The worried face of Maya was evident and she was in deep thought when her friend Emman arrived.
Emman just came from work and he was inviting Maya to accompany him to do his groceries. He was talking but Maya didn’t seem to notice him, like he wasn’t there, like he was invisible. Her sad eyes were also staring into space.
“Huy Maya! Kanina pa ako dito, kanina pa ako nagsasalita, hello! Bakit ang lungkot lungkot mo dyan?”
“Ay Emman!.. Ano? May kailangan ka? Gutom ka na ba? Kumain ka na dyan. Nagluto na ako. Ano may pupuntahan tayo? Ay teka… Yun laundry mo pala hinatid ni Ate labandera kanina… tapos yun…”
“Hep-hep! Ang daming sinasabi! What’s wrong ba? Parang wala ka sa sarili mo. Hindi pa ba kayo nagkabati ni Mr. Lim?” Emman knows that Maya was supposed to talk to Richard Lim and explain her side and also say sorry.
“Eh Emman.. di ko naman nakausap.”
“Ha? Hindi ka hinarap? Lagot ka Maya! Sinasabi ko na nga ba. Yan kasi. Madalas kasing magsalita bago magisip eh. So tuloy tuloy na ang paghihiwalay nyo as friends?”
“Emman! Hindi naman ganun. Umalis na ako habang tinatawag siya ni Miss Liza. Hindi ko pa kayang harapin. Nahihiya ako kay Richard.”
“Wait! Ibig mong sabihin hindi naman kayo nagkausap?”
“Ano ba yan Maya! Naku ha ang swerte mo kayang maging kaibigan ng isang Richard Lim, mabait, corny madalas pero funny minsan, cowboy na kahit ganun siya eh game kahit saan mo dalhin, at don’t forget yun effort nya sa pagkuha ng iyong forgiveness. Aba Maya, kung minsan talaga masarap kang batukan.”
“Emman! Nag-aalala na nga ako, dadagdag ka pa. Eh nakakahiya kasi. Baka hindi nya lang ako pansinin. Atsaka baka busy siya. Basta Emman!”
“Oh sige busy na siya kung busy. Eh ikaw anong excuse naman ang meron ka at wala ka sa sarili mo dyan? Kanina pa kaya kita kinakausap.”
She just heaved a sigh, then she sadly stared at Emman.
“O ano yan? Bakit ganyan ang face mo? At may malalim na buntong hininga ka pang nalalaman.”
“Eh kasi Emman, galit ata talaga. Ni hindi man lang tumawag or nagtext kahit alam nyang pumunta ako sa office nya.” She had a downcast expression.
“Yan kasi. Alam mo Maya, dapat ata gawin mo din yun ginawa ni Mr. Lim noon, yun pagsuyo nya sa’yo. Remember yun inaraw araw ka nyang dalawin sa resto tapos araw araw din may flowers. Ganun!”
“Ay ano! Ayoko nga! Ano siya sinuswerte? Nakakahiya Emman ha!”
“Aysus ang arte! Ano bang mas mahalaga, yun pride mo or yun kaibigan slash crush slash dream guy mong si Mr. Richard Lim.” Emman was teasing her already.
“Hoy Emman ang boses mo! Hindi ko crush at dream guy si Richard ha! Eto nakakainis. May makarinig nga sa’yo!”
“See affected ka! Ang arte arte kasi. Halika na nga magdinner na tayo at baka malipasan ka na ng gutom sa kakaisip dyan kay Mr. Lim.”
“Ewan ko sa’yo in denial kong bestie! Paayaw ayaw pero gusto naman. Pakipot pa. Yan tuloy parang mapupurnada pa and shiniship kong loveteam.
“Emman naman eh…”
“Kain na nga tayo at gutom na talaga ako.”
Richard is having a few drinks by himself in his condo. He was tempted to call Maya when he found out that she visited him, but his pride prevented him from doing so.
He wasn’t sure if Maya was really unaware of who Jeff Macavinta was or if she was just making fun of him and was really that insensitive to his feelings.
Maybe he was not that important to her. He also realized that ever since they became friends, it he who was always excited, he was the one who always pursued her.
He had focused his time and attention on her and he didn’t even know if he was even important to her too. He’s no longer sure if Maya was just kind enough to keep up with him so as not to hurt his feelings.
He felt insecure and he felt that he was wasting her time already. Maya could enjoy her time with other friends if he didn’t waste her time, if he wasn’t around all the time. Maybe Maya’s jokes were her subtle way of discouraging him from bothering her.
Maybe what she said at the party about his ex was also her way of pushing him away from her.
He wants to see her badly but his pride was preventing him from doing so. He shouldn’t fall deeply for her because he believes that Maya wont reciprocate his feelings. And he wouldn’t be able to take it when she turns him down.
He decided to just focus on work from now on.
It’s been two weeks and Richard tried his best to remove Maya from his mind. He wants to see if he could survive without her. The past weeks when they were together everything seemed so rosy, he was so happy. He wanted to be that way without depending on her. Women have always been the center of his life even before, his motivation in what he does. Catherine was when they were still together and now Maya. It doesn’t seem right anymore so he decided to distance himself from her.
