Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to AttyMayiVR. This is a continuation to Please Be My Legal Wife – part 4.
A/N: I’m sorry for the delay. I had to recall from my memory the draft that I made which was deleted when my laptop crashed. I know there are some of you, who, like me, visit personal blogs of the contributors of stories we religiously follow. With the thought that at least one co-adik is checking on my blog (http://attymayivr.wordpress.com) dahil hindi na makapag antay ma post sa EB, is really inspiring.
Thank you to Katniss and misschuchy too for sharing this story.
Wagas na pasasalamat sa EB Admin for a site like this and for accommodating this story. Salamat din kay Admin Sharpie21 for attending to my emails.
Thank you and I hope you’ll enjoy reading….
Maya: Eh it was a spur of the moment nga po, ang kulit nyo po naman o. Then, she faced Richard with a wide smile plastered on her face and says, Sorry po uli Sir Chief……and thank you din po sa concern. Good night po! Buh-bye!
With that, Maya turned around and entered her bedroom without looking back and shut the door behind her immediately, leaving Richard outside still stoned to the ground with amazement. Her wits, guts and spontaneity simply surprised him. She doesn’t seem to be intimidated by him, even in an infuriated state and despite his wrathful conduct.
How to Train to Dragoon
The next morning, Richard got up early as usual but, instead of driving himself immediately to LAS, he decided to delay his departure and stay for breakfast so he can join the kids and Maya and the rest of the household. Today is Maya’s first day of work with the Lim family and he felt that he needed to mark it officially and welcome her during breakfast. He would have done it last night, had there been an opportunity, and if the spontaneous jump to the pool did not happen when he first saw Maya.
He checked on the time as he puts on his watch. It was almost 7:00 in the morning. He sprayed cologne and went out of his room to go down to the dining area, where Manang Fe was.
Manang Fe: O, Ricardo, hindi ka pa pala na alis? Halika at kumain ka muna ng almusal.
Richard: Good morning po Manang. Ang mga bata po, tulog pa ba?
Manang Fe: Malamang. Wala pa ni isa sa kanila ang nababa dito. Kadalasan, halos mag alas otso sila nagigising. Kung alam nila na sasabayan mo sila sa almusal, sigurado kanina pa sana sila nandito sa mesa.
Richard: Hayaan nyo na at bakasyon pa naman. Si Maya po? Tulog pa rin po ba?
Manang Fe: Hindi ko pa nakita dito sa labas eh. Pero napansin ko kanina naka bukas ng bahagya ang pintuan ng kwarto nya, baka palabas na. Hintayin mo ba siya o mauna ka na kumain? Hindi ka ba mahuhuli sa opisina nyan?
Richard: Okay lang po, I do not have any meeting this morning. I’ll just wait for a few more minutes baka bababa na rin mga bata. First day kasi ni Maya ngayon sa atin, I wanted sana na ma welcome ko siya officially this morning because there was no opportunity last night when I got home.
Manang Fe: Ganun ba? O siya sige, katukin ko sandali sa kwarto niya. Baka nahiya lang lumabas kanina.
Before Richard could protest, Manang Fe was already outside Maya’s room knocking at her door.
Manang Fe: Maya….Maya hija, nakahanda na ang almusal, halika na. The knocks caused the door to move, making the little opening bigger. So she went inside and called out her name again. Maya hija, pasensha ka na at pumasok ako. Nakabukas kasi ang pinto eh. Maya? She looks around, she was nowhere in sight. She goes back to the dining table immediately.
Manang Fe: Wala si Maya sa loob ng kwarto niya eh.
Richard: What? Hindi na po ako nakadaan sa mga bata kanina, baka naman kasama na ni Abby sa taas.
Manang Fe: Doris! Paki tignan nga si Maya sa taas. Baka nasa kwarto ni Abby. Sabel, paki tignan mo na rin sa baba at baka naman nagpapahangin sa may pool. Paki sabihan naka handa na ang almusal at naghihintay si Ricardo.
