Can We Start Over Again – 14

Can We Start Over Again – 14

Richard arrived at the Dela Rosa residence after a long drive. It was close to midnight but he didn’t hesitate to knock on their door. He just wanted to make sure that Maya was home.

He’s been worried already when he couldn’t contact her. Maya didn’t call him either, like what she told Liza she’d do.  It’s so unlike her and he’s really distressed as many scenarios were already playing in his mind.

Nanay Teresita opened the door and was startled to see Richard. She craned her neck expecting to see her daughter but was confused when she didn’t see her. “Richard si Maya?” She questioned the anxious-looking Richard who greeted her with a kiss on her cheek.

He treats Nay Teresita  like his own mom and they were very close even when Maya was away.

She led Richard inside their home.

“Nay yan din ang reason why I’m here. Maya went to the office earlier today. Unfortunately I was out. My secretary told me that umalis si Maya after an hour to meet a friend. She promised to return to the office and she even told Liza that she’d call me. But I couldn’t contact her. I tried calling Tatay Arturo kanina pero he wasn’t answering too.”  Worry was etched on his face.

Nanay Teresita got worried as well. All she knew was that Maya will be visiting Richard and that she will surprise him.  She never mentioned any friend aside from him.

“Teka tingnan ko yun telefono. Hindi ko pa naman pinapansin yun. Yun Tatay Arturo mo may dinaluhang convention kaya hindi yun makakasagot sa tawag. Ayun nga sobrang pagod kaya tulog na tulog. Naku Maya asan ka bang bata ka?” Nanay Teresita frantically searched for her phone inside their bedroom.

She was relieved to find messages from Maya informing her of the exact same thing she told Richard’s secretary but Nanay Teresita knows that something was amiss. She knows her daughter so well. She dialed her number while returning to the living room where Richard was waiting.

“Maya nak? Asan ka ba?” She blurted out the moment Maya answered the call.

Relief was etched on Richard’s face the moment he heard Nanay Teresita talking to Maya on the phone.

“Nay yun tinext ko sa’yo. Yun na po yun. Saka ko na lang ipapaliwanag.” She couldn’t admit to her mother what she found out and how hurt she was. She knows that her mother is close to Richard and his parents.

“Maya akala ko si Richard ang pupuntahan mo?”

“Nay wala siya doon atsaka… basta Nay. Saka ko na lang ipapaliwanag. Kapag tumawag si Richard dyan sa inyo, bahala na po kayong magpaliwanag. Hindi ko na muna siya kakausapin.” Then she stifled her sob which didn’t escape her mother.

“Maya kung ano man yan, ikaw na ang magpaliwanag kay Richard. Nandito sya. Kanina pa to nagaalala sa’yo.” Nanay Teresita handed the phone to Richard not allowing Maya to avoid talking to him which Nanay Teresita suspects her daughter was doing. She felt that something happened which compelled Maya to avoid  Richard.

“Maya! Where are you? I’m sorry wala ako kanina. I felt so bad to have missed your visit. Akala ko babalik ka? I waited for you. Tinawagan rin kita. Where are you? Masaya ako that you’re home. Are you just visiting or is this what you told me?” He was excited that he talked nonstop.

“Ricky hindi ko pa sigurado. Sasabihin ko na lang kapag nagkita tayo. Sige na gabi na kailangan mo nang magpahinga.” Her lackluster reply didn’t escape him but he ignored it.

“When are we going to see each other? I’ve already blocked the rest of the week. I’m all yours.” He still sounded excited despite Maya’s reaction on the other line.

“Hindi mo na kailangang gawin yun. Hindi ko pa sigurado kung kailan tayo magkikita. May mga aasikasuhin pa ako. Sige na Ricky. Pahinga ka na. Thank you sa pagpunta dyan kay Nanay. Dyan ka na matulog kasi delikadong magdrive. Late na.” Her voice couldn’t hide the sadness and hurt she felt. Even the sound of her voice betrayed what she felt. He could tell that something was bothering her.

“Are you okay? Why do you sound like you cried? Do you need me there?”

“Wag na Ricky. Dadamayan ko na muna etong kaibigan ko. Nalungkot lang ako sa kwento nya. Pupuntahan na lang kita kapag okay na siya.”

“Maya you’re making me worry here. I don’t even know where you are or kung sinong friend yan? Can you at least tell me?”

“Ricky wag na. I’m okay. Kaya ko naman ang sarili ko. I’ll just call you kapag free na ako. Wag kang mag-alala. I’ve survived Manila. Kakayanin ko naman dito sa New York.”

“So you’re in New York? Asan ka nga Maya? Tell me. Pupuntahan kita. I won’t bother your friend. Please just tell me where you are. Hindi ako mapapakali nito. I know something’s wrong. Please tell me.” He was pleading already.

He disliked being left in the dark on what’s happening to her.

“Ricky naman eh. Mapilit ka naman. Kaya ko na ang sarili ko.”

“But Maya …”

“Can you at least give me privacy. I also have my own life, you know. Sige na Ricky. Bye.” Then she ended the call, not allowing him to say more.

The annoyance in her tone was evident and it left Richard clueless as to why she acted that way. He was also hurt that he seemed unimportant to her.

Teresita dela Rosa just stared sadly at the handsome man she already treats like her own son.

“Nay alis na po ako. These flowers are for Maya pero sa inyo na po.” He tried his best to act normal not wanting to worry Maya’s mother.

“Dito ka na lang magpalipas ng gabi Ricky. Tawagan mo na lang sila mama mo.”

“Wag na po Nay. I also need to be at the office early tomorrow. Mukhang okay naman po si Maya. Wag na kayong mag-alala. Tatawag na lang raw sya sa akin. Mukhang may dinadamayang kaibigan. Hindi nga sinabi kung sino. Hindi naman siguro boyfriend.” He even tried to joke.

“Wala naman akong alam na may boyfriend si Maya, Richard. Sigurado ako kaibigan lang kung sino man yun.”

He just smiled then bade goodbye to Nanay Teresita.

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

After she left Richard’s building, Maya decided to check-in at a nearby hotel. She couldn’t roam around looking pitiful and distraught at what she learned.

She tried to recall her past conversations with Richard and she realized that he had always been fond of Rafi.

She couldn’t help but compare herself to Rafi again.

She regretted not paying much attention to him when he was still very vocal of his care and concern for her.

She made him wait until he already found someone else to take her place.

Maya sent messages to her mother, not wanting to upset her.

She just needed a few days to clear her mind and at least calm her heart.

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

Preview:

Richard was searching for any clues about Maya online after he failed to contact her weeks after that one phone conversation they had the day he went to her place.

He saw  these about her:

“Maya dela Rosa retires from showbiz to join her boyfriend.”

“James and Maya – expecting to be parents soon!”

“Maya de la Rosa, biglang nagretiro sa pagaartista upang pagtuuanan ang pagbubuntis sa anak nila ni James Ventura.”

“James Ventura keeps his silence about Maya dela Rosa.”

These and a few more articles appeared.

Richard didn’t realize that he was already clenching his fists.

 

A/N : Kalma lang po.

Can We Start Over Again – 13

Can We Start Over Again – 13

Maya bumped into Liza on her way out of the building. “Ms. Maya aalis ka na po?”

“Ah yes Liza. Aalis na muna ako. Tumawag kasi yun friend ko and I’ll meet her first. Wala pa naman si Richard. Babalik na lang ako.” She tried her best to sound normal, not wanting Liza to notice the chance in her voice and not wanting her notice any change in her expression.

