Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to fanfic_newbie. This is a continuation to Meant To Be – Part 10.
A/N: Hope you like it,
EBU : Thanks again for posting.
It has been two weeks since they slept together and Richard has barely seen Maya. She was always running to a meeting with customer; to do a personal errand; to attend a school function for Luke. She looked restless when he was around, as if she was looking for a reason to leave. He knows Maya well enough to conclude that she is avoiding him.
“Maya, Mr. Ventura, James’ dad is in town for vacation.” He caught her alone in the elevator one day.
“Ahhh.. Ok.” Maya said without even looking at Richard. She is furiously hitting the ground floor button in the elevator.
“Maya, the elevator will not go faster even if you keep hitting the button.”
Embarrassed, Maya finally stopped.
“Anyway, he is inviting both of us to dinner tonight at Café Romulo.”
“Really? He knows my email address and contact numbers, why did he not invite me directly?”
“Not sure why he did that.”
He was standing beside her and was looking at her but Maya kept her gaze on the elevator door.
“Who else will be there? Will anyone else from the office be there? I spoke to James the other day; he did not mention anything about his dad’s vacation.”
“What is with the ten thousand questions Maya? I don’t know. I was just invited too. If you want you can call Mr. Ventura to confirm.” Richard was irritated with the interrogation. He was also staring at the elevator door.
“Ang sungit naman nito. Nagtatanong lang.” Maya said.
There was an awkward silence for the rest of the elevator ride. Maya bolted out as soon as the door opened.
“Maya, where are you going that is terribly important that you cannot even enjoy a short elevator ride with me?”
“Bilis Maya, isip ng sagot.” She thought to herself. But Richard just shook his head clearly annoyed and said.
“Are you attending dinner or not?”
“I will just drive myself to Café Romulo. Gotta run Richard. See you.” Maya just turned around and walked quickly in the opposite direction Richard was going.
“Ano ka ba Maya? kala ko ba keep it cool? Para kang high-school! Kalma lang! ” Maya scolded herself.
Richard observed her from afar. He was amused because the direction Maya headed for only led to 2 places, the men’s room and the building maintenance room.
“Where did he get time to clean up? He looks so handsome and so fresh. O boy, this is going to be a long night.” Maya thought to herself as she approached the reserved table where Richard was sitting.
“She really does not need makeup. She is so beautiful. She can wear a sack and she would still be beautiful.” He stood up, gave her a quick kiss on the cheek when Maya presented herself at the table. She was so stunned to react to the kiss so she let it go. In her mind.. “Ang bango mo talaga Richard.”
“So, where is he? It is 7:20 already. He is usually prompt.” Maya asked Richard as she looked at her watch. They have been sitting silently at the table for 15 minutes. Maya was as usual fidgety and Richard was calmly drinking his beer enjoying Maya’s uneasiness.
“Sorry Maya, I lied.”
“What? He is not coming?” Maya cannot believe what she is seeing. Richard was shaking his head.
“Are you kidding me?” Maya was upset.
“This is the only way I know to get you to go to dinner with me.
I wanted to talk about what happened 2 weeks ago.”
She blushed at the memory.
“That was a mistake Richard.”
“I don’t think it was a mistake Maya.” Richard countered.
“We were both euphoric because we got the plane out on time. We were not thinking and we just were satisfying bodily needs. Forget it ever happened. I already did.”
“Maya, I will never forget what happened. I meant what I said. I love you so much. I miss you. I miss us. And by the way you responded that night, I know, I am the only one who can satisfy your bodily needs.” Richard teased her.
She blushed even more.
He continued. “I know what I did was unforgivable but I promise not to do it again. I promise to make it up to you as long as we live. Please, please give me, give us another chance.”
“You hurt me so bad Richard. I am in a good place now. I have Luke and I have my career to look forward to. I don’t want to be hurt again. I am afraid I have to say no to you.” Maya said confidently.
Hindi makapaniwala si Richard sa narinig. He did not want to make a scene in a very public place. But this is not how he expected dinner to end. And certainly, this not how he wanted his life to end.
“Maya I respect your decision.” He held her hand with both of his and looked squarely at her. He started pleading with her.
Maya just looked blankly at the wall.
“But please, please try to reconsider. I am… I am so sorry I hurt you badly.” He stopped for a few seconds as if to gather more courage to continue talking.
“I..I..I have changed. I know what is important now. Please tell me what I need to do to fix the mess I created. I want to make it right between us.” His face is now crimson. He is trying his best to keep his tears at bay and his emotion in check. But he is sadly losing his battle with himself and with Maya.
She knew by the way he is talking that he is close to tears. She did not look at him for she knew if she did her resolve would crumble.
“I have learned to love and respect myself. I totally forgot about me when we were together. I like this version of me. I am sorry Richard but this is what I need. This is what I want.”
She stood up, pulled her hand from Richard’s grip and said, “And my decision is final.”
As she walked away from the table, her knees started to give way. She had to stop and hold on to a chair.
When she had the strength to continue, their waiter bumped into Maya, and asked “Ma’am what about dinner?”
