This is a continuation to Crazy in Love – part 3.
Chapter 4 – Cruizin’ separately
At San Nicolas domestic airport
“Hi Maya.” Richard greeted Maya when they bumped to each other at San Nicolas airport’s waiting lounge. Apparently, they were both on the same flight returning to Manila.
“Hi Richard. So, pabalik ka rin pala sa Manila.” She started the conversation.
“Yeah, I need to go back early I’ve worked to do.”
“Ha? What do you mean work?” She got curious.
“I’m actually doing a part-time work sa Megaproperties. I started two months ago.” He shared.
“Ganoon? But do you have to get a part-time job? Eh, ang well-off n’yo naman.”
“Maya, it’s not about the money. I’m after the experience. Eventually, I will need to apply what I’ve learned in school and since they were looking for someone to be a part-timer I took the job.” Richard explained.
Realizing that it could have been the reason why she wasn’t seeing him in school, she murmured “kaya pala di kita nakikita sa school.”
“What did you say?” He didn’t understand her.
“Ang sabi ko, ang galing mo naman. Napagsasabay mo school and work.” She smiled as she praised him.
“I’m just preparing for the future.” He stated casually.
Maya’s inner voice responded in her head. “Buti ka pa, samantalang ako noon di ko mapagsabay yung pag-aaral ng mga lessons ko at pag-iisip sa’yo. Mas madalas talo ang mga assignments ko.”
The moment the plane touched down at Terminal 3 of NAIA airport, Maya’s phone rang.
“Hi Maya, so where are you na?” It was Anton.
“Hi Anton, we just landed. Where are you?” She asked him. For the whole week she was in San Nicolas, she actually failed to call him up. He sent her a text message once which she responded to but after that he never heard from her again.
“I’m here outside Terminal 3 waiting for you? Surprised?” He told her his good news.
“Ha? Yes I’m surprised. O sige, wait ka muna at palabas pa lang ako ng plane. Wala naman akong check-in luggage eh.” Maya felt guiltier because he was picking her up at the airport.
She hurriedly walked to meet him outside. As she was going out, she caught up with Richard who was a few feet ahead of her in a row of other passengers; waiting for his luggage.
When he saw her, he offered. “Maya, gusto mong sumabay? I’ve rented a car to go back to my place. Pwede kitang i-drop along the way naman yung condo mo.”
“Ay, thank you Richard. Next time na lang, somebody’s waiting for me. Sige ha, see you sa school.” She continued with her quick strides to meet Anton.
Finally she came out of Bay 13 and there was Anton, all smiles, waiting for her.
He walked towards her and gave her a quick hug and was about to kiss her but she ducked a bit. The kiss landed on her cheek, as usual. Anton has not managed to kiss her on the lips since she became his girlfriend. Either he couldn’t find the right timing or she seems to be avoiding it. At any rate, he was willing to wait for the right moment. She’s an interesting girl and very different from the others who swoon at him almost throwing their body at him.
“Hi, I missed you. Let’s go.” He put his hand on her shoulder as he took her overnight bag.
“Ako, hindi, hi,hi,hi.” She responded back smiling genuinely at him.
“Kaya pala, hindi ka man lang tumawag.” There was a hint of disappointment in his tone.
“Sorry po… so let’s go na.” Maya removed the hand on her shoulder but held on to his arm as they walked towards the parking lot.
Richard came out of the same bay. He saw the two walking together. It wasn’t difficult to spot them because of Anton’s build and height.
He felt a pinch in his chest. “Why is he here? Is he courting her or they are in a relationship? It couldn’t be because Cristina Rose said she doesn’t have a boyfriend. In fact, he also found out from Kute – Cristina Rose’s nickname coined by Maya, that she has a crush on another guy who seems not to notice her. That Maya was just too happy going to Manila because she will see him more often. Therefore, the guy must be from San Nicolas. He trail of thought continued. “Anton is from Cebu. I am the only guy from San Nicolas that knows Maya. Could it be that I am the crush of Maya?” A smiling expression was beginning to emerge from his face.
The senior’s party at the Mandarin ballroom was a huge success judging from the number of people attending the event. Anton’s date was Maya. They sat together in a table with Anton’s friend John who took Maya’s friend Edcel as his date. Maya & Edcel managed to tag along Emman to the party too.
“Maya, I’ll get drinks for us, okay? Iwan ko muna kayo dito.” Anton excused himself from their group.
“Girl, ang attentive naman ng boyfriend mo.” Emman commented about Anton to which Maya only smiled.
While everyone was having a blast, Maya was secretly looking around to find Richard. Unable to see him from where she was seated, she stood up and told her friends she was going to the ladies room.
After retouching her make-up at the ladies room, Maya decided to stand near the bar to search of the man she wanted to see.
Then out of nowhere, she heard his voice,
“Hi, looking for someone?” He stood beside her.
“Ha? Not anyone in particular.” She turned and looked at him. He was wearing an all black casual attire. He looked different; actually sexy with his broad shoulder emphasized by his fitting polo shirt contrasted by his fair skin. He was standing so close that she could smell his cologne. She had to think of Anton because her heart was skipping beats again by just being near Richard.
