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Novkey > Library > Crime > Number One Fan

Number One Fan

CHAPTER 40

Author: issabacsa Total hits: 5331 User hits: 24 Date: 05-15-2014

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  BEFORE I TOOK THE 7:45 A.M. FLIGHT back to Manila, I received a text message from Patrick that he would meet me at the airport.

  Patrick drove me home and while inside his car, I told him about my grandfather’s message for my father.

  “Would you like to drop by his detention cell?” Patrick asked.

  “If that’s not too much to ask,” I said.

  So he accompanied me to Camp Crame. The court already scheduled my father’s transfer to Iwahig next week where he would serve the rest of his sentence.

  After a few exchange of pleasantries with my father, I dialed my grandfather’s mobile number and talked to him. After a few minutes, I gave the cell phone to Papa.

  Papa accepted my cell phone and spoke to my grandfather for a few minutes.

  Tears of joy fell from my eyes as I saw him talking to my grandfather for the first time after so many years. I wiped my tears and held my father’s other hand.

  Papa squeezed my hand and smiled at me.

  I smiled back at him. I decided to make most of the remaining time for us.

  “How is David?” he asked after his call.

  “He’s still in the hospital,” I replied.

  “I’ve learned about your relationship with him and Alex,” Papa said. “Patrick filled me in some details after I’ve seen the hostage taking on TV.”

  I nodded in silence. I would not know how to tell my father about my affairs of the heart due to feeling of uneasiness, because of the long estrangement. Yet, I felt I should tell him because he is my family.

  “I do believe you still love David,” he said as we sat beside each other. “And because you love him, what happened eight years ago has cut too deep in your heart that your forgiveness was not that easy.”

  I looked at him and nodded. Then he took my hand and held it with his hands.

  “Every time you remember what he did, you just have to remember that you have forgiven him in principle,” he continued. “But as you fight for forgiveness, you realize that you are fighting for him, and for your love, because he’s that precious to you.”

  Those words from my father filled my heart. He might have sensed that it took me too long to move on and realize that I still love David. I gave him a hug and cried on his shoulders.

  “That’s how I felt for your mother, too,” he said as he caressed my hair.

  

  

  PATRICK AND I MADE IT ON TIME for the taping of the final episode of Behind the Crimes. We went straight to Studio 5 to meet Police S/Insp. Carrillo there. The staff decided to tape it like a talk show this time, giving a post mortem of all the crimes Alex committed as Number One Fan.

  With Nitz and Lor gone, Cory Florentino took over Nitz’s position and someone new took over the directorial job.

  “I thought you wouldn’t make it,” Inspector Carrillo said as he gave me a hug. “How was your trip?”

  “I had a good time, Inspector,” I said. “I was able to reunite with my grandfather.”

  “Okay, Princess Regina, let’s start taping,” said the floor director, tapping my shoulder.

  “Stop calling me princess,” I laughed at the floor director. “We’re here in Manila.”

  “Hey, come on,” the floor director said smiling. “It’s only rare for me to rub elbows with a true royal blood.”

  “To be honest, you deserve to be a princess,” Patrick said as he escorted me to the set.

  

  

  IT FELT LIKE DEJA VU when I did the six o’clock evening newscast. The studio looked the same as if nothing happened. Management made some changes in the newscast’s format since after our hostage. The tablet computer I held replaced Teleprompters and paper in relaying news. Whatever icon I touched on my tablet showed on the big screen behind me. Each segment of the newscast had its own icon on the tablet’s desktop. I felt transported into a new dimension of futuristic, digital, yet real time newscast.

  “And that’s what we have gathered for our news tonight, I’m Regine Sta. Maria,” I started my closing spiel.

  “And on behalf of David Lim who is still recuperating at the hospital, and the RMBN Channel 3 news team, I am Alma Perez-Roxas. Thank you, until the next edition of RMBN, Royale Metro Balita Ngayon. Good evening.”

  The stage lights dimmed and the news’ theme song played on air. People behind the cameras started packing up upon seeing the commercial break on screen.

  Alma and I removed our own lapel microphones as a production assistant approached us for those.

  “You did well, Regine,” Alma said.

  She handed the production assistant her lapel microphone and tablet computer.

  “Thanks, Alma,” I smiled.

  I felt elated that moment. Words like that coming from someone I idolize made me high. Another dream come true for me to share the stage with Alma; she as my idol and I as her Number One Fan.

  “Welcome back,” she said. “Congratulations by the way on the success of Behind the Crimes. I’m happy to work with you again.”

  “It has been a pleasure working with you,” I said.

  “Will you be visiting David after this?” she asked.

  “Yes,” I replied.

  “Send him my regards,” she said. “When he comes back, I can finally take a rest.”

  The production assistant whispered something to Alma. She turned her head and saw her husband behind the camera.

  “I’ll go ahead,” she said. “You’ve come a long way, my dear. I’m proud and happy for you.”

  I smiled and held her hand.

  “Thank you,” I said. “And take care.”

  “I will.”

  Alma hugged me, kissed me on the cheeks, and left. She approached Mr. Roxas and kissed him. Both of them went out of the studio together.

  

  

  I REACHED THE HOSPITAL past eight o’ clock. I dropped by the grocery store after my evening newscast. Friends told me that David transferred into a private room after staying in the ICU for a few days.

