After the annoying conversation with my uncle, lumabas na ako sa opisina ni Renzo ngunit isang pinto ang agad na bumukas kaya natigilan ako. Naroon si Mrs. Alajar, ngumiti siya ng matamis. "Good morning, Miss Feriol."
I faced her properly and bowed my head. "Good morning, Mrs. Alajar." I bet she's in her late 40s but she still looks younger than her age. She sighed and held my arm. "Can we talk for a moment?"
The waiter served our coffee and silently left. Nakatitig lamang ako kay Mrs. Alajar na tila malalim ang iniisip. She took a sip on her coffee and gazed at me intently. "Are you aware of what is going on with OC?"
Bumaba ang tingin ko sa aking kape.. I shook my head. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Alajar. I was too preoccupied with other things."
She smiled sweetly. "I understand, Hija. But I just want you to be wary. Mr. Solivares and your uncle.. are trying to buy shares.. behind your back."
My breathing hitched as she confirmed my doubts.
Bumuntong hininga siya at sumulyap sa kalsadang kita mula rito. "I really wanted to find some time to talk to you about this.. but your secretary, is deliberately trying to fool me that your schedule is full. You should also be wary of her."
Bumuntong hininga ako at pinakalma ang sarili. Being angry right now won't get me anywhere. "Do you have any idea whose shares they have bought?"
She shook her head. "I don't have any idea but the things is. They cannot buy my shares, Mr. Wright's and Mr. Rodrigo's. Meaning, the shares they bought are only the small portions of shares.."
I did a mental computation. Combining the three largest portions of shares, it would make 20 percent of the total shares.
I have the 30 percent.
Tito Harold has the other 30 percent.
It means, once Tito Harold acquired the remaining 20 percent, then he will have more than half a chance to be OC's Chairman.
I clenched my fist. Why is Renzo helping him? Why is that bastard acting like he cares and then betray me like this? That. Fucking. Bastard.
Nilingon ko si Mrs. Alajar.. "Yes?"
"Rest assured, the three largest portion of shares will not be sold to your uncle. We are loyal to your father. However, you have to do everything to secure more than half of the remaining 20 percent. If Renzo was really able to acquire some shares, then you can use him."
She slightly smiled. "Marriage. You can acquire his shares through marriage."
My eyes widened at her suggestion. No one ever knew that Renzo and I had an arrangement like this before kaya walang ideya si Mrs. Alajar na napagdaanan na namin ito.
"I don't think that would be a good idea."
I cannot deny that my palms sweated in an instant, nangingilabot ako sa suhestiyong iyon. For sure, there are other ways to secure the remaining 20 percent. Kung nabili na nga ni Renzo at ni Uncle ang iba roon, siguradong may ibang paraan pa. For sure, I can buy Mrs. Alajar's shares. I just need to convince her very well. She will be my ace.
I let her leave first as I arranged a few meetings with some people that I know. If Renzo and Uncle Harold are really scheming against me behind my back, I have to be prepared.
Pauwi na ako nang tumunog ang aking cellphone kaya agad kong sinagot ang tawag. "Hello?"
"Wendy.." Susan's voice is laced with concern kaya naalerto rin ako.
"Nailipat na ang mahahalagang gamit sa mansyon patungo sa bago niyong titirhan. Pero ang Daddy mo, ayaw pumayag na umalis."
I sighed. "Okay. Pauwi na ako."
I immediately took the shorcut and arrived home few minutes early. Sa kwarto ni Dad ay yakap yakap niya ang litrato nilang dalawa ni Mom noong ikinasal sila. It's a black and white picture printed on wood base, very classic.
Habang papalapit ay mas naaaninag ko ang mga butil ng luha na pumapatak mula sa kaniyang mga mata. Agad akong naupo sa kama.. "Dad.." Tila winawasak ang puso ko sa kaniyang kalagayan ngayon. Kung ganito na ito kasakit, hindi ko magawang isipin kung gaano siya nasasaktan ngayon.. His pain.. must be ten times more server than mine.
Hindi niya ako nilingon. Nanatili lamang ang pagyakap niya sa litrato habang nakatitig sa puting kumot na nakabalot sa kaniya.. I sighed and caressed his arm.. "Dad.."
Dahan-dahan siyang lumingon sa akin.. "Tamara?"
I gently shook my head.. "It's me.. Wendy."
"Who are you? Why do you look like my wife?"
I bit my lower lip and forced a smile. "I am your daughter."
Saglit siya akong tinitigan bago marahang hinaplos ang aking pisngi. My tears streamed down my cheeks.. "I am your daughter.." I repeated.
Ngumiti siya at itinuro ang mukha ni Mom sa litrato.. "You look like my wife.." I wiped my tears and gently nodded.. "Dad, we have to move house. We can't stay here.. Mom would never want us to suffer every day.. we have to get through this.."
He shook his head repeatedly as he leaned his back against the bed's headboard.. "No, my wife will come home soon. I'll wait for her. She'll come home."
"Dad.. she's gone."
"No!" He reached for my arm so the nurses quickly pulled me away..
"How dare you say that?! My wife will never leave me! You, witch!"
Dad's still trying to grab me but I just closed as I cried silently.. "Put him to sleep.. and take him to the new mansion before evening."
Napabuntong hininga na lamang ako habang pinapakalma ang sarili. Tumunog ang aking cellphone at nang makitang hindi registered ang number ay nagdalawang isip pa akong sumagot. Sa huli ay sinagot ko ang tawag habang palabas sa silid ni Dad.
