The next day, Richard woke up early. He intends to go to the firm earlier than he does to fill his work yesterday since he was absent. He prepared a simple breakfast, leaving some for Maya. A familiar smile flew on his face as he remembered what they shared last night. It was not the first time that he held hands with a woman but it all felt different when he held hers. He can even feel his hand tingling like he was still holding her hand. Everything was new. He didn’t like the thought of change but this time, he’s willing to make an exception.
Before leaving, he couldn’t resist the urge to check on Maya. He was fighting it so hard but he gave in, knowing he couldn’t really win. He carefully opened the door of her room, shutting it gently to avoid the doors’ creaking sound. Maya was curled up on the edge of her bed, making her look so small on the bed she was sleeping on. He slowly sat on the edge and brushed the hair that got in the way of her face.
He suddenly remembered how she admired the camera she saw at the mall. And when she told him that it’s calling her, Richard had a hunch that she might be a photographer, or something like that. He also experienced that when he was young. Even up to now, he can still feel that he needs to draw whenever he sees paper. It’s also one of the reasons why he took architecture.
Richard left his unit with a smile on his face. It was way too early to be working but he needs to so that he could leave early. He forgot something to buy at the mall.
Maya woke up an hour after Richard left. She was feeling so much better than yesterday. Jumping was never in her to-do list last night yet she accidentally did it. She made a mental note that she needs to tell Richard about it.
A huge smile automatically crept on her face. She started squealing again when Richard’s face flew to her mind. Would it be possible to be so happy even if you just woke up? If people would find it absurd, Maya will be a living testimony of it. She hadn’t even seen Richard today yet her heart is already filled with gladness.
She excitedly got up from her bed and walked outside. Her eyes immediately searched for that man who makes her heart thump fast. As she continued to linger around, she realizes that Richard already left. The breakfast he left on the table proves it. Although she was touched that he left some leftovers for her, she felt a little bit disappointed that she didn’t even see him leave.
Maya ate her breakfast with a heavy heart and returned inside her room to take a bath. It was then when she noticed that a paper was on her bedside table with something on top of it.
When she sat on the edge of her bed, she saw that a phone was on top of the paper. She put it aside to pick up the paper. She immediately smiled when she saw the name at the end of the note.
I’ll be leaving early. I’ll be back a little late. Stay safe.
P.S. You can use this old phone of mine. My number is already in there.
Maya swooned as she held the letter close to her heart. She reached for the phone and checked the contacts. Richard’s name was the first name that popped out. She decided to send him a message to let him know that she got the phone.
Richard’s phone beeped as he was checking the house plan at his project in Alabang. They were a little behind schedule and he was just waiting for some of the constructors to give them a piece of his mind. He pulled out his phone from his pocket and looked at the message.
Hi Richard! Dapat hindi mo na ako binigyan nito. Hindi naman necessary eh. Pero thank you! 😀
A smirk flew on his face. He instantly knew that it was Maya. He knew his old phone would come in handy one day. He was planning to give it to Luke but when the kid saw that it was a little late model of the iPhone, he just said thanks and said that he wants the latest one like Richard has. Both Richard and their father disagreed to Luke’s idea and Roberto even said that he would only buy him one if he graduated high school and he’s the valedictorian.
It’s okay. I don’t use it anymore. You can keep it. Btw, how’s your leg?
He texted back. Almost instantly, his phone beeped again.
My leg’s fine! I was going to tell you about it. If possible, pwede mo bang papuntahin si Doc Jerry dito? Just to check on me.
After reading that, he immediately called Jerry to tell him about Maya’s leg. He gave him his address so that he could check on her since he can’t personally bring Maya there because of his site work. When he ended the call, he decided to call Maya.
“Good morning Richard!” Maya excitedly answered. Good thing that she’s not talking personally to Richard. If ever, he might’ve asked what’s wrong with her reddened cheeks.
“Hi Maya.” Richard greeted back. “I just called Jerry and he said that he’ll be there this afternoon. Binigay ko na yung address sa condo.”
Maya nodded. “Sige. Thank you!” She answered.
“Be careful, okay? Look through the peep hole before opening the door. Mahirap na. Dapat nag-iingat.” He cautiously said.
Maya instantly smiled by Richard’s advice. She was feeling too giddy that Richard was telling her to take care. “Yes boss. You don’t need to worry. Dito lang naman ako sa loob ng condo.”
“Okay. But I mean it, Maya. You’ll never know. Baka mamaya, may humahabol pala sa’yo kaya ka naaksidente.” He said. “What if you’re .. you’re wanted, or a killer o kaya drug dealer ka pala.” He teased.
“Oy grabe ka naman.” Maya reacted as she giggled. “Kung gano’n ako, eh bakit sabi ng mga pulis, nanakawan daw ako kaya wala akong na-retrieve na gamit.” She said.
Richard gave a soft laugh. “Alright, alright, you have a point there.”
