I was so worried when Richard was still not here around lunch time. I was about to call him when his name flashed on my phone. I quickly answered it and it turned out that he got stuck in traffic. I ordered food for us both after I disconnected the call. Emman has to leave early because his little sister was sent to the hospital.
“Welcome to Limelight Photography! How may I help you, Sir?” I asked when a man in yellow got inside. He’s wearing a red cap and is holding something in his hands.
“Ms. Dela Rosa?” His voice said.
“Ako po ‘yun. Ano pong kailangan nila?” I asked back.
The man moved near the counter where I’m standing and placed an envelope on the desk. “May delivery po para sa inyo.” Then she lifted some stack of paper. “Makikipirma na lang po dito.” He said. I did what he said and thanked him. He left after that as I sat on the couch, with the envelope in my hand. I decided to open it and a small card fell on the floor. I picked it up and read the words printed on it.
I can’t wait to meet you again.
My brows furrowed. Is this the man sending those envelopes to me? It’s kind of creeping me out. First, he knows my house, then now, he knows where I work. It’s like he’s keeping an eye on me. And I don’t really like it.
I looked at the other contents and still, the same lost pictures of mine are still inside. I need to send another message to him. I already did a couple of days ago and last night, then it would disappear. I don’t know if some stranger gets it or he magically gets it.
The bell on our front door rang and Richard came into view. He immediately smiled when he saw me. “I’m sorry I’m late. Forgive me?” The bell rang again and this time, it was the delivery man that came. Richard quickly took his wallet out from his back pocket and paid the man, without asking for the change. He grabbed the paper bags and settled it on the table in front of me. “There. I already payed for the food.” He said.
I chuckled and placed the envelope on the table. “Hindi naman ako galit eh. Tara na, kumain na tayo.” I said as I took out the contents of the bag. I saw him looking at the envelope I was holding earlier.
“Anong laman nito?” He asked.
“Pictures. Gusto mong makita?” I asked but didn’t wait for his answer. I grabbed the envelope again and gave it to him. His face is bowed down so I don’t know what his reaction is. “Kaparehas ‘yan nung nakita mong envelope na nahulog sa mailbox namin. Mga lost photos ko kasi nga may amnesia ako.”
“W-Who sent this?” He asked.
I shrugged. “Ewan ko. Pinadala lang eh. May pinirmahan pa nga ako. May letter dyan. Yung maliit na card. Feeling ko siya yung lalaki sa panaginip ko Richard.” I said and he remained silent. “Alam mo, nagpapadala ako sa kanya ng letter. Ang sabi ko, gusto ko siyang makilala para mabuo na ulit ako. Nilalagay ko siya dun sa mailbox namin, tapos bigla na lang nawawala, parang magic. Ang galing eh.” I said.
Richard’s mouth gaped. “Y-You sent him a letter?” He asked. “Ilan?”
“Hmm.” I made a mental count inside my head. “Mga .. mga anim, pito, ganon. Pero yan pa lang yung response na nakuha ko.” I answered.
Richard looked like he’s going to crumble the photo so I quickly gathered it in my hands before he does. Gee, talk about mood shifts. I placed them on my side of the table and continued to take the contents of the paper bag. “Ikaw? Anong nangyari sa’yo? Bakit ang tagal mo?” I asked.
He cleared his throat before he faced me. “My .. my car got robbed –“
“ANO?” I reacted. “Anong nangyari? Nahuli ba ng pulis yung magnanakaw? Anong nakuha sa’yo? Saka paano ka nakarating dito –“
“Maya, please, calm down.” He said with a grin. “I left my car on the parking space of the firm provided for me. When our meeting ended, my secretary told me that our security called the police. My car is still there but some personal belongings of mine inside a box got stolen in the trunk of my car.” I explained.
“Wala namang nasaktan? Walang nakuha sa’yong sobrang halaga?” I eagerly asked.
Richard heaved a deep sigh. “What they got from the car is extremely important to me but it doesn’t cost anything. It’s priceless, but has a lot of sentimental values in it.” He answered.”And I’m really blaming myself. I shouldn’t have put the box there in the first place.”
“Ano bang laman nung kahon?” I curiously asked.
He went still for a bit then bit his lower lip. “Some pictures that I kept. It doesn’t really make any sense. How can someone stole something like that yet my car is already worth more than that? Tapos may credit card pa ko dun sa compartment.” He said and buried his face in his hands. I scooted near him and encircled my arm on his.
“Hayaan mo na, Richard. Kakarmahin din siya.” I said, trying to comfort him. He looks so regretful of what happened. Maybe the things that were lost are really important to him. After a while he straightened in his seat and leaned back on the chair.
“I’m ruining this afternoon. Come on, let’s eat.” He just said and took the food and gave it to me. He started eating but I know that it’s still bothering him. “Am I scaring you? I’m really sorry.” He said.
I shook my head. “It’s perfectly understandable. Don’t worry, si Lord na ang bahala sa kung sino mang kumuha ng gamit mo.” I said.
He took a deep sigh and tried to put on a smile. “Right. I’m really ruining our first lunch out er, in. So, how was your day? Nasaan si Emman?”
I smiled. He’s really trying to court me. Even if he has a heavy heart today, he still managed to spend the rest of the day with me. “So far so good. May dalawang family na nanggaling dito kanina saka tatlong couple. Ang sweet nga nilang lahat eh lalo na yung last couple na nakuhanan ko. Naging sila na four years ago, tapos naghiwalay sila, tapos hanggang ngayon, mahal pa rin nila yung isa’t-isa. Kaya ayun, sila pa rin.” I told him. “Saka bakit mo hinahanap si Emman? Miss mo na no?” I said, trying to make him smile and I did not fail. The familiar smirk on his face came.
