Love among the blooms
Richard was still smiling when he pressed the intercom to call his secretary. At least, a glimmer of hope from Maya, he thought. Now on to his next move, to make her say yes 100 percent to talking to him, and hearing him out.
“Yes, Sir Richard.” Marissa said, noticing that her boss is in a very good mood.
“Marissa, please call the florist we use and order these.” Richard said as he handed Marissa a piece of paper, with some instructions in it. “Please be here early tomorrow for the delivery and supervise the crew that will go to Maya’s office.”
“Oh, wow!” It was all Marissa could say, her eyes round as saucers when she read the list her boss gave her. Then she smiled at Richard. “Consider this done, Sir. Ako na ang bahala.”
“By the way, include this also.” He handed her another small envelope. “Thank you, Marissa.”
“Okay, Sir. No problem.” She smiled at him and felt kilig also at the latest development in the love story between her boss and his lady love.
Richard went home that evening in high spirits. He knew he still needed to explain himself well to Maya, but he is getting more and more optimistic that she will hear him out.
Maya also felt happy when she arrived home that evening. Remembering their times in Sweden made her happier, even if she felt very sad and hurt the rest of her stay there because she missed Richard, and was puzzled that he just, sort of, disappeared from her life. She thought of asking Rafi , but pride and reserve prevailed. Now, she is getting more and more open to the idea of giving Richard the benefit of the doubt. Maybe, he did have a very valid reason for just leaving like that, or for not disclosing his connection to Lim Corporation, she mused.
In the short time that Maya had known Richard, she discovered that he was a gentleman, a very caring person, very straightforward, a fun friend, and he really listened to what she was saying, even if sometimes, it was just something silly. She also liked his sense of humor. Besides in all the years of working everywhere and meeting a lot of people, Maya considered herself a pretty good judge of character, and from the onset, she didn’t see or felt anything negative about Ricky. She felt very comfortable with him, as if they have known each other a long time. She didn’t feel that he was stringing her along. In fact, except for the LC issue, he had been very candid with her. Judging by what Rafi said, it seemed that he was not that open to other people at all.
Maya’s introspection was interrupted by the beeping of her mobile phone.
Good night, Maya. Sweet dreams.
Looking forward to seeing you again.
I hope it will be 100% tomorrow. 😉
His message made Maya smiled. She can’t resist replying.
You wish! 🙂
She went to bed smiling, and quite happy. Richard, on the other hand, had an even bigger smile when he went to sleep.
Maya woke up with a feeling of anticipation. Ricky was the same. They both went to work early.
This time they met each other at the coffee shop at the ground floor of the building.
“Good morning Maya.” Richard greeted Maya with a big sunny smile. Then, he automatically ordered her favorite brew from the barista. “Miss, one tall americano for her please.”
“Oh, you don’t have to, Sir.” Maya protested.
“I insist, please. Just say, thank you Ricky.” Richard asserted.
“Thank you, Sir Richard.” She stressed, just can’t resist saying it, tongue-in-cheek.
The two of them walked towards the elevator. Richard pressed the elevator button going up, and gestured to Maya to enter first. They sipped their coffee silently, comfortably, taking sidelong glances at each other, staring but not really looking at the changing numbers on the elevator panel, until they reached the highest floor.
“i’ll go ahead, Sir.” Maya said to Richard and then rushed to her office.
When she reached her section, she found some of her staff looking at something from her opened office door. When they parted to allow her to pass, she was astonished! Her office was transformed into a flower shop, with sunflowers, roses, tulips, and other blooms she can’t readily name, in vases on all the available surface!
“Minerva, who gave me these flowers?” She asked when she recovered a little bit, though, she knew the answer to it.
“Ms. Maya, pagdating po namin ni Emman, nandiyan na ang mga iyan.” She replied.
“Naku, Sis, bonggang-bongga naman ang admirer mo ah. Parang alam ko na kung sino.” Emman looked at Maya and smiled.
Maya just smiled, then told Emman and Minerva, also the other curious employees, to go back to their cubicles. Then she looked for a card. She found the small card at the center of her desk. She opened it, had no inkling that the message would be earthshaking.
Every time I see flowers, I got reminded of our
trip to the botanical garden.
It was a day etched not only in my memory, but in my heart.
It was the day I realized I’ve fallen in love with you.
“Oh Ricky.” Maya said, putting all her feelings in those words, then muttered to herself. “Hindi lang ikaw, Ricky, hindi lang ikaw. I also realized I have fallen for you hard on that day!” She can’t help but remember her last day with Richard, and the turning point in their relationship.
While Maya was holding the card, trying to absorb what Richard said, and taking another trip down memory lane, Richard can’t keep still in his office. He is wondering how Maya is reacting on his latest and biggest move to patch things up with her. But he thought, oh well, the die has been cast. “I just need to wait on how she would take this.” He needed to relax and there is one place where he can try to do that. He informed his secretary where he would be, and told her the only instance when he can be disturbed there. When he reached the rooftop garden, he sat on one of the rattan chairs there, and thought of the last day he was with Maya in Stockholm.
