Maya looked around the lobby of the hotel, trying to find Richard. He called briefly, an hour ago, to say that he will just go to her hotel as they can just have lunch at the nice restaurant there, overlooking the Copenhagen harbor. Maya have been to that restaraunt before, but just to eat a quick breakfast. The view would be lovely during lunch. Maya saw Richard sitting in one of the armchairs by the window, reading a newspaper.
“Hi Maya, good to see you again!” Richard stood up when he saw Maya, gave her a big smile, then took her luggage from her. “Let’s leave it here. I will talk to the reception staff and ask where we can leave it.” Maya waited for Richard while he took care of her luggage.
They walked towards the restaurant, chatting, then admiring the view, and marvelling at the architecture of the hotel, which was done by well-known Danish architect. They chose a window table, luckily, the place was not full yet. They ordered traditional Danish lunch dishes.
“Did you sleep well?” Richard asked.
“Yes, I did, surprisingly, considering the interesting day I had yesterday.” Maya said, smiling, then remembering how the evening ended, blushed a little. “You? How was your meetings today?”
“I slept well, like a baby. Must be the company I had yesterday, made me very happy.” Richard smiled at Maya meaningfully. “The meetings went well. Probably, in a day or two, Sonny, my executive assistant, and I will be able to wrap things up, then back to Manila soon.”
“Oh! No plans of doing a side trip somewhere, like me?” She asked, curious.
“Not this trip, I think. I need to go back soon. Something came up at work while I was away. I need to attend to it personally. Sayang, we can meet sana ulit in Paris.” Richard said, regret in his voice.
“Oo nga. Sayang. I ‘m looking forward nga rin in seeing my cousin Katrina. Haven’t seen here in years. Besides, it is a place talaga I want to see after watching Lovers in Paris.” Maya said half-teasing, for she know Richard will react.
Richard laughed, remembering the series from long remembered snatches of conversation of their female employees who were glued to it when it was aired in the Philippines years ago. “What is next then, going to England and seeing Highclere Castle? If you will, I will go with you. I would like to see it also. Not because it is being used as the set of Downton Abbey, but because I read that there is an Egyptian exhibition throughout the cellars of the castle to celebrate Lord Carnavon’s achievement.”
“Oh, yes, I read when I researched the place where they were filming Downton, that Highclere was the seat of the 5th Earl of Carnavon, the one who discovered the tomb of the Egyptian Boy Pharaoh, Tutankhamun, with Howard Carter, di ba?” Maya said remembering that information from the website of the castle.
“Yes, and the place is still with the same family. Amazing, isn’t it?” Richard said. “It might be interesting to see all the artifacts on display there. The grounds looks lovely too for walking, with you of course. I may not watch Downton regularly, but I have seen some episodes with Rafi, when I was visiting her and Charlie.”
“Well, it is an interesting series and not to sappy. Maybe, you will like it when you get to watch it fully. Hmmm, so you never know, baka the next time we bump into each other, in England naman.” Maya said. “When I find myself in England, I will really make it a point to go and see the castle.”
“I like that idea too, us bumping into each other in England. Pero, I think, we will see each other again in the Philippines.” Richard said enigmatically, as the waiter started serving the lunch they ordered. He also ordered two glasses of white wine after asking Maya what she would like to drink with their lunch.
They chatted about places they want to see while eating. Before they knew it, two hours had passed. Maya offered to pay for lunch, but again like yesterday, Richard wouldn’t hear of it, so Maya just thanked him. They picked up Maya’s luggage and took a taxi to the train station.
Since they were a bit early, Richard waited with Maya. While waiting, Richard got two small packages from his saddle bag and gave it to Maya.
“For you.” He said simply.
Maya was surprised to have received something from Richard. She opened the first package slowly.
“Oh Ricky, it is beautiful.” Maya exclaimed when she saw the Georg Jensen flower key ring with the word “Denmark” on it. Then she opened the next one. It was a replica of the bronze statue of the Little Mermaid sitting on a rock. “These are too much. Thank you very much.”
Richard smiled, happy that Maya liked the gifts. He purposely went to the shopping district before meeting her for those, especially the Goerg Jensen key ring. “I’m glad you liked them, Maya. Just stuffs to remember your trip by, and our meeting here, of all places.”
They gazed at each other, then smiled, for no reason at all, just very, very happy to be with each other.
Too soon, it was time for Maya to depart. When the train was approaching, Richard accompanied Maya to where she was supposed to board. He embraced her tight, when they said goodbye. “Keep safe, and keep in touch.” Then he kissed her again on the cheek. “Thank you for making this trip memorable.”
