Stay My Love – 5

Stay My Love – 5

Richard was left staring at the door when she stormed out of his office. He was also surprised with her reaction. He thought she was a very strong woman and he didn’t expect when she suddenly seemed vulnerable and about to cry. She was really embarrassed to find out that he was the hardware’s owner.

Though Richard felt good and proud with it, he suddenly felt very guilty.

“O Ricardo nakausap mo na siya?” It was Manang Fe. She just arrived from the market.

“Ah eh oo na po Manang.” He stood up and was about to to assist Manang Fe.

“Wag na. Kaya ko na to Ricardo. Anong sabi nya? Pinatawad ka ba?”

He couldn’t totally lie to Manang Fe so he gave a safe answer. “Medyo po Manang. Sige labas na po ako.”

“Teka anong medyo? Mukhang mabait yun sigurado akong patatawarin ka nya kung nagsorry ka? Nagsorry ka ba talaga?”

“Oo nga po Manang but of course pinagsabihan ko rin about what she stole. Tapos ayun tapang tapangan that she wanted to meet the owner. When she found out it was me, nagwalk out. It’s no longer my fault Manang.”

“Ricardo!?!”

“What Manang? As I said nagsorry na ako. Let’s not talk about her. Basta I’ve done what you asked me to do. Sige na po ipagpapatuloy ko na yun ginagawa ko.”

Then he hurriedly left Manang Fe alone in his office. He wanted to avoid being asked about her encounter with the lady a few minutes ago.

Manang Fe disappointedly shook her head. Her ward was really stubborn.

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“Lino bumalik ba yung estudyante na pumunta dito nung isang araw?” Richard asked the moment he arrived that day.

“Yun magandang babae po Kuya Richard?”

He smirked, annoyed at Lino’s description of the lady who’s been occupying his thoughts.

“Yung estudyante Lino.”

“Yun nga po. Yun magandang babaeng kinausap nyo. Hindi naman po nagawi dito. Bakit po ser? Type nyo no?”

It was rare for Richard to show interest towards a woman so Lino teased him.

He didn’t react but just left. Lino just smiled.

He entered his office and sat for a while.

Three days had passed since he talked to her. He was expecting her to come back and retrieve the bag she left. He expected her to return for it but she never came back.

Normally, he wouldn’t bother himself with these things, normally he wouldn’t care but he was engulfed with guilt that he really wanted to see and talk to her again and genuinely say sorry when he’s given the opportunity.

Her bag was inside his drawer. He kept it there. He never opened it for he knows that it would be wrong to do so. He was certain that she would come back for it anyway.

He opened his drawer and retrieved her bag. It was a simple pink handbag with kitten designs. He was staring at 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’.”

Richard couldn’t believe what he just read. He closed his eyes thinking that his mind must be playing tricks on him but when he opened it again, it was indeed ‘Maya’ written on her id and he was even drawn to her picture. She looks like a younger version of his late wife.

Richard felt like he was in a trance. He couldn’t explain what he felt. Then a cold breeze suddenly engulfed him. Maybe he was even feeling things now.

“O Ricardo bakit parang namutla ka na dyan? May sakit ka ba? Magkape ka na muna bago mo umpisahan yun trabaho. Kung masama ang pakiramdam mo magpahinga ka na lang dito. Wag ka nang magbubuhat ng mabibigat.” Manang Fe was concerned. Richard looked pale and unwell.

“I’m okay po Manang. Alis muna ako Manang.” Then he stood up and with Maya’s bag, he hurriedly stormed out of his office.”

Manang Fe was left wondering what happened to Richard. She didn’t notice the handbag he was carrying. He never mentioned about it to Manang Fe.

===================

“Dean may naghahanap po sa inyo.” Jerry, the school guard in Maya’s school, accompanied Richard Lim to the principal’s office.

“Ah Kuya Jerry sino….”

“Good morning Ma’m. I am Richard Lim. Taga dyan po ako sa hardware sa harap ng school.” Richard immediately introduced himself to the grey haired dean.