Doris & Sabel: Opo Manang.
After the search, Maya was nowhere to be found. “Could she have possibly left because of what happened last night? But she was okay after I admonished her. She even smiled at me when she said good night.” Richard was in deep thoughts as he contemplates on what transpired last night. Richard discreetly checked on her room and felt relieved when he saw her mobile phone on the study table beside her hand bag. He goes out to the garage and saw Maya’s car still parked. Then he noticed that the security steel bar of the service gate had been unhooked which means that somebody has already gotten out.
Richard: Manang, she must have gone out without letting us know.
Joma: Malamang nga Sir, kasi, kanina pong mga 6:30 ng magsimula ako maglinis ng mga sasakyan, naka tanggal na po yung steel bar ng service gate eh. Akala ko nakapaglabas lang ng basura sina Manang.
Richard is now upset. It only means that Maya left even before 6:30 without letting anyone know, without even leaving a written message if no one was awake yet when she left. He lost appetite for breakfast so he went to his home office instead.
Richard was getting impatient as it was already 7:30 and Maya has not returned yet. To aggravate his anxiety, there was no way to reach her because she left her mobile phone in her room. He is now in quandary on whether to call Maya’s parents and ask them of her whereabouts or let them know that she sneaked out of his house early in the morning. Just then, he heard the front door open and in seconds, a sweaty Maya walks in casually but was put to a halt when she heard Richard yell.
Richard: Maya! Where the hell have you been?!
She turns around and sees the enraged face of Richard who is now standing near the doorway of the home office. He was so upset, he grabbed Maya by her arm, practically dragged her inside his office and forced her to sit down on the chair while she answers the question.
Maya: Nag jogging lang po, kasi –
Richard: Ni hindi ka nag paalam?! Did it ever cross your mind na magpasabi man lang?! Maya, you are now under my employ and part of this family. If that is tolerated in your house, hindi mo pwede gawin yan sa pamamahay na ito! That was so inconsiderate of you!
Maya: Eh wala pa pong kasing gising when I left early this morning, pe –
Richard: That is not an excuse! You should have at least left a message. Worse, you cannot be reached because you negligently left your mobile phone in your room!
Maya, stubborn as she is, was never treated this way in her own house even if she has done something wrong or irrational. There, due process was always observed, and no judgment is made without giving the supposed wrong doer a chance to explain. In contrast, Richard had already prejudged her as inconsiderate and negligent. As she was not given a chance to finish her answers, she just stares at him without uttering a word.
Richard: What now?! Don’t just stare at me! I want an explanation!
Maya: You’re not letting me! Ni hindi nyo ako pinatapos sa mga sagot ko eh, and yet you were able to make your judgment. You said it, I was inconsiderate and negligent. Husga agad? A man is innocent until proven guilty. Sa inyo, baliktad. Guilty muna agad then prove otherwise?
Sigaw na naman kayo ng sigaw diyan sa akin. Did it also cross your mind that what was supposedly not done can no longer be done kahit na sigawan nyo pa ako mag hapon? You cannot turn the hands of time kahit sigawan nyo ako ngayon ng paulit ulit.
It was happening again. He did not expect such a reaction from someone in his employ. She does not get intimidated by the mere fact that he’s the boss. His eyes narrowed as he glares at her. He could not believe it. In his thoughts “Did she just retort at me?!” He looks straight at the door, then up the stairs to check if anybody is at a hearing distance, especially his kids. Good thing there was no one. To let the house staff and his kids hear their conversation is simply unacceptable.
Pwede na po ba ako naman ang magsasalita? Richard just frowned at her. As I was trying to say, I decided to jog kasi I woke up very early and could not get back to sleep at wala pa pong gising when I left to jog kaya hindi po ako nakapag paalam, PERO, nag iwan po ako ng note, in fact dalawa pang note!
Richard: Really?! And how do you support that claim?
Maya looks at him and thinks. In her mind, “Ahhh, gusto mo ng ebidensya ha. Sige, tignan mo lang.”
