Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to Hanah6181. This is a continuation to Fist Love, Last Love- part 10.
By Monday morning, the department heads of LAS were seated in the resort’s conference room. For the next 2 days, each one will be presenting their department’s strategies covering 3 years. The 3rd day is devoted to rest & recreation. By Thursday, most of the team members are expected to return to Manila except for Richard, Maya and Ryan who will host their Singaporean partners that were scheduled to arrive that Thursday.
The conference was quite intense. During the meeting, Richard displayed his business-savvy. He was sharp with numbers, quick to notice if the figures presented are not consistent. The plans presented by the heads needed to be holistic that covered strategies and tactics for the next 3 years. By the end of day 2, everyone was exhausted.
After the meeting, Ryan commented to Maya, “Maya, why was your presentation not questioned so much? Bakit ang bilis? What’s the secret? Sabihin mo naman para next time, hindi na ako mahirapan pa-approve ng budget ko next time?”
“Ryan, ang secret ay agahan ang pag-punta sa principal’s office. For your information, my presentation was done weeks back. Ang akin ang pinaka-mahirap kasi para akong nag defend ng thesis.” Maya shared.
They could only laugh at their experience. The truth was that everyone was satisfied with the results of their planning meeting. Everyone was quite excited about their business expansion. To celebrate the end of the two grueling days, they’ve arranged for a group dinner at the beach front buffet restaurant of Astoria hotel.
Although the dinner wasn’t exclusive to the group, the LAS team enjoyed the good food and alcoholic drinks as they relaxed. There were fire dancers and live band that rendered a mixture of fast and mellow songs intermittently to entertain guests of the tent restaurant.
By past midnight, all of them were drunk including Maya and Richard. Maya is not a neophyte to drinking and is normally able to hold her drink. But that evening, she went beyond her usual capacity as she kept on glancing Richard on the far side of their table. He was with two lady foreigners that he met over dinner.
“Maya, kalma ka lang. Ganyan talaga, maraming ka-kumpetensya d’yan. If you don’t control yourself, mauubos ka, talo ka.” This was the conversation she was having with herself and while she was doing that, she kept on drinking. Someone from the group would keep on re-filling her glass with wine. She consumed a mixture of red wine, white wine and couple of margaritas. The drinks were starting to affect her and when she’s drunk, she becomes uninhibited.
The group’s merriment caught the attention of the band’s lead singer who said over the microphone, “We’d like to welcome our guests from Lim Aviations. Thank you po for staying in our hotel. We hope you are enjoying your stay here.” The LAS team clapped their hands.
The lead singer, after a momentary pause to accept a piece of paper handed by a waiter, continued his spiel. “Okay, request time. Our next song is a song popularized by Adele and this song is being dedicated to Maya… from… ay wala pong nakasulat, baka po secret. Anyway, here’s the Love Song, hope you all enjoy this.”
Whenever I’m alone with you, you make me feel like I am home again
Whenever I’m alone with you, you make me feel like I am whole again
Maya’s heart skipped several beats when she heard the first 2 lines. This is her favorite song for Richard. Her heart suddenly ached for him. Her thoughts were disrupted with the loud cheering from her group, some were even whistling. She just laughed with them. She took more sips from her wine glass.
Whenever I’m alone with you, you make me feel like I am young again
Whenever I’m alone with you, you make me feel like I am fun again
However far away I will always love you
However long I stay I will always love you
Whatever words I say I will always love you
In the middle of the song, Maya secretly looked around to observe who could have chosen that song for her. She suspected that it was Engr. Yamaguchi. He actually courted her but she turned him down. He was looking at her, she could only smile back. Then, her eyes brought her to where Richard was standing. She saw him glanced at her but quickly returned his attention to the two girls he was talking to.
“It couldn’t be him, it’s impossible. It’s unlike him.” She just dismissed her thought specially when she heard Ryan say…
“Uyy, Maya… may admirer ka ha.” Ryan announced to the group. “Kung sino man ‘yan, umamin na.”
