One Night With My Billionaire Boss
Tondo, Manila, the Philippines
Six hours ago,
“Mom, Dad, Big Bros! Hurry up!” Ashley shouted in a frenzy, “I don’t want to miss the plane!” You could see the anxiety in her beautiful eyes.
“We’re coming, Ashley! I only have to find my cell phone,” Mrs. Fely Gusman shouted back from the room above. “I can’t remember where I left it,” she said as she continued searching.
“Coming! Sorry, Sis,” her big brother, Arthur, wearily replied. “It took Arman forever to come out of the bathroom,” he explained.
Ashley shook her head in dismay as her parents and brothers rushed around downstairs. Today, her dream of going abroad was finally coming true. She anxiously paced back and forth in the middle of the living room. “This is a new start for me,” she said aloud as she waited for her family to take her to the airport.
Even in the midst of her excitement, she couldn’t help thinking of the hardships her family had gone through to help her realize this dream.
Since she was a little girl, she had dreamt of working abroad. You could always see the determination in her eyes as if she could brush every obstacle in her way with sheer will. Seeing her dedication drove her parents to do whatever it took to send her to private school to make this future possible.
As a child, she would say to her parents, “When I grow up, I’m going to work in another country. I’ll send money to you, and you won’t have to sell in the market anymore. Dad won’t have to drive a jeepney for money anymore.” The sweet six-year-old would promise her family at the dinner table, “you just wait…one day I will build you a big, beautiful house. It will be as big and beautiful as Malacañang Palace.”
Her mother, Fely, had cried as she hugged her youngest child. “Ha-ha, my sweet girl. You haven’t even started school, but already you talk like a grown-up.”
The ambition of his daughter had also moved her father. “I know you want to give us a comfortable life when you grow-up. But first, you must eat,” he had said as he sat across from her. Then he had pointed at her plate. “Look at your plate. It is full of rice, but no vegetables. How can you grow up on only rice?” He had said, with a teasing gleam in his eyes.
Her five older brothers had chuckled and taken turns putting meat and vegetables on her plate. When they were finished, she pouted. “It’s so much! How am I supposed to finish all this?” The look on her face as she spoke had made her whole family laugh. Unable to help herself, she had laughed as well.
Arman was sixteen, and he was the eldest. Then there was Arthur, who was fourteen. Ariel was twelve, Arnold was ten, and the youngest of the boys was eight-year-old Arnel. She was the youngest and the only girl. She was treated like a princess by her whole family.
They would do anything possible to give her anything she asked, give anything to make her happy. Her brothers studied in public school. She was sent to a private preschool and kindergarten.
Though they treated her like a princess, she wasn’t a spoiled brat. She understood that her family was not well off and had limited resources. She was always mindful of their circumstances. She never asked for toys or things she knew they couldn’t afford. She was a well-behaved, God-fearing child that had always had a clear goal in mind. She focused on her studies and avoided distractions. She hadn’t even had a boyfriend yet.
Of course, as a young girl, she had experienced a few crushes. But she had promised herself that she would get her education and reach her goals first. She wanted to lift her family out of poverty and give them a prosperous life. There would be time for dating after that.
“We’re ready to go!” Arthur’s shout snapped Ashley back to the present as he descended the stairs. This is it. My dream is finally coming true. In moments, she would be on her way to Japan, and on her way to creating a better life for her family.
“Thank God!” Ashley replied, “Hurry up! The plane won’t wait for anyone, and neither will my dream!” Ashley’s laughter could be heard to the next street; she was so overcome with joy.
She had no idea that when she arrived at her destination, her life would change more than she had ever imagined…
Ninoy International Airport:
Three hours before arriving in Japan,
There were countless hugs, and the tears seemed unending as Ashley and her family said their goodbyes. Her parents and brothers were full of last-minute pieces of advice they felt they needed to share.
“Whatever happens…if you don’t like your work, or your boss mistreats you, don’t hesitate to come right back home. Do you understand?” Jessie, her father, had said to her, his voice full of concern.
Fely’s tears streamed like waterfalls. She felt her heart being pulled as she held her daughter tightly. She didn’t want to let her go.
“My dear, don’t forget, your purity is a treasure too precious to be bought with money. It can’t be found anywhere else. Don’t let any man take advantage of you. Remember, wedding first before…”
Fely didn’t get to finish this sentiment, as the P.A. announcing Ashley’s flight interrupted her. It was already time to board.
“Mom! Mom, they’re calling my flight! I need to go now,” Ashley said as she began pulling away from her mother’s tight embrace. “Don’t worry; I remember everything you and Dad have taught me.”
She gave her mother a sweet kiss on the cheek and quickly kissed her crying Dad and brothers.
“Little Sis, ” Arman called out, “if anyone fools with you, call me. Japan isn’t that far. I’m always only a few hours away. Don’t forget that, do you hear me?”
“Fighting,” her brothers yelled together excitedly.
“Fighting,” Ashley responded with a smile, and eyes filled with tears. “Goodbye! Please don’t worry! I’ll take good care of myself. I’ll call as soon as I land, ” she shouted to her family as she walked away.
This was Ashley’s first international flight. It took three hours to fly to Japan. As she walked toward the terminal, her eyes were glued to her phone. She was so focused she didn’t notice she was about to bump into someone else…
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