Note: This is a continuation to Someone Like You – part 6
Chapter – 7
Maya felt good to be back at the comforts of her own desk with her real employer. She was away for almost three weeks and so she met with her team to get updates from them. After her meeting, she noticed that she had a missed call and a text message on her phone.
She checked the message and it read. “Hi, what time can I call you up?” She wondered who it was because the number wasn’t registered in her contacts list. The missed call was also from the same number.
So, she replied “Sorry your number is not in my contact list, Who U?”
A few seconds after she sent the message, she got a response “Ouuch.”
Thinking it was one of her friends, Maya called up the number. The phone rang a few times before it was picked up.
“Hi, thanks for returning my call.” The guy on the other line greeted her. He sounded distracted.
“Ah..eh.. you have a missed call in my phone.” Maya carefully said.
Although her heart jumped when she heard the voice that sounded like Richard’s, she didn’t want to assume that it was really him.
“Maya, this is Richard Lim. Would you please save my number on your phone?” Richard sensed that she wasn’t sure if was him so he identified himself. After all, it was the first time they spoke on the phone.
“O sir, napatawag ka?” She asked casually.
“Hmmm, pwede ‘wag mo na akong tawaging Sir? You’re not reporting here in the office anymore.” There was hint of sullenness in his tone; as if he was making her feel guilty.
Maya ignored his implied message .“Well you have a point there Sir. Ay, Atty. Lim.”
“Maya, I meant cut the formality. Please call me Ricky, I’d prefer that.”
She paused for a while. Then, “Alright Ricky. So, bakit ka nga napatawag. I’m sure the purpose of this call is not about how I should address you.” She repeated her question earlier.
“Well, I owe you a dinner right? So, itatanong ko lang kailan ka available. I’m not taking a no or busy answer this time.” He stated firmly. In his thoughts “Dinner lang ang hirap naman imbitahin nito.”
There was a long pause on the other end of the line. Maya in the end said “Okay, if you are available tomorrow, then I can make it.” Sensing that he won’t stop asking her out for dinner, Maya finally agreed.
“Alright, I’ll fetch you in your office at 6:00 p.m.
The following day, Maya arrived at the office and saw a basket of pink roses on top of her table. There was no card. She checked with their receptionist when the flowers arrived and she was told that they were delivered early morning.
At 9:00 a.m., Richard called her up.
“Good morning. Did you receive the flowers?”
“Yeah. So, it was from you. Thank you. May occasion ba? Why did you send flowers?” She was starting to feel giddy.
“Kailangan ba may occasion?” There was a pause from him. Then, he continued “Well how about to commemorate our first dinner? I mean a dinner that we are not going to argue?”
Maya laughed on the other line. “Ha,ha,ha. That will do Atty. Lim, eh Ricky pala.”
They ended the call in high spirits and looking forward to their dinner plan.
Ricky was doodling in a paper while seated in his office when Ryan arrived after lunch.
“Bro, are you free tonight? Tumawag si Fred, labas naman daw tayo.” Ryan had a call from one of their close friends who works in another law firm. He noticed what Richard was doing.
“Rye, I can’t make it tonight. I have another appointment that I can’t cancel.” He was smiling when he responded to his friend.
“Hmm, why do I sense that this appointment is a date?” Ryan started to pry on Richard as he took a seat in front of Richard’s desk.
“I really don’t consider it as a date. It’s just a dinner with someone.” Richard didn’t want to share anything more than that. However, his facial expression was giving him away. He had that silly grin on his face.
“Heyy. I know that look, man. So, are you seeing a new girl. May bago ka ng girlfriend after 5 long years? Sa wakas, mapapalitan na si Alexandra.” Ryan excitedly adjusted his seat to face him.
“Don’t jump to conclusion. As I said, I don’t think our dinner plans tonight is a date. But this girl is quite interesting. She’s unique.”
“Bro, lahat ng babae unique, ano ka ba? Ang common lang sa kanila ay shopping,shoes, bag at magtsismisan.”
“I don’t know if she likes any of those you mentioned. But what I know is that she has that innocent eyes and smile that can draw you in, the legs are perfect. She works hard and produces good results. She’s quite strong in character behind her sweet image.” Richard was about to continue on but Ryan interjected.
With the way Richard described the girl, Ryan got confused. “Eh, the way you are describing her parang combination yan ng ideal girl at legal assistant mo. Ano bang hinahanap mo? At saka nasaan na ba ‘yang chick na yan or should I say nasaan na ba kayong dalawa?”
“Don’t call her chick, Bro. She is in her office right now.” He paused for a while. Then he continued, “Hmm, I’m still undecided if I want to start something with her. I’m more inclined to hire into this company.”
“Wooahh! Careful ka dyan. It looks like a potential violation of your own rules that is no dating of an officemate or someone in the same profession. Or, baka ma-harassment case, Atty. Lim” Ryan teased him.
“Ha,ha,ha. She had once threatened me with that including acts of lasciviousness .” Richard was caught off-guard that his altercation with her slipped out. It was then he realized how ridiculuous they may have sounded arguing about the cases she was going to file against him.
“Ha! So, you must have done something to her. Hmm, anong ginawa mo? Anong nangyari.” In a renewed interest, Ryan wanted more details from Richard.
Richard chuckled some more as he shared, “Walang nangyari. Nasampal lang ako. Okay na, that’s all I am telling you.” His face turned red as he recalled why he got slapped.
When their bantering ended, Ryan delivered his parting shot. “Well, goodluck friend. Rest assured, I am willing to be your co-defense attorney later on.”
“Thanks Bro. I’ll count on you on that.”