“Naku sayang naman po Ms. Maya. I’m sure malulungkot yun si Sir Richard kapag nalaman nyang pumunta at naghintay ka sa kanya tapos umalis ka. Maiinis yun. Miss na miss ka na nun eh.” Liza added which at least lessened the pain Maya was feeling.

“Babalik naman ako Liza.” She simply said.

“Sige po Ms. Maya. Sasabihan ko si Sir Richard na pumunta ka at babalik ka. Pwede ko pong mahingi yun number nyo just in case he asks for it?”

“He has my number Liza. Atsaka tatawagan ko na lang siya.”

“Sayang talaga yun surprise nyo sa kanya. Ang tagal naman kasi ni Sir Richard.” Liza was really disappointed as well.

“Okay lang yun. I’ll just call him. I’m sure Richard is busy. Hindi rin naman niya alam that I’ll visit him. Thank you ha.”

“Naku wala naman akong naitulong. Si Sir Richard naman kasi ngayon pa talaga natagalan bumalik. Sige po Ms. Maya. I’m very honored to meet you po. Napakaganda nyo talaga. I am a fan of yours and I always watch your movies and teleseryes. Si Sir ganun din.” Liza added.

Maya smiled. At least Liza made her feel good with what she said.

“Thank you Liza. Thank you din for taking good care of Richard. I have to go na talaga. Bye.” She even gave Liza a hug.

She managed to keep her emotions at bay while in front of Liza.

But the moment she left the building where Richard’s office is located, Maya could no longer control herself from crying.

She walked aimlessly along the busy streets of Manhattan.

She could no longer think straight. Her eyes were blinded by the tears she tried so hard to contain.

The reason why she came home was to focus on her life.

She wanted to start building a life with the people important to her.

She enjoyed her showbiz life but she already fulfilled all her dreams career-wise.

She realized that no fame, no awards, no glamour and no wealth could give her the happiness her heart searches for.

She vowed to prioritize her goals and think of her future, the future she thought would include him.

He was the main reason why she quit her career.

She wanted a life here with him, build a family with him.

But she found out that she could no longer be part of his life.

Someone was already making him happy.

Someone far better than her was in his life.

She couldn’t compete with her, not with the woman in Richard’s life.

Not with someone who is sophisticated, an achiever, someone as successful as him.

She felt so unworthy even of his attention.

He deserves someone like Rafi Alcantara.

She doesn’t deserve him.

She doesn’t even have a college degree.

She is only an actress, an entertainer.

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

“Why are you smiling Liza?”

Richard arrived thirty minutes after Maya left. Liza met him with her teasing smile.

“Sir someone visited you kanina. A very lovely lady was here.” Liza added then couldn’t help but be giddy for her boss.

But Richard doesn’t want being teased. He gave Liza an annoyed look.

“Liza sumimangot na naman ang boss mo. Naku Chard ha! The more you react that way, baka mapagkamalan ka na naming gay.” Rafi joked.

“Stop it you two. I have no time for nonsense at kung sino man na bisita yan let’s keep it in a professional level. I don’t want being teased.”

“Ay ang sungit!” Rafi was still laughing.

“Sino bang pumunta dito Liza?” He was now impatient.

“Sir calm down. Alam nyo naman na hindi lulusot sa akin ang kung sino lang. Mahihirapan sila to get an appointment with you. Sir, your best friend was here. Ms. Maya was here kanina pero umalis muna. Ang ganda pala nya sa personal at sobrang bait.”

Richard couldn’t believe what he heard. His face beamed with happiness and excitement at what Liza said. He can’t contain what he felt. He’s smiling from ear to ear but the smile turned into a frown when he realized that Maya already left.

“Oh my God Chard umuwi si Maya! Maybe this is what you’ve been waiting for, the one she mentioned remember? Maybe she’ll be staying for good. Tamang tama yung pagcheck natin sa bahay nyo.” Rafi couldn’t contain her excitement as well. She was so happy for her friend.

“Where is she now Liza? You should have told her to wait for me. Sana tinawagan mo ako.”

“I tried to call you Sir pero unattended yung phone nyo.”

He realized that he forgot to charge his phone.

Liza added, “Babalik daw siya Sir so don’t worry.”

He now smiled when Liza mentioned that Maya will be back. “Liza san daw siya pupunta?”

“Sir, Ms. Maya said that her friend called her. She said that may pupuntahan daw siyang kaibigan but she will be back. I asked for her number pero meron ka naman daw pong number nya.”

Aligaga na si Richard. He’s excited, nervous, and very happy. He’s overwhelmed that Maya visited him.

“Alam mo Chard, this gives you time to freshen up. Aba galing tayo sa labas. You should change your clothes and look your best.” Rafi suggested.

Then she instructed Liza as well, “Liza free mo na ang schedule ng boss mo for this afternoon and the following days. I’m sure they have lots of catching up to do.” Rafi suggested.

“I already did Ms. Rafi. Pagkaalis ni Ms. Maya I already rescheduled Sir Richard’s meetings to next week. Yun bukas naman I already requested your secretary Minerva to insert it in your schedule. Kayo na lang Ma’m Rafi ang kumausap sa clients ni Sir Richard tomorrow.”

“Sure no problem. Wag lang nating iistorbohin tong Sir mo. Hindi na nga mapakali akala mo first time manligaw.” Then Rafi laughed then added, “Ay oo first time nga talaga pala nyang manligaw.”

Then both ladies were laughing at him.

“Stop it Rafi or else I won’t introduce you to Maya.”

“You’re so grumpy. Sige ka you won’t look handsome in front of her. Binibiro ka lang namin pikon ka na agad. Sige na freshen up at magbihis ka na.”

“Wait Liza I need to order flowers. Can you do it for me?”

“Ako na Chard. I will personally choose the flowers for you. I don’t trust these online florists. Sunflowers yun favorite ni Maya right?” Rafi volunteered.

“Yes Rafi. Thanks!”

“Anything para wag kang maging matandang binata Chard.” Then she laughed at him. Liza was also laughing. They both were so supportive of Richard Lim’s lovelife.

“Can you both leave me now? Mang-aasar pa kayo. Sige na I’ll better prepare now.”

Both Rafi and Liza left Richard who proceeded to take a shower in his own bathroom inside his office.

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

The flowers had been on his table for more than five hours now.

It was already 7pm and Richard had been waiting for Maya for hours already. He couldn’t contact her number.

Rafi already left. She wanted to wait for Maya but she had a date with her fiancé, Charlie.

Liza insisted to stay for she pitied her boss who had been so excited to see Maya dela Rosa for the past hours but who’s now looking very much worried.

Just an hour ago, Richard instructed her to cancel the dinner she reserved at a nearby restaurant then he ordered her to go home. She couldn’t argue with her boss anymore.

He tried to call Maya’s parents but they were not answering their phones as well.

If he was excited hours ago, now that excitement turned to worry especially when he was unable to contact both Maya and her parents.

After a few more minutes, Richard decided to go to Maya’s house.

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

Preview:

“Are you okay? Why do you sound like you cried? Do you need me there?”

“Wag na Ricky. Dadamayan ko na muna etong kaibigan ko. Nalungkot lang ako sa kwento nya. Pupuntahan na lang kita kapag okay na siya.”

“But Maya …”

“Sige na Ricky. Bye.” Then she ended the call, not allowing him to say more.