Maya: Hali po kayo, sumama kayo sa akin, bilis po! She got up from the chair, and with her right hand pulls Richard’s left hand and leads him to the kitchen. Standing before the huge refrigerator, Maya pointed to him a note written on a small yellow post it paper sticking on the upper portion of the door handle of the refrigerator. The note reads as “5:40 a.m. Good morning! :) Lumabas lang po ako para mag jogging – Maya”
Maya: She took the note and with a tone of sarcasm, Your honor, may I ask that this evidence be marked as Exhibit 1 for the defense.
Maya noticed Richard grimaced. Excitedly, she leads Richard back to where he was sitting in his home office. She searched his table, and lifts the folder of her employment file which Richard was looking at while he impatiently waited for her. Underneath the lifted folder is his laptop where she put another yellow small post it paper with the same note. Pointing it to him, she said, again with sarcasm, Your honor, may I ask that this evidence be marked as Exhibit 1-A for the defense.
Richard: Seriously?! Those are the notes? They’re so small! Did you even expect na mababasa yan?
Maya: The point is, I left a note! Therefore, that belies your claim that I was inconsiderate for not even leaving a message! Hindi ko na po kasalanan kung hindi nyo nakita at nabasa sa sobrang singkit ng mga mata nyo.
Maya: HEP! Maya said as he raised her left hand to make a stop position. Kindly let me finish, Sir. One more thing po, did you even try to call me at my mobile phone?
You see, Sir, I did not negligently leave my mobile phone. That phone you saw in the room contains my wireless landline sim card at dahil low batt na po, sadya kong iniwan. My MOBILE PHONE, which has my SMART SIM CARD, the same number in my resume that you seemed to be reading a while ago, is with me.
She pulls out her Samsung Galaxy SIII mini unit from the left pocket of her sweat pants, displays it in front of Richard’s face, then says with tone of victory Your honor, may I ask that this evidence be marked as Exhibit 2 for the defense. With that, I rest my case, Sir!
Richard has never been embarrassed. His face is red with rage and embarrassment. Embarrassed with how he dealt with the situation irrationally and furious on how his defeat was flaunted by this woman on his face. To add insult to injury to his male ego, Maya continued with her grandstanding.
Maya: Now, I believe it’s my turn to ask my accuser. So, Mr. Lim, how did you know that I left my phone in the room? Did you enter that room and rummaged through my belongings? How do you plea? Guilty or not guilty?!
With all due respect, Sir, just because you own this house it does not mean that you can invade my privacy in that room. I also want an explanation!
At that juncture, Manang Fe enters the home office. She heard the last part of the conversation as she was approaching the room and saw the red faced Richard. She bails him out because she feels it was her fault for entering Maya’s room in the first place.
Manang Fe: Ah Maya, naiwan mo kasing bukas ng bahadya and pinto ng kwarto mo kaya nung kumatok ako naitulak pabukas ang pinto at nakita ko ang bag at telepono mo sa study table pero wala ka, kaya pumasok ako para tignan ka sa may walk in closet dahil walang nasagot nung tinatawag kita para mag almusal. Hindi ko na naisara ang pinto pag labas ko eh.
Inaantay ka kasi ni Ricardo at gusto ka sana niya sabayan mag almusal para i-welcome ka dahil unang araw mo sa amin. Hindi ka na nya kasi nabati kagabi kasi nasa kwarto ka ni Abby nung dumating siya.
Maya: Awwww, ang sweet sweet naman po pala ni Sir, Manang. Actually, ramdam da ramdam ko kanina ang welcome niya. He did it with a big roar!
She leaned towards Manang Fe and in a soft tone said Tiger mode agad Manang Fe, ang aga aga, sermon ang pina almusal sa akin!
Manang Fe: Basa ka pala ng pawis Maya, magpalit ka muna ng damit at ng maka kain na kayo ni Ricardo ng almusal. Pihado na marami kayong gagawin ni Abby ngayon at unang araw mo dito sa amin.
