I spent the whole day with my father inside his office. Even though he already trained me for this, he still kept on reminding me things I already know. I’m reminded of when I was still a kid and my father used to do this to me too. He’s a perfectionist, you see, while I’m .. I’m more of an abstract person. I believe that those little imperfections are the reason why things look great.
Papa’s office is now converted to mine. The same furniture is used but most of my things are now located inside. I’ve decided to keep our family picture that my father had on his table. Before, I loathed these things that would remind me of my unfaithful experience with my family, but now, my eyes always search for it. It’s not just because I already understood what happened but because it’s the only thing that drifts my thoughts away from her.
I sighed as I closed my eyes while I leaned back on my swivel chair. It’s her birthday today. Two years ago, I know she had a great time during her birthday. I could still remember her smile when I brought her to Enchanted Kingdom to celebrate. She was always laughing, the reason why I started laughing too. I could still feel her hand entwined with mine. Everything feels like yesterday, except that the yesterday I’m dreaming of already passed after eternity.
How do people manage to forget someone they love? From what I’m experiencing right now, it’s really hard, especially if you already gave your whole self to her. Before I met her, I would not be asking this thing inside my head. I don’t care about relationships. I don’t care if they say I love you because I will say it back but it’s not what I am feeling. But when I’m with her, I do care. I’m always waiting for that moment when she would laugh, when she would smile, when she would scrunch her nose, and I will never get tired of waiting for her to open her mouth, and say those three words that always make me feel lucky.
She left without a word. I watched her as she watched me back and I do bet she’s wondering why I’m running after her. I wonder where she is right now. I wonder if she’s celebrating her 25th birthday with another guy. That mere thought already made me mad but I don’t really have the right now, eh? She’s already gone. She’s no longer mine. We’re already done.
I opened my eyes when the phone started on its fourth ring. I reached for it and placed the receiver on my ear. It was my secretary, Liza, saying that I should have my lunch now. It’s already half past twelve and I still have to leave for the newspaper interview. I ran a hand on my face and sighed deeply. It’s probably best if I go out where noise will fill my ears rather than to spend my day inside my office in silence and keep hearing her voice in my ears.
Liza met her before when I brought her to my office so she could replace Liza because of the emergency she had that time. I was still courting her when it all happened. Liza applied here for work because she couldn’t stand her former boss in Aero after I resigned. Papa gladly accepted her, saying that she might help me. During those times, I was still at my condo, not going to work.
After lunch, I drove my car to EDSA Shangrila where my interview will be. They said that I just have to bring myself since they are going to provide the clothes and all. I’m not really into publicity and all but after my father talked to me; he finally convinced me to do it. Lim Visionary Vanguard is already a well-known firm and it would keep on standing even if this interview thing doesn’t happen. Isn’t it the reason why they wanted to cover the story of the passing of the new CEO? In my own opinion, we don’t really need this but I guess a push would be okay, too.
The manager of the hotel led me to a hall where lights and everything are being set up. As I scanned the whole place, a man called my name and laid his hand out.
“Mr. Lim! I’m Simon Villanueva.” He said and I shook his hand. “I will be the one who will interview you later.”
“Richard Lim.” I politely said. “I thought I’d be meeting someone that goes by the name Edselyn Guevarra?” I asked. Liza told me that I should be expecting a woman.
“Ah, I’m sorry about that Mr. Lim. Edselyn is not feeling well since last night and she called me up last night to do this interview. Ayaw din naman naming masayang ‘yung oras niyo. Anyway, I’ll be doing the interview, and then she’ll do the actual article. Don’t worry, I’m a close friend of her from work.” This Simon said.
I nodded. “As long as the information that she will use will exactly be my answer and my words will not be omitted nor replaced.” I said.
“Absolutely. Her article will be based on your answers, hundred percent sure.” He said. I gave a nod and he led me to the table where his questions are. He gave me a rundown of the questions he will ask, but I only heard half of it when my eyes focused on someone.