Teresita dela Rosa just stared sadly at the handsome man she already treats like her own son.

Can We Start Over Again – 12

Can We Start Over Again – 12

The concert celebrated the career of Maya dela Rosa.

Amidst the loud cheers of the audience and her fans, amidst the praise and accolades she got from her management and bosses, Maya dela Rosa’s was happiest because Richard was there.

She didn’t feel the exhaustion from the rehearsals, she no longer felt the pressure of trying to outdo all her other performances because performing in front of the person she considered her pillar, her constant supporter and adviser, everything seemed easy for Maya.

And Richard Lim was the proudest that night.

He had witnessed every single performance of his bestfriend in concerts, movies, TV series, endorsements and all other possible projects. Without her knowledge, Richard would always watch all her projects through DVDs or livestreaming or any way possible. He even had a DVD compilation of all her works and CD collection of all her songs.

And tonight he have seen and experienced the reason why the network needed to celebrate the career of the illustrious Maya dela Rosa.

Maya’s family was not able to attend but she didn’t feel alone because Richard was with her.

He loved watching how Maya was with everybody.

It is indeed difficult not to love this lady whom his heart beats for.

Despite what she had attained, she’s still funny and still very simple. She charms everybody with the way she is.

She’s close to her fans and she’s comfortable mingling with them.

She’s also very respectful to her bosses even if she reached the status she has now.

Richard witnessed all of it and he admired her more.

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

At the ‘After Concert Party’ Richard was chatting with Maya’s manager Buboy when she sat beside him.

“Nak successful yun concert mo!” Her manager proudly declared while hugging his alaga.

“Oo nga Mother Buboy! Nairaos natin yun show. Naku thank you talaga. Napakasaya ko.”

“Hmmm masaya ba dahil sa show or dahil dyan sa katabi mo.” He even teased her.

“Intrigera ka Mother ha! Pero oo naman masaya ako dahil dumalaw to si original partner at bestfriend ko. Thanks Ricky ha!”

Richard just smiled. He was beginning to like Maya’s circle of friends. They weren’t that bad after all.

“O mabuti pa mauna na kayong umuwi Maya. Mukhang gagabihin pa tong mga kasamahan natin. Ako na ang bahala. Magpahinga na kayo.”

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

On their way home to her newly built mansion, Maya and Richard were at the backseat of her car. She was leaning on his shoulder.

“Ikaw ha pasurprise surprise ka pa! Pinaiyak mo ako sa harap ng mga tao. Nakakahiya!!!”

“I wanted to be here on your special day. Atsaka ikaw rin naman pinaiyak mo rin ako.” He wasn’t even ashamed to admit it to her.

“Naku Ricky ang iyakin natin pareho.” She giggled.

“Pero wag na wag nating mabanggit kina mama.” He added.

“Ay naku oo wag na wag nating babanggitin at hindi naman yun titigil sa pang-aasar.” She agreed.

They were just enjoying being in each other’s arms that night.

Everything felt right. This is what she wanted. She doesn’t need fame and wealth anymore. She wants to be happy. Being here with him is what makes her so happy.

“Maya?”

“Hmmm?”

“Would you consider coming home with me? I mean trying a life dun sa atin?”

“Oo naman. Nandun kayong lahat eh. Nandun lahat ng importanteng tao sa buhay ko.”

“Really?”

“Oo Ricky. Matagal ko nang gusto kaso alam mo na habang padami ng padami yun mga offers na projects sa akin, mas nahirapan akong tumanggi.”

“Well you should think of yourself too. I hope you would consider going back home.”

She stared at him, nodded her head, smiled then resumed leaning on his chest now. She even had her arms encircled on his waist.

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

“Anak totoo ba?” Teresita asked the moment Maya answered her call. She was surprised to learn that Maya already talked to her management. She already decided to leave showbusiness.  Auntie Fe informed Teresita.

“Si Auntie Fe talaga! Gusto ko sana kayong sorpresahin eh. Pero opo Nay. Uuwi na ako dyan. Gusto ko na kayong makasama ni Tatay. Babawi rin ako kina Tito Roberto at kay Tita Esmie. Magkakasama na po tayo.” She happily said.

She was very excited.

“Anak napakasaya nang balita na to. Namiss ka na namin dito.”

“Kayo din nay miss na miss ko. Pati na rin sina Tito at Tita.” Nay Tere already noticed that for the second time Maya failed to mention Richard.

“Teka kanina ka pa. Kami lang talaga ang namiss mo at gusto mong makasama?” her Nanay teased. She knows her daughter so well.

“Siyempre si Ricky po. Si Nanay talaga.” She was shy all of a sudden. “Uuwi na po ako sa isang linggo pero wag nyo na po munang sabihin kila Ricky. Gusto ko rin silang sorpresahin.”

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

Maya was impressed to find out about Richard’s work in New York.

He works for a famous architectural firm whose portfolio brags of many successful projects with prominent personalities including celebrities.

She was so proud to find out that Richard is part of the company.

“Ms. Dela Rosa, Mr. Lim just went out for lunch. He will be here shortly. Can I offer you something?” Richard’s secretary Liza escorted her inside Richard’s vast office at the topmost floor of their building.

She knows that Maya is very close to her Boss.

She would always hear about her from her Boss’ and his parents’ conversation.

Sometimes Richard would even instruct Liza to buy a magazine, DVDs, CDs or record a show with Maya in it.

She’s already a big fan of Maya back then but admired her more when she came face to face with her.

Liza was surprised when she met Maya in Richard Lim’s office. She looked far from being a famous celebrity. She dressed simply in jeans, white shirt, sneakers and a backback. She also had a ready smile on her face.

Liza instantly liked her. She now knows the reason why Richard loved this lady so much.

“Ah no. Kumain na ako. Thank you na lang Ms. Liza. And just call me Maya.” She smiled at the very welcoming secretary.

“Ay hindi po pwede. I’ll just call you na lang po nang Ms. Maya pero call me naman pong Liza.”

“O sige na nga. Go back to what you’re doing na Liza. I’ll just wait for Richard here.”

Since she had work to do, Liza left Maya inside Richard’s office but made sure that she had magazines to read to keep her entertained.

Thirty minutes have passed but Richard hasn’t returned yet. Liza checked on Maya.

“Naku Ms. Maya wala pa si Mr. Lim.  Hindi rin sinasagot yun phone nya.”

“Okay lang Liza. Hindi naman ako naiinip kasi ang dam mong nilabas na magazines.” She was smiling.

Liza worriedly asked. “Ms. Maya is it okay that I leave you muna? Maglulunch lang muna ako sa baba. My husband kasi is waiting for me to have lunch with him. I can’t call him to cancel kasi naiwan na naman ata nya yun phone nya sa office. He just works nearby too kaso we make it a point to spend lunch together.”

“Oh yes Liza. No problem. I’ll just stay here. Go ahead have your lunch.”

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

The moment Liza left, Maya settled herself on one of the couches outside Richard’s office. She preferred to wait for him there as it would be a bit intrusive to stay inside his office without his knowledge.

She started reading a magazine then she overheard people talking.

“I bet your boss is very excited with the house already. The team will do the interiors next week.” a blonde guy was talking to a group of employees who were still gathered together. They seemed to have just finished having lunch.

“Yes Mr. Smith. Mr. Lim is very satisfied with it. I was with him when he visited.” Another guy, also an American answered.

“He spent a fortune on it, the McKenzie team is really the best. Mr. Lim instructed me to assign the best people from our group to do his house.”