Maya was chagrined at the early arrival of Richard in her office. By 5:45, she was advised by their receptionist that a handsome Chinese guy in eyeglasses was waiting for her. Maya already knew she would be the topic of discussion the following day as this is common of the girls in the office. It didn’t help that when they left the office, Richard’s hand was on her back escorting her out of the office premises.
Over dinner at a fancy fusion restaurant at Shangri-la mall, Richard was grinning at Maya to her discomfort. She was feeling self-conscious with the way he was gazing at ther.
“Thank you, ha.” Finally, he spoke.
“Saan?” She asked.
“Sa wakas, nag-agree ka ng mag-dinner tayo. So, ibig sabihin talagang peace na tayo.” He said; still looking straight in her eyes.
“Hayy naku Ricky, peace na nga tayo. So, pwede move on na din tayo.” She darted her eyes away from him. She feared that she might blush because of the effect of his gaze on her.
“Alright. I heard from Dad that you wanted to take up law?” Richard opened a new topic.
“Yes, that was before my father died. Since going to law school meant additional years in school, I decided not to pursue it and just find a job after graduation.”
“So, do you still want to take it up? You’re still young. You can do night school or get a light load so can still work.” Richard suggested.
“Actually, pinag-iisipan ko rin yan. But right now, my priorities are all related to my work. Medyo maraming ring dapat asikasuhin sa office, eh.”
She shared with him some of the things she was working on that got delayed because she was temporarily sent to LOE office.
“Maya, I know Dad has offered you a job in our law firm. How about you reconsider it? I think it’s a win-win for both of us if you join us. You can get exposed to the profession that you’ve dreamt of and hopefully can help you decided to pursue it. We need you in the office. I’ve seen your dedication and efficiency, yun yung hinanahap ko sa mga assistants sa office.” He was serious as he started laying down his job proposal.
Maya didn’t look at him as she was playing with her fork. “Ricky, una anong job naman ang gagawin ko sa inyo. Naka-hire na kayo ng EA for Sir Bobby. Everyone is in-place. Feeling ko tuloy nito ina-accommodate n’yo lang ako.” Maya verbalized what was in her mind at that point. She hasn’t fully processed what Richard told her.
“Oopps, definitely this is not to accommodate you. Why would we do that, ang hirap yata ng business ngayon. We’ve observed your performance during your short stay with us. As I said, we liked your performance. No one’s going to be replaced because I have been really thinking of adding one EA that can support the 3 senior partners on special cases that we handle.” Richard explained further.
“Thank you but.” Maya was going to decline but was cut-off by him.
“Don’t say No. Think it over.” He placed his hand over hers that was resting on top of the table. He was smiling at her. “For now, let’s finish our dinner.”
Their dinner went well judging by the general mood they were in. Richard found her very fun to be with as she had keen interest on any topics that they discussed. She’s so easy to talk with. On Maya’s part, she felt more comfortable with him. She realized that he is not as arrogant as she judged him to be, he is just confident. As he was in a jolly mood during dinner, she could help but enjoy the time with him.
Later that night, Maya allowed him to bring her home at Greenwoods Village.
As Richard’s car stopped in front of Maya’s house, he immediately got out from his car and opened the door.
“So, may pagka gentleman naman pala ito,” she thought.
Her house is a two story house with 2 car garage and a small store at the ground floor. When her mother, Mama Teresita, heard a car stop in front of their house, she went out of the house.
“Good evening po.” Richard greeted Maya’s mother as she opened the gate.
“Good evening din.” Mama Teresita acknowledged the greeting and then turned to Maya waiting for her to say something.
“Ah, Ma, si Richard po. Ricky ang Mama ko.” She introduced the two people in front of her.
Richard extended his hand for the customary greeting. “I’m Richard Lim, Ricky na lang po. Kaibigan po ako ni Maya.” He darted his eyes to Maya. Her face was expressionless. But in reality, Maya’s heart jumped a bit when he said they are friends. “So, friends na pala kami.”
“Ah! O, pasok ka muna Ricky. Kumain na ba kayo?” Mama Teresita offered. She seemed excited to meet a new friend of her daughter.
“Wag na po. Tapos na kaming mag-dinner. Medyo gabi na kasi. Next time na lang po.” Richard politely declined the invitation to which Mama Teresita responded.
“O sige. Next time na lang.” Mama Teresita smiled. “O sya, Ricky, Maya papasok muna ako. Maya, ikaw ng bahala d’yan sa gate.” Mama Teresita left the two who were staring at each other until Maya spoke.
“Ricky, thank you sa paghatid at sa dinner.” She was smiling genuinely at him.
“It’s the least I can do considering what I did before and I enjoyed your company.” He flashed his lopsided smile.
“So, I guess I have to go. Good night, Maya.” Richard stood in front of her for a few more seconds, unsure of what to do next. Maya stood waiting for the next move from him.
Eventually, he walked to his car and boarded it. Maya waved goodbye as he drove on.
An hour later, Maya was already in bed when she received a message from Richard. She excitedly read the message.
“I enjoyed dinner tonight. Thank you.” He sent her the message as soon as he arrived in his residence.
“Me too.” She was sincere with her response.
She was about to put away her phone when it beeped again.
It was another message from Richard, “How about lunch tomorrow? Ortigas area?”
After 5 minutes, she responded “Okay.” Although her decision was made right after she saw the message, she waited for a while before she responded so she doesn’t give him the impression that she’s that easy to invite.
There was a final message from him. “Great! Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.”
When she saw his message, she heart danced with excitement but had to remind herself “Kalma ka lang. Take it slow girl.”