This is a continuation to First Love, Last Love – part 23
Since the Saturday visit at Pocholo’s school, Maya didn’t hear from Richard again. It was already Tuesday and he has not contacted her for 2 days which was abnormal. Even when he is on business travel, he would typically call up to check on her. She sent him a message on Sunday to greet him which he only responded with “Ok”. She tried calling him up, his phone was off. On Monday, he didn’t report in the office. When she sent him a message asking where he was, he only replied “Paranaque hangar.” She tried to call him up but he didn’t pick-up the call. She tried to be patient and waited for his call, but he never called her.
So that morning, when he was still nowhere to be found in the office, Maya decided to call her HR assistant at the Paranaque hangar to check if Richard was there. She found out that he was at the shop floor and doing mechanical work on one of the planes.
By afternoon, she decided to visit the Paranaque hangar. She’s been missing him and thought by going there, they’ll have the opportunity to spend some time with each other. She was excited as she drove to Paranaque; looking forward to seeing him.
When she arrived, she noticed that there were visitors at the hangar. Their parking spaces were fully occupied, so she had to double park in front of Richard’s car. She was told that people from Time Airways were inside for an exploration tour. Together with her HR assistant, Marvin, she went around the hangar.
When she entered the work area, she immediately saw Richard standing in front of a group. He was in his white coveralls explaining something to them. Her skipped a beat when she saw him. She has missed him and was just glad to see his handsome face. In that same group, she also noticed a familiar figure. It was James; he was with the TA people.
Richard saw her coming towards them and he gave a nod and a half-smile indicating he has seen her. James also turned sideways and saw Maya coming. James immediately went to her to greet her. Seeing this, Richard announced.
“Ah, I’d like you to all meet our HR and admin. manager, Ms. Maya dela Rosa who’s come to visit our site as well. Some of you may know her because she used to work for Time Airways.”
Maya waved her hand and smiled sweetly to the group “Hi, nice meeting all of you. Sorry sa pag-disturb sa inyo. I just wanted to say something to my boss.” She looked at him and saw that a cold expression in his face.
He went to her and said, “Maya, we can talk in my office after this, is it okay?”His tone was dismissive so she knew her timing was off.
As directed by Richard, she went to his office and decided to work from there. It was late afternoon when Richard entered his room. He looked tired and his white coverall was dirty.
“Hi Richard” She greeted him. “Pawis ka na. Mag-palit ka muna ng damit.”
“Hi. Could you wait, I just need to shower and change.” He turned around and went directly to the bathroom. A few minutes later, he came out wearing white shirt and denims smelling so fresh. Maya stood up and went to him and gave him a hug.
“Hmmm… ang gwapo naman ng boyfriend ko.” She said lovingly.
“Thank you. What brings you here?” He seemed cold and distant as he disengaged himself from her. He moved to stand by his table, and started flipping some documents.
“Well, to see the site and to see you, of course. We haven’t spoken to each other in the last 2 days so I am missing you. Is there anything wrong, Richard?” She moved close to him.
“I’m just busy with work.”
“I don’t think so. Even when you were busy before, you used to find time to call me or send me a message. Pero itong two days, puro one liner lang sagot mo. Nakakatampo ka na, ha.” She complained while she took his hand and held it.
Richard remained quiet but just stared at her as if wanting to say something but trying to control whatever it was.
“Richard, may kasalanan ba ako sa’yo?, may nagawa ba ako?” Frustrated by the lack of reaction from him.
“Nothing. We can talk about this later, I am expecting some people to come here anytime soon.” His brows now furrowed.
Then, there was a knock on the door and when it opened the Time Airways visitors came in. They’ve completed the tour with Ryan and were about to leave. James was with the group and spoke to both of them in behalf of his team.
“Richard, thank you for accommodating the team. We appreciate your hospitality and demonstrations. Our planes are really in good hands.” James shook Richard’s hand.
“Anytime, James. You are our customer. So, we’ll make sure that you understand how we do our work here.”
Everyone bid goodbye to each other. But before James left, he took Maya on the side but still within earshot of Richard.
