Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to Auricel. This is a continuation of His Promise – part 1.
A/N: Hello everybody! Thank you so much for your encouraging comments. Here are the next ones. I have to warn you, I think the first few parts are a little dull but I wanted to also show Richard’s point of view. At meron na ring meet the family portion. Hehe. c”,)
His Promise (Chapters 2 and 3)
Just like Maya, sleep didn’t sit well with Richard that night. He was thinking about business, and he couldn’t hide his excitement because Lim Aviation Services (LAS) is expanding. He was really resolved to start in the Philippines where he was born and to provide job opportunities for his fellowmen.
He had missed the country, the warmth, his friends, and everything about it. Coming to Australia became a shock to him. Culture was very different and it taught him to be open-minded about things. Though he missed the Philippines, migrating to the land down under propelled him to be independent and to expand his horizons.
Finally, he is here. Not too long ago, after his studies, he joined his father in LAS. Though he was the CEO’s son, he started from the bottom to familiarize himself with the operations of the business. And now, he was tasked by his father to start this expansion in the country. He will be the head of their business here. He was really thrilled and focused in making this successful.
But then, business was not the only thing in his mind right now. He was also thinking about what had transpired with his high school friends earlier, curiosity filling his mind of the mystery that is Maya dela Rosa.
When they were in high school, Maya was one of the intelligent ones, always on top of the class as well as active in extra-curricular activities. He had always found her pretty, but because of her simplicity she didn’t flaunt it like the other girls. Even guys who wanted to court her were intimidated by her brilliant mind and her well-known family.
He had met a lot of women over the years and since their migration, he did not have any serious relationship. Yes, there were flings and a few affairs but nothing really moved to the next level. He kept saying that business is his main priority but somehow, he felt that there is something missing with the women he had “dated”.
And now, seeing Maya, he felt that she’s… special. She was unlike other girls he had met. Most of them were too girly for his taste and cared too much about their looks. Her blushing cheeks, witty remarks, and her innocence were something like a breath of fresh air for him. He couldn’t help but smile at this.
“Oh well, Richard. This sure will make things more exciting for you,” he uttered out loud.
His mind went back to the conversation he just had. Somehow, what he did a while ago came as a surprise to him. What was he thinking? Looking at Maya and hearing about her “zero” love life pushed him in making that promise even in front of everyone. He didn’t care. It was a joke at first but now that he realized it, a part of him wants it to be true. But what would happen next, huh, Richard? Are you really sure of what you did?
For now, he had no answers. One thing though is for sure: he is looking forward to seeing her again and unraveling this enigma that he still has so few clues to work on.
The next day, Maya woke up feeling a little cranky because of too little sleep. She remembered Richard Lim, her high school crush and his “promise”. But then, she quickly reprimanded herself for even taking time in thinking about it.
“Ayun nga Maya, unromantic nga eh bakit mo pa naaalala? At parang looking forward to it ka pa ha? Wala lang magawa ‘yun. Naku… tama na, please. Focus. Crush mo siya dati. Dati ‘yun kaya tumigil ka na ha.” She let out a sigh and got up to prepare herself for mass.
Minutes later, Maya came out of the bathroom and her phone beeped. It was a text message from James, asking if everyone is free next week for dinner. He relayed that Richard had again asked for a get-together.
Maya replied. “Ok. Sabi niya nga magkita-kita raw ulit. Pero akala ko ba busy siya sa expansion ng business niya?”
“Ewan ko nga rin eh. Siguro stressed na stressed na kaya ganun. O kaya naman… Baka may gustong makita. *wink*” James texted back.
Maya’s heart skipped a beat. “Ah. Ganun.”
“Hehe. So, pwede ka? What day ka free?”
She thought about her schedule for the week. “Medyo hectic this week kasi andaming activities sa school pero kung after class no problem. Wednesday or Friday pwede.”
“Sige, sige. Will text you right away. I’m sure matutuwa si Richard nito. J”
Maya frowned after reading James’ last text. Pati ba naman kayo, guys? Ah! Ayoko na nga isipin eh! It was really getting on her nerves. Erase, erase! She was still in this state when she heard a knock on her door.
“Anak, halika na. Male-late na tayo sa mass,” her mother, Teresita, reminded her.