Another roar of laughter came from the team including Richard who has rejoined them.
“Kayo ha, niloloko n’yo na ‘ko. Bawal ‘yan, gusto n’yo memo? Ahhh, tomorrow na kasi naka off na ang computer ko.” Maya in her drunken state responded.
Richard has been observing her for a while and knew she was drinking a lot. Concerned that she might do something she will regret the next day, Richard went to her side and whispered in her ear.
“Maya, it’s about time to call it a night. You may want to say goodnight to them.” She looked at him and saw the concern in his eyes. She nodded in agreement. She was aware that she was already talking too much, buti na lang nandito ang principal to remind her, she told herself. She attempted to say goodnight in dignified way, unfortunately, something else came out of her mouth.
“Okay, guys. I am going to sleep na. Pinatutulog na ako ng principal, hi,hi,hi, hik.” She was really drunk.
“Uyyy, so principal pala ang tawag sa’yo.” Ryan looked at Richard teasing him and then back to Maya. “Naku paano bay an Maya, lagot ka.” Ryan teased her some more.
Engr. Yamaguchi then stood up and offered to help Maya. “Maya, I will accompany you to your room.”
Before Maya could respond, Richard spoke, “No need Engr. Yamaguchi, I can take her. Her room is quite close to mine. I’m about to rest na rin.” Richard took hold of Maya’s arm that Engr. Yamaguchi had no choice but let her go with him.
“Oops, wait lang , I also want to request a song.” Maya attempted to go near the stage but Richard was holding her so tight that she could hardly move from where she was standing.
Turning to the group in the table, Richard said, “Guys, don’t mind her. Medyo lasing na. Ryan, bahala na kayo rito. Enjoy the rest of the night. We’ll you see you tomorrow for the island tour and snorkeling.” Then, Richard bid them goodbye and pulled Maya alongside with him.
She disengaged from his hold while they walked back to the hotel. Maya kept on chattering.
“Bakit ba kasi hindi pa sementuhin itong walkway na ito para safe. Pag may lashing dito, pwede madapa, hindi pantay-pantay ang pavement na ito, hik.” She was picking on the pavement that leads back to the hotel.
“Maya, the walkway is cemented. Yung lakad mo ang ayusin mo.” Richard getting amused with the situation.
“Hoy Ricardo, there is nothing wrong with my walk. It’s this hotel that needs to improve. Tingnan mo, may pa square-square pa dito, pwede naman pantayin lahat yan.” She was pointing at the square tiles decorating the sides of the walkway. They were all wall designs. When they reached the pool area, she stopped.
“O, tingan mo Ricardo ‘tong daan na ito. This is going directly to the pool. Sinong matalinong naglagay ng daan sa gitna ng pool, ay ng pool sa gitna ng daanan? Hmmmm, ah basta! Hik, hik, What if somebody falls on the pool? Nilagayan pa ng color blue & green na ilaw, ang dilim, dilim, hik.” She walked faster.
At this point, Richard had to abruptly pull her close to his body to steady her and prevent her from going to the direction she was headed to. Otherwise, she was going straight to the water.
As their bodies touched, Maya’s attention turned to Richard. She gazed at him with interest.
“Ikaw naman, bakit ang cute-cute ng dimple mo?” Her index finger pointing on his right cheek. “Do you know ‘yan ang pamatay d’yan sa smile mo?”
Richard was really amused now. So, he encourage her to talk some more. “Really?”
“Really!” Maya emphasized as she pinched his cheek. “Maybe that’s the reason why crush na crush kita. Ano ba ‘yan, bakit ko ni-reveal ang secret ko?” She muttered to herself. Realizing that Richard might have heard it, she looked around to find an escape.
“Ay, erase erase. Wala akong sinabi, Let’s go na.” Her voice much louder this time.