Maya hugged Richard back. “I will. Take care, and thank you for everything. I will not forget this trip either.” She then boarded the train and looked for the seat number printed on her ticket. When she looked out the window after finding her seat, she saw Richard still standing on the platform. He made one last wave when the train started moving, until she can’t see him anymore.
Maya opted to take the train to Stockholm instead of flying as she wanted to see a bit of the scenery between the two countries. But at the moment, sitting on the train, traveling to her destination, she didn’t feel as excited as she thought she would be. She, kind of, missed Richard already. Strange, she thought, I was not even with him for 24 hours. She just decided to rest, and looked at the passing scenery, aimlessly.
Richard returned to the hotel after sending Maya off. He missed her company already. He just didn’t have the desire to walk around Copenhagen alone anymore. Strange feeling for him also, when he didn’t even know yesterday morning that Maya and him were in the same country. Since that night at the cafe, he can’t get her out of his head too. He would think of her from time to time, wishing that he would see her again, somewhere. He even returned to that cafe several times, hoping that he would see her . Though, he was not so sure how he will introduce himself if ever they do see each other again. Tell her what, that ‘I was here when you were comforting your friend. That I noticed how caring you were. That I also noticed how beautiful you are even if you were not wearing any make up at all. That I liked that you were unmindful of how you looked when you rushed to help a friend in need. That I liked how you comforted her. That I thought you are very nurturing. That I felt an instant connection with you when our eyes met.’ He might scare her off with those pronouncements. Good thing fate intervened, they met here at the other side of the world through an angel of a girl.
Richard’s introspection was interrupted by a knock on the door. He opened the door to his EA.
“Sir Richard, good thing you are back na po. Here are the documents from Manila for your meetings tomorrow. Also, the head office sent some contracts you needed to review, urgent daw po.” Sonny said, putting quite a big pile of documents on his desk.
“Okay, Sonny, I will work on these. Then I will e-mail back the comments and feedbacks on the contracts. Thank you. You can take the rest of the day off. Walk around the city and buy pasalubong for Liza.”
“Naku, thank you, Sir Richard. I will do that. Aalis na po ako. Please call me na ang kung may kailangan kayo.” Sonny closed the door after him, glad that he will have time to buy things for his wife. Richard looked at the documents and started working. Might as well, he thought, so he wouldn’t miss Maya much.
Richard ordered room service for dinner, then went back to work. By 10 o’clock, he was finished. He was about to close his laptop, when he thought of checking his e-mails. He saw that he had a new one. He checked who it was from, and smiled. Now, he is very happy.
From: Maya Dela Rosa
To: Richard Lim
Hi there Ricky,
I arrived here in Stockholm two hours ago. The trip was okay. It was an experience to travel through the bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden. Though, I didn’t see much of the bridge since the trains pala travel on the side of it. It would have been better to see it by car. Still, I liked going through the tunnel part of the bridge. Imagine, traveling under water! It was easy getting a taxi from the train station to my hotel, my home away from home for the next three days.
I can’t sleep, so I thought of transferring some of the photos from Denmark to my laptop. I saw some of the photos from our trip yesterday, so I am attaching it with this mail. Para you also have a souvenir of our trip. 🙂
Take care. Good night. Sleep well. 🙂
From: Richard Lim
To: Maya Dela Rosa
Subject: Denmark without you
Great to hear from you! I’m glad that your train ride was okay. Maybe, next time, you can cross into Sweden by car. I can take you! Amazing to see that 16-kilometer bridge that way.
I hope the hotel is as nice as the one you have stayed here in Denmark.
I just went back to my hotel after sending you off. I didn’t feel like going out anymore. You spoiled the place for me, you know. 🙂 I preferred exploring it with you. Hayun, I told my EA, it is his turn to explore Copenhagen. I’m sure I made Sonny very happy. I just had dinner in my room and made inroads on my paperworks. I was about to close my laptop and call it a night when I saw your e-mail. I’m really happy to hear from you. Thank you for the photos. I liked them.
Good luck on your buying trips. Take care. Keep in touch, always. Sweet dreams. 🙂
Maya smiled when she saw Richard’s e-mail. She was also very happy to hear from him. The reason she can’t sleep is not because she was excited to be in a new country. But, rather, she was thinking of Richard and their time together. She went to sleep with thoughts of him.
