Author: irishpolymer (Irish)
A/N: I sometimes get a load of foolish ideas in my head. This is me attempting to put it into writing and hoping that some will at least like it :-)
Richard Lim, President and CEO of Lim Aviation Services (LAS), closed his eyes and grunted as a high-pitched squeal can be heard from outside his office. Deliveries of flowers, boxes of chocolates, and stuffed animals have been arriving almost every 15 minutes and it’s not even 9 AM yet. He made a mental note to include Valentine’s Day to the list of things to be banned from the LAS offices. Love is for idiots.
“Sir, Atty. Ryan is here to see you.” Liza, his executive assistant, notified him through the intercom.
“Let him in,” he replied and for good measure added, “And please tell everyone to put a lid on all the screaming. I can hear them all the way in here. Masakit sa tenga!”
“Yes, sir.” Liza, who was among those who let out a squeal earlier, blushed.
“Brod! Cheer up, it’s Valentine’s Day!”
Richard ignored Ryan’s wisecrack. “Brod, may hearing ka?” referring to his friend’s suit and tie and freshly shaven face. His college buddy and now legal consultant is known for his aversion to formal attires and has been reprimanded a few times for donning casual wear in court.
Ryan took the seat in front of Richard’s desk and began to explain, “I’m bringing Ivy to the fanciest restaurant in town, kaya kailangan medyo appropriate ang suot.” His face broke out into a big grin, “Ang tagal ko na siyang kinukulit and I finally got her to go out with me. And on Valentine’s Day of all days too!”
“You’re not buying into this rubbish, are you? Richard shook his head. “Well, I hope she is worth all this trouble.” No woman is ever worth the trouble.
“Seryoso na ‘to Brod. This is really it for me.” Ryan said sincerely.
“Are you sure it’s not something that can’t be cured by a quick roll in the hay?” Richard asked trying to knock some sense into his friend.
“I’ve played the game long enough to know the difference. Basta maiintindihan mo rin ako when it happens to you.”
“Brod, you know I love women as much as the next guy but that will never happen!” Richard said assertively.
“Never say never, Brod. I’ve said that before too,” warned Ryan.
“Brod, sorry to disappoint you. We both know that between the two of us, I’m the smarter one. All this nonsense is rotting your brain,” he countered.
“Hahaha! Brod let’s just agree to disagree.” Ryan raised his hands in the air to signal a truce. “By the way, here’s the Aerotech Inc. contract. I’ve finished reviewing it. It looks fair and sound to me,” he said as he handed Richard a thick expanding file envelope.
“Ok, I’ll take a second look at it and let you know. With your present state-of-mind, I won’t be too surprised if you’ve missed a few loopholes.” he said half-jokingly. But really, he has serious doubts on the intelligence of people who fancy themselves in love.
Ryan laughed as he strode towards the door. “Brod, don’t be such a grouch.” Stopping at the doorway, he turned around and added, “I know you don’t like all these mushy stuff and have a reputation to uphold. But don’t be too hard on your employees. Especially the ladies, you know how they all love Valentine’s Day.”
“Not all of them. I know one woman who’s too smart for that.” Richard stated confidently.
Richard smiled at the thought of his brilliant and overachieving right-hand man, oops woman, Maya De La Rosa. At 28 years old, she has quickly come up through the ranks and gain the begrudging respect of the big boys of the MRO world. She holds the second-highest position in the LAS management team as the Senior Vice President for Aircraft Overhaul and Maintenance. She’s a formidable mixture of technical expertise and business acumen.
And I bet she does not buy into love and all these foolish crap.
Suddenly he is not feeling so irate anymore.
“De La Rosa”, came the quick reply on the other line.
“Where are you?” Richard asked. He was looking at his watch and Maya was 10 minutes late. They were supposed to briefly go over the some final details of their proposal to Lufthansa before the meeting.
“I just got here. I’m walking towards my office now,” she informed him.
“It’s not like you to be late for an appointment. Even an informal one.” He said it more as an observation rather than an accusation. Maya has fully earned his trust and respect.
“Pasensya na Chief. But you’ll just have to cut me some slack after what I’ve been through this morning,” she said with a hint of frustration.
“Valentine’s Day hullaballoo?” he quipped. Richard found it easy to banter with Maya as if she were one of the boys. As the only female in the management team she can amazingly keep up with the conversation, work related or not. The men we’re all at ease to bring up any topic in her presence as she’s a very good sport and not quick to take offense.
He heard her chuckle lightly and then abruptly stopped, “Ugh, that too. But it’s worse than that. My mother is in town.”
Richard laughed, slightly amused.
She let out an exasperated sigh. “Hindi mo kilala si Mama. She’s wreaking havoc with my life!”
“It can’t be that bad.” He can understand how meddlesome mothers can be. His mom was a prime example.
“You wouldn’t say that if you caught Mang Lem’s reaction when he saw me. Para siyang nakakita ng alien!” She half-shouted on the phone. She was clearly distressed.
“What has this got to do with your mother?”
“She said that like the aircrafts we service, I needed an overhaul,” she said, gritting her teeth.
“I’m sorry?” A bemused Richard asked.
“Thanks to my mother,” her voice was dripping with sarcasm. “I just had a complete makeover.”
Richard could not remember Maya getting this unnerved. In fact, she has always been incredibly calm during crisis situations. Maybe it’s that time of the month? Richard quickly shook off the thought. It’s so weird to think of Maya in feminine terms.
Maybe she had a disastrous haircut? He hoped not. They have this big meeting with Lufthansa and he wants to make a good impression. But even so, bad haircut or not, he was confident that Maya would knock everyone’s socks off. She always does. This deal is as good as theirs.
Suddenly remembering something, he grabbed a pen and began to write.
“Ok, I’m ready,” Maya announced as she breezed through the room. She’s usually not in the habit of knocking when she knows he is expecting her.
“Just a moment.” Richard said as he wrote hastily on a legal pad.
Maya placed a coffee mug on his coaster. It’s been a ritual for her to bring a cup of her special blend whenever she has a one-on-one with him.
“Thanks,” he said absent-mindedly, still scribbling. After a moment, he reached for the coffee mug. When he looked up his eyes widened. He cautiously put the mug down.
“Yes?” She looked at him, then suddenly remembered. “Oh sorry. Eto nga pala ang reports na hiningi mo,” she said handing him a file folder.
Richard distractedly took the folder from her. “Maya?” strain apparent in his voice.
“Chief?” she responded. “Do you need anything else before we proceed?”
“Maya?” he said again.
“Kanina ka pa Maya ng Maya ha.” She was already beginning to get irritated.
“Just making sure na ikaw yan.”
“Of course ako ‘to!” she said a little indignantly. “What do I look like?”
“Eleven”, Richard mumbled.
Maya looked confused. “Eleven?” she asked.
Did he just say that out loud? Good grief!
How do you tell your Senior Vice President, whom you always regarded as genderless, that she looks devastatingly gorgeous? On the hotness scale of one to ten, she is definitely…an eleven.