Maya: Mr. Lim, may I now be excused, Sir?
Richard: Facing defeat in the conversation, Richard calmed down and let it go. Gentleman as he is, in a normal tone he said, Yes, of course. I’ll see you at the dining?
Maya: Opo naman! Then, as if not satisfied with her victory at hand, she grins and leans towards Richard then playfully said Mabuti na lang dumating ang abogado nyo at may sumalo sa inyo. Without waiting for Richard’s reaction, Maya turned around. Manang Fe, magbihis lang po ako bago mag almusal.
Manang Fe: With a big smile on her face, she shakes her head in amusement. She looks at Richard and says Ricardo, mukhang nahanap mo na ang katapat mo. Gustong gusto ko talaga si Maya. She turns around and heads back to the dining area. Halika ka na anak, kumain na kayo ng almusal, lalamig na ang pagkain.
The next few days went normal for the Lim household. This means, the kids eat their breakfast and dinner without Richard who was back to his busy work schedule. Good thing Maya stays in the mansion. The kids get to share meal times with her.
Maya: Wow! Ang sarap naman ng dinner! Naku Manang, kung lagi na lang ganito ang pagkain dito, mananaba ako!
Nikki: Tita Maya, you’re not naman mataba eh.
Luke: Oo naman, mas mataba ka naman kesa kay Tita Maya! Hahaha
Nikki: Kuya! You are so G R R R R!
Manang Fe: Itigil nyo yan, nasa hapag kainan kayo. Nagsimula na naman kayong dalawa ha. Mamaya magka pikonan na naman kayo diyan.
Luke: Okay lang po yun, wala naman po si Dad eh. Walang magagalit.
Nikki: Yeah nga, Manang, when Dad’s here it’s so nakaka bingi kasi nobody talks. Now, meal time is so much fun.
Maya: Parang galit galit lang pag meal time? You mean to say, pag kasabay nyo si Daddy nyo, hindi kayo ganito kadaldal?
Nikki: Yup! As I said, bawal nga ang mag ingay dba, Tita Maya.
Maya: Huh?! So pano pag meal time? You just sit together and eat? No kamustahan whatsoever?
Luke: Wala. May mag salita man, pihado sermon ni Dad ang maririnig mo.
Nikki: Don’t worry Tita Maya, that rarely happens naman.
Luke: Rare kasi, he’s rarely here during meal times.
Maya: Eh kasi busy si Daddy nyo sa work kasi he wants to give you the best. He only wants to secure your future. Di po ba Manang?
Manang Fe: Tama ka Maya. Gusto lamang ni Ricardo isisiguro ang kinabukasan ng mga anak niya. Manang smiles at Maya for trying to show the Lim kids the good side of it.
Luke: Eh kailangan po ba ang pag iinit nya ng ulo at pagsusungit nya para masigurado ang future namin? Halos galit lagi tuwing nagkikita kami, bibihira na nga lang yun!
Maya saw the sad look on Abby’s face. She immediately attempts to change the topic to lighten up the mood.
Maya: Ay Luke, ano, uhm…. hindi ba senior year mo na? Anu na ngang course ang balak mong kuhanin? May napili ka na bang college?
Nikki: Ay PUS ang gusto nyang college kasi si Ate Joey dun ang balak, super crush ni Kuya yun, pero hanggang ligaw tingin lang siya kasi he is so TORPE!
Luke: Tumigil ka nga Niks!
Maya: Talaga? Maganda sigurado si Joey! May picture ka ba?
Luke: He gets excited with the thought that someone in the house, other than Nikki, is interested with his personal life. He pulls out his phone and shows a stolen shot of Joey. Here Tita Maya. She’s the one in the center.
Nikki: Oh my gee Kuya! Stolen shot? When did this happen?
Luke: Whatever Niks! At Nikki Grace Lim, I am warning you, huwag na huwag mong masabi sabi ito kahit kanino kung hindi lagot ka sa akin!
Maya: Wow! She’s pretty ha! So where did you meet her?