  I dropped off the cab and looked up at the dark, starry sky.

  Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are…

  No wind blew on that hot summer night. Everything seemed like before, except better.

  The exposé about the late Congressman Joey Guillermo's bribery brought up issues of corruption in the media one after the other. Not only from RMBN but also to other networks as well. Right after the hostage crisis, I immediately returned the vehicle to RMBN.

  People lined up to the elevator so I decided to use the stairs. I went up carrying a bag of oranges for David. I knocked at the door upon reaching room 318.

  “Come in,” I heard a male voice answered.

  I opened the door and entered the room.

  “Hi,” I greeted. “Good evening.”

  David was alone on his bed, looking at his tablet computer. He had bandage over his right shoulder, a few bruises on his face, and a bottle of intravenous fluid connected to his left hand.

  “Hi,” David greeted back. “Come in. I’m glad you came.”

  “How are you?” I asked as I approached the side table.

  “I’m okay,” he answered. “I might still stay here for a few days more.”

  “Who is looking after you?” I asked as I looked around the room for signs of a companion.

  “My brother in-law just left,” he said. “I have a private duty nurse round the clock and she’s just there at the nurse’s station.”

  I smiled. At least I knew that someone looked after his needs now that his sister had gone.

  “I brought you some oranges,” I said as I put them on the side table. “I know these are your favorite.”

  “Thanks,” he smiled. “How was your taping by the way?”

  “It went well,” I replied. “Senior Inspector Carrillo and Patrick gave an in-depth analysis of everything. It seemed fit for a final episode.”

  “Congratulations!” said David. “Behind the Crimes was a success.”

  “Thanks,” I said.

  “I’m looking forward to work with you in Plate Number 8” he said.

  Management had decided that David and I would host the talk show about the Congressmen whose official vehicle bore the plate number eight.

  “Ka Rudy offered me the show this afternoon. So instead of another congressman, I’ll take Joey Guillermo’s place.”

  I smiled. The thought of working together with David gave me a new hope, a new start.

  “Are you playing chess?” I asked looking at his tablet computer.

  “Oh this?” he pointed to it. “I’m just playing alone. I have been here for a few hours and I already find the TV boring. Do you mind playing with me?”

  I smiled and remembered our first meeting, and our first game.

  “No, I don’t mind,” I said. “Just like the old times.”

  “Sit down here,” he said as he moved and gave me a space to sit on.

  “Who’s white?” I asked.

   “Ladies first,” he said.

  I sat down beside him and faced his tablet. I started with a Ruy Lopez opening, moving the pawn to e4.

  David put his pawn on e5.

  “I wanted to apologize,” I said while putting the knight on f3. “I’m sorry if I doubted you. I even suspected you as Number One Fan.”

  “That’s nothing,” he said while he placed his knight on c6. “I’m sorry for Joyce and Alex.”

  I stopped when I heard their names again.

  “I couldn’t believe that Alex would do that,” I said while I placed my bishop on b5.

  “He made his revenge against me through you,” he said as his right hand took my hand. “That’s why I’m sorry, Regine. You shouldn’t have been used.”

  “I would say that he wanted to take revenge on me, too,” I replied not minding his hand on mine. “He saw his dreams in me, dreams he wasn’t able to reach himself.”

  “Well, at least now he’s in…” David stopped in his sentence. “I’m not even sure if he’s in peace right now.”

  “And so is Joyce,” I said as I put my other hand on his.

  “Don’t blame yourself on what happened to your sister,” he said as he looked at me. “She chose to love someone whom she doesn’t know too well.”

  I bowed my head, stared at the tablet sitting on David’s lap. It seemed that our game would not continue.

  “I miss her,” I whispered.

  Tears welled in my eyes and started to flow down.

  “I know it’s lonely,” said David as he put his hand on my chin and moved my head to face him. “But your grandfather is still there for you, Princess Regina Aliya Jemah Pagayawan Sta. Maria.”

  He wiped the tears off my cheek with his finger.

  I smiled as I looked at his face that I once admired.

  “How was your trip to Marawi?” he asked and held my hand again.

  “It was fine,” I said. “My grandfather and I were able to patch things up. And so were he and Papa.”

  “That’s good,” he said. “By the way, where are your servants?”

  He looked around and smiled.

  “Stop it,” I pinched his side, smiling. “I don’t have servants here. It’s only in Marawi that I could be treated like that.”

  “I wasn’t able to witness that,” he said as he tried to put his left arm around me.

  “You’ll be able to see one, soon,” I said as I moved the IV line aside. “In the next few months or so, I’ll bring you there if ever I’ll be invited again. That’s a promise.”

  He held my hand and kissed it.

  “Well, I guess I’d better be going after this,” David said as he straightened up.

  “You’re leaving?” I asked.

  “No. I’m thinking of a long vacation and…”

  “Will you be back?” I interrupted.

  “I’m just going for a vacation. Do not worry, I’ll be back.”

  I looked at his eyes, the same eyes that melted my heart many years ago.

  “You want me to stay?” he asked.

  I nodded and then hugged him. I felt his arms wrapped around me as I cried on his shoulders.

  “I want you to stay,” I said.

  “I’ll stay beside you, my princess,” I heard him say.

  He lifted my chin, wiped the tears off my cheeks again, and kissed me on the lips.

  “And I’ll always be your Number One Fan.”

  
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