Note: This is a continuation to First Love, Last Love – part 13
The moment Richard opened the door of his unit, he knew someone was inside.
He called out, “Mom, are you here?”
“Ricky, you’re finally home, anak.” A beautiful elderly woman came out of a room and greeted Richard with a hug and kiss. From the way she embraced her son, one would know that she is loving mother.
“Ma, what brings you here?”
“Well, I couldn’t reach you for a week. You didn’t respond to my messages and calls. So, I actually thought you were out of the country until I called up Lisa. Anyway, I’m sorry to come here unannounced, son.” She was eyeing Maya who was standing beside Richard smiling and observing the two of them. Richard could guess what his mother was thinking.
“Ma, this Maya. She’s our HR manager.” He carefully introduced her as he knew his mother was already making some assumptions in her head.
“Oh, so it is you who replaced Fe. I’m glad to meet you Hija. She extended her hand to Maya and gave her a kiss as well. Maya was all smiles. She thought that Richard’s mom was a very warm person.
“ You may call me Tita Esmeralda or Mom if you like.” Seeing the surprised look from Richard and Maya, she quickly changed the topic, “Guys, I was just kidding. Anyway now that I remembered Fe, I should give her a call tomorrow para makibalita kung kumusta ang kanyang vacation sa U.S. Ricky, Maya, dito na tayo sa dining area. I’ve brought some food, kumain na kayo. I’m sure you are both tired and hungry from your trip.”
While having dinner, Dona Esmeralda kept on asking questions either to Richard or Maya. Richard knew how curious his mother can get so he tried to parry most of her questions. Maya, on the other hand, was very comfortable responding to his mother about her family background. After dinner, Richard excused himself saying he’d like to take a quick shower first before he drives Maya to her residence. While he showered, Maya and Dona Esmeralda cleared the table and washed the dishes.
“Maya, how is it working out with you with you and Richard?” The question had a double meaning to it when Maya heard it. She chose to answer on the safer side.
“Tita, okay naman po. Although, there are times that we disagree on certain things.” She honestly responded.
“He can be quick to judge or make assumptions, have you noticed that?”
“Ay, Opo. Meron na po kaming cases na ganyan but I am able to manage those times. So, generally, okay na okay po kami .”
“Ah ganoon ba? That’s good.” She smiled to herself. She now has a firm resolve to contact Fe the following day to find more about these two.
Before Dona Esmeralda could ask more questions, Richard returned and asked Maya to get ready to leave for Eastwood.
As soon as they boarded Richard’s car, Maya’s phone rang.
She picked-up the call and it was an excited Emman who was on the other line.
“Bes!!! How are you? How was the trip? Kumusta si pogi? Ano? Any progress?” A barrage of questions were coming from Emman.
“Eh… pauwi pa lang ako. Later na tayo, mag-usap, pwede?” She was hesitant to speak especially with Richard just a few inches away from her.
“Who’s that?” Richard suddenly got curious as to who was calling her.
“Ayy, Maya you are with him? Bes, talagang kailangan nating mag-usap.” Emman excitedly said as he heard a man’s voice on the phone. He immediately assumed it was Richard.
“Oo, Emman, ihahatid ako ng boss ko sa bahay.”
Upon hearing that, Richard smirked and raised an eyebrow. He said, “Maya, could you say to him Thank you from me?”
“Ha?” A puzzled Maya turned sideways to look at him.
“Please, tell him thank you. He knows what I mean.” He repeated, not taking his eyes off the road.
“O, Emman sabi ni Richard, thank you daw. Alam mo daw ‘yon.”
“Yiiii, paki-sabi you’re welcome. Hi,hi,hi. Naku, kinikilig naman ako dyan sa boss mo.” Obviously, Emman understood what Richard meant. “O, Bes, may coaching ako sa’yo, at pwede ka sumagot by yes or no para hindi halata n’yang singkit sa tabi mo.”
“O, sige, ano naman ‘yan.” Maya relented.
“If you like him, go for it, okay?”
“Hindi nga pwede, di ba?”
“What dahil may girlfriend? Engaged na ba or kasal na, at ‘wag mong isama si James sa story.”
“Oo sa first question and hindi sa second question and third comment.”
“Yun naman pala. Ibig sabihin, may chance pa. Ika nga, all is fair in love and war. O sige na Bes, pag-isipan mo. Basta dito lang ako to support you… Bye.” He disconnected the call without even waiting for her response.
Maya was quiet for a few minutes after the call with Emman ended. She was thinking of Emman’s words to her but the last time she listened to him, she almost ended up sleeping with Richard.
“Penny for your thoughts?” Maya was distracted when Richard made such comment. “Mukhang very serious yung pinag-usapan n’yo ng friend mo ah.”
“Ah wala ‘yun. Meron lang syang sinabi sa akin.”
Finally, they reached Le Grand, Eastwood.
“Richard, you want to have coffee first?” She invited him as they reached the front door of her condo unit.
“Next time na lang Maya, it’s late. I’m sure you want to rest.” He declined.
“Okay… sige… I’ll just see you in the office tomorrow?” She had a sweet smile on her face.
“Yes, I’ll be in the office early. “ As he said his goodbye to her, he did an unexpected move. He covered the space between them, held her in his arms and gave her a quick kiss on the lips before saying. “See you at the office.”
She was so surprised that she was lost for words. She was left standing by the door, mouth slightly open and wide-eyed wondering what has just happened.
Richard, on his part, left swooning over what he just did. In his thought, “Now, that should get her sleepless tonight.” But that night, it was him who could hardly sleep.