She just shook her head and kept on walking. The waiter looked at Richard and said “Uh-oh. Basted si Sir. Sayang ang candle light dinner na plano niya.”
She tried to look inside from a window outside of the restaurant. She wanted to know how Richard was doing. His elbows were on the table. He rested his head in his hands. He looked like he lost the most important thing in his life.
“Maya, what have you done? Do you realize what you said NO to?”
A few days after the disastrous dinner, she got an email like the rest of the company saying that Richard will be gone for a couple of weeks for business travel. Then, he will be out of the office for another couple of weeks for personal time off.
She now understood what Luke was saying when she overheard him say have a safe trip to his dad the last time he visited with him. It was good he did not ask Luke to go with him dahil sa eskwela.
“Hindi man lang nag-sabi sa akin. Sa office email ko pa nalaman. Talaga yatang nasaktan ko. Aba, mawawala din yon. He will learn to accept my decision.”
A week after Richard left, she still has not heard from Richard. She tried asking Liza but she did not have anything new to offer aside from what she already and the rest of the company knows – He is busy working on getting a big project in Thailand.
“Ano ba yan? Nakakamiss na ha. Wala man lang email telling me about how he is doing. Ni tawag sa telepono wala, ni text message wala.”
“James! How are you?” After the chikahan ng magkaibigan, nagtanong si Maya…
“How is your BFF doing?”
“BFF? Sino sa kanila? Marami kaya sila noh.”
“Oh, that BFF.”
“No news bestie. I heard from dad that Richard is doing well in Thailand. He is almost done with the deal. I heard that the CEO has the hots for him. Beauty and brains. Just like you bestie. O sige na nga, kulang lang siya ng isa.. hmm. dalawa.. sige na nga tatlong paligo tapos pareho na kayo.”
“Oh really? Babae ang CEO?” Ito lang ang tanging nasabi ni Maya sa balitang dala ni James.
“Oh really ka diyan? He pleaded with you not once, but several times. He showed his remorse. He asked you what he had to do to make it up to you and you clearly said No to him. And what is that I hear in your voice? Parang Jelly belly ka ata bestie.” Right on the nose again, James can really make it sound so logical and simple.
“Nakakainis ka ha!”
“Eh anong gusto mong sabihin ko? You cannot even go back to your mom bestie. She gave you the soundest advice you can get and you ignored it.”
“James, what should I do?”
“Boom! Ayun at jelly nga ang aking bestie!”
“You really still love him, di ba?”
“Yes na yes! And not only that, I saw Richard and Luke together at the park before he left for Thailand. They are really close. I realized that it would be really selfish of me to deny Luke of a normal family dahil takot lang ako masaktan ulit.”
“Boom! Ayun at ulirang mother naman ang peg ng aking bestie!”
“I think, I am ready now to start over but I think I am too late.”
“Maya, did I tell you that the CEO in Thailand is a HE?”
“Ma’am Maya, your 3:00 is here.”
“Ms. Stephanie Veloso, the account representative of Acme Aero.”
“Ms. Stephanie Veloso. Matagal nang nangungulit yan, trying to get some time with you. You said yes to the appointment last week. I think she wanted to present her products to you. ”
“Why can’t she wait to get a meeting with Mr. Lim? Reluctantly she said.”Ok Liza.. Let her in.”
Maya was reading something when Ms. Stephanie Veloso entered the room.
“Good afternoon, Ms. Dela Rosa.”
“Good afternoon, Ms. Veloso.” Maya lifted her head to see a familiar face.
“Please, just call me Stephanie.”
Nagulat si Maya, di niya akalain na makikita pa niya ulit si Stephanie.
“Have a seat Ms. Veloso. It is best if you addressed me as Ms. Dela Rosa.”
“What brings you here Ms. Veloso?”
Stephanie started to pitch her product. Maya listened. She even asked some questions; she was truly interested in what Stephanie was saying.
Maya was gracious; and very professional when she talked shop with Stephanie.
After the presentation, Stephanie said. “May isa pa akong pakay Ms. dela Rosa. I don’t know if you remember me. I am Stephanie Diaz, the previous project partner of Richard Lim.”
She was fishing for any hint of emotion.
Maya wanted to scream. “What a stupid question. “Remember me? You destroyed my family. You bitch!” But she stood her ground and remained professional.
“Ms. dela Rosa, I have been carrying this for a long time. I know I have done you wrong.”
“Do you believe in karma Ms. dela Rosa? I do now. I have broken several homes because I led a promiscuous life. I did not care whom I hurt. When I wanted something I did everything to get it. It did not matter who gets hurt in the process.”
“And you are telling me this because?” Maya started to be annoyed.
“I met the man of my dreams. The one I said will be my one last conquest. He was my only love. It was all perfect. We had a perfect wedding, perfect marriage, perfect kids; a perfect life. Just like in my dreams. Then one day I saw him with another woman. She was younger and sexier than I was. I decided to go for some surgical procedures that I thought would enhance my body. The doctor bungled the surgery. Surgery after surgery I tried to fix what was broken. My husband threatened to leave me but I begged him to stay on account of our kids. He stayed but I had to agree to his condition that he can see anyone he liked. He said in not so many words that he does not love me anymore and that he despises me because I trapped him into marrying me.”
