“Ah, so you already know each other?” Ms. Belmonte asked Richard.
“Yes. We somehow … met.”
While Richard was talking to Ms. Belmonte, Maya was just blankly staring at them. She couldn’t believe that she spent a week hiding from him and now here he is, standing in front of him.
“Maya, I’ll leave you and Mr. Lim for a while. I have to check on some few things.”
Maya only nodded.
“So, hindi mo sinabi na dito ka pala nagtatrabaho.” Richard teased her.
“Welcome to Time Airways, Mr. Lim. Pasensya na po kayo, hindi naman po kasi ako naglalantad ng personal informations tungkol sa sarili ko.”
Richard only smirked. “Call me Richard. I thought we’re clear with that?”
“Eh nasa trabaho po kasi, Mr. Lim. Tara na po.”
Maya led the way inside the hangar.
“How’s your twins?”
“Chief.” A man with a Japanese accent interrupted them. “We’re all set na po.”
Richard nodded to the man. “Please excuse me, Maya. Mamaya na lang ulit.” He told Maya.
The day passed by and Maya is now getting ready to go home. She suddenly recalled what had happened this day. Richard has been attentive to her. He usually gets near her whenever he has the chance, he would talk to Maya if he’s doing nothing and he even offered Maya to go to lunch with him but she did not accept it.
Mabait lang talaga siguro siya, Maya. Kasi sa Time Airways ka nagtatrabaho na partner ng Lim Aviation. Oo, tama. Kalma lang. Walang nangyayari. She thought.
But despite all of that, Maya also noticed Richard as a man. He’s definitely well-built, he works gracefully; he has this handsome face that Maya could stare for eternity, and he also smelled good, indeed. She was mesmerized by Richard but she’s restraining herself from watching him. She needs to work, after all.
“Ma’am, uuna na po ako.” Pagpapaalam ni Maya kay Ms. Belmonte.
“Sure, Maya. Ingat ka. Goodnight.”
“Sige po. Ingat din po kayo. Goodnight din po” then she left Ms. Belmonte.
She was waiting for a taxi when a sleek black BMW stopped in front of her.
“Sakay na.” It was Richard.
“Ay . . ano, Mr. Lim. Hindi na po. Magtataxi na lang ako. Salamat po.”
“I insist.” Richard opened the passenger’s door. “Ihahatid na kita, Maya.”
“Mr. Lim . .”
Maya finally went inside the car. How could she resist Richard’s charming looks?
The drive home was surprisingly quiet. Then after a while, Richard parked in a restaurant.
“I hope you don’t mind. Gutom na ko eh. And I think you’re also hungry. Ms. Belmonte told me na hindi ka raw naglunch.” Said Richard. Then he left the car leaving Maya no chance of complaining to him.
He opened Maya’s door and offered his hand.
After a few seconds, Maya finally came to her senses and realized that Richard is waiting for her to take his hand. She quickly reached for her bag and went outside the car, not accepting his hand.
Richard was the one to pull Maya’s chair so she can sit before he sit on his own. They are now waiting for their food and Maya still don’t want to say anything.
Bakit ba parang hindi naman ‘to dinner lang? ‘Yan kasi Maya, sumakay ka pa. Iniiwasan mo na nga yung tao eh.
“Are you usually this quiet?” Richard teased.
“Uhm.. Hindi naman.”
“Konti na lang, dadating na din yung pagkain.” He laughed.
Maya just stared at him. She knows that he’s just joking but she’s not in the mood to laugh with him.
“I’m just kidding, Maya.”
She just nodded.
“Uhm.. Is there anything wrong?” He asked.
Maya looked away.
“What is it?”
“Uhm.. Bakit mo ko dinala dito?”
“I’m hungry, and you’re hungry. I brought you here so we can eat.”
“Ehh … bakit parang date?” she whispered.
“Sabi ko bakit parang date?” she said, a little louder than before. She covered her mouth with her hands after realizing what she just said.
Richard smiled at her.
“Na . . nabigla ba kita?” He asked quite shyly.
Maya’s eyes grew bigger. “De-date nga ‘to?”
Richard answered her with a heart-stopping grin. It is indeed a date. He was planning to take her out whenever he saw Maya again. But he hasn’t seen her since that day when she gave Luke’s toy. And now that she’s finally here again, Richard just couldn’t let this chance pass by.