“He is very impressed Sir.”

The moment the guy arrived, the employees huddled together began talking.

“What is Mr. Smith talking about Colin?” A girl employee who seemed Latina asked.

“It’s a big secret so no one should know about it.” The guy Colin replied.

“Hey we’re a team here. We’re just curious because Mr. Lim had been so focused with that house lately.” The lady prodded.

“Okay but please keep this among yourselves and please no teasing. Don’t tease Mr. Lim about it.”

“Spill it already Colin.”

“Okay okay… Mr. Lim is building a house for his fiancée. Ladies don’t let this out or I might lose my job. He said it’s a surprise. He gave instructions never to tell anyone especially in the office.”

Maya’s heart was beating fast when she heard it. This could mean that Richard is really planning a future for both of them.

Then another lady replied. “Oh my God! Ms. Rafaela is one lucky woman.”

“She really is.” The guy Colin affirmed what the lady said.“Oh my God we will indeed witness a wedding very soon! I better begin to work on my diet. I’m sure Mr. Lim will invite all of us.” Another lady joined in.

“I’m sure he will.” Colin replied again.

The Latina lady added, “Oh that’s why they’re been frequently going out together. I bet they’re busy with the wedding preparations as well.”

“Sure they are. I chatted with Mr. Lim’s driver and he mentioned that Mr. Lim will be showing Ms. Rafi a very special surprise today. That may be the house.” The girl sounded giddy.

“Oh my God I am so excited. Mr. Lim deserves nothing but the best and Ms. Rafi is the best for him.” Another girl joined.

Then Colin spoke again, “Yes they are a perfect match. They look so good together and they obviously enjoy each other’s company.”

“Isn’t it cool, Mr. Lim once mentioned that Ms. Rafi have beaten him in school almost every year but now it is his heart that beats for her.” Colin added.

“Oh my God Colin, you’re being cheesy.” Then the employees went on teasing each other and went on talking about other topics in the office.

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

Maya didn’t realize that her cheeks were already wet. She had been crying silently.

She knows Rafi Alcantara as Richard have told her everything about his former classmate who also works in the same firm with him. She knows that he is fond of her but she wasn’t aware that Richard likes Rafi romantically.

Maybe it was Rafi he wanted.

Maybe she just assumed that he likes her.

Maybe he just treats her like a sister, like family and what he said about asking her to come home and be with them just meant coming home to her family.

She needs to leave now.

She can’t face him right now.

She might say things she might regret and might ruin their friendship.

She needed to clear her mind.

Maya stood up and grabbed her backpack. She just got the pasalubong she brought for him inside her backpack and laid it on his table.

Wearing her dark shades, trying her best to smile at everyone she meets and trying her best to act unaffected, Maya dela Rosa quietly left the office of Richard Lim with a very heavy heart.

Can We Start Over Again 11

Can We Start Over Again 11

Maya dela Rosa’s career continued to flourish  and she became one of the highest-paid, most sought-after singer-actress in the entertainment industry.

Richard Lim on the other hand was also able to land a high paying job in New York and is now starting to build a name for himself. He is currently handling a very big project in the architectural firm he’s working for.

They would still communicate but not as often as before.

This saddened their parents who have always been praying that their children would end up together. Roberto and Esmeralda Lim and Arturo and Teresita dela Rosa never meddled with their children’s affairs. They just continue to hope and pray that someday it would happen.

Maya who’s now 22 had been linked to famous actors, singers and also some famous bachelors in the Philippines. It was expected since she’s a very famous actress now. She just ignored all talks linking her to them. She believes that it comes with her being in the entertainment industry.

Richard also dated classmates and some colleagues at work. He had a few share of girlfriends as well but the relationships he had never went beyond 6 months. His longest was with his colleague at work Rafi Alcantara. It didn’t last because they just decided to just be friends. Rafi loves her former classmate Charlie and she also knows that only one person occupies Richard’s heart and that is Maya dela Rosa. Rafi and Richard remained very good friends and she would even encourage him to pursue Maya.

“Ang bagal mo Lim!” She would always tell him.

===========

“Maya you need to do a final rehearsal with Darren.” The concert’s director informed her at the backstage of The Theatre in Solaire.

“Okay po Direk. Susunod na po ako.”

Maya is celebrating her 10th year anniversary with a thanksgiving concert. It was her way of giving back to her fans and supporters.

She will be singing her top 15 songs from her various albums. Special guests will be joining her.  James Ventura, who still remained her friend despite not being her love team anymore is also  part of her concert.  They will do a funny dance number.

For her finale, she will be singing a song of Coach Leah with Darren who was still Maya’s idol. Darren eventually turned out to be a very good friend to her too.

Coach Leah will also attend the event. She remained one of Maya’s mentors and defender against the cruel world of the entertainment industry.

Maya was excited and very nervous at the same time.

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

As they were rehearsing, the moment Darren sang the first line of Ms. Saigon’s ‘Last Night of the World’, Maya couldn’t help but be nostalgic, be emotional. The other Ms. Saigon song ‘Sun and Moon’ was her and Richard’s audition piece in The Voice Duets. That show opened lots of opportunities for her.

She remembered him and it made her think of the many what ifs – what if Richard also pursued a singing career with her? Would they still be a duo? Would they be more than friends now? What if she chose her simple life back then? Would she be happier?

“Sorry Darren!” She was apologetic to her partner when she wasn’t able to sing her part well as her voice was already shaking.

“Okay lang Maya. Meaningful kasi yung song sa’yo. Ako rin I tend to cry kapag ganyan.” Darren was always patient with her. He’s always been a source of inspiration and he would always tell Maya words of encouragement every time they chance upon each other.

“Ang iyakin ko kasi. Sorry talaga.”

“Ano ka ba? Atsaka abswelto ka today kasi araw mo to.” Darren even joked.

Coach Leah’s song had been instrumental in what she had achieved in her life. Coach Leah’s song was her audition piece with the person whom she still considers her best partner ever.

It brought back the memories of yesteryears. They have grown apart already and she’s missing him. He played a major part in her career as well and she wanted to show him how grateful she was for everything he did for her.

She missed Richard Lim.

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

The two hour concert of Maya dela Rosa is about to end. Every number she did was applauded. They even gave her standing ovations in many of her productions numbers.

She’s now at the backstage while her final production number was being set-up. Her song with Darren will be her final number.

“Ok ka na Maya?” her partner asked.

“Oo na. Naiiyak ko na kanina. Atsaka nasa audience si Coach Leah. Matatakot yun mga luha ko sa kanya. Aatras sila.” She even managed to joke.

“Baliw ka talaga. Naalala mo na yun blocking natin ha?”

“Oo naman. Pero ang arte ni Direk. Mala Phantom of the Opera ang design ng stage eh Miss Saigon yun song.” Maya laughed as she commented.

“Hayaan mo na. May identity crisis si Direk. Jusko baka marinig tayong dalawa eh mawalan tayo ng trabaho.” Darren also added. They were having a light moment backstage when they were called for the final number.

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

“In a place that won’t let us feel

In a life where nothing seems real

I have found you

I have found you”,  her partner began to sing.

She knows that voice and it’s definitely not Darren.

It made her turn around though she was instructed during rehearsal that she would just face her partner when she starts singing her line.

She turned and indeed there he was. Richard Lim was smiling while slowly approaching her.

