This is a continuation to First Love, Last Love – part 16
A/N: Dear EB friends, Again I would like to say thank you to all of you who appreciate this story. Pasens’ya na din sa mga nabibitin dahil sa may mga maiiksi na chapters. While I want to write more, I also need to balance between work and this (he,he, he, nag-explan daw.). And finally, allow me to give special thanks to ALPHA who has been into this story from Chapter 1 – TY for all the encouragement.
When Maya entered Richard’s condo unit, she immediately felt his presence in the house. She thought, “Hey, here you go again. You are just here to pick-up a document. Ang puso, kailangan rendahan, Maya.”
She proceeded to the living room and found the folder she was looking for. As she picked up the folder, she also noticed the bottles of beer, two glasses and ice bucket laying on top of the table. She remembered him saying about drinking with Ryan the night before and she thought “Hmmm, kaya? Baka iba naman ang kasama.”
Her curiosity got the better of her, so picked up the glasses and inspected the rims for lipstick marks. “Huh, wala naman. So siguro nga si Ryan at hindi si Stephanie ang bisita n’ya kagabi” She muttered to herself. Then out of concern, she decided to clear up the table.
As she was walking towards the kitchen with the glasses in her hand, the main door opened. Maya and the new entrant were both startled and they exclaimed at the same time .
“Ay kabayo!” “Ayyyy!”
Maya almost dropped the glasses. It was Richard’s mother who came in and spoke first.
“Maya, nagulat naman ako sa’yo anak. Akala ko may ibang tao sa bahay ni Ricky.” Her hand on her chest as if she can’t breathe.
Seeing this, Maya placed down the glasses, walked towards Richard’s mother and helped her sit in the sofa. She got worried.
“Tita, teka lang po. Ikukuha ko kayo ng tubig.” She went to the kitchen and came back with a glass of water.
“Pasens’ya na po kung nagulat ko kayo. I was just here to pick-up a document na naiwan ni Richard kanina. He wants it sent to him today to Singapore.” Maya explained.
“Okay lang Hija. I know he is in Singapore. He told me last night. I was just surprised because I didn’t expect to see anyone here. He normally doesn’t invite other people here. I can only count in my fingers who are the few people who have been to this house, like his dad, myself, si Fe and Ryan. Even a girlfriend, so I thought….” She paused for a while seemingly trying to find the next words to say and then she continued “ Anyway, thank you sa tubig and I am fine. Don’t look so worried.” The elder lady assured her.
That same afternoon, Maya was able to send to Singapore the document that Richard needed.
Other than text message confirming that Richard has received the document, Maya didn’t get a call or mail from him for the next 3 days. The whole weekend was the same. She was missing him terribly in the total of 5 days that she didn’t see him. The only consolation she had was she could look at his picture in the group photos that they had in Boracay. Now, she regretted not having taken a photo of when they went snorkeling.
It was on a Monday afternoon when she saw him arrive at the office while she was on her way to the employee lounge. Although surprised by his arrival, she was glad to see him back. He saw her and smiled at her. Her heart leaped as she smiled back. Her ear-to-ear smile was completely wiped out when she saw Stephanie walking just behind him. Richard saw how her smile vanished. Then, there were others like Ryan and Engr. Yamaguchi who were following them. If she didn’t see Stephanie come to their office, she would have been the happiest person that day. Seeing Stephanie brought back her back to her reality. Richard and Stephanie are together and she is just a colleague for him or worst a diversion for him.
Richard passed by her but stopped in front of her for a moment to say “I saw that.” He grinned and whispered in her ear, “I’ll talk to you later.” He went directly to the conference room with the rest of the group. She felt herself blushing especially when she saw her two staff observing them with smiles of amusement on their faces. She hurriedly went back to her office to avoid more encounters with him.
Maya was working on her computer when a message flashed on her screen. It was the office communicator and it was from Richard. The exchange of their messages read like this.
Richard: “Hi, busy?”
Maya: “Yes, working on something.”
Richard: “Anything happened while I was away?”
Maya: “What could possibly happen, Sir?”
Richard: “Hmmm, I just realized the value of this office communicator?”
Maya: “We’ve been using this for sometime, is this your first time to use this?”
Richard: “Yes. I just chanced upon the communicator icon in my computer. The audio call is taking so long”
Maya: “You have an audio and you are on OC? Aren’t you supposed to be listening and taking part in the meeting?”
Richard: “I’m multi-tasking.”
