Ultimately, this reminded me of my very first book - the one I wrote when I was still eighteen and was fortunate to have published. I really wish I could share it with everyone but rights belong to the publisher so I can't translate it to 100% English text. The official version is 90/10 English/Filipino though.
But in case you are interested in it, let me just indulge in a little #throwbackthursday nostalgia - two days earlier albeit - and share with you the blurb and excerpt (EVERYTHING IN ENGLISH, I promise!).
All Mairi ever wanted was to give up her baby - a 10 year old Sentra - monthly checkups, graduate from college with honors, and meet a nice guy. Unfortunately, what she ends up with is a necessary transfer to another school and a very public break-up staged by none other than her two-minute-old (first) boyfriend.
A gorgeous award-winning actor and a scion to the Philippines' equivalent to the Royal Family, Patrick finds himself suffering from ennui... until he meets Mairi who, despite her insults about his academic status and her having only one pair of shoes (ice blue at that) for all occasions, seems to be the perfect "flingmate" because of her views about the Emotion-That-Must-Not-Be-Named.
Patrick and Mairi are almost complete opposites of each other. But do differences really matter in having a fling or when falling in love?
“Patrick, may I introduce you to my friend and your date tonight, Mairi Llanos-Sy. Mairi, this is Patrick Gonzales.” Katie hoped that she had done the instructions right because Patrick was terribly fussy when it came to things like that.
The two shook hands very, very briefly.
Patrick couldn't help but notice that her hand was not as smooth as the ones he was used to holding. A woman who worked, apparently. He respected that. “I’m sorry I was late. Heavy traffic.” There was no reason not to seize using the number one excuse even if it sounded lame. It was also an outright lie since he hadn’t brought any car. Still, it sounded better than the more truthful I was so hyped up about our date I fell asleep.
Mairi refrained from saying that would be pretty impossible since Katie told her he lived nearby. She smiled at him very, very slightly. “You have a watch then.” Mairi said in her sweetest voice.
Patrick saw Katie choke.
“Excuse me?” Patrick asked, bemused.
“I said,” she repeated with exaggerated patience, “you have a watch then.” She rolled her eyes as if saying he needed to clean his ears.
Bitch. “Yes.” He stated curtly. “I do have a watch. So?” What was happening to him? He was acting like a jerk and he knew it. But hell, the girl was pushing him to his limits. He had apologized about his tardiness, extreme it may be. The least she could do was accept it graciously like an educated, cultured woman. He couldn’t remember being annoyed so much by any woman before. Usually, they all wanted to please him.
Mairi hid a smile at his obvious pique. She wasn’t done yet. Oh no, baby, she was only beginning. “Since you do have a watch, I guess you don’t know how to use it.” She gazed at him in sympathy. “Is it new? It seems like a pretty complicated contraption, isn’t it?” She made a tsk tsk sound. The insult stung more because his was just a simple Rolex, no digital whatchamacallits. Original, of course.
He gritted his teeth. By then, he knew what she was driving at but he was too late. If he remained silent, he’d be letting her make him into someone who was too dumb to know how to use a stupid watch. And he hated that. He really hated that. “I know how to use my watch.” He told her crankily, hating to take the bait but unable to stop himself from doing so.
“Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you." She said with sugary sweetness. "I just thought, since you’re four hours late but you have a watch, I naturally assumed you didn’t know how to use it.” She shrugged. “It’s a rather sensible conclusion, you know. I mean, you’re from Ateneo, surely you can see the logic in it. But then, you’re still in your freshmen year. Kinda late for someone who’s in his mid-twenties, isn’t it?”
Translation: You’re too old to be in school and you’re stupid enough not to be able to read the time. Patrick saw red. That’s it. If she wanted a war, he’d give it to her. He was never the one to disappoint a lady. How could such a lovely face hide such an evil personality?
He smiled at her devilishly. “I didn’t remember telling you all those things about me, Mairi. I can call you, Mairi right?” He didn’t wait for an answer even though she was already opening her mouth to protest. “We’re going to become friends, after all. And don’t worry, Mairi. I’m fairly liberal. Seeing that you know so much about me, I can at least infer then that you like me. Enough at least to be an avid fan.”
Earl and Katie started to laugh but hastily covered it when Mairi stared at them with murder in her eyes. “I’m not an avid fan!” she denied hotly and a bit guiltily because she was an avid fan of his, albeit secret. The jerk. He had turned the tables and now Mairi was feeling the same humiliation he had felt a while ago.