Maya stood surprised. She could no longer sing her lines as she was already overcome by emotion upon seeing him. She felt her eyes getting misty then unable to control it, her tears made its way to her pink cheeks.

Richard continued to slowly walk towards her. Every step making both of them excited.

He was overwhelmed with joy to see her. She’s stunning as always but the way she looked at him, the way her eyes told him that she missed him, that she’s happy to see him made him want to run to her and engulf her in his arms.

The crowd felt the emotional reunion of the original loveteam. Some of them even shed tears as well.

As soon as he was in front of her, they were only able to utter each other’s name then Richard held Maya in his arms. She allowed herself to feel his arms around her. It felt so good. It felt like home. She was sobbing silently while Richard was slowly swaying their bodies as Coach Lea and Darren started to sing the song again.

In front of the crowd, with their mentor Coach Lea and Maya’s idol and now friend, Darren singing ‘Last Night of the World.’, Maya and Richard were lovingly engulfed in each others’ embrace while slowly dancing to the song.

“I missed you so much Maya.” He whispered.

“I missed you too Ricky.” She whispered as well.

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

When the song ended Maya was wiping her eyes with the handkerchief Richard gave her.

They exchanged only a few words but clearly shy in front of each other. Maybe it’s because they’re no longer the young Ricky and Maya who last saw each other during Richard’s last visit to the Philippines before Maya’s 18th birthday.

“O ano kayong dalawa? Magtitinginan na lang kayo? I know you guys missed each other bigtime. Go on give each other another big hug, wag nang mahiya. Kami lang and your 1,700 plus fans na pumuno dito sa Soliare ang nanonood. Go on hug each other more.” Coach Leah was teasing them as she knows that both Maya and Richard were emotional upon seeing each other.

When both just shyly gave each other a light hug, she even added “Oh my God yun lang? Go ahead guys kiss already!” Ms. Leah even joked. “If you won’t do that Maya, I’ll be the one to kiss this gentleman beside you. Ang gwapo mo na Richard Lim. Napakaswerte ng Team Leah. Guys when did you grow up? I feel like a lola already.” She exaggeratedly commented.

The two just smiled.

“Ten years ago, I turned my chair in our singing contest ‘The Voice Kids’ for these two. Actually all three coaches turned but they chose me. I am very proud of what Maya became in the entertainment industry and of course of what Richard is now. He’s a big shot engineer in the States. And ladies he’s still single.” Coach Lea joked some more.

Maya’s heart skipped a beat when she heard that Richard is still single. She thought that he was already serious with Rafi.

Coach Lea continued, “When we first interviewed these two, I told them that I could see that spark, that chemistry in them. Syempre bata pa sila then 12 and 15 so malay naman nila sa pinagsasabi ko. Now that you guys are grown ups, was I right?” Coach Lea continued to tease them while the crowd was joining the cheers and teasing as well.

“Basta if ever… ninang nyo ako ha!” was her parting words.

Maya and Richard then sang their original TVD piece ‘Sun and Moon’ upon the crowd’s request. Both were seriously contemplating what Coach Lea said. Both were now very much affected with each other’s presence.

Maya hopes that Richard would see her more than just his childhood friend.

Richard hopes that Maya would see him more than her childhood friend as well.

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

Preview:

“Anak totoo ba?” Teresita asked the moment Maya answered her call. She was surprised to learn that Maya already talked to her management. She already retired from showbiz.  Auntie Fe informed Teresita.

“Opo Nay. Uuwi na ako dyan. Gusto ko na kayong makasama ni Tatay. Babawi rin ako kina Tito Roberto at kay Tita Esmie. Magkakasama na po tayo” She said.

She was very excited.

“Anak napakasaya nang balita na to. Namiss ka na namin dito.”

“Kayo din nay miss na miss ko. Pati na rin sina Tito at Tita.” Nay Tere already noticed that for the second time Maya failed to mention Richard.

“Teka kanina ka pa. Kami lang talaga ang namiss mo at gusto mong makasama?” her Nanay teased. She knows her daughter so well.

“Siyempre si Ricky po. Si Nanay talaga.” She was shy all of a sudden. “Uuwi na po ako sa isang linggo pero wag nyo na po munang sabihin kila Ricky. Gusto ko silang sorpresahin.”

 

Can We Start Over Again 10

Can We Start Over Again 10

Richard busied himself with school as he was about to graduate. It also helped him keep his mind off Maya.

She has been calling him but Richard would always find an excuse not to talk to her.

He seldom stays home too and spent time finding part time jobs while he was in his last year in school.

“Tita Esmie wala pa po ba si Ricky? Hindi ko kasi siya macontact. Medyo ilang linggo ko na rin pong hindi makausap. Okay lang po ba siya?”

“Wala siya dito Maya. He is busy kasi he is going to graduate na. Okay lang si Ricky.”

“Pakisabi na lang po na tumawag ako. Sige po Tita. Magiingat po kayo ni Tito Roberto. Sana po makadalo kayo ni Tito at ni Ricky sa birthday ko.” Mama Esmeralda could hear Maya’s sad voice.

He was actually in front of his mom but he was avoiding Maya. He pleaded his mom to tell Maya that he was not around. He refused to talk to her.

“And what was that son? Bakit mo iniiwasan si Maya? May problema kayo?” His mom was upset.

“No Ma. Wala. I’m just tired. Kapag nagumpisa na kaming mag-usap, I won’t be able to finish my school work.”

“Is that the only reason? Kasi parang may problema kayo eh. She sounded sad on the phone.”

“Ma you’re imagining things. We’re okay. Busy lang ako.”

“Wala talaga? Then why aren’t you attending her debut? You are invited at expected ka nina Tere na sasama ka sa kanila papunta ng Pilipinas.”

“Ma busy ako. I’m graduating remember? And I’m sure she wouldn’t notice my absence. Marami naman siyang visitors on that day. The network will even throw a big party for her. Makakaistorbo lang ako dun. I’ll just send her my gift.”

“But son, your presence is the best gift you could give her. Alam mo namang you are her bestfriend and you very well know that Maya isn’t fond of material things. Mas gusto ng batang yun na bisitahin siya.”

“Ma she has a boyfriend already. Ang pangit naman to still be there. Baka magkaisyu pa because of me.”

“I don’t understand you Ricky. Bahala ka kung kaya mong tiisin na wag pumunta sa special day ni Maya. Kung pwede lang kami ng daddy mo, kami na lang ang pupunta.” Then his mother left him, obviously disappointed with him.

He was also annoyed at himself. He should be blaming himself and not Maya. It wasn’t her fault that he’s such a coward to admit what he feels for her. It was his fault that he’s falling for his best friend.

It shouldn’t be happening.

He has nothing to offer her yet.

Maya has everything right now. A great career, fame, the support of her countless followers from all over the globe and an equally-famous and accomplished boyfriend.

He shouldn’t get in the way.

Maybe things won’t last between James and Maya. For sure they will break up and Maya would come running back to his arms.

He’s hopeful that it would happen.

But for now, he is determined to make a name for himself first to be worthy of her.

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

“Anak dapat masaya ka. Debut mo na ngayon. Ganap ng nasa legal na edad na ang dalaga ko. Sobrang proud kami ng nanay mo sa’yo.” Tay Arturo hugged his only daughter while they were preparing for the big event.

They were staying at their hotel suite where Maya’s 18th birthday party will be held.

“Masaya naman po ako tay.” She hugged her tatay tightly. “Mauna na po kayo sa baba. Tatawagan ko na lang po yung PA kapag ready na ako. Isang oras pa naman po bago magumpisa yun party.”

