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.
“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.”
“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.