“Ay, opo Mommy. Lalabas na po,” Maya answered, furrowing her eyebrows. She then finished fixing herself and followed her mother, temporarily forgetting about her mixed-up feelings and shaken-up heart.
While in the church, Maya was trying her best not to think about Richard but to no avail. This is one of the few times that she felt so confused. And this is not about her career or her family. Everything was very new to her. This made it more frustrating.
Little did Maya know that Richard was also in the same church. He had already seen her and it made him excited. He gathered all his courage to text James a while ago and now it seemed that the heavens were behind him. He was distracted the whole time, the thought of Maya near made him so preoccupied.
As soon as the mass was finished, Richard saw Maya sitting on one of the pews on the center aisle. She still stayed there for a while, saying her final prayers. Richard then took a seat just across the center aisle where Maya was seated. After a few minutes, she genuflected in front of the altar and Richard did the same. They were now both on the aisle, side by side, as if they were a couple being married. As Maya straightened up to leave, she finally saw him.
“Hi Maya!” Richard addressed her. The shock on Maya’s face was priceless. He had to suppress a chuckle.
“Richard… Hello,” Maya managed to say. What a small world, she muttered to herself. She began to walk toward the main doors traversing the center aisle when she felt Richard walking beside her. Wow, parang pagkatapos lang ng kasal ah, Maya told herself.
“Long time no see ah,” he kidded. “Dito pala kayo nagsisimba. This is a nice church. Who’s with you?”
Maya glanced at him and replied, “Sina Daddy and Mommy, pati ‘yung kapatid kong si Luke. Ikaw, mag-isa ka lang?”
“Yup, wala naman akong ibang makakasama eh,” he said, with a twinge of sadness in his voice. Maya felt sorry for him so she just granted him a kind smile.
They continued their stroll and finally left the church through the main entrance. She then saw her parents and Luke waiting for her. They all have questioning looks on their faces.
“Ah, Daddy, Mommy, si Richard po. Classmate ko po siya nung high school, naalala niyo po? Galing siyang Australia,” Maya introduced Richard to her parents. “And this is Luke, kapatid ko,” she continued, pointing to the young lad behind them.
“Hi Richard! Kelan ka pa dito? How’s Australia?” Maya’s father, Arturo, warmly greeted Richard, shaking his hand.
“Good morning po, Atty. Dela Rosa. I just arrived 2 weeks ago. Ok naman po, medyo mainit po nung umalis ako,” Richard replied, grinning widely. He remembered that Maya’s father is one of the most respected lawyers in their city. But just like Maya, he appeared so down-to-earth and very cheerful. “Hello po, Mrs. Dela Rosa.”
“Naku Richard. Please call us tito and tita. Are you here on vacation? How about your parents, are they here?” Teresita queried, looking behind Richard.
Richard shook his head. “Ako lang po ang nandito. Actually, I’m here po for business because we’re expanding. Pero sinasabay ko na rin po ang leisure as much as I can,” he told them.
“Good, good,” Arturo said. Then turning to his family he asked, “So, let’s go?” Back at Richard, he uttered, “Oh by the way Richard. We’re going out for lunch. Would you care to join us?”
Maya then tried to intervene. “Naku dad, baka busy pa si Richard. Alam niyo na, expanding ang business kaya…”
“I would love to, tito. If hindi naman po nakakahiya. Of course, it is a family gathering…” Richard stated. Nice one, Ricardo.
“No, no. It’s alright. Come on, join us. Do you have a car? Maya, why don’t you just stay with Richard and sunod kayo? Ok? Let’s go,” Arturo then strode over to their car.
Maya was dumbfounded. A while ago, she was obstinate in setting aside what had happened last night. But destiny has other plans for her. The object of her confusion is here. Parang nang-aasar ka ata, tadhana. Hay.
“Hmmm… Mukhang pinagtatagpo talaga tayo ng tadhana, Maya ah,” Richard commented and winked at her. He then left her as he walked over to his car.
Maya was shocked that they share the same thoughts. After a few seconds of uncertainty, she can only follow him and take a deep breath. She hoped that everything that is happening right now could be contained by her all-too inexperienced heart.
All throughout lunch, Richard proved to be a delight. Maya’s parents and Luke simply enjoyed his company: laughing at his jokes, listening attentively to his stories, and admiring what he had accomplished. Just by observing them, people could conclude that he is part of the family.
