The world-wide lockdown brought about by the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the mushrooming of virtual chat rooms of family and friends in order to keep in touch with each other.
Two friends, one from Beijing and the other from New York, decided to create a chat room in order to continue being in touch with their close friends. To make things worthwhile, they decided to weave a story, asking each one in the chat room to write one episode each to build on what is now titled Eloisa, Filipina, RN.
Eloisa is a nurse from the southern province of Surigao in the Philippines. She comes to New York to work at Elmhurst Hospital at the time when the Big Apple was the epicenter of the coronovirus in the US.
Each episode turned out to be exciting, mind-boggling, and yes, funny.
The friend from Beijing is Cristina DC Pastor, and the friend from New York is Marivir Montebon. Together with Ann Constantino Beck, DJ Chinita, Elizabeth Cueva, Grace Labaguis, Joyce Andes-David, Lara Gregory, Laura Garcia, Mona Kuker, Muriel Iturralde, Nieva Quezon-Burdick, Vanette Colmenares, and Vivian Talambiras-Cruz, they wove the story of the Filipino nurse, Eloisa. RN.
Part 3 By Grace Labaguis, Joyce-Andes David, and Lara Gregory
Grace Labaguis: After a long day at work and worried about losing her job, Crystal took all her stuff from the locker room and headed home. It was a quick commute from the city to Woodside Ave. in Queens – no line at the bus stop and traffic was light.
Upon reaching home, she restlessly went straight to her room. Crystal wanted to relax and clear her mind from all the craziness brought by the COVID19 pandemic. She took a deep breath, turned to her music table and said, “Alexa, please play some jazz music.” While Alexa was playing her favorite Norah Jones’ popular song, ‘Don’t Know Why,’ she went to her kitchen and opened a bottle of red wine.
Thinking about how to survive the next few days without a job, she thought of calling her boyfriend, Robert. “Hey, Babe! How was your day? I just got home and was hoping to see you tonight for dinner? I’ll cook for you. Robert, a handsome Latino guy who works at UPS goes, “Sorry, Babe. I can’t tonight. I need to report for work early tomorrow because of delivery loads to hospitals in Manhattan and Queens. But, I’ll see you this weekend, okay? I love you and promise me to take care of yourself and wear a mask when you go out to work.” Feeling lonely and sad, Crystal sweetly said, “I love you, too and good night” to Robert.
Having no one to eat dinner with, she decided to walk to Jollibee in Roosevelt Ave., for a quick bite. While waiting for her takeout order (Palabok and Chickenjoy), she recalled her encounter with Eloisa. Curious about how the conversation with the “extremely handsome guy” transpired, she decided to call her.
Hello, Eloisa! It’s me, Crystal! Kamusta ulit? Listen, why don’t we meet-up on your day-off and catch-up? We can have lunch at my place since we can’t dine anywhere. I’ll text you my address. Eloisa excitedly accepted Crystal’s invitation.
The weekend came and Crystal cooked lunch for two – Nilagang Baka, Fried Bangus and Leche Flan for dessert! Suddenly, her phone rang…it was Eloisa calling. “Hi Crystal, can I bring a friend? I don’t know how to commute to your place and this friend of mine offered to drive for me. Ok Lang ba?” Crystal goes, “Of course! Would be happy to meet your friend.”
After 30 minutes, the doorbell rings. Crystal opened the door and was delighted to see Eloisa. But, so shocked to see the “friend” with her…that “extremely handsome guy” from the French Coffee Shop! She invited them in and offered some drinks. Then the doorbell rings again. Crystal opened the door and was surprised to see Robert.
Robert: “Hey, Babe (He gives her a kiss)! I really wanted to surprise you so I brought lunch.
Crystal: OMG, what a pleasant surprise! I thought I’d see you tonight for dinner!? Anyway, I invited a friend who just arrived from the Philippines. Come, I’ll introduce you.
When Crystal was about to introduce her boyfriend to Eloisa, Robert excitedly shouted, “Brandon, is that you?” The two ladies both smiling, asked the guys, “You know each other!?
Joyce Andes-David: Eloisa was confused. The man she met as “George” was really “Brandon”? So many thoughts started running through her mind and her worry apparently showed. George started laughing. He replied back to Robert and said, “Hi, I’m George, but it seems you know my twin brother Brandon.” Robert replied back, “Wow, you must be identical twins, because you sure fooled me!” As George explained this, Eloisa felt relieved. While Crystal started to wonder if she misjudged George. Perhaps the man that she thought was George, “the flirt” with different women all the time at her coffee shop was indeed two different people. Or were they?
Lara Gregory: He unlocked the door to his apartment and drew in a deep breath. George smiled to himself as he thought of Eloisa. He allowed himself to dwell on the details of her face, the silhouette of her body and the curve of her derriere as he inhaled, reliving the faint scent of her hair. “Strawberries. Her hair smells of strawberries.”
He sighed and closed his eyes, savoring the moment. The palpable anxiety in the city caused by the pandemic and the health policy of social distancing has certainly required new methods of meeting women and has created a longer timetable. He didn’t even expect to meet Eloisa and has decided to wait as long as it takes.
George was jolted by the sound of loud knocking on his door. Through the peephole, he saw a man and a woman. As he opened the door, the woman said: “George Miller? ” as she flashes a badge. “Yes”, George replied. The man said: ” NYPD. I’m Detective McCleary and this is Detective Santos.”
(To be continued. Part 3 of 9)