James’ head shot upwards when he heard his office door open. Richard entered with his face full of uneasiness. James squinted his eyes when saw that his best friend was holding a piece of paper in his hands. “Richard. How’s the renovation going?” He asked, changing the subject so that his friend would not be afraid to speak.
“Ah, good, good. I always visit there. Uhm, and Papa also.” Richard said and sat down on the chair in front of James’ table.
James nodded with a smile. “Kumusta kayo ng Papa mo? It’s been weeks since you told me how you two reconciled.”
“We’re doing fine. At first, it was a little bit awkward but .. but we’re getting there.” He replied. After the meeting with his father, they agreed to just forget everything that happened in the past and start over. They were both happy about it, especially Roberto when he heard Richard call him ‘Papa’ again.
“I bet Maya was extremely happy about it.” James commented.
“Yeah. She is.” Richard said with a smile. When he and his father got out of the office with smiles plastered on their faces, Maya welcomed them with her own smile on her face. She was almost teary eyed when she witnessed them talk about having a dinner that weekend.
“I’m glad to hear that you’re finally doing good, bro.” James said. “And why are you here? Do I owe you money or is it the other way around?”
Richard chuckled. “Actually ..” He said as he handed the piece of paper on his hands. James reached for it and opened the paper to read it. “I .. I have to leave James. Thank you for having me here at Aero but I have to resign.”
“You’re going back to Vanguard, huh?” His friend said as he folded the paper.
Richard nodded. “Yes. Papa’s already complaining about back pains. I want to work there to be his replacement. And also if the time comes when he finally wants to rest, I could easily take over.” He said.
James gave Richard a smile. “I’m really happy for you Richard. From the start, I already knew that Aero would just be your cocoon until that time when you will become a beautiful butterfly –“
“Don’t compare me with a butterfly, James. It’s sounds so wrong.” Richard interrupted.
“Don’t interfere when I’m being poetic like this, alright my friend?” James said, his brows narrowed at Richard. His best friend raised both of his hands as a sign of defeat. “Good. Now, where were we?” He continued and was mum for a couple of seconds as he tried to remember what he was saying. “Damn Richard, I lost it. Ang kulit mo kasi eh.”
“Ako pa ‘tong may kasalanan eh ikaw nga ‘tong nagamit ng butterfly. C’mon, man. A butterfly? Really? That’s the best you’ve got?” Richard asked. He would really miss this witty side of James. “You’re on ‘you will become a beautiful butterfly’ by the way.”
James groaned. “Ayoko na. Nawala na yung momentum.” He muttered, making Richard laugh. “Do you have any suggestions other than a butterfly?”
Richard laughed and when it died down, he looked at his friend. “But seriously, James, thank you for letting me work here in Aero. Baka kung hindi mo ko tinanggap, wala ako sa kinatatayuan ko ngayon –“
“Richard, leaving is not an excuse for you to give me this mushy crap.” James interrupted. “Seriously speaking also, I’m fine with it. Tito Roberto said you needed a place to work and I told him that you will be fine here –“
“Wait. He’s been talking to you?” Richard interrupted. The days that passed were always a revelation whenever he got to talk to his father. And some details like this never fail to surprise him.
James went still on his place. “Uhm, you know what? I have an excellent replacement for the butterfly. Maybe a dog? Or a horse even?”
“James, answer me. Kinausap ka ni Papa?” Richard insistently asked.
His friend sighed. “Yeah. Kinakausap. He’s been talking to me since you were employed here. Kinakamusta ka niya lagi sa’kin.”
James sighed. “Gee Richard that was supposed to be a secret. Patay ako nito sa Papa mo.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll just tell him na pinilit kita.” Richard said with a smile. He has something new to ask his father. “So, do I have two weeks’ notice or something?”
James shook his head. “Nah. You’re good to go whenever you want. I’ll miss you bro. Wala na kong kausap dito.”
“That’s easy.” Richard said as he stood up. “Work for me.”
“Ha! No chance, Lim. Even though my firm is still young, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” James defended.