Finally, Maya realized that the reason he kept on using OC was because she was responding. She decided not to send back a message to him.
Richard: “Still there?”
She set her OC status to Away, in the hope that he will stop sending her a note.
A few minutes later, Richard entered her office.
“Hi, I thought you’re away, it says in your OC?” His hands folded on his chest while leaned against her door. He was looking at her seriously.
“Ehh, you were in a meeting and also, we are wasting company time.” She explained.
“Is the company time the issue? I know the owner. By the way, do you want me to talk to the owner so that he can allow you to go out with me?” He went around her table and stood behind her chair. He then bent forward to see what she was working on her computer. She moved away from him. He glanced at her.
“Ah, good! You’re working on the retirement plan.” He straightened up and sat on the chair in front of her table.
“So, would you indulge your boss’s request to have snack with you? I’m really craving for puto bumbong and bibingka.”
“Puto bumbong and bibingka? Eh pang-simbang gabi naman ‘yang gusto mo.” She exclaimed . “Ah, alam ko na, meron n’yan sa Via Mare.”
“I knew you’d know a place where we can get that. So, can we go now?”
“Tayo lang? How about the others and your meeting?”
“I left them. Kaya na ni Ryan ’yon. It’s a technical discussion anyway and Yamaguchi is there. Why are you asking about them, do you want Engr. Yamaguchi to join us?” His question sounded tentative.
“Ay hindi.” She was more worried that Stephanie might end up joining them.
So, she pulled out her bag from her drawer and walked towards the door. “Let’s go Richard.”
They spent the rest of the afternoon until dinner time at Via Mare conversing about events that transpired during the days Richard was away. After dinner, Richard made another spur of the moment invitation to her.
“Maya, it’s still early. Do you want to watch a movie? Since we’re already here at the Shangrila Plaza, we can watch at the Cineplex” He asked.
“Hmmm. Alright. What movie?”
On the way to the way to the 6th floor of the mall, they couldn’t agree on what movie to watch. They almost cancelled their plan. In the end, they chose an animated movie.
Richard brought Maya home in his car since Maya’s car was left in their office. They’ve agreed that Richard will just pick her up the following day to bring her to the office. He didn’t want her to take a cab.
As he walked with her going to her condo unit, Maya was all smiles. It felt like she went on date but wasn’t really on a date. She couldn’t quite put a term to it but whatever term it is, she felt that there is glimmer of hope that she could be with Richard, just like what Emman was telling her.
“Goodnight Maya”. Richard said when they reached the front door of her condo unit. “I enjoyed our time together.” He was gazing at her. There was something in his gaze that made her heart beat faster.
“Me too, Richard. Ingat ka sa pag-drive.” She responded shyly. She waited for him to move.
At this point, Richard closed the distance between them to plant a goodbye kiss to her. But when she looked up and their eyes met, his intent to kiss her on the cheek changed. He tilted his head a bit so that he was able to kiss her on the lips. At first, it was a light kiss barely touching her lips. Then, he went for a second attempt. This time, it was with sweet pressure from his lips that made her open her lips to receive him. With the kiss becoming intense, Maya moved back and lean on the door for support. His hands were now on her sides, caressing her.
“Richard…you were about to leave.” She reminded him as she caught her breath.
“I missed you Maya and…” He wasn’t able to finish his sentence because Maya exclaimed
“Ayyyy.” The door suddenly opened. Richard’s quick reaction enabled him to prevent her backward fall.
It was Emman who was also surprised seeing them almost tumbling in front of him. “Ay sorry… Bes. Hi Richard. May nadinig kasi akong parang sound from the door so I opened it. Sorry ha.”
“It’s okay Emman” Richard had recovered. “Medyo, good timing ka lang.” He flashed his lopsided smile while looking at Maya.
“Maya, I’m going. See you tomorrow. Bye, Emman” He walked towards the elevator.
“Emman, close kayo?” She was referring to the air of familiarity that Richard and Emman have with each other.
“Medyo, hi,hi,hi. Ang cute n’ya talaga Bes.” Emman added.
“Bes, ano? Magkwento ka naman?” Emman excitedly asked while Maya entered the house. She walked like she was in cloud nine. She didn’t answer Emman anymore but went straight to her room.
“O sige, uuwi na ako. Next time ka na lang magkwento, pag naka recover ka na.”
Moments later, Maya heard the main door close signaling that she was all alone in her house.