Maya was still smiling goofily when she entered the apartment she shares with Emman, cradling the beautiful bouquet that Ricky gave her, still feeling the touch of his lips on her cheek, happy with her wonderful evening with a guy she is starting to like a lot.
“Ms. Maya Dela Rosa, ang laki ng smile natin ha.” Emman greeted his best friend from where he was sitting, watching his favorite late night show. He knew that Maya went on a date, with whom, she refused to tell him earlier. She just gave him a brilliant smile when he asked. He had an inkling then that it was not an ordinary date. Maya, in all the time, he had known her, has never been out on a date. She was too focused on her job applications and their work at the hotel.
“Hi Emman, gising ka pa pala.” Maya remarked, then remembered, “Ay oo nga pala, tonight is your puyat night.”
“Kumusta ang date? At sino ba kasi iyang nakapagpa-yes sa iyo na mag-date., hmmmm.” He asked in a teasing tone. “Curious na curious na curious na curious na talaga ako. Marami ka nang utang na kwento sa akin.”
Maya smiled at her friend as she sat down on the couch beside him. “I’m not sure if it was really a date. Maybe, he really just wanted to thank me. Remember the ramen I asked you to buy? It was for that guy in 1115. He was sick kasi when I went to his room to clean. I helped him out.”
“Iyong sabi ni Doris na cute na cute na Chinese guy, na parang Prince Charming ang description niya?” Emman asked. “Guwapo ba talaga?”
“Well he is. Super nice pa siya. Saka hindi pala siya Chinese from mainland China, you know what I mean. He is actually a Filipino-Chinese.” Maya excitedly told Emman, still feeling kilg. “He told me yesterday that he will treat me na lang when I refused to accept his payment for the ramen. Tapos when I went to clean his room this afternoon, he asked me if I would like to have dinner with him.”
“Ha, I’m pretty sure, hindi iyon para magpasalamat sa iyo, Maya girl! Kasi di sana, kasama ako dapat kasi ako ang bumili ng ramen.” Emman concluded.“Date iyon, for sure! Bongga ha, that was your first ever since I met you! Saan kayo nag-dinner?”
“Well, he did say that he just want to have dinner with me, not because of the ramen, para to get to know me better daw. We had dinner at the Italian restaurant where my Uncle Bobby is the maitre d’, iyung malapit sa Central Park.” Maya finished with a blush. “I don’t know, Emman, ang gaan-gaan ng loob ko sa kanya. Saka parang ang tagal ko na siyang kakilala.”
“Wow, kilig naman ako!!!! Bongga pati ng place ah. I’m pretty sure talaga na hindi lang siya simpleng thank you dinner. May flowers pa. In fairness, ang pretty pa ng flowers.” Emman said as he inspected the floral arrangement. “Ay may card palang kasama, o.” He said as handed Maya the card. “Dali basahin na natin.”
Maya thanked Emman, stood up and smiled at her friend. “Later. Good night, Emman.”
“Maya girl, ang daya. I want to see what Prince Charming said.” He teased good-naturedly.
“Good night, Emman. Sabay tayong pumasok bukas ha.” Maya said as she opened the door to her room, still smiling.
Maya plopped on her bed, still holding the flowers, smiling broadly. She opened the card and grinned.
See, with you around, hindi ko na talaga kailangan ang hospital! 🙂 Thank you for being a very caring person.
Maya stared at the card a long time, remembering her evening with Richard. For the first time in her young life, someone special is making her feel breathless, with just the mere thought of him. She stood up, grabbed the tin can where she saves all her important stuffs, and put the card there. The flowers, she put in a glass vase. Her last sight before she closed her eyes for the night were the flowers from Richard. She went to sleep, smiling.
Richard was also preparing for bed, at the same time Maya was. Like her, he had a big smile as he went to prepare for bed, leaned against the headboard, remembering his wonderful time with Maya and savouring his newly discovered feelings for her. He is sure of what he feels for this special lady even if was a bit too soon after his latest and final break-up with Alexandra. There was no reconciling with her again this time.
