A/N : I’m baaaaack! Exempted po ako sa Bio lecture exam kaya tatlo na lang po ang exam ko next week. Thanks be to God! Sorry for the very long wait. Salamat po sa paghihintay! Mag-comment lang po kayo kahit na minsan lang po ako magreply. It always makes me happy saka nalalaman ko po yung opinion niyo about sa story.
“Good morning po Sir!” Maya said when she entered Roberto’s office. Her eyes are still a little bit puffy from crying, but she doesn’t mind.
“Good morning hija. Nasayo na ba yung papers ni Mr. Almeda? I need to sign them.”
“Yes po Sir. Kaya po ako pumunta agad dito.” She put the folder on his table. Roberto reached for it and started signing.
“So, I see you’ve finally met Ricky?” Roberto asked, lifting his gaze from the papers. “Esmeralda told me you went there yesterday.”
“Ah, opo. Eh would you mind if I ask you kung ilan taon na po si Richard?”
“He’s 35, if I’m not mistaken.”
So yun pala ang age ni Richard. “He’s single though. I really don’t know why my son refuses to be married.” Roberto said.
Maya saw a glimmer of hope. Yes! So he’s not married! Pwede kayo, Maya! “Baka po may hinihintay siya, Sir.”she said as she tried to hide the smile on her face.
“Maybe.” Roberto said. Maybe he’s waiting for you.
“Bakit ganon Sir? Wala po sa itsura niya yung 35?”
“It’s in our blood, hija. You’ll figure it out if you will have kids with a Chinese.”
Maya’s eyes widen. “Ay Sir naku, saka na po yang married married na yan. Bata pa po ako tapos ang dami ko pa pong pangarap tapos ang dami pa pong trabaho dito sa office –”
“Maya. Relax!” Roberto cut her off as she talked so fast. “I was just stating a thought. Parang ang defensive mo naman.” He amusingly said. What’s in your mind Maya?
“Ahh. Uhm, hehe. Sabi ko nga po Sir. Sige po, babalik na po muna ako. Tawagin niyo na lang po ako kapag may kailangan kayo.” She hurriedly said and went outside his office when he called her again.
She nervously turned around. “Yes po Sir?”
Roberto smirked. “I told you before that the office you’re using now is temporary diba? Because your cubicle was still occupied –“
“Ah, sige po Sir. Kung may nangangailangan naman po nung office, willing ko naman pong iwan. Alam ko naman pong nakikigamit lang ako.”
The elder just smiled. “You know Stephanie, right?”
Maya nodded. How could she forget that name? Stephanie Marquez is LAS’s Accounting Department Head. It was her dream job. Even though the odds are low, she still chose LAS because of that position. It was her finish line for her career.
“Well” Roberto started. “Based from the reports you’ve made, may nawawalang P150,000 ang LAS.”
“Yes. There’s that product na ayon sa records, every time na bibilhin, there’s always a change. Naglaan ang company ng P300,000 for that product but only a half of it was used and the other half was missing.” Maya gulped. It is the only response she can make.
“So thanks to you, we figured out that a huge amount of money was missing.”
“Ah, y-you’re welcome po Sir.”
“Please. My thank you is not enough, Maya.” He stood up and went in front of her. “From this day on, I’m making you the new Accounting Head of Lim Aviation, Ms. Dela Rosa. You deserve it. Congratulations!”
Maya was at still. “P-promoted po ako?”
Then she lost it. She shrieked right there and then she engulfed Roberto in a hug. “Ay, sorry po Sir!” she said as soon as she let go of the hug. “Salamat po Sir! Hindi niyo po alam kung gaano ko pinangarap yung posisyon na’to. Maraming maraming salamat po talaga!”
“I can’t think of anyone who deserves that position but you. I know that you’ll do well.”
“Thank you po talaga Sir!” She was beyond happy, then something crossed her mind. “Eh Sir, hindi ba po si Ma’am Stephanie yung head? Nasan na po siya?”
“Ah, I fired her.” He said casually.
“Relax, Maya. I did not fire her because I’m going to replace her with you. She was the one who used that money I was talking about earlier. Apparently, she used it to herself, for personal use if I may say so.”
