I tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth to Reeze.
I told her that it started from the time that Valentina Levesque defeated me in the client presentation. The time when Mr. Pascual offered me my desired position by supporting his plan and accepted it. I told her that Mr. Pascual carefully managed to delay Val's application for citizenship and I was the one reported to immigration about the appointing day so that we can kick her out in the company. It was all the General Accounting Manager's idea. And now that he's holding me on my neck I wanted to reveal it not just to Reeze but to all other executives of the company. But I need help.
“You were his accomplice. You're impossible.” Teeth gritted as Reeze looking sharp to me.
It's almost a whisper but I heard it like a big gong breaking my ear drums.
“I did it for you. I did it so we can be together again. Because I thought you belong to me and not to that woman. Because I want you to realize that your relationship with her is a mistake. And… and… I want you back.” Rapidly talking while clenching my jaw saying the last phrase to the girl I did not see the importance then.
“No, Jeric! No! You did it all for yourself. You did it for your selfish dream.” Her eyes narrowed.
“I know you're doing this to hurt me. To revenge. To prove to me that I was wrong leaving you.” My eyes bored into her when she scoffed, disagreeing of what I said. My ego hurt when I saw her expression.
“I will understand you better if you replaced me with a m-ma…” I can’t help it, I almost tell Reeze about the thing I always wanted to voice out, but she cut me.
“Stop! That's it Jeric. You really don't know me. You really don't.” her hands waved of disappointment and stand up to leave.
“Don’t leave, Reeze! Come back here!” I'm still holding back my tears because I don't want to show weakness.
She turned back and thought she realized I am right, but I was wrong.
“I really, really love her. You don't know how much I love Val. You don't know how much she means to me. And now, we're apart because of you. I want her back. Not you!” she said it in a slower phase and then her words broke into tears, her lower lip is trembling. She choked as if something stuck in her throat. I shut my eyes after she left.
Those words. It stabbed my heart like a hundred times, bleeding and dying. But compared to mine, hers is grief. Not because of my dying heart, but because of her loss. Loss of happiness, loss of reason to live. When I saw her eyes there's no rainbow unlike before. Before, when Val kissing her hand, when Val wrapping her arms around her, when Val was with her while I am rotting with jealousy. What I saw is grey and clouded eyes. I wanted to comfort her, but I know I'm not the one she needed right now. For the second time around, I hurt her. I thought I can bring her back, but no. I pushed her away. This time, much further.
For a couple of years searching. I cornered her coming out from a fast food chain in one of the malls in this little town of Cavite. I learned that she’s working in a CPA Office as one of the staff.
I can't believe she's in a neighboring town, very near in Manila. Why I never thought of that. But she's living alone and Valentina is nowhere. I thought I can see them together.
Few days after sad moment with Reeze. I walk along the street near company where I last saw my beloved. My mind is still wondering.
Where is Val? Where is she?
I'm on that state of thinking when…
“Mr. De Villa?” the woman greeted me, eyes widening.
“I'm sorry?” my brows drew together while staring at the person in front of me.
“Former assistant of Ms. Levesque.” The woman pointing at herself, smiling. But her smile faded instantly seeing my reaction.
“Oh, I'm sorry. I almost forgot. You're my boss rival. I won't mind if you can't remember me. Nice seeing you again Mr. De Villa.” she's acting to leave but I stop her.
“W-wait! I know you, I remember you. Uhm… I just can't remember your name.” stuttering but I still managed to stop her. Maybe she can help.
“Laoise.” Extending her hand.
“Yeah. L-lee-sha.” Shaking our hands, I tried to ask her about Val. It's a relief that she knows a bit of information about Val's activity for the past two years. She said that Val took a vacation in Ireland after the scandal.
“She lived in my partner's old house but left after few months. Right after she left, she messaged me and said that she will fix something. She never told me what is that something for.” I can see in Laoise's eyes the sincerity but there's missing in her story.
I tried to ask her why Val and Reeze got separated and is it because of what happened with the immigration or simply because of me.
“I’m sorry sir. But I don't linger in someone's private life. Actually, giving you some information is too much.”
I stared at her but she leaned her head down.
I didn't force her to tell me where’s Val, though I know they are friends, but for sure she knows where her former boss is hiding.
“Here’s my contact information. I put everything here. She can call me, email me, whatever way she wants. Let her know that it's urgent.”
That's it and I left. In my heart and in my mind I'm hoping. Hoping for Val's forgiveness and for Reeze's happiness.
I will reveal everything to her. I know it's not that simple, but for the sake of our company, their relationship, to my conscience and for all our peace of mind as well.
A month passed and I'm still waiting for Val's response while doing my best to keep this company standing despite of the frequent theft of the Accounting Manager to the company.
Valentina. Where are you? I need your help.
As I murmur her name, I receive a call from my secretary that someone wants to speak with me but can't mention the name.
“Hello?” my heart is thumping waiting for the voice on the other line.
“What do you want from me Jeric?”
I knew it! I knew it! I knew it!
VALENTINA! I almost shout her name but I stop myself.
We met outside Manila so no one can see us.
“How will I know if you're telling the truth?”
“I know you should not have trusted me. But you're here.”
Not knowing that we've spent more than an hour talking about the scandalous past. I still manage to ask about her and Reeze. But she changed the direction of her face so I can't see the loneliness in her. After that, I didn't ask no more.
The following week I was surprised when announced to me personally through email that we have a meeting.
“What I only know sir is that you will have a brief brainstorming about the new packaging.”
That was sudden. And why in the company Presindent's office?
After I knocked at the door I opened it and I saw not only the President, but also the Vice President, Valentina and…
The General Accounting Manager, Mr. Pascual?
“Have a sit Mr. De Villa.” Said the man in front of me in his late 60’s but still in good shape, Mr. President.
“Yes sir.” Though I have an idea that this is about what happened two years ago, I am still nervous of how I can explain this.
“We know that you're young and ambitious,” He paused. “but Mr. De Villa, you've gone too far.”
“I’m sorry?” Frowning, I am shocked of what he said but I composed myself.
“Excuse me sir but I think there's a mistake here.” I feel devastated by the President's words.
I heard myself shouting but no words came out.
This is all wrong!
“C'mon Jeric. You're the one who planned all of this. You're the one who offered me your friend in an immigration. I just help you.” Lifting both his eyebrows, I stared with my jaw dropped at the Accounting Manager.
I look at Val but she's staring at the floor, eyes were shut and covering her mouth.
“Mr. Pascual.” I scoffed with disbelief.
This is the last word I said while exchanging glances to the people in front of me.