Richard went home one night with a furious look in his face. It was already six and Maya was already home. She saw Richard sank on the couch as he leaned back with his eyes closed and deeply sighed. Maya knew right away that there’s a problem. She quickly made a cup of coffee and placed it on the table, and then she sat on the couch beside him.
“Richard, may problema ba sa renovation?” She curiously asked. She was hoping that it will be the problem and not an issue
between him and his father.
The man beside him slowly opened his eyes and turned his head at her. “No. I went to the police station earlier. Tinanong ko kung may development na sa case mo and do you know what they said? Wala pa raw. It’s been months yet they don’t even have something that might help you remember. Even your name!” He exclaimed.
“Richard, hayaan mo na. Baka naman kulang lang talaga sa mga evidence kaya natatagalan.” She said as she tried to calm him down.
“But still, I was hoping I could get your full name. Then that will be a start, right?” He groaned. “On the contrary, I feel like I want to get mad at your family. You’ve been missing for months, and they’re not doing anything to track you down. How could they? Even a friend will do pero wala.” He said and immediately saw the frown in Maya’s face. He shifted in his seat and reached for her hand.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. I know I should not be stressing myself over this but I’m worried about you Maya.”
Maya sighed and gave him a soft smile. She lifted her hand and touched Richard’s cheek. “You don’t have to worry about me. I’m fine. Yes, it hurts that no one is looking for me, but I have a new family right? I have you, James, Luke, Angela, Jerry and even your father and the people in Vanguard. I don’t really need them at the moment because of you guys.”
“Maya, stop it. You’re hurting inside. I know that. Sino bang hindi? Before you met me, I was also like this because I was longing for my father. I was hoping that he would show up in front of my door and talk to me and I’m admitting this now because deep down, it’s what I want. It’s what I’ve always wanted.” He said. “I want to help you the way you helped me Maya.”
The woman in front of him sighed. “I know that you want to help Richard but really, there’s nothing we can do at the moment. I’m limited by my memory and .. and everything else is limited.” She explained. “We just have to wait patiently for it.”
“But Maya –“
“Richard, ano bang gusto mong gawin ko? Yes, I am hurting but it doesn’t mean na iiyak na lang ako sa isang tabi ‘di ba? Kailangan ko pa ring mabuhay kahit na malaking parte ng buhay ko yung hindi ko maalala. Even though marami akong hindi alam, it doesn’t mean na kailangan, hindi ko na gagawinyung mga bagay na alam kong gusto ko.” Maya interrupted, hoping she could make sense. “Don’t worry, okay?”
Richard sighed and engulfed Maya in a hug. “You’re right. I don’t really know what got into me. I guess I’m just aching to know the rest of you. But I want you to know na kahit ano pang meron ka, kahit ano mang estado ng buhay mo, kahit sino ka pa, I’m still madly in love with you.”
“Talaga?” Maya asked with a huge grin on her face. “Kahit na drug dealer ako tulad nung sinabi mo dati?” She teased.
Richard’s mouth gaped. “What? Well,” He gulped, making Maya laugh. “Yes. I will still love you. Kahit na ano pang trabaho mo.
Kahit .. kahit anak ka ng presidente, kahit magbobote ka, kahit drug dealer, kahit stripper –“
“Anong stripper?” Maya interrupted but wasn’t enough to shut Richard up.
“.. ka o kahit ibang-iba ka talaga sa kung sino ka ngayon, I don’t care. I will still love you even if you don’t want me to. Ganon kita kamahal.” Richard finished. “Are your ears finally satisfied now? Or do you want to hear more?”
Maya giggled. “Okay na, Mr. Lim. Lalanggamin na siguro ako kahit saan ako magpunta. Pero oy ha, hindi ako stripper. Itong ganda kong ‘to, gagamitin ko lang ‘don?”
Richard laughed. “Malay natin ‘di ba?”
