“Richard baka di ka pala sanay kumain sa ganito tapos pinagbibigyan mo lang ako.” Maya wanted to make sure that it is okay for Richard to eat bananacue and goto. She was preparing his food by adding kalamansi and patis.
“Maya I could eat anything. Stop treating me na parang hindi marunong kumain ng mga ganyan.”
“Eh bakit madalas ka bang kumain neto? Alam ko naman na sa busy mo sa trabaho, wala kang time magexplore sa mga ganitong lugar. Baka masira sikmura mo sa mga ganitong pagkain kasi hindi sanay.” She countered.
“Yes I don’t normally go to places like this. I don’t have time kasi pero hindi ibig sabihin I don’t like it or di ako kumakain ng mga ganito. It’s just that I don’t have someone to accompany me. I dont have someone to enjoy this place with.” he said while stealing a glance at Maya who seemed to be affected with the last line he said.
While trying to hide her blushing face. Maya proceeded to buy Coke to go with the goto and bananacue they were eating.
They were at the Luneta Park. Richard called Maya a few hours ago and invited her to have some snacks. He told her he’s hungry and can’t eat alone. Actually he really wanted to see her. He needs to see her. He needs her positive vibes on a stressful day.
The meeting with the LAS engineers drained his energy and his patience was even tested when the equipment needed for the Clark hangar of LAS had to be returned to the suppliers for replacement.
He needed a break so he called Maya. He knows that it is her day off from work.
Maya agreed but insisted on choosing the place and be the one to pay for everything they will eat.
He relented just to make her accept his invitation.
Maya brought Richard to the food stalls along Luneta. She always wanted to visit Luneta but her friends Emman and Edz always preferred to go to malls during their rest day. Now that Richard invited her, Maya took the opportunity to bring him here. It would be a different experience for Richard she thought.
They didn’t even notice that they have consumed a good amount of different kinds of street food. Both were enjoying each other’s company.
The drive to the hospital and to Maya’s home a few weeks ago had been the start of a new friendship between Maya dela Rosa and Richard Lim. Despite the not-so-good first encounter they had, Maya and Richard are now good friends. Richard never gave up on earning Maya’s forgiveness for what he did.
That very first night when Maya allowed him to bring her home was followed by numerous visits to her workplace, daily invitations for snacks, dinner or lunch, small gifts for Maya.
Richard was always excited to see her and though she was stubborn to admit it, she really enjoys his presence.
“Ang sarap pala mamasyal dito. We should go here often.” Richard commented while they were seated at one of the benches at the park.
“Di ba sabi ko sa’yo magugustuhan mo dito. Ang saya di ba? Maganda pa yun mga tanawin.” She was so happy to have brought him here and releievd that Richard really enjoyed. She thought he wouldn’t love the food but he actually did and he ate a lot.
“You were right. At maganda talaga ang tanawin.” He said while staring at her which made Maya blush again. She was getting uneasy and she can’t control feeling giddy whenever he stares at her in a certain way.
“Maya can I invite you sa party ng company sa Saturday?” He asked her while driving her home.
“Party? Eh Richard hindi naman ako sanay sa mga ganyan. Atsaka wala naman akong kilala.”
“Ako. I’m there and I won’t leave your side. Sige na. I’ll be bored if wala ka dun. I need someone to entertain me. Sige na please.”he glanced at her and she saw his puppy dog eyes.
“Sus! Dadaanin mo pa ako sa mga ganyan mo. At gagawin mo pa akong entertainer. Ewan ko sa’yo Richard!”
“Sige na Maya. You can ask me any favor din samahan mo lang ako sa party.”
“Talaga? Sigurado ka?”
“Oo I promise. Ano bang papagawa mo sakin?”
“Pag iisipan ko muna pakatapos ng party.”
“Oh this means pumapayag ka? Yes! Thank you Maya!” Then he suddenly stopped his car at the side of the road and hugged her tight.
“Hep! Hep! Grabe ka naman makayakap. Baka gusto mong….” She was surprised with his move that she pushed him to create a distance.
“Sorry Maya! I just got excited! Sorry!” He was worried that she might have been offended again.
“Eto naman, hindi naman ako galit! Oo na sasamahan na kita. Eto talagang kaibigan ko.”
“Maya is something wrong?” Ricky worriedly asked as he saw Maya uneasy in her chair. She just ate a small amount of the food in her plate.
In a whisper, not wanting to attract attention from others in their table, Maya replied, “Ricky medyo sumama yun pakiramdam ko. Pwede bang mauna na akong umuwi?”
“Ha? Why? What’s wrong? Ano ang masakit sa’yo? Do you want me to bring you to the hospital? Ano? Maya?” Ricky was already frantic.