“Sige anak. Smile ka na. Dapat happy.  Her dad said before closing the door behind him.

Her nanay was busy talking to visitors already but Maya requested for a few minutes to stay in her room.

She was so grateful to everyone who made her feel very special today. There were greetings from the management, her team, her fans, her colleagues in showbiz, from James, from her parents, from Aunt Fe and from her Tita Esmie and Tito Roberto. There were gifts from everyone as well. Even her sponsors sent her gifts and cakes.

She felt so blessed

She’s happy.

She should be happy but she isn’t completely happy.

Not when Richard failed to greet her on her special day. Not when she felt that she’s not that important to him.

He’s been avoiding her for weeks already but she still hoped that he would at least greet her today.

She invited him to attend her debut but he turned her down. She couldn’t understand why he suddenly turned aloof and uncaring when they were still okay when he visited her a few months ago.

Maya has been waiting Richard’s greeting since this morning.

She was already crying silently and she was already mad at him for making her feel that way. She was about to call him when her phone rang. His name was flashing on her phone.

“Happy Birthday Maya! I’m sorry di ako nakapunta dyan. I’m sure you’re having a wonderful time. Enjoy with nanay, tatay and your friends.” He greeted her.

She sniffed but she tried her best not to let him know that she’s crying.

“Are you okay?” He heard her.

“Oo naman,” She kept her voice devoid of emotion.”Sinisipon lang kasi ang lamig dito.” She lied.

“You should drink medicine kasi for sure you will be very busy later.”

Then when he heard no reply from her, he added, “Sige na Maya. You enjoy your party. Ayaw ko namang makaistorbo pa sa’yo. I’m sure you have lots of visitors who want to greet you. Papasok na rin ako sa school.”

She just answered with a simple, “Thank you Ricky.” then ended the call.

She wiped her eyes and tried to appear okay. She had visitors to attend to anyway.

Richard felt the lack of excitement in Maya’s voice when she answered him. He’s worried that she seemed sick. He sent her a message. “Maya if you’re not feeling well, wag mong pilitin sarili mo. You rest.”

She now smiled at his message. At least he still cared enough to worry  that she’s sick. Medyo nabawasan tampo nya. She also texted him. “Don’t worry, okay lang ako. Salamat sa concern.”

Then she prepared herself to face her visitors.

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

Back in the States, Richard made sure that he would be very busy on the same day as Maya’s 18th birthday. He couldn’t stand the thought that she would be dancing with James Ventura. He wouldn’t want to imagine her smiling at James Ventura while she was being engulfed in his arms. He needs to keep himself busy or else jealousy would be eating him up.

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

Preview:

“Maya you need to do a final rehearsal with Darren.” Her manager informed her at the backstage of The Theatre in Solaire.

Maya is having her 10th year anniversary thanksgiving concert. It was her way of thanking her fans and supporters.

She will be singing a song of Coach Leah with Darren who was once just her idol but eventually turned out to be a very good friend to her.

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

As they were starting the rehearsal, the moment the first line was sang by Darren, Maya couldn’t help but be emotional.

Coach Leah’s song had been instrumental in what she had achieved in her life. Coach Leah’s song was her audition piece with the person whom she still considers her best partner ever.

It brought back the memories of yesteryears. They have grown apart already and she’s missing him. He played a major part in her career as well and she wanted to show him how grateful she was for everything he did for her.

She missed Richard Lim.

 

 

Can We Start Over Again 9

Can We Start Over Again 9

Maya requested from her management that she be allowed  to celebrate with her family. She would skip the dinner sponsored by the network. She didn’t mention that what she meant by family is her bestfriend, Richard Lim.

They thought her parents arrived. No one noticed Richard Lim for he tried his best to be discreet when he attended the awards night.  It was dark where he was seated anyway.

Before the ceremony ended, he already left and just texted Maya that he will be staying at a hotel and he would just meet her when she’s no longer busy.

Maya texted him back and opposed the idea. She told him to proceed to her unit as her Auntie Fe was already headed there anyway. She wanted to see him and celebrate with him that night.

Maya even requested her trusted personal PA (the one who’s not provided by the network) to buy food for dinner. She wanted to celebrate home.

The moment she arrived at her condo, she ran towards Richard and flung her arms around him. She was already crying. “Ricky namiss kita! Namiss kita!”

She was hugging him tightly, not wanting to let go. He hugged her tighter in return. “I missed you too… so much.”

He was trying to let her go but she still didn’t want to end the hug. She even cried harder. “Hey stop crying. Nakakuha ka na ng award. You don’t have to be a best actress anymore.” He joked.

She slapped his chest lightly after she disengaged from the hug. “Nakakainis ka. Totoong iyak kaya to. Siyempre sobra kitang namiss eh.”

He just smiled as he wiped her tears with his hand. He then stared lovingly at her. “I am so proud of you. You were great when your were giving your speech back there.” then he paused, took a deep breath and continued. “You are so lovely Maya. You know that?”

She got affected by what he said, by the look he was giving her. “Alam ko. Gusto mo lang atang sabihin kong gwapo ka eh. Pumaparaan ka Ricky ha!” She joked because she doesn’t  know how to handle what she’s feeling now that he’s in front of her.

He is no longer her 15 year old friend way back then. Richard Lim is now a very handsome, dashing, confident and very attractive man.

She’s also no longer the 13 year old Maya dela Rosa when she last saw him. If she was cute and adorable back then, Maya is now a very stunning, breathtaking and absolutely a very sexy and confident  young lady.

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

Richard Lim spent a week in the Philippines. Maya asked for a week off from her showbiz engagements.  She brought Richard to various resorts in the Philippines. She knows that he loves the sea.

For the first time, they were able to travel on their own without their nosy yet loving parents.

They visited Boracay, Subic and even Baguio. Auntie Fe was with them. They would frequently call their parents to show them the places they were visiting.

Back home, both their parents were happy that their children finally had time to bond after long years of not seeing each other. If they had it their way, they wished that their kids would end up together. That would make them very happy.

Richard enjoyed being with Maya. He learned more about the grown-up version of his best friend and he loved everything about her – her sophistication yet childlike ways, her decisiveness, her eloquence, her wit and humor, and most especially her being kindhearted and simplicity despite the stature she has now.

Maya would be attentive of him. She wanted Richard to enjoy his vacation in the Philippines. She took really good care of him.

He momentarily forgot the painful scene he witnessed during the awards night. They never talked about it for Maya requested not to mention anything about her showbiz career.

This was the reason why she chose private places for their vacation. She arranged everything so that they would have minimal interaction with crowd. She wants to enjoy their vacation.

At their rented villa in Baguio, the two were left by themselves at the couch by the fireplace. It was a chilly night that Auntie Fe went to bed early.

Both were having mugs of hot chocolate while watching an old cartoon series in the local cable. This was their favorite pastime when they were young.

“Ricky sana ganito palagi. Sana ganito kasimple yun buhay no?”

“Maya it’s a choice. You could choose a simple life. You could always return home. You have proven yourself already. Matutuwa sina Nanay at Tatay mo, sina mama at papa at lalo na ako kapag umuwi ka. ”

“Alam ko naman yun Ricky. Kaso kakapirma ko lang ng bagong kontrata. May mga pelikula pa akong gagawin May pinagiipunan pa kasi ako. Kapag natapos ko na lahat uuwi na ako sa atin.”

