Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to faerieMagic.This is a continuation to A Princess For a Night-part 1.
She would have been almost happy when Sir Chief went towards him, until she remembered what happened last night.
Last Night flashback…..
The hangar branch was in Cebu. The whole Time Airways party went to check in to the hotel for the event tomorrow. All of them were too tired to go with Maya when she suggested going over to buy some things to bring back home. Those were the reasons why Maya Dela Rosa was marching towards the pasalubong corner of the city that night at seven o’clock.
That was when a very unfortunate thing happened.She had a bag which carried the usual stuff— from cellphone to pocket-money, the very same bag she was carrying when it was snatched from her hand.
It was her cue to panic and shout, “Hey, My bag, Help! Help!” . The snatcher paid no attention and entered the mouth of the mall to blend with the people and to lose her. Anyway, she followed him in and tried to find him, making her way through the crowds.
She finally halted to a walk, instead of running. She would have called her friends for some help, but her phone was also inside the snatched bag.
She knew of course, that she just had to get back to their place somehow and all would be well. But just like any other city, it was crowded and friendless. The lights and the cheery music boomed through the air, but it only added to the eerie feeling of helplessness along with the cold evening breeze.
And such loneliness as one could only feel in the middle of a throng of strangers did come over her. People bustled and pushed passed to go about their own business. She felt bare, vulnerable and alone, with only her clothes to spare.
It was as if she was back in Manila again, walking and shouting in Jones Bridge after her hope and her future got stolen. Maybe this is a good place to shout again. Last time, there was Sir Chief to rescue her.
She marched off to find the exit. Behind her, Sir Chief in his bespoke suit with Liza trailing behind him, ready to catch every order.
“Yes”, Sir Chief was saying to his phone. “We need to process that immediately. What do you mean it’s not ready?!” Then, he saw Maya just disappearing around the corner. “I have to go. I’ll call you back.” With that, he ended the phone call.
After saying excusing himself to Liza because he ‘needed to check on something’, he slowly followed Maya where she just disappeared. Looking from left to right, he saw her as she made her way to the exit. He wanted to catch Maya before she ultimately disappeared outside.
Maya went out into the open. It was becoming steadily darker… figuratively. As she was walking slowly, lights tinkled everywhere dressing the whole city in fine gems of gold behind a dark canvas.
Her foot was sore, so she sat at the side to rest for a while. She saw a lot of happy couples and families enjoying the food outside the night city breeze on the strip of restaurants on the side of the mall.
Her feet were aching from all those running and her stomach growled to remind her that she did not have any money to buy her a meal. How she was going to get back without friends or money, she still did not know.
There she was, looking like an abandoned kitten outside a house. That’s when she heard his voice.
Maya looked up at the sky, puzzled “Sir Chief? “, then speaking to herself, “It’s nothing Maya. Just a little bit of hungry hallucination.”
“Maya!” called Sir Chief a little louder.
Maya stood stiff and wide-eyed before turning around. “Sir Chief!” she said, as she put both hands into her mount in shock and surprise. There was Sir Chief, a little out of breath, but still, Sir Chief nonetheless, in his dignified stand.
“Hey friend, buddy…Listen, could I have some cash?” Naw. It was too lousy. How should she say it?
“So,” said sir Chief as they were sitting across each other on a table eating their evening meal. “What happened to you?”
Maya looked down. They sat like strangers. She swallowed, and decided it was just best to come clean.
“Sir Chief, if it’s all the same,” Maya clasped both her hand for ultimate begging frenzy. “I lost my bag along with my money and phone, I can’t contact my colleagues, I haven’t anything to spare except my clothes, and you’re the only …erm… friend near… So I was wondering…”
“Yes?” he relaxed his hand in his chair, looking at her smiling.
“I was wondering if I could have an advance, just for the expenses of this trip.”
Sir Chief laughed.
Maya sighed, “Sir Chief, please naman, don’t laugh at my misfortunes.”
“How can’t I? You lived in Manila all these years, yet you still managed to let your bag be snatched.”
“I don’t think it can be helped.”