Nikki: Oh she’s my school mate Tita Maya. She is also a senior sa pasukan. Pero since she was once the president of the theatre club of the grade school, I met her when she helped us out sa isang major play co-sponsored by Ateneo, our neighbor school.
Maya: Ows? You’re in theatre club? Neighbor school nyo ang Ateneo, so I assume Katipunera ka Nikki?
Nikki: Oh my gee! How’d you know that Katipunera thing? Huh?! You are also a Katipunera?
Maya: Since Nursery!
Luke: Eh bakit hindi ka maarte gaya ni Nikki?
Maya: Excuse me Luke, that is not pagiging maarte.
Luke: Hay sus! Ayan na nga.
Maya: We are not maarte. It’s not like, we hate making tusok tusok the fish balls you know! Katipunera nga kami diba?
Maya: Ganyan lang kami pero okay na okay kaming mga katipunera!
The dinner lasted longer than usual. They were having fun exchanging stories, especially Nikki and Maya. Maya requested Manang Fe if they could have ice cream for dessert. Manang Fe gladly heeded the request, much to the delight of the Lim children.
Maya: So, Nikki, have you been to the high school grounds? Grabe ang tagal ko ng hindi napunta dun. Nandun pa kaya yung bamboo area?
Nikki: Oh my, Tita Maya, tambay ka din dun? It’s still there.
Maya: Talaga? Dun kasi madalas mag meet ang mga different orgs. Eh, ang glee club dun madalas mag meet at mag tambay. Grabe miss ko naman bigla. Enrolled ka na ba? Sama naman ako.
Luke: Hala baby! Aagawin na ni Ate Nikki si Tita Maya sa iyo!.
Maya: Oy hindi ah. Baby, sama tayo kay Ate Nikki, iwan si Kuya. Unless, gusto lang pala nya sumama para makita si Joey!
Luke: Tita Maya naman, binuking naman ako agad oh. Sama tayong lahat baby!
The four were engrossed with their conversation. Their laughter, the shrieks, and loud talks as each tried to outdo the other, filled the house. Manang Fe, Doris, Sabel and Joma just watched them with smiles on their faces. It was at this moment that Richard arrived from Clark where he checked on the construction of the new hangar. He hears the rowdy conversation as he walks towards the main door. He enters the door unnoticed, and saw his children having an animated tête-à-tête with Maya with smiles on their faces.
Richard: What’s this?
Everybody was caught by surprise. Sudden silence engulfed the entire mansion. Maya saw the rapid change in the faces. From joy, she saw fear. With Luke, she saw how dismayed he was, as he looks down and shakes his head. Maya broke the silence and acted cool, as usual.
Maya: Good evening po, Sir Chief! Ah, katatapos lang po naming kumain ng mga bata. Kayo po, kumain na po ba kayo?
Richard could not speak. He also saw the sudden change in their faces, especially his kids, and that hurt him. It hurts to feel that he and his children have grown distant since Alex died. It hurt him more to see the terrified look on their faces upon seeing him.
Manang Fe: Ah…Ricardo? Ipaghahain ba kita?
Richard did not know what to do. He just stares at them. So Maya, thought of it as an opportunity to try something.
Maya: Abby, Nikki, Luke, hindi nyo ba babatiin si Daddy? Pagod pa naman sa work si Daddy nyo, wala ba man lang welcome hug and kiss?
They have grown so distant that the kids have already gotten used to just hello’s and hi’s and short conversations with their father. When he is upset, which seemed to be almost all the time, the kids did not dare to approach him, not even to say good night. With what Maya just said, the tension became even stronger. Nobody dared to move or talk. But to Maya, there is nothing to risk in trying. So, she persisted.
Maya: Alam nyo yan ang kaugaliang Pilipino na dapat hindi nawawala. Ang pag mano sa magulang. Alam mo Abby, si Teacher Maya, hindi lang mano ang ginagawa sa Daddy, may bear hug at yummy kiss pa. Abby just looks at her. Oo nga Abby. Gusto mo, i-demonstrate ko sa iyo kung paano?
