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Number One Fan


Author: issabacsa Total hits: 5080 User hits: 24 Date: 05-15-2014

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MONDAY MORNING, when I arrived at my desk, a bouquet of red roses lay on my table. I took the card and read it:

Dear Regine ---

Congratulations on your

TV program. You have made it!

Treat me as your No. 1 Fan.

--- David

The hairs on my skin stood up upon reading “No. 1 Fan”.

I looked around to see if David was inside the newsroom but he was not there.

“Miss Regine, Ka Rudy wants to speak with you at his office,” called Trina.

I MET DAVID near Ka Rudy’s office. I saw him coming from there.

If I suspect David as Number One Fan, then it is possible to relate Ka Rudy into this?

“Hi, Regine. Good morning,” greeted David. “Did you receive the flowers I sent you?”

I nodded and smiled.

Wait that was also what Number One Fan said the first time I received the flowers!

“Ah, yes. Thanks,” I smiled.

“You’re welcome,” he said.

“CONTRATULATIONS, REGINE,” greeted Ka Rudy when I entered his office. “We got high ratings for the pilot episode last Saturday.”

According to the reports I have been hearing, our initial telecast received 37% in TNS ratings last Saturday. RMBN acquired the services of the Taylor Nelson Sofres, a world-famous market research company.

“Thank you, Sir,” I said as I sat down across the table.

“I have received many phone calls and they all praised the show. Even Mr. Butch Roxas and his wife Alma liked it.”

“Really?” I said upon hearing Alma’s name.

It felt good on me that someone I idolized liked my fruits of labor. Yet, despite the good news, my mind started to suspect the man I considered my mentor.

“If these ratings continue to trend for the next few weeks or months,” Ka Rudy continued, “you and your staff will receive incentives.”

Why do I have this feeling that there was something in Ka Rudy’s words?

BEHIND THE CRIMES had its own office a week before it started airing. My workstation transferred there. Brainstorming sessions and production meetings for the next episodes happen every Mondays and Tuesday. We have a conference room within the newsroom. All staff were present.

“Hi!” I greeted. “Congratulations, everyone! We had high ratings last Saturday.”

“Have you read Leah Edades’ column in The Philippine Daily?” asked one of the staff. “It was a nice review.”

Lor Kagaoan, the program’s director, came in.

“Hello everyone!” he greeted.

“Hi, Direk!” greeted everyone.

“Hi, Regine,” he greeted me and kissed me on the cheek. “Where is Nitz?”

“She’s with Ka Rudy for a short meeting,” I answered.

With the list of names given by Number One Fan in his proposal, the names of Lor, Nitz and mine included came true. I was not sure if Number One Fan would know that Management did not include the other names.

The meeting started with each giving comments about the pilot episode. Then it went through the brainstorming and planning for the next episode.

AFTER A FEW HOURS, my cell phone vibrated. We were in a middle of discussion when I saw that someone was calling from an unknown number.

“Excuse me,” I stood up and went out towards the door. “Hello?” I greeted as I went out of the conference room to answer the call.

“I’ll just give my comment on the pilot episode,” said Number One Fan on the other line.

“And what do you say?” I asked.

“First, it’s nice to know that Nitz and Lor were included. I’m not angry. I’ll accept the other who filled in the slots I suggested. Second, you played safe,” he said. “You did not tell the viewers that their deaths were all connected. Although I liked the manner you mentioned Number One Fan. Now, people are becoming scared of stalkers.”

“Look, the police and even I don’t have enough evidence that will show they were all related to you. Although it is probable,” I replied.

“That’s because I’m good. I don’t leave any trace.”

“And what do you want me to do? Praise you?”

“Isn’t it that you agreed to make me Number One?” he challenged. “Why don’t you tell them about me?”

“Would you think viewers would believe that?” I said. “They might even say that I’m making this Number One Fan issue up to sensationalize things…”

“Hmm, probably,” Number One Fan laughed. “Let me give you a suggestion for your next episode. Try to connect all four murders. Let’s see if you’re intelligent.”

“We already have something lined up for the next episode,” I said.

“You should have a follow up on your next episode until my arrest, that is, IF they’ll be able to catch me.”

He laughed again.

“Guess who’ll die next if you’re not going to do what I’ve said: tan-tan/ tan-tan/ tan-tan-tan.”

I heard the phone clicked.

I WENT OUT OF THE LADIES’ ROOM and straight to the lobby where Alex waited for me after the early evening newscast. I met a janitor whom I assumed was just new as I only saw him that night.

“Good evening, ma’am,” greeted the janitor while mopping the floor.

“Good evening,” I replied and looked at him.

I felt something familiar. Surprised, I saw him again. The new janitor was the stranger who stared at me that Monday night when I first received the roses and the prank call. He cut and tinted his hair black, well-shaven, and looked good in his uniform. He left and went straight to the storage room to return the mop he held.

What was his connection to the prank caller? How did he get in here?

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