“Saka hindi naman ako mukhang magnanakaw, o kaya murderer at lalong-lalo nang hindi ako drug dealer.” She continued to defend herself.
“Really? Hindi ka mukhang drug dealer?” He continued to tease and burst out laughing. “Richard naman eh!” Maya said on the other line but she was also laughing. “Sige na. Busy ka pa ata. Iniistorbo kita. Nasa firm ka ba?”
“No. I’m in Alabang. On-site visit ako.” He said. “Sige na. I’ll hang up so you can do your drug dealing stuff while I’m gone.” He continued with his tone full of amusement.
“Hindi nga ako drug dealer!” Maya defended trying to sound irritated but her laughter gave it away.
“Fine, fine. I’m sorry –“
“HA! You’re busted!!” Maya immediately said, almost shouting. “You said the ‘s’ word, Richard!” She said that made mouth gape. “Yan kasi, inaasar ako. Nakarma ka tuloy.”
“Damn it. Akala ko ikaw lang yung mabibiktima ko.” He said. “What’s your punishment then?”
Maya was thrilled when Richard asked her that. Her mind was screaming that she should ask him to take her out on a date or to hold her hand forever, but she held back at the last minute. If in some way, Richard doesn’t feel the same way she does and she punishes him with that, they would remain distant and awkward from each other because of it. “Hmm. Ewan ko. Pag-iisipan ko muna. Sasabihin ko na lang mamaya kapag nakauwi ka na.” She said, deciding to play safe.
Richard sighed. “Fine.” He scrunched his nose and said. “If I knew that this call would end up like this, I never would’ve called you.” He said.
“Richard, nasa huli ang pagsisisi. Ikaw kasi eh. Ang kulit mo.” Maya commented.
“Do you know na nagiging makulit lang ako kapag kasama kita? What are you doing to me Maya?” He asked.
Maya giggled. Her plan is finally in motion. “Can you just say thank you?” She said, using the words he said last night. “Sige na. Magtrabaho ka na. Bawal ang grumpy.”
“Fine, thank you. I’ll check up on you after Jerry visits you later. Bye Maya.” He said.
“Bye Richard.” Maya said with a smile on her face.
As if on cue, the constructors that Richard asked to go inside his office entered with nervous faces. Their heads were bowed down and they kept on fidgeting their hands as if his office was the most uncomfortable place on Earth. Richard was trying to find his rage but he just couldn’t find it, and he knew it was because of the phone call. It was because of Maya.
“S-Sir, sorry po. Ang .. ang dami po kasing tinrangkaso nung isang linggo, nagkulang po kami sa mga trabahador.” One stammered. His voice was soft and almost wobbly.
Richard just sighed. He was intending to scold them because of their slow work, and they knew that too since he already did that before. If he didn’t call Maya earlier, he would do that but he did and his anger seemed to just simmer down.
“I’m still expecting this project to be done at its deadline. Just do your the work faster this time but I’m still expecting quality.” He said, retaining his business tone. The constructors dared to look at him and was surprised to not see the anger he was expecting to see. “You can go now.” He said.
“Yun lang po Sir?” One asked.
“Yes.” Richard shortly answered. “Time’s ticking. Lumakad na kayo.”
The constructors nodded with smiles on their faces and thanked him before they quickly went outside. Richard knew it was because they were not scolded. Well, they should really thank Maya for giving their boss a light mood.
“Your leg is healed now. Kahit marikot pa siya ng konti kapag nilagyan ng pressure, hindi na siya katulad dati na kailangan mo pa ng alalay para maglakad.” Jerry said as he sat on the couch, opposite of Maya. “I guess Richard does help you.” Maya smiled politely and nodded at the doctor.
Jerry scribbled some more notes on the file he brought and when he’s done, he closed it and lifted his head to look at Maya. “So, kumusta naman ang pagtira mo dito?”
“Ayos naman po. Maliit lang naman po itong condo ni Richard kumpara sa mga bahay kaya parang naging advantage na rin po siya sa lagay ko.” She answered.
The doctor nodded. “Bakit nga pala sa condo nakatira ‘tong si Richard? I searched for his works on the internet and they are all good. Wala ba siyang bahay?”
Maya smiled apologetically. “Tinanong ko na rin po siya tungkol dyan eh. He didn’t give me an answer.”
Jerry nodded. “How are you? Alam mo bang tinatanong ka parati ni Gina sa’kin? Akala niya siguro araw-araw akong napunta dito.”
Maya giggled. “Can I ask for her number po? Ako na lang po ang bahalang magtext sa kanya.”
“You bought a phone?” Jerry asked as he pulled out his phone and handed it to Maya. “Hindi po. Lumang phone ni Richard. Gamitin ko raw po muna.” Maya answered as she punched in Gina’s number.
“Hmm. I can smell something going on between you two.” Jerry commented. Maya handed his phone back with her cheeks blushing. “See? You’re blushing, Maya.”
