A/N Sorry for the delay. Busy with work.
Stay My Love – 4
The following day, Maya left their boarding house early. Even if her class for that day is at 10 am, she left around 9 while Emman and Edz were still preparing for their classes.
She was determined to go back to the hardware and return the colored hooks she absentmindedly took.
She never wanted to be accused with ‘shoplifting’, so despite the very high possibility of seeing her ‘former crush but now abhorred’chinito ‘kargador’, Maya went back to the hardware with the intention of returning the hooks and maybe also be able to complain about her experience with one of the workers.
She also wanted to get back at him anyway by telling the owner of his rude attitude. She still couldn’t get over how he treated her.
“Good morning po kuya.” Maya greeted the jolly guy who was smiling at all the passersby while he was opening the hardware’s roll up doors.
“Good morning Ma’am. Pasensya na po, sarado pa kami. 30 minutes pa bago kami magbukas. Itinaas ko lang to para makapaglinis ako.” It was Lino, one of Richard Lim’s workers.
“Ah kuya, hindi naman po ako bibili. Gusto ko sanang makausap yun boss nyo. Parating na ba siya? Okay lang bang makausap siya?”
Before Lino could answer, Manang Fe appeared behind Maya. She just arrived as well but she already heard what Maya said.
“Ah eh ineng bakit mo gustong makausap yun boss namin?”
Maya was startled by the voice behind her but her face remained smiling as she was faced by an old lady with a very warm smile and caring face. She immediately remembered her Mamang in her so she also smiled back.
“Good Morning po. Kasi ano po.. Uhm may irereklamo lang sana ako.”
Manang Fe’s face turned serious. “Irereklamo? Tungkol saan?”
“Pwede po sa loob ko na lang ikwento? Baka marinig po tayo ng ibang tao eh.”
Maya was also concerned that other people who would hear her might think negatively of the business.
Her concern was only the chinito guy and not the entire business. It would be unfair for the owner of the hardware and his other employees to be affected by one employee’s mistake.
Sensing the serious tone from the lady, Manang Fe knew that this is not a simple complaint like a product replacement, wrong deliveries or even erroneous specifications in their sold hardware materials.
She knew that the lady’s concern needs her full attention.
“O sige. Pasok na muna tayo. Aayusin ko muna etong mga dala dala ko.”
She led Maya inside their airconditioned office. She just sat on one of the cushioned chairs.
The office was clean and folders were neatly piled on top of a table. It had a clean, fresh, minty scent probably from the owner’s perfume. The office a not one usually expects from a hardware.
She thought that the owner must be a woman.
After settling her things inside the hardware’s inner office, Manang Fe returned and sat in front of her, Maya began to share her concerns.
“Ako po pala si Maya dela Rosa.”
Manang Fe had a shocked expression then slowly her lips curved into a smile.
“Tawagin mo na lang akong Manang Fe. Ako ang namamahala dito. Yun boss namin wala ngayon kasi may mga importante syang inaasikaso. Kung ano man ang gusto mong iparating sa kanya, pwede mong sabihin sa akin. Ipaparating ko sa kanya kung ano man ang reklamo mo. Ano ba yun iha? Tungkol ba sa produkto namin, sa presyo, damage ng produkto? May warranty naman lahat ng produkto namin iha, walang problema sa mga ganyan.”
“Naku Manang hindi po tungkol sa produkto kundi tungkol sa isang tauhan nyo dito. Dapat po sabihin nyo sa boss nyo na pagsabihan sya or kung marami na siyang nagawan ng katulad ng ginawa nya sakin eh dapat sisantehin na siya. Makakasama po siya sa negosyo nyo. Sikat pa naman ang hardware na to. Ang usap usapan kasi ay mapagbigay masyado yun mag-asawang may-ari nito at maraming charities at foundations na sinusuportahan.”
“Oo naman iha, mabait talaga at matulungin si Sir. Pero sino namang empleyado ang tunutukoy mo para mapagsabihan ko mamaya. Siya ba?” Manang Fe was pointing towards Lino.
“Ah hindi po siya.” Maya briefly looked at Lino then scanned the display area which her eyes could reach to look for the person she was referring to.
“Siya ba iha?” Manang Fe now pointed to Bugoy who just entered the hardware.
“Hindi po siya Manang Fe. Yung singkit po na nakasalamin at ang dugyot dugyot ng hitsura. Siya po yung may napakagaspang na ugali.” She found herself getting red out of anger as she recalled what he did to her.