“Fine,” he said, taking his wallet and leafing through the bills. “Will 7 000 be enough?”
Maya coughed with the coffee she was drinking. “7 000 Sir Chief? That would almost be my monthly salary. No. 500 would do.”
“500?” said sir Chief incredulously. “Maya, this isn’t San Nicolas. What will you buy with it, a piece of cardboard box for you to sleep out in the streets?”
“No Sir. That would be impractical.”
“Yes!” he exclaimed as if saying “bravo! I thought you didn’t know that”.
“Because, because, what if it rains?” Maya stuttered. “The cardboard would get wet.”
“Maya!” he said.
“Joke langpo, sir. Peace tayo.”
“Here, take this.”
“Wait, sir Chief!” said Maya, closing her eyes and backing.
“What?” he looked at her uneasiness.
“I’m not used to you handling me cold cash. You see, usually, it’s inside an envelope. It’s so… awkward”.
“What do you want me to do?” he raised his eyebrows. “Enter a department store to buy some envelope? Or maybe you want me to write you a check.”
“No, no, it’s fine. Just a little bit weird langpo.” She said, accepting the money.
Sir Chief placed his wallet back. “So, where are you going to stay for the night if I didn’t find you?”
“Probably take a cab back to the hotel.”
“Wait a bit.” He said to Maya. Then he dialed his phone. “Hello Liza, can I have Maya stay in our hotel for the night? Yes, I saw her just outside the mall.”
“Sir Chief!” Maya started. But Sir Chief held his hand for her to be silent.
“And, please call her boss, to inform her that she lost her bag.” With that, he ended the call.
“So, it’s settled. You can sleep in Liza’s room for the night.”
“Sir Chief, It’s too much. I’d rather not bother ma’am Liza and just go back.”
“No, no. Stay here.”
“It’s just that, it’s already too dangerous to take a cab at this hour.”
“But sir, It’s still not that late. Besides I can call Emman.”
“Do you have a phone? Do you know his number?”
“But it’s going to be inconvenient for you—, “she protested.
“Do you expect me to drive you all the way to your hotel?”
Maya was going to object again, but Sir Chief said, “Maya, stop. It’s late, and I’m tired. Our place is just behind your back. See it? We can walk from here.”
“But my clothes…”
“Department store, Maya. Just get the rest in the morning. I need you anyway.”
“For what, Sir Chief?”
“To discuss more about Nikki’s upcoming birthday of course.”
“But Sir Chief, we could do it at home.”
“No. We have to do it early. We are already out of time because of all these activities. We can discuss it over breakfast tomorrow.”
“What about Ma’am Liza?”
“Maya, are you letting others handle the task I’m giving you?”
“No, no, Sir Chief!”
“Besides, Liza is busy right now organizing this event. You just have to do it.”
“Can I ask something?”
“About the hotel expenses… are you going to take it out of my salary?”
They arrived at the living room of the hotel. But Sir Chief’s phone rang again.
“Maya, just go ahead and ask Liza for your room,” said Sir Chief.
His staff was all there to have their last minute unofficial meeting. The whole party saw both of them arrive at the same time, so it may not have been unusual if someone approached her to ask, “Ma’am, are you Chief’s girlfriend?”
“Oh no.” thought Maya, “Of course, what else would they think when they see Sir Chief take a girl to a hotel in the dead of night? I must explain this at once. This would be the second time I’ll be mistaken as someone important.” Liza was still busy talking to the others to be of any help.
“No, no, you’re wrong. It’s not at all like that.”
The man looked at her as if saying, “Really, why else would he bring an unknown girl in at this hour?” but out loud, he only said, “You mean you’re not his woman?”
And this time, Sir Chief entered the room to interrupt. “Okay a guy, that’s enough. Let’s all get to bed for tomorrow’s event.”
Everyone cleared out to get to their own rooms, including Maya and Liza.
Maya was already dressed when Sir Chief came knocking at her door(If you must know, Sir Chief was only passing by her room on the way to the dining hall). “Are you ready? Come on. Let’s have breakfast.”
“Breakfast po? Together?” she asked.