“Ah ikaw pala si Mr.Lim, our very generous benefactor. Naku I’m honored po na makilala kayo.” The dean shook his hand then dismissed their guard. “Sige po Kuya Jerry. Ako na bahala. Salamat.” Richard also smiled at the guard.

“Upo ka ho dito Mr. Lim. Naku nakakagulat naman at napadalaw kayo. Si Manang Fe at Liza kasi ang kilala namin. Mabuti naman at finally nakilala kita. Ako pala si Mrs. Zenaida Belmonte, ako ang Dean ng College of Nursing. Yun other building yun College of Engineering at si Eng. Gutierrez naman ang Dean nila. Naku ang dami dami ko nang sinabi. Pasensya na po kayo. Ano ho pala ang pakay nyo?”

“Dean Belmonte I’m also honored to meet you. Our business will always be supportive of your school’s programs. Sina Manang Fe po ang bahala dun. Right now I’m looking for a student of your school. I encountered her a few days ago. Her name is Maya dela Rosa.”

“Oh si Maya.” The dean smiled upon the mention of her name. “Isa sya sa top students namin. Masipag, matalino. She’s a working student and assigned siya sa library. She is a scholar here kaya 50% lang ang binabayaran nya na tuition fees. Actually Mr. Lim isa siya sa nakikinabang ng mga tulong na binibigay ninyo at ng iba pang very generous donors ng school. Marami silang mga very promising, bright yes financially challenged students ng school. Si Maya naman her parents are trying their best to support her kaso masipag yun bata kaya she still applied sa scholarship program. Makulit at masayahin yun si Maya. Ay teka Mr. Lim, napakwento na akong masyado. Ano po pala ang kailangan nyo kaya Maya dela Rosa?”

Richard wasn’t able to respond at once for he was still digesting everything the dean said. So she was not just some spoiled, bratty student he thought and even hoped she is. He didn’t want her to have traits which might make him be fond of her. He’s already disturbed with her sudden intrusion to his boring life and he refuses to allow it. It is not right.

“Mr. Lim? Naku! Teka bakit po? May kasalanan ba or problema si Maya sa inyo?” The dean worriedly asked.

“Ah no! Hindi po. She just went to our store for an interview maybe for one of her subjects but she forget her bag. I’m here to return it to her.”

“Akala ko po… pwede mo naman pong iwanan yun bag nya dito tapos kami na lang magbibigay para wag na kayong maabala.”

“No! I mean I need to give it personally, gusto ko rin kasi siyang makausap. Would that be okay?”

“Wala pong problema. Teka lang po at ipapatawag ko si Maya.” Then the dean left him to have her assistant call Maya.

After a few minutes Dean Belmonte returned with someone who introduced herself as Maya’s class adviser.

“Mr. Lim wala po si Ms. Dela Rosa. Itinakbo po kasi sya nung isang araw sa ospital pagkatapos nyang himatayin sa classroom.”

“What?!? How is she now? Asan sya?” Richard suddenly stood up with a very worried expression.

“Alam po namin inuwi muna sya ng magulang nya sa probinsya nila.”

“Bakit? What happened to her? Anong sakit nya?”

“May sakit po sa puso si Maya and bawal sa kanya ang sobrang pagod, stress at matinding emosyon. Siguro dahil sa exams nastress sya. Sabi naman ng mga kaibigan nya, nagpapahinga lang naman po sa probinsya nila. Baka next week makapasok na yun.” Maya’s teacher calmly informed the upset Mr. Lim.

Dean Belmonte saw his worried expression too. “Wag po kayong mag-alala. Pag pumasok na po si Maya sasabihin namin na gusto nyo syang makausap.”

He calmed down a bit. “Thank you. I have to go. Please just tell her to call me here once she returns to school.”

Then he gave his calling card to the dean, thanked them and left.

He also left the dean and Maya’s class adviser baffled with his sudden visit and urgency to see their student.

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Preview for the next chapter:

“Nak may bisita ka.”

“Anong ginagawa mo dito????”

“Hey calm down… Maya… Please will you calm down. Makakasama sa’yo ang stress.”

“Alam mo naman pala. Bakit pumunta ka dito?”