“I know, my friend.” Richard said and offered his hand. “Perhaps a partnership wouldn’t hurt? Whenever you’re ready, just give me a call.”
James gladly accepted Richard’s hand for a shake. “That’s better. I’ll ring you after you replace your father. Good luck, Richard.”
“Thank you. You too, James.” Richard said and left. James was really happy for his friend. Sure, he lost a great architect in his firm but men like him come and go but he will surely miss Richard. Even so, he couldn’t have been more proud seeing him face his father whom he avoided for years.
“The renovation’s looking good.” Roberto said as he and Richard strode through the perimeter of the house. They wore their hard hats since most walls are being destroyed to be replaced by new ones.
“Isn’t it a little bit slow? The renovation, I mean.” Richard said as he took a sip of his coffee.
His father chuckled. “No it’s not. “ He said and his son eyed him. “Palagay ko, hindi ka pa sanay sa field work. I bet you spend most of your time in the firm, talking to your clients instead of going out here to check on the actual work. Am I right?”
“Hey, I still do site visits.” Richard defended.
“Yeah, but how often?” His father countered.
Richard was about to defend again but it turned into a sigh. “I guess marami talagang naikukwento sa’yo si James, right Pa?”
Roberto choked on the coffee he was drinking. He was not expecting that from Richard. His son patted his back with a smile on his face. “I guess James told you.”
“Yeah. Don’t blame him though. He blurted it out by accident while I gave my resignation letter yesterday.” Richard casually said.
“You .. you resigned?” Roberto asked his brows knitted together. His son answered with a nod. “But .. why?” He asked again. He had to since Richard never mentioned any plans about leaving James’ firm. The past weeks were already enough for him since he
got his son back.
“I’ll be working at Vanguard again.” Richard answered. “I already asked Tito Louie about it and he said, he’ll give me a position in the Board of Directors and that’s it. He also told me that I could start this Monday and I’ll be using your old office on the same floor you’re in. You have nothing to worry about. Everything will still be the same.” He explained. “Although I don’t have a secretary. Maya refused to give up her position and be my secretary instead. “ He added and produced a ‘tsk’ sound.
“How did this happen without my permission? Hindi ko nga alam na babalik ka na.” Roberto asked.
“Well, actually, hindi pa siya permitted because you still have to sign a document. Mamaya pa lang ipapakita ni Tito Louie, that’s why he told me to finally drop the bomb on you.” The son answered.
“Wow. That’s a very big move, son.” The older Lim said. “What made you do all of this? Resigning from Aero was really a risky move considering how big your name is there.”
“I’m not after the fame. I’m more of a wanting-to-spend-more-time-with-my-father type of guy.” Richard said with a smile. “I told you, Pa. We’ll make it work.”
Roberto gave his son a heart-warming smile. “Thank you, Ricky. It really means a lot to me.” He said and gave his son a pat on his shoulder. “So, “ He turned to the house again. “ .. five rooms? Really?”
His son laughed at his father’s question. “Yes, Pa. Five rooms.”
“That’s really too many! Ilang apo ba ang ibibigay niyo sa’kin? Yung totoo Richard mag-aampon ka ba?” Roberto continued, his eyes getting wider with each word that he says.
“No, Pa. Isipin mo. If you and Luke came over, dalawa na yung okupadong room. Eh paano pa yung mga magiging anak ko?” Richard explained.
“You really want to settle things down with Maya, huh?” His father asked. “The question is, will she say yes?”
Richard breathed deeply. “I do hope, Pa. I’ve never wanted anything in my life like this. Her amnesia is scaring me though. What if she wake up one day and she already remembers everything but she can’t remember the things we shared. What if that happens?”
The older Lim patted Richard’s back. “If that did happen, then I guess you just have to find a way to court her again. Yes, the situation will be hard and different but your love for her will not change, right?” He explained. “It might be the worst case scenario for the both of you but hey, everything happens for a reason. Don’t think about it so much Richard. I’m sure the wedding will push through.”