It took some time for Richard to respond to her. He wasn’t sure if it was true or because she was drunk that she was saying those things to him. In the end, he said to Maya while guiding her towards their room. “Maya, you’re drunk, please lower your voice. It’s already past midnight, other guests of this hotel are sleeping.”
“Sleeping? It’s still early. It’s only midnight. The night is young..” Richard couldn’t understand her anymore. They’ve reached their common staircase. He assisted her while climbing the stairs as he feared she might fall if he just let her be on her own.
He took the room key from her small bag but the door wouldn’t open. The hotel uses the magnetic card key but it wasn’t functioning. Richard thought that the data might have been erased so the card is unable to open the door. He didn’t want to leave Maya standing or waiting at the top of the staircase so he decided to tag her along in his room while he called the guest services to issue another key for her.
When they entered his room, he led her to the sofa. While he was calling front desk, Maya kept mumbling about how their rooms looked alike. Unfortunately, no one in the guest services was picking up the call. It was past midnight and it was possible that only few hotel staff were working at that time. He decided to call later and let Maya just stay in his room for the meantime. After all, she was just seating there now watching TV, feeling comfortable with her surroundings. It was he who uneasy. He was thinking about her revelation this evening and whether there’s truth to it. She’s so beautiful and any man can easily be attracted to her, just like the first time he saw her. He remembered the song earlier, he smiled to himself.
Suddenly, she got up from the sofa. “Naku, I need to go to the toilet, CR muna ako ha.” She went straight to the toilet in a zigzag fashion. She didn’t come out for while so it caused Richard to worry. Something might have happened to her inside the bathroom. So, he decided to check on her.
The bathroom has a smoke glass door that one can see the silhouette of the person inside. He saw her just standing by the sink. He knocked and a few seconds later, she came out. It looked like she was sleeping because her eyes were half-closed as she exited the bathroom. Without saying a word, she walked towards Richard’s bed, sat on it while removing her shoes, then pulled the duvet cover up and laid down on the bed. She was going to sleep there. Richard could only shake his head while observing her.
Richard decided to just go to the front desk area to get Maya’s card replaced. Seeing her sleeping in his bed, it seemed nothing untoward can happen to her. A few minutes later, he came back with a new card. He found Maya still on his bed. He tried to wake her up.
“Maya, Maya, okay na ang door mo. You can now go to your room.” Richard said.
“Bakit? I’m fine here. This is where I want to sleep tonight.”
“But Maya, this is not your room. You are in my bed. Do you want me to carry you to your own bed?” He offered. As he was going to lift her, she opened her eyes, they looked mesmerizing to Richard. Their faces were only a few inches away from each other. She looked at him with half-closed eyes.
“Ricardo, baka naman ibig mong sabihin, ikaw ang nasa bed ko and I am in your dream.” She said in a sleepy tone.
“I’m not dreaming, you are in my bed and I think you are the one dreaming.” He responded but his breathing was changing, having her so close was having physical effect on him.
“I’m dreaming? Good, maganda ‘to. This is my chance to be with you.” She said dreamily. She appeared so happy.
Maya then placed her hand around his neck and pulled him towards her. She initiated the kiss by placing her lips on his lips. She gave him a light kiss, then turned more passionate in her attempt to get him to respond. Richard was momentarily surprised by Maya’s move but the shock was short lived because he started to kiss her back. Their kiss became more intense. He’s started caressing her body and has soon joined her in the bed while their kissing continued. Maya was becoming more aggressive. She started to nibble his ear and then moved to kiss his neck with so much fervor. As it was happening, Richard’s mind was in a dilemma. He knew that she is drunk and his sense of propriety was telling him to stop and not take advantage.
Finally, he broke the kiss. It took a lot of energy to stop himself. He just buried his face in her neck while calming himself. A few minutes later, he whispered to her, “Maya, this is insane. You’re drunk…” He paused as he noticed that she wasn’t moving anymore. Maya was already sleeping.