He was introduced to Alexandra at a party given by his parents for their business associates over a year ago. Her dad was one of his father’s closest friends. She went to school in France and had just returned to the Philippines at that time. She was beautiful in a polish way kind of way, vivacious too, and he thought at that time, quite very interesting. She seemed be equally attracted to him as she engaged him in every conversation in every opportunity during the night.
Initially, he was reluctant to pursue Alexandra as he knew it was what his father wanted and he was rebelling a little with him exerting control even with his love life. But it was also in a time when he felt he was ready for a long lasting relationship. Besides, before he can fully decide on this, Alexandra did her own pursuing of him. Before long, they became a couple. Then six months ago, he proposed to her. He felt he can make a life with her having come from the same background, their parents friends and business partner, and he was attracted to her physically. They were compatible physically. He thought those were enough. He didn’t believe then in romantic love.
But, the proposal also became the beginning of the end for the two of them. Alexandra changed into a different person since then. Her true colors came out. She partied more, and demanded that he go with her. She wanted to be the only ‘it girl’ in town and having a boyfriend who is a great catch, according to her, was making the other socialites and wannabe socialites, green with envy. He realized then what she was, a spoiled, rich girl who will do everything to get what she wanted, and that the time, it was him. She got him and wanted him to be at her beck and call. They fought often, they broke up several times. When they do, she will do everything and promised him that she will change. When he agrees, she will, can be very sweet and loving, then will go back to her ways after a while. Being with her was like being with an overspeeding roller coaster. But still, he had wanted to give the relationship a try. He thought things will get better, but he was wrong.
The last break up and reconciliation, that let to the final break-up occurred, a month before he went to New York. At first, he thought they were able to iron out their differences during that last reconciliation, only to fight again after several days, when he refused to go with him to another all-night drinking with her friends at their favorite watering hole in BGC. He explained to Alexandra then gently that maybe it was time they cut their losses and go on their separate ways as they wanted different things in life. At first, she resisted it, tried to use all her wiles on him, but if it had worked in the fast, he remained steadfast this time. Soon after, he left for the States. Now here he is, in love for the first time. He went to bed with a smile, looking forward to seeing Maya, spending more time with her and getting to know her better.
The following day, Maya rang Richard’s room with a feeling of excitement and anticipation. They never agreed to see each other today, but she is looking forward to seeing him. No one answered the door, so Maya opened the door with her card key. The room was empty. She realized that in all the time they were together last night, they forgot exchange mobile phone numbers.
She looked around the room and to her surprised, saw a small envelope with her name on it on the office table. Beside it was a single stem, beautiful red rose. She opened the envelope and saw a note and a business card. She read the note first.
Good afternoon! 🙂 We forgot to exchange phone numbers! To rectify that, I included my business card with my personal mobile phone number in the back. Mabuti I thought of doing this, hoping that you will be the one to clean my room today. I went to work today. There are really pressing matters I needed to attend to, otherwise, I would have waited for you.
Dinner and a show later? Let me know. I hope you will say yes. 🙂
I hope you like the rose! I picked that up from the flower vase in the lobby! 🙂
Maya smiled at Ricky’s postscript. She doubted that the rose came from the lobby. There was no rose in the floral arrangament in the lobby, so most probably, like the flowers last night, he bought it at the hotel flower shop. She brought the flower to her nose, savoring the fragrance it emitted, happy. She put Richard’s note in her pocket. She will reply to it after she finish cleaning his room. She went around the room, tidying up. She was happily humming while cleaning the bathroom. When she was finished with his room, and the next one, she texted him.
Hi Ricky, this is Maya. Yes to both! 🙂 I’m free from 6PM onwards. Where do we meet?
Richard’s phone beeped while he was about to take the elevator to his office. He and his colleague Timothy has just been to lunch in the deli/cafe in the corner. His heart jumped when he heard it vibrated from his pocket. He, somehow knew, it is Maya, judging by the time, she must have seen his note and flowers then.
“Go ahead, Tim. I will just take the next elevator.” Richard said distractedly, not really looking at Tim, too focused on fishing out the phone from his pocket.
