Note: Double treat of sorts, because of the long weekend in PH! 🙂 I hope you will like this also. 🙂
Maya was enjoying the breeze, the cool air coming from the sea, as she sips her still very hot coffee while sitting on one of the park benches infront of the Little Mermaid, one of the most famous and iconic tourist attractions in Copenhagen, and watched the tourists of different nationalities taking turns in taking photos and posing for a souvenir photo infront of the bronze mermaid statue sitting on a rock on the waterside, with the beautiful and restful Copenhagen harbor in the background. She walked there, via the royal palace, more than an hour ago, wanting to relax after her meeting with several Danish design companies that produce very beautiful decors and other home accents, as well as beautiful but very functional furnitures and other housewares. She is enjoying springtime in this country. Everything is so vibrant and the place is really lovely with all the flowers in bloom and the trees, green again after the long winter months.
This is Maya’s last day in Denmark. Tomorrow afternoon, she is traveling via train to Stockholm, to meet with manufacturers of several Swedish products that her company would like to have on their stores’ shelves as well. Then off to Finland, for the same goal. The demand for Scandinavian products have risen the past several years. They are getting very popular and in demand among their customers who are building new homes or redecorating their houses. There are already orders if they could bring in certain products to the Philippines.
Maya works as a senior buyer for a holding company that runs an upscale chain of boutique stores and department stores, among other things. She never thought she would end up as a buyer. She studied industrial design at the university, and had hoped to work for one of the multinational manufacturing companies in the country. But a cousin was a buyer before she moved to France, and she got curious about the job. She applied for one. Since she has a knack for spotting trends, knew designs well, and quite artistic, she got accepted promptly and is now one of the senior buyers in the prestigious company, especializing in furnitures and home decorations, at the same time, about to hold a management position. She decided to take up some business and marketing courses to help her be better equipped for the job. On the side, she also learned several languages. She discovered she has the aptitude for it. Maya was offered the management position before she left and she has accepted it.
She is enjoying the trip, even if it was work-related as it was also a way to take a respite from everything. Since Ruby came running to her more than a month ago, she felt restless. A big part of it has something to do with the chinito guy she caught a glimpse of that night. She can’t get him out of her head. But she thought that she will not know how to react anyway, if ever, she meets him again, and besides, entering into a relationship is not in her list of priorities at the moment. It can wait, as she would like to concentrate on her career first, at the same time, she still has not seen a really happily-ever-after kind of relationship among her immediate circle. She sighed and took another sip of her cooling coffee.
It was when she did so that she saw a little girl, so closed to the edge of the harbor. She dropped her coffee cup and ran after her, afraid that she will not be able to catch her and she would fall into the water. While she was doing that, a guy was also running from the opposite direction. She was so focused on the little girl that she didn’t see him. They both hugged the little girl at the same time and took her away from the edge. They looked at each other in astonishment and both exclaimed. “You!”
Before they can react further, a woman with a stroller came running to them, and hugged the little girl tight. “Mathilde, sweetheart. Are you okay? Don’t run away from mommy like that again.”
She then stood up and looked at the strangers who saved her daughter, touched both their hands, and thanked them profusely.
“Thank you very much for your presence of mind. If not for you and your husband, I don’t know what would have happened to my daughter. She loves the water and as soon as she saw it, she ran towards it. Her brother wanted his pacifier so I got distracted!” The lady explained lengthily, looking so grateful to Maya and then to the guy beside her. “I’m Karen Petersen.” She said, and offered her hand.
“Hi Karen. I’m Maya dela Rosa. I’m glad that we were able to catch your daughter, Mathilde, right, before she fell. The water looks deep and added to that there were waves caused by all the boats coming and going. I thought we will not be able to do so.” Maya said, smiling at Karen, relieved while still trying to catch her breath. She then looked at the guy beside her. “Errr, he is not actually my husband, we don’t know each other, really, but I think we are both from the Philippines.”
Richard looked at Maya, and thought, so her name is Maya! It suits her. She is really beautiful with that lovely smile that lit up her face, pouty lips and doe-shaped eyes. But that was not the first things he noticed about her the first time he saw her in that coffee shop in BGC. That also, of course, but what attracted his attention was something else.
“Oh, sorry, I thought….It just that, well, you looked so good together….I thought…” Karen stammered.
