Admin Note: This is a continuation to Restless – Chapter 2.
Chapter 3 – Adorable
[After 1 year, Singapore]
“You seem lost.” The voice of a man interrupted her musings as she looks on at the directory in Marina Bay Sands Shoppes.
Maya looked at the man across her, and drew a deep breath at what she saw – a strangely attractive man in jeans, and untucked pink polo with sleeves folded into three-fourths, wearing an aviator. He stood there studying her, his hands in his pockets, leaning on the glass balustrade.
He looks vaguely familiar, but cannot pinpoint at to where she had seen him before. He’s probably one of the faces she saw and met as a flight attendant. She watched him closely that she actually saw the muscles at the corner of his mouth moved to form a smile showing his dimple.
“Do I pass your assessment?” He said with a smile on his voice, amused at the varying expressions playing on her face.
“Do I know you?” Maya inquired flippantly, her delicate brow snapped together staring strangely at him.
“Maybe.” He said smoothly as he approached her and extended his right hand. “I’m Richard from the Philippines.” When Maya didn’t immediately reply, he took off his aviator and charmingly added, “I’ve just introduced myself, and it’s polite that you do the same.
“Sorry. I’m not that polite – especially to a total stranger.” She ignored him, and returned her attention to the directory boards.
“I’m not a total stranger anymore for I’ve already told you my name.” He clarified; his white teeth gleamed as he smiled at her in his own charming way. “At least, tell me your name?”
When no response was forthcoming, he persisted. “Look… I’m also lost, and was hoping that we could at least help each other find our way.”
Maya debated on whether to entertain or ignore this strange man. He could be a serial killer, a rapist or a kidnapper. His look doesn’t seem so…but even a man with pore less skin, good complexion, and ‘chinito’ eyes can be deceptive. How ironic! She thought, amused as her train of thought. On the other hand, he seems like an educated man from his speech and manners – very self-assured, his face stamped with character, and he has the most charismatic face she has ever seen on a man.
She smiled at her paranoia – must be from watching primetime dramas in the Philippines. The truth is, she was going around in circles in this huge place for hours, and still cannot find the shop to buy that famous delicacy requested by her housemate.
“Maya.” She informed him hesitatingly of her name, but did not take his extended hand. “And yes, I could use some help on directions but with both of us lost, I don’t think we can be of much help to each other.”
A perfect opening that Richard has been waiting for since he saw her pass by several times in this area.
He reluctantly accompanied Hana today to go around the city after being nagged the whole morning, and while waiting on her, he went out of the shop totally bored. He was checking on his email from his cell phone when he saw her – a familiar face from a year ago. A slow smile of pleasure and disbelief worked its way across his face as he gazed at her lovely image.
He followed and watched her from afar until he saw her stop on one of the directory boards. She was wearing a casual getup – shorts, sneaker and a sleeveless blouse with her shades on top of her head; her hair was caught up in chignon just like the first time he saw her in Tokyo.
She’s beautiful just as he remembered from a year ago. After all this time, the sight of those entrancing eyes still warmed him.
“If you’re planning to be lost in this huge place, at least you’ll have company.” Richard smiled, looking at her intently.
“You have a point there.” Maya nodded as she looks back at the directory board.
“Which shop or stall are you looking for?” He inquired.
Maya unhurriedly took out a piece of paper from her shorts pocket, and audibly read it to him. “Bee Chiang Hiang, famous for their bakwa. Do you know where it is?”
Before Richard can reply, his phone rang – It was Hana.
“Maya, give me a minute, ok? I’ll just answer this phone call.” Richard took the call while Maya tried to busy herself taking photos of the directory board with her cell phone. She can hear his deep lowered voice while talking to the person on other line as the name, ‘Hana’, ‘hotel’ ‘go ahead’ drifted on his lips.
Singapore. This is her first time coming here, and she’s lost in this huge mall, the famous Marina Bay Sands Shoppes. She’s usually assigned to Tokyo flights, but since one of the flight attendant took an emergency leave, she was assigned as a reliever. Tomorrow, she’s going back on an evening flight so she actually has a lot of time to go around the city.
Though strange as it may seem, she was actually grateful that someone was kind enough to help her. Perhaps, he can just show her the directions, and then they can go their separate ways.
“Maya, let’s go? I know where to find it, and it’s not in this place.” Richard called out, placing his cell phone on his pocket.
“Huh? Saan?” Maya inquired, confused at his suggestion.
“Trust me.” Richard grinned at her, and extended his hand to her.
She hesitated feeling uneasy of going with him. She goes out with men of her acquaintance, but not to a total stranger. She was worried that she might end up in a dumpster after today. She thought horridly of seeing herself as a headline in Magandang Gabi Bayan, ‘Pinay FA Found, Dead, Raped In Singapore.’
“I’m not gonna bite… unless you want me to.” Richard laughed at her horrid expression.
“Wait lang ha. I’ll text someone, just in case I’ll be counted as a missing person after today.” Maya took out her cell phone, and sent a message to her housemate in a worried expression.
“Seriously?” Richard arched his eyebrows, amused, and suddenly burst out laughing at her horrified expression. This is the first time that he laughed out loud on a situation where he was thought of as a bad guy. The worst thing that he could do to her is steal… a kiss. He was almost tempted to do just that.
She’s adorable. Richard thought.