Stay My Love – 3
“Lino a little to your left.” Richard was guiding one of their helpers, Lino, who was hanging the signage which bears the details about their big sale. They always have a promo on the month of his wife’s death anniversary. It is Richard’s way of honoring his late wife, who had always been generous and very charitable when she was still alive.
“Eto po kuya Chard?” Lino yelled from the rooftop of the building.
“There better! Okay na yan Lino! Bumaba ka na pagkatapos mo.”
“Ricardo nakahanda na yun agahan ninyo. Almusal muna kayo bago nyo ituloy yun ginagawa nyo.” Manang Fe appeared behind him.
“Mamaya na po Manang. Uminom na rin naman ako ng kape kanina atsaka tapusin ko na muna isalansan yun mga galon ng pintura. Di daw papasok si Bugoy kaya gawin ko na muna.”
“Naku kay Lino mo na ipagawa yan. Hindi ka na bumabata Ricardo. Baka bumigay na ang buto at likod mo sa kakabuhat nyan. Atsaka bakit puno ng grasa yun damit mo?”
“Manang malakas ako. Stop worrying about me. Wala naman na akong ibang gagawin. I don’t want to be useless. Hayaan nyo na ako. Atsaka etong grasa, inayos ko kasi yun truck kanina, medyo nadumihan. Promise ako ang maglalaba ng T-shirt na to. Wag ka nang mangunsumi dyan.” Then Richard smiled and hugged his nanay-nanayan, Manang Fe, who was actually the only person he considers family.
“Naku! Dadaanin mo na naman ako sa mga akap akap na yan. Basta pakatapos nyan, magpalit ka ng damit at kumain. Ang dumi mong tingnan. Buti na lang gwapo at mabango ka kasi kung hindi matuturnoff yun mga customers sa’yo lalo na yung mga babae. Suplado ka na nga, masungit na tapos ang dumi pa ng damit mo. Magpalit ka mamaya.” Manang Fe joked.
Richard didn’t like it. His face turned sour and he became quiet all of a sudden and Manang Fe knows the reason. Manang Fe’s longtime teasing of entertaining other girls never fails to destroy Richard’s mood.
“Naku Ricardo kahit magalit ka pa sakin uulit-ulitin ko pa rin na kailangan mo nang bawasan ang pagiging suplado mo. Kailangan mo nang maghanap ng makakasama mo. Tumatanda na ako at wala nang magaalaga sa’yo kapag sumunod na ako kay Maya. Aba ang tagal na kaya nyang pagluluksa mo. Sugurado akong pikon na si Maya habang nakikita nyang ganyan ka pa rin. Kung ikaw ba yun unang kinuha, gugustuhin mo bang habangbuhay na magmumukmok at magluluksa si Maya? Kaya kung ako sa’yo….”
“Manang please…” he pleaded.
Manang Fe shook her head but she changed the topic knowing that Richard is already upset. “Basta pumasok ka na dun pagkatapos nyo dyan. Sina Liza, Joma at Simon kumain na. Kayo na lang ni Lino and di pa nakain.”
“Emman, ako na lang kasi. Wag ka nang sumama.” Maya and Emman were arguing already. Maya told her friend or her intention to go to the hardware and buy some stuff for her room.
“Naku Maya, pumaparaan ka pa dyan. Gusto mo lang ma-sight si pogi. At ano namang bibilhin mo dun? Aber?” He raised his brows and folded his arms.
“Basta Emman! Mga anik anik! Wag ka nang makulit.”
“Naku girl hindi natin kilala yun inistalk natin. Malay mo serial killer, manyakis or magnanakaw ng halik! Eeehhhh iskeyri!!!”
“Huy tumigil ka nga Emman! Ang oa nito. Atsaka di naman nya alam na crush ko sya. Bibili lang nga ako. Gusto ko lang makita kung okay sya kasi di ba wala siya kahapon. Ewan ko ba pero hindi ako mapalagay kahapon. Yun parang nagaalala talaga ako. Baka nagkasakit siya, baka naaksidente sya kakabuhat ng mga paninda sa hardware, baka may sakit yun asawa or anak… Ay erase erase! Single pa yun. Ang bata pa nya para magkaroon ng asawa.”
