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Novkey > Library > Crime > Number One Fan

Number One Fan

CHAPTER 21

Author: issabacsa Total hits: 5037 User hits: 24 Date: 05-15-2014

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  “MISS REGINE, TELEPHONE, direct line,” called Trina, the production assistant.

  It was Monday morning once again and I got my first call at our office.

  “Thanks, Trina,” I said as I picked up the receiver. “RMBN News, good morning.”

  “You bitch!” said Number One Fan. “Why did you mangle my script?”

  “I didn’t,” I answered. “We couldn't use your script. It was too self-serving, one-sided, and too long for a thirty minute program. Be thankful that I featured you at the last segment. They already find you too irritating.”

  “Who are THEY?”

  “You don’t need to know,” I said.

  “Does everybody in News and Current Affairs unfair?”

  “Stop the drama, I know what’s next. Letter E, am I right?”

  “So, you’re able to get it, huh? Okay, shoot!”

  I just heard the sound of a click.

  

  

  I IMMEDIATELY THOUGHT of the possible persons in RMBN whose last names begin with E. I listed them down. I listed seven of them that I knew and three of them are in News and Current Affairs. I have this gut feeling that the next victim would be Ka Rudy: Rodolfo Echaves.

  I needed to warn him. I went to his office but he was not there. His secretary said that he went out for a meeting and he will be back after lunch. I sent him a text message, thinking that he would reply. But he did not. I tried to call his cell phone.

  “The subscriber you have dialed is outside of the coverage area or has turned his unit off,” said the recorded message.

  I tried to contact Inspector Carrillo and Patrick. They, too, needed to know this. Unfortunately, they were out of town according to a staff in Camp Crame.

  Patrick returned my call after a few minutes and I told him the pattern I discovered.

  “Okay, thanks Regine,” he said. “I’ll relay this information to Boss right away. Meanwhile, get hold of Ka Rudy.”

  

  

  NUMBER ONE FAN FOLLOWED the car with plate number TAS 369. The old Toyota Corolla stopped in front of a restaurant along Tomas Morato Avenue. He stopped, too, at a distance. He saw the person who got off the car: Ka Rudy Echaves. He waited for Ka Rudy to get in the restaurant.

  After a few minutes, he went out and approached Ka Rudy’s car. He glanced around to see if anyone would notice him. At around 10:30 a.m., few walked around; it seemed not yet the time to be busy at the restaurant strip of Quezon City. He bent down and attached something under the car. A time bomb was set to explode after nine hours from then.

  

  

  I HAD BEEN RETURNING to Ka Rudy’s office to check if he has returned. When he arrived, I could not get hold of his attention. He had been talking to many people in and out of the network.

  

  

  “MISS REGINE, PHONE!” shouted Trina.

  “RMBN News, good morning,” I greeted as I picked up the receiver.

  “Hi! It is I, Alex. Just arrived from Mindoro, how are you?”

  “Busy, going crazy,” I answered.

  “Relax,” he said. “I’ll be bringing some delicacies for you when I come back.”

  “Thanks,” I said.

  “You sound like you’re not in the mood.”

  “I’m sorry, Alex. I’m just tensed, that’s all.”

  “Okay, I understand. I will be picking you up earlier than usual. I’ll just drop by the office to report.”

  “Sure, see you later. Take care.”

  “You too.”

  

  

  WHEN I RETURNED to Ka Rudy’s office, I saw David speaking with him. They both went out of the office.

  “Hi!” greeted David. “Congratulations! You had high ratings last Saturday.”

  I did not reply, instead, I said, “Ka Rudy, may I speak with you?”

  “Hi, Regine,” said Ka Rudy. “I have a meeting with Mr. Butch Roxas in five minutes. You may just return later.”

  He went straight to the elevator. He pushed a button that would lead him to Mr. Roxas’ office.

  “By the way, David,” he called. “Don’t forget our appointment, okay?”

  “Yes, Sir,” David said.

  “What appointment?” I turned to David.

  “Secret,” he said and winked at me.

  

  

  I DID NOT RECEIVE any phone call from Number One Fan. I became worried. It was almost seven o’clock and we are about to end our newscast. I have not had spoken to Ka Rudy yet. I tried to sense what David was up to. I was restless but I do not have to look like one on camera.