“Yes. We need to discuss about Nikki’s party remember?”
“Oh good. You have a pen ready.”
“Of course, Sir Chief. So I won’t forget any of your instructions.”
“Oh, look, Liza,” Sonny saw as Sir Chief was going in with Maya trailing behind with pen and paper, looking to tell the truth, very much like Liza as his ever sticking secretary. “Take care, I think you’re being replaced.”
Liza chuckled. “No. I think they’re just having another boss and employee moment alone.”
“I’m sorry ma’am Ina, but last night, Mr. Lim insisted I should stay in their hotel. He said it was too late to ride a cab.” Maya was explaining to Ma’am ina through the phone on what happened last night. It was hard to serve two bosses at the same time.
Ma’am Ina told Maya that she was only too happy that it turned out that way, even though Maya missed the morning briefing meeting they had. She even said she would just ask someone to deliver Maya’s baggage so she could stay there for the whole trip..
“Here kuya, thanks for letting me borrow your phone.”
“No problem, ma’am. Anything for Mr. Lim’s girlfriend, ” said the man.
“No. I’m not. I’m really not his girlfriend! I’m just one of his employees,” said Maya
“But ma’am, I haven’t seen you in the office. Are you an event’s organizer?”
“No. I’m a nanny to Mr. Lim’s children. That’s really all there is!”
….end of flashback.
Yes, that and Mr. James comment just as they were going in.
“Maya, Maya,” said Sir Chief.
Maya woke up from her flashback. She had to stay away from Sir Chief at least for tonight.
“I’m sorry Sir Chief. What were you saying?”
“I said your dress is nice.”
“Sir Chief,” said Maya almost reproachfully if that’s even possible. “This is a Christmas present from you, remember?”
“Oh, of course, I remember,” said sir Chief, quite forgetting. “I meant that you look wonderful in it.”
Oh no. He said himself one can’t flirt with one’s boss. This misunderstanding should not get any worse.
“I… I called Abby just recently. She’s already asleep. She said she wanted to see more of you, sir. More than breakfast. You had been rather busy lately, because of the hangar, I suppose.” She tried to talk casually.
“Yes. She’s always asleep when I get home. I’ll make up for it after this event. I’ll have to take her to the amusement park.”
“I think she would like it better if you play with her in pikoinstead,” said Maya, trying to laugh it off.
“Piko?! She told you that?!” said Sir Chief. She might have well asked him to dance like a can-can in front of the whole company wearing a hoola. No. No such undignified acts for him. That was his ultimatum.
“Yes Sir Chief. She said she wanted to see you jump and get the stone,” said Maya, trying to humor him, at the same time, trying to find a way to excuse herself.
“Is that Mr. Lim’s date? She looks familiar,” said Stephanie to her friend standing beside her(She’s also invited? Curious. Maybe she’s one of the aviation industry folks). Somebody was talking to Mr. Lim. And it looks like a very serious and dangerous tête-à-tête is happening. She decided to but in, in pretense of something.
“Good evening Richard,” she began.
“Thank you for coming. Excuse me. I still have matters to attend to.” He said quite frankly, putting end to her obvious advances just like he always does to almost everyone. It turned out that his ‘matters to attend to’ included going away tagging Maya along with him.
“Maya”, said sir Chief imploringly.
“Yes, Sir Chief!”
Maya was all for obedience, but they were heading for the dance floor, and that was too much. It would really make everything berserk. She still didn’t know if she already cleared herself from all of Sir Chief’s staff. “Sir Chief, what are we doing? Why are we going to dance?” She meant to stop the dance, but by ill luck, the result of her words was the opposite.
“Huh?”, said sir Chief, quite surprised. “I was going to show you the new planes down that lane.I thought you’d like that very much. But do you want to dance?”
“Dance, sir Chief?!”
To be continued…
N/A: I used the Filipino word “po”, because I can’t believe the English language does not have any equivalent respectful phrase. Japanese has one (“de gozaru” at the end of an intended respectful sentence), and even Korea (I think, from all I hear), but why doesn’t English have one? Does that mean they are not polite??