“Excuse me, I need to go back to my friends.” She left him in a huff. In her thoughts, “ walang girl na kasama si Richard, bakit kaya?”
Unknown to her, Richard has been observing her from the time she arrived at the ballroom with Anton. He purposely didn’t bring a date that night so that he could mingle and find out what’s with her and the basketball player. He didn’t like what he saw the moment they entered the place. Anton’s hand was in her shoulder and was ushering her towards their table to join their other friends. They looked more than friendly to each other, much to his dismay. It didn’t feel good seeing her with another guy. So, he decided he will do something about it. Unfortunately, the other guy was always beside her. The only time he saw her alone was she went to the ladies room.
The table group of Maya has started dancing; enjoying the beat of the music. Anton and Maya were left in their table because she preferred to sit and watch them. Anton sensed that Maya was not mentally present with the group. She was smiling and laughing but the laughter didn’t reach her eyes.
“Maya” Anton said close to her ear.
“Yes?” She turned to look at him. Now, their face close to each other. She felt neutral which was completely different if it was Richard.
“I love you.” He whispered this time; although he knew no one can hear him because of the loud music.
She remained staring at him, unable to respond. Suddenly, she kissed him on the cheek and held his hand. He felt the warmth of her hand but he didn’t sense the same feeling of love from her. He saw something in her eyes that he had to say it,
“You love me but you are not in-love with me right?” Anton asked.
She looked at him quizzically but remained mum. She was unable to differentiate the two. She knew she likes him but something was missing, there was no fluttering of the heart. She liked Anton and felt that he could qualify to be called a perfect boyfriend. Unfortunately, he was not for her.
She must have communicated this thru her eyes because Anton said, “Wow, Maya, you are really, really good for my ego.” Anton run his hand on his hair and was half-laughing . “Okay, I don’t know who it is but I guess there is someone in your heart.”
Still, she didn’t respond. She just stared at him; unsure what to say. She felt bad that she was almost teary eyed.
“Anton, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.” Finally, these came out of her lips.
“Okay, Maya. I get it. Huh, masakit ha. Wait, I’ll get a drink. Don’t leave.” He suddenly left. It took sometime before he came back. He had two glasses of wine and handed one to her.
“Ok na Maya. I mean I’m okay na. Medyo masakit lang sa umpisa pero but I think I will get over this soon. I must been unconsciously aware that it can never be more than platonic for the two of us.” The way he was reacting looked comedic and dramatic rolled into one. She didn’t know what else to say but to apologize once more.
“Thank you Anton. I’m sorry again.”
“Pwede mag-request? Can we stay as friends. As in friends? I really like your company, masaya kasi ako pag-kasama ka.” His offer of friendship warmed her heart. How could she not love this guy but it would have been worst is she kept the pretense. Eventually, both of them will get hurt.
“Fine. We can be friends, how about best friends?” She counter-offered.
“Yeah. I think I’d like that”. He hugged her tightly and both of the felt much better. They stayed like that for a while such that when their friends returned from the dance floor, Edcel commented.
“Uyyy, masyado namang PDA ‘yan.”
The rest of their friends laughed and they joined in the laughter. They didn’t tell them that their relationship had turned a different course.
More drinks were poured as the group continued to have fun; as if nothing emotional happened earlier.
Then Anton invited her, “Maya, let’s dance. Come on, mabubutas na ‘yang upuan natin sa kakaupo natin.” He extended his hand.
Maya had already taken several glasses of wine such that she was already becoming tipsy and little bit more carefree. She gladly took his hand to proceed to the dance floor.
When they reached the dance floor, the music changed. As the new song started, she said with delight, “Ayy, I love this song.”
Anton took her hands and placed them on his chest while he wrapped his arm on her waist to start the semi-slow dance. He countered, “Ah ako din. So, is this our break-up song? How ironic naman” He said near her ear as he held her close to him. They both laughed. They continued semi-slow dancing and lip synching cruizin’ together. It was a flirtatious love song but to them it was just a fun loving song.
In a nearby table, Richard, who was with his friends, was observing the two. He was seething with anger. He’d seen them whispering, drinking, hugging and dancing. He didn’t know with whom he should be angrier, to Anton for making a lot of moves or to Maya who was allowing him. He was holding his bottle of beer so tightly that he could have broken it if only his attention was not distracted by his friend, Fred.
“Bro, bakit ba hindi ka pala nagdala ng partner? Actually, maraming tayong friends na girls who are asking who’s your date. Alam mo na, usually dito sa seniors’ party nagkakabistuhan kung sino-sino ang mga mag-on sa school.”
“Talaga? I wasn’t aware of that.” He was pretending not to know. He had attended the seniors’ party two years back when he got invited by another friend. It was then he found out about that practice.
“Yes, Bro. Look at Anton Marquez, we all know that he doesn’t have a girlfriend. But look at him, mukhang yan ang girlfriend. Ang ganda ‘no? So, and dami rin girls na may gusto d’yan sa campus, pero sa freshman tinamaan.” Fred continued oblivious that what he was saying was causing more stress to Richard.
Unable to watch them longer, Richard excused himself from his friends and decided to go out in the open parking area.