“Sir, kami na po dyan. Dun na lang kayo Sir sa gilid. Kami na po’ng bahala.” Liza kept telling Richard. They have three days left before the Summit that will happen this Saturday.
“Let me help.” He smiled at his secretary. Richard felt like they’re running behind schedule so right after his meeting, he went straight to the venue. He immediately saw that they’re low on men so he grabbed some materials and helped them. He was holding a plank that will be used as a platform in setting up the designs on the ceiling when Liza approached him. “I think you guys need more men. Ibibigay ko lang ‘to dun kay Mang Tony. Kailangan na daw niya ‘to eh.”
Liza bit her lower lip. “Tsk. Sir naman eh. Papagalitan po ako ni Sir Roberto kapag nalaman niya ‘tong ginagawa niyo dito.” Then she scratched her forehead.
Richard laughed. “Then don’t tell him!” He left Liza again to bring the plank on the other side of the place. Richard was holding the plank with both of his hands just to elevate it from the floor. As he walked, he can see from the corners of his eyes the looks of his employees on him. He wants to laugh at their faces. Most of them had those looks that they wanted to help him but they were scared at him.
“Sir, kami na po dito.” Joma, one of LAS’ employees and Liza’s boyfriend, told him as he tried to grab the plank away from him. Joma looked at his back and signaled to the other men to help him. In a few seconds, Lino and Bugoy were also holding the plank.
“No, ako na.” Richard said. “Si Liza talaga.” He added when he saw his secretary looking at them from a far.
“Hayaan niyo na si Liza Sir. Pareho lang ho kaming nag-aalala.” Joma answered.
“You were concerned o takot lang mapagalitan ni Papa?” He asked. When Joma and the others stilled, he finally laughed. “I’m just kidding. Just don’t tell Papa about this. Pati ako mapapagalitan nun. Ako na dito.”
“Kami na Sir. Yang puso niyo oh.” Lino said, earning him a slap on his shoulder from Joma. Richard heard Joma mutter “Ano ka ba?”. Lino turned to look back at him and gave Richard an apologetic smile. “Sorry Sir.”
Richard smirked. “O sya, sige na. Just give this to Mang Tony.” He pointed at the old man on the other side. “Ang daya niyo namang tumulong eh. Nangangalahati na ko ng pagdala.”
“Ay, sorry po Sir. Nagkakahiyaan pa ho kami eh.” Bugoy said. “Sige Sir, dalhin na namin ‘to.”
Richard watched them as they walked. He noticed that Joma kept on snarling at Lino. He just shook his head on the three. He knew that the reason Joma is snarling is because only few people knew about his surgery and he knew that Joma knew it from Liza. These kinds of rumors spread like wildfires on companies like his and it’s now normal for him. Besides, he wouldn’t get mad at them simply because what they heard was the truth and that there’s no reason for him to deny it. And also because he knew that he changed after that surgery.
“Liza. Kulang daw yung bayad dun sa catering. Ang sabi naman ni Minda, yun daw yung usapan na bayaran tapos tumawag kanina yung sa catering ang sabi kulang daw.” Richard heard Diana from afar.
“Nasaan si Minda?” Liza asked.
“Hindi siya pumasok ngayon eh. Actually kahapon pa. Tinatrangkaso kasi. Pero nasa’kin yung resibo nung sa catering. Pinakuha niya sa table niya. Pupunta na muna ako don. Magrereklamo ako.”
“Eh paano kung humingi sila ng panibagong bayad? Yun na yung final budget sa catering diba?”
“Ewan ko nga Liza eh. Basta –“
“I’ll go.” Richard said to the two ladies arguing in front of him. Both Liza and Diana were shocked when Richard spoke.
“Ay, naku, Mr. Lim. Ako na po.”Diana said. He can see that she is much tensed. Do I really have this effect on my people?
“Ako na. Dito na lang kayo. I’ll call Engr. Yamaguchi and the others para tumulong dito.” I laid out my hand so that Diana could give me the receipt. “I’ll ask them for a better explanation on this. Sigurado naman akong mae-explain nila ng maayos yun lalo na’t sinadya pa sila ng CEO.”
“Sir, paano kung humingi pa nga ng extra payment?” Liza asked.
“I doubt it. Pero kung humingi pa ..” He trailed off. “I’ll just use my charms. Malay natin, maging 100% off pa yung promo nila.” He winked at them and chuckled. Then he turned to head for his car.
Diana gaped at Richard as he left. “Liza, si Sir Richard ba ‘yun?” she asked. “Bakit .. bakit parang nagdilang anghel na? Hindi na siya yung si Sir Lim-kit Sungit natin?”