“By the way Maya, how was Cho after the family day?”
“Hayyy, ayun he was very tired. Nakatulog agad the moment he was in the car.”
“Ah, ganuun ba. I will give him a call para maki-pagkwentuhan. And also, I won’t be able to join Emman’s invitation for the dinner with the group. I am flying out to Europe next week.”
“Ah, O sige. Happy trip na lang.”
As Richard listened to them, observing the closeness of the two, he felt again the stabbing pain that has been in his heart for the past few days. Even if he has rationalized his feelings, he couldn’t stop his heart from twitching whenever he sees them together. He was jealous of the bond they have for each other. He remained in pensive mood even after the guests left his office.
“Richard, can we go home now? You look tired.”
They packed their things away and got ready to leave the hangar. Upon reaching the parking lot, Maya had a request for him.
“Richard, can we have dinner together?” She asked in the hope that spending a little more time with him would lighten up his mood.
“Alright. Let’s just take my car. I’ll ask somebody to bring your car in Ortigas office. I can bring you home tonight.” He gave a firm direction which she didn’t contradict anymore. It was good enough that he agreed to a dinner.
They had dinner in one of the restaurants in Makati. It was a very quiet dinner because Richard didn’t speak much. Maya tried her best to get him to share stories but he wasn’t interested. He would space out. In the end, she gave up and just ate her food in silence.
After dinner, Richard drove back to his Rockwell condo. He didn’t ask Maya what her plan was nor even asked whether she would like to go with him. Maya didn’t complain. By that time, she was already determined that she will get to the bottom of the problem before the night ends.
When they entered his condo unit Richard offered, “Do you want coffee?, I’m getting one for myself.”
“Ako na ang gagawa” She went to the kitchen and prepared two cups. When she came back, he was in the sofa sitting and surfing channels. He settled for the news channel.
She placed down the cups and he just said “Thank you” and took a sip. He remained quiet, eyes on the TV until she spoke.
“Richard, ano? Ganito lang ba tayo ngayon? Mag-papakiramdaman? Is there anything wrong?”
“Wala… nag-iisip lang ako.” His response.
“Anong iniisip mo? Why don’t you share? Is it about us? Is it about work?” She was getting impatient.
“It’s about…work.” He paused for a few seconds before he mentioned work as if he was unsure what to say.
“Eh, work naman pala. Why do I feel that it’s me, parang galit ka sa akin.”
She moved closer to him putting her arms around his arm and rested her head on his shoulder.
“Maya, I am not mad at you.” He placed his arm on her shoulder but his eyes wasn’t on her. She then turned him around to cup his face and said…
“Sige, tell me. What’s bothering you?”
“Wala? Okay, kung wala eh di wala.” After saying that, she kissed him lightly on his lips.
She expected some reaction from him but there was none. Maya thought that maybe she didn’t do well in kissing him to elicit a response from him. So, she gave him another kiss, this time deeper and bolder. Still, there was no response.
When he opened his mouth, it was to ask her, “What are you doing.” His eyes narrowed to tiny slits.
“What does it look like? I’m trying to make you relax, pa de-stress ba.”She explained, she tried to smile suppressing the feeling of rejection.
“Mayaa…” he uttered in an impatient tone.
She felt hurt when she saw his eyes roll. She never felt so unwanted. She has been patiently trying to communicate with him in many ways and yet she was not getting thru.
“Fine! I give up.” She said in tone an octave higher. She stood up and took her bags. “I’m leaving. Please don’t bother to drive me home. May mga paa naman ako, I will just take a cab. At pag-okay ka na, saka na lang tayo mag-usap.” She was so upset that she didn’t care what it meant if she walked out on him. Her eyes started to well up as she walked towards the door.
She didn’t bother to look at him or look back as she left his condo so she didn’t see the panic in Richard’s face seeing her about to leave. She was already in front of the elevator waiting for it to open when she felt him hug her from behind.
“Hon, please don’t leave.” his tone now pleading.