Since then, Richard and Maya regularly exchanged e-mails. Both eagerly awaiting each other’s mails, sharing how their day have been. Yes, they could have chatted through Skype, or through FB, or Facetime, but somehow, they both preferred e-mailing. This way, they don’t have to wait when the other is free for a chat. Besides, they both think that there is a certain intimacy, personal touch, in e-mailing that is missing with all the social networks.
From: Richard Lim
To: Maya Dela Rosa
Subject: Going home
Thank you for the photos you sent. They are lovely. You do have a knack for taking very good pictures. I felt like I was seeing those places with you. Of course, nothing beats seeing those sights with you. But since I can’t be there with you, I’ll settle for your beautiful photos. You know, you can make travel writing as a second career if yu get tired of the retail world. Or maybe, you can start a blog. Just a thought. 🙂
I’m glad you made it to Finland okay. It also an interesting country. Good luck on your buying trip.
Today is my last day here in Denmark. The next time you hear from me, it will be from Manila. Looking forward to going home, even if it means tons of work for me. I’ll have dinner with mom and dad, the day after I arrive. They are very nice people. You will like them when you meet them.
Take care. Eat properly. Sleep early. Don’t forget to tell me if Paris lives up to your expectations and your imagination. 🙂
From: Maya Dela Rosa
To: Richard Lim
Subject: Have a safe trip home
Yes, Mr. Lim, I am eating properly. I am sleeping early. With no one to go to dinner with (by choice, hahahaha), I was usually off to my hotel early after my meetings or after exploring the place a bit.
Have a safe trip home. Mabuti ka pa, you will see your parents na. I missed my mom also, my sister, and my kulit niece. It is just the four of us, since my dad left my mom for another woman, and Cristina’s boyfriend disappeared from her life after getting her pregnant. But all water other the bridge. We are doing okay. Kapit-bisig and happy naman kahit walang man in the house sa family namin. Ay, am getting maudlin. Homesick na yata talaga ako! 🙂
I’ll think about the blog. Maybe, it could also be a stress reliever for me. I’ll see first what my new work load will be like when I return. Take care. Paris here I come! 🙂
From: Richard Lim
To: Maya Dela Rosa
Subject: Home but restless
By any chance, are you angling for a dinner invitation, Ms. Maya Dela Rosa? 🙂 Sayang, I am not there so I can take you to dinner. For sure, it will be fun than the solitary ones I am having. But I can certainly take you to dinner when you get home. I really enjoyed having dinner with you. Do you suffer from jetlag? I think I’m having a bad one. Can’t sleep! Oh well, it will pass.
So, your dad left your mom. Sad to hear that, even if you said you and your family are okay now. I will not pry, anymore. If you want to tell me about it, I’m sure you will. I will be here to listen. I’m glad that after that experience, you are not closing your door on a meaningful relationship, even if you are wary. It was a very sad thing to go through. I hope your mom, and your sister too, will find someone who will love and cherish her. Anyway, whatever the future brings, the important thing is being there for them.
Home is where the heart is. While the Philippines is home to me, my heart is not here at the moment. It is nice to be back and see the family, but why I do wish I am somewhere else at the moment? Mabuti, work is keeping me so busy.
See you when you return. Enjoy Paris.
From: Maya Dela Rosa
To: Richard Lim
Paris! I can’t believe I’m here. It did live up to my expectation. I felt like channeling my inner Tae-yeong/Vivian the first time I saw some of the sights that I have seen in the series! 🙂 Tomorrow, my cousin is taking me somewhere, she told, me I will like it very much. It’s nice to see her again. Among my cousins, I’m closest to her. Maybe because we are the same age. She was also the cousin who got me interested in this job.
Restless? Why? Maybe, you just need to get use to your old routine. Pero don’t forget to eat regularly. Baka sa sobrang busy, you are skipping meals na. Relax a little bit din. Sana you had the time to see Paris too. But didn’t you mention that you have been here before? I think I would have enjoyed seeing Paris with you, just like Copenhagen.
Thank you for the nice words for my mom and my sister. Someday, I will tell you the whole story, if you would like to know. I don’t normally tell, but you are someone I feel very comfortable with, as if I have known you a long time. I think is one of the reasons why we became fast friends.
I hope you are over your jetlag. I don’t normally suffer from one. I don’t know why. I easily adjust to changes in time zones. I’m heading home the day after tomorrow, then back to work the following day. Looking forward to going home. See you when I see you. 🙂
Have a great day, or evening!
Richard smiled while reading Maya’s latest e-mail to him. She is coming home! He is looking forward to that. He can’t wait to see her. Suddenly, he feels very happy, and does not feel restless anymore.