It’s my  third station, I’m pretty sure it won’t be that bad. Dressing up in my chef’s uniform here in the locker room for eight weeks straight is more like a ritual to me.

No rings. No jewelries. No perfume. A bit a lip color would be fine though.

Banquet kitchen’s always busy during my time there and it’s understandable. December is a busy month to any 5 star hotels.

I’m about to put my hairnet when I got her call. I knew it’s her.

“Hello?”

Are you Michael’s girlfriend? “

“Yes, who’s this?”

“I’m his wife. We have a son, do you know that? Our son is sick, he’s working hard but he don’t leave money for us. I think I already know why. Please leave Michael alone”

She ended the call. Shaking, I immediately sent a text to Michael. Why is she calling me? She said she’s your wife. I thought you two are over?  You should talk to her, Jame’s sick.

I thought that’s it, but that’s just the beginning of the roller coaster ride that lasted for months.

I walked straight to the kitchen, ignoring the usual morning greetings from our seniors.

We peeled vegetables all day; carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, name it! Before lunch time, they asked us to prepare the fruits.

Pantry caters to the employees and lunch time is one of my favorite. Nope, not because it’s time to eat, it’s because I can have few minutes of chit chat from my classmates who are having their training in different areas of the hotel. Graduating students like us rarely have time for get togethers now. The amount of pressure to finish all of our requirements while for the thesis, completing hours in our training and trying to land a job before marching up on that stage is overwhelming to say the least.

This day, I remained inside the kitchen though.

Aside from the call I got earlier, the text from our class president worries me. It seems like I need to start writing my own thesis.

At 4 in the afternoon, I left the kitchen and sat down on the corner near the television. I have a lot of things going inside my head that I almost started crying.

Sir Marvs sat down beside me, gave me the iced tea he made (it’s bittersweet with a taste of calamansi) and said “smiling can make you feel better, try it.” I told him my problems and he listened. He gave an advise and he sounded like my father when he said it. Before I go home he said, “this one calms the mind and a calm mind can give peace to your soul.”

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