During dessert, Luke turned to Richard and asked, “Kuya Richard, may mga marereto ka ba dito kay ate? Lahat kami tinutulak na magka-boyfriend na ‘yan eh. Kaso puro mga estudyante niya lagi iniisip eh.” He then looked at his sister and smirked.
“Ikaw, ikaw. Ate mo ako ‘diba? Eh bakit ako na lang lagi mong nakikita, ha? Ang isipin mo, studies mo,” Maya glared at Luke. Now, it was really humiliating especially because he was here.
Richard chuckled. “Don’t worry Luke. I already have someone in mind,” he then glanced at Maya and smiled his famous half-smile, as if they were sharing a secret. Blood rushed to Maya’s cheeks. Is he talking about himself? Huwag assuming, Maya, she berated herself.
Luke was interested. “Talaga Kuya Richard? Pakilala mo na kaagad sa’min. Basta ba mabait, matalino, saka may magandang future okay na. Parang katulad mo. I think pasado ka sa standards ni ate,” Luke then shot another joking glance at his sister. Maya widened her eyes at him.
“Naku, malabo ata. Masyadong mataas standards ng ate mo eh. Pero sige Luke. Ako’ng bahala. Malapit na,” Richard assured the teenager. He again looked at Maya, pleased with her reaction. Was he already preparing them for his “possible” entry into the family? He grinned at the way things were going.
“So, Richard, this expansion of yours, kumusta naman ang progress?” Arturo asked Richard. Maya looked at him, gratitude written all over her face.
Before answering, Richard drank coffee from his cup. “Ok naman po tito. We’re still very busy with the paperworks and we’re also in the hiring process. Pero so far, so good. Sana po by the end of the year matapos namin,” he shared.
“Wow Kuya Richard! Pwede bang pumasyal sa office niyo minsan? Gusto ko kasing maging engineer din in the future. Can you give me tips regarding the ins and outs of the business?” Luke excitedly inquired.
“Sure! If it’s not too busy and your parents would allow you, then, I can show you around the office,” Richard agreed. Luke beamed when he heard Richard’s answer.
Maya’s heart soared when she heard this. In fairness, mukhang magkakasundo sila ni Luke. Ay, ano ba itong sinasabi ko. Maya then fell silent and just tried to steady herself. But with him there, it was not that easy.
Time passed by so quickly and finally it was time to go home. Richard then bid goodbye to the dela Rosas.
“Tito, tita, thank you po. It was a pleasure having lunch with you,” he gratefully remarked.
“No problem, hijo. I hope to see you again. Good luck sa expansion ng business mo ha. If you need any assistance, you can call me,” Atty. Dela Rosa assured him.
“Yes, Kuya Richard! Magkikita pa tayo ha? ‘Yung tour ko huwag mo kalimutan,” Luke reminded him. He waved goodbye as they headed to their van.
The two then were left alone. Richard turned to Maya. “Thank you Maya for letting me tag along.”
“No problem. Kahit lagi mo kong inaasar, pwede ka pa rin sumama,” Maya grinned. Surprisingly, during the latter part of their lunch, she became more comfortable having him around.
He grinned back at her. “Kelan kita inasar? Pero seryoso, thank you,” Richard turned serious. He then opened his car door and went inside.
“You’re welcome. Sige na. I know marami ka pang gagawin. Ingat!” Maya waved as he turned on the engine. She was about to leave when she heard Richard speak again.
“Ah Maya, by the way, see you next week sa dinner natin with the group ha. And also…. I hope to see you in a dress. Bye!” Richard then flashed her a mischievous smile and drove off.
“Kelan daw inasar… Eh ano’ng tawag mo dun? Kainis!” She was scowling as she went back to join her family.
Meanwhile, in the car, Richard had this silly smile on his face, reminiscing on the events of the day. As he looked back, he realized that there’s just one reason why he is enjoying his stay here in the Philippines. And it has nothing to do with LAS.
Hmmm… Confused na ang dalawa. Bagay na bagay! Hehe. At saka sino kaya ‘yung “someone in mind” ni Richard? Haha!
Good shot na good shot na rin si Richard sa barkada pati pamilya ni Maya. Next stop: paano naman kaya sa mga estudyante ni Ms. Dela Rosa?
Thank you again for reading! Sa susunod na chapter ulit! c”,)