One fine Sunday
The ringing of her mobile phone woke Maya. She was startled, not use to someone calling her in Sweden. During training hours, her phoned is even turned off. She looked at the screen and smiled.
“Hi Ricky, good morning. Ang aga mong nagising ah. Considering na whole day tayo kahapon na naglakwatsa.” She greeted Richard happily.
“Rise and shine, Maya! I have a treat for you. Get ready!” He replied, excitement evident in his voice. “Hurry up, please.”
“Wait, teka, teka. Saan tayo pupunta at nasaan ka ba?” She asked while trying to shake off the remnants of sleep from her system. “Did we agree to meet today?”
“ No, we didn’t. But it is a nice day for the trip I have in mind. You will like it, I promise.” Richard cajoled Maya. “I’m here at the lobby. I also have a steaming cup of coffee for you.”
“Okay, okay. Mabuti I was not planning to do anything today, except sleep in, and go out nga rin later.” Maya said, happy that she will be spending another day with Richard. She does not know how long he intended to stay in Sweden. He replied vaguely when she asked.
One hour later, Maya and Richard were inside Bergius Botanic Garden. Just like the previous day, Maya’s senses went on overddrive, this time on the over abundance of beautiful flowers, and plants from all over that she can see. She noticed familiar ones too.
“Wow, this so wonderful! Thank you Ricky.” Maya was so happy, that she forgot herself, and hugged Ricky tight. Then she realized what she did, and blushed.
Richard smiled at her, a smile that lit up his whole face and made his chinito eyes disappeared into a thin line. He gazed at her intently, and meaningfully. He actually felt his heart jumped when Maya hugged him. “I know how you love flowers. Di ba you told me your favorite pa nga are sunflowers. Come let’s tour the place. Tapos, we will have lunch at The Old Orangery. The place serves meals from locally and ecologically produced products daw, sabi sa site nila.”
They did that, then toured the rest of the place. When they got tired, they went to the cafe inside the Edvard Anderson Conservatory. The view was wonderful and very relaxing as they sipped their steaming cups of coffee. From the cafe, they can also see all the plants of the greenhouse closely. Everything is beautiful, they both thought, not only because of the beauty around them, but because of the company. They chatted, sipped coffee, sometimes, they would find themselves gazing each other, then smiling for no apparent reason, other than they are so happy to be in each other’s company.
“Ricky, thank you again for this wonderful treat.” Maya said, so happy with the way her Sunday turned out.
“Basta, ikaw Maya. Anything for you, anything to make you happy. Seeing you this happy is also making me happy.” He said simply.
They left the botanic garden around 4 o’clock in the afternoon. By that time, it was drizzling. Richard wanted to wait until the rain stops. Maya said they should just go for it, anyway it was just light rain, so they can catch their bus. Richard said, they can just take a taxi afterwards. Maya said the bus is coming so there is no need for that. She grab Richard’s hand and started to pull him towards the direction of the bus stop. Ricky stopped her and intertwined their hands. At first, Maya was surprised, but liked the feeling of it, felt kilig, she looked at their interwined hands, and smiled at Ricky. They half-jogged in the rain, which turned from drizzle to downpour in a matter of minutes. They ended up missing their bus. Maya and Richard stopped at a bridge after a while, laughing and very wet, trying to catch their breaths. Maya’s hair was plastered all over her face, and water was dripping on Ricky’s face.
“Maya, let me.” Richard said as he parted Maya’s hair from her face, tucked the strands behind her ears. Then proceeded to wipe the water from her face with his hand.
While Richard was doing that, Maya was gazing at him intently. Their eyes met, and both felt very strong emotions then, before they can stop themselves, their lips met into a bone-melting kiss, unmindful of the rain, or the people passing by. They were in a world of their own. They slowly parted after a while, looked at each with huge, loving smiles.
“Maya, I’m not sorry I kissed you.” Richard said as he continue caressing her face.
Maya blushed and gave Richard a loving smile. “Let’s go na nga.”
They ended up taking a taxi. They were very much conscious of each other and the remembrance of their kiss in the rain. There were times, they just looked at each other lovingly. Their hands were still firmly intertwined. Even without verbal declarations of love, they know their relationship shifted to another level. Both were on cloud nine when they parted that night, and were looking forward to seeing each other the following evening.
Maya read Richard’s note again, and smiled. She made a decision then. She will hear him out. She realized that something so beautiful, so wonderful, that had happened to them, should be nurtured and worth the risk, worth everything, despite the fact that after that beautiful Sunday, Ricky didn’t show up at her hotel lobby, anymore.
She went to Richard’s office.
“Hi Marissa. Is Mr. Lim, free? May I see him?” She asked his secretary.
“Hi Ms. Maya, he is at the rooftop garden. He told me to send you there, if you come looking for him.” Marissa said and gave Maya directions.
Maya went up. She didn’t even know that their building has a rooftop garden. But judging by where she was, she realized that the garden is a private one. She is very nervous, but at the same time, has a good feeling on the outcome of this talk with Richard. Her love for him eclipses all the sad and hurt feelings she felt when he left. Knowing that he also loves her is giving her strength to move towards him, be with him again.