Cheese curls from a non-issue guy. Talaga namang pag gutom ka, kahit junk food papatusin mo for lunch.
"Hey! Di ka naman nagsabi agad na papunta ka na," I said, surprised, as my hands search for the voucher he was supposed to sign around my desk.
"No problem. I just got back from the gym," he shrugs as he takes off his bluetooth headset and sits in front of my workstation.
"Aba...pa-gym-gym ka na lang ngayon ah?" I remarked, doubtfully, though I steal glances at his arms, looking for a hint of toned muscles. Wala pa. Pero mas maputi pa rin siya sa akin!
"Bakit? Ayaw mo?" he probed while my back was turned, still looking for that blasted voucher that got buried in the file cabinet and into the Bermuda Triangle.
"Would it make a difference if I didn't?" Haha. It was just too playful a mood to let it pass. I knew he was smiling even if my eyes were on the pile of client folders stuffed in my drawers.
"Syempre." Bored na ito. Game na nga, feeling pa. I looked at him and I raised an eyebrow and blurted,
"Hindi nga. Totoo." I rolled my eyes and made belat (jusko di ko na alam kung pano ko sasabihin in straight English!).
"O sya, sige. OK yan para sa 'yo. It's good for your physical health, at...pati na rin social health, hehe. It's the new Starbucks -- the best place to check girls out while you're on the treadmill or lifting weights, hehe." I still couldn't find the voucher so I looked a bit unfocused, which he took as,
"Eh why do you sound so unconvinced? Maniniwala ba ako sa 'yo niyan?"
My eyes roll again. I drag my mouse over to the retrieval system, click the "Print" button and make a new copy of the voucher I lost.
"No, I mean it. It's good for you, while you're still young. Tsaka may girls nga to scope out. Trust me, I know."
"You scope girls out at the gym, too?" We laugh, and he signs on the voucher.
Cheese curls, I tell you. But when this other guy walked into the branch, iba na ang usapan. He had his hair cut and it suited him perfectly, so much that I mistook him for a local star. In terms of junk food, Lay's Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips. With Fritos cheese dip. YUN O!
"Yes, sir?", I ask as I walk towards him. He smiles and I recognise him as my 23-year old client with a seven-year-old son. My hair is so messy. His is immaculately in place. Nahiya ako.
"Deposit lang sana. Pero hingin ko na rin ang account balance." He has his ATM card on one hand, cash in the other. I tell him he could check it via the ATM, and the deposit should be transacted over the teller counter.
"No, sa iyo ko na lang itatanong yung balance ko -- pero pwede sa ATM? Oo nga pala, pero -- o, sige na nga, punta na rin muna ako dun. Pero babalikan kita." Ganun? Nalito siya sa haba ng hair ko. Sige hintay naman ako.
As he went out to the ATM, I approach the tellers who began to ask me who the hunk o' person was. I tell them he opened an account a few months ago, and he looked every inch the cute young boy that he was with his keanu-style hair, baby fat and oversized shirts back then. Now with a crew cut and a gray small tee complementing his leaner but muscular figure, I'm thinking, good can turn into better, and better into best...mag-gym na rin kaya ako? But my thoughts were interrupted when the teller nudged me to assist the client who was now at my workstation.
"Paano sumulat sa deposit slip? Hehe sorry ha. Di ko talaga alam eh. What's my account number?", he inquired with an innocently clueless look. He writes the number according to my instructions then goes to the counter for the deposit. Akala ko tapos na biglang bumalik ulit sa akin and asks for a credit card application form.
"I promise you I'll request for a credit card soon. Mag-iipon muna ako ngayon. Thanks for the help, ha, " he says with a smile that reminds me of Piolo Pascual, and he steps out of the bank.
Sa bilis ng mga pangyayari, hindi ko na nakain yung baon ko for lunch.