“Ah siya ba? Ano bang ginawa sa’yo?”
Then she started telling the old lady of what the chinito guy did to her.
“Ah si Ricardo talaga. Pagpasensyahan mo na iha. Suplado talaga yun at masungit pero mabait yun.” Manang Fe had an incredulous expression but eventually smiled. She tried to hide 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. Wala pa po ba siya? Gusto ko po siyang pagsabihan sa harap nyo.”
“Ah hindi yun papasok ngayon. 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.”
Before Maya left, she remembered her main purpose for visiting the hardware, and that is to return the colored hooks.
“Ah eh Manang, ibabalik ko rin po eto. Sa galit at asar ko po kasi kahapon, hindi ko namalayan na natangay ko na. Hindi po ako shoplifter ha! Baka akalain nyo po nagdadahilan lang ako.”
“Hindi ko naman naisip na gagawin mo yan iha. Basta bumalik ka bukas para naman makaharap mo yun boss naman at maiparating ng personal yun mga sinabi mo kanina.”
“Opo Manang. Babalik talaga ako. Maraming salamat po.”
Maya left with a smug look on her face. She was looking forward to seeing him ask for her forgiveness tomorrow. She felt triumphant already with the thought that the rude chinito’s boss would definitely reprimand him.
That evening Manang Fe was convincing Richard to ask forgiveness for his rude attitude towards Maya. She intentionally didn’t mention her name for she knows very well that it would be harder to convince Richard once he finds out that she has the same name as his wife.
“Manang hindi ko naman siya kailangang harapin. Tama na yun that we didn’t charge her with theft for getting the hooks.”
“Hesusmaryosep Ricardo! Wag mo ngang ipapantay yun kasalanan na nagawa mo sa aksidente nyang pagdala ng mumurahing sabitan na yan. Hindi kita pinalaki para mambastos ng babae. Sigurado akong hindi nagugustuhan ng asawa mo ang nakikita nya na inaasal mo ngayon.” Manang Fe let out her sermon to her ward and Richard knows that she wouldn’t stop until he does what she wants him to do.
Manang Fe was really disappointed with him. She knows that Richard vowed to avoid women at any cost after his wife died but it doesn’t mean that he should be rude as well.
“Wag na po kayong mahighblood Manang. Sige bukas kakausapin ko.” Then he proceeded to hug the person he loves most, the only family he’s got.
“Aba abot tenga ang mga ngiti!” Emman was observing Maya who was preparing to go to school.
“Siyempre naman Emman! Maganda ang araw ko ngayon! Dapat laging naka-smile para maraming blessings! Atsaka magsosorry na sakin si chinito ngayon.” She was fixing her hair and very much pleased with how she looked. She was actually excited that the chinito would finally ask for her forgiveness.
“Aru! Yan pala ang dahilan kung bakit napakasaya. Akala ko naman school related.” Emman was teasing her.
“Aba Emman importante to! Pagkatapos nyang yurakan ang pagkatao ko…”
“Hep hep hep… Ang OA Mayabels! Hindi ka lang pinagbigyan sa ‘interview kuno’ mo, niyurakan talaga ang pagkatao mo? Malay mo suplado talaga. O kaya mahiyain sa babae, o kaya gaya ko! Oh my pink gosh! May kasamahan kaming gwapo at matipuno at chinito… I kennat Mayabels!” Emman was exaggeratedly making some funny ‘beki’ expressions. He was so amused at what he thought.
“Hoy hindi siya gaya mo! Lalaking lalaki yun. Masungit nga lang at walang modo. Sige na nga. Mauna na ako. See you in school later roomie! Gisingin mo na si Edz at baka ma-late kayo.” Then she hugged Emman.
“Sige na roomie. Enjoy your tête-a-tête with your ex-future-crush!”
“Ewan ko sa’yo Emman!” Then she left.
It was Manang Fe who met her at the entrance of the hardware. She saw Maya approaching so she welcomed her.
“Good morning po Manang.”
“Good morning rin sa’yo iha. Halika muna sa opisina. Dun mo na hintayin si Ricardo. Inaayos lang muna nya yun listahan ng orders. Susunod na rin sya.”
As she was being led to the office, she caught a glimpse of the person they were talking about. He was indeed busy writing on what seemed to be a notebook while checking on the supplies.
