Mina Esguerra Spotlight

Kimmy Domingo was the kind of girl everyone hated and envied -- until her fiancé dumped her a week before their wedding. Soon after, she quit her job, hopped on a plane, and just hid from everyone who knew her. A year later and she's back in Manila to be maid of honor at a wedding she can't miss.

Kimmy's home because she's ready to start over, but she also knows that some people at that wedding were responsible for the mess her life turned out to be. The first step to recovery? Cutting off the ones who caused her troubles to begin with: her best friend and her first love.

The message from my best friend Chesca was simple and direct: You better be here by Tuesday lunch OR I WILL KILL YOU. 
I got that not from the original email, but through the chain of people she had copied, in case I insisted on ignoring her. Still, it was Tuesday morning, and I was indeed back in Manila.
My mother did not know I was arriving that day. For months now I had only been communicating with her through courtesy texts informing her which country or city I was in. She tried to call, but I only talked to her once, and just to tell her that roaming was expensive and she should just email me if she needed to speak to me.
That was mean of me, because I thought she would never figure out how to email. She did, but I still didn't reply. 
The airport taxi dropped me off and I managed to make it to the stairs before she saw me.
"Kimberly! I swear you are going to give me a heart attack." She put down her cigarette and gave me a hug.
Like many females I can name, I had a complicated relationship with my mother. It was better now that I was twenty-seven years old, and only because we both accepted some truths about each other: That I was no longer as immature as she thought me to be, and she was not as mature as I wanted her to be. 
"You didn't know I was arriving today?" I asked cautiously. Sure, she acted surprised that I was there, but Mrs. Erica Domingo was known for being dramatic every now and then.
She pressed a kiss on my cheek. "Honey, I know you're supposed to be here today, but I said I wouldn't believe it until I saw you in my house. How are you? Are you back for good this time?"
"Yes, my savings has been officially drained," I said. "I'm back home now." For better or worse.

Of all the twenty-something women who are hopeless romantics, Ellie Manuel is more “hopeless” than “romantic.”

Even after her Prince Charming broke up with her, she just won’t give up … because fairy tale heroines don’t live “happily ever after” right away, silly, they’re tested first!

Determined to pass the test, she spends the next year restoring herself to the girl Prince Charming had fallen in love with in the first place.

Until she discovers that life without him might not be so bad after all: her career is taking off, her confidence is back, and the cute guy at work is no longer a stranger.

So when is it okay to quit on a fairy tale?

"Rock Star, two o'clock," Charisse said discreetly.
"My two o'clock or yours?"
"Mine, duh."
I pretended to check the doorway of the cafeteria, expecting a friend maybe, but peeked at the guy we referred to as Rock Star. He was sitting a few tables down from us, having pork steak and salad greens. A girl we recognized was sitting in front of him.
"Did he see you?" Charisse pressed.
"No, I don't think so."
"He's having lunch with Sandra from Client Services," Charisse said casually, pretending not to look too. She was so good at that. "Is she his girlfriend now or something?"
His name wasn't really Rock Star, of course, but Lucas Haresco. He was one of our officemates, an assistant manager at the Wealth Management team up on the twenty-second floor. Charisse and I found him cute in that Office Celebrity kind of way – sure he worked in the same building, and the same company, but we weren't friends. Instead we nudged each other when we saw him nearby, commented on what he was wearing, and wondered about the girls we saw him with. He was our Office Crush. 
What? Everyone had that.
Lucas got that code name because had the appearance of a guy forced into crisp shirts and ties to earn a living, but was really, like, a rock star when he clocked out. He always looked clean, and he smelled great, but his hair was a bit of a calculated mess.
Yes, I had a boyfriend, but this was how Charisse and I bonded – by talking about cute guys in our "area of responsibility." Which we didn't do as much of since I started going out with Don. I missed this, and I felt better about doing it again now that Don was being such an ass.
"So why haven't you really talked to Rock Star yet, Ellie?" Charisse asked. "We should have done this before when it was easier. I could have helped you."
I was already on smiling and nodding terms with Lucas. On my first week at work, on casual-wear Friday, I bought a sandwich from the cafeteria deli. He was behind me in the line, and he asked what I was having. 
"Salmon and cream cheese," I said.
"Is it good?" he asked.
"When they do it right," I replied.
He wasn't wearing a tie that time (casual Friday), and a hint of a tattoo peeked from underneath the sleeve of his shirt. I wondered what it was, but was too shy to ask. I didn't know how else to talk to him after that, so I just ended up smiling at him as we saw each other in the halls. When I heard that he smoked, I almost took up the habit just to run into him outside. Almost, but didn't.
Why didn't I ever talk to him, my friend asked?
Once I got to know a bit more about Lucas, through office gossip we picked up here and there, he just seemed more and more like someone I couldn't be with. I couldn't even imagine being with someone who got that much attention. When word got out that he had a girlfriend, everyone hated her almost immediately. When they broke up, everyone knew about it. And then when months later the rumors started that Rock Star's Ex had given birth to a baby girl, even I felt bad for her. 
"Um, let's recap," I said, rolling my eyes, "He's out of my league. He has a lovechild. Every time we've seen him have lunch here, he's with Sandra or some other pretty girl or alone, so it's intimidating to approach him in all cases. He's got three tattoos or something, which I won't be able to justify to my mother. And you found out he's agnostic, so how am I going to have my Catholic wedding? And he smokes." 
"I don't think he does anymore."
"What? How?"
Charisse, who actually did smoke, shrugged. "I don't see him anymore. He had this routine. He would get coffee from the Starbucks, and then smoke outside. Smoke, sip, smoke, sip. Lately I've been seeing him buy the coffee but go back up the elevator, and not smoke."
"Since when?"
"Months." Then she gave me a look. "Does that change your mind about him?"
"No. Still so many reasons why we're too different. And out of my league, right?"
"Oh please. You are so much prettier than Sandra. But not that girl from Research though, she is seriously pretty."
And then we started giggling. "Plus, you know, I actually have a boyfriend. Your friend."
"What, you can't have new friends anymore?"



  1. I've always loved Mina Esguerra's story and I would love to have your give-away's :)

  2. I happen to stumble on Mina Esguerra's blog last Monday.I suddenly remembered the book I bought - Love Your Frenemies. Then I began reading her books ( ebook) Fairy Tale Fail on Monday, Interim Goddess of Love on Tuesday, and last might - Queen of the Clueless. And yeah tonight - Icon of the Indecisive. She rocks! - Iryn

  3. I happen to stumble on Mina Esguerra's blog last Monday.I suddenly remembered the book I bought - Love Your Frenemies. Then I began reading her books ( ebook) Fairy Tale Fail on Monday, Interim Goddess of Love on Tuesday, and last might - Queen of the Clueless. And yeah tonight - Icon of the Indecisive. She rocks! - Iryn