“Nagawa po niya yun?” Hala. Pork-barrel scam lang ang peg ni Ma’am Stephanie?
“Yes Even ako, hindi makapaniwalang magagawa niya ‘yon. Then yesterday, she finally told me the truth. She told me that she used it for her mother’s surgery. I fired her. Sabi nga ng board, dapat sinampahan ko pa siya ng kaso but her saying the truth is enough for me. Dapat sinabi na lang niya sa’kin diba? I could’ve loan her money.” He sighed. “Anyway, I don’t really want to say this pero the pressure is quite on you. Papalitan mo kasi siya.”
“I promise to do my best Sir! At asahan po ninyo na hindi ko po gagawin yun. Ang dami pong taong nagpapakahirap na i-angat ang kompanyang ‘to at wala po akong balak na mapunta lang po ang lahat ng yun sa wala!”
Roberto smiled. He was satisfied with his decision. In fact, he’s happy with his decision. “Good. O sya, lumakad ka na. Si Liza na ang bahala sa pagbibigay ng trabaho mo sa bago kong secretary.”
“Okay po Sir! Thank you po ulit!!” Maya left his office and stopped outside.
Mayaaaa! Finally! Nakuha mo rin ang dream job mo! Diyos ko, hindi ako makapaniwala! Hulog talaga ng langit ang anghel ko!Ay mali. Boyfriend ko pala.Ay, ah ang boyfriend-kong-anghel-na-buhay-pa-at-wala-pang-asawa. Ayan. Hay nako, ang saya-saya ko talaga!
Her hands were on her face, tapping her cheeks as if she wants to wake up herself. After another round of smiling, she brought her arms down hitting her pockets.
She searched all the pockets in her pants, not finding it. She quickly walked away as she realized that there’s only one place where she left it. At every step she makes, she became more and more nervous.
Ikaw kasi Maya eh! Ginawa mo pa kasi siyang wallpaper!
Richard’s back was to her when she opened the door. He was facing the window, looking over Manila. She saw her phone on her desk and it was turned upside down. Relief flooded her at the sight of it.
“Oh, what happened? What took you too long?” Richard asked as soon as she saw Maya.
“Ah, wa-wala. Kinausap lang ako ni Sir Robert.” Then she smiled. “Promoted na ko!”
Richard smiled. “Congratulations!” Maya is smiling again like her lips are going to tear apart, but it faded when she noticed that Richard is not actually happy. “Oh, anong problema?”
Maya walked until she was in front of him. “Eh kasi yung ngiti mo, parang hindi ngiting masaya. Parang .. parang pilit.”
He sighed. “Maya, I am happy.” I was happy. Until I found out what was in your phone. “Maybe it’s because I already know that this is going to happen.”
“Ha? How come you already know?”
He smirked. “Remember when you were working with your reports and I told you that ‘you are in for a big surprise’? Well, this is it.”
“Ahh!” she exclaimed when she remembered. “Yun yung sinabi kong ayaw kong malaman.”
“Yes.” He smiled again, but it still didn’t reach his eyes. “Uhmm, do you mind if I go at the park? I just have to .. I .. just have to think about something.”
“Uhmm, okay. May pupuntahan din ako eh. So, sa condo na lang tayo magkita?”
“Okay. I’ll bring dinner?”
“Ako na. Baka mamaya, kung ano-ano ang ginagawa mo para lang makakuha ng pagkain.”
“Okay. I’ll go now. I love you.” I still do Maya. I’ll wait for your explanation.
“Sige. I love you, too.” Then Richard left.
Maya walked around her office, absorbing her new promotion. When she finally sat down, she grabbed her phone and to her surprise, it was lighted up, Richard’s face welcoming her. She felt a pang of nervousness.
Could it be that he already saw this?
Richard went back to the same spot he has been before when they had a fight. It might not be the best time for him to excuse his self but he had to. He had to because what he saw was bugging him.
He took a second look when he saw Maya’s wallpaper on her phone. It was really him. He might’ve not seen his face at this life but he was sure that that face belongs to him.
Richard can’t explain his feelings at that moment. Anger? Mad? Relief? He cannot put his finger on it but he knew that he felt like he was betrayed.
What if Maya already knew me before? That she was just playing me? But it can’t be, right? She’s the only one who could see me and .. He trailed off. He closed his eyes, trying to remember that picture.