“Mr. Lim, may kausap pa po si Atty. Ryan. He’ll be with you in a while.” Atty. Ryan’s assistant Roy informed him.
“It’s okay Roy. I’ll just wait here.” He said as he sat on the sofa in Ryan’s vast office. He also picked the morning paper and was about to read the front page when…
“Richard! Nice to chance upon you here.” A women’s voice distracted him.
Josephine, Catherine’s friend proceeded to give Richard a beso. Richard was polite enough to allow her.
“Good morning. You’re meeting Ryan?”
“Ah oo. I’ll get him kasi as our legal counsel dun sa case ng company namin. Ibibigay ko lang etong records para mapag-aralan nya. Ikaw?”
“LAS matters as usual.” was his short reply.
He wasn’t really comfortable with Catherine’s friends and Josephine or Gie was one of those but he couldn’t do anything. He was stuck with her while waiting for Ryan.
“Maiba ako, Ikaw talaga ang dami mong gimik, pero effective naman sya Richard. Very effective.” Gie was giggling.
He raised his eyebrow while he stared at her. He was clueless on what she’s talking about.
Seeing his reaction, “Yun pagpapaselos mo kay Catherine! Mukhang affected nga siya. So okay na ba kayo? Yun loka lokang yun di na ako tinawagan. Sabagay I’m sure busy siya sa’yo. Alam mo naman yun kapag kasama ka nakakalimutan ang lahat ng kaibigan nya.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Naman to si Richard. Doon sa party ng LAS. Alam mo bang antagal tagal ni Cath magpaganda dun sa ladies room kasi nga magpapapansin sa’yo. Ikaw naman talagang tiniis mo ah. And you even left. Grabe ka magpaselos. Pero confident naman siya that kahit sino pang girls dyan ang iparada mo sa kanya, it will always be her in the end. So kumusta na? Basta kasama ako sa bridal entourage ha!”
“Sino ba kasi yun kasama mo? Maganda siya ha pero alam ko naman na hinding hindi mo ipagpapalit yun kaibigan ko dun. She seemed so innocent, so young. Pero when you left with her, talagang umiyak si Cath at nagyaya ng umuwi. Grabe ka talaga.” She was laughing.
Just when Richard was about to react to what Gee had been saying, Atty Ryan joined them.
“Oh Brod maaga ka. Akala ko mamaya pa tayo pupunta sa hangar.” Atty. Ryan was surprised to see Richard early in his office.
Ryan was fully aware that Richard usually spends time having breakfast with his new friend Maya at this usual hour so he was surprised to see him.
“Brod let’s just reschedule. May aasikasuhin lang akong importante.”
“Oh Owkayyyy… kay Maya na naman ba yan?” Ryan was teasing him, he was smiling.
“Basta Brod I’ll just call you later.”
Then Richard left the two without even saying goodbye to Josephine.
“Talaga tong si Richard aligagang masyado kay Maya.” Ryan commented.
Ryan was aware of the break-up of Richard and Catherine. He saw how insulted and betrayed his friend was when Catherine decided to choose Jeff Macavinta, one of Richard’s friend and business rival over him. He was there when his friend was nursing his broken heart and bruised ego and he was with him on his nightly drinking spree until such time when he couldn’t keep up with him anymore because his wife Ivy was already complaining.
That was the time when Richard started to spend his time alone drinking at the place where Maya works.
“Maya? Sinong Maya?” Josephine was curious.
“Yun kaibigan ni Richard. Yun kasama nya sa LAS party. She’s Maya and she keeps my friend happy.”
“Naku Ryan ha! Kontrabida ka sa lovelife ni Cath at Richard. Alam mo namang sila yun meant to be, eh sinusuportahan mo pa si Richard sa mga diversions nya. Atsaka after malaman nya yun mga ginawa ni Cath ng party, I’m sure pupuntahan na nya yun ngayon.” Gee was confidently grinning.
She believes that Richard is on his way to Catherine now.
She knows that Richard Lim would be forgive her friend after learning that she made an effort for him at the LAS party. She was sure that they would be back in each other’s arms.
Ryan hoped that Richard would really leave Catherine for good this time. In their many years as friends, he saw how Catherine used Richard. How she manipulated him into giving her whatever she wanted -jewelries, travels abroad, and designer clothes as well.
Now that Richard has Maya, he hopes that his friend would totally forget Catherine
Richard had been positively changed by Maya. He’d never seen his friend so happy and he didn’t want Catherine to ruin him again.
Richard stopped by the florist on his way to the real person who owns his heart.
“Mr. Lim I’ve already prepared the very special flower arrangement for you.”
“Very lucky lady Mr. Lim?”
“No, I’m the one who’s very lucky.”
And with a big smile on his face he drove towards where his heart leads him.
Thanks for reading. I’ll post the next chapter tomorrow.
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