She walked confidently with a smile on her face as she entered the hall. She still looks like before despite of the makeup she was wearing. I felt my heart skip a beat. She’s still the same woman that I loved two years ago.
Wait. Are my eyes deceiving me? Great. I’m hallucinating. She can’t be here! There’s no reason that she’ll be here. And .. and how come she’s here in Manila? I spent months looking for her but I couldn’t find her. Did I miss a City or a town perhaps?
I completely ignored Simon and walked to reach her. My feet dragged me like I’m a puppet. I want to make sure if it’s really her. I want to ask what happened, to ask if she can remember me, to hug her tight, to kiss those lips that were once mine. I missed her so much.
Simon reached her before I did. I clenched my jaws when I saw that he gave her a peck on her cheek and then she laughed. I almost shoved him off but I went still in my spot when I Simon shifted and walked near me with her beside him.
“Mr. Lim, I would like you to meet your photographers for this day, Maya Dela Rosa and Emman Castro. They’re from Limelight Photography.” He said. My heart fell. Dela Rosa. I finally know her last name! She’s Maya Dela Rosa. Her name is perfect. A Maya Dela Rosa captured my heart and has torn it into pieces. “Maya, Emman, meet Mr. Richard Lim, the new CEO of the very famous Architecture Firm, Lim Visionary Vanguard.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Lim.” Her sweet voice said and I felt it ringing inside my ear.
“Same here Ms. Dela Rosa.” I replied. I took her hand and shook it. I can feel my hand burning. I want to get rid of this formality and pull her against me and engulf her in a hug. I can’t believe that she’s here! I know that I’m not dreaming. She’s here! She’s really here! I wanted to pinch myself but it’ll be awkward if I do it now in front of them.
The same spark is still there.
I can feel it.
But she doesn’t.
“Please excuse me Sir. I still have to do some preparation for the photo shoot.” She said as she withdrew her hand. “Na-inform na po ba kayo tungkol dun sa mga shots? We’ll be doing 20 shots tapos yung lima po dun –“
“Yes, yes, I already know.” I interrupted. She confusedly looked at me and as I stared into her eyes, Based from the romantic movies I used to watch with her, when a boy and a girl cross paths again after their break-up, both of them still have love in their eyes. But it’s very different between us. The presence of love in my eyes might be shown but I can’t see it in hers. I know that there’s no sense of recognition. She can’t really remember me.
“O-kay. It’s nice to meet you again Mr. Lim.” She said and gave a polite smile which I didn’t return. “Emman, tara na.” I heard her say to companion and turned the other way to look at the man I met earlier. “Simon! Tara ‘don! Ang dami kong ikukwento sa’yo!” She said and when they moved, I saw that Simon reached for Maya’s hand and entwined it with his.
I felt like I’ve been punched right in my face. I can feel my legs going weak and I found it hard to breathe. I want to run away from here. I can’t do this damn interview! I can’t do this while she’s here. I know that I’m trying to move on and seeing her just brought back those painful feelings again. This time, it’s much painful, especially that I’ve seen her with another man.
“Bro! You’re here!” A voice said and I felt a hand patting my shoulder. “So, nagstart na ba? Pinapunta ako ni Tito
eh. Baka hindi ka raw sumip-“
“She’s here.” I said.
“What? Sinong she?” James asked.
I swallowed a lump in my throat and when I saw her again with Simon’s arm on her shoulder, I didn’t think anymore. I started walking and head for the doors but James got a hold of my arm.
“Richard! Where are you going? Don’t tell me you’ve got some work to do –“
“She’s here James.” I interrupted again and James continued to give me a confused look. “She’s here. Maya’s here.”
“Wh- Really?!” James asked as his face beamed. “C’mon! Let’s go say hi. Ang dami niyong dapat pag-usapan.” He said as he pulled my arm but I halted. I removed his hand on my arm, making him to turn around.
“Don’t.” I said shortly.
James narrowed his eyes at me. “What’s wrong?”
“S- I already talked to her.” I said.
My friend’s eyes widened and his smile got wider. “What did she say? Kakanta na ba ako ng ‘Muling Ibalik’?”