Abby nods smiling. Ganito lang yan, gagawin ni Teacher kay Daddy tapos gagayahin mo ha. Everyone’s jaw dropped at Maya’s spontaneity. Abby gives her a thmbs up as a go signal.
Realizing what she just said, reluctantly, Maya goes near Richard who is now staring at her incredulously. In Maya’s mind, she was arguing with herself. “Anu ka ba naman Maya, dire-diretso na naman yang bibig mo. Anu na? Shunga ka talaga, idedemo mo nga talaga? At kay Mr. Lim pa? Seriously? Baka itulak ka palayo nyan, mapapahiya ka lang. Eh wala na akong magagawa. Panindigan ko na lang ito. Ano ba naman, kahit galit, ang gwapo pa rin?”
She breathes deeply and gets the right hand of Richard. O baby, gayahin mo si Teacher Maya ha. Maya does the mano, and while still holding Richard’s hand, pulls him towards her a little bit, lets go of his hand to give him a hug, then gives him a lingering kiss on his right cheeks with a loud smack sound, all to Richard’s surprise. He shivers while Maya gets intoxicated with his male scent. In Maya’s thoughts “oh my dear, amoy gwapo!” She casually walks away. O, kaya mo ba yun Abby? Kailangan yung malakas din yung sound ng kiss ha. Go to Daddy na!
Abby goes to Richard excitedly. She does the mano complete with hug and kiss, then proudly goes to Maya and the two of them simultaneously make the 2 thumps up sign. Richard unconsciously smiles. Nikki was encouraged to do the same as she saw her Dad smile for the first time after a very long while. She runs to Richard, does the mano, gives him a the kiss but hugs him tighter. As she looks up to Luke, she saw the hesitation and so she encouraged him.
Nikki: Uhm….Kuya, it’s your turn na! Come here na oh. Dad’s waiting. We’re all waiting.
Although there was hesitation, Luke obliged. He did it in a manly way. It felt good, for both father and son. It was then that Richard spoke calmly.
Richard: Uhm….How are you kids? Bat ngayon lang kayo natapos mag dinner? It’s already late.
Maya: Ay, kanina pa po actually, napasarap lang po ang kwentuhan sa lamesa. Ah, aakyat na nga po sila to prepare for bed eh. Hindi ba Nikki?
Nikki: Yes Dad. We need to sleep early rin kasi I’ll be going to school tomorrow to get my uniform and books. Looks at Maya to give her hint on the plan of joining her tomorrow.
Maya: Ay, Sir Chief, p-pwede po ba kaming sumama ni Abby kay Nikki? Richard just stares at her. Eh…..er……kasi po, part po yun ng lesson namin. Yes, Sir Chief, nasa communities na kami, so I need to tour her sa school para makita po nya sa actual, kasi hindi pa raw sha nakakakita ng loob ng school. Shempre po she needs to know yung classroom, flag pole, and clinic, ang –
Richard: Fine. You may go with Nikki.
Maya: Talaga po?! Gives a high five to Abby and Nikki. Eh, pwede pong humirit pa? Kasi po si Luke gusto rin sumama kasi –
Luke: Kasi po, I need to buy my school supplies na.
Richard: Okay you may all go. Just coordinate with Joma para hindi pabalik balik, and Maya, you have to text me and give me updates like kung nasaan na kayo.
Maya: Po?! Update you through texts?
Richard: Bakit, ayaw mo?
Maya: Eh hindi naman po sa ganun, kaya lang, hindi naman po tayo text mates eh.
Richard: What is that?
Maya: What I mean is, I don’t have your mobile number.
Richard: Get it from Nikki?
Maya: Sabi ko nga po, kukunin ko kay Nikki. So, eh di mag good night hug and kiss naman kayo ngayon kay Daddy!
The Lim kids look at her. O? alangan i-demo ko pa? kaya nyo na yan, good night hug and kiss lang yan ha. Kulang kasi kayo sa praktis eh! Sige Abby, mauna ka na kina Kuya. Nahihiya yata sila eh.
