The blue ‘thing’ seemed to be calling to be opened, attracting eyes to temptation so curiosity would be satiated.
An hour had passed since Kim took custody of it from two gentle giants. Her strange morning had its ups and downs: scare and relief and so many emotions in between. Like the date of her birth, she mulled the idea of making it as another red-letter day in her life.
The manager was unaware of her predicament earlier; he needed not be informed of it, she decided. Everything went well in the end, except of course, the owner of the ‘thing’ has not arrived to claim it.
Carefully she opened the lid, displaying a worn-out keyboard, frequently touched. The screen was dead black, wiped out of dust and dirt, nearly immaculate. Overall, it was a workhorse of an electronic equipment, surely too valuable to its master.
“What are you doing?” the manager’s voice reached her ears that she immediate closed the lid, covering it with a towel, sliding it inward in her locker.
“I am just checking for messages, sir. I’ll be out in a minute.”
Lunch time was over. Only a manageable crowd stayed, mostly taking advantage of the cozy set up and the chance for a pleasant breather.
Kim’s substitute was another Kim but a tad taller. Her afternoon class necessitated her to leave earlier to compensate for loss of time due to traffic. It was a routine she had mastered for months.
“Anything I need to know?” Kim asked her namesake, who seemed to be a shadow of her self. Their bubbly changeover was a one-sided affair at the moment. “You feeling well?”
“I am all right,” she said, taking off her name tag and giving it to her substitute. She could not decide whether to leave the netbook behind or bring it with her to class.
“Good luck with Mr. Terror,” Kim the taller warned. “He was in a bad mood this morning. We were punished with a long essay while he sulked in the corner picking his nose.”
Their laughter was loud enough to seep through the main hall.
“You’re always inventing things.”
“Creativity, girl. I have the best teachers, my Filipino classmates in History class.”
“They like K-pop and Korean telenovela so much I feel like a star coming to class.”
“You can say that again!”
They were enjoying themselves speaking in their own language that they did not notice the puzzled look of the manager a few feet away, waiting patiently for them to finish their merry exchange.
“If it would not be too much to ask, we got work to do, Kim.”
“Coming, sir!” Kim the taller said, slapping her friend gently on the shoulder, indirectly telling her they had to continue their talk later.
Kim the shorter nodded, the glint of a smile still present on her face.
However, when she opened the locker again, her initial quandary came back. The netbook waited for her final decision.
“You’re going with me. Your master will have to wait till tomorrow to pick you up.”
(to be continued…)