I felt my strength drain away from me, but I realized that the only way to get rid of her was to continue hitting her with the hard truth. “Alright then… Here’s another: you seem to have a reason or excuse for everything—for things you don’t know, for things you didn’t get to do, for the mistakes you’ve done.”
I look at her and her face just reviled me. She stared at me, her eyes not blinking, her mouth curled into a crooked smile. I was annoyed to the nth degree. I wanted to uproot my computer monitor and bash her on the head! Avoiding her gaze, I roared, “I don’t want to talk to you anymore! Your smug face is pissing me off!!!”
Upset, she defended her mug and claimed that it wasn’t her “poker” face that I saw. I nearly burst out laughing while I stared hard on my computer screen. Lady Gaga’s song began to play in my head and I began imagining myself dancing. The anger must have made me delirious!
She took the lull as an opportunity to speak, her voice trembling. “I have a few things to say. For the issues you’ve mentioned, I acknowledge them. I admit na nagkakalat ako ngayon [that I’ve been all over the place lately]. And to you, please don’t keep it all in. If you have something to say, say it.”
Bored with her explanation, tired of her presence, all I could say was a tepid, “Is that all?”
“Dalawa lang nga tayo dito sa office [It’s only just of the two of us left in the office]... Alam mo, sa umaga nga hindi kita mapinta [You know, I can’t tell how you are in the morning], gusto kitang ma-kuwentuhan [I want to tell you stories]…”
Immediately, I cut her off and clarified with a thespian flourish, “On a personal note, I do not see myself being friends with you AT ALL!”
I couldn't help myself. I continued, “I find it so interesting that you majored in Psychology but don’t seem to have the sensitivity to know what needs to be done at work!” Even without meeting her gaze, I could feel her body stiffen. I realized I actually had said something close to cruel. All this time, I was proud that I didn’t resort to cheap tricks (like cussing and name-calling) to put her in place but the Psychology bit seemed too close an insult. Just like battles in the olden days, I was aiming for a pragmatic level-headedness that perhaps could have been equated to honor and chivalry.
I felt her almost whimper. In a choked voice, she managed, “Can I speak now?” I remained silent, staring intently on my computer monitor, my hands heavy on my lap... (to be continued)