Liza laughed at Diana. “Hindi niyo kasi laging kinakausap. Palibhasa last year lang ulit bumalik si Sir sa opisina. Hanga nga ako kay Sir eh, kahit hindi pa magaling, nagtatrabaho pa rin.”
“Ano bang nangyari dun? Totoo ba yung inoperahan daw siya sa puso kaya isa’t kalahating taon siya nawala sa LAS?”
“Ito, napakachismosa.” Liza replied. “Pasalamat na lang tayo at mabuti na si Sir ngayon, saka tignan mo, may bonus pang bumait na siya.”
Diana nodded. “Tama ka Liza. Saka ngayong ko lang napansin.”
“Ang alin?” Liza curiously asked.
Diana turned to look at her and put both of her hands on the sides of her own face. “Ang pogi pogi ni Mr. Lim!” Liza laughed but Diana continued. “Tatawa-tawa ka pa diyan. Pogi naman talaga ah! Alam mo bang halos lahat ng babae dito sa LAS, crush si Sir? Tapos nung bumait na nga, Diyos ko mahabagin! Ang pogi lalo!”
Liza sighed. “Hay nako Diana. Bumalik na lang tayo sa trabaho. Baka mamaya makabalik na dito si Sir at makitang nagkukwentuhan lang tayo dito. Baka bumalik si Sir Limkit Sungit.”
“Maya, sumama ka na. Mas kailangan mo ng bagong damit. Kasama ka sa summit diba?” Eds said. During their flight, all Emman talked about is how excited he is for the upcoming Summit. He couldn’t stop talking about it even though most of the things he said are already redundant. Maya on the other hand just kept silent throughout the flight. She’s the exact opposite of Emman – she doesn’t want to go.
“Kayo na lang Eds. Sa condo na lang ako.” Maya answered and gave a small smile.
“Roomie! Sumama ka na. Bibili tayo ng dress. Monochrome dapat ang suot sabi sa invitation.” Emman said.
“Black di ba?” Maya answered softly. “Meron naman akong black dress ah.”
Emman looked at her in awe. He went near Maya and gave her a hug. “fAww. Alam ko Roomie. At alam ko rin na binili mo yon dahil sa first date niyo ni James.” Emman held her shoulders and sighed. “Akala ko ba susubukan mo nang maging masaya?”
“Emman, sinusubukan ko naman eh. Mahirap lang talaga.” She replied.
“Nandito kami, Maya. Tutulungan ka namin.” Eds said. “Kailangan nating bumili ng bago. Lalo mong hindi ma-eenjoy ang Summit kung yun ‘yung damit na susuutin mo.”
“Bakit naman? Maayos pa naman yung damit. Saka bibihira ko lang naman nasuot.”
“Exactly Roomie.” Emman replied. “Kasi kapag sinuot mo ‘yun, si James lang yung maaalala mo. Hindi naman sa nanghihimasok kami, Maya, pero kailangan mo ring mag-let go kahit na mahirap. At sisimulan natin yun sa pagbili ng bagong damit, okay?”
Maya smiled. “Thank you, Emman. Thank you, Eds. Pero ayoko munang sumama. Hindi kasi maganda yung pakiramdam ko.” She reasoned out. “Ganito na lang, Emman. Alam mo naman yung size at taste ko ‘di ba? Ibili mo na lang ako tapos babayaran ko na lang pag-uwi mo.”
“Sige na. Uuna na ko.” Maya said and strode off even though she can hear Emman calling her back. She headed first to the rest room to change her clothes and then went outside to hail a jeepney. Maya knew that it would be convenient for her to take a cab instead but the long route of the jeep can help her take her mind off of things.
“We’re very sorry po ulit sa misunderstanding na ‘to Mr. Lim. Nagkaroon lang po ng lituhan ang transaction niyo dun po sa isa pa naming client. Sorry po talaga.” As he said, Richard personally visited the catering services that they rented. He was entertained first by the employees but they seemed to stutter and just ends up staring at him when he talked. In the end, he asked for their manager. It was then when he learned that it was all a misunderstanding.
“It’s okay Ms. Stephanie. No harm done.” He said and smiled at her. “Can I ask you a question though?”
“S-sure Sir, anything.” She said. Richard became aware that Stephanie seemed to flutter her eyes more. Weird. She was not like this earlier.
“Uhm, I was just wondering why your employees cannot answer me earlier. That was the reason why I asked for you. Parang .. “ he shrugged. “parang nautal sila or something.”
Stephanie looked disappointed all of the sudden. “Ah, eh Mr. Lim na.. nagwapuhan ata sa inyo eh.”
Richard raised his brows. “Well, thank you for the compliment but I must say that they should change that behaviour. Nakakaapekto sa trabaho eh.” He said. “Well, I better go. Thank you for your time.” He turned and left, leaving Stephanie alone.