Tim just smiled. He had a feeling earlier that Richard was not with him one hundred percent when they were eating, now he knew why. “Okay, take your time. I’ll go ahead. Introduce me to her,” was his parting shot with a smile.
Richard smiled at that, and smiled broadly, with matching, “Yes!” when he read Maya’s messsage.
Great, Maya! I’ll pick you up from your apartment at 6PM.
Maya thought that was fast, when her phone beeped back before she can even put it back in her pocket.
Okay. I’ll see you, later. Hope you are having a nice day! 🙂
Both of them went back to what they were doing, happily and with a feeling of anticipation, as if they both were wishing that it was six o’clock already.
Richard parked his car in front of Maya’s apartment at five minutes before six o’clock that night. Maya was already waiting by the door, as she knew parking was difficult there at that time of the day.
“Hi Ricky!” Maya greeted Richard with a big smile, as she went down the steps, wearing a blue sheath dress, pumps and her coat in her arm. “I thought of waiting for you here. Parking here is terrible.”
Richard looked at Maya, as he walked towards her, offering her a very warm smile. “Hi Maya, you look very lovely. Thank you again for accepting my invitation. I’m looking forward to another evening with you.” He then held on to Maya’s elbow and escorted her to the waiting car.
“Thank you.” Maya felt electrified with Richard’s innocent touch. Her heart was beating fast. She also likes the fact that he is very solicitous and a gentleman. “Me too, am looking forward to our evening.” She added softly. Then asked, “where are we going pala?”
“Surprise. I hope you will like it,” was all he said with a big smile.
They drove back the hotel, then asked the valet to park the car. Richard then led Maya towards the direction of Times Square, a place that never failed to fascinates Maya. She likes all the giant billboards with advertising different products, the neon lights advertising various Broadway shows, the tons of people that troops to this New York attraction. ‘Crossroads of the world’, the name is really suits the place. From Times Square, they walked to Broadway, towards the heart of the theatre district. Richard asked Maya where she would like to have a quick dinner. Maya left the option to him. After dinner, Richard led her to one of the theaters in the district, and Maya smiled when she saw the marquee.
“‘Rent’! We are going to see ‘Rent’?” Maya asked, and she felt like jumping with joy as she had been wanting to see this musical.
“Yes.” Richard smiled, seeing that Maya is happy with his choice. “Come.” He held her hand as they went inside the theater and asked for the tickets reserved under Richard’s name.
“I got the tickets through my cousin Rafi.” Richard said happily. Rafi was more well-versed in finding the best theater tickets in Broadway than him. He gave her a call this morning.
They settled into their seats, two of the best seats in the Orchestra, and enjoyed the musical. Maya found herself humming with some of the show’s tunes, having listened to the recording for so long. Richard enjoyed watching Maya enjoying the show. He is so full of feelings for her. When they got of the theater, they had coffee at a nice cafe they found and chatted most of the time. Richard brought Maya home after midnight, interwining their hands, while they walked back to the hotel to get his car.
Meeting each other most evening, and having a wonderful time exploring New York City by night, became a pattern for the two of them the following days and weeks, after that. They also talked on the phone long when they can’t see each other. and Maya, even if she does not see Richard anymore inside the hotel as he regularly went to LHI during daytime, has something to look forward to every time she goes inside Richard’s room to clean – a sweet note from him and a single stem of the most beautiful red rose.
Maya, like Richard, has fallen hard. Two weeks into their wonderful, private world, she realized that she loves him with all of her. She felt so happy that at 22, she found love. Whether Richard returns her feelings, she does not know, but she had caught him several times, gazing at her intently, and it made her heart beat faster, she felt breathless with the looks he was giving her.
For Richard, he felt like he was at the top of the world, dizzy with this overwhelming feelings for Maya. He is waiting for the perfect opportunity to finally tell her what he feels, and hopes that she feels the same for him.
Note: Thank you all for the comments and likes. I appreciate you taking the time to do so. I’m happy that you like the story. My apologies kung hindi ako nakaka-reply lately! 🙂