Note: This is a continuation to Someone Like You – part 2.
Maya was walking fast at 29th Street when she noticed a car was following her. When she turned around, it was Richard’s car that was moving parallel to her direction.
Out of panic, she run while exclaiming, “Ayyy, Tulong!!!” She removed her red stilettos and run as fast as she could.
“Hey, Ms. Don’t run!” Richard shouted as he extended his head a bit outside the side window while still driving his car to follow her. “I’m not going to hurt you. Ayaw mo bang makuha ‘yung bag mo?”
When Maya heard what Richard said, she stopped from running. She realized that she left her bag in his car and she needed her bag; all her things were inside that bag. Richard’s car stopped in front of her. He was about to go out of his car when she shouted while moving backwards.
“Sir, wag kang lalapit. Kukunin ko na lang po ang bag ko.” She was almost teary eyed; stilettos pointing at Richard as if to hit him in case he attempts to harm her.
“Okay. I was just going to hand it out to you.” Richard remained seated inside his car.
Maya opened the passenger door and hurriedly took her bag. After which, she stood on the side walk clutching her bag close to her to her chest. She was shaken by her experience.
“Know what? I have no intention of hurting you. Ayaw ko lang later na magpapulis ka para sabihing kinuha ko ang bag mo.” Richard told her. He wanted to be careful in this situation because he has a name and reputation to take care of.
“Don’t worry sir, wala akong planong magpa-pulis. At isa pa, hindi ako hooker katulad ng akala mo!” After her last statement, Maya turned around and walked on different direction away from Richard. She later heard his car starting signaling his departure.
The event that transpired between him and Maya was totally new to him.
It was his first time to encounter a woman of the street although she claimed she wasn’t. There was something with the girl that made him curious. She had contradictions around her like her get-up, the place where they met and the way she kissed. It felt like she was innocent until she wrapped her arm around his neck. But, the slap that he got was still upsetting him. Convinced that he didn’t do anything wrong, he decided to let go of the incident and forget her.
A serious looking Richard went straight to Lisa’s table as soon as he arrived at the office on Monday morning.
“Liza I just remembered something, could you help me out on..” Richard wasn’t able to finish his sentence.
“Hayy, naku sir, ano bang gagawin natin. Nag-resign na naman ‘yung executive assistant mo.” Liza informed him.
“Ha? Di ba 1 month pa lang si Karen sa’tin?” A surprised Richard asked.
“Oo nga sir, kaya lang, hindi daw nya kaya yung long hours of work.” Liza responded. She didn’t tell him that the other reason was that Richard was quite difficult to work with. He tends to be meticulous and so his assistant should be smart and attentive to details to survive working with him.
Upon hearing the news, Richard paused and started thinking. He came up with an idea. “Liza, why don’t you just work with me again. I’ll talk to Dad to release you. You can just get a new EA for him. You can oversee your replacement if you like.”
Liza used to work for Richard as his secretary before he left for the U.S. five years ago. Since Richard liked her performance, she was later assigned to his father, Atty. Roberto Lim. When he came back to their law firm last year as a senior partner, the firm hired new assistant for him. However, no one has stayed longer than 6 months on the job.
“Eh… Sir… kausapin mo muna ang Dad mo. Kung papayag si Sir Bobby, okay lang babalik ako.” Lisa answered but she prayed that her boss will not agree to his son’s idea. After all, she has gotten used to the more stable working hours which she favorable for her work-family life balance.
“Liza, consider it agreed with Dad.” Richard told her with conviction. Liza’s facial expression turned sour as she saw him leave. In her thoughts, “gone are the happy days, welcome back slave driver.”
Wednesday, Emman was about to leave for lunch when he got a text message from Maya.
“Good pm, saan ka? I need to talk to you. It’s emergency.”
Upon seeing the message, Emman immediately called up her friend.
“Bes, what’s the emergency? Nakakanerb’yos naman ang text message mo.”
“Ay naku Emman, kailangan ko ng payo mo but I can’t say the problem over the phone. Mas mabuti magkita tayo.” Her response to her friend.
Being bestfriends with Maya, Emman knew exactly when Maya is in trouble. It is the tone of her voice that convinced him that she needed help that day. So, he agreed to meet her at Café Breton at the Podium in Ortigas Center.
Over a cup of coffee and crepes, Maya was almost teary eyed as she was telling her predicament to her friend.
“Bes, kinausap ako ni Mrs. Cortez before lunch. Ang request n’ya sa akin is to agree on getting assigned to one of our of law firm clients. She said temporary lang naman habang we are still looking for the best fit candidate for an EA role. Nahihirapan kasi kaming mag-hanap ng candidate to be assigned to this company. ”
“Oh, ma-a-assign lang pala at temporary lang. What’s the matter with that? Do you think she’s trying to get rid of you?” Emman was confused why Maya consider it as a big problem.
“Bes, ang client is Lim, Orlino, Evangelista & Associates Law Offices.” Maya blurted.
“Ha? Oh my gee, yung law firm ng future ex mo? O diba, girl exciting! Nakabalik na ba sya from the U.S.? Sa kanya ka ba ma-a-assign?” Emman had the opposite reaction to the news. Maya thought she would get empathy from her friend but his reaction showed otherwise.
“Emman, bakit parang excited ka pa? Ayoko kasing ma-assign doon kahit temporary lang . Hindi ako ma-aasign sa kanya. And yes, he is back. Nakita ko si Atty. Lim last week.” Maya’s eyes rolled as she mentioned Richard’s name.
“I’m neutral to your case, Girl. Why don’t you take this assignment positively? One, once a upon a time, you wanted to be lawyer. This is a way to find out whether you want to pursue that dream or not. Malay mo ma rekindle ang interest mo so sa profession na ‘yan. Number two, this is temporary, you will return to your old job once they are able to find a suitable candidate. Number three, hindi ka naman pala sa kanya mag-re-report. In short, nothing to lose, Girl.”
“Ewan ko Emman, I just don’t feel like seeing or being with him in the same office.” She realized that Emman had good points if only she didn’t have that last encounter with him in his car.
“Hmmm, sa tingin ko ang problema ay baka instead of rekindling your dream to go into law profession, ang mangyari, yung dream mo maging kayo ni Atty. Lim ang ma-rekindle. Sa palagay ko by this time, may asawa na s’ya.”
“Malamang nga may asawa na s’ya. And, I pity the wife. May pagka maniac ang napangasawa nya.”
Surprised by her statement, Emman began to probe Maya. “Hey Bes, those are very strong words. May pinang gagalingan yan. You better tell me whatever secret you have otherwise, magtatampo talaga ako sa’yo.”
So, Maya had no choice but to tell her friend how she and Richard met again and what happened in his car. She skipped the sensitive parts but she told Emman how he mistook her for being a prostitute.
At the end of her story, Emman could only tell her. “Well, all the more you should get assigned there. May reputasyon ka palang dapat itayo. Nothing to lose as I said and a reputation to gain.”