“I wish I had your courage. You left when you still had self-respect left in you. You had the guts to leave for the sake of your son. I am sorry for what I have done Maya. It is unforgivable. I seduced Richard for a long time. He talked highly of you and did not want to hurt you. He loved you very much. But I was persistent. I fed him lies and ever so slowly, I was able to divert his attention to me. It was all lust Maya. He never did love me.”
Gustong maawa ni Maya pero ang tangging nasabi niya ay “I have forgiven and forgotten you long time ago. You hurt me once; I will not allow myself to be hurt by you over and over by thinking of what you did to my family. You have to sleep on the bed you made for yourself. I tell you this Ms. Veloso, I was naïve then but now, if you ever, even as slightly look in the direction of my husband, I swear Ms. Veloso, you will not know what hit you.”
“I hope you have a good life. Good bye Ms. Veloso.”
It has been a month of no Richard and Maya was anxious to see him. She was excited because he will be back in the office today. She carefully chose her outfit for the day.
“Dress or slacks? Dress for sure. He likes seeing me in a dress. Flowery or abstract print? Abstract na lang para mukhang professional.”
“Hair, up or down? Down definitely”
“Make up or not? Not so much, he does not like me wearing makeup. A little bit of mascara, a bit of blush, a bit of lip gloss, Perfect!!”
“Ready or not Mr. Lim, Here I come!”
As soon as she heard his voice in the corridor, she stood up, quickly checked her makeup and her dress, and then headed for the door.
Pero napaisip bago buksan ang pinto… “Do I go out to meet him. Hmm .. wait lang.. wait ka lang konti. Parang excited ka naman masyado. Ok. Ok. Kunyari pupunta ka ng pantry, Maya. Eh kung parang may sasabihin ka kay Liza,hmm.. ok yun na lang..” She grabbed some papers as props and opened the door.
“Liza…” Maya called out.
Richard was standing in front of Liza’s desk giving her instructions. He immediately saw her. She immediately saw him.
He held her gaze for a few seconds then promptly went back to what he was saying to Liza.
“Damn you Maya! Why do you have to be so beautiful? ” One month without seeing her, all he wanted was to hug and kiss her. But she did not want anything to do with him. It took sheer effort to move his eyes from her.
“One month without you and all you could spare is a few seconds? Not even a Hi Maya? Hmm he looked tired? I thought he was on vacation.” She hurriedly changed her plan and headed for the pantry.
Liza witnessed the whole scene unfold and could only sigh. “Pag-uuntugin ko na itong dalawang ito eh. They clearly miss each other pero nagtitiisan pa.”
“Ma’am Maya, you wanted something? Sir Richard, ayan na si Ma’am Maya, you were looking for her kanina, right? Ma’am, si Sir Richard kakadating lang.”
“Ano ba yan Maya, walang ka-effort effort” she scolded herself.
“Welcome back. I hope you had a good vacation.”
“Yes, I did Maya.”
Biglang umasim ang sikmura ni Maya. She felt nauseous. She quickly headed for the restroom.
“Maya, are you ok?” Richard asked. He was concerned for Maya.
“Liza, anong nangyari doon?”
“Not sure Sir. But she did seem sickly these past few days.”
“Liza, favor naman, please follow her and check on her.”
For a couple of days, the same thing happened. Richard had doubts now.
Liza informed Richard promptly when Maya got back to her office.
Richard strode into her office deliberately, as if he wanted to tell her something about work. He found her on the couch, beads of sweat on her forehead. Her breathing was labored.
He dropped the papers he was holding. His resolve to act cool and unaffected was immediately thrown out the window. He worriedly took out his handkerchief and proceeded to wipe the sweat from Maya’s forehead.
He tried to comfort her. He continuously whispered “I am here Maya. Don’t worry. I will take care of you. I will not leave you.” as he gently stroked her hair and held her hand.
He asked Liza to bring some ice bits for Maya to chew on. He stayed with her until she declared that she can now go back to work.
“Maya, are you ok?”
“Yes, I am fine now. We got a new cook at home. I think I am not used to her cooking yet.”
“No, I mean are you ok? Because I think we are pregnant.” Richard just blurted out his theory.
“Pregnant? Who me? Do you think I will not know if I am pregnant? Nasuka lang ng ilang beses, pregnant na. Over ka ha Richard.” Inis na sagot ni Maya. But she started to doubt her conviction as soon as she said it. She did miss her period last month and this month.
“Maya, I know you already said no to me but a baby will surely change everything. As I said and I will always say these words to you. I love you, Maya. I will not stop until you take me back. Kahit ilang beses ka pang mag-NO sa akin. Babalik at babalik ako. I know that you love me too. And I believe,like you believe that our love is the only thing that matters. Everything else we can work on.”