“But Maya remember that time is very important. Baka sa kakaipon mo, you’re not aware that you’re wasting the precious time you should have been spending with people who matter, with your parents, siyempre kasali rin ako. I matter to you naman di ba?”

She stared at him and saw the sadness in his eyes. He will be leaving tomorrow night and they both don’t know when they will be seeing each other again. She was very sad as well. “Siyempre naman. You matter a lot to me. Sobra sobra. At napakasaya ko kasi dinalaw mo ako dito. Salamat ha!” Then she moved closer to him and leaned on his chest. He just allowed it. They both seeked comfort from each other.

Though sad that they would be parting ways again, Maya and Richard had wonderful  memories to cherish and always remember from the week-long bonding they had.

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

Maya was reprimanded by her management after pictures of her and Richard Lim taken by some fan in Boracay, made it’s way to the social media. Many of their former fans became active again requesting the network to bring back the original The Voice Duets partners they loved.

The PR group of the network worked double time to cover the issue by either downplaying it or even to the point of maligning Richard Lim by way of tabloid articles.

Maya who knew about it informed Richard and she assured him that whatever is written in the papers and shown on TV regarding him were just part of the network’s PR moves. She didn’t want Richard to feel bad. She even talked to his parents. She was apologetic to them.

“Maya don’t worry about me. Atsaka hindi naman ako kilala eh. What’s important is your image, your career. Let your management handle everything. Sorry ha. Dahil sa pagbisita ko, nagkaroon ka tuloy ng problema.”

“Ricky wag na wag kang magsorry na pumunta ka dito. Alam mo ba na yun pagdalaw mo  ay yun pinakamasayang mga araw ko. Wag mo namang sabihing nagsisisi ka na dumalaw ka.”

“Hey I’m not. Hindi ko naman iniisip yan. Those were also the happiest days for me.”

“Kaya nga.”

“As i was saying, concerned lang naman ako sa career mo.”

“I can handle that Ricky, wag na nating pagusapan please.”

“Sige. Hindi na. O i have to end this call na muna. You take care of yourself there okay? Baka hindi muna kita matawagan kasi I will be attending a convention for a week. Sina papa at mama muna tawagan mo.” He calmly told her. He knows she was upset.

“Okay lang. May out-of-town shooting rin naman kami para sa movie. Mga ilang linggo rin yun. Mag-iingat ka rin dyan Ricky. Regards kina tito at tita.”

“Shooting? What movie?”

“Yun movie namin ni James. The one we will shoot in Bali.”

“Kayo lang?” He couldn’t help but feel upset learning that Maya will be with James Ventura in a movie.

“Oo kasi siya yun kaloveteam ko. Romantic drama yun gagawin naming movie. Excited na rin nga ako kasi sa Bali yun shooting. Ang ganda dun Ricky.”

“Great.” His bland reply. “Sige na Maya I have to go. Bye.”

“Okay Ricky. Bye.”

The moment he ended the call, lots of scenarios entered his mind. He already saw James Ventura and he doesn’t  trust the guy at all. He searched about him already and found out that he is older than Maya. He has a reputation of being a ladies man. He had series of girlfriends and he tends to court ladies who are at the top of their careers then leaves them when projects are already scarce. Richard couldn’t help but assume that James could also do that to Maya.

“Son are you okay?” His deep thought was interrupted by his father.

“Okay naman pa. Maya says hi pala.”

“Oh you talked to her?”

“Yes pa. Kakatapos lang namin.”

“Is that why you look upset? Is something troubling you?” Roberto sat in front of Ricky. He was just finishing his cup of coffee before he leaves for work.

“Wala naman pa.” He denied it.

“Son, I have seen you and Maya grow up together. And you know me. I don’t meddle in any of your business with her or with any of your friends. But let me tell you this, si Maya parang anak na rin namin yan ng mama mo. I hope that whatever the future holds for both of you, you would still look after each other. Alagaan mo siya even if you both have families of your own, even if wala na kami ng mama mo or wala na rin sina Tere at Art.”

“Pa! ang advance naman ng pagiisip nyo. Of course I will take care of her even if you don’t tell me to.”

“I’m just telling you son. Well with that future family of yours… i hope it’s with Maya.” Then his papa stood up and left Richard thinking seriously about what his father said.

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

Maya and Richard didn’t have the opportunity to talk again. Maya focused on her movie while Richard focused on his studies.

Richard would just check the news about Maya and unfortunately he would always see articles about her and James Ventura. Though he gets upset with it, he tells himself that it’s all for show. It’s to entice the fans to watch their movie.

He couldn’t ask Maya about it.

He doesn’t even know if what he feels for her is right.

It may risk their friendship.

That is one thing he won’t allow to happen.

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

Maya is a guest in one of the talk shows to promote her new single.

“Sana po you would support my album. It has original songs written by Mr. Ryan Cayabyab. It is for a good cause din. Half of the proceeds will go to Bantay Bata as part of their Anniversary.” She excitedly announced.

“So Maya kumusta naman kayo ni James Ventura?” The host asked her. It wasn’t part of the script but the host asked her anyway. She just finished shooting the film with her loveteam.

“Okay naman kami.” She shyly smiled. She knows James is in the audience. They will be dubbing for the movie’s OST after her interview.

“Ang mga ngiti ba na yan ay may ibig sabihin?” The host asked again.

“Masaya naman kami. Special naman siya sa akin.” She was careful in her answers as she was instructed by the management to act sweet with James and pretend that they have something special for the sake of their movie.

“So does this mean that he will be your escort in your coming debut?”

She will be celebrating her 18th birthday in two months.

She didn’t answer it anymore for she wanted someone else to be her escort in that very special day of her life so she just smiled.

“Hmmmm makahulugan talaga ang mga ngiti na yan. I bet it means yes. Kayo naman na di ba?”

The audience were cheering and the host was waiting for Maya’s answer.

Then she saw her manager seated with the audience. She needs to do what is asked of her for her movie.

“Ano po, we’re more than friends.” She shyly admitted but she was avoiding the camera. She didn’t want to lie but she was instructed to.

“Ayun. Ikaw talaga Maya. Isa lang ibig sabihin nun. It means kayo na at nahihiya ka lang umamin. So it’s expected naman na si James ang escort mo.” Then the camera focused on the grinning James with the audience.

Maya didn’t say anything anymore. She was thinking of her family and Richard back home.

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

In the Lim living room, while watching that said interview in TFC, Esmeralda Lim couldn’t help but react.

“Boyfriend na ni Maya yun mayabang na lalaking yun? I don’t want him for her. I need to talk to Teresita.” She was clearly upset.

“He seems okay and Maya knows what she’s doing. Hayaan mo na.” Roberto tried to pacify his wife.

Richard didn’t say anything. He was surprised that Maya admitted her relationship with James on TV.

He felt sad.

He is also mad at himself.

He felt so helpless.

He likes her but he still had nothing to offer her.

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

Preview:

“Tita Esmie wala pa po ba si Ricky? Hindi ko kasi siya macontact.”

“Wala siya dito Maya. He is busy.”

“Pakisabi na lang po na tumawag ako.”

He was actually in front of his mom but he is avoiding Maya.

“And what was that son? Bakit mo iniiwasan si Maya? May problema kayo?”

“No Ma. Wala.”

“Then why aren’t you attending her debut? You are invited at expected nina Tere na sasama ka sa kanila papunta ng Pilipinas.”