“Mr. Lim – “
“Maya.” Richard said. “First of all, it’s Richard. And second, can we please enjoy this night? Just pretend that we’re just two persons having dinner at this place because … it’s pay day. Yes, it’s pay day.” He amusingly said.
Maya couldn’t help but grin. Who could’ve thought that Richard Lim would have this sense of humour? So Maya did what he said – she enjoyed the night.
They talked about anything under the sun. How they both started their careers, the problems that they’ve encountered, their personal lives and even their parents.
“Could I ask you something personal, Maya?” Richard said while their eating their deserts.
“Ano ‘yun?” She said as she smiles. She’s been in a good mood ever since Richard told her to just enjoy everything.
“Uhm. Paano ka naging single-parent?” Richard hesitantly asked.
Maya stared at her plate for a minute. She doesn’t know whether to tell him or not, she doesn’t if she can trust another man again.
“It’s okay if you don’t want to tell me, I completely – “
“First year ko ‘non sa isang aviation company.” Maya started. “Excited ako everyday kasi pangarap ko ‘yun eh, yung pagiging flight attendant. Kaya araw-araw, bibo ako parati.”
The deserts are forgotten. Richard is just looking at her, watching, listening.
“Then one day, may nanligaw sakin. After a few months, naging kami. You could say na that’s where it all started. Siyempre, nagse-celebrate ng monthsary, ganyan. Tapos dumating yung anniversary. Dun, dun niya ako niyaya.”
Maya could feel the tears forming in her eyes. So she looked away so that Richard wouldn’t notice them.
“Pumayag naman ako. Kasi mahal ko siya eh. Pero, nasa huli talaga yung pagsisisi. Ang laki ko kasing tanga. Ayun, nabuntis ako. Nung nalaman niya ‘yun, hiniwalayan niya ako. Lumayo siya. Sinubukan namin nina Nanay na kausapin siya kahit para lang dun sa pangtustos sa bata. Umoo siya nun, pero wala din namang nangyari.
“Mas lalo na lang akong nainis sa kanya nung nalaman kong kambal pala yung anak namin. Kasi nung nalaman niya yun lalo na siyang hindi nagparamdam. Gastos lang daw, ganyan. Buti na lang, nandyan si Kute. Tinulungan niya ako kasi hindi ako makapag-trabaho. Nag-resign ako dun sa aviation na ‘yun. A few months after kong manganak, nag-apply na ulit ako ng trabaho. Yun na ‘yung sa Time Airways.”
Richard is still watching her even though Maya is not looking at him.
“Pero alam mo, Richard, kahit na hindi ko ginusto ‘yung nangyari, hinding-hindi ko ipagpapalit sina Luke at Nicolo. Hindi man maganda yung nangyari, pero para sa’kin, sila ‘yung pinakamagandang biyaya ng Diyos sa’kin.”
Maya’s tears are finally escaping. She’s still looking outside so she was surprised to see a hand holding a handkerchief. She looked at Richard.
“Take it.” He said.
Maya took his hanky and wiped her tears using it.
“Pasensya ka na Richard. Iyakin kasi talaga ako lalo na’t yun yung topic. Saka matagal-tagal na rin kasi bago ulit na-open up ‘yung topic na ‘yun.” She said.
Richard reached for her right hand and held it between his hands.
“Maya, listen to me.” He’s now staring at Maya. “You’re an amazing woman. Humahanga ako sa’yo kasi napapalaki mo ng maayos ‘yung mga anak mo despite of your case. Hindi ka naging tanga. It’s just God’s way of testing you. And forget about him. He’s the one who’s a jerk for not accepting your sons. If I were on his shoes, I would happily love them as much as you love them.”
Richard brought her hand on his lips to kiss it. Then, he tightened his grip on Maya’s hand.
“Thank you for sharing your story with me. Thank you for trusting me.”
Maya could only blush to what Richard said and did. She suddenly felt her heart being awakened by Richard when she thought that she finally reached the end of her story.
They finally reached Maya’s condo unit. They stopped at her door.
“Thank you ulit, Richard. Nag-enjoy ako.” She said.
“It’s my pleasure. Sana maulit ulit. And thank you, too Maya. Thank you for sharing it with me.”
Maya could only nod to what he said.
“I’d better go. It’s getting late.”
“Sige, ingat sa pagmamaneho. Goodnight!”
Richard bent down to kiss her forehead.
“Goodnight.” Then he left with a smile on his face.
Maya once again, felt her heart beat so fast.
Ready ka na ba ulit magmahal, Maya?