This is a continuation to Truth and Lies – part 4
Ethan was driving Maya’s car on the way to Bokawkan Road.
“Maya, how many times have I told you to keep your phone inside your bag so you don’t forget it. This has happened before. Also, bakit doon mo naiwan sa bahay noong Richard?” Ethan was in upset mode.
“Ethan, nakalimutan ko nga, eh. Please don’t make me explain again.” Maya gave him an angry look. “In the first place, if you showed up last night at the bar, I wouldn’t end up sleeping in his place.”
“What? You slept in his house? Aba, bago ‘to ah. First time kanina, you were a no show in a meeting. Then, sleeping in a man’s place. What did you do? Akala ko pa naman damsel in distress ka kanina so I immediately rescued you.” Ethan sneered at her.
Ethan and Maya have been friends since college that they know each other well. Maya has always been a subject of male attention since she blossomed in college. Ethan is her self-appointed guardian. On several occasions, they’ve employed a tactic where he acted as a pseudo boyfriend particularly when she needed to ward off unwanted men hanging around her. So, this afternoon, Ethan played that role again.
“Well, you didn’t need to. Nagulat lang ako kasi you called me Maya and I told him that my name was Hannah. In short, nabisto ang real name ko when you called me.”
“Hannah?” Ethan facial expression changed and he started to laugh. “Sa dami naman nang name why choose that and besides why did you have to give him a fake name?” He glanced at her with curious eyes.
“Walang reason for the name. It just popped out. ” She chuckled. “You know that I don’t really like to give my name when strange men approach me in bars. Anyway, doon ko siya nakilala.” Maya explained.
“Fake name and yet you conveniently left your phone in his place?” Ethan started teasing her.
“Excuse me? Of course not.” She just couldn’t share with Ethan what was the situation earlier that caused her to be disoriented hence the reason why she forgot her phone.
“Kung hindi lang andoon lahat ang business contacts list ko, I could just buy a new phone.” Maya retorted.
“You’re right. Pwede naman na re-construct ‘yon.” His side comment; his eyes focused on his driving.
“Pwede, basta ikaw ang gagawa. Pati na rin listahan ng friends, relatives and agents natin.” She challenged him.
“Well, tama ang decision mo. Balikan na lang natin. Ang hopefully nandoon nga.” Ethan gave in after realizing the tedious work he was going to do. “But it looked like he is interested in you, Maya.” He made a another comment while trying see her reaction thru his peripheral vision.
She didn’t respond to that statement but there was secret smile on her face. Instead she said, “Ethan, when you see the signage na Tiger Motors, turn left. Doon tayo pupunta ha.” She gave him instructions.
Maya was knocking on Richard’s place but there was no response. After a few minutes, Maya told Ethan they will check at the eatery where she and Richard had eaten earlier. She looked for the server, Betchay, and checked with her where she could find Richard. Betchay was kind enough and told her that she find him at building beside their eatery.
Maya and Ethan proceeded to the Tiger Motors. The moment the door was opened by the guard, Maya had a better appreciation of the car dealership. Even Ethan was amazed at what he saw. Lined up on display were 4 luxury cars. Only the rich can afford those brands, definitely high end vehicles.
A lady staff approached them. “Sir, Ma’m good afternoon. Which car would you like to check out?” The staff is a sales advisor based on her name plate.
“I’m sorry, we are not here to look at a car. We’re looking for Richard.” Maya told the lady.
“Miss, si Richard Lim sana ang hinahanap namin” Ethan added.
“Si Chief po pala hinahanap n’yo. Sandali lang po, baka nasa service station. Doon po kasi madalas maglagi yon.” The lady remained pleasant and directed them to the visitor’s lounge where they could wait.
“Ahh, miss, siguro pupunta na lang kami sa service area n’yo?” Maya suggested.
“Ma’m dito na lang po. Kasi we don’t really allow clients to go to the service area. Sandali lang po, ipapatawag ko po si Chief.” The lady hurriedly left them to fetch Richard.
After a few minutes, the service area door opened and out came Richard wearing a light grey coverall. By the looks of it, he was working on something because his attire was marked with grease. Even his arm had some dirt on it. He smiled when he saw Maya.
“Hi, what brings you here?” He looked genuinely glad as his eyes went from Maya to Ethan. His hands now akimbo. “Pasensiya na, I was working on a car. Nagpapalit kami ng piyesa eh.”
Maya just looked at him and immediately made the assumption that he works as one of the service staff of the car shop.
“Richard, I think I left my phone on the bed kanina. Binalikan ko lang.” Maya went straight to the point on the reason why she came back.
“Ah, ganoon? I haven’t been near to my bed. Anyway, let’s go. You can get it yourself.” Richard responded. His smile never leaving his place. In this thoughts, “This must be fate. She came back.”
Maya blushed at the mention of his bed, especially with the emphasis on the his word. It compounded when Ethan gave her the questioning look.
“Okay.” She replied and turned to Ethan. “Ethan, pahintay lang dito sandali. I’ll just get my phone.”
“Do you want me to join you?” It seemed he didn’t want her to be alone with Richard.
She smiled at him with a raised eyebrow. “I’ll be okay. Tingin tingin ka muna nang kotse d’yan.”
Richard then signaled Maya to follow him. He lead her thru the service door and into a hallway. As they walked thru that other section of the building, she saw several high end cars lined up.
“So, are those cars all for repair?” She got curious.
“Not all. Some just needs checking. The others are pre-owned, waiting for buyers.” He responded.
“Ah, akala ko… anyway kasi sabi mo nag-re-repair kayo. So, I am assuming you are one of the mechanics here?” She asked.
