Book Title: How Could You Tell
Kate still could not grasp what just happened. It was only three days since she arrived but everything flowed by itself, and she felt she had no control over it.
She entered their house, empty-headed. "Sweetie, what's going on?" Ramona asked in a worried voice. "What's that you are holding?" Her aunt May noticed the box in her hand.
"Is that a ring box?" Zeny exclaimed.
"Sit down. What happened?" her dad Rody, stood up and took her hand, and ushered her to sit down. "There must be something super exciting that happened by the look on her face." Her brother jokingly added on.
Without saying a word, she raised her hand and showed the box and slowly opened it to show the ring inside.
"It is a ring. I can see that. Where did you get that?" Her dad asked in a calm voice. "It's not just a ring. It's an engagement ring, dad." Zeny clarified. "Wait, why don't you explain to us everything that we need to hear." Her mother said. "That's the best thing you should do." Her aunt, May, seconded.
She narrated to her family, everything that took place since she arrived, in detail. She wanted to be honest with them.
"There is nothing wrong with that. You are single; he is single. You are both at the right age. We've known Fred and his family ever since, and I could not imagine you marrying another guy than him." Her father admitted. "Dad, that's way too early to speculate," Kate answered.
"Oh, Kate, don't overthink. Just let it flow. Just enjoy every step of it, no pressure." Her mother calmly voiced her side. "The best thing here, Zeny has her Ronnie and you Kate is going to have Fred. The two best bachelors in town caught by the Lorenzo ladies!" Her aunt May concluded.
"And the burden is on my shoulder now!" Arman, the youngest, murmured.
The day in the office was hectic. Everyone is driven to do their best and help each other to prepare and arrange everything. They were given two weeks to launch the new branch.
Kate found a note on her desk, left by the janitor. 'Dinner tonight at my place. Expect the unexpected!' - Teresa. Kate smiled and texted her mother not to wait for her for dinner.
After office, she went directly to Teresa's place. "Hello, all!" She sleds in without knocking.
"Aaw, you are early; that's good you can help me with the plates." Sandy quipped, the older sister of Teresa.
"Who else are we expecting?" Kate asked Sandy. "The whole gang, who else?" Teresa answered instead while stirring the sauce. "Let's not bother ourselves on who's coming or who's not. I know there is something you need to tell me." Teresa faced her with raised brows.
"Don't give her a hard time, Teresa; just ask her if it's true or not; anyway, aunt May got the entire moment documented, hahaha!" Sandy intervened and laughed. "Oh! aunt May." Kate sighed. "Well, you have it, aunt May did it again!" She helplessly admitted.
"Don't worry; we're family; that's why aunt May confided to us." Teresa consoled her. "We're very happy for you both. You're perfect for each other." Sandy added. "Hey, for the record, we're not yet official. We still have to talk." Kate clarified. "Okay, whatever comes out, let's enjoy the night." Teresa turned on the music and started to dance.
Sandy opens the door every time they hear a knock, and slowly the house is filled with laughter and singing. The night was well spent.
The next morning in the office, they received plenty of materials needed to be installed. All twelve of them worked hard to make sure the launching date will be hit as expected.
"It's almost six.No wonder my tummy starts to grumble!" Jackson exclaimed, their IT expert. "Okay, everyone, let's pack up. We need to take plenty of rest. We need more strength for more tasks tomorrow." Kate concluded the day.
She swung at the ladies' room to freshen up a bit. Then came back and checked in the office again to pick up some of her things. Some of her colleagues were still there packing their things and cleaning their tables. Then she found a familiar face sitting on her desk, smiling at her. "I thought, two nights, you said?" Kate said in a quivering voice.
"I finished the task in two days and one night, then hurried back home to finish the unfinished business," Fred answered. "Dinner?" Fred snapped. "Mom and Dad must be waiting for me." She explained. "No worries, I got the permission. I dropped by at your house and talked to your mom and dad before I came here." Fred cleared up her worries.
They drove to a restaurant quietly. Kate's hands were shaking, and she's unable to steady it. She could not say a word; she had no idea what to talk about. Fred faced straight on the road without saying a word. She can't sense what he is thinking. "Finally, we're here." Fred opened the passenger seat.
She got out of the car and was bewildered by how magical the place they drove into. "This place is owned by a corporation." Fred walked by her side as they were ushered by a waiter to a table under an ornamented tree beside a delicately lighted fountain. The place was so delightful.
"Why don't we eat first? I'm starving, and maybe you are too? I know you've been pressing on all day?" Fred hinted. "You are right; we better eat first." Kate honestly agreed.
"How was your visit to the city?" Kate made an effort to open a conversation. "It was good. Though the plan didn't exactly work out, yet, something else emerged, which leads us to a better option." Fred answered professionally.
"Let's talk about us, Kate. As I have said, I want you to be my girlfriend." Fred proposed without hesitation. "Stop right there, Fred!" Kate halted Fred and slightly raised her hand. "I don't get it. Why are you so hasty? Yes, we're not young, but we are also not old to jump into anything, especially a relationship." Kate explained.
"Yes, you are right that we've known each other since childhood, but this is a relationship we are talking about," Kate explained further. "We cannot risk our lives, our feelings, our families. You know every decision we make, they are always in it. You know that because I know you." Kate added more.
"I've already considered everything you mentioned. Before I get to this decision, I've already thought about it." Fred answered. "I want to have a girlfriend, and hopefully, she will become my wife. I want you to be that person. I am not playing around." Fred firmly explained. "When we were in college, I already wanted to court you, but I know I could hinder your plans and your dreams. That's why I stayed your good friend, to be always there for you. I was pretending, and I hate it. I did not follow you in the city because I don't want to stop you from achieving more though I wanted to. Now that you are here, I will not let go of you again." Fred narrated. Kate was baffled.
She looked down on her plate, finding words to say.
" Aunt May, told me you had a crush on me; that's why you are still single," Fred whispered. "Hah? I am being mortified here!" Kate answered in a half-whispered voice. She is blushing. "What else did she tell you?" Kate asked in a shaky voice.
"I feel so naked." Kate is covering her face. "You are busted! But I feel the same too. We're even." Fred consoled her and smiled. "So, what do you say? Are we official?" Fred was nudging her.
"Please, Kate, say yes." Fred won't give up.
"Okay, let's give it a try, but we'll do this slowly. Remember, we've been friends; let's take care of that." Kate laid down her conditions.
"Of course, we will take care of that. We are lovers, and we are friends." Fred assured her.
Chapter 4: Soon