I hated science all my life. From the dissecting-the-frog biology to the memorizing-periodic-table chemistry, ugh . . . I hate it. . . I asked my parents why they chose to name me after the famous physicists and philosopher, Galileo Galilei. Mom always told me these lines, “Galilei, your dad envisioned his first-born daughter to be great.” I always protested, “Mom, can you call me Stephanie?”
Galilei Stephanie Fajardo. That’s me. Well, I preferred calling me Stephanie. Everyone has free will, right? I finished a bachelor’s degree in Accountancy. I already took the CPA board examinations which I passed. Now, I am working in an accounting firm in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Though the firm’s salary rate was in provincial level, I’d rather have a lower salary than experience the traffic and smug that Metro Manila brings.
I am residing with my parents in San Pedro, Laguna. At twenty-three, I helped my parents in paying monthly bills. My older brother, Kuya Gabby, already in his late twenties was planning for an engagement with his long-time girlfriend, Ate Mandy. His name, well, is derived from Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit. He was the science geek between the three of us. He took up BS Biology and Medicine. He is a doctor now.
Our bunso, Tonton, was named after Isaac Newton. I am three years older than him. But, he is more mature than me. How odd is that. We are the family of scientists. Yeah right. . . Newton is currently a student. He is taking up BS Biology. On his fourth year in college, he was planning to be a doctor too.
Kuya Gabby said to me one rainy evening, “When I get married, you will be helping our parents more than I do. Consider applying in a more stable job in Mandaluyong or Muntinlupa perhaps.” With so much stress on the word ‘stable’, he handed me some papers that maybe helpful in my quest for a bigger salary.
I obliged to follow my Kuya’s advice to pursue for greener pastures. Although, I am not filing my resignation on my current job, I filed for one week leave. “One Week. . .” My boss, Mr. Alonzo, exclaimed. But he allowed that because I made it a point that I finished all the income statements of our clients ahead of time.
I started an account in a job hunting websites and prayed that if I will sign a contract in a week, then it is the will of God. That same afternoon, I have three phone interviews and they invited me for a final interview. God really answers prayer petitions. That week, I signed a contract to a very prestigious company in Mandaluyong. I have to file my resignation on my company. I bid farewell to all my friends there too.
Kuya Gabby, upon hearing the news, invited me for dinner. When I arrived at a restaurant near his office, I saw three persons: Kuya Gabby and his soon-to-be fiancée, Ate Mandy and a guy. I sent a text message to Ate Mandy just to confirm if I was really invited at their dinner.
When Ate Mandy called, she was laughing and said, “Gabby didn’t tell you? He sets you up on a blind date with my best friend, Leo.”
I requested to talk to him. “Kuya. . . What are you thinking?”
He went outside and found me. He shouted, “Galilei. . .”
“It’s Stephanie Kuya” I could not help but rolled my eyes on him. “When are you planning to tell me about the blind date?”
“Let’s go inside. . . Leo is waiting for you.” Kuya Gabby was smiling the whole time that made my annoyance intensified.
I was so disappointed that he was really ready in giving her baby sister away. I sighed but complied with what he said.
That restaurant amazed me because of its theme, Fiesta ala Pinoy. From the fiesta banners to the different displays, it made me forget the annoyance I was feeling. To my surprise, Ate Mandy and that Leo were talking about me. Ate Mandy was saying to him a lot of fond things about me. If that guy was not around, I would hug and kiss her. But since he was there, I won’t do it.
The thing that really made me curious was the large sets of banana leaves on the table. What was that for? I kept on asking myself as we came near the table. When Ate Mandy saw us, she looked so excited.
“Hi Stephanie. . . Meet my best friend, Leo Santos. He is a music enthusiast. He has a band . . .” Blah . . . blah . . . Blah . . . That introduction lasted for about 10 minutes. Yes, 10 minutes. . . And finally I heard her saying, “This is Stephanie, my boyfriend’s baby sister.” She spent another 10 minutes saying what my work was, my hobbies, and all the things he needs to know. The heck. . . Can I take my sit first?
