We cleaned up after eating. Job helped us clean up the place before proceeding to the prayer hall.
“You don’t have to do this, Job. We can do this.” I said as I gather all the plastic cups we used. He took a brief glance on me.
“But I want to.”
I don’t know why my cheeks felt hot. I cleared my throat.
“D-do you want to join us?”
My cheeks felt hotter when he looked at me, his mouth gaped and eyes wide.
“I-I mean, you don’t have to if you are not c-comfortable.”
Why am I even stuttering?
I blushed some more. I got too excited!
He shrugged. “I’m not busy. Besides, I’m also curious about your activities here,” and smiled.
Why am I having this kind of reactions?!
"What are we going to do?" he asked. I don't know if I saw a hint of fun in his eyes. I bit my lip and closed my eyes, hiding my embarrassment.
As if it can hide my embarrassment right now!
I cleared my throat. “Uh, we’re just going to pray. You can just observe if you are not comfortable yet…”
He nodded and smiled. Again. “Okay. Thank you for inviting me.”
“T-thank you also for accepting my invitation. Uhm… So, I’ll just, uh, get a prayer guide for you.” I said and pointed out our bags on the benches. “J-just stay there.”
He’s still smiling. His usual intense, dark and brooding eyes now sparkle with amusement.
Why am I so awkward?
I went back to where our stuff are and took a prayer guide for Job without looking back. I knew for certain that there are people around me but all I could hear was my erratic heartbeat.
He really does something to me and I couldn’t understand what it is.
Is this what they call attraction?
But why would I be attracted to him? We just met few days ago? I don’t even know him that much? Is it because of the way he looks at me? The way he talks? The way he looks… perfect?
I shook my head and tried to calm down. This is not right. I will become a full-fledged nun. I will come back to my vocation. I don’t need this unnecessary feelings.
“Calm down, Genesis. It’s normal to be attracted to someone.” I whispered to myself as I look for the prayer guides. “As long as it stays that way. Right? Right.”
I finally found the prayer guides. I composed myself as I walk back towards Job. He was just standing there looking at his shoes, his other hand rubbing the back of his head. When he felt my presence, he straightened up and smiled.
Can you stop smiling please!
“Uhm, here.” He took the guide I handed him and mumbled his thanks. “T-this way.”
We walked to the prayer hall where the others are. He’s walking beside me. I could see him glancing at me. I felt more awkward.
This is the longest walk in my life. Ever.
“Oh wow. You finally decided to come here and join us, Sister Genesis. It’s been 84 years.” Beca teased me. “Job is joining us?”
“Y-yes. Uh, he said he’s curious. Right?” I faced him and he looked confused, brows furrowed.
“Didn’t you invite me first?”
“Oh! Yes, I did. Sorry.”
“Why are you saying sorry?”
“I didn’t mean to offend you.”
“Excuse me lovebirds but we should really start now.” Trinity. intruded. All of them laughed. I blushed some more.
“What are you saying? We are not—”
She rolled her eyes. “Jeez I know. Let’s start.”
All of them did the sign of the cross and started the prayer. I tried not to look at him but it felt like he had some magnet. I saw a glint of fun in his eyes as he followed the prayer guide. I sighed and did the same.
Enough awkward moments for today, please.
The Stations of the Cross ended after half an hour. It was a good thing that I was able to focus on our prayer. I forgot about this unknown feelings I was experiencing.
But after that, I felt that I was back to ground zero.
He approached me, his hand on rubbing his nape. He was about to say something when my phone rang. I checked it and I smile when I saw who was calling.
“Excuse me, I have to answer this call.” His brows creased but still nodded.
I chuckled. “I haven’t even said hello yet. How are you?”
“Just woke up.” Dimitri said and yawned. “I’m craving for some tocino and sinangag right now.”
“You know how to cook it, Dimitri.”
He yawned again. “Nah I don’t want to cook right now. "
“I should have known better.” I teased. He chuckled.
“How I wish there’s a Filipino resto around here.”
“You need to do your own breakfast. You’re such a baby.”
I could imagine him scowling right now. He doesn’t like it whenever we tease him like that.
“So, what’s up? Any emergencies?”
He yawned again. He must be still sleepy right now. “I transferred again some money to your account.”
“What? Why did you do that?”
He sighed. “Genesis. It’s yours.”
“You refused to take your vows so it is still yours, Genesis. Come on. Plus, your mom needs this.”
I massaged my temple. “Dimitri…”
I heard him smirk. “Sorry but I’m more stubborn than you. I have to go. Call you soon”
He ended the call, leaving me frustrated. I was about to squeal of irritation when I realized that Job was still beside me. I glanced at him and I shivered when I saw him looking at me intensely again, his jaw is clenched and his brows furrowed.
“Gen, let’s go home!” said Beca and yawned. “Vicky, you’ll stay the night?”
“Yup! Let’s watch some movies!”
Job didn’t say anything until one of the priests in our parish approached me. We went inside sacristy and talked about the upcoming projects and activities in our parish.
“By the way, have you taken your vows yet?”
“When will you go back to the convent and take your vows?”
I bit my lip and shook my head. “I don’t think I can do it anymore...”
I could see sadness in Father Edward’s eyes. He knows about my family’s situation. He’s like a real father to me.
“Gen, since you were little, you already wanted to be a nun. You can’t just give up your devotion. You’re close to being one but then you left and postpone your acceptance of vows. You can’t take care of your mom for the rest of your life. You know that.”
I nodded. “I know. For now, I just need time.”
He sighed. “I just hope you will not give it up completely.”
I forced a smile. I am hoping, too.
We talked some more about the current status of our diocese and their plans for the whole year. We said goodnight to each other after a few minutes.
When we left the sacristy, I saw Job standing silently at the grotto, looking at the big statue of Jesus Christ hanging on the cross.
“Mr. Rodrigo, you’re still here.” Father said and tapped Job’s shoulder. Job nodded and smiled. Father Edward bid goodbye and went inside the convent.
“Where are Trinity and the others?” I asked Job.
“They already left.”
My forehead creased but my cheeks blushed with the realization that I am left alone with Job.
Except for Kuya Alvin, one of the caretakers of the parish. He locked the gates now and was ready to go home.
“They said they are going to buy some snacks for their movie marathon tonight.”
I wanted to grunt in frustration. For real? I can’t believe them.
“I’ll take you home,” Job offered which made me blush.
Kuya Alvin started the engine of his motorcycle.
Right. I’ll ride the motorcycle with Kuya Alvin. Face your fears, Gen!
“Thank you, Job. But I’ll just go home with Kuya Alvin. It’s already late and I don’t want to bother you. Right, Kuya?”
I faced Kuya Alvin who looked so confused, but nodded anyway.
“Aren’t you afraid of riding the motorcycle?”
My eyes widened. He knows?
Trinity! I’m going to strangle you!
“Just go with Sir Job, Genesis. Bye!” Kuya Alvin left without even asking if I wanted to go home with this mysterious man!
I’ve had enough of this day!