“Silly, you’re all alone here! Paano kung may nangyari sa’yo? Kung alam kong ikaw lang mag-isa dito, pinadiretso ko na sana yung taxi kanina dito.” He said.
“Bakit? San ka galing?” I asked.
“Umuwi ako sa bahay ni Papa. I left my bag there and I also borrowed his car kasi nga na-hold yung kotse ko sa firm.” He said.
“Ahh. Anong tatak? Nung sasakyan na dala mo ngayon.” I asked.
His eyes narrowed for a bit, but then he answered. “Audi.”
My mouth gaped. “Mahal yun ah! Grabe pala kayo kayaman, Richard. Hindi ko mareach!” I commented.
“It’s not mine! Papa bought it!” Richard defended with a smile on his face. “And how did you know how much it costs? Are you a car enthusiast or something?”
“Hindi naman. Nung unang beses kasi si Kute bumili ng sasakyan, ako yung taga-tingin niya. Tapos habang naghahanap kami, ang dami kong natutunan sa mga tatak ng sasakyan, yung model, yung itsura, pati na rin kung magkano. Kaya alam ko kung magkano ang Audi.” I explained.
Richard chuckled. “You really are something, Maya.” He said and just looked at me for a while.
“Why? May amos ba ko?” I asked, feeling conscious.
He shook his head. “No. It’s just, I’m going to miss you.” He said.
My eyes narrowed at him. “Bakit? Ay nako Richard ha, dumadamoves ka na naman. Tigilan mo na ko. Nagkita na tayo tapos ‘pag umuwi ka na uulitin mo ulit ‘yan. Napanood ko na ‘yan.” I countered.
Richard laughed and shook his head. “Bakit? Effective ba yung mga moves ko?” He asked and I found my cheeks warming up. I bet I’m so red right now. “Seriously though, I’ll miss you Maya.” He said.
“Ano ba kasing meron?” I asked.
He took a deep breath. “I .. I might be moving to New York.” He said and I found my heart skip a beat. He’s leaving? “Nagpatayo si Papa ng firm sa New York bago pa siya mag-retiro. And since I was still .. you know .. not over y- Sunshine, I guess hindi ko alam kung anong nangyayari sa paligid ko. I don’t even know that we have a firm in New York until a few days ago. It’s going to be open in two weeks and the board is choosing the most suitable person as its CEO. They want me.” He said.
Sadness filled my heart. He’s leaving in two weeks. It’s like the two weeks filled with happiness with him will be taken away from me also in two weeks. Just when I’m starting to fall for him, he would take a step back and let me fall flat. “I’m not leaving you.” He said and my head bolted up to him. He just answered my thoughts. “I’m not leaving, Maya. I can’t leave you.”
“Pero Richard, hindi. Kailangan mo ‘to. Kailangan ka nila –“
“I have a week to decide. I told them that I can’t leave. I can’t leave because of you. I can’t. I just can’t leave you here.” He said. “If I could take you to New York with me, everything will be just fine but I can’t. You have other business here and I can’t just plead for you to come with me because I want to. I don’t want to be selfish over you because .. because you’re still not mine.” Richard continued.
He’s right. He can’t force me to go. As much as I want to go back to New York, I can’t. I only went there because I want to have a start here in the Philippines. “Anong plano mo? Pupunta ka ng New York?” I asked.
“There’s still a week but I’m already weighing out my options. It might be best to go to New York but I just can’t leave like this –“
“Richard, sige na, pumunta ka na ng New York. Kung ako yung iniisip mo, ayos lang sa’kin. Masyadong malaki ‘tong step niyo. America na ang pinag-uusapan dito! Aayaw ka pa ba?” I tried to encourage him but it seemed like my own words are ricocheting and striking me instead. “Kailangan ka nila don kasi mas gamay mo yung trabaho. Saka, hello, Lim Visionary Vanguard nga ‘di ba? Bakit tatawaging Lim kung hindi Lim ang CEO?”
He smiled at me. “Well, our firm in New York will just be called as Visionary Vanguard.” He said and placed his hand on top of mine. “You really want me to go? Even if it’s hurting you inside?”
- “Yes.” I lied.
Richard nodded his head and resumed eating. I guess he’s really going. “Then I’m staying.” He said. I opened my mouth to complain but he beat me to it. “I’m staying. I’m the boss of my own self, Maya. You can’t dictate what I have to do.” He said.
I groaned. “Richard –“
“Maya, be honest. Do you want me to go? Just say the truth, okay? For once. Do you want me to leave you? Or do you want me to stay with you? And I do promise that I will stay forever with you.” He said.
My heart beat fast. I swallowed the lump in my throat. The truth. “I .. I … No. I don’t want you to go.” I muttered.
A huge smile spread on Richard’s lips. He leaned and kissed me on my head again. “Then I won’t. Go on, eat up. It’s already one. Baka may customers ka nang dumating.” He said with a smile on his face.
I just smiled back. Am I worth the decision he’s making? If I were him, I would take the job, especially since a lot of people are counting on me. Now that I think about it, what makes me so worth the decision he’s having? I’m just some girl he met some days ago. I can understand that he’s courting me and all but if I were on his place, it’s not worth it.
Unless he’s got another reason behind it.
A/N : And now we heard Maya’s doubtful POV. Hahahaha. So? Who robbed Richard? Naaaawa tuloy ako kay Luke. Hahaha!