eting schedule. Thank you for your time and nice meeting you. ”

I left the room feeling exhausted. I sat down in the hotel lobby to compose myself. A few minutes later, I went home. With a heavy heart, I went to the kitchen, checked the fridge, opened a bottle of beer, and drank bottoms up. I opened another one, for leveling up with what I was thinking. It bothered me; why did I have to decide this way? Why on earth had I to choose between these two women? And, why its happening to me? Whats important to me…Money, Family Life, Comfortable life…or being me?

I slept the whole afternoon when I woke up darkness crept on the face of the earth. Thinking of something exciting, I took a bath, dressed ruggedly; grabbed a taxi cab to head to Edwards place. Besides the Riviera Café & Restaurant, I purchased a bottle of cough syrup in the pharmacy store, put it in my pocket, and entered the restaurant going straight to the comfort room. I looked around for intruders of what I was doing inside the cubicle. Negative. I opened the cough syrup bottle, drank the contents at once, and threw the empty bottle in the waste bin. I hurriedly walked towards the dining area looking for Edward.

”Whats the matter, friend? Are you alright? ” Edward asked.

”Quick…quick, hurry!! Give me a slice of lemon..go..go.. ” Edward provided a slice of lemon and I sucked it like a baby, closing my eyes, and felt comfortable.

”Boss Edward, could you please give me two shots of espresso coffee? Charge to your account, Ill pay you next week? Afterward a cup of Americano coffee, please… ”

Edward looked at me angrily. He knew me too well why I ordered this way. ”Marco, no problem for the coffee…not again my friend—for that stuff… Why, whats the problem? ”

”Isn it payday today? Well paint the town red my friend!! Ill wait for you, okay? I have something to tell you tonight, a big one! ” I exclaimed.

”Okay, Marco take your seat, be calm, and have your coffee, please wait my friend. ”

I positioned myself at the corner of the dining section camouflaging for customers. I started to drink my two shots of espresso instantly, then, slowly consumed the Americano coffee. Within a few minutes, I felt contented with the chemical reaction of the cough syrup – one bottle. 120 ml.

I waited for Edward until ten in the evening. We left the restaurant together, hailed a taxicab headed to our favorite disco house. The moment we were inside, the music banged with my energetic and spirited self. I danced along the hallway, while Edward kept on holding my right arm, telling me not to make a scene. We seated near the wall facing the dance floor; a suitable place for us to view the whole dance floor and the disco-goers.

Edward ordered a bottle of Jose Cuervo Tequila, a plate of beefsteak, and a plate of tuna kinilaw. ”Waiter, please lots of sliced lemons….and salt too. ”

”Yes sir got your orders, anything else sir? ” the waiter asked.

”Oh, by the way, may I know your name? You
e new here? ” Edward asked.

”My name is Joel Castellano Sir…Im new here. This is my second job as a waiter after graduating from the University of Negros Occidental. Tried to find a job with my course but failed. So, Im here working, waiting for my good luck to come. ”

”I see… me too, worked in a restaurant for a long time now; living alone…Im separated from my wife with two kids. Nice meeting you Joel. Visit me if you have time at Riviera Café & Restaurant in Lacson Street. ”

”Okay sir, Ill get your order now. Thank you! ”

”Okay, Joel could you please give us bowls of hot soup too? ”

”Yes sir…okay. ”

Edward asked me if I wanted to eat white rice to pacify my stomach. I nodded negatively. ”So, what do you want, Kinilaw and beefsteak only…or hot noodle soup? ”

”No I want to dance, the musics good! ” I said.

I stood at once, went to the dance floor, and started dancing to the beat of the music. I felt the earth move under my feet, the lights were moving in different directions, and beads of perspiration fell down the floor. My energetic stunt began to slow down when the music stopped. I held on to the dance floor railing catching my breath. I stood there for a few minutes and finally released a loud shout, ”Wheeeewwwww, great!!!! ”

XXX

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