Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to Hanah6181.
Chapter 1 – First Encounter
“Anu ba ‘yan, ang traffic, traffic kasi dito sa Makati, late tuloy ako.” Maya thought as she hurriedly walked towards the elevator area of the Shangri-la Hotel, Makati. It was a rainy Friday night and it took her almost 1 ½ hours just to get to the hotel. She needed to be at the 2nd floor level where her friends were waiting for her at the Conway’s bar.
She pressed the Up button of the elevator and wished that it open soon. And as one opened, she walked hurriedly towards it. Unfortunately, a man was going out of the lift and so she collided with him.
“Ay, kabayo!” She blurted in surprise. She almost tripped.
He quickly grabbed her upper arm to prevent her fall.
Their eyes met and both said at the same time “I’m sorry. I was in a hurry.”
He released her and asked. “Are you okay?” He was smiling at her.
“Yes, Thank you.” She was looking at him intently. “Gosh, he is handsome. Pag-ganito naman ang mababangga mo, okay lang kahit mawalan ka ng poise.” She felt herself blushing at the thought.
“O sige Miss. Sorry again.” Then, he turned his back and walked towards the direction of the lobby.
Maya by this time had recovered and took the next available lift going to the 2nd level.
Upon reaching the bar, Maya was impressed with the ambiance of the place. As expected it was classy and there were a lot of people around. Her eyes wandered and then saw her friend Emman smiling, waving to her. She smiled back and went towards their table.
“Girl, late ka. What happened? Kanina ka pa kami naghihintay nila Jona, Jean, Jeff, Andy dito.”
“Naku, eh traffic kaya from Ortigas to Makati. Syempre first day ko sa work, I can’t leave early. Anyway, what’s important is that we are here, kumpleto na tayo. Thank you for the invitation ha.”
“Ano ka ba? Of course we are here to celebrate, may new job ka yata. So, how was your first day as the new HR manager of Lim Aviations?”
“It went well. Puro introductions lang today and orientation with the outgoing HR. She is very nice, at motherly ang dating. I haven’t met my new boss. She said, he is in the U.S. on vacation. Pero pabalik na rin so he might arrive next week.”
They chatted some more. The place was becoming noisy with the music playing and with more people coming to the bar. Maya and her friends were enjoying their time together. It’s been a while since they’ve done this. She didn’t really want to go out but relented because Eman, her best friend, has been nagging her for a while.”
“Friend, pwede mo na ba ikwento kung anong nangyari sa inyo in James?” Emman interrupted her thoughts and asked this question. This is a topic that she has not shared with anyone except Eman.
“Why? It’s been a month my dear. Move on.” Giit ni Emman.
“Ha? What happened.” Jean asked while the rest of her friends looked on.
“Wala. I mean, wala na kami. We broke up last month. He is dating someone else. Alam nyo naman na he is a pilot so naturally, flight attendants ang mga competitor ko.” She finally shared the news to her friends. She was becoming teary eyed as she was sharing.
“Don’t worry, Maya there are many fish in the ocean ika nga. Malay mo someone out there is really meant for you, di ba?” Jona interjected.
Maya felt her friends’ attempt to lift up her spirit. She was glad she came over to have fun with them.
“Oo nga, Girl, malay mo someone here is available. O kaya, yung next guy na papasok dyan sa entrance na ‘yan will be your destiny.” Emman was cajoling her and was pointing at the bar’s entrance. They were laughing this time.
Maya was still laughing when she turned and looked at the bar’s main entrance. Then, she saw him. The man whom she bumped earlier at the ground floor was standing there. He was looking around and then their eyes met. Maya was still smiling and he smiled back as if recognizing her. Her heart skipped several beats. She was felt herself blushing.
She turned her back and resumed conversing with her friends. She felt embarrassed and at the same time surprised that her heart reacted that way when he smiled. She didn’t realize that Emman saw just what happened and so he teased her.
“O ano girl, nakita mo na kapalit ni James? Ang gwapo no?”
“Emman, ano ka ba? Tama na ha?” She knew he was referring to the guy at the entrance.
“Sabi mo, eh, hi,hi,hi.” May konting kilig na sagot ni Eman.
The group continued chatting and drinking. Maya isn’t into drinking but this evening she was having fun. At some one point, their group went to the dance floor. They danced while until the ladies got tired and sat down to rest. It was almost midnight and so they decided to call it a night. However, Emman asked Maya if they could stay for a while. Apparently, he saw a guy whom he wanted to meet. Eman is an open gay but from a distance, one wouldn’t know it. However once you get to know him, you will notice the nuances of his gestures and speech that indicates that he is gay. He needed Maya to be there, just in case he gets turned down.
“Maya, may na notice ka ba?” Emman asked.
“Yung guy sa kabilang table, pa-simple ka lang tumingin ha, kanina pa nakatingin sa atin.” He pointed out.
Maya turned sideways to her right and saw the guy Emman was referring to.
“Ah, yun. Naka banga ko yan kanina sa elevator kasi nagmamadali ako.”
“Di ba, yan din yung tinitingnan mo kanina, ‘yung destiny mo. Yung akin naman, andun sa kabila, ha,ha,ha. Why don’t you try to approach him. Nag-iisa o. Malay mo…”
“Emman! Ano ka ba? Anong klaseng suggestion ‘yan? Anong palagay mo sa akin?”
“I’m not suggesting anything na masama. You can just befriend him. Uso na ngayon ‘yan Manang. If you like someone go for it.”
“Kung ‘yan nga ang uso, so ‘yan din siguro ang reason bakit napunta si James sa iba.”
“Ewan ko, pero I really think you should move on.” Emman insisted. Then, he got his pen and wrote something in a piece of paper. He then waved to a waiter and gave him some instructions.
“O Maya, I’ll go there kay destiny sandali ha. Don’t worry, you won’t get bored here.” He left her behind wondering what he meant.
A few minutes later, a waiter came and served her a margarita.
“Ma’m, padala po ni Sir, from the other table.” The waiter said when she was about to say that she didn’t order a new drink.
She looked at the table that the waiter was referring to and found that it was him – the guy in the lift – who sent her the drink. He raised his glass as if to acknowledge her and so she also raised her glass in response and sipped from it.
Preview to Chapter 2
“Hi, mind if I join you?” He asked. Without waiting for her reply, he sat on the space beside Maya.
“By the way, I’m Richard. We collided earlier.” He was smiling again. He has a certain smile that can make any woman’s heart flutter. Maya was no exception.