“Roomie, ano ba talagang nangyari?” Emman asked as she assisted Maya to sit on the couch. “Nakakaloka ka girl! Alam mo bang muntikan na kong lumampas sa speed limit kanina habang nagmamaneho kakasabi mo ng bilis pa?”
“Sorry, Emman. Nagmamadali lang talaga ako. May .. may nangyari kasi eh.” Maya explained as she massages her right foot.
“Anong nangyari, Roomie?” Emman said as he sat down with Maya. “Hinarass ka ba ni Mr. –“
“Emman!” Maya interrupted. “Di ba, sabi ko sa’yo, wag mong babanggitin yung pangalan niya?”
“Kaloka.” Emman commented. “Ano bang meron sa pangalan niya at ayaw mong malaman?”
“Ehh kasi, ganito ‘yun.” Maya said as she shifted in her seat. “May usapan kami na hindi kami gagawa ng kahit anong paraan para malaman yung pangalan nung isa’t-isa. Basta, yun yung usapan namin bago .. bago dumating si Sir Frank.”
“OMG girl! Kaya mo ako hinatak from nowhere!” Emman said as he covered his mouth with his hands. “Eh anong nangyari? Nakilala ka ba niya?”
“Buti nga hindi, Emman eh. Kasi nung dumating siya, nag-excuse agad ako tapos tumakbo ako paalis. Kaya ako hinabol ni .. kaya ako hinabol ni R.”
“R?” Emman asked.
Maya nodded slowly. “Oo. Si R. Yun yung tawag ko sa kanya, kasi nga hindi ko siya kilala. Tapos ang sabi ko, ako si M.” She explained.
“OMG talaga Roomie!” Emman exclaimed. “May naaamoy akong kakaiba sa inyo ni Mr. –“ Emman stopped when Maya glared at her. “ni Mr. R na ‘yan. Sorry na. Pero ano bang meron sa inyo, Roomie?”
“W-wala.” Maya answered, her cheeks showing a faint blush.
“Uyyy! Anong wala, Roomie? Eh namumula ka dyan oh!”
“Emman, wala naman talaga kasi eh!” Maya exclaimed and the she sighed. “Saka kung ano mang nangyari ngayong gabi, wala na ‘yun.”
“Asuuus, wala na raw.” Emman teased. “Pero girl, alam mo bang kinikilig ako sa inyo kanina? Lalo na nung nasayaw pa tayo dun sa bilog tapos lahat ng tao dun naikot pwera lang sa inyong dalawa!”
“Emman, ganito kasi. Yung katabi niya, si Jeff, yung kapatid ni James? Tapos yung nasa kaliwa ko, iniiwasan niya kaya nagkataon lang talaga.”
“Yun na nga yun Roomie eh. Bakit sa dami-rami ng tao dun sa loob, pinagtagpo pa kayo at pareho pa kayong may tinataguan. Ibig-sabihin, may plano ang universe para sa inyong dalawa!” Emman explained and then he squealed.
“Ano ka ba, Emman. Tumigil ka nga!” Maya said as she tried to hide her own smile. Somehow, she wants to believe everything her friend said.
“Ang kaibigan ko, umiibig na bang muli?” Emman continued to tease.
“Oh, ang face natin, sasabog na sa pula. Umamin ka na kasi!”
Maya paused for a while. Could I really be in love after a few hours? “Wala akong aaminin, Emman. Hindi ako in love.” She said. Emman was about to say something when Maya continued. “Saka Emman, wala pang isang araw, in love agad? Hindi ba parang –“
“Ganyan ka kay James dati.” Emman interrupted, stopping Maya from speaking. “Sinabi mo na agad sa’kin na in love ka sa kanya nung nag-date kayo.”
Maya was mum. She knew Emman was right. The two of them met when Maya was still training to become a flight attendant. They accidentally bumped into each other when Maya was late in training one day. The two of them locked eyes as they reached for Maya’s belongings scattered on the floor. She found out later that he was the owner’s son when her trainers introduced him to their batch that they. After the training, James talked to her and asked her out. And surely enough, Maya knew that she was in love after the date. “Ehh.. yun na nga Emman eh. Masyado akong naging mabilis dati. Kailangan ko nang baguhin ‘yon.” She explained.
“Roomie, bakit mo babaguhin eh maganda naman ang kinalabasan niyong dalawa ni James noon ah?” Emman said.
“Ang .. ang sa’kin lang Emman, ayoko nang masaktan ulit. Malay natin, normal lang kay R yung mga ganito. Saka hindi ko pa naman talaga siya kilala eh. Kaya for now, James pa rin ako, okay Roomie?” Maya said.
Emman just stared at his friend. His heart is really breaking whenever his friend is like this. He has been a witness to those three agonizing years for Maya. He’s all she’s got during those times. At first, Emman was also scared as he thought that Maya would be scared to fall in love again and he doesn’t want that. He doesn’t want Maya to love James forever and not to move on and he also knew that James doesn’t want it, too. That was why Emman was always encouraging Maya to do dates and to entertain suitors but Maya would just ignore him. And now that he’s seeing this R as the person who could actually change Maya’s life again, he knew he will simply not let it pass by.
