This is a continuation to Someone Like You – part 15.
For a second day in a row, Maya went to the office feeling like she was a zombie. She hasn’t been sleeping well and coupled with her emotional state, she was feeling very sluggish. It was a blessing that there were lots of typing and research work that Atty. Bobby gave her, it kept her mind off Richard. She drowned herself in them.
Richard was still absent because he got flu. He wasn’t expected to return to the office until the following Monday as it was already Thursday. Maya felt good that she wouldn’t have to see him in the office. It would give her space to recover. The thought of resigning was in her mind but she would need time to really think about it. For now, she can still bear it.
At home, Maya finally disclosed to her mother that she has broken up with Richard. As expected, Mama Teresita was supportive and had no judgment on her relationship with Richard or even with Richard for that matter. Her only words of wisdom was “kung para kayo sa isa’t-isa, magiging kayo sa hinaharap. Baka hindi pa panahon.”
“Ma, naman. Parang pinapa-asa mo pa ako n’yan eh.” She scolded her mother while wiping away her own tears.
“Maya, ang sinasabi ko lang, baka hindi pa panahon. Huwag kang masyadong magalit kay Richard. Malay mo suyuin ka uli. O paano eh di kakainin mo ang mga salita mo.” Mama Teresita tried to lighten up the mood. She knew Maya loved Richard so much and she believed that Richard also did. She just couldn’t fully phantom the real issue because Maya didn’t give the complete details.
“Ah basta Ma. I’m moving on.” She declared to her mother.
Moving on was easier said than done. If only love is like a light bulb that be turned on and off by a mere switch. Her decision was tested when on Monday morning, she found herself sharing the elevator with Richard. She entered the elevator first and then Richard followed her. Her heart thumped when their eyes met. She looked away. Two more people boarded the lift before it went up.
“Good morning Ms. Dela Rosa.” His greeting poked pins in her chest. Now, she is Ms. Dela Rosa. Just a few days ago, he still called her Honey. But then again, he never loved her so it was easy for him to switch terms.
“Good morning Atty. Lim.” She responded without looking at him.
When they got out of the elevator, Richard took hold of her wrist practically dragging her with him to his office. “We’ll talk. Sandali lang.”
Inside his room with his arms folded on his chest, he faced her. “So, are you really serious about breaking up with me?”
The way he was staring at her gave her goose bumps. She is very much in love with the man in front of her. She almost wavered but had to remind herself how much doubt there is in their relationship. She stood her ground.
“Sir, hindi ba maliwanag? Hindi naman complicated yung statement na it’s over between us.”
“I’m leaving for the States this Saturday, Maya. I have work to do there. While I’m away, it would give us both time to think about us. So I hope…” He looked serious as he took a step closer to her; she stepped backwards.
“Sir, there’s nothing to think about. Tapos na tayo, wala na! Ayan tagalog na ‘yan para mas klaro.” After that, she left his room. It was good thing that Liza wasn’t around yet otherwise, she would have seen Maya’s pained expression when she exited Richard office. It took a lot of courage for her to say it was really over.
Ring. Ring. Ring.
Maya checked and prayed it wasn’t Richard. She sighed in relief. It was James. She has not spoken to him in more than a month.
“Hi, miss beautiful, still remember me?” James casual greeting to Maya always makes her smile.
“Good morning James, nabuhay ka?” She replied in a teasing mode. She didn’t want to sound like she has a problem.
“Oo naman, buhay pa, ha,ha,ha. I just thought about you this morning, that’s why I’m calling. So, how are you?” James asked.
“Ah… okay naman ako.” Maya lied, she far from okay. However, whatever she is going through at that time, it wasn’t something that she could share with him. “Wala ka sigurong magawa kaya napatawag ka ano?”
“On the contrary Maya… anyway, can we go out? Pwede ka ba? We haven’t seen each other in the last few weeks. Hindi sa nagtago ako after nung last usapan natin ha. Explain ko later. So ano? let’s have a friendly dinner.” James tried to persuade her. The last time they spoke, he asked her if he could court her. Although she didn’t categorically say yes or no, he knew that his timing was off at that time.
“When do you want to go out?” Maya asked. She thought going out with somebody might help her take away her mind from Richard. It is a friendly dinner after all.
“How about tonight, if you are not busy. I can pick you up at your office.” James offered.
“Alright, how about 7:00 p.m. May tatapusin pa kasi ako, eh. Also, that would give you time for the drive from Makati to Ortigas.” She finalized with him.
“Okay, I’ll see you then, Maya…Bye.” They ended the call.
As planned, Maya concentrated on her work the whole day. Although there were papers that needed to be passed to Richard’s office, she made sure that she coursed them thru Liza. Later that afternoon, she heard that Alex was in their office once again. Her heart bled knowing the two were together. To keep her sanity, she avoided going near his office for the rest of the day.
By 6:45 p.m., she had completed her work and readied herself for her appointment with James. At that time, everyone had left the office except for the cleaning lady who usually stays up to seven to wash the dishes used during the day.
Then, she got a text message from her boss. Atty. Bobby was asking her to ensure that the SMCs papers are signed by Richard first thing in the morning as it was already needed by their client. These were the same papers that she messed up the other day, hence, it was delayed. She fixed them yesterday but still it kept on going back and forth between LOE and SMC. Thinking that Richard had left the office, she decided to write a note and just leave it on his table.
As she walked towards his office, she noticed that his lights were still on. She thought nothing of it. It was normal for either Liza or the cleaning lady turn them off before they leave the premises. So when Maya opened the door, she was unprepared for the shock of her life.
Richard was leaning on his table with a bared back Alex in front of him. They were kissing. Alex’s hand was wrapped around his neck while his hands where on her upper arm. Alex’s blouse was on the floor.
“Oh god, I’m sorry.” Maya almost choked. Due to shock, she dropped the papers she was holding. She immediately picked them up and placed them on the nearest seat from door. Maya left the stunned faces of Richard and Alex.
As soon as she closed the door behind her, her tears fell down uncontrollably. She ran to her table to get her bag. She wanted to get away from the office. She was exiting the reception area when James came out of the lift.
When their eyes met, Maya couldn’t hide her emotions; her eyes were almost blind with tears. She was so hurt that it felt like she was dying.
“James” She could only say his name. Tears continued to flow.
“Maya, what’s wrong? May nangyari ba?” He was very concerned. He reached out for her.
The moment James touched her back, Maya wailed on his chest. She clung on to him like she needed his strength to keep her on her feet. He had no choice but to support her. “James, ayoko na talaga… Hindi ko na kaya… Ayoko na. ” She was so crushed. All her pent up emotions and tears were coming out like a flood gate has been broken. She was trembling; her heart shredded to pieces.
James held her for a while. “Maya, please calm down. Okay? We’ll take the elevator down to the parking lot. Sabihin mo sa akin lahat. But for now, kalma ka lang.”
James took her bag and slowly assisted her walk into an elevator that just opened at their floor level. His hand remained on her shoulder while Maya’s head was bent down still sobbing.
For the remainder of the week, Maya didn’t report for work.