This is a continuation to The Rightful Owner – part 1
A week after Richard’s return from Bali, he had been unusually wrought up about things. The analysis of the people in his office was that his vacation didn’t go well. It was only Liza who could speak to him during that week and everybody else stayed away from him. However, there was one employee who braved his mood.
“No, This won’t do Bryan.” Richard reacted after reading the proposal of TAs marketing department.
“Sir, that has been reviewed by Sir James. We’ve thoroughly researched and studied that.” Bryan, the marketing manager was insistent on the plan.
“Bryan, I said I don’t agree. Now, if your team wants to further argue with me, bring your boss here. By the way, where is he? How can we have a VP marketing that never shows up in this office?” Richard eyes narrowed with impatience. Bryan couldn’t respond because he too doesn’t know where his boss is.
“Anyway, why do I even bother to ask you? Just go and tell James to see me.” He dismissed Bryan.
Richard found the marketing proposal to be ridiculously expensive and misaligned with their overall growth plans. Time Airways may not be number one in the airline industry but its market share was steadily growing. Using a lot of resources for marketing may not be necessary. Besides, he didn’t agree on hiring Maya dela Rosa as its image model.
Later time of the day, James Ventura arrived at Time Airways office in a casual attire of jeans and round neck black T-shirt. Unlike Richard who is easily identified as Chinese, James is more of mestizo disguising his true origin of being half-chinese, ¼ Filipino and ¼ Spanish. Personality wise, James is very easy going to the consternation of Richard.
As usual, there were girls who swooned when they saw James walked straight into the marketing department and into his office. These girls belong to the group called Team James while another set of girls in the office belong to Team Richard. These girls always discussed and argued on who is more handsome, sexy, powerful and better between their bets.
Moments later, James came out of his room with brows furrowed and headed towards Richard’s office. He didn’t even bother to knock but just opened the door.
“Richard, what’s this I heard that you disapproved my proposal.” He stood waving a folder at the back of Richard who was at that time looking out the window when James suddenly barged into his room.
When Richard turned around, he met James eyes directly. They were of the same height.
“So, it is your proposal? When did you do that because I haven’t seen you in the office in a long while.” Richard sat down in his swivel chair, still eyeing James.
“Whether I am here in the office or not is my own business Richard. I have as much right as you do in this company. Anyway, I’m very much into this proposal because this will propel an increase in our market share.” James sat down on the chair in front of Richard’s table.
“Alright James, since you are into market share. Do you know what our vision and long term strategies are?” He challenged him. He knew James wouldn’t be able to answer.
James didn’t respond but maintained his challenging stance against Richard. They remained quiet for a while. Eventually, he saw James loosened up. It was an opportunity that he welcomed.
“So, I assume that you don’t know. Therefore, I’d like to request to keep your proposal at bay and join our regular meetings so you know the drivers of this business. Maybe, just maybe, you might have some realization on your marketing proposals. Then, we will discuss again.” Richard offered a solution which he hoped the other will accept.
Fortunately James was reasonable that afternoon. “Alright, bro. I am agreeable to that. Pero, there is one part of this proposal that we have to push thru now.” This time, James tone was much lighter, very much his normal self.
“Ang alin?” Richard asked, hoping it wasn’t about the image model.
“Itong image model. I think we should go ahead with this. Besides, we need to update the collaterals, safety instruction videos.” James was about to go on when Richard interjected.
“James, why do we have to hire an actress? We have so many flight attendants who are equally or more beautiful than her if you are just after the looks. Besides, Maya dela Rosa is expensive.”
James couldn’t help but laugh at his argument. “Ha,ha,ha. So, presyo lang ba ang problema? We can cover that considering the projected sales of this company. But her face and aura fits very well the value that we are selling to our customers.”
“James… Here we go back again to your overall marketing strategy which we agreed earlier to put on hold. I just hope that your insistence on hiring this Maya is because you used the brain in your head and not the brain below your belt.” Richard pointed James’s head and then to the area in between his thighs. One of his eyebrows was raised.
“Woooh, bro. Easy ka lang. She’s different.” James defended Maya.
“I know she is.” Richard curt reply. Suddenly, memories of their Bali encounter flashed in his mind.
“So, you’ve actually met her, right? And since you only commented on the price and using our own FAs, you have nothing against her.” James excitedly clarified with Richard.
“We were talking about business and so therefore I focused on business considerations.” Richard wondered where their conversation was leading to.
“Good. All your concerns are well noted. So, I will go ahead with the formal contract with her so we can begin work.” James stood up and was about to leave when Richard stopped him.
“Wait, why did you make a comment about me having anything against her?”
“Well, I like her. I like her a lot na plano ko s’yang ligawan.” James had a twinkle in his eyes as he declared his intention to Maya.
“What?? You can’t do that. How many times have I told you to never mix business and women?” Richard was obviously upset.
“Sabi ko nga sa’yo, she’s different. I remember lahat ng reminders mo; including ‘yang brain in its proper place. You just wait Richard Tan Lim, she’ll be mine.” James proudly announced.
“No, James Tan Ventura. She’s not right for you.” Richard warned him.
“Why Kuya, don’t you want me to get married so you can have a sister-in-law?” James teasingly countered him. “Di ba kayo ni Mama wants me to settle down since it’s taking you forever to do it yourself?”
“Yes but more than that, what we want is for you to take life more seriously. You’re already 30 years old. Hindi yang pabandjing, bandjing ka lang. Maya is not right for you.” Richard repeated his earlier opinion.
“Kuya,pag naging serious ako, that means I am in the hospital. About Maya being right for me, I will be the judge of that. For now, wish me luck. By the way, please ask Liza to send me those calendar invites for all the meeting you want me to attend. “Yang secretary mo, ayaw sumunod sa mga requests ko. Ikaw lang ang nirerecognize na amo dito. Does she know that I am a majority shareholder of this company?” James left the office with a firm decision in his head of pursuing Maya.
Richard was left in his room very frustrated with his half-brother. Whenever he calls him Kuya in recognition of their true ties and 10 years age gap, he knew that James was serious. As they were cut from the same mother although from different fathers, both of them can be stubborn when they want something. Knowing James’s intention with Maya, Richard needed to devise a plan to stop his brother. She can’t be the one for James. She can’t be especially after his Bali encounter with her.