Maya pushed him and stood up from the couch. “Nakakainis ka.” She said as she tried to stifle her own laughter. “Pag ako nawala, kita mo, mamimiss mo talaga ako. Sige na, maghahain pa ko.” She said and left Richard watching her as she go.
“I know I will.” He muttered. For now, he can do nothing but to hold on the faith that nothing will go wrong. All he could do is hope that all of those thoughts of his will not come to life. He was indeed upset that there’s still no result of the investigation. He really wanted to know Maya’s family to talk to them and ask Maya’s hand in marriage. He had it all planned out but what Maya said were all true. They are limited and they can only wait until the right time comes.
Richard strode through the familiar floors of LVVanguard. He already dropped off Maya earlier since he went to their house for his daily visit. It was already ten in the morning when he decided to finally go to work. He knew the employees in their firm would really be gossiping about his tardiness on his first day but he didn’t mind. He rode the elevator without a single word, even though he can see from the peripheral point of his eyes that the employees are eyeing him down, some even murmuring things to others.
He was surprised to find his father standing outside when the elevator pinged at his floor. The other employees walked pass him but he remained standing inside the lift.
“Ricky, why are you late on your first day of work?” Roberto asked. “I’ve been waiting here since eight. I even texted you but you were not answering.” He further said. Richard felt embarrassed at the moment. It’s like his father is treating him like a kid.
“I-I’m sorry Mr. Lim. I was doing an on-site visit earlier –“
“And why are you addressing me like that? C’mon now, son. This is practically home. I don’t want us to be strangers here.” His father said. Richard saw that his father was worried about him, and he’s not actually mad. “Are you planning to stay inside the elevator for the whole day or you would like to see your office?” His father suggested.
Richard gave a nod and went out of the lift. As he walked beside his father, he saw the employees on the floor looking at them, some even greeted his father and his father greeted back. “Where were you anyway?” He asked.
“I visited the renovation earlier. I thought you knew. I sent you a text last night.” The son answered. “Is it me or your employees are staring at you?”
“They’re looking at you, and not at me, son.” His father simply answered.
“Why would they be looking at me?” Richard asked again. “Because I’m late.”
Roberto chuckled and stopped walking. He turned around and faced him. “No. Because this is a first for most of them. It’s the first time that they’ll be seeing my son and not to argue with me, but to work along with me.” He explained the truth. Earlier, Maya would told him that she’d been asked a couple of times the reason why Roberto seemed to be so anxious in waiting for him. When Maya said that it’s because the one arriving is Richard Lim, the whole thing spread like wildfire. The next thing they knew, most of the eyes in Vanguard are waiting for Richard’s return.
Richard nodded. He already knew that this would happen. His sudden resignation to Aero Designs and his employment on Vanguard surely caused uproar. It was never his intention but maybe it just really happens especially that he’s the son of the owner.
“Here’s your office. All of your things are already here.” His father said as he opened a door. The office that his father used to have is spacious, bigger than his office in Aero. The whole place was redecorated; even his desk was new too.
“Thank you, Pa.” Richard said with a smile. He entered the office and sat on his new swivel chair. He was smiling foolishly. For the first time in ages, he felt at home. “Did I miss any work?”
His father shook his head. “No. But there’ll be a meeting at one. The board wants to meet my son.” He proudly said, making Richard roll his eyes. “Pati sila?” He asked.
“Of course. They’re wondering kung bakit nagkaroon ng bagong pangalan sa board of directors, better yet, isang Lim. Sinasabi pa nga nila, unfair eh. Ikaw kaya ang pinakabata.” Roberto said.
Richard let out a soft laugh. “It’s because my father’s the owner of this firm.” He said.
“And also because you are the co-founder of this firm.” His father added. Richard gave him curious look. His eyes narrowed up at him since he’s not sure of what his father was talking about. “Oh c’mon, Ricky. You and I both know what I’m talking about.” He said.
Richard shrugged. “Giving the name of the firm is just a minor contribution, Pa. It’s not enough. I’m even surprised that you kept this name.” He said.