Abby gives Richard her goodnight hug and kiss. Samahan ka ni Teacher sa taas Abby, kasi tumutulong si Ate Doris kina Sabel eh. Good night po Sir Chief!
As expected, Maya and the Lim children had a blast the next day. Abby was amazed by how Nikki’s school grounds looked like. She was excited for Nikki, as the latter tried on her new high school uniform at the sewing centre located at the college area. There were various uniforms on display, and the colourful ones for the pre-school got Abby’s attention. Abby asked them, through her ipad, when will she be in school like that, so she can wear the uniform on display. After Nikki’s stop, they proceeded to the mall so Luke can really buy his school supplies. Of course, Maya deliberately and naughtily reported every move they made to Richard through text messages.
Maya’s Text: “Good morning po Sir Chief! Paalis na po kami ng mansion.”
Richard’s Text: “Okay. Just keep me updated.”
Maya’s Text: “Going down Antipolo Hills.”
Maya’s Text: “We’re in Marcos Highway, on our way to Nikki’s school.”
Maya’s Text: “Now in Katipunan Avenue, a little traffic!”
Maya’s Text: “Sir Chief, we’re here na. Wow! I feel nostalgic! Nikki is so excited.”
Maya’s Text: “Si Abby sobrang na amaze sa school grounds!”
Richard’s Text: “Good.”
Maya’s Text: “We are on our way to the sewing centre for Nikki’s uniform.”
Richard frowns as he was getting disturbed with the sound of the alert tone coming from his phone every now and then, and was about to tell Maya just to text him of a major activity, when another message from Maya came in.
Maya’s Text: “Wow, Nikki looks so pretty in her uniform! School girl na school girl ang dating!”
Richard smiles. In his thoughts “Of course, Nikki is pretty. She takes after Alex.” Then another message came in. He raises his eyebrows then frowns again while reading the next succeeding messages.
Maya’s Text: “Ay, Sir Chief, si Abby, natuwa sa uniform on display. She asked kelan daw po sha papasok sa school at gusto rin niya mag uniform.”
Maya’s Text: “Ay, what she likes is the pre-school uniform pala, ang cute kasi ng colors.”
Maya’s Text: “Naku, Sir Chief, kahit daw yung pang grade school uniform, okay sa kanya. Just like her Ate Nikki nung bata pa. Gusto na daw pumasok sa school.”
Richard was about to text her to ask what was her answer to Abby when his phone beeped again.
Maya’s Text: “Ang sabi ko na lang, pag ready na sha pumasok sa big school like that, i-e-enroll nyo sha. Hayun, happy na uli si Abby.🙂 ”
Richard smiles again. This time, Liza, who was discussing something with him, could not help but ask.
Liza: Sir, okay ka lang? Do you need to call somebody instead of texting? Baka importante eh.
Richard: Sorry for the disturbance. It’s Maya. No need to call. She’s with the kids, lumabas sila pumunta sa school ni Nikki. Sabi ko keep me updated through text. Me pagka pilosopo at makulit. She took it literally. Text nga ng text pati kung nasa anung kalye na sila.
Liza: Hahaha! She’s so funny. Kulit pala talaga ni Maya ha.
Richard: That is an understatement Liza, believe me. Anyway, okay na yan. Prepare for the luncheon meeting. We’ll start in 30? Is that okay with you?
Liza: Of course, sir. Ready in 30 minutes.
Maya’s Text: “We’re leaving Katipunan. We’re on our way to Antipolo pero dadaan muna po kami sa mall for Luke’s school supplies.”
Maya’s Text: “We’re here at Robinson’s Metro East. Early lunch po muna kami, super hungry na daw po si Abby and Nikki.”
Richard’s Text: “Okay. I’ll just reimburse what ever expenses you’ll incur. Be alert lalo na baka maraming tao sa mall. I’ll have a meeting in a few minutes. Please keep me updated.”