Richard just smiled. “Hmm, parang ganoon na nga.” Then, they reached the side exit of the building which was a short-cut going to his place.
When they were in front of his house, he asked Maya. “Would you mind, getting the key from my breast pocket? Paki open na lang ang door too. I still have to wash my hands.”
Maya didn’t mind the request and took the key from pocket. Then she thought, “ano ba ‘yan parang feeling close naman namin.” She carefully took out the key from his pocket and then inserted it to the key hole. When the door opend, they both got inside.
“Go ahead and find your phone. I’ll just wash my hands. I should have done this earlier, before I went out of the service area. I didn’t realize it was you who was looking for me.” He pointed her to the direction of the bed while he went to sink and washed his hands. While he was washing his hand, he thought it was chance to ask the nagging question in his mind since they parted ways earlier.
Moments later, Maya was holding her phone. “I found it, Richard, thank you.” Then, she handed him his house key which was still with her at that time. She was smiling, glad to have her phone back.
Richard looked at the key and also smiled at her. “You want to keep it?” His brows raised. He walked towards her.
Maya was surprised by this question. “Excuse me?” She asked; her brows furrowed.
It was then she realized that she is alone with him in his place. Their earlier scenario in his car flashed in her mind. It could be dangerous to be alone with him after that. How could she forget? She took some steps backward. At the rate he was moving, he was about to invade her personal space.
Seeing the worry in her eyes, he laughed as he took his key from her hand. “I was just teasing you.” Then, he looked at her intently. “Know what? I didn’t have a chance to ask you earlier. Why did Ethan call you Maya?”
“Huh? Ahhh, ehhh. “ She gave him a sour smile. She was caught off guard by his question. “Actually, that’s my real name.” She finally admitted. She had no other excuse and she was feeling uncomfortable lying about her name.
“Aha! So I was right last night. I had a feeling that what you gave me wasn’t your real name. So, would you care to give me your full name, please?” He had a pleading smile as took another step towards her. Maya took another step backward. Her mind was dictating her to leave his place as soon as possible. She was starting to have an inner conversation with herself again.
“Alright, It is Maya, Maya dela Rosa.” She finally gave in when she noticed that if took another step backward, she would be at the foot of his bed.
Still with a grin on his face, Richard offered his hand and said. “Good to meet you Maya dela Rosa. I’m Richard Lim.” He was giving her that intense gaze that was making her uncomfortable. With him close by, she could smell his cologne even if he is in his work clothes. Her heart beat wildly. “Why is she in this predicament?” She asked herself again. “Maya, get out of this place!” Her logic dictated her.
She ignored his hand but tried to keep a friendy tone. “Since I already got my phone and the introductions have been done, I think I better go now Richard.” Maya avoided his gaze and took a sideways step forward attempting to walk towards the door.
He grabbed her arm to stop her. “Maya, not yet please. Can we have dinner tonight? And don’t tell me I am still a stranger to you. I think we are more than that by now.” He stood in front of her again.
“I’m sorry Richard but I’m with Ethan and we have a business appointment this evening.” She quickly declined as she released her arm from his hold.
He let out a deep sigh. She is really being difficult, he told himself. He sensed her flip flopping behavior towards him from the time he saw her. It’s the first time that a girl was undecided on his advances. It’s not normal that his dinner invitations are turned down nor phone numbers are not shared to him. He sensed that she didn’t want any more connection with him contrary to her kisses earlier.
He then uttered. “I’ll just give you my number instead. If you are available anytime here or in Manila, give me a call.” He took out a piece of paper and a pen from the bedside table, wrote his number and handed it to Maya. It was his final effort.
Maya took it but with no real intention of calling him up. While she acknowledged to herself that he affects her as a man, a part of her was telling her that she shouldn’t entertain him.
On their way back to the hotel, Ethan noticed that Maya was in a pensive mood. She had been like that since they went out of Tiger Motors.
“Maya…huuy… anong problema?” Ethan finally asked out of curiousity.
She turned to face him. “Nothing really. Iniisip ko lang yung dinner invitation ni Richard.”
“Aba, iba na talaga yan ha. Kagabi sa bar, ngayon naman dinner. I really think he is interested in you, Maya.”
She shared her thoughts to her friend. “Yeah, I also think so. Parang okay naman siya. Pero alam mo, something is holding me back.”
“What’s that Maya?” He asked as he finally arrived at their hotel parking space. They didn’t alight from the car yet.
“I’m not sure Ethan. There’s something inconsistent with him. I mean look at him and his work. I’m not in for a casual relationship. If something progresses with him, I don’t think my parents will like him.” She reasoned out.
“Maya, aren’t you getting ahead of yourself? Dinner pa lang naman ang invitation noong tao sa’yo, hindi naman mag-pakasal. Bakit napasok na kaagad ang parents mo? Why don’t you give yourselves a chance to get to know each other?” Ethan suggested.
“Ethan, sa background pa lang, parang hindi na kami match. Hindi naman sa pagiging ano… pero… I mean yung work niya and all.” She wanted to say more but chose not to because it was uncomfortable to mention.
“Are you looking down on the guy? You just met him yesterday.” Ethan became serious as he gave her an accusing stare.
“It’s not that I’m discriminating. Kaya lang, you know my parents. They have high expectations.” She tried to explain to her friend.
“Are you sure sila or ikaw ang mataas ang expectations? Anyway, it’s up to you. I’m mean regardless if it is Richard or someone else, how important is wealth to you? Pag-isipan mo yun.” After saying that, Ethan got out of the car which signaled the end of their conversation.