. Ikaw ba yung itinira namin sa puder namin, isang anak na hindi makasunod sa simpleng bagay? Akala ko hindi ka tutulad sa stubborn mong kapatid." Sabi ni dad, and I looked down.
"Yes, dad. Here," sabi ko, at iniabot yung phone ko sa table ni mom.
Nginitian nila ako ng tipid, at tumango.
"That's it. Wasn't that hard to do?" Sabi ni mom, and nanahimik nalang ako.
Namjoon? I'm sorry. Hindi ko alam kung paano ko mapapasolusyonan to. But I am coming back for you. I hope you understand me.
Huminga ako ng malalim at nginitian sila.
"Well, that's the Chienne we raised. Anyway, here's your plane ticket, and dumiretso na kayo ni Claudia sa airport. You will find all your belongings already in our home in Japan. We shipped them already. We sent some maids too. I'm happy you're still our Chienne. Be the greatest CEO of Kim Industries," said mom, and I bowed.
They excused me at lumabas na ako sa office nila. Tsaka ko lang narealize na nagsituluan na pala ang mga luha ko. Hindi ko man lang alam yung gagawin ko.
Nakita ko na pinagtitinginan na ako ng mga employees nila mom, pero hindi ko na pinansin.
Naglakad na ako papunta sa lobby dahil duon ko daw makikita si Claudia, na siyang makakasama ko papuntang Japan.
I breathed in deeply and then slid my hands inside my suit's pockets. I don't know how to do this. Hindi ko man lang masasabihan sina Sidney, Michael, lalo na si Joon. Hindi ko na alam ang gagawin ko.
Pinunasan ko ang mga luha ko at pumunta na sa may lobby area. There I saw Claudia talking to someone on the phone, as if she was happy.
"Hindi nga ako magstay sa Korea, Cheol. I told you yesterday. Maureen will," sabi niya, and then tumawa pa.
"You're so stubborn. This is why we are friends, Seungcheol. Anyway, I have to go," sabi niya, at pinatay ang tawag.
Nagkatinginan naman kami, and then she gave me a smile. I smiled back, and then walked slowly towards her.
Her smile was something that looked sophisticated, and kind of... mataray. Well, that was the Han cousins for you. Pinipili lang nila ang hindi nila tinatarayan. And apparently, I was one of them.
"Oh, Chienne! It's nice seeing you again. By the way, you ready to go? I still have, like, a runway to attend to in Japan," sabi niya, and I nodded.
"Yeah, I guess," sabi ko, and then she gestured to the direction of the exit. So I followed her.
"So you won't believe what happened while you were not with Maureen and I," sabi niya, habang nasa plane kami at hinihintay ang take off.
"What?" I asked, listening to her stories.
Gumilid siya sa seat niya and then she grinned at me with her infamous eyesmile.
"Maureen actually got a boyfriend. Like, a real one. But she wouldn't tell me who it was. It's just that she had a boyfriend! I can't believe it. I mean, can you?" Sabi ni Claudia, and I chuckled.
"Uhm, no? Di ba she swore to us in ninth grade she wouldn't have a boyfriend until the day she dies?" Sabi ko, naaalala yung mga panahon na magkakasama pa kami.
"I know, right! But they broke up, like, last year. So, it doesn't matter anyway. Just wanted to bring that up," sabi niya, and I smiled at her.
She seemed happy that she was actually talking to me, and believe me, I was, too, but it's just that it was a wrong timing.
Nag umpisa na sa paglipad ang eroplano and I gazed down from the window. I sighed heavily, biting my lip so I wouldn't cry again.
Goodbye, Korea. Goodbye, Joon.
I hope to see you again.
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