Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to Hanah6181. This is a continuation to Fist Love, Last Love- part 8.
Anyone who were at the Pink Sisters’s chapel at Tagaytay would have easily guessed that Maya was going thru a difficult situation. It was early Sunday morning, the day after their Sofitel encounter, and Maya was kneeling in the front pew of the chapel with a box of tissue beside her. She was negotiating with God in her prayer…
“Lord, I’m not complaining. You’ve been good to me and my family. Sana lang po, maiintindihan ko kung anong gusto n’yong mangyari sa akin.” She sniffed.
“Lord, bakit ganoon? Hindi pa nga ako nakaka recover kay James, tapos eto na naman. Ang sakit-sakit naman. Si Richard, I thought I am immune to him kaya lang this weekend I realized that I’m not.” Tears were falling from her eyes. “Lord, your wish thy be done. Please help me bear the pain of having this one-sided love.” Sniffed, sniffed.
Maya’s Monday started with her phone ringing the moment she sat on her desk.
“Maya, could you come to my office and please bring your 201 file with you.” It was Richard. He called her up as soon as he saw her arrived at the office.
She went to see his office immediately. The moment she entered the room, she felt something was about to happen. Richard looked haggard and had stubble which indicated that he missed his morning shaving routine. She thought that he may have spent the whole weekend with Stephanie. So, this must be the Stephanie effect when he spends a weekend with her, she thought. She handed her folder without looking at his eyes for fear that she might burst into tears from jealousy. At the same time, she was wondering what he wanted with her file.
“Maya, I’ve realized that from the time you started here, I don’t even know some basic information about you.” Richard started.
“A ganoon ba? I’ve provided all the necessary information there in my resume.” She pointed at her papers, still not looking at him.
He flipped thru the papers and after a few minutes then he started talking.
“Your file says you are single, 25 years old, with a sister who’s deceased. Your first job was with Time Airways so this means that LAS is your second company. You performed well in your previous job so you moved up to the corporate ladder fast. Other than what’s written here, are there any other information you want to let me know?” He didn’t find anything different from what he has heard from Tita Fe when she was still with L.A.S. Anyway, he tried to maintain composure. He had rehearsed this conversation yesterday at his residence.
“Wala na, Richard. Updated naman ‘yang resume ko.” She paused and thinking what was he driving at.
“Maya, last Saturday, we saw each other at Sofitel, you were with your family…”
“Ahh… yun ba?” The moment he mentioned Sofitel, Maya’s memory of Richard and Stephanie flashed backed in her memory. She became teary-eyed.
“Maya? Is there something wrong? About your family?”
“Wala. Anyway, si Cho ay pamangkin ko. Si Jeff ang daddy nya. Yung elder sister ko si Christina was married to Jeff. She died giving birth to Cho almost three years ago. So, parang, ako na ang naging mommy n’ya…” She explained giving as much information as she can.
“So, is that why he called you Mama?” Richard abruptly stood up and went to stand by the window. He realized that he made a wrong assumption but the scene he saw last Saturday seemed like they were a family. Maya even confirmed it. While he went thru an emotional roller-coaster over the weekend, he now could only blame himself for his over-reaction. But somehow, he felt a sense of relief from knowing he was wrong. So, his tone changed, his spirit seems to have lifted.
“May resemblance si Cho sa’yo.” He tried to recover.
“ Yes. Siempre, pamangkin ko ‘sya.” She then caught on what he was thinking and tone of questioning moments earlier. It was her turn to get upset.
“Teka lang Sir.” She emphasized on the sir. “Why do I sense that you’re implying that I withheld information about myself?”
“No, I didn’t say that.” Richard in anticipation of what was coming tried to play down his intention.
“You didn’t say that, pero parang ganoon na rin ‘yon. The moment you asked for my paper, read it, and questioned me, you implied that I didn’t give complete or correct information about myself.” She emphasized with a tone of indignation.
“Maya, I only wanted to clarify. As I said, I knew so little about your personal…”
“Sir, hindi ba sabi mo you expect a level of professionalism. I interpreted that as let’s keep everything above board – walang kwentuhan about personal life. Malay ko ba kung interesado ka? Besides, paano ko naman iisusulat sa resume ko ‘yung relationship ko kay Cho? Not one who interviewed me even asked me if I had a dependent. If someone did, I could have mentioned that I have a nephew that I take care of. Besides, my family circumstances have no bearing with my work performance.” She talked too fast that Richard could hardly interject while she was talking.
It’s hard to argue with her when she’s going ballistic. He told himself he needs to fix this situation he created. In the end, he gave up and admitted defeat.
“Okay, Maya. I’m sorry. I must admit I was a bit upset last Saturday. I was really surprised and embarrassed that I knew so little about you.” This was all he could say to her as he sat down on the chair in front of her. In his mind, he deserved the agony he went thru over the weekend because of his wrong assumption.
Maya remained quiet and didn’t even look at him. She was thinking why she does like this guy. She spent her weekend crying over a this man whose so difficult to understand, he could be cold, warm and then suspicious towards her. And although she has experienced all of this and knowing that there is a woman in his life, a part of her still told her that she likes him, just the way he is.
Richard waited for Maya’s response but she didn’t say anything. She seemed so frustrated and he felt she wanted to say more and looked like she was struggling from keeping her mouth shut.
After a few minutes of silence, Maya finally spoke and said “Okay… okay na” and walked out of his room.
For the rest of the morning, Maya didn’t come out of her office. Even at lunch time, she didn’t join Richard in their usual lunch together at the employee lounge. Sensing that she was still upset, Richard had to do something about it. He went to her office by 4:00 p.m..
Maya was facing her computer, typing, then pausing for a few seconds, then typing again. She didn’t notice that Richard entered her room and called her name.
“Maya”. The second time he called her, he raised his voice.
She turned her swivel chair and bumped Richard as he was standing right behing her chair. As she was surprised she blurted out “Ay Maya.”
“Hey, magugulatin ka pala….Let’s go for snacks sa labas.” Relax, kaya mo ‘to Richard, he thought.
“Sorry, Richard, I am busy. I need to complete a report.” She just glanced at him, turned around to face her computer and resumed her typing work.
“Report?” He leaned over to have closer look at her computer. “ So, it’s for me right? Then, how about I give you an extension deadline so you can eat first?”
She was still upset with him. So, an annoyed Maya was about to respond but wasn’t able because her face was close to his.
Richard said in a calm tone, “Maya, masama tumanggi sa food. Can we just have snack together? I know you haven’t had your lunch so you must be hungry…. Peace?” He made a peace sign and smiled at her. With that lopsided smile, her heart missed a beat. Maya forgot that she was upset with him for almost the whole day. In short, she relented and went out with him at the nearby Starbucks coffee shop.
As they were eating together, she was scolding herself “Hayy, Maya hindi ka matututo. Hindi ka man lang naka isang araw, give-up ka na. Pag nag smile sa’yo yang kaharap mo, lipad lahat ng galit mo.”