It was cloudy at noon with no forecast of rain. Another Monday was nearly half finished though not to everyone’s liking: a suspected long power outage was about to wreck havoc to normal educational activities.
Liza looked out the grounds to find a spot where she could be alone to write the rough draft of her report. She noticed a girl standing up from a nearby bench, leaving another with earphones on her ears.
Erika saw her coming. Though she never intended to have a chat with someone, she needed a sounding board about her dilemma whether to tell Leyla or not that his brother was in love with her. A stranger could give her an unbiased advice.
“Can I sit here?”
Erika nodded, sizing her up, trying to decide whether to tell her what’s on her mind.
“Can I ask you something?”
They laughed at the coincidence of them asking the same question at the same time.
“Go ahead,” Erika said, confident now she found a confidant of sorts.
“I like this guy, who keeps looking at my house but never introducing himself. My brother don’t like him though.”
“Maybe he’s a thief,” Erika jested.”Your brother has good reason to dislike him.”
“A thief of my heart,” Liza said. “He lives a few blocks from us. In Villa Real.”
“Oh, I live there, too!” Erika revealed, telling Liza her address.
“I often see him around the campus but he won’t approach me. I think he’s too shy.”
“Not unlike the girl I know who serenaded my brother,” Erika blurted out. The word oops slipped out of his mouth. “That’s our secret, huh? Besides, you don’t know my brother, right?”
That bit of information eased the rapport between them, girls discussing their diverse ideas about relationships in general.
“I like her for my brother.” Erika said. “They are meant for each other like bacon and eggs.”
They both laughed, the analogy was but a thought out of the blue.
“Come with me later,” Liza said. “I’ll point him to you. He always come by after school.”
– 0 –
The thief of heart nagged his sister to play along with his plan. The small favor he asked would give him the chance to evade, even for a while, Liza’s sticky guard at home.
“Just once, Leyla, please.” Eric followed her from the library to the small park outside where she usually meet her friends. “Your brother needs you.”
“You want me repeat my ‘cheap’ performance for Tommy,” she stopped walking and turned around so suddenly that he nearly bumped into her. “I don’t like him. He loves himself more than anyone else.”
Eric slightly nodded to Jean and Jane who came into the scene, escorting Leyla to their fave spot.
“I just want you to have a chat with him while I talk to Liza. It’s not too difficult, isn’t it?”
“Look, bro,” she said as a compromise. “I’ll think about it. You can bring my friends here with you if they so wish.”
Jean and Jane struck the idea with a common response, “No way!”
– 0 –
“You’re the new recruit, right?” Joey welcomed him with a pat on the back. Everyone knew how accommodating he was with incoming players in the team. Since he’s a graduating student, he deemed it important to leave his legacy of teamwork and camaraderie.
Tommy nodded, slowly flexing his muscles as part of the warm up exercises.
His reluctance to join group sports was a personal choice but his sister persuaded him to release what she called emotional anger and converted it to a positive feeling of accomplishment. In a way, she was correct: he was ready to kick the ball, visualizing it as Eric’s head.
– 0 –
Finally, power was restored, classes were about to resume. The school’s public address system aired the usual sound check music to call on everyone to get back to their respective rooms.
How appropriate, thought most of those in love.
(to be continued)