An Interview With a Playboy Chapter 3
Jennafei’s father and brother were watching TV at the living room when she went home. She remembered why she has to work as a student assistant and to join extracurricular activities just so she can continue studying at that exclusive school.
Her father used to be a marine engineer in a ship. She was earning a lot and her mother was able to build a grocery store. THey also live in a big house. They studied at exclusive school since nursery. They are not rich but they were living well, they never experienced to starve and not have any money in their pocket.
But when their father ha a problem with his spleen, he was no longer able to work at the ship. He has to undergo treatment and stay at home. It’s almost a year since he last worked because he also obtained arthritis. Their only source of income is the grocery, which is earning well. But it’s still not enough to support her and her brother’ studies, daily needs and their father’s medication. They are both studying at exclusive schools that have such an expensive tuition fees.
Before, Jenna suggested to transfer to another school but her parents did not agree. It’s because they believe that the name of the school will carry their future. That’s why she looked for other way to help her parents and that is to be a student assistant.
“Jenna, you’re back.” Her father saw her first.
She sat beside him and she lifted his hand towards her forehead.** She let her whole weight fell on the sofa as she stretched her limbs. She was tired, it was a long day.
(**Mano or Pagmamano is a gesture used in Filipino culture performed as a sign of respect to elders and as a way of accepting a blessing from the elder. Similar to hand-kissing, the person giving the greeting bows towards the offered hand of the elder and presses his or her forehead on the elder’s hand. Usually performed with the right hand, the person showing respect may ask “Mano po” to the elder in order to ask permission to initiate the gesture. Typically someone may mano to his or her older relatives upon entry into their home or upon seeing them)
“You look so tired. You should stop working as a student assistant, it’s just not your health but even your grades are being affected.”
“Papa, it was not affecting my grades.”
“What are you saying, when you were a first year, you have three Ones on first sem and four Ones on second sem. Now, you only have two.”
“Papa, there are only basic subjects in 1st year. In 2nd year, it’s much harder to get One because they are teaching harder subjects. It also depends on the professor. There are profs who are generous and there are those who stingy in giving grades. There are those who only gives 1.5 however high the effort you give. Papa, it’s not like you did not go through college.”
He father stared at the TV for a while before continuing. “But if you can no longer carry on, you should just stop working. The grocery store can still finance the two of you. You don’t have to do this.”
“I can still do it, ‘Pa. Being a student librarian is not that hard. In fact, I can even do my assignments there when there is not much to do.”
She even wants to add that it’s even harder to be a campus writer, especially with the assignment that was assigned to her. But she will do everything to accomplish her task.
“Ate, help me with my assignment in Math.” It’s Jonas who was shouting as he watches basketball.
She rolled her eyes. It’s because he only does two thing: To play basketball and to watch basketball. He almost looks like a basketball already.
“Oi, Jonas, you are already 14, you are already grown up. Te only reason I was helping you before is because you were still young, but now, you have to do your assignments by yourself. ” She castigated him. She stood up from the sofa and that was when her mother came in from the kitchen.
“Dinner is ready. You came in late, hija. Go ahead and change and we’ll start eating. ” Jenna took her mother’s hand and blessed.
“How rigid!” Jonas’ delayed reaction. She ignored her brother and continued going up the stairs.
“Having that she was just left by her boyfriend.”
She stopped her tracks and she heard her parents berate her brother who just loves taunting her. She breathed out and continued to ascend to her room.
After reaching her room, she sadly lied on her bed. She remembered Melvin again. The first man she ever loved.
She rolled on her bed and lay on her stomach. She looked at the picture frame on her bedside table. Her hand automatically moved to take it. It was she and Melvin. They were both smiling, his hand was on her shoulder and her head is inclined to his.
He was her first boyfriend– they went out for a year– but he was gone. He left her for the Lord. Sometime in their relationship, he realizes he wanted to become a priest.
Even before, she is already aware of his devotion to Christ. He came from a religious clan. He has an uncle and a cousin who is already a priest. Even his mother is serving the church. She even threw him a joke one time if he also wants to become a priest. He just laughed at her joke. She never imagined that her joke will come true.
They are already separated for 4 months. Though it was hurting her, she let him go. She does not the right to convince him not to or be angry with him or the Lord who took her ex-boyfriend away from her. But her heart still belongs with him. Thats why she still can’t let go of this picture frame.