Emman couldn’t help but laugh at Maya’s silliness. “Ay grabe concerned masyado! Atsaka connected? Nakakaramdam ng pinagdadaanan ni chinoy hardware man? Ewan ko sa’yo Maya. Oa na yan girl sinasabi ko sa’yo.”
“Ay basta Emman! Hayaan mo na lang ako.”
“Naku girl malala na ang tama mo dyan ha! O sige pumunta ka nang mag-isa mo. Basta don’t forget to bring your cellphone. Tapos kapag may ginawang bad tawagan mo agad ako at sumigaw ng ‘help!’ para marescue kita.”
“Ay ewan ko sa’yo Emman! I’m sure ang isisigaw ko ay ‘love ko na siya!'” Then Maya giggled. Kilig na kilig sya.
“Baliw ka na talaga girl! O sya gora na and meet the hardware chinito man of your dreams.”
Then Maya left Emman at their boarding house. She was really determined to see the her crush.
“Who are you?!!! What are you doing?!!!”
Richard Lim’s voice startled the young lady peeping thru the glass window of his inner office.
Richard went inside his office to get the orders for the bathroom tiles when he realized that the teenager, whom he earlier saw choosing some hooks at their display shelves actually followed him and stopped by his office door. She’s craning her neck trying to get a glimpse of something or someone in his office.
“Aba umiinglish siya at ang ganda ng boses.” Maya muttered giddily to herself when she heard the voice of the guy who was the purpose of her visit. She was very impressed when she heard him speak. She never expected his voice to be that way.
When she didn’t see him yesterday, Maya decided to visit the hardware and buy some hooks that she could use in her room. It’s the only excuse she could think of to see her crush. But when she saw him and now hearing his voice, her heart somersaulted and she forgot the alibi she initially thought of.
“Ah eh, ah eh… uhm… ano kuya. May survey lang. Pwede ka bang interviewhin?” Maya shyly asked the very good looking chinito who’s obviously irked to be disturbed from his work. Despite his shirt full or grease and grime, Maya couldn’t help but appreciate up close his very handsome features. His chinky eyes, nose, thin lips, flawless white skin, his perfect set of teeth, his fit body and his sexy, deep voice made Maya’s heart beat so fast that she thought she would faint. If the object of their stalking was already very handsome from afar, she wasn’t prepared from seeing him face to face. Maya was already blushing, so giddy being in front of him.
“Interview? Para saan?” He was also surprised to be facing a lovely lady.
For the past years he avoided any encounter with the opposite sex. He believes that he will be hurting his wife so he avoided any encounter with women. He even resigned from his work after Maya died. He decided to just put up his hardware business which had been very successful for many years.
If Maya’s heart somersaulted when she saw her good looking crush, Richard’s heart also skipped a beat when he saw the lady in front of him. But he hated the feeling. He shouldn’t even acknowledge it. He shouldn’t find any girl other than his wife attractive.
Maya who was now trying her best to be composed despite what she is feeling, managed to come up with reasons for her being there.
“Ah eh konti lang po kuya na tanong, uhm… ano lang po, tungkol sa pagtratrabaho nyo dito, tungkol sa pamilya nyo, kung mataas ba magpasweldo ang boss nyo, kung insured naman kayo kasi delikado yun trabaho nyo ha! Kung nagbabayad ba yun boss nyo sa SSS, Philhealth at Pagibig. Mga ganung tanong lang kuya. Pwede po ba?” Maya was hopeful that he would say yes.
But Richard was already upset at himself for allowing the lady to have some effect on him. He hated it.
“Hindi pwede! Sa iba na lang. Nagbibilang ako ng tiles dito. I don’t need to be distracted. Nakakaistorbo ang mga walang kabuluhang survey survey na yan. Ibang tao na lang ang istorbohin mo sa mga kalokahang ganyan!” He raised his voice then he turned his back on the lady whose doe shaped eyes reminded him so much of his wife.
Maya was suprised with the reaction of the chinito guy. He was rude and very far from the image she pictured. She was also very embarrassed being shouted at especially that there were other customers in the hardware whose eyes automatically turned to her direction.
