Executive session meant getting booted out of the board room and finding myself sandwiched between the Executive Assistant and another staff.
"Alam mo malungkot pa rin si Betty," said the Ex-A.
Her pain was palpable. Betty, her teenage daughter, just got her heart broken.
"Sabi ni Dom ok lang raw iyon. She'll learn from it. Alam ko naman iyon pero mahirap din pala talaga. Biruin mo antagal mong inalagaan tapos ganun-ganun na lang. Sana maging happy child na siya ulit soon."
She had a hopeful tone during that conversation but her eyes betrayed her... much like Nanay's eyes that morning when I unexpectedly hugged her while she was busy poring over the stove, heating some water for breakfast.
In a home where sweet nothings and I-love-yous were never the norm, how Nanay stared at me that morning when it was still dark outside and we were the only souls awake in the house, left an awkward sense of assurance in me. I rediscovered how silence can be an ally, how stillness conveys the promise of being there.
But the sadness in her eyes will haunt me for a long time. Nanay felt my pain, perhaps far more than I could imagine.