  After the newscast, David took off his lapel microphone immediately.

  “I have to go ahead,” he said. “Ka Rudy and I have an appointment.”

  An alarm sounded in my head. I needed to warn Ka Rudy first. I took off my lapel microphone and ran to Ka Rudy’s office. He was there talking to someone over the phone. As he put down the receiver, he stood up going to the door.

  “Sir, wait,” I said.

  “Yes, Regine. It seems you wanted to talk to me since this morning. You should have sent me an email instead.”

  “It’s about the prank caller,” I said.

  Then David came, “Ka Rudy, shall we go now?”

  “Can we discuss this tomorrow?” asked Ka Rudy. “David and I have an appointment in Makati.”

  “Time is running out, Ka Rudy. I need to tell you about…”

  “Let’s go, David,” said Ka Rudy.

  It looked like he did not hear what I have said.

  The three of us went out of the News and Current Affairs department. I could not get in to the discussion as David and Ka Rudy were talking.

  “Hope we wouldn’t be late,” Ka Rudy said.

  “I hope there’s no traffic along EDSA,” David said. “But I know an alternative route, though.”

  “Just wait here,” Ka Rudy said. “I’ll just go to the men’s room.”

  Ka Rudy left us alone at the corridor.

  “What do you want to tell him?” David asked.

  “It’s just something between Ka Rudy and me,” I said.

  I saw the new janitor, Jorge Morales, passed by. He was holding a broom and dustpan and started sweeping the floor from a corner.

  Then Ka Rudy returned.

  “Let’s go,” said Ka Rudy. “Oh, Regine, you’re still here.”

  “Yes, Sir,” I said. “As I’ve mentioned earlier, I discovered a pattern of the prank caller.”

  “What pattern are you talking about?” Ka Rudy asked.

  “Do you still remember that tune, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star?” I continued. “I was wrong. It should be the Alphabet Song.”

  We already reached outside the lobby. We should have gone down the steps towards the driveway when Ka Rudy stopped and turned to me.

  “Wait, David,” he said. “Give me five minutes. What do you mean Alphabet Song?

  “Ka Rudy, Number One Fan killed Anacleto, Borja, Castro, and Dizon in that particular order.”

  “And do you mean that I’m the next one?”

  “It’s possible.”

  “Of all people here in RMBN, why me?”

  “You are the one who is close to me whose last name starts with letter E.”

  “And what would be your basis?”

  “Just a hunch, sir.”

  “Excuse me, Ka Rudy,” David interrupted. “I received a text message from our contact. He is on his way now, we’d better go. Regine, we’re sorry, but we have to go.”

  “You’re right,” Ka Rudy said. “We’d better discuss this tomorrow, Regine.”

  Frustration welled up inside me.

  “If you don’t want to believe me, it’s fine. Enjoy your evening, gentlemen,” I said and turned back to the lobby.

  I heard an explosion that made me shout and went down on the floor. I turned towards the driveway to look where the explosion came from. I saw a car burning. It was Ka Rudy’s car. Ka Rudy and David sprawled on the driveway. Then I heard shouts and a familiar voice.

  “Regine!” shouted Alex.

  I stood up and looked for him. I saw him getting into the crowd as he approached me.

  “Alex!”

  “Oh my God! I thought there was something that happened to you,” he said.

  “Alex, I’m afraid,” I cried. “This couldn’t be happening.”

  “Shh… don’t cry. Let’s go.”

  People started to crowd. Security personnel scrambled at the lobby. Some shouted to call the police. Everything seemed in chaos. Yet, the new janitor, Jorge Morales, stood there, watching everything. I could not help but to be suspicious.

  Ka Rudy and David approached us. Both of them were not hurt.

  “Regine, are you alright?” asked David.

  I just stared at him and did not reply.

  “Hija, thank you,” said Ka Rudy. “Thank you for saving my life.”

  I still could not utter a word because of the shock. I just looked at them --- David, Ka Rudy, Alex and Jorge Morales whom I saw leaving the lobby.

  Whom will I trust now?

  I shook my head and cried on Alex’s shoulders.

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  
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