"Hey Sairin, thank you for this food. The puffs taste so nice and they melt in your mouth." I smiled at the lady before putting the spoon in my mouth. Mama Mira's cooking is so great. I can ask her to teach me so that I can create a version for the café.
"This is called adobong tokwa in the Philippines. It's fried tofu with sautéed garlic and onion in caramelized soy sauce and bay leaves."
They look impressed and continued eating.
Aeron isn't here yet. He called kuya Nico a few minutes ago to say that he would be late. I still have a few minutes to fix my composure. I can't show them my nervousness.
"Are you okay, Sai?" Nico asked. He's sitting in front of Mama Mira while she's seated beside me. The seat in front of me is for Aeron because it's his 'favorite spot'.
I softly smiled at him. "She's nervous because she's going to meet finally meet the guy she's been in love with for years."
I almost spit out my food because of what Eri said. They were all silent. Such embarrassment.
"You're in love with Aeron? Dude, good luck." I pouted at what Kuya Nico said. Damn it. At least, Aeron's not here.
"That's nice. Nerisa's daughter and my son.. In love. Something found only in books. I hope you can stand his attitude, dear." Mama Mira said with a soft but warning tone. Omg, it's just like she just said 'You have my blessing. Get married as soon as possible'.
"Mira, my best friend is the most patient person I have ever known. If she can stand me, then of course, she can stand Aeron." The too-much-info bitchy girl next to me said. Can I strangle her? I love her and all but the spills are just- hngg.
"I'm sorry, Mama Mira. I just like your son. But please keep it a secret."
"Of course. Right, boys?" the Wynston boys nodded. "He isn't coming home much. So I hope you can be the reason why he visits this town often. I just miss my little boy so much."
"I'll try. I can't promise you. I'm just one of his fan girls."
"We'll see." Kuya Nico said before grinning.
Mama Eri was about to say something but someone opened the front door.
"Mom, sorry I was late. I had to visit a friend," A familiar voice flooded the room. His voice. I felt my cheeks get hot and I bit my lips to hide a huge smile.
"Hey dude, glad you made it." Kuya Nico stood up to give him a bro hug. He then sat in front of me. He smiled at his mom and dad. I really like his smile. And the way his eyes would almost disappear.
Then he looked at me. His eyebrows furrowed and his smile turned to a frown. I felt a pang in my chest. Why is he staring at me like that?
"You are?" tanong niya sakin. I opened my mouth and I almost forgot what to say.
"She's Sairin." pakilala ni Mama Mira. He stared at me before smiling back.
"Call me Frey. We're not close. You're the new neighbors?"
Damn, he doesn't like me, yehey. First meeting with my crush and he immediately hates me. Just kidding, OA ghurl?
"Yep. This is Erizia, by the way. I think you two have met before." sabi ni Kuya Nico. He looked at Eri and squinted his eyes before smiling. Hmp, he smiled at Eri but he glared at me.
"Ah yes. Nice to meet you without all the cameras surrounding you. Welcome to the neighborhood."
After that, we went back to eating. There were some questions asked and some jokes and laughter. I'm so glad Eri and I are accepted.
"Aeron, Sai brought those puffs you always bought at the bookcafé." He looked at me and I feel like he's judging me.
"Oh, are you trying to impress me because these puffs are my favorite?" He said in a teasing tone. I knew he was joking but I felt embarrased.
Damn, I didn't even know these are his favorites. And he likes to buy at my bookcafé. I know we're talking about the same cafe since that's the nearest one here and it's famous around North America.
"Excuse me, Frey. Are we talking about Millenial BookCafe?" He slowly nodded. "So you are accusing me of buying something from my own café just so I could please you? Lol, I didn't even know you lived here." Lol, what a life. Kuya Nico and Eri tried to hide their laugh. Hayst.
I can't believe him. I studied hard and did everything to get well so I could live here and the first time we meet, he accuses me of trying to impress him. I mean yes, I want to impress him. But I'm not in the mood right now. And I don't want him to take it the bad way and accuse me.
"Dude, chill. I was just kidding."
"Someone's grumpy." He said. Damn it.
"Everyone, please. Let's just have a peaceful dinner. Aeron, be nice." Sir Eris said with a scary voice. Well, it's scary for me.
I felt a hand squeeze mine. It's Mama Mira. She gave me an assuring smile.
After that weird conversation, we ate dessert. No one dared to talk.
When Eri yawned while we were chilling at the living room, I went to say goodbye.
"Mama Mira, thank you for the great food. I hope you can teach me your recipes. I want to add them to our lunch menus." kuya Nico and Sir Eris smiled at us while Mama Mira hugged me. "Thank you for welcoming us. Good night."
"I told you dear. I hope you have enough patience with his attitude. He's a bit cocky and he can really test someone's patience. And about the recipes, I can come over anytime you want." she whispered. She held my arms and said goodnight.
When she let go, she looked at Frey and frowned.
"Honey, kindly walk these girls to their house." Frey stared at me and then smiled at his mom.
"Come on, Sai." then we walked towards the door. Eri went ahead, she's probably sleepy already. I kept my slow pace which Frey tried to kept up with. Damn him and his long legs. I wish I can walk faster.
"Sorry about what happened. I didn't mean to be rude. I mean, I was just joking. I didn't know about the café and that you were going to be insulted by that." He softly said. "But I must say, those puffs are so delicious. I really like your café, it's warm and cozy."