She turned around to look at him and saw him look so worried. Her tears started to fall, she couldn’t control it anymore. Richard then took her computer bag, while he placed his arm on her shoulder to lead her back to his condo.
As soon as they returned to his unit, he took her other bag and put on the side table. His next move was to embrace her. Maya remained standing, enveloped in his arms, yet hesitant to put her arms around him. She was still reeling from the pain he just inflicted on her.
“Maya, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.” As he apologized, he wiped the tears from her eyes with his handkerchief. Then, he embraced her tight and said near her ear, “I know you were just trying to reach out to me. There is something on my mind that I don’t know how to express yet. Honey, I’m sorry.”
“I’m sorry too, Richard if I walked out. I was hurt by your behavior earlier. Parang ayaw mo na sa akin.” She wrapped around her arms to his body and looked at his handsome face whose worried expression was replaced with tenderness.
Richard tilted her head a bit and started to kiss her. The kiss was full of passion. It lingered for a while that it made Maya’s knees weak.
“Hon, can you stay here with me tonight? I need you…” He asked her, his eyes searching for her confirmation.
“I love you Maya” he said while he was kissing her neck. “You just don’t know how much.”
“Richard, nagseselos ka ba?” She asked him.
“Richard, I love you… there’s no else but you, honey.” She said these words while her lips were just an inch away from his and eyes spoke of the same as gaze at him.
(A/N: Sorry, I can’t provide details here)
On the bed a few moments later, with his head buried in her neck, Richard whispered something that it was almost inaudible.
“Hmmm, Honey, I didn’t understand you.” Her fingers running up and down his spine.
“I said, I was a bit jealous.” He repeated it, it was clearer this time.
So she was right. She pulled the covers up to cover their body. This is going to be an interesting conversation, she thought.
“ Ha? A bit jealous lang? as in slight lang?” In her mind, kung slight lang yun paano pa ‘yung grabe.
“Okay, I was very jealous. I didn’t know how to tell you and how to handle it. I’m not proud of it.” He finally admitted it.
“Richard, it’s okay to be jealous. Remember, ako nga umanin ako kaagad. Dapat sabihin mo sa akin so there is no misunderstanding between us.”
“I know. I keep telling that to myself. But everytime I see you, I get consumed by this emotion.” He explained.
“That’s an emotion we can process together, Hon. Mahirap naman yan na magseselos ka lang basta-basta. Tapos di mo sasabihin at sa akin mo ibubunton. Since we are in this discussion, I will ask one time lang, saan nag-umpisa ‘yan? Si James?”
Richard eyes suddenly turned into tiny slits. Maya already knew James was the cause of this latest spat with him.
“O sige, si James. Meron pa? Baka may idadagdag ka pa? Yung mga dapat hindi ko na kakausapin.” She was teasing him. She didn’t expect him to say…
“Si Gavin, si Marvin, si Yamaguchi, and I hate it when men gawk on your sexy legs.”
“Richard, ang haba yata ng list mo. Pati ba ‘yung staff ko? Paano ako magtatrabho?”
“Well, you can consider resigning and becoming a full-time wife.” He looked at her intently.
“Oy, walang ganyanan ha.” She didn’t know how to interpret his last statement. In her thoughts, “did he mean it or was just joking,” She decided to change the subject matter.
“Sabi pala ng mommy ko, kelan ka pupunta sa bahay sa Marikina?”
“Does she know about us?” He smiled, seemingly glad with the topic at hand.
“Oo! Ang sabi nya, “Maya, kailan pupunta ang boss mo dito? Hindi mo man lang imbitahin dito sa bahay.” She laughed out loud when she saw his face change from happy to being serious again.
“Joke… Peace..” She made a peace sign with her fingers. “Ikaw naman di ka na mabiro. Alam na po sa bahay. Si Cho ba naman, pagdating sa bahay nauna pa sa akin mag-declare.”
“Lola, nagpunta si Tito Richard sa school. Sabi nya, ang very special friend daw nya si Ninang. So, ano? When do you plan to meet my parents?”
“This Friday.” Richard responded decisively.
A/N: This means may Chapter 25.