“Ma busy ako sa work on that day. I’ll just send her my gift.”

“But son, your presence is the best gift you could give her.”

 

Can We Start Over Again 8

Can We Start Over Again 8

Maya struggled in the first year of her showbiz career. Since she was sort of given a special offer by none other than Mr. M. to be part of the roster of talents, some envious artists and their managers took this negatively and believed that Maya dela Rosa was given very special, yet undeserved, attention by the network.

They tried to destroy Maya’s promising career by means of negative propaganda and rumors. Some would even say that it was her partner, Richard Lim, who was the real favorite of many who voted for them in The Voice Duets. Though this was partly true, no one could deny that Maya is very talented too.

Maya was subject to intrigues and bashings. She would just ignore them.

She focused her energy and time on the numerous acting workshops, voice, dance and even hosting lessons and personality development classes given by the network to their new artists.

Maya took every lesson by heart. She wanted to hone her talents. She wanted to be the best in her craft. She wanted to prove all her detractors wrong.

She wanted to show her parents that she made the right decision. She wanted them to be proud of her. She wanted her very special bestfriend, Richard to be proud of her.

What kept her going on were her parents, the Lims and especially Richard. Unknown to them Maya already wanted to give up many times but it was Richard who encouraged her to go on and not waste all her efforts, all that she have started, everything that she have worked hard for.

Though she would still cry at night when alone in her room, Richard would always ease her homesickness with their daily calls and frequent communication in any way possible.

He would always encourage her, would always assure her of her worth.

She didn’t expect that her chosen career was really difficult, but she was determined to make it big.

Richard would always tell her that she is the only person he knows with a very big talent and a very big heart.

Maya would always look forward to their calls for it served as a motivation for her to face the day ahead. Ricky gave her comfort, made her feel special, he would also be honest and criticize her to make her a better person when he notices some bad decisions she makes. He’s even more strict then her parents when it comes to what Maya is wearing on her guestings, how thick her make up is and many little details.

He would always assure her that he is taking good care of her Nanay Teresita and Tatay Arturo to at least remove her worries about her parents. Richard always makes her day worth looking-forward to.

Maya didn’t have a stellar career in her first year in showbiz for it was hard to compete with singers her age who have more experience in showbiz. But despite that, she managed to always be in the limelight. Her work ethics, her talent and her genuine kindness were slowly noticed that people who didn’t believe her before now admired her. Some would even want to work with her.

It was hard to be solo artist especially when she came from a very famous duo. It was expected that everybody would be looking for her partner Richard Lim.

The management found it very hard to establish Maya as a solo singer and actress for there are already many singers and artistas out there. Despite this, everything paid off. On her second year,  Maya was offered a role in a daily teleserye. It was just a small role but she would be seen daily on TV and that is already a big break for her. She will be given the opportunity to showcase her acting talents too.

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

“Ricky asan ka na? bilis na!!!!” She was calling him while their laptops were on Skype. Richard, though already online couldn’t be seen in the monitor yet.

“Ssshhh ang lakas ng boses mo. Naririnig ko dun sa kusina.” He was exaggerating. He actually just had breakfast and was preparing to go to school. Their daily calls and Skype sessions were already part of their schedule. Richard adjusted his schedule so he could talk to her before he leaves for school.

“Ang OA mo! May good news kasi ako Ricky! Pero hi muna kina Tita at Tito!”

“Sige sasabihin ko mamaya. Ano ba yung good news?”

Then Maya shared the very good news to Richard. He was so happy for her. He was also excited that he would get to watch her in TFC daily. He was so proud of Maya.

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

The serye went on for years. She was very blessed to be part of the group who also handled the phenomenal series of the network. Maya’s role evolved from being just a support  to one of the characters with the important role in the story. This meant more hours taping and lesser hours talking to her parents and Richard.

The daily calls would become twice a week until it became mere text messages. Richard understood the difficulty of Maya’s schedule. He assured her that she could just call him anytime she’s not busy.

Maya became successful. She had numerous projects already. She starred in numerous teleseryes and joined various concerts. In all her achievements, her parents, the Lims and of course Richard were all very proud of her.

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Richard Lim is on his way to the Kia Theatre to attend a very special occasion. He was very excited and nervous as well. Maya dela Rosa, will be receiving a best actress award in one of the indie films she starred in.

Richard asked permission from Maya’s parents to be the one to attend the said event. He wanted to surprise her.

They never had the opportunity to have a lengthy conversation in years when Maya became busy with her showbiz career.

Richard also focused on his studies. He will be on his final year in his Engineering course.

Before his classes resume, he decided to visit Maya.

He wanted to see Maya and celebrate her  success.

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Richard was seated at the back row not wanting to show himself to Maya yet. He was with Maya’s Auntie Fe. He tried to remain inconspicuous  as not to draw attention. Some people might still recognize him from their TVD before. He didn’t want that to happen. It was Maya’s night anyway.

“…our Best Actress… Maya dela Rosa!” Maya’s name was announced and the loud applause reverberated at the venue.

The crowd gave her a standing ovation. She did very well in the critically acclaimed movie which earned her the award.

The camera was focused on Maya as she stood up to receive her award. She looked so lovely that Richard’s heartbeats raced at the mere sight of her.

He wanted to go near her and give her a very tight hug.

Then he witnessed it. Maya was smiling sweetly and was hugged tightly and kissed on both cheeks by another actor he recognized as James Ventura.

James Ventura was Maya’s loveteam on some of her movies and teleseryes.

He knew that he was just her partner in work. What he didn’t understand was their meaningful gazes towards other.

Maya had that very happy smile as she was escorted by James Ventura towards the stage.

The crowd were cheering, mostly were teasing the love team.

Richard’s heart was being stabbed to pieces at what he was witnessing. Maybe being here was a bad idea. He was supposed to surprise her but he was the who got the surprise of his life, and it was not pleasant at all.

He still maintained his composure though he already was nursing a very unpleasant feeling. He didn’t want to taint her occasion.

“Maraming salamat po sa lahat ng nagtiwala sa akin. Sa manager ko, kay Mr. M. Sa mga kasama ko sa pelikula, kay Direk…. ” She mentioned a long list of people she wanted to thank.

Then as she was finally mentioning her PA, her parents, she scanned the audience for her Aunt Fe, the only family she had with her in the Philippines.  There she saw him, the person who is very special to her. He looked so handsome in his suit. He still had glasses on, a clean cut hair and he gave her his lopsided smile. Her heart raced as well. Then as she could no longer contain her happiness for seeing him, Maya cried. She had a hard time finishing her speech already. “… maraming salamat sa pagpunta dito ng pinakamamahal kong kaibigan. Kung hindi sa kanya wala rin ako dito.”

The crowd assumed it was James Ventura she was pertaining to.

She didn’t mention Richard’s name for she was instructed by her management to never mention him.

Her contract even specified that she should avoid being linked or seen or even mention Richard Lim for their chemistry was so strong that any other actor paired with Maya always falls short of the chemistry that could only be seen when she’s with her former The Voice Duets partner.

Only James Ventura was accepted by the fans. Though their following is not as strong as the one of hers and Richard’s, the network used every means to promote and hype them. They always say that they have the power to fake ratings and hype love teams anyway

Of course Maya was an obedient artist. She followed everything they asked her to do as long as it didn’t jeopardize  her values and ideals.

Erasing Richard Lim from her showbiz life is easy.

He would always be part of her real  life back home in the States anyway.

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