“Ssshhh! Kalma ka nga Ricky. Ok lang naman. Kailangan ko lang talagang maunang umuwi.”
Richard sensing that Maya indeed wants to go home stood up and assisted her. “Halika ihatid na kita.”
“Wag na Ricky kaya ko naman.”
But Richard was already holding her hand as he announced to those at their table that he and Maya had to leave.
He instructed Liza to take charge of their guests at the party.
“Sige na bumalik ka na dun Ricky. Okay na ako dito. Marami namang taxi.” She said the moment they were out of the venue.
“No ihahatid kita. Alin bang masakit sa’yo. We have to drop by the hospital first.” He was holding her hand as he led her to the parking area.
“Ricky ok na sabi. Bumalik ka na sa loob. Hahanapin ka ng mga bisita mo.”
“Liza can take care of them besides hindi naman ako mageenjoy ng hindi ka kasama.”
“Ricky mag-eenjoy ka. Effective yun show natin. Mukhang apektado yun ex mo. Balik ka na dun. Go for the kill!” She tried to act like she was happily encouraging him.
He couldn’t understand a thing she was saying.
Earlier, at the Lim Aviation Services party, Maya arrived with Richard. Despite being the host of the party, Richard made it a point to fetch Maya and go to the party together.
They were met by his business partners, employees. His parents Roberto and Esmeralda Lim were in attendance.
Richard proudly introduced Maya. He was beaming with pride having her beside him. His mom Esmeralda was obviously amused at her son. She never saw Richard this happy.
As the party progressed Richard momentarily left Maya to answer a phone call from one of his engineers in their Clark hangar who seemed to have some important matters to discuss with him. Maya was left at the table with Liza and Minerva, Richard’s trusted secretary and assistant.
“Liza asan ba yun ladies room?” Maya needed to freshen up.
“Ma’m Maya samahan ko na po kayo. Nandun kasi sa likod.” Liza offered to accompany her but Maya declined.
“Wag na Liza. Kaya ko naman. Dito ka lang at baka kailanganin ka ng boss mo atsaka wag mo naman akong tawaging Ma’m. Maya na lang. Hindi kaso ako kumportable. O sige punta na ako sa restroom. Pakisabi na lang kay Richard.” Then without waiting for Liza’s reply, Maya proceeded to the ladies room.
She hasn’t entered yet when she heard Richard’s name being mentioned by someone inside.
“Cath have you seen the lady Richard is with? Mukhang tuwang tuwa yun ex mo sa kanya ah.” one lady said.
“Alin yun kasama ni Ricky? Gie naman. I’m sure she’s just one of his diversions. Alam mo naman si Ricky, everytime nagkakagalit kami ang tendency nya palagi eh gumanti at humanap ng kung sino-sinong babae sa tabi-tabi.” Then they both laughed.
“But Cath akala ko talagang break na kayo. Pano na yun proposal ni Jayjay?”
“Hindi naman kasi yun totoo. I just bluffed Richard Lim para magpropose na sya sa’kin. Eh hindi tumalab.” Then she laughed.
“Yan kasi. Alam na alam mo namang mahal na mahal ka ni Richard eh you were being a brat to him. Kung ano-ano pa ang demands mo. Pa’no yan. Ni hindi ka nga ata napansin kanina. Hindi ka man lang nilapitan. Naku Catherine, kapag nagsawa sa kakasuyo sa’yo yan si Richard Lim, magsisisi ka. Mukhang bagay pa naman sila ng kasama nya.”
“That girl?! Oh c’mon Gie! Sa tingin mo ipagpapalit ako ni Ricky sa naive and inexperienced -looking girl na yun. At you saw her clothes di ba? She seemed so conservative. Alam mo naman si Ricky, medyo you know…” then she giggled and the woman named Gie also joined her.
“Basta I’m sure libangan lang siya ni Ricky at mamayang gabi pupunta na naman yan at dun magoovernight sa condo ko.” The lady named Catherine confidently stated.
“O siya. Sinabi mo. Let’s go na nga. Okay na yun face mo. I’m sure your ex will get mesmerized when he sees you.”
“I’m sure of that. And please stop saying ex kasi hindi pa naman kami break. I would say cool off lang lang.”
“Cool off eh sinabihan mo nga na nagpropose si Jayjay. ”
“Wag ka na ngang kumontra. Halika na.”
Maya, sensing that the women were about to go out, hid herself until they left the ladies room.
She heard the whole conversation. She was hurt but she knows that she shouldn’t be.
Richard was just a friend to her and she also considers him just a friend. She thought that maybe he brought her to the party to make his girlfriend jealous. That could be his reason why he pleaded for her to join him. She shouldn’t make a big deal out of it but instead help him and his ex patch things up. She decided that she will continue being a good friend to him and give whatever help he needs.