His eyes were closed in that picture. Facial hairs were present meaning that he slept for long, maybe for too long. There were tubes in his nose. Am I at the hospital at that picture? He just sighed.
After seeing that photo earlier, he figured out how he could make it not obvious to her that he had seen it. Luckily, he figured out a way for it to be at her table. The problem left was that it was still lit up so he just turned it upside-down. Apparently, Maya noticed that something’s wrong. Your face was a give-away, Richard.
When was that photo taken, I wonder? For now, I can say that it was in a hospital, and I’m sick. If I’m sick .. it means that I’m still alive. And if .. if I’m alive.
Dawn hit him.
I can still be with her.
Maya was back at the familiar surroundings of Room 425. When Richard left, he went back to Roberto’s office asking if she could have her early lunch so that she could visit Richard at the hospital. The old man obliged and also told her to stay there for a while to talk to him as Esmeralda was not there for she was feeling under the weather.
She placed the flowers she bought in a vase and sat at the chair beside his bed.
“Hi Richard.” She greeted. “Alam mo, ang dami nang nangyari simula nung bumalik ka. I mean nung nagpakita ka ulit sa’kin bilang angel ko” She grabbed his hand. “Maraming salamat kasi nalaman kong mahal mo ko. At nasabi ko ba sa’yo na mahal na mahal kita? Siguro oo, dun sa .. dun sa kaluluwa mo. Pero nandito ako ngayon para sabihin ko sa’yo na mahal na mahal na mahal kita.”
She chuckled at the sight of her hand holding his. “Alam mo bang ayaw mong maging anghel? Kasi ang sabi mo sa’kin hindi mo mahawakan yung kamay ko. Ayan, nahahawakan mo na. Sana nga makabalik ka na dito. Alam mo na kaya yung misyon mo? Feeling ko alam mo na eh, hindi mo lang napapansin na alam mo na talaga.”
“Richard. Alam mo na kayang nakilala na talaga kita? Ginawa ko kasing wallpaper yung picture mo na kinuhanan ko dito, tapos naiwan ko yung cellphone ko kanina. Ewan ko ba, pero may pakiramdam akong nakita mo na. Please wag ka sanang magalit. Alam kong pwede kang magalit sa’kin gawa nun pero ang sakin lang, ,ayokong sabihin ‘to kasi alam kong mawawala ka na kapag nasabi ko na lahat ‘to.” She pressed his hand against her cheek. “At walang nakakaalam sa’tin kung babalik ka nga ba sa katawan na ‘to o mananatili ka na sa taas. Natatakot ako. Natatakot ako para sa’yo. Alam kong parang ang selfish ko na, pero promise ko sa’yo, sasabihin ko lahat ‘to kapag gusto mo nang malaman lahat, at kapag handa ka nang umalis.”
Maya went home that day after she finished all of her work in LAS. Richard welcomed her with a grin on his face. Aba, nakakagood mood ata ang pagpunta sa park. She ate dinner while Richard sat across her, watching her eat. When she finished eating, she and him went to the veranda. They were both feeling nervous because they want to ask each other the same question in their minds.
“Maya, I need to ask you something.”
“May itatanong sana ako, Chard.” They said at the same time. “Go first, Maya.” Richard said.
“Ikaw na Richard. Baka mas importante ‘yang iyo eh.” She said as she chuckled.
Richard sighed and paused for a while, as if constructing his question in the best way possible. “Uhm, I .. I don’t know how to say this but, … but I saw your wallpaper on your phone.”
Maya’s heart started beating fast. “Alam kong ako ‘yon. So .. c-could you please explain?” his heart was beating fast, too.
“Richard. Please wag kang magalit.”
“I’m not mad. Hi-hindi ko nga alam kung .. kung anong nararamdaman ko. Can you please clear it for me?”
Maya gulped. “Okay. Pero bago ang lahat. I want you to make sure that you really want to hear everything I know. Kasi baka sa huli, … kasi baka mawala ka na.”
“Does it mean that ..”
“Oo Chard.” She felt guilty. “Nalaman ko na kung sino ka. Ikaw si Richard Lim.”
Next chapter will be the revelation. Stay tuned!