“Thank you, Pa.” Richard said. His father was right. He just has to wait and see what will happen. If that ever happens, then there’s always a reason behind it though he’s scared on the sorrow he will surely feel inside. “You’re invited to the wedding by the way.” He said and that made Roberto’s smile wider. They spent the whole morning inspecting the house but most of the time was spent by catching up with each other.
“Richard! Dalian mo! Start na yung movie!” Maya shouted as she popped some popcorn in her mouth. A couple of seconds later,
Richard emerged from the kitchen with a tub of ice cream on his hands. He placed it on the table and sat beside Maya. He put an arm around her while he used his other hand to eat popcorn.
“I’ve watched Pretty Woman a thousand times.” He groaned but still got a kiss on the cheek from Maya. “Manood na lang tayo, please? Napanood ko na rin naman ‘to eh.” She said and fed Richard some popcorn.
“Fine, fine.” He said. “You’ve watched it?” He asked hoping to get an answer that involves her past.
Maya nodded. “Pero hindi ko matandaan kung saan o kailan basta alam ko yung mga events dun sa movie.” She said. “Ang pogi ni Richard Gere oh.” Maya muttered.
“What? Maya, that movie was first showed a long time ago. Richard Gere’s already old by this day.” Richard said.
Maya produced a hearty laugh. “Bakit ang defensive mo? Nagseselos ka ba?”
“Psh. No.” He replied shortly and just made Maya laugh even more. “Wag ka nang magselos. Ang sabi ko lang naman pogi ah.”Maya defended. “Palibhasa kasi ang gusto ikaw lang nakikita ko.” She added and Richard didn’t reply. “May something kasi sa mata niya oh. Basta, ang pogi ng mata ni Richard Gere.”
“Ililipat ko na ‘to.” Richard warned as he reached for the remote.
Maya shifted on the couch and looked at Richard. “Wag kasi! Nanonood tayo eh. Saka hindi lang naman si Richard Gere yung pogi eh. May pogi rin kaya akong katabi.” She said. “Uyy, ngingiti na ‘yan.” She said as she poked on Richard’s dimples and sure enough he smiled.
“Alright, that’s enough. BInobola mo na ko.” Richard said as he captured Maya’s finger on his hands. “Manood na lang tayo.”
“Hindi ‘yun bola no. Ang pogi mo rin kaya. Lalo na yung mata mo. Maybe if we didn’t meet and I just saw you somewhere, the first thing I would remember about you is your eyes. Ang lakas ng appeal ng chinky eyes mo eh.” Maya lovingly said.
Richard felt a slight pain in his heart. “Maya, please don’t say the words ‘if we didn’t meet.’ I’m scared that it might happen.”
“Bakit? Gawa ng amnesia ko? Hindi ‘yan no.” She said in her in-a-matter-of-fact voice. “I’ll always remember you, Richard. Especially those eyes.” She said as she touched the side of Richard’s eyes using her fingers. Richard captured her hand and kissed the back of it. “I love you Maya.”
Maya leaned in and pressed her lips firmly on Richard’s. “I love you,too Richard Gere. Ay Lim. Richard Lim pala.” She said on purpose and was attacked by Richard’s hands on her waist, tickling her until she was laughing so hard. “Joke lang ‘yon! Richard Lim! I love you Richard Lim ang sabi ko!!” She exclaimed but Richard just continued to tickle her.
When Maya was almost out of breath, Richard finally stopped. “Let that be a lesson to only say I love you to the only man you truly loves.” He said and kissed her tenderly.
After that, they resumed their proper seats and watched the movie until the end. When the movie was finally over, Richard noticed that Maya already fell asleep beside him. He carefully carried her to bed and went to the living room to tidy up their mess. When he got back inside the bedroom, Maya’s arm was splayed on his side. Richard smiled. He knew Maya was searching for him. Since Richard was already sleepy, too, he carefully got on bed and settled beside her. Maya’s head automatically shifted on Richard’s chest and hugged him tight, as if she could sense that he was already there. Richard dropped a kiss on her head and they drifted off to sleep.
A/N : Soon to end na po ang Chances. 😉 *Insert evil laugh*