Richard got busy over the next hours of the afternoon. He did not have the chance to read the succeeding messages, as the team was stuck in a nerve wrecking meeting with contractors and suppliers for the completion of the Clark Hangar. Immediately after the meeting, Richard found himself excitedly pulling out his phone to read his messages.
Maya’s Text: “Great early lunch at Pancake House. Ang dami po nakain ni Abby! Kayo po, Sir Chief, kumain ka na? ”
Maya’s Text: “Dito muna po kami sa loob ng department store. Nikki realized she needs new undergarments. She feels embarrassed, inaasar kasi ni Luke, kaya nagpasama po sa akin. Luke is shopping for his stuff too.”
Maya’s Text: “Bookstore na po kami.”
Maya’s Text: “Oh my, ang dami na pong tao sa bookstore. Ang haba ng queue! Si Luke nasa dulo ng pila. 😦 Naiinip na si Nikki and Abby. Kaya si Kuya Joma na lang po muna ang pumila. The kids and I are now heading to the movie area.”
Maya’s Text: “Huwag mag tiger mode, Sir Chief, we’ll not watch any movie, we’ll just have some drinks and snacks, nagutom na kami sa kaka ikot dito sa mall.”
Maya’s Text: “Nakapila pa po si Kuya Joma, hindi pa tapos mag snacks si Nikki, at kaka serve lang po ng coffee ko, pwede po ba mag arcade muna si Luke at Abby?”
Maya’s Text: “Sir Chief?”
Maya’s Text: “Mr. Lim? Pwede po ba? Nakikita ko naman po sila from where I am eh.”
Maya’s Text: “Hay, Sir Chief, tagal mo naman pong mag reply, pinayagan ko na ang mag kuya.”
Maya’s Text: “Nandito na po si Kuya Joma, pero pinag merienda ko muna at napagod sa pagpila. Anyway si Luke and Abby are still having fun sa arcade.”
Maya’s Text: “Going home na po kami.”
Maya’s Text: “Sumulong Highway na po kami near Masinag.”
Maya’s Text: “We’re home! Back at the mansion. This is your reporter, Maya, signing off!”
Richard grins and shakes his head with amusement. As instructed, she reported to him what they were doing in detail even if it was not necessary just to give him peace of mind. She took charge without reservations. She took care of his kids, especially Nikki who needed someone like her. She did not forget Joma while they were at the mall, and made sure he was also okay. In the middle of everything, she did not complain but even managed to ask him if he has eaten lunch. He felt good with her thoughtfulness. Somehow he felt the need to go home early today. So, he informed Liza that he’ll be going home, much to Liza’s surprise and pleasure.
Manang Fe: O Ricardo, maaga ka ata ngayon? Kumain ka na ba?
Richard: Hindi pa po ako kumakain. Nasan po ang mga bata?
Manang Fe: Naku, mga pagod. Nasa mga kwarto na nila. Ayaw na kumain at mga busog daw. Mas gusto ng magpahinga.
Richard: Si Maya po?
Manang Fe: Busog din, hindi na raw kakain. Pati nga kami nabusog. Pinag balot kami ng pasalubong, kaya wala ng gustong kumain ng niluto namin ni Sabel. Napaka buting bata ni Maya.
Teka, nag paalam nga pala mag jogging sa labas. Kanina pa yun eh. Hindi pa bumabalik. Baka nadaanan mo, at hindi mo lang napansin.
Richard: Ha? Kanina pa po ba? Madilim na po eh, hindi ko mapapansin sa daan.
Manang Fe: Aba, mahigit isang oras na pala ah. Pahanap ko na kay Joma, baka naligaw na ang batang yun!
Sabel: Maka singit lang po Manang Fe. Si Joma po, plakda sa kama. Humihilik na. Sobrang napagod daw siya. At sir, ang phone ni Maya, ayun oh, nakasaksak nag cha-charge.
Richard: Richard heaves a sigh while pouting. Ako na maghahanap.
…to be continued