"This is me, Spencer."
After arranging an appointment with her secretary, hindi ko inakalang tatawag siya mismo sa akin.
"Drop the formality, Wendy." I walked my way to my room. It's almost empty. Marahil nailipat na ang mga gamit ko sa bagong mansyon.
I walked straight to the balcony.. "Thank you for calling, Spencer. I really need your help."
"Is this about my inheritance? I met your lawyer yesterday."
He remained silent for a while.. "Okay. My secretary will send you the details."
Matapos niyang ibaba ang tawag ay nanatili akong nakatitig sa labas. Muli kong binabalikan sa isip ko ang aking mga plano. My father cannot possibly help me this time so I have to do this right. Spencer.. he may not be able to help me right now but I know he can help me in the future.
With the things that are going on right now, mukhang alam ko na ang patutunguhan nito so I have to make sure that in the end, I'll win.
It was three in the afternoon when I entered the meeting place. The huge restaurant is surprisingly empty but the center most table was occupied by a familiar man. When he stood up, my steps went shorter and shorter..
I was surprised with his powerful aura. His eyes are like throwing daggers everytime he blinks. Though he's wearing a suit, I can sense that he's a well-built man. With that huge frame and angled jaw, I know that behind that suit is a work of art.
For a 30 year old man who is able to expand his business globally, I am well aware that he's not someone you can afford to offend.
"We haven't met officially, Spencer Alvarez." He offered his hand, where lies a silver ring. Too bad, we should've met already before if I wasn't in the US during his wedding.
I smiled and gently shook his hands. "I'm glad to meet you, Spencer. I know we are not related by blood but I find it nice to meet my cousin. As you can see, I don't have a lot of relatives."
He gestured me to sit so I sat comfortably. "I know the feeling."
Dumating ang mga server dala ang mga pagkain at inumin. I smiled at them and waited for them to finish serving. When they left, Spencer immediately spoke. "I'm sorry if I ordered without asking you. I am in bit of hurry, I have to attend my wife's exhibit tonight."
I shook my head. "It's okay. Meeting you like this is already a pleasure."
After gathering the courage to speak. I gently wiped the side of my mouth and looked at him intently. "I know this is our first meeting and we aren't even relative by blood but I really have to do this."
He nodded. "Where did you get the courage, then?"
"I have to make sure that our corporation will remain in good hands."
"And whose hands are those?"
The side of his lip curved into smile. "Your confidence is striking. What can I do?"
I sighed and explained my plan. After hearing it, he gave a soft smile. "I'll do my best to help. However, I don't place my bet on uncertain things. I still have to know more about it."
I nodded and smiled too. "I understand."
He leaned against his chair. "OC.. you handled it for four years and I must say, your skill in managing a business really runs in the blood. But after leaving the country for five years, don't you think you should do some background check?"
"I'm talking about your current CEO."
What did that bastard do this time?
"His power grew rapidly over the past years. And aside from being OC's CEO, do you have any idea what other power he holds right now?"
"I.. I don't."
His brows furrowed as he crossed his arms. "He can access your father's account. And it's pretty legal. Aside from your father's accountant, he gave Solivares his consent to access his account. Your father signed.. a general power of attorney."
My eyes widened at the sudden news. He can access.. my father's account? My father's account?! The account holds 18 billion US dollars! How can my father let that bastard access it?!
"How.. how can you be sure?"
He looked at me with confused eyes.. "It's not that hard to find out. Only if you have paid more attention before, this will not happen."
All I could do is to sigh heavily.. I missed a lot of things for the past five years and now.. the consequences are being thrown right at me!
I looked at him. His eyes immediately soften.. maybe he sensed that I am a bit shocked.. and helpless.
"These people are surely scheming against you. I said I don't place my bet on uncertain things but I can help you prove that you are not someone these people should mess with."
With his encouragement, I automatically smiled as my eagerness to proceed with my plan heightened. "Thank you for lending some time for our meeting. I will make sure to pay you back once I secured everything."
He smiled and nodded too. "I never thought that my first meeting with you will be this serious. Good thing I didn't bring my wife with me, she'll scold the both of us for being too serious."
My smile widened as I let out a soft chuckle. "Alice is a very fine woman.. you are good match."
He smiled wider but it slowly faded. "I feel sorry for you loss, Wendy. Though you're keeping it a secret, I managed to know about your father's condition. Since you are moving house, I'll send you a gift."
I nodded. "Thank you."
After the meeting, I rushed over to our new mansion. Naglilipat pa rin ng mga gamit ngunit sa tingin ko'y malapit na itong matapos. "Wendy.." Sinalubong ako ni Susan sa sala.
"Nasa garden. Puntahan mo, gising na siya."
Umakyat ako agad sa aking silid at naglabas ng illang photo album. Pagdating ko sa garden ay naroon nga si Dad na nakupo sa putting bench habang tulala sa man-made lake sa kaniyang harapan.
He looked at me and stared for a while. Nanatili rin akong nakatayo lamang, umaasang makikilala niya ako..
Ngumiti ako at tumango. Dahan-dahan akong tumabi sa kaniya. "Do you want me to tell you a story?"
"Yes.. this is a story of a King.. who loves his princess."
Nagkwento ako sa kaniya hanggang sa abutan kami ng dilim. Sumindi na ang mga ilaw na narito sa garden habang nakatitig lamang ako sa aking ama. Hinahaplos niya ang litrato ni Mom habang tahimik na lumuluha.. "Dad, we'll get through this.. I promise."