Finally. . . After the long introduction, I sat besides Ate Mandy. I observed him. I think he is 5’7. He has hazel brown eyes. He is into music so he has earrings in both ears. And the annoyance that I felt before became awe. Yes, he has this charisma that I cannot help but stare.
“Stephanie. . . Hey. . . Are you with us?” Kuya Gabby shouted.
“Yes Kuya. . .” I went to him and shouted to his ears.
The evening went well. The fact that he is really fun to be with was a milestone to my first blind date. The fun part has just begun. Dinner was served and we used our hands as spoon and fork, Filipino way of eating, Kamayan. We enjoyed salted eggs (itlog na pula), fried rice (sinangag), daing na bangus, embutido, and other Filipino dishes. We ordered extra fried rice.
We enjoyed talking while eating. Topics on my job, my plan of going to Mandaluyong for interviews, my life, and my love life showed up out of nowhere.
I really enjoyed glancing at him. He has this charm that really has an effect on me. Although I wasn’t fond of being in a relationship, he let me realize the possibility of having one with him.
Kuya Gabby hanged out with his girlfriend while me, I went home. I saw Tonton pouting. He said, “Why do you left me here with those lovers?” He pointed Mom and Dad that were . I laughed and bribed him with something that could make him feel good, ube ice cream. . . It is his favorite flavor. I bought Cookies and Cream ice cream for us.
Tonton and I are best friends so I told him what happened. He laughed at me when I told him about Leo. “Crush?”
“No. . .” I exclaimed and established my poise.
“Denial. . .” He grinned. Afterwards, he asked, “Are you ready for your job tomorrow?”
I nodded and exclaimed, “I am so nervous about it though. You know I hate traveling to Metro Manila. But I have to do this. Mom and Dad are not getting any younger so I must be the breadwinner since Kuya Gabby is planning for his engagement.”
Shocked, Tonton posted a question, “When is the plan? I mean the proposal.”
I told him about Kuya’s plan and he volunteered to help. Thank God. . . I needed another hand to fulfill the impossible proposal that our big brother have in mind. Plus, I got to see Mr. Leo Santos again for the planning. . . That really excites me. . . Kuya Gabby seemed to have all possible proposals rolled into one. That is how special his girlfriend is. . .
Our big brother arrived when we are talking about his plans. We discussed every possible option and surprisingly, he agreed on it. Mom and Dad joined the discussion after their “quality time”. They suggested many sweet things that I took note of. The only question in my mind is this: How can I pull it off?
I collected their suggestions and went to my room to plan. Upon reaching my room, I went back to have ice cream for midnight snack. I saw Tonton staring at me. I asked, “What’s with the stare?”
“Where do you plan to put the ice cream?” He asked. Although I ate like a man, I didn’t get the plump. My friends got envied on me. Well, the secret of having a curvy body is to eat often.
I ran to my room and opened my laptop. I really have to research on a very unique All-in-one proposal that my kuya Gabby wants. After a few minutes, I received an email. It was from the prestigious accounting firm, Tan Accounting Services. The email instructed me to start working for them the following Monday. I replied to their email telling them that I would be there Next Monday.
My eldest brother told me that he set me up on two more blind dates. I don’t really know how to feel about this. I mean, Big Bro was setting me up on blind dates . . . that is insane, right? Well, I have to oblige just to get my monthly allowance from him. Yes, he is giving us monthly allowance. That’s how sweet Kuya Gabbyis. Even if I have a job, he shared everything he has to give. I have to help him make a special proposal. It is the least that I can do.
That same week, I dated two more guys. The second blind date was a disaster. That guy was a jerk. He is a chemist and he thought he knows everything. My hate on science intensified when I met him. The nerve that he said, “Hey I heard you didn’t like chemistry. . . Maybe chemistry doesn’t like you either because it loves the wise.” What the heck. . . He was really into himself. Though he has the charm of Tom Hanks, I would never date him again.
The third one was nicer than that Chemistry guy. But he talked a lot about medicines. It really bored me, honestly.