Note: This is a continuation to First Love, Last Love – part 14
“Good morning, have you had breakfast?” This is the morning greeting routine that Richard and Maya have established since their return from L.A.S conference at Boracay.
Since then, Richard would come in early in the morning to share breakfast with Maya at the office. In the afternoons, they would spend time having snacks together as well. Everything was going smoothly both at work and personal front. People at the office have started to notice their growing friendship. Although neither one of them clarified what is the real status of their relationship, they were getting closer and more comfortable with each other’s company but this comfort level will be challenged soon.
Maya was giving instructions to one of her staff seated outside her office when Atty. Gie arrived in L.AS. office.
“Hi Maya, is Richard in the office?” Atty. Gie, in her usual business-like demeanor, stopped in front of Maya. She is one of the senior partners of Seraspie Law office, the legal retainer of LAS. It is common knowledge in the LAS office that Atty. Gie likes Richard and they dated for a while until Stephanie came into the picture.
“Andyan sa office n’ya. May appointment ka ba sa kanya?” Maya is aware of all Richards schedule since she took over Lisa’s role and Atty. Gie is not in the appointment book for that day.
“No, I don’t. But I am coming for a personal reason. I need to consult him.” She smiled as she walked towards Richard’s office. Upon seeing this, Maya quickly walked behind her to accompany her in his room.
“Maya, I’m okay. You don’t need to escort me. Richard & I are close friends” She said confidently.
“Ah, ganoon ba? O sige, you may go in his office. Meron lang din akong kukunin sa loob kaya papunta rin ako doon.”
Upon opening Richard’s office, Atty. Gie greeted him, “Hi Richard, good thing I caught you here.” She walked towards him.
“Oh, hi Gie, what brings you here?” He approached her and planted a kiss on her cheek. He then ushered her to the sofa, where he usually entertain his guests. Then, he turned to look at Maya who was by the door just observing the two. He looked at her with questioning eyes.
“Ayy, kunin ko pala yung pinapirmahan ko kanina. Have you finished reviewing the paper?” It was an alibi. The papers she gave him earlier were thick and couldn’t be read in an hour or two.
“It’s not done yet Maya. I’ll just give it to you later.” Richard’s answer to her. With that response, she had no choice but to leave his office to allow them to talk.
After two hours, Maya began wondering what Richard & Gie could be discussing. They were still in his office.
It was almost lunchtime, when another unexpected visitor arrived looking for Richard. This time, Maya felt her heart constrict. It was Stephanie walking towards her.
“Hi, is Richard here?” She asked in a friendly tone. She was wearing a tight fitting pants and low necked blouse that emphasized that she is cup C. But in fairness to her, she is a pretty and confident woman. Even Maya could appreciate those qualities in her.
“Yes, he’s here but he is in a meeting with our lawyer. Please sit down for a while and I will let him know he has another visitor.” Maya responded. She was thinking, “ano ba ‘to, may summit ba ang mga girlfriends ngayon?”
“Thanks, please tell him Stephanie’s here. I’m sure he’d be excited to see me.” Her smile had a meaning to it that Maya didn’t like.
Knock. Knock. Knock
She knocked before entering his office. She found Richard and Atty. Gie still in the sofa talking to each other. As soon as she approached them, they both stood up, and ended their conversation.
“Richard, you have another visitor. It’s Stephanie and she’s waiting outside.”
When Gie heard the name of Stephanie, her facial expression changed. “Richard, aalis na ako. I think you have an important visitor.” Gie said sarcastically as she bid Richard goodbye.
Turning to Maya, “Did she say why she is here?” Richard seemingly surprised by Stephanie’s visit.
“Walang binanggit, sabi lang n’ya, you’d be excited to see her.” She unknowingly rolled her eyes which caught Richard’s attention.
“O, why the rolling eyes, Maya?”
“Did I? I’m sorry. Anyway, let me call her in.” The door was already half-way open as she was leaving his room when Richard called out to her.
“Maya, let’s have lunch together, pwede?” He asked her.
“Ricardo, you have a visitor. Please attend to her first. Stephanie’s here.” When Maya refers to him as Ricardo, he knows something will happen soon.
Stephanie went inside Richard’s room after thanking Maya. Before Maya was able to close the door, she saw Stephanie wrapping her arms around Richard about to kiss him. She saw Richard hold Stephanie’s shoulder seemingly to accept her intent. Maya’s heart ached as she closed the door.
“Sabi na s’yo eh, tigilan ang pag-iilusyon. “ She was scolding herself. “Alam mo na nga na may Stephanie, umasa ka pa. S’yempre, boss mo s’ya kaya he is being nice to you. Yun namang kisses sa’yo, tandaan mo, ikaw lahat nag-umpisa n’yan. Masyado ka kasing obvious. May sinabi ba sa’yong gusto ka rin n’ya?” She was so busy having an inner conversation with herself that she didn’t hear Richard knocking and opening her door.
“Maya, let’s go for lunch?” He asked. Then, she heard Stephanie’s voice as well, “Yeah, Maya, it would be nice to have lunch together.”
Realizing that the lunch invitation also included Stephanie, she responded. “Ayy, sorry. I can’t join you. I’m on strict diet this week eh. Thank you na lang. Enjoy your lunch.” She smiled hoping that it looked genuine because deep within her she was upset with Richard. She thought, “the nerve of this man. Parang manhid….hmmp!… nakakainis ka Ricardo!”
“Okay, then, see you later.” He smiled to her as he closed the door.
Five minutes later while she was eating a sandwich in her room, Maya got a text message from Richard.
“BTW, I forgot to mention that the lunch is with Gavin Daud. I’m sure he will ask about you. ”
This infuriated her more. “Ricardo!!!!!” She wanted to shout out his name in frustration. She decided to go on half-day.