“Lim Visionary Vanguard.” Roberto said. “I think its genius and also because my eight year old son suggested it from some science fiction movie he watched.” He amusedly stated. “I’m really lucky to have you back Richard.”
“Same here.” He said. He was about to say something more when someone knocked on the door, followed by Maya’s face popping out. “Mr. Lim?”
“Yes?” Both Richard and Roberto said, making Maya bit her lip to prevent herself from laughing. “Uhm, Sir Roberto, nasa meeting room na po sina Mr. Pangilinan. Nando’n na rin po si Architect Reyes, kayo na lang po yung hinihintay.” She said.
“Okay.” Roberto said and looked at Maya and then to Richard before smiling. “Maiwan ko muna kayong dalawa rito. Excuse me.” He said with a smile and left.
“Good morning, Mr. Lim.” Maya sweetly greeted. “How’s your first day po?”
“Good, good. My day’s already perfect since I woke up.” He replied with a smile.
A faint red color appeared on Maya’s cheeks. “I thought you’re single Sir?”
Richard stood up from his seat and walked slowly to reach Maya. “I’m very committed Ms. Maya. There’s no one else beside her.” He said and before Maya could speak, he gently kissed her.
“Ay ay, Richard, nasa trabaho tayo. Bawal yan.” She said as she leaned back from his kiss. Richard chuckled and tightened his hold of her. “Hindi naman tayo kita eh.” He said and sneaked another kiss on her. “Just stay here. Binyagan natin ‘tong office ko.” He said with his brows going up and down.
“Anong bibinyagan?!” Maya asked with her eyes wide and pulled back from Richard’s arms. He just laughed and didn’t let Maya escape. “I’m just kidding! I’m kidding!” He immediately said but still earned a light slap on his chest. When their laughs died down, Maya leaned on Richard’s chest as the latter tightened their embrace. “Ayaw mo ba talagang maging secretary ko? We can enjoy our time together –“
“Kaya nga ayoko eh. Baka wala ka namang matapos na trabaho. Maganda na yung ganito. Saka bago ka pa lang dito sa Vanguard, kailangan good boy muna!” Maya interrupted.
“Good boy naman ako ah!” Richard defended but still made the both of them laugh. “Alright, alright, you win. But if I saw someone flirting with you, I have to interfere.”
“Wala namang ..” She trailed off when Richard raised his brows at her. Maya sighed. “Yes po. Sige na, magtatrabaho pa ko. Si Tony yung secretary mo. Bye muna.” She kissed him on the lips and quickly went outside. The door opened again and Maya’s head popped out. “Richard! I love you!” She whispered.
Richard chuckled. “I love you too. Sige na.”
The meeting of the board took longer than Richard expected. It occupied their whole afternoon. Aside from the meet and greet, they also finalized some issues and agendas of the company in through the year, and the other work-related things.
The group of men couldn’t have been happier meeting Roberto’s son and successor. Richard was even surprised when they said that they’ve been watching him work since his name just sprouted from nowhere in the architectural business. They welcomed Richard warmly in the company and they also said that they are excited to see the young Lim in action.
After the meeting, Richard talked to his father. He was whispering something to him when Maya entered the meeting room. When Richard saw her, he looked shocked and it took him a couple of seconds before he found his voice.
“Ahh, Maya, pwedeng kay Papa ka muna sumabay? He’ll drop you off sa condo. May .. may kailangan lang akong puntahan.” He said.
“Si..Sige.” Maya unsurely answered. Richard immediately bid farewell and quickly descended the room, leaving her and Roberto alone.
The older Lim just shook his head as he chuckled, like he’s so amused of his son. When he turned to Maya, he saw that the young lady was curiously staring at him, obvious that she doesn’t understand what’s happening.
“Let’s go, Maya? I’ll just grab my things from my office.” Roberto said and when Maya nodded, he proceeded to his office.
Richard, I think you’re in a little bit of trouble with this lady. Roberto thought.