Jennafei said, that she will only put it away once she no longer loves him. It’s wrong for her to expect that he will still come back to her but it is what her heart wants. She knows that there are a lot of priests who change their mind halfway and there is still a change that he will go back to her. As long as he still has not taken his vow and blessed as a priest, she will still continue to wait.
She made a sign of the cross before entering the school gym where a practice game of the basketball varsity team is currently being held at. That is the moment she will start the challenge to get an interview from Dex. She already prepared her list of questions, tape recorder and herself. She made sure that she will be able to handle his egoism and will not be intimidated in case he acts rude and discourteous.
She saw the guy standing at the court and shooting from the free throw line. It went in. She watched him play. It was her first time watching him play basketball. Even when she’s not a fan of basketball, she still enjoyed watching. And even when she does not have a good impression of him, she admits that he’s good player. Yet his aggressiveness made him earn four personal fouls throughout the game. His temperament is very obvious from the way he plays. He almost got fouled out.
She was surprised when someone tapped her shoulder. That was Jude, Dex’s teammate and her classmate on one subject. He is already a third year.
“What made you visit us here, Jenna?” He smiled as he asked her.
She smiled back. “I just have someone I have to speak with.” She stood up when she saw Dex sitting in one of the front seats.
“Who?” He asked.
“It’s Dex Peralta.”
His smile diminished. “Dex?”
She nodded.”See you later.” She started walking when he grabbed her.
“Do you know each other?”
She looked back. “No. But we will soon.”
He seems to be intending to ask why does she have to do that but stopped himself. “Be careful of Dex.” He said as he walked away.
He’s already far away but she’s still standing at the same place. Be careful of the guy?
‘It’s not like he eats people… Or does he?‘ Anyway, Dex is already almost like a monster. Monster playboy. Maybe Jude warned her like a female prey to a male predator like Dex. She herself witnessed how he took a girl to the library to do his miracles. But Jude had nothing to worry about. She will never let herself fall to Dex, come what may.
After a while, she paced towards where Dex is currently sitting at. He was sitting beside his friend Red, who is his friend and classmate in being a playboy. They were busy talking so they did not notice her walking towards them. She sat beside Dex and coughed loudly not just twice. She smiled at Rex.
It was her first time looking at Rex nearly and she was starstrucked by his looks. He’s like a celebrity, even more when he smiled back at her. When she looked at Dex, her smile slightly faded. She can’t believe her heart thumped loudly when their eyes met. His smug face looked bored as he faced her.
All right,he was handsome too. That type of guy who looks manly and rough but that is not her type in guys. His type and personality is so far from Melvin who is just her type of guy.
She regained her smile. “Hi!” She gaily greeted him. She had to be nice to the point of being fake.
“What do you want?” He asked lazily and drank from his battle of water.
“Excuse me. Brod, I’ll go ahead at the locked room.” Red bid goodbye.
“Can I talk to you?” she asked Dex when Red is no longer around.
His forehead crinkled. “We’re talking already. What do want to talk about?”
“Well… I… uhm… can I…? She suddenly does not know what to say. She was not expecting that. She does not know that he really is THAT intimidating when he’s already in front of you and talking with him.
“What? Say it. Quick,” he said impatiently.
Her irritation growed but she hid it. “Well, it’s like this-”
“Are you up for an interview?” He suddenly asked.
“Y-you know? How did you know?”
She was surprised when he suddenly chortled. “It’s showing on your appearance, you look like a school reporter.” He looked ob=ver her and it’s obvious that he does not like what he is seeing.
Her style of clothing is simple – preppy and comfortable. “She does not plan to follow the fashion norm like the elites and fashionistas in their school. She does not also plan to wear make up because that will not help her at her studies. And most of all, she does not have to have a make over just because she will be talking with this uncouth man.
“I’ll take that as a compliment. So, can I take a few minutes of your time for an interview? Or id you would like, we can schedule it when you are free.”
He drank from his bottle of water and looked back at her. He looked at her for a while before answering.
She was not surprised by his answer. “Why noy?”
“Just because I don’t want.” He grabbed the ball at his feet and rolled it on his finger.
“Is that possible, just because you don’t want too? There must be a reason why you don’t want to take interviews.”
He stopped rolling the ball and held it between his palms. “Why are you questioning my answers? I just don’t want to. No reason, I just don’t like to do so, okay? If you’ll just keep questioning my answers, just back off.” That’s it and he left when her mouth hanging open.
What an interview!