I glared at him. “She can’t remember me. She has no idea who am I when Simon introduced me. She’s all too formal. Hindi niya ako kilala. Ang alam lang niya, CEO ako. Yun lang.” I said, my tone is rising up but I managed to hush it since there are too many people around us. “I can’t be here. I .. I just can’t.”
James’ eyes softened. He patted me on my shoulder again. “Cheer up, man. Malay mo may pag-asa pa. Baka single pa si Maya.”
“I doubt it. Look at her.” I said and pointed a finger to where she is. She’s now talking to Simon while she’s adjusting the set. A huge smile is shown on her face. My heart is crumbling just by watching her laugh with another man. The smile that was once only for my eyes to see. The laugh that was once only for my ears to hear. “She’s not, James.”
Maya left the set and walked in our direction. When she was almost in front of us, James blocked her and gave her a smile. Damn it James! Why do you have to ruin everything?!
“Hi.” I heard James said. “I’m James Ventura, Richard’s best friend. I own Aero Designs.” He said as he laid out his hand.
Maya lifted her hand and shook his. “Uhm, it’s .. nice to meet you Mr. Ventura. I’m Maya Dela Rosa, from Limelight Photography.” She kindly replied.
“Dela Rosa.” James said and glanced at me with a meaningful smile on his face. I only glared at him. I just want out. “Na-aamuse talaga ako sa mga ganyang apelyido. Yung ‘Dela’ ba ay middle name or is it a part of your last name?”
“It’s part of my last name Sir.” She replied again. Of course it’s part of her last name. What a dumb question, James!
James chuckled. “I’m not being rude or anything but, that guy over there, is he a relative or something?” He asked, nodding at the direction where Simon is.
I could feel my heart beating fast as I wait for her answer. “Si Simon?” Maya asked and then she smiled at James. “No, he’s not a relative. He’s my boyfriend.”
“I see. Now that I know, I was thinking if you could spend one dinner out with my best friend? You know, to get to know each other though I do understand that you’re already taken –“
“I’m sorry, Ms. Dela Rosa. My friend is acting preposterously. We don’t mean to offend you.” I cut in before James could utter another word. I grabbed his arm and dragged him out of her way. “I’m sorry again.”
When I saw her walk away, I let go of James’ arm and walked to leave the hotel. “Richard. Richard!” I heard him call my name. “Ikaw na nga ‘tong sineset ng date –“
“It’s not necessary! Hindi mo ba narinig? She’s already taken. I don’t need a wingman because right from the start, there’s no chance of us together again. Okay?” I exclaimed. “Let her be.”
“That’s it?” James asked. “After two years of finding and not getting over her, you’re just giving up? She’s right here Richard! She’s finally here! Within your reach! Yet you’re leaving?! What happened to you man? Ilang beses mo kaming sinasabihan na kapag nakita mo siya, you’ll do whatever it takes to win her back again. And you’re leaving?!” He said.
I felt like I’ve been punched again. He was right. I always said that I will win her back whenever I see her. But why can’t I do it now? Why can’t I go in front of her and ask her out, like a normal person would do? I sighed. It’s because the answer is written on her face. “Look at her James. She’s happy. She’s happy without me in the picture. She’s better off without me. Bakit pa ako manggugulo ng buhay?” I said and by the look on James’ face, I know that he understands what I said. I turned around and started leaving again when a familiar voice called me.
“Mr. Lim! The interview will now start. We’re waiting for you.” Maya said.
I sighed and turned around. I looked at her first before I looked at James. “It’s your choice.” He said. When I turned to look at Maya to say no, I stared right through her eyes, the once I’ve always loved. I could say that she’s wondering why I’m headed outside. I could see it in her eyes. I sighed again and opened my mouth to speak. “I’ll be there in a minute.” I said. I might as well make this borrowed time with her worthwhile.
A/N : Pwede po bang makahingi ng favor? Ano pong password sa posts ni Ms. MaltsMaltz? Pasend na lang po sa email ko : email@example.com Maraming salamat po 🙂