After a few minutes in the ladies room, Maya went out to find Richard waiting for her outside.
“Hey antagal mo naman Maya. I was looking all over for you.”
“Ah eh, alam naman ni Liza na nandito ako.”
“Umalis saglit si Liza kasi she had to follow up the tokens for our guests. Hindi pa daw kasi nadeliver. We need to give them at the end of the party. You’re okay? Nageenjoy ka ba?” He softly asked.
“Oo naman. Ang saya ng party at yun mga engineers nyo grabe magbiro. Lalo na yun Japanese.”
“Ah si Engineer Yamagutchi. Yes he’s really funny but also the best in his job. Tara punta na tayo sa table natin ng makakain na tayo. I’m starving.”
He led her to their table where Minerva, Richard’s parents and Richard’s friend Atty Ryan Molina was also seated. Liza joined them too
Richard was so attentive of her. He even scooped some food on her plate which embarrassed Maya.
“Richard kaya ko na. Wag na.” But she caught the woman who was at the ladies room awhile ago staring at them so she just allowed Richard. She thinks that it was a part of his plan.
But as the party went on, she felt uncomfortable with the sharp gaze and insulting laughter of Richard’s ex and her companion. It also didn’t help that Richard seemed not to notice them or was just pretending that he didn’t.
That’s the reason why she requested to leave.
“What? Show natin? Apektado? Go for the kill? What are you talking about Maya?” He was really clueless.
“Yun ex mo! Mukhang naiinis sya ng makita kang may kasamang iba. Ibig sabihin nun eh may feelings pa sya sa’yo. Kaya effective yun plano mong paselosin siya. Aba nakakaproud din yun sa akin ha! Imagine pinagselosan ako ng ganung kagandang babae.” She exaggeratedly acted like she was so happy for him, like it was fine for her to be used to make his ex jealous. She was even laughing.
But Richard wasn’t amused at all.
“Akala mo yun ang reason why inimbita kita? You were thinking I brought you here to make her jealous? Iniisip mo na ginamit kita?” He looked hurt and upset.
Natigilan si Maya.
“Ah eh hindi ba ganun yun plan mo? ”
“Maya I invited you because I wanted you by my side. She wasn’t even expected at the party and I’ve instructed Liza not to invite her but she invited herself and I couldn’t do anything about it. Whatever she’s doing there, kung inis man siya o hindi, kung sino man ang kausap nya, I don’t care. Nakalimutan ko nga na she was there. I’m enjoying myself with you para mapansin ko pa na nandun sya.”
Maya was quiet. She couldn’t react to everything Richard said and he seemed angry.
“Halika na. Ihatid na kita.”
Sensing the sudden change in Richard’s mood, Maya kept quiet as they left the venue.
Richard was still quiet and Maya was already feeling bad for what she said, what she assumed. Richard was obviously mad.
“Richard, sorry na. Mali na ako. Wag ka nang magalit. Huy…”
He just stared at her and she saw his sullen face.
She added again, “Kasi naman hindi mo naman sya nakwento sakin kaya di ko alam…”
But before she was able to say more, Richard parked the car at the side of the road.
“She’s not that important to be part of our conversations Maya. Di ko na naisip na kailangan kong sabihin sa’yo because I was always having so much fun whenever I’m with you. But if you want to know about her, yes she was my girlfriend for 2 years but she broke up with me three months ago and she’s getting married to a friend of mine. Yes yun ang reason why I’ve been drinking every night at your place of work. I loved her that much but when I met you, you turned my life around and made me totally forget about her.”
“I enjoyed being with you Maya. The first encounter we had, when I did something wrong to you, hindi ako natahimik nun. Sobrang masama yun pakiramdam ko knowing that I’ve offended you. When you accepted my apology, i was really thankful but what made me happiest is when we became friends. Sa halos 2 months natin as friends, there was never a dull moment with you Maya. I was always looking forward to seeing you. When we’re together, halos ayokong matapos yun oras. You always make me smile. You make me feel good kahit anong sama pa ng araw ko. Then this party? I was excited to invite you kasi gusto kong makilala ka nina Mama at Papa at I would like to introduce you to all my colleagues who were wondering why I’ve been having the positive disposition lately. I wanted to show them the reason for my being happy which also affected them kasi nabawasan daw yun kasungitan ko.”
She was just staring at him. She felt sorry for what she thought of him. She doesn’t even know what to say.
“I invited you because I want you by my side. Gusto ko na kasama kita when I celebrate my accomplishments, yun success ng LAS. Gusto ko na maipadama sa’yo how happy I am that you’re with me. Using you to spite my former girlfriend never crossed my mind Maya.”