“Ano miss? Hindi ka pa aalis?” He continued…
Maya turned red, not of giddiness anymore, but out of anger. She never met a person as rude and as ungentlemanly as the guy in front of her. What made it worse is that she admired him and even made him a part of her daily ‘fantasy’.
“Ang sungit! Mapagalitan ka sana ng boss mo. Magpapatulong lang naman. Pwede namang sabihin ng maayos na hindi ka pwede. Siguro kaya hanggang ganyan na lang ang trabaho mo kasi masama ang ugali mo. Hindi ka aasenso nyan. Gwapo ka sana pero natatakpan yan ng sama ng ugali mo. Sana nandito yun boss mo para nalaman nya kung gaano kasama ang ugali ng tauhan nya.” Maya said as she left the hardware. She was obviously very angry at how the chinito guy treated her.
Ricardo ano yun? Bakit iritable ka na naman? Sino yung kausap mo?” Manang Fe came out of their inner office when she heard Richard raise his voice. Manang Fe wasn’t able to see Maya anymore.
“Nobody Manang. Just a pesky teenager who wants to waste my time.” he shook his head, smirked and proceeded to resume checking the delivered tiles. He needs to take his mind off the lady he encountered. He refuses to acknowledge that she somehow affected him. It is wrong.
“Naku Ricardo bawas bawasan mo ang pagsusungit mo na yan.”
“O Maya bakit galit na galit ka? Aba umiyak ka? May nangyari? May ginawa sya sa’yo?” Emman’s eyes widened.
Maya came home all fired up. She was really mad that she even cried because she was embarrassed at what happened to her and so disappointed that she wasted her time and even allowance on the chinito guy who turned to be so unworthy of her attention.
“Ang sama ng ugali nya Emman! Pangit rin pala siya kapag malapitan. Kasing pangit ng ugali nya! Mabalian sana sya ng buto! Naku nakakaasar talaga!”
“Ay aba umiba yun ihip ng hangin? Bakit ba? Kwento na girl!”
“Naku Emman, hindi na siya dapat pagsayangan ng oras.”
Then she stood up to proceed to her room with the intention to rest and calm herself.
But being calm is far from happening for what she saw atop her table suprised her. She got scared and all the more embarrassed and annoyed at herself.
On top of it was a boxed set of colorful hooks she took from the hardware. Out of anger, she left in a hurry without realizing that she’s still holding the set of hooks she was supposed to buy. She didn’t pay for it.
She was disturbed with the idea that she seemed to have shoplifted it.
Preview of the Next Chapter:
“Tawagin mo na lang akong Manang Fe. Ako ang namamahala dito.”
“Naku Manang dapat po sabihin nyo sa boss nyo na sisantehin yun isang tauhan nyo dito. Makakasama siya sa negosyo nyo. Sikat pa naman ang hardware na to. Ang usap usapan kasi ay mapagbigay masyado yun magasawang may-ari nito at maraming charities at foundations na sinusuportahan.”
“Oo naman iha, mabait talaga at matulungin sila Sir. Pero sino namang empleyado ang tunutukoy mo para mapagsabihan ko mamaya. Siya ba?” Manang Fe was pointing towards Lino.
“Ah hindi po siya. Yung singkit po na nakasalamin at ang dugyot dugyot ng hitsura.”
“Ah si Ricardo.” Manang Fe hid her smile.
“Ricardo pala yun pangalan. Ang sama po ng ugali nya. Sinigawan at ipinahiya ako sa mga tao. Sana makarating po sa may-ari nitong hardware.”
“Hayaan mo iha, ipaparating ko sa may-ari at pagsasabihan ko rin na humingi ng sorry sa’yo. Bumalik ka dito bukas para makaharap mo sya.”
“Ay okay po yun Manang. Babalik talaga ako bukas. Grabe talaga sya.”
“Ako na ang humihingi ng pasensya ha iha. Pero bukas si Ricardo ang ihaharap ko sa’yo.”
Maya left with a smug look on her face. She was looking forward to seeing him ask for her forgiveness tomorrow. She felt vindicated already with the thought that the rude chinito would definitely be reprimanded by his employer.