“Naku, doc. Wala po ‘to.” Maya defended. “Rosy cheeks po ata talaga ako.”
“I doubt it. Your smile is different.” Jerry said making her to blush more. “For once in my life, I think I would like to believe what my wife says.”
“Na ano po?” Maya dared to ask.
“That the two are you are meant for each other. Lahat daw kasi ng nangyayari sa inyong dalawa, nasa favour niyo, walang nasalungat. It’s not that I don’t believe my wife. Well, at first, yes. I find it impossible but when Richard asked me if you could stay with him, I had a feeling that Gina’s right.” He said truthfully. “So, do you like him?”
Although Maya was blushing like crazy, she still shrugged. “It’s too early to tell. I don’t even know if he feels the same.”
Jerry smiled at her. “Maybe talking to Gina will help. Anyway, I should go. May rounds pa ako. I’ll text Richard to inform him that I’ve been here.”
Maya walked Jerry to the door and said her thanks before he completely leave. Her mind was clouded with what the doctor said. Is she and Richard really for each other? And would the odds continue to be in their favour? She sighed as she sat on the couch again.
I guess I just have to find out.
As Richard parked his car outside the mall, his phone beeped. It was a text from Jerry saying that he just finished visiting Maya in his condo. He also informed him that her leg is doing okay. Richard felt relief on his part. He was worried about Maya after she felt pain when she jumped. He went out his car and went inside the mall to buy a present. Just as he was about to enter the shop, his phone rang.
“Liza?” Richard said.
“Ah Sir, good afternoon po.” His secretary said. “Sir, itatanong ko lang po kung pwede po akong umabsent bukas.”
“Uhm, sure. Why?” He asked.
“Na-confined po yung tatay ko. Uuwi po sana ako sa probinsya. Nasabi ko na po kay Sir James pero ang sabi po niya, sabihin ko na rin po sa inyo.” Liza replied.
“It’s okay Liza. Just inform me when you will be back. Take care.” Richard said.
Liza was taken aback when Richard said his last sentence. It was way out of his character to say those words. “Thank you po Sir. I’ll be back as soon as I can.” Liza managed to say and then she hung up.
After talking to Liza, Richard went inside the store and bought the present he’s willing to buy. It wasn’t what Maya was looking at but this will do for now. After buying, he went back to his car and drove home.
Maya was busy cooking dinner when she heard the sound of the front door creaking. She quickly head towards the living room to welcome Richard. Sure enough, he was there.
“Hi Richard!” Maya greeted with a smile.
“Hi.” Richard greeted back. “Well someone’s in a good mood.”
“Ha? Eh kasi ..” Kasi nakita na kita. Kanina pa kaya kitang umaga sabik na makita. “ ..kasi okay na yung leg ko! Hindi na siya broken.” She said instead. “Gutom ka na ba? Nagluto ako.”
Richard nodded. “Baka may droga yan.” He teased and then he started laughing. “Wala no! Promise!” Maya replied as she laughed with him. “Ay teka! May utang ka pa sa’kin. Yung punishment mo pa.”
“Right, right. I thought you completely forgot about that.” Richard said. Maya shook her head frantically. “Well, you’re mistaken, Mr. Lim.”
“Fine. Ano pong ipag-uutos niyo?” Richard asked her, sounding like he was addressing a queen.
Maya giggled. “Since my leg is finally okay, isasama mo ako bukas sa firm mo. Nakakasawa na dito sa condo eh.”
“You really want to?” Richard asked. “Mas nakakabore dun.” Maya nodded. “Yes please.”
Richard nodded. “Okay. Pero wala nang bawian yan. I need a secretary. My secretary will be absent tomorrow. Uuwi raw sa probinsya.”
“Edi ako muna ang secretary mo.” Maya said. “Tara na, maghahain na ko.” She turned to leave but Richard caught her hand in his. “Wait.” He said.
They both looked down at their hands together and the both of them immediately smiled. Maya was about to let go of his hold but Richard just held it tighter. “I have something for you.” He said as he tugged her hand to let her sit on the couch. When they were settled there, Richard reached for the blue box he bought earlier and gave it to Maya. “For you. It’s my pre-birthday present.” Maya was about to say something but Richard beat her to it. “Just open it and say thank you.”
Maya nodded and started opening her gift. Her face lit up with her smile as she saw the box of Richard’s present. It was an instant-camera, like the Polaroid brand used to have. Maya instantly squealed and her arms flew to Richard’s neck, hugging him tight. “Thank you thank you thank you!” She kept saying.
Maya was about to pull back when she realized that she hugged Richard again when she felt his arms on her waist as he hugged her back. “You’re very much welcome, Maya.” He said near her ear. Maya almost melted out of what she was feeling inside and when she felt that Richard kissed her head, she felt like what Jerry was saying is really true.