“Richard I’m sorry na. Wag ka nang magalit. Nahihiya na ako sa pinagsasabi ko. I’m sorry mali yun mga naiisip ko. Kasi… basta sorry na.”
He nod his head. “Hindi naman ako galit. Nagtatampo lang kasi inisip m na gagawin ko yun sa’yo.”
“Sorry na nga. Babawi ako para wag ka nang magtampo.”She smiled brightly at him which made Richard smile now.
“Really? Paano ka naman babawi?” he was smiling now.
“Dun sa bahay. Papakainin kita ng ginawa kong salad. Dadalhan sana kita kanina kaso party naman yun pupuntahan natin kaya di na ako nagdala. Pero since di ka naman kumain ng marami sa party, sa bahay na lang. Okay na ba yun?”
“Anything Maya. Basta ikaw, kahit ano pa yan.”
“So I’m forgiven na? Di ka na galit?”
“Hindi nga ako galit. Nagtatampo lang.”
“Oo nga! Kulit!”
“Sige na nga paakap na lang sa matampuhin kong kaibigan.” Then Maya proceeded to hug Richard, a move which surprised him too.
At Maya’s place while having salad, Richard and Maya were watching the sports news when an actor-athlete’s face suddenly flashed on TV.
Maya was watching intently while Richard had the annoyed look on his face.
After his feature on TV, Maya giddily explained to Richard who that celebrity is.
Richard just listened poker-faced. But Maya didn’t notice it but continued talking.
“Ang galing talaga nyang si Jeff Macavinta. Top businessman na nga, may napakagandang fiancee pa. Maswerte sila sa isa’t isa. Alam mo ba Ricky, yun fiancee nya raw eh umuwi pa galing ng New York para samahan siya dito.” Maya was blabbering nonstop while Ricky was just nodding his head once in a while and trying his best to smile.
“Maya I have to go ahead. Balikan ko na dun sa party kasi ako magbibigay ng awards ng employees at tokens sa guests.” He said the moment Maya finished talking about his fave celebrity. He didn’t even comment on what Maya said.
“Ay oo nga pala. Sige Richard. Salamat sa paghatid. Ingat ka ha! Tawagan mo na lang ako mamaya or bukas.”
“Yes Maya and thank you for being with me.”
Richard left but Maya was totally unaware of Richard’s mood when he left.
“Ano ka ba naman Maya! Si Jeff Macavinta ay yun kinasuhan ng kumpanya ni Richard Lim. Nagnakaw ata sila ng designs ng eroplano. Yun ang narinig ko sa balita.” Emman couldn’t believe that Maya wasn’t aware about Jeff Macavinta and Richard Lim’s rivalry.
“Atsaka Maya yun Jeff na yun lang naman ang umagaw sa girlfriend ng kaibigan mo.” Edz added.
“Ha!? Naku kaya pala bad mood ulit si Richard ng umalis sya.”
She was talking to her friends when they arrived and the topic drifted to the celebrity athlete.
“Lagot ka Maya. Magsorry ka na kaya.” Edz suggested.
“Oo magsosorry ako pagtawag nya mamaya or bukas.”
But he didn’t call that night.
He didn’t call the following day.
He actually didn’t call her for the rest of the week which was unusual because he calls Maya daily and visits her at work daily too.
Maya knows galit na nga si Richard.
With the goal to ask forgiveness, Maya bravely went to Richard’s office.
“Liza busy ba si Mr. Lim?”
“Hindi naman po Ma’m Maya. Teka sabihin ko na nandito ka.”
“Ah eh… wag na. Wag mo nang sabihing dumaaan ako. Gusto ko lang makasiguro na wala siyang sakit at okay lang siya.”
“Okay naman po si Sir. Nasa opisina lang siya parati at bihira lumabs ng mga nakaraang araw.”
“Sige Liza, alis na ako. Wag mo nang sabihin na dumaan ako.”
“But Ma’m Maya , Sir Richard pays me to tell him everything. Teka lang tawagin ko.”
But the moment Liza disappeared to inform Richard of her presence, Maya hurriedly left his building premises. She doesn’t know how to face him.
“Where is she Liza?”
“Sir nandito lang po kanina. Ayaw nga nyang ipasabi na dumaan siya kaso tinawag pa rin kita.” Liza was worried that her boss might get mad at her.
Richard remained silent and just shook his head.
“Ok na Liza. I’ll just call her.” He assured his secretary who seemed upset that Maya already left without waiting for him.”
“Can i court you Maya?” Richard was nervous when he asked her.
“Ang tagal tagal ko na kayang hinihintay na tanungin mo yan.”
A/N: Kagabi pa to ready to be posted but may problem sa WordPress site ko and my work couldn’t be saved so eto delayed tuloy.
Thanks for reading.