I had my earphones on, checking out my last posts, when all of a sudden my dog barked several times. There’s only one reason: someone was outside who my pet did not recognize.
Blogging on hold, I stood up slowly and pretended I was not home. It was one of my ploy to check who the person calling, whether it’s a friend or foe. In these times, even I was aware of different schemes to take advantage of people, I as a prospective victim.
I discovered it was a woman. If I was not mistaken, she lived with her husband and child half a kilometer away from my place. I knew her by face; she knew me by reputation.
“Can I help you?” I asked, curious what’s her business with me.
“I wish to buy a hundred pieces of calamansi,” she replied smiling.
Frankly, I was reluctant to go to the orchard and harvest fruits. It was mid morning and I was busy in front of the computer.
“I am not sure how much it cost now,” I said truthfully. “Do you know?”
“Thirty pesos per hundred,” she responded quickly, perhaps grateful she had me guessing.
“All right,” I agreed. “But you have to wait a while.”
“It’s okay. I have to go to school and fetch my kid. I’ll come back in an hour.”
She opened her umbrella and went on her way. The sun neared its highest point in the sky, its penetrating rays painful to the skin.
Picking a hundred was an easy chore. The trees bore abundant fruits this season, owing to a better mix of dry and wet periods during the blooming and fruiting stages.
I was humming a tune, leisurely picking fruits, when I saw her coming back. Only ten minutes had passed but perhaps she changed her mind, deciding to take the fruits with her.
What peeved me the most was a promise easily broken, especially from a face to face talk. Because of her turnaround, I had to hurry up: hastiness made me ill at ease.
“You said you will be back in an hour,” I told her, walking past me.
“What are you talking about?” she asked incredulously. “I have not spoken to you.”
I was taken aback. She looked serious enough to tell me that it was I who was lying.
“You ordered fruits remember?”
“I did not,” she replied, her face looked surprised.
“Okay, my mistake,” I said, apologizing for my raised voice. “Have a nice day!”
She walked quickly, turning her head once in a while, checking if I was crazy enough to follow her.
I went inside the house and typed this episode, as fresh as breaking news.
An hour later, while I decided whether to post this piece as a complaint on how some people transacted business with one another, someone called out from outside.
What do you know? She was smiling from ear to ear, her daughter tagging at the hem of her skirt, afraid of my pet sitting quietly on the grass.
“Do you have the calamansi?” she asked, opening her purse.
“Yes,” I pretended not irritated by her constantly changing mind. But I could not help it but reminded her of our encounter. “I think you owe me an explanation.”
“About what?” she asked, patiently pacifying her child who kept complaining about my dog. “I came on time.”
“You came back earlier without your daughter and told me you were not aware of our transaction.”
“I was at school the whole time. We just arrived a few minutes ago.”
“You changed your clothes. I remember it very well.”
“You know,” she tried to recall what transpired on her way to school. “I met my sister about fifteen minutes after I spoke to you. She came from the opposite direction, going to our parents’ house down the road.”
I was awestruck. How dumb I was! I never considered the possibility that the twin sisters could fool my eyes without them knowing it.
“It’s all right,” I handed her the fruits. “I won’t make the same mistake again.”
She laughed, finally realizing the confusion she and her sister created.
“It happens all the time.”