“Basta Roomie, kahit anong mangyari, tutulungan kitang magmove-on.” Emman said. “Ikukuha ba kita ng yelo para sa paa mo?”
“Hindi na Emman, ayos na ‘to.” Maya answered. “Sayang yung sapatos no? Naiwan ko.”
“Ikaw kasi eh, bigla ka na lang nagtatakbo pababa nung hinabol ka ni Mr. R” Emman said. “Ay, teka, so bali ngayong tapos na ang Summit, edi ibig-sabihin wala na kayong connection?”
Maya narrowed her eyes and said, “Oo. Siguro? Bakit?”
Emman shifted and held both of her hands. “Edi pwede ko nang sabihin yung pangalan niya?”
Maya’s eyes widened. “Emman! Ang kulit mo. Sabing may usapan nga kami eh!”
“And so? Hindi naman niya malalaman na sinabi ko, di ba? Malay pa niya.”
“Ehhh.. Basta. Wag mong sasabihin.”
“Kahit yung company niya?” Emman offered.
Maya seems to be tempted to Emman’s offer. “Ayoko. Wag na kasi Emman. Saka paano ka nakakasiguro na siya ‘yun eh may mask nga di ba?”
“Hay nako, Maya. Feeling ko ikaw nga lang ang hindi nakakilala sa kanya eh.”
Emman nodded. “Kaya hayaan mo nang sabihin ko yung pangalan niya. Siya si Mr. –“
The revelation of Richard’s name was interrupted by the ringing of Maya’s phone. Emman scratched his head while Maya reached for it.
“Sino bay an, roomie? Istorbo naman eh.” Emman said.
“Ewan ko.” Maya said as she stared at the screen. “Unknown number eh.”
“Hay nako, sagutin mo na. Baka sa Time Airways ‘yan at naghahanap ng ka-swap. Sige na, magbibihis na muna ako.” Emman said and then he stood up and head for his room.
“Hello? Who’s this?” Maya said after she pressed the answer button.
The man on the other line smiled as he heard Maya’s voice again. “Hi M.” He said.
Maya’s eyes widened when she heard how the caller address her. “R?” was all she could say. She heard R smile on the other line. “Akala ko nalimutan mo na ko eh.” He said.
“P-paano mo nalaman ‘yung number ko?” she asked.
“I told you I’ll find you, right?” He simply answered. “Anyway, I think you forgot something. Your right shoe is missing, right?”
Maya tongue doesn’t seem to mind moving. And when Richard sensed that she is still mum, he continued, “Nasa’kin yung right shoe mo. And .. and I’m planning to give it back personally.”
“P-personally?” Maya muttered. She was having a hard time absorbing all of this. She finds it very surreal. For one moment, she thought everything was over between them and now, she’s talking to him again.
“Yes.” He answered. “Without any mask, I might add.” Richard waited for her voice to speak but there was still none. “M, are you still there?”
“Ahh. Oo, ano, uhm, andito pa ko.” She answered.
“M? Alam mo na ba kung anong pangalan ko?” He asked.
Maya shook her head and answered, “Hindi pa. Ikaw? Kilala mo na ba ako?”
“Hindi pa rin.” He answered. “Let’s keep it at that, okay? And I promise to return this shoe. Just let me find you. Goodnight, M.”
“G-good night.” Maya said back and hung up.
Richard was smiling from ear to ear as he put his phone down. Even though he was so disappointed of what happened with her at the Summit, it all evaporated when he heard her voice again. It seemed like her voice can calm him down in an instant and he would never get enough of hearing it.
“Oh? Bakit tulala ka dyan, Roomie?” Emman said when he spotted Maya staring blankly at her phone on the couch. “Anong nangyari?”
Maya lifted her head to face Emman. “Tumawag si R.” She softly said.
As usual, Emman squealed. “Anong sabi?”
“Nasa kanya daw yung isa kong sapatos. Tapos ibabalik daw niya sa’kin.”
“Wait. So magkikita kayo ulit?”
Maya nodded as her answer. “OMG Roomie! Ito na ‘to! O ‘di ba sabi sa’yo –“
“Emman natatakot ako.” Maya said. “Natatakot ako na baka kapag nagkita kami, magalit siya sa’kin kasi tinakbuhan ko siya. Saka paano na lang kung Kasama niya si Sir Frank? O kaya si Jeff? Edi –“
“Roomie, kalma lang okay?” Emman interrupted. “Ang sa’kin lang ha. Feeling ko hindi naman siya galit. Galit ba yung tono niya nung tumawag siya?” Maya shook her head. “O see? Saka hindi niya kasama si Sir Frank o kaya si Jeff kapag nag-date kayo –“
“Date?” Maya asked. “Anong date?”
“Roomie! Date ‘yan, I swear! Teka nga patapusin mo muna ako. Ito na yung chance para makilala niyo talaga yung isa’t-isa. At alam ko namang maiintindihan niya kapag ipinaliwanag mo ‘di ba?” Emman explained.