She waited alone inside the office. Manang Fe left her. She needs to go to the market to buy ingredients for the meal she will be cooking for the day. Manang Fe made sure that Richard and their employees always gets to eat properly everyday.
Maya was wondering if the owner will arrive as well. She also wanted to meet the owner. Her vengeance would be sweeter if he apologizes to her in front of the owner. She smiled at the thought.
Her thoughts were interrupted when the chinito guy suddenly entered the office.
“Gusto mo raw akong makausap?” He said without any greeting of hi or good morning.
He was staring into Maya’s eyes, also trying his best not to look affected. She indeed looks like his late wife.
Maya just stared back. She was expecting him to be apologetic but he didn’t seem to be such.
“Ano miss? Akala ko ba may gusto kang sabihin sa akin?” He asked again.
Now she’s incensed. The nerve of this guy, she thought.
“Excuse me Manong! Kayo po ang may atraso sa’kin!” She stood as she felt so small compared to him while she was sitting down.
“Excuse me?” Richard was also adamant on his stance. When Manang Fe convinced him to apologize, he was ready to do so but when he saw her face to face again and got reminded of his wife, he immediately put his defenses up again. He didn’t want to be civil with the lady who looked like his wife. For him, she was temptation and she was a test of his loyalty to his wife.
She was fuming mad now. “Walang modo ka talaga! Sana dumating na yun boss nyo. Sabi ni Manang Fe makakausap ko yun may ari. Siya na lang hihintayin at kakausapin ko. Bumalik ka na doon sa trabaho mo!”
He grinned which angered Maya more. But when he saw tears welling up in her eyes out of anger, he toned down a bit.
“Okay okay… If this was when I didn’t agree to have an interview and answer your survey the other day, then I sincerely apologize. I was just not in my best element that day.”
“Hindi naman yun eh. Okay naman sakin if hindi ka pumayag pero yun sungitan at sigawan mo ako, grabe yun ha!”
“Hey hindi ako sumigaw. Tumaas lang ng konti yun boses ko pero hindi yun sigaw… Pero sige if that was shouting for you, then I also apologize for that. So okay ka na?”
She just nodded her head a bit appeased with his apology. He sounded sincere and his soothing voice again awakened her fondness of him.
“So tapos na akong magsorry, siguro it’s your turn to do so.” He added.
“Huh? At bakit naman ako magsosorry?”
“Miss you took something from our store without paying for it. That was a grave offense.”
“Ibinalik ko naman ah! Atsaka kasalanan mo kung bakit nadala ko yun. Alam ni Manang Fe yun kwento at naintindihan nya yun rason ko.”
“Your offense seemed lighter kasi hooks lang yan. What if nasa jewelry shop ka and you accidentally took a very expensive pair of earings? Would or should you easily be forgiven?”
“Excuse me Manong Instik, kung jewelry shop ang negosyo nyo, hindi naman siguro kayo tanga para ilagay ang mamahaling hikaw sa lugar na madaling mapulot ng mga customers.” she argued back.
“But still, whatever reason you give me, it’s still getting things you haven’t paid for, plain and simple. Shoplifting pa rin yun. Pero since sabi mo rin kay Manang Fe na alam mong mabait yun may ari, I’ll let you off the hook for taking the hooks. You’re forgiven.”
He doesn’t usually engage in conversations but for some strange reason beyond his control, he found himself getting engrossed in his argument with the feisty yet pretty lady in front of him. He enjoys watching her face getting more agitated while arguing with him. He found himself alive again at this very moment.
“Hindi ako sayo nagsosorry Manong Intsik. Sa boss nyo ako….” then realization hit her. He was the owner of the hardware. The way he spoke, his ease inside the office which showed that he owned it… Maya was further embarrassed. Her face turned crimson. She needs to run away now.
Richard just sat on his desk watching her. He was enjoying every reaction she made. He also enjoyed seeing her red with embarrassment. She was all feisty awhile ago and he even apologized but it felt so good to have the last laugh. Now this lady won’t be bothering him again for sure.
“May sasabihin ka pa?” He asked again.
Maya just turned her back and rushed out of the hardware.
Preview for the Next Chapter :
He was drawn to her handbag. He knew that he shouldn’t open it but he was curious to know her name.
Three days after talking to her in his office, she still haven’t returned to get her bag. Maybe she was so embarrassed with what happened. He felt guilty for being such a jerk.
He opened her bag and there he saw it. Her school id with the name ‘Maya dela Rosa’.”