Wednesday, March 11, 2009



Youth. This was embodied in the demigod standing on a pedestal, talking with his followers. Even from afar, I could relish the sight of his soft, almost feminine features- if not for that strong jaw and that masculine aplomb.

I was seated at my station, taking calls. While the eight hours of non-stop chatter was immensely dragging, I would console myself by stealing a glance at the Queue Desk to see Larry and his pale face beaming.

I’ve been at my job for about a year now, and his, even less. I belonged to an earlier training batch, but even so, he got promoted to Workforce Analyst in a short period of time.

I felt the need to go to the restroom, so I had the chance to call Queue to inform them (I hoped he would be the one to pick up instead of the girls).


“Queue desk, Larry here.”

“Ah, ahm this is Thad. Break...”


“Ay, washroom break pala.”

He laughed.

Great. Nice, going Thad.

I got up from my seat and hauled my ass to the restroom.

Looking at the huge mirror, I adjusted the black sweater I bought a few days back from ukay-ukay.

Heaven and earth.

No, heaven and purgatory, I though wryly.

Larry the 5’8 demigod, with his perfect teeth, ruler-straight nose, and sharp fashion sense. Me, (all 5’6 of me) with my tragic outfit that once belonged to someone else, my less-than-sophisticated sensibilities, and timid demeanor.

Ok, so I wasn’t exactly bad looking. I tried smiling at the mirror- open and friendly. Ugh. I looked like a high school kid on meth. I ruffled my hair and tried to look sexy. Fat chance.

I finally exhaled in frustration and went back to my station.


Is it just me?

I could’ve sworn he was looking my way. I turned slyly to my side and pretended to write something on my notebook. Don’t look!

I looked. Yup, he’s definitely looking.

“You’re imagining things, weirdo.” I chided myself.

When it came to my one hour break, I opted not to go to the drop-off like the rest of my mates who went for a smoke. The 12th floor was recently opened, and the new facilities included a billiard table, a foozeball table, and a very cozy couch. I wanted to nap for a bit at the new Rec Room before returning to my toxic calls.

I sat down at the edge of the couch, alone. The recreation room was dark (it was 2:00am) and chilly, so I wrapped my sweater around me and drifted off to sleep.

I had this feeling of something warm next to my thighs. I realized, there was someone who sat beside me. My heart pounded.

The person shifted, causing his thighs to rub against mine. Curious, I stole a glance to his side. The room was only illuminated by the faint glow of street lights below- and his silhouette was unmistakable: short spiky hair, sharp nose, and tiny bow lips.

It was Larry.

His eyes were open, but I couldn’t really tell if he was looking at something. He just sat there beside me in that couch, as silent as he was still.

Eventually I had to get up and get back to work. When I sat down, I still could not shake the feeling that someone from Queue desk was watching me.


“There’s this guy.”

“Uhuh.” My seatmate nodded.

“He… well he doesn’t really do anything like talk with me, but he keeps doing things.” I confided.

She raised an eyebrow.

“He passes by my station on purpose on his way to the restroom, even though it would take him longer versus going straight from the Queue desk aisle to CR.”

“And then I catch him looking at me during the shift.”


“Alright, let me ask you this, do Workforce Analysts have fixed breaks?”

“I don’t think so.”

“That’s the other thing! Whenever I take my break- even when it was moved repeatedly during schedule change, he is always at the Rec Room the same time I’m there!”

“Maybe it’s just a coincidence.”

“He sits beside me even when the couch is empty and he could’ve sat on the opposite side.”

Now my friend leaned over in interest.


Our conversation was interrupted by our supervisor who signaled we should leave the locker area and prepare for calls.

We hurried to our stations. I took a seat in a station hidden from view from the Queue desk. Just as I guessed, Larry passed by and spoke to the manager whose station was closest to mine. I tried not to look at his face as he stood there with his hands on his waist.

It was the third night of us playing the you-look-at-me-and-I-look-at-you game.


I made up my mind. I was going to gather up my courage and speak with him. Make friends, or beg him to stop sitting beside me at the rec room (like a piece of delicious pie I can never have a piece of), anything but this torturous silence of not knowing.

I took calls for an hour, and kept glancing at Queue desk. Larry wasn’t there. Perhaps, he swapped with another Analyst, I thought. Maybe he is to come in an hour later.

At 2:00am I went to take my one hour break. I slept alone in the rec room. When I got back, I tried to casually ask my Team Manager:

“Karen, isn’t Larry supposed to be in tonight (I knew he wasn’t off till the next evening)?”

“I’m not sure Thad.” She said.

But Larry did not show up during that shift. Or the next.

The pantry was abuzz with the latest news. HSBC was hiring, and Larry was among those who were pirated. It was rumored that they offered almost double of what they were earning.

I slumped back in my chair, feeling like I’ve lost something precious. I know it was silly because we never even really talked- I never really knew if my crush also took a liking in me.

When my shift ended I lethargically stuffed all my things into my locker, and walked to the elevator. The door slid open and the handsome chinito inside smiled at me.

“Yes.” I said, revived and smiling like an idiot.


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