Maya hugged Emman. “Thank you, Emman!” she said. Maya really doesn’t know what to do if Emman is not around. Ever since the unfaithful accident happened years ago, Maya seemed to have forgotten how to make good choices again. She was completely broken just like her heart before.
“Naku, wala ‘yun Roomie. Basta babalitaan mo ako ha!”
“Liza, would you mind if I ask a favour?” Richard said as the meeting that Monday morning adjourn.
“Sure Sir. Ano po ‘yon?”
“Uhm..” Richard seems hesitant for a moment, and then he took a deep breath. “Would you mind calling to Time Airways and ask them for a female employee of theirs who attended the Summit and was wearing a black mask and a white dress and her first name starts with M? Just confirm if they really have one.”
“Bakit po Sir? May atraso po ba sa inyo yung babae?” Liza worriedly asked.
“No, no. It’s just that, uhm ..” he trailed off. A meaningful smile crept to his secretary’s face.
“Sige po Sir. I’ll do my best to ask them. Pupunta na lang po ako sa office kapag sumagot po sila.”
“Thank you Liza.” Richard said. “And Liza, ASAP ha?”
His secretary nodded at him. “Of course Sir.” And she left the meeting room.
Richard stood up and went to his office. He sat on his swivel chair and smiled foolishly. Over the weekends, he assessed his feelings for Maya. And he knew he needs to do one thing for her.
He will court her.
As Richard read some proposals from his office, he heard a knock. Liza entered carrying a piece of paper.
“Sir, I called Time Airways and one of the trainors, Ms. Pacheco, confirmed na may employee silang sumama sa Summit as to your description. Her name is –“
“Uh Liza. Thank you.” Richard immediately said. “I don’t need to know her name. It’s an agreement.” He shyly said. “Can you please order flowers under my name and send it to her?”
“Sure thing Sir. Anong flowers po? Roses?”
“Sunflowers will do.” Richard answered. “Here’s the uh, the message. Please don’t read it.” Richard said, completely flushed.
Liza bit her lip to stifle her laughter. “Okay Sir. I’ll order one immediately.” She head out and looked for Joma. Liza told Joma Richard’s orders and she couldn’t help but feel giddy about it.
“Si Sir Richard, nagpapadala ng bulaklak?” Joma asked. “At parang kilig na kilig ka naman?”
“Ehh naman kasi Joma. First time ‘to ni Sir! Feeling ko siya yung babaeng kasayaw niya nung Sabado. Ah basta, mamaya na ko magkukwento sa’yo. Gawin mo muna ‘tong pinapagawa niya.” Liza said as she handed Joma the little envelope.
“Ano ‘to? Yung card?” Joma said as he moved to open the envelope but was stopped when Liza hit him.
“Joma! Wag mong basahin! Pinakiusapan na ko ni Sir.” She said. “Ang cute nga ni Sir nung iniabot sa’kin yang card. Namumula ba na parang nahihiya?”
“Cute pala ha.” Joma said as he walked away.
“Joma!” Liza grabbed his arm. “Sorry. Natutuwa lang ako kay Sir. Promise. Sige na, gawin mo na yan at baka mapagalitan pa tayo.”
Joma smiled at her. “Sige na nga. Basta dun ko ipapadala sa Time Airways.”
The moment Maya entered their office, everyone was smiling at her. Some of them are even teasing her and Maya doesn’t know why.
“Huy, Eds, ano bang meron at parang lahat kayo nakangiti sa’kin?” Maya asked as she sat down.
“Basta, Maya. Malalaman mo na lang mamaya.” Eds said.
“Ano bang meron? Masisisante na ba ako kaya kayo ganyan?” Maya worriedly asked.
“Hindi no, ano ka ba. Basta maghintay ka lang.”
The door opened and Ms. Pacheco entered and when she spotted Maya, she, too, smiled at her. “Alright guys, good morning. This is for Davao-Manila flight, right? But before we start with our briefing, Ms. Dela Rosa, can you please come this way?”
Maya nervously stood up and followed Ms. Pacheco at the corner of the office. “Naku, Ma’am, kung ano man pong nagawa ko, sorry po talaga. Ayoko pong masisante –“
“Maya, relax. Hindi ka naman matatanggal sa trabaho eh.” Ms. Pacheco said. “May nagpadala lang ng package sa’yo.”
“Package po?” She bewilderedly asked. And then her mouth gaped when she saw the beautiful bouquet of flowers that Ms. Pacheco is holding. “Kanino po ‘yan Ma’am?”
“It’s for you, Ms. Dela Rosa. Ang sabi sa’kin, ibigay ko raw sa’yo.”
“P-pero .. Kanino po galing?”
“Why don’t you read the card?” Ms. Pacheco said and she went back to the other flight attendants.
Maya stared at the bouquet and smiled at it. No one really sent her sunflowers, even James. She reached for a little envelope tucked inside the bouquet.
I hope you’ll like these flowers. We were not able to properly say good bye last Saturday at the Summit. But I just want you to know that I really don’t want to say good bye when I’m with you.
I know that I’ve found you. I’ll be waiting patiently for that time when we’ll see each other again. And I know for a fact that it’ll be soon.
Maya was smiling as she read the card again.
R did found her.