Ang suplado naman non. Akala ko itatanong na kung pwede ako sa dinner mamaya eh.Hhmp! She thought.
Richard shook his head as he headed for his car. That’s one thing he hates among people – those women who wants to launch themselves on men. He really finds it annoying. Richard put the keys and turned to start the car, but after some tries, the car is still dead.
He went outside and opened the hood to check if it still has sufficient supplies and when he was sure it was all enough, he went inside again to turn the engine on. Then he saw some blinking on his dashboard.
“Ah, the battery.” He muttered. Richard pulled his phone out from his pocket and dialled Liza.
“Hello Sir? Kamusta po yung sa catering?” His secretary said.
“Ah, it was fine. Nagkaron lang ng misunderstanding.” He said as he got out from his car. “Liza, pwede bang magpadala ka ng isang tao dito? My car’s battery drained out. Sa office ko, dun sa drawer, meron akong duplicate key nung sa kotse ko. Pabigay na lang dun sa papauntahin mo then makikidala na rin sa bahay.”
“Sige po Sir. Kahit kami na lang po ni Joma ang pumunta dyan.”
“Okay, thank you. Sorry for short notice. I really need to go. May dinner kasi ako kasama sina Mama.”
“It’s okay Sir. Lakad na po kayo. Kami na po’ng bahala.”
Richard hung up and walked near the road. He’s waiting for a cab but it seemed like all of it are occupied. Rain started to fall. Richard sighed. “Great. Wala pa man din akong payong.”
When he saw a jeepney passing, he quickly hailed it. It’s been a while since he commuted to go home. I just hope I can still remember it. He seated on the end of the jeepney and pulled out a bill from his wallet.
“Uh, bayad ho.” He said. The woman in front of him took his money and passed it forward. A few seconds later, he received his change. “Thank you po.” He said. Richard leaned back on his seat and put in mind that he just need to wait for a place near his house. The rain outside still poured heavily.
He turned to look opposite of him and saw a woman. Her hair is tied up in a bun and she’s carrying a luggage with her. I wonder if she’s really from here. Richard kept looking at her. There’s something in her. I wonder where I’ve seen here before.
The lady in front of him shifted and their eyes met. Richard felt something in his heart he couldn’t explain. He just gave the lady a small smile and when she returned a smile, his breath hitched. What’s wrong with me?
After that, Richard now occasionally stole glances at her. She’s pretty. He thought. Damn, Richard. What’s wrong with you? When he turned to look at her again, he saw that she’s wiping something from her eyes, and then she sniffed.
Richard hadn’t felt this before but he suddenly wanted to seat beside her and to hold her close. But he decided to just keep it simple. He shifted so that he can reach for his handkerchief and quite hesitantly, he offered it to her.
The lady lifted her head up and looked at Richard with confused eyes. “Take it.” He said softly. The lady reached for it and nodded with a small smile. As the lady reached for it, their fingers touched for a second sending a different feeling in him. The lady wiped her tears using his handkerchief then she leaned on the part of the vehicle on her side and closed her eyes to sleep.
Richard gulped when he saw that she’s sleeping. She’s really pretty. With the lady’s eyes closed, Richard took the opportunity to take a good look at her. The lady has a very pretty face. I’ve never seen eyes like hers before. And her lips .. I want to kiss them.
Wait. What? Did I just hear myself think that?
Richard let out a breath. Something’s really wrong with me. But still, he kept glancing at the lady. The rain pouring outside finally stopped. I could leave the jeepney now and take a cab. He thought but he still can’t take his eyes off of the lady. I wish I knew her name.
Carefully, Richard took his phone out from his pocket. He pushed the camera app button and pointed it secretly at the lady. When he knew that he’s got a good angle, he pressed the button to capture it and to his surprise, the flash of his phone lighted up. Richard took it down immediately, scared that the other passengers of the jeepney might think that he is a stalker and he’s afraid that the lady might wake up.
He carefully looked at the other passengers to see if they witnessed that and saw that they are still focused on the road in front of them and some are busy on their gadgets. Good thing this jeepney’s not really full. He turned his attention back to the lady and saw that she’s still sleeping. He looked at his phone and saw that the picture he took was blurred. Richard quickly changed the flash settings and attempted another shot.
Richard smirked when he saw that he successfully took the lady’s photo. I feel like I’m a stalker. He took a deep breath and said, “Para ho.” The jeepney came to a halt. But before Richard went down, he looked at the lady for the last time who’s still sleeping.
I hope that we’ll see each other again.
A/N : Maagang update! Wala po ako mamaya, panay lakad po kasi. Simbang gabi na 🙂 Have a blessed Sunday po! God bless! Thank you po for welcoming me back. Thank you readers!