“I’m Richard Lim.” Richard said smiling at the flustered Danish lady, putting her at ease. He shook her hand. Then turned to face Maya. “Hi Maya, just call me Ricky. Very pleased to meet you, finally.” He looked at her meaningfully, alluding to their first meeting. “And yes, Maya is right, Karen, we both are from Manila.”
Maya blushed a little at the way Richard is looking at her, getting a bit conscious. “Nice to meet you, Richard, errr, Ricky.” She managed to utter. It is him! The handsome chinito guy she can’t out of her head. Imagine, of all the places she would meet him again, here! In a place so, far away from home. What is he doing here anyway!
“Thank you again, Maya and Richard for saving my daughter. I hope you two will have a nice stay here in Denmark!” Karen said with a big grateful smile. “I’m afraid I have to go. My youngest is getting restless. Mathilde say thank you to this kind lady and gentleman.”
Mathilde, who was about seven years old, gave Maya and Richard the sweetest smile, hugged them spontaneously and said, “Tak”, before running to where her mother is, waving at them at the same time.
Maya’s heart went out to the cute little girl, and her sweet gesture. It made her missed her niece Abby, daughter of her sister Cristina Rose, suddenly.
“She is the sweetest, isn’t she! “ Richard said by way of conversation. Suddenly, there was just the two of them, standing by the edge of the harbor while Karen and her kids went to the direction of the royal palace. “She made me remember my niece, Nikki.”
“Really! How old is your pamangkin?” Maya asked, the two of them just fell into this easy conversation. “I remember naman my pamangkin also. Abby, she is about the same age as Mathilde, I think, seven years old.“
“Oh, she is about nine years old. She lives in the States now with my sister Rafi and her husband Charlie.” Richard steered Maya towards the park benches again and they sat where Maya left her things in her dash to save Mathilde. Richard asked Maya to sit first.
“Thank you, Ricky. By the way, isn’t it strange that of all places, we met each other again, here! I presumed, you remember me from the coffee shop more than a month ago since you recognized me earlier. That was the one and only time I saw you before, I think.”
“Yes, I do remember you. You are kinda hard to forget.” Richard said cryptically, then smiled at Maya with his lopsided smile. She remembered me also, Richard thought, and that made him very happy. Maya’s heart, on the other hand beat faster, seeing that smile. “How’s your friend? The one who was crying?”
“Oh, she is doing much better now. Thank you for asking.” Maya replied briefly, amazed that Richard remembered that scene so well. “How about you? What brought you here?” She asked Richard, curious about him, and why of all the places in the world, they met here, it seemed so far-fetched that they would!
“I’m here on business. I have been meeting with our business partners, Danish companies shipping products to and from the Philippines and in the Asia-Pacific Region.” He said, simply. “I work for Lim Holdings Corporation.”
“Lim Holdings?” Maya said, then she remembered his last name. “Family company?”
“Ah yes, my dad’s. Im working for the shipping side of things.”
Maya then realized why the company name sounds familiar also. “Oh, I think we are using your company too, to ship products for our shops. I work for a retail company which belongs to MT Holdings Corporation.” Maya mentioned the company and Richard brightened up.
“Yes, I know MT Holdings! One of our valued clients, and your boss, Miguel Tan is a friend of my dad.”
“Small world, isn’t it?” Maya said smiling. “How long are you staying here in Copenhagen?”
“Maybe five more days. I have several meetings lined-up for the next several days.. Today I had two pero I finished two hours ago. I sent my executive assistant back to the hotel and told him I will just go for a walk here by the harbor, near the promenade where the Little Mermaid is. I always do so when I am here. I find it very peaceful and it clears the head.” Richard said, looking at Maya, finding her easy to talk to, considering that they just met. “How about you?”
“I’m leaving for Sweden tomorrow. Tapos na ang mga meeting ko sa Danish design houses that I was supposed to meet during this trip. It is just a matter of finalizing everything so we can ship the products to the Philippines. I think through your shipping company din.” Maya wished she could stay longer, now that Richard is here. He seems like a good company. For some reason, she is really drawn to him.
“Oh, sayang naman.” Richard, sounding disappointed, and wished also that Maya is staying longer. “When are you returning to the Philippines?”
“Late next week. I will travel pa to Finland, after Sweden. Then will take a short trip to Paris to see a cousin, then back to Manila.”
Richard nodded, deep in thought, as if there is a plan forming in his head.
He and Maya continued chatting, unmindful of the groups of tourists, coming and going around them. They were so concentrated on getting to know each other. They were so focused on each other.